* Posts by John Klos

31 posts • joined 31 Oct 2009

Samsung: We will remotely brick smart TVs looted from our warehouse

John Klos

Re: Who is daft enough...

Any "smart TV" can be a non-"smart TV" - just don't connect it to the Internet at all.

John Klos

Be careful with bricking

It wasn't very long ago that Samsung inadvertently bricked huge numbers of Blu-Ray players due to the most basic of bugs in an XML parser:


Samsung's ineptitude is why I tell people who buy Samsung TVs to simply use them as displays. Get a Roku or Apple TV, and don't connect the Samsung at all. Problem solved!

Was that November's Patch Tuesday? Already? Oh, no, it's just Adobe issuing 14 emergency security fixes

John Klos

Re: No flash update...

Yes. "No Flash" is very secure.

If you're still running Flash in 2020, then it's time to rethink your life.

Facebook: Yeah, we hoovered up 1.5 million email address books without permission. But it was an accident!

John Klos

Now we've got targeted caller ID spoofing

I've been telling people about this for years - once our address books are out in the open, then we're going to start seeing robocalls with spoofed caller ID which uses the numbers of people we know and expect to hear from.

The shitstorm has already begun.

NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

John Klos

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.

Proprietary OSes and software should not be used for anything that may need to run for more than a handful of years.

To fix Intel's firmware fiasco, wait for Christmas Eve or 2018

John Klos

Just spent nearly two hours updating...

Updated IPMI and BIOS on a Supermicro system. IPMI took more than 45 minutes. BIOS had to be updated twice because system wasn't in "manufacturing mode". All BIOS settings had to be manually reset.

Supermicro didn't announce updates, nor did they say whether these updates correct the known Intel ME problems, but considering that there are many BIOS updates for many models of Supermicro motherboards, all dated sometime in October, I wouldn't be surprised if they do a "fix first, announce later" kind of thing.

This was a test to see how long updates for other Supermicro systems will take, and the results are pitiful.

Let's hope this was the official fix and I don't have to spend another hour or two to upgrade later.

Vibrating walls shafted servers at a time the SUN couldn't shine

John Klos

I call bull

A magnetic field wouldn't affect memory. It would, though, affect any writes going to any spinning rust disks, which is quite a different thing.

Apple signals it's willing to let next-gen web apps compete with iOS apps

John Klos

* its

OpenBSD 6.0 lands

John Klos

There's always NetBSD

That's what NetBSD is for. Install 6.1, or wait for 8 because the toolchain in NetBSD 7 can't generate binaries beyond super simple things.

Linux letting go: 32-bit builds on the way out

John Klos

Err... We like to code poorly...

"We want to make lots of bad assumptions, and running code on more than one version of one architecture is HARD! Look at Adobe - they took years to make all their software 64 bit. That. Yep."

Bank tech boss: Where we're going, we don't need mainframes

John Klos

No tweets about mainframes

"See, we don't understand portability, so we're just going to go with what it says on the side of the box. And because we've been buying Windows and Linux kit, the sides of the boxes say Windows and Linux," Ron van Kemenade said. "They don't say Mainframe."

He followed up by saying mainframes aren't in the mainstream, even though "main" is right in the name. "They're not keeping up with buzzwords. When was the last time you read a tweet or a Facebook post about mainframes? We need computers that are buzzword compliant. We need computers that are part of the zeitgeist, not relics of another time. Plus, these old mainframes have had so few problems, we just know that something is going to go wrong in a big way soon. It has to. That's how computers work."

Verisign settles .security XYZ lawsuit

John Klos

.xyz are worthless

Because .xyz domains are cheap / almost free / free, tons of spammers have set up thousands of domains expressly for spamming. All the mail servers I administer don't and won't accept email from any email server which uses .xyz, .science or .top TLDs in their hostnames because of this.

When a company is in a mad rush to get as much money as possible like this, bad things happen. I doubt .xyz will ever be considered a legitimate and respected TLD.

Google wants new class of taller 'cloud disk' with more platters and I/O

John Klos

Did the work for you...


You're welcome.

Dell PowerEdge R730: Reg rack monkeys crack smiles over kindness of engineers

John Klos

All the world runs Windows...

...and is happy to install crappy Java, it seems.

The review mentions an Android app but doesn't say clearly whether there is or isn't an iOS app. Also, aren't we (meaning systems administrators) abundantly aware of the insecurities of Java?

While it's been ages since I've bought Dell hardware, I would like to know if new systems are configurable using NON-Windows, NON-proprietary Java.

Socat slams backdoor, sparks thrilling whodunit

John Klos

Obvious, indeed!

Just using BSD's command line factor, within a second (on a VAX, nonetheless) one already gets two factors:

factor 143319364394905942617148968085785991039146683740268996579566827015580969124702493833109074343879894586653465192222251909074832038151585448034731101690454685781999248641772509287801359980318348021809541131200479989220793925941518568143721972993251823166164933334796625008174851430377966394594186901123322297453

143319364394905942617148968085785991039146683740268996579566827015580969124702493833109074343879894586653465192222251909074832038151585448034731101690454685781999248641772509287801359980318348021809541131200479989220793925941518568143721972993251823166164933334796625008174851430377966394594186901123322297453: 271 13597

Nobody should ever take something like this on faith, unless the source is well known and in direct contact via secure communications. Even if you don't know how to set up the software to factor larger numbers, some sanity checking really isn't hard. It took me longer to copy and paste than the actual test took.

Reg readers battle to claim 'my silicon's older than yours' crown

John Klos

Quality of older hardware

The quality of Digital hardware is best. I have several VAXstations running 24/7 which have had no problems aside from the occasional dead battery backed clock.

Sun hardware, though, has been disappointing. Older SPARCstations have died over time, an Ultra 5 had to give its life to make parts for an Ultra 10... The hardware was good, but not great.

SGI falls in the same category. The old Indy systems look nice, but they've become flakier and flakier and probably need to have their capacitors replaced.

Old m68k Macs are good, but definitely need recapping. Second generation (PCI) PowerPC Macs are excellent - I have one that has been running non-stop as a full time server for more than a decade.

Amigas are also pretty hardy, also needing little more than replacement capacitors or a better power supply. My personal Amiga 1200 which is running as a server (http://lilith.ziaspace.com/) celebrated its 20th birthday last year :)

Google to end updates, security bug fixes for Chrome on 32-bit Linux

John Klos

Don't people ever write portable code?

It seems that even almighty Google can't write any clean code. If they could, 32 bit versus 64 bit would never be an issue. It'd be an extra tiny bit of compile time, and that's it.

We can have entire operating systems (NetBSD) that can be compiled on any architecture, for any architecture, with every single piece of the OS compiling and running just fine on a plethora of CPUs, but Google can't manage to find the energy to keep their code correct enough to compile for 32 bit x86. It's a sad world we live in...

CloudFlare CEO blasts Anonymous claims of ISIS terrorist support

John Klos

CloudFlare is in a sticky spot

I had been angry with CloudFlare because I had gotten a number of replies from them when complaining about phishing sites that they don't provide hosting services. After explaining that (1) I am not obligated to use their web form to report abuse, and (2) hosting a domain's DNS is, in fact, providing hosting services, they did finally start taking action.

When it comes to blatant phishing sites, like ones trying to pretend to be Bank of America, or which open a window telling you that your computer is infected so you should call this phone number and won't let you close the window, the action is clear - no discussion or investigation needs to happen, since anyone with a reasonable ability to think can see that these sites are clearly intended to defraud.

When it comes to a web site which says, "ISIS is good! We love ISIS!", you can't really do much about that. If it said, "Help support ISIS! Send money to ...", that's a little more cut and dry. Things in between, well, are sticky.

You can't have freedom of speech and at the same time claim to want to subvert it in order to protect it. You can, though, outlaw material support. There's a difference between the two.

BOFH: We're miracle workers. But you want us to fix THAT in 10 minutes?

John Klos

You people are d*cks...

Maybe, just maybe I should know better than to be drinking something while reading these. Now my laptop has beer all over it. I blame you.

'The server broke and so did my back on the flight to fix it'

John Klos
IT Angle

Must've really been an idiot

If you click the "initialize" button in OS X when you're asked, it doesn't actually do anything to any disks - it simply launches Disk Utility. Hubswitch would've had to have actually done some things in Disk Utility to format the disk. Pitiful!

Because the server room is certainly no place for pets

John Klos

This reads like a sales pitch

While it's true that saving power and using newer hardware are generally good things, virtualization for the sake of virtualization misses the point. It attempts to move the risk of hardware failure across more cheap, replaceable machines in lieu of caring about having and maintaining good hardware. Kids these days don't remember the days when we bought good hardware that could literally run for decades without problems (VAXen, for instance, just don't seem to die on their own), but there are definitely situations where fewer reliable systems are much more appropriate than a boatload of cheap x86 machines. While I don't disagree with this article generally, moving to modern can, and often has, lead to a dead end.

Many Windows-centric IT staff have moved from legacy Unix and VMS systems to Windows. Now where are they? They have an OS which can't be reinstalled without licensing issues, applications which must be installed from their original installation media and can't be encapsulated, configurations who's hardware have to stay precisely the same else the house of cards will come tumbling down. This is often actually WORSE than how things were with the legacy systems, and this article is a good answer for those dead-end Windows "solutions". But not learning a lesson from doing it incorrectly is almost worse than doing it incorrectly in the first place. Virtualizing Windows to deal with some of these issues belies the point that we (meaning IT people) shouldn't be heading down these dead ends in the first place.

Mature mainframe madness prints Mandlebrot fractal in TWELVE MINUTES

John Klos

Wow... That's actually much faster than doing a 1 bit Mandelbrot set on a Sinclair ZX81:


IBM details PowerPC microserver aimed at square kilometre array

John Klos

12 actual and 12 virtual cores

BTW - it's not 12 actual and 24 virtual cores - it's 12 of each.

John Klos

Re: ' while chewing up between 15.5 and 16 amps.'

The screen shows and the narrator says it's 1 volt.

You'll get sick of that iPad. And guess who'll be waiting? Big daddy Linux...

John Klos

Reminds me of a quote about VMS...

One of the questions that comes up all the time is: How enthusiastic is our support for UNIX?

Unix was written on our machines and for our machines many years ago. Today, much of UNIX being done is done on our machines. Ten percent of our VAXs are going for UNIX use. UNIX is a simple language, easy to understand, easy to get started with. It's great for students, great for somewhat casual users, and it's great for interchanging programs between different machines. And so, because of its popularity in these markets, we support it. We have good UNIX on VAX and good UNIX on PDP-11s.

It is our belief, however, that serious professional users will run out of things they can do with UNIX. They'll want a real system and will end up doing VMS when they get to be serious about programming.

With UNIX, if you're looking for something, you can easily and quickly check that small manual and find out that it's not there. With VMS, no matter what you look for -- it's literally a five-foot shelf of documentation -- if you look long enough it's there. That's the difference -- the beauty of UNIX is it's simple; and the beauty of VMS is that it's all there.

-- Ken Olsen, President of DEC, 1984

Different people have different needs. I'd be fine with a GNU/Linux tablet so long as it had a real shell I could run on the underlying hardware and working X11 support. For the most part, though, it'd be a glorified Unix terminal. But I know better - people working on GNU/Linux for end users forget about the real system and primarily care about trying to make something with feature parity to Windows and OS X / iOS. If that's what people are offering, my iPad works just fine, thanks.

ICANN HACKED: Intruders poke around global DNS innards

John Klos

Come on - TheReg should know better

"ICANN hackers sniff..." Granted, the correct use of "cracker" isn't going to happen. I get that. But can you PLEASE choose phrasing which isn't confusing? Obviously you're talking about hackers (sic) who have hacked (sic) ICANN, not hackers who are part of ICANN, which is implied.


Free cloud server self-destructs in 35 minutes

John Klos

Play a really big Game of Life

It'd be interesting to set up a VM which, in 35 minutes, does some useful stuff but also automatically signs up for another free VM or two depending on some arbitrary rules, launches it / them, then transfers the current VM's content to the new VM(s).

Apple sells world's most expensive flash drive

John Klos

It probably contains an entire OS install...

If this flash drive can install Lion on systems that don't already have Snow Kitty, then it'd be worth it - after all, it'd be just $10 more than the price of buying Snow Leopard and Lion.

Someone needs to get one to see if that's the case...

Defcon speaker calls IPv6 a 'security nightmare'

John Klos

No real content...

They're basically saying that because IPv6 addresses are public, all of the insecure machines which count on being behind NAT and so on will be insecure. This implies that NAT is normal and that the behavior of NAT is what should be expected, but this isn't the case - NAT is an exception, and public, accessible IPs are real life. Thanks, Microsoft!

Telling people that IPv6 is insecure is assuming that we should all cater to the lowest common denominator - the insecurity of Windows - instead of having higher standards which would include assuming that any machine could be on a public IP at any time.

Seagate's 3TB external drive

John Klos

What does 64 bit anything have to do with this?

"Apparently you'll need 64-bit Windows or Mac OS support to get access to its full capacity."

Ummm... I don't know about Windows since I don't run Windows, but Macs have been supporting single drives larger than 2 terabytes for ages (without the 2^32 sector limit). Mac OS X 10.2 will support a single drive up to 8 terabytes and 10.4 and later up to 8 exabytes. This has absolutely nothing to do with 64 bitness.

Hack slots hotspots into Windows 7

John Klos

This is newsworthy?

These guys played you - they got you to publish this piece about that age-old practice of getting people to PAY for things in Windows which everyone else gets for free with every other OS.

I would expect other sites to fall for this, but I am rather surprised that The Register would!


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