* Posts by badger31

135 posts • joined 29 Jan 2011

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Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

badger31

Re: How times change..

The Gnu Image Manipulation Program tells you exactly what the program is and does, unlike InkScape. It's a bit of a mouthful, though, so gets the (official?) acronym 'Gimp'.

I think the problem is there's only so many descriptive names you can have for a file browser, text editor, photo editor, etc., so a lot of names tend to be jokes or puns which get worse as they are forked. Examples: Hudson -> Jenkins, Mustache -> Handlebars, JavaScript -> CoffeeScript

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badger31

My thoughts on this ...

1. Is Files really that bad? I've used Mac's Finder, so I know how bad things can be

2. Yes! I get to go to the sysadmins at Uni and say 'I told you so!' :-)

3. I'll be sticking with Mint and Cinnamon

Something else occurs to me (that'll probally get me a tonne of down-votes), Unity and W8 Metro were both designed to put the same interface on desktop machines and phones, right? What a stupid idea. I've also heard people say the same things about both UIs; that is, it's not so bad when you get used to it. That's not a good argument.

Perhaps it's just that I'm rapidly approaching middle-age and I don't like radical ideas anymore.

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Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

badger31

Oh, great.

Ruinous Torys or ruined Labour?

Vote now:

Kick in the nuts [ ]

Punch in the face [ ]

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Ex-IBMer sues Google for $10bn – after his web ad for 'divine honey cancer cure' was pulled

badger31

Re: They walk amongst us

@Pompous Git

"So how come homeopathy cured the warts on my goat's teats? I find it very hard to believe that was psychological."

Really? I find it hard to believe that's NOT psychological. And anyway "homeopathy cured the warts on my goat's teats" doesn't meet any scientific rigour requirements.

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Broadband providers almost double prices after deals end

badger31

@Velv

I'm new to PlusNet, but I managed to squeeze an amazing full speed fibre out of them. I worked out how much will will cost me over the life of the two year deal. When that's over I'll be looking for another great deal. That'll be with PlusNet if they are willing, or whoever has the best new offer at the time. I certainly won't be going onto 'full price' after the contract has expired.

Out of curiosity, does anyone still care about landlines anymore? We had the option to keep our old number, but we declined. The new number gets pretty much zero spam calling (and we never give it out). For me, the landline/phone is an inconvenience that comes bundled with the broadband.

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Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC

badger31

Re: I thought

@TheVogon

Um ... no. I don't recall Pong phoning home, or even E.T. for that matter. [did you see what I did there?]

Even the last console I owned (PSP) had internet connectivity, but I don't think it sent info back to Sony (unless logged into PSN, I suppose)

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badger31

Re: BongoJoe

@Patrician

No other option?

From Steam hardware survey:

Windows 10 64 bit -> 52.22%

Windows 7 64 bit -> 31.20%

I presume you are talking about DX12. DX12 is an improvement over DX11, I agree, but it's not a requirement.

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It's not just Elon building bridges to the brain: The Internet of Things is coming to a head

badger31

Re: You humans think very highly of yourselves

@DropBear - There's more to juggling than muscle memory, although it plays an important part. It's hand-eye coordination that matters; just try juggling with your eyes closed. With very limited information about the trajectory of the balls, the brain can extrapolate the trajectories and move your hand to roughly where it needs to be. I think muscle memory is more inportant for throwing the ball on approximately the right trajectory in the first place.

I agree that our brains are just a bunch of specialised tools, but we can combine them to do things that we haven't actually evolved to do. We may not be fully general -- we can't learn everything. But we have a level of generality way beyond any current AI, and general AI is a very hot research area right now.

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badger31

Re: You humans think very highly of yourselves

It's pretty darn general. The brain evolved for survival, but this gave us a brain that can learn lots of different skills at the same time. You can learn algebra, French, astophysics, poetry, origami ...

It can also do pretty amazing things without you needing to actually, ahem, *think* about it. A good example is juggling. I can juggle no problem, but if I was to try to work out the maths of juggling I would go mad.

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badger31

You humans think very highly of yourselves

"The brain is the most powerful form of generalized intelligence in the known universe"

Perhaps that should read:

"The brain is the most powerful form of generalized intelligence known in the universe"

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New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

badger31

"You appear to be doing the thing you're complaining about." #irony #harrypotter #yougettheidea

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badger31

Re: Everything is offensive to some people

I wonder how much palm oil a new £20 note has compared to a jar of Nutella (*other chocolaty spreads are available) and how many of the environmental protesters had that on their toast this morning.

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Europe to push new laws to access encrypted apps data

badger31

Re: Strong encryption exists, and is "in the wild".

It wasn't that long ago encryption was considered a munition, but those days are long gone.

This whole thing is a farce. Apps like WhatsApp moved over to encryption *because* of the amount of snooping governments want over their (mostly) law-abiding citizens. You reap what you sow. Don't complain when your poorly thought-out, ill-conceived and utterly ridiculous plans back-fire. And don't make things worse with a knee-jerk, even more poorly thought-out and more ridiculous reaction.

Even if you could change the laws of mathematics and they get their super-safe backdoor into otherwise (practically) unbreakable encryption, what then? I would imagine terrorists and -- worse -- copyright infringers will just use non-crippled encryption, leaving LEAs across the globe spending all their time decrypting peoples' cat pictures and messages about what they had for dinner.

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Git fscked by SHA-1 collision? Not so fast, says Linus Torvalds

badger31

Re: That's not how hashes work

"The mathematical operation should produce a unique result for any given input"

Given that "any given input" is conceptually an infinite set, always expecting a unique 160bit hash is just ludicrous. The main thing with these hashes is that small changes in the code will give hugely differing hashes, making collisions rare. We all know that it is possible to engineer (by brute force) a collision, but it's a hard problem. Doing so in such a way as to be undetectable in Git is an even harder problem. Way harder. I look forward to seeing the attempts, though :-)

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Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

badger31

Define illegal. Who decides and how?

It's the most relevant pages at the top of the list. Don't try to cheat this; either be more relevant, or make the illegal download sites less relevant by targeting them and not the search engines.

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Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO

badger31

RAID cock-up

I used to have a very cheap VPS hosted by a company who have since ceased trading. One day my VPS was acting up, so I raised a support ticket. The reply stated that a disk in the RAID had failed and the host had gone into read-only mode. Not to worry, the disk will soon be replaced and we'll be be back up and running in no time.

The next day the VPS was gone completely. I raised another support ticket and was told that the *wrong disk* had been replaced, losing all data.

Thankfully I take back-ups, but it was still a pain to find another provider and configure the new VPS. The offending provider did offer sincere apologies and month free, but I declined.

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Watch how Google's starving DeepMind AI turns hostile, attacks other bots to survive

badger31

@Filippo

Have an up-vote. I came here to say pretty much the same thing. Complex AI algorithm finds optimal solutions for simple games. Wow.

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Congrats, PC slingers. That's now FIVE straight years of shrinking sales

badger31

Re: The "Free" Windows 10 wasn;t the problem.

I'm not claiming causation here, but 5 years does roughly correlate with the release of Windows 8.

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Microsoft sued by staff traumatized by child sex abuse vids stashed on OneDrive accounts

badger31

Re: and don't take a job

Like working for microsoft? (joke icon)

But seriously - the article says the appointment was made 'involuntarily'. I mean shit! Anyone actually wanting to do this job absolutely must not be allowed to do it.

And on a related note, a very good friend of mine, many years ago, managed to get the job he really wanted - a police man. That's a job you couldn't pay me enough to do, but someone's gotta do it. After a short time in the job he was a wreck. All the horrible shit he had to deal with on a daily basis was really grinding him down. I had to remind him that most people aren't all that bad, but his job is to deal with the ones that are, giving a warped sense of reality.

He got over it by becoming a tough son-of-a-bitch.

I'm not sure what you would have to become to deal with what Soto and Blauert had to deal with.

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Prison librarian swaps books for bars after dark-web gun buy caper

badger31

Re: Hmmm

Yep. I recently read this article on the BBC regarding dark net drug dealings and the postal service:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/38223838/is-your-postman-delivering-drugs

Summary: Buy/sell your drugs on the dark net. It's pretty damn safe.

Good work, BBC. I'm not sure that's what you had in mind when you published that article, but that's what it boils down to. They pretty much tell you how to do it. I'm surprised there weren't any links.

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AI is all trendy and fun – but it's still a long way from true intelligence, Facebook boffins admit

badger31

Knowledge ≠ understanding

We are struggling at the moment to get machines to learn some knowledge without forgetting it when it learns something new. When (if) machines actually understand that knowledge, then things will get really interesting.

Also, in pedant mode, its "forward model", not "forward mode"

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Mac book, whoa! Apple unveils $300 design tome

badger31

Re: An overused word

I think the Irony was the price.

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The ‘Vaping Crackdown’ starts today. This is what you need to know

badger31

Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

I agree that citations would help the cause, but it doesn't take anything other than common sense to see that being able to feed an addiction to nicotine without burning tobacco is definitely a step in the right direction.

I agree that vapour products should be regulated, just like other nicotine products (patches, gum, etc.), but those products are allowed to be advertised and no-one is trying to get them banned. I'm struggling to see any significant difference between nicotine gum and nicotine vapour, other than vaping _looks_ like smoking.

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Compression tool 7-Zip pwned, pain flows to top security, software tools

badger31

Yes, of course. The changelog should detail all exploits fixed, so that baddies that weren't aware of the problem can exploit exactly the right versions. Good idea.

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Official: Microsoft's 'Get Windows 10' nagware to vanish from PCs in July

badger31

Re: Windows 10₂

I made this exact comment in the preview feedback. I was hoping not to be alone in this.

Incidentally, the fscking GWT nagware has recently reappeared on my Win7 machine, despite having done all the removals/disables/regedit shit. Take the fucking hint, Microsoft. I don't want your shit - not even for free.

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FBI ends second iPhone fight after someone, um, 'remembers' the PIN

badger31

Re: Some thoughts

Not to mention the US 'justice' system. Innocent people pleading guilty because they are shit scared of the ridiculous sentences they could face if they don't. Just look what happened to Ross Ulbrecht when he didn't do a plea deal. Definitely not somewhere I'd like to live.

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Lauri Love backdoor forced-decryption case goes to court in UK

badger31

Re: Question

@Richard Jones

"if I could prove my innocence"

Innocence need not be proven. It is guilt that must be proven. Please, let's keep it that way.

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X-ray scanners, CCTV cams, hefty machinery ... let's play: VNC Roulette!

badger31
Thumb Up

Re: Or a simpler (than SSH) solution

I used the trick on one of my servers. It was constantly being hit with login attempts over ssh. None ever succeed, but I didn't like it. I changed ssh port away from 22 and problem solved.

I tried denyhosts, but occasionally locked myself out trying to remember the right password. Not an insurmountable problem, but it's not (or wasn't, maybe) trivial to unblock an ip address.

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Net neut naught: Netflix throttles its own video

badger31

My tuppence worth

I'm an unlimited data plan with Three, 4GB tethered. It used to be unlimited tethered, too, before 4G came along as a 'free' upgrade. I'm guessing the reason is that people could use it instead of home broadband, as it's probable a lot faster for some. This must have hammered Three's network, so they would have to choose between upgrading their 4G infrastructure, or limit tethered data. Guess which one they did (#makeitright my arse).

As a netflix customer, I'm happy to get lower quality on my mobile. It fits with my data plan an usage well. I'm not so happy that it isn't an optional thing.

As a Three customer, I'm not happy that the poor infrastructure means it has to be this way. Personally, I was much happier with a truly unlimited 3G plan and would choose that now if it was an option.

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Why should you care about Google's AI winning a board game?

badger31

Re: @Dave Bollocks

@Ian Michael Gumby

"Take the top 100 potential moves"

Even if the rest of your argument was valid, how does your algorithm choose the top 100 potential moves?

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Docker may be the dumbest thing you do today

badger31

Never before have I agreed with an article this much

Docker is the new VM. VMs are now pretty much ubiquitous, but this change took a while. VMs are so clumsy a solution for many use cases, so bring in the containers. As for enterprise inertia ... only force can overcome inertia.

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Cisco recalls switches that could short power to the case. And hurt you

badger31

Scared? You shouldn't be.

Where did the kick-bait headline get 'And kill you' from? The field notice linked in the article states that the symptoms are 'The switch fails to power on.' Also, the label shows 24v or 48v DC input. Still not seeing any risk of death here, even if no fuses were blown. There are models that can take 240v, but there's very little danger there either ... unless you are running one of these off a power circuit without ELCBs, in which case all bets are off.

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Rooting your Android phone? Google’s rumbled you again

badger31

Whew!

I thought for a moment this would be something to care about.

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Learn you Func Prog on five minute quick!

badger31

Late to the party, but ...

I've recently discovered Groovy. OO and Functional. Oh, and scripting. I learned a lot of Haskell at Uni and the beauty of it was staggering. Its type system sublime. Groovy is a great way to add functional (and tonnes of other great) stuff to Java code. I won't harp on about it here, but it's well worth a look.

Great article, BTW.

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Microsoft rolls out first 'major update' to Windows 10

badger31

Re: These Days...

@HamsterNet

That's a bit like saying 'try driving your manual-shift car without using the gear stick' when someone says manuals are better to drive than automatics.

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Exam board in 'send all' fail: Hands up who knows what the BCC button is for?

badger31

I can one-up this.

I used to do freelance IT work for an SMB. A manager decided it would be a good idea to to send a charity fund raiser email to their customers (without consulting the boss). The manager did this using the company customer management system. The CMS integrated with Outlook to send the bulk email (1000s of recipients) by putting all the email addresses into the 'to' field. This caused all kinds of trouble.

First of all, the 'to' field was overloaded, so the email was malformed and should have been rejected by 1: The CMS, 2: Outlook, 3: Exchange server, 4: inbound mail servers. The exchange server got stuck in a loop constantly trying to resend a malformed email, with many of the recipients receiving the email multiple times, along with a list of everyone else's email address. Many of the email addresses were out of use or had some kind of automated response, causing a deluge of incoming mail (along side all the customer complaints and malformed email responses). That message was ridiculously hard to exorcise from the Exchange sever - it just would give up.

When the dust settled, there was much groveling to do. This was a data security company, so they lost quite a lot of custom because of this. Needless to say, said manager was out the door shortly after.

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Sennheiser announces €50,000 headphones (we checked, no typos)

badger31

Unless the power indictor is a blindingly bright blue LED

I ain't interested.

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Music lovers move to block Phil Collins' rebirth

badger31

there's just an empty space

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Linus Torvalds fires off angry 'compiler-masturbation' rant

badger31

When you're right, you're right.

But you don't need to be such a dick about it.

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Chaos at TalkTalk: Data was 'secure', not all encrypted, we took site down, were DDoSed

badger31

Woop! There it is.

The ransom demand has just been issued. Your move TalkTalk, although I don't see what good paying up will do.

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Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos

badger31

What study?

@anon

There was no study mentioned in the article. Just putting processed meat on a list of probable carcinogens is fairly meaningless. Oxygen should be on that list, and that's only marginally more important than bacon. To suggest that bacon is equally as bad for you as tobacco smoke or asbestos is disingenuous, to say the least. I'm actually surprised they didn't spout some percentage of a percentage to boost the bullshit. E.g. "Bacon makes you 10x more likely to get bowel cancer (0.0001% to 0.001%)*

* All these figures are made up. I've no idea what the real statistics are, and I'm guessing neither do the Daily Mail.

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Support scammers target Mac fanbois

badger31

Not had a Mac call yet

but the Windows ones are fun.

Them - Hi, I'm from Microsoft, and we have detected a problem with your Windows computer ...

Me - I don't have a Windows computer (lie)

Then - Oh. But we have detected an infection on your computer. If you click on the start menu ...

Me. I don't have a start menu. I don't have a Windows computer.

Them - Oh. But we have received reports of your IP address being used ...

Me - Really? What IP address is that, then?

Them - Erm.

Me - Goodbye.

The Mac ones would be even more fun. What's my name? What's my Apple ID? Which version of OSX am I running? Etc. I guess I'm not their target.

I could just sit here feeling smug, but I know people who have fallen for these scare tactics and it makes me mad.

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No VAT on Bitcoin, rules ECJ, but capital gains still apply

badger31

Spork

This seems to accept bitcoin as a commodity/currency rather than an product/service.

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Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

badger31

Re: Stupid move

I don't usually go in for thew whole FTFY, but, this being the thread of 'fuck', fuck it.

"In the recent Windows update, this option was checked as default; this DID NOT GO UNNOTICED and we are removing the check."

<dream>As a penance, they should be forced to open-source DirectX</dream>

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Top boffin Freeman Dyson on climate change, interstellar travel, fusion, and more

badger31
Joke

Re: Bob Forward? Try Larry Niven

@ Mystic Megabyte

Let's worry about that when we get there.

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Woman makes app that lets people rate and review you, Yelp-style. Now SHE'S upset people are 'reviewing' her

badger31

Re: Sad...

@ Lush At The Bar

Spot on. That's the true bullshit right there. Anyone with my (or any) phone number, or one just randomly picked, can post shit and there's fuck all that can be done about it. Can she really not see the possibility for abuse here? The lawyers must be creaming themselves right now. The company and its peeple [geddit?] will hide behind the "we're just the medium" and "we have no control" lines.

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Smuggle mischievous JavaScript into WinRAR archives? Sure, why not

badger31

+1 for 7-zip

It's on my list of windows essential programs (Chrome, Firefox, VLC, Programmers Notepad, etc.).

Plus, on the rare occasions when I have downloaded an executable file, I always ask 7-zip to take a look inside, even if I trust the source, even if I don't think it's an SXF, because just in case, you know.

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iOS 9 security blooper lets you BYPASS PINs, eye up photos, contacts

badger31

Re: Shameful

I have to admit that this is where Apple's model comes in to its own. How many devices can run iOS 9, and therefor need testing, compared to Android? Google can't test them all, so it's down to the manufacturers - they get android for free, after all. The flip side of that is that there's no dodging the blame here by Apple.

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iOS 9 update set to bork 'hundreds of thousands of EU businesses'

badger31

Re: On the cheap or do I mean expensive?

Most definitely cheap. The non-bluetooth device is free, most people will already have a smartphone it can use (not just iphone), and there is no contract, monthly fee or minimum payment. If you don't use it, it costs nothing. They just take at most 2.7% of whatever you put through it (the % goes down for large amounts. I forget the limits as they are irrelevant to me. My wife uses one at craft fairs and the like. It's perfect for that sort of thing. If I was WorldPay, I'd be shitting a brick.

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Three VoLTEs to victory as it jumps into UK 4G voice offering

badger31

Re: Pain point

Be careful with the grandfather plans. Both my wife and I were on 'The One' plans. I got booted off when I didn't continue paying extra for the phone. My wife was on a pay monthly sim-only One plan (paying ~£15pm IIRC) when she received a letter informing her the One plan was no more and she was automatically being moved onto an equivalent plan costing ~£35pm. We weren't happy with that, so now she's paying the same, but getting only 1GB of data per month, which we are obviously not happy about, either. We wanted to quit on principal, but the bastards arestill the best value for our needs.

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