* Posts by Stiggy

31 posts • joined 8 Feb 2008

How to spot a coders comment




throw new NotImplementedException("Hopefully this will never get called...");

So you want to develop for Windows 8.1? Visual Studio 2013 is HERE


It's still as ugly as sin

So I'll stick with 2010 until they drop the TIFKAM bonkersness.

Microsoft's murder most foul: TechNet is dead



"The scrapping of SBS was the start, Microsoft do not want Small Businesses."

On a much smaller scale, the same applies to Windows Home Server. Quite a nice product, even if they dropped drive extender support with WHS 2011. Nowadays they expect you to go buy Server 2012 Essentials. Yeah, right, I'll drop more on an OS than I did on the server...

Actually they don't expect that at all. They expect you to stop using local storage and go to the cloud. Not entirely practical with 10TB of data...


Re: This is good, but not for MS

True. I have a DreamSpark account, free as an OU student. It's primarily Studio, Server and SQL, plus some add-ons and certifications. It's also limited to just the most recent couple of versions.

But given it's free, it's not bad. I expect MS will be canning that too in 3...2...1...

YES, Xbox One DOES need internet, DOES restrict game trading

Thumb Up

Re: Which, incidentally

I'm liking XBox GOne myself.


Re: Sony will do exactly the same .....

Serious fail post, I'm afraid.

From what's been announced, we can infer that:

1) On XB1, every game WILL stop working if it can't check in with MS every 24 hours. This is unconnected with whether or not the publisher allows resale - it's built right into the OS.

2) On PS4, any such shenanigans will be down to the publisher to implement independently. If they're that stupid.

Want offline? No internet? Buy a PS4 and avoid the douchier publishers.


Exclusive Halo game coming to Windows 8 and WinPhone 8


The plot...

Master Chief goes in search of the missing Start menu.

Greenland ice did not melt in baking +8°C era 120k years ago

IT Angle

Have you tried

Turning it off and on again?

Amazon flings open doors to Android Appstore in Europe


Re: Good prices


I've gotta go check the wording of the contract to see how they can dictate the price of an app based against the price it appears on another retailer...

Maybe they've phrased it well enough to prevent the exact same binary simply being called 'Screw Amazon's Pricing Policy Edition'. However there's no way in hell they can stop devs making tiny changes to their apps and legitimately branding them differently.

Bonkers idea which will be trivially subverted. Personally as a dev I'd skip Amazon altogether, on the basis that they are a minor player who clearly have ideas which are massively at odds with mine as a content creator.

Microsoft: It was never 'Metro,' it was always 'Modern UI'


Unqualified and slighlty inaccurate

Modern from when? With ALL CAPS titles, :::: seprerators and zero-chrome, it might have seemed modern in 1988...

UI? No, as above. OTOH, I suspect it may have a decent UX - it seems to make good play of smooth, multithreaded motion, with relevant information in the right places at the right time. I don't know for sure as I never dl'd the RC. I just couldn't get past the ugly screenshots. On mobile, ICS works just fine for me.

All I know is, if they really do rip out all the start menu APIs, I'll be skipping Win8. If VS2012 stays as ugly as sin, I'll skip that too. A shame really, because at the framework level MS have been doing some astoundingly good work of late.

Toshiba readies zero Watt standby mode telly


@David W.

I agree that climate change, and specifically the extent of human influence upon it, is not 'well and truly disproven'. Perhaps that day will come.

However, to liken the situation with that of the 'debate' on evolution is a step too far. Opposing views to evolution, such as Intelligent Design, are driven exclusively by religious doctrine and the desire to permit Christian preaching to gain a foothold in the US education system.

Contrasted, many people have rational concerns over the validity and impartiality of current climate research efforts. Whist it is beyond reasonable doubt that CO2 has some impact on global heat retention, the apocalyptic predictions upon which trillions of tax dollars are already being committed appear to rely upon assumed yet ill-understood interactions of forcing processes as yet unseen in the real world.

It is fashionable to denegrate those who disagree with the mainstream view on AGW, however I wonder the extent to which that is an attempt to own the media, rather than the science.

Climategate: A symptom of driving science off a cliff

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I'm just surprised he hasn't labelled those keen on the AGW propoganda as 'Climatards'. It would be exactly as useful here as it is to his obsession with defending the media cartels dying business model. Namely, not at all.

Great article though.

Google TV box flop costs Logitech $34m


DRM by any other name...

...would smell as putrid.

So, in the brave new world of tomorrow, I can maybe look forward to being able to 'authorise' 12 devices to deliver the content I 'buy'?

Please explain how the 'value proposition' of UV* comes anywhere close to that acheived by simply downloading a torrent in a freely portable media file.

*Untransferrable Video?

Angry Birds find new way to take your money


Damn, you beat me to it

Why the hell would anyone pay for something to cheat in a game like this, when the solution is seconds away, via the device you're already using, on YouTube?

US may disable all in-car mobile phones


A better approach?

1. Mandate that new cars be fitted with three ultra low-power radio emitters, one in each 'A' pillar, plus one at the top-center of the rear screen. These broadcast a timing signal, emitter ID, and a device ID (the latter to allow any leakage from neighbouring cars to be filtered). The emitters are active whenever the engine is running.

2. Mandate that new phones are able to detect the above signals. Upon detection, the phone must use them to triangulate its position within the cabin. If in the driver zone, the phone must completely deactivate all keypad operations and switch to a strict handsfree mode only.

Is it a complete solution? No. Obvious limitations are that it would only affect new cars \ phones, and there is nothing to stop the most determined of douchebags out there from operating the phone at arms length, within a different zone.

As others have noted, it would be much better to just enforce existing laws more rigourously. But if the politcos are determined to bring tech to the party, this strikes me as a better way.

Sidenote: It has been suggested, here and elsewhere, that handsfree kit does not lessen the danger. Could someone please explain to me why a conversation held over handsfree is any more dangerous than one held with a passenger? In both cases, the driver is (or certainly should be) processing auditory cues only, so what gives?

Ellison wrestles Google to strangle 'unofficial' Java


Lawyer, please!

Java's (open source) license proscribes the use of certain versions on certain classes of devices? Wow, that's messed up.

Can someone please define 'desktop' and 'mobile' in context? Is my laptop permitted to run SE? How about my wife's netbook? Or my daughter's iPad?

This really jars with my understanding of the open source ethos. I'm cheering for Google FTW on this one.

Oracle sues Google over Java in Android


I Agree


Go, Oracle. Just go.


Beatles on iTunes? 'Don't hold your breath' says Yoko


In any case...

Unless the law changes in the meantime, the UK copyrights will start expiring from 2013 onwards.

Police force more suspects to give up crypto keys

Black Helicopters

@AC 15:08

Excellent points sir.

Could TrueCrypt have weaknesses? Yes, undoubtably. The possibilty of a seam is one; I can think of others. The forensics equipment used to examine hard drives is enormously sensitive. Could it detect that the data at the end of the primary volume has been written to far more regularly than would be expected if a hidden volume were not in use? But far the biggest weakness is simply incorrect usage. Without careful consideration, one could be leaving a trail of forensics all over the primary volume, or an unencypted one, all pointing to a volume that shouldn't exist.

I do know that its dev team take their work very seriously indeed. Being open source, there's also an active community able to pore over both the concepts and the implementation looking for just such pitfalls. IMHO, its certainly the best option yet available.

For RIPA, I would be amazed if there wasn't some element of 'reasonable grounds' necessary before a conviction could be obtained. Most UK laws, especially criminal ones, have such terms either embedded in the wording, or subsequently inferred by judges under statutory interpretation.

I suspect the only way that we'll know for sure is through a test case, specifically on PD. I'd expect massive coverage and numerous appeals before the final outcome would be reached. Whichever side wins, all that would be achieved would be an escalation in the arms race. If the prosecution won, expect the relevant exploit to be rapidly patched by the TrueCrypt team. If the defence won, expect new legislation criminalising the mere ownership of any PD capable software. Neither would settle the matter for long.

tl;dr - TrueCrypt could have weaknesses, RIPA is not carte blanche to jail those genuinely unable to decrypt any suspicious-looking file. Only a test case will answer the current questions.

US legalizes jailbroken iPhones


A title is required

Which came first - the telephone handset or the jailbreak? An iPod Touch will run Siphon quite happily with a jailbreak and a microphone accessory.

Parliament misled over Climategate report, says MP


The religion trundles on...

So, the science was shielded from peer review, and the subsequent enquiry was a closed door affair.

Business as usual from the cult of carbon, then.

ToryDems add up bill for Labour's ID scheme

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Idiotic economist


If they never spunked the £300mm on such a pointless, useless, insidious little control-freak program in the first place, there'd be no 'investment' needing to be recouped in the first place.

Just a thought.

Researchers spy on BitTorrent users in real-time



"A VPN is also not the answer, because for a generally public protocol to work, the public has to access the VPN. That means that the record companies can also access the virtual not-quite-so-private network, and easily see who's doing what."

Not unless Internet Protocol changed overnight any nobody told me.

If I tunnel all of my traffic through a VPN, the only externally visible IP addess is the VPN's. Not mine.

Can the MAFIAA cartel still snoop on the swarm? Sure, of course they can, and they'll discover all the poor smucks who aren't proxying. And then, in the current climate, probably demand that nastygrams be sent to those downloaders unfortunate to live in a cartel-friendly jurisdiction.

But the original seeder is the top prize. If they are using a VPN, the only IP a snooper see will belong to the allocation pool of the VPN provider. Assuming said provider is genuinely logless, attempts to locate the orginal seeder are doomed to failure.

All of this assumes that the VPN is configured to handle actual payload traffic, not just .torrent file dissemenation. Lack of following this practice, I can only assume, is how the study managed to conclude that TOR provides no defence.

Sky punts 'truly unlimited' 20Mb/s broadband


I can talk proper, me

Reminds me of something my English language teacher once said to me:

"Never start a sentence with a conjunction. Until you understand why you shouldn't."

Warner Music gives up on free streaming services


Yet another try at putting toothpaste back in the tube

Let's face it, the music cartel members only ever tolerated ad-funded schemes in the grudgingest of grudging manners. They would far rather keep renting you the stuff at ridiculous prices, or reselling it to you at every single format change. At ridiculous prices.

The ad thing was their attempt to compete with free, but now it seems with the three strikes thing they think they get another shot at strangling the free market into submission.

If you're reading chaps, prepare for yet another train wreck. All the three strikes thing will do is make encryption a household word. You'll still be screwed, only more so because by the time the penny drops (yet again), it'll be even harder to find people to sue. All the while, broadband will be getting faster and storage will be getting cheaper, to the point where your entire portfolio will be a mere blip on the radar.

I fear this may have been the cartel's last strike. God knows they've had more than three.

So, what's the f**king difference between a Netbook and an ultrathin?




Damn right - the D420 rocks. Got mine for under £250

Weight, from the Dell website - "approximately 1.36 kg (3.0 lb), with a 12.1-inch WXGA display and 4-cell battery"

The build quality's awesome -magnesium alloy casing as with all their business class laptops.

One of the best thing's the dock port though - got mine hooked up to 2x22 screens @ 1650x1050.

Show me a netbook that can do that...

How government will save you from P2P deviance

Gates Horns

The arms race continues

Wow, I can't believe ther'ye still pimping the filtering bullshit...

Hmm... let me see... uTorrent->Preferences->BitTorrent->Protocol encyption. Outgoing : Enabled. Allow incoming legacy connections: Deselected.

Bye bye filtering.

Also, lots of the comments here are concerned about the ISPs snooping on traffic with DPI. That's not how this shit is going to go down. The MAFIAA plan to sit on swarms they don't like the look of and collect IP addresses. If they resolve to any of these six stooges, the ISP will be pimped into sending a letter 'educating' the poor misinformed soul.

Vote with your feet and hit them where it hurts - on the bottom line. If you get a letter, cancel your account, demand your MAC code and go to an ISP that has yet to be bought. And make sure they know it's because of the letter.

The winners from all this bullshit? The Royal Mail, unbribed ISPs, IP redirection services like Relakks, and SSL newsgroup providers.

On the upside, with a bit of luck it'll drive forward devleopment efforts for an efficient, point-to-point encrypted P2P service where no peer knows the endpoint it's talking to.

Researchers show up deniable file system crypto leaks

Dead Vulture


Has anyone implemented amanfrommars Markov chain yet?

Come to think of it, is 'he' one already?

Post Office aims to collect ID card fingerprints?

Black Helicopters

They'll have to record some new tannoys

"Interrogator number six, please..."

Equifax asks customer to email debit card photocopies

IT Angle

@Rolf Howarth

"Actually, having written a number of email clients, I *do* know how email is transmitted. And yes, of course it's possible to eavesdrop on the SMTP traffic - *if* you have physical access to the network."

I've written E-mail and IM clients myself. And I appreciate your point that it's difficult to cause trouble unless you're directly involved in the communication route.

But I still wouldn't trust unencrypted email as far as I could spit. This story is entirely analagous to someone requesting that I, "Photocopy my credit card, front and back, then attach the copies to the back of a postcard and send it to PO Box 123, UK".


The Royal Mail mail be trustworthy. But do I trust that every pair of hands my envelope passes through is whiter than white? No, I'd be a fool.

Multiply this by a thousand and you have the current wild-wild-west state of the internet. Maybe my message will get through unmolested. Maybe it's even probable.

Would I trust that as fact? Good God, no....

YMMV, of course.

IT Angle

Par for the course

Sadly, this kind of thing is all too common.

There are plenty of people in clerical jobs who understand computers simply in terms of what they can do, rather than fundamentally how they do it. It's the main reason, I would submit, that 'business people' clash with 'IT people', and vice-versa.

Assuming that the Equifax source quoted is of the business category, there is a rationale that makes perfect sense from their perspective. They would see it something like this:

1) User sends email

2) Internet delivers email to Secure.Portal@Equifax.co.uk (or whatever)

3) An Equifax team member who has access to the Secure Portal email box (and no-one else) processes the email.

Meanwhile, at a system level:

1) The user's PC could have any amount of spyware or keyloggers

2) Any of the dozens of email repeaters en route might be untrustworthy

3) Any network device in the delivery route may have a packet sniffer in place

4) The company's own email administration staff might be subverting traffic

5) Etc...

Unfortunately, business users only ever tend to concern themselves with business risks. They'll recertify ACL lists of group email accounts, but never worry about how to ensure that the email itself is untainted.

I spend a significant amount of time at work explaining to end-users why they don't want what they think they want.


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