* Posts by Psion1k

18 posts • joined 15 Jun 2017

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42


Technically, there are SIX books in the "trilogy", though only five by the man himself:


Download this update from mybrowser.microsoft.com. Oh, sorry, that was malware on a hijacked sub-domain. Oops


Re: Oh dear, they STILL haven't figured out how dangerous this is!

I suspect that what is meant is that if you poke a dead/vulnerable alias, it will either not respond, or respond with a standard message effectively saying "no such website here", so is probably ripe for hijacking.

Any other response from the URL poked means it is still in use by "something", so they skip to the next possibility.

For MS, any such responding DNS entries are targets for removal.

The article is not about finding already compromised sub-domains, but about preventing future compromises from stale DNS records, though some sort of hunt and destroy for such is probably needed.

Are you writing code for ambient computing? No? Don't even know? Ch-uh. Google's 'write once, run anywhere' Flutter is all over it


Re: It's maybe an apt name

Total Inability To Supply Universal Platform?

Atari finally launches its VCS console. Again.


There has already been several units of "retro reboot, like the mini NES and SNES, or PlayStation Classic".

Just do a search for "Atari Flashback".

DigitalOcean drowned my startup! 'We lost everything, our servers, and one year of database backups' says biz boss


Re: DigitalOcean hosts hackers

In the end it doesn't matter. If people seeking to find devices to abuse have to wade through a vast ocean of addresses, they just make a bigger botnet.

The sheer size of the address space may make it harder to find a specific device on an address, but it won't stop them trying.

After all, such people are not using their own resources to do the searching.

Twist my Arm why don't you: Brit CPU behemoth latest biz to cease work with Huawei – report


Re: Unintended consequences

I think the answer is the same as always. The current politicians don't care.

They will have their pensions, jobs from their mates, and a massive fortune that will isolate them from any real consequences.

To sum up, it will be someone else's problem to deal with the fallout.

Oracle throws toys out pram again, tells US claims court: Competing for Pentagon cloud contract isn't fair!


Definitely want a company that gets the details correct, at least.

"Any DoD-alleged delay is a self-inflicted injury based on its refusal to ensure that DoD conducted this significant procurement in accordance with the law and in a manner above approach," Oracle said.

If they can't even get an age-old saying right, they certainly are not "beyond reproach" in their attention to detail. :P

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs


Re: The Usual Response...

The idea of a passphrase is a good one.

Unfortunately, there are quite a number of systems and websites that cap a password at 12 or 16 characters, so it does not always work.

Samsung Galaxy's flagship leaks ... don't matter much. Here's why


General smartphone design . . .

. . . leaves a bit to be desired these days, to my way of thinking.

(The following are my personal opinions. Obviously people will have their own opinions and preferences, which they have every right to. I can't help it if they are wrong. :P )

Not affecting just Samsungs (though they do seems to lead the charge), I am not a fan of wall-to-wall glass for the display. Trying to pick one of those up always tries to activate something on the screen. Taking one out of your pocket can do things like activating the camera etc., even if locked, when combined with gestures etc. You effectively NEED a case just to use it, because just holding/gripping it causes screen presses.

I like to have areas at the top and bottom of the screen, and the actual sides of the phone that are "dead", so no reactions. Designed along those lines, a notch becomes unnecessary, so no need to gnash teeth over that one. You also gain the ability to have dedicated buttons (not on-screen ones) for Home / Back / etc. functions. My personal preference was a design like the HTC 10.

Another gripe is battery life. With apps on phones pulling juice like it is unlimited (I'm looking at you Pokemon Go) options for bigger (or swappable) batteries is something I want to see.

The arguments for having smaller batteries generally come down to weight. If its an option, people can select what they want. I don't mind a heavier phone myself. Also makes it harder to have it slip out of a pocket unnoticed (or at all).

The arguments for non-swappable batteries come down to water-proofing, generally. While nice, I suspect it has a lot more to do with making the phones less serviceable, so you feel forced to buy a new handset when the battery life becomes useless. I'd prefer to be able to carry extra batteries that I can swap in as needed.

A small battery, which is non-swappable, combined with an app that sucks power (you would think an in-built Pikachu would extend the battery life), means you have have to use a powerbank to keep it going. Surprisingly (yeah, not so much), this causes the battery to heat up considerably, and can cook the battery into ineffectiveness. This usually shows up as the phone turning off earlier than the percentage gauge would indicate (worst I have seen inside 12 months is turning off at 65% on a 3000mAh battery). Bigger batteries either obviate the need for power banks, or do not generate the same sort of heat while being inline charged by a powerbank.

I also noticed people griping about the inclusion (or lack of) a 3.5mm jack for headphones. My personal preference is to have one built in, but most phones come with a USB-C-to-3.5mm jack adapter, if it does not have one, so not really an issue, unless you need to have the headphones in AND charge it simultaneously.

Personally, I am not inclined to ever have a Samsung phone, as have always felt that they are too restrictive in their UI design, and the physical units have always felt rather "cheap" in the construction department, though I admit that they do look shiny. To be fair, I have always preferred the metal bodies of phones like the HTCs.

As a last comment, the "in-screen fingerprint reader" is a two-sided thing. On the one hand, it allows more screen real-estate for those that want wall-to-wall screen on the phones, but on the other hand, forget about using a screen protector overlay, if you want to use it. The thing is sonic; a screen protector will block it. So you get to choose to have an extra layer of protection for your screen, or using the fingerprint reader.

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10


Re: I think I can spare 7Gb out of the 8Tb I'm using for storage at the moment.

"for those of using VM's, this could pose a real problem"

The method used to allocate the space appears to be a reservation made in the NTFS file table mechanics, rather than a physical allocation. This means that if you are using thin drives, they get no bigger than usual, and thick drives are all pre-allocated anyway.

There should be difference, other than the used space REPORTED on the drive being 7 GiB higher in the VM OS. There is no physical difference on what is layed down on the disk, so this should look pretty much the same as usual to the hypervisor and its storage.


How this works was confirmed in the comments section of the MS page by Craig Barkhouse [MSFT]:

"The idea is NTFS provides a mechanism for the servicing stack to specify how much space it needs reserved, say 7GB. Then NTFS reserves that 7GB for servicing usage only. What is the effect of that? Well the visible free space on C: drops by 7GB, which reduces how much space normal applications can use. Servicing can use those 7GB however. And as servicing eats into those 7GB, the visible free space on C: is not affected (unless servicing uses beyond the 7GB that was reserved). The way NTFS knows to use the reserved space as opposed to the general user space is that servicing marks its own files and directories in a special way."


This was confirmed in the comments section of the MS page by Craig Barkhouse [MSFT]:

"The idea is NTFS provides a mechanism for the servicing stack to specify how much space it needs reserved, say 7GB. Then NTFS reserves that 7GB for servicing usage only. What is the effect of that? Well the visible free space on C: drops by 7GB, which reduces how much space normal applications can use. Servicing can use those 7GB however. And as servicing eats into those 7GB, the visible free space on C: is not affected (unless servicing uses beyond the 7GB that was reserved). The way NTFS knows to use the reserved space as opposed to the general user space is that servicing marks its own files and directories in a special way."


I suspect that the difference here is that unless the space is exceeded, it will show as +7 GiB USED space, permanently, regardless of how much of that space is actually in current use. If this is the case, Pre-Allocated may be a better description than Reserved.


Free Space = Total Logical Drive Capacity - Reserved space

e.g. for an empty 300 GiB drive with the reserve on it, the free drive capacity would be:

293 GiB = 300 GiB - 7 GiB

Not a bad idea of itself, especially if it can be reserved on custom drives etc.

Samsung's graphene batteries promise to charge five times faster – without exploding


Re: Still not what customers really want

"For a simple reason - airlines and others have imposed Wh limits on what they'll tolerate as installed on carryon luggage and/or checked baggage.

Samsung _could_ make a thicker S9 with 6000mAh battery, but then you'd have to leave it at home when you go to the airport."

According to this AnandTech review, the Samsung S9+ comes with a 3500mAh battery, which comes out at 13.47Wh.


According to this explanation at PetaPixel, 100 watt-hours (Wh) is the limit.


The FAA also say the same, though it is listed under uninstalled batteries/powerbanks


So even at 6000mAh (<28Wh), it is well below the 100Wh limit.

Personally, I would prefer a heavier device with a bigger battery, as I often have to resort to charging the phone on the fly due to low battery, which itself is against recommendations and both generates excessive heat, and reduces battery life.

Windows 10 passes 700 million, Office Mobile in a coma and Intune, er, cracks time travel


Largest usage numbers . . .

"the April 2018 Update was nearasdamnit at the 90 per cent mark in terms of Windows 10 usage. The figure is not quite as high as that achieved by the Fall Creators Update, but the speed at which 1803 rolled out is impressive nonetheless."

This is hardly surprising. When MS finally enforced their support policy removing patch availability from the original versions of Win10, most people upgraded at that point to 1709, hence its high numbers, (1803 had only just been released, so was untested and thus to be avoided). It did, however, trigger an upgrade culture, by necessity. Coupled with the WannaCry outbreak basically killing WinXP, this pushed most of the world to the (then) current versions of Windows.

Previously a lot of software vendors would not officially support the newer version of windows rolling out every 6 months, but now they have no choice. For the most part, businesses will not tolerate enforced security vulnerabilities caused by having to stay on old OS versions due to lack of vendor support in their programs . . . mainly due to legal liability, I suspect.

Any vendor not offering support for the current OSes run a very real risk of losing their customer base to a competitor.

Cops jam a warrant into Apple to make it cough up Texas mass killer's iPhone, iCloud files


Get the FBI to pay for Apple's time?

If Apple have declared that there is no way to crack the encryption, as backed-up by their spec testing, and if they honestly believe that to be true, then I see no problem with Apple attempting to crack it. By their own declaration, they will not succeed.

However, given that they have declared this, and have the testing to 'prove' the uncrackable nature of the algorithm, why should they be forced to pay for the cracking process?

If the FBI insist that Apple have a go at it, let the FBI pay for the engineer time out of their own budget. That would likely put a natural cap on it somewhere, because someone would be bleating about the expense fairly rapidly, I would think.

While you're preparing to carve Thanksgiving turkey, the FCC will be slicing into net neutrality


Re: Hmmm. Wonder about --

This would most likely be done using peering arrangements and source routing, rather than packet inspection, so the VPN would be detrimental if you had purchased the service.

It would literally be that if you are paying the premium to access a service, the traffic headed to that service (based on the destination address) is routed by the high speed peer link for that service, rather than the 'general' internet. A VPN traffic stream would go to the VPN endpoint (from the point-of-view of the ISP network), rather than the service, so would be treated as 'general' traffic.

Dear America, best not share that password with your pals. Lots of love, the US Supremes


Re: Why the upset?

I think you missed the point. No-one is arguing that Nosal did the wrong thing. The argument is that the basis upon which the decision was made has potential well beyond its intended scope.

To reiterate the article's example (I have no idea personally if the conditions are real, just using the example):

- Netflix state in their EULA that only the account holder may posses the login credentials for their account, that they cannot be shared with anyone.

- You as the Netflix customer then share your login credentials with your spouse, who uses them to watch a show, in violation of the EULA.

Using the same argument basis that put Nosal behind bars, both you and your spouse have engaged in criminal activity:

- You have directly violated the EULA by giving out your credentials.

- Your spouse (more to the point), has accessed the service using a set of credentials that they have no right to.

Using Nosal as a precedent, your spouse is now considered a hacker.

The whole thing is that there is no limitation on the quoted precedent, and while it seems insane, we know lawyers don't always work with common-sense, they work with law and legal precedents, regardless of reality.

Connectivity's value is almost erased by the costs it can impose


Re: "Stupidity we haven’t seen in many years"

"Does anybody have a good theory of this phenomenon?"

That one is, unfortunately, a fairly easy answer.

It takes "effort" to analyse or try to recall something, and people (in general) are basically lazy.

It is just easier to go to the local oracle (usually google) and get the answer. To make it even worse, as it is a subconscious tenet that "it is easier", people are likely to persist in entering the same question in different ways to get a desirable answer, rather than to stop and try to figure it out themselves, regardless of objective difficulty.

I'm fairly certain that I have seen at least one study coming to the conclusion that easy access to information sources such as Google are having a direct effect on physical brain size, and ability to store facts and figures. People are literally downsizing their brains from lack of use in certain ways.

Another way of looking at it is that we have added the internet as a queriable external memory device to our brains / thought processes, and use it in preference to our "on-board" facilities. Like a muscle not used much, you can expect deterioration.


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