* Posts by ibmalone

418 posts • joined 6 Jul 2017

Page:

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

ibmalone Silver badge

"Bash keyboard to continue" should cover all your bases.

Oh, SSH, IT please see this: Malicious servers can fsck with your PC's files during scp slurps

ibmalone Silver badge

This is a problem even if you can verify the results, e.g. you are taking a copy of a large file that is either signed by a third party or there are published checksums for (think ISOs etc.). You'd think copying a file was a relatively safe operation, even if you don't trust the server, the worst that can happen is that the file you get is compromised and maybe you've got a bug in your checksum or signature verification that can be attacked when you attempt to verify (a risk that essentially every computer exposed to the internet runs all the time). The problem here is that an arbitrary file on your end that has nothing to do with whatever you are copying can be attacked. That is a very different kettle of fish.

Computing boffins strip the fun out of satirical headlines

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Was this phrase supposed to be satirical?

Some awful stuff makes it on, one programme that I feel no need to look up made me genuinely wonder whether anyone had listened to it before it went out. However, this is largely because they only have one John Finnemore and need about five. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeF1XtlXmqA

Or if you enjoy sticking it to R4... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvyaIhJzlP0

Black dog.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Driven Away

Upvoted, but of course by "value added services" they don't actually mean services, they mean they pine for the days when they could sell ring-tones, and would dearly love to be able to capture a percentage of any financial transactions you make over your connection.

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: I use FreeBSD, and for good reason.

By manage I didn't mean write, I meant take care of their interactions and dependencies, make things a bit more systematic and predictable.

Even in that it's arguably gone to far, a little while ago we had a NFS server that stopped serving NFS on startup. Fine, log in, start the service, wont start... why? It turns out that systemd automatically generates dependency modules for things that aren't really its business, in this case fstab mounts, and then decides these are dependencies for the nfs service if they happen to be exports. An exported filesystem fails to mount? Then no NFS for you my friend. Okay, let's remove the affected filesystems from the fstab. Still no. It turns out that these automatic modules are created at boot, but not rechecked, there's a command to force a reload, but the whole situation is an unnecessary one created by trying to be too clever. The systemd eventual solution will probably be to incorporate nfs and the linux filesystem modules into systemd...

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: I use FreeBSD, and for good reason.

This is not really the problem with systemd actually that part (units and dependencies) is quite useful. Early on they highlighted the possibility of a faster boot as a "cool thing" it could do (and on desktop linux that's fairly useful), but it was really meant to be about standardising startup scripts to make them easier to manage. Sadly, whenever they got to a tricky bit the response so far has always been "it'll just be easier if we reimplement it ourselves".

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Never trusted SystemD

And if they'd stuck to the noble idea they'd be done by now. But here we are reading about privilege escalation in a journalling subsystem.

Google Play Store spews malware onto 9 million 'Droids

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Do phones still have an IR port?

Our household fleet of various different Xiaomi devices all have IR "blasters". But the sensible way to set them up is not to download dodgy crapps, just to use the makers suggestion of running through trial and error of known and preloaded control protocols for the maker of the device you want to control.

If only. My last phone (Samsung) had an IR controller, which was very convenient, it came with a bundled, but non-samsung app to use it. Eventually this grew more and more cruft (EPGs and things, needing to select location just to use it) and added adverts. I did investigate other options, but the ones that looked fairly legitimate either didn't work or were worse in terms of adverts.

Edit: oh and there was another class of controller apps, which were for something else (possibly smart tvs? it was a couple of years ago), telling which was which from the descriptions took a little work usually.

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10

ibmalone Silver badge

Only with spinning discs, many lowish end laptops are currently SSD with 128/256GB (usually a bit less depending on manufacturer). 120GB is actually a little tight for windows these days. It also matters if you are using it in a VM. I do agree it's not that much, and provided it's configurable it's not an incredible problem (also if it improves the management of that temp space it may actually be a help, uncleaned temp files frequently run to GB anyway).

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: What about when the temp files bork windows?

? I'd have thought if you were doing this you'd add expiry dates to temp files to ensure your 7GB always gets cleared out. Otherwise it's a bit pointless.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Easy way to regain the 7 GB

I quite like a swap partition (even with lots of memory) for one reason, without it if you ran out of memory (this hasn't happened to me in a while, so might have changed), it was possible to hard lock before the out of memory killer could dump something. A little swap space meant things slowed once they hit the limit and that was enough to allow the OOM kill to work if needed.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Easy way to regain the 7 GB

This is slightly different though, Windows also uses a page file, and while I don't regularly (aha ahahah ahahahah) install it, ISTR last time I did it sets it up automatically meaning that chunk of space is also taken. This is about reserved space for temporary files, a bit more akin to the default 5% reserved for root on a linux filesystem or /tmp on ramfs (but not exactly the same as either, the true linux equivalent would be creating /tmp as a separate filesystem on disc, optionally in a loopback device if you want to be able to resize dynamically).

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: All well and good...

You'll find out when we hit 88.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Not a dig at MS, but a question.

Precisely, fairly sensible move from MS, even if 7GB seems a bit heavy, provided you can disable it for extra data discs. What does puzzle me though is the size of a Windows install without any extra software, a Linux system with applications is usually smaller than a standard Windows install. This is a bigger issue for the people on 120GB SSD (and it's usually 120, not 128). Though 250GB and upwards are much more affordable recently, even 1TB is no longer silly money.

This is the final straw, evil Microsoft. Making private GitHub repos free? You've gone too far

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

If you're the only contributor, why are you bothering with GitHub's private repositories at all? I don't see what value that brings over just using git locally.

Can access anywhere, don't have to worry about messing up your local copy of the repository (you can back it up of course, but a service like github does this nicely through git's push/pull commands), particularly if it was for something like student work where you might do some work from a machine in class (which may well be some kind of windows with network drive thing) and more from your own computer, but nice tools for branch management and issues are probably the biggest reason. There are GUI git tools as an alternative of course, but actually the ability to have multiple tabs open to check different parts of a repository at once can be useful (and of course is cross-platform).

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Free! For up to three collaborators!

In the very unlikely event that one of my projects becomes useful FOSS, which is not the intent of any of the work, then I can upgrade my plan to the $7 one later.

If your project becomes FOSS you'd make it a public repo surely? At which point you get unlimited collaborators for free (public doesn't mean world writeable, you still have to authorise collaborators for your repo, though anyone can fork their own copy).

Dark matter's such a pushover: Baby stars can shove weird stuff around dwarf galaxies

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: One undisputable property of "dark matter" ...

Mostly agreed. What dark matter has going for it so far is we know there are particles that barely interact with normal matter, but have mass (neutrinos), so one that doesn't interact except through gravity is not a massive stretch (except the standard model doesn't have a place for it), while attempts to mess with the theory of gravity to produce the effect get weird fast (admittedly, choose which theory you want to mess with, I'd forgotten the standard model doesn't admit neutrino mass without modification). Sometimes I do wonder if relying overly on symmetries to build theories we're doing the equivalent of Kepler and the Mysterium Cosmographicum (the planets' orbital distance predicted by enclosing Platonic solids), but it's not the area I ended up working in, so ho hum.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Dark matter doesn't interact with light, but

Heat is... hard to define (the 19th century version of dark matter if you like). It's a statistical property of a distribution of energy in different levels, so it applies whether those levels are the energy of photons (cosmic microwave background up to ultraviolet and beyond) or particles with mass (generally we think of nuclei in solids, the electrons are frozen out). But you're right, there has to be an interaction to allow energy to transfer between the different systems to allow heat exchange and the heat from stars doesn't seem like it would couple well with gravity in a way that would drive dark matter around. Will have to read the paper

LA Times knocked out, HackerOne slips up and – amazingly – router security still sucks

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Something's fishy

And then there is Cymothoa, a small parasite that enters fish through the gills, and then attaches itself to the fish's tongue.

For anyone having difficulty staying awake: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/what-is-a-parasitic-isopod.html

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Cool story

They do give one possible reason for this; the Ryanair operator could be describing two gmail addresses, one with a period, one without as different, while gmail will route them to the same account. In which case Gary's diagnosis is incorrect, and the customer did enter the wrong email anyway, but Gary hasn't seen the other email address to know that's the case (he might be able to spot it in the incoming mail if he looks).

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Cancelling Flights

Could be argued they've used your credentials and identity, particularly if you are worried somebody else is trying to use your identity to fly. "Unauthorised access" might still fly, as it doesn't depend on them being someone else's credentials, but would seem a lot weaker after Ryanair have been told about the mistake and refused to remedy it.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Cancelling Flights

No, not fraud, but it is tortious interference.

Thanks, thought there'd be something, but that turns out to be very interesting :)

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Cancelling Flights

Not certain about that one, is it fraud if not done for gain? One for the courts. (Would be extra fun if cancelled *after* telling Ryanair they had the wrong person. Think they'd have a hard time arguing it wasn't entirely their fault.)

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: It'll never happen...

Except random Gary is demonstrably in control of the email address they have recorded for deterministic Gary, they could verify this. Given that random Gary has now contacted them to tell him he is not deterministic Gary they should investigate a possible breach, possibly two actually: personal data related to deterministic Gary being sent to random Gary and holding and using random Gary's email address without a lawful basis for processing.

Can't unlock an Android phone? No problem, just take a Skype call: App allows passcode bypass

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: How is alphagoog off the hook here?

It's hard to stop a malicious app that has been given access to something from using it in a context it's not supposed to, unless you put everything behind a system UI all the time. For example, any request for a contact is an api request that brings you to a system contact chooser and then reports the selected number back to the app, and even that approach can't ensure it's not quietly leeching out the data it does get. Similarly pictures, it could simply grab them while unlocked. Taking that route would also prevent things like incoming call display from working, again you can provide a way around this, but also again that becomes a potential security hole.

Sounds like MS's failure is not to properly observe the locked state and expose functionality that shouldn't be available while locked. Effectively this is one of the things you are trusting an app to do when you give it access, particularly one that you are also allowing to bypass the lock screen. That's not to say Android shouldn't provide as many tools as it can to help with that, but it becomes difficult when applications go so far as providing their own browser. (Of course there's a difference between a malicious app and one that's simply not designed securely, but an attacker can try to turn the latter into the former.)

New Horizons probe reveals Ultima Thule is huge, spinning... chicken drumstick?

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Ancient but not unchanged

Indeed. For one example, the oldest rocks known on Earth are zircons (actually small crystals), https://www.livescience.com/43584-earth-oldest-rock-jack-hills-zircon.html and even these date from over 100 million years after the earth was formed. The bit we stand on is literally the crust, inside it's very hot, and over time most things get cycled round and melted.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Vindicated

The "Mistaken identity" story from the article.

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: bbc quotes

It would be easy to tell, the drones would be steam powered. (The steam of course created by hot air.)

Sticking with one mobile provider gets you... Oh. Price rises, big exit fees, and lovely, lovely lock-in

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: And another thing.....

I had that happen back when they were Orange, had finished my handset contract (probably for over a year), phoned up to change to one of their advertised SIM-only contracts. No, not possible I'm told.

This is a number of years ago now, but the rest of the conversation proceeded along these lines: "Okay, can I cancel my contract then please?" "Ah, let me see." Silence for a while. "I've spoken to my supervisor, and as a goodwill gesture..."

Not had to do that one since. Eventually upgraded and then took an effectively SIM-only deal when they were trying to migrate customers to EE. Currently on an upgrade through a third party, will see what happens when that contract ends (but I get the impression from using the site that they're a bit better about changing packages now, largely since they want to hook you on a bigger data allowance).

With everything like this, it makes a big difference who you get on the other end of the line. With different companies I've had very helpful people and ... less helpful people. Sky is my least favourite as the interface seems designed to prevent you getting through to a human, even refusing to deal with you at all if there's an unpaid bill. (How do you dispute a bill then? Well, you give them the money first...)

Edit: no idea what's going on with those line breaks, with luck it's just me seeing them.

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Why?

Isn't that a baking cloche?

Ah, thank you, hadn't heard the term before. Exactly the same idea. Tried the bowl of water thing previously, but never got it working anywhere near as well (maybe fan assist defeats it, last few ovens I've had have been fan assist or nothing).

It's a long time since I did fondant potatoes, Christmas might be a good opportunity to remedy that :)

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Why?

Upvote for Nathan Myhrvold, "Modernist Bread". Not bought it (because $400 for a multi-volume set I'll never scratch the surface of), but some of it was covered in places like Physics World, and a few of the ideas got me back into doing bread and sourdough. (Still got to try the pineapple juice thing...)

There is still some convenience in a bread maker handling the different stages for you, so you don't have to wait at home, or get up in the middle of the night. And there's one other thing, related to another tip from that book, that a bread maker does, but you can reproduce without one: baking in a small enclosed space traps the escaping steam, giving a thinner, softer crust, as a steam oven would do. If you don't have a steam oven you can bake your bread inside a larger container; a pair of metal oven dishes, one inverted on top of the other, or a second bread tin upside down on top of the first will do the trick.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Why?

I used to make my own bread once in a while. The problem was my housemates would then polish it off in 5 minutes while it was still warm. Too much work for too little return.

Ah, but you see, everyone avoids gluten now! So you can sit there smothered in the smell of fresh bread or toast munching away while watching them breaking out into a sweat.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Why?

I guess most bread makers are under-used, but they're actually great. My mum still uses hers, I get by without, but if you do make your own bread they save you waiting around to get things in and out of the oven at the right time and baking in a small container is in some ways better. A warm freshly baked loaf with butter is hard to beat.

Apple iPhone X screen falls short of promises, lawsuit says

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Excuse me a moment...

While 'technically correct' is the best kind of correct to be, they didn't have to bring things into alignment with SI units, and the kB, MB etc. sequence had well-established usage. I really doubt they'd have changed things if 10^9 bytes had happened to be greater than a gigabyte (or gigibyte if we must, but I think that's from Family Guy). Do have a little sympathy though as storage manufacturers need to include extra space for error correction and reallocation.

Not to mention the mess that dealing with different layers of storage with tools that report in different conventions is now as a result. 'This one says TB, but it means TiB, this one says TB and is SI, but sometimes also reports TiB...'

Here's 2018 in a nutshell for you... Russian super robot turns out to be man in robot suit

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Question

It involves less blood?

While my coworkers may be wondering why I was laughing, my inner pedant wishes to point out it involves about 5 litres of blood.

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Total facepalm, now face is bruised.

"they will require signed directions or prescriptions – something easily achieved "in the real world" by taking a photo on your phone and sending it via SMS."

SMS, are you f*cking serious? You want people to send their prescription requests and signatures via SMS? SMS has been cracked for ages now.

This is the issue. Yes, fax is outdated, yes it is not really secure (though falling to tomorrow's wannacry equivalent is maybe less likely), yes it should be replaced by better systems. But the people driving this then go and say things like, "You can just send it by SMS." What a wonderful idea (let us just stop and consider for a moment, beyond security considerations, what that means for records keeping). And then remember why the name "Matt Hancock" is familiar... https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/01/matt_hancock_app_privacy_bug_ed_vaizey/ from the world of off-the-shelf, not evaluated for purpose, "this is the hip new thing, we'd better get in on it! #necessaryhashtags" ideas. Still, at least the word blockchain hasn't appeared. Yet.

Latest Google+ flaw leads Chocolate Factory to shut down site early

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Google+ shutdown

I tried this, but it's still not clear whether the accounts were completely decoupled and "my" Google+ account has my former YouTube account name. Whereas my YouTube account login still uses the associated email address rather then the original username. Meanwhile, my employer has a confusing mess of Google accounts that got worse when we signed up for G-Suite and couldn't combine the old accounts, but had to change their associated email addresses anyway.

Indeed, my Youtube account seems to be tied to my google account (this became unavoidable eventually), and yet somehow restricted, I appear to have two accounts, but only one I can log into. A bit curious what the result of this will be, I'm expecting a third equally inaccessible to turn up.

Boffins build blazing battery bonfire

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: The Greatest Challenge

There's no law of physics that says we have to fill the atmosphere with carbon dioxide to get electricity. All the fossil fuels we're currently burning were originally derived from sunlight.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Thorium Cycle Reactors

Why not a mix? Why does everything have to be about the team you're on? Must be all A or all B! And then the solution MUST be set up to punish everyone who thought differently, so we they'll finally recognise that we're right and they're wrong. Chuck in some wind, maybe it wont cover demand 100% of the time, even with storage, but hey, it reduces the risk you're taking on nuclear, your exposure if supply drops there and your need to get uranium ore. Iceland smelts a lot of aluminium, why? Because they've got geothermal power and it makes economic sense, yet you get the impression from the more extreme edge of climate change denial that the desire to burn fossil fuels is at least partly driven by a perverse desire to make other people unhappy.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Thorium Cycle Reactors

I understand, though, that India and China are putting money into Thorium.

Nothing really demonstrated yet sadly. The current approach is defence in depth, and why not? Wind is pretty well proven, it's not perfect, but neither is burning more and more fossil fuels until we finally run out or convincingly demonstrate global warming by flooding the world's financial centres (they tend to be in flood plains). Modern nuclear is okay, but expensive, and the PR battle was lost decades ago. Solar for heating is making quiet gains, PV is now practical. It'll be nice if a working thorium station is developed and lives up to its promise, but we've yet to see it. Hopefully it'll only be interim to fusion though, the joke is it's always ten years off, but it used to be that it was always twenty years off, and before that always thirty years off; we do seem to be converging, just slower than hoped. Other than that, fill the deserts with PV (they're silicon already anyway) and use the power to make something transportable.

ibmalone Silver badge

The laws of thermodynamics tend to apply whatever mechanism you use though. Converting between types of energy often ends up inefficient.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Lots of choices- DoS works for physical stuff!

(ISTR there's a form of silicon oxide that can explode in a pretty energetic manner as well.)

Prince Rupert's drop? Don't think they've been successfully weaponised :)

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Photovoltaic?

Combined cycle gas turbines operate at >60% efficiency, so that is lie for a start. No reason they couldn't take their gas input from a separate gas heat exchanger.

Presumably would drop the efficiency though? Overall I suspect the aims are: 1.This is quite hot, hotter than most power sources, so the dynamics may differ. 2. Responsiveness, for a storage rather than supply solution you don't want a ramp-up time. 3. Photovoltaics can be smaller and possibly more easily maintained, but only having skimmed I'm not sure what size storage they're aiming for. (Got to be reasonably big to make insulating molten silicon practical one would think.) Papers like this do tend to go for quantity over quality on the justifications though, there's usually one or two core reasons and the rest are filler.

Overall doesn't seem an unreasonable idea, silicon is cheap. Lithium is nice for batteries because it's light, not primarily for efficiency or volume.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Photovoltaic?

I believe the question was about the mechanism the storage uses. It converts the heat from the silicon to electricity via photovoltaics. When dealing with hot rocks, or pretty much anything (see coal and nuclear power stations too), steam and turbines are used for the conversion. This is dealt with on page 5 of the paper (which I think is open access):

One critical question that arises with the TEGS-MPV approach, however, is why MPV is chosen as the heat engine instead of a turbine, which could likely be more efficient at lower temperatures. There are three reasons for this: (1) turbines that take an external heat input and operate at high efficiencies (> 50%) do not currently exist. Although it may be possible to develop such a system, a large barrier to commercial deployment exists, as it would require a large OEM to undertake an expensive (>$100 million) development effort for a high-risk application. On the other hand, existing III–V cell manufacturers are positioned to facilitate the commercialization and deployment of the described MPV power cycle with much less investment. (2) The cost of our proposed MPV system can be much lower than that of a turbine. (3) The speed with which turbine-based heat engines can ramp from zero to full power is on the order of tens of minutes to an hour. However, with this TEGS-MPV approach, as is illustrated in Fig. 2, the MPV modules can be actuated in and out of the light on the order of seconds, which could provide much greater value to the grid via load following, thereby increasing revenue.

Remember Misco? Staff win protective award at employment tribunal

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Taxpayer?

There was an interview with one of the journalists from Private Eye recently. He said that all Companies House have the resources to do is to record information. They don't have the capacity to check anything anyone submits. And if they're told there's something wrong, there's no resource to take action to get it corrected.

This may well be related to a story they've been running about one MP (can't remember who), who has extremely inaccurate records filed for a company he runs, theoretically an offence. PI investigated and notified Companies House, to get the response they deal with these things on a case by case basis...

Ecuador says 'yes' to Assange 'freedom' deal, but Julian says 'nyet'

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Alternative solution?

Canada has a process, like many other countries, for detaining a suspect then deciding if the detention is warranted.

Indeed, it's one of those things, you are free to ignore the laws of other countries, but you've got to accept then there may be consequences to visiting them or their close allies afterwards. International sanctions rely on this, and the people who are high up in multinationals know that and what the implications are. The allegations against Ms Meng centre around using a separate company to try and hide her involvement.

Not that I think the sanctions against Iran are particularly constructive, or that reintroducing them at this time has any point beyond the theatrics of the current US president.

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: Alternative solution?

The arrest of Meng Wanzhou is a telling comparison. An insane US President sanctions Iran, and now gets to arrest third party nationals in Canada? Eff that for a game of soldiers!

"The Supreme Court of British Columbia was told that Ms Meng had used a Huawei subsidiary called Skycom to evade sanctions on Iran between 2009 and 2014." https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46494935

Meng Wanzhou is accused of breaking the sanctions a number of years ago, not the ones introduced by the current US president.

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers

ibmalone Silver badge

Or even by switching off and on again but not recommended as boot times are getting ever longer because all the crap with which we fill up our phones.

One of the things I've noticed about my current smartphone is it boots quicker than the one it replaced (both were mid-high end compact models), and probably about as fast as the feature phone I had before that. Brands omitted in case anyone thinks the data point is just shilling...

...although the 3310 was obviously quicker than any of them ;)

Sysadmin’s plan to manage system config changes backfires spectacularly

ibmalone Silver badge
Joke

Re: I'm missing something...

That's assuming there wasn't an option - as per the comment on SCCS - in which case just get used to that as the normal way to do things.

Steady on there!

ibmalone Silver badge

Re: I'm missing something...

I think what you've missed was that the revision control removed the file when checking in. That's why it had to be checked out again.

Thanks, yes, looks like another commenter has fingered SCCS as the culprit. Never met a VCS that does that, but I'm sure it made sense to somebody at the time o.0

Knowing that makes the whole thing seem a lot more rickety. I suppose I might have taken to copying the file and checking in the copy instead, but there's only one way to learn that kind of paranoia...

Page:

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019