* Posts by OldSoCalCoder

27 posts • joined 9 Dec 2013

Why does that website take forever to load? Clues: Three syllables, starts with a J, rhymes with crock of sh...

OldSoCalCoder

What's taking so long?

I'm guessing that 50% of page load time comes from these shit tracking scripts but what hasn't been mentioned is the other half (well, 49%). I propose that the other part of the equation is security, mainly SSL/TLS handshake, authentication cert download, multiple session encryption renegotiations. This depends on the website, but a lot of mainstream websites need good protection. HTTPS is a good thing but it comes at a price.

As for 'it's your fault, developers' I don't know about that. If you want a quick and dirty website you'll go to Wix or some canned wordpress theme and ya gets what ya get, no tweaking allowed. I got off the phone with a Google Ads rep yesterday after she stepped me through changing my paid ad campaigns. I'm not using tagged advertising but it's pretty easy to see how someone could have a lot of slop code running on their website without knowing it.

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

OldSoCalCoder

Re: correcthorsebatterystaple

Smartphones are a problem, and will be as banks, credit card companies and retail stores push towards their use. Entering long passphrases with combinations of <shift> keyboard special char, long hold-select is cumbersome and error prone. A few websites have started to have an option of 'show password text', but on mobile apps? Umm, no. I still don't know where or how passwords are stored on these phones, but it's convenient to check 'yes, store this password for future use'. Multifactor authentication on smartphones is even more cumbersome since (I'm guessing) it involves task switching, selecting a text string, copy, task switch back and pasting. Hardware authentication like Yubikey? For a while Apple wouldn't even give the outside security firms specs so they could design something that would work with their products.

Is there one magic bullet solution to online security? I haven't seen one. But, articles like this are good if it gets us to change how we protect at least one high value asset.

IBM to kill off Watson... Workspace from end of February

OldSoCalCoder

Blockchain. You forgot to add 'blockchain'. That'll sell it.

Ding dong merrily on high. In Berkeley, the bots are singeing: Self-driving college cooler droid goes up in flames

OldSoCalCoder

Re: Human Error, eh ??

Why not just replace the human with a battery installing robot?

Reverse Ferret! Forget what we told you – the iPad isn't really for work

OldSoCalCoder

What's a computer?

At the beginning of the year Apple ran an ad where some 12yo girl finishes a productive day of doing stuff on her iPad, and asks 'what's a computer'? I thought to myself ah - so if you're a 12 year old girl the iPad is your go-to compute platform. I guess that means anyone who's further in age than a 12 year old and has a job where they actually need to get something done should use a real computer.

I tried replacing my 6 year old Samsung tablet with a newer Win 10 tablet. The cpu on the Win 10 tablet is forever stuck trying to install a (seemingly) infinite number of Win 10 updates as to be completely unusable. The Samsung tablet won't update at all but does a great job of running YouTube, a Kindle reader app and a wifi analyzer app. That's all I want it to do and it does exactly what I want.

Flash price-drop pops Western Digital's wallet: Surprise revenue fall with worse to come

OldSoCalCoder

I have 2 pcs literally sitting side by side. One running on a 4 year old i5 intel booting win 10 off of hard drive, another 7th gen i5 intel booting linux Ubuntu 18.04 off of WD ssd. Both have 8G of mem. Is the linux box incredibly, mind-blowingly faster? umm...no. I just installed Netbeans IDE on both, and I don't see a difference in the IDE startup times. If an application depends on internet speed the determining factor will be how fast you're getting data off the wire and there's nothing you can do about that. I was at Fry's yesterday and saw a 1TB WD ssd for $299. How much for 1TB of hard drive? Max $50.

As to the article - this really shows the retail pc market is still tanking. I can see how the consumer saying 'spend $800 on a smartphone or buy a new pc?' is almost a no-brainer if all they're doing is surfing the web and watching cat videos.

Have all the big guys (FANG) built out their storage silos, saying 'Nah, we're good for now'? I don't get that. We're storing more consumer activity from more (IoT, etc) sources than ever. How is business demand going down? The other reason FANG business storage demand should be rising is the use of cloud storage from the consumer smartphone. All those pictures of Uncle Fred's 80th birthday have to go somewhere.

jQuery? More like preyQuery: File upload tool can be exploited to hijack at-risk websites

OldSoCalCoder

I followed the link by Mr. Cashdollar of Akami to the Apache 2.4 docs. Maybe I'm missing something here, but the doc doesn't say that .htaccess isn't being used any more. It strongly suggests not using .htaccess files, but I don't see it saying 'this is no longer used'.

Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

OldSoCalCoder

The good old days

Ah, I remember, but not too well. The sound of a 250 lb 40M CDC 9760 drive on a metal pedestal running sorts at month end (boom da da boom boom, da da boom), the sound of a chain printer warming up to go through a box or two of greenbar. I included the weight of the drive because I've moved a few of them up / down a few flights of stairs.

Google kills AdWords!

OldSoCalCoder

I've been using AdWords on and off for 10 years for our small service business. Somehow I was able to use the geolocation part to target my ads to cities where we have physical locations, set min bids to what we could afford (not much) and...watched sales drop. Yes, the interface is very confusing. I can't remember if Google called me or I called them but I've talked to their AdWords support a few times, went from less keywords to more keywords, let them tweak my ads and...watched sales drop. Quit AdWords advertising for a few years(!), went back in a year ago targeting just smartphones and watched sales drop. I still don't know how 'the other guys' target ads to people who part their hair on the left with genetic disposition to compulsive toothbrush buying on Tuesday evenings living in green houses. Our best performing advertising? Our phone number painted on the windows in six foot letters on one of our closed sites.

Farewell, Android Pay. We hardly tapped you

OldSoCalCoder

Ya, but it looks really cool to walk up to the Starbucks teller and tap your iWatch. Until it doesn't work, which happen in front of me at a Starbucks a few months back. Note to all you cutting edge/young ultra uber cool people - it really looks good when it works. Until it doesn't, and then you look like a fool. And you're in my way.

I had the Starbucks Pay app years ago and it kept falling asleep while I was in line. Screw that.

If I can walk by your phone sitting on a table and tap it with my hidden Square tap-to-pay credit card reader and it doesn't wake up or send any kind of 'are you sure?' message please, please let me know where you hang out.

US shoppers abandon PC makers in hour of need

OldSoCalCoder

Re: everyone replaces their PCs

Thank you! 'For us business types trying to get some work done...' The problem is the world is bending towards doing everything on a tiny screen that you carry in your pocket (well, not really - does anyone carry an iPhone+ in a pocket? Don't you need a manpurse for one of those?). More and more websites are being designed primarily for the mobile browser. If you're using a regular pc to look at these sites you're s.o.l., you dinosaur.

I actually have work to do, and need a full screen and enough compute power to get the job done. The last thing in the world I want to do is scroll an excel spreadsheet on my phone. I use command line scripts to offload data from SQL databases and run the results on my work pc. I have a job to do, not tweets to send or cat pictures to forward.

All the companies out there from big banks to journalistic websites (thankfully not El Reg) see that 80% of their traffic is coming from smartphones so they change their design to accommodate, leaving the full screen format to rot. It's sad, it's 'progress' and it will only get worse.

OldSoCalCoder

Re: Market Saturation

If you do all your web surfing/emailing on your smartphone you're not even booting up your Win XP, Win 7+ pc. Why would a consumer need to buy a new pc? Death of the pc was because of the smartphone for millions of home users. The business market just can't fill the demand gap.

Amazon: Intel Meltdown patch will slow down your AWS EC2 server

OldSoCalCoder

Re: maybe it's time to re-consider server-side inefficiency

The Meltdown paper I read specifically mentions Docker as being exploitable.

OldSoCalCoder

Re: maybe it's time to re-consider server-side inefficiency

OP isn't saying coding is more secure in C. He's saying C is more efficient, has less overhead than a scripting, interpreted language that loads a lot of unused functions. How many js coders say 'let's throw this in there because we may need it later'? You don't think the interpreter unpacks this shit? You don't think there's overhead involved in this?

Guess who's now automating small-biz IT jobs? Yes, it's Microsoft

OldSoCalCoder

Re: I totally love those solutions

Yes - I remember a decade ago reading how Oracle's latest release was going to do away with all db admin jobs. How'd that go, by the way?

Avast urges devs to secure toolchains after hacked build box led to CCleaner disaster

OldSoCalCoder

Re: CC Cleaner is an enterprise tool?

Yes, in a business environment where the only thing that should be on the pc is whatever IT put there, CCleaner would suggest a user trying to 'fix' a business pc they might have accidentally infected.

However, for the home user or a 1 pc business CCleaner is suggested as a final step when trying to recover a pc when nuking is not, or is the last, option. Doesn't happen? Wanna bet? You've never been called to look at a friend's home office pc that's running some ancient accounting software, no idea of where any of the original install software is, unknown/nonexistent/untested backups and the complaint is 'it's acting funny'?

I used CCleaner on my home pc just last month - it's running Windows 10 and the forced update made it unbootable, I restored from a drive image and wanted a text printout of installed programs. There's a tool in CCleaner that lets you do just that - export a list of installed programs. Which I did, before nuking the drive and reinstalling the os.

Red panic: Best Buy yanks Kaspersky antivirus from shelves

OldSoCalCoder

Yes - don't install Kaspersky. Use Avast, which is based in the Czech Republic. No, change that to ESET, based in Slovakia. No, change that to Bitdefender based in Romania. Wait, erase that. Use F-Secure based in Finland or TrendMicro in Japan, Panda from Spain.

What about backup software which could install boot loader infections? CloneZilla from South Korea. EaseUS? Mainland China. Acronis is a Swiss based company started by and currently run by Russians!

Over the years I've read a lot of malware writeups by a lot of different companies based all over the world. They do a great job and seem to have one objective - figure out how the bad guy software works and stop it from messing with my stuff. I have nothing but admiration for these people.

Trouble at t'spinning rust mill: Disk drive production is about to head south

OldSoCalCoder

Re: I'm puzzled

You are correct - the average end-consumer doesn't need terabytes of data on a home pc. Most people don't need a home pc if they only browse the internet and read email. They (correctly) assume their emails will always be there, stored in the cloud.

Photos are almost all taken on their phones, which also 'magically' store the pictures somewhere else, just not on their SSD phones.

Yes, some companies are running their businesses wholly from AWS et. al. cloud services. Now the big question - just how do you think Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon, etc are storing all this data? Does it have to be always-on, always at near-memory speed access? Do you really think billions of my-trip-to-the grand canyon/cat pictures taken 10 years ago and not looked at in the last 5 years need to be instant-access SSD stored? Your miles of business email accounts from employees long gone. Yes, they need to be saved but not on flash storage. There's a need for speed and there's a need to keep this stuff for a long time. Spinning rust is good enough for the latter.

Apple stuns world with Donald Trump iPhone

OldSoCalCoder

We've got enough problems already

This article is clickbait. Clear and simple. Way too easy to speed-read this into “…a pair of small iPhones and iPads for people with itty-bitty minds”, “…and M9 coprocessor, the 12MP myopic iSee One Side Only Camera, NFC I-Can-Afford-This-You-Can’t Pay capability, the "I’ll Sue You" voice input and Touch ID fingerprint deporter”.

Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

OldSoCalCoder

Another idea for wearable tech

How about a new smartphone - the iPhone 24? You velcro strap a 24 inch touch screen to your bare ass. Pinch & zoom interface (with a little practice), check. 3d touch? Squeeze out a really solid deuce. Siri takes on a whole new dimension. Men will have to wear skirts for modesty reasons, but that's as fashionable as what they're wearing now to carry around an iPhone 6 Plus. Texting while driving - who's gonna know!

I haven't worked out how you actually see what you're doing yet but those are minor details.

It's Wikipedia mythbuster time: 8 of the best on your 15th birthday

OldSoCalCoder

Why the hate?

Why are so many people out there so adamantly against Wikipedia? You say the articles are incorrect. Which ones? There are 5 million articles out there (I looked it up - guess where.). Are they all incorrect, flawed? You say 'go to the source'. Ok, I want to know when Intel started with 64 bit processors. Type in intel 64 bit processor for google search. First on list is wiki's article, which gives a great chronology of chips. Is this incorrect? Is this not answering my question in a succinct manner? If I click on the first intel link I go to (not surprisingly) intel's splashy front page touting their greatest, latest products. Not what I want. How many pages do I have to go through to get an answer to my simple question? Yes, somewhere buried in the bowels of the intel site is exactly what I want, but how long will it take to find?

Show me the molecular structure of caffeine. Is this incorrect? What are related stimulants? Methylxanthines. Is this wrong? Gee, I wonder what else is related to this. One click. Do I want to see references? Sure. One click. Could I get this through PubMed? Sure, along with miles of other info that I could spend hours going through.

As asked before, just what are you using wikipedia for? I use it for simple questions with simple answers, mostly just because I'm curious.

Are you the keymaster? Alternatives in a LogMeIn/LastPass universe

OldSoCalCoder

Re: @RIBrsiq

I agree with eldakka above - unless you've built the whole thing you don't know if it's secure. I don't see any exceptions to the laws of physics where the bad guy installs a HDD driver that skips a few sectors but still boots normally (bad code could be any size), gens a keylogger and screen scaper in memory and phones home. Yes, bad guy has to know exact make, model, etc. of hardware but they seem to have plenty of time on their hands.

This whole conversation does bring up an interesting point - some of my passwords are worth hiding and some aren't. Take my uid/password login to El Reg for instance. Would I feel comfortable logging into this website to post a comment from a library pc? The pc in the business office of a hotel? What would I be losing if my El Reg password were stolen? What if I'm using one of these 'one password to own all passwords' systems and the main password gets compromised because I'm compelled to write this comment here? I'm not offering any alternative to the problem. (I keep all my passwords on paper - 4 sheets typed in 9pt font. Ya, that's a great idea.) Just looking for other points of view.

D-Wave heads for New Mexico

OldSoCalCoder

Re: Spelling checker on the blink?

'...is meant to correspond to the oompaloompah solution of a problem...'. There. Makes more sense to me now.

PHONE me if you feel DIRTY: Yanks and 'Nadians wave bye-bye to magstripe

OldSoCalCoder

Just my experience

In a few days I'm driving 200+ miles to one of our locations in California to sit on the phone for an hour and update one card terminal to use this newfangled chip thing. I'm going to be on the phone with tech support from the card processing company that supplies our terminals while we replace the OS. That's two people tied up for one hour. For one terminal. I was told by their tech support that each OS had to be built for each terminal beforehand, and some people were on hold just to talk to support for an hour. Makes me vaguely wonder why the terminal didn't have the update when we received them a year ago, but that's just crazy talk.

A side note - I bought a pair of pants on Sat at a store, they had pin-enable card reader on counter, I went to put my card in slot and clerk said 'Oh, we don't have that working yet. You need to slide your card.' I slide the card. Sun night at 9pm I receive two texts, one call to my cell phone and one to my home phone from the credit card company. Someone had stolen my credit card information and was trying to make purchases. I find that ironic.

Sorry this has nothing to do with Breaking & Entering your own hotel room.

Cloud computing is FAIL and here’s why

OldSoCalCoder

Don't tell Adobe but I'm using CS version 0 - the student version at that, which is 10+ years old. I use it for a few things a month, have used about 10% of Illustrator's capabilities, about 2% of Photoshop. It's falling apart on my Win 8 pc but I still have it on my offline XP pc. Adobe made $500 on me that long ago. Now they want me to pay every month, be online always and store stuff up there. Bad deal for Adobe, good deal for me.

Cloud everything is great for those working in IT where all bandwidth is paid for by the company or you're making enough to pay for mega bandwidth at home from your phone or cable company. I live north of a really big city on the west coast of a nation a little south of Canada but above Mexico. I have yet to watch my favorite YouTube cat videos (that's what I'm going to call them) without constant stop/start/stall/kill and restart, at home, at work or wardriving around my neighborhood.

I understand the cloud people's mantra of 'log in anywhere, on any device" and "we update for you" but I think the forcing of cloud computing on all sucks.

This one time at Apple Camp... Tech titan offers to school US fanbois on coding

OldSoCalCoder

C'mon America's Youth - Let's All Write Code!

As asked in comments above, exactly what do they consider "programming"?

I went to the Code.org site and wasn't sure how to answer the question Are you a Student/Teacher/Computer Engineer/Other. I'm 'Other' even though I spent 23 years writing business apps in COBOL. If you've played computer games and wondered how they work you'll learn to code. If you just don't care you never will learn how to code and I hope no-one ever forces you to.

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