* Posts by Spender

81 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Feb 2008


Microsoft drops 'Go Live' preview of .NET Core 3, complete with desktop app support


EF Core has been available in dotnet core for quite some time and is now on version 3.0 and will use C#8 features.

You might find this enlightening.

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


How is alphagoog off the hook here?

I expect my lock-screen to be impenetrable, with the exception of *only* apps with permission to make lock-screen notifications. That it's possible to install software that allows the spawning of any non-permissioned app over a lock-screen isn't an app developer problem... It's an operating system design flaw. The flaws in the OS that allow this that should really be addressed by alpha-goog-whatever-they're-called, not patched over in apps written by careless 3rd parties.

Microsoft's most popular SQL Server product of all time runs on Linux


One OS to run nearly everything?

Linux? Why bother with Windows anymore unless you want Outlook server?


"We're looking at seven million downloads"

Is it a fair appraisal to equate the number of downloads with the popularity of a product?

How many of these "downloads" are directly from the dockerhub? If that's the case, I've probably downloaded it about 20 times.

Leave it to Beaver: Unity is long gone and you're on your GNOME


Re: On the face of it

More or less my exact sentiments. A twenty minute interaction with Unity left me cold. I've tried all of the Ubuntu "flavours" including Mint, but xubuntu is where I stuck. XFCE is minimal and sweet.

Uber breaks self-driving car record: First robo-ride to kill a pedestrian


Re: Clear cut...

Here's a somewhat better camera making the same journey at night. The video of the incident is a complete con.


Re: Clear cut...

Having now seen the in-car video of the accident (it's a challenging watch), I find myself asking the same question I asked at the start. It really doesn't look like the human was engaged in any sort of meaningful supervisory role at all.

Assuming that the camera from the footage isn't anywhere near as light-sensitive as a human, it looks to me like there would have been enough time for an attentive driver to make the collision survivable or even avoid it altogether.

I wonder why the tests mandated any human in the car? It might give a veneer of safety, but they must know that the amount of attention a human is able to pay to the road when they've got nothing to do tends towards zero.


Clear cut...

...reckless driving by the actual meatsack behind the wheel, no?

Windows Server 2019 coming next year and the price is going up


Now dotnet is open source...

...runs on linux and has very capable linux IDE, I can see a whole bunch of .NET development houses reconsidering this expense. I know we did (and aren't looking back).

La, la, la, I can't hear you! Apple to challenge Bose's noise-proof cans

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Sennheiser owner says...

My Sennheiser Momentum M2 AEBT cans were my favourite tech-purchase last year. I've burned through a lot of headphones in my time, and these ones sound peachy-delicious. In listening tests at the shop where I bought them, I thought they beat the Bose, but they don't cancel noise quite so well...

...but they were jolly expensive, so I probably have chronic confirmation bias. Ignore me.

Leftover Synaptics debugger puts a keylogger on HP laptops


Re: YeeeeeeeeeeeeeHAAAAAAWWWWWWWW!!!

As an anecdote about software failings, the Toyota accelerator pedal really isn't a very good example.

On Wikipedia, we find a somewhat different version of events:

'On February 8, 2011, the NHTSA, in collaboration with NASA, released its findings into the investigation on the Toyota drive-by-wire throttle system. After a 10-month search, NASA and NHTSA scientists found no electronic defect in Toyota vehicles. Driver error or pedal misapplication was found responsible for most of the incidents. The report ended stating, "Our conclusion is Toyota's problems were mechanical, not electrical." This included sticking accelerator pedals, and pedals caught under floor mats.'

Bad design (maybe), bad pedal layout (maybe), but bad software? Fake news.

IETF mulls adding geoblock info to 'Bradbury's code'


HTML error 451?

No. It's HTTP status code 451.

Driverless cars will make more traffic, say transport boffins


Did they consider that the "alpha" driver (with their 4-litre Holden) will be able to exploit the intrinsic politness of any AI powered car to muscle their way through the heaviest queues of driverless cars, forcing the AI to hesistantly wait for the danger to pass?

Parents have no idea when kidz txt m8s 'KMS' or '99'


Learn what it means, and deny myself the delight of watching my kids squirm when I use their slang inappropriately? No-way-balls.

Machine-learning boffins 'summon demons' in AI to find exploitable bugs


open source?

"People [could do bad things...] It’s a realistic possibility, granted that a lot of machine learning software is open source"

I'd offer that these statements form a non-sequitur.

Isn't this what people used to say about encryption? Proprietary = more secure? That didn't work out too well, did it?

Better that vulnerabilities are out in the open, rather than being quietly exploited by those "in-the-know".

This kind of research is possible specifically because the algorithms are so accessible.

Top cop: Strap Wi-Fi jammers to teen web crims as punishment


Re: Why would this happen-

Just finished a jar of "The Reaper". It's the truly most bastard jam you ever tasted.

Fake History Alert: Sorry BBC, but Apple really did invent the iPhone


I can't think of a single invention that doesn't stand on the shoulders of previous inventions. Following this through to its logical conclusion, one might be tempted to think that nothing has been invented for millions of years. Hmm..

Belgian court fines Skype for failing to intercept criminals' calls in 2012


Makes for an interesting precedent, whereby all companies operating on the internet are liable to follow all laws in all countries.

It's difficult to see how that might work.

Assange returns to Earth


That's the daftest conspiracy theory I've ever heard when everybody knows that NASA is a sham, GPS and satellites are a fraud, and that it's impossible to orbit a flat earth.

Wake up, sheeple.

All aboard the PCIe bus for Nvidia's Tesla P100 supercomputer grunt



Amazing that effectively, this computer from 2000 now fits on a single card!

UberEats into food delivery with new app launch in London


Delivery systems for fans of...

...cold, wet food that has shared 40 minutes in a sweaty box with the other orders that happened to be vaguely along the way to your house.

For me, there's something rather appealing about the accountability of the restaurant (when it owns the whole process from kitchen to front doorstep) as opposed to the passing of the delivery process over to the scalpers.

Adobe scrambles to untangle itself from QuickTime after Apple throws it over a cliff


Calling all media professionals...

...you dare to use non-Apple software for your work? Think again, motherfuckers. We have the levers to make your life difficult, and we just chose to pull them.

"Windows is a bad platform for dealing with media" is an important piece of disinformation that continues to propagate despite its evident untruthiness. However, in pulling this plug without warning, Apple can certainly reinforce this perception.

The future of Firefox is … Chrome



A new IE6 for the next generation. Sufficient time has passed that a whole younger generation of devs and users don't remember why a browser monopoly is a fucking terrible idea.

I use Firefox because it isn't Chrome and it isn't IE (both of which have serious issues with the commercial concerns of their respective owners and the agendas that they are trying to push). Let's not remove that choice.

Former Microsoft HoloLens man: It's NOT about gaming


Augmented reality?

...because everyone wants to walk around looking like an utter twonk. Until it becomes difficult to distinguish between the haves and the have-nots, this tech won't fly.

Feature-rich Vivaldi rolls out, offering power users a choice


Yet another webkit/bink browser?

Meh. Without some care, in few years time we'll be looking at webkit/blink/chromium dominance and wondering where all the competition went.

Carving up the IT contract behind £500bn of annual tax collection is a very risky move


Re: Expensive but worked - when is that a problem for mission critical systems?

Indeed. The project management triangle of "Fast, cheap or good... pick two" seems highly relevant here.

Flying Scotsman attacked by drone


Re: It's science!

Even people who think they understand the principles of the Bernoulli effect often don't.

Avast forked up its Chrome fork, so flings fix after Google goggles


I'm not sure I like this...

... trend of software vendors turning my browsing machine into a bunch of exploitable web-services.

So they make a browser that also has an accompanying service that listens for HTTP requests on localhost for "commands". That's quite a wide attack surface for a "locked-down" browser.

It does make me wonder how safe the spotify client is, given that it operates in a surprisingly similar fashion in order to interact with web-pages.

Show us the code! You should be able to peek inside the gadgets you buy – FTC commish


What one hand giveth...

...and the other taketh away.

Yahoo! Mail! Had! Nasty! XSS! Bug!


This looks like the kind of problem

caused by using regular expressions to filter HTML content. Regular expressions are very poorly suited to the job of dealing with HTML and getting the filtering right becomes a game of whack-a-mole, as we can see here. If the content's going to a browser, it should be parsed with the same tools that a browser uses. To suppose that a "parser" built using completely different technology can stay current is talk from imagination-land.

Firefox-on-Windows users, rejoice: Game of Thrones now in HTML5


...of the dumbest ideas from dumbville

If experience has taught us anything, it's that there's no way that embedding a closed-source Adobe plugin at the heart of a browser isn't a good idea.

...because their previous form is impeccable.

Windows for Warships? Not on our new aircraft carriers, says MoD


Yes, it would take time to port over all the applications

Ah, the old "just make it work like the old one" brief. In my experience, that's the kind of project that just runs and runs. A real risk that would probably outweigh the risk of Windows in terms of cost.

Hacked Japanese space probe sends back first pictures of Venus


periapsis, apoapsis muddle....

The orbital measurements in this article are back to front.

The periapsis is the lowest part of the orbit and the apoapsis the highest.

I'm surprised that they're flying a knackered spacecraft so low. Atmospheric drag at 400km above Venus will be significant.

Dell: How to kill that web security hole we put in your laptops, PCs


Re: SOP when buying new laptop (with Windows, obviously)

A more generalized SOP experience: Install a clean Windows from (say) MSDN. Realize that your laptop is fucked because you don't have any of the right drivers. Visit vendor site to acquire said drivers. And repeat....

UK citizens will have to pay government to spy on them


So what...

...if we pay the ISP to record this data, or it's handed out from some government budget? The net spend will be the same. Saying that "the government" should pay for this is exactly equivalent to saying that the public should pay for this. Whether or not this comes from the public purse or through increased ISP fees, I imagine the net effect on my pocket will be approximately identical.

We turn Sonos PLAY:5 up to 11


Re: Comments seem to miss the point of Sonos

"to stop them complaining about how complicated you've made the music system" ... A common complaint at my house. The Raspberry Pi setup is several degrees too nerdy for my teenage daughters. Ergo, I win!

New DMCA rules mean you can fiddle with your tablets, routers, cars (as if you weren't anyway)


Re: What the Library of Congress gives...

...not forgetting the FCC and their own designs on locking down routers.

Virgin Media filters are still eating our email – Ntlworlders


ISP email?

Maybe 15 years ago... Why would you do that now?

'Self-deleting' Mexican ATM malware let sneaky miscreants slurp cash


Just don't ever use an ATM in Mexico

It seems like the miscreants have penetrated the ATM suppliers good'n'proper.

Here's a little bit of fun with Mexican ATMs:


Android 5 lock-screens can be bypassed by typing in a reeeeally long password. In 2015


And nobody considered...

...a lock screen that crashes to the home screen might not be the best of architectures?

Cracktivists pop 11 MEELLION Ashley Madison passwords


How many developers get this wrong?

A simple check of stackoverflow.com reveals that there's a huge reluctance among developers to accept security best practices.


That's 730 pages of results. Ouch.

This problem has been solved in almost every credible web-platform by off-the-shelf, well tested login systems... yet a certain, highly prevalent breed of developer always thinks they can do better.

Sadly, the issue of security is very poorly understood by tiers of middle-management who allow these idiots to carry on breaking the web.

Want branchless banking? Live in the developing world? Oops


not surprised.

After entering my card details incorrectly on a reputable UK site, I was redirected to the security confirmation. I flagged the transaction to the site owners because the security question was "Please enter your ATM pin to proceed". They got back to me and told me that I had entered the wrong details and that the confirmation was a legitimate page from an Indian bank. If this level of security is the norm, I probably wouldn't want to bank there.

Atomic keyrings: Just how bright are they?

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Always good to see an advert...

...masquerading as news

Microsoft man: Internet Explorer had to go because it's garbage


From scratch?

Here I was thinking that Spartan/EdgeHTML were forked from the existing IE codebase. Setting out to do this from scratch would be a rather large undertaking...

Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome


"Starting from scratch sounds like a lot better an idea"

The story of Netscape tells us that there's no way that this definitely isn't a good idea.

Doh! WikiLeaks' PDF viewer springs XSS vuln


Re: Flash?

...but you're still using it in preference to FlexPaper, right?



That's quaint. All the cool kids are using pdf.js.


On a site that's related to security matters and secrecy, given its prior record, doing stuff in Flash seems foolhardy

Farewell Nokia: First ever 'Microsoft Lumia' set for Tuesday reveal


A phone with Microsoft emblazoned across its back?


Let's create a (potentially) great phone and ruin it by making it look like it got handed out at work.

(And yes, I still prefer my Nokia Lumia to the discarded droid and Apple devices lying around in my house)

VMware: Yep, ESXi bug plays 'finders keepers' with data backups


QuaryChangedDisckAreas? Really? Not QueryChangedDiskAreas?

Hey, non-US websites – FBI don't have to show you any stinkin' warrant


Seriously, the phpMyAdmin connection is paper-thin nonsense. Sadly, it's all too easy to bamboozle those who live in the intersection of law and software with blatant bullshit.

Coming next... Suspect breathes. Terrorists breath. Suspect must be a terrorist.