* Posts by Arkasha

250 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Sep 2009


Oh SNAP! Old-school '80s Unix hack to smack OSX, iOS, Red Hat?


-- anyone?

rm -rf -- *

stops expansion of filenames being treated as further arguments. Example:

arkasha@freeman ~/xxx $ touch a b c d

arkasha@freeman ~/xxx $ touch -- -z

arkasha@freeman ~/xxx $ ls

a b c d -z

arkasha@freeman ~/xxx $ tar cf xxx.tar *

arkasha@freeman ~/xxx $ tar cf yyy.tar -- *

arkasha@freeman ~/xxx $ file *.tar

xxx.tar: gzip compressed data, from Unix, last modified: Thu Jul 3 13:37:37 2014

yyy.tar: POSIX tar archive (GNU)

Works on most commands. Always put it before any filename expansion.

Reg probe bombshell: How we HACKED mobile voicemail without a PIN


Re: Come on, it's not hard

I haven't worked in telecomms for a good few years but I remember that, in the UK at least, it was actually illegal for a subscriber to change their CLI. A Telco could do it as long as the new number was within their assigned numbers range. Whichever VoIP to POTS provider they used should have just rejected the changed cli

Mexican drink-driver shopped to cops - by his own gobby parakeet



How the heck did you get from "El Torito" and "slaughterhouse"to "bluebottle"? Slaughterhouse is "matadero" or, more specifically in Mexico "rastro". Bluebottle is "moscarda", "moscón", or the more literal "mosca azul" (or even "aciano" if you're talking about the flower.)

Also, Mexico, being entirely in the Northern Hemisphere, is in North America and definitely not South America. It's southern most point is about 14° north of the equator. My wife gets very, very annoyed being called a South American.

Sources: I lived in Mexico, learnt Spanish in Mexico, and have a Mexican wife.

Boffin named Jubb to fire whopping hybrid thruster



I actually think I have tache envy and I don't even like taches.

Carmageddon coder seeks gamers' cash for revamp


Rosy specs

No, it really was smooooth with the glide patch on my machine. Only trouble was I moved to Mexico 3 months after getting the game and my computer (and everything else I owned) went "missing" in Mexican customs when I had it shipped over so I never got to play it again. *sniff*

Twelve... classic 1980s 8-bit micros


CPC6128 for me

with colour screen. Couldn't be doing with all that tape malarky. I got all the gadgets too like lightpen, mouse, and the CD ROM reader thingy that (I think) Codemasters produced.

I modded it a lot too with switches to for hard reset, enabled/disable the ROM banks and I even got a 5MB hard disk running on it.

Finally, I tried to get a Z80H (8MHz!) to work in it but fried something and it never worked again :-(

Larry Page has painful day on stand in Oracle Java case


ID Ten Tee?


Wowfood may well have been wrong and you are perfectly entitled to correct him/her, but do you have to be such an arse about it? Seriously?

And if you're going to be an arse, at least be brave enough to put your name to it.

Life on Mars found – in 1976


Or to mangle some dead dude's quote

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistical analysis.

It does smack a bit of wanting to find a particular answer and finding a way to arrive at that answer. You could probably apply the same techniques to stock market data and prove the LSE is sentient.

MIT's mind-reading Mosh pits itself against SSH daemons

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I use this

Still getting used to it but it is great on a train. You can turn off the predictive bit and just use the mobile connection part which automagically reactivates the connection should it drop.

It's kind of like using SSH with screen but without having to reattach to the screen session after logging in again.

Local echo on SSH is okay but doesn't work so well with things like vim. Also, Mosh never predicts an Enter keystroke.

Could have done with this 20 years ago when I was trying to do remote support over a modem on international phone lines to systems in Saudi Arabia... 300 baud and constant drops didn't make for quick ticket resolution!

Success-hungry Valley needs code, not cash

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I agree with most of this

I work for a small privately owned company that's been growing itself organically for the past 10 years. We've never had VC or bank funding and have never made a loss. 90% of profits have been ploughed back in to growth and the other 10% kept in the bank to build a healthy safety net.

It's really tough because you are constantly having to do the same or more than your competitors with next to no money. It can be difficult when you see your competitors splashing out big bucks on expensive kit or premises, etc. but then we're still in business and most of them have folded.

We really focus on giving our customers the best support and professional services we can and pride ourselves on being responsive and flexible.

Braben sticks knife into secondhand games market



Valve tried episodic gaming with Half-Life 2. I liked the idea.

That MYSTERY Duqu Trojan language: Plain old C


Re: So....

This could have been written by a software company at the behest of an intelligence agency. There are plenty of software companies founded by ex-Mossad/CIA/NSA/etc staffers who could be tapped up for this kind of work.

Apple snags blockbuster multi-touch patent


Re: Re: Over to you

I read the claims. They are patenting a multi-touch capacitive overlay for a display device along with the DSP algorithms, methods and computing hardware to process the raw data from said overlay. In short: a multi-touch screen as found on hundreds of different devices.

It makes me laugh: one of the claims is an Analogue to Digital Converter. Another relates to DSP techniques that I was taught in university 20 years ago.

Oh, and here's some prior art for you:






Re: Re: Do people *really* not go and read these things?

John: you've hit the nail right on the head there. The patent offices just don't care if what they grant is novel and non-obvious or not. They've got their money, justified their existence and it's someone else's job to figure out if it's valid or not. There's also no comeback on the patent offices if patents are consistently proved to be invalid, and there's no oversight of what is essentially a monopoly business.

I also confidently expect that in the next 10 years we'll see evidence and possibly a conviction or two for bribes taken by USPTO staff from companies such as Google and Apple in order to lubricate the passage of patents.

O2 to balance work, life on smartphones


If this goes down to the level of separate billing for work and personal calls then it'll be a perfect. No more redacting lines of the bill before sending it in to claim back on expenses.

Microsoft claims Google bypassed its browser privacy too


Re: quick....

seriously? you may not see what's so bad about Google deliberately bypassing a user's privacy wishes but I'm pretty certain pretty much everyone else won't agree with you.

Just as well I use neither IE or Safari.

Brit student locked up for Facebook source code hack



Oh really? What about Frank Abagnale Jr then?

I know of one person who was given a choice of being charged or working as a security consultant. He's now a very respected member of the security world and gives many lectures and talks on the subject of network security. He did it because "he could" and because he had nothing better to do. There wasn't any malicious intent and he's one of the most trustworthy people I know.

As he put it: "would you rather your security was designed by someone who knew the theory of security or the practice?" Using people who've been caught in the act is more common than you'd imagine and has to be the ultimate definition of rehabilitation.

Microsoft explains bland new Windows logo


Re: Re: Err...

Nope: it still looks like Lisa Simpson giving a BJ. I'm surprised Matt Groening hasn't sued yet.

Apple lands slide-to-unlock patent blow on Motorola


Re: Jeez

It's not the responsibility of a judge to look for evidence of prior art. It is the responsibility of the lawyers to present that evidence for the judge to consider in his verdict.

Canonical kicks Kubuntu to the kerb



One Unity hater says "Most users want to USE their PC, not play with it" and another says it "[doesn't] allow users any customizations!" This just goes to show that you can't please everyone and that if Canonical had left the interface as-is and not introduced Unity you'd have a whole set of people moaning about how dated and tired it looks and why couldn't they be brave like MS are being with Win8 and do something different.

On the point of not allowing customizations, if I were introducing something new I would allow as little customization as possible because, by definition, things are going to change radically over releases and letting people dick about with the set up creates all sorts of possibilities for upgrade snafus. Furthermore, you don't want to be deluged with the "I fiddled with this and it broke" types of bugs that drown out the real bugs in the core components.

Like I've said several times now: if you don't like Unity then switch to Ubuntu Classic or install something else.



Mostly good points, however I haven't found anyone transitioning from Gnome 2 to Unity who has taken more than a couple of days to get used to it.

There are some rough edges (as I said: it is young) but nothing that won't be fixed or can't be teamed. I don't like the scrollbars for instance but it took about 30 seconds to find out how to switch them back. And if you really don't like Unity it's simple to switch back to Ubuntu classic.

What Unity does give you is an easy to use clean looking interface with very little clutter and screen real estate requirements. If you mostly use sub-14" screen laptops then that's a real bonus. Plus it stops Linux displays looking like they were drawn in crayons by a 5 year old. Something KDE, Gnome2, et al spectacularly failed to do. The first thing my dad said when he used my laptop with Ubuntu 10 on it was how much it reminded him of WinNT.

If you don't like change then don't use it - there are plenty of other distros out there with more conventional interfaces - but change and experimentation is exactly how new and interesting technologies arise. Personally I'd prefer to be looking forward rather than looking back.



Unity does what Unity is supposed to do and does it well. It's young so there is room for improvement of course by adding features but so far it has proven as stable on all the machines I run it on as any other window manager.

Just because you don't like it doesn't make it a disaster. Taking that attitude you could say Linux is a disaster because some people prefer Windows or OSX.

Apple: Yes there are horrendous accidents, but we CARE


Thank you Ian Davies

for giving me such a good Friday laugh. I especially liked the irony in the statement "...every sloppy hack with an axe to grind or a point to score who can't be bothered to do any research."

I'm sure your iKnighthood is in the post.

Gov.uk loses 2 top techies, needs some new ones


MAC Address?

1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino isn't it?

Having demonstrated my awesome IT knowledge I'll be applying for the job then...

Russia and NASA plan to COLONISE the Moon



Personally I think I wouldn't be too embarrassed if I rocked up next to an orbiting Eagle in the Liberator. That was a damn cool ship.

NASA shuts off Voyager 1's central heating


I was going to have a pint or two anyways, but I guess I have an excuse for an extra one

Symantec 'fesses up: 'Code theft worse than we thought'


Was the tech guy an Indian called Yama Tough by any chance?

Iraq demands return of Saddam Hussein's arse


RE: Glad to see

I tink You shoUld"ve used a : and not a - betWEen 'applies' and 'any',,,

BT's gift to Google: A patent war over ads and Android


British Bulldog spirit?

Apple tip toe around suing everyone BUT Google even though Google is the one they want. BT just go right for the jugular... either that or BT have lost the will to live and are trying to commit suicide.

Regulator reckons telly advert caps are just peachy


And what are they doing...

about the huge jump in volume for ad breaks? I'll be the first to admit I don't watch much TV but when I do I find it highly annoying that when the ad breaks come on the volume suddenly goes really loud on some channels until the ads finish (Dave, I'm looking at you.) I swear I read somewhere doing that was illegal.

Laptop display pixel counts to quadruple in 2012


According to a book on 3D graphics I had at Uni many moons ago (can't remember the title), the human eye is capable of discerning detail down to about 8,000 dpi.

CERN: 'New physics starts now'

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RE: bootnote

I think you did a great job of explaining it in lay terms. Much better than most other publications where they either give one sentence explanations that tell you nothing, or über-explanations that leave you feeling like your head will explode.

It's ba-ack. Exploit revives slain browser history bug


So presumably, no cache means it doesn't work. I never have a cache turned on. It generally doesn't bother me if a page loads in 1 second or 10.

eBuyer £1 sale fail: Customers vent fury... on Facebook


"techies sat in a corner"

Really smart techies would have arranged to be on holiday that day, leaving the most junior techie on his own to hold the fort. It's a newb-techie right-of-passage thing.

BUSTED! Secret app on millions of phones logs key taps



so far I haven't found it on my phone: HTC Desire originally from O2 UK.

Siri gets Android rival as Cluzee goes live


Apple first?

So I was just imaging MS Voice Command on my XDA back in 2000?

I'm sure there were others before that even.

Give Osborne a shovel: UK economy stuck in deep hole


If Cameron wants a British Apple...

he should also make sure first refusal for all IP generated by UK universities goes to UK companies.

Online store offers secondhand MP3 marketplace



So you have one PC with their software on it and store copies of all your music elsewhere. This will never work as there's too many ways to circumvent the checks.

Boffins find new 2012 glyph on 'secret' Mayan brick


if I must...

Noob and Newb are two entirely different things: http://urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Noobs%20vs.%20Newbs&defid=4307260

(Sorry: not normally a pendant but I've had a long day and the cat wasn't nearby to kick.)

Pro-game MP rewrites Modern Warfare censure motion


when do terrorists bomb an underground train in MW3?

I remember them using a train to escape the SAS and said train being derailed by hitting one of the trucks driven by the SAS... don't remember it getting bombed though.

If Vaz et al can't even get the plot line right, how much do you want to bet they've never even seen the game?

Enormous orbiting solar raygun power plants touted


Didn't the Xindi try this already and it ended badly for Florida, or am I getting Star Trek and reality mixed up again?

Seriously though, this could end badly in so many ways if the wrong people were in control. You wouldn't want the downlinks anywhere near populated areas, air routes, bird migration routes, etc. Presumably as well, the downlink stations would need to be in the equatorial region which doesn't leave too many bits of land in stable countries to choose from.

Latest Call of Duty day-one sales hit $400m


BF3 is going nowhere near my machine until EA get rid of that piece of crappy spyware you have to install with it.

Eggheads use Twitter to work out if it's raining


Yes, done before

My company did a research piece on Twitter Mining during the Swine Flu epidemic. We were looking at tracking the spread across the world as well as people's sentiments towards various things like vaccination, media reporting of it, government response, etc.

We also applied the same techniques to the UK general election as well as the live debate between Brown, Clegg and Cameron.

Currently several pharma companies are using the service for research purposes.

China to take women to heaven and back


Am I the only one

to have read that as "two female talkonauts"? If they're anything like my wife I hope they have a good mobile plan as the roaming charges from space could be astronomical!

Official: Kindles get heavier as you add e-books


I've also heard

that if you shake your Kindle vigorously for a few minutes all the data compresses down to the bottom and you can fit even more books on it.

Boffins whip up SELF-WIRING chip

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I got told off by my GCSE computing teacher for writing some self-modifying Z80 assembly code. Now you're telling me I can have self-modifying hardware to run my self-modifying code on too?! Cool!

Virus infects killer US air drone fleet



I'd hope by "isolated" they mean no physical connection, otherwise all bets are off. One slip on the firewall and it'll get out.

Apple to Oz court: ‘Our products are lame, really’



A lawyer that speaks the truth. Is his name really Fletcher Reede?

Boffins invent miracle pill that counteracts effects of booze


I remember Tomorrow's World reporting on such a pill in the late 80's. I wonder what happened to that?

HTC reckons 'WinPho will give Android a run for its money'


I reckon this is HTC hedging their bets in case Android goes tits up because of all the court cases going on.