* Posts by vagabondo

530 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Aug 2008


Oppo Find X2 Neo: We're not getting any slimmer through lockdown, but phones are


Re: Why root?

“Are there any benefits to rooting any more?”

Perhaps to remove the pre-installed bloat/spyware running in the background eating up battery life, and to regain a modicum of control over the sharing of personal data.

Linux desktop org GNOME Foundation settles lawsuit with patent troll


Re: Hmm... I'd rather pay them a dollar just to ensure there is good consideration for the bargain.

That would be a de facto admission that the trolls had a valid claim to waive.

Why not ask for a token (or real) amount to not pursue a suit against the trolls for threatening unfounded litigation?

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything


If you are desperate for Mountain Views spyware

what is stopping you installing the open source Aurora Store app, which acts as a Play Store proxy?

It does sound like it is worth considering for someone who wants a phone without too muchbloat and spyware.

What if everyone just said 'Nah' to tracking?


Re: Privacy Badger


You might ask Ghostery, who produce versions for MacOS Safari and iOS. They claim that the latest Apple products permit JavaScript and advertising trackers and data-mining. I very rarely use MacOS; but Falkon (on openSUSE) is my regular second browser.

What I find difficult to understand is why news and magazine organisations, that have their own advertising departments and decades of experience in serving first-party advertising to print and broadcast customers,, find it necessary to give so much of their on-line income to the likes of Google.


Re: Privacy Badger

“It's cross-browser” = Chrome, Firefox and Opera only. Does not seem to be available for Falkon (QtWebengine) or Safari.

Elon Musk gets thumbs up from jury for use of 'pedo guy' in cave diver defamation lawsuit


Musk told reporters, "My faith in humanity is restored."

Does this mean that he thinks it would be OK for another vehicle manufacturer to launch a fake news campaign that trashed Tesla's sales and made Elon Musk a persona non grata in US society?

Huawei new smartphone won't be Mate-y with Google apps as trade sanctions kick in


Re: Surely Huawei can just facilitate the user adding these?


I have had an Android phone (Moto G4+) for a few years and have never had to “sideload” anything. Aurora seems to take care of installing apps that other stores struggle with. I have not tried any Google apps (and disabled or removed the default ones), but Play Services, Carrier Services, Chrome etc. seem to be available

I use open source equivalents for browsing, maps, telephony, two-factor-authentication etc. Anonymising app stores supply useful proprietary apps such as DuckDuckGo, hardware controllers, travel timetables, news subscription and shopping.


Re: Surely Huawei can just facilitate the user adding these?

The Play Store app is not required. Just install one of the apps (like Aurora store) that gets apps from Play Store for you without requiring a Google user account. These can be found in the open-source F-Droid store.


Re: One question.

Play Store is not necessary. There are alternatives such as Aurora Store available in F-Droid (a free as in open-source android repository) that will get anything from Play Store for you while hiding your device from Google (although the installed app may try to steal and sell your data).

When Google's robots give your business the death sentence – who you gonna call?


Re: If its mission critical

@Mark 85: “Forward articles like this one to the beancounters”

Beancounters are preprogrammed to ignore articles like this and all “technical” advice. They only take notice of other beancounters opinions. That's why, as a profession, they rush into bad decisions like proverbial lemmings.

German researchers defeat printers' doc-tracking dots


Re: personal printers of mangement in your ...

Your favourite spy agencies may well include such as the Home Office, DWP and your local council etc.

The problem is that paper communications are rarely printed on the official's desk, but in the mailroom for posting by junior staff. We will have to wait for the home printer code templates for the Home Secretary and PM to be circulated on the intertubes.

SUSE Linux Enterprise turns 15: Look, Ma! A common code base


Numbering Wind-Up

The version numbering “quote” is just a wind-up.

SLE-15 gets its name from its shared codebase with the openSUSE Leap-15 distribution.

openSUSE skipped a version 14, and went from 13.2 to Leap-42.1 as an anniversary homage to “the answer to everything”. The first S.u.S.E release was numbered 4.2 for similar reasons.

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android


Re: At its foundation, it will be forked from LineageOS

My ex-Android phone runs Lineage and uses F-droid as its main repository, with occasional forays to Amazon's app store for IPlayer Radio, etc. DuckDuckGo, Firefox, Chromium, OpenStreetMap, CSipSimple, FreeOIP and an SSH provide the most used functionality. I do not have a Google account.

The problem for general acceptance is the pressure from government, banks and large corporations to use their closed-source (and hence of dubious trustworthiness) software that is only available via Google or Apple. I do not understand why these organisations cannot make thir stuff available from their own sites, or sign it themselves and make it available from other repositories. Perhaps they are concerned to maintain their deniability shields when their clients money or data goes walkabout. They do this by promoting inherently insecure protocols and then placing the onus for security on the end-user.

Nothing will change until most legislators are more familiar with STEM subjects than politics and self-promotion.

Vaping on the NHS? Don't hold your breath


Re: Nicotine is an addictive neurotoxin however it is taken.


I think that you are confusing addiction and habituation. The major difficulty in givving up psychologically modifying drug as is habituation' But nicotine is capable of providing a pharmacological dependency in the same way as opiates.


Nicotine is definitely a neurotoxin. It used to be used by biologist to slow down neurotransmission and anaesthetise (and kill) invertebrates.


Nicotine is an addictive neurotoxin however it is taken.

This is just the tobacco industry trying to protect its market-share with a derivative product. They are more interested in creating new addicts than helping people give up tobacco. The advantage for the industry in removing the tar is that their market does not die off so rapidly.

Beware the looming Google Chrome HTTPS certificate apocalypse!


Re: Well done Google....

If a web-site is only publishing information and not collecting secrets from the viewer, then the whole HTTPS, certificates and encrypted traffic is superfluous and an unnecessary overhead. Not everyone is involved in data slurping or transmitting private information across a public network.

Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors


Re: I'd love to see an algorithm that only works if a "good guy" uses it.

Its the “Good Cop, Bad Cop” routine. The algorithm starts with a dialogue -- “Are you being a good guy or a bad guy today?”.

Who's using 2FA? Sweet FA. Less than 10% of Gmail users enable two-factor authentication


A Matter of Trust

Before worrying about logging in, how much do you trust Google with your communications and personal data?

Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered


Ubuntu only?

Ubuntu 17.10 uses the Linux-4.13.0 kernel. I had used this kernel on a Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro with OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, and did not notice any related problems.

CopperheadOS stops updates to thwart knock-off phone floggers


Re: Folks stealing their stuff?

As far as I can see, the source for components of CopperheadOS is provided. The kernel will be GPL-2, which was chosen by Linus specifically to permit a binary lock (as used in TV boxes), and openAndroid is Apache-2. Their non-commercial licence appears to be for the flashable ROM images that they construct for specific hardware configurations. These images are maintained, made freely available to hobbyists, and are licensed to hardware suppliers.

Their problem is with commercial operations using their ROM images without permission. This is analogous to Red Hat being tolerant of Centos recompiling their source code and making it available under the original licences, but being very unhappy with Oracle selling a Red Hat Clone under their own name and taking out a single support subscription with Red Hat. CopperheadOS's problem is the cost of locating and suing multiple organisation s cloning their images. Their only option is probably to stop the unrestricted free downloadable images, at least for new models.

DJI Aeroscope won't stop drone-diddlers flying round airports


Re: 7.5nm is 13.9km...


How Google.org stole the Christmas Spirit


I have never understood why any charity would choose to use the high profile commercial “giving” companies. It only takes a few minutes search to find (in the UK) at least one free service, run as part of a major corporation's community effort. The only fee incurred is the one that that the donors card company may make for a “cash withdrawal”.

It is also possible to minimise bank charges (in Europe anyway) by setting up a donations bank account and publishing the details needed to effect a direct funds transfer. If an email address is used as the donor's reference, it is possible to send “Thank You” acknowledgements as batch jobs.


Re: Chromebooks

If portable personal computing devices are to be used, then Chromebooks can be a good choice provided that they are retro-fitted with a suitable stand-alone operating system (i.e. not dependent on an Internet connection to function). The hardware is relatively lightweight and cheap.

However I feel that the the most useful educational electronic technology is the monochrome e-reader. It can give a cheap, low maintenance access to an enormous library of written texts (downloaded/updated at school), and has sufficient interactivity to be used with self-testing material. A couple of years ago I repurposed (swapped the internal flash memory) a bunch of Kobo devices that were purchased retail for less than £30 each.

X-ray scanners, CCTV cams, hefty machinery ... let's play: VNC Roulette!


Re: Or a simpler (than SSH) solution


>You are basically arguing the merits of security through obscurity there...

The rationale is not so much for security as considerably reducing log-file sizes (and increasing readability), plus taking some load off system resources by sidestepping continuous brute-force onslaughts.

PC World's cloudy backup failed when exposed to ransomware


Re: Something doesn't add up here...

If the machine was for business use, then the lost data may well have been hundreds of text files (orders, invoices, etc.) or financial data files etc. and only occupied a few hundred MiBs. Not everyone has extensive video collections. I am also told that some lucky people have fibre and reasonable upload speeds.

FBI backs down against Apple: Feds may be able to crack killer's iPhone without iGiant's help


Re: precedent


Your lose -> loose dysfunction is not dyslexic, just old-fashioned ignorance.

Microsoft offers Linux certification. Do not adjust your set. This is not an error


Re: When will we see SQL Server on Linux?

When there's not a better alternative on Linux.

Thanks for playing: New Linux ransomware decrypted, pwns itself


Re: re: Are you listening Window's users?

kryptylomese said:

"I have been using computers since 1978 so I do know a thing or two."

Bloody kids!

[self-confessed boring old fart]

Third suspect arrested over TalkTalk breach


Re: how?

I am in no way condoning the blatant disregard for the safety of their customer's data by TalkTalk or any one else. I think that severe punishment has been long overdue. Most large organisations, including banks and government departments just don't care. The directors deserve to be barred, as well as the companies facing punitive financial damages. This corporate behaviour is wilful negligence.

However given the information presented in the article, I do not understand how this data loss is sufficient for a victim to have their their "bank account raided", and would appreciate an explanation of how it could be done. Hence the title.



Could you please explain how a bank account could be raided using the victim,s name,e-mail address, partial credit card details etc?

I can understand that a direct debit might be set up using the victim's bank account name and number. However the bank that receives the money bears the onus of proving the transaction was not fraudulent,not the victim.

Most of the claimed consequential losses that I have read of are the result of phishing e-mail or telephone cons. They rely on publicly available directory data and perhaps an e-mail header. There is no requirement for stolen data even if that would make the fraud logistics a little simpler.

I am in no way supporting TalkTalk. They seem to outsource customer support and invoicing systems on the basis of price,not competence. The real problem is the general attitude among large companies who actively sacrifice privacy and security in the name of "user-friendliness" and glitz. TalkTalk,like many large corporations insist that their customers use security-weak mail servers and web browsers in order to to business with them. There is no reason for them to send mail from a server that does not identify itself correctly (PTR records and HELO responses), or for placing code from third-party domains on their web-sites, or using cross-site scripting for payment processing.

This is all part of a culture of technically incompetent senior decision makers. Just try to complain to a large bank or utility company. The standard response is "We are a large organisation, that pays our experts an lot of money. Therefore we must know more about these things than you, even if you are an engineer".

TalkTalk: Hackers may have nicked personal, banking info on 4 million Brits


Re: Yet more reason . . .

"Then you fail on the credit check"

Why do you need credit from an ISP? I always use 01 01 1970 when asked for any date (or you could use anyone else's dob that you can remember) apart from to my bank.


transferred from TT Business to TT Residential

This seemed to happen quite randomly about two years ago. We had one direct debit payment account transferred, but not three others.

If you call TalkTalk Business they will transfer you back, but is similar to transferring from another unrelated supplier and you may have to set up the payment system again. You have to wait about two weeks and fend off the "please don't leave, would you like a discount" call from TT Residential. You will lose any fixed IP addresses (but if you have a technical problem then they get be converted to dynamic anyway -- that's how we discovered we had been transferred).

Milking cow shot dead by police 'while trying to escape'



Methinks a "Daisy" should be a Dairy Shorthorn, or at a push a British Friesian. The pictured bovine looks like a Swiss Brown; so should be a "Gretchen", or maybe "Paquerette".

Robots.txt tells hackers the places you don't want them to look


I don't understand

Why would a robots.txt list the files/directories that spiders should avoid? Surely it would list the places that spiders are welcome to visit and uses wildcard(s) to disallow everything else?

Or have the other commentards here just got a better sense of irony than me?

So what would the economic effect of leaving the EU be?


Re: stupid fonctionnaires

The problem is the relative importance of the EU Commission, and the distance between our Commissioners and the electorate. I can think of two remedies:

An "EU Office" with a Secretary of State in the UK Cabinet, responsible for the UK government's position in Brussels, and answerable to UK parliaments.


Making the EU Commission subservient to the EU Parliament.

'Hackers racked up $$$$s via the Android Play Store, and Google won't pay me back'


Re: The real story

But even if a client-side compromise, was it effected via an app from (approved by) Play Store?

Radio 4 and Dr K on programming languages: Full of Java Kool-Aid


Re: This is exactly the problem

"More or Less" on R4 and the World Service manages to be both populist and interesting/entertaining for the numerate listeners.

Once upon a time the odd programme that mentioned radio, sound recording or music production used to be able to produce an actual BBC engineer. Now all the technical "experts" seem to be journalists who get their technical education from Apple and Google's sales literature and press releases. The biographical pieces about STEM people are often OK, but they are about the subject's personal lives and careers rather than the STEM itself.


Re: miss

@ Forget It

Especially because the programme was espousing Java as the enabler/reason of/for dynamic web pages. I could not understand whether they were talking about stuff like Tomcat or thought that Java and Javascript were related.

You want disruption? Try this: Uber office raided again, staff cuffed


Re: Benefit of the Guilds


Are you pehaps confusing/conflating taxis (hackney cabs, which can ply for hire and charge via a meter) and mini-cabs (private hire cars, that respond to a pre-booked journey)?

Smart meters are a ‘costly mistake’ that'll add BILLIONS to bills


Re: More Smart meter fail?

Putting gas meters up poles? That sounds like a fully qualified government tech project!


Re: And just this morning, something else that's fishy

That was nearly OK until you mentioned the "cloud" word.


Re: IT disasters...

"It's not sufficient to simply sit around not doing any IT projects, just because a few don't work out."

a few! a few -- realy only a few?

Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles



I live in Scotland too. The letter that you got, if the same as mine and my friends' (Galloway and Glasgow) was sent one to each residential property with a description of the registrations that had been migrated to the IVR, with a request for anyone whose details were incorrect or missing to fix it using the new system. Most of this should have been cleaned up on the old system last year with the high voter turnout for the referendum. However at least two MSPs (incuding Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil) were lost in the process.


@ Fink-Nottle

The Electoral Commission stuff is reserved to the UK Government, so slights to the SNP or Scottish Government are misplaced.


Re: NI numbers?

I, and everyone that I know got our NI numbers when we left school or got to school-leaving age. Apart from some who came from other countries as adults nd had to apply for a NI number/card (employers used to buy stamps at the Post Office and stick them in their employees' cards, which required regular renewing as they filled up) before starting work.

When the physical card was done away with the name associated with my NI number inexplicably changed to that of a similarly named cousin. At various times I haave spent hours neganged otiating with clerks to correct their records, but throughout my life the name on some govt records has spontaeously changed to the wrong one with occassional cross-contamination. This causes enormous inconvenience when a (local) govt office gets the wrong name and absolutely insists that I provide identification with the name on their records, but not the one on my passport, NHS card, bank account etc.

Sorry for that, but I get really pissed off about it. When an inconsistency occurs in data sets it should either be investigated and fixed, or flagged and left; not just changed according to the toss of a coin.

NHS England has some sneaky plans for Care.data acceleration


Re: The price of failing to cooperate...

I do not live in England, but aren't invites to routine screening, vaccination, etc. sent out by your general practice?

LOHAN chap serves up 'tenner a week' e-cookbook

Thumb Up

Recommended ...

... reading for teenagers being left or sent off to fend for themselves. Excellent advice in this epub. Maybe a second edition with a few pictures would be good.

Home Office splashed £35m trying to escape e-Borders contract


Re: A confidential arbitration process


The description of PFI missed the bit about the PFI contrcting consortia including banks, who borrow the money from the Bank of England at considerably less than market rates. Thus the whole scheme is an accounting sleight of hand to transfer public funds to private, while moving the cost of capital projects from one arbitary ledger column to another.

Sick of Chrome vs Firefox? Check out these 3 NEW browsers


Re: Lynx, anyone?

Also w3m is useful.

Linux kernel dev has gone well and truly corporate – report


Re: Snowballing

"... wasn't Minix based on a microkernel? Also GNU Hurd?"

Minix was a macrokernel design, based on Unix principles. But Hurd was/is a microkernel design. Minix3 is microkernel.

@Oninoshiko and @Lusty

I do not remember Linus T misusing the term microkernel. The main reason that the GNU community adopted the Linux kernel over the the more elegant microkernel designs was efficiency and availability. The performance of micro versus macrokernels remains problematic. When Microsoft announced NT, they claimed it woulduse a Carnegie-Mellon style microkernel, but actually used a macrokernel design. The MSliterature/press releases were a source of cofusion for much of the less technical technical press.

The converse of micro iis macro, and of monolithic is modular. The very early Linux kernels were moolithic macrokernels. When a kerneel wascompiled, the required drivers were compiled in. It did not take very long for modulesto be introduced, when at build time the essential hardware drivers and filesystems could be selected to be built-in, and the merely desirable to be compiledas autoloading modules.