nav search
Data Centre Software Security DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes
BOFH
Lectures

* Posts by GBE

384 posts • joined 22 Sep 2010

Page:

Funnily enough, no, infosec bods aren't mad keen on W. Virginia's vote-by-phone-app plan

GBE

Kill it just because of the spelling

I don't care if it is secure and it does work. "Voatz" should be eliminated (with prejudice) just for the spelling of the name. It takes a special sort of idiot to think that misspelling is clever, and we don't want to encourage those sorts.

8
0

Microsoft still longs to be a 'lifestyle' brand, but the cupboard looks bare

GBE

Re: It's a sad story actually...

They are capable of it, which makes it all that more tragic that they so rarely actually do anything great.

The last couple versions of the Microsoft C compiler for DOS were great products. And some of the wired, optical mice were top notch. That's about it.

17
1

US voting systems (in Oregon) potentially could be hacked (11 years ago) by anybody (in tech support)

GBE

Security through obscurity?

PCAnywhere is not exactly bulletproof when it comes to security. In 2012 hackers revealed they had stolen the source code for PCAnywhere back in 2006, prompting Symantec to advise customers to disable some older versions of the software.

In what sort of crap design is disclosure of the source code a security problem? What century _is_ this?

13
1

Spidey sense is literally tingling! Arachnids detect Earth's electric field, use it to fly away

GBE

Re: Dowsing?

There is a theory that at least one form of dowsing works on the principle of detecting changes in the Earth's local electrostatic field as one walks around.

Except all of the real, scientific, trails of dowsing show that it _doesn't_ work.

So, trying to come up with theories about how it works seems a bit silly.

1
3

Science! Luminescent nanocrystals could lead to multi-PB optical discs

GBE

Re: Why DVD size?

The 3.5" floppy has a shuttered case and designed to go in a pocket. Far more sensible than DVD style packaging.

IIRC, whith the first CD drive I used (a bulky, Sun branded SCSI thing), the CDs were in shuttered hardshell cases similar to 3.5" floppys. They were pretty bullet-proof, but people voted with their wallets, and they died off very quickly.

8
0

Cops fined £80,000 for revealing childhood abuse victims' names

GBE

Re: What good does this fine do?

I mean, basically the government is now handing out a fine to an institution which got paid with... government money (aka: the taxpayers money!) in the first place. Could someone please explain to me how exactly this is going to have an effect?

It can have an effect because the PHB of government department X takes if very seriously if a chunk of money is deducted from his budget and moved to the budget of some other department's PHB. The basic goal of managers in government is to maximise their department's budget and/or headcount. Taking money away and giving it to "the competition" stings.

4
0

The eyes have it: 'DeepFakes' bogus AI-meddled videos outed by unblinking gaze

GBE

Repudiating democratic norms

Imagine the havoc that could be caused by a video of a prominent politician repudiating democratic norms – and no one is sure whether it reflects reality.

Is that worse that what we have now -- seeing them every day and knowing they are real?

It might be reassuring to have some hope that those clips aren't real...

43
3

SpaceX flings SES-12 satellite into orbit, but would-be lunar tourists should probably unpack

GBE

comprehensively blew it up

It is also the seventh launch from the rebuilt launch pad since SpaceX comprehensively blew it up during the fueling of a Falcon 9 prior to an engine test in 2016.

I'm not sure why, but the phrase "comprehensively blew it up" made me laugh out loud. :)

2
0

Microsoft commits: We're buying GitHub for $7.5 beeeeeeellion

GBE

Re: Shite

Microsoft C compiler v4.0 and CodeView in the mid 80s

That was indeed a solid product. IIRC, it was basically a repackaged version of a compiler/debugger by a company they bought. (Whitesmiths?)

It took a while, but they eventually f*&^#d it up: it turned into VisualStudio.

EDIT:

Nope, I misremembered. The first couple versions of Microsoft C were repackaged versions of Liveboat's Lattice-C compiler. Supposedly versions 3 and up were developed entirely by MS:

https://winworldpc.com/product/microsoft-c-c/2x

11
0
GBE

Re: Hmm...

Githubbers, back up your stuff and move elsewhere.

Yep. I assume that's what's going to happen.

13
1

John McAfee ‘goes underground’ in motorcade to flee SEC

GBE

Bravo on the Kibology reference

it's Spot that is NOT ALLOWED

It's been _ages_ since I've seen a kibology reference.

Good one!

1
0

How many ways can a PDF mess up your PC? 47 in this Adobe update alone

GBE

Re: Use-After-Free and Heap Overflow in 2018?

how do these make it through QA and testing?

How would we poor Adobe users know?

Oh yea, we _are_ Adobe's "QA and testing".

8
0

Navy names new attack sub HMS Agincourt

GBE

I'd vote is for "HMS Cunning Plan"

Not that the MoD cares what some random USAan thinks....

5
0

Reg man straps on Facebook's new VR goggles, feels sullied by the experience

GBE

The virtual weather forcast for tomorrow is...

mostly tedious, with intermittent stabs of queasiness.

Brilliant line, that.

I don't really "get" 3D films either. Mostly they're just annoying (at least they don't make me physically ill they they do some people). The only 3D film I've seen that I thought actually benefited from the extra "D" was Coraline.

0
0

Failbreak: Bloke gets seven years in the clink for trying to hack his friend out of jail

GBE

7 years for trying to get somebody out a few months early

Somebody forgot to do a risk/reward analysis.

As a general rule, people in county jails are serving sentences less than 12 months. The friend in county is going to be out a _long_ time before his hacker buddy gets out of federal prison.

23
0

Paperback writer? Microsoft slaps patents on book-style gadgetry with flexible display

GBE

Can I please get a laptop that is not 2mm thick and battery will last more than 3 hours. Oh and optical drive ? Yes I know that makes me a freak. Oh and to really prove how much a freak I am. Can I please have more than 2 usb ports.

And a 4:3 display!

1
0

Guess who's still most moaned about UK ISP... Rhymes with BorkBork

GBE

Talk rhymes with Bork?

Eh?

In what English dialect does "talk" rhyme with "bork"?

2
9

What most people think it looks like when you change router's admin password, apparently

GBE

Re: At the risk of becoming tiresome...

I think the router manufacturers might be on to something good IF they use a username and password that's randomly generated and put a tag on the front of the device.

No matter how many preachy articles tech journalists write, 99% of consumers are _never_ going to change admin/wifi passwords. That's not going to change. Ever. So the endless harping on this is pointless.

I think all of the new routers and APs I've seen in the last 7-8 years (even low-end consumer units) came with random admin passwords and random Wifi keys. However, the tag is always on the bottom or back not on the front. This is the only practical solution.

1
0

Hip hop-eration: Hopless Franken-beer will bring you hoppiness

GBE

But... "hoppy" _is_ an unpleasant flavour

The results were [...] more hoppy than the control brew [...]

More importantly, there were no unpleasant flavours.

[I'm sure this will get plenty of downvotes, but...]

That's completely contradictory, since hoppy _is_ an unpleasant flavour!

Obviously I really, really don't get the whole IPA fad...

4
5

Pharma bro Martin Shkreli to miss 2024 Paris Olympics

GBE

Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

Surely he will be out on probation well before then

If you're talking about parole, that doesn't exist in the federal system. He could get up to 14% off his sentence for good behavior.

Probation is a sentence imposed by the judge. Sometimes a sentence involves both incarceration and then afterwards probation.

21
0

A ghoulish tale of pigs, devs and docs revived from the dead

GBE

Allways Educational!

I have to admit that I always end up learning something from Dabbs's columns. Often it's a slang phrase or pop-culture reference unfamiliar to us USAins. This time it was "baked bean wrestling". Somehow, I've spent more than a half-century on this planet without knowing that baked bean wrestling was "a thing".

7
0

Defra to MPs: There's no way Brexit IT can be as crap as rural payments

GBE

Still playing that "Brexit" gag?

OK, it was funny at first, but now it's just tiresome. You need to come up with something new.

That "President Trump Show" show, OTOH, that's still pretty fresh with new twists every episode. I'll admit the plot has gotten increasingly hard to believe, and I can't figure why there aren't any dragons or zombies in it.

2
0

Too many bricks in the wall? Lego slashes inventory

GBE

management is not satisfied with the financial results

management is not satisfied with the financial results

No kidding.

When was the last time you heard management say "OK guys, we're satisfied: sales and margins are high enough, so everybody take it easy."

8
0

Sacked saleswoman told to pay Intel £45k after losing discrim case

GBE

She appeared Pro Se (Is it "Pro Per" in England?)

Guiney, who represented herself

Ouch.

Not all who represent themselves are kooks, but there does seem to be a pretty high correlation. Even if you're not a kook, it's still a good way to get your ass handed to you in court. At least in the US, it's usually possible to find a lawyer who will take this sort of case on a contingency basis.

2
0

Neil Young slams Google, after you log in to read his rant with Google or Facebook

GBE

Re: What does that even mean?

I think it means he doesn't have little feat.

I don't recall that he was ever _in_ Little Feat, but I'd be surprised if he didn't have any. He's probably even covered a Little Feat song or two in his time...

0
0

Billionaire's Babylon beach ban battle barrels toward Supreme Court

GBE

Re: Miserable old git

Over here compulsory purchase is very much a thing

It's also very much thing in the US, where it's called "Eminent Domain," and invoking it has been considered in the case in question.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminent_domain

17
0

The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

GBE

But how do you make a phone call with it?

But how do you make a phone call with it?

Now you're just being silly.

Nobody born since the last moon landing uses phones for making phone calls.

If "making phone calls" becomes "a thing", I'm sure somebody invent some small portable device that you can use to do that. Rumor has that Nokia used to make such things.

15
0

Talk down to Siri like it's a mere servant – your safety demands it

GBE

For those of us who never had servants...

... adopt a different vocal register when talking to voice assistants, something analogous to the register one might have used 100 years ago when communicating with staff "below stairs".

I found that bit very interesting, but was hoping there might be links to further information for the benefit of those of us who grew up in the wrong century, in the wrong class, and on the wrong continent.

1
0

Lenovo's craptastic fingerprint scanner has a hardcoded password

GBE

Somebody should have T-shirts made

This is still Apple's fault.

Somebody should sell T-shirts that say that. There should probably be "Microsoft" and "Intel" versions also.

9
0
GBE

Thinkpads are great!

I've said it before.

Thinkpads are great...

... but you've got to wipe the disk and install a decent OS on them.

I recommend some flavor of Linux or BSD.

16
5

Stop us if you've heard this one before: Tokyo crypto-cash exchange 'hacked' for half a billion bucks

GBE

What unpleasant memories?

The security blunder will for many cryptocurrency speculators bring back unpleasant memories of the 2014 MtGox collapse.

What unpleasant memories?

I found the whole thing very interesting and somewhat amusing. Though it is somewhat disappointing that we never got to read the final couple chapters in the mystery...

24
1

You had one job, Outlook! Security bug fix stops mail app from forwarding attachments

GBE

I've always looked at it as playing Russian roulette with a semi-automatic -- with a round already in the chamber.

And Microsoft made sure it's not a single-action...

1
0

Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

GBE

I give up...

Crap like car-door kettles, Pifco buttoneers, and such like.

What's a "car-door kettle"?

10
0

Game of Thrones author's space horror Nightflyers hitting telly

GBE

Re: Dark Matter cancelled

I only found out about Wonderfalls (Pushing Daisies with fewer zombies and more weird) because I searched for things that got cancelled early.

Wonderfalls is one of my all-time favorites!

I happened to stumble across one of the episodes when it was being broadcast, and made a point to be home the next week. I think was cancelled a weeks later -- so I bought the DVD set.

1
0

If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

GBE

Re: But how do they spread fires?

But how do they spread fires?

With frikkin' laser beams attached to their heads, obviously.

1
0

US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

GBE

Would be ok with search and copy if ...

but you know it's destined for an improperly configured AWS server.

AFAICT, that's eventually true for every bit of data outside of Microsoft and Google (and decent percentage of data inside too).

2
0

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

GBE

I finally switch from AMD to Intel, and this is what happens.

It's my fault. For decades I bought AMD processors instead of Intel. The last time around, I finally broke down and bought Intel...

63
1

New battery boffinry could 'triple range' of electric vehicles

GBE

Re: How many battery "breakthroughs" is that this year?

And yet batteries continue to get better in real-world devices. How does that work?

Mostly it seems to be through continuous, incremental improvements rather than "breakthroughs" involving carbon nano-tubes or in-vivo-formed-membranes that provide a 2X-3X jumps in capacity.

22
0
GBE

How many battery "breakthroughs" is that this year?

It seems like every week or two for the past 5-10 years somebody announces some discovery/invention that "could" double/triple/quadruple battery capacity while simultaneously making them safer, smaller, cheaper, lighter, and fresher smelling.

Somehow "could" never turns into "does"...

44
14

Scotland, now is your time… to launch Brexit Britain into SPAAAACE!

GBE

They're going to move it.

Isn't Scotland (at least currently...) a little too far from the Equator [...]?

Yes, but they're going to move it as part of the solar-power and tourist industry revitalization effort.

Kilt's make a bit more sense in warmer climes as well.

10
0

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

GBE

Re: Tesla semi?

...and we could run them on special tracks so they could be much longer with a whole series of trailers.

And you could probably reduce rolling resistance by matching the materials of the tracks and wheels!

Steel comes to mind...

12
0

The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?

GBE

But is a 'shitload' enough?

Firefox is so slow and bloated on all my machines, that "30% faster" is still an order of magnitude slower than Chromium. Firefox sits for minutes at a time burning through gigabytes of RAM and 100% CPU while Chrome renders the same page in a fraction of a second. Even a 'shitload' faster may not be enough...

1
17

Donald Trump's tweets: Are they presidential statements or not?

GBE

Strange indeed

the strange blurry world of President Donald Trump

Well put, sir!

12
0

Apple succeeds in failing wearables

GBE

How do you know it's accurate?

It very accurately monitors my calorie burn throughout the day

Can you outline the procedure you used to verify that? I presume you monitored O2 uptake throughout the day? Calculating calories burned from heart rate is famously bogus.

It would be pretty impressive if Apple watches did accurately monitor calories burned, since they don't have the sensors required to do that.

23
0

ARM emulator in a VM? Yup, done. Ready to roll, no config required

GBE

What's Ubuntu-specific about it?

Azeria’s ARM Lab Environment, here, is a VM that offers a QEMU ARMv6 image on Ubuntu.

I don't get the "on Ubuntu" part of it.

Is the ARM VM image running an ARM port of Ubuntu?

Has Ubuntu done something stupid to it's build of QEMU so that images for it are Ubuntu-specific and won't run on QEMU hosted on Gentoo or CentOS or whatever?

3
0

History shows why geeks will never, ever, ever... get along

GBE

Re: It's just another religion.

> You're wrong.

That isn't an argument, it's just contradiction!

6
0

Inmarsat aircraft Wi-Fi lift off set to fill coffers

GBE

Re: Satellite in-flight Wi-Fi ..

>> How does it work?

> Yes, it does.

Huh?

2
0

You know what's coming next: FBI is upset it can't get into Texas church gunman's smartphone

GBE

Something must be done

Something must be done, and getting a law passed that the FBI can unlock iPhones is the least we can do.

I don't see why you got down-voted for this, since that's _exactly_ the sort of thing that happens in these cases. Any restrictions on military-grade firearms (the one thing that _would_ help) is right out, so the FBI might as well pick some totally unrelated goal they want to achieve and try to get some mileage towards that.

Somewhere, somebody is probably trying to use this mass shooting to justify passing a law to persecute LGBT people, immigrants, scientists, etc.

2
0

Tesla buys robot maker. Hang on, isn't that your sci-fi bogeyman, Elon?

GBE

Robot != AI

The author seems to be mistakenly conflating "AI" and "robot". While there are some applications where the two overlap, the industrial robots used on production lines often involve little or no AI -- and many big AI projects don't involve robotics at all.

One hopes this was an honest mistake and not one made intentionally to produce some synthetic drama for the story...

2
0

Look, ma! No hands! Waymo to test true self-driving cars in US with Uber-style hailing app

GBE

What's the point of "truley human-free" cars?

Right now, it appears they have someone inside during trips – either a passenger, a Waymo engineer, or both – but it's hoped they can be truly human-free in the near future.

The purpose of cars is to haul humans around. What's the point of hoping cars will soon be "truly human-free" (IOW sans passengers)?

6
4

Page:

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing