* Posts by Peter Gathercole

2924 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Remember Windows 1.0? It's been 30 years (and you're officially old)

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: xfce4 theme @keithpeter

Not only a silver surfer, but reluctant to upgrade as well!

Arthur only appeared on the earliest BBC Archimedes (before they were branded Acorn). I'm pretty certain it was known as RISC OS after the first OS upgrade (What would have been Arthur 2 became RISC OS 2, possibly because of a trademark conflict with a Dudley Moore film), and on all machines after the A300 and A400 series.

Linus Torvalds fires off angry 'compiler-masturbation' rant

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: you make ken and dmr sad

Whilst I completely agree with your sentiment, you have to realise that the last UNIX kernel worked on by those luminaries was tiny compared to the current Linux kernel. It did not even have a huge amount of networking code in it.

After UNIX Version/Edition 8, They moved on to Plan 9, which was written in a completely different way (much more like a micro kernel), and left UNIX in the hands of the UNIX Systems Division in AT&T.

It was written in a very portable way, but even the kernel itself from USD was intended to be compiled by UNIX's own Portable C Compiler. Back in the day, it caused more problems and fragmentation for vendors doing their own ports using their own compilers than anything else! It was only after the standardisation attempts of SVR4 and OSF/1 in the late '80s and '90s that the vendor kernel code bases started converging again.

Bacon can kill: Official

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Call me Mr Thickie but....

Bacon is 'cured'. This is what makes it different from, say, thinly sliced pork belly slices.

There are several different ways of curing, including packing with salt, soaking in brine and smoking.

Originally, the idea was to preserve the meat so that it could be stored and eaten later. More recently, the food industry chemically treats pork in a way that doesn't actually preserve the meat (proper bacon should last for months without refrigeration), but makes it taste a little like traditional bacon.

It is quite possible that the modern way of making bacon counts as 'processing'. Whether the traditional methods count as well is something I would like to know.

Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Despite having invented wall-mounted flat screen television, and having a prototype three-colour projector on the bench and a revolutionary overhead projector discarded on the floor, Kirk though that the automatic shirt spot-cleaner was the product he wanted to develop.

Ireland moves to scrap 1 and 2 cent coins

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

How does this work?

In theory, someone from elsewhere in Europe that still uses 1 and 2c coins will still be able to rock up in Ireland, and pay with 1 and 2c coins, even if the price is rounded. The shops will still have to honour them, and the banks will still have to handle them (and probably repatriate them to countries that still use them).

Extending from this, what happens if something is 0.95 euros, and the person purchasing only has 0.90 in 'sliver' and three 2c coins? Who will lose out on 1c?

I would not have though that a country can unilaterally invalidate part of a common currency.

Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: by definition! @Doctor_Wibble

What I would like is to have some of these services provided locally without involving the cloud.

I was shown a demonstration of voice recognition using dedicated fourier transform hardware attached to a BBC micro in about 1984. I was shown a purely software voice recognition on an IBM PS/2 model 80 with a 25MHz 386 and 4MB of memory and 80MB hard disk in 1990.

We're now 25 years later, and the computing power and storage capability in our smart phone or TV is vastly more than what I've seen work, so I believe that natural language recognition can be done locally. Give me an app that will read my local address book, calendar and other information stored on the phone, and let me choose when to get it to use remote services purely as information sources, and I might consider using it.

Before the cloud, I remember SciFi writers talking about portable devices with AI in them. This is what I want, not some cloud overlord analysing my every move. My personal AI should work for me, not against or in spite of me.

Of course it won't happen, because we are not being given what we want, but are being offered seemingly attractive carrots so that we can be treated as the product as we sign up to be profiled, advertised and sold to.

Lies from VW: 'Our staff acted criminally but board didn't know'

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Dieselgate

But the point is that these cars, when tested under the European testing, will not trip the US test defeat conditions - I understand they're quite specific, because they don't need to. So when they are tested, they are almost certainly not in the reduced emission mode.

If they then pass the EU tests, then you could not sue the manufacturer for non-compliance or being 'too dirty'.

If you're complaining that the EU thresholds for certain pollutants are too high, then that's not something that the manufacturer is responsible for, and you'd have to sue either the UK government or the EU, which is a completely different proposition.

What you could sue the manufacturer for is if any of the stated specifications, like the mileage figures or the amount of pollutants emitted differed from their published specifications at the time that the vehicle was purchased, at which point you could in theory sue either under the trade descriptions act or under advertising standards laws, but I think that you'd have to prove that there is a significant difference, because everybody knows that lab condition tests are nothing like driving on the open road.

Of course, if you're really taking a stand against diesel as a whole, then you could lobby to get all diesels banned, but that would have such serious knock-on effects for commercial and public transport, shipping, and even mobile and backup electricity generation that you'd be backing a losing horse. Diesel is so engrained in our way of life that you really cannot get rid of it, at least not without a decades long program.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

The problem if being Omnipotent is that there is just so much to know. Maybe MapReduce will help!

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

There's this Brian guy following me around.

I know, I'll Google him, and see what this is all about.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

I came all this way to find the meerkat, and it appears the bloody snake actually did manage to get it!

(see my suggestions in caption comp. #2)

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Rocks, yes. Tanks, of course. Flying saucers, OK. Smart Missiles, well if you have to. Religious manifestations? WTF?

This was not what I expected to see in the middle of the reboot of BattleZone

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

So now we know where Mike Oldfield put the Easter Egg of himself in MusicVR

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Being a hermit was just so much more difficult since Twitter and Facebook were invented

VW: Just the tip of the pollution iceberg. Who's to blame? Hippies

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Well DUH!

From what I've read, the modern lean-burn petrol engines (especially those being created for Euro 6 emission levels) also burn hot, and produce more oxides of nitrogen, so it's not just diesels, it's pretty much all modern cars that are at fault.

Diesels are just in the firing line at the moment, because they promised less emissions.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Thanks a lot, hippies.

Lewis is not saying that hippies drive diesels. What he's saying is that Greenpeace (who have jokingly described themselves as hippies) policy and lobbying have created situation where C02 is seen as a serious problem that needs to be solved, without taking the relevant care to make sure that suppressing the CO2 does not create worse problems.

Mind you, we have to be a bit careful in case the hair-shirt brigade, who want us to have personal energy footprints not seen since the middle-ages, come to the fore.

Happy birthday to you, the ruling was true, no charge for this headline, 'coz the copyright's screwed

Peter Gathercole Silver badge


I must admit that I don't understand the legalities, but from what I think I understand, under US law, copyright for published works commences when a work is first published. This would make the melody for both versions start in 1893, when it was included in "Song Stories for the Kindergarten".

This is where I'm a bit confused, because according to Cornell University, this is a work first published before 1923, so should have been in the public domain long since.

The pdf of the judgement suggests that the copyright was actually extended until 1949, which is where this date comes from. So one way or another the melody should have been out of copyright before Warner/Chappell asserted ownership.

Unless I completely misunderstand US copyright law, you cannot extend copyright by registering a new copyright claim on an already copyrighted work. As far as I can tell, what was registered in 1935 was a copyright to a song with the happy birthday lyrics and the good morning melody. But this would not have extended the copyright of the melody in isolation, so once it's copyright expired in 1949, the melody was out of copyright, and Summy Co. or it's successors would not have been able to assert any claim on the melody except in conjunction with the Happy Birthday lyrics.

This is what I was trying to say.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Copyright theft @Dr Syntax

In this case, as it may still be a copyrightable work, the judge could order the money to be held in escrow pending someone else stating a claim.

Roll on the search by literary historians and lawyers.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge


I think that your point is covered by "The copyright of Good Morning expired in 1949".

From what I read, Warner/Chappell can still claim copyright for some specific imprint, meaning that it is a copyright violation to photocopy or perform from the copies that they published, in the same way that you can have copyright over an imprint of the sheet music for, say, Beethoven's Ode to Joy without claiming any ownership of the music itself. What the legislation states in these cases is that it is the format and annotations of the printed work that is copyright, not the tune itself.

So it would be perfectly legal to take a copy of the out-of-copyright original song "Good Morning", and re-typeset and publish it, and prevent someone from photocopying your imprint, but you would not be able to prevent them working from the same copy you used to produce your publication.

In this case, as far as I can see, Warner/Chappell were claiming literary copyright of the words to "Happy Birthday" as a literary text, and trying to assert ownership. The words may still be copyrightable, but the judge decided that Warner/Chappell did not own that copyright. As such, it will become an "Orphan Work" unless someone else states a claim.

There are various sites (like The Choral Public Domain Library) that exist as repositories for works in the public domain being re-typeset from old copies, and published under an open license for the benefit of the community as a whole. It works a bit like Project Gutenberg for choral music, although it relies on it's users for content.

Revealed: Why Amazon, Netflix, Tinder, Airbnb and co plunged offline

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

@Lost all faith

Like AT&T in 1990, when a cascade failure took out long-distance telephony in the US, maybe?

But those types of failure in telephony occurred maybe once a decade, and generally triggered reviews and remedial work to make sure that the same problem never happened again. Cloud failures seem to be much more frequent than that, and don't appear to have the rigorous response.

Maybe all cloud providers should learn to walk before they attempt to run!

Alcatel Idol 3: Holding its own with a pretty decent 5.5 inches

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Stick your 5.5"..

I must admit I tend to agree. Why they have to make the smaller variant less powerful (and it is not just Alcatel that do this, look across the board at other big names like LG, Samsung and Sony). | suspect it's probably because of less space for the battery.

I don't want a 5.5" phone, but I do want the performance. And that appears to be a combination I can't have.

You want the poor to have more money? Well, doh! Splash the cash

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: The child sized elephant in the room @Richard 12

No, we really don't need an average family size below 2. One-for-one replacement in the global population as a whole, yes, but...

Because of lifestyle choices and mortality, if you're talking about the average 'family' - defining a family as a social unit that includes kids, which would exclude people living on their own or couples not having children, the average family size needs to be between 2.3 and 2.4 children in the UK to achieve a stable population. In other countries with higher mortality rates, it could be higher.

The current plan to eliminate child benefit in the UK beyond 2 children will actually detrimentally affect the demographics of the country, IMHO.

<contentious><generalised>The financially responsible families, who are most likely to have children who grow up to be like them will be choose to keep their family to two children (or if they're real do-gooders, to just one child). The families who have a have children now and worry about how they're going to raise them later mindset will not really care, and will still expect state support. Kids tend to grow up like their parents</generalised></contentious>.

The effect on the population could result in the rise of a new 'chav' generation, skewing the population towards under achievers, hangers on and people with an expectation that the state will take care of them. Exactly what is not required.

I know that I'm generalising, but in general most developed countries have a population stability problem, with some countries like Japan actually having a declining population some time back.

What the world really needs is sensible population control policies, together with education to back up these policies, targeted at all countries, especially those with the highest population increase. It won't happen, as the UN charter actively prevents one country from interfering in another countries internal affairs, and the countries that most need the control are the ones least likely to implement or accept it.

Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Tools for the Job @BeachBoy

As I can't now edit my last post, I'll post a correction. AT&T did, of course, exist earlier than UNIX as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, and Bell Labs. were their research arm. I was just confused by what happened to the various bits of AT&T, and the 'Baby Bells' after the divestiture of AT&T Corp. I thought something did not look right when I was writing it.

What was set up later was AT&T Inc, formed when Southwestern Bell started to re-integrate the bits that were forced to be split earlier, eventually buying AT&T Corp. itself. It was all very incestuous.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Tools for the Job @BeachBoy

No. It was originally designed at Bell Laboratories (before AT&T existed as an entity) as an OS demonstration (developed almost as a side-of-the-desk project) that a usable OS could be built with some of the Multics ideas by some people disenfranchised by the Multics project itself, and became successful in Bell Labs as a text formatting system, IIRC used to prepare patent applications (they used this as the justification to buy the first PDP 11).

It spread rapidly inside Bell Labs and AT&T, and was used very extensively to provide general purpose time sharing systems for use within AT&T. At the same time, it was made available to Universities (including UCB) for the cost of the media and shipping.

It later was used, in a quite highly modified form (UNIX-RTR), as the OS for the File Store and Administrative modules in AT&T 1AESS, 2STP, 4ESS and 5ESS exchanges, as well as other products.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

The quality inspector pointed out to the management that he machinists really had to stop leaving lose threads on the finished garment

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Although her roots matched the trim, a last minute change of the colour spoilt the effect by no longer matching the rest of her hair!

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

"Call that bra smart? It's the ugliest piece of lingerie that I've ever seen!"

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Ashlee had not worked out that the web-punters were paying to see her take it off!

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

@Andy Non

I think that should be "debounce" technology!

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Although she admired the technology, Madonna did not think the styling was sufficiently outrageous for her stage show.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

It's part of our tele-dildoncis range

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Miss Brahms on the telephone: "Ladies' intimate apparel...I said, Ladies' intimate apparel...oh, all right then, the knickers and knocker counter!"

(Are You Being Served, The Apartment)

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Never mind the quality, feel the width!

All in all, it's just another hit in the stalls: Roger Waters The Wall

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: I still remember the

isn't this where....

...we came in?

BAN the ROBOT WHORES, says robot whore expert: 'These AREN'T BARBIES'

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Would..

The question about the Major was largely rhetorical, bearing in mind that the whole series is exploring the boundaries of what is human and what is not.

The way that in the original film, Project 2501 was trying to define itself as a artificial being, and the treatment of Proto and the Tachikomas, as well as the conclusion of GITS SAC: Solid State Society are all about the anomalous state of various entities in the franchise.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Demarcation?

Thumbs up for the reference to the Asimov story "Satisfaction Guaranteed".

And I believe that Lieutenant Commander Data was supposed to be 'fully functional', but unfortunately we can't ask Tasha Yar about it.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Would..

"Gynoids" as a term has already been used in Japanese Anime. I'm sure the subject's appeared before these examples, but it's in one of the GITS SAC gigs, and also part of the theme of the "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence" film. They're definitely regarded as property in these works, although the concept of 'ghost dubbing' (duplicating a real person's mind, or ghost) into gynoids confuses the issue - especially when they start killing their owners or clients, but that's the point of the story, blurring the boundaries between AI and humans.

Is the Major still human?

Robot 'maids' have been a common plot in Japanese fiction for many years, some quite innocently, some definitely not, not that I watch or read the latter.


Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Yes but, no, but...

When I lived in the North East, where they appeared to love an inch or more of froth on their beer, it was normal to have a tall glass to accommodate the head, eventually being marked with a line indicating a pint.

There were lots of discussions (well, often arguments really) about this, especially before the line was introduced, and also about 'measured' pints from metered taps which delivered half-a-pint on a single press of the button, but unless it's changed, there was legislation about how much head was allowed in a brim-fill glass before it was considered a short measure.

I personally could not stand chemical pints, delivered by gas, with a large head (I shudder at the memory of beers from the Federation Brewery), and I even learned how to pour Newcastle Brown without much of a head. And wondered in bafflement when the breweries came up with the "widget", to get a big head on canned beer.

BTW. Unlike a lot of real-ale drinkers, I did not like Guinness as a fall-back if a pub did not have a decent beer, precisely because of the head. It's all a bit moot now. I rarely drink anything at all, mainly because I don't get the chance to go out, and don't drink at home. Sad, really.

EE: Yes, our broadband service is a total clusterf**k – but we promise to improve

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: I know I'm swimming against the tide but....

I must be lucky.

I've been on EE Fibre Unlimited since just before last Christmas (it was a nice unexpected Christmas present for the kids), and I've never had a reason to call their broadband support.

I've occasional had routing issues for an hour or two, and I decided to put an alternative DNS server in the DHCP config, but so far that's all.

I suspect that they're using the BT OpenReach infrastructure. I do have times when I get some slowdown, but that's probably a result of back-haul contention.

World finally ready for USB-bootable OS/2

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Networking

OK, without knowing who you are, I am in the dark (is this a new incarnation of Eadon?) But neither my original post, nor (AFICT) any previous post mentioned AIX.

It is a very tenuous link saying that because OS/2 probably had a CLI for configuring networks, that AIX was a suitable comparison, merely because IBM wrote both of them. Whereas, I do comment about AIX, which makes it much less tenuous. Maybe I should have said someone who knows of me - possibly in these forums.

As far as I am aware, ifconfig does not, on any UNIX, make persistent changes to the system. What you may actually have fallen over is the fact that AIX does not even enable the interfaces by default until they are configured (they default to a down state, but can be brought up by a suitable command - cfgmgr in this case). I assure you that it is possible to bring the interfaces up to a state where you can use the standard ifconfig type tools quite easily. In fact, IBM provide a sample RC script to do it, not that anybody really uses it.

You get used to a particular system, but in my experience, moving on to a new platform has always required you to actually learn about the foibles of that platform. If you expected AIX, Tru64/Digital UNIX or HP/UX to work exactly like SunOS (showing my age), then you would be disappointed. And before I became mainly focused on AIX, I used a significant proportion of the UNIX systems out there, so I am pretty certain of this.

It was always the case that moving onto a new platform, the first thing you found was the management tool, whether it was SAM for HP/UX, sysadm for DG/UX, admintool on Solaris (before they removed it) or SMIT for AIX. Relying on ifconfig as the primary configuration tool is not wise, as different UNIXs use the arguments differently (and have significantly different syntax).

My Solaris knowledge is very rusty (havn't logged on to a Solaris box for over 10 years), but from googling a bit, to persistently configure a network interface, you need to use the oh so standard dladm command! Or edit a bunch of files.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge


Who is to say that an OS is "hipster rubbish". Whilst it is true in hindsight that OS/2 was only really a niche OS run only where IBM has significant sway over their customers, Microsoft did not have the same dominant position of either the OS or office application market that they do now.

I saw OS/2 deployed in anger as a desktop OS in IBM (of course), and in banks, utility and insurance companies, so it was used. And of course, it lingered in POS and ATM systems for many years after it left the desktop.

There were other OSs that were available at the time (both larger and smaller), and you have to admit that OS/2 was a capable OS. It just did not gain the market penetration that would have been required to merit it's onward development.

I would have been much happier if there had been more than one creditable and accepted OS in the years after OS/2 fell from favour, and before Linux was developed to a sufficient extent that it could be deployed on the desktop. It would have prevented Microsoft from dominating in the way that they have over the last 20 years. But history and the markets are fickle, as the developers of Betamax, HD-DVD, and many other technologies have found out.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Networking

I was a bit strong in my "cowardly" comment, but sometimes I like to know at least the handle of the commenter. It's obviously someone who knows me, because I made no reference to AIX in my original post.

I'm not suggesting that everybody is as naked as me on these forums, and I do post anonymously when talking about anything I feel is sensitive/employer-related (and only the Register knows whether I have another handle!), but unless you make it known, a handle that can identify your posts without revealing your name is what most people do.

IMHO, AC should really be reserved for people making contentious statements for whatever reason.

I could see nothing in the AC reply to my original post that looked even remotely contentious, unless it was their criticism of AIX, and everybody who has used AIX knows about what was said (and I've criticised the ODM myself in the past, it being neither a flat editable set of files like UNIX purists want, nor a proper database).

I doubt that there is even anybody in IBM who gives a damn about such comments. All the people who made the decision about the ODM will have now left IBM (AIX 3.1 was released a staggering quarter of a century ago), and I know for certain that Robert A. Fabbio, credited as the "lead architect for the System Management Architecture" of AIX 3.1 on the RISC System/6000, and lead author of the article "System Management: An Architecture" from the IBM journal of Technology no longer works for IBM.

I'm sure that if I went through all of the authors of the articles in the original IBM RISC System/6000 Technology (SA23-2619) that was published in 1990, I would find less than a handful still employed by IBM.

Everybody gets old!

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Networking

Oh ho! someone who knows me (even though they're too cowardly to post in their own name).

But when it comes to configuring anything on proprietary UNIXs, there is/was no commonality. Sun users used to think that their way was the only way, ignoring the fact that all the other vendors, such as HP, Digital, Data General and IBM (and Sequent, Pyramid, Altos, Siemens, Nixdorf, NCR, Silicon Graphics, Intergraph...) all did it differently! People tend to forget this.

Unfortunately, the split between the major proprietary UNIX variants occurred before the general adoption of TCP/IP (and yes, I know about the relationship between TCP/IP, DARPA and BSD), but all vendors had their own source trees, and implemented support particularly for networking in different ways. As such, there were no real 'standard' ways of doing things. Especially when some TCP/IP support was 'bolted on' to another vendor's UNIX system.

The main difference with AIX was the fact that the ODM was decoupled from the so-called standard commands, so running ifconfig, route et. al. would (within the bounds of different implementations) configure the interfaces, but it would not persist across a reboot.

I think that if you wanted commonality, you would have to have settled on sysadm from the AT&T base code to really have something 'standard'. And I don't think that would have suited anybody.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Networking

I have to admit that it's nearly 15 years since I needed to do this, but I don't remember it being any more difficult than on current operating systems. Mostly point, click and type, just like any other OS, and you can bet that there was a CLI accessible to do it from a command prompt.

Of course, in those days it was all static IP addresses. Maybe the DHCP support is a bit lame.

Don't bother buying computers for schools, says OECD report

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: You don't need new computers

I dispute that it is not possible to use single-core computers for real work. But I accept that Pentium 4's and earlier systems should be retired, mainly because this processor only delivered it's promised performance on code written specially for it.

I recently stopped using a Pentium-M single core laptop as my main personal machine. It still performed fine for web browsing, media playing, word processing, spreadsheet etc under Ubuntu 14.04 with Gnome Failback. Still perfectly acceptable performance, and would run XP in VirtualBox at an acceptable speed as well.

I stopped using it because it only supported IDE disks, and the disk was failing. Tried buying a largish (100GB+) 2.5" IDE drive recently? Even second hand, one would have cost me more than the machine I replaced it with!

But there's lots of ex-corporate Core-2 Duo and i3 systems knocking around in the second-user market at very reasonable cost. The biggest problem is the supposed non-transferable Windows license, even though most of them were delivered with a license, but were immediately imaged with a corporate volume license by the purchasing company. Often, the license on the bottom of the machine was never activated!

Vanished global warming may not return – UK Met Office

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Optimistic thread, all-in-all

Welcome back, Rik.

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Burning down the house @Elmer

I read that as "snog", and I was just about to express some pity, but...

Smog, on the other hand, was largely caused by the pollution from ordinary solid-fuel electricity generation (in cities, no less) and heating and the dreadfully dirty cars and lorries, getting caught in temperature inversions, and not blowing away.

The inversions are still there, but fortunately, much of the rest is not. Gas heating and electricity generation, smokeless fuel for those that insist on solid fuel, and much tighter emissions controls on vehicles have pretty much made smogs of the type experienced in the 19th and 20th century a thing of the past. At least in most of Europe.

I think residents of Beijing may beg to differ.

What should we do with this chunk of dead air? Ofcom wants to know

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: re. Three Cows

Bullocks to you!

Don't want to upgrade to Windows 10? You'll download it WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Behind the Curve....

If you're using a router from your ISP and have not set up a DMZ, default host or explicit port-forwarding, the chances are that the reason why Shields Up! reports your system is closed is because of the operation of NAT on the router.

Shields Up!, although a useful indicator has not really been a good test of how secure your PC is for quite some time, probably since USB broadband routers became passée.

For Windows security, you really ought to have a decent firewall installed on the PC itself, with both inbound and outbound filtering turned on. AV tools are not particularly good at so-called zero day vulnerabilities, and the fact that there are no more XP fixes means that a whole slew of already discovered problems still count in that day zero, as for XP there will be no more day zero+one regarding fixes from MS.

The sandbox is a good move for browsers, provided that it does not leak!

You will also notice over time that the AV, adblocker and anti-malware tools will become less useful for XP, as the providers get less and less interested in XP.

Really, it is not safe to use XP on the Internet, even with all of the protections you've detailed. Don't just think of your safety, try to prevent becoming part of a bot-net, because that can hurt us all. Do us a favour, work out what Windows programs you absolutely need, find out whether they run in Wine, and then complete the move to a Linux.

Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership election

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

Re: Stance on tech?

Probably the right generation for it. Does he have an account at the Living Computer Museum?

Curiosity Rover's OS has backdoor bug

Peter Gathercole Silver badge

"FTP server is susceptible to ring buffer overflow when accessed at a high speed"

Well, that's one vulnerability they don't have to worry about, unless it's from the Martians .

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