* Posts by DesktopGuy

61 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jan 2013


Apple swipes left on the last Touch Bar Mac, replaces it with a pricier 14″ model


poor idea, should have never got out of the testing labs

Honestly, this was a terrible idea. With proper wider testing and focus groups they likely never would have introduced this.

A keyboard that has contextual keys that change depending on the app focus. So much for touch typing and not looking at keyboard.

Providing context by a right clicking of a file is a great UI. The context is right next to the file you are looking at so closer to hand.

Having contextual row of non-tactile keys was simply a horrible idea. Made for a cool demo, but that's about it.

Warning: Apple 'could very easily' cripple Jamf


Apple Business Essentials is currently US only and so based off their acquisition of Fleetsmith which I was testing for iPad deployment.

At the moment, it is not competition to literally any of the MDM providers - even MS InTune.

Considering Apple don't support large enterprise and never did, I don't think this is too much of a concern.

Remember Apple had configurator and Profile Manager and did not really extend that out for years.

Do an Apple Deployment course and they teach you all about Profile Manager then at the end say, go get JAMF if you actually want to manage macOS properly.

Most of the changes admins complain about is standard Apple giving more power to users by not allowing remote access with accepting etc…

The big change lately has been the bootstrapping and encryption of FileVault. The first logged in user get's the token so that ruins fully automated setup workflows.

You need to log in at least once before you can deploy all the rest of the goodies successfully.

Taser maker offers electric-shock drones to stop school shootings


Re: less than the cost of one armed guard

But where do we find all those "one armed guards"

Surely fully function guards with limbs intact helps…

Safari is crippling the mobile market, and we never even noticed


interesting article but short on Any facts

Just need to chime in that you start with IE was terrible - hardly updated in 4 years. This is pretty much accepted.

This then leads in to Safari on mobile is also crap and by extension also a dinosaur that's never updated.

Where are ANY examples or proof of this?

Nothing wrong with choice - back when IE was dominating, many many websites would not work in Safari simply as they were coded for IE only quirks.

If you have a browser with small market share, you are forgotten and not tested against during development.

So say you open everything up and Safari looses it competitiveness and websites and web apps which are new the primary way to interact because you get rid of app stores stop working. Back to the good old days!

Apple has shown they want to control the experience and not rely on other companies which is what lead them into the wilderness way back when.

It's up to you wether you buy into this.

I preference Safari mainly for the password syncing and the 2FA/Auth app support now built in which I haven't found as graceful with other solutions.

Yes I deploy 1password and other password managers for business clients regularly, but it gets in way of smooth experience.

Florida Man sues Facebook, Twitter, YouTube for account ban


I love the title.

Make every story you have to write about the individual start with - Florida man …

He garnered so much free press in run up to 2016, limit his reach and he will fade away.

IT for service providers biz Kaseya defers decision about SaaS restoration following supply chain attack


Glad I dumped Keseya!

Glad I dumped Keseya!

I resold the Dark Web scanner to my clients and it was mainly fear marketing - bombarding clients with weekly updates of which large PC orgs got hacked with a severity scale. getting out of the contract was a nightmare.

They kept billing me "by accident" after I cancelled buy contract and took months to refund the funds.

Really, really not nice to deal with - especially in Australia.

I wonder if they will use this hack in their Dark Web monitoring marketing…???

Synology to enforce use of validated disks in enterprise NAS boxes. And guess what? Only its own disks exceed 4TB


Enterprise kit only

Lots of comments about consumer DS range, and FreeNAS etc...

This is for 3 enterprise NAS which when you pay a premium, you expect to just work and have a support structure around that.

Synology certainly don’t have the support structure yet - drop them a support ticket and see the response! But this is the first step down that road by having a controlled platform.

I get these devices either as primary storage or as backup for hideously expensive video storage arrays so it’s worth the cost.

If you’re “Harry Home Owner” best look elsewhere.

I run crap loads of DS models as well and would be rightly pissed if they introduced that requirement on those models.

Apple reportedly planning to revive the MagSafe charging standard with the next lot of MacBook Pros


If true - would be a welcome backflip

Magsafe has saved more times than I would like to admit.

The only issues were dodgy cables that were prone to fray in earlier models (especially if wound too tight around base) and when things like small bits of gravel or even a part of a paper clip got stuck between housing and magnet!

I don't know anyone that happy with the Touch Bar though.

The original version integrated the escape key and had some serious issues.

I have a 2016 MBP which won't load MacOS due to touchbar being damaged but works perfectly fine with Windows and Bootcamp which is ironic.

Huawei mobile mast installed next to secret MI5 data centre in London has 7 years to do whatever it is Huawei does


Re: It's just a conincidence...... Surely??

Gold medal!!

Airplane reference (Flying High in Australia)

Putting the d'oh! in Adobe: 'Years of photos' permanently wiped from iPhones, iPads by bad Lightroom app update


Adobe - true to from…

Adobe have screwed up updates for years - this is nothing new.

Below are just some over last 6 years - they have been buggering things up since at least 1989!!

In 2014, Adobe login servers for Creative Cloud went offline. This affected millions of people and actually stoped the digital publication of several mastheads produced in DPS.

See - https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27439189

In 2016, the released an update that wiped out hidden folders in your root directory - killing multiple programs and backups from a range of companies.

See - https://petapixel.com/2016/02/13/warning-adobe-creative-cloud-deletes-data-in-your-mac-root-directory/

In 2017 they released a Premier Pro update with a "new cache cleaning" facility that wiped thousands of TBs from storage systems across the world.

Quite a few of these were not backed up due to small producers not having the capacity, money or experience to maintain backups.

This is now the subject of quite a few lawsuits and I had 3 clients affected - at one place, I watched assets vanish off the storage as projects were open and closed)

See - https://petapixel.com/2018/11/14/photographer-sues-adobe-saying-bug-deleted-files-worth-250000/

macOS? More like mac-woe-ess: Google Chrome slip-up trips up SIP-less Apple Macs


Bad software affects some users

If Google Chrome has automatic updates enabled (not on by default and need admin elevation), it does this through a LaunchAgent in Library.

This has elevated privileges so can mess with everything IF someone actively disables SIP.

To disable SIP, you have to reboot into recovery mode first, then issue the command - csrutil disable

It's only going to mess with people who have actively subverted the OS X security for whatever reason.

Adobe did a similar thing a while ago where an updater/installer started deleting things it shouldn't as part of it's cleanup process.

Atari finally launches its VCS console. Again.


design inspiration from a Taiwanese company…

Looks surprisingly like a Draytek 2962 from the rear…


Not very bright: Apple geniuses spend two weeks, $10,000 of repairs on a MacBook Pro fault caused by one dumb bug


There are plenty of ways to keep the machine from going to sleep without disabling the display and leaving it almost closed!.

Sometime in troubleshooting, you can't account for what users do!

Now this is out in the open, I'd expect a Kbase article or 2 or perhaps a minor design change regarding to monitor brightness on T2 chipped machines.

PS: Whenever doing large unattended copies which cannot be interrupted (which I'm forever doing), the terminal command "caffeinate" is your friend.

Apple kills iTunes, preps pricey Mac Pro, gives iPad its own OS – plus: That $999 monitor stand


Re: So many storage questions

Why on earth would you want spinning rust when the internal SSD can read/write at 3GB/s

You would not saddle a high end workstation with such slow storage.

If you need capacity, 4-16 bay external RAID is the way to go.

A lot of the RAIDs and video storage servers I deploy can sustain around 3GB/s but are larger than the entire MacPro.

Upgrade refuseniks, beware: Adobe snips away legacy versions of its Creative Cloud apps


InDesign issues

One of the biggest issue for Australian ad agencies is they often have to produce collateral and share it with neighbouring nations in the South Pacific.

They are often running older version of things like InDesign meaning the ad agencies have to open/backsave in older versions to have the files compatible.

Not really and issue with Illustrator or Photoshop as the file format does not change, but it's a show stopper when working across regions using InDesign!

Exporting to IDML (kind of like a template file) is really not a viable solution as when the resulting file is opened, it's a brand new document that needs to be saved.

As per a lot of things, if you are working internally, not a massive deal which version of apps you use, it's when you need to collaborate with a range of companies that the app versions become a real challenge.

Premiere Pro bug ate my videos! Bloke sues Adobe after greedy 'clean cache' wipes files


This bug bit 2 of my clients

This was nasty.

I had a client who lost a few TB and he actually saw the files vanish of his $40k video server in front of his eyes.

The issue wasn't just the new cache clean mechanism erased stuff it shouldn't have, but more the fact it was set automatically to delete old cache files triggering the bug after the upgrade without ANY user intervention.

Seriously, it was a case of upgrade Adobe CC, launch then quit Premier and TBs of data vanish!

We of course had snapshots and backups, but it took a day to work out what had actually happened, then we had to change the cache policies on all machines and inform all my other clients.

There were alot of small time video producers bitten by this. Whilst it's easy to blame the end users, Adobe also share responsibly for producing such a show stopper of a bug.

I'm actually surprised it took so long for a course case - especially in the good ol' U S of A.

Xero needs a hero as business accounting site takes morning off


Re: "Cloud"

Just checked - I signed up for xero 15 September 2008 so just shy of 10 years been using the could software. In all that time, this has been the only downtime that has affected me.

I use in the software at least daily and it's been incredible.

In supporting clients using purchased software MYOB, I have seen many of them have their data file corrupted with only recourse to send off to MYOB interstate to get the file fixed (for an big fee).

If anything, this show the resilience of well designed cloud software.

I'm certainly glad it didn't happen on the day I have to post BAS (as I usually do it on the day it's due).

Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre


Re: An Australian perspective

Not sure why the downvote. Everything said was fact.

At the time of the shooting Tasmania and Queensland had the loosest gun laws in the country mainly due to more farmers.

The then premier of Queensland, Rob Borbidge played a vital role in getting a consensus and passing the legislation, although conceding later that it cost him the Queensland election. Politicians can sometimes act for the good of the country and not their own self interest.

The USA has the chance to change the course of their own history like we did in Australia if their politicians are brave enough which unfortunately does not seem to be the case.


An Australian perspective

In 1996, Martin Bryant killed 35 people and injured 23 in the Port Arthur massacre in Australia.

That tragedy led to the National Firearms Agreement (NFA).

"Australian State and Territory governments placed extensive restrictions on all firearms, including handguns, semi-automatic centre-fire rifles, repeating shotguns (holding more than 5 shots) and high-capacity rifle magazines. In addition to this, limitations were also put into place on low-capacity repeating shotguns and rim-fire semi-automatic rifles."

Whilst I was never a fan of the Prime Minister of the time - John Howard, especially his treatment and demonisation of asylum seekers, this would have to be his crowning achievement.

There has not been a mass shooting in Australia since then - coming up to 22 years.

Contrast that the the USA which has had 1,624 mass shootings leading to the deaths of 1,875 and the injury of 6,848 in the last 1,870 days.

See - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/oct/02/america-mass-shootings-gun-violence

I can only hope that Americans come to their senses and realise it is easy access to weapons that leads to these almost daily tragedies.

Judge stalls Uber trade-secret theft trial after learning upstart 'ran a trade-secret stealing op'


Wow, these guys are a law unto themselves.

Lying, corruption, payoffs, sexism (list goes on and on).

I see a job opening for a certain world leader in the not too distant future…

So. Should I upgrade to macOS High Sierra?


Upgraded yesterday - no major issues so far

I upgraded yesterday.

This is mainly because my design clients will often click on ANY link from Apple for an update/upgrade!

Personally I would like to wait at least a fortnight but it's not an option.

Using VirtualBox to run OS X 10.11 and 10.12 support of older software and works very well - much better than parallels with Windows 7.

For a filesytem cleanup, opted to create a USB boot disk using the built-in createinstallmedia.

Time Machine backup, boot of USB disk and format disk as AFPS, install 10.13, use Migration Assistant built into installer to restore home folders and Applications.

Then test, test, test…

There are a few things on Apple that there is no functional equivalent on Windows.

1. Target Disk Mode - been using this since OS 9 with SCSI devices.

Allowed you to mount another Mac as a local disk - great for running disk/volume repairs etc…

Fun fact is once another mac is mounted locally as a disk, you can actually reboot your Mac off the other Mac's disk!

2. Migration Assistant - been around for quite a few years.

Great for doing a clean install and then bringing back home folder and Applications without alot of the cruft that accumulates with multiple OS upgrades over the years.

It is especially good at bringing back installed software and keeping all the licensing intact.

3. ASR (Apple Software Restore) - perfect for imaging and deploying OS X using monolithic images which has been around for at least a decade.

Since OS X does not need licensing - (only needs a valid Mac to install onto) it makes creating deployment images a cake walk .

No sysprep to deal with - build a new image and it will boot and deploy on ALL apple hardware that supports the new system which is invariably the last 7 years' models.

There are a lot of gripes - especially on the higher end for video production, 40Gb networking, zero server hardware, crappy RAID, dealing with resource forks of old Mac PS fonts (still!!!)

Overall - I can't, in good conscience charge for weekly/monthly maintenance like all my Windows tech contacts - the machines are simply too reliable and don't break down enough!

I do bulk billing instead so clients can per pay for their support and use as issues actually crop up.

Department of Human Services says citizens, not systems, to blame


Sounds like the perfect system!

You make a system that clearly is not up the automated task it was designed for.

Your then forced to hire more staff - thereby reducing unemployment.

The said staff are paid for by recouping money of dole bludgers!

Everybody wins…

except for the poor unemployed sods who loose their benefits to pay for extra staff

nbn™ is installing new hybrid-fibre coax cables


Re: Thanks

Cultural difference? Haven't you seen the ads.

We spend our days having a shrimp on the barbie and drinking Fosters. When not there, it's down to Bondi beach or backpacking at Uluru.

Strewth, we have the virtually every deadly animal alive and we eat our national emblem - the Kangaroo…

Don't get me started on the drop bears.

Jus sayin…


Got a quote from Telstra last week to deploy HFC - but ONLY for Pay tv!

Just to make thing more complex…

Th apartment I live in was built months before Foxtel IQ went live.

At the time the developers opted for satellite disk and "lite" cabling - that one coax lead per dwelling.

Foxtel IQ via satellite requires 2 cable runs so we have been stuck with original Foxtel units since day one.

I enquired to Foxtel about switching to coax as impending apartment build-out will soon overshadow our satellite dish and was informed the network is now owned by NBN so we can't be connected.

Roll forward one month and I now have a proposal for connecting us to coax (HFC) from Telstra but only for the use of Pay TV since we already have both NBN FTTB an TPG FTTB.

This won't work as Foxtel coax cannot deliver FTA - that has to come from antenna on roof meaning every dwelling still needs 2 cable runs.

Long story short - dogs breakfast.

One IP address, multiple SSL sites? Beating the great IPv4 squeeze


There are quite a few IP addresses if the corporates share

If you want to free up addresses, get the big old corporates who hopped on in the early 90s to return some addresses.

There are a whole swath of /8 blocks that each contain 16,777,216 IPs.

Get Apple, Ford, GE, Prudential, UPS to return a few as good corporate citizens.

Maybe get the US Department of Defence (which has the most addresses of any entity by a massive margin) to be a little more sharing.


Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list


no more trips to the US then - settled

I really enjoyed my last trip to the US, but if these new regulations are approved there is no chance in Hell I will ever set foot on US soil again.

Firstly, handing over passwords for social media and possibly banking to a third party!

They US government and private corporations have such a good record of keeping that information safe…

Think about the Ashley Madison breach and the suicides and blackmailing that happened after that.

Having that information in the hands of a foreign government who has already said if your not a US citizen then no rules apply.

Secondly, upwards of 6 months vetting for a 1 or 2 week trip.

This will totally gut the US tourism industry. An industry that was worth 1.47 trillion U.S. dollars to GDP in 2014 and was forecasted to contribute more than 2.5 trillion U.S. dollars by 2025.

How is this different from what the Germany and Russia did back in the day and what North Korea does now??

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason


suck it up - do the job

Starting off as an apprentice way back when…

I learned quickly I was getting paid the same amount if I was cleaning the gallery camera, getting lunch for tradies or doing actual work.

Simply put - manager wants you to do something then get it done.

Nothing wrong with having an opinion (as I have worked for myself for just shy of 20 years I am full of them!) but don't let your ego get in the way.

New MacBook Pro beckons fanbois to become strip pokers


more dongles to loose…

Joy oh joy.

Since I look after a range of Apple gear going back a decade, looks like my IT kit bag will expanding.

Need more time with the Chiropractor!

I'll now have to carry;

Thunderbolt2 to Ethernet Adapter

Thunderbolt2 to Firewire Adapter

Thunderbolt3 to Thunderbolt2 Adapter

Promise Thunderbolt2 to 10Gb Ethernet Adapter (along with the above Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter)

Thunderbolt disk caddie for drive diagnostic and recovery.

LaCie 2.5" Firewire Disk (for older Macs)

USB3 Disk for slightly newer macs

Seagate Thunderbolt2 Disk for even near Macs (along with the above Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter)

Add to that all the standard cables needed + tools and Ill need a sherpa to carry my gear…

Guarantee that I loose at least one dongle/accessory every few months.

On the bright side, going to a LaCie event today to test out Thunderbolt3 RAIDs.

Shame I couldn't take a new MBPro to test or at least test with the new Thunderbolt3 to Thunderbolt2 adapter with existing Thunderbolt MBPro.

Picture this: An exabyte of cat pix in the space of a sugar cube of DNA


My wife works as a microbiologist and currently does PCR at her lab.

I quite liked we were in totally different professions.

Looks like in future she could be an "organic storage expert"!

Imagine sending off some DNA for data retrieval - you think data recovery firms are expensive and slow...

ABC storage project adrift in 'brown ocean'


Re: Once Again Aus Gov / Gov Corps ignore Open Source used at Cloud Scale

This has nothing to do with object store (which is WAY to slow for video production) or cloud scale.

This is simple LAN and multi-site video production.

There are plenty of ethernet and Fibre video storage arrays to choose from in Australia.

Lower end you have ProMax and Tiger Tech, mid and higher end is EditShare, SmallTree, Islon, SNS and GBLabs.

They all have a presence here and a solid video production background.

Not sure why they went with HDS which does have some fine enterprise arrays but not tailored fro the video market.

They need consistent concurrent 500MB/s to 800MB/s to the a range of edit suites which will be using Avid or Premier or maybe even FCPX. (SBS use it!!)

That means some serious internal bandwidth as well as Cat6a, Cat7 or OM4 Fibre cabling along with very read heavy caching to allow editors to scrub through timelines etc…

Google UK coughs up £130m back taxes. Is it enough?


Not just the UK - same problems in Australia

The big issue is multinationals get to shift money around intracompany.

I have run my own company for 18 years and I pay more corporate tax as a percentage than these multi-nationals.

The only way a small business (which is the largest group of employers in Australia) to reduce their tax burden is to create 3 companies in different countries and start this transfer pricing/licencing crap.

How the hell are any small/medium businesses expected to ever compete with entrenched larger multi-nationals when the playing field is so skewed against them.

The sole reason for a business is to make money - that's even included in the tax code in Australia.

If you have a business that never makes any profit and all money goes as fees to another group company than you are NOT conducting a business.

You can spend your way out of corporate tax by investing in the country you are situated.

This includes building offices for R&D and employees, charitable causes etc… but if all your money goes in fees to a group company then you should have your business registration cancelled.

Your jingle to take into the weekend: QuickTime security fixes to apply


Re: Quicktime

Quicktime is not simply a crappy media player.

It's and entire codec/media platform and has been around since 1991!

These days, it's mainly about ProRes - a quicklime codec.

A lot of commercials are actually shot on Canon 5D cameras and HDMI output to attached ATOMOS ProRes capture devices.

Edits are done direct off footage - not really seeing much EDL creation these days.

Times have changed - reliance of the majority of the video industry on Quicktime has not.

All eyes on the jailbroken as iOS, Mac OS X threat level ratchets up


Anti virus company peddling fear - who'd have thunk!!

Same old crap.

Macs are low in number therefor there are less viruses made for them.

Problem with this argument is that many devices/OS'es have viruses/trojans/RATs/ransomware/ when their marketshare is far lower than OS X.

OS X marketshare has hovered around 10% for many years - that is a lot of supposed cashed up, stupid people who don't know anything about security. Surely that's a fat juicy target!

iOS has quite a high marketshare but there has not been a single instance of any of the nasties that affect Android.

Vulnerabilities get reported and fixed all the time against ALL systems.

None of these are weaponised and used on OS X or iOS, and now TvOS or WatchOS. Surely that says something.

In the last 17 years of managing Mac professionally, I have come across maybe half a dozen instances of adware - very basic ad injection stuff from the likes of Conduit etc…

They were all a case of scam websites stating they needed to run a plugin to view some content.

The bigger threat I see now for OS X is simply social engineering to get login credentials to online assets like Google, Dropbox etc…

I clean up a few of these every month.

Wake me up when someone compromises a payment terminal on running Lightspeed on OS X, or a banking trojan that steals your money, or ransomware (like what affected Synology not so long ago).

Flame on.

Rounded corners on Android phones cost Samsung $548m: It will pay up to Apple after all


Wow - never knew Steve jobs was responsible for millions of deaths!!

As for Samsung, they have a long history of bribes, price fixing, intellectual property theft followed by counter suing and dragging companies through the courts as long as possible.

Still, I wouldn't put them in the same category of the names you mentioned.

Theres a great article detailing Samsung's misdeeds.

See - http://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/06/apple-samsung-smartphone-patent-war

As for the Apple/Samsung case, the patent they were caught on was all Apple could get them on.

Did anyone ever see the case design, packaging, accessories, icons, layout - it was defiantly copying.

I like the look of the new Samsung devices, its just they did rip off Apple to get a leg up in the mobile market and it worked.

Considering how much money they have made, they will do the same thing again.

Just ask Dyson!

Malcolm Turnbull's run Australia's NBN for two years. How's he done?


finally getting somewhere for some..

I had TPG install FTTB last week as the NBN was not due in our area for at least the next 3 years.

Funny thing is the day after TPG installed their comms gear in our MDF, a metric crap load of gear was placed in our MDF by the NBN. There is a full size Telco cabinet, 60Kg of batteries to go in the bottom, and also plans on how the gear would connect to the street (which are wrong BTW!)

Is this a co-incidence or are NBN watching TPG deployments and then making sure anywhere TPG are - they are???

100Mb/40Mb will be fine by me for either FTTB service…

Australian online shoppers and Netflix to be fully taxed in 2017


won't make much difference

I buy goods from overseas not because they are 10% cheaper being GST free. I buy them because they are 50% to 90% cheaper!!

Once the government charges GST, these are business purchases so I get that 10% back anyway.

Once this scheme fails and its shown to cost more to collect the tax than what it nets, Gerry Harvey and his cronies will have to come up with a new complaint as to why Australian retailers can't compete.

Practice makes perfect: NBN fibre deployments accelerate


Buggered waiting - got TPG in today to do site survey!

We have 2 new apartments going up in our area. They dug up the street and last week I noticed the TPG manhole covers.

I met up with PIPE networks techs onsite today and am hoping I can get FTTB for the building soon.

I have been checking the NBN site for a year and neither myself or ANY of my clients will get it inside 3 years judging by current build out plans.

100/20Mb is less than the Labour FTTP, but better then the new Lib MTM FTTN.

Intel adopts 40Gb per SECOND USB-C plug for Thunderbolt 3.0


I keep re-testing Thunderbolt bridging for IP networking.

Tested again this weekend using OS X 10.10.3.

Whilst I can get speeds as high as 500MB/s between a MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina,

it fluctuates wildly, getting as low as 50Mb/s.

It would be awesome if I could finally replace 10Gb ethernet and 8Gb Fibre for basic storage networks.

Looks like a dream that will never be realised.

Musk: 'Tesla's electric Model S cars will be less crap soon. I PROMISE'


Re: locations

I'm hoping their solution to "end range anxiety" are really long extension cords!

Another thing, Americans and gas stations when it's clearly a liquid.

PS: Yes I know gas is short for Gasoline, but come on.

SpaceX to deliver Bigelow blow-up job to ISS astronauts


Science and quasi-humour

Am I the only one thinking "Deuce Bigelow - Male Gigilo"

Rob Schneider at his best - not that that's saying much.

From a construction perspective, since this is deformable it takes up less space for delivery, but how much weight does it save?

$533 MEEELLION – the cost of Apple’s iTunes patent infringement


Im against NPEs suing with impunity, but what about inventors

Not a fan of trolls or NPEs, but if I was a small time inventor, I would certainly be want to be able to sell the patentable ideas of my invention if I did not have time, resources or inclination to actually build a product myself.

The question becomes is a patent more valuable to an NPE as something that can be incorporated into a product or as a weapon to fire off against any company with cash.

As it stands NPEs have everything to gain but virtually nothing to lose by going to court.

Maybe stop court actions from patents not incorporated into products. Also improve discovery so companies can find out what patents they could potentially fall foul of during product development.

(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop


Re: Find Edges is NOT useless

Nice of you to give it a name.

The process has been around before photoshop existed - It's called unsharp masking!

It's a photographic technique to increase edge contrast - name comes from using a negative of an image that is out of focus and using that as a mask to expose through.

Kids these days...


nice trip down memory lane - my memories are the flip side - working in repro

Excellent article.

I got an apprenticeship in Graphic Reproduction in 1989 - just as the industry started to turn.

We did the scanning on hideously expensive drum scanners and I was a gallery camera operator and 4 colour planner.

Actually worked at TAFE with one of the guys who created Barney scan - David Alexander.


The only application that has really survived and flourished from that era is Photoshop.

InDesign replaced Quark, Illustrator replaced Freehand (the better program), Suitcase replaced ATM, the list goes on.

Samsung buys LoopPay ... to be better at bonking than Apple


Will work till the end of this year in the US

Mag stripe data!

Most developed counties already use EVM (chip and pin) so this is dead in the water.

Even the US will be requiring EVM later this year.

That's why the timing of ApplePay launching in the US is so good.

After the cutoff, retailers will be responsible and liable for any fraudulent transactions taken over mag stripe.

Now if Apple would only get off their ass and get ApplePay working in Australia.

Telstra copper at crisis point, endangers NBN, says union


Re: All Telstra's fault

Have to agree.

As someone who sets up companies and their infrastructure for a living, the last 3-4 years have been horrendous. I'm switching clients from ADSL to EFM and fibre or even residential cable to get them reliable connections. The cost of way too high, but reliability trumps price for alot of my clients.

Apple WINS iPod antitrust fight, jury nixes BILLION-dollar payout bid


wrong target - Apple had the money but not the obligation

Surely the lawsuit should have been targeted at Real.

They sold tracks wrapped in a reverse engineered DRM they did not have licence to use.

The tracks sold therefore never had any guarantee from Apple it was interoperable with the iPod.

Microsoft's TV product placement horror: CNN mistakes Surface tabs for iPAD stands


Product placement or directors using kit for free

The main reason you see so much Apple gear is in the realm of photography and audio/video production, Apple rule the roost.

If your a director/photographer and need a prop, you will often use what's on hand like a MacBook Air, or iPhone/iPad because they are lying around everywhere on every set and photoshoot I have been involved in for the last 16 years.

Apple don't need to pay for product placement, they simply need to provide the kit.

The people doing the production will naturally gravitate towards using Apple gear because they use the stuff all day long anyway!

In Australia, you don't see that much product placement, but it is growing - thanks in large part due to the awful "The Block" renovation show.

Most directors I know are not interested in product placement - it devalues their art.

They are of course happy to use something for free, but that really is not the same thing.

On a side note, I manage IT for creatives - video, photography, advertising etc...

100% of my clients use Apple desktops/laptop and around 95% use iPhones/iPads.

Whilst Samsung might own the phone market, you would never know it if you deal with creatives all day!

Best shot: Coffee - how do you brew?


Through summer, I often make use of the cheapest method.

Get a large mason jar, fill with 30% fresh ground coffee, douse with small amount almost boiling water let it sit for 30 seconds to bloom, stir then top up with cold water. Bung in fridge for 3 days with cling wrap pressed down against water surface to keep out air. After half a day, the floating raft of coffee will fall.

I often have it cold with a little condensed milk, or heated up as a standard flat white.

This is actually as good as the $4 shot of cold drip coffee all the local baristas do around Sydney.

Not as sexy as all the glass test tubes and condensers etc.. but it works!

Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes


Anything that helps small business improve cash-flow is great news.

I currently use a PayPal Here swipe several times a week to hit up clients for payment on the spot.

At a straight 1.95% charge it's currently the cheapest option out there - especially in Australia.

If I went for a mobile credit card/EFTPOS terminal from a bank - they would charge me hundreds for the device, a monthly fee, a % + a transaction fee.

I owned the previous triangle PayPal Here triangle device and it was a pice of steaming crap.

It rarely worked, did not work with pin and chip, if I launched the software with headphones in it played a high pitch sound at full volume. I only used it 3 times - it simply didn't work.

On top of that, when they first released it, any payment you received using the device was held in escrow 30 days in case of chargeback!

Ransomware attack hits Synology's NAS boxen


Been visiting my Synology clients all day - still going...

Was told about this by a client this morning who heard about it from someone who got owned.

So far, secured 7 devices today and doing another one tonight. The rest of devices have been powered down until I go over and secure them.

All told, we are talking about 130+TB of data (3 of the units with large RackStations).

I manage around 50 devices from a few manufacturers - this is by far the worst issue Iv'e come across in 7 years and managing NAS devices.

To make matters worse, alot of the distributors in countries were not told by Synology of the issue.

Al in all, a scary day for my clients. Will need to see how Synology respond before recommending any more kit...