* Posts by Richard 22

228 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Jun 2009


Halt don't catch fire: Amazon recalls hundreds of thousands of Ring doorbells over exploding battery fears

Richard 22

Re: Shows people don't read the instructions

Since the response from Ring was to ensure that people have the updated instructions, presumably the original instructions didn't specifically warn about this.

Arm debuts CPU roadmap for the first time, sort of

Richard 22

Re: ARM not Arm

Not since their logo redesign...

Qualcomm still serious about Windows 10 on Arm: Engineers work on '12W' Snapdragon 1000

Richard 22

Re: If ARM is so good

Where did you get the 1GB RAM and 800MHz from? Even if they ran an already existing Qualcomm smartphone core in a typical high-end smartphone setup then you're looking at 4-6GB RAM and 8 cores at up to ~2.5GHz.

As the article clearly states they're looking at producing something which has a significantly higher power rating than those current (already pretty capable) SoCs. Remember also that these SoCs are not just the processor - they include most other functionality of the motherboard as well, including cellular connectivity (though Wifi/bluetooth is generally on a separate chip I think)

Most people aren't going to care if it's got an ARM inside or not, as long the price is right and they can just install software and have it run with reasonable performance. Headline features, not internals sell computers.

Men are officially the worst… top-level domain

Richard 22

Re: Is this even useful?

I think the point is that tlds are operated by multiple companies, some of which may have a laxer attitude towards not kicking known spammers off. Hence some tlds may end up with more bad domains. Still, the approach of simply blocking such tlds is rather unfair to the businesses who are operating legitimately and have got domains with those tlds because they make for logical or more easily remembered domain names.

OnePlus 6 smartphone flash override demoed

Richard 22

fastboot boot is a one-time boot only; it loads the image into RAM and then boots it. It doesn't flash that image to storage. However you could potentially boot somebody elses phone with such an image, remove the connection from the PC and they would use it without knowing - it would remain potentially compromised until next power off.

What got breached this week? Ticket portals, DNA sites, and Atlanta's police cameras

Richard 22

Re: hmmm

I've just tested on my laptop, and there is an LED which is lit when the webcam is on. Unfortunately it is only barely daytime visible, even when I'm looking for it, so not much use. An LED (appropriately connected to the hardware, not software controllable) is a minimum, but a manual cover is a better option.

ICO smites Bible Society, well fines it £100k...

Richard 22

How is this helpful?

So, because an organisation which relies on credit card donations for funding was not careful with those cardholder details, they're fining the organisation £100000. Money, which the organisation got from the cardholders. So the the cardholders are paying the fine for something which potentially injured them, and which wasn't their fault. Something feels wrong about this...

Huawei Honor 10: At £399, plenty of bang for buck – it's a pity about the snaps

Richard 22

Re: Phone or camera?

The main use of my "phone" is definitely not to make phonecalls. That might have been true before smartphones, but hasn't really been true for getting on for 10 years (for me, and I suspect most others). Connectivity features (including voice) are essentially standard/commoditised these days, and I'd only expect a review to dwell on anything outside the norm for an Android device. The reviewer in this case _does_ mention both SIMs can use LTE, can be split for voice/data if required, and the speaker volume and call quality are all mentioned.

Amazon and Netflix join Hollywood to lob sueball at 'Kodi' service SetTV

Richard 22

They're not suing Kodi

From the article, they don't even _mention_ Kodi in the lawsuit. It's pure clickbait by the Register to drag the Kodi name through the mud and associate them with the outfit being taken to court (Settvnow) who happen to use Kodi as a convenient media player which will work on an cheap STB.

Kodi have stated many times that they do not condone/support the use of Kodi for such piracy services.

Cash-machine-draining €1bn cybercrime kingpin suspect cuffed by plod

Richard 22

Re: I'm living my life wrong

I think you'd only choose the shortest cue if you were buying it for a child really.

OK, ok. I'm leaving.

Google prepares 47 Android bug fixes, ten of them rated Critical

Richard 22

Re: Peasants..

I think you fundamentally misunderstand Android if you're comparing how Windows does updates to how they are done for Android phones.

The base of Android (AOSP) is an open source project (yes, open-sourced by Google, but still exists independently). Anyone can take AOSP of whatever version they like and produce whatever they like with it - Google have no control over this. Google have built proprietary value-added services on top of AOSP (play services, maps etc). These services are optional, and Google alone is responsible for updating them in a timely manner (which it does, frequently).

What we're talking about here is updates to the AOSP base. Google collates the updates and releases them to vendors/partners every month, 1 month before the public release. Hence any company with sufficient interest in updating their customers can get access to these patches a month before the public release. I'd be a little surprised if the Google internal teams don't have access to the patches earlier, so perhaps they get a head-start, but if a company was sufficiently determined, they should be able to get the patches integrated, QA tested and released within that month.

However, operators sit as another layer between the vendor and customer - they typically do some "value add" tweaking and then they have to QA and release. And it may be that phone manufacturers wait for kernel updates to come from the chip vendors such as Qualcomm, who have to do their own testing. Getting all that done within 1 month probably isn't realistic.

I'm not saying Google are entirely blameless here, but the main responsibility has to lie with the handset manufacturers, since that is who has released the product. They cannot wash their hands of it after release - they should be pushing all the chain to QA test and release security patches in a timely manner. It is a question of priorities - and the simple truth (as the OP was trying to indicate) is that whilst Google prioritises getting these patches out every month for the phones they have direct control over, other manufacturers don't seem to show the same level of enthusiasm.

Linus Torvalds 'sorry' for swearing, blames popularity of Linux itself

Richard 22

Linus' viewpoint on security

Linux explained his reasoning a bit more here (in the same thread);


Samsung shows off Linux desktops on Galaxy smartmobes

Richard 22

Re: Eclipse

It's a good demo of running a massively bloated, heavyweight application. If you can run eclipse, pretty much anything should run...

Windows Subsystem for Linux to debut in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Richard 22

Re: Reminds me of

> Basically, if a tool run in a Linux terminal, that same binary will probably run on WSL

Except that they don't have (and didn't have any plans to when I last checked) any support for i386 (32bit) binaries. So some workloads just aren't possible (for example I can't do a build of the Android system I build on my Linux machine since the build system has some 32bit dependencies).

The best use I can find for it is to use it as an ssh client to a real linux box - I find ssh from within bash preferable to puTTY.

Adobe will kill Flash by 2020: No more updates, support, tears, pain...

Richard 22

Why would the BBC have any interest in keeping Flash running? They've been transitioning over to html5 video for ages. I suspect they'd have ditched flash ages ago if it weren't for the fact that they have to keep things working for non-technical people who may not be running anything more modern than IE8

Looking for an Ubuntu Unity close cousin? Elementary, my dear...

Richard 22

Wrong time to request payment

Requiring (or even implying that it is required) payment at the point of download will put a lot of people off who are just curious. Even if they realise they can select 0, the approach is likely to grate. It seems more sensible to provide people with an easy donation mechanism once they start using the software - if they use it a lot and are happy with it, they may well donate, and may well donate more than once. Linux Mint follows this sort of philosophy and it seems to work fairly well for them.

Amazon pulls snouts from all-you-can-eat cloud storage buffet

Richard 22


Shame... not surprised though. Still appear to be one of the cheaper options for 1TB, and offer per TB pricing above this rather than 1 or 10 (as Google appears to be). As I currently have 1.5TB on Amazon Drive sticking with that and paying for 2TB @ £110/year is considerably cheaper than Google's 10TB option at $999 (/£799?)

I'm investigating hubiC though - 10TB for 50Euro/year looks very competitive, and apparently connects to Synolgy Cloud Sync.

Linux kernel security gurus Grsecurity oust freeloaders from castle

Richard 22
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A little hypocrytical?

"very few people dedicating half of their life to creating useful original work"

Except Linus perhaps? And probably a load of others heavily involved in the linux kernel. Whose work they have taken and used for personal gain...

I have nothing against people getting paid for what they do, but I think they would have been better served maintaining a public fork of the branch and providing paid for consultancy / support etc. There's a lot of people who earn a living working in Linux.

They are, of course, free to do as they wish with the Linux code, within the terms of the license.

Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

Richard 22

Re: Nemo ... Files ... pah!

Cinnamon + Nemo? I've not had any stability issues with it, and Nemo and Caja at least have the same philosphy, if not exactly the same features (i.e. make a Nautilus fork useful again by re-adding removed features and adding new features). Similarly, Cinnamon and Mate have a similar philosophy.

I wish there were an official Cinnamon version of Ubuntu (perhaps they've got room for another spin now Unity has gone). At work we have to use Ubuntu (Mint is verboten), but can install alternate desktops. There are unnofficial PPAs for cinnamon, but I'd be happier if it were in the main repos.

Google knifes Eclipse Android Developer Tools

Richard 22

Except that you can configure your shortcuts in Android Studio to match other programs (Visual Studio, Eclipse, Emacs etc)

'Daddy, what's a Blu-ray disc?'

Richard 22

There are 2 competing '4K' sizes - one which is 4K pixels wide (4096x2160) and one which is double 1080p in either dimension (3840x2160), but not quite 4K pixels wide. Not sure which format 4K blu-ray uses, or how much difference a normal person would be able to spot either with scaling or chopping off the edges if content had to be reformatted between the two.

Richard 22

Re: quality..

Note the word "experience" rather than "quality". Sonos is a better experience than MP3s on a computer or a hifi that does playback from a USB stick. Vinyl being a better experience is certainly a personal thing - scratches, hiss, clicks pops, flipping discs etc don't make for a better "experience" in my opinion, but some people clearly like something about vinyl (handling discs? bigger artwork?) enough to cause a revival.

Oops: Bounty-hunter found Vine's source code in plain sight

Richard 22

Re: Wait a minute.

The article doesn't say the keys are in the code - it says that the keys are in the docker image. Even if they weren't in the image they would have to be available to the image, and in this case you'd have full control over it.

Torrent is a word, and you can't ban words, rules French court

Richard 22

Re: I think the world would be better off...

Can't see a French court banning the word Paris...

Microsoft joins battery-saving browser bandwagon with Edge claims

Richard 22

Re: Cherry picking

Which platform are you running which doesn't have a choice of browsers? Linux has Firefox (and derivatives) and Chrome/Chromium. (opera?). OS X has Safari, Firefox, Chrome (Opera?)

New Firefox versions will make you activate all new add-ons – except one hacker favourite

Richard 22

The BBC have an html5 beta version of iplayer;


Google spews critical Android patch as millions of gadgets hit by Linux kernel bug

Richard 22

Re: That covers Android 6.0 (most versions)

I should have said - the fix first appeared in 3.10.82


Richard 22

Re: That covers Android 6.0 (most versions)

So I had a quick look - it turns out that this patch has been in the 3.10 LTSI tree since June 2015, and it is in fact already in 3.10.84. The log for the relevant file at the 3.10.84 release is here;


The top commit is the one referenced by the Google advisory. So although Google have only just pushed a patch for this, the Sony Android 6.0 release is already covered.

Richard 22

Re: Excuse me?

Poorly worded article.

Needs the kernel updating to one with the patch. Nothing more, nothing less.

Firefox will support non-standard CSS for WebKit compatibility

Richard 22

Re: Noooooooooooooooooo

Thanks for the informed comment and reasoned argument.

This appears to be a very sensible and pragmatic move for firefox. Presumably for a bunch of already agreed and finalised standards all that would be required is for firefox to support the -webkit and non-webkit prefixed versions of the CSS, presumably bringing it into line with webkit browsers which I'm guessing don't remove support for -webkit prefix as soon as the standard is finalised.

Short of getting every website author to go and clean up all their sites to ensure only standards compliant tags are used, and to ensure that they keep these up-to-date while also ensuring backward compatibility of their sites on older browsers, this appears to be the best way of ensuring Firefox remains relevant as an alternative rendering engine. This is important to ensure that webkit-based browsers don't completely dominate and thus begin to ignore standards altogether (as happened with IE back in the day)

Amazon vendors flog thousands of rooted, malware-laden tablets

Richard 22

Re: Allwinner?! That's a funny way to spell MediaTek.

The headline was pure clickbait. If they'd named the tablet manufacturers or Allwinner then nobody would have clicked on it. I assume these tablets are not only sold through Amazon - I'm sure they could have written the same story with ebay rather than Amazon.

Richard 22

Re: Allwinner?! That's a funny way to spell MediaTek.

No. This is tablets sold _through_ Amazon the retailer, not Amazon branded tablets. I had assumed it might be those from the headline, but then I, you know, read the article.

Amazon's quality control would be very unlikely to let this happen on their own-brand devices, and their update mechanisms would definitely allow them to fix it quickly. And they would fix it very quickly to prevent damage to their reputation.

Also - MediaTek is a Taiwanese company, not a Chinese one. But don't let that stop your ranting.

One Bitcoin or lose your data, hacked Linux sysadmins told

Richard 22

Poor quality ransomware

It appears that for this attempt at least, the files are decryptable without paying the ransom;


Apple killed our app say Chaos Computer Club

Richard 22

Re: Well Duh!

This isn't a hacking app. It's an app which allows people to watch video streams from a conference where some people may be discussing security issues (including hacking) which may or may not be related to iOS.

They allow the YouTube app which allows access to the same videos and a whole heap more.

Time Lords set for three-week battle over leap seconds

Richard 22

Re: Why stop there?

But base 10 is a dreadful system, chosen purely because we happen to have 10 digits. 12 is a much better base since it has a greater number of factors. It would be better to simply move the entire metric system over to base12

As a software engineer I'd be quite happy with base 16 either.

Hexadecimal time please!

Google stock buy-back: You'll groan when you realize where that $5,099,019,513.59 figure came from

Richard 22

Re: God's net worth

The Catholic church isn't God though, just one of the franchises.

Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home

Richard 22
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Re: Kieren, out of interest, how old are you?

I believe Echo has been particularly popular with the older generations, as it allows them to interact with technology and the internet in a natural, personal way, rather than via a computer. However I'm guessing that's not what you were referring to with your "different generations".

Kill Flash: Adobe says patch to fix under-attack hole still days away

Richard 22

Re: Slow news day?

The BBC are trialling html5 video currently. I don't think their slow transition has to do with incompetence, more to do with not wishing to break things for their large userbase and hence treading cautiously.

iOS 9 security blooper lets you BYPASS PINs, eye up photos, contacts

Richard 22

million to one chances...

...happen 9 times out of 10

(with apologies to the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett)

UK.gov mobile not-spot coverage project set to be completed in the year 2155AD

Richard 22

linear progression

Interesting that based on 2 data points of 2 in the first year and 6 in the first you assume a linear progression true for the next 140 years.

The progression I would like to pull out of my arse is that they will perform 3x more mast installs than the previous year each year (this has the advantage of exactly fitting the 2 points we have already). Based on this I see that after 6 years there will be 728 masts installed serving 145600 people (200/mast).

Numbers - they can tell whatever story you like...

Sign of the telly times: HDR shines, UHD Blu-ray slides at IFA

Richard 22

Re: UHD Blu-ray is already sunk

Physical media is still required for maximum quality until broadband speeds catch up. 4k netflix is ~15Mbps, but a high quality HDR 4k stream would require several times that. Most people's broadband just isn't up to that.

Whether any of this increases the enjoyment of the content is another matter...

Russian regulator bans PornHub for its ‘illegal pornography’

Richard 22

Re: There is prob a gay video

That Putin / Obama comparison is way funnier than they realise. It took me some time to work out that they seem to be deadly serious.

They’re FAT. They’re ROUND. They’re worth almost a POUND. Smart waaatch, smart waaatch

Richard 22

Re: Perspective

You clearly haven't been following the fashion in watches then. That Huawei one is probably considered a ladies watch in some circles...

Windows 10 grabbed about five per cent market share in August

Richard 22
Thumb Up

Re: So What!

> Neither need the you (The User), to ever touch the CLI. So your arguments can, and should be discounted!

Well said that man. Desktop linux no longer requires the normal everyday user to touch the command line (and hasn't for years). Mint is perfectly usable by a normal user without ever requiring a terminal (my wife uses Mint daily in this manner - she wouldn't know where to start at the command line).

I'm a developer, and perfectly at home at the command line - I still prefer to use GUI tools most of the time for the cases mentioned above (apt-get? no, synaptic unless I know the exact name of the thing I want to install, chmod through the permissions tab in the file manager etc). Everyday actions shouldn't require sudo - and even if you're doing something which requires you to use sudo every 5 seconds, so what? Only the first one will require a password. GUI tools which require a password will pop up a password entry dialog - Windows does precisely the same thing for things which alter system files.

Most instructions you find on the web for installation will give the command line to type, which can be intimidating for new users, but it is the only thing guaranteed to work on all distributions. However, most distributions also include some kind of "Software Center" for graphical discovery of new software to install.

Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

Richard 22

Windows 3.1 was awful

Surely the main reason why people accepted Win95 was that prior to that Windows was godawful. Confusing, ugly, unreliable, unremittingly bad. Windows95 was a huge improvement in usability, and that got refined right up to Windows7 (with some Vista and ME bumps on the way). Windows8 was trying to fix a problem most people didn't have when using a computer (ie work better on the touchscreen most people don't have).

And on that bombshell: Top Gear's Clarkson to reappear on Amazon

Richard 22

Re: Oh well, at least you get to watch some fun TV whilst waiting for a delivery...

> this being a UK website discussing a UK TV show which has been ousted from the BBC

Have you heard of this phenomenon called the "world wide web". World wide being the important bit here...

Also - Top Gear is a UK TV show in origin, but was also one of the BBCs biggest exports, so again, not really just a UK show...

There's no comment on the article over whether the Amazon Top Gear would be UK only or not - I suspect not.

Even Microsoft thinks Outlook is bloated and slow

Richard 22

Re: Outlook for Phones

> Simon forget to mention that he is not talking about the desktop version, which runs very well thank you...

Really? Bloated and slow seems like a perfect description of the desktop version. It's an awful, confused bit of software which would benefit from throwing in the bin and being redesigned from scratch.

Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)

Richard 22

Re: Eurosport

ITV4 FTW (if you're in the UK). Eurosport cycling commentary is crap and their online player is even worse than the ITV one, if they even bother to put all the stages on it (I missed half the Giro due to them not putting all the stages on their eurosport player).

Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way

Richard 22

17.0, 17.1 and 17.2 are all based on the same Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release, so they all have Long Term Support for the core system components. They are all marked as Long Term Support releases on the linux mint website (until 2019 - ie the same as the underlying 14.04 system). So just because they've released a newer, better version doesn't mean you have to update - it doesn't affect the support status of previous releases. They've only really updated the desktop components anyway, plus a few packages. If you've standardised on 17.1 and it's working then there's nothing requiring you to update.

Time to face the Apple Music: Spotify looks worried, and rightly so

Richard 22

Spotify also have a family offering (half price for additional accounts on the same bill).

The main thing I like about spotify is the number of devices it works on - I've personally used it on linux, windows, android, iOS, symbian, fireos and two different amps from different manufacturers. There's many more devices out there with it as well. I don't see anyone else with the same breadth of device support. Apple certainly isn't going to.