* Posts by GBE

357 posts • joined 22 Sep 2010

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Talk down to Siri like she's a mere servant – your safety demands it

GBE

For those of us who never had servants...

... adopt a different vocal register when talking to voice assistants, something analogous to the register one might have used 100 years ago when communicating with staff "below stairs".

I found that bit very interesting, but was hoping there might be links to further information for the benefit of those of us who grew up in the wrong century, in the wrong class, and on the wrong continent.

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Lenovo's craptastic fingerprint scanner has a hardcoded password

GBE

Somebody should have T-shirts made

This is still Apple's fault.

Somebody should sell T-shirts that say that. There should probably be "Microsoft" and "Intel" versions also.

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GBE

Thinkpads are great!

I've said it before.

Thinkpads are great...

... but you've got to wipe the disk and install a decent OS on them.

I recommend some flavor of Linux or BSD.

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Stop us if you've heard this one before: Tokyo crypto-cash exchange 'hacked' for half a billion bucks

GBE

What unpleasant memories?

The security blunder will for many cryptocurrency speculators bring back unpleasant memories of the 2014 MtGox collapse.

What unpleasant memories?

I found the whole thing very interesting and somewhat amusing. Though it is somewhat disappointing that we never got to read the final couple chapters in the mystery...

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You had one job, Outlook! Security bug fix stops mail app from forwarding attachments

GBE

I've always looked at it as playing Russian roulette with a semi-automatic -- with a round already in the chamber.

And Microsoft made sure it's not a single-action...

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Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

GBE

I give up...

Crap like car-door kettles, Pifco buttoneers, and such like.

What's a "car-door kettle"?

10
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Game of Thrones author's space horror Nightflyers hitting telly

GBE

Re: Dark Matter cancelled

I only found out about Wonderfalls (Pushing Daisies with fewer zombies and more weird) because I searched for things that got cancelled early.

Wonderfalls is one of my all-time favorites!

I happened to stumble across one of the episodes when it was being broadcast, and made a point to be home the next week. I think was cancelled a weeks later -- so I bought the DVD set.

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If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

GBE

Re: But how do they spread fires?

But how do they spread fires?

With frikkin' laser beams attached to their heads, obviously.

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US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

GBE

Would be ok with search and copy if ...

but you know it's destined for an improperly configured AWS server.

AFAICT, that's eventually true for every bit of data outside of Microsoft and Google (and decent percentage of data inside too).

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

GBE

I finally switch from AMD to Intel, and this is what happens.

It's my fault. For decades I bought AMD processors instead of Intel. The last time around, I finally broke down and bought Intel...

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New battery boffinry could 'triple range' of electric vehicles

GBE

Re: How many battery "breakthroughs" is that this year?

And yet batteries continue to get better in real-world devices. How does that work?

Mostly it seems to be through continuous, incremental improvements rather than "breakthroughs" involving carbon nano-tubes or in-vivo-formed-membranes that provide a 2X-3X jumps in capacity.

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GBE

How many battery "breakthroughs" is that this year?

It seems like every week or two for the past 5-10 years somebody announces some discovery/invention that "could" double/triple/quadruple battery capacity while simultaneously making them safer, smaller, cheaper, lighter, and fresher smelling.

Somehow "could" never turns into "does"...

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Scotland, now is your time… to launch Brexit Britain into SPAAAACE!

GBE

They're going to move it.

Isn't Scotland (at least currently...) a little too far from the Equator [...]?

Yes, but they're going to move it as part of the solar-power and tourist industry revitalization effort.

Kilt's make a bit more sense in warmer climes as well.

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Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

GBE

Re: Tesla semi?

...and we could run them on special tracks so they could be much longer with a whole series of trailers.

And you could probably reduce rolling resistance by matching the materials of the tracks and wheels!

Steel comes to mind...

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The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?

GBE

But is a 'shitload' enough?

Firefox is so slow and bloated on all my machines, that "30% faster" is still an order of magnitude slower than Chromium. Firefox sits for minutes at a time burning through gigabytes of RAM and 100% CPU while Chrome renders the same page in a fraction of a second. Even a 'shitload' faster may not be enough...

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Donald Trump's tweets: Are they presidential statements or not?

GBE

Strange indeed

the strange blurry world of President Donald Trump

Well put, sir!

12
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Apple succeeds in failing wearables

GBE

How do you know it's accurate?

It very accurately monitors my calorie burn throughout the day

Can you outline the procedure you used to verify that? I presume you monitored O2 uptake throughout the day? Calculating calories burned from heart rate is famously bogus.

It would be pretty impressive if Apple watches did accurately monitor calories burned, since they don't have the sensors required to do that.

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ARM emulator in a VM? Yup, done. Ready to roll, no config required

GBE

What's Ubuntu-specific about it?

Azeria’s ARM Lab Environment, here, is a VM that offers a QEMU ARMv6 image on Ubuntu.

I don't get the "on Ubuntu" part of it.

Is the ARM VM image running an ARM port of Ubuntu?

Has Ubuntu done something stupid to it's build of QEMU so that images for it are Ubuntu-specific and won't run on QEMU hosted on Gentoo or CentOS or whatever?

3
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History shows why geeks will never, ever, ever... get along

GBE

Re: It's just another religion.

> You're wrong.

That isn't an argument, it's just contradiction!

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Inmarsat aircraft Wi-Fi lift off set to fill coffers

GBE

Re: Satellite in-flight Wi-Fi ..

>> How does it work?

> Yes, it does.

Huh?

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You know what's coming next: FBI is upset it can't get into Texas church gunman's smartphone

GBE

Something must be done

Something must be done, and getting a law passed that the FBI can unlock iPhones is the least we can do.

I don't see why you got down-voted for this, since that's _exactly_ the sort of thing that happens in these cases. Any restrictions on military-grade firearms (the one thing that _would_ help) is right out, so the FBI might as well pick some totally unrelated goal they want to achieve and try to get some mileage towards that.

Somewhere, somebody is probably trying to use this mass shooting to justify passing a law to persecute LGBT people, immigrants, scientists, etc.

2
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Tesla buys robot maker. Hang on, isn't that your sci-fi bogeyman, Elon?

GBE

Robot != AI

The author seems to be mistakenly conflating "AI" and "robot". While there are some applications where the two overlap, the industrial robots used on production lines often involve little or no AI -- and many big AI projects don't involve robotics at all.

One hopes this was an honest mistake and not one made intentionally to produce some synthetic drama for the story...

2
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Look, ma! No hands! Waymo to test true self-driving cars in US with Uber-style hailing app

GBE

What's the point of "truley human-free" cars?

Right now, it appears they have someone inside during trips – either a passenger, a Waymo engineer, or both – but it's hoped they can be truly human-free in the near future.

The purpose of cars is to haul humans around. What's the point of hoping cars will soon be "truly human-free" (IOW sans passengers)?

6
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ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

GBE

Bus drivers give change?

Here in the US, if you get on a bus with only a $20 bill, you either turn around and get off the bus or you get a $20 bus ride. [Unless one of the other passengers is kind enough to give you change.]

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Pixel-style display woes on your shiny new X? Perfectly normal, says Apple

GBE

Re: Ahem

"Though you would need to be an ape to turn over a 2l diesel"

Sorry to break it to you, but you _are_ an ape -- you're just a particularly weak one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ape

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Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

GBE

Re: Ahem

> I really hate this "fake news" moniker. It was previously good enough to use the traditional terms "hoax", "inaccurate", "false" etc.

The problem with terms like "hoax", "inaccurate", and "false" is that they're used to describe things that aren't true or didn't really happen.

OTOH, the phrase "fake news" is generally used to describe things that _did_ happen and statements that _are_ true.

HTH

15
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A draft US law to secure election computers that isn't braindead. Well, I'm stunned! I gotta lie down

GBE

Re: So, problem solved, then

"Yeah, but if we did that, nobody would ever win again."

Sure looks nobody (in the US) is winning now...

0
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Fine, OK, no backdoors, says Deputy AG. Just keep PLAINTEXT copies of everyone's messages

GBE

Re: Ahem

"Rosenstein seems ambivalent (or clueless) about encryption"

My theory is that the level of cluelessness is pretty much proportional to the frequency of use of the prefix "cyber". The more often somebody says "cyber-<something>", the less credible they are.

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Your data will get hacked anyway so you might as well give up protecting it

GBE

Re: Dead people don't have money (problems)

> everything would eventually be owned by dead people that pay no tax.

If dead people are ever allowed to "own" anything, you can be damn sure they'll also be paying taxes.

Governments aren't _that_ stupid.

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Taste the Redmond: Dell strengthens its Azure Stackery

GBE

On premises cloud?

Really?

We're going to talk about on-premises cloud with a straight face?

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Resellers on Surface: Yeah, go ahead and kill it. What do we care...

GBE

Re: In another thread...

> Wacom MobileStudio Pro.

I don't see anywhere on that page where it says what OS it runs. Seems like a rather major detail to omit.

0
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Google isn't saying Microsoft security sucks but Chrome for Windows has its own antivirus

GBE

Why would Chrome have the privileges required?

Why would Chrome have the privileges required to remove software?

Doesn't that require "root" (or whatever it's called on Windows)?

Do people run Chrome with root privileges?

Or by "software" do they mean just user-installed Chrome plugins?

[Seriously, I don't use Windows and am really asking this.]

12
7

Android ransomware DoubleLocker encrypts data and changes PINs

GBE

Re: RE: Kain

"I'm ashamed to admit that I know two such people, with the one believing the toilet won't flush during a

power cut..."

Whether or not your toilet continues to flush during a power cut depends on what you use for a water source. I've lived places where it would flush a few times during a power cut, but eventually it wouldn't.

5
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Western Dig's MAMR is so phat, it'll store 100TB on a hard drive by 2032

GBE

Magnetic monopoles!

According to the OT:

"A disk drive's write head magnetises an area of grains (a bit) with either a north pole or a south pole using an electrical field."

Holy cow, they're creating magnetic monopoles!

How have I missed this news?

I assume it'll be champagne and Nobel prizes all-round at the next Western Digital company picnic.

3
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Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11's war on 32-bit

GBE

Whenever you depend on an app...

You're just asking for trouble any time you buy hardware that depends on some proprietary app to function. You really should plan on the HW turning into a boat anchor in 2-3 years max. If that's cool, then go ahead and buy it. If not, look for something else.

27
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Firemen fund sues Uber for dousing shares with gas, tossing in a match

GBE

The plaintiffs admit they believed that crap?

Seriously?

Uber's been spewing obvious lies for years, they're world-famous for flaunting laws and regulations in multiple countries and municipalities, and their business model just doesn't make sense in the long run anyway: they lose money on every fare, and there doesn't seem to be any reason to expect that to change. I have little sympathy for anybody who tried to ride that bubble and then pretends to be surprised that they ended up sitting on the ground with nothing but a wet bum.

Uber is like the underpants gnomes. Except meaner. To _everybody_.

27
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Homeland Security drops the hammer on Kaspersky Lab with preemptive ban

GBE

If they do review the source code?

Even if DHS (or whoever) reviews the source code, that's no guarantee that what's installed was built from that source code. In order for the source code review to be meaningful, DHS would have to build the executables and installers from that source code and create an internal distribution. They would also have to review and host all virus pattern definition files (or whatever) that are pushed to the PCs periodically.

A project like that undertaken by the gubmint would take many years and cost thousands of lives....

15
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Hate it when your apartment block is locked to Comcast etc? Small ISPs fight back

GBE

Re: Only the best will do

"Isn't it cheaper to do the last mile wireless..."

Been there, done that, it sucked. For several years I used municipal "broadband" where the "last mile" was wireless. It was actually more like the "last couple hundred yards" and it was still awful. In the daytime, throughput maxed out at around 2Mbps. In the evening it dropped so close to zero as to be useless.

I switched to Comcast. The price was 3X, but at least I get consistent, reliable 20Mbps.

---- You know you suck when your ex-customers are happy with Comcast ----

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User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

GBE

Ah, so _that's_ what a courgette is

> Chat to someone in an A&E department and you'll be amazed at the number of "naked vacuuming" and "I slipped coming out of the shower and somehow this courgette ended up in my..." type of injuries!

At first glance, I read that as "corgette" and was afraid it was some sort of miniature corgi.

In the US, I think it would be called a zucchini, which is an even funnier word.

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Dude who claimed he invented email is told by judge: It's safe to say you didn't invent email

GBE

Re: Only the best will do

"I don't think that Gore ever claimed to have invented the Internet,"

You're right, he never claimed that. He said something about how he was proud to have been instrumental in passing the bill that provided funding that helped "create" the internet. He was referring to the 1991 High-Performance Computing and Communications Act (generally known as the Gore bill according to sources such as the Washington Post). Everybody who wasn't trying deliberately to misread the quote in order to rev up know-nothing Fox News viewers knew that's what he was talking about.

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FCC taps the brakes on fudging US broadband speed amid senator fury

GBE

Municipal Fiber!

I sure wish Minneapolis would hurry up and get to my neighborhood with municipal fiber. I don't even care if it's a bit more expensive that what Comcast is charging. We've got municipal wifi in my neighborhood, but it slows so much in the evenings it's useless (and it only peaks out at about 2Mbps off-peak).

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Remember when Lenovo sold PCs with Superfish adware? It just got a mild scolding from FTC

GBE

Re: I would have thought ...

"That's no answer..."

I wasn't attempting to "answer" something.

I was just commenting that I like the hardware but not the software that Lenovo ships, and that I buy it only for the hardware: the build quality is good, and it tends to be well supported by Linux drivers. I've also found the documentation to be well done, and parts/accessory availability is good.

If you care about (and don't like) the software that's being shipped on Lenovo products, then you should definitely not buy Lenovo products. Of course, if enough people stop buying Lenovo products because of the skeevy software, then Lenovo will stop selling those products, and then I'm out of luck when shopping for "just hardware".

11
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GBE

I like Lenovo hardware

I like Lenovo hardware, and will probably be replacing my somewhat old T500 with another Lenovo soon. However, they've always shipped with spyware, still do, and probably always will. The fact that it's brand X spyware or brand Y spyware or brand MSFT spyware is a minor detail that's irrelevant to me... I just wipe the disk and install Linux the way I have on every computer I've bought since 1992. [Like you didn't see that coming...]

15
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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

GBE

But there wasn't a blizzard every day?

"Back in my day, we had to walk to school barefoot in a blizzard uphill both ways..."

But dad, surely there wasn't a blizzard every day?

"Well, son, if there was no blizzard we didn't get the day off to go to school and had to stay and and work the farm."

5
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ARM’s embedded TLS library fixes man-in-the-middle fiddle

GBE

Re: Fix works for servers

> Not for peer to peer which is the other IoT implementation.

Remember: in "IoT" the 'S' stands for security!

0
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Microsoft's fix for web graphics going AWOL? Disable your antivirus

GBE

Re: Who'd be a web designer?

"Nope, web pages should be plain text with simple hypertext links, nobody is interested in a nice looking site."

I think it's time we admitted that the 'web was a mistake. Let's just give up and switch back to gopher.

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US Navy develops underwater wireless battery-charging tech

GBE

Re: I would have thought ...

"a plug and socket arrangement that could withstand immersion in salt water"

That's far more difficult than you think it is. Seawater is really hard on many materials and is fairly conductive. It's hard enough designing a high-power plug and socket arrangement that works reliably and robustly in when there's a trained person there to carefully plug and unplug it in air. An autonomously operated plug/socket submersed in seawater is a nightmare.

Some sort of near-field inductive charging system sounds way easier to me...

2
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Foxit PDF Reader is well and truly foxed up, but vendor won't patch

GBE

Re: Foxit on the run

I gave up on evince a year or two back because of various UI issues and the whole screw-you-if-you're-not-running-Gnome attitude. I've been using atril as my default PDF viewer ever since and the only think it's missing is the 'print current view' feature that acroread had. Fortunately, I found PDFStudio and can use that when I need to print a portion of a page.

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Apeiron brings the high-Optane thrills with mix-and-match flash array

GBE

Ape Iron

That still makes me laugh...

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Trump's CNN tantrum could delay $85bn AT&T-Time Warner merger

GBE

Re: A few years from now ....

Not an entirely subtle threat, really, and not making a lot of attempt to judge the merger only on its merits :(

No surprise there. Subtlety and merits aren't something the current White House is concerned with or capable of: possession of either apparently disqualifies you from serving in the Trump administration.

Not that anybody possessing either would _want_ to serve in the Trump administration.

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