* Posts by theOtherJT

543 posts • joined 6 Jun 2013


Welcome. You're now in a timeline in which US presidential hopeful Beto was a member of a legendary hacker crew


Re: Nice

It just wouldn't be Bob any more then tho, would it? Gotta give the man that - his comments are always immediately recognizable.

Wow, what a lovely early Christmas present for Australians: A crypto-busting super-snoop law passes just in time


I promised I'd keep doing this...


Version: GnuPG v2.0.22 (GNU/Linux)







And lo, I'm still doing it. I'm still going to be able to do it once this law takes effect.

Planet Computers straps proper phone to its next Psion scion, Cosmo


I wanted a Gemini, I want one of these...

I'd even be prepared to pay the 425 quid for it at the crowdfunding price. Unfortunately after all the early production issues there were with the Gemini, I'm not sure I feel comfortable risking it, and the "final sales price" is just too high for me at the moment :(

This two-year-old X.org give-me-root hole is so trivial to exploit, you can fit it in a single tweet


X has always scared the hell out of me...

...and this sort of thing here isn't making me feel better.

There's just something about the thing that seems so fundamentally weird that I've never been able to feel good about it. I'm sure there are far smarter people than me who know a lot more about why X is the way that it is who could explain that honestly it all makes perfect sense.

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait


RE: What happened to the hardware abstraction layer that gets out of the way of running programs?

Microsoft saw what happened to the ISP's, from whom what we all really want is a dumb-pipe service where we can pull data and they get out of our way. It's a race to the bottom and there's no money there.

Look at all the advertising there is scattered throughout the Windows ecosystem now. Look at all the various licences and subscriptions. Microsoft know full well that if all they do is sell you a piece of software - once - that you install - once - and then it goes into the background and you don't even know that it's there... that is _not_ the way to maximize profit, indeed, it could be enough to see them fade into irrelevance.

They know they have to be all up in everyone's face to stay relevant... the problem is that they don't know how to do that in any other way than "Run around changing things like crazy so people keep paying attention" The message "There's no such thing as bad publicity" seems to have taken hold, and much to their detriment.

Roughly 30 years after its birth at UK's Acorn Computers, RISC OS 5 is going open source


RiscOS really was magnificent but...

...without preemptive multitasking it feels a little fragile these days. If you have a process go rogue for some reason, you can lock up the entire system.

The thing that sticks with me today however, is that for all the years I used these things, I don't remember that ever happening. The software quality back then must have been fantastic.

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days


The best thing about that time was that design was forced to take a back-seat to functionality.

Everything had to be simple and functional because there simply wasn't free memory or spare clock cycles available to make sure that the menus fade in, or slide down, or wink into existence with a massive puff of animated unicorn farts or any similarly unnecessary shit. This meant that designers* were forced to worry about things like appropriate menu depth and interface discoverability because "making it prettier" wasn't actually possible, so they were forced to do something useful instead.

*The people who decide what it's going to look like and how it's going to operate, as opposed to the engineers and developers who had to code it all up.

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help


This makes me nervous

Not that I think Linus is a paragon of virtue, or that his behavior is exemplary or anything. It's just un-nerving when someone suddenly changes their behavior with what appears to be no warning. Sudden dramatic personality changes are usually the result of something bad happening to them, and despite never having met the man, I'm rather fond of Linus. He's done a lot for us all, one way or another.

Windows 10 Insiders see double as new builds hit the deck – with promises to end Update Rage


Re: Predictive Fuckups

You can specify hours when your PC cannot reboot.

Not even close to good enough. I have large mathematical computations that can take _days_ to run. I need to be damn sure that it's not going to reboot at all, at any hour unless I specifically tell it to. Losing a weeks worth of work because one of the compute machines took upon itself to restart 90 hours into a 100 hour long computation is totally unacceptable.

(And before anyone says "Use Linux" I work in academia. I support academics. Some use Linux, some don't. The ones that don't need to get their computations to run just the same. I'm not going to re-write their software for them to solve a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place.)

Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes


Positive reviews eh?

Well, come on Reg - lets be having one then :)

You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way


Please don't make the entire card a button.

I frequently like to copy text out of the front page headlines to google the name of some company or whatever for some context before reading the rest of the article. When the entire thing is a button it's really hard to do that.

Skype Classic headed for the chopping block on September 1


This will be the same Skype 8 that...

...occasionally insists that I don't have either a camera, microphone, or - somewhat amazingly - speakers, despite the fact that Windows itself knows damn well they're there, and I can open literally any other application and immediately use them?

Or would it be the same Skype 8 that doesn't ring when I call people who are on Windows 10 from my Windows 10 laptop, but does when I call them from my Android phone?

Or perhaps the Skype 8 that will continue ringing on my phone for up to 5 minutes after a call has been accepted on my laptop, and then forcibly disconnect the call taking place on my laptop when the phone decides that I'm clearly not going to answer it and somehow manages to terminate the connection?

Microsoft have totally fucking RUINED Skype with this version.

US Congress mulls expanding copyright yet again – to 144 years


Re: Congress has screwed up

Ah, but since it's for the benefit of the mouse that this was done in the first place, the mouse is the one who pushed for the length of the extension. No need to pay more than you have to, eh?

You've been Zucked: Facebook boss refuses to face-off with Brit MPs


Re: 'Zuck's already had to sit in front of clueless politicians'

Upvote worthy for the Red Dwarf reference alone.

Yo Google, I'mma let you finish, but China, I mean, Huawei's P20 is the best


Re: Porsche?

Anyway, if you wanted a nice car from Porsche, why did you instead buy the pug-ugly, heritage free 944

Looks are subjective I know, but I think the 944 was probably the best looking of the 924/944/968 trio, and one of the better looking cars Porsche has ever made - certainly compared with the boxster that came immediately after it.

More importantly, did you ever drive one? The 944 turbo is utterly, utterly brilliant. I desperately wish I'd bought one when I first started considering it 10 or so years back when I could have afforded one. They've appreciated well out of my price range now.


One thousand eight hundred and thirty five pounds...

Let me say that again.

One thousand eight hundred and thirty five pounds.

For a mobile phone.

I know the value of the pound isn't what it used to be, and I'm sure this is a very good mobile phone... But...


That's more than my last laptop cost, and it wasn't exactly a cheap laptop.

Software gremlin robs Formula 1 world champ of season's first win


Re: Follows old adage...

Williams also made a 6 wheeler - two of them, in fact, although I'm not sure they ever raced:


Linux Foundation backs new ‘ACRN’ hypervisor for embedded and IoT


Isn't that a de-pruning machine?

Or perhaps they'll end up renaming it...

Skype for Biz users: Go watch nature vids. Microsoft wants you to get good at migration


Does Microsoft have ADHD or something?

I honestly can't keep track of their product line these days. It seems that not a month goes by where they've not rebranded, or deprecated, or otherwise changed something that we literally just finished migrating TO after the last pointless change. I'm so utterly sick of spending more time migrating from platform to platform than I actually get to spend using the damn things.

Apple whispers farewell to macOS Server


@Jonathan 27

Mac OS requires expensive, proprietary hardware and the cost adds up

Apple XServe servers were, IIRC, fairly competitively priced. Server quality hardware ain't cheap, regardless of what OS you're running on it. Once you took into account the fact that you had a nice big name supporting the things they actually made a decent case for themselves - especially when targeted at people who find administering *nix servers somewhat intimidating and would be more likely to chose Windows Server rather than anything FOSS.

Once the dedicated hardware went away tho, the writing was on the wall for Mac OS Server. I'm just surprised it's still hanging on in there even in this sorry state.

On the NHS tech team? Weep at ugly WannaCry post-mortem, smile as Health dept outlines plan


Re: Suits having meetings and producing reports is not going to help...

I think suits having meetings might just in this one case actually be exactly what we need. The problem is the occupants of said suits being the right people.

I would be the first to agree that overspending on managers and underspending on front line services is a genuine problem, but in this case it would seem that the problem is stupid contradictory policies tying the hands of the people who already knew how to fix this.

If the management took the time to understand what the implications are of having important medical devices connected to the Internet are, and what a rigorous patching regime actually involves, then maybe - just maybe - this could have been avoided.

Better management, not just more of it, you know?

Australian Senate vote-counting-ware contract a complete shambles


Problem number one...

Do I need to post the Tom Scott video again? No? OK.

Boffins split on whether Spectre fix needs tweaked hardware


I would imagine that one issue is that in a lot of cases the CPU in question is baked onto a board containing parts by huge numbers of different manufacturers, all of which work perfectly well, but would have to be replaced anyway. The cost of that starts to get kind of crazy and Intel may well argue that it's not THEIR fault that Gigabyte / Asus / Dell / HP / whoever soldered the processor to the motherboard, and that those manufacturers should bear part of the cost of any recall. In fear that that argument might actually hold water, those OEMs are reluctant to endorse a recall for the CPU because they don't want to end up with even part of the bill.

The other issue is that literally every x86 chip made in the last 15 years is vulnerable, at least to spectre. There simply isn't the manufacturing capacity on the planet to replace that many chips.

US Senators force vote on Ctrl-Z'ing America's net neutrality death


Re: Follow the money

More precisely, they are the hidden evil, as I see no one but me even mentioning their names.

I'm not really sure why their names matter. Its a massive ad-hominem. Do I like Facebook? No, not really. Do I think they're on the right side of this issue? Yes. Just because they stand to benefit in this situation doesn't make them wrong, any more than the fact that the cable companies stand to benefit if NN is overturned makes them right.

It's not about what companies benefits from this - it's about how it ultimately affects the people. Handing more power to cable companies, who are already anti-competitive as hell, will do a disservice to their customers, and that's clearly bad for the end user, even if it goes on to benefit Google or Facebook, or any other giant business that I don't like very much.

Look, this legislation wouldn't even be relevant if there was a healthy market for ISP's in the US, but there's not. If there were we could indeed just let the market sort it out, and have consumers leave en masse from any ISP who tried to stiff them over pay-per-access pricing. We are all well aware however that there is NOT a competitive market for broadband in the US, and given the sheer size of the incumbants and the enormous barrier to entry cost for getting into the market in the first place (laying fibre isn't cheap, and if I own fibre, why the hell would I let a competitor use it without putting up a fight?) there's not going to be a competitive market any time soon.

Perhaps if something had been done about that problem at some point in the past then we wouldn't be having this fight over this one now.

Brrr! It's a snow day and someone has pwned the chuffin' school heating


Re: Lucky little sods

First-year? LUXURY. We 'ad to donate a limb each!

Expert gives Congress solution to vote machine cyber-security fears: Keep a paper backup


Got in there before me on the Tom Scott video.

The one they're talking about here is "Hey, we keep a paper trail of what the machine did, so it's ok!"

NO. NO IT'S NOT OK! The paper trail will say what the machine SAYS it did. If the machine is compromised you can't trust the paper trail either. This does not solve the problem in any way.

UK emergency crews get 4G smartmobes as monkeys attempt to emerge from Reg's butt


Re: gov would need a contract with *every* network provider

Indeed. And if the government had even the slightest bit of negotiating savvy, it would say

"Nice airwaves you're using there. Want to keep using them? Give us access for free for emergency services or we're taking them away and giving them to someone who does."

You can do things like that when you're a government. Unfortunately ours either hasn't worked that out - in which case they're stupid - or has decided not to in the interests of greasing certain wheels - in which case they're corrupt.

Does UK high street banks' crappy crypto actually matter?


Re: Attitude of banks

The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

-Douglas Adams

Better filters won't cure this: YouTube's kids nightmare


When I were a lad...

...There was a long and detailed discussion between my parents and myself regarding the pros and cons of allowing me to have a VHS recorder and a TV in my bedroom.*

It was made clear to me at the time that this was a privilege and one that would be revoked if abused. If I was caught taping late night "adult" TV, the thing would be taken away. My parents wouldn't even contemplate letting me have the damn thing until they thought I was old enough to understand the restriction, and sensible enough to honour the rules we agreed on.

I believe this to be called "parenting" and you don't leave your children unsupervised with something until you're certain that they understand what it is, what it isn't, and what uses of it will be accepted.

So, yeah, Youtube is full of surreal garbage not to mention quite deliberately offensive content. Don't leave kids alone with that until you think they're old enough to be able to tell the difference and act accordingly.

*Which of course dates me somewhat.

Where hackers haven't directly influenced polls, they've undermined our faith in democracy


"Tiger teams"

Really? And how exactly will that help?

The voting machines will have to all be tested before they're installed in polling stations to check that the software running on them is actually what we're told it is. And this will have to be done by completely re-installing the software from the firmware level upwards, otherwise we have no way of knowing that the result of any "test" isn't a pre-defined "Everything's great!" left there by whoever compromised them.

See again a great video on the subject.

Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't


I really miss those. WebOS was such a great little operating system. Such a shame HP killed it.

The new, new Psion is getting near production. Here's what it looks like


I want one of these so much...

...but honestly I'm not sure what I'd do with it. It's so fucking cool, and if I had a lot of spare cash I'd buy one "just because" but on a day to day basis I really can't see myself using it enough to justify the price.

I imagine a lot of people will feel the same these days, seeing as how capable a generic smartphone is now, but I really hope they manage to sell enough to stay in the market. I want them to still be around in a few years when I have enough money to afford one just as a toy.

Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report


A full national roll out will consume around 250 MW of additional power

Do you have a source for that? I mean, it seems intuitive to me that these things will consume more power - but I'd love to see some actual figures for how much more.

It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild


Re: Screw 16:10

Which would make 9:16, or preferably 210:297, a more useful format than 16:10.

9:16 is actually a bit annoying, because it's too tall for my predator-evolved binocular vision designed to track horizontal movement to really deal with. 3:4 on the other hand is a nice middle ground, and why I keep 2 monitors in portrait aspect.


Screw 16:10

I want my damn 4:3 back.

British snoops at GCHQ knew FBI was going to arrest Marcus Hutchins


Re: Rules

They're terrible rules. And they're exactly the rules I'd impose on myself if I worked in security and not the mundane world of devops. Of course it's messed up that people feel these are appropriate constraints for security researchers to place on themselves, but the reason it's messed up is that they actually ARE appropriate constraints in the current climate.

She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base


I hate this ship and everything it stands for.

This isn't a pacifist thing, or a national pride thing, by the way. In general terms I'm rather in favour of carrier groups - and I certainly think that it's in the UK's best interest to have them.

No, I hate this ship (And the bloody PoW) specifically because every time I see them I'm reminded that they were built not to be the best they could be for the sake of our national defence, not to be the the best we could afford for the sake of our national budget (and god knows they weren't cheap), but that they were built to make the maximum profit for bloody BAE.

They stand as a constant reminder that our government - which ever party figurehead sits in number 10 - can't seem to negotiate its way out of a wet paper bag.

NotBeingPetya: UK critical infrastructure firms face huge fines for lax security


Re: ...could be fined as much as £17m of 4 per cent of global turnover...

TBH I don't see how anything other than C suite jail time will ever make companies take this sort of thing seriously.

"Oh dear. We got fined. What to do, what to do... I know, put them prices up for the next quarter! Problem solved. Lets all go play golf."

UK.gov watchdog didn't red flag any IT projects. And that alone should be a red flag to everyone


Re: Too big to succeed

UNIX philosophy works for so many things...

Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in


"It's all about suspension of disbelief..."

Which is sadly where Dr Who lost me quite some time ago.

I always thought that for the whole suspension of disbelief thing only worked as long as you had a framework to work in.

These are the rules. These rules are not your rules, but they are the rules here. It's OK to travel in time. That's part of our rules. It's OK to have FTL. That's part of our rules. It's OK to have humanoid aliens. That's in the rules.

Once you accept that there are rules, and start to get a handle on what they are - then you can just get on with the thing. That's how it works for me.

The problem with Dr Who is it keeps messing with it's own rules, to the extent that I have no idea what they even are any more, and that's made me get bored with it. If there are no rules then there's no story. With no rules someone can just go "Oh, that thing you can't do? Well you can. Because you need to to fix this plot problem. Problem solved." and shit like that just makes me stop caring about the story at all. Nothing has any dramatic tension if there are no rules.

Dr Who has played too fast and lose with it's own rules basically... forever... if we're honest, and it reached a point somewhere during Matt Smith's tenure that I just lost patience with the entire thing and stopped watching it.

I don't care that the new Doctor is a woman, because I already stopped caring about Dr Who at all :(

Media mogul Murdoch's 'Sky dataset' swallow poses 'grave threat'


" the hands of an owner with an appetite for political leverage"

...and where do they envisage finding an owner who doesn't have one of those? It's not a good idea to let any single entity control that much data IMO.

Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise


Re: It's a phase young programmers go through

@Martin an gof

VNC is pretty hateful as an RDP protocol. RDP (if one can get over the microsoft connection) is much, much better - but getting xrdp to build under Linux is a bit of a bitch. You'll need to build X11Rdp too normally if you want decent performance (otherwise it uses a local VNC server for some reason giving you

RDP Client -> Xrdp -> VNC -> X Server

which does rather defeat the point of going to all the trouble to remove VNC from the loop.

G20 calls for 'lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information' to fight terror


I'm going to keep doing this...

...because it cannot be repeated enough. This remains possible. The content of the message isn't even important. Unless they're going to ban maths, this shit ain't going anywhere.












































Microsoft drops Office 365 for biz. Now it's just Microsoft 365. Word


Can anyone clarify...

...if this means that we have to buy Windows and Office together and won't be able to decouple the two? Does this also mean that we're onto a rolling subscription charge to even use Windows? I'm a little confused.

Windows Insiders with SD cards turn into OneDrive outsiders


Re: The usual abuse of language.

Yeah, variations on that particular bastard weasel phrase "To provide the best possible experience" always mean "We made this change for our own benefit and now we're going to pretend that we did it for yours". If they had an actual good technical reason, they'd have given it, not that empty marketing-speak stock phrase.

Microsoft: We'll beef up security in Windows 10 Creators Edition Fall Update


This would be the same Defender...

...that keeps identifying parts of TeXLive as malware and quarantining them, thus buggering up what is already an hour long install process?

I'm not sure I want that on my servers, if I'm honest.

We'll drag Microsoft in front of Supremes over Irish email spat – DoJ


Re: Why not start a relocate?

a pretty senior MS executive basically said they would fight it all the way to the Supreme Court, and if they lost that they would reincorporate MS elsewhere, with the US as a subsidiary, rather than lose European (and potentially Asian) markets.

I've heard similar things in meetings regarding what happens to UK companies after we leave the EU. "Follow the money" has never been more true. There's no nationalism when there's profit at stake.

Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts


This again?






Just for fun this is a little harder to decrypt. I'm sure it will take any of you that care to do so about, what, 2 minutes once I tell you that the key is the title? Seriously. GPG exists. There's no point pretending that it doesn't. It can't be un-invented.


Silva clarified that he was not in favour of "banning encryption"

Which is just as well, because one would hope that before being in favour of banning something one should understand what is is. It's pretty clear from the rest of his statement that he doesn't.

WannaCrypt outbreak contained as hunt for masterminds kicks in


Re: Shouldn't that be "have already taken steps"?

That's what makes me personally so mad about all of this. 90% of this was completely avoidable if people had just been following good security procedure. Yes, there are always going to be zero day exploits, and there are always going to be idiots that click on links in emails - but since we KNOW that's always going to be the case, people should be putting measures into place with that in fucking mind!


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