* Posts by Malcolm 1

293 posts • joined 25 Jun 2009

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Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists

Malcolm 1

Hmm

My experience as a cyclist/driver/pedestrian would suggest that an AV is more likely to safer in an urban environment than the average driver.

I'm quite interested to see how behaviour will evolve around automated vehicles - if you know that an AV will emergency stop if you step out in front of it will everyone just wander into the road whenever they feel like it?

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Your attention has value, personal cryptocurrency will advertise it

Malcolm 1

Re: Forgive me if I'm being slow

Thanks for the clarification - my morning brain managed to skip over the critical sentence.

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Malcolm 1

Forgive me if I'm being slow

But how does a website (such as El Reg) gain money from this exercise? Is there an implict stage here where a website charges the advertiser for ad space (using normal money) by which the advertiser can place their ads and pay the recipient in BAT? Or is there some arrangement where a website receives a proportion of the BAT paid to the end user which can then be exchanged for beer and pizza?

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Qualcomm is shipping next chip it'll perhaps get sued for: ARM server processor Centriq 2400

Malcolm 1

Benchmarks

I was reading this Cloudflare blog article yesterday, some interesting benchmarks: https://blog.cloudflare.com/arm-takes-wing/

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Hardware has never been better, but it isn't a licence for code bloat

Malcolm 1

Relevant Article

On a similar subject - this article is an interesting read on two developers more used to modern development practices porting a relatively simple game of solitaire to from Windows to MSDOS, particularly the perf issues and what was necessary to address them.

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Malcolm 1

Re: Android phones still hang

Of course we can. We (by which I mean the market) has decided that it's not as important as other concerns. Symbian required the developer to do more work to ensure memory and performance efficiency - the end result was a dearth of apps as the development experience was more difficult (and therefore more expensive) than alternative platforms.

Features are easier to sell than performance and efficiency sadly. You can see also see this approach in mobile hardware specs where unnecessarily large core counts are the flavour of the month when in fact you'd probably be better off spending that transistor budget on L2/L3 cache and higher clock speeds (like the iPhone in fact).

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Facebook and pals to US Senate's Russia probe: Pleeease don't pass a law on political web ads

Malcolm 1

Re: You are shitting me

Not only is he quoting George Galloway, but he's quoting George Galloway from an article on Russia Today.

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How to make your HTML apps suck less, actually make some money

Malcolm 1

Re: 'PWAs need to be fast, engaging, and work offline'

Yes, but presumably you already have Chrome (or Safari, or Edge) installed so you get to reuse that functionality and obviate the need to install a separate app without having to "install" anything.

Compare this approach to various cross platform apps such as Slack or Atom which include a complete (and possibly obsolete) copy of Chrome to use as an application run time.

I'm not saying this is more efficient than a bespoke native application (it's almost certainly not) but the developer overhead is much reduced and may permit apps on more platforms than might otherwise be possible. And the "cost of entry" is practically zero so you don't get bounced to an app store to install an app to get back to the content you were actually interested in (or giving up instead, which is perhaps more likely).

As a real-world example, mobile.twitter.com is a PWA that does practically everything the fat client app does in a fraction of the space. It doesn't necessarily scale to more complex apps (yet) but for a decent subset it's a nice solution.

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Malcolm 1

I will prefix this with the proviso that I have never written an iOS app but my understanding was that they still require bitmap assets in many different sizes for all the various iPhone/iPad screen sizes and resolutions. I think they used to also require 32 + 64bit universal binaries, but I thought that requirement had ceased with the recent iOS release.

Android has always used more resolution independent resources due to the vast potential differences, so not such a big deal there (although it paid for it in terms of UI responsiveness for many years).

If I'm completely wrong I'm sure someone will be along to correct me shortly - this is the internet after all...

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Google slides text message 2FA a little closer to the door

Malcolm 1

Re: embrace... extend... bloat?

I think I have this enabled on my phone (I certainly get that sort of 2FA prompt when logging into google services). But I don't have the google Authenticator app installed so I think it must be part of the "Google" app or similar.

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The case of the disappearing insect. Boffin tells Reg: We don't know why... but we must act

Malcolm 1

Re: Maybe if they collected less insects, there would be more around...

"Similarly, a lawn which has been left to develop "naturally" always has quite a few daisies and 20-30% clover which ranks towards the top of the bee, butterfly, etc "wishlist".

Thanks - I feel much better about my laissez-faire attitude to lawn maintenance! It certainly as a healthy diversity of clover and daisies...

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Support team discovers 'official' vendor paper doesn't rob you blind

Malcolm 1

Re: The story is ...

..or possibly that barcode scanning tech has improved in the last twenty years?

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SpaceX sneaks in X-37B space plane launch ahead of Hurricane Irma

Malcolm 1

Re: Getting bored now

It's the wide angle shots of the landing that get me - they look like something straight out of classic science fiction. Can't wait for the Falcon Heavy trial - synchronised landings! (or a large explosion - either way, quite exciting).

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Facebook ties JavaScript code together with Yarn

Malcolm 1

We recently migrated from npm to yarn - no regrets so far - much faster and more reliable than npm (on Windows at least).

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SpaceX nails two launches and barge landings in one weekend

Malcolm 1

Re: Even old curmudgeons are happy!

NASA's vote of confidence in SpaceX (and money) saved the company from bankruptcy in its early days. I get the impression they do as much as feasible within the strictures of a political governance.

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LastPass now supports 2FA auth, completely undermines 2FA auth

Malcolm 1

2FA migration

I can sort of see the appeal of this, given the proliferation of sites supporting 2FA. You can easily imagine a situation where most sites require 2FA and we've just moved the "too many passwords" problem somewhere else.

Having just recently bought a new phone, had it develop a fault, and send it back I've had to go through the pain of migrating about ten 2FA registrations three times and it is a complete pain, even when most sites use compatible mechanisms. Seems there's a good opportunity to make it easier to transfer these in a secure fashion without storing them in the cloud.

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The real battle of Android's future – who controls the updates

Malcolm 1

Windows on ARM

Microsoft actually did quite a lot of groundwork in this area a few years ago to support Windows RT across multiple SoC vendors. I managed to locate a Sinofsky-era essay on the subject - search for "Booting the core of Windows"

In essence it brings the x86 model to ARM - providing the necessary UEFI and ACPI interfaces that the OS can use to bootstrap itself. It would still need drivers of course.

It will be interesting to see how much of this survives in the upcoming Snapdragon 835 based Windows 10 devices.

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Amazon is to install its R&D brainboxes in Cambridge

Malcolm 1

Re: Ah

Impossible to park is practically a given anywhere in Cambridge, why do you think everyone cycles?

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Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

Malcolm 1

Re: chrome is google spyware, and I've seen a lot of crappy software that tries to install it

Given that both Chromium and Firefox are open source, why would malware authors choose Chromium so overwhelmingly that it could affect these results significantly?

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How Ford has slammed the door on Silicon Valley's autonomous vehicles drive

Malcolm 1

Re: I can imagine

Do you realise you can already do this? We've got Ford Sync 2 (I think) on our car which can control Spotify (or presumably any other media playback device) via bluetooth from the in car controls media. It's basic next/previous track stuff rather than searching for music of course.

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Windows 10 with Ubuntu now in public preview

Malcolm 1

Re: GPL?

Nope - the Windows Subsystem for Linux is entirely proprietary. Everything running in user space is unmodified from that which ships with Ubuntu.

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Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

Malcolm 1

Re: Boy....

Yes. If you're not building a Supercar it's probably best not to try to take the styling cues from one. "Noddy's first Ferrari" springs to mind somehow.

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India orders 770 million LED light bulbs, prices drop 83 per cent

Malcolm 1
Joke

Sounds like a bit of a "niche" market

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Something useful from Cupertino?! Apple sees the light – finally

Malcolm 1

Re: Obviously a definition of "new" that I was previously unaware of

Except Adaptive Brightness != Night Shift. If you'd said f.lux or Twilight you'd have been a bit nearer to the mark.

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Google Project Zero reverse-engineers Windows path hacks for better security

Malcolm 1

Re: Sniping apart..

I suspect most utilities will actually crash (although I've not tested this hypothesis). The other good ones are (non-ascii) unicode characters in paths or recursive junction points.

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Your xenophobia is killing us, Silicon Valley warns US Congress

Malcolm 1

This is just referring to travel visas (ie for holiday or business), not H1-B working visas.

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LG’s modular G5 stunner shuns the Lego aesthetic

Malcolm 1

Forward compatibility?

Although some of these add ons look vaguely promising, what's the chances of them continuing to be compatible with future handsets? It's going to be tough enough building up a market for 3rd party add ons for such a relatively niche player, even tougher if you have to redesign it again 12 months time for the G6,7,8 etc and convince people to buy it again when they inevitably upgrade.

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LastPass in 2FA lock down after 'fessing up to phishing attack

Malcolm 1

Re: F**k LogMeIn

The potential for this sort issue to occur has existed forever, certainly long before the LMI takeover. The LastPass UI has always been a bit of a shonky mishmash of browser prompts that would lend themselves to spoofing. But then again, what other facilities are there for a browser plugin to display UI? I've always felt that Chrome should do a much better job of distinguishing "trusted" extension UI from general internet content. The only visible difference is the URL which is hardly obvious as this attack demonstrates.

I see no relevance to LMI takeover, apart from your obvious axe grinding. FWIW I prefer the refreshed UI.

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Microsoft wants you, yes you, to write bits of Windows 10. For free

Malcolm 1

Re: The other way round

I look forward to reading your thoughtful critique of their architecture and coding standards...

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Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

Malcolm 1

Re: Does it still hate the user?

It did the last time I tried it (last year I think). There's clearly a lot of great functionality in there but I can never get past the awkward and ugly UI reminiscent of 90's Windows shareware written with Borland OWL. Shame. If I had the time it would be an interesting project to try to "fix" the UI.

I have exactly the same issue with Inkscape (although all vector editing tools, regardless of provenance, seem to be either far too simple or have weird UI conventions).

Blender always did have an esoteric UI model, but it at least appeared to be well thought out and consistent. I've witnessed people with a high degree of proficiency in Blender and it all seems to make a lot of sense once you get up the learning curve.

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Windows for Warships? Not on our new aircraft carriers, says MoD

Malcolm 1

Re: Ah joke wallpaper ...

What with Microsoft buying Sysinternals some years back it's available directly from Microsoft themselves: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897558.aspx

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Microsoft extends Internet Explorer 8 desktop lifeline to upgrade laggards

Malcolm 1

Is that even possible? It seems that someone might have got their version numbers muddled and it should have read Windows 7 with IE8. Which seems a more plausible combination for an upgrade-averse organisation.

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Predictable: How AV flaw hit Microsoft's Windows defences

Malcolm 1

AV has always been a potential risk

Outside the basic OS services, I would wager that there are very few other commonly installed applications with the system privileges enjoyed by a virus scanner - it has system hooks everywhere (almost by definition). It's also the first in the firing line for any code of dubious origin (also by definition).

Now you'd like to think that all AV products were crafted by the finest, most security aware development teams in the known universe, but the evidence often indicates otherwise. If I was a malware writer I think AV products would be very high up my hit list so this sort of attack seems entirely unsurprising.

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Dell: How to kill that web security hole we put in your laptops, PCs

Malcolm 1

Plug in alternative

I assume this is a rather cack handed solution to the problem that they can no longer rely on activeX or Java browser plugins to deliver auto detect the service tag. So some genius decided that a MitM attack would be a convenient cross-browser fix...

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£2.3m ZANO nano-drone crowdfunded project crashes and burns

Malcolm 1

Backing != Pre-ordering

While I can appreciate the disappointment, I'm continually surprised by the reaction of backers when a kickstarter project is unsuccessful. It is mentioned repeatedly when backing a project that backing is no guarantee of, well anything, really. If all goes well you might receive the promised product or service but it is an inherently risky proposition, especially with hardware where the complexities of product development and production seem to frequently trip up even the best intentioned projects.

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Skype founders planning non-drone robodelivery fleet. Repeat, not drones

Malcolm 1

Did they not see what happened to hitchBot?

And that wasn't even carrying valuable goods....

hitchBot decapitated

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I survived a head-on crash with driverless cars – and dummies

Malcolm 1

Also I think the other problem with handing over to human control is that the human in question may not have driven anything for weeks or months under normal circumstances. Despite driving regularly for nearly 20 years, I still notice a feeling of unfamiliarity back in the driving seat after I've taken a long holiday or been commuting on the bicycle for a few weeks. Muscle memory and driving instinct kicks in fairly rapidly, but it's not a great time to be dealing with challenging driving conditions.

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Google publishes crypto mandate for Android 6.0

Malcolm 1

How do I tell if my device supports hardware AES encryption?

I have a Sony Xperia Z3 compact, but I can't find anywhere if it has the requisite hardware AES support enabled - anyone got any ideas?

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Terror in the Chernobyl dead zone: Life - of a wild kind - burgeons

Malcolm 1

Radiation is safe for wildlife...

...or at least less damaging than humans.

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Win10 Insider build 10532: Avoid if you run Chrome 64-bit

Malcolm 1

Chrome 64bit

The Chrome issue seems to be fixed in the Chrome Beta channel as of yesterday, so if you don't want to stray too far from the stable build that's now an option. To be fair to Microsoft in this particular instance the issue is very much with Chrome relying on the instruction layout of a particular part of the kernel never changing which is somewhat dubious from a coding perspective (although potentially justifiable from a security standpoint).

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Citrix warns that Windows 10's Edge browser borks Receiver

Malcolm 1

It should probably be noted...

...that the receiver software itself works fine. So you could just run that directly and add your Citrix account manually (the first time). After that, just launch the receiver or an appropriate shortcut, no need to involve a browser at all is there?

(I should probably mention that my experience with Citrix is as a user, rather than an admin, so I guess there could be some circumstances where this isn't appropriate, but it works fine for me).

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Windows 10: A SYSADMIN speaks his brains – and says MEH

Malcolm 1

Re: Rebooting after updates

Interesting theory, but probably wrong. Windows can quite happily achieve what you describe by renaming the original file but retaining the handle. The most plausible reason is that you might have API versioning problems between different applications (or even the same application which late links to dlls as required, although should be mitigated by the SxS cache these days): See this article by Raymond Chen: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2008.11.windowsconfidential.aspx

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Acer Revo One RL85: A pint-sized PC for the snug

Malcolm 1

Why do we still have overscan? It sort of made sense in the analogue era but with a digital source and display I can't see the need for it at all - doesn't it just make everything a bit fuzzy?

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Adobe: We REALLY are taking Flash security seriously – honest

Malcolm 1

Re: Does Adobe sit on its hands and wait for people to report vulnerabilities before it fixes them?

Do you reckon they've even stumped up for any static analysis tools yet?

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Malcolm 1

IE11 has flash built in (or at least the "metro" version does, can't remember about the desktop version off the top of my head). So your machine isn't quite as clean as you might imagine.

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Neil Young yanks music from streaming services: 'Worst audio in history'

Malcolm 1

Re: Bizarre And Inexplicable Opinion.

With a decent set of headphones I can easily distinguish between 320kbs MP3 and 16bit FLAC (ie CD quality). But under most listening circumstances I agree with you. Certainly anything beyond 16bit FLAC is completely pointless in my opinion. I still have a Spotify account though, mainly for discovery of new tunes.

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

Malcolm 1

Re: I remember times when we were waiting for a new Windows version

The current Windows 10 build is much improved from a week or so back. The main problem I have now is that the power features (sleep mainly) seem to be very flaky. I have had a couple of BSODs for the first time in years though!

I tried Office 2016 yesterday - couldn't even get it to launch reliably - Access Violation on startup for all apps. Reverted to Office 2013 quite rapidly.

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HTC reflects on Champions League iPhone cock-up

Malcolm 1

Re: Happens all the time

Do Samsung actually make anything comparable to a Panasonic Toughbook?

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RAF Eurofighter gets a Battle of Britain makeover

Malcolm 1

Re: Secret Technology

It's required to prevent the aeroplane floating off into space, obviously.

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