* Posts by David Gosnell

804 posts • joined 19 Jun 2007

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'Millions' of routers open to absurdly outdated NetUSB hijack

David Gosnell

Sounds about par for the course. I remember raising a query with the rebadger of an old router of ours regarding what they planned to do about patching a security flaw in Busybox (the psyb0t worm, back in 2009), and needless to say my message was deleted without reading. Sadly with so much badge-engineering going on like this, the accountability trail in both directions for actually getting anything fixed is ghastly - any complaints or bug reports haven't got a hope in hell of making it back to the manufacturers, and even if the manufacturers do issue patches, the chances of the rebadgers bothering to make them available to us is about nil.

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Pi based kid-nerdifier Kano buried under freak cash avalanche

David Gosnell

Re: I hope they brought some cigarettes...

Strangely enough, it was under £100 until the BBC ran a feature on it, and guess what, the price nudged up. It was already a bit overpriced, but quite attractive as a turnkey boxset, but the additional £20 popularity tax slapped on took the pee.

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Google TUGS Nexus 7-INCHER from its online store

David Gosnell

Lollipop was ghastly on the 2012 N7...

... and although one cannot be 100% sure, we suspect that it contributed significantly to the SSD going tits up shortly after upgrade, and subsequent hard bricking. Frequently performance issues on lower-end computer stuff comes down to disk I/O, so we suspect Lollipop's constant memory leakage put extra stress on the SSD which broke it. Out of warranty of course, with their (probably illegal) 12-month terms. Once I would have said always get a Nexus because they are well supported, but kind of glad our new Samsung Galaxy Tab's not showing any signs of moving off KitKat.

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giffgaff riff-raff hacked off with lift-off of cash spaff

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BT gently returns to mobe biz with cheap SIM-only swoop

David Gosnell

Re: Is it me?

But comparing giffgaff and BT is not entirely fair. With one you get a bunch of clueless and powerless muppets offering "customer support" ... and the other runs via a web forum.

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Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles

David Gosnell

Re: Not helped by ambiguity of need

Since I'd heard nothing back from the local council as promised, I dropped them an email. They replied thus:

Thank you for your email. The reason you have not received anything is because you were already registered at xx xxxxxxxx xxxxx. When your internet registration came through, we simply merged this with your existing record.

Given the widespread ambiguity, it was nice of them to proactively reassure voters of this, huh? It really did feel like our form submissions had gone into an Amazon powered black hole.

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David Gosnell

Not helped by ambiguity of need

Registration won't have been helped by complete ambiguity over the need to, or not. We had something from our council only a couple of months ago talking about a change to a new system but saying that so long as the information listed was correct there was nothing to do. Yet all the publicity around the new system implies that's not the case, though nowhere does it explicitly spell it out either way - presumably because they know their existing data-set was so flawed they could make no guarantees of accuracy. So we went and re-registered anyway, and will await duplicate polling cards no doubt.

As an extra twist we note that our response emails came back from Amazon web-services. What could possibly go wrong with entrusting all this to the cloud? Captchas or no captchas...

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Israeli boffins hack air gap, fire missiles on compromised kit

David Gosnell

Re: But wait...

> Do desktop PC's / laptops normally come with heat sensors which this hack is apparently dependent upon?

Yes, all over the place. Quite often measured at three or four points round the system, e.g. CPU, PSU, hard disk(s) etc. Generally takes software such as MBM (for Windows) to hook into it, but it's there for the using all the time.

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SCARESTEROID of the week to miss Earth on Friday

David Gosnell

End to the Express's freak weather

Maybe it will knock their beloved displaced polar vortex of dooooooom back into place?

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BT fined £800k over lax emergency text relay delay blunder

David Gosnell

Re: Who pays?

No of course not everyone-everyone, but migrating away from BT isn't always such a clever idea - a friend had to wait about a month to get an engineer to check his Sky-billed line because of all the extra layers of delegation to eventually get back to exactly the same people on the ground (unless you're lucky enough to be in a cable area, but that's a can of worms in itself I understand...). We picked a safe middle ground, going for Plusnet - part of the BT group so probably marginally quicker service in the event of issues, but with a certain amount of firewalling from the cash-guzzlers and certainly a lot more honesty when there are occasional price rises. Of course, we had to feel a little guilt at the poor b*ggers unable to move elsewhere - BT don't lose in the competitive market as suggested, their strategy is just to squeeze ever more money out of their dwindling customer base, rewarding their loyalty with contempt.

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David Gosnell

Correct. Splodge of course makes a fair point, but there are other ways. Public floggings etc, too.

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David Gosnell

Who pays?

Customers, again, no doubt, just like with the BT Sport fiasco (BT struggling to recoup the zillions they dropped on the deal, so hiked everyone's bills instead). Regulators need to have teeth, but time and time again with BT, other utilities and banks, it's the customers who pick up the tab in the end, paying double for extra poor service.

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Vodafone Pay TV launch rumoured for November

David Gosnell

This is one I like the look of ...

... were anything so forward-looking considered for the UK. Seems to be some kind of hybrid ADSL/VDSL router, TV tuner/streamer and mobile cell.

http://www.liliputing.com/2015/03/freebox-mini-4k-android-tv-box-launches-in-france.html

Pretty sure I saw some dirt cheap hardware prices mentioned (on-contract, obviously).

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Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

David Gosnell

Re: Every silver lining...

> Backups, backups, backups ...

That's why nothing of any importance was lost, duh :-P

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David Gosnell

Every silver lining...

Encryption may have been an extra nail in the coffin for our 2012 Nexus 7 when its storage went tits-up. It tried to at least partially recover itself but the encryption appeared to get in the way of that happening at all. Thankfully nothing of importance lost, but still an extra annoyance, and of course the user experience of Lollipop en route to that was hardly consolation.

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Microsoft man: Internet Explorer had to go because it's garbage

David Gosnell

IE on Linux

> IE 6, 7, 8 and/or 9 can run on Linux.

They can indeed, but I found it was not always a reliable test since (at least using Wine) some critical aspects were delegated to the operating system which behaved differently. For example testing PNG alpha transparency would provide misleadingly optimistic results in my experience.

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FIVE Things (NOT 10: these are REAL) from the WINDOWS 10 event

David Gosnell

1. 'Please come back to Windows 10 – for free'

Like Vista to 7, they mean? Where "free" meant anything up to a £40 admin fee to the OEM, ostensibly to cover media costs but clearly just a licence to extract money from the unfortunate?

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Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

David Gosnell

Couple of things

1) The hotel's up for sale, apparently turning over £160,000 (1600 bad reviews) a year

2) Don't, for the love of your deity of choice, try to access the most recent version of their dead website via the Wayback Machine. NSFW, seriously.

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Can’t be TRUSTe-d? Online privacy firm coughs $200k to settle 'deception' charges

David Gosnell

Client website updates

Good luck on that, if they were daft enough to provide logos to download and serve locally. Amongst my own clients, even the more alert ones aren't always too hot off the blocks with partner logo updates and so on. Or are they hoping to recoup their costs by taking action against anyone not doing so..?

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Facebook: Over half a BEELLION loyalists have SPURNED our Messenger app

David Gosnell

Rival?

Surely it was this very organ that first reported with any kind of analysis on the buy-out of WhatsApp by Facebook, and the significant ($40 was it?) value placed on every user's plundered contact list?

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Son of Hudl: Tesco flogs new Atom-powered 8.3-inch Android tablet

David Gosnell

Re: Nice, but why...

> Does Ainol still have the amusing slogan "Enjoy life. Enjoy Ainol" ?

And a logo like a cat's anus?

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Revealed: Malware that forces weak ATMs to spit out 'ALL THE CASH'

David Gosnell

Alarming

"The masterminds behind Tyupkin only infected ATMs that had no security alarms"

Hey, I guess it's only money. Help yerself.

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Countless Belkin routers go TITSUP in massive mystery meltdown

David Gosnell

Never trusted

Never really trusted Belkin for, well, anything - but least of all their DNS resolution. I did briefly use a router of theirs, but it displayed a very weird bug of occasionally and inexplicably transposing bytes in looked-up IP addresses. It's for emergencies only now, and didn't work last time I tried it anyway.

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Bash bug flung against NAS boxes

David Gosnell

QNAP

My QNAP TS-212P was quickly patched, though there is word of a third vulnerability which the patch doesn't cover, so for the time being it's not accessible to the outside world. I note there's a "Qfix" dated yesterday that might well sort out the rest ... will investigate.

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Buying memory in an iPhone 6: Like wiping your bottom with dollar bills

David Gosnell

h2testw

h2testw - everyone's favourite friend when buying any flash memory product... or should be, anyway!

(yes, it does work in Wine)

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Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water

David Gosnell

Locked phones

What proportion of customers buy network-locked phones these days anyway? I'm sure it's still quite a few, but surely this is all part of the sea change towards people recognising contracts for what they are: frequently uncompetitive hire-purchase schemes in disguise, where the customer would be better off buying SIM-free if they (or their plastic) can afford it. I bought my last phone outright from Argos of all places - cheaper at the time than any of the CPW/P4U type places, and costing less in total than a lot of contracts charge for the up-front fee for certain high-profile devices before the bazillion pounds a month for 30 years kicks in.

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New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone

David Gosnell

Re: Bytes?

Re message length, alternatively the article author has been brainwashed by Twitter, or the service is dodgily using a free SMS gateway that appends adverts that will never be seen...

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Samsung rebrands store as Galaxy Apps, eyes up Google Play customers

David Gosnell

Re: "Galaxy Essentials" ... you have to ask yourself why they were left off the phone to begin with

Galaxy Ace (hasn't it been called that for quite a while, now?)

Yes, since about launch if I remember rightly...

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Samsung's NX300 cam is bad in bed: Snatch victims' pics over the air

David Gosnell

Re: Why does a camera need NFC?

NFC won't be used for the transfer itself, merely to initiate a one-off wifi/bluetooth/etc connection. NFC itself can only realistically transfer very small amounts of data, so for practical transfer purposes it is used to negotiate a connection by other means without confounding the user with SSIDs etc. A veil of security is provided by the physical proximity (millimetres) required for NFC devices to get cosy.

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Facebook preps ad network to TARGET YOU WHERE YOU LIVE

David Gosnell

Re: "Make News Feed Better"

Good point well made, statistically speaking.

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David Gosnell

Re: What's the point of that?

Plenty enough of those, and they're inevitably the best people to throw adverts at in the first place... And besides, even if you turn the Facebook app's location-related menu options off, it still accesses GPS if enabled at the system level. Go figure.

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David Gosnell

"Make News Feed Better"

Then there is their new "make news feed better" initiative, which is solely about advertising. The user is presented with a series of posts, and asked to rate them on how much they look like adverts. It is clearly an attempt to explore making adverts look more like posts from your friends (so perhaps more likely to be read, though that depends on one's friends), and as such, any user's civic duty is to skew the feedback with as much randomness as feasibly possible.

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Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'

David Gosnell

Translate to emoji

I am advised that their "translate to emoji" top-of-the-menu option on mobile Chrome was an April Fool too. Probably. Or perhaps just another case of anything to do with emoji and/or bitcoins being inexplicably cool, rather than self-evidently retarded. Assuming the latter, given its continued post-noon presence.

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FTC torches Android flashlight app for spying on users

David Gosnell

LED Lamp

I've only ever used the LED Lamp app, requiring no silly permissions. Though of course that wasn't enough to stop some daft reviewer at one point claiming it was spying by needing camera permissions - required to activate the flashlight, duh.

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THIS is the kind of clout a British Prime Minister has: Facebook pulls ONE beheading vid

David Gosnell

No accountability

As the article alludes, this is all part of Facebook divesting itself of as much responsibility for basically anything as it possibly can. Remember when you used to actually be able to report posts and people without jumping through half a dozen patronising hoops on a road to nowhere? Now you're bloody lucky if one of the boilerplate reasons is remotely relevant. I usually choose pornography if nothing else suitable is available (please don't take this out of context), since a square inch of BOOBS (even with baby attached) obviously riles them soooo much. Piss easy to include an "Other" and text box option - except it means someone actually has to the read it and do something about it.

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DEATH WATCH counts down seconds to wearer's demise

David Gosnell

Local time

If local time is 12:76, I'm not sure I quite trust the maths in this thing.

Anyway, if it says I have 30 years to live and I fall under a bus, can I get my money back?

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Review: Disgo 8400G 7.9in Android tablet

David Gosnell

I've heard of Disgo

Oh yes... Had one of their mp3 players for about a day, if I remember rightly. That should say it all.

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Microsoft: Old Internet Explorer is terrible and 'we want to help'

David Gosnell

Questionable

The instant scanner's a load of pants. I have just tested it against one of my sites that I know for a fact has elements IE6 bodges rendering through not supporting at all, and there's not a glimmer of a warning. As others have suggested, everything seems to be about getting it looking right on mobile devices (which it already does, TYVM) and Windows 8.

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The best tablets for Christmas

David Gosnell

Better than the Gadget Show anyway

(as if that's difficult, these days)

Their small tablet comparison ran to the iPad Mini and the Kindle Fire HD, and that's yer lot... I guess Apple and Amazon paid them not to include the Nexus 7, which would have wiped the floor with both of them. I can't even remember which one won, so irrelevant it became in an instant.

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Revealed: ITU's deep packet snooping standard leaks online

David Gosnell
Coat

Easy phish for not terribly juicy info

But I guess it's not like the ITU is as security conscious as a royal hospital.

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LG claims UK Ultra HD TV first

David Gosnell

'Cos in making it optional and something people have to lift a finger, they probably only have to supply half the kit they would otherwise. Same as with my (Panasonic, as it happens) telephoto lens, with a £50 rebate when I went to the faff of scanning barcodes and till receipts.

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David Gosnell

Re: coming with five pairs of 3D specs

Probably passive 3D, though at that resolution that may not be too much of a drawback unless right on top of it.

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No more fun and games for Zynga as Facebook cuts apron strings

David Gosnell

Shame

Couldn't have happened to a nicer company.

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Nintendo Wii U Review

David Gosnell

Upgrading and compatibility

Looks promising that they have included a facility to transfer data across. Hopefully that applies to paid purchases as well as saved game data. Shame it looks like compatibility is a bit of a mode-based fudge though - this could have been a real winner if designed so that it was essentially an original Wii with some extra oomph, which could have meant that any title could seamlessly play on any generation device, but with extra features, detail etc enabled on the U. With consoles typically sold as loss leaders, that could have played very nicely into the hands of Nintendo, and ease across a customer base that might take a little bit of persuading to make the jump otherwise.

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BT.com blats small privacy bug, ignores GAPING HOLE

David Gosnell

That occurred to me, but then I suspect they have everything by default anyway, so won't be affected.

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Smartphones eclipse laptops as top WiFi hogs

David Gosnell

Re: Mind the gap!

I doubt there will be that much 3G expansion now - and it's not for 100% money grabbing reasons. As I understand it, there were significant technical issues with expanding 3G coverage any further, which 4G by some magic was able to overcome, hence why that's seen as the way ahead and where the investment is being made. But I'm buggered if I'm paying for it! Wi-fi and 2G most of the time is enough for me, ta. :)

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David Gosnell

"using cellular merely to fill in gaps"

"using cellular merely to fill in gaps" - quite. But try telling that to the vocal minority on giffgaff who consider it their enshrined right to download gigabytes per day over 3G, and who stormed off in a huff when the tariffs were adjusted to make that at least remotely sustainable for the more reasonable masses...

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Lenovo IdeaPad U410 14in Ultrabook review

David Gosnell

Novatech

For cheap but hopefully not so nasty, please can we have a review of the Novatech "nFinity" ultrabooks, as previewed way back in March? The me-too-resolution screen would seem to be the only downside to the specs, and quite possibly liveable with for the sub-£500 asking price. TYVM.

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Apple's iPad Mini mishap: scratching out the retina screen

David Gosnell

Double dip

Why sell one iPad Mini when the fanbois will also buy its retina replacement in a year's time, and double the already exorbitant profit? In any rational world this would be an issue, but ... yeah, well there you go.

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BBC pulls plug Ceefax ahead of analogue TV's end tonight

David Gosnell

Re: Red Button

Hoping that one day MHEG might support all the cleverness that teletext did, and that BBCi in particular might include all the pages that Ceefax used to... Not holding my breath though.

Performance wise, seems to depend a lot on the equipment manufacturer. Our Humax is more or less instantaneous whereas our old Inverto could be ponderous. I believe with teletext there were only a couple of manufacturers of the chipsets used, whereas there is more diversity with MHEG.

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