* Posts by tcmonkey

185 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Jul 2017


Apple pairs well with profits, not repair shops


Re: Umm, tiny omission here.

Have you considered that people might be stealing devices to scrap for parts precisely BECAUSE those parts are being made arbitrarily expensive? They’re creating a rod for their own backs. Make the parts cheaper and the repairs actually possible and the need for stolen bits drops dramatically. No need to stuff about with all this pairing nonsense. Win-win.

helloSystem: Pre-alpha FreeBSD project chases simplicity and elegance by taking cues from macOS


As much as I applaud anything that brings some attention to the *BSD world, this really isn't the thing stopping me from using it on the desktop. Having recently tried to do so again, here is a numbered list of what stopped me dead in my tracks.

1) Woeful Wi-Fi support. FreeBSD does not have any support for wireless AC, which means that no card newer than the N generation will work. This was an absolute dealbreaker.

2) No bluetooth support to speak of. I use this for audio quite frequently, and it not being there was a PITA.

3) Lack of support for containerized applications. This one isn't really FreeBSD's fault, since the issues come from that entire ecosystem relying on Linux-specific functionality, but it made it hard to use it for my day job.

4) Lack of support for USB HID devices in the udev emulation, which made USB peripherals annoying to get working in some cases.

Open Source Vulnerabilities database: Nice idea but too many Google-shaped hoops to jump through at present


Re: Yeah, no.

Quite right. Two arms on the one buttock are more than enough.

In all seriousness, Google can Foxtrot Oscar. I’m not buying back into their ecosystem. Make this an independent project and we’ll talk.

Barcode scan app amassed millions of downloads before weird update starting popping open webpages...


Re: This was inevitable. But Android handled it well.

Upvote for the second part of your comment, but after god knows how many ancient bugs that pop up years later I think the 'peer review' part of the argument is objectively bullshit. Sure they COULD be reviewed, but either nobody is actually doing it or they're not doing an especially good job.

Laptops given to British schools came preloaded with remote-access worm


"It appears that at least one school is formatting and reimaging the laptops from a known clean build before issuing them to pupils."

Good. Anyone who doesn't do this as standard practice when sourcing any machine for any purpose whatsoever deserves a paddling. Your PCs should arrive blank, and if they don't arrive blank you should *make* them blank and then load a known-good environment yourself. This sort of stuff has happened far too many times to be worth risking.

Raspberry Pi Foundation moves into microcontrollers with the $4 Pi Pico using homegrown silicon


Re: Annoyingly low on RAM

"I recently struggled myself to get sql INSERT to a remote server running on an Arduino Nano + Ethernet board"

Genuine question, why were you doing it like that? Seems like you were making quite a bit of work for yourself.

The hour grows late, the enemy are at the gates... but could Intel's exiled heir apparent ride to the rescue?


Re: Intel's new CEO check list

Intel have actually held an ARM Architectural license for a long time - dating back to when they got StrongARM from Digital (and possibly further). They've been allowed to use ARM chips for ages, they just haven't done so.

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


Pleased to see the return of magsafe. Charger cost aside it always struck me as a good common-sense idea. It was terribly ironic that an idea made popular by Apple was (until recently) only seeing serious use in Microsoft products of all things. In saying that, I would now also miss being able to plug the charger in on whichever side of the machine is convenient, like you can with USB-C, which can be dead handy at times.

Flash in the pan: Raspberry Pi OS is the latest platform to carve out vulnerable tech


OKI made (and possibly still make) a 24 pin dot matrix printer with a USB interface. Probably one of the oddest technology combinations I have seen. I guess places that require triplicate still buy them.

Beagleboard peeps tease dual-core 64-bit RISC-V computer with GPU, AI acceleration, more for $119


Re: RPi4 vs Beagle V

Ok, so it's not as good as the RPi is, but remember that this is a first generation product. It was never going to be.

If you want there to be a credible alternative to ARM (really NVidia in a dress), you have to accept that isn't going to spring up overnight, and that the first releases ain't gonna be perfect.

I'm not even an Open Source evangelist, but even I can see the value in a totally free hardware ecosystem (and yes, I know there are doubts about blobs etc on this, but baby steps). Competition breeds innovation.

Microsoft emits 83 security fixes – and miscreants are already exploiting one of the vulns in Windows Defender


"On Monday, Mozilla issued a critical fix for Thunderbird, CVE-2020-16044, a user-after-free write bug that's been patched to prevent potential usage for running arbitrary remote code."

That should probably be use-after-free, not user-after-free.

Open-source contributors say they'll pull out of Qt as LTS release goes commercial-only


Re: One less reason to bother with QT.

You do realise that KDE's theme system is alive and well, and you're more than welcome to change the look and feel to anything that meets your tastes, right?

Explained: The thinking behind the 32GB Windows Format limit on FAT32


Re: What about FAT file transfer?

I still get occasional pains from the install.wim file being larger than a FAT32 volume can hold. Not often, mind you, but it does happen.

All I want for Christmas is cash: Welsh ATMs are unbeatable. Or unbootable. Something like that


Re: Train ate my card

Perhaps not, but you could blame IBM, and they're just as bad.


Re: To be fair

Reminds me of the ATMs in London back in 2012 that had a "Cockney language" option.

My website has raised its anchor and set sail into the internet oceans without me


Re: You get what you pay for

Nobody is saying that you should, I'm just a little frustrated that every time I complain about something I dislike on Apple devices someone seems to come along and burble about upgradable this and replaceable that on Android devices like it's the cat's pyjamas without actually taking into account what my actual issue was. My original post was written with no small degree of frustration, which has mostly boiled away now. I hadn't really intended it as a personal attack.


Re: You get what you pay for

Maybe, just maybe, (stick with me here, I know this is a big concept) not everyone has the same requirements from their mobile devices as you do? I'm with the Monstr, I don't give a shit about expandable this or upgradable that. Not one. Not even a rosebud. Not even a hard fart in fact. I don't keep anything on my phone, so the smallest storage SKU is just fine thank you. I always use an external battery case, so a user replaceable built-in battery also isn't a big deal. I just want a device with reasonable build quality that I don't need to replace every two years just to keep inside of manufacturer support. It would be nice if the OS wasn't written and maintained by one of the least pleasant corporations ever to have existed too, but I realise that's a stretch these days since they're all bastards. The suggestions of sailfish and ubuntu devices above were nice, but since nobody really uses them there's no ecosystem. I don't want flavour-of-the-microsecond app XYZ, but I do need my banking to work.

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


The automatic is the transmission of choice in the land down under too, much to my chagrin.

Everybody's time is precious, pal: Sometimes it isn't only the terminals that are dumb


Re: Reminds Me Of A Customer One Time...

Often it's not as easy as "just resetting the password". The age-old trick of removing the CMOS battery usually does NOT work on laptops, and some more advanced stuffing around is required.

Dell Wyse Thin Client scores two perfect 10 security flaws


It shouldn't have even gotten through the design meeting/code review. Absolutely farcical.



Never liked ThinOS. If you're going to be running thin clients, then you should be running either the Windows Embedded variants or a proper Linux. Neither are especially difficult to manage, and both are better thought out than this mess.

Cats: Not a fan favourite when the critters are draped around an office packed with tech


Re: IBM Ashtray

"Welcome to Flavor Country"


Re: Dead mouse

Had a similar moggie years back. I don't recall it ever bringing anything back alive, but it had an unfortunate habit of bringing rabbit carcasses home and then breaking up the bones (notably the spine) with its teeth under your bed at 2AM. Truly the stuff of nightmares, plus you had to dodge the organs the following morning.

In fairness to the cat, it didn't kill them for fun. Or at least not solely for fun, as the majority of the victim was eaten, and the cat required very little feeding as a result.

HP bows to pressure, reinstates free monthly ink plan... for existing customers


3-4 years? Aren't you being a bit optimistic? Judging from the ones I see on the side of the road/in 'recycling' bins it seems that most users are lucky to get 12 months out of them.

Stony-faced Google drags Android Things behind the cowshed. Two shots ring out


Anyone know how this affects Google's Nest Hub line (and other manufacturer's clones of it)? These use Android Things as a base to run the Assistant application(s). Not that I really care about these devices, but I smell a possibility for easier custom firmware.

We're not saying this is how SolarWinds was backdoored, but its FTP password 'leaked on GitHub in plaintext'


NaTiOn sTaTe AtAcKeRs!1!1!!one!!!

I’m not sure where companies are getting the idea that their products are so secure that only a government assisted outfit can break into them, but as this post shows it’s clearly absolute horseshit in some/most cases. How about the next time they think about drumming up fear and loathing of an entire country they actually provide some evidence of that claim?

‘Allegedly’ is not worth the paper it’s written on.

Oh, no one knows what goes on behind locked doors... so don't leave your UPS in there


A solution...

...for any family members who are constantly asking you to come around only to find that rebooting the router solves the issue.

Go to your local hardware store and find a cheap 24 hour timer. The analogue ones with the pins or 'segments' will be fine. Shouldn't cost more than a fiver. Set it to the correct time, and then set it so the the output is on all the time, excluding 15 minutes at some dizzying time of the morning (3am perhaps). Plug the sucker in, and plug the router into it. Hey presto, an easy daily reboot without the user being expected to do anything, except maybe reset the time on the timer if the power goes out.

CentOS project changes focus, no more rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux – you'll have to flow with the Stream


Re: Canonical thanks IBM

Yeah... it's a fantastic day to be a Canonical rep.

You're going to need to unwrap and rewrap those Pi-400 holiday gifts. There's a new Raspberry Pi OS Update


"PulseAudio hasn't always been the most reliable piece of software"

And the prize for understatement of the decade goes to...

Next day delivery a bit of a pain? We have just the thing... nestled deep in the terms and conditions


Re: Laptop orders...

Thanks for reminding me of that headache. Not in education, and the business I work for just happened to have enough machines stockpiled but our suppliers couldn’t get new laptops for love, money, booze or negotiable affection.

Seagate says it's designed two of its own RISC-V CPU cores – and they'll do more than just control storage drives


Well, hopefully this means they’ll be putting a bit more effort into their control logic and software going forwards. Anyone who has ever done any data recovery on them will tell you that their current stuff appears to have been shat out rather than ‘developed’.

NASA building network cables that can survive supersonic flight - could this finally deliver unbreakable RJ45 latching tabs?


What the hell...

...is a "Tactical cordset"?


Must be a windup, Shirley?

HP CEO talks up HP-ink-only print hardware and higher upfront costs for machines that use other cartridges


Oh for the days of old...

I use precisely two printers. A HP 4350 A4 mono and a (much larger) 5550 A3 colour. The 4350 was bought second hand for cheap, and the 5550 is a frankenstein rebuilt from two printers found dead on the side of the road. I like them both. I especially like that they were both built to last, don't phone home and don't require any bloatware to do their jobs. Oh, and they both have 3rd party consumables available.

Why can't they make them like that anymore?

Solving a big, yellow IT problem: If it's not wearing hi-vis, I don't trust it


Re: Brownouts (fnarr fnarr)

One of Sharp's very first LCD projectors (the XV100) had a power supply that suffered from the same design flaw. Here in Australia it became a service item to remove the 110v components from the PSU to stop them from being blown up every time the mains dipped, which happened very frequently in the early 90s.

HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it's pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink


Just. Stop.

Whilst this is obviously despicable behaviour by HP, the impact wouldn’t be half as bad if people would just stop buying shitty inkjet printers. The mountains of e-waste produced by these monstrosities would shrink substantially too! Perhaps some legislation is required...

Lasers might be a higher initial outlay, but they are better in almost every way that matters.

One more reason for Apple to dump Intel processors: Another SGX, kernel data-leak flaw unearthed by experts


Re: Seems like isolation is the best solution

Yes, but the things you were doing on the machine back in those days were vastly different from the workloads of today. Decoding an MP3 on a machine like that would have consumed almost if not all of the available system resource, to say nothing of full motion video. Sure, some software is crap today, and some of it always will be, but we're asking the machines to do things that would have been utterly impossible not even 10 years ago.

I do wish we'd stop building things with Electron though.

2020 hasn't been all bad – a new Raspberry Pi Compute Module is here


Re: Still not pleasing some

Yes - seen the same. I for one am very pleased to have the PCIe instead of USB3. Means one can do SAS or other such more data-oriented interfaces. Most embedded tasks do not need really USB3, so definitely a step up.

Someone not only created a comment-spewing Reddit bot powered by OpenAI's GPT-3, it offered bizarre life advice


Re: AManFromMars

"some of those twists are downright nasty, if you don't pull out fast enough you can end up with a badly sprained comprehension."

See icon. Are you related to Terry Pratchett by any chance?

Before you buy that managed Netgear switch, be aware you may need to create a cloud account to use its full UI


Why would you be buying any of Netgear's trash anyway?

Russian hacker selling how-to vid on exploiting unsupported Magento installations to skim credit card details for $5,000


Magento *is* open source. Or at least the community editions are.

Apple to Epic: Sue me? No, sue you, pal!


Re: Hot tip for gamblers

And for the second time in really not very long at all, I am ok with them being the only winners.

Locked down walled garden monopoly vs online digital tat slinger targeting children with useless habit forming rubbish. I don't know who I look down upon more. (Maybe Epic, maybe...)

Brave takes brave stand against Google's plan to turn websites into ad-blocker-thwarting Web Bundles


Re: Solutions...

They said that about AMP v1 too, and now it’s bloody everywhere.


Re: no, you never are

It’s a valid question when world + dog appears to be more than happy to kiss Google’s arse like they’re dying of thirst and it’s the only water on the planet.

It’s especially disheartening to see people who really ought to know better drinking the koolaid too.

TikTok takes to the courts to challenge US ban


I suspect the intention here is not to win, but merely to delay things sufficiently that there may be a "change in management" at the aggressor headquarters.

Anti-5G-vaxx pressure group sues Zuckerberg, Facebook, fact checkers for daring to suggest it might be wrong


Re: paying FB legal costs

Given the two parties involved in this case, I think I might actually be ok with only the lawyers winning for once.

You'd think 1.8bn users a day would be enough for Zuck. But no. Oculus fans must sign up for Facebook


Feeling very good about having bought a competitor's product right now.

Publishers signed up to Apple's premium News may be less than 'appy to discover the iGiant snatching readers


Re: Walls

Congratulations on missing every point that I made.

Yes, you can run other "browsers", but they're all the same engine under the hood, so if you want to render a site in something other than a Webkit browser you're SOL. I said as much in my original response to you. This also means no browser plugins. All of this is stuff that Android has had since literally day 1.

I say that the file manager provided isn't a proper file manager because it does not really allow you to perform traditional tasks. Sure, you can copy files around, but you want to pick a file and open it with a given application? Nup. Want a file to be visible to an application with it being it its sandbox? Nup. Want to view content loaded to a device, such as images or sound files? Nup. Want to send a file to a non-Apple device, using what might be considered an Open Standard? Nup. As a file manager it is spectacularly useless.

As doublelayer says above - "Openness doesn't always mean that the included tools do everything, but instead that if they don't, you can replace them with something that does. On Windows, you can. On Mac OS, you can. On IOS, you can't." - he's exactly right, and on this iOS has all the options of a brick.

Again, I say all this as a user. I have an iPhone X in my pocket _right now_. These limitations are not especially bothersome to me, but to say they don't exist is simply untrue.


Re: Walls

Eh? Shirley you don't mean the same iOS that has always prevented you from even so much as -running- a browser that doesn't use Safari under the hood, still doesn't have a proper file manager and only just recently allowed content blocking in the browser it does have?

iOS has never been open, and I say that as a user!

Whoops, our bad, we may have 'accidentally' let Google Home devices record your every word, sound – oops


Google devices used for spying? I'm shocked. Shocked! Well, not that shocked.

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data


Easy to scream and shout at MS for this one, but methinks this is more a case of everything looking like a nail to a man who has only a hammer. Spreadsheets were not designed for such tasks, and jamming them in where they do not fit was bound to cause problems. Anyone who has worked support in an office environment will tell you the same.