* Posts by Rodrigo Valenzuela

130 publicly visible posts • joined 30 May 2007


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise, politicians will philander... And US voting machines will be physically insecure

Rodrigo Valenzuela




Mobes 'n' mattresses flinger Xiaomi growing like the clappers – outside China, at least

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Xiaomi smartphones

I have a small Xiaomi smartphone (Redmi 4x).

So far,it has behaved well, specially given the price of about us$200 for a an 1.4 GHz octacore, 32 GB RAM, 3 GB internal, 5" capacitive touchscreen .

Not a *great* phone, but it works and is cheap.


Disneyland to become wretched hive of scum and villainy

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Just a question to Mr. Sharwood:

why did you think that this explanation:

"If the “wretched …” phrase sounds familiar, it's probably because you remember it from Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope. The phrase was used by Obi-Wan Kenobi used to describe Mos Eisley, a spaceport on the planet …"

is necessary for El Reg audience and commentards?


Decapitating Rockall: How a 1970s Navy expedition blasted the top off the Atlantic islet

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Made me remember Mr. Lester Haines in 2003 (or about that time).


How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

Rodrigo Valenzuela

I just saw the movie last night, with my twelve year old niece and I can really say that both enjoyed it more than "The force awakens".

As for the Peter Cushing revival... well I was somehow proud when my niece poked me almost jumping on her seat when she recognized "the old guy that ordered the destruction of Alderaan".

So, more enjoyable: yes.

Better movie... may be. May be not.

It can be argued that it carries not-so-subtle political messages about terrorist/freedom fighters, empires that search to crush any opposition, destruction of ancient cultures, a lot of symbology and many other stuff.

All I care is that it was a fun thing to share.


Stay out of my server room!

Rodrigo Valenzuela

About two years ago, I went to visit one of our branch offices. Is not so far, about an hour driving.

That branch does not a have a server room, just a communication rack with a router, switches and telco equipment, plus a couple of UPS.

It has never been a model of a room, because it is simply a converted broom cupboard.

For that reason, the door is never locked. That way, in the hot days of summer, which easily brings the mercury to 35°C (~95F), the door can be fully opened to allow for some air circulation.

I have asked for an AC for the room, but of course the answer is yet to materialize.

On my visit, I could barely open the door.

When finally got it open, I discovered that the room was full, from floor to ceiling, of old newspapers.

Everywhere: on the rack, around the rack, inside the rack... it was impossible to reach switches, connectors, cables.

I was apoplectic.

There was so many risks... communications failure, overheating, fire...

I talked to the office manager and sure enough, the newspapers were promptly removed.

Only to be replaced with the janitor's stuff.

Now, the room is used as closet.


Lester Haines: RIP

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Re: Shame, he was still young

While I agree with the "Lester Icon", I think that it should be earned or awarded.


Rodrigo Valenzuela

Sad news

My most sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Landmark computer hacking archive deposited at TNMOC

Rodrigo Valenzuela

"...and giving us an insight into what now seems a very strange world in which computer security was not treated very seriously".

Are you sure we are no still there?


AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade

Rodrigo Valenzuela

I have found that using NoScript and ABP blocks pretty much everything (in Firefox, to those who still use it).

Actually, I have to unblock several things in order to ads being displayed.

That is something I do in sites that I want to stay working, like El Reg.


How hard can it be to kick terrorists off the web? Tech bosses, US govt bods thrash it out

Rodrigo Valenzuela

From a commercial point of view, if USA companies accept this imposition it will be bad news.


The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016

Rodrigo Valenzuela

I have been reading El Reg almost every day since about 2000. And what keep me coming back is the subtle British humorous tone in all the articles. Well, no so subtle sometimes.

But is not only that, with the humor you manage to pass genuine information, clear criticism and straight facts. I believe that is your essence, don't loose it.

Anyway, here is to many more years of El Reg!


Ever been burned by a bad IT decision? Of course you have!

Rodrigo Valenzuela

About the quote (and nothing else in the article)

Yes, that's the way it appears on the movie, but it certainly is a bit older than that.

According to some sites, it is attributed to USA astronaut and congressman John Glenn.

But, according to snopes.com, this attribution is false:


Just felt like nitpicking...


How to build a server room: Back to basics

Rodrigo Valenzuela

16. Put a lock on the door and keep track of the keys and who have them

Apple is picking off iOS antivirus apps one by one: Who'll be spared?

Rodrigo Valenzuela

"It seems Apple is acting in the belief that antivirus apps for iOS are either unnecessary or create the wrong impression."

Sounds a lot like famous last words.

Admittedly, iOS seems more attack resistant than Android, but if we have learned from the lasts years, there is nothing 100% invulnerable.


Japan tells operators: Put a SIM lock in a new mobe? You'd better unlock it for free

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Same here

Same here in Chile.

If you want it unlocked, OK, no problem.

But you will pay.


Claim: Microsoft Alt-F4'd Chilean government open-source install bid

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Re: "like any business, it is entitled to lobby in a democracy"

And I think you nailed the problem.

In Chile the FOSS movement does not have a one and only voice, and of course can not hire a press agency or some experts to talk for them.

Our politicians are the most common of the lot: they don't really know what they are talking about, but get to make laws about it anyway.

To bridge that gap, they are supposed to gather information and use consultants or hire experts, something for which they have a special budget.

But of course, they don't.

The amount of money we could have saved was in the range of USD60 M/year (EUR46.5 M, GBP37 M). May be is not a big lot of money for developed countries, but for a small economy like the Chilean, it is.

Anyway, that is not the main point of the matter.

And this is not a left leaning or right leaning kind of thing.

As was eloquently expressed by Peruvian congressman Dr. Edgard Villanueva in his letter to MS representatives in Perú**, is a matter of accessibility, proprietary formats, security, interoperability and the fact that we are being held hostage by a company.

It is a shame that our congressman did not read that letter.


** article in El Reg with the letter of Dr. Villanueva: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/05/19/ms_in_peruvian_opensource_nightmare/

EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder

Rodrigo Valenzuela


The really sad part for me is that was the first thing that I thought...

Man I'm getting old...


Retiring Reg hack explains how bass playing = tech reporting

Rodrigo Valenzuela

You will be missed.

Thank you for all the articles.


IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Re: A Win Win solution!

On behalf of all South American people:



Apple Fanbois are the biggest pervs, say people who know

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Now there is something for Tim Cook to brag about


Space station astronauts pop outside to replace crippled computer

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Oh the simplicity...

"so the team simply slid the old one out and replaced it with a spare unit."

Yes, very simple... just go out in the vacuum, hanging from a cable, exposed to radiations, working with gigantic gloves... yes, simple indeed.


Cheat Win XP death: Your handy guide to keeping snubbed operating system ticking over

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Re: Danger Will Robinson

Yes, the legal aspect is a problem.

Specially this part: " Of course, you may well have one on a sticker on your PC case or knocking around somewhere.".

Most probably, the sticker on your PC case is an OEM license, which according to the EULA:

"1.2 SOFTWARE as a Component of the COMPUTER - Transfer. This license may not be shared, transferred to or used concurrently on different computers. The SOFTWARE is licensed with the COMPUTER as a single integrated product and may only be used with the COMPUTER. If the SOFTWARE is not accompanied by HARDWARE, you may not use the SOFTWARE. You may permanently transfer all of your rights under this EULA only as part of a permanent sale or transfer of the COMPUTER, provided you retain no copies of the SOFTWARE. If the SOFTWARE is an upgrade, any transfer must also include all prior versions of the SOFTWARE. This transfer must also include the Certificate of Authenticity label. The transfer may not be an indirect transfer, such as a consignment. Prior to the transfer, the end user receiving the Software must agree to all the EULA terms."

In other terms, you can't use an OEM version of XP in any computer, except the one where it was first installed.

So yes, be careful.


They accused him of inventing Bitcoin. Now, Nakamoto hires lawyer to clear his name

Rodrigo Valenzuela

To me, the problem is really simple: the guy wants to be left alone.

Did he invented the maths behind bitcoin? May be. May be not.

It doesn't matter.

Why the insistence on exposing someone to the world?

Leave the guy alone!


SATANIC 'HELL DIAMOND' tells of sunless subterranean sea

Rodrigo Valenzuela


Journey to the center of the Earth


China confirms Jade Rabbit lunar rover has conked out

Rodrigo Valenzuela

The Chinese are learning. And if we look back, they learn VERY fast.

This mission may not have been succesful, but there will be others, and others... They are nothing if not persistent.

On the other hand, I have never enjoy this kind of human effort failing.

I would really like to see other nation/states focusing their efforts on this kind of technology and everything it implies.


El Reg talks beer and binaries with a boffin named Boffin

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Sigh... sadly, is true.

Our beers are still, like our country, in development.

Not that there are not good beers, but they are not easy to find.

But it is also true that our wines are some of the best.


Judge orders Yelp.com to unmask anonymous critics who tore into biz

Rodrigo Valenzuela


Take them to cleaners!

(Sorry, could not help it)

Click here to beat David Cameron's web porn ban

Rodrigo Valenzuela

"South american presidents"

As a South American, I believe that you should be better informed before grouping us with the likes of Kim Jong Un or other kind of dictators.

Most of South America enjoys a healthy democracy, which has been very hard to get and that most of the citizens care deeply for.

Chile, my own small country, was the first country in the world to establish a "net neutrality" policy, three or four years ago.


Deep Impact succumbs to 'HAL bug' as glitch messes with antenna

Rodrigo Valenzuela

"HAL bug"

Not to be picky, but the bug that caused the malfunction of HAL was something that caused it to not to be able to resolve what appear to be contradicting instructions.

The AE35 unit malfunction never happened.

In fact, HAL was predicting a failure of that unit (the prediction itself was a lie).


Symantec retires low-end security software

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Re: The best way to keep your system stable

I do not agree completely with your statements:

> If MS supply an A/V - the others shout "Anti Trust"..

if MS supply a FREE and COMPETENT AV, then the others would shout "Anti trust".

They are not shouting, because it is free, but not really competent

> If MS do not supply an A/V - the other others shout "Insecure System".

For years before and after Security Essentials, MS operating systems have been considered insecure.

Most of the time, the problem is with the OS, and the AV just provide a safety net against known threats that exploit it before they are patched.


Huawei USB modems vulnerable

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Re: Yep, it does

4G in Chile a couple of years back?

The closed tests for a handful of users of 4G started a couple of weeks ago in Chile, with the first trials in last November.

(in spanish: http://www.latercera.com/noticia/nacional/2013/03/680-512439-9-claro-inicio-marcha-blanca-de-red-4g-en-santiago-que-involucrara-a-100-usuarios.shtml)


Microsoft preps UPDATE EVERYTHING patch batch

Rodrigo Valenzuela


"Silverlight is widely used as an alternative to Flash"

Not really:



Stargazers spot first-ever planet forming in dusty disc

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Re: boffins with brains the size of planets

Actually, the telescopes themselves are named in the Mapudungun language:

ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),

KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),

MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and

YEPUN (UT4; Venus - as evening star)



Swartz prosecutor: We only pushed for 'six months' in the cooler

Rodrigo Valenzuela

@AC 16:23

Yes, you are right.

I used the wrong word.


Rodrigo Valenzuela

Re: Please use other sources to research the actual case before posting more idiocy

@AC 15:58 GMT

The innocence of Mr. Swartz has not been proved, and sadly it will never be.

All that we have now are several opinions from different quarters, but not a legal ruling.

I don't know if there are political or personal motivations behind the acts of Mrs. Ortiz and nobody else but herself can know it.

If there are illegal or too far reaching acts from the side of Mrs. Ortiz, then there are legal ways to restrict them, but public lynching is not the method to ensure that they will not be repeated.

Your words about "no difference between her holding a gun to his head and pulling the trigger" are really too emotional to be worth considering.

I, personally, think that there was a violation of the law (maybe I'm right, maybe not).

But I also think that the law itself is wrong, unfair to the citizens and completely out of proportion in the punishments it allows.

Hence, my recommendation to the American citizens of do something about them.


Rodrigo Valenzuela

I really believe that the public outrage for this suicide is pointing to the wrong person.

A civil servant has several duties, the first among them is to withhold the law.

Because of that, Mrs. Ortiz could not turn a blind eye to the acts of Mr. Swartz and let them slip under the radar.

The real problem, in my opinion, is that the law needs several adjustments to be really useful in protecting intellectual property while still allowing access to it.

So, if the Americans really are enraged by this sad story, please do something concrete.

Call, write or email your representatives and pressure them to change the law.

Stop complaining while doing nothing.


Microsoft releases first Windows OS in an original American language

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Not the first, I think

The first thing to note is that America != USA

So, with that in mind, there are several Windows XP in aboriginal languages, including Quechua (Bolivia) and Mapundungún (or Mapuzungún).



The 30-year-old prank that became the first computer virus

Rodrigo Valenzuela

"Brain" worked on DOS, not Windows


Smear campaign

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Somtehing worst than greasy fingers...

Is when the cleaning staff, well, "cleans" my desktop monitor.

They use a... I don't know what it is, would say rag, sponge, paper towel, really don't know.... with some kind of liquid.

The next morning I usually spend at least fifteen minutes getting the opaque, nasty and disgusting residue from the screen.

My solution: put a letter-sized warning on the screen, kept in place with scotch-tape.


The Lord of the Rings saga lies hidden deep in your Mac

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Is also available

In Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Cisco sets ex-CIA spook to hunt down leaking staffer

Rodrigo Valenzuela

This email warning will surely make a great job of lifting staff moral.


Ohio voting machines have 'backdoor', lawsuit claims

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Pen and paper have a great lot of advantages over electronic voting systems:

- cheap: incredibly cheap.

- Does not need technical personnel

- Is portable. You don't need to wire remote locations just for the elections.

- The ballot boxes are usually transparent or with big windows, which make vote stuffing hard

- political parties and common citizens alike can watch the vote-counting procedure

Last week here in Chile was a big election. Each city elected their mayor for the next four years.

And there are several cities where the process has been objected.

Solution: have a manual counting of ballots.

The confront that account with the data held by the officers in charge, the voting local officers and the political parties officers present in each voting local, who in almost all the cases took pictures of the voting totals published in each local and of each voting station, in addition to their own manual counts.

Is a simple process, with many observation points.

True, is boring and sometimes just plainly disappointing. Especially if, as is my case, in charge of a voting station for 9th time.

But, as your Winston Churchill said:

"Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

But for that sentence to be true, a very secure and tamper proof system is needed.


Better luck next time Blofeld! Five Bond plot myths busted

Rodrigo Valenzuela


What have always baffled me is the distance.

If you put a big laser in space, which as pointed in the article, is a major engineering challenge, would it be useful?

Doesn't the inverse square law applies to the laser beam?

At a distance of, say, 2000 kilometers, for a low earth orbiting satellite, you need a lot of power to inflict damage.

And that is assuming the target is right below the satellite. Add to that the atmosphere.

And to that, add the precision of the mechanism to keep the beam on target... mmm.

Nope, laser beams orbiting the earth are, in my opinion, worthless as weapons.

Google exec faces arrest after vid tears strip off Brazilian

Rodrigo Valenzuela

"Google believes that voters have a right to use the internet to freely express their opinions about candidates for political office, as a form of full exercise of democracy, especially during electoral campaigns."

That's a funny one.

I'd like to see Google try the same in China


Swedes are best at using the internet, says Berners-Lee

Rodrigo Valenzuela

I think it would be nice to include a link to the source, to check the data for ourselves.




Sun daddy: 'Machines will replace 80 per cent of doctors'

Rodrigo Valenzuela

He obviously doesn't have a medical degree nor medical training or biological knowledge.

Of course, a lot of illnesses can be deduced from watching a set of data and the "mental process" of a doctor is very akin to that of an "expert system".

But medicine is much more than prescribing drugs or handing treatments.

There is a no minor part of doctor - patient relationship.

There are a lot of problems that are more psychological than physical, yet still produce detectable symptoms that if observed just by themselves would yield a completely different diagnostic.

Speaking of MDs as "voodoo doctors" shows not only ignorance, but a lot of petulance.



Samsung to probe claims of underage workers, abuse at supplier

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Apple was accused of something similar, not exactly the same, but similar.

Will they be suing Samsung?


Google boss Larry Page debugged, voice still not fixed

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Maybe Google is going for the same strategy used by Teddy Roosevelt ar the beggining of 20th century: speak softly and carry a big stick.


Microsoft's offices gutted in Athens arson attack

Rodrigo Valenzuela

Surprised that no one has mentioned "Greek fire"