* Posts by Joeykins

30 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Sep 2009

Getting worried, Assange? WikiLeaks spaffs out 'insurance' info


Re: The one way this could work properly

The reason that there have not been charges is because of the way Swedish law works. Assange has been questioned by Swedish police and is now " required to surrender for interrogation before any charges can be made and prosecution brought". They intend to charge him but cannot do so until he is arrested, hence the European Arrest Warrant.


WoW gold farmer throws sueball over real world gold theft


Bullion? At home in a safe?

At the risk of being judgemental my money is that she's registered unemployed/disabled and doesn't want to declare any of that gold farming income to the authorities.

Microsoft preps UPDATE EVERYTHING patch batch


grammar pedantry (sorry)

"because of a myriad of security flaws" isn't a correct use of myriad; you could substitute multitude in there but the correct version would be "because of myriad security flaws"

I'm so sorry

BANG and the server's gone: Man gets 8 months for destroying work computers


Wrong product

Should've used Kitchen Gun™ instead


Today's antivirus apps ARE 'worse at slaying hidden threats'


A sentry outside the front door while the back window is wide open

AV is a throwback to an era when virus transmission was done by infected files on removable media or attached to emails. It's very good at intercepting those, but the real problems in the world where malware is designed by organised crime gangs is that the target is remote code execution vulnerabilities in the near-ubiquitous applications and plugins (IE to a lesser extent now, but Flash and Java). Too many people have computers filled with unpatched versions of these apps because there isn't a central updater for them that enforces the update. I've had people bring in home computers running Vista RTM because they've continually dismissed the messages about the service pack installation, and that's from Windows Update which is a better example of updates being delivered well.

MS need to put out a utility similar to the Secunia PSI which puts the latest versions of the vulnerable plugins on people's machines and enables future automatic updates from the publishers that is opted in by default.

As an aside, I've been getting all of my less tech savvy friends, family and co-workers to put the Secunia PSI on their home computers and there has been a significant decrease in the number of infections I've been asked to look at.

Yahoo! ditches! BlackBerry! for! 'smart! fun!' phones!



I wonder how many RIM shares she shorted before releasing that particular puff-piece?

Microsoft offers workarounds for IE bug


Current user context

So assuming you've not done anything dumb like turn UAC off this is far less serious than it would've been pre-Vista/w7. I've just finished beating in to the user base that the answer to a UAC prompt is no unless you were expecting it because you're installing something new.

Acer Iconia Tab A510 10in Android review



ASUS Transformer TF300 costs £49 more and comes with a removable keyboard & extended battery. No brainer for me.

Apple juggernaut cranks out big, big numbers


$5bn to app developers

So, if Apple take their 30% cut from the app store sales that equates to a tidy sum of approximately $2.143 billion just just for running the app store and not providing any other sales channel for the sale/installation of their apps.

Nice work if you can get it.

NotW didn't delete Milly Dowler 'false hope' voicemail


yeah, but

NotW "left-wing"? Really? You sure you're not getting your tabloid politics confused? NotW (along with all other Murdoch titles) are hysterically right-wing for the most part.

Google ices native Gmail app for BlackBerry


Dropped app in favour of enhanced GMail via BIS

The GMail app was always a bit of a kludge; as other commentards have pointed out Google & RIM have put their efforts in to enhancing the GMail via BIS offering. I have multiple GMail accounts loaded on my Blackberry along with my work BES/Exchange mailbox and a Hotmail account. The GMail/BIS connector not only supports almost-real-time 2-way mail sync but has 2-way support for GMail contact sync and 2-way support for google calendar sync. No extra apps required, all handled by the BIS infrastruture (assuming some numpty in Slough doesn't bring the whole shebang down again of course).

Integrates properly in to the Blackberry UI as well so I can view the amalgamated mailbox, calendar or contact feed or pull each one out individually and definitely an underrated and little-known bonus of Blackberry over iPhone in particular.

But still, the half-arsed app has been dropped. Woe is me etc.

Dell Alienware M18x 18.4in gaming notebook


Alternative gaming beast

I looked at the Dell/Alienware offerings 12 months ago when I replaced my gaming laptop and wasn't impressed with the value for money, especially having had a number of problems relating to the build quality of my Dell XPS M1710. I went with the ASUS G73Jh and it hasn't put a foot wrong. Any chance of a review of the G74 line?

Danish embassy issues MARMITE WAFFLE


Time trumpet might well be right

Perhaps an alliance between Tesco and Marmite...


Yuppie cellphone-style iPhone case comes to Blighty

Jobs Horns

in fairness

At least that case will prevent you from losing signal by holding it wrong...

MS freebie anti-virus scanner auto-downloads provoke more anger



The Windows virus scanner APIs are explicitly designed to be accessed by one and only one AV program. My experiences and all of the reviews about the overhead and performance of MSE are positive; I'll wager that if you uninstalled or at least disabled the current provider before testing MSE you'd have a very different opinion of it.

Angry Birds tweet fury at Redmond


Grindr anyone?

I know a few people who settled on the iPhone because of Grindr. I'd probably have caved myself if work weren't paying my Blackberry bill...

O2 shocks customers by slashing iPad data allowance


contract variations

Not quite Jamsie; if the goalposts are moved whilst you're in-contract you can legitimately walk away. O2 can "legally" change the allowances as it's a monthly rolling contract rather than a "you agree to stay with us for at least 24 months and in return we'll give you this hardware and this much airtime + text + data" deal.

Since all the affected customers aren't tied in though presumably they'll just swap to T-Orange/Voda/3, unless they've got more money than sense. Can't see that happening with most iPad owners though... oh, wait...

Blizzard issues fatwa against Starcraft II cheaters



StarCraft 2 (presently) doesn't have any subscription fees; you buy it and you can play it.

Firefox, uTorrent, and PowerPoint hit by Windows DLL bug

Gates Halo

MS's response

@Simpson: MS have the right idea on their response IMO; they've released a QFE update that gives users/admins the *choice* of disabling the DLL calls from the working directory path, or limiting the DLL calls depending on which executable image is being run and/or where that program has been launched from. Can you imagine the outcry if they had just pushed out a major change to the OS that "broke hundreds of third party apps"?!


Adobe to patch Black Hat bugs on Thursday


adobe's updates

They update themselves "when they feel like it" and each individual app only updates itself. It's also made clear how important the update is. Even Apple have released a Windows "all our software" updater (even though it was nefariously used to distribute safari to all and sundry).

Windows Update & WSUS integration for all software vendors would be ideal of course but as it stands I can't see it happening. I've installed the Secunia PSI on all the computers my less-savvy friends and family use to ensure that they're warned promptly when issues arise and updates need applying.


Adobe's updates

I have to deal with far more infections and compromised machines which I've traced back to Adobe than Microsoft, this has been the case for roughly 18 months now. Flash is ubiquitous and, from the attacker's perspective, has an advantage over MS in that the update process for Flash and Reader is frankly piss poor. Adobe need to get their act together and release a bundled, standalone update utility that (by default) forces the installation of their frequent critical patches. Doubtless the enthusiasts will be up in arms but as long as it's configurable can be disabled by script/policy for business deployments I'd rather put up with some whiney blog posts from people bitching that they want to control the patch revisions on their machines than continually get spammed over MSN etc by people who've been hijacked through an out of date version of flash player.

Modatrix request: a la BillG & his Jobsiness please can we have some sort of devil themed Adobe icon to pick from? They're getting right on my tits.

Microsoft patches Freetard-by-design bug

Gates Halo

Not a general release hotfix

Presumably this is an issue that's been fixed in the upcoming Win7 SP1 that, like many non-security fixes for Windows, hasn't been deemed important enough to go through all of the testing required to get it on to WinUpdate. I have a number of manual only install fixes for WinXP/2003 and Exchange 2003 that I've deemed critical but that MS consider optional.

I agree that it's amusing that sharing media completely prevents the system from entering sleep/hibernate; presumably it's a bad implementation of an "if this file is being streamed right now then don't switch off" check.

But yeah, I had a QFE vs GDR versioning issue a while ago which I've now gotten my head around! A good summary is here: http://windowsconnected.com/forums/t/1050.aspx

O2 limits unlimited broadband packages


BT resold vs Unbundled

I'm starting to think that all of the ISPs who offer separate packages for BT wholesale DSL and for unbundled should just bite the bullet and withdraw from the BT wholesale market. They obviously don't make money and it just leads to confusion. Be (yes part of O2) tell you "sorry but no" if you're not connected to an unbundled exchange, hence why they only seem to receive positive comments. Still, all that these announcements do is muddy the waters and cause worry amongst the larger, unbundled user base.

I've started advising people at work to check with SamKnows whether their exchange is unbundled for Sky or O2/Be; if yes then take one of those services otherwise go for Zen.

Manchester cops clobbered by Conficker


Fire the sysadmins

I'm a sysadmin for a small business with a lot less to lose than a police force, but by keeping on top of emerging threats via outlets such as el reg I took steps to protect our business against autorun.inf type attacks over a year before Conficker became prevalent. I like to call this "doing my job".

There's a very simple registry hack that shuts down autorun.inf permanently that should be applied as a matter of course to all business machines running XP. Anyone who hasn't done it isn't fit to call themselves a Windows sysadmin.

WshShell.RegWrite "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\Autorun.inf\", "@SYS:DoesNotExist", "REG_SZ"

Plug in your USB sticks with impunity for no harm can come of it that your AV scanner won't pick up.

Report calls for mandatory shared back office


Deloitte would say that though

Doubtless they'll be hawking their consultancy services to achieve such a shared infrastructure objective, and then picking up hefty fees for performing audits on said systems as the self-appointed specialists.

Personally, having read the coverage of the Southwest One system in Private Eye, I'm not so convinced that it's a great idea...

PrevX U-turn on Windows update Black screen of Death claim

Jobs Horns

Idiot mainstream media types

I note that the recent confirmed Snow Leopard bug which caused user files to be deleted didn't get anywhere near as much mainstream press attention as the unconfirmed "desktop fails to initialize" problem, and also that the finger was pointed specifically at Win7 despite the very limited research pointing at all variants of Windows.

I can only assume that the Cupertino PR machine has stopped berating El Reg and iPhone customers who wrongly assume that their phone is their property long enough to mount an offensive against the first out of the box version of Windows in a decade that has lived up to the hype.

Microsoft ordered to halt Win XP sales in China

Gates Halo

halt Win XP *sales*?

As far as I can tell MS have never "sold" a single piece of software in China. I have to support an office in Shanghai and I constantly have to remind them that software is something that we have to pay for.

Orange reckons the future's bright again

Black Helicopters


Seems a bit of a coincidence that a critical cable was vandalised so soon after the merger announcement...

My money is on a disgruntled Orange employee who left T-Mobile because he hated working for them, or on T-Mobile's black ops team trying to bring down the Orange share price.

Critical bug infests newer versions of Microsoft Windows


Headline error

The headline on the front page says Windows 7 RTM but the article says that it's Win7 RC and that RTM isn't vulnerable. Might want to correct that!

Conficker borks London council


No excuse

There are well-documented methods of nullifying autorun.inf which any halfway capable systems administrator should have rolled out by now.