* Posts by Anomalous Cowherd

385 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jul 2008


Indiana Jones flicks out on Blu-ray this Fall

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No. NO! Dum-da-da-dum. There is no second dum. Sweet Jesus man, these things matter.

Wikileaks regains relevance with Stratfor doc-drop

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Re: TOO much too late.

Nope. Pearl Harbour made a difference. A tenner says that even with Prima Facie evidence of money laundering or insider trading, Stratfor won't even be investigated by the guvmint, let alone charged.

Node.js Native breakthrough: cloudy C++ on steroids

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Re: Re: Re: C vs java

Much obliged JDX, you saved me the effort. The code is taken from the linked-to article, and it's supposed to be bad. The point is to compare the same bad code in different languages.

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To follow myself up

I thought it best to quantify the outrage of 5 seconds to calculate this, and I confess I've surprised myself.

Same code in Java: 854ms (average of 100 runs after the 1st)

Same code in C: 3751ms (average of 100 runs)

Same code in Perl: I got bored, but the first round took about 163000s

So Node.js with it's slightly daft event model, at 5600ms - call it 5500ms to generously allow for network stack overhead - is only 22% slower than the same impementation in C, which is a whopping 430% slower than Java.

So although I vaguely dislike Node.js I'm reluctantly going to qualify my previous post as follows: "shit code can be written in any language; and never underestimate the power of an optimizing JIT compiler".

JS in itself isn't a bad language - I was writing JS OO libraries as far back as 1999 - but it stops bad coders from shooting themselves in the foot, and that's not necessarily good thing.

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Mebbe you're right and mebbe you're wrong.

But 5 seconds to calculate Fibonacci sequence to 40? My dad had a pocket calculator that could beat that, and that was in 1983.

Sure it's is a contrived example, but other than the recursion the code looks OK on the surface and I've interviewed devs who've written worse. Abstraction is good - actually great - to a point, but like any model you've got to know when to apply it, and that comes from experience and understanding how it works under the hood.

GPS jamming rife, could PARALYSE Blighty, say usual suspects

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Worse than just teh boats!!!

According to this morning's Metro front page, the entire financial system could be brought to a grinding halt! Our learned friends reported that some banks rely on GPS timing signals for trading. For calibrating NTP perhaps, but it's perhaps "a bit of a stretch" from interrupting that calibration to pwning the market.

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/world/891008-gps-jammers-could-make-criminals-millions-on-the-stock-market. Try not to snort out your coffee in derision like I did. The Metro is overpriced.

'Predictably random' public keys can be cracked - crypto boffins

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Re: "Only one of the factorable SSL keys was signed by a trusted certificate authority"

Not really. If true it's quite interesting - routers etc. generate a self-signed keypair for their admin pages, so if there's a weakness there then you're in. From there you can still do fun stuff like DNS poisoning, although SSL sessions passing through the router would likely be OK.

I'd be very surprised to see this affect "proper" servers other than embedded devices - surely most, if not all OSs include a decent RNG of some sort by now.

Trustwave to escape 'death penalty' for SSL skeleton key

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I hope not!

I sincerely hope an organization that needs this kind of auditing isn't running a wi-fi hotspot! Or allowing any unauthorized devices on their network at all... kind of defeats the purpose if it is.

Hackers may be able to 'outwit' online banking security devices

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Point about two channels still stands

All the bank needs to do is send you a text saying "You've asked to send £10k to Russian Brides Inc, a/c number 1234-12312312. To confirm enter the code 23123 in browser".

The point about using two distinct channels is that they can't (yes, yes, insert caveat here) both be compromised, so you use one to verify the other. Two channels is distinct from two factor in this case, and I think it's an important distinction.

Apple lures Dixons boss Browett to run global retail biz

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Steady on

There's a few paragraphs detailing why Browett was even considered given the unmitigated shittank that is Dixons retail. I imagine if he'd come from Tesco it would have warranted a sentence.

And to be fair to Browett, cleaning up Dixons is like cleaning the Augean stables. He inherited a disaster, not created one.

Starship Voyager dumped into skip

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Your landlady doesn't live in the room so she doesn't give a toss what color it is, so long as it rents. Pale colors make it look bigger, and no-one was ever turned off a room because the walls were too plain. Put a poster up for chrissake.

Sheesh. Tenants....

Welcome to the latest forum features

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Thumb Up

much obliged sir


Well I can't seem to break it , no class, no id, no style, no images, no links, no events, no XML processing instructions, I can't even enter an invalid URL in the a href... little Bobby Tables will have to get his kicks elsewhere.

Plus you've got Unicode working, which is more than Slashdot has managed in 20-odd years :-)

Thumbs up from me.

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Testing italic

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Well, I don't seem to be able to post any HTML tags at all

Is that good or bad?

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You guys are no fun at all.

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And more!

<i style="display:block; content:Secret Text; background-color:blue">an innocent i tag</i>

<i id="ad-lb">Can I nick someone elses id?</i><br />

<i class="author">or class</i><br />

<form method=GET action=http://www.google.co.uk/?q=not+the+reg" class=send-reply>

<input class=act type=submit value="Reply">


<link rel="style" href="http://bfo.com/misc/test.css" />

<i style="content:http://bfo.com/misc/test.css">more content testing</i>

<a href="javascript:alert('assume this won't get through')">obvious</a><br />

<img src="http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/01/12/Minty_Welcome_to_the_latest_forum_features/">sorry, this is a shitty test. at least it's not goatse</img>

</div> - tested the opener earlier.

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Right, I'm going to try to bugger this up.

<i onmouseover="javascript:window.alert('Haha!')">JavaScript blocked?</i><br/>

<a href="#" onclick="javascript:window.alert('hoho!')">an innocent link</a><br/>

<div style="text-decoration:blink; background-color:blue>No closing tag!

Record numbers of readers flock to The Register

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Can't see why

t's all shit. Especially the comments. And I've been reading it for 12 years so I should know.

New ATLAS particle part of 'everyday mass'

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I'm sorry, but did you say "bottomonium"?

Senators: Globo-domains could mean consumer chaos

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Who? I bet they can't name one supporter who doesn't also stand to profit from this blatant land grab.

TV writer quells rumours of Doctor Who movie

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Aw, an American Doctor Who could be fun!

Jones: Doctor, the Cybermen are attacking. What do we do?

[Doctor pulls automatic pistol from belt, slams in magazine]

Doctor: Well Jones, this shit just got real.

[Cyberman appears from arount the corner. Doctor blazes away firing several hundred shots form his pistol without reloading. Many unnamed ancillary characters are shot and killed immediately without screaming, bleeding or begging for their families]

Doctor: Fuck yeah, have that you motherfucking tin-can.

[Cyberman shouts something in language other than english before stealing a motorbike from a passerby and taking off]

Jones: Doctor, he's heading straight for the Superbowl! And that bomb only has seconds before it explodes.

Doctor: Cor blimey Jones, don't get your knickers in a twist! [pats tardis] this old girl has a few tricks yet, what what.

[Cue Hard Rock soundtrack. Tardis leaps into the air and transforms spectacularly into a Chevy muscle-car. Doctor gives chase in largely straight line, weaving only to knock over as many improbably-sited market stalls and water-filled bollards as possible. Several police follow only to fly into the air and land upside-down for no obvious reason...]

Duqu attackers: master coders, Linux rookies

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> single-handedly declared manpages obsolete and you are to be reading info, comrade backward dinosaur

Have an upvote sir. I'd happily ram info(1) down someone's throat. Did you know it's own documentation is 104KB of HTML, and you can actually order printed copies from the FSF? Comedy gold.

Grooveshark bunged staff bonuses 'for pirating music'

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Not really, actually.

Read the exchange between Robert Fripp and Grooveshark. There's no "rights collection agency" here, it's the guy that created the content explicitly telling the guy distributing it that he didn't have permission to do so.

Incredible though it may seem you being a student, an entrepreneur, broke, a hobbyist, a fan or otherwise doesn't give you an automatic right to use other people's creative output against their wishes. Nick it if you must, but don't try to sugar coat it.

Psst, kid... Wanna learn how to hack?

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Been following this for a while

And I'm really looking forward to it, will be picking up a few I hope to try tinkering with electronics again - at that price point I'm not too worried about my shitty soldering skills cooking something.

But the really nice bit is their charity status - the profits from the ones I buy help get more of these into schools.

Ubuntu savaged by rivals infected with fondleslab fever

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Makes no difference to me, but I can see the problem

"Given today's changes in computing - the shift away from keyboard and mouse on the desktop and towards finger and mobile"

And right there you make the same mistake Canonical made. There are additional devices coming online with touchscreen interfaces, but the vast majority - and I mean orders of magnitude more - are still keyboard and mouse.

Canonical forgot the golden rules:

1. Thou shalt not change things in an incompatible way unless you have a very good reason.

2. Thou shalt optimize for the most common case, while ensuring that other cases are possible.

3. Thou shalt avoid change for change sake.

Not that I care of course - I access our boxen via the shell, the interface that just keeps on giving.

Groupon offer burns cupcake baker’s profits

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Ignoring Limits?

From reading above comments, the common thread seems to be that Groupon's customer specifies a limit on the number of vourchers, and Groupon overshoots it.

Surely that's breach of contract? I know if Groupon had cocked up and cost me £12,500 I'd be in court faster than you can say "shabby business model".

New 'plasma lamps' to replace fluorescent bulbs, LEDs

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I look forward to seeing this on BBC's "Have Your Say"...

Smaller, more efficient, non-toxic - they'll be furious, and somehow manage to blame the EU.

Neutrinos still FASTER THAN LIGHT in second test

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Some of the commenters here seem to think CERN are timing these experiments with wind-up alarm clocks and measuring the distance with string...

60ns at light speed is about 17m from memory. Your hand-held GPS is already an order of magnitude more accurate than that.

Oh and as no one else has said it so far, I will. They're firing these neutrinos through solid rock, which is why they're not measuring light. Because rock will stop light. As well as beating scissors.

O2 smears 4G trial over capital

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So would I

But I guess living near Clapham Junction rather than Oxford Street, the chances are just as slim.

O2, always running before it can walk.

Eurozone crisis: We're all dooomed! Here's why

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Yeah but understand the context

Look at the history man. Europe had 30 years of warfare over 2 rounds, it was fucked financially and emotionally and by 1945 the scars were so deep they were apparently never going to heal. Now that's unthinkable, thanks to largely US insistance that French stel and German coal form the ECSC.

It's all well and good sitting here with 70 years hindsight on an island that emerged relatively unscathed, but the EU had a purpose and it has served it well. Perfect, no, but run a thought experiment to see where we'd be if it hadn't formed. Your icon sums it up nicely.

Why your tech CV sucks

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Lot of hate here

Dominic, I don't know if you're still reading after 190 comments, but just wanted to say - spot on. Really. On every point.

And that's coming from a techie who contracted for 10 years (and ran a review site where you could slate your recruitment agent, pissing no small number off until I was done in by the libel laws) and is now the one doing the hiring.

Your CV is the way in, so you polish that fucker until it sparkles, then do it again. IT requires attention to detail - demonstrate some.

Bill Gates drops $1m on laser-based malaria fighter

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Solving a different problem to nets

For all the smart ass comments about how many nets £1m would buy - yes, you're very clever. But how do you walk through a net?

The point of this is it's a different solution - you could use lasers (actually I think the latest work is with IR light rather than lasers, but whatever) on your windows and doors - this is more effective than a net here because it doesn't blow in the wind and you can walk through it without letting the little buggers in, which they're very good at.

Some really odd comments on here about it being a problem of corruption or a somehow good thing (that McBeese, clearly a bit of a c**t). I've had three bouts of malaria. It's spectacularly not nice, and Mr Gates Windows-based transgressions are long forgiven by me for his dedication to this.

Airbus brews Scandium smackdown for carbon Dreamliner

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One for the article, one for the footnote.

Stallman: Did I say Jobs was evil? I meant really evil

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20 years ago I could see where Stallman was coming from, but IT has changed. These days he's about as relevant as Arthur Scargill, but with less charm.

Future wars will be over water not fuel, warns Intel sage

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Actually that's kind of the point

Water falls from the sky, but it does so (globally speaking) at a fairly fixed rate and there's no way to increase it. In that sense it's the ultimate limited resource, and that's what wars are fought over.

'Silent majority' is content with elderly Java, says startup

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Java 6? You lucky, lucky sods!

We only dropped support for Java 1.3 early this year, and we stll have a lot of customers running Java 1.4. To a man they're running IBM WebSphere - lumbering, unnecessarily heavy and three years behind the pace, it's IBM to the core.

Renault Wind Gordini roadster

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Rented one of these a couple of weeks ago

Looks pretty, but the appeal wore off after a few days driving.

The main problem was the instruments are set so deep into the dash that you can't actually see them in sunlight - seriously, each dial is at the end of a tube about 6 inches deep, and they're not lit unless the lights are on. Not sure what Renault were thinking there. Pretty underpowered too, although the roof was nicely done.

UK firm denies supplying spyware to Mubarak's secret police

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Silly Billy

William Hague "...would like to see a ban on the export of goods used for repression"

Just to clarify the current and all previous UK governments definition of "repression": guns, rockets, fighter aircraft and anything made by BAe are OK. Software, however, is right out.

Hackers break SSL encryption used by millions of sites

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I agree - if this is as it's described, it's just enormous.

The amazing shipping container: How it changed the world

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Good read that

Nice work Tim.

Sea trade always drives economics forward - case in point: Phonecian traders moving stuff around the Med were always at risk of storms, at which point the captain would tend to throw the nearest thing to hand over the side. To prevent one merchant losing everything, the merchants stocking the ship would agree that any losses would be shared collectively, and the first corporations were born.

Google plan to kill Javascript with Dart, fight off Apple

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Sweet Jesus, another one?

First, if you let web-designers loose with a programming language you're going to get dogshit. That's a given in any language, as anyone whose done contract Perl work will attest to. JavaScript is a very capable language and you can design complex object hierarchies with it if you know what you're doing, complete with encapsulation, inheritance and the lot.

Second, JavaScript is actually ECMAScript, a widely implemented (Apple, Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Opera & others) international standard. DART is a proprietary solution pushed by one vendor. Really, does this remind you of anyone? ANYONE?

WTF is up with Google lately - Dart, WebP and (to a lesser extent) SPDY are all Chocolate Factory inventions to "improve" the web, but they're all single-vendor solutions designed to usurp existing multi-vendor ones. If successful they'll drag the web back to the bad old days.

(Incidentally the fact they're open source doesn't matter a damn. I could open source my own image format tomorrow, but that doesn't mean I should expect Mozilla and MS to implement it).

The more powerful a company becomes, the more it ignores the very standards that helped it grow. Same as it ever was.


Guardian pratfall swaps homepage for US insurance firm

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Liberal Arts student huh?

Of course there are lots of intelligent people with BA's, and I'd be happy to discuss this further once you've served me my drink.

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To be fair, these days I see more typos on the BBC website in a day than in a month of Grauniads. I think their subs were a lot worse before it moved to London.

Double-barrel net infrastructure hack threatens ecommerce

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Er, yeah.

Actually, you're all right on the certs and I'm completely and utterly wrong.

Not sure where that one came from. Brain not engaged.

Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

Thank you Captain Bleedin' Obvious

An SSL certificate certifies that a given domain name maps to an IP address - this is the whole reason we have CA's and a trust model, because the point of the certificate is to certify the information returned to your by your DNS server.

So forging the certificate verifying this information *without* altering the DNS to return this information in the first place would be pointless - a poisoned DNS is required for this to work. Whether it comes as a result of a hack or the Iranian government dictating the change isn't really important.

I really hope this conclusion didn't take a full week to dawn on Rik Ferguson.

Hey Commentards! [This title is optional]

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Second the "league"

OK, maybe not a league but perhaps a number next to each poster showing their accumulated total. Should flag up the most blatent trolls so I know who to ignore (exhibit A, "Barry Shitpeas" - 219 down votes in the 2 weeks since he signed up).

Why modern music sounds rubbish

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Software can alleviate this

While you can't compensate for bad production, you can at least set all your tracks to the same range so going from a track made in the 80s (normalized to 87db) and a recent one (normalized to 100db) doesn't blow your eardrums.

iTunes does a poor job of this with SoundCheck, but there are others - google the ReplayGain algorithm or take a look at http://qtunes.org/qnormal (disclaimer: I made this)

Three in ten Americans urge feds to read their email

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What, the US?

You probably mean Brixton. There they'll even watch you have a crap.


London bus timings mobile beta site spotted

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If ever there was a killer-app for QR-Codes...

... this is it. Stick a big one up on each bus-stop linking straight to the "next arrivals" page for that stop.

Domino's to serve pizzas on the Moon, apparently

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They'll be mining the cheese I presume.