* Posts by foxyshadis

441 posts • joined 17 Oct 2006


Microsoft's Windows 10 Workstation adds killer feature: No Candy Crush


Re: Consumer refers to who's paying

"That's only true if you had a Windows 7/8 version to upgrade from, and you upgraded in the allotted time. Otherwise, you pay for it upfront, then pay for it again through telemetry."

Just yesterday I was still able to upgrade and activate a few systems to Windows 10 that had never been reserved (domain policy preventing any hint of upgrade), by starting a fresh install and plugging in the product key. Did a couple OEM and one retail, same result. Even if you'd rather upgrade than start fresh, you can still find multiple ways (the "accessibility technologies" link is the most popular).

It's patently obvious that Microsoft actually wants everyone on 10, come hell or high water, and all those deadlines are just there to get some holdouts nervous enough to do it.

You publish 20,000 clean patches, but one goes wrong and you're a PC-crippler forever


Yeah, I got an emergency panicked call and had to uninstall MalwareBytes from someone on Saturday morning. Apparently by the time I was done, the update was pushed, but there was no way to actually update, because it was chewing up over 12 GB on a 4 GB laptop, continuously allocating more, and it took ten minutes to be able to kill the damn process via task manager, after first wasting time trying to stop the service cleanly. It's going to be a bit before I trust MalwareBytes again, I'm not going to reinstall it just because they say the one-off goof is fixed.

If you've ever wondered whether the FCC boss is a Big Cable stooge – well, wonder no more


Re: Pardon?

Might just backfire, if the earnestness to please his corporate masters brings more damnation and regulation on them than if he'd just left well enough alone. Even if he was just doing exactly what they told him, they can still leave him to twist in the wind like a good scapegoat.

I doubt he even got more than vague verbal promises of future employment from anyone. He doesn't seem like the sharpest tool in the shed.

Audio tweaked just 0.1% to fool speech recognition engines


El Reg is showing a pattern here

While this is a major step up from the last two "machine learning fail" studies The Register has breathlessly reported on -- at least this time it's not just testing some crap created from scratch by the researchers themselves -- they chose DeepSpeech, of all the speech-to-text algorithms, widely considered so bad that this might be the first study to actually bother testing it. It's no surprise that it fails so badly. Even if they have to confine themselves to open source (which makes no sense in this case, since they neither analyze the algorithms nor modify the code), CMU Sphinx and Kaldi are the gold standards.

No one cares how DeepSpeech fails, it's widely regarded as a failure. Waste of time testing that. Wait until it has another year or two to mature before it's worth testing.

Two-day Bitbucket borkage has devs tearing their hair out


Re: Who is the Vendor?

You've never heard of Dell EMC, NetApp, Nexenta, IBM, HPE, Pure Storage, etc? Even when you own and operate all of your own gear, you still have a vendor that you occasionally make a panicked call to.

It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs


Re: Redmond office hours only

They don't; this is people pre-patching either out of an abundance of caution, or to be guinea pigs. (The life of a sysadmin.) If this patch goes live on Tuesday, though, Microsoft is in for a whole world of hurt at this rate.


The problems are happening on Athlon 64s -- those CPUs that forced Intel to abandon Itanic in the 2000s -- not the ancient 32-bit ones that you could overclock with a pencil.

Seagate's lightbulb moment: Make read-write heads operate independently


Re: Silly suggestion

Two volumes is what I mean by two (logical) drives, it's exactly the same scenario: It pushes the logic all the way up to the application or OS, which still won't be any good at handling it without specialized knowledge of the drive it's interacting with -- when was the last time you saw an OS or application that was any good at scattering files across multiple volumes evenly? Most of them will just store all the most-accessed stuff on one and hardly anything on the other, reducing access times instead of raising them.

Whereas they could just stripe every couple of megabytes and create a reasonable default, and if they really wanted to go hog-wild, keep statistics to try to even out access patterns over time by moving files around disks.


Silly suggestion

Why on earth would you need to expose it as two drives? SATA/SAS already queue up tons of requests and the drive is already allowed to service them in non-linear order, as long as it's within the timeout. That's one of the pivotal parts of AHCI that makes it a huge improvement over ATA (Legacy) mode. If you have a parallel workload that wouldn't benefit from the improved random workload, then you can gain no benefit out of the dual heads at all anyway.

Displaying it as two hardware drives just sounds like a good way to confuse the hell out of most operating systems. Just internally split it into zones of some megabytes each, that'll nicely split up data. I suppose include an initialization command so that the OS can see both if it REALLY wants to micromanage it.

Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy – you forgot about Europe's GDPR already



I've had one wag tell me it stood for German Democratic People's Republic, a la the DPRK. Sadly, he couldn't find a way to shoehorn Socialist in there, but I'm sure it wasn't for lack of trying.

Merry Xmas, fellow code nerds: Avast open-sources decompiler


If you're at the point where you need a decompiler, it's because you have no access to the source and you never will, so all talk about how much better having the original source would be are absolutely meaningless.

Bitcoin price soars amid technical troubles for exchanges


Re: Not surprising

Someone traded 14,400 bitcoin for... something. No one knows why, for what, for how much, or with whom. There's no way to know what they got in return, but the transactions were immediately "mixed" (laundered) so that might explain a few things. Someone was willing to pay the ludicrously high BTC transaction fees thousands of times to make that money untraceable.

Oregon will let engineer refer to himself as an 'engineer'


Re: Oregon is a nanny state

"What about after hours service?"

Starting around 2010 most stations I visited after midnight just straight up turned their pumps off. They'd accept credit cards, but pump a grand total of five cents of fuel before cutting off. In one town I coasted into on fumes (Gilroy, California), EVERY station in town did that in 2012, and I had to pray I'd make it to the nearest truck stop. Maybe it's a fraud-prevention thing? I don't know.

So apparently it's not human attendants making service suck, it's the owners.

NiceHash diced up by hackers, thousands of Bitcoin pilfered


Re: Entire contents of bitcoin wallet pilfered?

Everything in it gets transferred to some other anonymous wallet. There is no undo button.

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


If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em.

SSL spy boxes on your network getting you down? But wait, here's an IETF draft to fix that


The history of networking in a nutshell:

"it's worth noting that security considerations to this approach have yet to be considered: the relevant section is listed as simply "To do.""

Parity calamity! Wallet code bug destroys $280m in Ethereum


Re: One coin worth $293

The devops guy didn't steal them. He accidentally nuked the code to decrypt them, which apparently can't be restored, so now they're just random bits in the wind.

It's as if some web server had exposed an initWallet() function that destroyed and recreated one, and an initWallets() that destroyed and recreated all of them. And they were both 100% public. The facepalm is strong with this company; the fact that he was involved with Etherium's founding is a strong knock against Etherium itself at this point.

Can you get from 'dog' to 'car' with one pixel? Japanese AI boffins can


So they created a badly-trained machine learning algorithm, limited it to 32x32, and then created an easy attack against it? This is the kind of spam publishing that floods the lower-tier journals. I'm not even remotely interested until it's at least tested against one of the dozens of existing commercial machine learning algorithms.

It might have been relevant in the 90's, when algorithms actually did downsample to such an extreme just to work at all in the processing power available, but this has literally zero implication on anything today, it's pure wankery by academics way out of touch with the state of the industry.

Dell forgot to renew PC data recovery domain, so a squatter bought it


Re: They do have a clue

If IT says "no" to supporting a piece of software that the business bundles, you have much bigger problems. I can't believe Michael Dell wouldn't just summarily fire anyone who would flat out refuse to support a legit business need.

Some manager in the chain probably got a bonus from giving the support contract to a third-party and saving Dell from having to hire or buy anything, though.

NetBSD, OpenBSD improve kernel security, randomly


It's pretty trivial to live relocate as long as certain conditions are accounted for, as hinted in the article: Turn entry points into mere trampolines to the real code. When you're ready to cycle the code location, copy the code to the new location, rewrite the trampoline, and tear down the old code when you're sure no one is executing it anymore. Code's changed and no caller knows the difference, just like a stable API/ABI.

Dev writes Ethereum code for insecure SHA-1 crypto hash function


Why does it even matter?

Only these nutty Etherium wonks would raise hell over the fact that someone put another tool in the toolbox, even if it's only rarely going to be used. There are lots of uses of SHA-1 (and MD5, and CRC32) that aren't even related to security at all, so the push to phase it out in favor of something stronger is a lot less compelling. Do they cry that every other major programming language's standard library also has an implementation?

Microsoft concedes to Mozilla: Redmond will point web API docs at Moz Dev Network


Re: Without examples, good English doesn't tell you much

MDN's big strength compared to crap like W3S is that it includes a number of in-depth examples, documentation on inheritance order and how modifiers affect it, and other information that can help both novices and pros track down problems and solve tricky things more efficiently. It's not just the fact that they write English clearly, they also write code clearly. (And yes, they do integrate good stuff from Stack Exchange.)

Unlike MSDN, they aren't written primarily by first-year junior interns and only reviewed by senior developers when they want to, and unlike W3S, they don't just give a barely surface-level overview of with a trivial 3-line example of usage.

FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'


Re: Is anything ever obsolete?

> The issue is not the age of the existing digital standard, it's the time taken since the last time that people were forced to upgrade their sets or settop boxes on pain of them no longer working.

Like I said, what's the point? By the time the standard is hashed out, ratified, implemented, and finally cut over, you're looking at a minimum of another decade, maybe even two. But thanks for ignoring that.


Re: Is anything ever obsolete?

That's mainly because the standard was way ahead of video technology of the day; it wasn't until the late 80's that televisions could even show off the full fidelity of the standards. Admittedly, for its time, both NTSC and PAL were good technology that used an enormous amount of bandwidth to make up for their simplicity. Raw NTSC is about 50-100MB/s, depending on how accurate you want color to be, meaning that you could store a whole 1.5-3 minutes of raw video on a DVD-9. It took a LONG time to outgrow that, but once HD showed up, that was that.

On the other hand, there's now lots of investment in continually improving the state of the art, and where ATSC could meet the needs of HD easily, it's again not going to work for 4K or HDR/deep color. This changeover is as much consumer-driven as industry-driven.

It's not like ATSC 1 barely came into being and now it's time to toss it, it's over 20 years old as well (though the H.264 extension is only 10 years old). By the time the new standard is ratified and anyone starts broadcasting with it, we're probably looking at another decade at least. There's only so much future-proofing you can put into digital technology with fancy algorithms, since it still has to be cheap enough to purchase early on.

Magic hash maths: Dedupe does not have to mean high compute. Wait, what?


Their trade secret route to reducing short-lived file overhead

Making every hash default to all zero, and actually hashing dirty blocks for real during periods of lower disk contention or after a set time expires? Seems straightforward enough. (Obviously also communicating with the OS, though interesting possibilities if you could get the OS to send a Trim when a file is deleted.) That would suck for blocks that randomly do hash out to zero, but they just get put in the "sorry, you don't get dedup" bucket. Even a 32-bit key pretty much obviates any need to care about that, losing one billionth of a percent of theoretical efficiency overall.

ZFS was an amazing feat of engineering, but "overengineered" doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. All of its competitors have struggled to achieve 90% of its efficiency while reducing the huge disk and memory footprint it requires, and it looks like X-IO might have really cracked open the nut.

Sadly, this just means NetApp, EMC, or Oracle is going to buy them out and silo their tech forever.

Dumb bug of the week: Outlook staples your encrypted emails to, er, plaintext copies when sending messages


Re: I've recently seen a current version of Outlook...

Microsoft went all-in with better quicksearch over threading, topics, manual organization and tags, etc, after Google completely blew away the idea of manually organizing mail for most of the population. It turns out that only about 1% actually care that much, the rest just want some way to access it. Granted Office 2007 sucked balls in almost every way, but most of the Outlooks since 2010 have been relatively solid if you don't need it to act like a 90's Usenet reader.

It is obvious that investment has stalled for a long time, though; the answer to most Outlook feature requests has been "Use Sharepoint!" for a decade now. Great, now I have two problems.



Microsoft claimed the exploitation of this bug was "unlikely" in the wild.

Mostly because S/MIME is an essentially dead protocol, that only a handful of people have ever bothered with....

Violent moon mishap will tear Uranus a new ring or two


Re: Well, i hope it happens ...

Did the geologist also talk about Atlantis? Because that scenario sounds about as likely to happen as Godzilla climbing out of the waters to destroy the island. In case you hadn't noticed, the other Hawaiian islands that were formed by the same moving fissure are all still there, slowly eroding away. Please look up the "Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain" for a more realistic idea of what happens to the island chain as the fissure moves.

Well, debugger me. Microsoft's BSOD fixer is getting a makeover


If windbg wasn't supposed to be used by beginners, then !analyze -v wouldn't exist. Think about that for a second, your argument is essentially that all conveniences should be stripped away and everyone, pros and neophytes alike, should be made to suffer more, because suffering through it is what makes you a pro.

Far better to get beginners used to working with windbg and ease them into the more complex parts of debugging so that some of them can become pros. Anyone who would use windbg in the first place is already someone who wants to be a pro anyway, it's not exactly a mass-market application.


Re: Know your market

So what, just turn the ribbon off if you hate it. Meh, I'm actually willing to see what it looks like in action instead of condemning the mere idea of change, otherwise I'd be using cdb instead of windbg.

Google routing blunder sent Japan's Internet dark on Friday



You managed to completely miss the point with both replies. No one was asking for some kind of historical perspective on the protocol, no one cares, it sounds like you're trying to excuse away problems by claiming that there's nothing we can do because it was designed years ago.

The whole point of the posts you're replying to is asking WHEN are they going to be fixed, so that a rogue actor can't maliciously bring down the internet easily, even if for a short time. (And ranting that no one seems to care enough about a gaping hole to do anything.)

Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'


Not just the late 90's; I did that in 2013 or so with relatively recent HP gear. Brought a desktop into the datacenter to act as a network capture device, plugged it in, and POW. No auto input switching. Fortunately, it wasn't hard to scrounge a power supply, but you certainly learn your lesson after that.


This has long since evolved

Now, if you don't have screenshots or better yet video recording, with some kind of cryptographic watermark from the system, they'll just accuse you of faking it all, because saving their own pride is far more important than your job or reputation.

Confessions of an ebook eater


Re: The best way to acquire a programming skill

I mean that works if you have lucid API documentation. If it doesn't, you're basically spending weeks spelunking the source code and/or throwing calls against the way to see what works. And hopefully writing the API docs yourself, since no one else bothered to.

The future of Python: Concurrency devoured, Node.js next on menu


Re: Async not always easy

Aside from shelling out, Python also has fully-working dll/so support, with the ctypes library or one of its pretty wrappers, saving even more overhead versus spinning up an executable and parsing its stdout. Practically all of the important libraries have cpu-intensive operations in compiled .pyd (which is just a dll/so), and quite a few wrappers exist to call out to standard libs.


Re: Python 3 split over?

Programmers who consider Unicode an "unnecessary incompatibility" are the reason why so much software is fundamentally broken anytime it encounters anything that isn't Latin-1. I don't know about you, because you probably never had to touch foreign words or names at all, but Code Pages were a damned nightmare to anyone who actually wanted to do things right.

It really isn't that difficult to figure out bytes vs strings. You guys have had 10 years to wrap your heads around it, and all you have to do is do the right thing. It's not like Python 2.7 is going anywhere, literally all you have to do is convert your shell files from calling python to python2 to make them work, but you're too incompetent to even do that!

This is literally no different from the worthless sysadmins that still complain about Perl 6 and Linux 3, because it violates their comfortable safe space, and they just want to get paid to never have to learn anything ever again.


Re: I'll wait...

Good luck with that; PHP seems to be the only language interested in major versions anymore, and its major versions would be minor versions to any other language. Python is probably going to be asymptotically on 3 forever.

Vaping ads flout EU rules, even if to promote healthier lifestyles


Re: opponents are using guerrilla tactics

I'm not surprised at all that the recipients of billions of pounds a year in taxes to distribute as they see fit are fighting tooth and nail to keep the taxes coming in.

Big question of the day: Is it time to lock down .localhost?


Might as well just do it

gTLDs broke a LOT more internet hardware and software that for some reason included a hardcoded list that it wouldn't deviate from. Heck, some were so bad that they didn't even allow ccTLDs. There are some times when breaking bad assumptions is the only way to go, and given the non-impact on the vast majority of OSes, hardware, and software, might as well just make it happen.

She's back! Jessica Rosenworcel returns to FCC as America's net neutrality row heats up


Re: Who's to say we will have to wait until 2020?

That's all anyone needs, a continuation of using the FCC as a proxy war for Congressional power. The only losers in this war is everyone.

Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC


Re: What is this ?

All of which go out of date about 5 minutes after you walk away from the machine. Or so long and bitter experience tell me..

Learning to let go lessened my stress significantly. Once managed switches became a thing, it was much simpler to just track the MAC through a breadcrumb trail of ARP & mac-address tables until I found the final port, then it usually wasn't much effort to find the PC. (The massive sales office switch being the only exception.)

Finding wireless devices, on the other hand, that's the REAL fun.

User filed fake trouble tickets to take helpful sysadmin to lunches


Re: Why so much anger?

"It shouldn't be" is something kids say. It just is, and the better you are at it, the more clients love you. I actually joined my current business partner partly because he's a basket of nerves and hates dealing with client rage, and I can just shrug it off and take the brunt. You'd be surprised how much letting someone vent calms them down. (I still prefer it when they find a more suitable target, of course.)

Fan of FBI cosplay? Enjoy freaking out your neighbors? Have we got the eBay auction for you


Re: oh

Law enforcement disposes of evidence after a conviction. Sometimes it's by dumpster, sometimes it's by auction, but they don't really care what happens. It's not like many privacy laws were in effect when they auctioned it off the first time.

You can't DevOps everything, kids. Off the shelf kit especially


This is unnecessarily harsh

I'm pretty sure DevOps still includes the Ops part, and while a lot of "DevOps" kiddies I've met are basically hotshot programmers who've learned a couple of tricks about deploying and debugging the OS and slap the hot title du jour on themselves, there will always be room for operators who intimately know their software and hardware, even if they didn't develop it themselves. A big part of the value proposition of DevOps is that we can be fairly seamlessly pulled off of a development project to manage an operations project.

With any luck, we can leverage their development background to make something better than the usual Perl monstrosities that function as glue code. At its best, it's not just that we fuse the roles, it's that we can step into whatever role we're needed in and do better.

On the other hand, consultants are consultants, and any buzzword you hear is no better than any other buzzword. Any business hoodwinked by that deserves their fate.

Honestly, if a business wants to grab an ERP and try to shoehorn it in on the cheap, more power to them. When they need to go beyond the basic COTS customization capabilities, hopefully they'll call or hire someone capable.

'My dream job at Oracle left me homeless!' – A techie's relocation horror tale


"Doesn't matter if they don't let you have the money, show no interest in letting you have it, and fire you because you couldn't use it." ... and then demand that you pay it back.

In after-hours trade on Monday, NYSE deployed test code to production


Re: Beancounters are odd

@Christian, that's by far the worst misinterpretation of Banker's Rounding I've ever seen. Congratulations!

The results would make sense if they were using a "round to odd" variation of the common "round to even" scheme.

PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet


Re: Not a PC but...

The best part of 2G text messages is that you could hear them on any unshielded speaker, a couple seconds before your phone figured out that it had something to show you. The pattern was extremely distinct.

Researcher calls the fuzz on OpenVPN, uncovers crashy vulns


Re: It shows that there is one feature missing

What do you mean, "If there was a feature," just use TLS, don't use the pre-shared key method. It's explicitly recommended against in the documentation. TLS (with or without an additional PSK auth) already gives you perfect forward secrecy and has for over a decade.

Just stop being lazy and use certificates.


Re: Details, details...

Nope, doesn't have to succeed; it's during the processing of the initial certificate exchange that it happens. An actual RCE hasn't been demonstrated, just a crash, but of the sort that an RCE could probably be created from. Another potential RCE, as well as multiple information leakages, are available if the attacker actively manipulates data MITM (which is usually only possible if server verification is turned off).

Hotel guest goes broke after booking software gremlin makes her pay for strangers' rooms


Oh, he knew.

"As for the hotel, its head of PR has chosen the wrong moment to take a day off. A harassed assistant promised to get back to us."

I have a feeling the head of PR chose exactly the right day to take off, after getting wind of a problem of this size.


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