* Posts by OkKTY8KK5U

71 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jun 2009


Crypto protocols mostly crocked says euro infosec think-tank ENISA


Re: Two of the Blowfish...

I wondered why Twofish wasn't mentioned, myself. The report indicates (top of page 25) that Blowfish's 64-bit block size was why it was only recommended for legacy use; because Twofish uses 128-bit block sizes, just like AES, presumably it'd get higher marks. However, while this does seem like an odd oversight, I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that any censorship was involved.

Old men who use computers less likely to get dementia


Re: NOOooooooo!

"Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things." - Douglas Adams

(No, I didn't know it by heart, I just collect quotes and thought I'd step up. Great quote.)

Google+ deposits Places in toilet after hungry Zagat buy


Re: yeah, the stench of failure

I'm seriously not trying to troll you here, and I realize this is going to sound kind of mean, but: are you attempting to extrapolate a pattern from a single data point?

Your anecdote arguably proves that it's possible to have a rewarding experience on Google+, not that necessarily that it'll be a common one. Nor does it prove that those of us who, whether we like it or not, have a critical mass of interactivity on Facebook can successfully persuade them to jump ship. Whether or not that ship is sinking. It's cool that you're having a good time there, but this sounds very much like a "it works for me!" response to a bug report. Maybe I misunderstood you, though.

Zombie mobile Linuxes mate



So, if they invite OpenMoko to the party, will they have the complete set?

RIM launches five BlackBerry smarties


Camera-free is probably not entirely by choice

My understanding is that there are a lot of places that simply forbid cameras, period, but don't necessarily forbid cellphones per se. I believe that is the bulk of any demand for camera-free phones in business contexts. (I'm not someone who regularly deals with such irritations, but I have encountered it.)

US court test for rights not to hand over crypto keys


A fine theory, but...

...courts in the United States have proven quite adept at interpreting the Constitution to be quite consistent with jackboots. It's better protection than nothing, I guess, but it mostly fails to prevent abuses of power over here, either.

Designer punts ultimate customisable keyboard


No, it doesn't.

Although I wish it did. What you've linked to is pretty neat, but by the looks of it, you can't stuff more than about 50 keys onto it, and they're numbered. That's good for what amounts to a custom box of push-the-button macros. It does not look like you can turn it into anything resembling a keyboard with a full complement of alphabetical keys.

<whine>But while we're at it, I want to know why the heck things like this exist, while nobody has a proper buckling-spring version of an otherwise bog-standard Microsoft Natural Keyboard. We know there'd be a market for such a thing and it couldn't possibly be hard to design.</whine>

Nokia touted Meego to rivals, but nobody wanted to know


Yes. This.


As GregC observed above, the Desire Z seems to be the closest thing to a viable replacement... but I actually frickin' own my N900, and somehow, I don't get the impression that even a rooted Android phone is yours in the same way that a Maemo device is.

Maybe I'm wrong about that - I really really really really want to be. And certainly, the N900 and Maemo are rather lacking in many ways. But nonetheless, in the meantime, I, too, am going to nurse as much life out of this thing as I can.


I'm not sure it's a dream, exactly

As far as I can determine, Nokia has actually been Dilbert's company for years. Nokia appears to have a great deal of true brilliance on board, and it was run into the ground by boneheaded management. Which has made me very sad, as an N810 and N900 user, also for years. I don't anticipate ever finding a real replacement for my N900 now...

Want an untracked Android? Here’s how


Fair enough.

Except that if I don't feel like spending the energy messing with them, it seems like a firewall is a nice way to keep at least some of my bits to myself. The implication seemed to be "firewalls are pointless," or at least "you shouldn't make ANY attempt to maintain privacy on your phone," and I'm kinda going to have to go ahead and sort of disagree.

Maybe it's because I treat my phone (an N900, full disclosure, which I sadly know I'll have to replace someday, hence my interest in Android) as an actual computer first and a phone second; perhaps I'd feel differently if it was just a thing I used to talk to other people and occasionally snap photos of my cats.


How nice for you, Mikel.

So, you're saying that just because we've already lost a lot of our privacy, we should be happy to give up even more of it to benefit our corporate owners even further? Also, my recollection is that technology is supposed to benefit the users - obviously, that doesn't happen very much in the real world anymore, except, oh wait, firewalls kinda do. I don't know, dude, maybe some of us just happen to value privacy more than you do. There's some literature on that elsewhere on the internet, if you care to look.

Hacker pwns police cruiser and lives to tell tale


Not sure this is all bad

Letting anyone and everyone tamper with the evidence is certainly going to cause some problems.

But if anyone and everyone can simply tune into the video feeds, surely that's a good thing? Total surveillance of citizens is evil. Total surveillance of public officials entrusted with vast amounts of easily-abused power - and it takes little Googling to reveal an apparent unacceptably statistically high inclination to abuse it - cannot possibly be bad.

A police officer who knows that someone on the internet might be watching him RIGHT NOW is an awful lot more likely at at least to keep abuses technically legal. (Of course, you'd have to be able to monitor the inside of the car, too...)

AT&T acquires T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39bn



So much for being the only person I know who never really had any complaints about my cellular service. As a T-Mobile subscriber, I suppose now I need to prepare to assume the position.

Jon Bon Jovi accuses Steve Jobs of murdering music biz


Uphill both ways...

...and we liked it!

Mozilla ices Firefox 4 beta 12 release to nail final bugs


Beta 11 seems to work okay for me...

I suppose none of us should be extrapolating isolated, anecdotal data points out to a pattern, but I've been using FF4b11 as my primary browser for some time now (Arch linux, for whatever it's worth), and maybe it's just my usage profile, but I find it faster and lighter on memory than FF3. I have had it crash perhaps half a dozen times, and I inexplicably can't can't upload photos to Facebook's simple uploader. But I've forced it to accept some incompatible add-ons, and Facebook is a pile of junk, so this is not exactly a scientific experiment.

I don't doubt that a lot of people are having problems with it, it's beta software after all, and I had occasional anomalies even with FF3. But if we're looking for anecdotal data points, mine is "good enough as-is for me." (I humbly request a "meh" icon.)

T-Mobile touts US teen tracker


Tracking teens...

...because we all know that children are possessions, right?

Seems to me that if you've arrived at the point where you as a parent feel a need to track your child's movements like this, you have already catastrophically failed as a parent or you're the worst kind of petty control-freak. Either way, hopefully, someone will figure out a way to hack this so the trackees can send false data back.

Harder to read = easier to recall


More effort to pay attention, perhaps?

I haven't read the article, so of course my opinion may be safely disregarded.

However, from what I understand, the act of actively paying attention itself induces the brain to generate more new neuron growth. It doesn't even matter what you're paying attention to. And I expect it takes more active effort to read the poor writing. Furthermore, it probably makes it a lot harder to simply skim it, intentionally or unintentionally. So this doesn't come as much of a surprise.

Android phone auto reverts jailbreaks


And we're defining "open platform" how, exactly?

Because I think that Android rather neatly proves that open source does not necessarily lead to an open system.

Blackhole your malware


Re: versus

I get the impression that this may well make a significant difference if you're running your own locally-hosted server or, based on some anecdote I've seen on various forums, if you've got a weird OS. But at least according to MVPS, any difference is a myth:


...and despite some considerable Googling on my part, I haven't found anyone who has conducted any sort of proper test, only anecdote. On the other hand, if you have an absolutely gigantic hosts file, using does technically reduce it's size a bit.

Gay teen mag closure sparks privacy fears


Re: Not to sound negative, but

In my observation and experience, there's an inverse relationship between intolerant authoritarianism and intelligence, so I'm willing to bet that plenty of teens living in such homes figured out ways to slip such things past their parents. Also, a "subscriber" to online-only services would only need to figure out how to hide a web trail from their parents.

Moto claims Android cameraphone first


Re Flash?

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you just said, but I'm pretty sure a decent photographer looking for a decent photograph does not use a cameraphone, no matter how good that cameraphone is.

No matter what the press releases say, I'm reasonably sure this is just so you can take better - not good, better - photographs in dark locations than you can with an LED flash, and the general goal is posting online somewhere rather than selling to a glossy fashion magazine.

SanDisk flips out 32GB mobile phone card


Announced? Again?

32GB MicroSDHC has been "announced" and "shipping real soon now" for a while now. A basic google search can find posts on SanDisk's own forum, whining about this being promised for the first half of 2009. So "announced" means exactly the same thing here as "up to fifty percent off," or, in other words, absolutely nothing.

This is precisely the opposite of either news or helpful, unless these things are actually shipping and available in stores literally right now.

OpenOffice 3.2 is on tap


Re: Ribbon - oh, please no

Please, don't give them any ideas like that. Then I'd have to switch to Abiword or something.

Mozilla tries to silence add-on developers' scream


Someone is drinking their own Kool-Aid

The only reason I use Firefox - and because I'm one of those heretics who does not care about tabs or side-panes or whatnot, the only reason I have ever used Firefox - is the add-ons. And because Firefox has changed things I dislike over the years (using a non diff-able database for bookmarks, mucking with the "Library" interface, etc), I've come to rely on interface-changing add-ons just to make my browsing experience tolerable. And, as noted, the internet is actually broken without AdBlock and NoScript. Broken. As in, unusable.

I might be the only one, of course, but I doubt it. So I wonder what the Firefox devs are smoking. This business about add-ons "breaking" the user interface sounds a lot like Steve Jobs thinking that it "breaks" his beautiful works of art for users to install software of which he has not personally approved.

I agree with MinionZero: if Mozilla tries to lock Firefox down too much, the project will end up being forked. And everyone will lose.

I'd like to take this moment to humbly suggest the addition of a "facepalm" icon.

Apple seeks OS-jacking advert patent


Abandon ship!

Wow. I believe that I've finally laid eyes on something that would actually convince ordinary users to switch to linux. Behold the Holy Grail!

Nokia N86 8Mp cameraphone



Thanks, but in all fairness, I should point out that I'm pretty sure I'm paraphrasing Dan of dansdata.com. If only I really was that clever.


The point of having a camera phone

I have an N82 for the simple reason that the photo you took with the camera you had in your pocket will always be better than the photo you didn't take with the camera you didn't have in your pocket. And I've only got so much pocket space. And I carry my cellphone no matter what.

Yes, the resulting photos are poor compared to even a cheap dedicated digital camera. But I get photos, as opposed to nothing. So from that perspective, it seems sensible to try to get the best cellphone camera possible - because I'm always going to have it with me, so I'll always be capable of taking photos of some sort.

But yeah, looking at this as a real replacement for a real camera is, of course, silly...

Kiwis slap 'vacant' sign on Paris Hilton


@AC 14:40GMT

Technically, anything with more brain matter than an amphioxus can arguably said to "take" its own decisions...

What if you had a launch party and nobody came?


@ AC 15:15 GMT

I'm a linux user, and I sadly agree with this - mostly. There's a major exception you're not considering, though: if someone else is sysadminning your assigned corporate box, it basically doesn't matter what the OS is. At all.

Remember that Jo Punter basically regards computers as incomprehensible Deep Voodoo no matter what OS is on it. Windows is far more resilient to that sort of thing than linux - it might end up bogged down with malware, but a totally clueless doof can still keep a Windows box minimally operational. But again, if the user isn't responsible for his or her computer, the situation changes.

In any sort of corporate kind of environment, you're basically just giving Jo Punter a cribsheet, "here are the things you click to do your job," and that's that. Other than colour scheme, Jo Punter probably can't tell the practical difference between operating systems. Assuming you don't have a clear need for OS-specific software, what matters is whether your IT department knows the OS, not whether the user does.

Stallman backpedals on Mac OS backdoor claims


Even when Stallman is right...

...he's still embarassing to me as a linux user. Why on earth does anybody pay any attention to this screeching, hystrionic lunatic? Why does an ageing hippie with no actual responsibilities matter in the slightest to anybody who actually works for a living? Is it because some folks insist on treating computers and operating systems as religions instead of tools?

Apple's move to kill Hackintosher suit denied


@ MacRat

No, the judge is probably no expert on when an OS is ready to ship. However, had Apple wanted to, I expect it could have asked nicely for the discovery period to be extended. I think the point is that Apple probably can be expected to be an expert on when its own OS is ready to ship, and Apple can be expected to be paying attention to when discovery closes.

(Haven't read the order, not licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction, void where prohibited, may cause cancer in lab rats, and other disclaimers, etc.)

Texas Instruments aims lawyers at calculator hackers


Not that TI cares, but...

...I have used TI calculators for a long time because I like them, and this is exactly the sort of attitude that says "don't use TI stuff anymore." So I won't. TI may or may not "have a point," as has been discussed above, and of course, they're certainly well within their rights to decide that one demographic (people who use calculators on standardized tests carefully designed to test only how well one can perform on standardized tests) over another (hobbyists who like modifying things). But as a member of the latter, I suppose I'll just go elsewhere. Not, as I said, that TI will likely care.

Mine's the one with the linux installer disc and etherkiller in the pockets.

Unanimis turns Orange


And we want this, right?

How long until someone finally ports useful ad-blocking software to the more popular cellphone operating systems, then?

Apple loses students to netbooks and Windows


This seems pretty much normal

Apple has a pretty long policy of simply not caring whether it seriously competes with anything else on the market, though, at least when it comes to computers. Their pricing structure obviously reflects making more per box rather than more boxes total, and their target demographic has never been what they might think of as "the lowest common denominator." Apple appears genuinely not to want a huge market share, end of story. I wouldn't call that hubris, just an unusual business model.

Nokia to cull Symbian from smartphones?


@ Karim Bourouba

I suspect we may be talking past each other, but I also think it's clear we wanted completely different things from our devices.

I wanted a full-fledged (albeit known to be limited and low-powered) pocketable computer that I could use as a reference library (I even installed the hardware hack to use full-sized SD cards), web browser with competent ad-blocking, email terminal on the go, note-taking device, pocket calendar, and hey, linux in addition. Except none of that is worthwhile with what I regard to be the wretched built-in software, most of which is not readily replacable. Also, I do know that Hildon is just the window manager, and I muck around with my own linux box plenty... but I found a much more tangled mess of dodgy wiring under Maemo's hood than on my Ubuntu box's. Not to mention the crash-proneness.

For phone stuff, I have a Nokia N82, which lacks meaningful ad-blocking, a usefully-sized screen, and a QWERTY keyboard, but otherwise, ironically, is far more stable and useful for many of the tasks for which I wanted the N810. There are pieces of readily-available software that, other than ad-blocking, just plain perform the tasks that I desire, and do them without a whole lot of irritating and seemingly random crashes and resets.

So from where I'm sitting, I don't see why there's hate for S60, possibly for the same reasons you don't see why I hate Maemo: S60 appears to perform as expected and required for my purposes, Maemo didn't. I get the impression that for you, and possibly lots of others, the opposite is true. So it goes.


@ Karim Bourouba

Actually, I think the N810's hardware is fantastic, aside from the bizarre and wholly inexplicable decision to use a MiniSD card slot. There are very few pocketable devices with 800-pixel-wide screens in any event, and as far as I can tell, no other devices with the same potential. I just found the potential grossly unrealized.

And I have to ask - have you, or has anyone you know, actually, personally tried installing Ubuntu Mobile on the N810? Because all of the information I could obtain resulted in me concluding that no other distro really worked, in part because of the proprietary drivers, and in part because they came compiled for a slightly different version of the CPU. I did some more searching recently, and I haven't found any obvious sites or forum posts telling me otherwise. Again, I must emphasize that I could well be an idiot, but I haven't found the information telling me precisely how I can do that and have it work any better than Maemo.

Finally, I wouldn't mind Hildon so much if it wasn't so crash-prone. The final straw wasn't so much the UI as the fact that I simply could not rely on the device to be any more stable than my horrible memories of administering Windows ME boxes.

I actually thought that the tablet was a great idea that would have been very useful to me, if the thing had actually worked. And my whole point - which I really did not make well - was that as far as I could see, Symbian basically just works, whereas Maemo basically just doesn't. Obviously, not everyone has the same experience.


@ Karim Bourouba again

I know I shouldn't rise to the bait, but...

I did consider Android, and even aside from its Google roots, I don't want it. For one thing, my research tells me that it doesn't actually completely work - for example, not all of the keyboard keys can be made to function, which would defeat a large part of the purpose of having the device. Can't get around the proprietary drivers. And it doesn't look like Mer is all that stable and bug-free either. Android and Mer both look like they would merely entail trading one crippled joke for a different crippled joke.

Furthermore, just because Maemo uses the Debian package management system does not make it "Debian." Debian minimally comes with the ability to compile and install software without having to "port" it to some ludicrously stupid and unstable abomination like Hildon or the equivalent. And would, in fact, permit Hildon and most of Nokia's own terrible software (e.g., useless games or the even more useless mail application) to be uninstalled. (Also, my experiences with Ubuntu, at least, don't involve it spontaneously crashing quite so much.)

If, in fact, there really is a way to do that, I'll happily eat crow, and please understand that I'm not ruling out the possibility that I'm stupid. But I've spent a lot of time hunting for it and have not found any. Sure, "better luck next time."


@ Karim Bourouba

I am one of the people who foolishly paid money for a N810, thinking I was getting a linux pocket-computer. I tried carring it with me everywhere for a good long time, too. But it's unstable, the interface is horrible, the software buggy and not replaceable, and are you completely serious about installing your own distro on it? In theory, yes, you can put Debian on, but in practice, that's apparently ludicrously difficult and even more unstable, not to mention impeded by proprietary drivers. A virtualized environment running inside the garbage doesn't count. Also, any OS that doesn't ship with a compiler and on which you cannot just download a tarball, compile, and install is not a "linux distro" as I understand the term.

The internet tablets are a neat technical achievement, but Maemo is sad crippleware. I know it was never supposed to replace a real notebook computer, but its sheer crash-proneness alone and the inability to remove bloatware more or less guarantee "what's the point" status. In retrospect, I believe I should have saved up for an E90, given that my Symbian phone... just works.

(Full disclosure: not an iPhone fanboy, I wouldn't touch a shiny widget made by Apple even if the screen resolution wasn't insulting and it had a proper keyboard. Nor do I like the idea of using an OS made by Google.)

Two convicted for refusal to decrypt data


@Nic 3, thank you for making me invoke Godwin's Law

"When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then, Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church -- and there was nobody left to be concerned." - Martin Niemoeller, Berlin Lutheran pastor arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Dachau concentration camp in 1938

Microsoft secures web Office XML patent


Failure copying failure?

Oh, great. Microsoft Office's "ribbon" interface was the final straw that convinced me to abandon Microsoft's rotting failhole. Now OpenOffice, which is already a buggy and incompetent enough application as it is, and whose developers have already shown more than enough disdain for the wants of their actual users, has decided that instead of fixing actual bugs or improving file-format compatibility and stability so that people with actual jobs can get those jobs done, wants to copy it? Awesome.

I suppose OpenOffice may at least be a little less arrogant than Microsoft and at least give us a choice of using a "classic interface." Or be hackable. I've had to hack OpenOffice to disable some of their UI stupidity already, although honestly, I have better things to do with my limited time. Too bad the drooling incompetents behind Abiword can't wrap their pathetic heads around smart quotes, notwithstanding Douglas Adams's rant on the topic from 1987 and the ready availability of source code.

What am I supposed to do, give up and buy a Mac?

Murdoch says Page 3 won't be free from next year


This should be amusing...

...completely irrespective of whether anything Murdoch's empire barfs out has any quality, integrity, or accuracy, he isn't going to make everyone else change just because he doesn't like it. Since when has that actually worked? If he starts charging for content, someone will develop a bypassing mechanism (like the New York TImes password generator), or the internet will simply continue its already-underway switchover from "news sites slanted in favor of my prejudices" to "blogs slanted in favor of my prejudices." And Americans with brains will continue to get their news about their own country from news outlets located in other countries.

Blade Runner tops sci-fi movie poll



I demand to know why Godzilla is not on this list.

Adobe tries to rub out LibDem airbrush claims


I don't see as much of a blame-the-tools argument here

Having read the article, I don't see a direct shot across Adobe's bow, exactly. I do see the usual "think of the children" idiocy, which seems pretty much par for the course. And that seems to be the real problem - we know that advertising is basically intended to evade what miniscule firewalling the human brain has and induce you to part with your money, oftentimes by making you feel miserable (or, in any event, inadequate, empty, and needy). Swinson isn't totally incorrect, but it's just a tiny slice of the real problem.

Mozilla makes rough notes on Firefox 3.6


@ Geoff Mackenzie

Okay, version 1.x to 2.x was indeed an improvement. But just speaking for my own experience, 3.x runs dramatically more sluggishly, the way it handles bookmarks strikes me as ridiculous, and it added nothing that I actually cared about (in fact, I detest the AwesomeBar, and needing to fiddle with semi-undocumented settings to turn it off is just adding insult to injury). All of the reports I hear about 3.5 are roughly along the lines of "new features, but breaks my plugins."

I also tried Opera, but forced use of tabs is even more baked into the crust than it is in Firefox, and I'm one of those people who has no use for tabs whatsoever. This seems to be a weird religious issue.

Mostly, I still want to know why any effort whatsoever is being sunk into new shiny features (that might be of interest to the developers, I suppose, and possibly a few users) if there is still so much as a single outstanding, verified bug. And why mess with a winning formula anyway, particularly when it seems like the only justification for doing so is "oooooh shiny"?


Sounds like CADT

As described by JWZ: http://www.jwz.org/doc/cadt.html

It would be boorish to note that every single Firefox release I've used has been dramatically worse than the last, even if still more useful to me than the alternatives, so I won't. But why is Mozilla insisting on cooking up new, shiny stuff when, as far as I can tell, they haven't even got their existing versions fully working (as in, functional stuff is still broken, from the reports I hear)?

Pretend a facepalm icon goes here.

AMD records 11th straight loss


"compatible with current sockets"

How about that, it takes eleven losses to learn a lesson.

Firefox laggards offered security update


Yeah whatever

I did, in fact, notice the release of Firefox 3.5. I examined it. It offers me absolutely nothing whatsoever beyond 3.0 that I actually care about, and given how much I personally think 3.0 sucks compared to the prior version, I find myself curiously disinclined to inflict even more irritation upon myself until I absolutely must. You say "laggard," I say "not a masochist."

OpenOffice bug/feature stirs 'horde of angry chimps'


@ Robert Long 1

That, I think, is a very good point, but I'd go one further: Any application that modifies any of your data in any way without being explicitly instructed to do so or without advising you of that fact is broken. I'd be okay with the app's behaviour merely being documented in a sane, clear, and readily apparent way, but open source projects' documentation always seems inexplicably poor to me.


Why linux isn't taken seriously in the office...

I've been an exclusive linux user for years. It's fine and good for the Stallman sycophants with no actual responsibilities to go on about non-free formats and whatnot, but back in the real world, I have to deal with Word documents. For, y'know, my job. So I can do silly and inconsequential things like eat.

Unfortunately, no matter how good your OS is, if you still need to get work done at the end of the day, things like "how well does your office suite deal with Microsoft Office stuff?" matter, whether the zealots like it or not. OpenOffice's various irritations and bugs are the biggest, most constant argument that tells me, on a daily basis, that I should give up and buy a Mac. This saddens me.

Not that I haven't submitted bug reports and even voted on them - it just becomes clear that the devs don't care. Just like the Microsoft response "shut up and deal with it" to complaints about the execrable "ribbon" they inflicted on their users. Apparently, once any project reaches a certain mass, the developers turn into an isolated, intellectually-inbred groupthink homonculous, and that's applicable to open-source projects as well.

Synology Disk Station 409Slim


@ AC 10:10 GMT

So... you'd consider a product "bad" because you, personally, don't just happen to be its target demographic?