* Posts by dbannon

46 posts • joined 15 Dec 2016

Meltdown, Spectre bug patch slowdown gets real – and what you can do about it


"Or chuck out their current CISC infrastructure and switch over to a RISC-based one? (unlikely).

Given that we know ARM is impacted by these security flaws as well, ..."

Ah, but apparently Itanium is not affected.

(I remember the HP rep telling me it was the future of (HPC) computing, he'd know ....)

South Australia bins emergency alert app, contract


Re: SA app written in Vic...

"... (and yes, during those extreme fire risk days, you have every resource under sun on auto-refresh)..."

And my guess is thats the problem. The app works fine during normal times but cannot cope when the load increases. Its telling more people about whats happening, more people are asking for updates.

So, probably, two underlying issues. The protocol is too wordy, each contact exchanges too much information (xml files where less than a tenth of the data is useful ? :-) ). And, secondly, not enough hardware thrown at it. $250,000 does not leave a lot left over, "we'll use that old box under the bed there , our tests indicate its fine".

Microsoft silently fixes security holes in Windows 10 – dumps Win 7, 8 out in the cold


Google's OS and browser are free....

"Google's OS and browser are free. Therefore it's expected that people will keep up semi-regularly."

Well, yes, would be a good idea if it worked. I have a five year old tablet that kept getting its updates until I realised it was now so slow as the be useless. Would work fine on the original version of Android, even a couple of versions latter but certainly not what it "upgraded" to.

And, for the record, this table cost about as much at the time of purchase as a cheaper desktop so a valid comparison.

So, Nokia. What makes you think the world wants your phones?


Re: @Anonymous Coward

"Jesus, what a dipshit. Did you even read the article? It's an Android phone..."

Hey, be fair ! I read the article, then had to read the comments to find out if it was really an Android phone. I agree that our anonymous friend should have been able to guess but the article is not clear on the subject.


Systemd wins top gong for 'lamest vendor' in Pwnie security awards


Re: Don't worry

"Agreed. However upstream programmers may well be tempted to support only the systemd-* components as it makes their job easier, and packagers for various distributions may be tempted to include hard dependencies on the systemd-* components because they assume their presence."

Ah, I think I understand now. The problem with systemd is its too good at what it does.

Oh my Word... Microsoft Office 365 unlatched after morning lockout


re: Oh my Word... Microsoft Office 365 unlatched after morning lockout

Oddly enough I've never found this a problem, at least not since 8" floppies..."

In my experience, Microsoft users often don't seem to know where they have saved their work to. They just 'save' and expect it to be there when they return. The ins and out of a USB drive (or your floppies) is just a bit too hard. And MS users rarely seem to unmount before grabbing the USB drive.

I know there are exceptions but I have observed this characteristic in otherwise very competent computer users.

So, maybe cloud is a real need ....

Costly, under-featured MyGov is just fine, says Oz national auditor


It cannot help but appear good on some mertics

"an increase in transactions completed online; a reduction in in-person contacts with citizens; "

You should always choose metrics you cannot loose on. Such as the above. You walk into a Medicare office and someone meets you at the door and says "go home and do that on line". So, clearly inline transactions will increase, in-person ones will decrease. Most of these transactions are government payout related and overall, they will decrease too as many people will just give up.

Its a difficult to logon, clunky system. It lets you proceed, laboriously, through a process and then says, "oh, no, you need the phone app to do this".

I assume they hope to use it to process CentreLink stuff, a good number of CentreLink people struggle with computers, often change mobile phone numbers (necessary for logon) and generally don't respond to more barriers. But I guess thats the intention.

Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars


Re: You call that a denial ?

"What worries me is we have absolutely no credible proof this colony does not exit. "

Ha Ha, fantastic ! I got 9 down votes from (presumably) people who thought I was serious. And you reckon ex-CIA operatives are gullible !

Incidentally, here in Oz, we have our own "A.Jones", radio presenter, ours is Alan not Alex but otherwise, good match.


You call that a denial ?

What worries me is we have absolutely no credible proof this colony does not exit. A lame statement from a NASA Spokesperson. Saying exactly what you'd expect him to say. And maybe even an honest statement, not everyone within NASA would know the full details..........

What is dead may never die: a new version of OS/2 just arrived


Re: Retro?

> If you really can't wait, you could always run WordPerfect in FreeDOS (natively or in a VM) or in DOSBox.

No, no ! Dosbox is for running Warcraft II - it runs better than it ever did under DOS.

Big mistake by Big Blue: Storwize initialisation USBs had malware


Re: Malicious malware copies itself to /tmp/initTool

Now, just guessing. IBM love to send java based GUI tools to do these sort of setups. And java being what it is, they send a full java environment along with it. The malware could be just one more java "binary".

Outsourcers blamed for cocking up programmes at one in three big firms


Is this a problem ?

I once saw a large (900mm dia ?) aircon duct installed immediately in front of a switchboard's doors. Don't remember if it was a weekend job or a case of no 'local' staff visiting the job. Contractors organised by external consultants, perhaps they thought it was not being used anymore, well, it was !

Trouble is, consultants have no skin in the game, if something goes badly wrong, its another contract for them to fix it. And the guy who made the mistake, and hopefully learnt something, is elsewhere.

Android beats Windows as most popular OS for interwebz – by 0.02%


Re: Visual Studio

"Shirley Visual Studio's just an overpriced replacement for MS Paint. Innit?"

Please don't call me Shirley

Alabama man gets electrocuted after sleeping with iPhone


Re: so much wrong here...

"Is it a rule that folks in Britain and Europe MUST find fault in everything American?"

And Australians too, we like to get stuck into the yanks as well !

Reg now behind invisible HTML5 Bitcoin paywall


B4 Midday

Hmm, I've always understood 1/4/* gags had to be done before midday. And for a set of Register readers, myself included, midday passed some time ago !

So, while great gag (I read it to the end), I'm calling foul !

Bloke whose drone was blasted out of sky by angry dad loses another court battle for compo


Re: Cricket bats

Gad ! No gentleman would use an aluminium (or aluminum) bat.

Inside OpenSSL's battle to change its license: Coders' rights, tech giants, patents and more


no. The issue is not "the" license, nor the change of the license.

The issue is the way the license is attempting be changed.

One person can not say, "I want to change the license, and if you don't respond, I'll take it as approval".

I am afraid I have to disagree. I have, several times needed to 'organise' various changes requiring 50% or greater approval. There are always a few in favour, a few opposed and a large number who really don't care. In this case, the last group will be people who, some time ago contributed, or made a small contribution, or are just interested in the code. Hey, not everyone loves reading software licenses !

Getting people who don't care to respond is really hard. Given that they don't care, it makes sense to assume they will be happy with what ever is judged best for the project.

Iconic Land Rover Defender may make a comeback by 2019


Re: Why did people like the defender?

"You don't need a million quid's worth of specialist electronic tools and a degree in software engineering to work out what was wrong with one and fix it."

That may well apply to early defenders but a close friend spent over A$13,000 trying to get his antilock brakes fixed, ended up selling it quietly because he simply did not trust them.

I, personally, have owned three English designed and at least partially built cars. One comment, Lucas Electrics ! I think that should be enough.

Oh happy day! Linus Torvalds has given the world Linux 4.10


Re: With new releases...

"I wish that they would put up on a site (kernel.org?) a nice 3 page treatise that explains the "highlights" of the release, in somewhat general terms."

Subscribe to the Linux Journal - it has a nice chatty section about whats happening to the kernel each month. It does not focus on releases and is not complete but its an interesting look at some of the things being discussed and why some decisions are made. And its about 3 pages....


Re: -0.8 A clearer option?

"Using a full stop as a non decimal separator helps put off potential users."

Really ? Just how many new Linux users even know how to find the kernel version ? They may know the (eg) Ubuntu release [..15.04, 15.10, 16.04, 16.10 ..] its not much of a sequence either.

Sorry Chris, it might annoy but by time you know enough Linux to use it, your hooked !

Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches



Yeah, Amazon, I tried to buy a piece of music from Amazon for my wife's funeral. They made me create a account, took my credit card details and then, and only then, said "No, you are in Oz, we don't supply this to Oz".

My point is, they make it so hard, the illegal guys make it easy. Google ranking is based on who get the most clicks (to some degree) and people like "easy". If the legal people offered a better service, they might get a higher ranking naturally.

Software glitch, not wind farms, blacked out 60,000 in South Australia


Re: Power optional

hey druck, Oengus

I wonder if you read the article, it is pretty clearly presenting yet another reason why renewables are NOT the problem.

"... not all wind is suitable ..."

Possibly but not here mate ! In the first incident in particular, there was a lot of wind, and the wind generators were very happily lapping it up when lightening strikes took out transmission towers.

In the second case, yes, there was less wind and a bit less power. Exactly what was forecast with plenty of notice to warm up the kit there for exactly that reason. But that did not happen and three times the necessary load shedding took place because of a "software" issue.

So, great to see comments but a bit of relevance and accuracy please !

Verisign probed by US Dept of Justice over $135m .web auction


Re: Private auction

Yes, I also found that a very puzzling sentence. I think the author could enlarge on it a bit, he/she must understand the background (or would not write it up) so please share.

IBM's Marissa Mayer moment: Staff ordered to work in one of 6 main offices – or face the axe


IBM Marketing

Hey, they ran a campaign here years ago along the lines of "no one ever got fired for choosing IBM." Inspiring. I guess they were all working from home when that was decided.....

Ubuntu Linux daddy Mark Shuttleworth: Carrots for Unity 8?


Now, there is a surprise !

"....Shuttleworth says. It's building something that works as it should everywhere and doesn't piss people off."

OK, so Unity was not an attempt to piss people off ? Grafting a display designed for a phone screen onto a desktop, sorry, I cannot see any reason to do that other than to piss people off. I guess its just possible that someone, somewhere thought it was a useful experiment but surely everyone else in the room could see the piss off potential ?

Mate works fine, you still get to use Ubuntu and have a grown up interface. But I worry about new to Linux people. They hear Ubuntu mentioned, get the default install and never come back again.

Is it the beginning of the end for Visual Basic? Microsoft to focus on 'core scenarios'


"How can you mention Visual Basic's decline without mentioning Delphi?

Delphi showed how things _should_ be..."

You can still buy Delphi, but only at corporate prices. So no new users....

But there is Lazarus, free, open source and appears more complete "cross platform" than anything else I tried. And it looks and feels just like Delphi did when I last used it, some 16 years ago.

Turnbull transforms tech right off his agenda


I wonder why ?

"...and yet we do not have one modern high-efficiency low-emissions coal-fired power station, let alone one with carbon capture and storage.”

Gee, I wonder why, maybe because the technology does not work ?

We had such high hopes for Malcolm, really ......

Free smart fridges! App stores in fountains! Plus more from Canonical man


Re: I dunno...

"- Fridge: requires a thermostat and a little switch to turn the light on. Many fridges now have a frost-free feature that presumably relies on some kind of timer. I don't suppose anyone is perverse enough to be nostalgic about freezer defrosting."

Many fridges already have a little alarm that beeps if some naughty child has the door open too long. A temp alarm ? An internet connection would allow the fridge to email you saying "I'm getting too warm". A bar code reader would be nice, it could note when you put something in there and let you know when its past use by date.

I am sure I could think of more if I was feeling silly enough......


Re: All your pizzas are ours

"Your freezer has just been switched to defrost and all the controls disabled for 24 hours.

Normal operation will be restored on payment of {$CURRENCY UNITS}25......."

Not my problem, I have contracted for food (in a usable state) from a Food as a Service organisation. It will need to decide to reboot the fridge and, if necessary, restock.

As the nutter said, its a whole new ball game.

(as an aside, did you mean to say "All your pizza are belong to us" ? )


Re: Daft beyond words

"I could ask my fridge for recommendations for a pizza place.

You can ask your phone that. "

Do you realise just how silly that sounds when looked at objectively ? On the sound unix principle, your phone should be making phone calls, not answering questions about food. Your fridge does specialise in food ! If you have a choice between a food device and a voice call device to ask about pizza, surly the food device wins ?

You're taking the p... Linux encryption app Cryptkeeper has universal password: 'p'


Read the man page

So, it looks like cryptkeeper called encfs in a way the encfs man page specifically warn against. Thats brave. The -S option should not be used unless the encrypted file system already exits. Otherwise the interaction of deciding how to make it and setting a password is too complicated, too much risk of the sort of problem we see now.

But now the encfs people are talking of reverting the change. Sigh

Maybe they should rely on an expect script ? So much more reliable....

PDP-10 enthusiasts resurrect ancient MIT operating system


Re: PDP-10, PDP-11

"I still have a PDP-11/23+ ......RSX11 was a neat operating system and had DEC been willing to release it to the general public, it would have kicked MSDOS out of the ballpark."

No, instead they made the DEC Rainbow. From memory, floppy drives that were incompatible with the rest of the world, other strange stuff.

Sigh, anyone from back then can produce such a list of what DEC should have done differently. If only they had listened (back then) to what we say now .......

See you around, Larry: AWS is our new Oracle, says Microsoft's Nadella


Wow, I bet ...

Larry Ellison is breathing a sigh of relief over that !

Judge allows plan for Intel to reanimate McAfee. The brand, we mean


A win win solution ?

"The chip giant has plans to spin off a cyber-security firm called McAfee that involve selling a 51 per cent stake in the new business to a private equity firm."

I don't understand. John wants to use the brand name again, Intel want to sell it, why shouldn't he just out bid the asset stripper, er sorry, the private equity firm ?

Assuming he wisely invested the money he got when he first sold McAfee and Associates ? I cannot imagine the value of the brand has gone up .....

Australia to review effectiveness of ISPs' copyright-defending website blocks


Times, they are a changing....

For most of our history, someone with a bit of talent might be able to escape the drudgery of mine or paddock and work in the Baron's court.

Then we had a short crazy period where these people became demigods, rich beyond all common sense. And that happened because technology allowed selling of their talent on media. Maybe that short crazy period is over ? Good !

Technology gives, technology takes away. Adapt.

Silly, unenforceable and unwanted laws are not the answer.

Linus Torvalds says Linux 4.10 just 'blew up' as rc6 bloats


"How cute, they still use a mailing list!"

Yes, they do that because it works. Sometime, working well is more important than gee wizz trendy !

Devonians try to drive Dartmoor whisky plan onto rocks


Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

"....In the UK Whisky..... Whiskey is any old shit."

Very polite. Anyway, Irish whiskey may be distilled on the island of Ireland, that includes Northern Ireland. Irish whiskey was made long before Scotch, is less well know than Scotch because the Irish refused to lower quality and use the the (Irish invented) Coffey Still, a continuous and much cheaper process requiring blending to put some flavour back.

Rather sadly, Scottish companies are now opening Irish Distilleries based, no doubt on quantity before quality principles, so the differences will diminish. But I hope they don't force Irish to become "any old shit" just yet.

Linux nasty kicks weak, hacked gadgets when they're already down


Re: use of default passwords

" I'd expect admin:admin pi:pi pi:raspberry and a few others to be in that list."

I always remove the "pi" account when I setup a raspberry pi for anything longish term. No point in even giving them that hint IMHO.

Wine 2.0 lands: It's not Soylent for booze but more Windows apps on Linux and Mac OS


Re: "get a guernsey"?

A "guernsey" is the knitted garment you might wear playing football or similar. In club colours so joining the club, and perhaps being selected to play means you "get a guernsey". But I don't know why we call it a guernsey .....

Penguins force-fed root: Cruel security flaw found in systemd v228


So, do somethng !

OK, so systemd is -

a. Completely unusable

b. Completely unnecessary

c. Completely adopted by the major distros.

So, if you systemd haters go out and make a new distro without systemd, the world will beat a path to your door. Call it deb-sansd perhaps ? You will rule the world ! You could even set up your own mailing list and "discuss" systemd there (and not here...).

UK, you Cray. Boffins flex ARM in 'first-of-its-kind' bonkers HPC rig


Prove ARM chips with GPUs ?

"...... and NVIDIA P100 GPUs....."

Of course, it will need the GPUs to get a good linpack score.

Euro space agency's Galileo satellites stricken by mystery clock failures


Re: Why not just leave the satellites on the ground, where you can go and fix them in a van...

"Comes to that, why not just learn to read a flippin' map?"

Ah, pretty as they may be, they don't have a little arrow that says "you are here" do they ?

While you can (sort of) calculate your position from landmarks, sun or stars, that little arrow is much more accurate for most of use.

Support chap's Sonic Screwdriver fixes PC as user fumes in disbelief


Re: Laptop locks mysteriously

".. User was wearing magnetic (woo) bracelet and using the trackpad.."

Yep, that makes sense. But I am not convinced about a metal implant, as I understand it they are invariably non-magnetic.


Raspberry Pi Foundation releases operating system for PCs, Macs


Re: what users want

"a curated suite of productivity software..."

Hey, at least it does not come with Minecraft and Mathmatica, takes so long to remove that from a RasPi image.

'So sorry' Evernote rips up privacy changes



Tomboy Notes - simple, far easier to get along with than Evernote. I sync with two linux machines and two android. And, (sigh..) with the partners windows box.

Nice thing is its written in Mono (! did I really say that?) - well, with Java going away C# is going to be big, maybe !

OpenStreetView? You are no longer hostage to Google's car-driven vision


Re: How "open" is OpenStreetMap?

"...I have to assume that most of its data comes from hobbyists scanning in material from copyrighted and/or paid-for sources..."

No, definitely not the case. Anyone who contributes to OSM is endlessly reminded not to copy. Lots of contributers take great pleasure in spotting possible breaches of that rule.

Its worth noting some governments decide, quite rightly, that their data is publicly funded and therefore publicly owned. See the OSM "Attribution" pages. But overall, I still think most data in there has come from people walking, riding or driving with phones or GPS enabled laptops recording away.

"... an example of what a community can ...." - that it is, most certainly !


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