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* Posts by Suricou Raven

831 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

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Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series

Suricou Raven
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Does that make Vastra a reverse-furry?

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Did the BBC just troll people?

I imagine it also helps that they are ectotherms. That saves a great deal of energy.

Now there's an idea for a future scene... Characters fighting against killer robots with thermal infra-red vision. Clara, Vastra and some other characters pinned down, as the killer robots stalk them looking for any sign of heat to shoot at. Then the cold-blooded one calmly steps out, walks behind one and hits the off switch.

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Suricou Raven
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Did the BBC just troll people?

The kiss served no purpose in the story, didn't do a whole lot in the way of character development, and was rather clumsily shoehorned into the writing with an excuse.

I almost looks like this was the BBC's plan all along: Put something a tad provocative in knowing it would be sure to stir up complains from the easily offended homophobes* thus giving them a little publicity and making said homophobes look like the prudes and idiots they are.

*They all deny it, but does anyone seriously believe there would have been complaints had one gender differed?

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Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry

Suricou Raven
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Re: Are you talking to me?

Spear phishing emails?

Brain v1.0.

It's been on v1.0 for a very long time, and the dev isn't responding to requests.

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Finally, a practical use for 3D printing: Helping surgeons rehearse

Suricou Raven
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They do have one niche: They make great anti-abortion propaganda.

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Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report

Suricou Raven
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Please do.

If they actually invest properly in this, it could do a lot of good to all people wanting to escape the Microsoft ecosystem. China has the sheer size and buying power to force a new entrant into the market. Probably another linux-based OS or something like Android, but that doesn't matter. Even if it flops terribly outside China, it'll still keep Microsoft under some level of pressure.

Even if it flops terribly in China, it's understandable why they would want to try just from a strategic perspective. Right now the US could cripple China by just asking Microsoft to serve up some malware to Chinese IP ranges on windows update - they wouldn't do so for anything less than open war, but China is playing the long game and needs to be ready for whatever the political situation may bring in twenty or fifty years.

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Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town

Suricou Raven
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Re: Hello pot, this is kettle...

Windows RT, on the ARM-chip surface tablets, only runs software from the official Microsoft store. Enforced by requiring signed code.

They are just doing the sensible thing: They see the massive success of Apple's business model of profiting from after-sale services in the consumer space. They want in. The problem here is that they are latecomers to this party, and that puts them at a serious disadvantage which they tried to address by lowering acceptance standards in order to quickly increase the selection on offer.

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TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button

Suricou Raven
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Why all the CAM super-security?

The content is all on the pirate bay anyway.

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Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!

Suricou Raven
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That explains a few things.

Now we know who buys all those obsolete bitcoin miners on eBay.

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Hackers' Paradise: The rise of soft options and the demise of hard choices

Suricou Raven
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Re: "with a competent operating system, these machines were essentially bomb proof."

Which is a way part of the problem. OSs have long competed on features out of the box - even Windows, though it was mostly competing with the previous version of Windows. This has lead to a clean-install OS steadily doing more and more and more over the years - and with more complexity and more active services, there are more things that can go wrong or contain vulnerabilities. Look at Windows as an example, though some linux distros are just as bad: From the first install, it runs a a SMB/CIFS server. Even if you have no network shares. It's already listening, even if just for devices wanting to access your media library for DLNA purposes. That's a great big juicy target, a service running that really shouldn't be running until after the user has indicated a desire for it. It's just as bad outgoing - every time you access a network drive it starts poking the address on port 80 to see if it's for a WebDAV service and it listens for UPnP devices on the network. That's just the easily-reached network services. If you include the rest it's got all manner or sillyness. A printer service that runs even if no printer is installed, a wireless configuration service that runs even if there is no wireless interface.

Complexity breeds vulnerability. An OS that tries to do everything, all of the time is going to grow bloated and insecure.

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The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

Suricou Raven
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Re: IPv6 like OSI is far more complex than necessary

"The world uses IPv4 with NAT today and they can game, use VoIP, and every single other application that IPv6 end-to-end religious nutters whinge about just fine."

No. Those things work because of awkward hacks that work some of the time, and the rest of the time if you can reconfigure your router. Try running a game server some day - it can't be done without going to your router config and telling it to set up a port forward. That's an inconvenience for current home users, and will be impossible when the address shortage forces the deployment of carrier-level NAT.

Skype can communicate through double-NAT, but only because it uses a ridiculous three-party UDP mutual handshake bodge to trick both NAT routers into thinking their client spoke first. Such an approach is only possible when there's a third, port-accessible party (Skype's server) to act as a coordinator. A central point of failure.

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Golden age of invention or hyped-up age of overblown marketing?

Suricou Raven
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No surprise.

The low-level stuff is continuing to incrementally innovate. Has been for decades: Drives get more capacity, SSDs likewise. This is component improvements, driven by people who are educated in such esoteric fields as quantum mechanics and magnetic domain modeling.

Above that though, what is there to innovate? You can't turn X bytes of storage into >X bytes through any form of elaborate software misdirection, you can only provide the illusion. You can't recover your X bytes of data if less than X bytes remains after a drive failure, so you always need X+Y for redundancy. The mathematics is unforgiving. You can only try to make the best from the hardware with tiering and management functionality, a field which is pretty much done to death now.

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Boffins brew TCP tuned to perform on lossy links like Wi-Fi networks

Suricou Raven
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Re: @ Brian Scott (was: Broadcast?)

UDP can be broadcast, though. Just set a destination of all-ones and every node on the subnet gets it, thanks to the use of a similar all-ones address at the next layer down.

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Password manager LastPass goes titsup: Users LOCKED OUT

Suricou Raven
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Re: I solved this a while ago:

That, or a truecrypt or crypto-loop device, are pretty good options. But you can't promise security because someone could still hack the laptop with something like a keylogger for the master password. That's why I went standalone. You couldn't hack that thing short of physical access, and even then you'd need to retrieve it a second time to get the data off as it has no network connection and no place to add one that wouldn't be noticed.

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Suricou Raven
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I solved this a while ago:

http://birds-are-nice.me/programming/password-device.shtml

- No online store to be compromised.

- The sensitive data consists of one numerical sequence of variable length, which you need to memorise. It needs to be pretty long, but it's only the one thing.

- Unique password for every website.

- Totally unhackable: Dedicated hardware, no network connectivity.

- Device stores no data: If lost, may be replaced without loss of passwords.

- Doubles as a serial TTY line monitor. Handy.

- Mine generates eight-character passwords, but easily adapted to longer.

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Chinese Bitcoin farms: From scuzzy to sci-fi

Suricou Raven
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Re: I've often wondered

The two major costs in bitcoin mining are hardware and power. I'm guessing they build where power is cheap. Like next to big, dirty, Chinese coal plants.

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AMD's first 64-bit ARM cores star in ... Heatless in Seattle*

Suricou Raven
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Re: Finally a standard for booting

UFI is fine, in itsself. The problem is implimentation. Many manufacturers do a quick job of it - so long as it'll boot Windows, they consider it job done. This results in all manner of nasty hacks and bugs to work around.

With the old BIOS system, there was lots of really ugly bodges involved in adapting a 8086-era boot process to modern hardware - but they were familiar bodges, and everyone knew how to handle them, and every system handled them in the same way.

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Suricou Raven
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I hate to meme, but...

I put a processor on your processor so you can process while you process.

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Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'

Suricou Raven
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Re: Currency fluctuations

It's been gradually falling ever since the $1000 bubble period ended. What makes you think the trend will reverse?

It's possible that the price will rise as the flow of new coins from miners slows. The free money is over. I just got a new miner myself, and calculate it'll take a year to pay for itsself.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: No need to sign up with coinbase

For now, yes. But when when Dell's suppliers start accepting bitcoin too? Someone at Dell will realise that sending the coins straight on means no need to give coinbase a cut. After all, one of the points often cited in Bitcoin's favor is eliminating the need for financial service providers and their fees.

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Anonymous wifi the latest casualty of Russia net neurosis

Suricou Raven
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I vaguely recall we came close to doing this in the UK a few years ago. To stop the kiddie porn traders, of course.

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Crypto Daddy Phil Zimmerman says surveillance society is DOOMED

Suricou Raven
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Re: basic premise faulty?

You are not a representative user. Few people even know what EXIF, and most wouldn't care if they did.

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London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites

Suricou Raven
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Re: What law has been broken. @veti

I nearly got expelled from school for that confusion. I did something-or-other on the computers - I forget just what it was, but it scared the teacher who then accused me of hacking. I admitted to hacking and commenced trying to explain to her the confusion over definitions. This failed miserably - due to both my inexperience in communication and the well-established meaning of the word in her experience, my attempted debate over the word was taken instead as a confession of guilt.

I did hack the school computers in the media sense, too - but not on that occasion.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: What law has been broken.

I did just that - posted lots of music. All pre-1963 and thus public domain in the UK, but I'm still expecting to hear something from a US company that fails to realize this - a lot of it is still covered there.

What I did notice was bots. Lots of bots, for various 'mp3 search' sites indexing my collection and often downloading the whole thing*. Sites that they return links to the files in their search results, resulting in me paying the hosting costs and them pocketing any advertising money.

This stopped when I made progress on replacing most of the mp3 files with ogg files.Seems the bots don't care about those. Not does anyone else: Traffic plumeted. I was hoping to make enough off the advertising to cover at least a fraction of the hosting (It's not expensive), but that's not happening. I'm in pennies-per-month.

*As does Yandex, curiously enough.

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Network hijacker steals $83,000 in Bitcoin ... and enough Dogecoin for a cup of coffee

Suricou Raven
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Not just bitcoin has value.

Litecoin has enough to be traded too, and you can buy stuff with it at bitroad. Mostly overpriced computer accessories. It's not as established as bitcoin though, and anything less established than litecoin is really just a novelty, or a laughing stock.

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IBM boffins stuff 16 million-neuron chips into binary 'frog' brain

Suricou Raven
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Re: Not Neurons

It also doesn't look trainable. I'm guessing it's the type of architecture you'd see used to do hardware acceleration of things like machine vision and classification. The chip can be simulated for training purposes by a conventional supercomputer, sucking up a few megawatts for a couple of months to train the thing - but once it's trained, you can mass-produce the little power-sippers and stick them in smartphones and appliances. In twenty years, you might see one in your car deciding if the thing that just stepped onto the road is a plastic bag, a fox or a child.

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Top Ten 802.11ac routers: Time for a Wi-Fi makeover?

Suricou Raven
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Performance.

So if I use a top-of-the-line 3x3 router with a super-expensive 3x3-capable laptop, on good day with clear signal and no contention and interference, I can get performance almost half that of a gigabit ethernet line.

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Russia, China could ban western tech if they want to live in the PAST

Suricou Raven
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Sounds good to me.

Their technologies may be inferior in many ways, but they will surely find niches where they have some advantage, and the competition will continue to drive technological advance. Having access to more alternatives also helps prevent any one player growing to the point where they can pose a serious threat of abusing their power to lock in customers or dictate terms.

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Gmail gains support for non-ASCII email addresses

Suricou Raven
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Hello, novelty names.

I think it'll start with a church deciding they want "OntheϮ@gmail.com" and get more ridiculous from there.

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Who will kill power companies? TESLA, says Morgan Stanley

Suricou Raven
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Re: Depends...

Rewiring trouble. Adapting a home for a central inverter needs some modification at the CU board. Adapting for DC distribution means knocking holes in walls and pulling the floorboards apart, and once you're done no electrician is going to go near the thing because there is no standardised design and set of procedures.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: One problem

Those particular stories appear true, but the site itsself isn't entirely trustworthy. It's got a few 'free energy' scams - inventions that defy the known laws of physics, and would surely have destroyed the oil industry if The Man wasn't working to oppress them.

http://www.collective-evolution.com/?s=free+energy

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Google pulls Gaza games from Play store

Suricou Raven
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Re: Religion... and the rest

Easily. Nationalism, tribalism... and given a little more time and some propaganda against the opponent, a sense of moral superiority.

You can still see some very early propaganda in the old testament. The tribe of Israel was in a state of on-and-off war with the Caananites (Actually a term for a whole collection of other, loosely-affiliated tribes). There are quite a few places where the moral character of these tribes is viciously insulted, no doubt to make it easier for the leaders to then justify a bit of slaughtering.

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HUMAN RACE PERIL: Not nukes, it'll be AI that kills us off, warns Musk

Suricou Raven
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Re: or we wait until the batteries go flat or catch fire

There's a whole sub-genre devoted to what happens when highly capable AIs to exactly what they are told.

There's a worst-case-scenario called the 'Paper Clipper.' It starts with a factory owner instructing their shiny new AI to maximise the production of paperclips. It ends with superadvanced robots exterminating mankind to prevent them interfering and proceeding to convert the entire mass of the planet into paperclips - pausing only to send out self-replicating probes to convert the rest of the universe.

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Ad biz now has one less excuse to sponsor freetards and filth

Suricou Raven
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Re: Reducing the cesspit and filth?

At least with pirate sites, you usually find what you want at the end. The worst of them are those 'driver download' sites that just seem to be an endless loop of bad 'search' engines and links to links to links to links, always promising that the obscure driver you want is right around the corner only to instead send you towards an affiliate site with an assurance that it can be found there.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: I see the CLOP are throwing their weight around again.

Very limited - but it doesn't actually matter. In this case, they don't need jurisdiction because they are only acting as a helpful party in negotiations for voluntary action. On those occasions they do perform police actions outside of the city, they do so in cooperation with local forces - usually anti-counterfeiting operations.

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Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks

Suricou Raven
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A serious academic ventured into the Register forums? Flee, while you still have some sanity remaining!

I don't see what application MPTCP has outside of the mobile space. How many homes have two internet connections? So everything goes through one bottleneck anyway. I see the application for mobiles though, and in particular for smoother handoffs from mobile to WLAN and back. I imagine that's why Apple use it - it's not for performance, it's so Siri doesn't glitch out when you leave wireless range and transition to the new IP address on the cell net.

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It's official: You can now legally carrier-unlock your mobile in the US

Suricou Raven
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Legally untidy.

The user is now legally entitled to try to unlock their phone, but the manufacturer is not restricted from installing hardware locks to prevent them.

So what we have now is a situation where your ability to exercise your consumer right is dependent upon a Battle of Engineering between the phone manufacturer trying to lock it down and the semi-underground hacker community trying to find new ways to defeat the locks.

I find this legally disturbing.

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Pentagon hacker McKinnon can't visit sick dad for fear of extradition

Suricou Raven
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He hacked US military systems. Even if he did achieve this more by luck than skill, he probably still has a man from the NSA reading every email and IM conversation he has.

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CIA super-spy so sorry spies spied on Senate's torture scrutiny PCs

Suricou Raven
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Re: oh, sorry!

I expect they can find some bottom-level expendable agent to take all the blame and give the appearance that justice is done.

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Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro

Suricou Raven
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Re: Still too expensive

Microsoft have a 'not invented here' approach to media: They will only support their own codecs plus (Somewhat reluctantly) mp3, and that only because they can't really ignore it. .mov is an apple format.

It's really a big problem with HTML5 video. Firefox and other open source browsers cannot support h264, or the mp3 or aac audio codecs, because they are patent encumbered. They do support some open standards, VP8 (Which probably has lurking patents, but it'll have to do) and Vorbis audio. At the other side, Microsoft and Apple will happily include support for h264 (they own the patents), mp3 and aac - but they won't support VP8 or Vorbis. Not because they can't, but because it would make no business sense: They make a lot of money from h264, and see no reason to support a free competitor that cuts into that revenue. As a result, anyone who makes a website with html5 video needs to include at least two video files: One for Firefox, and one for IE/Safari.

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Resistance is not futile: Here's a cookie sheet of luke-warm RRAM that proves it

Suricou Raven
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Re: Sounds potentally very good.

No it wouldn't. Even if the RAM chips could achieve that type of speed, the long wires of the memory bus could not. At those frequencies, a wire isn't a wire - it's a capacitor.

There's an exception to this though - it would let you skip the cache in embedded systems. It's commonplace in that field to use SoCs where the memory is on the same die as the processor, or at least in the same package. Faster performance, and save some real estate, which translates to cheaper chips. The mobile phone industry would be very happy.

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Microsoft bakes a bigger Pi to cook Windows slabs

Suricou Raven
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Re: re. Sharks Cove apostrophe

No, that would be Sharks' Cove.

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Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins

Suricou Raven
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Bah.

Content addressible networking, please! That's what we really need. A distributed shared storage system to offload all those bulky images and media files to, with conventional packet switching as a fallback and for low-latency things.

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UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

Suricou Raven
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If I were Microsoft, I'd be making sure that when Office saves an ODF file it does so just badly enough that non-Office programs that follow the spec will produce interestingly mangled documents upon trying to read them. That way everyone else has to waste time trying to hack in support for MS's latest standards-lax bodgery, and it looks like their fault for being unable to open a file.

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Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves

Suricou Raven
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Re: Websites that facilitate copyright infringement

Only those that don't have the legal resources to fight such a block.

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The Pirate Bay opens mobile site

Suricou Raven
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Handy.

Never mind cellular - it's ideal for grabbing stuff from free hotspots.

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The answer to faster wireless is blowing in the wind

Suricou Raven
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Re: read all about it

No, just plain old refraction.

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Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

Suricou Raven
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Re: Serious question: What's the difference between nudity and pornography?

The signature. If it's drawn/painted/protographed by a famous artist, it's tasteful nudity and classic art. If it's by someone you've not heard of, then it's porn. Many of the most respected artists in history liked to draw nude, erotically-posed, attractive (by their standards) women.

If Botticelli painted it, it's The Birth of Venus and gets hung up in a gallery. If you were to paint the same imaged, it'd be Hot Chick Gets Her Tits Out and be considered obscene.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: sensible laws

Already done. The UK has been systematically broadening the definition of child pornography for years, each time citing the need to 'close a loophole.' Ever since the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 prohibited posession of 'pseudo-photographs' - images that looked like child pornography, but were artificial in their production. Photoshop manipulation. Then in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 this was further extended to include artistic depictions and also redefined child for this purpose to not someone under-18, but someone who *looks* under eighteen - closing the 'loophole' of using young adult actors and dressing them up to play the part of a younger character. It also stated that the children don't even have to be human, they just have to have the characteristics of a human child - meaning someone in government is specifically thinking of either some of those hentai characters or furry porn.

Basically, I could draw a stick-figure couple having sex, declare one character to be underage, and go to jail for production of child pornography.

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Suricou Raven
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In fifteen years, we'll be lucky if most of them understand that a file is a series of bytes.

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