* Posts by badger31

149 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Jan 2011


Email blocklisting: A Christmas gift from Microsoft that Linode can't seem to return


Is this new?

I have a small mail server running on a Linode VPS. It was up and down as to whether emails got delivered. Google, Microsoft and Apple were the most likely to refuse delivery. I traced the block to UCEPROTECTL3. I looked into their policy, as all the other blacklist sites were fine. Turned out that although MY IP address was clean, as were all other in the subnet, I still get marked as spam because I'm with Linode. They are asking for £20pm to whitelist my IP. Sounds like a protection racket to me. Thankfully, the server is so low volume I can use a reputable mail forwarder for next to nothing.

Rant over

Following Torvalds' nudge, Paragon's NTFS driver for Linux is on track for kernel


Dropbox support?

I'd love to have my 2tb Dropbox account in one place only. My dual-boot machine currently has a Dropbox share on an NTFS partition for Windows and an Ext4 partition for Linux. Maybe that's just me

BBC picks SiFive RISC-V chip for Doctor Who programming-for-kids kit – with Jodie Whittaker narrating


Re: Showing my age.

FULL adders? We only had HALF adders! And only on Tuesdays. We used to dream of having full adders.

Ex-Microsoft dev used test account to swipe $10m in tech giant's own store credits, live life of luxury, Feds allege


Let me get this straight

Microsoft disabled the purchasing of physical goods but allowed unlimited digital purchases ... including digital cash? Damn. This guy got greedy/stupid, but I bet there's a few worried devs at Microsoft right now that spotted this problem and chose to exploit it a little rather than report it.

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs


Re: The Usual Response...

Sorry, but I'm not typing something like "tacosengravesixflyingnines" every time I need to authenticate myself.

The two passwords I use most often are 10 long but I can type them using muscle memory in about half a second.

IBM: Co-Op Insurance talking direct to coding subcontractor helped collapse of £55m IT revamp project


Re: Ermm, I think someone needs an Agile refresher

That's pretty much what I was thinking. User stories -> Single drop sounds more like waterfall to me.

An AI system has just created the most realistic looking photos ever


So that's a few good examples

I wonder how many shit results they generated. What's their hit to shit ratio, judged by humans not the discriminator?

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss


Is it a promotion of a monoculture if Microsoft are getting a seat at the Chromium table, not just Google? Just a thought. I haven't done much web development, thankfully, but getting cross-browser support was a pain and seemed really hacky. I can't imagine there's many webdevs saying "oh, no! Fewer browsers to support!"

For the record, I've never used Edge so I cannot comment on its merits.

I was once one of you, F1 star Lewis Hamilton tells delighted IT bods


Re: 375 hours between iterations of a car

That depends on what is meant by an iteration. No way do they do a complete redesign and build in that time. That's probably the time it takes to design, test, build and run one component or set of components.

Teams generally have (or at least used to have) a B spec car at some point in the season. The B spec is to fix any problems found in the opening races and also to copy any good ideas another team has. I wouldn't expect even Merc and Ferrari to be able to bring out a new spec car every 375 hours.

Official: Google Chrome 69 kills off the World Wide Web (in URLs)


Re: Full URL

Exactly. Some people seeing domain.com in the address bar might not realise that they are looking at www.domain.com, then type domain.com next time they want that site, ending up somewhere else. Unfortunately--re the fix--for anyone who will be likely to do that it won't matter. Messing with the URL is dumb and dangerous. Are we running short on screen space for URLs now?

Oracle's new Java SE subs: Code and support for $25/processor/month


Java has been great as a teaching tool

I teach programming at university and I'm struggling to find a suitable replacement for java as a 'learning to program' language. Python is the obvious choice, but the syntax is likely to lead to students that struggle to pick up different languages. I know I'm not alone in thinking meaningful whitespace is a dumb idea, despite the number of down votes this post might attract.

Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour


Re: Why didn't they operate a 1 hour lock-out after five (or whatever) failed attempts?

@milton - Oh hell, no! That's a shitty password; impossible to remember and a pain in the arse to use. I'd rather take my chances with pa55word~

Look how modern we are! UK network Three to kill off 3G-only phones


Three used to be great...

Until they got 4G. I get .5 download now on full signal. It was soooo much quicker (and much cheaper) when it was 3G only.

MacBook Pro petition begs Apple for total recall of krap keyboards


Re: Useless Apple

Amen, brother. Preach it!

Huawei guns for Apple with Mac-alike Matebook X


From the name MateBook, I assumed it was coming pre-installed with Linux Mint Mate, not Windows D:

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Microsoft's 'Ms Pac-Man beating AI' is more Automatic Idiot


Re: It's not very good AI

It doesn't have to learn to be AI. And machines learning doesn't make them (actually) intelligent.

Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04


Re: How times change..

The Gnu Image Manipulation Program tells you exactly what the program is and does, unlike InkScape. It's a bit of a mouthful, though, so gets the (official?) acronym 'Gimp'.

I think the problem is there's only so many descriptive names you can have for a file browser, text editor, photo editor, etc., so a lot of names tend to be jokes or puns which get worse as they are forked. Examples: Hudson -> Jenkins, Mustache -> Handlebars, JavaScript -> CoffeeScript


My thoughts on this ...

1. Is Files really that bad? I've used Mac's Finder, so I know how bad things can be

2. Yes! I get to go to the sysadmins at Uni and say 'I told you so!' :-)

3. I'll be sticking with Mint and Cinnamon

Something else occurs to me (that'll probally get me a tonne of down-votes), Unity and W8 Metro were both designed to put the same interface on desktop machines and phones, right? What a stupid idea. I've also heard people say the same things about both UIs; that is, it's not so bad when you get used to it. That's not a good argument.

Perhaps it's just that I'm rapidly approaching middle-age and I don't like radical ideas anymore.

Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election


Oh, great.

Ruinous Torys or ruined Labour?

Vote now:

Kick in the nuts [ ]

Punch in the face [ ]

Ex-IBMer sues Google for $10bn – after his web ad for 'divine honey cancer cure' was pulled


Re: They walk amongst us

@Pompous Git

"So how come homeopathy cured the warts on my goat's teats? I find it very hard to believe that was psychological."

Really? I find it hard to believe that's NOT psychological. And anyway "homeopathy cured the warts on my goat's teats" doesn't meet any scientific rigour requirements.

Broadband providers almost double prices after deals end



I'm new to PlusNet, but I managed to squeeze an amazing full speed fibre out of them. I worked out how much will will cost me over the life of the two year deal. When that's over I'll be looking for another great deal. That'll be with PlusNet if they are willing, or whoever has the best new offer at the time. I certainly won't be going onto 'full price' after the contract has expired.

Out of curiosity, does anyone still care about landlines anymore? We had the option to keep our old number, but we declined. The new number gets pretty much zero spam calling (and we never give it out). For me, the landline/phone is an inconvenience that comes bundled with the broadband.

Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC


Re: I thought


Um ... no. I don't recall Pong phoning home, or even E.T. for that matter. [did you see what I did there?]

Even the last console I owned (PSP) had internet connectivity, but I don't think it sent info back to Sony (unless logged into PSN, I suppose)


Re: BongoJoe


No other option?

From Steam hardware survey:

Windows 10 64 bit -> 52.22%

Windows 7 64 bit -> 31.20%

I presume you are talking about DX12. DX12 is an improvement over DX11, I agree, but it's not a requirement.

It's not just Elon building bridges to the brain: The Internet of Things is coming to a head


Re: You humans think very highly of yourselves

@DropBear - There's more to juggling than muscle memory, although it plays an important part. It's hand-eye coordination that matters; just try juggling with your eyes closed. With very limited information about the trajectory of the balls, the brain can extrapolate the trajectories and move your hand to roughly where it needs to be. I think muscle memory is more inportant for throwing the ball on approximately the right trajectory in the first place.

I agree that our brains are just a bunch of specialised tools, but we can combine them to do things that we haven't actually evolved to do. We may not be fully general -- we can't learn everything. But we have a level of generality way beyond any current AI, and general AI is a very hot research area right now.


Re: You humans think very highly of yourselves

It's pretty darn general. The brain evolved for survival, but this gave us a brain that can learn lots of different skills at the same time. You can learn algebra, French, astophysics, poetry, origami ...

It can also do pretty amazing things without you needing to actually, ahem, *think* about it. A good example is juggling. I can juggle no problem, but if I was to try to work out the maths of juggling I would go mad.


You humans think very highly of yourselves

"The brain is the most powerful form of generalized intelligence in the known universe"

Perhaps that should read:

"The brain is the most powerful form of generalized intelligence known in the universe"

New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners


"You appear to be doing the thing you're complaining about." #irony #harrypotter #yougettheidea


Re: Everything is offensive to some people

I wonder how much palm oil a new £20 note has compared to a jar of Nutella (*other chocolaty spreads are available) and how many of the environmental protesters had that on their toast this morning.

Europe to push new laws to access encrypted apps data


Re: Strong encryption exists, and is "in the wild".

It wasn't that long ago encryption was considered a munition, but those days are long gone.

This whole thing is a farce. Apps like WhatsApp moved over to encryption *because* of the amount of snooping governments want over their (mostly) law-abiding citizens. You reap what you sow. Don't complain when your poorly thought-out, ill-conceived and utterly ridiculous plans back-fire. And don't make things worse with a knee-jerk, even more poorly thought-out and more ridiculous reaction.

Even if you could change the laws of mathematics and they get their super-safe backdoor into otherwise (practically) unbreakable encryption, what then? I would imagine terrorists and -- worse -- copyright infringers will just use non-crippled encryption, leaving LEAs across the globe spending all their time decrypting peoples' cat pictures and messages about what they had for dinner.

Git fscked by SHA-1 collision? Not so fast, says Linus Torvalds


Re: That's not how hashes work

"The mathematical operation should produce a unique result for any given input"

Given that "any given input" is conceptually an infinite set, always expecting a unique 160bit hash is just ludicrous. The main thing with these hashes is that small changes in the code will give hugely differing hashes, making collisions rare. We all know that it is possible to engineer (by brute force) a collision, but it's a hard problem. Doing so in such a way as to be undetectable in Git is an even harder problem. Way harder. I look forward to seeing the attempts, though :-)

Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches


Define illegal. Who decides and how?

It's the most relevant pages at the top of the list. Don't try to cheat this; either be more relevant, or make the illegal download sites less relevant by targeting them and not the search engines.

Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO


RAID cock-up

I used to have a very cheap VPS hosted by a company who have since ceased trading. One day my VPS was acting up, so I raised a support ticket. The reply stated that a disk in the RAID had failed and the host had gone into read-only mode. Not to worry, the disk will soon be replaced and we'll be be back up and running in no time.

The next day the VPS was gone completely. I raised another support ticket and was told that the *wrong disk* had been replaced, losing all data.

Thankfully I take back-ups, but it was still a pain to find another provider and configure the new VPS. The offending provider did offer sincere apologies and month free, but I declined.

Watch how Google's starving DeepMind AI turns hostile, attacks other bots to survive



Have an up-vote. I came here to say pretty much the same thing. Complex AI algorithm finds optimal solutions for simple games. Wow.

Congrats, PC slingers. That's now FIVE straight years of shrinking sales


Re: The "Free" Windows 10 wasn;t the problem.

I'm not claiming causation here, but 5 years does roughly correlate with the release of Windows 8.

Microsoft sued by staff traumatized by child sex abuse vids stashed on OneDrive accounts


Re: and don't take a job

Like working for microsoft? (joke icon)

But seriously - the article says the appointment was made 'involuntarily'. I mean shit! Anyone actually wanting to do this job absolutely must not be allowed to do it.

And on a related note, a very good friend of mine, many years ago, managed to get the job he really wanted - a police man. That's a job you couldn't pay me enough to do, but someone's gotta do it. After a short time in the job he was a wreck. All the horrible shit he had to deal with on a daily basis was really grinding him down. I had to remind him that most people aren't all that bad, but his job is to deal with the ones that are, giving a warped sense of reality.

He got over it by becoming a tough son-of-a-bitch.

I'm not sure what you would have to become to deal with what Soto and Blauert had to deal with.

Prison librarian swaps books for bars after dark-web gun buy caper


Re: Hmmm

Yep. I recently read this article on the BBC regarding dark net drug dealings and the postal service:


Summary: Buy/sell your drugs on the dark net. It's pretty damn safe.

Good work, BBC. I'm not sure that's what you had in mind when you published that article, but that's what it boils down to. They pretty much tell you how to do it. I'm surprised there weren't any links.

AI is all trendy and fun – but it's still a long way from true intelligence, Facebook boffins admit


Knowledge ≠ understanding

We are struggling at the moment to get machines to learn some knowledge without forgetting it when it learns something new. When (if) machines actually understand that knowledge, then things will get really interesting.

Also, in pedant mode, its "forward model", not "forward mode"

Mac book, whoa! Apple unveils $300 design tome


Re: An overused word

I think the Irony was the price.

The ‘Vaping Crackdown’ starts today. This is what you need to know


Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

I agree that citations would help the cause, but it doesn't take anything other than common sense to see that being able to feed an addiction to nicotine without burning tobacco is definitely a step in the right direction.

I agree that vapour products should be regulated, just like other nicotine products (patches, gum, etc.), but those products are allowed to be advertised and no-one is trying to get them banned. I'm struggling to see any significant difference between nicotine gum and nicotine vapour, other than vaping _looks_ like smoking.

Compression tool 7-Zip pwned, pain flows to top security, software tools


Yes, of course. The changelog should detail all exploits fixed, so that baddies that weren't aware of the problem can exploit exactly the right versions. Good idea.

Official: Microsoft's 'Get Windows 10' nagware to vanish from PCs in July


Re: Windows 10₂

I made this exact comment in the preview feedback. I was hoping not to be alone in this.

Incidentally, the fscking GWT nagware has recently reappeared on my Win7 machine, despite having done all the removals/disables/regedit shit. Take the fucking hint, Microsoft. I don't want your shit - not even for free.

FBI ends second iPhone fight after someone, um, 'remembers' the PIN


Re: Some thoughts

Not to mention the US 'justice' system. Innocent people pleading guilty because they are shit scared of the ridiculous sentences they could face if they don't. Just look what happened to Ross Ulbrecht when he didn't do a plea deal. Definitely not somewhere I'd like to live.

Lauri Love backdoor forced-decryption case goes to court in UK


Re: Question

@Richard Jones

"if I could prove my innocence"

Innocence need not be proven. It is guilt that must be proven. Please, let's keep it that way.

X-ray scanners, CCTV cams, hefty machinery ... let's play: VNC Roulette!

Thumb Up

Re: Or a simpler (than SSH) solution

I used the trick on one of my servers. It was constantly being hit with login attempts over ssh. None ever succeed, but I didn't like it. I changed ssh port away from 22 and problem solved.

I tried denyhosts, but occasionally locked myself out trying to remember the right password. Not an insurmountable problem, but it's not (or wasn't, maybe) trivial to unblock an ip address.

Net neut naught: Netflix throttles its own video


My tuppence worth

I'm an unlimited data plan with Three, 4GB tethered. It used to be unlimited tethered, too, before 4G came along as a 'free' upgrade. I'm guessing the reason is that people could use it instead of home broadband, as it's probable a lot faster for some. This must have hammered Three's network, so they would have to choose between upgrading their 4G infrastructure, or limit tethered data. Guess which one they did (#makeitright my arse).

As a netflix customer, I'm happy to get lower quality on my mobile. It fits with my data plan an usage well. I'm not so happy that it isn't an optional thing.

As a Three customer, I'm not happy that the poor infrastructure means it has to be this way. Personally, I was much happier with a truly unlimited 3G plan and would choose that now if it was an option.

Why should you care about Google's AI winning a board game?


Re: @Dave Bollocks

@Ian Michael Gumby

"Take the top 100 potential moves"

Even if the rest of your argument was valid, how does your algorithm choose the top 100 potential moves?

Docker may be the dumbest thing you do today


Never before have I agreed with an article this much

Docker is the new VM. VMs are now pretty much ubiquitous, but this change took a while. VMs are so clumsy a solution for many use cases, so bring in the containers. As for enterprise inertia ... only force can overcome inertia.

Cisco recalls switches that could short power to the case. And hurt you


Scared? You shouldn't be.

Where did the kick-bait headline get 'And kill you' from? The field notice linked in the article states that the symptoms are 'The switch fails to power on.' Also, the label shows 24v or 48v DC input. Still not seeing any risk of death here, even if no fuses were blown. There are models that can take 240v, but there's very little danger there either ... unless you are running one of these off a power circuit without ELCBs, in which case all bets are off.

Rooting your Android phone? Google’s rumbled you again



I thought for a moment this would be something to care about.

Learn you Func Prog on five minute quick!


Late to the party, but ...

I've recently discovered Groovy. OO and Functional. Oh, and scripting. I learned a lot of Haskell at Uni and the beauty of it was staggering. Its type system sublime. Groovy is a great way to add functional (and tonnes of other great) stuff to Java code. I won't harp on about it here, but it's well worth a look.

Great article, BTW.