* Posts by Richard Boyce

255 posts • joined 8 Aug 2007

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'I urge everyone to fight back' – woman wins $10k from Microsoft over Windows 10 misery

Richard Boyce

No need for installation; just run it. You can then delete it. The effect is persistent because it sets registry settings that Microsoft has promised will be effective. If Microsoft reneged on this there would be legal fireworks from businesses which Microsoft still has some respect for.

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Sophos U-turns on lack of .bat file blocking after El Reg intervenes

Richard Boyce

Re: Hang on a second

So if your friend gets an email that purports to be from you and has an .exe file attached, he should run it, right?

Are you sure he's your friend?

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Apple WWDC: OS X is dead, long live macOS

Richard Boyce

iDrive

Cynically, I wonder if the iDrive optimisation refers to a future optimisation of profits, i.e Apple can now provide a smaller and cheaper SSD as standard, and no socket to plug in an external drive, while charging people for the extra cloud storage they now automatically use.

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Microsoft splashes Virtual Reality-slinging 'Scorpio' Xbox

Richard Boyce

Wait and see

Never believe claimed hardware capabilities even after a product release, let alone over a year before release. Always wait to see what level of software or media support for the hardware is actually available in your country and what the price is.

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eBay boss joins Thiel critics

Richard Boyce

Winner pays?

AFAIK, in the US, unlike here in the UK, a plaintiff can damage a defendant financially, even if the defendant wins the case because a successful defendant is expected to pay his own legal costs. In the UK, the loser generally pays both sides' costs incurred before any reasonable settlement offer.

Assuming I'm correct, can someone please explain to me why the US operates in this apparently unjust way? It would seem to encourage vexatious lawsuits by the wealthy.

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Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Planet 9 a captured alien, astroboffins suggest

Richard Boyce

Re: It could be...

They have but slept.

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TeamViewer denies hack after PCs hijacked, PayPal accounts drained

Richard Boyce

Re: Sounds like bad config to me

I suspect the same. You can protect your account with a strong password and two-factor authentication, but that doesn't protect the computers, which can be reached without knowing which account, if any, they belong to.

Getting through two-factor authentication that's protecting the account requires the private key, unless the criminals have found a weakness in TeamViewer's site that allows the need for that to be bypassed. I would hope that TeamViewer does not keep a copy of that private key.

Always make sure that no computer can be accessed without a good password, even if your account is compromised. That password should not be known by TeamViewer or anyone else, so should be different to the password protecting the account. Additionally, disallow the use of PINs.

Finally, there's always a possibility of a vulnerability in the software itself, so keep it up-to-date, and don't have it running without a good reason.

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'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'

Richard Boyce

Re: It's GWX Control Panel or Linux

Use Never10 from grc.com. That way you don't need to install anything.

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Boring SpaceX lobs another sat into orbit without anything blowing up ... zzzzz

Richard Boyce

Re: Musk's goal closer and closer

This is just a taster for landing three stages at once from the Falcon Heavy. I am SO looking forward to that. They'll need a big storage area soon.

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Richard Boyce

Re: Ob: Pournelle

It would not be real life if it had not first been imagined.

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Spanish Bitcoin farm raided

Richard Boyce

Seizing bitcoin

Seizing bitcoin is not like seizing other currencies. There can be backup wallets that allow the bitcoin to be spent before any seized computer is even examined. Maybe that's why only a total of £26,000 is reported from 4 locations.

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Wi-Fi network named 'mobile detonation device' grounds plane

Richard Boyce

Re: Lots of lateness

"hopefully it keeps the local terrorists worried..."

I would rely on something better than hope if I were you. Never pick a fight with violent lunatics.

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Killer Japan quake jolts Sony factories to a halt

Richard Boyce

Earthquakes vs nanoscale engineering

I imagine that having set up equpment to make chips with parts measured in nanometers, you really don't want that equipment being moved distances that might be measured in meters while in use.

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ExoMars works! 2 Mbit/s link established and camera snapping

Richard Boyce

Re: Those bits that are following it

As a test of the cameras, could they try to image the accompanying debris? The sooner, the better, as the separation distances will only increase with time and are likely already very large relative to the size of the spacecraft.

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The future of Firefox is … Chrome

Richard Boyce

Re: Choice

I use Firefox mainly because of its large range of useful extensions, and one of those is the Classic Theme Restorer because I didn't like the last appearance change.

The best way to introduce a new look and feel is with an app or option that's active by default after a new installation, and inactive by default after an update of an old installation. Allow users to easily turn big UI changes off and on.

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We're not in Kansas City anymore, Toto ... Google axes free fiber internet

Richard Boyce

Re: Classic scam model

Perhaps you're just trolling. Perhaps you're an idiot. Or both.

Do you call supermarkets pushers when they end a promotional offer? Would you accept being called a pusher when asking for a pay rise?

The existing contracts are, of couse, being honoured. Services and prices change over time. That's perfectly legitimate and normal. Only a fool expects a commercial service to be provided for nothing indefinitely and then cries "scam" when he finds that he's misunderstood reality.

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WhatsApp straps on full end-to-end crypto for 1bn peeps

Richard Boyce

Look up Diffie–Hellman Key Exchange. I don't know if Signal is using this protocol or something else that achieves the same thing. The point is, secure ephemeral key exchange between strangers is a solved problem.

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Cosmic bonks, breakups led to birth of Saturn's moons as dinos died out

Richard Boyce

Re: Saturn's gravitational pull

It's not the strength of the pull per se that heats things up, it's variation in the strength of the pull as the moon varies its distance from the planet while following a non-circular obit. The stronger the pull the more the moon is stretched. As the pull alternately strengthens and relaxes, the moon is alternately pulled more and less out of shape from spherical, causing frictional heating.

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Google human-like robot brushes off beating by puny human – this is how Skynet starts

Richard Boyce
Happy

Re: Did anyone notice

Did you notice how the fan noise increased in pitch as it was teased? Of couse, it needed extra cooling as it heated up, but it's fun to imagine that as an emotional signal.

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Prison butt dialler finally off-hold after 12-day anal retention marathon

Richard Boyce

I suspect the volume of 12 days of backed up shit would far exceed the volume and pain of any phone. The final relief must've been quite considerable.

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Virgin Atlantic co-pilot dazzled by laser

Richard Boyce

Re: Technological solution

"Also I like my pilots *with* depth perception on take off and landing."

Two eyes a few inches apart don't add much depth perception when looking at the runway. At that distance, you're relying on other cues.

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Virgin Media spoof email mystery: Customers take to Facebook

Richard Boyce
Facepalm

Reliance on broadband provider for email

Why would someone who is IT-savvy remain reliant on a Virgin email address for 20+ years? He should've bitten the bullet and migrated email away from his broadband provider a long time ago, either to a Google address (or similar) or, better still, a domain of his own which can be hosted anywhere. Better late than never.

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German Chancellor fires hydrogen plasma with the push of a button

Richard Boyce
Joke

Be afraid

I have noted that this discussion involving very long german words has attracted some posters with very long user names without even the occassional upper case letter to assist the reader.

This appears to be strong evidence that disgustedoftunbridgewells and allthecoolshortnamesweretaken are sleeper agents among us just waiting for the day when this ubertechnology will make germans proud again.

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Linode: Back at last after ten days of hell

Richard Boyce

How much does it cost an attacker these days to launch a large-scale attack? What's the going rate per Gbit of DDoS?

I'm guessing that the majority of major ISPs still allow outgoing traffic with spoofed IP addresses. If only politicians worked less to undermine security, and started mandating that ISPs install filters to block spoofed traffic instead of mandating that they spend money on filters to direct traffic to politicians.

All a bit depressing, really.

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Let's shut down the internet: Republicans vacate their mind bowels

Richard Boyce
Facepalm

Idiocracy

Seeing these politicians so out of their technology depth reminds me of a film called Idiocracy where two ordinary people hibernate for 500 years and then find themselves the smartest people alive. One ends up as president.

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Tor wars: CMU says FBI came not with cash, but a subpoena

Richard Boyce

The thoughtless leading the learned

So the researchers acknowledge doing government-funded reseach. Nothing wrong with that on its own. However, the concern is that the US government may have employed people to engage in a fishing expedition that unreasonably threatened the innocent as well as the guilty, without probable cause. Issuing a subpoena to get the results of the research you've paid for could be a cover-your-ass legality.

I wish there were as much concern about this here in the UK, as our non-computer literate leaders plan to legislate how things must work. I wonder if our government will one day be as much of a laughing stock as the US politicians who once legislated that the value if Pi is exactly 3....

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Virgin Media hikes broadband, phone prices by five per cent

Richard Boyce

USO, PSTN and SIP.

I'm with Virgin and have been trying to reduce my costs by ditching the PSTN landline for a couple of years. I've been happily using a SIP adapter on my ordinary desktop phone for many years, so I really don't need Virgin's phone service. The trouble is, Virgin charge more if you ditch the phone. That's both for new customers and for existing customers negotiating a discount. This reflects the absence of competition.

The major telecom players just make too much money from the charges they've persuaded Ofcom to mandate, and with the call charges for initial connection, distance and time, as if they weren't using the global IP networks to distribute calls. Heaven forbid that too many customers could do that for themselves as easily and cheaply as they visit a web site on the other side of the planet.

The government's been tallking about a USO for broadband. What about also making it mandatory to offer SIP VoIP services too, while also removing the USO on providing the old PSTN service.

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Patent and trademark troll stung for £500k after fake renewal blitz

Richard Boyce

Have an upvote. I see no deterrence in this judgement.

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7 million Apple Watches just buried the competition – Canalys

Richard Boyce

How many will buy a second Watch?

The iPhone is a success because a lot of customers replace iPhones with iPhones. We've yet to see how many people will buy a second Watch.

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Lithium-air: A battery breakthrough explained

Richard Boyce

Balancing

My niece has just been learning how to balance chemical equations. I think that could've been usefully done in those diagrams.

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The battle of Cupertino: Jailbreakers do it for freedom, not cash

Richard Boyce

Re: Many heads are better

It's Apple's object code that's getting the scrutiny. A lot harder, but they're getting results which Apple are using to improve the source code.

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Richard Boyce

Many heads are better

I imagine that Apple is quietly very happy with the free scrutiny that their code is being given.

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No, seriously, NASA will fly a probe through Saturn's moon plumes

Richard Boyce

Contamination

NASA generally goes to great lengths to avoid contaminating ET life with life from Earth. It would be unfortunate if this manoevre ended up contaminating life in the clouds of Saturn with life from Enceladus.

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Apple may face $900m bill after A7 CPU in iPhones, iPads ripped off university's patent

Richard Boyce

ARM?

AFAIK, Apple's A7 is based on ARM processors. To what extent does this decision affect other users of ARM processors? How do later Apple processors avoid infringement?

I guess I'll have to read about this decision more widely. Hopefully, the article will be updated later to better cover the implications.

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Tear teardown down, roars Apple: iFixit app yanked from store

Richard Boyce

TANSTAAFL

If you're offered a special arrangement, even for a short time, always check for gotchas in the T&Cs.

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Roku 4 specs leak: Yes, it's got 4K streaming and a games controller

Richard Boyce
Joke

750K

"Supports Games < 750K: Yes

Supports Games > 750K: Yes"

Why no support for 750K?

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iPhone 6S, 6S Plus: Apple SHAFTS eager fans with STRAPPING VIBRATOR

Richard Boyce

Re: Well that's just grand!

Assuming 20% remaining after a day's use when new, how long before degradation of the battery reduces that margin to 0%? How much does dissatisfaction with deterioating battery life reduce the average time between phone replacements?

Genuine questions, as I've never been a heavy user of smartphones, and never owned a high-end model like an iPhone.

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Disaster-gawping cam drones to be blasted out of the sky in California

Richard Boyce

Re: Unintended consequences

So have you considered running for office?

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Loan application data hacked, company responds: Meh, not our customers

Richard Boyce

Re: "What that group did is illegal . . ."

... and I'm sure they'll delete the data upon payment too.

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Mobe encryption guru Charles Brookson picks up OBE from the Queen

Richard Boyce
Unhappy

When strong crypto is considered bad by the government...

...it makes an honour from the government for cryptography quite suspect. Which is quite sad.

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Hi-res audio folk to introduce new rules and weed out impure noises

Richard Boyce
Thumb Down

Excellent article

It's not easy to cover important technicalities with brevity and clarity, but you managed it. Nevertheless, prejudice and ignorance is hard to do battle with.

There will also be people who say 192kHz sampling is better than 96kHz, and look for more. There will be dealers who are financially dependent on doing things like selling £100 analogue cables for transferring CD audio from player to amp.

"Want to hear the difference? No problem. Use your ears..... See? You get what you pay for. SO much better than using a cheap digital cable. That'll be £100, please. So happy to have a discerning customer."

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US SaaS firm bows to Snowden concerns with UK-based datacentre

Richard Boyce

I know you're not completely serious (at least I hope not), but I suspect that the biggest physical problem might be getting rid of the waste heat.

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Sunday Times fires off copyright complaint at Snowden story critics

Richard Boyce

What's being talked about behind the scenes?

This attempt to affect public opinion may be the result of a hidden debate that's going on, and it's probably a wider debate than the things that have been in the news lately.

I'm not familiar with U.S. law, but if it's possible for the president to offer Snowden an immunity agreement in exchange for living quietly in the U.S., I think it would be a very popular decision with the public in many countries. People in the U.S. might be more inclined to vote for another Democratic president.

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Bill Nye's bonkers LightSail spaceship unfurls solar sails at last

Richard Boyce

Energy vs momentum

The sail isn't for harvesting energy from the sun (that's plentiful near Earth), it's for harvesting momentum, which you need to change speed and/or direction.

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Acer: 'We will be the last man standing in the PC industry'

Richard Boyce
Thumb Down

Touchpad

My current laptop has a non-centred touchpad, like many of these models. I have found that to be an ergonomic nightmare. Never again.

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Default admin password, weak Wi-Fi, open USB ports ... no wonder these electronic voting boxes are now BANNED

Richard Boyce

Re: Bottom line

"... walk away with theirs stuffed full of cash"

and votes for sale.

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NASA: We're gonna rip up an ASTEROID and make it ORBIT the MOON

Richard Boyce
Mushroom

Redirection indeed

No doubt there are some Generals salivating at the prospect of redirecting a large object to Moscow or Washington or wherever, in a way that's plausibly an "Act of God", and with no radioactive fallout to worry about.

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Hawk like an Egyptian: Google is HOPPING MAD over fake SSL certs

Richard Boyce
FAIL

Bye bye CNNIC

The best response is to ask if you need to trust CNNIC. I've distrusted them in my browser and I'll see if that has consequences for me. Unlikely.

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Marlinspike brings end-to-end crypto texts to iOS

Richard Boyce

re: wow!

Signal is compatible with its siblings RedPhone and TextSecure on Android, and those two are about to be combined into one app. So, if you currently use Android, you're ready to go.

The software is published, so there will be plenty of scrutiny of the security.

.

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