* Posts by Paul Crawford

3120 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

Oh happy day! Linus Torvalds has given the world Linux 4.10

Paul Crawford
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Re: your driver accepted in the kernel as a start up company?

Have you tried the same for Windows?

If you are a start-up company how many Linux users will actually have your hardware and need a kernel driver module?

Most specialist hardware companies I know of ship a compilable module for any drivers - that can be part object code if you have IPR to protect, and then end users compile on demand. Yes, its a pain in some cases but you can automate that.

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DraaS-tic times call for DraaS-tic measures in VMware's cloud

Paul Crawford
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"to appease the non-windows lot"

Let us not forget that the "Widnows lot" had to put up with some pretty shitty stuff as well, restrictions on what version of Windows/java/flash versions etc.

But your underlying point is valid - fix the $DIETY damn management tools and make the work smoothly on multiple platforms.

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UK Snoopers' Charter gagging order drafted for London Internet Exchange directors

Paul Crawford
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Re: LINX is lying

There are interesting aspects to LINX's reply:

"nothing in the proposals bans directors from asking members anything"

It says nothing about then answering such questions.

"we recommend creating a special new ability for elected directors to veto a decision by a majority of the Board"

Surely the majority of the board would act legally? What situation do the foresee that would need such an action at all? Since when did any other company have such a special rule for the board of directors that applies rules beyond the normal statuary duty that comes with being on a board of directors?

Sorry LINX, but those answers do nothing to make me think this has anything other than the Snooper's Charter behind it.

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Paul Crawford
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Sounds like the sort of neutral quality advice that justified bombing Iraq and contributing to the rise of ISIS, etc.

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Paul Crawford
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Facepalm

Re: Seems rather self defeating to me.

It is not beyond "the government" to do stupid things that fit their own paranoid agenda but ultimately make the UK a toxic place to do business in for the rest of the world. Given the whole Berxit cluster-fsck that is the last thing we need.

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Did Oracle just sign tape's death warrant? Depends what 'no comment' means

Paul Crawford
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True, but in this case it looks like Oracle's propitiatory format is the one biting the dust.

If ever there was a reason to move to a tape that more than one supplier provides, this is it. Plus the nice feeling of not having your gonads in Larry's money-extracting vise.

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You know IoT security is bad when libertarians call for strict regulation

Paul Crawford
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Re: What kind of code

Unless, of course, Amazon isn't in your jurisdiction, either.

If they trade in the UK they are in our jurisdiction.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: What kind of code

Then the importer carries the burden. And its up to them to have sufficient due-diligence from the folk in China to get off for a genuine mistake, otherwise its massive fines and/or chokey time.

It wont stop every crap device, but if it makes it very hard for Joe Public to buy a shitty insecure camera or video recorder, etc, because none of the shops or sellers like Amazon (who of course would be the importer in this case) then its done its job.

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ASLR-security-busting JavaScript hack demo'd by university boffins

Paul Crawford
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Timing attacks?

Why not modify web browsers to reduce and randomise the time-measuring functions available to any script?

I mean, when does a web page really need microsecond resolution? If the timing is jittered by a millisecond or so by some pseudo-ransom process would it really break stuff that is talking to the web server via a TCP/IP link with delays typically of the order of 10s of milliseconds?

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No crypto backdoors, more immigration ... says Republican head of House Committee on Homeland Security

Paul Crawford
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I seem to have woken up in some alternative reality where politicians speak some sense. Sadly I doubt it will last long enough for the ink to dry...

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University DDoS'd by its own seafood-curious malware-infected vending machines

Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Set your IoT networking rules to only allow access to the vending machine companies network addresses then.

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Roses are red, you're over the moon, 'cos you work in infosec, and you're retiring soon

Paul Crawford
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Joke

Re: There are two very different problems and this is the solution to neither

"ultimately if you sacrifice all your virgins to ensure the sun rises in the morning, you run out of people to breed from."

What if you just sacrifice their virginity?

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Munich may dump Linux for Windows

Paul Crawford
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Re: @ werdsmith

"Every fecking time someone comes up with these fictional anecdotes"

Who said anything about getting an IT job? Did you actually read the comments?

Many folk, myself included, have found that most users can adapt, look at how the majority of the formally-windows-only users have now got smartphones and no issues with using them. That is the point, if you set up a Linux PC for someone like a grandparent and spend just 5 minutes to show them the key stuff (e.g. web browser, email client) that is enough in most cases. You get almost no examples of them breaking it because 99.9+% of malware won't run on such a desktop and they don't get put off by endless, pointless, indecipherable warnings from AV, etc.

They won't set up a Linux PC, and if they buy a Windows PC it won't come setup in any sane way (from their perspective) either so in a short time will cause you grief (if you care enough to help them that is).

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Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Re: @ Korev

"is Linux as functional at mail, calendaring, forms, rules, and tasks as a Windows/outlook/Exchange combination?"

Yes. If you want exact outlook/exchange work-flow then you can simple use Office365 from any standard-compatible web browser.

Can't you?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Charlie Clark

"but every time I boot a Linux box I become convinced that the UX team hates me"

Really the same applies to most software now :( MS buggered about the the UX in the great 8.1 failure, Macs have been getting dumber, Google (and Mozilla who seem to slavishly follow them) seem hell-bent on removing anything possibly useful in a web browser. The list goes on and on...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Adam 52

I was talking about using the machines, not system design/config/management.

Irrespective of the OS, you still need professionals in a given area to do that properly.

I have been using Linux for many years and never (since mid-2000s) had to bother much with configuring X or networks - all pretty much works out of the box. As for LDAP, no idea, but then I would not attempt to set up Active Directory or roll-our a big platform of machines (any OS) similar without going on a relevant training course.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: @ Korev

Calendars, task tracking, contacts...

That is NOT email (except for email contacts, of course). The fact that MS decided to lump it in with their own email client still does not make it email.

You do need Windows really for this though, I'm on a Mac right now and not of the above work that well compared to Windows.

Translation - MS can't (or won't) make their own fscking suite of programs work properly on other platforms they claim to support.

If you are tied to MS office in such depth then tough, you have no choice but to pay MS and accept any T&C they choose to apply to you. That is not the fault of the underlying OS, that is the fault of MS (and to some degree, yourself for buying in to) for such lock-in.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

"Given that most people are familiar with Windows Android"

Fixed it for you...

Really, this "training for users" cost w.r.t OS choice is a bit bogus, either you have staff that are technically adept (e.g. software/engineering sort of group) in which case they can do most themselves, or you have non-computer geeks (i.e. most others) in which case you have to train for anything that changes. So a new version of Windows has played "lets move the control panel" one more: more training. You cloud supplier (MS, Google, whatever) has played the same "lets bugger up the web version" and training again. Irrespective of the underlying OS.

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That guy using a Surface you keep seeing around town could be a spy

Paul Crawford
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Don't you know? Maybe you could spy on yourself for a while to work out if you are, or are not, actually a spy?

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Kids these days will never understand the value of money

Paul Crawford
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Re: Cashless society

This =>

I would up-vote you many times if I could!

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Lovely. Now someone's ported IoT-menacing Mirai to Windows boxes

Paul Crawford
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@Linux is secure!

Yes, right up the the point when you have internet-facing ports open with default root passwords...

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Judge green lights Microsoft vs Uncle Sam gag order case

Paul Crawford
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Re: The Cloud..

Of course if the cloud companies had implemented proper user-side encryption for data storage this warrant would be moot as the companies would never have the keys. However, that would also restrict their ability to whore you to advertisers...

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Samsung's Chromebook Pro: Overpriced vanilla PC with a stylus. 'Wow'

Paul Crawford
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Re: A TPM os good on Chrome, and bad in Windows?

Is a very good point.

The real answer, of course, is secure/TPM boot is good when you have the ultimate control over its use, and not what the OEM has decided you should get. However, I don't know what this Samsung laptop is like to actually answer that. My old Acer Chromebook allowed you to disable it so I could boot Ubuntu, etc, if I wanted.

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Paul Crawford
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Reading the review my main complaint is the lack of built-in connectors for HDMI and older USB. Who really wants to have to carry a bag of dongles where ever you go that you might need to plug in to anything?

I have a el-chepo Chromebook and it was good for certain things, provided Google's whoring of your information is acceptable. For a "technically challenged" friend it was almost perfect (until they stood on it - not really and OS fault).

However my main gripe with that Chromebook was the keyboard. Yes, I like getting rid of caps lock, but they also got rid of the cursor keys and home/end and for many, many tasks that just royally pissed me off.

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NASA bakes Venus-proof electronics

Paul Crawford
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Bring back thermionic valves I say!

But seriously, having such high-temperature electronics has some applications on Earth as well, maybe not as harsh, but for deep drills and around reactors, etc.

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SQL Server on Linux? HELL YES! Linux on Windows 10? Meh

Paul Crawford
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Re: Windows ME was worse

Tricky, we have:

1) ME was a steaming pile of unreliable crap without any form of security or application isolation that mattered.

2) Win10 whores you to advertisers and any three-letter agency who asks.

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Paul Crawford
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why not just run Ubuntu and put Windows in the virtual machine?

Is exactly what I do and it works very well.

But then I don't have a corporate sysadmin insisting that my desktop has to be a standard Windows image for their ease of management organisation wide, so for those in that situation I can see it kind of makes sense. But then you have to have Win10, so maybe you would ask for an Ubuntu VM on your Windows 7 corporate machine?

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Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list

Paul Crawford
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Same here, have visited the USA a few times and almost without exception the people I met and dealt with were nice and civilised.

However, that was some years ago and the public image and view being projected by the nation of America is such that I would not choose to go there. Of course, not everyone has a choice as business might take you there, but if you want an English-speaking holiday then you can got to Canada (or UK or event Holland!) and be free of Trumph and the gun-totting idiots that tend to support him.

OK, the UK also has right-wing xenophobic idiots as well, but at least they are not able to get the guns so easily...

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Euro bloc blocks streaming vid geoblocks

Paul Crawford
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Re: cheap bent bananas?

I thought that was our glorious leaders already?

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Japanese team unveils terahertz band 100 Gbps wireless tech

Paul Crawford
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Re: Naive question

It is not naive, in fact it is a very fundamental aspect the most radio courses gloss over!

Basically you have two antenna aspects: (1) "directivity gain" which is a measure of how much a beam is focused (there is no amplification), and (2) "effective aperture" which is a measure of the antenna's ability to intercept the EM flux.

As frequencies go up (generally speaking here, YMMV, etc) you get more easy focusing from a given reflector, etc, so directivity gain increases, but your effective aperture remains the same. To make calculations easier a radio link's "path loss" has a wavelength term, it is more than just inverse-square law spreading with distance, so that at constant flux and constant aperture you get the same signal even though the directivity gain increases with frequency.

So for two antenna pointing at each other, increasing the frequency would lead to a stronger signal due to the higher directivity gain, but at the expense of needing more accurate pointing. Conversely, if you keep the RF flux constant (so you get the same coverage area, same pointing error accuracy demands, etc) then increasing frequency has the opposite effect in that smaller reflectors, etc, are used to keep the directivity down, and so less aperture able to intercept the flux.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Naive question

Rain attenuation is very high at those frequencies, but also it is not something that is well characterised (yet) as no one really has measured it for long enough to validate the model's upper range.

http://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r/rec/p/R-REC-P.838-3-200503-I!!PDF-E.pdf

You will notice the ITU-R models have no accuracy/error bounds on them...

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Juno how to adjust a broken Jupiter probe's orbit?

Paul Crawford
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Re: Gravity well.

It's astounding, Time is fleeting, Madness takes its toll...

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Polish banks hit by malware sent through hacked financial regulator

Paul Crawford
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I believe that dried frog pills are also available, and very efficacious in such cases.

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Why does it cost 20 times as much to protect Mark Zuckerberg as Tim Cook?

Paul Crawford
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Gimp

Re: @ earl grey

No it was Miss Scarlet in the basement with a strap-on.

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Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Re: Choose your enemies

"But they don't have an assault rifle"

Not in the UK or Europe at least. As for the USA...

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Ubuntu Linux daddy Mark Shuttleworth: Carrots for Unity 8?

Paul Crawford
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Re: Never name a project "Unity"

More so if it is "cold"

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Chrome 56 quietly added Bluetooth snitch API

Paul Crawford
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Big Brother

Re: Hmmm.

"how much of it is being used for location-based pestering"

All of it. All of the time. Like a jackboot stamping on your face forever.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: aaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnndddddddddddddd that's why....

Also turn off Bluetooth as well, unless you really REALLY need it for something (e.g. switch on for car's hand-free support, but probably you are safer just ignoring your phone while driving).

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Microsoft's DRM can expose Windows-on-Tor users' IP address

Paul Crawford
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Re: @RAMChYLD

"Well, there are still several drawbacks on Linux"

There are several (at least) drawbacks on Windows. The point is you pay your money (or not) and take your choice. If playing games in more important than privacy and security that is your choice to make. You are not me, your goals and priorities are not mine, so it is up to you to evaluate what matters most to you and to act accordingly.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: What? you mean

Just try going to this site:

https://ipleak.net/

It will tell you a lot about what is publicly seen from your computer, and you might want to follow up on the WebRTC aspect... If you are running Linux (or I guess have 'dig' for Windows somehow) then this will do it simply from the command line:

dig +short myip.opendns.com @resolver1.opendns.com

No doubt the El Reg commentards will have many, many more methods to do the same.

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Paul Crawford
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Linux

Re: Is it just me

Come now! This started with XP's "product activation" feature and has been growing ever since. If you are still happy to use Windows then you are a hard-boiled frog by now.

Ultimately that is my main reason for choosing Linux - it is MY computer and if I do something fsckingly stupid with 'sudo' then its my choice, my responsibility, but ultimately also my freedom to change/copy/modify/bugger-up whatever I like.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Who in their right mind

Who in their right mind would use Windows if privacy really mattered?

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2016: Snapchat loses $515m... 2017: Snapchat rips veil off $3bn IPO

Paul Crawford
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Re: Value for money

The country or the frozen-food chain?

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GCHQ cyber-chief slams security outfits peddling 'medieval witchcraft'

Paul Crawford
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Re: Diversion ahead

That is indeed possible.

However, looking at the numerous "advertorial" reports of APT and other malware, often with no real information about the infection vectors, etc, we see from companies selling AV carp, he does have a point that many reported "APT" come down to simple incompetence and a lack of top-level action to deal with it (you know, like budgeting for security and backing up the CSO's policies at a board leve to have them implemented and testedl).

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Microsoft's device masterplan shows it's still fighting Apple

Paul Crawford
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Screen quality

Really MS, if you want folk to have a good reason for buying a new PC then hammer home on the OEMs that anything less than "full HD" is simply shit.

And forget about copying Apple: there are plenty of folk who would rather have a 5mm thicker machine with good battery life and decent connectivity (e.g. few USB3, Ethernet, HDMI), not to mention those occasions where an internal DVD drive is useful (like any time you want to carry the laptop somewhere and not a bag of accessories with it).

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Paul Crawford
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Re: The future for MS is grim

Outside of gaming where graphics performance is king, running a VM for whatever version of Windows you like is a good solution. You never have to worry about "hardware" changes and can simply migrate it from host machine to host in the future. You never have to re-install your software and find all those damn license keys, configure stuff after installing, etc.

You choice of host can vary, but if you are not using a supported version of Windows then it comes down to Linux or a Mac. Pay your money, take your choice...

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GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail

Paul Crawford
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Re: Backup is hard. Doesn't mean it should be ignored.

When the time came to ship the backup tape to the disaster-recovery location, no tape drive there could read tapes written by the original drive.

I have also seen this with optical media - readable (probably just) on the original drive, not on another. Probably not after several years either.

As you mention, snapshots are a brilliant idea - instant copy of a whole file system for backing up so (mostly) no inconsistencies, and with copy-on-write like ZFS you only need space for the changes so having many per day is not a high cost. However, as you mention in some cases the on-disk file is not always in a consistent state when a process is using it so having time to do a snapshot with no modifications is also good.

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Imagine a ChromeOS-style Windows 10 ... oh wait, there it is and it's called Windows Cloud

Paul Crawford
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Big Brother

Re: Is that Google or MS?

They are both whoring your privacy now, its just that Google has a head start on MS.

That aside, I have given a "technically challenged" friend a Chromebook and they love it as it is simple and has none of the pissing around with AV and Windows popping up warnings, etc. They know they are being whored by Google but are willing to trade it for the simplicity of something they have (almost) not broken yet.

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Human memory, or the lack of it, is the biggest security bug on the 'net

Paul Crawford
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Re: Trusted computer

A trusted computer/device for a password manager is the key problem. While my home PC/laptop might be fairly trustworthy, I would not put them up there as unhackable. As for my Android phone - please, just don't go there!

A possible solution is something like the old RSA key-fob that could be used to salt+hash some account detail to provide a complex password. As it is off-line it is practically impossible to hack without an agent physically compromising it, and it is small enough to be carried with your house/car keys, etc, where ever you go. Many UK banks use card reader things to the same ends, but a more general purpose one would be good.

USB style devices are all very well, but need the PC to be cooperative (so no play on corporate locked-down machine) and your fscked if you bought a new Macbook and forgot your fist full of dongles.

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Free smart fridges! App stores in fountains! Plus more from Canonical man

Paul Crawford
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Stop

Can we have a strait jacket for this guy?

Seriously, WTF should you be doing with a lift that is not already done by going from floor to floor on demand. Adding all that complexity, risk and need for constant patching so you find it takes several seconds less to reach the door when you arrive?

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