Re: Why an update?
how complicated can the software be?
In this case, not complicated enough to check to see whether it's about to overwrite itself with software for an incompatible device, apparently.
919 posts • joined 20 Mar 2011
how complicated can the software be?
In this case, not complicated enough to check to see whether it's about to overwrite itself with software for an incompatible device, apparently.
Just like punching an extra hole in a 1.44 disk to change it from DD to HD
... or cutting a notch in the sleeve of a 5.25" disk so that you could use both sides in a single-sided drive (a 'flippy disk').
That's why I'd never use Google's DNS. I'd choose to use one from Microsoft, Amazon, maybe even Facebook, before I'd use Google because they have less personal information about me and it is easier to avoid them being able to correlate my DNS lookups with other personal information they collect on me.
If you really believe that, good luck to you!
I don't believe that any of those companies would hesitate for an instant before gathering, correlating, and monetizing every bit of information about you that they can get their hands on -- indeed, they'd be mad not to, considering that the others do it and it's apparently not illegal.
At least Google gives me free stuff that is occasionally useful, and for that I forgive them -- just a little -- for ravaging my privacy. The others can go swing.
In my experience, most people can make PERL look like chicken scratchings.
I find it more remarkable that some people can make PERL not look like chicken scratchings ... and, indeed, can write useful, constructive, and efficient programs in that unlovely language.
Why they don't apply their undeniable talents to something, instead, else remains a mystery, though.
Apple got this one right, I think... ARM is touch and runs iOS; x86 is mouse & keyboard and runs MacOS.
Mostly agree ... but ... it has nothing to do with the CPU. You could build an iPhone or an iPad with an x86 CPU and you'd still want touch and still want it to run IOS; you could build a MacBook or an iMac with an ARM CPU and you'd still want a keyboard and a mouse, and to run MacOS.
... there's no point in trying to make one OS that does it all ...
If you did, you'd have to make a single OS with two very different presentation layers for the two different usage cases: mobile/touch and desktop/keyboard. There might be some point in that -- it would depend how much code you could make common to the two environments without screwing either of them up, and how much development/maintenance cost it saved you to do so.
Windows 8 (and to a lesser degree Windows 10) shows how easy it is to get wrong.
... Idris Alba for James Bond
(I hope that was deliberate, "alba" meaning "white")
Idris Elba is a fine actor, and I think he'd make a splendid "00" agent, but he's not Bond. James Bond is a specific (albeit fictional) person who happens to be male and white, and there's no reason to cast him as anything else.
Doctor Who is different. The Doctor has always (Joanna Lumley and Lenny Henry notwithstanding) been played as a character who is male and white, but is an alien whose appearance occasionally changes, sometimes quite dramatically. There's no reason for the Doctor not to be played by someone who is non-male or non-white. There is nothing in the canon that says that this can't happen (and some things that suggest it can) -- only audience expectation.
Like he suddenly decided the TARDIS was like any other spaceship you can see flying past, rather than dematerialising and materialising ?
That was a very poor idea indeed, I agree. Robs the TARDIS of some of its magic and mystery, seeing flit past in exactly the same way that bricks don't.
And, it should be added that, absolutely NO program should pop itself to the front and take focus away from whatever the user is currently doing!
True ... but, conversely, when the user explicitly clicks on something in one application that causes another application (or, "Activity", in Android parlance) to open, that second application is part of the user's current workflow, and it is extremely annoying if that second application does not take the focus.
It's not always straightforward.
Or you could go back to the 1790's where their county Postmaster predecessors were employed to open the mail to look for seditious scribes.
Ah, yes ... we have sixty of those ... from Caesarea.
Time perhaps for a mandatory 5 year warranty including battery replacement at advertised rate/costs given with the initial sales price?
I'd support that -- especially if it included mandatory software upgrade support for five years.
I'd also support a lower rate -- possibly 0% -- of VAT for spare parts and repairs (including service charges) than for new goods, to try to break the "it's bust, I'll replace it" attitude that seems to be becoming the norm.
I read Galaxy Note FE and thought: 254?
... states that this malware is the work of storage vendors!
Run around encrypting stuff, offer to decrypt it for cash, then ensure that nobody can contact you to ask for the decryption key. Brilliant way to discredit malware writers!
No more will the lazy and stingey say "I'll worry about ransomware when it strikes -- I can always pay the ransom!" because it is now clear that this is not a productive strategy and the only the only way to preserve one's data is to have a sound backup regime. Sales of drives and tapes go through the roof!
Of course, once it is accepted that nobody is ever going to pay the ransom, the malware writers will move on from ransomware to some other means of profiting from their misbegotten endeavours.
As I understand it, the shorter keys are susceptible to brute force crunching these days, with enough processor oomph. But can the process be shortened if you have an encrypted file but also have a copy of the original un-encrypted file?
I'm sure I've fundamentally misunderstood how AES works, but I'm curious.
It can certainly help to have plaintext as well as ciperhtext ... but modern ciphers are designed to minimize the amount of help that that gives. So, in essence: No, not much.
And is it possible/likely that they use the same 2048 bit key for every case?
Possible: yes. Likely: No. They seem to have done their job reasonably well in other respects, so I doubt they would make such a basic error with the key.
And another idiot question (I just code, I don't do deep-level BIOS surgery) if the MBR has been overwritten, obviously the machine won't boot, but can the HDD be mounted as a secondary drive on something else and have the MBR re-written?
Yes, of course. As I understand it, though, it is not just the MBR (a single disk sector) but the MFT (Master File Table - something like 0.1% of the size of the disk) that is encrypted, and data files are encrypted as well. The MFT can be regenerated by analysis of the contents of the files on the disk -- it's not easy and it's not foolproof, but partial recovery may be possible in this way if the files all have well-understood formats and the disk is not too fragmented -- but that won't help with encrypted data files.
... just xhoosibg the juciest targets is quicker and easier.
You are Donald Trump, and I claim the fiver!
But, for the life of me, I still can't figures out exactly how I've been harmed.
You haven't, not directly anyway. The harm that has been suffered has been suffered by the price comparison and shopping sites that might have appeared higher up in the lists on Google's search results had Google not put their own selection at the top.
Those price comparison and shopping sites would claim that as punters went to the Google-preferred sites at the top of the list it was those sites whose adverts got all the clicks, and that the sites that were not preferred therefore suffered a loss of advertising revenue. Without that revenue, they would say, they were unable to compete effectively with Google's preferred sites and offer you, the punter, an effective choice of price comparison and shopping sites.
Google might counter that by saying that the preferred sites, because they get more clicks and so more advertising revenue, are better able to invest in the development of truly superlative .... price comparison and shopping sites.
You, on the other hand, might think that they're all parasites, anyway and should go and get a real job rather than preying on online shoppers with their annoying adverts.
Why do they fit these stupid anti-tamper screws?
So people won't try to fix stuff, and will have to replace it.
SWMBO bought a "juicer" (an electric version of what my mum used to call a "lemon squeezer") for about £60, to make her morning orange juice (out of actual oranges, fancy that! Anyone would think she'd never heard of cartons).
After just enough time for the warranty to expire, the clever mechanism whereby the motor starts automatically when the half-orange is pressed down onto the clear plastic thing that it apparently called a "ream cap" ceased to work. I had to drill through three plastic screw covers to get to the three screws that held the top on the motorized base to expose the internal workings. The repair involved replacing a simple microswitch with a spare I got from Maplin for a couple of quid (which would probably have been 5p if I'd gone somewhere else and bought a hundred). A satisfying saving of about £58, though.
Strangely, the microswitch is supposed to be good for 5 million operations ... that's an awful lot of orange juice!
... a sauce containing Irn-Bru is perfectly feasible and does exist.
Hmm ... It calls itself "Iron Brew" sauce, so presumably isn't sanctioned by Barrs, who produce the Irn-Bru drink, and possibly has nothing to do with the drink at all. It's a bit hard to tell as the website of the makers of the sauce (www.necessaucery.com) seems to be a dead link and it seems the company may be defunct.
I did have a (strange, bright orange, but actually fairly palatable) Irn-Bru flavoured cheesecake in Fort William, recently, though.
On a line of more than around 72 characters your eyes have difficulty tracking back to the start of the next line. Add in the 6 columns at the start used by Fortran for label and continuation fields and two for luck and you get 80.
Don't forget that columns 73-80 were sometimes used for card sequence numbers, so you actually only have 66 columns of actual code after the label and continuation at the start.
Card sequence numbers? If you'd ever dropped a deck of a couple of thousand cards and watched them tumble chaotically floorwards you wouldn't ask!
I believe you have created a strawman here. I don't recall anyone saying that no one should be allowed to buy glued-together, expensive, disposable devices. I'd go as far to say that anyone with any sense wouldn't want one, but never that it shouldn't even be allowed.
Methinks the point is that one should be allowed to buy a device that is not glued-together and disposable -- that is, that there should be manufacturers who actually produce devices that are easy to dismantle and service, using standard parts that can be exchanged and upgraded without difficulty.
At present, manufacturers seem to prefer to offer only overpriced and unmaintainable landfill, despite the fact that -- as you say -- nobody with any common sense would want to buy it; the only reason that anyone does is that there are no alternatives. I can only regard this as a conspiracy by the manufacturers to prevent people from prudently buying maintainable devices that will have long and fruitful lives.
We need some legislation along the lines of the RoHS and WEEE Directives requiring manufacturers to make disassembly easy and to use standard parts (or at least to offer easily-obtainable spares at reasonable prices for (say) ten years after a device is first offered for sale).
How soon before Samsung buys it, and uses the patents to go after Apple?
The confusion comes from BT Openreach using the phone lines for the last network to premises connection.
The difference between FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) and FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) needs little or no explanation. Methinks the main failing here is that the retailers don't use those terms because they might confuse people ... and instead use other, more confusing, terms.
In its now usual cack-handed fashion Microsoft is possibly attempting to do the right thing here. We know AV software digs deep into Windows, patching hardened APIs and pulling all sorts of nefarious tricks to get itself embedded. To me, that is now an unacceptable risk. If Microsoft is spending time adding parameter validation and hardening the Windows kernel only to have that undermined by an AV tool patching and hacking it all away, then that AV tool needs to be blocked. If an AV tool can patch its way in to intercept whole families of calls, so can a virus.
If third-party AV products are capable of burrowing deeply enough into Windows to carry out their function, without Windows detecting and preventing this, then third-party malware can do the same.
Which leaves us with a quandry -- we'd like Windows to be hardened to the point at which the malware cannot run, but we'd also like to able to run third-party AV tools. The two are not compatible goals.
The answer may be for Microsoft to produce an official AV Tool API that the third-party AV vendors can use, with some validity checking (code-signing, etc) so that only approved AV Tool vendors can use the API ... but that would need to be done very carefully, as errors in the API validation could lead to a very bad exploit.
(Oh, but I make it sound so simple! In reality each vendor would want a different API with a different set of functions, and Microsoft would end up providing an API that had not quite all the functionality that any of them wanted ... probably with an unforeseen exploit arising from a combination of features requested by different vendors. It is software, after all.)
Lockheed Martin said they couldn't get enough Ada programmers and could not deliver the software on time so they asked the DoD if they could use C/C++ ...
I don't know the background here, but from what you say this sounds like the age-old recruitment problem -- they asked for Ada programmers, when they should have asked for programmers (possibly with aerospace experience) and taught them Ada. Good programmers should be able to pick up a new language without too much trouble.
(Yes, I have used Ada, it's not the easiest language to learn, but it's not beyond the wit of mankind.)
Then again, it could just be that they asked for Ada programmers, and the available Ada programmers decided they weren't paying enough. If that's the case then I doubt the use of C++ was the cause of the problem so much as the use of mediocre staff.
Raspberries are already sour ("sauer" being the German for "acid[ic]")
Indeed, that's why they're red. Raspberry juice is an indicator, and turns blue when made less acidic (you can sometimes see this happen as the juice is diluted with water when washing crockery that has contained raspberries).
The word isn't new, but I cannot see that it brings any shade of meaning that wouldn't be covered by the simpler (and easier to spell) "segregate".
Ubuntu and SUSE dropped 32-bit last year and Arch at the start of this year...
This is incorrect. 32-bit versions of the latest releases of all three of these distros are still available.
You may be thinking of support for older members of the x86 family lacking support for some SIMD instructions or PAE (which almost certainly also lack 64-bit support).
Don't forget the souls who save everything to desktop.
Oh, but how I wish I could!
I also don't need....
An insecure keyless locking system which means I have to use one of those crappy steering locks that I used on my Metro in the nineties. Really not a problem to press a button on the keyfob!
"Keyless entry" is a fine example of a broken solution looking for a non-existent problem.
Because [the phone makers] need to differentiate themselves from the rest. If all Android phones ran generic Android with the same software features, people would base their choices on price and hardware specs, and the Chinese companies would have 100% Android market share.
Just about 100% of all phones are made in China anyway, whatever the name on the box.
Moto (Lenovo) choose to apply minimal customization, that option is available, while other manufacturers add their own customization (and still get significant market share, so someone must like -- or at least not vehemently dislike -- what they're doing). In some cases the OEM changes are related to specific hardware (Samsung's S-Pen, for example) and couldn't feasibly be removed without impacting on functionality; in others it's just an OEM-specific theme, and one really wishes that it could be removed.
There are two parts to the problem, though. One is the OEM-flavoured skinning of the OS itself, which is undesirable because it means that updates will be provided more slowly -- if at all -- than 'vanilla' Android devices. That's a problem that really needs to be solved.
The other part of the problem is the provision of OEM-specific applications (such as Bixby). These applications are typically provided for the OEM's benefit -- to skim the user's data, to display advertising, or to provide vendor lock-in by storing the user's data in proprietary formats. It's understandable that the OEM doesn't want to make these apps removable, and equally understandable that the savvy user's response is to root the device.
Rebuilding a switch configuration from scratch in a data-centre might take a while, especially if documentation is missing or inaccurate.
Oh, I know this one ... or the documentation is complete, accurate, and thorough ... but everyone assumes that if there is any documentation at all it will be patchy, inaccurate, and misfiled, so they don't even look for it, and just make stuff up as they go along.
There is no such verb as "to architect".
That's the beauty of the English language -- a word doesn't have to exist to be usable. (Almost) anything goes.
It's not always a good idea to use words that "don't exist" -- especially if you're unhappy about being lexicographered into the ground by your fellow grammar nazis -- but most of the time you'll get the idea across.
[There is no such verb as "to lexicographer", either, but methinks you will have got the point!]
Ponder, though, on this.
Incorrect spelling of honour, so they've lost a pedantic customer.
Oh, I thought it was named in honour of Honor Blackman!
Xerox designed the first GUI in their PARC, but they fumbled it. History would've been totally different had they patented it, yes?
Yes, if they'd patented it methinks it would have sunk without trace never to be seen again.
Now, if they'd Open Sourced it ...
... a stack of old system docs only available in WordPerfect ...
My old WordPerfect 4 and 5 documents open very nicely in LibreOffice ... probably no need to emulate DOS on a Pi for that.
IoT needs security, says Microsoft ...
Seems they've learned to talk the talk, but can they learn to walk the walk?
Well it can't be that hard, meatsacks have been flying different types of aircraft for years.
I have it on good authority that if you can fly a Sopwith Camel you can fly anything!
So why have they released it publicly now?
Methinks it may be a public relations exercise to limit the damage done to their reputation.
If I want Alexa, Facebook, Twitter or whatever else then I can simply install it myself. HTC should not be baking this performance / space / privacy sapping crap into the firmware.
I imagine that in the case of the Alexa functionality HTC are receiving some sort of backhander from Amazon for including it. If that's the case then I doubt that it can easily be removed.
MS fixed this in March for supported OSes. Asking for a patch for XP is like asking for patch for Ubun^H^H^H^H Debian 3
If you are paying for extended support to XP (as the NHS was until HMG decided that that cost too much) then, for you, XP is a supported OS. Microsoft would have sent you the patch in March.
So, yes, I suppose it is like asking for a patch for Debian 3 -- if you're paying someone to support Debian 3 for you. The difference is that anyone can support Debian 3, if they have a reason/desire to do so, but only Microsoft can support XP.
IIRC variables named i, j, k were automatically of integer type.
All variables were implicitly declared. Any name starting with I, J, K, L, M, or N was integer, anything else was float, unless declared otherwise.
It was common practice, on compilers that supported it, to declare everything to be some unlikely datatype (such as 64-bit boolean) so that mistyped variable names would be picked up by the compiler.
IMPLICIT LOGICAL*64 (A-Z)
(please imagine that line indented by 6 spaces, " " doesn't seem to work here)
Of course ... that's going back a way. Modern Fortran, which isn't quite the oxymoron you might think, doesn't need such tricks.
Why suggest one desktop with one distro and a different desktop with a different distro. This is Linux, and there is choice.
If Xfce is your choice for Debian there's no reason not to use in on (say) Mint or SuSe as well, if you like Cinnamon in Mint you can use that in (say) Debian or Arch ...
Pick a distro because it supports the packages you want to use and the hardware you have. Pick a desktop because you like it. Run the two together -- it'll generally just work. You may find that non-Ubuntu distros don't have Unity in their repos, though.
Personally I use Mate on both Ubuntu and Debian systems, as well as Unity on some Ubuntu boxes where the desktop experience isn't important (because they spend most of their time in a single application). Mate is a fork of Gnome 2, and has the earlier Gnome's clean UI and small footprint -- I wouldn't call it Windows-like (it's certainly not like post-Metro Windows at all), there are other desktops that deliberately mimic Windows, for those who want that sort of thing.
Systemd is a solution to a messy and fragmented process that was well overdue an overhaul, modern software requires modern solutions which is something rabid luddites don't seem to understand.
Rabid luddites aside ... the problem with systemd is that it isn't a good solution to the perceived problems that it was intended to solve. The old sysvinit system may be messy and fragmented, but it works and is well understood.
Systemd is less messy, in many ways, but it doesn't (yet) work as well. If that were the only problem we could put it down to teething troubles and hope that future versions would be better, but systemd also brings problems that sysvinit doesn't have.
Systemd is a single, monolithic, system rather than a set of interoperating modules, so it goes against the Unix/Linux philosophy of making each job the responsibility of one tool that does that job well. Systemd does some jobs fairly well and others fairly badly, but doesn't allow any possibility of using its good parts and replacing its bad ones.
Systemd also has its dirty fingers into other parts of the system. As a replacement for sysvinit is is supposed to be an init system, but because its scope goes far beyond the initialization phase (and it doesn't let you take the good without the bad) it has become a dependency for many userspace programs that should never have any reason to interact with the init system at all, making it harder to use those programs on a non-systemd system.
Systemd is an insidious piece of malware, and the community needs to recognize this and expunge it, before it is too late.
Yes, the sysvinit system is getting old and creaky, and needs an overhaul or possibly a replacement ... but systemd is not an improvement.
From the article:
The base spec model is $999 (£780) and prices only go up from there. Which kind of makes you wonder why the Surface team was here, at this education-friendly event, in the first place.
I'd say Microsoft were there to get a toe in the door. They want to get the next generation used to using Microsoft products and Microsoft software, so they have to be ready to produce "educational" products.
They can't give these products low up-front prices, because if they do the educational products will be seen as a cheap way to get a home/business machine, and the (profits on the) rest of the Surface range will suffer ... but they can certainly offer massive educational discounts to bona fide educational establishments who want to buy in bulk.
I suggest a real rationalisation would be for Canonical to effectively end game it's 'proprietary' desktop, maintain the relevant repositories and to back one of the variants as the preferred mainstream business/enterprise desktop.
That's sort-of what's happened. Canonical have discontinued development on Unity 8 and will be using Gnome as the default desktop on Ubuntu in future. The Unity 8 sources are all being made available on github so development can be carried forward by the community if there is demand.
... an obvious candidate would be the Mint distribution with the Cinnamon desktop.
I wouldn't call that obvious. Gnome (whatever you or I may think of it) is much more mainstream than Cinnamon ... and why would Canonical use a Mint release rather than one of their own?
A security fix almost certainly doesn't make the OS require any better hardware than it did before the fix was applied.
If the OS vendor chooses to issue fixes by rolling them into updates that increase functionality, and so may require a different standard of hardware support that would be a different matter ...
... and we would be entitled to shout DON'T DO THAT! (... not that the vendor would take any notice.)
You should petition them to conform to EU law and the Sale Of Goods Act, we might even hear the laughter emanating from Shenzhen over here.
Wileyfox are a British firm (the phones are made in China, but not designed or specified there).
Gas is a fossil fuel, as (technically), is Uranium.
Yes, the word "fossil" literally means "something dug up", and isn't limited to decayed animals and plants entrapped in rock ... but calling Uranium a fossil fuel seems to be taking "technically" a step too far!
... and surely you drill for oil and gas, rather than dig, so "technically" perhaps they're not fossil fuels?
And now we go back to Gnome
As Winston Churchill said: I'd rather be right than consistent.
I wonder how many people will return from Mint, after Unity pushed them away.
I would hope that anyone who was put off Ubuntu by Unity -- and by Unity alone -- would simply have run Ubuntu with a different desktop. No need to run to a different distro altogether (but a lot of people seem not to have understood that).
In the HP model the juicer itself would be sold well below cost and the profits all made on the pre-packaged fruit.
In this model the juicer is eye-wateringly expensive, and I'm sure the fruit packs aren't cheap either.
But ... and this is the real problem with the device ... you are restricted to using the manufacturer's own prepackaged mixtures of fruits and vegetables. You can't make up a mixture to suit your own taste, and you can't use fruit that's actually -- you know -- fresh!
It combines the inconvenience of having to squeeze your own juice with the restrictions of pre-packaged ingredients ... then it adds IoT foolishness just in case you still thought there might be something there to like.
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