* Posts by AlbertH

222 posts • joined 18 Jul 2012

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Lottery chief resigns as winning combo numbers appear on screen BEFORE being drawn

AlbertH

Re: Scratchcards ? "Diagnosing" winning cards!

There was a brilliant scratchcard scam that involved x-raying cards to find winning ones! A newsagent in London and his radiographer brother were convicted of this particular one.

This led to the scratchcards being "metallised" to prevent them being x-rayed. It didn't work - you just need a slightly more precise x-ray unit!

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Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

AlbertH
FAIL

Re: Free you say?

But someone has to talk sense.

You're right - someone does have to. Unfortunately, it's not you.

You conveniently overlook the small print in the Windoze 10 paperwork - they (as usual) reserve the right to change the charging model at any time. As usual, the large print advertising blather gives, and the small print takes away.....

Win 10 isn't quite as bad as Win 8.X, but it's even less backwardly compatible. Corporates won't be happy with having to purchase all their applications again.

10 is bloated, unstable, insecure and certainly not ready for the mass market. It's just as virus-prone as its predecessors, still vulnerable to the same old exploits, still uses the broken BSD IP code that was "borrowed" for NT back in 1990, still has the mish-mash of bits that have always been the cobbled-together kernel of all the NT-series of OSs since Cutler threw together the demonstration version that Gates shipped......

Win 10 is also designed to be an advertising medium. You'll certainly have to pay a subscription to some other M$ service to cripple the irritations!

Sadly, the fragmented Linux culture isn't ready for prime-time either. "Mint" and "Ubuntu come close and "Fedora" is a pleasing display of what's possible, but as long as you have to go to the hassle of "Arch" to get truly stellar performance, it's not ready.... Guys - get yourselves together!

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AlbertH

Re: Kudos for the 1970's music reference

They seem optomised for Bass and loudness

They are horribly distorted at any level. It's as if they've been manufactured to impart 30% thd to anything you feed them. All you need to know is that they're manufactured by "Monster" - the very over-priced cable manufacturers.....

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Norton for Windows 10 is NOT a box-borking beta, insists Symantec

AlbertH
Linux

Strange that this bloated rubbish-ware even still exists. It's never worked - it's trivially easy to write "virus" code that does malicious things but isn't detected by this snake-oil (or any other "anti-malware" junkware). Infection methods are many and various, and -short of simply disconnecting your machine from the outside world - there's no way to secure it.

The ONLY option is to use a less-vulnerable OS. The solution is obvious....

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

AlbertH

Re: Speed of electrons

You're STILL being suckered at £50 speaker cables. Nice mains twin flex (25 - 50p / metre) works perfectly well as speaker cable - and there is NO measurable difference to the £50 or even £500 cables frequently bought by audiophools.

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Brit school software biz unchains lawyers after crappy security exposed

AlbertH

Re: A few problems here

You can be absolutely certain that the tabloids will promulgate some bizarre sensationalist blather - and the company will collapse within a week or two.....only to rise - phoenix-like - with a different name, re-selling the same old crap-ware to schools under a new product name from a "new" company.

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Rampaging fox terrorises rural sports club, victim sustains ‘tweaked groin’

AlbertH

These "Club Members" are lying

I know foxes. I have a family of them living in my garden. I've seen five generations of them. They're no problem at all (they're city foxes incidentally) and enjoy the scraps that the neighbourhood willingly provides for them.

They're very timid - they shy away from humans. The last thing any of them would do - even if cornered - is attack. That's why I call "BS" on the story. The old soaks in the club probably wanted a few extra snorts and didn't want an earbashing from their "better" halves, so claimed to be cornered in their drinking den by a fox......

Our foxes are not "tame" - they visit gardens and forage for scraps. They dig earths (I have two beneath my shed) and are good parents to their next generation. They tend to have cubs at the end of February, but you don't see them about until June or July.

City foxes suffer a high rate of attrition (mostly by meeting vehicles the hard way) and seldom live beyond two or three years. They're beautiful animals, cause no nuisance, and should be allowed to get on with their lives. They are certainly NOT vermin!

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Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way

AlbertH

This is the one for me!

I've just downloaded and installed Mint 17.2. I've resisted the move from Ubuntu (usually Kubuntu) for too long!

This is the first distro version that really feels "easy to use". The installer is simple to operate, the selection of provided software is sensible (and there's plenty more available from the repos), and the installed system is quick and responsive, and everything Just Works™.

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UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends

AlbertH

Re: F**king Madness

MAC filtering by default is just painful especially with family visiting. Looks like it might be time to look at DD-WRT and sin bin all Microsoft OSes into a guest network.

That's exactly what I do. The guest network is deliberately throttled (after an incident with a relation's laptop that was spamming the world). It's trivially easy to do, and keeps the network usage sane

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Stealing secret crypto-keys from PCs using leaked radio emissions

AlbertH

I would have thought that the low cost of the equipment would make it of more interest to hobbyists

Not at all. We demonstrated the "TEMPEST" type of attacks nearly 20 years ago using a cheap(ish) Sony 7600 portable radio and a laptop. If you built a small resonant loop aerial (like often used for long distance Medium Wave reception) you could get it to work over some tens of metres. However, if there was more than one computer in the target area, decryption became almost impossible because of the interference from the adjacent machine. If you want to secure yourself from this type of exploit, just run a few machines in the same room!

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MOUNTAIN of unsold retail PCs piling up in Blighty: Situation 'serious'

AlbertH
Coat

Everyone I know that was using an XP laptop has upgraded now to Linux Mint. It Just Works™ and has all the application goodness that today's users want. Most people are very happy to discover the massive performance increase that comes with getting rid of useless anti-this and anti-that snake-oil that encumbered their Windoze installations, and the performance boost means that they can hold off a hardware update until their present gear actually dies! Domestic users don't want to have to buy new hardware in these financially difficult times.

Business users are a different case, but since MS have (effectively) shot themselves in the foot by offering a mobile phone OS as their flagship product (Windows 8) and rendering their principal business product (Office) unusable, corporate users are beginning to look elsewhere. MS no longer have a viable product, and Windows 10 isn't going to fix that.....

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At last, switching between rubbish broadband providers now easier

AlbertH

When will they be made to advertise truthfully?

The crazy "up to" speed ratings have to stop. Virgin (on the ridiculous) offer an "up to" 165Mb/s service around here. The reality is that it's (generally) below 45 Mb/s down (they blame "heavy local use" - I blame insane contention). They claim "unlimited": the reality is that as soon as you hit their arbitrary "fair use" cap, your already sub-standard speed is reduced further.

VM and BT have some strange DNS manipulation going on, preventing access to sites and services that they don't want you to have. These are easily circumvented, but always at the expense of reduced speed.

The prices charged in the UK are scandalous. Why can't they be directly proportional to the actual data rate that these thieves can really achieve? Why don't the toothless idiots at OFCOM ever do anything about the abysmal state of service provision in the UK? Is it just another "government" organisation collecting their brown envelopes at the expense of the rest of us?

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Microsoft says its latest, dodgy Windows 10 build is good for (almost) everyone

AlbertH
Facepalm

Brokenware? What a surprise!

Win 10 does some peculiar "phoning home", which is incredibly network-intensive. It certainly doesn't "play nice" if run in a virtual machine, and is more unstable than a Californian backyard in the rainy season. It's also incredibly picky about the hardware it's run on. It's dreadfully slow, when compared with "7".....

Now... back to the Real World™ of FOSS where it can be mended if it's broken!

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Brit plods' post-TETRA radio omnishambles comes home to roost

AlbertH

Re: why?

I imagine moving to digital would allow more radios to use the same bit of spectrum, and might make them physically smaller as well.

Sadly, no. The digital radios issued to the Police are larger, less effective, and suffer from very nasty distortion. Being digital, they either work or don't work - there's no "fringe" operation. There are huge swathes of the country - including within cities - where the radios simply don't work. TETRA was a poor solution to a problem that didn't really exist!

Incidentally, the flooding of the TETRA system during the Kings Cross Tube Station fire led to many unnecessary deaths because of the complete failure of the radio system.

NBFM is a good option, but -bizarrely - AM is actually better! For the same reason that aeronautical radio is still AM - operators can hear two (or more) calling stations at the same time. This has proved to be crucial in aeronautical situations. FM prevents this - the strongest signal always wins (see "capture effect").

If they want reliable communications with efficient spectrum use, they should consider some form of SSB (single-sideband AM). The communication channel bandwidth is marginally smaller than for a Narrow Band FM signal, and intelligibility is similar. The technology is well known and has been manufactured and used since the 1950s. Modern DSP chippery makes modulation and demodulation of this mode child's play, and if privacy is wanted, there are many trivially simple scrambling schemes that can be used to deter the casual eavesdropper. Use of band I (50 - 80MHz) would assure good penetration into buildings and good range.

4G LTE is a complete and utter mess in this country. No company has anything approaching effective coverage, and the resistance of the public to the location of masts that they perceive as "dangerous to health" guarantees that coverage will continue to be sporadic - even in cities. It's NOT the solution.

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UK's richest man backs music minnow merger to annoy Ticketzilla

AlbertH

You might be lucky up in Glasgow, but here in London, live music is dying. We have less than half the venues we had in 1997 (the year of the start of the demise might give a clue), and the onerous "live music laws" and stupid licensing rules have done much to kill them off.

Also the nature of the music produced today isn't conducive to live performance - kids recording digitally in their bedrooms aren't going to have any stage ability. It's just not what they do any more.

London used to have a burgeoning pub music scene, but it's pretty much died off now. So we're stuck with Ticketgougers and the other similar parasites.

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Siri, please save my iPhone from the messages of death

AlbertH

Re: unable to reply using siri

Throw your iRubbish into the nearest trash can and buy a basic phone. You'll still be able to make calls and send texts, but you won't be able to be duped into opening malicious texts by your "friends"

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Yay for Tor! It's given us RANSOMWARE-as-a-service

AlbertH

Re: "ransomware...as a Windows screensaver"

Here's a clue: If they're stupid enough to still use Windows ergo they're stupid enough to use unsolicited "screensavers" and to play "cute kitten.exe"

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Windows and OS X are malware, claims Richard Stallman

AlbertH
Linux

Re: A fool without money will soon be ignored

Except Apple and Windows operating systems aren't bad software. So it's a win/win for them.

They are both abysmally bad. The fruity fools have gone the same way as M$ in their search for "ease of use", and have sacrificed any last vestige of security. M$ still use a broken I/P stack "borrowed" from BSD nearly 30 years ago - it's slow, error-prone and unreliable (and the reason for the complexity of Windoze networking Drivers). Both OSs are hopeless.

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Man sues Uber for a BEEELLION dollars over alleged theft of concept

AlbertH

Just another patent troll

This Halpern character is just one of the many trolls that turns up when a good idea goes global. As the holder of a few patents myself, I've seen this sort of nonsense many times - never for this kind of insane amount, but often for a million or two. Since the most I've ever made from a patent is a few tens of thousands, my legal eagle tells me just to laugh at them and file them as spam!

These are just the modern equivalent of the "begging letters" that every football pool and lottery winner receives.

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High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables

AlbertH

Re: Noise!

" gwangy" - you're not the sharpest tool in the box, are you? The vast majority of the developments in wireless communication that you take for granted came from the "Radio Hams" you deride.

You wouldn't have wi-fi, mobile phones, portable and mobile radio communications, and high quality TV (we'd have been stuck with the Baird mechanical system if it hadn't been for a group of keen "amateurs" at EMI)..... Try to imagine the emergency services without radio communications.

Powerline adaptors - of all sorts - cause massive interference - pretty much from DC to daylight. They even interfere with each other!

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Tesla's battery put in the shade by current and cheaper kit

AlbertH

No - it's backed up by cheap, clean nuclear and hydro-electric power from France!

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Carders crack Hard Rock casino

AlbertH

This is going to happen - again and again - as long as the POS equipment is based on long-exploited "Operating Systems". There is NO WAY to make anything based on MS products in any way secure. The backdoors are usually deliberate!

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David Cameron 'guarantees' action on mobe not-spots. Honest

AlbertH

Re: Maps

Look at maps - informed choice.

Sadly, no. The MNOs have their own bizarre interpretation of what "coverage" actually is. The stupidity of the educators doesn't help, either:

"You can't put a mobile aerial on the roof of our school / community centre / block of flats because of the damage to health / headaches / sterility / other malaise that it will cause". These clueless morons have never heard of the inverse-square law and don't realise that holding their mobes to their lobes is going to irradiate them many thousand times more strongly than the antenna some tens of metres away through a few walls.....

Our local coverage was crippled by one stupid woman in a nearby block of flats complaining of headaches "caused" by the mobe repeater on her rooftop (eight floors above, incidentally). The MNO left the base in place, and she was unable to tell that it had been switched back on for over a week - until she found that her phone actually worked again: she then mysteriously developed the "headaches" again....

Similarly, a local school refused to have wi-fi installed because of the "damage" it would do to the poor little darlings in their care!

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BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS

AlbertH

Re: Not bad value really

If you watch ANY television programmes as they're being broadcast even without an aerial, if you don't pay the BBC telly tax, you're breaking the law.

If I watch either by satellite or by interweb, it is NOT "live" - there is a huge delay, so I'm (effectively) watching a recording. It's exactly the same reason that digital CCTV cannot be used for traffic enforcement actions - the "infringement" cannot be "recorded contemporaneously".

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AlbertH

Re: Fairhead also defended criminal penalties for non-payers - and over 70 sent to jail.

My 89-year-old Father had two thugs from "TV Licensing" force their way into his home. They went from room to room looking for the non-existent TV, then accused him of "hiding it". They made the mistake of presenting their name badge "credentials" which my Father had the presence of mind to photograph on his mobile phone. He only got them out of his place by dialling 999 and asking for the Police....

When they left, he found that his wallet (left on his bedside table) was lighter by £40.

The two clowns were arrested later the same day, and each blamed the other for the theft. They both admitted "forced entry" to the premises without Warrant. Both are serving "18 months" (they'll be out in 6, of course), but the Police made sure that others in the prison were made aware of their former "jobs"!

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Steely wonder? It's blind to 4G and needs armour: Samsung Galaxy S6

AlbertH

Re: Reception a wider Sammy problem?

My Galaxy S3 and S5 phones both have fine reception - significantly better than any of the iPhones. These work well in areas where the Apple things can't detect a signal at all. The sample S6s I've seen work just the same as the S5, so perhaps you've got a damaged one!

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

AlbertH
Linux

Re: Let me be the first to say...

By starting again and eschewing WebKit, going their own way AGAIN, all they are doing is adding ANOTHER variant to deal with.

Of course - and you can be certain that M$ won't get it right! They'll just introduce a whole new set of incompatibilities for web developers to have to cope with.

My websites all now warn visitors (if Internet Exploder is detected) that they are using an insecure and unreliable browser on an insecure "operating system" and that the site is unlikely to render correctly on their defective web browser. Our visitors use of Internot Exploiter has reduced to under 3%. People are beginning to realise that M$ isn't the answer (except to some really stupid questions)!

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Words to put dread in a sysadmin's heart: 'We are moving our cloud from Windows to Linux'

AlbertH

Re: Stupid question

Exactly right.

Linux admins usually command higher pay because they have REAL skills! There is also the point that one Linux admin can replace dozens of Windows W*n&e@s. A global company - that I've consulted for - recently replaced 44 Windows data centres around the planet with just 4 Linux servers - and reduced their IT staff from nearly 400 to just 8 (a sysadmin and 7 PFYs).

That's the real saving - the 8 linux admins can be very highly paid (and certainly are!) and the 400 MCSEs will have to go and re-train if they want to earn in the sector in future....

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Top EU court: Ryanair data barrel must be left unscraped

AlbertH

Re: How does this apply to unique content?

They take my content sell it and the EU makes a bloody directive allowing them to get away with it!

Surely this can't be right?

You made your data publically available by putting it on the 'net, so yes they can. Anything you publish is fair game.

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BT bemoans 'misconceived' SUPERFAST broadband regs

This post has been deleted by a moderator

AlbertH

Re: This sort of crap

There is a HUGE misunderstanding of Telco pricing....

It's trivially simple: The infrastructure costs are insignificant. If you get the customer to pay for their installation (and they all do, in one way or another) all subsequent revenue is pure profit. That's very close to 100% profit.....

Telecoms plant is pretty reliable these days, and as long as Murphy doesn't put a pickaxe through your ducts too often, there's no real maintenance involved. The only thing that costs the Telco anything at all is the hardware (incredibly cheap these days) and their "Customer Services" helldesk which they'll outhouse to the cheapest third world bidder (or even Scotland!).

All "line rental charges" are pure bunce!

Then the bastards try to monetise their error messages and run DNS servers that send you where THEY want you to go.....

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Microsoft has made excellent software, you pack of fibbers

AlbertH

Dave used to tell the story of NT - how it was never documented, how the kernel would only build on one toolset and failed on all others, how Gates insisted that the undocumented "demonstration" system was to be shipped "immediately", how there were so many patches and kludges that the code was spaghetti.....

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AlbertH

Re: Microsoft's good software

That was the period whenwe saw the first really concerted virus attacks from Eastern Europe. Some of the malware around then still works today!

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Sound and battery: 20 portable Bluetooth speakers

AlbertH

Re: For those with iPhones ...

I think it's a little bittersweet for us iPhone users...

... That's what you get when you buy 10-year-old technology. Apple are the B&O of the computing world - pretty boxes hiding old-fashioned electronics.

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Dotcom 'saved' Xmas for Xbox – but no one can save Sony's titsup PlayStation Network

AlbertH

Re: Prison awaits

No - Microsoft and Sony need to take basic security seriously. They still don't - they're just interested in their gigantic profits.

It must be remembered - Microsoft have NEVER released ANY properly working software.....

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Linux software nasty slithers out of online watering holes

AlbertH

The anti-virus snake-oil salesmen are panicking - Windows is no longer viable in corporate environments (Windoze 8 is a telephone "operating system").... They're going to try to persuade Unix / Linux / BSD users that they "need" their (useless) products!

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AlbertH

Re: What does this really mean?

This is the problem with journos that only deal with Windoze - they have no real understanding of *nix, and assume that proper operating systems are as trivially attacked as their system of choice. There's one variant of this "Snake" worm that piggy-backs on Windows documents and can (try to) attack VM-Ware. It doesn't work!

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Sony Pictures hires Mandiant, asks FBI for help after MASSIVE cyber attack

AlbertH
Linux

Re: A good network security team at Sony then...

Surely they should've been able to detect such a large-scale intrusion?!

Nope - they "run" Windows.....

Game Over!

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Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION

AlbertH
Mushroom

Re: Err? @ Asylum Sam

No where near close enough to worry about.

Within a few streets? Close enough for a small tactical nuke, then!

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We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best

AlbertH
Linux

NetMarketShare hasn't got a clue - Android phones (vastly outselling Windoze and iPhone together), set-top boxes, routers, every webserver on the planet (apart from a few in Redmond and Cupertino), every web-enabled device...... The list is endless. If you added up all the installations of Linux globally, it'll be more than all the rest together!

Linux desktop uptake is admittedly small at present, but as long as MS continue with trying to push their silly telephone interface as a desktop (Windoze 8) and as long as Apple continue to charge insane prices for poor quality commodity hardware (albeit with a shiny label on it), Linux uptake will continue to grow.

Quality offerings like openSuse and Mint will do a lot to persuade the great unwashed that life after XP really is open-sourced and free!

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AlbertH
Linux

Re: Security

Or.....

PICNIC = Problem In Chair, Not In Computer

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Beware Brit cops bearing battering rams. Four nabbed over Trojan claims

AlbertH

Re: Good work officers, keep it up.

Good work officers, keep it up.

It is good to see police going after cyber crime and it is good to see them succeeding.

They haven't scratched the surface......

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AlbertH
Linux

Re: Well at least they're trying

Perhaps we as an industry should devise better OS that ordinary users dont need a degree level education to configure properly

We have it already - have you tried a recent Linux distribution? Please don't trundle out the "difficult to use", "free, so it can't be any good" and all the other usual excuses....

You have nobody to blame but yourself if you persist in using Microsoft brokenware. In fact you deserve the consequences of your negligence!

The Police haven't got a clue about "cybercrime". The claims of £6.8bn stolen is actually trivially small when compared to the spectacular manipulation of exchange rates (carried out by abusing insecure Windoze servers) and the other corporate abuse of computer systems. The reality of the amounts stolen or diverted is several times the Police claim (and Plod thought they were over-egging their press release!).

Now, back to the negotiations with this Nigerian Prince I met on line.......

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Windows Phone will snatch biz No 2 spot from Android – analyst

AlbertH
Coffee/keyboard

I needed a laugh!

Bwaahahahahahahaha!!!!

Windoze for phones is about as credible as Windows for Warships (remember that debacle?).

When will MS learn that they're done? Office 365 is just a poor, expensive version of other, much better, free cloudy office solutions. Windoze 8 is a dog and totally unusable on the desktop. The security problems that have existed from before NT4 are STILL present.......

MS is finished - it just hasn't stopped twitching yet!

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Ad-borne Cryptowall ransomware is set to claim FRESH VICTIMS

AlbertH
Devil

Re: I've installed Cryptoprevent

Bwah ha hahahahaha!!!!!!!!

See "complacency" above.......

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AlbertH

Re: AdBlocker / NoScript

AdBlocker / NoScript

Question - Would either of the above addons, individually or in tandem, effectively prevent such driveby infection?

Nope. It's trivially easy to bypass these. Some legitimate adverts already do!

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AlbertH

Re: Complacency

AC - There are several immediately obvious (and some more subtle) flaws in your overly extensive back-up strategy, and you'll be just as likely to be a victim of this ransomware scam if you're still using Windows to face the internet.

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AlbertH
Linux

Re: Complacency

Sadly, Windows (l)users still believe that they're invulnerable if they have tha latest MS updates, and they have a "firewall", "anti-virus", "anti-trojan", "anti-malware", "anti-hijack" and all the rest of the completely bogus "security" software slowing their already Windoze-crippled machines to a crawl.

None of them believe it can ever happen to them, and when it does, they fork out their hard-earned because they never backed up anything. Stupidity can be VERY expensive!

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AlbertH

Re: Well lets name them....

just how wrong can one post be?

"Screening Detection" is trivially simple - even an advertising "executive" would be able to work out that a banner Ad is too big - that it's got something extra. They charge by the size of the data transmitted, and everyone (except malware providers) do all they can to minimise the size of their submitted code.

Any credible online advertising ageny won't be using anything like "AVG" - they'll actually have people who can examine the file in detail and will find the embedded code. The miscreants in this instance have identified and used Agencies with the technical know-how of "mark 63"

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Apple tries to kill iWorm: Zombie botnet feasting on Mac brains

AlbertH
Facepalm

Re: admin password needed

Nope. The worst thing about this attack is that it doesn't need administrative intervention to install itself. The infection vector is a deliberate security hole introduced by Apple to facilitate their automatic security updates! A great example of shooting oneself in the foot.

The moral is (as we've said about MS since the 1980s) that "ease of use" shouldn't ever compromise security - MS made a whole series of stupid "ease of use" decisions which bite them to this day. Apple have now done the same and will suffer for it.

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