* Posts by Martin

1054 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

Page:

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

Martin

Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

Or the Blue Peter flower-pot - warm them up, and push them round a vase. Voila - an "interesting" flower-pot, complete with a hole in the bottom for drainage.

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

Martin
Unhappy

Re: Maximum Password length

Also sites (usually financial institutions) which ask for specific characters from your password, thereby betraying that they actually store your password in plain text.

That's a thought that had literally never crossed my mind before. You surely must be right - I can't see how else they could do it. But it's a hell of a stupid thing to do.

El Reg - why don't you ask First Direct and Santander (two that I know of who do indeed ask for specific characters) to comment on this? No point in a normal customer asking the question, we'd just be fobbed off.

Martin

Well, that was exactly the question that I was going to ask. Thanks to the very clear answers above.

Time to go through my LastPass list and change the 8 char passwords that still exist (and there aren't many left now) to 12 char passwords.

National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – but I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

Martin

Re: I have some questions

They'll claim "freedom of the press"...

If they'd just printed the photos, they could claim "freedom of the press". But when they say "If you don't do what we want, we'll print these photos" it's difficult to argue that this is anything other than blackmail. And yes, I hope that the blackmailing scum goes to prison for a long time.

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

Martin

Re: Remember Y2K?

If you wan to save memory space, you use a byte for the year.

But then you need a bit of software that runs every time you need to use the date. Like I said, old microprocessors don't have a lot of space to keep these conversion functions....and also, it's going to slow things down, on a processor that is probably already running flat out.

Martin

Re: Remember Y2K?

To be fair, the two bytes that you saved by only using two digit years was frequently important in the early days of microprocessors and memory sizes of 4K (including OS).

Yay, we got a B for maths. Literally, a bee: Little nosy nectar nerds smart enough to add, abstract numbers

Martin
Coat

Re: Geometry too

I think they make those hexagons by instincive bee-hive-iour.

Using WhatsApp for your business comms? It's either that or reinstall Lotus Notes

Martin
Happy

Re: Oh deary dear...

"... expectation that Kids Today are permanently glued to their smartphones"

It's not an expectation, they really are glued to them.

Not just kids. My 21-year-old daughter regularly pulls me up for not paying attention because I've absent-mindedly started scrolling through my phone :)

Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain

Martin
Headmaster

My dogs got no nose.

No. My dog's got no nose.

Sigh.

Data flows in a no-deal Brexit are a 'significant' concern – MPs

Martin

Re: Project Fear

"Operation Ostrich" - brilliant! I'm nicking that. Have an upvote.

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

Martin

Re: I used to work...

Either way, I think my decision to eat elsewhere is reasonable.

Martin

Re: Most inconsiderate

At one job in the eighties, I was the only non-smoker in a room with five smokers. I was a contractor with a three-month contract. After two months, I had to break my contract - I couldn't bear it any more. Only time I ever did that.

That was the only job I've ever been in where smoking was allowed in the office. After that, I used to check before joining a company whether smoking was allowed.

Martin
Unhappy

I used to work...

...for a large company who had a multi-story building in London. It happened that the office I worked in was on the same floor as the staff restaurant.

It wasn't long before I realized that the toilets were generally pretty clean on every other floor except ours. Ours were generally pretty rough - a common trick being peeing without lifting the seat. (For some reason, we didn't have any urinals in the men's loos.)

As far as I could see, the main difference between the toilet users on the various floors was that ours were mainly used by the restaurant workers.

So I went out to lunch, rather than using the canteen.

Straight outta Blighty: Readers, if you were a tech billionaire, what would you do?

Martin
Headmaster

Re: Dyson

I haven't seen such a colossal cockup by politicians in years in my whole life.

FTFY. Also fixed a spelling error :)

The most annoying British export since Piers Morgan: 'Drones' halt US airport flights

Martin
WTF?

Re: 500g Drone vs 100 ton airliner

...quite honestly just 'get on with it' and let them fly.

At the moment, it's just one drone. But if you just "get on with it" and let them fly, then the next thing you know is that an airliner will have to try to land through a crowd of a hundred of them. You still think that won't cause any problems?

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

Martin
Stop

Re: No, you don't wish you'd have bought it.

I sold off my Amigas (A3000, A4000T plus a lifetimes worth of Zorro cards) a few years ago to put a deposit down on a mortgage. It is a decision I still bitterly regret.

Presumably, if you hadn't sold them, you wouldn't have been able to get the mortgage? You made what seemed a good decision at the time - and probably WAS a good decision, in the grand scheme of things. Accept it, move on. Or do what you're doing, and restart.

"If only...." - the two worst words in the English language.

Martin
FAIL

Re: No, you don't wish you'd have bought it.

"You let your “significant other” rule your life?"

Clearly he doesn't, or the "garage full of junk" would now be empty.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Martin
Happy

"Pull the otter one..."

I was once at London Zoo in early Spring, and we were near the otter enclosure. No sign of any otters. My daughter, eight, said brightly "I expect they are waiting for the otter weather!"

Talk about you reap what you sow....!

Come mobile users, gather round and learn how to add up

Martin
Happy

Re: Better One Innit

I'm old enough to remember log tables and slide rules for my maths exams.

Nice thing about log tables were the pages of equations at the front of them, and the loads of space for putting any other cribs you wanted to remember. Try putting all that useful info on the back of a calculator.

Great, you've moved your website or app to HTTPS. How do you test it? Here's a tool to make local TLS certs painless

Martin
Happy

Re: But why is it so complicated?

This kind of attitude is terrible and hurts not only yourself, but others.

...

Please. Educate yourself. For everyone's sake.

Fair comment. I accept the rebuke.

But I'm now retired. This is no longer my day job, and it feels to me as if it's a lot of faff for something that is merely an irritation to me - I don't need and will never need to be able to connect to my network support software from outside my network.

I do the best I can in the time I want to set aside to keep things reasonably secure in my home network. But if I need to take a few days to educate myself about certificates, I sort of feel I'd rather be playing my guitar, or going on a trip to see my grandchildren, or doing all the other things that I now have time to do.

Martin
Unhappy

But why is it so complicated?

But this should be simple, and not require arcane knowledge, surely?

The problem I have found is that there seems to be a bit of an assumption that you know roughly what a certificate is, understand how it works, and how to get one before you can even start. But, frankly, I barely understand even that. I just know they work, somehow, and make everything secure. That's all I want or care about.

Case in point - I have the unify software running to look after three local ubiquiti unifi wireless access points in the house. It works with an https browser interface.

I only want to get onto the broswer interface from my local network, not from anywhere else. So I'm just ignoring the warnings and going through to it. It's unsatisfactory, but there doesn't seem to be a bog-standard, simple way of getting a self-signed certificate so that I don't have to get the warning.

So I'll be looking at this, to see if I can make it out.

.

IBM insists it's not deliberately axing older staff. Internal secret docs state otherwise...

Martin

Re: Just to play devil's advocate here

And the point is that if someone is over 40 and still doing the job, it's likely that he/she has survived previous layoff attempts - they have demonstrated that they are good at their job.

Basically, you would generally NOT expect layoffs to be spread evenly across a workforce.

If your initial assumptions are wrong, your answers tend to be wrong as well. As you say - welcome to maths.

Mourning Apple's war against sockets? The 2018 Mac mini should be your first port of call

Martin
FAIL

Re: "Hmm, as o'l Democritus put it: "The poor will always be with us""

Perhaps the "Poor" shouldn't have droped out of School, by first finishing their education, and then got a decent Job like everyone else. Instead of winging on about how a 7.45$ p/h (e.g. Minimun Wage Job), can't meet their expitations of trying to keep up with the Jones's.

Being Poor is a lifestyle choice. You don't like being Poor? GET A FREAKING BETTER JOB! If needs be WORK FOR IT!

That's either stupid, unfeeling, or just poor sarcasm. It's also badly written and riddled with spelling and grammar errors. Downvote duly administered.

New side-channel leak: Boffins bash operating system page caches until they spill secrets

Martin
IT Angle

Re: Linux patch

Merely a question, as I don't understand exactly what mincore() is or what it's used for - but it you change it to report mapped pages, rather than present pages, aren't you changing it's functionality? and doesn't that mean that it might break some working software somewhere?

...icon as it's the nearest we have to a question.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

Martin
WTF?

Re: Toothbrushes

Ah, they don't just have Bluetooth connectivity, they also have an associated app.

I actually investigated this sort of thing out of incredulity. It seems you attach the toothbrush by Bluetooth to your phone, and it times how long you're brushing your teeth, so you know when you've done two minutes. Seems a bit of a faff to me.

OR...you could buy the cheaper one which costs about thirty quid from the same manufacturer, which does a little buzz every 30 seconds to tell you to change quadrant, and a further long buzz after two minutes.

Not exactly the toughest buying decision I've ever made.

Martin

Re: Any IoT device

But if it doesn't connect to the cloud, it's not IoT, it's just useful technology.

Martin
WTF?

OK, I'd like to add another one

That "up-to-date" electronic music sounds something Jean-Michel Jarre might have done around the time of Oxygene.

So, electronic music - that's one more piece of technology to avoid. There is so much good music, played on, y'know, musical instruments.

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans

Martin

I'm curious to see how they'd phrase the job advert....

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

Martin
FAIL

Amazon are no better...

I have the same name as someone in the US who opened an Amazon account last year. The silly sod used my email address instead of his own for the account setup. I get all his confirmation emails for his orders, and all his adverts. I assume that he only uses his phone to access Amazon - but I'm slightly appalled that this is possible.

I have tried telling Amazon, but I might as well be throwing a pebble into the North Sea for all the difference it makes.

Martin

Re: It'll never happen...

I (usually) don't even bother to go to that level. I just login to the account after resetting the password and change the email address on the account. If I can I close the account for good measure.

The problem is about this, you are logging into an account that isn't yours. it's probably illegal, at least in the UK.

Crystal ball gazers declare that Windows 10 has finally overtaken Windows 7

Martin

Re: It's my fault

Someone dubbed the Windows 10 UI the Fisher Price operating system. It really looks like something that you'd do for a kids computer to get them started.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?

Martin
Happy

Is it just me, or does that picture look like Mesut Ozil crouching behind the desk?

A year after Logitech screwed over Harmony users, it, um, screws over Harmony users: Device API killed off

Martin

Re: So what can we do about it?

There are many alternatives, both "off the shelf" like Harmony and DIY.

Examples, please. I've looked at OneForAll, but seems a bit inflexible and limited. And I really don't want DIY, if I can avoid it.

Martin
WTF?

What ARE you talking about? And what's it got to do with so-called Remoaners?

Martin
Meh

So what can we do about it?

The problem is, there is no other option.

Harmony controllers and hubs really do work well. Unless you want to juggle multiple remote controllers, they are really the only possibility.

I'm using three of them - two for myself and one at my mother's house. They are very clever bits of kit, with a lot of flexibility.

I agree with the complaints about closing off undocumented APIs. I'm also an old Slim Devices user still. I have to keep one Windows box to program my Harmony controllers, although I'd really rather not. I don't consider Logitech to be faultless here.

But there is no-one else who does the job of Harmony controllers, even slightly.

College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals

Martin
Happy

Re: Value added installer

In a similar vein; a friend of mine many years ago worked on a local authority computer installation - the old fashioned room full of computers, discs, tape drives etc.

They finished ahead of schedule (yes, I was impressed too!) and there was going to be a little ceremony with the mayor coming in to cut a ribbon. The guys were sitting in the machine room a day or so before hand, admiring their handiwork - and someone said "It's great - but it looks a bit boring, doesn't it?"

So, they wrote a little program which just made the tape drives go back and forth, back and forth. Suddenly it looked like a real computer room, just like in a film. Which was a lot more impressive when the mayor arrived.

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display

Martin

Re: Private, not public.

Hear hear. Why on earth that got downvoted, I do not know.

Have an upvote.

Martin

Re: Well done students...

Well, when I was a student, I might have found it funny. For about five minutes. And then, it's just a bit silly.

But it's also pretty damn puerile. And if their landlords didn't see the funny side, they might have found themselves out of their accommodation for the New Year.

Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: Having a bad week

Steely Dan, as I'm sure you know really.

And it's a great performance, marred by rubbish sound until the 4:04 mark - and then suddenly something goes "click" and it's excellent sound for the rest of the video.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

Martin
Happy

Re: As someone who currently designs chip-enabled cat interface devices...

I wish my cat flap had Hal's voice. I'm sorry kitty, I can't do that. What are you doing kitty.

I think you'd have to name your cat Dave.

Brexit: UK will be disconnected from EU databases after 2020

Martin
FAIL

Re: Ah, the UK gov

"majority voted leave"

Just keep repeating that. And think about democracy as you do.

OK, I'll try that.

"majority voted leave"

"majority voted leave"

"majority voted leave"

"majority voted leave"

"majority voted leave"

...

Nope. I still see an advisory referendum with a tiny majority one way, that suddenly became a binding referendum, taking near as damn it half the country to a place they didn't want to go. Every other country which has binding referendums insists on a supermajority to ensure that there is no real argument.

I still see a referendum where the people were lied to by politicians and tabloids with their own agenda, which was financed by illegal payments, and where, two years later, it is clear that what was promised (basically, leaving the EU but keeping all the advantages) is not possible.

I still see a referendum called by Cameron to appease the Euroskeptics in his own party, just to keep them quiet. No-one really believed that we were actually going to vote leave. The politicians in power just went through the motions, and only afterwards realized they'd put the country into a complete mess.

I see a country which is more divided than I have even known in my whole life. A mess caused by politicians who were thinking of their party, not of their country, and by tabloid owners thinking of their bank balances, not their readers.

I don't see democracy anywhere. I just see manipulation by the tabloids, politicians, and the super-rich.

Martin
FAIL

Re: Ah, the UK gov

What the British want is a 'clean break'.

Bollocks.

A very small majority voted leave. There are 16 million of us who voted to stay.

I am so SICK of being told that "hard Brexit, get out no matter what damage it does" (aka "a clean break") is what the British people want. It is not what I want, nor anyone I know.

It's not what the British want. It's what a few tabloids and politicians want. Most of us are just sick of the whole fucking mess we're in now, and want it sorted out - and very many of us, probably by now a majority, would prefer it to be sorted out by saying sod it - let's just stay - it's much easier.

This just in: What? No, I can't believe it. The 2018 MacBook Air still a huge pain to have repaired

Martin
Happy

It glowed like an LED for a short while before suffering rapid unscheduled disassembly...

Have an upvote for rapid unscheduled disassembly. Made me laugh.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

Martin
Happy

Re: Thank you !!!

Experience has proven time and time again that within a week of ditching ...

... so often that I can no longer attribute the phenomenon to coincidence.

This is just a variant of the fact that they ALWAYS try to deliver a parcel to your house in the ten minutes when you pop out to buy the paper. I sometimes wonder if they are waiting round the corner until I go out.

It's a standard phenomenon, commonly known as Life's A Bitch.

BT: We're stocking warehouses with kit ahead of Brexit to avoid shortages

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: import from America or else where?

Quite frankly I think all brexiteers should be taken outside and shot for the harm and destruction they are going to do to our economy and industry - something not one of them seems to have a clue about in their biggotted and idealistic world they live in, and the crap they spout about doing business with America or China, or India. We already do business with all those countries FFS. All that is going to happen is that doing any sensible business with our nearest neighbours to going to get bogged down by costs, paperwork and delays and drive UK businesses to the wall.

Have an upvote, for this and all the rest of your rant. I don't really know why anyone would downvote you, but someone has.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

Martin
Happy

Re: "as fast as the fastest PCs."

Whenever I see this sort of comparison, it reminds me of the old Citroen 2CV advertisement.

FASTER THAN A FERRARI.

Travelling flat out at 71.5mph, the Citroen 2CV will easily overtake a Ferrari Mondial travelling at 65mph.

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

Martin
Happy

Which reminds me of this.

Congratulations! You have purchased an extremely fine device that would give you thousands of years of trouble-free service, except that you will undoubtedly destroy it via some typical bonehead consumer maneuver. Which is why we ask you to PLEASE FOR GOD'S SAKE READ THIS OWNER'S MANUAL CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU UNPACK THE DEVICE. YOU ALREADY UNPACKED IT, DIDN'T YOU? YOU UNPACKED IT AND PLUGGED IT IN AND TURNED IT ON AND FIDDLED WITH THE KNOBS, AND NOW YOUR CHILD, THE SAME CHILD WHO ONCE SHOVED A POLISH SAUSAGE INTO YOUR VIDEOCASSETTE RECORDER AND SET IT ON "FAST FORWARD", THIS CHILD ALSO IS FIDDLING WITH THE KNOBS, RIGHT? WE MIGHT AS WELL JUST BREAK THESE DEVICES RIGHT AT THE FACTORY BEFORE WE SHIP THEM OUT, YOU KNOW THAT?

Dave Barry - Read This First!

Which? That smart home camera? The one with the vulns? Really?

Martin
Joke

Re: Which? reviews are usually best treated with a large pinch of salt

Ah, but you presumably haven't taken into account the improved hi-frequency fidelity amplification designed into the superior speaker case trim, and the significant improvement to the lower registers from the more expensive case finish. It can make all the difference between exceptional sound and merely very good.

NASA to celebrate 55th anniversary of first Moon landing by, er, deciding how to land humans on the Moon again

Martin
FAIL

Re: Saturn 5 / Apollo

And now, with 21st century technology, they might do it again in twenty years. But probably not.

You know, that's just embarrassing.

HP Ink should cough up $1.5m for bricking printers using unofficial cartridges – lawsuit

Martin

HP Instant Ink?

So perhaps this is why HP set up their Instant Ink system - you pay a tiny amount each month, and they automatically send you new ink cartridges when the printer tells them it's low.

I pay £2 a month - that's worth it just to ensure I don't have to ever think about ink cartridges again.

(And yes, I know that means I have an IoT printer....)

Also, HP printers are the only make who supply Linux software (which is actually NOT bloatware). So altogether, I am a happy HP customer.

Which does not mean I am defending what they did.

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