* Posts by soaklord

92 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Dec 2007


Boffins don bad 1980s fashion to avoid being detected by object-recognizing AI cameras


Thank you!!!

Can't believe I had to scroll down this far to see the Gibson reference. Was worried I'd have to go get it myself and post it. I *really* miss the glee of seeing a Cayce Pollard plot piece become reality after it was published. About time this one was realized.

Mourning Apple's war against sockets? The 2018 Mac mini should be your first port of call


Re: Naysayers ...

Exactly the same thing. I fought the idea of buying Apple products ever since my old ][c died. Couldn't game on one, couldn't justify the tax, hated the interface, etc. My wife is an artist and wanted to use a Mac because, art! I decided that despite her desire for a new, shiny iMac 27" with 1440 vertical resolution, I'd just build her a nice PC that could do all the same stuff for less (this was 2010). Except that I couldn't. By the time I spec'd the machine to be equally as powerful, RAM, HD, etc. then priced out a similar size and resolution display, the closest I could come was $100 less than the iMac. Without an OS. While I'd be happy to run Linux, there's no way the wife was going to do art on a Linux box. Soo... I reluctantly spent the money for a nice iMac in 2010 and hated it. Hated having to use it as our home computer (shared) at the time. Until, one day, the interface started making more sense, the terminology stuck, the keyboard commands started staying in my memory, etc. Now, I type this on a 2016 MBP (prior to the butterfly abomination keyboards, etc.). I have replaced her 27" with a 5k 27", and my 2012 Mac mini has been upgraded to 16gb of RAM with two SSDs and still takes everything I throw at it despite running 24/7. None of my PCs lasted more than a couple of years at best. The only Mac I've killed was the iMac I sheared the monitor mount off the logic board on when attempting to upgrade it to an SSD. I'll pay for Mac repairs to iMacs from now on... Apple makes some bad calls. Butterfly Keyboards are terrible, the 2 core Mac minis from last gen were way underpowered, etc. But for the most part, their stuff lasts, doesn't require reboots every seven hours come out of sleep mode without a hitch, and are pleasing to the eyes. This new Mini has me wondering if there's a way to justify replacing the 2012 quad core mini I have running as my Plex server/desktop/handbrake/makeMKV machine.

Boffins baffled as AI training leaks secrets to canny thieves


Protect the Privates!

Wouldn't the path forward be to hash the data, then match on the hashes? The learning still takes place and becomes very good at it, but the data privacy is then preserved. Or am I missing something here?

Wanna motivate staff to be more secure? Don't bother bribing 'em


Re: Security is not everyone's job.

The equivalent of a locked door is essentially a locked screen. My experience with most lock screens is that the people who complain about them are the ones who aren't working on the machine to begin with and "miss" notifications because they have worked around having to use a work machine for what they want to get done. However, how many people would install a system into their home that required them to call a number every time they wanted to open their front door and then verify that they are who they say they are before the key will fit?

Python explosion blamed on pandas


Re: Hmm

I see what you did there.

We're not saying we're living in a simulation but someone's simulated the universe in a computer


Re: Don't be fooled into believing otherwise.

"It is the duty of every good citizen of Gotham City to report meeting a man from Mars in a public park". ------Adam West as Batman.

Try not to scream: Ads are coming to Amazon's Alexa – and VR goggles



As I understand the article, you'd only get advertisements from skills that have them embedded in some way. If you disable those skills, you can't get ads. For example, a skill that allows you to listen to broadcast radio would have to be enabled before you could listen then, therefore, be advertised to. Don't commit Alexicide, just murder kill the skill that has advertising. If asking Alexa herself for searches results in advertising, then, yeah, I'll commit Alexacide. All five of them.

BOFH: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back


Re: Memories!

Is this the iconic code for Fortran or is there something else that could possibly be a better example?


Re: More murders than...

In the earlier seasons, there were three per episode on average. Though, in one episode, they killed a fourth character and never bothered to resolve whodunnit. Death of a Stranger maybe? The character was electrocuted as I recall.

The brave British boat men hoping to poke Larry Ellison's lads in the eye


Re: as an American sailor-wannabe

The article from 4 years ago was correct, Ainslie did go on to try and make a British try. I saw the boat that won four years ago on San Diego bay when they were testing and that thing went by our yacht like we were becalmed. (We were doing almost 8 knots) And amazing as it was to see, I'd still prefer to see more competition even if it meant smaller/slower yachts.

IT guy checks to see if PC is virus-free, with virus-ridden USB stick


Re: Not work but...

I disagree. I ran the North American customer support team for a top 5 antivirus company for years and we got to the point where we could extract the malware 100% of the time. This then meant we had a sample for analysis to improve the product. If you just format and move on, you haven't done anything to increase your overall security, you have removed a symptom not a problem. Users will be users. If you instead get the AV company you trust to protect the computer involved and get them a sample of the infection, you are likely to increase the security of all your users by default. Of course, the company I worked for offered free support for customers and we worked hard to get a sample on every infected computer we worked on.

Three expat Brits explain their move to Australia


Re: My 2c

I feel this way about having moved back from London to the United States. I will say that I have had more opportunities in the United States (Murika) than you describe and I get the joys of beaches and all that. And yet, like another comment said, I lived in a building that is older than historic buildings in my town. I miss the culture in London. I miss the museums. For the most part, people were friendly and interacted with you more in London than they do here where everyone is in isolated boxes (homes) where they get into isolated boxes (cars) then get angry at all the other isolated boxes on the road before walking into a cube. I also have been here too long and in a position that keeps me from realistically moving back (A 3-4 bedroom in London? Ha! Not for less than a Beckham makes.) But I still "what if" constantly.

Microsoft Xbox One to be powered by ginormous system-on-chip


Re: Better than my new PC?

Question: Did you pay less than $500 USD to build your machine?

Apple != Oranges

It must be the end of the world... El Reg man thanks commentards

Paris Hilton

Re: ARG MetaPhoria, AAA Heavenly Desire Project for Applied Intelligent Thought/Viable ImaginaNation

Where is the article on AMFM1? Seriously, for as long as he's been around the Reg, he deserves at least one piece. Or was I on holiday the day that one was written?

Neal Stephenson on swordplay, space and depressing SF


Re: Age?

I thought that was called xbox. Or pwndstation. Coat please.

iPhone users richer, brainier, more tasteful than Android-ers

Thumb Down


Last I checked, Android WAS the crowd. Can't have your cake and eat it too. Android has higher market share now, more activations per day, etc. Android has become the establishment.

Explaining the Chocolate Factory's Patent Panic

Thumb Up


This is EXACTLY what I was thinking when I saw that they got the set top box business. This allows them to integrate with millions of set top boxes and gives them an in with all the cable companies out there, thus a new advertising venue.

Doom dude says violent games lower aggression



Paintball is all the fun, all the aggression, plus an added level of accountability. Welts are far more educational than waiting for a spawn recount. Makes me miss my highly customized autococker with Eclipse trigger frame, Halo loader... whisper quiet, only 75psi and frozen ropes of paint... the good old days. Mask because, well., you gotta play with one, dontcha?

Moderatrix kisses the Reg goodbye



Does that mean that there will suddenly be an influx of banned, blaspheming terminology? M$ comes to mind...

You made me laugh. Thanks and best of luck at your new gig. Give them hell for us.

Netflix overtakes Bittorrent as traffic champ



I have Netflix streaming only, found that the blu-rays just sat when I ordered them, so they were pointless. I have had up to 500 items in my instant que at a time, so there is enough there to keep me interested. Most of it is older seasons of tv shows, and classic movies. Blockbusters do not make it on to the que until they are quite a bit older and then not always. Star Wars is not streamable, for example. But I use it. And I don't torrent (anymore). It is proof that if you make the content reasonably priced, you will see high adoption. Remember when allofmp3 was thought to be legal? They rivaled itunes. I happily spent hundreds of merkin dollars on the site. I was very sad when it shut down.


Step 1 Develop content library

Step 2 Make it accessible for very little money

Step 3 Watch the hoards come with wallets in hand

Step 4 Profit!

Traditional Media

Step 1 Develop content library

Step 2 Make it inaccessible without paying loads of money and possibly exposing yourself to rootkits (Sony!)

Step 3 Sue people who can not afford lawyers, let alone the fines when they circumvent Step 2




Step 10 Profit?

Canonical CTO Matt Zimmerman steps down


The title is silly, and must contain useless information.

I have expected to come into the comments and see them along the lines of:

"Good riddance. Linux with a GUI is bloated and the fact that it comes precompiled shows that Linux is going the way of (insert either hated mainstream OS here."

No, iPhone location tracking isn't harmless and here's why

Paris Hilton

Re: That Tears It!

Get an iphone, jailbreak said iphone, download untrackerd and firewall ip.... sorted. Whether the data is innocuous or not, you now have control over it. As for T-Mob going away, that leaves you Verizon or Sprint... And Windows Phone 7 or Palm if you've decided to pass on iOS and Android... Is it possible that the most secure option is a Microsoft product?

iPhones secretly track 'scary amount' of your movements


The title is silly, and must contain useless information.

Haven't tried this yet, but couldn't you just SSH into the phone, delete the offending files on a (somewhat) regular basis and be done with it? In fact, I'll bet some aspiring cydia developer will have an app for deleting the data soonish. To the poster suggesting google cares more about privacy, you sir have one fantastic sense of humor. Thank you for the laugh.

iPhone-wielding chumps rush to give data to phish sites



What is not "suspected" as a reason why Blackberry's are less likely to go to a phishing site is that perhaps people don't like logging on to their bank from a corporate phone and incurring the "you used your corporate device for personal use and we pay for that data" wrath of IT. And getting the email on Blackberry, then waiting until you get to a computer may be too long a delay as the article suggests.

PlayStation 3 code signing cracked


PC or Console Question

@Darren Tuffs While your comment about upgradeability etc. is true, part of the reason I switched form PC to console for my gaming was specifically because I chose not to keep up with the SOTA (State of the Art) tax. In order to play the most popular PC games that are not MMO, you had to have a GPU no less than two years old if you were buying mid range GPUs. Every year, your GPU was now a year older and you weren't going to be able to play as well as the rest of the players playing at the bleeding edge. I won't even get into SSDs, CPUs, RAM, etc. In shooters, this meant you spent a lot of time spawning and very little time shooting.

With a console, you buy the hardware that EVERYONE ELSE is using. Therefore, skill is more important than the hardware. With the console, you buy a generation, then get years of use out of it, then "upgrade" to the new generation when it is available, but you aren't fighting an upgrade war just to play online. Compare the two lists below:

Ultimate Gaming PC Min Requirements

SOTA GPU *2+ (lose SOTA in ~1yr)

SOTA CPU (lose SOTA in ~1yr)


High End RAM (lose edge in ~2yrs)

23"+ display

Gaming Mouse

Gaming Keyboard (assuming no driving/flight sim games no other input req'd)

(Each GPU, CPU, SSD is higher in cost than a console)

Ultimate Gaming Console


Console of choice.

If you evaluate price along with everything else, then consoles win hands down. While it is true that you *could* use a gaming machine for far more than gaming with all that power, very few gamers I have met use the added power for sans gaming activities. They use their computers, but outside of gaming, most would be satisfied with "pick a tower" from their local electronics store.

Apple slapped with iOS privacy lawsuit


Could this change anything?

My desired outcome would be an app or app suite that allows you to choose what is being sent to whom. Surprisingly, Android doesn't, to my knowledge, offer a decent firewall app. Jailbroken iphones can use firewallip which will at least tell you where an app is trying to connect to and on what ports. Plus it gives the ability to global block certain domains regardless of what app is trying to contact them. flurry.com comes to mind... But if Pandora.com is required to run pandora and they are collecting my sexual preference, then there isn't much I can do to stop that other than jettison pandora and hope last.fm is not doing the same.

German 'hacker' uses rented computing to crack hashing algorithm


And...here's your title

Hmm... how long to crack a 15 character password? 20? And why aren't they required? I am guessing that $2 investment will very quickly turn into a 6 figure investment with that many variations even sans NaCl.

US may disable all in-car mobile phones


And...here's your title

So explain how it is a good idea to disable my communications device again...

I am in an accident, bleeding, car still running, and I can't call emergency services because my car is jamming my signal...

I am on the road. Notice a drunk driver swerving across lanes of traffic, ah well, no way to report, just hope he doesn't hit me....

Car gets stolen, I call the police, who then activate my lojack... oh wait. The car is running, so the signal is blocked.

Hello onstar? Oh wait...

Also, is it really only going to affect the people in the car or are we going to wreak havoc with all of the cellular networks by basically turning any busy street into a dead zone?

And, of course, retrofitting all the cars currently on the road won't be expensive for the government at all, now will it?

Finally, how do you block my cellular, but not my radio, GPS, etc.?

Short passwords 'hopelessly inadequate', say boffins



Out of curiosity, how many sites allow the original passwords. For example, if you were in the infancy of the web and you were allowed a four character password and it is now 8 characters, are you not protected just by the very fact that the listed minimum is 8 characters so no password brute force is likely to try the old four character password? Or am I wrong about this one?

Teradata records historic second quarter


What WAS NCR thinking?

They sold off every profitable arm they had. NCR paper... Cash Registers... ATMs.... Teradata.... They appear to be a company determined to fail.

US Army trials Iron Man super-trooper exoskeleton

Black Helicopters

Use Cases?

Getting relatively heavy equipment to a remote site quickly then setting up. I can envision HALO drops where the soldiers in question could then hit the ground running with 300lbs of equipment each. Subtract the 40lbs of standard issue they carry and that leaves 240lbs of other stuff they could then assemble/rearm, etc. with. Get in quick with heavy firepower that you then unleash on the bad dudes, thus eliminating the need for carrying said firepower, and get out on old fashioned feet if needed or pack up the exos when the troops arrive. Black ops... Black Helo, of course.

F*ck you, thunders disgruntled fanboi Apple user


Can't jump

Because Apple patented flight related passenger rights guaranteeing that despite prior art, no one but a Fanboi is allowed to actually remain as a passenger .

Google auto-alerts Gmailers to suspicious log-ins


Next time steal it properly!

Mr. Criminal, we've noticed that you accessed this gmail account from Nigeria. We find it suspicious that this account was accessed from Nigeria right after we allowed you to email the account holder about your desire to smuggle money out of your kingdom. We would like to notify you that in future, when you compromise an account, that you should do so using a proxy server that looks like it is coming from the same region as the account holder. You can get this information by looking at the header of the email after your mark replies to your scam. By the way, here are the login locations of the user for your perusal. Now you have multiple IP addresses with which you can target for additional gullibility attacks. Have a pleasant day and do no evil.

UK suffers videogame 2009 sales blow


@1of10 Did you read the article?

The console that defined the downward trend is NINE years old. How does the maximum of 2 years even rate in your thinking? The Xbox360 was released in 2005. The PS3 in 2006. Show me ONE computer that can run the most current games at a significant frame rate FOUR to FIVE years after it was first built with NO hardware upgrades. The end of 2005 saw the 360 come out for ~300GBP and this thing http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/desktops/0,39029979,39191376,00.htm for 1620GBP. Which one can still play MW2 online without any significant problems? Which is the better return on investment? Sorry, guess I don't possess common sense, eh?

TfL deploys privacy-busting voyeurcam


Gives a whole new meaning...

to riding the tube, eh?

Palm Pixi out next month


@Ian Ferguson

Rebates are simple. Only about 20% actually comply. Actually, I think Carphone Warehouse used to offer rebates all the time, but had these strange requirements where you had to send in the 3rd, 8th, 12th, and 14th statements in order to get your rebate six weeks after you sent each rebate in. The adoption was something close to 22%. But people LOVED the idea of getting something for so little. So to answer your question, it is basically a win all the way around for the company for all but 20% of the population who get a great deal.

Windows Home Server upgrade recedes into the distance



I am always amazed at how much trolling freetards do. The Windows Home Server product is actually quite good. I tried the linux route and found that it was not easy nor simple to set up a file share my wife could use easily. Configuring open VPN was a nightmare and never worked as advertised for me. And full backup of a machine wasn't a simple set and forget.

With the Windows Home Server, I get file level, cross drive duplication for redundancy, nightly backup of Windows and Mac machines, a full blown VPN (with Hamachi), a web facing login if I so desire, RDP to any machine in my network and folders that can span multiple drives. The OS may not have taken off huge, but there is a lot to recommend it and it is quite well thought out. And there are a number of people who have put together modifications for just about everything from serving up forums to using it as an exchange server.

As a NAS, the HP boxes have some of the best LAN performance around. (Check out smallnetbuilder for some speed comparisons).

I'll get my asbestos coat now, as I am sure I will be roasted for not knowing how to compile my own kernel from scratch then building an enterprise class server all by my lonesome. Don't get me wrong, I use Ubuntu on and off, I am enjoying Moblin at the moment, have played with everything from Red Hat to Fedora, etc. But as a set it and forget it box, the WHS rocks!

Sunbelt buckles up for anti-bloatware drive

Thumb Down


How can you have a conversation about the speed of virus scanners and their system utilization without including NOD32?

There is a fair amount of research done by West Coast Labs and AV-Comparitives on this subject.

Ammo rationing at Wal-Mart as panic buying sweeps US


Systems Thinking and Reinforcing Loops

This is an interesting lesson in exactly how a reinforcing loop works. Here's a basic version.

10 Obama gets elected.

20 The far Right believe there will soon be a shortage on ammo.

30 The pundits from the Right talk about it and create a fervor.

40 Those listening go to local Wally world and buy up whatever they can afford to hoard.

50 Those that don't get there soon enough report back that the ammo is gone.

60 The Right preach about how it is already coming to pass.

70 Shelves get stocked and emptied at faster rates as everyone believes the big stop is coming.

80 Price *1.5, Stock *0.8, rationing begins, everyone assumes they are being "regulated".

90 Speed *2

100 GOTO 20

The fascinating part to all this is that AFAIK, not one control bill has been proposed. Perception != reality. The good news for the ammo companies is that they will blow through stock right up until Obama is a lame duck at this rate. Hmm... Big Ammo supporting a dem for re-election... There's a thought.

Obama loses (another) cybersecurity bigwig


Absolutely no deification here.

There isn't a president in my lifetime that I have actually liked, let alone respected enough to deify. I am, however, tired of the ridiculous mantra that some put forth about how much of a devil Bush part deaux was and how much of a saviour there is in the office now. And the lack of research by likes of the prehistoric man drives me insane. Proof positive that there *is* deification taking place, just not in my post.


@AC 20:07

Umm... Sorry to burst your Hate Bush bubble, but Hathaway was the person who launched Bush's cyber-security initiative. Kwon accepted her role in June of 2008. Based on your quote,

"At least these people didn't sit on their rear end to play politics for a couple of years which makes a change."

It looks like Bush was the one making the right decisions. And it looks like in THESE cases, they were all too willing to "give up their power without a fight, regardless of how much it continues to hurt US credibility."

Knowing that in advance, I am sure your comment would have gone quite differently. Probably something along the lines of "These former bushites knew that they weren't going to be able to play the same games they did under Bush's empire, so got out before they were forced out." Too late to play that card after you just complimented them though.

Obama's top cybersecurity director resigns



Hey! She definitely understands the real world technical details of networks and security. You appear to be forgetting that she actually wrote a paper that said that important stuff is, like, you know, important. And it should, like, you know, be protected, innit.

Then she perfectly carved out a job description she'd like to have and tried to fill the position. Can't blame someone for trying, eh?

Mine's the one with Captain Obvious on the back.

The best netbook-friendly Linux distros


Some Spot on Reviews

Tried Moblin on my HP2140HD, hated it. The auto-hide tool bar drove me batty, as it popped up every time I tried to close an application. Firefox is buggy beta ware. The supplied browser sucks to kingdom come. Wifi took some effort to get going, but the instructions to get it working on a Dell Mini9 worked. Wifi refused to stay on, had to keep re-enabling.

Fedora 11... wouldn't install. Tried the live CD for a bit, got wifi working the same way I did on the Moblin, but Fedora required an ext3 partition for /boot and an ext4 partition for root. Since it wouldn't allow me to have a fifth partition and still install, no go on the HD. (1 partition for 7, one for Ubuntu, one for swap, one for /boot and one for /.) Dum de dum dum dum.

Netbook remix 9.04 didn't play well with my GPU, was kind of laggy, but desktop 9.04 works quite nicely when it boots. Half the time, I get a failed boot, have to hard reset, then reboot and it will boot right up. Wireless worked out of the box, which is a plus.

I know it isn't "Li"nux, but I would have liked to see one more Unix derivative reviewed on Netbooks... OSX.

Microsoft to spin out more non-update Windows 7 updates


How many non-letters?

|\/| ! ( R 0 $ 0 F + ... That's the best I can do without special characters.

So far, the system has been far more stable than my last attempt at Ubuntu. (Gutsy Gibbon as I recal) but then, the Ube has an eternal beta near as I can tell. Mine's the one with Flame On! written on the back.

Windows Home Server fixes bugs with Power Pack 2


@Cameron Colley

I have had my share of problems. But I find that I can run to a windows community just as fast as a linux community. And that the WHS community is VERY quick to help.

And for the author of the article to say adoption was lackluster w/o mentioning that WHS wasn't on Technet or MSDN until the last couple of days, it wasn't part of the action pack until Oct 2007 is rather... telling.

To be fair, the linux community was very helpful as far as they could be while I was pursuing that route, but I found the constant maintenance and breakage just too time consuming.


@Jon Brunson

Too expensive? Have you seen what you can do with a Windows Home Server? Could you please show me where I can find a linux distribution that will allow me to:

Run an iTunes server like Firefly

*Do nightly backups of my windows(and now Mac) machines

*Allow me to use said backups to install on to larger hard drives when I upgrade

*Give full access via VPN and web access if desired

*Act as a print server

*Act as a file server for Media Center Extenders (act as a file server period)

*Allow for storage without having to worry about drive partitions

*Allow for plugnplay addition of hard drives with instant addition to drive pool

And here's the key point... Do all of the above without hours of setup time. While I am no sysadmin by trade, I am not completely computer illiterate and I still couldn't get a free linux distro to do all of the above after a month of learning curve. WHS was set up, running, and giving me peace of mind within 3 hours. The cost of time far outweighed the cost of money when it came to this particular project.

Final note... You are getting most of the functionality of SBS 2003 for less than $100. That's not that expensive.

Alright, bring on the freetards flaming my lack of linux Lenny skillz. I tried your dogma and found that it kept crapping all over my network. Mine's the one with WE GOT SERVED on the back.

Google pays $51.7m for newspaper destruction metaphor


Interesting Idea

If ping wasn't an issue, data centers in the arctic has a certain appeal to the non-global warming amongst us. In fact, we could put them on defunct oil rigs too and allow them to be water cooled. :) Just tap them in to the Spooks virus trunk and we're set. Mine's the one with the "Balmy English Channel" on the back.

MSI mobo ditches Bios for EFI

Paris Hilton


So if you can run games, etc. on it... Does this not suggest a lot more root kit hacks. Basically, if you can load a game on it, can't you load a more nefarious purpose on it and take control of the computer. Especially if you now have network access, etc. prior to OS boot. Sounds like a much more exploitable machine. Or did I miss something? Paris cause she misses a lot.

Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah set for top two spots in Christmas Day charts


Obviously you are all wrong!

The only version of this song that is worth anything is Willie Nelson's! Sheesh. Do a little research people!

Flame on!

Hands on with Sony's slimline Vaio TT


How much time did Reggy get?

Seriously, you had the laptop, why no benchmarks? Also, is that chip a 64b or are you limited to 32b forever like the new macs? Hmm... Puff piece. If you go to Sony's website, you can pick up a 007 version... Just sayin.