* Posts by sgb

26 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Aug 2009

Now-patched Ubuntu desktop vulnerability allows privilege escalation


Re: Only as far back as the 70s?

Nonsense. Time started on 01-01-1970.

Come and Twiddle Tek Gear's one handed keyboard


Re: Left Handed?

As a guitarist, I'd be more inclined to use my left. They missed a trick, too. If they had four rows of buttons they could usher in a new era of virtuoso banjo players.

Perhaps we've dodged a bullet there.

Microsoft tears the wraps off Windows 8 Enterprise



Sounds like a waste of this tech. I can say that in our place it would be the other way around. People would carry their encrypted boot drive around with them and just boot up from whatever device is local.

That being said, we're in 24/7 service roles where everyone is expected to be available all the time. It would save us a lot of misery to just carry around the boot drive.

Corny conversations prove plants 'talk'


Re: Accept it

Was this a recent study? If so it'd have to be Ringo or Paul.


Adobe auto-update eases Flash update chore - on Windows only


auto update

"We've done such a bad job on this software that we're confident that we have nagged to into submission and will now let us put new executables on your machine without checking with you first, just to make the noise stop".

Google takes buzz saw to Buzz, other appendages

Big Brother

"Google's privacy snafu"

They haven't learned yet. When I log into gmail now, the log-in cycle brings me through youtube.com, even though I have no settings or options for youtube in my google account settings. I know they've always been able to profile me on the videos I watch using the immortal cookie, but I think a line has been crossed.

Ten... digital voice recorders


Possibility of a flame war here, but...

I have an iphone (I'm not proud of it - it's my work phone) and it has a voice recording app on it. I'm about to start an evening course and was planning on recording the lectures on the phone. Given that phones are designed to pick out voice and discard other frequencies, how does the iphone app (or similar) compare to these as a dictation device?

Sony preps Luke Skywalker-style digital binoculars


I don't get it

Is this not just a pair of modestly-featured video cameras stuck together? I could make this with a pair of HD camcorders and a couple of rubber bands for less than quarter of the price.

Pint-sized 3D printer produced



They clearly don't know anything about the printer business. You sell the printer for 50 quid, then charge €1200 a pop for the toner.

Cable? That's extra.

Updates galore in Microsoft's biggest ever Patch Tuesday


You could give wsus offline update a go


That is, of course, if you are prepared to trust a third party app to download your updates for you.

GNOME 3: Shocking changes for Linux lovers



Looks like they've decided that the smartphone interface is the way to go for the desktop. Whether they're trying to create a touch-capable interface that will scale down nicely for the multi-core phones & tablets of the (very near) future or they are just trying to distance themselves from a well-worn interface paradigm, I don't know.

Well-worn or not, I've got used to Gnome 2 over the years and I think I'm going to have serious trouble with this. This may be the most recent cycle in my KDE/Gnome merry-go-round. I think I've swapped four or five times over the last decade.

Junk mail down 1/3 since Rustock botnet takedown


I'd say the truth is somewhere in between...

The level of spam we get has increased since the Rustock botnet was taken down, so from that I'd imagine other botnets are taking over.

Tellingly (is that a word?) the spam is all for users that have been with the company for 4 years or more, whereas up until last week if we got any spam at all it was to common mailing lists etc. It seems the different botnets are using different email address lists.


Windows 7 customers hit by service pack 1 install 'fatal error' flaws


As an ubuntu user since version 5.10....

...and various BSDs before that, I'd like to point out that all operating systems have bugs, even Linux. In the case of Linux, if it doesn't work it's not necessarily the fault of the developer. It can be the hardware manufacturer or the user that is to blame, but this hardly makes Ubuntu the answer to all software problems. If a user is left powerless by a service pack update, Ubuntu is just going to give them harder problems to solve.

I'm a big fan of choice and having the right tool for the job. Sometimes, and for some people, Windows is the right tool.


Hitachi launches little whoppers


On the other hand...

You do get to a stage where it makes sense to try to exercise some control over the failures by buying a different brand. Every new-ish hard disk that has failed on me in the last three years has been a seagate with the exception of two hard-living samsung drives in laptops. Any seagate older than that has just carried on working, and so have all the hitachi disks.

I deliberately avoid seagate now 'just in case'. I've had no trouble with Hitachi.


You don't have to be crazy to work here



"Won't Webmin reduce a lot of Linux sys admins to the level or point and click Windows admins again"

I think using the word 'reduce' there is a bit leading. I don't need a expertise in mining and metallurgy to use a spanner, provided it's a quality spanner that I can rely on and I know where to get another one.

I'm a linux administrator of 7 years experience. I have about 30 servers under my care and I configure everything via the command line because I'm not prepared to erode security, stability, portability or available resources for the sake of being able to work a little faster using graphical utilities. In my experience, the most consistent and reliable configuration utility is vi on a shell.

Bacula is testing this philosophy. It's so disproportionately complicated to configure it to do something straightforward and consistent that it is almost not worth the effort. The manual is nonlinear and inaccessible, and I have found myself learning to use bacula through the continuous wrenching of experience, instead of just reading up on it. Judging by the number of emails to the bacula users list I am not the only one. It's the one service I administer that will repeatedly behave in an unexpected manner.

If a webmin module means I can start to depend on bacula then I may have to move away from the command line on this one.


Sharp cuts palmtop from Android cloth


Takes me back

The Zaurus rises from the ashes. Great little machine that. I just hope Sharp either publish the driver code or have stuck to commodity devices this time. The MMC driver on the Zaurus drove a few people to despair.


Seagate announces ugly diskless NAS filer


Offsite backups

Is there anything out there that will allow me to treat one of the disks in the same way I do tape? I know this will remove the higher RAID options but I'm not a big fan of RAID5 anyway.

Basically, I want a NAS with at least three bays - two for day to day redundancy (mirrored) and also a third that I can remove once a week and send off-site, pop in the replacement and wait for it to sync up. I know you can do this sort of thing with a netapp filer but that's way beyond my budget.

Preferably I'd like to be able to buy about 16 extra caddies so I don't have to actually resort to a screw driver once a week. Most of these small NAS units don't seem to come with spares.



Does it support other brands of disk?

I have an opinion of Seagate disks (SATA and SCSI) that has formed gradually over the last three years through the repeated wrenching of experience.

So anyway, are other brands of disk supported? Even if they aren't supported, is there any suggestion that other brands will not work on this hardware?


Group policy for Unix


Samba 4

... isn't ready for production yet, last I read.

Regarding Linux WSUS, the best I've managed is wsusoffline on a samba share, kicking it off from a logon script after patch tuesday. Users can still cancel/ignore it though.

Ball lightning is all in the mind, say Austrian physicists



You'd still be able to 'see' the phenomenon with your eyes closed?

'Beauty with antimatter bottom' created out of pure energy


Rant time

Don't use comments like 'pretty much the whole of physics is wrong' - it just panders to the nut jobs that don't know what the word 'theory' means.

To take a stupid example, if all of our understanding of physics was wrong, would wouldn't have been able to build the collider in the first place. Or a car, a radio, a lightbulb or a hammer. Or boil water for a cup of tea. At the very least, most people understand enough physics to know that if you heat up water enough it will boil, and they'd be right. Admittedly most people can't do the maths.

Mostly, the Standard Model is incomplete and will be replaced with one that explains everything at least as well as the current theory and hopefully more bits besides.

Rogue McAfee update strikes police, hospitals and Intel


July last year

I spent most of my evenings fixing this:


Lenovo ThinkPad Edge


Has anyone...

... checked the stats recently on whether the 'sturdy build' reputation is still justified?

MS update gives some XP boxes the Blue Screen



"It's still unclear why affected systems throw a wobbler while other near-identical Win XP PCs chug along quite happily after the updates are applied."

If you can figure this one out, perhaps you can tell me why of 6 identical brand new XP latitudes we got in recently, two wouldn't run windows update and one was missing the 'RunOnce' reg key, meaning it wouldn't install VPN software.

This happened me before with Thinkpads. Booted two brand new identical ones up, one bluescreened straight away

It's not ones and zeros, it's blood and tears.


Kingston SSD Now V 40GB boot drive

Thumb Up

Dual drive laptop

@Steven, the Inspiron 1720 has space for 2 drives:


But it doesn't come with a second bracket.

@Flocke Kroes

To hibernate a linux laptop you'd need swap space equal to or greater than the physical RAM. That wouldn't really be hit heavily by writes, though, so fair point.


Samsung S8000 Jet


No way

I would not touch a samsung phone with a shitty stick. The (pretty good) hardware is always crippled with a really badly implemented UI, full of weird compromises and pointless restrictions.