* Posts by matt 83

116 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Jun 2009


UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy

matt 83

Re: Correction

How can you keep "14 days worth of encountered tokens" without having timestamps associated with the tokens?

How else would you know when the "token encounter" is more than 14 days old?

Already in final beta? That's Madagascar: Ubuntu 20.04 'Focal Fossa' gets updated desktop, ZFS support

matt 83

Re: ZFS is for dedicated file-servers

And AFAIK you shouldn't use those dedupe settings unless you really know what you're doing as they aren't suitable for a lot of data sets.

The whole "ZFS always requires a lot of RAM" is just rubbish.

The Oracle problem is a much bigger concern than any technical issue.

Huawei P40 pricing is in step with previous P-series efforts – but flagship lacks the apps punters have come to expect

matt 83

Re: They need to get Google back ASAP

Add to that Banking apps have a history of hideous security blunders like not validating SSL certs.

Brits swarm Dixons Carphone for laptops, printers, games consoles, fridges, freezers to weather out COVID-19 storm

matt 83

Anyone looking to panic buy electricals...

A friend of mine inside Philips gave me a tip that fresh shipments of their bikini trimmers won't be available until much later in the year as the factory is busy making useful things that people need.

matt 83

Re: ... and catch Coronavirus

Did you forget the sarcasm tags?

Avast's AntiTrack promised to protect your privacy. Instead, it opened you to miscreant-in-the-middle snooping

matt 83

How serious is that?

If the connection between the antitrack proxy and the site was tls1.0 then fine but I thought this was software running on your computer so someone hoping to take advantage of it would have to be able to intercept the internal connection between two bits of software running on the same machine.

The javascript interpreter running as admin and the failure to check the certs seems much more idiotic than using an internal TLS 1.0 connection (if it really is internal, personally I wouldn't touch Avast or AVG with a 10 foot pole so I'm not 100% sure)

Google begs for US Entity List exemption to let Huawei use its mobile services – report

matt 83

Re: Oh wouldn't it be funny....

Given lots of other people have already tried and failed I'd be really surprised if Huawei managed it (outside of China anyway).

How many times do we have to tell you? A Tesla isn't a self-driving car, say investigators after Apple man's fatal crash

matt 83

Re: Tesla never said it's driverless

"I would counter that the reduced mental agility required to drive a car on autopilot can allow for greater awareness of surroundings and better able to respond to incidents when they happen, as well as stop them happening in the first place."

You're completely correct. It allows drivers much more awareness of surroundings... surroundings like their phones or any of the other toys they have in the car with them.

Even if every single one of the tesla crashes has been caused by the driver not "driving within the requirements of the system" it's still a fault of the system. If the system can and is commonly abused then it's badly designed or implemented. To use your saw analogy, if the safety guard is so badly designed or implemented that you have to take it off to use the saw then the saw is at fault not the operator who removes the guard.

If you want to have automated driving systems that need constant supervision by a driver like those tesla use then they need to be in the background leaving the driving to the driver and only cut in when the driver makes a mistake.

The only reason you'd want to have it the other way round would be if you wanted the driver to be able to play games on a phone rather than supervise the system.

And they said IoT was trash: Sheffield 'smart' bins to start screaming when they haven't been emptied for a fortnight

matt 83

Reducing air pollution is another goal...

as Sheffield City Council has struggled to cut CO2 levels to meet EU Air Quality limits.

So they're going to fix CO2 emissions in Sheffield by building a coal powered factory in China to build crappy IOT devices that will need to be replaced every 6 months.


Shipping is so insecure we could have driven off in an oil rig, says Pen Test Partners

matt 83

Don't people usually fly to oil rigs? Pretty sure they're be in reach of the RAF and they'd get there a lot quicker than any surface ship.

Ever wondered how Google-less Android might look? Step right this Huawei: Mate 30 Pro arrives on British shores

matt 83

Re: Resistance is Unpopular

I'm pretty sure Google have absolutely no desire to block their apps from this phone and they're only doing it because they have a gun to their head.

Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick

matt 83

Re: Hard to know what to do!

Buy another old laptop with more RAM? If it's second hand it's not like your causing more environmental damage.

If you're prepared to muck around a bit installing full Linux you should be able to find a second hand Acer C720p with 4GB and a proper haswell celeron for under £150 on ebay.

I only stopped using my 720 with Linux because I was too mean and got the much more common 2GB version which is just slightly too tight for a modern OS. The CPU was plenty fast enough for typical tasks and outperforms a lot of modern Atom stuff. I'd still be using it today if I'd got the 4GB version. Battery life was good too (4-10 hours).

The downsides are that there's no caps lock or F12 keys and you have to choose between function buttons (like volume controls) and function keys (F1 etc). You'll probably end up having to open the case to change the bios mode but that gives you to opportunity to upgrade the SSD to a 120GB version.

matt 83

Re: Won't somebody think of the landfill?

I'd consider getting some ptfe or silicon dry lube for a job like that. An oil like WD40 will tend to attract dirt and actually cause damage long term.

Google, YouTube, Twitter tell face-rec upstart Clearview to stop harvesting people's content – that's their job

matt 83

Re: Google, YouTube, and Twitter have sent cease-and-desist demands to Clearview

Isn't the difference here that in clearview's case they are accessing the pictures specifically in breach of the T&Cs.

In the case of Google News, all the news sites wanted their content accessed by Google so it could be indexed and found in search results. They just didn't want Google to do anything more than display a bare link (no snippet of the content included). The fuss was about whether it was fair for Google to reuse small sections of a news story if you wanted them to index that news story. Stopping Google from harvesting your content is just a robots.txt away. It's just that most sites that disable Google's indexing find they're the ones who suffer the most.

'Windows Vista' spotted doing a whoopsie over EE's signage

matt 83

Re: Why use Windows?

The probably wanted solid adobe flash support

Need 32-bit Linux to run past 2038? When version 5.6 of the kernel pops, you're in for a treat

matt 83

Re: Can someone...

And when someone does finally stump up the cash to replace those machines the replacements will probably be running Windows7 32bit

The duke of URL: Zoom meetups' info leaked out through eavesdrop hole

matt 83

Well a password is kind of just obscurity too, especially one like this that is shared with everyone and never changed.

The problem was that a 4% hit rate wasn't nearly obscure enough. They needed to be using a lot more than 11 digits and have something in place to block people trying to brute force it.

Ever wondered what Microsoft really thought about the iPad? Ex-Windows boss spills beans

matt 83

It worked just fine for them, not so well for anyone else.

If you never thought you'd hear a Microsoftie tell you to stop using Internet Explorer, lap it up: 'I beg you, let it retire to great bitbucket in the sky'

matt 83

Re: Just as soon as you release a stable alternative...

"Come on, it's more usable than windows 7, more secure and more capable." Try using it blind with just a screen reader. I'm fortunate enough to have never needed to do this but I'll take the OP's word that it's a shit show under Win10 when it worked OK under 7 rather than calling him arrogant.

Chrome suddenly using Bing after installing Office 365 Pro Plus... Yeah, that might have been us, mumbles Microsoft

matt 83

How does this play with...

GPOs that require chrome extensions be whitelisted?

The Curse of macOS Catalina strikes again as AccountEdge stays 32-bit

matt 83

Re: Dumped the local installs

It's already online whether you like it or not, that's how banking internet banking works.

ICANN finally reveals who’s behind purchase of .org: It’s ███████ and ██████ – you don't need to know any more

matt 83

Re: A group of people were entrusted with the administration of the .org domains ...

I'm pretty sure you can have SLAVE LABOR when you're a FOR PROFIT organisation too. Having SLAVE LABOR is pretty much the APEX of FOR PROFIT.

Privacy activists beg Google to ban un-removable bloatware from Android

matt 83

yeah but

you can't just download a generic OS and install it like you can with Windows or "proper" Linux you have to either build your own and install the google stuff from some random website or hunt through forums for a random users who have posted one they built and then add the apps from somewhere else.

If you didn't build it yourself how well do you know the person who built it for you?

Even if you're running Android 10 with the Jan 2020 security patches, are you sure the rom creator is backporting all the kernel patches to whatever version that phone needs for all the drivers to work?

What I think Lorribot is referring to with "2-3 years away" is Google's efforts to get Android working with vanilla kernels so in theory a single rom would work on every device. If this every happens it'll be brilliant but I'm not holding my breath.

Chin up, kids, and mind the webcam: Honor lifts lid on MagicBook 14-inch and 15.6-inch laptops

matt 83

Re: "it’s not a particularly flattering angle"

I don't use skype itself but when using other video calling stuff I've always found that within obvious practical limits it's better to have your microphone closer to your mouth than your legs.

Many laptops aren't that good at isolating the sound of key presses and mouse clicks from their built in microphones either.

5G signals won't make men infertile, sighs UK ad watchdog as it bans bonkers scary poster

matt 83

Mobiles on forecourts

The concern about using a mobile when you're filling up wasn't about them spontaneous explosions. It was about the fact that you're pumping perhaps hundreds of litres of dangerous chemicals that you don't want to spill so you should be paying attention to what you're bloody doing not on what you're phone call is about. This is also the reason you can't lock a pump on in the UK they way you can in the US.

The fact that it took driving laws a few years to catch up with this is depressing.

Yes there are times you should concentrate on something other than your phone even if it's a "simple" task that you have done hundreds of times before.

The other slight concern was that dropping the phone might cause some sort of spark when it hit the ground and the user replaceable battery (remember them?) flew off. This is a problem because the ground is where all the overflowing petrol went when the auto cut-off didn't quite work and you weren't paying attention because you were talking on the phone.

A Notepad nightmare leaves sysadmin with something totally unprintable

matt 83

re-associating exe files with notepad

could cause fun too IIRC.

I vaguely remember a friend of mine doing this on Win98. Pretty sure I could fix this now but I think he just reinstalled, it had probably been a week or so since his last reinstall so not much harm done.

Reusing software 'interfaces' is fine, Google tells Supreme Court, pleads: Think of the devs

matt 83


Google should just buy Oracle and make this go away that way?

IT consultant who deleted every account on UK company Jet2's domain cops 5 months in jail

matt 83

Re: A very stupid thing to do.......

Never understood this expression, surely an "imperial fuck ton" is bigger and better than a metric one?

GlaxoSmithKline ditches IR35 contractors: Go PAYE or go home

matt 83

yes but...

An employee doesn't have any incentive to ever finish a project as the salary comes in every month no matter what.

A contractor has to have something to show at the end of the contract even if it's likely to break in the future.

We've heard of spam filters but this is ridiculous: Pig-monkey chimeras developed in a Chinese laboratory

matt 83

A mix of pig and monkey you say?

but shirley we already have David Cameron.

Was going to make it a Boris joke but David is the goto pig guy.

Just in case you were expecting 10Gbps, Wi-Fi 6 hits 700Mbps in real-world download tests

matt 83

Re: This just confuses the hell out of me..

Because all the wifi 6 stuff you can buy at the moment is not fully complaint with the spec. If you're buying wifi6 now you're hoping that the manufacturer will eventually release a firmware that fully supports 6 at some point in the future.

IIRC the most useful feature of wifi6 is the anti congestion stuff (ofdma) which basically no one does right now and might not even be possible with some of the hardware currently on sale.

Now probably isn't the time to jump on the wifi 6 bandwagon unless you need new wifi gear anyway.

'Literally a paperweight': Bose users fume at firmware update that 'doesn't fix issues'

matt 83

Re: There’s a reason people say

2 years? It should be 10.

Having stuff last longer would do a lot more for the environment than bollox like paper drinking straws and recycling crisp packets.

Royal Bank of Scotland IT contractor ban sparks murmurs of legal action

matt 83

Re: Life goes on.

Yeah, just for example IIRC Independent Financial Advisers can't be VAT registered so will have to pay the VAT on any invoice a contractor gives them.

Intel end-of-lifing BIOS and driver downloads for dusty hardware

matt 83

Re: Had it with HP

Not in my experience.

Even the last few years of IBM owned laptop production (when IBM owned the name but Lenovo actually made everything) produced many turkeys. I once had to refurb a few hundred Thinkpads from that era and they all had broken plastics around the keyboard and a nice big blotch in the middle of the screen where the nipple rubbed.

I'm sorry but anyone who still thinks Lenovo is anything special at all is living in denial.

Don't forget superfish either.

UK Info Commish quietly urged court to swat away 100k Morrisons data breach sueball

matt 83

Re: "But he was legitimately authorised : he just abused that permission."

It always come down to you having to trust other people.

Whether that's people auditing your accounts or people writing, supplying or supporting software or systems that run the software you still have to trust them.

Trust not technology is the foundation of security.

Just look at the whole: "you can't trust closed source software" thing. Well if you can see the code then suddenly it becomes: "you can't trust the compiler". Well if you can trust the compiler then: "you can't trust the CPU" etc.

Technology can help by restricting how far you have to trust people by limiting what someone can access but if someone needs access to everything then it doesn't help much. If someone can see data then if all else fails they can take it away with them in their brains no matter what technology you've implemented.

Is requiring an auditor to work naked in an underground bunker after undergoing an anal probe to make sure he's not sneaking a hidden camera in with him before shooting him in the head when he's finished really proportionate to protecting payroll data? I can't see any other way you can make sure you don't need to trust an auditor. (obviously doing all those things to an accountant is appealing)

I'm still not that Gary, says US email mixup bloke who hasn't even seen Dartford Crossing

matt 83

simple contact form?

There's nothing simple about a contact form if you're doing it right.

Most "simple" contact forms I see usually just blindly fire off an email to an address with no ability to deal with problems like the server it's sending to being temporarily down or the email being rejected somewhere as spam etc. Most don't even log the activity so when someone finally realises that the form has stopped working there's no record of who has used it in the 6 months since the last message was received from the form (probably when the dev who set it up did a test message).

For a contact form to work as expected it either needs to be accessed through a web portal or maybe feed directly into something like a google sheet rather than sending an email. If it is sending an email then it needs to be able to queue messages in case of server downtime and it needs to send some kind of weekly digest so the person receiving knows: a) that the form is still working, b) whether any of the submissions that week failed to be delivered.

Suddenly the simple contact form isn't so simple especially when you can just put a mailto link in there and not have to reinvent a lot of stuff that's already built into email.

Pro-Linux IP consortium Open Invention Network will 'pivot' to take on patent trolls

matt 83

Re: Fundamental Question

What is novel and innovative about a physical VCR?

The design of the spinning head that allows the tape to appear to "move" passed the head at a speed great enough for a video to be played back. Without that innovation VCRs would fill a room and require the tape to move at the kind of speeds where it might be dangerous to someone standing next to it.

What is novel and innovative about a software DVD player / recorder?

Perhaps you can think of something but I can't.

Most if not all software patents seem to resolve around taking an existing process or technique done without a computer and claiming that it's somehow novel and innovative to implement it in software.

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers

matt 83

Re: Surely

Binocular vision is only good for up to around 10 meters and at 40mph it only takes about half a second to travel 10m so we're really only using the second mechanism while driving.

If you're a driver be careful of children riding Shetland ponies, they may be closer than you think!

Delayed, over-budget smart meters will be helpful – when Blighty enters 'Star Trek phase'

matt 83

Re: Great

no different than SMETS2

matt 83


But you didn't need a £13 billion smart meter system to do that. You didn't even have to modify any wiring in your house.

A £10 digital clamp meter clipped around the cable going into your fuse box would tell you how much energy you were using.

Add another £10 for a remote display for the £10 clamp meter and you can see how much energy you're using from your living room and you didn't spend billions of Pounds doing it.

Ok, I'm not aware of any clamp meters that have remote displays but I'm pretty sure a factory somewhere could knock one up pretty cheaply.

Radio nerd who sipped NHS pager messages then streamed them via webcam may have committed a crime

matt 83

3 2 1 ...

And Daley Borda gets arrested under the computer misuse act for illegally hacking into the public webcam stream by opening it in a browser.

Also, wouldn't broadcasting personal info over an unencrypted radio link be a gdpr violation?

Fed up of playing Whac-A-Mole with network of SoftBank-owned patent holders, Intel hits court

matt 83

Re: Not an Intel fan...

I don't think the patent system protects lone inventors anyway.

I've never filed a patent but I did once have a chat with a lone inventor who had filed patents, produced a product based on those patents and then sued someone for infringing on those patents. He said it basically works like this:

1) Invent something

2) Patent it

3) Build it yourself

4) Have someone "steal" the idea and produce a clone product

5) You sue the for patent infringement

6) If you win they just disappear and pop up again with a new name

Repeat 5 & 6 until you are bankrupt.

It probably used to work when the products were manufactured in the countries where the products were used as loosing the patent infringement case would mean your factory with all its expensive tooling would get lost.

These days though the only person you can sue is the importer who could be a teenager with a cheap laptop and Amazon seller account so it's a lot cheaper for them to setup again than it is for you to sue them.

That lithium-ion battery in your phone or car? It has just won three chemists the Nobel Prize

matt 83

" It also doesn't require lots of scarce materials that do lots of ecological damage mining, and dams last longer than a thousand charge/discharge"

It does require a mountain and at least two lakes so if mountains (or at least big hills), space or water are scarce materials (which they are in a lot of places) you're out of luck.

It also involves thousands of tons of steel, hundreds of thousands of tons of cement and probably millions of tons of concrete which requires a lot of mining and releases a lot of co2.

Microsoft has made an Android phone. Repeat, Microsoft has made an Android phone. A dual-screen foldable mobe not due until late 2020

matt 83

But can it run

Donkey Kong?

BBC said it'll pull radio streams from TuneIn to slurp more of your data but nobody noticed till Amazon put its foot in it

matt 83

Because that's one of the reasons we pay the license fee.

It's supposed to maintain Britain and the English language on the international stage in a good light. It's a similar to a company offering something at a loss because there's an indirect benefit through brand awareness or something.

Fairytale for 2019: GNOME to battle a patent troll in court

matt 83

Re: "involves no wires at all!"

On a piece of string?

Dropbox CEO: I will make your worklife a calmer experience

matt 83

Re: I really need a decent alternative to dropbox

I've been permanently put off onedrive after experiencing the steaming pile that was onedrive for business. That and these days I need something that's properly cross platform without having to resort to 3rd party clients (google drive is also a non starter for this reason).

I'm giving spideroak another go but wasn't too impressed with that either when I tried it a few years ago.

I'll probably also have another look at syncthing and nextcloud.

matt 83

I really need a decent alternative to dropbox

I really love how effective their file syncing is and have been paying for it for years but I'm just not interested in all this bloated crap.

It's a real shame they don't seem prepared to offer a lower priced subscription to just the file syncing service and let the people who want fancy search and pay for it on their own without being subsidised. I suppose that's life though.

Vimeo's Clippy-for-video-bumpf app 'breaks biometric privacy law by slurping thousands of faces without consent'

matt 83

Isn't any video with someone's face biometric data?

What's the difference between the original video and the derived "face print" if the latter was extracted from the former? Doesn't that make the every video with someone's face visible biometric data too?