* Posts by BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

750 posts • joined 11 May 2012

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Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Wiring limits

Oh, sure, the Internet is currently 11-12Mb/s or so until I shortly get around to a fibre upgrade. I don't know if it's the negotiation, or re-transmits (there weren't any errors reported), but it was much more effective to replace a couple of quid of network cable with a new one rather than bother with fixing negotiation speeds. Also, if I want to copy on the local network I want to do so at 1Gb.

Anyway, the switch has now been moved so the issue won't re-occur. Next up is replacing my ancient firewall hardware with something a little more embedded..

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Wiring limits

I once went to a new machine room, if I remember correctly in the Republic of Ireland. It was smart, shiny, with incredibly neat wiring - a thousand miles away from cable horrors.

Unfortunately the comms system we maintained wasn't working - modems were communicating with the server, but no calls were being answered. The wires from the modems were tied very neatly, and almost at 180 degrees round parts of the rack, where they had presumably broken inside. Cue a test of every individual modem, replacement of RJ11 wires, and a request not to be quite so fastidious. This was made worse by the fact that US Robotics don't have a standard RJ11 wiring, they use different connections for different models..

I may have also managed the same at home, where one of the computers on a 28 port switch was rather slow web browsing. Eventually had a look at the switch stats and found it's negotiating at 100Mb instead of 1000Mb, cable has probably been bent a bit too much in the limited desk space, project tonight to move it on to a new shelf on the wall..

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The off-brand 'military-grade' x86 processors, in the library, with the root-granting 'backdoor'

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Could be really useful in specific circumstances

If you wanted to reverse engineer software that, for whatever reason, doesn't work in a virtualised (or v86) environment, doesn't have a kernel debugger, but you still have the ability to execute userland code, this could be ideal.

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You want to know which is the best smartphone this season? Tbh, it's tricky to tell 'em apart

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Updates? Removable battery? Rootable?

I know this isn't trendy due to the fact most people are on a contract and throw away their phones every two years, but in a sane world (one where people treated a laptop in their pocket exactly the same as a mobile phone) there would be riots if it was supported for less than five years.

As it is the best that's possible with Android at the moment is three years for Android Enterprise phones (of which the latest Blackberry KeyTwo is one).

Start punishing suppliers, and chipset creators. Say a new fancy graphics chipset comes out, and they want to extol its virtues :

'so, how open are the specifications?' 'We supply a binary blob certified to work with Android Oreo'

*sucks teeth, immediately lowers score out of ten by four points*

'How long will you be supporting this chipset for?' 'Well, as we said we'll be supporting Oreo throughout its lifetime and then will make a decision on further releases'

'Sorry, our review policy is a blanket support arrangement of a minimum five years including all Android versions released in that time. Come back when you've tried harder'

Phones are now mostly a stable market with very little differentiation. Service should be the key factor here, and the whole infrastructure (Google, chipset manufacturers, headset manufacturers) being geared to force people to change phone on a regular basis is borderline criminal.

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Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Logic bombs are unprofessional

I think Lee, your primary mistaken assumption is likely to be that there is anyone doing a proper licence audit at all..

I've never used personal software as an essential part of any business process, but free/personal/decidedly non ideal products have been used in the past, usually because the company refuse to pay for a proper infrastructure or bureaucracy is so much of a pain it saps at your will to live.

I'm happy to say that my current employer is making considerable improvements in those areas, most things are as they should be, and the addition of new systems in no longer an exercise in pain.

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Oldest swinger in town, Slackware, notches up a quarter of a century

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: No GUI Installer

It's nothing compared to OpenBSD, which has one of the most stripped down installers.

Graphical installers can be useful, particularly when organising a complex disk setup, but frankly that is a minority pursuit.

Some distributions could probably save a fair bit of effort by staying text only instead of poorly implementing a graphical interface, especially when I think it was Ubuntu failed to support 15 bit colour quite some time ago, meaning the installer wouldn't work in one of the most popular virtualisation products..

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Great distro, apart from dependencies

I started Linux with Slackware, although much more time was spent with OS/2, and BSD Unix. It, or to be more accurate Salix aka Slackware with dependencies and a few extra bits, is my primary Linux OS at home.

It's generally straightforward, and not difficult to wrangle, instead of systemd/network manager buggering around with the machine and networking.

initrd is a bit of a pain, though. It's possible to create one, which is essential for Xen, and also useful when running an SAS controller. Really need to work through the steps in getting my main Linux system to boot after transplanting the SSD from an SATA connection to SAS, it gets a few seconds into boot before the SAS driver initialises, the root partition appears at a different location, and the system falls over.. I've built an initrd, but it isn't working, and I'm currently too stubborn just to do a reinstall.

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Shouting lager, lager... Carlsberg's beer AI can now tell pilsners apart

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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'Carlsberg has inflicted IoT devices on 30 pubs to track data on the storage conditions of beer kegs (such as temperature) as well as stock levels. Such tracking is aimed at ensuring the beer remains in good condition and profits stay healthy'

Profits of the pubco, not of the pub, by making sure they're not buying and selling much cheaper beer from third party sources..

Some of the large brewers do create quite decent beers; I've had a very nice Heineken xmas beer in Oslo, but they only sell the shite over here. Then there are surprises, like Trooper, which you'd expect to be fairly substandard for a 'celebrity' beer, but it's actually half decent, both in cask, and a bottle.

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Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: dhclient

I wouldn't have removed dhclient either, it's altering a standard part of on operating system install, which rarely goes well.

You might as well ask for rm to be renamed..

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Seagate's Barracuda SSD bares its teeth at PC, laptop upgraders

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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In what world is the subheadline accurate?

Surely the UK pricing is way out.

'SATA flash drives to put low-cap disk on endangered list'

At 80 quid for 250GB SSD, vs 35 quid for 1TB spinning rust, this is hardly competitive.

A quick look shows that 250GB SSD can be bought for approaching 50 quid, with 120GB at around the thirty quid mark.

If you're looking for a single drive of moderate capacity it's now economic to buy an SSD. For multiple large storage devices, spinning rust is still much, much cheaper.

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Who fancies a six-core, 128GB RAM, 8TB NVMe … laptop?

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: What does it run?

Oculus CV1 is one of the reasons my main system is multi boot, but it can be made to work in a VM.

For the home user the easiest option is definitely KVM, as it has some settable flags to prevent consumer NVidia cards from disabling their passthrough ability. AMD works too but isn't always as good at surviving multiple VM reboots. This generally (but not necessarily) also requires multiple graphics cards so the host OS has something to display on. Xen/ESX work too but have more caveats. KVM may also now have the ability to blit the output of the passthrough card to the desktop - I know someone was working on it.

The issue I found was on Xen with USB passthrough. Virtualised USB is horrid in KVM, somewhat better in Xen, but VR really/ideally needs a discrete USB card with multiple host controllers on it (each USB3 port providing 5Gb/s, usually this is shared) passed through directly. The card I found works fine in FreeBSD VMs, but not in a Windows VM on passthrough with an earlier version of Xen, and I've not had the time/priority to fix it.

Nevertheless, there are configurations out there that do work.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: People stopped dual-booting 20 years ago.

GPU related things work reasonably well in virtualisation, but you need to use PCI passthrough if the emulated accelerated graphics adaptor isn't good enough.

In order of ease of use ESX passthrough does work, as does KVM (KVM is definitely the most functional solution, slightly harder to set up). Xen also works, but passthrough to NVidia cards needs a Quadro or some unsanctioned patches, AMD cards work with caveats usually as a secondary card to the emulated primary.

When passthrough does work, it works well, and fast.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: What does it run?

I have to admit I do multi boot, as I need to test bare metal behaviour at times, but this really is a minority pursuit.

For well over 90% of purposes, virtualisation with standard or virtualised hardware is fine.

For the parts that need direct unvirtualised hardware, virtualisation with PCI passthrough (VT-d), gets to the next 5%.

Of the last 5% the vast majority will be one operating system on bare metal, the number of people that need multi boot is minimal.

The main reason I multi boot between Windows and various Unixes is because the USB 3 controller doesn't pass through nicely to a VM, and life's been too short to try yet more hacking, and trying later versions of Xen..

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A fine vintage: Wine has run Microsoft Solitaire on Linux for 25 years

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Much, much better than it used to be - but still not great

The drama around staging is that the patches included are poorly architected, and is building an ever less stable Jenga of conflicting patches.

Wine proper should (but doesn't always) work like Windows, so that apps run whatever the hardware configuration, even on barely adequate hardware.

Wine staging patches usually enable some games to run, on some hardware, whilst breaking other applications. That's why they're not accepted in upstream Wine, and the patch developers can't be bothered to implement the changes properly because it's difficult and thankless.

Like I mentioned, some Wine compatibility is excellent, but it's very much skewed towards games and a selection of more popular productivity apps. As soon as unusual or enterprise apps are involved things tend to fall down.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Much, much better than it used to be - but still not great

Sure, but it's entirely reasonable for me to point out that 'Platinum' is nothing of the sort when it's being barely tested in limited configurations by amateurs.

You're also right Windows 3.1 is generally irrelevant these days, but if Wine's aim is to faithfully run Windows apps, it should also be expected that older APIs are now the most stable. That's by no means the case.

As mentioned in other comments, wine staging was dropped and quickly resurrected, because too many Wine users want to run Windows games..

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Much, much better than it used to be - but still not great

On the positive side it's much better than it used to be, some apps now run extremely well. However, the situation is not actually that rosy.

Sure, there's plenty of 'platinum' apps over at winehq.org.

How many of them are platinum under all hardware configurations? i.e. they work just as well on a low end Intel graphics chipset, as the closed source Nvidia drivers that usually provide the best performance and compatibility.

Then compare the 'platinum' app to the same app on the same machine, running under real Windows, and suddenly it's not quite as smooth as the real thing.

You'd expect Windows 3.1 compatibility to be truly outstanding, as that's an ancient and fixed API now - but no, there's issues there too.

The reason there is wine staging is because people can't be arsed to sort the architecture properly. Got it working for their use case, not got it working for all obscure hardware configurations..

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Dear Samsung mobe owners: It may leak your private pics to randoms

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Or you're worried about the bill?

I do occasionally use MMS, usually only to my parents as it (generally) just works.

Of course most of the time now on holiday they have both tablets and laptops, so e-mail is easier.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Or you're worried about the bill?

In the UK MMS are less expensive than they were, but are not included in many mobile plans.. Vodafone is 45p for instance!

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RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Lovely chap, great series

Saw him as part of an animation festival a couple of years ago, and met one of the Bagpuss hand puppets. Nice chap.

Ivor The Engine was one of my favourites, but it's well worth checking out the original black and white series as it includes about four episodes missed in the colour remake. It would scar modern children. Ivor is depressed because he can't sing in the choir, so Jones the Steam takes him to be auditioned. The choir leader is very nice but explains that as Ivor at the time only has one horn which creates one (not very good) note, he'd maybe be able to join in once a year(!).

Cue end of episode, sad Ivor sitting in a grim Welsh valley in black and white, children needing to wait an entire week to see what happens. Suicides probably tripled.

(Seeing out what happens is definitely worth it. It can be found on Youtube)

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BlackBerry KEY2: Remember buttons? Boy, does this phone sure have them

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Amazingly Blackberry has offered assurances

The KeyTwo is part of Android Enterprise Recommended, and therefore has security updates for three years minimum

https://www.android.com/intl/en_uk/enterprise/recommended/

They really need to shout about this a bit more, and highlight it more directly

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Fuck Blackberry, frankly

Yes, that's part of the reason, but

They didn't assess this before they created the Priv, and should have had contracts in place. Therefore they didn't care..

Various security patches are device independent, and could be supplied.

There is still, as far as I know, no commitment to extended security patches to other Blackberry Android phones.

Until they offer such an assurance, I will assume they are full of shit.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Fuck Blackberry, frankly

Six hundred quid, and it'll probably get the same two years of security patches the Priv did. Committed to security, my arse.

If they won't commit publicly to several years of security patches it's not worth it, as it can't be rooted.

Yes, I like keyboards on phones, but I'm not paying three hundred quid every year to have one. Impatiently waiting on the Moto Mod keyboard going into mass production.

Oh, and Andrew, I know removable batteries are so six years ago (production date of the last removable battery phone I had), but they're still a good idea, and external battery packs remain a colossal pain in the arse.

I am thoroughly sick of trying to nursemaid battery life, having to remember to plug in phones during the day, balance an external battery pack on the move etc, when the alternative is taking twenty seconds to shut down the phone, five seconds to swap the battery with a full one, and another minute or two to reboot a fully charged phone. Oh noes, it might be 2mm thicker if they did that..

The Xperia Pro was one of the best phones I've ever had, the only reason I stopped using it was because it became too slow to run the later versions of Android that the modern apps required.

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Science fiction legend Harlan Ellison ends his short time on Earth

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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He also spawned a computer game

There's an adventure game based on I Have No Mouse and I Must Scream. Not tried it, though.

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GDPR forgive us, it's been one month since you were enforced…

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Nekochan (sgi site) is dead

The maintainer didn't like the implications of GDPR, so just took the site offline. Hopefully will be back online sometime..

For the rest of sites it really is a load of old bollocks. Facebook and a load of dating sites are clearly in flagrant breach of GDPR (using the minimum amount of data and offering choices about it), but no-one is going to enforce it.

Counting down the days here until we clear down a load of historic customer data on their request, and then several months later they say they've made a mistake on the retention period, and did we really irreversibly delete it? (yes, yes we did).

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Who dares wins, they say, so Toshiba's SAS drive plans another hit on SATA

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Pricing is sort of important here..

Companies are only using SATA SSDs because they're still quite fast and are much more competitively priced than SAS SSDs.

Course, if Toshiba's SSD can't go way beyond saturating 6Gb/s and approach 12Gb/s they're unlikely to get anywhere.

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'No, we are not rewriting Office in JavaScript' and other Microsoft tales

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Annoying, but by that time Wordperfect had lost the plot anyway. By the time a vaguely working WP6.0 came along, Microsoft had eaten their lunch. WP5.x for Windows really was awful.

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It's time for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 to die (die, die)

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Needing TLS 1.0 is not a surprise

Some devices that I'm thinking of do have remote firmware update capability, but it definitely isn't automatic as this isn't sensible in a corporate environment. They're still 'supported' but are a legacy product and later firmware isn't going to be produced.

It's also possible the hardware isn't capable of running TLS 1.4. In one instance I know of it does 'support' TLS 1.0, but badly. If TLS 1.0 is switched on fully (proper end to end certificate chain validation, etc) rather than its default setting of 'ignore the validation and assume everything is ok' (not ideal, but it does at least stop casual users snooping traffic), the commands it sends are delayed, which causes issues.

Sometimes hardware has plenty of resource to spare, the system tools are comprehensive, and a lack of updated firmware is entirely down to vendor laziness/stingyness. At other times the hardware is difficult to code with limited resource and space. Not everyone is NASA with millions of pounds and bright minds to throw at problems.

The other solution is to proxy the insecure device at the client end, but that solution has to be developed, installed, requires two power and network ports, and then you have two devices to secure..

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Needing TLS 1.0 is not a surprise

Modern OS aren't the problem, embedded kit is. There's a variety of embedded kit that supports either HTTP, or TLS 1.0, and it isn't getting updated beyond that point.

It's all very well to say 'update to TLS 1.4', but when the response is 'where's 300 grand for new hardware and installation', even the more security conscious firms aren't likely to bite if the data involved aren't particularly sensitive. Then, beyond the 300 grand it turns out the new secure hardware isn't compatible with the old, so it needs work on both the client and server end, so add another ten grand plus by the time development and testing are complete.

What TLS endpoint vendors should really be doing is selective endpoint validation. So the majority of TLS clients go to the normal site and stay nice and secure. The few expensive holdouts only browse to www.mysite.com/URLUsedOnlyByExpensiveEmbeddedKit and are secured there.

Alternatively there's running the endpoint in HTTP and having a load balancer/TLS offloader that does selective permitting of TLS 1.0 as mentioned.

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'90s hacker collective man turned infosec VIP: Internet security hasn't improved in 20 years

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: 56k bullshit

ISDN terminal adapters run at 56K (probably 57600 to match the serial port speed, to be pedantic), an ISDN routed connection runs at 64K per channel. That may account for the memory. Towards the end of dialup this caused problems, because some TAPI profile creators forgot terminal adapter mode existed.

V.90 was late 90s, yes, because it needed an ISDN endpoint. Plenty of places were still using standard phone lines.

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Universal Credit has never delivered bang for buck, but now there's no turning back – watchdog

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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It's not that simple. Leaving aside whether basic income would work, and historic allowances etc there will always be people that require more than the basic income. PIP, Motability and others will always have to be administered (hopefully better than the vindictive way it's implemented at the moment).

If companies are providing better benefits, the money has to come from somewhere, not to mention the cost of covering multiple people doing the same job, if you're deciding to spend <n> days a week doing non work activities because of a basic income.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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UC is fundamentally a good idea

It's the implementation that sucks, and the fact not enough money is being pumped into it.

Who said this? No, not me - the architect of Universal Credit, on Radio 4.

So the guy has designed a system that prevents people being stuck in a benefit trap, and the government has ignored the resources that are required to make it work.

He knows it should work, but isn't. The goverment knows it needs to be putting in more resources to fix it, but won't. The electorate are supporting the party most keen on cracking down on welfare.

It doesn't work when you do it on the cheap and have no flexibility.

Likewise with the bedroom tax - the principle is sound, but taxing people when there are no properties to avoid the charge is wrong.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: The government position:

Nope. Voting is, and always will be choosing the least worst option. Sometimes least worst is still choosing between death between frying pan or fire.

It is democracy, you just don't like it.

There are a number of large and obvious problems that are not easy to solve :

1) The electorate voted for the status quo two referendums ago. They wanted strong parties, and that's what they got.

2) The electorate also do not like being told the truth. Truths include 'someone has to pay for it' and 'due to globalisation, history, population, and improved healthcare you will pay more, and get less'

2a) The refusal to accept 'someone has to pay for it' leads to reduced funding on welfare and healthcare

3) Large corporate interests, and the inability to crack down on them makes this worse

4) It's not quite as easy to shit all over other countries in order to enjoy a high standard of living as it used to be

5) Most competent people won't bother going into politics.

6) The electorate largely don't care about politics, which is a pity, as it's extremely clear that if enough people care about an issue it makes a definite difference to the larger parties' policiies.

7) An increasing cult of personality

If the job is thankless, difficult, and not that well paid why bother doing it?

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User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Keyboard ecosystems

That doesn't apply to all keyboards. I like my Unicomp keyboards, and they're a decent evolution of the IBM Model M, but unfortunately not quite as maintainable. The casing can be unscrewed, and the keys individually cleaned, but the circuit board is almost impossible to disassemble.

After a drink accident it didn't survive, and I had to resort to the spare which I'd bought just in case. Hopefully I won't make the same mistake again; the keyboards are reasonably priced, but shipping from the US is a bit spendy.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Keyboard ecosystems

Buying a basic keyboard for a tenner is your mistake - you spend literally hours using it. Money should be prioritised for keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Everything else is likely to be changed, but those will last.

I've spent my own money on my (buckling spring) keyboard and a reasonably inexpensive claw grip 'gaming' mouse (comfy, has multiple buttons) at work. I'm not about to suffer shite for 35 hours a week.

Once I've finished my study at home the priority will not be yet more computers(*), but a really nice chair.

(*) who am I kidding, I'll probably get more anyway, although it's a small room and already has a lot of shelves..

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Speaking of which,

Take the mouse apart, remove fluff, put mouse back together. Be certain not to lose the little spring that keeps the mouse wheel in. If the mouse isn't easily unscrewed there isn't a magic solution, unfortunately.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Trackball can be worse....

I use a Logitech Trackman at home (the same one model CeX used to use), and it doesn't get very grungy and is simplicity itself to clean. It also works with an electrical USB to PS/2 converter (i.e. the little adaptors that just rewire the output rather than change the protocol) if your KVM is PS/2 only.

My only irritation is that connected through my KVM only three buttons are detected (both small buttons are detected as the same button).

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Xen Project patches Intel’s Lazy FPU flaw, VMware doesn't need to

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Well, it's not as if you can just live migrate all your running tasks to another (unpatched) system/bring up a new patched system, then patch the unpatched system before moving tasks back to it, is it?

Oh, wait..

What are they smoking? Both VMWare and Xen support live migration unless you're running PCI passthrough.

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Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Auto-crash-pilot

Also importantly it looks like the Tesla is poor at braking. I wouldn't leave it that late to brake from the car in front in the first example, and if I cannot see ahead of the car in front and it brakes, I brake too pretty much regardless of distance - doesn't look like the Tesla does that. There is sufficient time to brake hard, and to swerve into the next lane which does have room (or are we now looking at the extreme example that the car in front magically has space to swerve into, and you do not?).

If a car in front of you brakes, you brake as well because you don't know what it has seen. If it carries on doing odd things, and it's not a case of the brake lights failing, time to drop way back or get in front of them in case they're an accident waiting to happen.

I can't stand all these driver assistance aids, even automatic lights are pretty annoying. Cruise control is the only item that might be useful, and even that isn't always perfect. Rain sensitive wipers are never quite right. Reversing sensors are useful, but proximity sensors when driving along occasionally get things wrong and actively distract from being able to to study the road.

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Intel chip flaw: Math unit may spill crypto secrets from apps to malware

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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shhh.. If they investigate they'll find all the bugs in the 486 as well, and then they'll never come out from under the bed.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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'That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!'

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Floating point crypto operations?

Modern x86 FPU programming is very different from historic programming - no-one uses the same methods used by the 8087, although obviously you can do if you really want.

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UK.gov online dating tips: Do get consent, don't make false claims or fake profiles

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Bumble is poor - most matches fail to talk, and far too high a percentage that do are boringly concerned about your job.

Tinder is alright, but only because it has a massive population, as a platform it is poor.

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Intel confirms it’ll release GPUs in 2020

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Also, oh joy! Server chipsets with intel graphics.

I don't know if it will happen, but I can dream. Integrated BMC chipsets with an Intel graphics chipset.

I realise they're servers, and servers don't require graphics. Even so it would be nice to have more than a G200e with 8MB RAM running over a PCI-e 1x link (slower than AGP...). Something with better acceleration and PCI-e compression. Haven't checked how the more modern AST chipsets are, but if you briefly need to run even a vaguely modern desktop the G200e is just glacially slow.

Suspect it won't happen with specialists like AST sewing up the market.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Hopefully not just the high end..

I'm hoping these cards will also cover the lower end, and be open source. Yes, Intel graphics are somewhat underpowered compared to Nvidia and AMD, but they have decent documentation and open source drivers enabling a large amount of open source support, especially on the BSDs.

For OS that reject binary blobs (hello, OpenBSD), Nvidia support died not far off a decade ago - Xorg is still using the nv driver. AMD support is quite up to date, and Intel support is doing quite well. Given a lot of developers use laptops, it would be useful to have a discrete GPU version of those chipsets when using a CPU that doesn't have a GPU built in.

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Automation won’t take your job until the next recession threatens it

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Article is missing the obvious....

Much though it's tempting to blame Millennials (I'm gen X, but have a lot of Millennial friends), I doubt that is the case.

I think it is more probable that increased regulation, globalisation, complexity, and a little consideration for the rest of the world is likely to result in a slowdown in productivity gains, not to mention that at some point productivity probably will plateau. There are human limits in terms of effective communication.

It's also very difficult to counter the established set of operating systems and social media, particularly given the increasingly widespread refusal to pay for social media, applications, and entertainment (mostly thinking about the horrid scourge of free to play games here).

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Clock blocker: Woman sues bosses over fingerprint clock-in tech

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Stupidity

Also note, you can't forget your fingers, and if a site has several dozen employees biometrics are cheaper (based on a hardware write down cost of a few years). Cards are not that expensive, but they're not zero cost either.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Stupidity

It's not difficult to identify cheats, just more expensive.

The number of clocks is limited. The exact time and location the employee (or fake fingerprint) swipes in is known - because it's a time clock..

Stick a camera covering the clocks (some clocks have this built in). Ensure the video is timed.

Probably also worth changing the employee's unique id to something else when re-registering a different biometric source, so it's easy to spot the miscreant when they swipe in under the old id.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
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Re: Salt free

The third use case, which I've outlined below, is to synchronise biometrics back down to a replacement clock. Re-registering hundreds of employees is a little tedious.

If Kronos offer a fully managed service, it is entirely possible that they are hosting a clock server in addition to any HR solutions they provide (no idea, though).

This really is tinfoil hat territory. I mean, theoretically, IF you captured someone's fingerprint, then somehow turned it into a full fingerprint form that would work with a clock with a proper sensor (which would have to be the clocks only for the employee's work, or at least the same type of clock and sensor if you've hacked the clock server and downloaded all the templates to a clock), then either broke into the clock or the clock server, and determined the employee number. Then broke into the system with the employee's HR data, and then obtained personal information it's oh so very theoretically an issue.

However it would be far *far* easier to

1) Steal their fingerprint by dusting/etc if you want the fingerprint. After all you can't get their finger print from the clock.

2) Break/socially engineer access into the HR system based on more easily obtained employee information.

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BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

ex-employee with axe to grind, rather than actual concerns..

Part of my work involves timeclocks with biometrics. Not Kronos, but it is probably similar.

As mentioned, what is stored in the clocks is a template, not data reversible to a fingerprint image. The image of the fingerprint that is shown on the clock when registering (if it has a display) is not retained.

The typical reason a biometric template is transmitted to a server is so that they can be distributed between different clocks, allowing an employee to clock in and out at any of the customer sites. You also want to record the biometrics in case the clock fails and the data need to be synchronised down to the new clock.

The biometric distribution is an overnight process, clocks send upload/update/delete biometric requests to the central clock server, so if it the biometric is deleted from the clock used to register it, it's removed from all other clocks.

When swiping in and out, all that is transmitted is the unique id for the employee, the time and date, and clock status information. Biometrics are not included.

The sensors used are rather better than the pieces of crap included in laptops and phones, and cost hundreds of pounds just by themselves. Whilst I've been able to lock myself out of a Thinkpad by having sanded down fingerprints after doing some DIY, on a clock the accuracy of my finger print recognition went down by about 4%, it was still perfectly able to check my prints.

It's possible to register multiple biometrics (most people add a backup finger), and a lot of clocks offer multiple input options, so if biometrics can't be used for a small number of staff, proximity cards or other identification can be used instead.

An 'ex-employee'. I definitely sense a huge axe to grind here.

However, it is critical to get employee buy in. I know of instances of repeated clock vandalism. Repairing of deliberate damage is not covered by warranty, and these clocks are not cheap.

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Samsung escapes obligation to keep old phones patched

BinkyTheMagicPaperclip
Silver badge

Consumers largely don't care as most contracts are 2 years.

Phone manufacturers don't care as they want to sell new shiny

Even if they did care, the chipset providers don't want to provide security updates for many years either, and also want to sell new shiny.

If you run your banking app on an out of security support phone you're an idiot. We'd better hope the situation is better, once criminals really start to target two factor authentication.

We don't accept this for operating systems (even OS X isn't quite that bad), we shouldn't accept it for phones.

This will only worsen as people keep their phones for longer, now functionality improvements continue to plateau.

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