* Posts by tekHedd

378 posts • joined 9 Aug 2011


Google rolls out pro-privacy DNS-over-HTTPS support in Chrome 83... with a handy kill switch for corporate IT


So much for my router-level blocks

Because my older DD-WRT router only supports classic DNS and not the new protocol, this magically disables all of my ad- and malware-domain blocks until I hack hidden settings in each browser. Which I believe is its primary purpose.

Any privacy- or speech-enhancing purpose is secondary and IMO becomes a technical problem to thwart at the edge networking level if you want to ... well anyway we all know the boring arguments.

And, of course, as it is an anti-censorship tool, it is a real PITA to redirect these requests to my own DoH servers. I mean, either it can't be done, in which case the ad servers win, or it can be done, in which case it is a COMPLETE waste of effort and why did we do it? The ad servers win.

Tech's Volkswagen moment? Trend Micro accused of cheating Microsoft driver QA by detecting test suite


Re: Petty or Pedant?

Pedantic but incorrect. Duck take is called this because it is made with a cloth (duck) backing.

^^ /this/ is pedantic-but-correct. Just FYI.

^^ so was that postscript.

^^ and that one.


"Working closely..."

Love how all the big players work with each other. A bit like, I dunno, picking a random example completely at random, a bit like a church saying "We are working closely with the accused priest to investigate your accusations of rape, and will take appropriate action. Thank you for bringing this to our attention." And also "it was inappropriate for you to go public with this."

Could it be? Really? The Year of Linux on the Desktop is almost here, and it's... Windows-shaped?


If only!

Since the only reason to run Windows is because you have an app that only runs on Windows, I'm not sure what the point is.

But then it's already the year of Linux On The Desktop[TM]. Since systemd has streamlined the Linux experience across systems and made all notebooks and apps work seamlessly together in perfect harmony, Linux has... OK I can't continue with a straight face, Devuan-devotee here to the core.

'VPs shouldn't go publicly rogue'... XML co-author Tim Bray quits AWS after Amazon fires COVID-19 whistleblowers



Oh dear. "co-author of the original specifications for XML" as an endorsement of one's technical prowess.. I mean it's like saying "I helped invent hangnails." Well, at least he's done something good now to help even the balance.

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother


Re: Political correctness gone mad

"Master/slave" is a perfectly appropriate and accurate way to describe the relationship of hardware devices on a bus: the master really is a master, and the slave really is a slave. And other similar hardware/software relationships. What, are we worried about the power imbalance of pluggable hardware modules and their host bus now? Because they have a genuine power imbalance and accurately describing that is just talking accurately.

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS


"optional and reorderable"

The parts of CSS I find hardest to do on the fly, without yet another trip to StackOverflow are the "optional and reorderable" parts. So, of course, let's add more.

I remember when I was junior and there were things like "language designers" and books on the theory of good user interface design and coding style, and they weren't trendy. Now even the Microsoft IDE is rejecting Microsoft's own best practices. :(

Bose shouts down claims that it borked noise cancellation firmware to sell more headphones


Any old headphones

A pair of good earplugs designed for music listening combined with a nice loud set of closed-back headphones works well for occasional air travel. Better, a set of custom mold earplugs is a handy tool for all kinds of loud environments, and doesn't require a battery. Also, great for live concerts (and sometimes movies; look I like it loud but OMGWTF).

World's smallest violin to be played for opportunistic sellers banned from eBay and Amazon for price gouging



Yup, sales stopped cold last Thursday. Nobody wants to commit to any purchases over about $50. Still a good time to be selling games, DVDs, other entertainment media though. We're clearing out a big box of that stuff this winter and it's still moving.

HPE celebrated diversity on International Women's Day not with pictures of its own staff but stock images of models


Re: Wait a minute

Perhaps HPE is boasting about the diversity of their labor outsourcing plan?

If you're wondering how Brit cops' live suspect-hunting facial-recog is going, it's cruising at 88% false positives


One person.

Look at this another way: they successfully matched one (1) person for the duration of the trial. For a sample set of this size, that looks like a huge success.

What if that one person hadn't taken that route during the trial? Then they would have matched 0%.

Cynic in me asks: how much did they pay that one person to walk through the area so the test would look like a success? Did they just get lucky?

(And TBH the other comments above are right: even if it had only a 1% false positive rate, the real issue isn't accuracy here, it's rights.)

'Unfixable' boot ROM security flaw in millions of Intel chips could spell 'utter chaos' for DRM, file encryption, etc


An infinite number of typewriters gets you every time

The chance of exploitation is miniscule...and you get an unlimited number of attempts. I think I see the problem here.

So... we've built basically an entire world full of computers with a hardware backdoor, but fortunately only *trusted authorities* have the key to that backdoor. Only now the key is leaking. Time to pretend to be surprised and shocked and double down because a) this was never really a backdoor it's a handy tool for administrators, and b) this doesn't invalidate the need to put backdoors in everything else as well, which also aren't backdoors but desperately needed to protect you.

"[EPID] is used for things like providing anti-piracy DRM protections, and Internet-of-Things attestation"

Translation: the point of EPID is to ensure that you, the end user, do not have control of your computer. This is why its compromise is a disaster of biblical proportions. If your computer is compromised that's sad. If /their/ telemetry and DRM content is compromised, cats and dogs sleeping together, mass hysteria.


Re: The best.

Don't forget 'stretch goal'

New Jersey beats New York – and then the rest of America – on broadband access. How does your state fare?


Illinois is in the top 10?

If Illinois is in the top 10, then the situation really is dire.

Last week's email from dad in Chicagoland: "I'm sick of Comcast Internet (XFinity), what are my other options?"

Me: "I have bad news for you..."

Drones must be constantly connected to the internet to give Feds real-time location data – new US govt proposal


Re: "... destroy privacy ...", they wrote, unironically.

Yes, this is exactly the point. "...and stored six months of your driving data for government scrutiny?" This is currently being done by private corporations with traffic flow cameras and, well, google.

But I guess since people don't care, that makes it OK somehow. Don't know really why I bother to even comment on it.

US Homeland Security mistakenly seizes British ad agency's website in prostitution probe gone wrong


Re: WTF?

When your sting involves something else entirely, but you need a plausible explanation, you just screwed up, and the truth is embarrassing, "prostitution" will do just fine.

How many times do we have to tell you? A Tesla isn't a self-driving car, say investigators after Apple man's fatal crash


Because in California there are no victims

"It's Tesla's fault! It's Apple's fault!" Executive decisions about how to drive were made by one person. It's the driver's fault, and he has taken responsibility for his actions by dying.

I agree that Tesla could do more, but shifting responsibility to a game or the car is the reason everything sucks now.

Firefox now defaults to DNS-over-HTTPS for US netizens and some are dischuffed about this


Suddenly, Advertising!

Ah, so that's why my DNS-based ad server blocks suddenly stopped working. :P

If you wonder why google's such a huge proponent of this technology, now you know...or are they? Google is farily meh on doh arent' they? Odd, since they're pretty pro on HTTPS-everywhere in every other respect.

Flat Earther and wannabe astronaut killed in homemade rocket


Fine style

Anyone with beautifully sculpted Star Trek concave sideburns like his is a winner in my book.

(note: no sarcasm here at all, legit respect)

Thunderbird is go: Mozilla's email client lands in a new nest


Re: I've stopped using it

Everyone in our organization uses Thunderbird; this is not a requirement, it just works and we all like it.

Does anybody really *prefer* Outlook other than from familiarity (because it's required at work anyway)? Does *anybody* prefer managing Exchange servers? Would anybody who is not a Microsoft marketing shill write the Register comment to which I am responding?

Note: These are rhetorical questions. Beer because it's Friday Jr, right?

Like its Windows-noob-stabilisers OS, Zorin's cloudy Grid tool is Linux desktop management for dummies


Re: Yessss! Bring forth the Linux desktop!

As a commentor mentioned, the good news is that Windows 7 is no longer a moving target for wine support. I suppose that offers some hope for the future.

I'm building an air-gapped[*] network for my windows 7 gaming system because, well, some of those games were almost impossible to get running and I'm definitely not risking an "upgrade".

* air-gapped - n. A network that has some sort of firewall and you want to claim it is unhackable

Virtual reality is a bonkers fad that no one takes seriously but anyway, here's someone to tell us to worry about hackers


VR is a fad?

VR will continue to be fad as long as the industry treats it as one.

I was a VR way early adopter...I had a VFX-1 headgear, I have owned multiple shutter glass systems (still my favorite way to do 3D). So, why haven't I even *looked* at any of the latest batch of VR systems, when they are clearly pretty good?

It's not cost of entry. I've dumped so much money into stereo 3D gear I don't want to think about it, and will move on to the next item now. I will *find* money for cool gaming tech that I like. But the cost of entry is a factor when you consider the rest.

1) Long term support. Where here "long" isn't even like 3 years. The industry has a crap track record for this. All of the shutter glass systems I own are no longer supported, not even for games that originally shipped with the systems. This includes both small names like EyeScream (who simply went out of business) and big names like NVidia (shame on you!) I have no faith that my Oculus or Vive will continue to work beyond summer.

2) "VR" Games. They suck. I don't want an immersive VR experience, where I have to mime getting out of the car and twisting off the gas cap in order to refuel. I want to press "Y" while next to the pump and have my tank meter zip to "F" on its own. In fact, I don't want to even stand up.

3) No/crap support for non-VR games. The main reason I want 3d is for stereo 3d, not for a VR experience. I like traditional styled games, where you sit and use the keyboard or maybe (for the less cerebral games) a console style controller.

4) Comfort. After all this time, you'd think they'd have a comfortable headset, but no. I think first-gen headsets with a full helmet were marginally more comfortable, in fact. And I expected more from the audio. (The VFX-1 had AKG phones in it.)

In short, I'm not paying that kind of money for an uncomfortable device that only plays one game I even care about, and will almost certainly be only useful as a doorstop by this time next year.

Microsoft boffin inadvertently highlights .NET image woes by running C# on Windows 3.11


Re: "Visual Studio is a paid-for product"

I have my Turbo C disks here somewhere. Heck yeah I had to pay for it, and worth every penny.

Oddly, it didn't contain any advertising.

From WordPad to WordAds: Microsoft caught sneaking nagging Office promos into venerable text editor beta


Re: Where did it all go wrong?

"Where it all went wrong was people wanting sh*t for free..."

Note how the rise of "Everything is free now" exactly parallels "everything sucks now." The end users are fine with tacky eye poison ads and intrusive spyware, therefore every program is tacky spyware


Re: On loathing ads

"I don't mind ads per se."

I do.

Server-side Swift's slow support story sours some: Apple lang tailored for mobile CPUs, lacking in Linux world


Re: What's Swift even supposed to do?

Particularly loving the downvotes by Typescript fanpersuns. I mean, it's less of an also-ran than Google Closure Compiler, but I'm comparing them to each other and that pretty much says it all.

'I am done with open source': Developer of Rust Actix web framework quits, appoints new maintainer


Re: He's not wrong

I stopped giving away software some time ago. Paying end users are generally much easier to deal with. Or maybe it's something about the "they gave me money" part that makes it easy to forgive their little quirks.

If at first you don't succeed, pry, pry again: Feds once again demand Apple unlock encrypted iPhones in yet another terrorism case


Re: What more could Apple do?

Likely there was a quiet NSA-mandated backdoor disguised as a bug, but some pesky whitehat found and reported it. :)

Pair charged with murder, manslaughter after IBM Aspera boffin killed in New Year's Eve laptop theft struggle



You don't think it could possibly be related in some way to the previous convictions and the murder charge, do you?

FYI: FBI raiding NSA's global wiretap database to probe US peeps is probably illegal, unconstitutional, court says


Oh no! The FBI is going to have to go back to *secretly* illegally spying.

"...a decision that could put an end to [unconstrained illegal spying and fishing expeditions]"

Don't you believe it for a second.

Hate speech row: Fine or jail anyone who calls people boffins, geeks or eggheads, psychology nerd demands


Nerd culture: it's still hate speech

Let us not forget: hipster culture is _ironic_. When they dress as nerds and call themselves nerds, it's a form of mockery, just like the beards and fake-old clothes. It's not acceptance, and never will be.

I don't know if I'd want to jail some jock for calling me a geek, but then these days I'm a paid-in-full geeky adult, have been hitting the gym regularly for decades, and/or can afford a good attorney. So I'm no longer a good target for bullying as there isn't a power imbalance. But it's still hate speech, and always will be at some level. Yeah, I use the word, but just like the N word is to others, geek is _our_ word. Ugly glasses and an iPhones do not a hacker make.

FUSE for macOS: Why a popular open source library became closed source and commercially licensed


So, er, why again?

Surprised the entire body of the article isn't simply:

...because Apple.

HPE to Mike Lynch: You told either El Reg or High Court the right version of why former Autonomy execs won't testify



He... just can't be bothered to testify? The VPs answer to a different standard, don't they? I don't care if he's testified 10 times already, if it was *me* telling the court "no, I'm not doing that" how long do you think I'd be walking around free?

Microsoft looks to React Native as a way to tackle the cross-platform development puzzle


Your turn is coming

Mono has been the bastard stepchild ever since... oh right it always has been. Flavor of the month doesn't last. Enjoy it while it does.

Not LibreOffice too? Beloved open-source suite latest to fall victim to the curse of Catalina



App signing: is it really about enhancing app security, or is this just another control thing, like SSL certificates? For your safety and security, all your apps are our apps now.

Don't look too closely at what is seeping out of the big Dutch pipe


Re: Test bed

I'm pretty sure I downloaded slackware using Fetch (batch FTP, right?) It's all so vague now. Took all day to compile, mostly in swap.

Two astronauts conduct a successful spacewalk, world+dog lose minds


Re: Sorry Richard, you blew it

"They only had one suit of that size" sounds pretty parlous to me.

GitLab reset --hard bad1dea: Biz U-turns, unbans office political chat, will vet customers


Re: Congratulations

And I mean it's Gitlab. A company that sells services around open source tools that anyone, good or evil, can fork and use. This makes their initial "shrug it off" stance understandable (if a bit tone-deaf for late 2019). Once start trying to document "ethics" as a policy document, you go down a rabbit hole that contains a maze you won't solve by following the right wall. But, it would certainly be unethical not to try.

First Python feature release under new governance model is here, complete with walrus operator (:=)


newlist = [ result for x in oldlist if (result:= f(x)) > 0 ]

I get it. Since it's currently considered pythonic to code in nearly unreadable one-liners, the additional gotchas are largely moot.



aka "one line of code should do one thing", one of the most fundamental rules of good style (and also making debugging less of a PITA). But nobody follows that rule; if you do all the "experienced" programmers will make fun of you.

Euro ISP club: Sure, weaken encryption. It'll only undermine security for everyone, morons


Why would Facebook, you ask?

It's a legitimate question. Because nobody in their right mind trusts FB with their private communication now, do they? But if FB stands their ground, afterwards everyone *will* trust them. Then, later when the governments mandate backdoors, and they redesign their architecture to be client-server so that the NSA et al can put in hooks to grab that data (see also Skype), nobody will compain and they'll still treat it as secure and private. Everybody wins, except for of course nobody wins.


"Don't see a problem..."

I'm afraid you've tried to reason with someone who said "I don't see a problem with" when what they really mean is "I WON'T see a problem with..." Regardless of how logical your response is, they stopped listening about halfway through hitting "Submit".

Flak overflow: Barrage of criticism prompts very public Stack Overflow apology


Re: he, she, it, apes and monkeys

Which comes back to the fundamental problem: gender pronouns refer to the physical nature of the person's body, which was assumed to be the same as that person's gender. Now that one can be whatever gender one wants, one assumes one also has the right to be *called* by that gender regardless of physiology. Which to me seems to be the real problem, as the language is designed to handle the binary sexuality of most lifeforms and the nongendered status of inanimate objects, but not "any old thing you can think of". And we never considered that "they" would be co-opted to refer to a specific range of nonspecific genders, so that now we need even /another/ pronoun to be used specifically in the case of "you haven't yet told me which pronoun you prefer".

As for this author, we aregoing back to the old assumptions until the rules are more clearly defined. Also, we use the royal "we" and prefer "His Majesty". With caps. Thanks.

Remember the millions of fake net neutrality comments? They weren't as kosher as the FCC made out


Re: No confirmation email?

"a few thousand email addresses @mydomain would look suspicious"

A few thousand addresses @gmail wouldn't.


Re: Why did the FCC accept all of these fake comments?

"conspiracy theory" - an unproved hypothesis about a group of people secretly manipulating the government

"current events" - a proved, openly visible group of people openly manipulating the government, and laughing about it on twitter


Re: why is it always

The listed examples are awful, but it's hard not to agree with the premise. "Powerful people will use that power." The whole left-right thing is just red (and blue) herrings, and it's working so well we debate it as if it's a real thing and get totally sidetracked from, you know, whatever it is we were just talking about. Who wants lunch?

The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row


But it's not cool because I'm not trans

So...let's see how many downvotes I get from this apparent troll...which it isn't of course, it's simply my actual opinion. Just swap out the genders so that "I" identify as trans and see how many upvotes you can harvest:

"I identify as female. I realize that not identifying as my biological gender is offensive to some, but sadly this is the way I was born. I am also singular.

Once I have explained that I identify as both singular and female, continuing to refer to me as 'they' is just as offensive as deadnaming, and more offensive than 'he'."

Phrase it this way, now I'm the hero.


Re: I can see the problem

"it's easy to write and speak in a gender neutral way". Well, it used to be; we just used "gender-neutral he" in cases where we were speaking generally, or asked the person in question before using a pronoun. Now the totes lazy writer can use "singular they," and offend everyone all the time.

We've turned pronouns into a way to troll.


Re: huh?

"it" seems so sexless. I prefer "she". After all, it contains both "he" and "she" and could not possibly be considered offensive to anybody (except possibly for some of the poser cowboys down at the Boot showing off their 4x4s that have never seen dirt).


I am not plural.

I identify as male. I realize that even choosing a gender is offensive to some, but sadly this is the way I was born. I am also singular.

Once I have explained that I identify as both male and singular, continuing to refer to me as "they" is just as offensive as deadnaming, and more offensive than "she".



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