* Posts by carl0s

59 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Nov 2013


Microsoft switches Edge’s PDF reader to pay-to-play Adobe Acrobat


Will it trick users into "rotate page" instead of "rotate view" and automatically change itself from a free to use pdf reader into a trial of a paid product that expires and stops working after a short while?

I have had to stop putting Adobe Reader on all my customer's computers now.

Three seconds of audio could end up costing Fox $500,000


Yawn... Since when this this place become so Americana

(Just teasing)

On the 12th day of the Rackspace email disaster, it did not give to me …


I find it quite disappointing that Rackspace's PR say they have "restored access to email for x number ot affected users", as though it is supposed to mean they are back up and running and fixed. What they should be saying is "moved x number of customers to an alternative supplier (Microsoft 365) while we are still unable to restore hacked systems and affected data".

They're just not being straight enough.

Version 252 of systemd, as expected, locks down the Linux boot process


Re: Systemd and it's team is more than a pile of bad code

What are you on about? I think you need to calm down and get a grip.


Re: Systemd and it's team is more than a pile of bad code

That's a bit drastic.

I put together a thin client thing on Rock 4C+ SBCs running armbian.

It uses sway as the compositor / display server, wlfreerdp, and a modified build of wvkbd for an on-screen touch keyboard. This is because Xorg performance is terrible on these rockchip boards but Wayland performance is good.

It works really well, but things have to be started up in a certain order. FreeRDP can fail for various reasons (network, user lockout, etc), and wvkbd dies if the monitor is disconnected or turned off.

My first attempt used a bash script and wait [multiple pids] etc, figure out which process died, restart it, etc. It became an unmanageable mess.

I spent some time googling, and despite still being a newbie with systemd, I now have a perfect system where the dependencies will start and restart themselves in the correct order, as well as the sway@tty1 service running as the display manager, auto login etc

OK, Google: Why are you still pointing women at fake abortion clinics?


Nobody seems to care about the slugs and snails. Even vegans care about chickens and cows and sheep and stuff, but don't care about the slugs and snails. It's apparently OK to kill slugs and snails.

On what level is an undeveloped human fetus more sentient and valuable than a fully developed living slug or snail?

Come to think of it, what about those chickens, cows, sheep and stuff?

I'm not trying to make people feel guilty about killing chickens, cows, sheep, and snails and stuff. It sort of feels like the elephant in the room though, that's all, given the beef over abortion.

Weird Flex, but OK: Now you can officially turn these PCs, Macs into Chromebooks


Re: Specs

4gb used to be enough, and should be enough, but it ain't, not in the Microsoft world.

Ever since Teams popped itself onto everyone's computers (well, everyone with a 365 sub that includes office desktop apps), 4gb is no longer enough.

I routinely shove extra 4gb sticks into PCs as I come across them now.

Microsoft fixes under-attack Windows zero-day Follina


Automatic updates

But what exactly does:

"Customers whose systems are configured to receive automatic updates do not need to take any further action".

Is this the Windows equivalent of them saying:

"Customers using Exchange Online (cloud) do not need to take any action"?

I see this a lot lately (Microsoft, cloud pushers, and Citrix with their cloud push) and I read it as marketing to drive people to feel safer with cloud services. It makes me cynical.

I mean, in the case of ProxyLogon, Exchange server has has these flaws for however long, and by the time we get to hear about it and get the patches, they are telling us that cloud users don't need to worry. That's all well and good, but what went on in the months / years before the issue was discovered by the vendor, and more so before it was shared with their customers and on-prem users?

Anyway back to my original question. Are they saying all users of Windows 8.1, 10 or 11 who have "automatic updates (a.k.a windows update, right? Or not right any more?)" turned on, don't need to worry? Or is there a marketing subtext to that sentence? - i.e. a device management monthly subscription?

Or am I just over thinking it, or being too cynical?

Vivaldi email client released 7 years after first announcement


Does anyone who knows or cares actually use IMAP or POP anymore though? It's either ActiveSync or proprietary equivalent (iCloud, GMail), isn't it?

I'm sorry did I just see a mention of Evolution? Christ almighty.

Desktop email/pim is the one thing that is still a problem to replace i.e. if you'd like to find a Microsoft alternative. They have both the desktop app and the server solution pretty much locked in. For now at least. Webmail is getting close to a viable replacement. Just not quite there.

I fairly frequently try to move away. I have used evolution since the very first paid-for exchange plugin, then the next one, and the next (mapi, ews, ActiveSync, etc). mapi-http is the latest iteration of the outlook protocol I think and evolution doesn't support it. Ews is being killed off on the server side.

I tried SoGo with the exchange plugin.

I donated to OpenChange, the exchange drop-in that was closely linked to samba. Think that's what SoGo worked with.

I got excited for that postpath exchange drop-in that got bought out and then disappeared about 10 years ago. Didn't Google buy it and just take the brand name and use it for spam filtering or something?

I tried to just use OWA recently (on Linux) but that failed too on the day to day.

Ho hum.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81


Google killed desktop Drive and replaced it with two apps. Now it’s killing those, and Drive for desktop is returning


Re: But…

I was given admin access to both orgs, and tried signing into either org first, checked Drive service enablement (b&s, dfs, d4d etc), no joy. The person on Reddit said that they are a Mac outfit and of their team of users, every Intel one didn't have the option, and every M1 user did.


Re: But…

Well, supposedly one of the new features of version 49 - from yesterday, is that you can be signed in to up to 4 accounts at the same time. There's an asterisk against that feature saying you can only do that if Backup and Sync is turned on for the account (which one? Both, all four, etc?).

Try as I might, I could not figure out, after two hours today, why this guy I had to help, who has Macbook (that I don't support / work with, and I didn't set him up or his Google Apps/Workspace either.. just got lumbered with helping him), why the option to sign in to another account wasn't there. He says that before this, he could at least click 'switch account' or something.

Anyway after a couple of hours of faffing about and comparing Workspace admin settings between the two organisations, and getting nowhere, I found a comment on Reddit from some randomer stating that the multiple accounts feature, on Mac OS, only works on ARM (M1 CPU), not Intel Macs.

Not a word from Google on it. Nice waste of a couple of hours.

Audacity is a poster child for what can be achieved with open-source software


Ultimate guitar is basically a scam site that has licensed "permission" to host user created guitar tabs. It's full of "download pdf" links that don't give you a pdf, but in fact try to make you install their app. They also used to give fake 5 star ratings to duplicates of guitar-pro (gp4/gp5) files and present them as 5 star rated app-only files. Except that they were just the existing 3 star rated free to use public guitar pro files that you can download and use in either guitar pro or tuxguitar (free). The rating was fake and the idea was to coerce you into downloading their app, again. There was no indication that it was just the GP file duplicated and given a fake 5 star rating.

In fact, good luck trying to browse tabs on their site from a mobile device, unless you try to trick the site by setting 'desktop mode, on your mobile device.

I don't care for this company at all. Shady A.F.

Stop. Look... Install Linux? The Reg solves Microsoft's latest Windows teaser


More Edge pushing

I expect the main feature of Windows 11 will be more things that automatically open up Edge and completely ignore your choice of browser. Like the current start menu in Windows 10, the search box, and the new weather bollocks widget.

Ubuntu, Wikimedia jump ship to the Libera Chat IRC network after Freenode channel confiscations


Bonus of all this is that I have been able to reclaim the nick that I've used for the past 25 years but lost after a short absence. Sweet.

Decade-old bug in Linux world's sudo can be abused by any logged-in user to gain root privileges


Re: How is this possible?

At least you can check it yourself before using it.

Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Gen 8: No boundaries were pushed in the making of this laptop – and that's OK


I think I am waiting for an AMD based thing that's similar to the X1 Carbon. I do like the light weight. I used to always have a T series, had most of the T4x series up until the T43, then I had an X301 or two, prior to the X1 Carbon. I recommended the X1 to a customer, a gen 1 I think, then I was on a train with her a year or so later and used it and realised I had to get one. Thankfully skipped the gen2 and its keyboard.

The 8gb is still enough for me, and I changed out the SSD for a 512gb one a little while back. Battery's getting tired now though!

I've supplied/recommended a lot of the E580/585 and E590/595 and now the E15 to customers. While quite a bit chunkier than a T series ThinkPad, they're still very good. Just about to recommend a couple of Ryzen 4500U E15s to someone actually..

I do like the ThinkPads!


I'm really pleased to see that touch is an option again, on a 400 nit IPS display too. a 1080p screen. I think 1080p is probably good for a 14" display.

I'm still on my gen 3 with an i5-5200u. This has a 2.5k touch display (2560 × 1440 or thereabouts), which is nice and dandy in Windows, but has caused me all sorts of hi-dpi grief in Gnome, and similarly in many win32 gkt based apps (inkscape, gimp.. although both much better in recent releases).

I have avoided newer models of the X1 Carbon, partly due to not feeling like spunking such dosh, but mostly because I really like the touch screen, and they have not included the option in recent models. I find mixing touch + keyboard + trackpoint to be very good. Just the odd webpage scroll and touch of a button or icon here and there. You can also do some rapid "touch-keypress, touch-keypress, touch-keypress" working through lists and stuff that you just couldn't otherwise do, to workaround UX deficiencies in some programs/systems.

Also the non-touch doesn't have a stuck-on bezel to collect dust. Same with the XPS 13 - I much prefer the touch models and hate the dust collection of the bezel edge on the non-touch models.

el reg: I think you have the model name wrong though. It's an X1 Carbon, not a Carbon X1, AFAIK.

US nuke agency hacked by suspected Russian SolarWinds spies, Microsoft also installed backdoor


If the US govt have created things like Ghidra, and all their other secret backdoor intel stuff, I wonder why they need Solarwinds? Similar thoughts re Microsoft.

Marmite of scripting languages PHP emits version 8.0, complete with named arguments and other goodies


I'll reply to myself then.

Django by itself should have been enough. I really shouldn't have needed to say more.

I suggest anybody considering PHP should look instead at Python and in turn at Django.



It's better to burn out than fade Huawei: UK rolls out schedule for rip-and-replace rules


As someone who knows that Huawei VDSL ('fibre') cabinets and end-user Openreach modems were always the first to trial or get new technologies, vs the other ones - the ECI kit (I'm not an expert in this field but am thinking of g.inp and vectoring), I do find this disappointing.

I can only hope that our govnt will change their mind once Trump is gone and they no longer have to keep up the facade. But what can you do? That idiot could be back in control again in 2024. Maybe some kind of law will be passed that will prevent governments being taken over by complete loony tunes in future.

Cool stuff: MacBook Air and Pro teardowns show thermal changes and missing T2 chip


Re: Keyboard riveted?

Yeah I've had to cut off plastic weld/rivets on Asus an Acer laptops so that I could replace keyboards without having to buy entire palmrest+keyboard assemblies.

My now rather old ThinkPad X1 Carbon gen3 is on its third keyboard+palmrest+ultranav, as you say, just through long term use. It's still a very good machine.


No repairs

Repairability? My friend has cracked the screen in a fairly new 16" MacBook Pro (model A2141). While she thinks about finding a box to send it off to Apple in, I said it would be interesting to see what a panel costs in the aftermarket i.e. eBay, fully expecting it might be expensive for an LCD-TFT or AMOLED panel, maybe £400 at worst, or simply not available at all new leaving you in the hands of Apple and their decision on whether they would or could repair a cracked screen.

Turns out you can buy them, for between £720 and £1000.

To be fair, it is the whole lid/top assy, rather than the OEM panel, but it reaffirms my feelings on this manufacturer's computers in general.

Red Hat tips its Fedora 33: Beta release introduces Btrfs as default file system, .NET on ARM64, plus an IoT variant


Re: Btrfs

I think that's harsh. Yes there have been past problems, but for some scenarios it's amazing.

I believe there are still issues around metadata safety/reliability with raid5, but that's not to say you can't use raid5 for your data (mkfs.btrfs -m raid1 -d raid5). I know there were some curious scenarios in the past like a 2-disk raid1 would not mount if one of the disks was missing or failed. That would worry me especially when you're too busy to have to figure out and learn about 'why won't it work with one disk.. it's a two disk mirror ffs, that's the whole point'. Don't think that's an issue anymore. Last time I looked at quotas they killed my performance, and I was only enabling them to try to get a clear view of snapshot space utilisation.

I think if you consider the plusses: snapshots work well, compression works well (zstd:2 a big win), the multi disk stuff is super flexible and impressive (and the whole concept of how it deals with multi-disks and errors/failures) and the send/recv stuff, and then maybe put the deduplication and quotas into the 'not quite sure' category.. well, you still end up with a pretty awesome thing. That's where I'm at anyway.

I've given it some abuse over the last few years and I'm doing ok I think. I ran it atop an md-raid0 for a few years, and now have the above btrfs-raid5 with raid1 metadata. This is for storing backups of Windows servers and esxi boxes. The btrfs snapshots work well for Windows wbadmin since it appends to the same vhdx file each time. Not so well for esxi ghettovcb since they're not incremental. I use snapper. Being read-only snapshots by default is good from a ransomware protection perspective (in case the server doing the wbadmin backups is compromised).

Being on Fedora is nice because it's pretty much bleeding edge with the kernel and btrfs utils etc.

Obviously you probably all already know that Netgear (for easily more than 5 years) and Synology (maybe more recently?) Use btrfs on their NAS boxes for snapshots, usually on top of their own (or probably a tweaked md) multi disk raid type thing.

Paragon 'optimistic' that its NTFS driver will be accepted into the Linux Kernel


This is interesting.

I wonder if the code will stand up to kernel maintainers scrutiny, both in terms of code quality and legality (let's not have another SCO incident please).

Are Paragon the people who write the Mac hfs+ driver for windows? That has worked well and allowed me to salvage data from failing OS X drives before.

Multiple customers knocked offline as firefighters tackle flames at Telstra's London Hosting Centre bit barn


My customers are going to ditch me.

I'm going to ditch voiceflex.

Maybe voiceflex will ditch Telstra?

If voiceflex would answer the phone, answer tickets, have some kind of failover, or a working call-divert from their portal, this wouldn't have been so bad.



To be fair, it's not just cloudy stuff. I manage a few on-prem Asterisk based PBXs, and the SIP trunks for connecting to the PSTN world have to go via a provider, who might have their kit in that data centre. As far as VoIP systems go, it's as un-cloudy as you can get really, I think.

Rip and replace is such a long Huawei to go, UK telcos plead, citing 'blackouts' and 'billion pound' costs: Are Vodafone and BT playing 'Project Fear'?


Are there two Donas in the story, one a man and the other a woman? I noticed a couple of typos and double-words in the story so perhaps it's just an editorial oversight.

Mayday! Mayday! The next Windows 10 update is finally on approach to a PC near you


Re: Huh

erm, I dunno. I have a Lenovo Explorer headset that is a Windows Mixed Reality headset. I don't actually do anything 'windows mixed reality' with it once I have got into Steam, but by the sounds of it, I still need Windows Mixed Reality stuff to work, or at least as well as it did. It often says it can't find the headset and stuff.

Cloud'n'server hosting giant OVH more like OMG: Data center hardware failure knocks out services in France


Re: Great!


A good majority of the scumbags in my fail2ban, RDP and SIP honeypot address lists are from OVH.

Facebook, distributor of deceptive political ads, sues registrar Namecheap over deceptive domain names


Re: Only in England the source of the Skripal fantasy would this title fly

It's actually bloody marvelous. I feel very well looked after.

As for namecheap, I started using them over a year ago as 123-reg got more expensive and forced renewals and didn't allow you to remove PayPal details (you can cancel the authorisation from PayPal's side though) - basically too many surprise renewals that were a fair whack of money, plus the whole .UK debacle. Other companies that I used got bought up by same group (vidahost, tsohost, paragon group) and so have gone down in my estimations.

I thought that post-GDPR, WHOIS was anonymised now anyway? I haven't looked into that though. Namecheap give the whoisguard for free and I got very fed up of shitty web SEO companies and app builders promising to build me a site / app for every domain I registered for myself or a customer. Constant emails and phone calls.

Namecheap's portal/cart/control panel is rather well done too. I like it. It could be a bit snappier but it's a well built platform, so for now I quite like them.

I permanently deleted my Facebook account about 6 months ago mind you. Took my data archive and left.

In summary I'm on Namecheap's side.

Terrifying bug in WhatsApp allows hackers to steal files. So get patching all nine of you using it on the desktop


Re: Electron

To be fair, my standard editor is sublime text. I use vscode with platformio for embedded stuff, when I last did any of that anyway, and I use it with Quasar framework for Vue JS stuff. I use sublime as my everyday editor and for Django stuff.

Funny you should mention VS code memory usage, because when I tried to use it with Django, its intellisense stuff just got in an endless loop digging through the python libraries and used all my 16 gigs of ram, then started swapping out all over my SSD.


Re: Electron

I think it's more down to what you do with it.

Microsoft Teams is utter shite, Discord appears to be excellent.

VS Code is also pretty excellent.

Teenagers today. Can't take them anywhere, eh? 18-year-old kid accused of $50m SIM-swap cryptocurrency heist


I have been on the gin, but I don't think it's me this time..

"a serious of vulnerability"

a series of vulnerabilities, perhaps?

The Windows Phone keeps ringing but no one's home: Microsoft finally lets platform die


This is good. It has worked out right.

No mobile phone share, and very low browser share. The borg must be kept at arms length. They already have too much power and control. Thank god browsing the web doesn't require ActiveX or Silverlight.

Complete with keyboard and actual, literal, 'physical' escape key: Apple emits new 16" $2.4k+ MacBook Pro


I don't like Apple laptops because:

They genuinely have a tendency to suffer expensive irreparable* failures.

The screens don't tilt back to a useful degree.

The build quality does not match the price-tag - i.e. they don't seem to wear very well.

No touchscreen options.

I'm still rocking my 3rd gen X1 Carbon Touch, which I have upgraded the SSD drive in twice now. OK it's not NVMe (it's M.2 SATA).

I wish the new gen X1 Carbon was available with touch. It's handy for zooming in on html element edges to check design consistency and stuff.

*unless you get the help of somebody like Louis Rossmann.

'No more room for wars in the new world'? Who are you and what have you done with Microsoft?


Am I the only one fixated on Microsoft and Borg(es) then?

Q. Who's triumphantly slamming barn door shut after horse bolted at warp 9? A. NordVPN


I'm not even sure it's right to call them virtual private networks. There's not much private about these public tunnel services that use VPN protocols. Perhaps they should just be renamed as tunnel services.

A funny thing happened on Huawei to the bank. We made even more money. Hahaha. Here till Friday


Re: Wait, what?

I tried to open the Kindle up so that I could put some yellow kaptan tape over the LEDs, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to get to thqt part of it.


Re: Wait, what?

I have a Kindle Oasis. The one with the extra battery in the leather cover.

The backlight is very white/bluey.

They've just brought out a new revision, which doesn't have the extra battery/cover, but adds a colour temperature control ('adjustable warm light'), so you can go sepia to bluey white. It starts at about £230. Same as my last one I think.

Mine is definitely quite bluey white.

I got a Tablift holder to go with the Mediapad tablet. I'm very pleased with it. I'm trying to learn lots of stuff from big PDFs and it works much better than the Kindle.


I like my P20 Pro, and I have recently bought a mediapad m5 8" tablet. It's very good as an ereader. I was fed up of my £300 kindle that had a very blue screen, the fix for which is a new version for another £300. The mediapad does pdfs nicely and in colour and is not heavy.

The devil's advocate, or rather the opposite - the brainwash protection in me, makes me want to support Huawei.

The NetCAT is out of the bag: Intel chipset exploited to sniff SSH passwords as they're typed over the network


Tbh I'm surprised SSH sends password keypresses to the remote end like telnet. I would have thought the password was captured client-side and then dealt with in some secure manner.

Are they meaning they capture you logging in to another system from the side-channel-monitored system? So you are already on a remote session from machine A to machine B, typing away, and you SSH from machine B to machine C, while some code on machine B infers your keypresses from the network packets coming from machine A to machine B? That sounds like it would make sense.

Microsoft's only gone and published the exFAT spec, now supports popping it in the Linux kernel


What about non Linux use?

Does this make any difference for non-Linux use? What if I build an embedded stm32 project or Arduino project, and the FAT implementation uses exFAT features. Am I going to be taken to court by Microsoft?

Isn't Linux supposed to be about free software? It's not very free if Microsoft will still sue people for using it (or rather, compatible implementations) outside of Linux.

Google's reCAPTCHA favors – you guessed it – Google: Duh, only a bot would refuse to sign into the Chocolate Factory


I am not a robot

I thought the 'i am not a robot' checkbox wasn't there with recaptcha v3. Isn't that the whole point of v3 - no user interaction required?

LTO-8 tape media patent lawsuit cripples supply as Sony and Fujifilm face off in court


I used to think that the name Linear Tape Open meant that it was an open standard unencumbered by patents.

Crypto-chaps on scam rap in a flap over Slack chat tap, want court case zapped: 'Attorney-client priv info' in messages


That article title!

Razer – perfectly happy to sell you a laptop for over $2,000, but when it comes to fixing security holes... tough sh*t


Re: Official sponsorship

That should of course be true. It irritates the hell out of me ;-)

Iranian-backed hackers ransacked Citrix, swiped 6TB+ of emails, docs, secrets, claims cyber-biz


Citrix knew about this on 2nd December

Monday morning of 3rd December, all users of Citrix ShareFile, including clients of users, (e.g. every client of an accountancy firm that uses ShareFile to send secured emails to their clients) were unable to log in to ShareFile. Some of these users use ShareFile as their 'cloud network drive' (sigh), some just for sending secure emails, or rightsignature documents.

After a while it became apparent that Citrix had forced a password reset for all accounts.

Explanations from Citrix were at first missing altogether, and then those that did come were conflicting.

My own opinion was that a data breach had happened and Citrix were not being open about it.



Office 365 CSP ordering down for days ??


Office 365 CSP ordering down for days ??

Not sure if this is news or not. I haven't needed to order any new licenses in a little while.

Just tried to, and found out from Ingram Cloud that for the past 2 - 3 days, many resellers or customers can't manage their subscriptions.

Most of my customer's subs are showing as 'Configuring' with the Manage Subscription button disabled.

The chap said it was a problem at Microsoft's side. He may have been making that up, but if not, I'm getting really sick of this. What are we at now so far this year, Office 358?

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