* Posts by Dr Trevor Marshall

91 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Jun 2007


Red alert! Intel patches remote execution hole that's been hidden in chips since 2010

Dr Trevor Marshall

Re: It IS in consumer PCs

So is it in HP machines? Dell machines? There are a lot of those in "consumer" hands, too. It really would helpful for Intel to be a bit more specific about who is affected, but I suspect that it is not in their interests to be honest about this vulnerability...

Dr Trevor Marshall

It IS in consumer PCs

Every time my Lenovo ThinkPad boots up it complains it cannot find a driver for the "PCI Simple Communication Controller." That is because that AMT driver is not on my computer. I made sure it was not. And IME is also disabled in the UEFI control panel (although I suspect there is a back door around that). So what's all this "doesn't affect consumers" thing? Is it possible to install Windows without installing drivers for the IME chip?

Or maybe they are talking about my Netbook, or Chromebook, or God knows what-all, as a "consumer device."

RIP EarthLink, 1994–2016: From AOL killer to regional ISP's attic

Dr Trevor Marshall

I still use Earthlink for Broadband cable backup to the Verizon Fibre

As well as my fibre connection I use Earthlink as a backup service. They deliver via the TimeWarner Cable connection, much cheaper rates than Time-Warner, and adequate speeds (25/25). Hopefully this deal will not raise my rates too much, as I only use the service when the fibre is down (or slow) :)

Crafty booby-trapped invoice malware empties Japanese bank accounts

Dr Trevor Marshall

So whose idea was it?

Who had the 'brilliant' idea to treat .ZIP files as executables and subdirectories in Windows? Does Japan have a 'tar and feathers' equivalent? Now would be a good time to employ it, I think....

The designer of the IBM ThinkPad has died

Dr Trevor Marshall

I just threw away my Lenovo X230, bought a refurb X220

I finally tired of Lenovo ruining the keyboard and trackpoint in their latest models, and went back to a 2012 laptop (which is within 20% of today's CPU speed in any case). Now I have the orginal IBM Thinkpad keyboard again (OK, nearly original), with a UEFI BIOS that actually allows you to turn off all the (known) backdoors, and revert to "Legacy" mode. It was quite painless, really. I paid $240 for the as-new X220, added a 1Gig SSD, and it really hums... Luv it!

So long, and thanks for all the fish, Richard Sapper, you have made my life so much more enjoyable these past two decades...

Alu Alu! Nokia gobbles French rival Alcatel-Lucent in €15.6bn deal

Dr Trevor Marshall

I love the photograph chosen to head the article :)

Optus kicks off WiFi calling in Australia

Dr Trevor Marshall

Google Voice works well for me (Re: SMS solution)

Google voice sends and receives SMS just fine. It even allows you to "reply" to any SMS that have been forwarded to your Gmail account as emails, and then converts those replies to send as SMS. Very clean. Of course, this only applies to GV users who haven't converted to Hangouts, and are still on the old Obihai/GoogleChat GV connections..

Boffin's easy remote hijack hack pops scores of router locks

Dr Trevor Marshall

You don't need bridge mode

I just put a Tomato-based router between the (backdoored) Verizon FIOS router and my network. Just tell Tomato to NAT one of the IP addresses out of the router. Not quite as fast as reprogramming the router as a bridge, but setup is simple and it is adequately secure...

NASA rover coders at Intel's Wind River biz axed – sources

Dr Trevor Marshall

1000 staff and no OS engineers sounds par-for-the-course

At least they won't be illegally exporting again - nobody will want an unsupportable product...

Top QLD sex shop cops Cryptowall lock; cops flop as state biz popped

Dr Trevor Marshall

I get lots of that spam

Resume.doc.exe? No, my logs are just full of incoming Resume.doc and Resume.zip. Nothing complex, like a double extension. But I am using Eudora here. HTML is only enabled when I request it enabled -- on a message by message basis. And the ZIPs get sent to 7-Zip by default, not Windows.

Honor 7 – heir apparent to the mid-range Android crown

Dr Trevor Marshall

The thing that interest me most is the presence of 4G World-Bands. No phone to date offers 4G roaming from country to country. The biggest sticking point seems to be LTE3 and LTE4.

Please Reg, as an International journal, please look at the radios in these phones you review :)

Lenovo Euro supremo: Yes, we wrote down PC stock, what about it?

Dr Trevor Marshall

Re: Any good stuff?

In the USA I just bought a handful of spanking new T420 with Sandy Bridge and Windows 7 Pro for around $200 and a spare X220 for myself. Ebay was the place to look. The really good "manufacturer refurbished" units have largely gone now, but there are still sellers. Maybe the newer models will come out next week, but Sandy Bridge was good enough for us....

Crazy Chrysler security hole: USB stick fix incoming for 1.4 million cars

Dr Trevor Marshall

No wonder we are running out of IPv4 addresses

Each car has a unique IP? Who decided that Chrysler should be issued millions of IPv4?

United Airlines accounts open to mass lock-outs

Dr Trevor Marshall

Poor editing - here is the key to this issue

"Dahan says the MileagePlus system will inform when user identification numbers are incorrect"

So as you scan all possible numbers, the system reduces the load on your your bot. That is not acceptable in this day and age...

Fedora 22: Don't be glum about the demise of Yum – this is a welcome update

Dr Trevor Marshall

Why deprecate?

Brilliant news: you can still type "yum install mypackage,"

note to developers: Why deprecate the YUM script in future versions? Heck, I can still run vi if I want, why not yum?

'I thought we were pals!' Belgium, Netherlands demand answers from Germany in spy bust-up

Dr Trevor Marshall

Even the 1% are no longer immune

Maybe the 1% will begin to realize this electronic privacy thing is relevant to them, too.

That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

Dr Trevor Marshall

Re: Firefox is a prime example of why complexity needs FOSS

Pale Moon is an excellent 'fork' of Firefox, with a lot of esoteric stuff stripped out. Oh - and it let's you view self-signed HTTPS sites. Pale Moon seems to be run by just a handful of developers. Take a look, see what FOSS can really achieve :)

Tesla Powerwall: Not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

Dr Trevor Marshall

Re: Recycled batteries from cars?

Oh, I am sure they intend to use either recycled or new cells that fail to meet vehicle-level specifications. There is no other rationale for this product range, IMO.

Hackable media box based on the Raspberry Pi compute module: Five Ninjas Slice

Dr Trevor Marshall

Re: MPEG-2 support

MX Player PRO on Android will play any file I throw at it - MPEG2 TS, anything...

except that you need to load the Dolby AC3 codec into the latest versions. It used to be there, but I guess there was a licensing dispute. Nevermind, XDA-developers is your friend...

Dr Trevor Marshall

I just changed to Android on a CuBox

There is much better hardware available for a media center, and anybody familiar with programing a PI will be able to program them too. I just downloaded KitKat 4.4.4 for a CuBox, already rooted, and everything 'just worked'. There are no "will do it next year" items. I bought another CuBox (from NewEgg) for a Gigabit Ethernet SATA server, and from Ebay bought a 'Banana Pro', with case for an integrated SATA hard drive, for $69.

Sure, I have two PIs, but it is time to replace the server's 100Base-T and USB2 disk limitations. My PIs have done their job. There is an active ecosystem of small Linux (/Kodi/Android) systems out there now. Time to move on from our obsession with PI, IMO. Eben has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams...

Sick of Chrome vs Firefox? Check out these 3 NEW browsers

Dr Trevor Marshall

I migrated to Pale Moon from Firefox

and everything just worked. All my FF history files, passwords, even cookies ported over from Firefox as simple file copies. Amazing.

Pale moon doesn't abuse you if you want to accept self-signed certificates, and it doesn't have Australis stuff, and it doesn't freeze every few accesses to Google sites. Also, their ATOM based version works really well on the old XP netbooks the family still uses...

The only important plugin which didn't work is FireFTP, so I keep an old copy (v29) of FireFox around, as the new FF don't work properly with that plugin, either...

Thanks to the developers who enable all this flexibility...

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Dr Trevor Marshall

Where has all the content gone?



Why do you cripple a perfectly decent news site to pander to the likes of those who do?


I'm outa here....

Wireless Power standards are like Highlanders: There can be only ONE

Dr Trevor Marshall

Re: The human body will decide the winner (if any)

" .. none of the publications made in your online journal have ever been accepted for publication in PubMed, the officially recognised database .."

Dear Don Dumb,

Actually, I have many papers in Pubmed. In prestigious journals too. One dating back to 1982, but most in the last few years. And I speak at medical conferences all over the world. So it is always a pleasure to try and start a sensible conversation at el Reg :)

Dr Trevor Marshall

The human body will decide the winner (if any)

We live in an era when science is only just beginning to understand the human brain, and its signalling. Some studies are starting to show an unexpected interaction between RF fields and the human body, especially the brain (which is now known to control the immune system). I would argue that it is pure science -- whether high-energy RF is still regarded as completely safe in 2020 -- which will choose 'the winner.'

Crypto protocols held back by legacy, says ENISA

Dr Trevor Marshall

It is OK - they used long words

No self-respecting pleb would understand any of that stuff...

BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity

Dr Trevor Marshall

New study shows dietary fat doesn't cause problems


Interesting that this Reg article crossed my desk the same day a very interesting study result was promulgated by Ohio State University: "New research links diabetes, heart disease risk to diet high in carbs, not fat"

All this rubbish about fatty foods causing diabetes is just plain incorrect -- 20th Century rubbish. Although Medicine still tends to think in terms of simplistic cause-effect, the huge size of the human proteome, interactome and infectome make such simplistic concepts as "obesity causes diabetes" not worth the (admittedly degraded) brain cells used to keep repeating this simplistic nonsense.

Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring

Dr Trevor Marshall

I love Gordon's photographs

First time I have seem Lytro in action. Good tech for El Reg... Especially the rear-view mirror view... Hope you let him take the wheel a few times :)

Turn OFF your phone or WE'LL ALL DI... live? Europe OKs mobes, tabs non-stop on flights

Dr Trevor Marshall

What about the children?

Indeed, this is one time they do need to think about the children, and those sick amongst us, who will now be cooped up inside a Faraday cage with hundreds of cellphones emitting full power trying to access a working cell-site. What a human disaster in the making.. As if WiFi (at 10,000 times the required power level) was not bad enough...

Google flushes out users of old browsers by serving up CLUNKY, AGED version of search

Dr Trevor Marshall
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Re: Yay, usable maps again

Thanks for that tip. I will use IE8 when I want to use MAPS. The new interface is an abomination, and, as you say, they serve up the good ol' one for IE8. Thanks :) And no thanks to Google for second-guessing that I like their new menu-less interface. I don't. It sucks. It has made me shift to Bing Maps. But now there is a pathway back to what works so well -- thanks Google :)

Cut price Android on steroids: OnePlus One – should we look gift horse in the gob?

Dr Trevor Marshall
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I would buy if it didn't have Google services pre-installed

I am fed up with Google wasting my battery and tracking my every move. I was looking at this phone to break free to Cyanogenmod and the F-Droid store. Thanks to Andrew for letting us know that is still a pipe-dream...

WiGag war: Tiny low-power chip promises mobes 4.6Gbps Wi-Fi

Dr Trevor Marshall

Re: Fingers crossed - Medical devices in 60GHz ISM band

There are a number of Eastern European medical devices in the WiGig frequency range which use nanowatts of power to affect the nerves and brain. They mostly evolved from USSR research. We may have gotten away with Wifi so far, no real evidence of negative interactions with human beings (so far), but IMO there is a disaster looming at WiGig frequencies and powers. So, as you say, "cross fingers."

What data recovery software would you suggest?

Dr Trevor Marshall

Image for Windows

Terabyte Unlimited's "Image for Windows" also works with Linux. Boots from HiRen's recovery USB or floppy, or CD. Creates an image file(s) which can be booted. Best for System disks/partitions but will do a complete drive, if you wish.

I have never needed any other solution. I run an automatic backup every night with it. Saved my bacon several times.

Also good for porting operating systems intact to a new hard disk.

SPACE VID: Watch JUMBO ASTEROID 2000 EM26 buzzing Earth

Dr Trevor Marshall

Live Video was great on CHROME, "please wait" on FIREFOX

At least that was what I found. After the live broadcast had ended everybody would have been watching the same recording.

So was the 'fault' in YouTube, in the way Slooh set up the live broadcast (there are user configuration toggles in the interface), or in Flash player??

Google to banish mobe-makers using old Androids: report

Dr Trevor Marshall

Android 2.3.6 is an adequately functioning Smartphone OS

@Andrew Jones 2

I am running 2.3.6. on a Galaxy Note N7000 with all the Samsung and Google bloat removed (including Maps) and, while the phone is sitting on the shelf updating emails (K9) over WiFi and monitoring Google Voice (GrooveIP) it uses 10% of its battery a day. So there is nothing magical about the new OS releases. Except that the old releases don't get vulnerabilities patched (by Google).

However, one reason I stay with 2.3.6 is that Google has been progressively locking all users into its ecosystem with each release, I don't want to be locked into any Google ecosystem, Sorry. I value my privacy. And I prefer the older, menu-configurable systems, not the new UI. Sorry. That's just me. I have been in computer programming too long, I guess...

Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

Dr Trevor Marshall

This time Microsoft has gone too far

I can't help thinking about Ebenezer Scrooge. Not sure why...

Sony denies Vaio-to-Lenovo rumour

Dr Trevor Marshall

"Is innacurate"?

What about "unfounded" or "fantasy"? Most PR hacks don't allege "inaccuracy" if there is any other word to choose. Of course, there may be a problem translating the Japanese to unequivocal English...

Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG

Dr Trevor Marshall
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Most US consumers have only one ISP - there is no choice

Thanks for this perspective, Andrew. I haven't had time to read the actual ruling, and your summary was very useful. The real problem is that most US consumers only have one broadband provider. This allows a company like Verizon to offer me 15/5 FIOS internet, their lowest speed, for only $74.95 (base) per month. I can get a discount to $49.95 the first year, but then my bill automatically changes to $74.95 plus router, plus taxes and fees. An ADSL feed required me to maintain a dry-line phone number, which was $65 per month with ISP costs on top of that. Some consumers have cable, where it is possible to keep the bill around $50 per month, provided one has some negotiating skills and doesn't mind a low 3/1 data rate.

Despite paying Verizon the $80 monthly fees, if I try to stream a 1080p YouTube video I find the data rate roughly half that of the 720p version (my router logs connection speed). Is it throttling? Yes, most likely, as no similar effect can be noticed on my cable modem feed from a different ISP. So throttling is a public issue, even now... for me, at least...

KC engineer 'exposed unencrypted spreadsheet with phone numbers, user IDs, PASSWORDS'

Dr Trevor Marshall

Verizon USA knows your passwords

Verizon USA FIOS routers have a backdoor for tech support, which is well-documented. But recently, when I logged into my Verizon web account to check my billing balance, I saw that my WIFI WPA2 password was recorded there in plain text, I switched ISP. It is just unbelievable how any ISP could surreptitiously harvest my WiFi password into their database. To say nothing of the threat to my WiFi network, knowing my WPA2 password would make social engineering of my internal network passwords much, much, easier.

And yes, I know Google does it with Android devices. I have given those devices their own DMZ.

Boeing bent over for new probe as 787 batteries vent fluid, start to MELT

Dr Trevor Marshall

Gifts from the Gods (while walking in the meadows)

Well, bird poop is pretty bad, but I really wouldn't like any of that electrolyte tumbling down on my head :)

Thought sales were in the toilet before? Behold the agony: 2013 was a PC market BLOODBATH

Dr Trevor Marshall

Lenovo ships Windows 7, with optional Win 8 'upgrade'

No surprise why it is getting the sales increase. Guess what ACER and ASUS were trying to foist upon the end user :)

Oh - and the Lenovo BIOS also supports Win XP and Linux Drivers. UEFI can be bypassed, although it is uncertain whether selecting legacy Bios disables rootkit pathways in UEFI :)

Post-BT crypto guru Schneier gets new gig at startup

Dr Trevor Marshall

Twofish (double-wrapped with AES) gives us a tiny, tiny, chance of true privacy. Thanks for all your efforts, Bruce, and your honesty.

Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Dr Trevor Marshall

My smartphone emulates my beloved HP41

I have Andsens HP41 simulator on my android smartphone. I use it almost daily. ( a41CV.apk ). It even runs my old programs...

Firefox's plugin-blocker slams into beta - but don't jump for joy, Flash haters

Dr Trevor Marshall

FLASHblock also blocks the FLASH advertisements

I bet that is why Mozilla don't want to 'protect' us from FLASH. Can't upset the advertisers. Oh well, as long as Flashblock continues to work as a plugin...

RIP Bill Lowe: Father of the IBM PC no longer reading drive C

Dr Trevor Marshall

Kelly Smith died of Cancer several years ago

Incidentally, the engineer who produced Tandon Computer's clone BIOS, Kelly Smith, died several years ago from cancer. After Tandon, Kelly worked on the Phoenix BIOS at Phoenix's 'skunk works' in Hawaii. Another sad loss to the industry...

Dr Trevor Marshall

Yes, indeed. I have a box containing QDOS 86 on my shelf

And it worked, although Microsoft had to get out quite a few bugs.

An excellent article, BTW. Accurate. RIP Mr Lowe. You changed the world...

Chinese hotel guests find data spaffed all over the internet

Dr Trevor Marshall

Travel - it's like that...

Whether in Brussels or Beijing, I always prefer tethered 3G to WiFi. If I use WiFi, it is behind a VPN (usually my own server).

As for giving " name, address, workplace, ID number, birth date and phone number just to register for Wi-Fi" -- who would be silly enough to do that in this day and age? Birth date?

FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS: Microsoft faces prising XP from Big Biz

Dr Trevor Marshall

Google will save the world. While perhaps doing only a little evil.

Google will support those who fail to migrate (at least with a competent browser). I have no doubt that other software suppliers will follow Google's lead.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 region-locking saga CLEAR AS MUD

Dr Trevor Marshall
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Software *UPGRADE*?

Sammy is pushing out the 'fix' in a software 'upgrade' for older phones?

Grab the popcorn - but after you have switched off automatic updates on your own phone...

PC market hits the ropes, but Lenovo's still standing

Dr Trevor Marshall

We are seeing Lenovo riding Windows 8's coat-tails

I bought Lenovo Thinkpads as they offered drivers fro Windows XP and Windows 7, and came with Windows 7 pre-installed, not Windows 8. Plus they have a Legacy Bios mode as well as the UEFI.

I guess I was not alone in avoiding Windows 8....

Lost phone? Google's got an app for that, coming this month

Dr Trevor Marshall

Re: How do I get rid of this BLOAT - I don't want it

Oops - I didn't mean to imply that ALL Android users are twits - only those who are incapable of downloading this new app as a conscious mental task...