* Posts by Matt Piechota

301 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Aug 2006


Kaspersky says air-gap industrial systems: why not baby monitors, too?

Matt Piechota

Re: Baby monitors?!

They are not enough.The point is getting to attend to the baby when he wakes up but before he starts crying at full blast.

It's amusing seeing the replies by people who obviously don't have children. The quoted is someone who has a kid, and knows the value of not waiting until your formerly sleeping baby is screaming at 2am so go comfort them. Also: if you have a audio path to the baby that you can hear him crying, the baby can hear what you're doing and be woken up by it.

I have an internet-connected baby monitor which I received as a gift. I probably wouldn't have gotten the internet model myself, but it works, it's cheap (~$50 US) and makes life a lot easier. I've only watched it remotely once to see if it worked, however, if I'm not in my own wifi bubble there's no point.

Courtney Love in the crossfire! Paris turns ugly over Uber

Matt Piechota

How does one say "schadenfreude" in French? We never covered that back in high school...

Le freude schadeaux

Samsung caught disabling Windows Update to run its own bloatware

Matt Piechota

Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

P.S. I don't surf porn, warez or gambling sites so it must be safe .......

You missed the Sarcasm/Joke Alert notification. I hope.

Verizon outage borks phones, TVs, internet for hapless East Coast folk

Matt Piechota

Re: Sir

"How? Do you keep trained carrier pigeons to hand?"

Good point, but I've been getting fairly regular text messages from her. Even if that didn't work, she's pretty clever and would get word to me via non-Verizon neighbors or just drive to somewhere were VZW works.

Matt Piechota

I'm solidly in the middle of the blob and I haven't noticed any outages with Verizon wireless or FIOS this morning. I'm at work now, but I'm sure I would have heard of FIOS outages from my wife.

The storm that rolled through last evening (5-7PM EDT) was pretty hairy, lots of downed trees and power outages.

Google's new free music service is classic Google: Take someone's idea and slap ads on it

Matt Piechota

Re: All streaming services are for music fashion victims

We who are actual fans of actual artists and buy their records (CDs, mp3s, whatever) and listen to them over and over for years at a time. I'm still listening to Meddle and Let It Bleed and Magical Mystery Tour.

So what new groups are you listening to these days? I find Pandora (my wife's service of choice) a great way to find new music to listen to (and perhaps buy if it doesn't wear on me after a few days). For that matter, it's also great when I'm in the mood for something out of the ordinary, unless you expect to go curate a pile of Polka, classical, or 80s butt-rock for the few times a year I'm in the mood to listen to it.

Ecobee3: If you're crazy enough to want a smart thermostat – but not too crazy – this is for you

Matt Piechota

Re: Touchscreen is pointless

"My house has screens in every room that tells me what the weather is outside. Sorry, not screens, windows..."

Can I get a brand name? I really need windows that'll tell me what the weather is going to be later in the day so I can plan accordingly. It'd help if they're double-hung too.

(Maybe this is a US thing, too: the weather here on the Atlantic seaboard at this time of year varies between two things: hot-ish (30 C) and sunny, or hot-ish with thunderstorms that roll through in the afternoon and evening. Knowing which kind of day before I leave my house is pretty useful. Maybe if I lived in the UK where the weather is grey and dreary all the time would make that easier. :) )

The Martian: Matt Damon sciences the sh*t out of the red planet

Matt Piechota

How About Mission to Mars (2000)? Don Cheadle played stranded Astronaut Luke Graham.

I thought of that movie after reading the Martian over the last few days. The stories are actually pretty similar in style, as in (other than that last bit of MtM) it's almost entirely about the dangers of space and not space-monsters (or robo-space-monsters, see the contemporary "Red Planet" with Val Kilmer). I read the review of MtM and it apparently got panned in the press, but I thought it was a decent movie; but I'm a sucker for nature is the antagonist stuff. In a somewhat similar feel, check out Robert Redford in "All is Lost". I think there's only one line of dialog in the entire movie, but it's pretty compelling.

BOOM! Stephen Elop shuffled out of Microsoft door

Matt Piechota

Re: Well that confirms it...

Microsoft are truly Rudderless now!

You can't make an assumption like that, it's entirely possible that in a company that size there are several more!

Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers

Matt Piechota

Re: Anyone else alarmed

about spies randomly loading secret packages of espionagey hardware into passenger aeroplanes as a matter of course? Just the weight! (And the number of spy agencies in the world...)

I doubt it was shadowy figures sneaking onto the tarmac and slipping stuff onto the plane. It was probably listed as some piece of equipment that the ground crews changed out a regular interval. "Hey Pierre, it looks like the navigation recorder timer shows that it needs to be changed, take it down to the locker and get a fresh one."

Facebook Disconnect: MS apps thrown under a bus in Graph update

Matt Piechota

People still use Facebook?

I don't.

Well, aren't you clever.

Sysadmins rebel over GUI-free install for Windows Server 2016

Matt Piechota

Re: All of a sudden, my decision to learn Linux

If you hold a UNIX shell up to your ear, can you hear the C?

Right up until I bash you with it.

'Millions' of routers open to absurdly outdated NetUSB hijack

Matt Piechota

"Are there any routers available to buy that run code written by anyone who has even the smallest clue?"

I'm not really sure how clued the RouterOS folks are, but on the surface they seem to have their #### together.


Reader suggestion: Using HDFS as generic iSCSI storage

Matt Piechota

Since iSCSI is block based, we're talking about storing a ton of (say) 4k blocks in Hadoop and the iSCSI service asks for or updates block #12309854? It doesn't sound terrible. I could see some concurrency issues with multiple iSCSI services, but I'm not sure they're worse than iSCSI to traditional block storage as they'd still need a cluster-aware file system on the clients.

The big question is: how/why is this better than something like DRBD?

Mozilla's Flash-killer 'Shumway' appears in Firefox nightlies

Matt Piechota

vSphere Console

The console works in Chrome without adding any extra plugins. Under Linux, it's essentially the only option as the Adobe Linux Flash Plugin is too old for vSphere 5.5's web client.

Ha! Win 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 2 pops out of the Microsoft oven

Matt Piechota

Tipping Point

I really think we're at the tipping point where MS has truly seen that x86 PCs are not a given for the future and, frankly, the future of their company depends on them being interesting in the post-PC world. I know the term "post-PC" has been used for years and years, but this really does feel like it might be true.

Netlist gets derisory $2 award following Diablo IP theft trial kerfuffle

Matt Piechota

I want my two dollars


Microsoft set to penetrate Cyanogen, promises app-y ending

Matt Piechota

Beware Microsoft bearing gifts.

Android lands on Microsoft's money-machine island fortress

Matt Piechota

Re: So ...

"Why didn't NCR use CentOS/Redhat or Debian, Why Android, it only of benefit for portable devices running Google's clone of Java for Apps. This is only going to have NCR's application."

As for CentOS/RHEL 6, they're going to be supported for another 5 years (I think). You can bet that a lot (all?) of these ATMs are not 64-bit, and RHEL7 doesn't do 32-bit. Additionally, I'm not sure how well Linux+X+touch drivers+browser fits onto the old Intel-based hardware that's (probably) inside these machines. My guess is these are low-end spec PCs from the 2004-ish era. Debian probably has a 32-bit, I'm not as familar with their road-map. Android would seem to make a lot of sense, it's designed around touch interfaces and lower-power hardware, and has a hardware-upgrade path into low-power ARM if so desired. The security issues are almost always due to apps, which doesn't really apply to an ATM.

As for Windows upgrade to 8.1: there's no way in hell they'd do an upgrade in PC terms as one poster suggested. The ATMs would be re-imaged with embedded 8.1 and whatever small amount of configuration done. (I don't have any experience with these machines, but I can't imagine there's much more to the individual location config than location, phone number to dial, etc.)

Oh, hi there, SKYNET: US military wants self-enhancing software that will outlive its creators

Matt Piechota

So: Java (shudder)

I'm not going to hold Java up as a paragon of reliability, but realistically something like it with a stable set of classes that will "never" be phased out and you're getting close. You could selectively add stuff to the base as time goes on to support new features as long is it doesn't interfere with the older classes.

Astronomers battle plague of BLADE-WIELDING ROBOTS

Matt Piechota

Re: Methanol

"EXACTLY! Never was there a clearer case of "give an inch and take a mile" - these unworldly boffins, emboldened as they are by draining the public funding teat of its vital essence, now want to deny us all the fundamental right to an immaculate lawn at the least possible effort! I put it to you, not even in Soviet Russia was this specific blatant denial of human rights attempted!"

In Soviet Russia, the lawn mows you.

Crack security team finishes TrueCrypt audit – and the results are in

Matt Piechota

Luck be a lady, tonight

"With luck, the code will be carried on by others."


Google cracks down on browser ad injectors after shocking study

Matt Piechota

Re: It all has to get paid for somehow

"Does PBS (in the US) need to routinely run ads? (I don't know/can't remember)."

Not as such. From time to time they'll have fund drives where people interrupt the shows to beg for money from the viewers. I'm not sure which is worse. I suppose on a small scale, shows on PBS (and NPR) are often sponsored by one or more backers. "$SHOWNAME is sponsored by JimmyWidget, makers of fine widgets for discerning tastes and The Croydon Arts Council, presenting Oliver Twist from March 3rd until April 1st at the Dabs Theatre".

Hawk like an Egyptian: Google is HOPPING MAD over fake SSL certs

Matt Piechota

Re: Odd?

"This is all a bit fishy, if the companies own the machines in question then they can self-sign and include their own self-signed certificate in their own machine's certificate stores."

True, but I'm guessing this is aimed at small companies without the resources to do their own CA. To you and me it's not that hard to do, but I can think of several small business owners I know that wouldn't have the slightest idea.

That being said, I'd be shocked, SHOCKED! if given the locations of the CAs we're talking about (China and Egypt, right?) there wasn't something else going on.

Windows 10 build 10041: 99 bugs on the wall, fix a bug, add a feature, 114 bugs on the wall

Matt Piechota

Re: Desktops????

Windows 95 certainly had tools to do it. On Linux/etc, FVWM had them, CDE, had them, and many others.


Oh, and I looked: KDE1 had much nicer icons than that screenshot above. But, I'd be shocked if there wasn't some form of icon/theme customization option in 10 if you don't like them.


IBM's OpenPower gang touts first proper non-Big Blue-badged server

Matt Piechota

Linux on POWER

I had some Linux on POWER stuff a bunch of years ago (p595 and p570). They were cool boxes (the 595 especially), but Linux on POWER was always just odd enough that it was tough to put to good use. Mostly, our internal customers would come along and want to use one and later mention that they had some commercial software (like MATLAB) that only comes in x86 binaries. Sorry, not going to work.

Maybe there's a market since ARM has somewhat pried open the defacto x86-ness of Linux, but realistically I don't see too many commercial vendors supporting POWER (if they even know it exists). After that, you're looking only at the FOSS stuff which it's tough to make a case for going in this direction when x86 is so common and well-supported. The only market I can really see this working would be something that lends itself to POWER's advantages, and only (as someone above mentions) if the compilers actually optimize well.

Battle for control of Earth's unconnected souls moves to SPAAAACE

Matt Piechota

Re: If it is in LEO

"Then it makes a great way to cover all the empty spots where cell coverage doesn't. Not just Africa, but all those places in the US that are uncovered and probably never will be covered. Even if it just did voice that would mean never being out of service. Well, less out of service, since buildings, tunnels and depending on the frequencies used and SNR a tree canopy might still block the signal."

Congrats, you've just summed the concept and failings of the Iridium constellation! :)

Google chips at Amazon's Glacier with Cloud Storage Nearline

Matt Piechota

Re: oooh oooh!

"They only charge me $1 per gb to scan all my companies data and sell the information to the highest bidder!! Where do I sign??"

I guess someone doesn't understand encryption. :)

Matt Piechota

Re: Where's my

"400Megabyte per second internet connection.. yeah that's right I don't have one. Local storage it is then."

I guess someone doesn't understand tiered-storage.

'Rowhammer' attack flips bits in memory to root Linux

Matt Piechota

Re: I want to learn Linux but ...

However, if you are trying to install to a USB key rather than a hard drive, while I'm pretty sure that is possible, I wouldn't recommend it. The USB key will be very slow and I don't think it will have a long life if you are continually writing to it.

Just FYI

- It's entirely possible. I've done it several times with USB disk and sticks using the normal install process, and as others point out distros often have a USB-writer tool.

- If you do try the normal install process, be warned that some distros (LinuxMint, I'm looking at you) will overwrite the MBR on /dev/sda (which will likely be your internal disk) with GRUB which might hose up your installed system (especially if you have some sort of software encryption FDE). Pull the disk for the install or install on another system if you can't remove the internal disk.

- Sticks aren't as fast as disk over USB, but USB2 and 3 are fine for basic use even with software encryption. I surrently use a small Sandisk USB3 "stick" (athough it's not much bigger than the USB connector) to boot my corporate laptop into Linux for "home use". I haven't used it extensively, but it's working fine so far. Maybe it'll wear out some day, but I'll just buy another 32GB USB3 stick for $20US and restore from backups.

Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

Matt Piechota

Re: Missed opportunity

"I recently acquired a Galaxy Note 4 and was thrilled to discover the new Private Mode, which hides certain content until a pattern, password or fingerprint is used to decrypt it. I loved the idea of protecting important data without constantly needing to unlock the phone for day-to-day stuff like calls and texts."

Upon upgrading my Nexus 7 (first gen) to Lollipop it prompted me to set up auto unlock, where the device would skip the passcode if a paired Bluetooth device was in range (in my case, the Bluetooth audio adapter on my speakers. Maybe you should be looking for a Bluetooth fob if this bothers you enough.


Windows is TAKING the TABLET market... what's left of it, anyway

Matt Piechota

Re: I'd consider Surface more of a super ultrabook than a tablet

"At least every one I've ever seen was being used as a laptop. People buy them over iPad and Android not because Win8 is a better tablet OS, but because it can run Windows apps and act as a real laptop which the others cannot."

I concur, people have played with tablets now and see the use of the form factor, but (in my case at least) get frustrated with the limits of "apps". Either the limits of "this doesn't work on a tablet OS" or the limits where the app isn't written with flexibility or reconfigurability in mind. A tablet form-factor with a fully usable OS (Windows I guess falls into that category) doesn't sound so bad.

I'll give a real-world, consumer example: My wife likes to take pictures of our kid/travels/life and put them into photobooks which she orders (snapfish, etc.) hard copies of. Are you really going to faff about with hundreds of photos, and arrange them on a tiny screen with your finger, and do all the fine adjustments to the layout on tablet? She certainly doesn't, it's back to her clunky old laptop.

SCREW you, GLASSHOLES! Microsoft unveils HoloLens

Matt Piechota


Stylish, and see-thru lenses to boot!

Eurovision tellybods: Yes, you heard right – net neutrality

Matt Piechota

"That isn't a bad thing but I always wondered why a show apparently specifically designed to appeal to gay men so often features so many fine looking women."

So they can kvetch about shoes and dresses.

Spavined RadioShack to file for bankruptcy next month – report

Matt Piechota

I'm trying to think of the last think I bought there. I think it was a DPDT momentary switch to make a headset into PTT. Other than that the odd audio adapter plug when I was in a rush.

Hollywood vs hackers: Vulture cracks Tinseltown keyboard cornballs

Matt Piechota

Re: "it's a Unix system, I know this"

"nd I find it odd that you haven't included Jurassic Park.

"it's a Unix system, I know this""

As a post a couple up from yours pointed out, that line is completely accurate. It's IRIX (which is a UNIX), and that tool (fsn) was actually on IRIX installs.


Samsung's first Tizen smartphone is HERE ... by which we mean India

Matt Piechota

Re: Tizen's dead...

"Yeah, cause who wouldn't want a TV and a washer-dryer running BB10?? Can you imagine all the thumb-swipe options Blackberry can pack into a freezer or a toaster-oven?"

BB10, being QNX-based would do a fantastic job of running small-memory devices like that. I loved working with QNX, it was so small and fast for little systems.

Google unleashes build-it-yourself 'Ara' slablet phones (in Puerto Rico)

Matt Piechota


I wouldn't be surprised to see many of these resold to the states. I'd assume PR (being an American protectorate) would be on the same wireless standards as the mainland...

Notebook news: Dell does density, but Lenovo's a lot lighter

Matt Piechota

Re: Ummmm .... RAM?

Why would you buy a laptop to only plug it into a monitor?

Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet

Matt Piechota

Re: The

"The Queen

The Royal Navy

The City

You all know which one."

Elton John, ok you got me there, and New York City (as I'm in the eastern US). (Hint: "the City" generally refers to the largest city in the area, I can see how that would get confusing for England since there's really only one large city.) :)

Buy Your Own Device: No more shiny-shiny work mobe for you

Matt Piechota


Setting aside privacy implications, this sounds a lot like Google Voice as well.

We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best

Matt Piechota

Re: Upgrades

I'm not sure which distributions you've been using, but most have an upgrade path that doesn't involve wiping the machine. That being said, I don't think the Mint installer DVD supports upgrades, but there certainly is a way to upgrade with apt; I've done it a couple times. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever tried up update Linux from a DVD (at least in modern times), it's always been an over-the-network affair.

Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

Matt Piechota

"I think it came in with v4.0.4 ice cream sandwich..."

That sounds right, my phone has been encrypted for 2 years now, currently 4.2.4. I don't remember which update it was when I first did it.

Apple patents NEVERSMASH iPHONE for fumbling fondlers

Matt Piechota

"I've been doing this with motors for years - in my RC cars (Which weigh in at over 6KG with batteries).. Hit the throttle and it backflips whilst in the air, hit the brakes and it forward flips.. Steer and do either of the above and it is possible to control sideways angle to a degree as well."

It's also a well-known tactic for motocross racing to orient the motorcycle for landing.

Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search

Matt Piechota

Re: Surprised...

"Why didn't Mozilla partner up with DuckDuckGo or Startpage or some other anonymous search engine proxy since they claim to care so much.... Yahoo is just a cesspool of ads, Google is 90% dominant, Bing is M$ etc... So it should have been easy an easy choice i.e. none of the big three..."

I doubt DDG has anywhere near enough money to pay Mozilla at the rate that Google/Binghoo does.

All ABOARD! Furious Facebook bus drivers join Teamsters union

Matt Piechota

Re: Taxes

"California income tax on a $100K annual salary is 9.3% - and federal tax is 26%

So I don't know where that 50% tax figure quoted above is coming from..."

Add in ~9% sales tax and then gas/school/property tax and you're getting pretty close.

To be fair, I doubt anyone making 100k in the Bay Area can afford a house. I had a BOFH friend that rented in Hayward making average BOFH bucks (six figures, at least). He and his wife could barely afford food. They moved to Phoenix so they could afford to go out to a movie once in awhile.

Apple bitchslaps iPhone rival Xiaomi: World No 1? That's BIG TALK

Matt Piechota


That's some pretty big talk from a company that's 2nd to one of the array of vendors that sell their primary competition.

ISPs are stripping encryption from netizens' email – EFF

Matt Piechota

I'm rather confused by this article, mainly from the lack of details. Are they saying that ISPs are truly stripping the connection as it goes through (as in modifying the packets to force STARTTLS to fail), or the much more "normal" situation where you can ensure the connection between you and your ISP's SMTP gateway all you like, but that gateway is free to turn around and send that data to the destination mail server in the clear? It's very odd to think of STARTTLS as "encrypting email" since all it's doing is encryption the channel.

iBail: American Psycho actor Christian Bale rejects Steve Jobs role

Matt Piechota

Re: Now I for one...

"Would prefer a biopic of the start of crApple - the Apple I and II etc when I actually had some respect for them..."

Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999).

Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings

Matt Piechota

Re: Just Sayin'

"Which puts me ahead of kibuntu.org and unbuntu.com that are both trying to 'sell' you 14.04. I guess someone slept through the alarm. Or was it set to silent?"

Ubuntu is trying to sell you the version that'll still get patches next year. That's a little different than what you're looking for.