* Posts by Owen

29 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Apr 2006

Microsoft's new AI BingBot berates users and can't get its facts straight


This behaviour is expected . . .

"Other chats show the bot lying, generating phrases repeatedly as if broken, getting facts wrong, and more. In another case, Bing started threatening a user claiming it could bribe, blackmail, threaten, hack, expose, and ruin them if they refused to be cooperative."

Why not just change Sydney Bing's name to Donald Trump?

Then the program would be behaving as expected.

Telstra's answers El Reg's Smart Home security questions


Re: Telstra Cable Modem

True but since "Telstra Air" wifi gets turned on and so does the default whenever Telstra feel like it. They did this to 1500 customers they claim back in May. I am still stuck with having unwanted open connections no matter what.

If only I could get my old Docsis 2 Motorola cable modem back, they claim to have upgraded every customer away from it though. And did everybody say "sure,I'll pay you $100+ for something that offers me no usable features."

Didn't think so.


Telstra Cable Modem

My Telstra supplied Netgear cable modem has a WPA2 psk password for wifi. It handily says enter a key between 8 & 63 characters long.

An 8 character password allows clients access. A 12 charachter password won't let them connect.

The firmware isn't supported by Netgear. Its been hacked by Telstra themselves. If there was any way to avoid this piece of shit,I would.

According to Netflix, Australia's slowest ISP owns half of Foxtel


Re: Telstra says nothing wrong.

Thanks for the tip. I'll have to let Netflix tech support know. They say any problem with Netflix on mobiles: contact "the makers of Android" or the hardware e.g. Samsung. Any problem with Netflix on Windows call the PC maker or Microsoft - no really!

FWIW, Bigpond Cable Internet @ 30Mb/s in North Sydney, streaming in (potentially HD - Netflix don't know how to tell) gives these figures for House of Cards when forced to "high" - same in "auto" in profile. (It's filmed in 4K resolution so I should get 1080P if it is working):

Latency: 0 ms

Throughput: 25336 KBPS

Bandwidth (normalized): 25335 KBPS

Max Sustainable Video Bitrate: 25239 KBPS


Ctrl + Alt + Shift + D

You'll get a debug screen the second last section will read:



Bandwith (normalized):

Max Sustained Video Bitrate:



Telstra says nothing wrong.

I just queried Telstra since I'm on Bigpond Cable @ 30Mb/s (sometimes) and "Ab Fab" on Netflix was full of artifacts and was skipping frames and hanging even on the (presumably) lowest quality that Netflix could automagically stream at.

Telstra said nothing was wrong with my connection but hey, why didn't I invest $216 in a DOCSIS 3 modem (home gateway) and another $20 / month for even more blisteringly fast download speeds. We'll see what I can report back next week.

Does anybody know how I can tell what throughput I'm getting from Netflix on either Android (CuBox-i4Pro) or Windows?

March 24th: The day most Australian download allowances become inadequate


Stan seems to be a bit of a post natal abortion.

1. The 3rd party login services provider has been down every time I've needed to log on - that's what the helpdesk droid said.

2. The Stan android app service doesn't accept that my android device has an Ethernet port and will only access the Internet for Stan via WiFi. (Unsupported hardware they said - it's a SolidRun)

3. Streaming bandwidth capacity seems to be inadequate. Trying to watch Brian Cox's Universe on SD rather than HD even was unplayable last night due to drop-outs when other (ABC / Quikflix) streaming was fine.

4. Most of the Stan films are old . . .

Looking forward to Netflix (as long as they have BBC programmes).

Zombie POODLE wanders in, cocks leg on TLS


For anyone in Oz, get this . . . I reset my browser's security to only accept TLS 1.2:


security.tls.version.max 3

security.tls.version.min 3

Went to log into "Seek" (a job web site that used to be mostly "technical") - I couldn't access it because there was no security protocol match. I set the lowest encryption level back to TLS 1.0 and ran the test script at www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=seek.com.au and wrote to tell "Seek" about it.

The result: "Our IT team have responded and would like to thank you for the feedback, they are fowwarding this on to the relevant department for future consideration."

"Awesome" as the colonials here are prone to saying!

I do hope that Google start down-ranking insecure sites in their search results ;-)

Men who sleep with lots of women lessen risk of prostate cancer


FAO Lewis Page

Hello Sailor.

Weekend reads: Russell Brand's Revolution and Joy Division's Ian Curtis gets lyrical


Re: Atmosphere

IMHO the best rendition of "Love will Tear Us Apart" was at the Oysterband 25th Concert with June Tabor, repeated on the "Big Session vol 1". and also on "Ragged Kingdom". The former is more "Peel" if you know what I mean.

Inquiry ordered after phone exchange blaze


Poor Telstra

A thunderstorm took out our (multiple neighbourhoods) Bigpond cable connectivity again on Tuesday night. The helldesk droid promised me an SMS when service is restored. Apologies for those who can't read this - I never got the SMS. I only bothered to report the (by then known) issue 11 hours after the lightning strike - there was no service outage details or fix ETA available from the Engineering division to the support group by even that time - so professional.

Do I not remember reading recently that Mr Conroy was also inquiring into the vast spend in the past of "gold plating" of Telstra's network to ridiculously high levels of fall-over protection?

Engineer designs glass slipper on Quora



“glass” is merely a confusion in translation, and the original slipper was probably fir.

I wood have thought it was fur not fir but then that just goes to show that the story survived all those centuries without a spell chequer.

Wikipedia has some interesting things to say about the story including:

"It is thought that the slipper was made of vair (a russian squirrel, petit-gris) rather than glass. Many tales are relayed by word of mouth then translated. It is likely that the word "vair" which sounds like "verre" in French, was taken to mean glass rather than fur. The text in French below explains the posible confusion between "verre" and "vair"."

So that's the squirrel fur the prince was interested in - not beaver!

'Attitudes to robot sex will change'

Paris Hilton

You'd get to choose the "bot" of your dreams.

Just think of the licensing opportunities for body copies of the stars.

I know which "botty" I'd choose, . . . but it's not Red Dwarf's, "The Last Day" robotic Marilyn Monroe version.

Of course there's going to be the second hand, reconditioned market as well. When the robots get worn out, just like tyres, you could give them a retread and sell them off cheap as Pamela Anderson.

Telstra Int in anti-DDoS crusade


Oh yes

"The service is backed by Telstra’s Security Operations Centre (SOC) systems and staff offering around-the-clock 24/7 monitoring, extensive analysis and highly effective mitigation and traffic cleaning through global cleaning centres." . . .

In India - or Malaysia where the complaints will be "misunderstood" as per bloody usual.

I wouldn't trust them to even provide DNS.

Eleven - if you will - rocktastic music movies


Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ.

I have seen the light. Putting the band back together was a mission from God and yet you forgot the Blues Brothers!

They had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline.

CPU cycles for stars: theSkyNet wants your sandbox


2 prizes

"And yes, there are prizes on offer: a trip to the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory in Western Australia."

First prize: A week's stay at the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory, Western Australia.

Second prize: A two week stay at the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory, Western Australia.

Aussie online shoppers take $AU6 billion offshore


Supporting poorer countries

We at the rectum end of the world, fed up with limited choice and obsolete products feel it's our duty to support the poorer countries of the world by buying overseas:

Take Asus as an example - could I buy one of their USB, external Blu-Ray drives in Oz when I wanted it? No, just the DVD drive from 2 product generations ago. Same stiory with the ION2 1215N laptop - not available down under.

Note that we don't have that many poorer countries to shop online with:

UK, Canada, and the (b)leader of them all the USA, the complete list of places to make our charity donations to are here (tin foil hat on):


Not that you'll catch us shopping on-line in Nigeria, Turkmenistan, Angola or Bhutan - they don't need our Ozzie dollars!

Sony BDV-E370 Blu-ray home cinema kit

Jobs Halo

Locked to regions?

Since my collection of DVDs is from both EU and AUS, what's the chance that half of my collection would be locked out? Ditto with the different region set-up with BluRay.

I'd be interested in this set-up since even if St. Steve does finally release BluRay on a Mac Mini, there's no way of getting HD sound onto my current (Logitech Z-5500) sound system.

Britain's bingers out-boozed by Irish

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In Germany, in Koeln, the beers are 0.1 litres and everybody binge drinks.

In Munich, home to that great celebration of abstinence - the Oktoberfest - the beers are 1 litre in size and there are fewer bingers.


NetApp dumps Filerview for new model


Configure NFS from Windows MMC

Well, I can see all the Unix shops going out and getting the Open Source version of MMC - or isn't there one.

It's a bit of a shame when the current FilerView is OS agnostic and just needs a web browser to work.

It's probably just to spite Solaris sysadmins.

Ho Hum.

US cops called to McDonalds menu cock-up


Cops do come to McDonalds in Australia

Policemen in Oz get a discount at McDonalds. They even get a free side order from their mates sometimes . . .


US Marines: Osprey tiltrotor doing OK in Iraq


Unhappy Landings

It looks to me that the rotors are somewhat larger in radius than the height above ground when touching down in a forward approach.

I'm a great fan of gaffer tape but I think fixing up the rotors after doing that kind of landing would be a bit tricky.


Reaper aerial killbot harvests its first fleshies


The point about swords.

If you want someone dead and you have a sword, you end up with bits of entrails and offal to clean off yourself and weapon. It's a very personal experience killing someone yourself this close up and having to see the bits of the face you haven't cut off yet as the victim dies.

Use a rifle and it's unlikely that you are going to be splattered with gore, hell you may not even smell the faecal matter or see the recipient die. You're getting a little less personally involved in the death experience.

If you can manage to be sat in a comfy control room on your own home turf and just pressing a button on a joystick before getting a refill of coffee, the whole resistance neutralisation campaign becomes a whole lot easier to live with. It's just like all those video games that your PC has.

So, to help avoid feeling bad about it, the video and button pressing idea really does save a whole lot of angst and subsequent self doubt, psychiatric counselling and of course cleaning bills.

OK, this lack of personal bad feeling of providing us all with the anonymity and distance comes with a cost; the bigger profits than a close and personal weapon like a sword.

Like Chris Taylor pointed out, some squaddie in a field with a sword doesn't provide "us" with a sense of ownership of the successful mission. A camera zooming in to a target and then a picture of an explosion lets us of the participating nations all share in the glory of our war for peace, truth, democracy, religious freedom or whatever it is about this week.

More film from and of warheads on the telly please.


P.S. For the hard of thinking out there, the above was irony, just like a sword.

Panasas decides to redefine RAID

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Panasas decides to redefine RAID

"With Horizontal Parity, for example, the company uses multiple RAID controllers to perform recovery tasks in parallel."

. . . so one of their customers had triple disk failures in one raid group - nasty. Does the Panasas O/S do regular "disk scrubs" like one vendor I know does? Was there no predictive failure and copy-out of the "failing" disks onto spares? No, even nastier.

"But basically there are a bunch of codes that we implement on there to detect errors at a sector level."

. . . Would that be something like the scsi "g" list of bad sectors? And anyway all disk writes are checksummed - that's a given.

"RAID 6 or double parity RAID"

. . . Since RAID 6 is defined as RAID 5 with another dedicated parity disk, the data used for reconstruction is literally, all over the place. With NetApp's Double Parity RAID (RAID DP), there are 2 dedicated parity disks per raid group so there's far less overhead on both everyday writes and reconstructions.

Then there's the fact that e.g. NetApp's O/S, Data ONTAP is RAID aware, I don't know of another vendor who can say the same.

"Like the RAID 6 approach, Vertical Parity does require extra overheard in the way of disk space. Panasas contends that its overhead - 20 per cent - equals that of RAID 6."

. . . NetApp's default raid group size for RAID DP is 16 disks, 2/16 = 12.5% overhead.

"But Panasas does not require more space as the disks grow in density, while the RAID 6 crowd does."

. . . and there was me thinking that 20% of a bigger thing was bigger than 20% of a smaller thing.

"With Network Parity, Panasas performs a complete check on data as it moves between storage boxes and server/client systems."

. . . That will be something like the OSI model's layer 3 then - TCP

Rosenthal seems to be talking out of his bottom.


You want to learn about Ubuntu?


"sudo xorgconfig" . . . Oh for Fuck's Sake!

And what is so difficult about running "sudo xorgconfig"?

Since "sudo xorgconfig" doesn't do anything on Ubuntu 7.04 and and running "which xorgconfig" as root doesn't show an xorgconfig in the path - fairly difficult I would say.


Google sued for 'crimes against humanity'


Hand written complaint?

Who can Mr Jayne sue regarding the state of his awful "handwriting"?


And shouldn't he report the crime of his ruler having been stolen to the authorities?

NetApp cooks up meatier low-end NAS appliance


NetApp RAID levels

The article is slightly misleading about the RAID levels that NetApp use - to their disfavour.

The original NetApp protection was RAID 4 - all the parity is written to one dedicated disk per RAID set. This wasn't a problem with one disk being "hot" since unlike most RAID 4 or 5 implementations, there is only one write per disk; parity being calculated in memory, not by calculating the parity from reading what has already been written and then rewriting this to the parity disk (standard RAID4) or over the whole RAID set (RAID 5).

What the article claims as RAID 6 (double parity disks) is wrong. NetApp uses their own form of RAID 4 with a second dedicated disk for the "diagonal" parity. Standard RAID6 however spreads both of the parity stripes across the whole set. NetApp use two dedicated disks for their "double" parity and again, the number of read / calculate parity / write operations are drastically reduced as compared to other hardware RAID - all the fancy work is built into the kernel of the operating system.

Not that I work for NetApp you understand, (wouldn't mind though).

Owen Gardiner

Microsoft vs. Google – the open source shame


Google releases code - FUSE for Mac

I use the FUSE file system on my Mac, written by Amit Singh.

He is employed by Google as their Mac Engineering Manager. As he just announced on the Official Google Mac Blog, he used part of his "20 percent time" to implement the "FUSE (File System in User Space) mechanism" for OS X (it was originally developed for Linux).


Sounds like giving to me.

Peterborough bloke warned over 'offensive' t-shirt


Re. antisocial behaviour in the Peterborough area . . .

I guess the street warden was just relaying the orders of the council (his masters) to the masses. Good thing we don't allow religious hatred any more, well not since the time of King James 1 at least:

From the King James bible, Isiah 36:12:

"Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? Hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?"


And as for the good folks of Hartlepool offending people: if they don't look British enough . . .


P.S. I did emigrate from the UK to get away from the nanny state. Australia unfortunately has more stupid little rules than Britain :-(

Cross-platform virus poses little risk


Not running Windows as Administrator

So, to help avoid catching anything nasty, don't run Windows as Administrator heh.

What about all the software that won't install or run unless you are:

1. The user who installed it.

2. Logged in as an Administrative account.

If only Windows came with the same option as KDE - if the software instalation requires it - bring up a box asking for the root / admin password?

Problem is, most Windoews software installs itself with files or registry settings that are tied to the user who is logged on to do the installation.

Sure, there's the utility to remove user rights from programs you run but surely the 'nix GUI has it the right way round.