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* Posts by Kiwi

81 posts • joined 26 Sep 2011

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Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

Kiwi
Holmes

Re: Spanners Vs. Wrenches @Mr_Pitiful

The rest appear to have de-materialised or turned into carpet mats for an Astra!

It's simple. They, like socks, are the larval form of wire coathangers. That's why houses like mine are full of wire coathangers even though I never brought them into the house and there were none there when I moved in, whereas my tools and socks go missing despite careful management of them.

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Kiwi
Headmaster

Re: Can of worms opened. @CliveM

"A set screw will invariably have a finished point - on the "not a screw" picture it's clearly what is left after casting and thread cutting."

Used to work in the manufacture of these things.. Only handled a few million of them personally.

The ones pictured are absolutely definitely called "Set Screws". And Set Screws, quite variably, do not always have a finished point. Sometimes a finished point would actually be a very bad idea in these sorts of things, sometimes you want a larger active surface area.

And speaking from experience in automotive and engineering (electrical and mechanical) industries, sometimes the set screw acts on a mechanism, not directly on the item being "set" or held. Again, in many of these cases a point would be pointless.

</post 3hr sleep rant :) >

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NASA: Satellite which will END man-made CO2 debate in orbit at last

Kiwi
Joke

Re: Third time lucky ... @Charles9

Just out of interest...

How many "normal people" could afford to fly to the next airport, let alone twice around the world?

:)

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Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

Kiwi

Re: XP @Goat Jam

Could be worth a try - you never know your luck!

Keithpeter suggests using a live CD and I'd agree. I have an elderly gent customer who was having no end of problems with XP. He was upgraded to 7 and still had all sorts of problems. I set up a dual-boot with Mint.

Not only has he never looked back, he swears by how easy it is to use for most things. He upset my *nix-hating boss by coming in one day and saying how much he loved Mint, and how easy he found his computer to use. He's gone on to get his elderly sister and a few other friends using Mint as well.

Who also all come to love it.

With a Live CD, you have no install to do. Reverting to XP is as easy as pulling the disk out. You may find your life gets that much easier (not a good thing to do for all your customers though - the loss of revenue from no longer having to fix their regular messes can be considerable!)

HTH, as late as it may be :)

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Look, pal, it’s YOUR password so it’s YOUR fault that it's gone AWOL

Kiwi

Skype..

Not too long ago set up a Skype account, using a phrase much like the Shakesperean one mentioned in the article. About 7 words, a sentence but one that only really makes sense to me (well,maybe to others but you wouldn't guess it no matter how well you know me), and with random number/letter substitutions as well as random replacements for spaces. Skype said it was too guessable.

So I went with a sequence of characters that IIRC makes it into the top 10 (and certainly top 20) passwords at least by style. 8 characters, involving upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation.. That it's !QAZxsw2 doesn't at ALL matter to Skype, it's perfectly acceptable. Bloody common, but acceptable.

Really, when it comes down to password security, if you close out the account after x tries (and make x reasonably low, eg 100) so that any re-activation has to be done via email or some other contact with "support", then we should be able to use whatever password we want so we can remember it (or just do what I do, reset it every bloody time because I can no longer remember them and resetting them takes less effort!)

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JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this

Kiwi
Trollface

Re: Blake's 7 @Sir Runcible Spoon

"Having said that, Blakes 7 is still awesome !!"

B7 can't be good, they copied crApple! They stole the iphone!

In one episode of the first season (IIRC) you see Blake holding a smart-phone sized device while he talks his shipmates through a battle strategy. He's showing using his finger to draw on the device (could've been a stylus but fairly sure he used his finger) and what he's drawing on the device comes up on the main screen. Later in that episode or the next you see the device sitting near the transporter controls in a wider shot, and its screen clearly has a grid of icons just like a modern smart phone (well the few I've seen anyway.

The special effects? Crap by almost any standards (mis-matched 1970's wheelie chairs for the prisoners' seats on the transport ship???), but the story lines were quite good.. And watching them fumble around trying to learn about the Liberator, how to fly it and how to use it was a lot more believable than many stories that've followed.

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Cloud computing aka 'The future is trying to KILL YOU'

Kiwi

Re: Where have I heard all this before?

"I don't think any even remembers what "bum the code" means any more."

Phrased like that? No, I don't remember it. But in practice I do. I remember a time when an update to a program either added significant new features, significantly improved speed and reliability (not one or the other, but BOTH), or significantly reduced the program size while also removing some bugs.

These days "upgrades" seem to do all the opposites - add bloat, remove functionality, slow the program and maybe your machine (bye bye Firefox, you've usually been good to me for all these years but latest update is last straw). I can't think of when I saw any real improvements in an update (aside from security fixes)

Lost art sadly, code optimization.

Oh, and I agree - a lot of the "new" isn't that new and less of it is useful. We did a lot of this "cloud" stuff back in the "grid" days. Name has changed but the guilt is the same...

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Quick Q: How many FLOPPIES do I need for 16 MILLION image files?

Kiwi

Any demo scene @Leeroy

Still have a few PC demos around somewhere, on one of my current machines. Fire them up under Dosbox sometimes.

We lost something alright. Some of those took less space than an article (with comments) on El Reg..

The amount of work those guys must have put in optimizing their code.. Those who write today owe so much to those guys. Computers may not have exploded the same without their work, and certainly games would not be where they were without their work.

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OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs

Kiwi
Linux

"...apply the ultimate patch to your computer: http://www.linuxmint.com/ "

Works well for Fista, 7, and other malware-infested shitfests.. Er, I mean other versions of Windoze..

Have had a neat challenge this week.. A Mac with suspicion of malware on it. Unlike that other thing which is so certainly infected, not as sure with the Mac and it has taken and tested all of my skills to try to track down what may be causing the issues that cause the suspicion of malware..

Next week I may go for a lifetime achievement aware : find an infected Linux machine (although that'd take a lifetime to achieve!)

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Kiwi
Linux

Re: Well...if one doesn't USE Windows Defender... @ Eddy Ito

Any test that rates Norton highly has got to be false.

I'm talking real-world experience here. Norton misses so much compared to MSE, and it's something I reccomend to a number of customers if they want a free AV product (of course I reccomend Linux first :) ), or one that generally works.

I don't think I've yet seen a machine with Norton on it that hasn't been infected in some manner, and the worst infections I've seen in over 20 years in this industry have been machines with legit, paid up and up to date versions of Nortons.

Oh, I have a passionate dislike for all things MS (comes from years of bitter experience with their crap), so MSE has to be doing something right for me to like it in any fashion. It could be stronger but not bad as it is, and it is much better than many of the paid AV (especially Norton).

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Windows 8.1 Update: Throws desktop drones a bone but still as TOUCHY as ever

Kiwi
Linux

Feeding the trolls works best with rat poison...

" For them Modern work just fine."

If that were true, then why do so many of them complain bitterly about how horrible TIFKAM is?

I only say this as someone at the coal face of IT.

Still.. I personally love TIFKAM, it's really helping me get people to switch to Linux with the sensible (and optional) UI's, faster and more stable system, and no more need for AV... Old folks especially love Linux as it makes their computers easy for them to use! :)

Yes that's right.. Elderly grandmothers find Mint easier than TIFKAM, and say Linux makes their comptuers enjoyable!

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BEHOLD the HOLY GRAIL of TECH: The REVERSIBLE USB plug

Kiwi
Mushroom

Re: An accident waiting to happen? @ChrisBedford

Hmm.. That hub gives me some ideas..

We get some pricks who insist on plugging their kit into my network before they get proper authorization.. A simple "Do not plug your kit in or it will be destroyed" warning notice should suffice, with one of these babies in play..

And of course some prick who needs a bit of sparkle added to their life...

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Kiwi
Paris Hilton

So glad I'm not alone (@AC 2153513)

"Or even into the ethernet socket just on the other side"

So glad I'm not the only one..

The number of times I've plugged something in, felt the plug go in right (or what feels right) only to wonder why the device that was working not so long ago isn't even being detected now...

Even worse when in front of a relly or customer (esp one you've just bolloked about doing something silly).

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BOYCOTT FIREFOX, rage gay devs as Mozilla appoints JavaScript daddy as CEO

Kiwi

@dogged

On the other hand, I find men being effeminate distasteful and greatly dislike the Graham Norton/Alan Carr style

You're not alone.. I also find effeminate men quite offputting... I like my men to be men, not to act like they're something else.

That said, I find the Graham Norton show to be interesting at times..

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Kiwi

Re: Subconscious homophobia showing here.

If you support freedom of speech for everyone then you should support the right of people to campaign for slavery, legalising rape, using living small puppies as blowtorch holders... Whatever.

That's what freedom of speech is, that you can speak for and support what you want. Prefereably things that you believe are right for whatever reason, but freedom to speak your mind. Freedom means without limits.

Oh, and while I hope to find some handsome hunk to marry in the not-too-distant future, I do find it quite acceptable for someone to finance campaigns against gay marriage. If the person's a good friend I might even loan them the money. I would not be happy with people financing everything on your list BUT I support their right to do so. I know I am weird, but I do admire people who stand up for what they believe. Not just angry words at the TV in their living room but actually getting out there and fighting for that they believe in.

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Kiwi

Re: Gay rage, because of what somebody believes?

"So... what I understand now to be true *here* is that if I stand on God's Word, I am supposed to be crucified for what God says. Correct?"

Don't forget that our Lord said "The world will hate you because of me" (paraphrased), and that Paul (or was it Peter?) said that we should be happy when we're persecuted for our faith (again paraphrased). Also it is said that we would be handed over to the authorities to be tried, condemned, and executed.

You can go the way of the world, which is a fun and relatively easy trip. You can claim to be Christian and go the way of the world, which is a relatively fun and easy trip.. Or you can go the way of Christ - which means that even many of those who claim to follow Christ will hate you.

God Bless.

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Kiwi
Thumb Up

@sisk

"Besides I could give a lengthy theological rant about why the people who rail against gay marriage should spend less time looking at others and more time taking care of their own sins."

Sadly I can only upvote you once.. Is there a place I can nominate you for "Post of the decade"?

If only a few more Christians would live by this, the rest of us would have a much better name/reputation!

Thank you for posting that.

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Kiwi

Re: The witch hunt continues

" unlike Eich, who supported an effort to deny them equal rights."

Just wondering... Did Catlin put money or other resources towards the pro-marriage movements? Did he put his money where his mouth was so-to-speak (get that smirk off your face!)? Did he use whatever resources he had at his disposal to help further his cause?

If so, how is he different from Eich, who used his money to forward what he (hopefully) believed to be the right thing? If Eich truly believes that we who are "gay" should not be allowed to marry, then he did the right thing by using what resources he has to support and promote that cause.

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Kiwi
Linux

Re: Oh, a new outrage of the week. Finally, I was getting worried.

I very nearly became a statistic on more than one occaision because I am gay.

I still believe that if people are opposed to my being gay then that is their problem and their right. If they want to fund organisations to "cure" gays or whatever, because they believe that they are doing the right thing (or they're total [insert your choice of term] and doing it to be nasty) then that is also their right, priviledge, and problem.

I have been beaten many times because of being gay, and came close to suicide more than once because of the abuse. It's only be the grace of God that I am not one of that "body count". But I still stand up for peoples right to speak their beliefs, even if that upsets others (what, you think your beliefs don't upset others?). Maybe not speaking with fists or property damage, but speak them you may.

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Kiwi

Re: Shakes Head (@grammaphobe)

"Day cannot be renamed night just as marriage no matter what the state says cannot be between a man and man."

Between one man and one woman, right?

But what about the Biblical definition of marriage, ie between one man and many (sometimes VERY many) women, at the same time. Sometimes even between brother and sister..

Just because people of certain beliefs define marriage in one way, it does not mean that should or has to apply to others.

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Kiwi
Linux

As one who is gay..

Have read some of the comments here, but will post before I read further..

I am gay. I've been somewhat closeted because of cultural issues here in NZ (I grew up in small town NZ, back then it was a very dangerous place to be seen to be anything BUT straight), but I am happy so speak under my "real name" rather than AC.

I'm also Christian, and somewhat conservative/fundamentalist in many of my views.

If an athiest/Muslim/Hindu/whatever wants to promote their views, either directly or by funding causes that they believe in, they should have every right to do so. Likewise, I am very much pro-life, but if someone who is pro-choice (and/or pro-euthanasia) wants to promote their views or pay someone else to do so, that is their right and they should be allowed to do so.

And I am more than happy for someone to promote their belief that I should die because I am Christian, or rot in hell because I am gay. That's their belief, wrong as I may believe it to be, and that is their right to speak it.

That's what a free society means - people are free to speak their minds and act on their convictions. Sure, it may upset me or even hurt me when I get some stuff directed at me, but if a person is speaking what they believe then that is their right. I cannot get upset about how I feel my sensibilities might be infringed when someone says something I dislike and then try to claim I should be free to speak my mind. That would be hypocritical.

I will not stop using a product because someone there has done something in their capacity as an individual person. I might if those views are expressed as part of or on behalf of the company, ie that it's a company position, but not if it's individual staff within the company. If I was to take it to that sort of thing, well I can bet there're anti-gay people involved with the makers of all browsers.

TL;DR : I'm gay, and I support EVERYONE'S right to speak their views and act on their convictions (where that doesn't involve real harm to others, and no - hurting feelings is not "real" harm). It's hypocrisy to want to speak your views but prevent others from speaking theirs. I admire those who have the courage to stand up and speak up for what they believe.

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TV sales PLUMMET. But no one's prepared to say what we all know

Kiwi
Big Brother

@ Psyx

New functionality is still a selling point, but the manufacturers now have a trickle-through of 'exciting new' functions which...aren't.

We've had so much over the years, and much of it never had content. How much truly HD content is there out there today? (and why is it that my old CRT TV could disply a higher resolution from the computer than my new and very expensive (thank God for the extended warranty that brought it for me!) "HD" TV?) Screen resolutions seemed to do a huge drop not long before "HD" came out.

Couple of years back "3D" was the big thing.. And the content for it would come, just buy the TV's...

Now, well I am wondering if 4k is already dead and buried, certainly haven't seen anyone advertising it here for many months.

So.. Should I buy new&shiny every year or so like some of my friends do, in the hopes that the promised content will finally show up [briefly looks away to watch airborne pigs], or should I wait until there is some content that is soooo good that I just can't bear watching it on some less-than-new TV?

Given the quality of so much TV today, you really do have to push the envelope with the content for me to buy new. I don't care what the picture quality is like, if a show isn't worth watching for the overall content, I'm not wasting my money.

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Hidden 'Windigo' UNIX ZOMBIES are EVERYWHERE

Kiwi
Linux

Re: 777

"You would think the bot would be smart enough to realize the page doesn't exist before trying 7000 more passwords, but no."

Well... You might need to try something like Fail2ban. I think it works in those situations. Basically x failed attempts to log in, IP is banned for Y time (both can be set by you). I used to see stuff like that in my logs before I put that in to help block it.

Me, I cheat with PMA. If I am feeling significantly dumb enough to want to use it, I'll install it and use it, then dump it before I close the session.

HTH

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Kiwi

@ cambsukguy

"If the system allowed (for instance) weak passwords to be used, then the system is flawed."

Question is... What is a weak password? Try something on say Skype, which has a requirement of a strong password.. Now, I tried one there that is a 10 word phrase with number subs and also various bits of punctuation, Skype wouldn't allow it as "to weak". I put in one that makes it into the top 10 most common passwords, accepted as it's long enough with psuedo random letters and numbers.

Any password can be strong or weak, depending on what is known about a person. 21_JHG$45 might look like a strong password to any system., but if you know me well enough you might guess it within a small number of tries.

Strong passwords are good, but we do need a bit more than that to keep systems secure.

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For Windows guest - KVM or XEN and which distro for host?

Kiwi
Linux

Have to say thanks..

I love what you're trying to do and would love to see the result, or at least see a good write up on the finished product - and not just a how-to or basic list of configs like many are. Sounds like an interesting project.

I've learnt a bit more about what's there VM wise myself. I've used them a fair bit over the last few years, but never really pushed them - only using them to run test/safely infectable(sp) installs of Windows and test/learn software and so on. But now am inspired to take a deeper look into what's there now :)

Have to thank you for your questions, and for putting up with the people who haven't read your message, like the important bits where you say you don't have room for another machine and so on, and go on to tell you why you really only need a second box when you've made it clear that's not an option :)

That said, if you're letting others (especially the kids) get on you really should think of ways to give them a totally seperate machine, even a laptop or cheap tablet. I've seen too many cases where kids manage to screw up machines quite badly - or at least get blamed for it. For now you may be quite secure, but they'll be watching and learning every little bit they can, they'll grow older and bolder/stupider, and given a chanve they will think they know everything, try something, and you end up in a world of hurt.

Don't get me wrong, I really want you to succeed with your plan and I want to see how it's done in the end, but back up everything, and back it up well. External drives in another location (in case said kids screw up and try to recover screwing up the backup), and when you can manage to give the brats their own machine so yours survives :)

Good luck with it :)

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NSA alleges 'BIOS plot to destroy PCs'

Kiwi
Black Helicopters

Re: Stable Door, boys and girls

You could get a Pay As You Go mobile and not register it.

Just don't forget to leave it somewhere randomly away from you home and your work. You may not register it, but tracking it will tell the trackers who you are within a fair amount of certainty by watching the locations.

(Of course, that is if they're interested in your phone's movements enough to bother tracking it - I don't like that they can do it but doubt that they do it to everyone)

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Kiwi
Linux

Re: How it ought to be,

I believe it's called "winflash" or something similar. I've seen a few computers with a windows-based BIOS updater. Has been a while but from what I recall it is a nice looking convenient little windows utility to update your bios.

And it would be just as scary if there was a Linux version, unless you have a sure way of reverting to an earlier version.

Such a tool could be used remotely.

For that matter, look at the issues with Samsung UEFI some months back. IIRC it was booting Ubuntu from USB stick OR something in MS Office that could trash the UEFI BIOS enough that the machine would be bricked (for the average home user anyway). Something like that could also be triggered remotely I expect.

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Your kids' chances of becoming programmers? ZERO

Kiwi

Re: Sir

(It was a blacked out room so you can imagine how exiting that was for a 10 year old boy :) )

Now I think about it... I was someone who came to computing quite late, too late to do it at school . But i do recall that the computer rooms were always either in windowless areas or all the windows were covered. Why was it that we mere mortals were never allowed to see into the computer rooms? AV rooms being blacked out I can understand, but computer rooms?

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Kiwi

Re: So fix it!

Popular music proceeds in fads caused exactly by the fact that people like the things they are exposed to early on,

if that line of reasoning was even remotely true, I should like Bing Crosby/Val Doonican, Eartha Kitt, Winifred Atwell, Frank Sinatra, movies by Fred Astair/Ginger Rodgers, and other assorted stuff that makes me leave the room and could make me end friendships, whereas stuff like Hard Rock and Heavy Metal which I've loved since my mid-late teens would not be stuff I still love today.

The idea of trying to get kids to love music that they don't like simply by playing it to them is pure and simply child abuse, and should be treated as such. I suffered a lot of pain at the hands of people trying to force me to like some noise that they thought I should do, while not having the simply decency themselves to try the same experiments on themselves with the sort of music I liked.

it's rubbish, and abusive, and people like this should be treated like the criminals they are.

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Kiwi
Linux

Re: So fix it!

This is not true. [..]everyone's pretty well on a par at birth, and that includes all but the very rarest of artists.

Not true. I had friends at school who had less encouragement than I did to become better at art, but from their first drawings were better than I was. Likewise, they did more study and homework and so on yet I usually did better on tests.

Even today, having tech drawing and years of engineering work and work involving "graphic design" behind me, I am beyond hopeless at even basic kindergarten level of art. I can hand-make complex parts with basic tools, but I couldn't draw a random squiggly line to save my life.

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Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

Kiwi

Re: So, a hard to repair solar panel..

... and a toxic battery that will wear out, be heavy and costly, and need replacing is a good idea for the target market?

You do get that this unit requires someone to lift a bag weighing a hell of a lot more than several laptop batteries several times a night, right?

Nonsense, pure nonsense. Their first design WAS to do exactly that, and then, like any sensible person, they realised that is basically handing a hopeless black box that will break down to people who cannot repair it or have it serviced easily.

Last week I picked up a half a dozen solar powered garden lights. Cost a couple of bucks each, (maybe) give more light than these "gravity" units do, and they come on when it gets dark enough at about 8:30pm and are still giving strong light at 2am. I couldn't tell you the actual wattage involved but it's enough that $10 worth of these will reasonably light a large room (normal Western house). How long they'll perform to the same level for is another matter, the batteries will probably start to fail in a few years depending on how cheap/nasty they really are.

Complexity? Solar panel, battery (admittedly nicad which was a bit of a surprise), wires, probably some basic voltage or charge regulation, and a plastic case. Oh, and a very complex mechanical part called a "switch". No gears, no belts and pulleys, and so much effort to run that a physically drained or disabled mother could get it to work.

Oh, and servicing? As much as I like to recycle and re-use, I doubt I would bother. The power used in heating up the soldering iron would almost outweigh the cost of a replacement.

This way, unless it is abused, it will give service for an extraordinarily long time, with nothing but simple lifting motion required when light is needed.

Simple. Several times a night. A bag weighing what, 5-10kg? In areas perhaps where there could be a large number of weakened or disabled people who will struggle to do that as much as needed? Also it is a mechanical device that relies on suspended weight. I would expect that the materials used are the most re

not to mention handing out tons of toxic batteries is not exactly a great idea in a poor region with no recycling capability.

Batteries can be contain quite nasty chemicals. Not sure on the chemistry of capacitors but guess they're not much better. But plastics can be quite bad as well, although I guess/hope these people are using something relatively "green".

That said, I do like the concept. Anything that is able to help people to a better life (while still being resource/pollution etc friendly) I am happy with. Just not sure about the work (energy) input and the light output.

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Kiwi

It's worth mentioning that from the target audience's perspective, that $10 cost is the equivalent of something like $800 or $1000 to most of us reading this.

True, $10 to them is like a lot to us (I've supported kids overseas through certain organisations in the past - the piddly little sum I pay per week is more than both parents can earn working full time!).

But I think one of the key things is that to us this is a trifling amount. A few thousand westerners spend an extra $10 at Christmas, a few thousand 3rd world families get cheap light.

Not sure if that's their plan or not, but it's something I could consider (i would also make sure there isn't something better first).

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Two million TERRIBLE PASSWORDS stolen by malware attackers

Kiwi
Linux

Re: All I can say is this...

1000 guesses per second is stupidly slow. Try 30 billion per second!

And how many websites let you ender that many guesses a second, or even a year?

If they have the password file, they have your password. Reading the articles you linked (thanks!), no matter how stupidly complex your password is you're screwed. It's a matter of time and like the article says, some passwords fell very quickly but others took a while. Once the software/techniques and of course source lists were enhanced, those harder passwords were cracked.

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Oooh! My NAUGHTY SKIRT keeps riding up! Hello, INTERNET EXPLORER

Kiwi

Re: Hentai ?

.These days IE is the best browser at blocking malware and phishing attempts....

So why is it then that all the machines I see that've had a "web based" infection (including the likes of "drive by downloads") are all from IE-only households, and nothing for FF/Chrome/Safari then? If it's so much more secure than other browsers it should be performing so much better.

Or maybe the performance in all areas is poor because the product is poor? IME (which is gained from currently working at the front lines of IT repair for the last few years and a couple of decades largely in IT elsewhere) IE is still much (and noticeably) slower than anything else and security is still such an afterthought that it has yet to actually appear on IE.

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BOFH: Is WHAT 'running slow'!? GOD

Kiwi
Linux

Re: This makes me sad

Hear Hear, the BOFH is the reason I started coming here in the first place (I stayed for the articles).

Much the same.. Some BOFH stories used to float around Fidonet (yes, I am that old!), then I found more on some news site (well IIRC it had "news" in the name) with my early forays into the web, and later they disappeared from there and I found El Reg. Been a regular reader ever since. In fact in some of the earlier days (especially before comments) I'd read every article.. Yeah I needed a life back then! :)

(Still need one now.. Anyone got one to spare? Or shall I just take the boss's one?)

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Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

Kiwi

Re: Ashamed to say

Our customers pay me. Without exception from large corporate to loaner granddad they hate 8.

Those that didn't buy 7 in time are starting to learn the wonders of Linux.. Interesting to watch - I am seeing less machines coming back for problems, but referrals for new business are way up. Thanks Microsoft, you're really helping me promote Linux! :)

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Kiwi

Re: Ashamed to say

Simply hate change

I play with more different OS's in a week than most people use in their lives. My poor most-used machine is cluttered with many hundreds of extra programs from where I trial all sorts of software - if I don't try a new package each week there's something wrong (thankfully it runs Linux so the excessive amounts of software don't cause slowdowns and registry corruption (there's no registry! :) like they do in Windows). Have used everything Microsoft from Dos 5 through to Win8 (haven't yet played with 8.1), toss up between XP and 7 for favourite Windows - 7 loses points because it doesn't quite play my favourite game.

I prefer Linux for home and work though. Well, I have to use it at work, there's no windows up to the jobs we do - and no amount of money could make windows capable.

Have never used (or even seen) Win8

Sadly have used it far too many times.

Have spend a whole of 5min with it

Have sadly wasted many hours of my life with it, starting with the preview version.

But in reality... I've said it before and I'll say it again.. I love Windows 8! Thank you so much Microsoft for giving us this OS! It is the best advertisement for Linux ever! :)

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Kiwi
FAIL

Re: "Worthwhile upgrade to Windows 7" - Why?

For me and quite a few of our customers the answer is simple:

And you're boasting about Win8 because it can finally, so many years after the rest of us have been taking this sort of thing for granted, actually do something like that?

Damn. Man, you need to get your tongue out of Balmy's backside and take a look at the real world. If your post is anything to go by, Microsoft are so far behind the times they make the Amish look futuristic!

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Royston cops' ANPR 'ring of steel' BREAKS LAW, snarls watchdog

Kiwi

since the road tax & insurance dodgers are the ones putting the rest of us at risk on the roads!

I always thought it was people driving like idiots that put the rest of us at risk, not those who fail to pay the relevant taxes?

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ARTICLES without comment boxes - Climate, CO2, Anything authored by L. Page...

Kiwi

@Martin Budden Re: I didn't think I could hate Lewis Page even more!

C'mon Mr Page, GROW UP and let others speak!

I, too, was disappointed to see no comments on his article.. How dare he! He's taken away the fun I get watching the "Global warming" twits stomp their little feet every time someone dares say anything against their claims. How dare he take away my fun!

BTW, if his removing comments prevents you from speaking your mind about his articles, how is it you were able to come here and speak your mind about his articles?

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Not work! - Firmware hacks

Kiwi
Devil

Still use one as well.

Have seen many people go through many phones. Some of those massive clunky things out there today appear to have a lifespan of milliseconds, and forget about dropping it (mine has been dropped from pocket/waist height onto concrete/asphalt many more times than I can remember, not even a glitch in the screen).

Has some case damage but nothing major, still has 100% of its functionality. And OTB on Linux I've been able to have a working net connection in seconds without mods. Can do that and/or charge it over a standard mini USB on Linux. On Windows it won't charge, for some reason Windows drains the batter but am sure that's some funny driver issue.

Brought it for the net speed and so-called "voice dialing" (for motorbike use). The voice dialing was a big letdown (open phone, go to menu, go to sub menu, and so on and so on whereas my old Sony Ericson was "say special pre-recorded word (of your choice), then "Dial [person] [phone type] (eg "Dial Nick mobile"), but the net speed was better than I could get with a landline, and cheaper then too thanks to a screwup Vodafone had in their billing systems at the time). Still have it some 8yrs later, still works fine. Although there has been many many many many times I've been tempted to throw it from a high cliff overlooking the sea or something like that. Whoever designed the hardware did a great job. Whoever decided that the final software was suitable, well, see icon..

(Wish PTT had taken off - with a remote switch suitable for use with gloves, that would've been a great tool for motorcyclists :) )

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Curse you, old person, for inventing computers!

Kiwi
Holmes

@Trustme Re: Yup - Me too!

but if you try and remove it to create space a loud "item removed from baggage area" starts wailing like the bagging police to the nearest member of staff who is

I like the self-scan systems on busy days, but this always gets me.. Why, oh why can I not do what the hell I want with an item that HAS ALREADY BEEN SCANNED.

You know what it is. It's been scanned. It's not like it's something I'm trying to cheat you on (if I was trying to steal it, I wouldn't put it through the scanner and onto the "bagging area" in the first damned place!). So why can I not pack stuff and load it into a trolley while my partner scans it? Do you want to piss me off so much that I associate your entire chain with annoyance, and go elsewhere in future? Oops. Too late. Don't care about your "lowest in the country" prices, you're too annoying to shop at.

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Former Microsoft Windows chief: I was right to kill the Start button

Kiwi
Linux

Re: jumping ship

The average user will not go to linux. I deal with "end users" all the time.

So do I. Mint/KDE impresses those who've only known Windows (much liks Higaara impressed those who only knew the sands of Karak :) ). Each one I can get to switch loves it. Sure, a lot are resistant, but as they realise more and more that MS has no interest in listening to them, whereas with Linux they have a voice (well, maybe outside of Ubuntu anyway), and as they get sick of the malware or corrupt registry or having to buy a new Vista key every time that breaks, well, they switch. And those who switch love it.

For the average non techie user, linux will be a PITA. They won't know how to do anything, even as simple as installing printers and their friends and families won't know.

With IIRC one HP model and some Lexmark models, printers and most other hardware are installed by the exceedingly difficulty tasks of plugging them in and turning them on. No disks, no downloads, no fuss. True plug and play. Sure, a while ago it was harder than today, but today there's really no issues.

I'll get asked, "How do I install Internet Explorer?

I used IE today for the first time in years. Today I've used every version of IE from 6 to whatever is current on Win7 (9 or 10?) to test a site. I hated every minute of it. I thought konqueror and chrome were bad! Man, IE is painfully slow, and just plain horrible to look at. As to what it does with a standards-compliant web site. What makes you think any one would want to use that once they've had a taste of something else?

I need Word.

Then install it. If you really cannot get to grips with Libre/Open Office, or any of the many other much better office tools out there, install it. If you have WINE on the system (usually installed by default IME) then chuck the Office disk in the machine and install it just like you would with windows.

I bought this game and it doesn't work. Why won't it work? this is a PC....."

See above. Run relatively high-end games under wine on my laptops. They run better than under windows on my gaming rig (which is only such by 2006 standards, by todays standards it's old and slow!). Chuck the disk in, install, play, enjoy.

Linux really is not hard to use. If it was I wouldn't. a) I spend my days fixing other peoples broken computers, and b) I'm a lazy sod. Last thing I want is to spend my game time fixing stuff. So I run Linux. I could run windows, but there's all the maintenance, the repairs, the AV and AS, the registry errors, the endless search for drivers... NO THANKS!

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Kiwi
Linux

@The_Regulator

Try seeing how many frustrated customers you have distributing any open source os to the mass public.

Each and every day another person comes up to me and asks "Why did no one tell me my computer could be so easy to use?". Constant thanking me for showing them the light, showing them that their computer can be theirs, and it can be fun.

I give my mobile number out to every person who gets a Mint install with a promise that they can ring 24/7. Not one has called so far.

You think people are frustrated by no start button lol, it would be Armageddon if there was no windows xx.xx at this point. Hardware issues, multiple available builds etc etc.

As I've said before. Only one person has any problems with this, and that's my boss. 1) he knows there's lost revenue - we don't see people bringing infected machines in every other week (many thanks to the writers of the "federal police" virus/scam BTW, brings my company a shitload of money!) nor does the hardware fail like it does on windows, and 2) he's a MS fan. People loving their machines, and loving what Linux does for it, all because of Linux pisses him off so much.. It's a joy to behold!

Hardware issues? You mean like spending hours upon hours upon hours upon hours upon hours trying to find a basic hard disk driver like you have to do so often with windows? Or the sometimes weeks it can take to find a lot of other common basic drivers for windows? Whenever I upgrade a machine with dual-boot, Linux just works with very few exceptions (always when I'm leaving NVidia for something else). Windows? First have 3 days max to find all the different drivers, then have to do the re-activation (after 3 days won't let you boot till you either activate or run a certain command in safe-mode command-prompt.

Windows is a pain to use compared to many (maybe most) Linux distros out there. Compared to win8, the worst Linux is a piece of piss to use. And yes, I do use 8. I have to. Like all Windows releases, it breaks. Easily and often.

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Kiwi
Linux

@David Hicks

It forces people like my parents to relearn the interface,

Hint : Mint.

I've found a lot of older people have no trouble with, and many even enjoy Mint 14 KDE. Said it before but it does my heart good (and pisses my boss off no end) when they ask why no one told them that their computer could be so easy to use!

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Hot new battery technologies need a cooling off period

Kiwi
Mushroom

Re: Garages *used* to offer a battery charging service for regular customers.

Your battery gets charged off line. If you told the garage "I won't be back for it till Wednesday" they could plan their charging schedule and maintain an even load on the grid, but with access to 3ph power they could get a faster charge without hammering the battery using a "super fast" charge. When you arrive its a quick swap.

Are you kidding? You want a garage to hang on to your battery for a few days?

Do you have any idea at how large these batteries will be? Think about it. Lets say that your battery is the size of a 20 litre container (I'm pretty sure most will be somewhat larger). Lets say your garage does a measly 1000 customers/week. Can you imagine the storage space needed for these things? And they're gonna let you keep it there for a week without charging you for it?

For the small computer repair shop I work in, customers who don't pick their PC's up quickly are a major pain, and one of the worst parts of that is the floorspace needed for each machine - even when stacked.

And you want some poor garage owner to keep your fucking waste of space until next Wednesday???

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Master Beats: Why doesn't audio quality matter these days?

Kiwi

Re: Sad realities

I got one of those 20Gig HDD Irivers way back when.. 20G and 260K colour when the best apple could offer was black&white, far more than twice the price, and a whopping 8g.

Still gets daily use. Still going strong. I did want to upgrade the HDD recently, opened it up only to find what it had inside was nothing like what I was expecting.

Wonder if the drive is able to give me any data on its run time. I suspect the number of spinning hours will be some years. The thing's on damn near 24/7. And it still pisses me off that it could only handle 999 songs in a playlist!

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Kiwi
Angel

@Tom Maddox

... 'N Sync, Kylie Minogue, ... those days will never come again!...

Thank God for that!

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Kiwi
Linux

30yrs ago it was cheap rubbish, today...

Not sure how old they really are, but my stereo at home runs a couple of Celestion speakers (mid/woofer/passive) topped off with a couple of speakers left over from my old HK9000. I think the Celestions are somewhere around 30yrs old, and I believe that they were a very cheap speaker by the standards back then. But compared with what's around today, well, these speakers are worth a fair bit more than what was paid for them, or so I hear (anyone got any info on Celestions? Would love more background etc). I've listened to some fairly expensive modern speakers - you'd have to be nuts to pay more than a tenner for some of them, but the price tag is many weeks of average pay.

The quality of so many things today is slipping. A cheap radio from 20yrs ago probably gives a better sound than today's garbage. But, as people will shell out money for it and not challenge the waste of money, companies get away with it. I still have the celestions today in (large) part because they still go so well, but also in part because there's little out there that can compete with them .

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