* Posts by kneedragon

77 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Oct 2009


Windows 11 users herded toward 23H2 via automatic upgrade



Ummm, I don't mean to be difficult or anything, but ..

I've been a Linux user (Daily Driver) here for about 14 years, so ....

I'm not completely sure 'herding Window$ users' toward a newer kernel and build is such terrible idea. There is a bit of Karen howling about Window$ updates landing in the middle of her playing PUBG or something, which I can understand, but being pretty firm with Mum & Dad home users about updates and patches and virus definitions, that might not really be such a bad idea. I find it infuriating myself, when the damn thing starts doing something in the background, like indexing or a spontaneous malware scan for no reason except it's Thursday, but ...

Same as the howls about including a few newer instructions into Windows, that make it impossible to run older CPUs. Ok, that sounds terrible. How much older are we talking about?

Well a Sandy Bridge should run fine, but anything more than 2 ~ 3 years older than that ...

So we're talking about a cut-off in about 2008. Is that it?

Why is it unreasonable to make the latest version of your kernel incompatible with a CPU that was made over 16 years ago?

I will help stack the logs around the stake if you want to practice a little bit of drive-by arson on Micro$oft, but I'd like to have better and more reasonable causes for conflagration than that ...

For example ~ how about a Home directory and all private secure information (like Hunter Bidens' personal snaps) living on the cloud? How about Window$ as a service? That means a monthly fee... How about what good friends the US Justice & Intelligence communities are with Such-a Nutella?

If I'm going up the hill to Castle Frankenstein, with my pitchfork and my torch, I think I want a better reason than this one.

I am not a friend of Micro$ft, in any way, but this does sound fairly reasonable to me.

Crims found and exploited these two Microsoft bugs before Redmond fixed 'em


Got to be quick ~

Linus Torvalds flames Google kernel contributor over filesystem suggestion


Re: A better long-term approach...

... er, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Pottering had been offered a job at Micro$oft and took it .... But that aside, the main users and customers of Linux, are also the major contributors, and that starts with Intel & AMD, then goes to Google and Redhat and Amazon Web serv and such.

It is more than reasonable to be watchful and wary about these people, but being outright hostile is not helpful. 3/4 of the code we all love, was written by these people.

Personally, the idea that Micro$oft are a major contributor to Linux puts all the hair on the back of my neck up, but they are.

NASA science bound for Moon after successful Vulcan Centaur launch


Re: ...We have a problem!

Ah, I see we've noticed...

I hear they had problem with orientation control, something was tumbling it. The solar cells wouldn't point at the sun and stay pointed. Then they figured out it was leaking propellant ...

The prime concern was United Launch. As far as I can see, ULA did their job fine. That's not what went wrong.

40 years of Turbo Pascal, the coding dinosaur that revolutionized IDEs


Almost 30 years later, Turbo Pascal was my first semester introduction to Programming ~ in any language, and I did later do some assignment work in Modula2. I do have a soft spot for the old Turbo Pascal. It isn't as elegant as c, but it's a whole lot harder to tie yourself in knots with pointers. You can do it, but you don't have to explicitly use pointers to do almost everything the way you do in c.

RHEL drama, ChromeOS and more ... Our vultures speak freely about the latest in Linux



Interesting to see faces and hear voices after all these years.

I can spot the PFY, but I'm not sure who is the BOFH ~

Intel counters AMD’s big-cache PC chip with 5.5GHz 16-core rival


Is Intel about to post a killer blow to AMD?

I doubt it.

I could very well be convinced they're releasing a chip which puts them in the ballpark, a little better at some, slightly slower at others, but competitive.

But Zen-4 and AM5 are coming, and when that happens, Intel are going to find out what it feels like to be Chris Rock.

Red Hat forced to hire cheaper, less senior engineers amid budget freeze


Have we heard this story somewhere before, not that long ago ... ?

That's worrying ~

What went wrong at Intel?

They got taken over by boardroom pirates and management types, accountants and salesmen, not engineers. They ended up with a bloke in charge who did have an engineering degree, but all he's ever done was management. And he presided over the change in the company to reduce R&D budgets and hire junior people and slash the R&D spending ... now maybe he had a point, because Intel did have a stratospheric R&D budget, but while maybe it needed a bit of a trim, you don't let fkn accountants decide what needs trimming, you get the engineers to decide. So after they got rid of all the senior and talented engineers, they decided to make 10nm using less of that super-new-fangled extreme UV and rely on good old Intel engineering and resourcefulness to make 10nm work on older machinery, and let the damn engineers figure out the problems because that's what we pay them for. So for 6 years or something, the remains of engineering (the good ones having left or been sacked) tried to make 10nm work on a production system that struggles with 14nm .... and when things don't work, you blame the engineers because theyr'e not doing their job. Let's sack a few and hire fresh graduates... Now ~ How's your corporate bonus looking?

Now, who would like to pull a figure out of their arse and tell me how much the corporate and management and sales focus at Intel for 6 or 7 years co$t them?

I would suggest (I don't know and nor does anybody else) it cost then in the ballpark of a hundred billion dollar$ ...

So what's happening at RedHat? Now that IBM own them body & soul? Well, it's not exactly the same thing, not quite, but there are some obvious parallels...

Boffins find if you torture AMD Zen+, Zen 2 CPUs enough, they are vulnerable to Meltdown-like attack


How serious is it?

Conceptually, it matters. Practically ... it shows potential ~ that's all. These EPYC chips are not perfectly locked down either...

Practically, unless you can figure out how to get one thread to mess with another that's not part of the same program, that's not got the same ownership, that's not running on the same core and controlled by the same virtual-machine...

This is not the same kind of exposure Intel have got at all. This is about one thousandth as bad. This (as far as I can see) is perfectly and exactly in line with what AMD have said many times about this stuff. We're not as prone as Intel but we're not sure we're completely bullet-proof either.

Oh hello. Haven't heard much from you lately: Linux veteran Slackware rides again with a beta of version 15


In the beginning

Context: I have told this story, but ... the very first Linux I ever saw, was in March '95, at Southbank TAFE, in one of the computer labs given over to networking lessons, and we were shown a packet sniffer. But when we gathered 'round, it didn't work. Black screen, white writing, looked like DOS or something, but ... I'd also done one or two classes (book learning - no computers so far turned on) about an industrial 'real men's operating system' called UNIX. This looked like the fabled UNIX.

Then ... after about a minute of not working, our teacher arrived at the conclusion the fault was with the network card. (No built in networking on the motherboard then.) So he opened the case, went to the terminal and gave a command, which he told us was to turn off and de-power the network interface (I didn't see what the command actually was) and then he pulled the cable out, unfastened the screw, and removed the PCI card. Walked across the room, opened a draw, took out one of about 20 cards (somewhat used) that lived there, took it back and plugged it in, secured the screw, went to the terminal and issued the reverse command to power up and re-activate the Ethernet ~ TCP/IP stack, and instantly we were in business. No reboot required.

I'm not sure I'd like to try that myself, today, but I know with complete confidence, there's never been a Microsoft DOS / Windows machine you could do that with. So at the end of the lesson, I went and asked him what the tool was, and he gave me a 30 second description of what Linux was, as he packed up his stuff. The distro he had, was Slackware running headless - tty only. That was slightly over 25 years ago.

About 2 weeks later, I saw a copy of RedHat, which had the X-server and the gnome2 desktop environment, (It was running on a 486) and I'm still using it. I don't install the googly-eyes that track the pointer these day though... but Tux hasn't changed all that much.

UK's National Cyber Security Centre recommends password generation idea suggested by El Reg commenter


We've been here before, but, how the fk do you change your face or your fingerprint if it's compromised? Do I really need to wear an expression of surprised innocence and my old purple T-shirt and the fluorescent c0ck-ring to get into my bank, or the annual general meeting? I can't remember a 56 character p1ssword that contains ancient Greek and Sumerian characters. I don't really want to be chipped like a stray dog and I don't want to have a 64 char bar-code tattooed on my forehead either. I don't do two factor authentication because I don't do mobiles. My comms device is my desktop. I don't want to use the p1sswrd manager on my desktop to boot and login to my desktop because that's a logic bomb even Barbie and Ken would spot. I can download and install a pisswrd manager that demands I first create a pissword that it didn't provide but if I download another pisswrd manager it may produce a pisswrd, but that 2nd pisswrd manager demands that I download a 3rd pisswrd manager because it shouldn't manage something as critical as it's out pissrd so it recommends another 4th pissword manager to make the pisswrd for the paisswrd that pisswords the pissword to get the pissword, ... so now I have to ask the CIA if I can ask the KGB if I can ask the Chinese Intelligence service if I can ask the Iranian Intelligence if I can ask Facbook if I can ask google if I can boot up windows, because privacy and security are a human right, and obviously I'm a stupid non-technical old khun if have to have simple things like this explained to me.

Linux Mint sticks by Snap decision – meaning store is still disabled by default in 20.1


mike@main:~$ uname -a

Linux main 5.8.0-36-generic #40~20.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Wed Jan 6 10:15:55 UTC 2021 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux


Jan 6 is six days ago, as I write this.

Is that a painfully old system?

I'm sitting at a chair, at a desk looking at a screen. I could search the catalogue at the library on a Wyse dumb terminal in Unix in 1974. Maybe desktop computers are a terribly old system, everybody today is thumb dancing with the faeries, but I like a traditional desktop and I like gnome2 / Mate ~ I understand this system. I run a number of virualboxes that have Arch guests in them mostly running 5.10 kernels. But those are not the systems I choose to run and my host / daily driver. I moved to Mint from Ubuntu when they got a bat in their belfry about Unity, and I've never looked back.

After 11 years, Australia declares its national broadband network is ‘built and fully operational’


Why is that in WTF stories? Well ... read it. Does that belong in serious news articles?

The Broads_Banned network we have, is not the same as ADSL, and if I'm honest I should say it's much better, but it's still not a pimple on the arse of what fibre to every house would have been. Now if it'd come in at 1/3 or 1/4 the price of what the real Broadband Network was going to be, then I'd forgive them, but they've spent pretty much what Kev & Co were planning to spend, except they've donated it to a bunch of wankers, and they've communicated all their high tech thinking through a Mini-sister for Broads_Banned communications who wouldn't know the difference between DOS and Apple. He thinks a command prompt is when he elbows his secretary. He got the job of Prime Monster and he was about as convincing in that role as he was as shadow communications and broads_banned minister.

And so now they tell us it's finished. Gee ... great. Whoopty-fkn-doo .... Now watch somebody come along in about 10 years and explain how it's all now obsolete and needs to be completely ripped out & replaced. If they'd just done the whole thing properly the first time... The backbones would still need periodic upgrades, I admit, but the last 5 or 10 km, that'd be fine.

WikiLeaks boss Assange acted as a foreign spy, Uncle Sam exclaims in fresh rap sheet


"The American Government" is going after Assange, to Guantanamo Bay, to water-board him for the next ten years for showing their nasty communications, which made them all look like a$$holes. So as a result, Donald Trump, who probably wouldn't be there without Russian meddling and manipulation, delivered (in part) through the convenient channel provided by WikiLeaks, is going to burn Julian Assange at the stake... Is it just me that sees this as a supreme act of hypocrisy and betrayal? One of those two men should be burned at a stake, yes. But it's not Julian Assange.

Wombats literally sh!t bricks – and now boffins reckon they know how


It's nice to know Australia still produces something unique, which captures the attention of scientists in the U$...

I feel better now. Our PM just matched wits (careful how you spell that) with Pamela Anderson. He lost. He is also pretty sure to lose the next general election, but what is less certain, is how closely the two are related...

Mything the point: The AI renaissance is simply expensive hardware and PR thrown at an old idea


Yes, quite so. Technical people who are passionately interested in this stuff, often make some extremely troubling statements about it. Muggles, as one would expect, completely fail to get it.

Artificial Intelligence, as we have it today, is not really intelligence. There's not a soul or a consciousness in there. There's a machine, a computer system and program (s) that do some things one would associate with neural networks, and some to do with fuzzy-logic and some that have to do with dumb statistics.

Dumb statistics... Go buy a book, that teaches you how to play poker, and one major subject will be the odds of getting a pair, or 3 of a kind, or a flush, or a house full. Armed with a little bit of base cunning, and a good working understanding of the betting system, and a splash of cunning human psychology, AND the knowledge of how likely it is anybody else at a 4 hand table, where one has folded, and you hold a king high straight... has a hand that can beat yours...

Dumb statistics don't make you intelligent, but they do provide you with enough help to make decisions, and probably better decisions than most of the roobs you'll be playing against.

A system like this can be trained to play a complex game like Go, or Chess, better than any human player alive. But that doesn't make it intelligent. It can and it does make an extremely useful tool, which can maybe find better choices and strategies than you most of the time.

But that expertise doesn't tell you what to do if you spot a round metallic hole up the sleeve of the player opposite you. "How to win at Poker" doesn't explain Derringers. It doesn't know the house can get a "maid" in to do some housekeeping while you're up, and have her bend over and show you she isn't wearing any.... which is prone to cause some degree of distraction....

Artificial Stupidity doesn't "Understand" anything, the way a human does. It doesn't think.

It can be incredibly good at what it does, but it's nothing like "intelligence" in the way we think of it.

Now that's not to say it's no good. It is good, but it has limits. Like fire, you have to learn to use it. Like a magnet dangling from a thread, it can tell you something you otherwise wouldn't have known... But the fact you've discovered the Compass, doesn't mean you're God, and doesn't mean it's God either.... It is a very useful trick. It does make navigation easier. But, you've still got to row, and bale, and try not to capsize..... It's not the hand of God and it's not the answer to all your problems. It's a tool...

This revolution will not be televised – but it will be sanctioned: Googlers walk out over 'sex pest' executive scandals


I read a very interesting opinion piece, some years back, about the British Empire. Central idea, the British took their culture and their mindset with them, and they created an empire of military might that spanned the globe, but it had ideas at its heart that would destroy it. Ideas like freedom of speech and freedom of association, freedom of thought. It held democratic government and separation of the powers and habius corpus to be higher ideas, and those ideas found a ready host in the people of India and Africa and other British colonies. The very concepts that would destroy it, were central to its existence in the first place.

Now consider Google....

Worldwide Web wizard Tim Berners-Lee sticks wellington boot into Worldwide Web's giants: Time to break 'em up?


Re: It was thought computers and computer networks would empower human kind

It was thought computers and networks would empower humankind.

Well, it was thought those things were in the future but coming. One very widely noted vision was written in 1948, by George Orwell. He imagined a constant 3 way war between 3 world powers, and totalitarian states in each who maintained the war, and he imagined a "telescreen" which was a TV with a camera on it. It showed you what the gov wanted, and it showed them what you were doing. But even George Orwell didn't imagine we'd pay between one and two thousand dollars for our viewscreen, or b1tch like hell if it stopped working. I don't care if the CIA and the NSA and the FBI can watch every key stroke and read every url, if I can't flame fools on facebook (fool being anybody of the opposite political persuasion to you) then I'm going to get torches and hoods and jackboots, and send pipe-bombs through the mail to prominent figures of the other side. Steve Bannon would like to remind you that "merica - faque yeah!" Stupidity is power. Dr Goebbels and Dr Hess knew this 80 years ago.



Now Tim, mate, buddy. Can I get you to hold on to that thought, and fuel the rage, build your case, but ... don't go telling Tonald Drump that he has to take over the tech industry for the good of mankind, to make America grate again, because you're not going to like what he does next...

I would table this idea loud & hard, as soon as you get a democrat government in the excited $tates. Until then, loose lips sink ships.... Real boats rock, but real boats can sink as well. It's a question of timing....

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help



Hmph. I like my Linus feisty & cantankerous.

He held up the Penguin in 92 or 93, here in Australia, and made it the once and future symbol of Linux, because it was small and wild and feisty and cantankerous. It looked cute, but it had serious attitude. I need a Linux kernel project maintainer who sounds cute but has serious attitude. Don't mess with us or we'll page fault you.

A Linus who admits that he's grumpy and makes public promises that he is "seeking help" is not the Linus I've followed for nearly 30 years.

A proper wild Linus would type (in caps) "Who said I was grumpy old fart? Fkcu you and fkcu them and fkcu the whores you rode in on!" I don't want a Linus who's humble and agreeable. That's not the animal I've followed for so long.

I think it's Spectre that's done it. He never apologised to anyone until the waft & the weft of his world went funny. A man should be able to trust his CPU.....

Et tu, Gentoo? Horrible gits meddle with Linux distro's GitHub code


... so micr0$0ft just bought it, then ...

nbn™ CEO didn't mean to offend gamers, just brand them unwelcome bandwidth-hogs


Lying kharnt!

Maybe he doesn't know any better and he lied through his teeth to get a job in tech. More likely he knows what consumes bandwidth is streaming video - Youtube, farcebook, twatter, bbc, nbc, cnn, FoxNews, msnbc... you can't go to Roger's RatTraps any more, without Roger streaming his webcam of the front of his shop at 4k, as soon as you get there. Want a weather report? They'll stream video of the weather segment from last night's news. Want the price of stock and oil and gold? Here, we'll stream last night's financials segment.

But if anybody asks about the shitty service your over-priced & under-performing network delivers, we'll blame Nigel (who is 12, and never comes out of his room) because people are stupid - they'll believe that!

Games are a bit critical about lag and latency, and games do exist that do the "video card" at the server, and send the whole damn lot over the network, but those are extremely rare. Things like WoW and PUBG and games normal people play, use way under a MB/sec most of the time. Blaming gamers is like blaming women who get harassed, because they wore a short skirt...

Leave it to Beaver: Unity is long gone and you're on your GNOME


I didn't use the Unity version and I don't miss it. The Mate version has continued to improve, and the latest one does seem to be very good indeed. My base install is Mint + Mate and has been for nearly ten years. It is very comforting to know that if Mint dipped below the even horizon, Ubuntu is such a capable replacement. I upgraded a Debian 9 to 10 the other day, and that's a surprisingly tidy & capable system too...

Car-crash television: 'Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?' 'Yes I do,' replies AMD's CEO


No harm done. I can describe at least one other thing Martin has done (as a tv commentator) that's a lot more insensitive than that...

Meltdown/Spectre week three: World still knee-deep in something nasty


Well that was fun. I just got an Intel firmware update, on my 6700, through Linux Mint (who did not write it, I'm sure of that) and now the machine seems to be bricked. I'm typing this from the wife's win10 laptop. Now I've got to explain to her that it wasn't Linux (or Mint) who fuct-tup, it was Intel. I don't think that's going to be believed somehow...

If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE


Second comment, because it has just occurred to me.

In 1980, we all KNEW that Dingos won't take a baby, so this damn woman is obviously a liar and a murderer...

Most of us have SEEN Australian wildlife for maybe ten minutes, in its' native habitat. If that. What we know about it's behaviour, we read inside the lid of a box of Tally-Ho cigarette papers.

If the native people tell us the damn things spread fire on purpose, I would listen to them...


Flying Pyros.

Come to Australia, the lucky country, where even the wild-life are fkkun pyros....

What's worse? Being bitten on the bum by a Redback, or being torched by a feral pidgeon?

In America, cows have guns.

In Australia, crows say "Farque!" and they can use matches....

Oz's biggest iron slated for 2018 replacement


Just don't get the department of statistics to do it. They can't run a census, they struggle to run a postal 'survey' and their IT mistakes and ten-left-thumb calls are on the front page 2 days out of 5 .... A few old blokes with dusty 386s would be better...

Hardware has never been better, but it isn't a licence for code bloat


I don't know how it's taught now, but 20 years ago when I studied this, first at TAFE and then again at uni, (QUT) they told us a lot of things. We went over the theory of complexity, and we went over testing & debugging. We went over hand optimising and changing the instructions slightly, we even looked at inline assembler, and used it.... they threw a lot of information at us, and then stood back and told us they had faith we'd do a good job. The lesson to take home, there is a remarkable amount of information & knowledge in your diploma or degree course, which will have some bearing on this, but exactly what the right answer is, that's a bit of a puzzle... it depends on the situation.

It sounds like nothing much has changed.

It would be nice to have some kind of rule-of-thumb, about whether to keep hacking about with the code you have, or dummy-spit and start again. Begin with your concept and write pseudo-code, with a big black mark every time you copy (or paraphrase) the code which is already there. Go back to first principles, and describe the problem again, using different phrases, plain english language... if your plain english pseudo-code starts to resemble real programming code, then it isn't pseudo. Don't get caught half way between PASCAL and Pseudo-PASCAL. That's not english a normal muggle could read and it's not code a compiler could read, so it's shit!


... and that doesn't look at maintainability. You can write code which is clever and small and fast and elegant, and the first time someone has to look at it, ten year later, (it may even be you) they'll have NFI how that smart-arse routine works... One advantage of modern computers, is you can write larger code with more comments and make the structure of the code reflect your mental model of the problem, and then working with it is easy. The smallest + fastest + simplest + most elegant code, may be an absolute beast to maintain & work with later, because even to you (who wrote it) trying to figure out how it actually works is a nightmare...

Bloat is one thing that should be avoided. There are others.

Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails


Re: I hate three letter acronyms


At last, a kosher cryptocurrency: BitCoen


This does sound very much like the first page of a Terry Pratchett story....

Commonwealth Bank: Buggy software made us miss money laundering


Not news to Australians perhaps, but... the opposition Labor party has promised that one of their first acts on getting in next time, will be to set up a standing Royal Commission (big government backed investigation) into banking and the finance industry. The Liberal National Coalition (The main Australian right-wing conservative party, who are currently in government) have howled and screamed that this is unnecessary and expensive and a waste and a nasty thing to do to their biggest donors...

On the same day this appeared in the papers, we had a report of a couple of Liberal Party people who used a phone, to bug a conversation, at a meeting. The meeting was to hand over a donation to the Liberals, from the Mafia. Now reports of that have partly been taken down again, due to a heavy-weight legal onslaught from the Liberal Party. Exactly where the truth lays, I'm not sure - but it was reported, even in the ABC, Australia's version of the Beeb.

At the same time, we are having a circus about same sex marriage. That would be alright, except there's more going on than meets the eye. The previous Lib PM, Tony Abbot, is trying to destabilise and replace the current Lib PM, Malcolm Turnbull, in as many ways and as many settings as he can, and the mess and the muddle over same sex marriage has become a political instrument for Tony Abbot to roll his boss, the man who rolled him. So we have Tony Abbot and his supporters doing every dirty sneaky trick they can think of, to sabotage the business of legalising gay marriage, and delay it, and put a spanner in the works, because it provides a backdrop for them to have a night-of-the-long-knives against the other Liberal faction who rolled them about a year and a half ago. All of which provides good political theatre, unless you're gay.

So, in one day, the Liberal Party are protecting the Commonwealth Bank, taking a bribe - sorry, donation - from the Mafia, (we have a recording) and using gay marriage to roll their current leader in favour of their previous leader.

And no, I don't know that the current Australian Labor Party are a whole lot better, but I will be extremely glad to see the back end of this set of clowns.

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0


test drive

Goodness me! All these fractious and argumentative people, abusing the main-stream for no other reason than it is the main-stream. Heaven forbid that one should have to consider the possibility that Mark Shuttleworth was right....

... NAHH!!!

My Devuan-1.0 net-install is running (just like a bought one) as I type wit and wisdom here... or demonstrate my ignorance, both work.... let's see how well Devuan works.

'Impossible' EmDrive flying saucer thruster may herald new theory of inertia


I am puzzled...

Either this is an April fool's day joke, or the biggest story going... and if it is a very big story, then why have we heard nothing about it in the mainstream media? Seriously, I'm not clear on this - is it a joke?

Linux Mint hacked: Malware-infected ISOs linked from official site



Anything and everything can be compromised. Some things are easier than others, and some are bigger targets than others, but even those we think of as very secure (with good reason) are not invulnerable. This is not a sign of major issues, this is a timely warning. Do take note, the issue was noticed quickly and steps were taken to fix it quickly, Mint was quite open and forthcoming about it, and if we all checked the checksum like we should, nobody would have gotten bit at all. Number of people affected by this is small, and the number who will still be affected by it in a month will be almost none. I am not going to say it was a good thing, but read it as what it is - a warning.

No, Kim Kardashian's plump posterior's pixels did not break the App Store – just this El Reg man's mind


Sad indication of where we are at. At the bottom of this page, like most others today, there is a section of click bait links provided (I think) by Google. So for a story about Kim's big booty, there is a clean sweep of Kim Booty pics there. There are 6 things on the Internet I may be interested in, and all 6 of them live between Kim Kardashion's ample cheeks... I suppose in some ways that's better than a clean sweep of Viagra ads, because the whole Internet knows I am a male over 50, from an industrial country, so I must have erectile dysfunction... Or I am in extreme need of a mail order bride from some part of the world I would not dream of travelling to... I had great hope and excitement about the emergence of the Internet in the mid 90s, but this was not quite what I envisioned... That had more Brianna Frost and Kyra Augustina in it...

The Register's Australian technology headline predictions … for 2017!


The whole saga (farce) of the NBN has been a wonderful tale to illustrate what happens when government / legislators meet the real world. I would like to throw in some left wing lesson, but I suspect that's irrelevant. It happens to be Labor that started this and the Libs who rolled it all in poo, but it could easily have been the other way around. My main concern, is this is a good illustration of government in action - left or right. We need better laws and regulation, which means we need better people to write them, which largely disqualifies anybody from politics...

Chrome trumps all comers in reported vulnerabilities


I do think this is a trifle misleading. Micro$oft used to top the vulns list 100:1, because it was the obvious target. In many ways, Chrome (or Chromium) has become that. Many people are using it, so white hats and black hats zero in on it and do pizza and caffeine and attack it. Look hard enough for flaws, and you will find them.

Turnbull says big telcos should subsidise bush comms


Public Mischief.

It might pay to be a bit nicer to this man. Perhaps he doesn't know what TCP/IP stands for, but he might just be the new PM. I bet he knows what that stands for. ... Pubic Mustering?

Australian politicians 'resisted' debate on new spook powers


I read the Roxon diatribe this morning, and mostly agreed with her. But on this subject, I am (for once) glad politicians are lazy and slow and not keen to meddle. I forget exactly what powers and data retention policy the Spooks and police had asked for, but you can bet it was 3 times what they had and double what they thought they needed. In this limited and specific area, I'm glad the politicians for once sat down and shut up. ... It didn't make Nicola happy, though... She'll get over it. I was quite worried the Labour Party were going to get wiped out at the last, but they got together enough support to earn a normal, dignified defeat after two terms, and will now endure 2 terms in opposition. Hopefully the new bloke will not upset the other children as badly as Kevin, who seemed to inspire some liking and admiration from a distance, but none at all from the people immediately around him.

That earth-shattering NSA crypto-cracking: Have spooks smashed RC4?


I should be good and read every comment, but after 15 min... Can't say I told you so, because I didn't, or not so you'd have heard me, but I realised twenty years ago that networks are watched, and that Windows is not secure, and even if you have an open source system, you're only secure as long as nobody really wants in. I started to study computers and networks at a tertiary level in the mid 90s, and we were told, by lecturers, security is relative. If you have something they want, and they have the resources to get it, they can, and sadly, there are a number of things you can do to make it a little more difficult for them, but you can't stop them, and in part, all you do by going to big trouble over security and encryption, is highlight that you have something to hide. The fact that you've employed strong encryption is a red flag. "Be good, be honest, be law abiding, but above all, if you can't do that, then do any and all your mischief AWAY from any computers. You can make computers somewhat secure, but that's all."

I did get very suspicious about Microsoft, when the entire weight of the US government seemed to be about to come down on them over anti-trust... and then it all just went away, like they'd come to some agreement...

Australia's anti-smut internet filter blueprint lasts LESS THAN A DAY


To tell the truth, I'm a little bit relieved. I seem to remember hearing something about this nearly a year ago, and I've been dreading it. I thought it was a done deal. To have it fall over at this late hours is a bit of a bonus. Now if we can just get the libs to take on the fibre-to-the-home version of the ABN, I can nearly live with with Tony Abbot for a term or two. I'd like to think that won't be needed, but I fear it is going to happen.

Oh, and to answer an earlier post, which way do politicians rotate in the bowl up there?

Map of Tasmania to be redrawn


What a headline. What an anticlimax.

Ubuntu's Oneiric Ocelot: Nice, but necessary?

Thumb Down

gnome classic-fallback.

With 11.04, I took an instant dislike to Unity and changed back to classic at the first reboot.

With 11.10 that wasn't possible. So for the first hour I tried to get used to it and live with it. I spent the next hour tearing my hair out and trying to fix and adjust even basic things. No go.Unity is HOPELESS!! Two minutes on google - read some solutions, installed gnome 3 added a classic-fallback desktop. That's still a slightly backward step, because some of the functionality that I liked on gnome 2.x is gone in 3, but at least it looks like and feels like my desktop.

What a pain the ... I'm just about ready to go to a plain vanilla Debian / Gnome install. The advantages of using Ubuntu over some other distribution are pretty much gone.

Fedora 16: Linux home for lost Ubuntu GNOMEs



I don't see what the fuss is. I didn't like what I was hearing about unity, so I had a quick look on google for how to switch it off. Simple - one setting on boot, once. Fixed. Then I didn't like what I was hearing about them switching that off, so I went and got gnome3. It came from the Canonical repositories, it installed without a single hitch or question, and it picked up all the settings I already had - including having my buttons where Bill Gates and Henry Ford put them. The only clue it's there is an extra splash screen during boot, which is only there for a second anyway.

I'm not a tech guru - I'm not even what you'd call a power user. It's not that hard, really.

RedBubble’s Nazi trouble


Humour: Fail.

I'm an Australian. I have Jewish antecedents, several of them. I have no German antecedents.

For goodness sake, guys - grow a sense of humour! What are you going to campaign against next? Hogan's Heroes? Mel Brooks and the Hitler Rap? Get over it. It's not pro nazi, it's satire.

US air force has new scramjet hypersonic plane plans


nit picking

You say "As speed climbs through the low Mach numbers this causes unacceptable levels of drag to build up, which is why the SR-71 couldn't beat Mach 3.5 or so."

That does not sit well with what I was told, which was that upper speed limits on the SR71 were imposed the same way as on the X15 - both were thermal. The engines worked a treat, and could have powered the craft significantly faster. They were a bit tricky, because the point where they ran best and at maximum fuel efficiency was a cat's whisker away from the point where they flamed out, so getting the best from them was a bit of a nervy experience, but they were no way the limit to top speed. At operational speed, the whole exterior of the craft glowed a dull red, with leading edges tending to orange and even yellow hot. Even titanium does not have unlimited structural integrity at those temperatures. In addition, many things inside the aircraft don't like to get that hot, like the fuel, the tyres, (think about that one for a minute) and the pilot. Various systems and techniques were employed to keep these things fairly cool but they had limits, and those limits were exceeded long before the engines ran out of go.

How you plan to get even a missile - let alone a manned craft - to live at those temperatures is the problem. Better engines would be nice, but we had good enough engines in the mid 1960s. That's not what's holding this field back.

PARIS joins the 17-mile-high club



No, that is incorrect. We'd like our PARIS to work at least as well as yours.



Being the big PARIS and elReg fan I am, it would be unsporting of me to point out that the Qantas engines which are failing, were made by Rolls Royce, so I won't mention it.

Mozilla brews Firefox add-on for audio-video recording


M$ baiting.

Does anybody remember a couple of weeks ago, M$ was grated a patent on the use of hardware acceleration on video encoding in web browser plug ins? Any takers on where this is headed?