* Posts by Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

548 posts • joined 26 Feb 2013

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CAUGHT: Lenovo crams unremovable crapware into Windows laptops – by hiding it in the BIOS

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Re. BSoD

Sounds like Samsung BIOS applied too much frequency on those RAM sticks. Thus unintentionally overclocking them. May be a BIOS bug, may be wrong JEDEC information in the DIMM.

Memtest shows actual RAM frequency - did you pay attention to that?

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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There is no known way to disable WPBT. Except for avoiding W8, W10, and post-2011 UEFI versions. Which is not always easy.

seclists.org/bugtraq/2015/Aug/55

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=234840

As for Lenovo's ill-conceived LSE (basically an extension on top of WPBT),there are UEFI updates available to disable it.

support.lenovo.com/gb/en/product_security/lse_bios_notebook

Note: no Thinkpads on the list. Only consumer-oriented shinies. Newer Thinkpads may also stink, but for entirely different reasons.

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BOFH: Why, I LOVE work courses. Please tell me more, o wise one!

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: "My name is Philip."

There's also this marvelous exchange:

A: "Well, Peter - can I call you Pete? - the principle of the connected society is that all parties to the transaction have a clear understanding of their role in it and its progress towards an ultimately successful completion at which point a committed transaction can trigger an API-driven response resulting in a zero-touch high-efficiency payment execution in the cloud ..."

Q: "You can't call me Pete, because I'm David. We still haven't settled the question of legality, though."

A: "Oh, look, I'm sorry Pete, I have to be on stage in three minutes, but I'll be happy to field your question offline. I'll get my girl to reach out to our lawyers and get you in touch."

m.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/29/enough_with_like_an_uber_for_x_already/

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Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: NASA

More to do with charged particles dashing through the chips. Larger transistors at lower frequencies have much better radiation resistance. And differing frequencies can help to reduce interference, as you rightly noted.

ECC (if done correctly) will not miss anything. Rowhammering needs several write cycles to flip a bit, but ECC logic has to compare checksums on every RAS/CAS cycle. If one bit is off, it can be corrected. If several bits are wrong - checkstop.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: data treated as code

"PDP-11's had separate I & D space"

So did 8086. Code segment, data segment, stack segment, et al. In practice these pointers were often set at the same address, which kind of defeats the point.

Later attempt was NX (non execute) bit from P4 onwards.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: More of an undocumented feature than flaw.

In that case, why was it allowed to be fixed in Sandy Bridge? TPTB somehow got less malicious?

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Require root or administrator access ...

"ironic that NT & UNIX & OS/2 etc could use a 1995 Pentium Pro properly but Win95 went slower on it"

That's because PPro ran 16-bit code very slowly. Intel did caching changes in PII (OK, quick search suggests segment register caching was the fix).

tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-pentium-ii,20.html

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: a ha ha ha ha ha :(

"such classics as the FDIV bug"

And F00F bug that brought processor to a grinding halt.

www.drdobbs.com/embedded-systems/the-pentium-f00f-bug/184410555

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W is for WTF: Google CEO quits, new biz Alphabet takes over

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: I missed it.

Why bother. His Larryness already gave the punchline:

"Sergey and I have been super excited about his progress and dedication to the company"

That, incidentally, has been MS battle-cry for aeons.

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A close shave: How to destroy your hard drives without burning down the data centre

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Meh

There's a problem, though. Airflow inside the drive is set up quite delicately. Capsule would probably crash the heads right away.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: My method works a treat

If the password doesn't have to be rememberable, then you can use a hash of some obscure file. This gives a way to recreate password, provided that you know which file it was, and it hasn't developed bad bits in the meantime. Even an AOL installation CD would suffice. Har har.

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Germans in ‘brains off, just follow orders' hospital data centre gaff

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Probably air con fear

"I think the belief is that cold drafts can cause colds, and stiff necks"

It's a bit more than a belief. It truly happens to some people. Half a day under the aircon, and next day they are almost immobile. Not to mention red noses (well, more red than usual).

But there's also a time-honoured cure - a sauna treatment with 100 grams and 100 degrees.

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All hail Ikabai-Sital! Destroyer of worlds and mender of toilets

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Definition: Expert

"Not sure it should be attributed to Murphy"

It wasn't The Original Murphy who said it, but nevertheless it's a part of The Good Book.

www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-technology.html

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Definition: Expert

Classical Murphy definition is still valid.

"An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing."

Or, to paraphrase, expert has an infinite amount of knowledge in an infinitely narrow field of expertise. Thus it's very much impossible to harness expert's knowledge for anything practical, because the field of expertise cannot be determined by mere mortals.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Plumbing's easy.

Ooh, there are some quite unexpected twists in the plot.

/edit/ Hope it doesn't take an unpredictable arc, that'd be shocking.

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Oracle brews PERPETUAL, all-you-can-eat database licence

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: All you can eat? More like how much can you swallow.

Obligatory MP reference:

Fuck off. I'm full.

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Oracle waves fist, claims even new Android devices infringe its Java copyrights

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: WTF?

"Oracle has worked hard to build and maintain, and in the process to destroy the value of the Java platform"

Well, cynical bastards in IT have long suspected that, but to utter it out in public...

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Popping the Tesla S bonnet – to reveal SIX NEW FLAWS

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Good on them....

"I do hope you never use the same roads as me."

Your wish is my command.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Good on them....

Yes, safety is definitely one of the reasons. Scoring innovation points is other.

That's perfectly fine, if manual handbrakes are still available for those who fancy them.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Good on them....

"Things may be different with cars that have an electrically operated handbrake."

That's a problem, yes. It's either on or off, no gradual control over the handbrake anymore. Thus unsuitable for using as an 'auxiliary steering device'.

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Microsoft vacates moral high ground for the data slurpers' cesspit

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Cortana

"a lot of people like myself really DON'T WANT a digital assistant."

Indeed. It's a lousy substitute for the butler.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Microsoft? High moral ground?!

One part was quite clear - MS (and Sun) felt a sudden urge to buy 20M$ 'Unix licenses' from The SCO Group. Who didn't even have a proper right to sell them.

But ties between MS and other TSCOG investors were elusive at best.

techrights.org/wiki/index.php/SCO

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

"had you and other authors been a touch more critical at a significantly earlier stage in the context of Google/Apple etc"

That's hardly justified. Andrew has been critical about them for years, and still is. Often drawing lots of ire because of it.

Today is Microsoft's turn to get bitten. No discrimination whatsoever.

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Secret US-Pacific trade pact leak exposes power of the copyright lobby

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Powers of Congress (Article I, Section VIII)

It's worth remembering that Jefferson accepted these provisons quite begrudgingly:

"The saying there shall be no monopolies lessens the incitements to ingenuity, which is spurred on by the hope of a monopoly for a limited time, as of 14 years; but the benefit even of limited monopolies is too doubtful to be opposed to that of their general suppression."

Madison's response:

"With regard to monopolies they are justly classed among the greatest nuisances in government. But is it clear that as encouragements to literary works and ingenious discoveries, they are not too valuable to be wholly renounced?"

rack1.ul.cs.cmu.edu/jefferson/

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Will flash save the data centre? Don't spread your wings yet, Vultan

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Read more carefully?

Yup. Lots of flashbois around, spinning at 15K.

Decent flash helps a lot, no doubt about that, but let's not go crazy with it.

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Wanted: beta testers for El Reg’s Android app

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Before I sign up

"I do hope, however, that m.theregister doesn't get neglected"

I hope it does. As it's working just fine.

"most of the quick links at the bottom are broken."

Haven't found any.

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All change at NetApp: One veep joins as another goes fishing

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Beatings will continue, until morale improves.

Gosh, let's hope that's not the case here.

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Slashdot, SourceForge looking for new owners after parent dumps them on the web's doorstep

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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UI revamp

"many commenters refusing to post anything but vitriolic, often profane criticisms of the site's revamped UI."

Had to reread that - the article was talking about Slashdot revamp, not El Reg. So it's all good then.

/troll.jpg/

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HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Used to be called 'clean desk'

"Don't lie to us. There weren't any grocery store during the soviet era."

It's not a lie. Grocery stores did exist, but they were cunningly disguised as furniture stores - having long rows of empty shelves. But they wouldn't sell them if asked. Furniture stores disguised themselves by not having any furniture on display, not even shelves.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Tidy Desk

"Even if I do occasionally get things in order, it's mere hours before they degenerate, despite me trying and spending real effort."

This stems from the second law of thermodynamics.

Chaos in the universe is ever-increasing. By spending a good deal of effort it is possible to tidy up a very limited area for a very limited time, but this effort will invariably increase the overall entropy.

I've decided to be responsible and gave up trying.

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WHAT ARE the 'WEIRD' SPOTS seen on far-flung PLUTO?

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Ion-engine

"In space, distance isn't measured in km, it's measured in km/s."

Wow. Have you been doing Kessel runs lately? They're dangerous, may foul your sense of units.

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Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata was MORE than a suit – he was a CODER

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Coder CEOs

Here's little something

theregister.co.uk/2001/05/15/could_bill_gates_write_code/

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Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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"Perhaps in a few hundred years we'll have adopted something else equally silly."

Unless we hasten that process by setting up a dedicated regulating body - Ministry of Silly Talks.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Seems Fair

Is that because no-one'll bother to investigate what lies behind such obscure shortlinks?

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'Real' vampires reluctant to 'come out of the coffin' to social workers – barmy prof

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: I never heard of the Aspen thing

Ash and aspen are in the Transilvanian folklore, which is pretty much a canon for that particular topic.

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This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Kudos and beer

Yes, TI 74LS181 seems to be the only 181 still in production. If you wanted industrial quantities of HC181, then it's a bit tough, there are only leftovers.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Kudos and beer

Quite obtainable.

https://octopart.com/search?q=74HC181

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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"do you really need to be told that a transistor is a digital switch?"

Article said "acts like a digital switch". Which is correct in the current context. Saying that it *is* a switch sounds like an universal claim.

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Climate change alarmism is a religious belief – it's official

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Trollface

(with a voice of that other JC)

Some say...that our world was created by the trickster called Loki. Which would explain a lot. And shurely, he wouldn't mind a good fight and a decent pint.

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Chancellor Merkel 'was patient zero' in German govt network hack

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: A Quantum Chemist can never be hacked

Hmm. If there's a QC sitting in Moscow, leisurely flipping qbits, doesn't this flip associated qbits in Berlin? And vice versa?

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It's 2015 and Microsoft has figured out anything can break Windows

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Surely...

"Linux kernel, year 2014: 135"

"Windows 8.1, year 2014: 38"

Nice set of numbers you've got there. Shame if anything happened to them...like discovering CVE-2014-8439 among the "Linux kernel" vulnerabilities, and being absent from the Windows 8.1 list.

It's none other than our good friend Adobe Flash.

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Wikipedia to go all HTTPS, all the time

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Big Brother

Re: Self-censorship

"so I carried on and looked up ricin"

...over the reliably fingerprinted connection. Thank you, citizen.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: HTTPS and slow speeds

Lost packets & retransmits are a major pain. With plain HTTP they are barely noticeable, whereas secur-ish connections will suffer badly.

But hey, HTTPS is the next best thing after thorium (or was it sliced bread), so we should bow to the consensus here.

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It's 2015 and hackers can hijack your Windows PC if you watch a web video

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Coat

Wot, no video?

Lists are boooring. In 2015, it is customary to have a videotalk about such matters. Definitely with a nasal voice. Video should be embedded in the article, set to autorun.

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Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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"but if Musk really could do her job and continues to do so"

We shall see. Few weeks without a major PR disaster is hardly an indication.

Just to squeeze in a movie reference:

"I heard that this Winston Wolf is supposedly good at solving problems. Well, it's been two weeks without any dead bodies or other "problems" to take care of. Remind me again, why are we keeping him on the payroll?"

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Chips can kill: Official

Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: Coffee?

Coffee beans are naturally rich of oils and carbohydrates, and they are heavily roasted before use.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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"burning meat over fire was almost certainly the first cooking technique discovered by primitive man, acrylamide hasn't caused that much of an effect so far."

It increased their lifespans considerably. More a-somethings, but less b-somethings.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: What about that 'High Fructose Corn Syrup' then?

"The fast food outlets could move to a diet-by-default approach, but seem to lack any initiative."

In the Nordics, they are usually content to replace fries with a salad, and fizzy drinks with a proper juice, for no extra charge. Have to ask, though, it's not default.

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Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
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Re: What about that 'High Fructose Corn Syrup' then?

"Other carbohydrates are just one small metabolic step from sugar."

Yet it's a beneficial step. It takes a decent amount of calories to break them up, and there may be some useful by-products to be gained in the process.

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