* Posts by Tim Bates

917 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Mar 2007


Creator of Linux virtual assistant blames 'patent troll' for project's death

Tim Bates

100% agree... The problem is the Google hardware is very locked down. I think someone managed to get one model to accept some injected commands at boot, but no one has been able to build custom firmware or store custom Configs or data into them yet afaik.

My Google Home Mini is still mounted to my ceiling, but power has been off since the news that Google was storing way more recordings than they said (years ago now). I'd love to boot it back up and use it even if just as a speaker. But I'm very hesitant to use it with Google's software anymore.

Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours

Tim Bates

Can't exceed 149 hours before it is *parked*. They still need some of those systems to taxi, and airports handling larger aircraft are usually too busy to just leave it sitting on a runway exit for 30 minutes to get started again.

Amazon: Carbon emissions from our Australian bit barns aren't for public viewing

Tim Bates

Re: Profit Margins

> So the solution is just to give up and do nothing, is it?

No business is giving up and doing nothing. Saving energy has always saved costs. Saving costs (generally) increases profit.

Tim Bates

Re: Not really sure...

Yep. And that's one of those universal rules that works for every political position.

Google's not-Linux OS documentation cracks box open at last

Tim Bates

Re: Who Cares?

I honestly would love a common Linux distro as my phone OS... I'd be OK with losing Pokemon Go and Minecraft PE in exchange for "apt-get install nmap" and similar.

I know I could use a chroot thing, but it kind of feels like driving a Ferrari on the back of a truck. And the truck driver is telling me where I'm allowed to go.

Tim Bates

Re: C++????

At least they're not VB6, which apparently gives you AIDS, Rabies, the Flu, and various other diseases... And that's just from installing the IDE.

It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs

Tim Bates

Re: I had some luck with this

I was silly enough to check the MS site for instructions. My first thought was system restore, but I figured MS would have any additional info.


All MS is providing is a link to a generic BSOD diagnostic guide. Not even a suggestion to simply roll back with system restore.

Don't worry about those 40 Linux USB security holes. That's not a typo

Tim Bates

Re: Tell me now

A fair number of BIOSes/UEFIs allow you to disable USB. Some allow it right down to per-port configs.

So the 'Year of Linux' never happened. When is it Chrome OS's turn?

Tim Bates

Re: No ...

I was hoping someone would finally point out that even MS Office can't correctly open MS Office documents without screwing the formatting.

Only since 2010, when they correctly implemented their own ISO standard, has it been fixed. And since Open/Libre Office have also implemented that standard (ironically before MS), things have been pretty sane between platforms.

The last time I had formatting go horribly wrong in Open Office was about 2004. Some minor issues crop up from time to time, but usually dealing with old .doc/.xls files.

Linux kernel community tries to castrate GPL copyright troll

Tim Bates

Re: How long before...

As long as it's not Poettering... Your binary stored filter rules would be incompatible with kernel updates and exploitable filter bugs would be ignored since it works as designed or some such shite.

Raspberry Pi burning up? Microsoft's recipe can save it and AI

Tim Bates

Re: Why?

Win 10 IoT Edition can run on the RPi3 as far as I understand. Unless they've killed that off too.

VAST stuff-up leaves new satellite TVs TITSUP

Tim Bates

Re: Just why?

Part of it is content licensing, and part is to do with broadcast area laws.

The registration says which region you are in, which they use to restrict which channels you get. Content licensed for NSW can't be broadcast to WA, for example. And commercial stations can't broadcast outside of their area either.

I dont know if they actually enforce this - my old Aurora (the predecessor to VAST) card let me access every Aurora channel. And I'm not eligible for VAST (not that I was eligible for Aurora either - I got the card from a remote school I worked for at the time who were chucking stuff out).

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0

Tim Bates

Same here. I personally don't care whether I have sysvinit, upstart or systemd, as long as it works....And systemd simply does NOT work.

I have had so many random and weird failures with systemd that I can not trust it. Sysvinit might not be cool or super fast, but it works reliably.

Ubiquiti network gear can be 'hijacked by an evil URL' – thanks to its 20-year-old PHP build

Tim Bates

Re: Seriously needs an upgrade anyways...

People run that on Windows? I mean I gave it a trial run on Windows before I bought any gear... But it went straight to it's own VM running Debian when it the equipment arrived.

Tim Bates


Why would anyone be surprised. There's plenty of elderly software out there, especially in embedded systems. Even in brand new devices.

The only genuinely surprising thing here is that UBNT haven't acted... Actually, that's not surprising either (as much as I love their products, they do seem very touchy about being told they got something wrong).

Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 ... and Linux, BSD, OS X

Tim Bates

Re: Another option (if you really want to stick with Windows)...

I realise this is old, but Google got me here....

The answer is yes and no... With modern virtualisation, the guest does basically directly talk to the CPU. But decent virtualisation software does let you limit what CPU is announced to the guest, which usually helps with stuff getting upset with newer cpus.

KVM/Qemu lets you set the CPU type, and I've had instances where I've had to do that. Not sure if it blocks invalid calls and such, but makes he OS think it's on a 486 or whatever you choose.

That said... The main trouble seems to be driver support. Virtual video card, USB, netowkr, etc solves that problem.

Is Windows 10 ignoring sysadmins' network QoS settings?

Tim Bates

Re: Self appointed Mythbuster to the rescue!

"And unless you have Pro or Enterprise you don't have GPedit and cannot rate limit the downloads."

Even if you have Pro, it looks like it just ignores that setting now. My box is set to 128kbps, but the other day I spotted it doing 5mbps (which broke web browsing, which is why it got set to 128k in the first place).

I've not done much testing, but it worked on 1511, and doesn't work on 1607. I suspect their changes that stop the Store blocking GPO working on Pro may have broken BITS too.

Sure, let's build the NBN with technology that's not proven at scale

Tim Bates

Akamai also pushes out some rather large files on a regular basis to most Windows boxes... Windows Update comes in through Akamai. Those don't cache well either, unlike those tiny little GIFs and such that every proxy and browser cache is filled with.

X-ray scanners, CCTV cams, hefty machinery ... let's play: VNC Roulette!

Tim Bates

Re: Not just VNC

>I was shocked (but not that surprised) when the search results included links to dozens of similar printers with internet-facing web interfaces.

I'm surprised how many "HP-Setup" and similar WiFi networks are out there... Some of them even let you scan whatever document has been left in the flatbed scanner ;)

Optus must hire checkbox champion after epic router, voicemail borking

Tim Bates

Pro tip - don't expect your new router/modem to be secure. Just like you don't expect the car salesman to lock your new car's doors once you arrive home.

Metadata retention to cost AU$3.98 a year per customer

Tim Bates

Re: Only keeping what they already keep

"Brandis and co keep telling us that the new law dictates that telcos/ISPs need only to retain the data they are already keeping for internal purposes."

They do keep bring that up. I do wonder if George and Malcolm know the difference between storing 1 number (bytes used), and storing the names, addresses, bytes used, time it started and stopped, etc.

Something tells me these clowns last looked at a phone bill about 20 years ago.

Metadata retention is no worse than STALKING: Turnbull

Tim Bates

Re: The private investigator can be asked to leave.

"Someone who is seen loitering about a premesis can be asked to leave the area"

Perhaps what Turnbull means is that we can ask our ISPs to stop collecting data on us then? ;)

Want to hide your metadata? You probably can't

Tim Bates

"How does a gov going collect metadata when SMTP these days are via TLS and TCP payloads are encrypted ?"

I think they're wanting the SMTP server logs packaged up and stored.

I'm still curious what will happen with storage of things like ICMP and UDP traffic. In some cases, the metadata will take more room to store than the size of the content. I seriously don't think anyone who voted for this legislation actually understands how traffic flows on the internet.

Apple boots Windows 7 out of Boot Camp

Tim Bates

Re: Apples values.

"I doubt you can still buy standard laptops / PCs with Windows 7 pre-installed?"

You certainly can! Sales of new PCs where I work is almost purely Windows 7. Toshiba, Asus and HP have many an option in laptops with 7 preinstalled still.

Microsoft: You'll get the next Windows 10 build when we're GOOD AND READY

Tim Bates

Re: Scary to say...

"I've yet to see a development estimate that matches the actual reality"

Yes, but these are meant to be development builds to gain feedback about any stability issues present in the first place. Delaying them means only the issues MS has noticed can be fixed in a timely fashion.

Tim Bates

Re: Timewarp

At least you saw a date - I quickly simplified the fraction down to one third, wondered why they were talking about ninths in the first place, then finally realised it was a US style date without a year.

Insight: Have you heard about Windows Server 2003 support?

Tim Bates

"9-15 months average?! How ridiculous! These organizations either have too much middle management, really bad documentation or just terrible IT staff."

3-4 months for the initial planning isn't unreasonable in a business big enough to label it's "departments". You'd have specific software to contend with, scheduling around important events in different departments, etc. Managers would need to meet with other managers. Teams would need to meet to discuss the plans. It all adds up.

And that's only assuming you have a handful of servers to do - as the number of servers goes up, the time obviously does too.

A smaller business with one manager and a handful of staff could do it in a weekend, or even a quiet afternoon.

NO WARRANTS NEEDED for metadata access, argues Oz A-G

Tim Bates


George's own Chief Of Staff signed a letter to my local member responding to my questions saying:

"The government is committed to ensuring agencies' access to metadata remains subject to strong safeguards". Isn't allowing random law enforcement agencies to view what they want somewhat less than "strong"?

And it was also mentioned that the data collected will be subject to the Privacy Act 1988 - call me an idiot, but surely allowing random access by police to this data breaches that act.

Pull up the Windows 10 duvet and pretend Win8 and Vista were BAD DREAMS

Tim Bates

Re: Hellooooo UBUNTU...

> Why wait until then? I began the switch as soon as I saw the Win8 preview.

We've been looking for for a suitable "idiot friendly" (from an updates and maintenance POV) distro to sell preinstalled on computers since XP's demise was announced. The Windows 8 preview was an encouragement to that process.

Sadly the most easy-to-keep-updated distros tend to force stupid changes on people, and the ones that don't force stupid changes tend to require a reinstall to update major releases.

No more free Windows... and now it’s all about the services

Tim Bates

Re: It will be a cold day in hell...

"but Linux has a ~2% desktop market "

I never really believe percentages quoted for Linux market shares...

You can't go off sales volumes for pretty obvious reasons.

You can't use browser agent IDs because not everyone uses the internet in the same ways.

You can't do a survey because a lot of people think "Word 7" is an operating system.

I've got a few Linux desktops that never see the internet, or only ever see ftp.debian.org. Who's counting those?

Tim Bates

Re: @joed - Does not make sense?

"No it won't, you troll. The only thing Secure Boot locks down to the point where you can't switch it off is the Surface RT"

Really? I guess you don't need to boot anything much on random x86 devices every day then. They already make Secure Boot a "Where's Wally" game, and some manufacturers have already failed at UEFI booting anything other than their own Windows 8 images.... It's only a matter of time before manufacturers start hiding the Secureboot option, even if only by accident.

Dead Steve Jobs to give iPod MP3 evidence from beyond the grave

Tim Bates

Re: More to do with

" They only slung the DRM scheme to convince the RIAA that Apple was their best choice."

That's what they'll argue in court I expect. And despite my usual thoughts on Apple, I suspect it's largely true, and this time Apple isn't the main problem.

systemd row ends with Debian getting forked

Tim Bates

Re: Init freedom

"And the boot time argument? Anywhere needing 99.99% uptime is not worried about a 4 minute reboot."

And most of the reboot time (in my experience) is the BIOS and various controllers doing their random checks and warm-up routines.

Australia to conduct national cyber-security review

Tim Bates

"I'd suggest the answer is no"

I'd say so too. Get within wifi range and most would be screwed.

Or just send emails about speeding fines like the Crypto-bastards are doing lately. Seems to work great.

Toshiba Australia recalls combustible laptop power cords

Tim Bates

I'd say so - it's the same labels and markings as when HP did it.

Is Toshiba recalling these worldwide like HP? Everyone concluded it was only really a problem for 120v users when HP did it, so odd that Toshiba Australia are worrying about it (240v).

Technology quiz reveals that nobody including quiz drafters knows anything about IT

Tim Bates

Re: Odd Choice

"From the obscure Browser question"

Internet Explorer started life as Mosaic redressed... That said, the question is a bit odd in a 12 question general internet knowledge quiz. I'd have expected more questions about cookies, email and other such everyday things, not a corporate name guessing game.

Tim Bates

Re: Of no consequence

"I doubt that there will be a tech crisis because people don't know the date that the first iPhone appeared."

Even people who queued up to buy the first model wouldn't remember what year that was by now... Unless some other significant event happened around the same time.

Seems odd someone's "web IQ" would be based on the knowledge of the past and present CEOs of random tech companies.

Leaked screenshots show next Windows kernel to be a perfect 10

Tim Bates

Re: Maybe MS should do what Apple does and keep its OS's secret from the press until they're ready

Yeah - cause Apple's failure to test their products correctly never causes any problems, right?

Tim Bates

Re: If you want major security improvements, you want incompatibility

"The only reason Linux hasn't wiped out Windows is it isn't as good for most customers."

Actually, for the 90% of customers that want to browse the web, send an email and maybe write a letter... It's perfectly fine. You can do all those things with little to no understanding of the underlying OS.

The only reason Linux hasn't wiped out Windows is that customers are too scared of change (which also happens to be a major factor in Windows 8's failure).

SO LONELY: Woman DARED to get rid of her iPHONE - Apple DUMPED all her TXTS

Tim Bates

Re: @Roj Blake

"Although even a couple of days would be pretty unacceptable."

It's done over the intertubes - surely it should be able to guess fairly reliably within seconds that the recipient is not available via iMessage. Keep track of failures over a few days, and prompt the sender if there's a run of failures during say 7 days.

Not exactly a hard thing to work around.

This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Tim Bates

>Think of anything you can buy in a metal version or a plastic version.

Like a garden shed?

>And which is more expensive?

The plastic one. Near double the price ($AU460 vs $979)...

In this case, the "premium" priced product is the plastic one.

Senators plot metadata pushback as requests keep expanding

Tim Bates

Re: "differences in reporting"

Brandis's way of lying about his lies.

I sent a letter via my local member a few months ago. No reply yet as to whether the metadata laws actually require me, as a private network admin, to collect metadata regarding the local users.

DOUBLE BONK: Fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets

Tim Bates

>One upside to pay-by-bonk is that the means to pay is almost certainly already in-hand (literally),

I'm considering taking my rarely used credit card out of my wallet so the only contactless card left in there is the card I want to pay with... Then I can just wave my wallet across the terminal.

My Aussie bank actually does support pay-by-bonk on Android (has done for about 12 months - didn't hear the media praising that innovation), but rudely only on a preselected collection of phones. My phone has NFC, but no support from them.

In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web

Tim Bates

My vote...

I dont' really care too much where this all goes, as long as they stop with the dumbass idea of more gTLDs. Nothing looks more disorganized than the latest release of new ones.

How to hit the top of Google's rankings: 'Use a new dot-thing gTLD'

Tim Bates

Re: More bad research?

>The.berlin works to promote ratings the same way that "www.berlin.example.com" would.

Exactly... Google uses the domain as part of it's scoring. A website with a direct domain keyword match will rank higher than one without. Of course if you fill the page content with obvious keyword spam, it'll de-rank like crazy still, but most genuine businesses don't do that.

Google's rankings are a little mysterious, but not that mysterious.

Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit

Tim Bates

Prolific's been blacklisting their RS232 adapters for ages. And it causes problems even for companies like banks. An Australian bank ships Prolific clone cables with their POS integrated EFTPOS terminals. If companies like banks can end up with fakes, how is anyone else supposed to tell?

I personally think a warning should be displayed to notify the user when fakes are detected. That way you know WHY it's crapped out (you don't just call the real manufacturer names). And as long as this hardware fiddling is reversible, I've got no issues with that either.

Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy

Tim Bates

Re: Newsreaders

Probably there for the newsreaders who live in USA, where they would leave out the "and", effectively making it $2m multiplied by 60,000 dollars when read out loud.

Microsoft left red-faced after DMCAs dished out to Windows bloggers

Tim Bates

Not looking good for MicrosoftCraft videos then?

So once the Mojang/Minecraft buyout goes through, what will happen to all those Minecraft videos? Can't imagine the Microsoft Copyright Police would like to see all those blocky textures misused by having people entertain other product owners....

ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10

Tim Bates

"Folks, it's time to enter the 21st century, and if you can't handle a connected account, maybe Windows 10 isn't for you."

Well, actually there's more reasons than a fear of "connection". Those MS accounts can store payment information, so when you're a computer repairer, requesting that password is REALLY awkward. It's like asking for the cutomer's credit card PIN.

Apple tries to kill iWorm: Zombie botnet feasting on Mac brains

Tim Bates

Re: Doesn't a Worm have to infect without user intervention?

It's all becoming a blur now because of misuse of the terms and ever some malware doing more than one "style" of nasty business.

If my memory of my learning days is still OK, it goes something like this:

Trojan - idiot user installs, then it does it's stuff quietly while the user isn't looking (tends not to replicate itself).

Worm - exploits holes in security to "worm" it's way around networks (including the intertubes).

Virus - attaches to other executables and may move to other systems by finding "portable" executables (such as shared disks).

I'm sure I'm wrong in some way, but I spend all day having to dumb things down to "you had a virus" for customers.