* Posts by Scott Wheeler

95 posts • joined 13 Sep 2007


Microsoft has a cure for data nuked by fat fingers if you're not afraid of the command line

Scott Wheeler

Re: Might be helpful but not for regular users

The version of RECOVER I knew was worse than that. It would delete everything other than the first 128 files that it found. Then it would rename the survivors as you said.

Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

Scott Wheeler

Re: relief arrived a long time ago

Character 10 could mean drop down to the next line at the same character position, as you say. It could also mean feed a line and return the carriage - either were permitted by the ISO standard for teletypes. IBM used character 15 to do the same two jobs. But that misses the main point: these are printer or teletype codes, and there is no particular reason why the OS should use the convention of one variety of printer internally. These days we would use device drivers to abstract that away, and even in early Unix, there were ways of removing that device dependence. Which is obvious, if you think about it, otherwise printers wouldn't have worked with Unix.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears

Scott Wheeler

Re: @ Iglethat & "since hes proven that hes a gullible idiot"

I think the flat Earth response to point 1 is that the Earth is not a planet, and planets and stars are close and small. As to point 2 - some of them don't believe in gravity, and think that the flat Earth is in uniform acceleration, so "down" is in the same direction everywhere.

Scott Wheeler

Re: Gullibility is no excuse.

I believe the theory is that 5G is used to control the virus rather than to produce it, and that the virus is produced in labs in China controlled by Bill Gates / Soros / Barack Obama / the US Democratic party / probably Prince Andrew as well by now.

No, I have no idea what "control" would constitute in this context. But I'd love to know how to fit a low-GHz aerial in to a virus.

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree

Scott Wheeler

Re: "notions like beauty and elegance in mind for the language"

Chef is potentially useful. I sometimes draw simple Gantt charts when I'm cooking multiple things, and they could perhaps be produced automatically from Chef specifications. Even add in a bit of blur so that you're not unloading five pots and pans at the same time.

Internet's safe-keepers forced to postpone crucial DNSSEC root key signing ceremony – no, not a hacker attack, but because they can't open a safe

Scott Wheeler

Re: "WD-40 is not a lubricant!"

A 50/50 mix of acetone and ATF (automatic transmission fluid) is the best I've used. You need to make a new batch every so often, as the acetone evaporates even from a chemical wash-bottle.

For soaking components, diesel is good as it's cheap and a pretty good penetrating oil.

A challenger appears: Taiwanese devs' answer to Gemini PDA wraps a Raspberry Pi in a tablet

Scott Wheeler

Gemini Linux

Realistically, the Gemini does not support Linux. Yes, it's possible to install it, but some key features do not work and Planetcom's idea of "support" is that someone out there in the Linux community will get things running eventually. Very disappointing if you actually want a Linux device - it's really just an Android PDA.

OK, Google, please do a half-hearted U-turn: Stay of execution for smart home APIs after Big G goes cuckoo in the Nest

Scott Wheeler

Re: Google!


Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain

Scott Wheeler

Re: "Apple had no duty to disclose the facts regarding software capability and battery capacity."

You can't convert hp in to kW. These are not "bhp", i.e. brake horsepower, measured on a dynometer. They are "taxable horsepower" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_horsepower), calculated from the bore (not the stroke!) and number of cylinders of the engine according to a standard formula. My modern 1200 Triumph motorcycle would have 13.5hp according to this formula, but is claimed to develop 135bhp.

Heads up: Debian's package manager is APT for root-level malware injection... Fix out now to thwart MITM hijacks

Scott Wheeler

Re: Lousy advice guys

> Shouldn't be anyone who is not experienced or at least not willing/eager to dive deeper into linux using something like Debian. For those folks anyway this specific thing mentioned in the article is a non issue to begin with.

No - this presumably affects Ubuntu and other distros downstream of Debian.

Scott Wheeler

Re: "Supporting HTTP is fine,"

apt supports HTTPS (by changing the URLs in /etc/apt/sources.list and /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*). However that doesn't mean that the web servers ("apt data sources") that those URLs point to actually implement HTTPS. Certainly the default servers for Ubuntu for a UK user do not support HTTPS.

Lords of the DNS remind admins about Flag Day, Juniper likes Watson and more

Scott Wheeler

Re: DNS/EDNS Flag Day?

I haven't heard of it either. Also the version numbers for BIND are odd. The latest number that ISC offers for download (https://www.isc.org/downloads/bind/) is 9.12.3-P1 - earlier than this article speaks of. I run an Ubuntu server (version 9.10.3-P4-Ubuntu is current), so I looked at the Ubuntu packages that ISC offers. Again, the latest version is 9.12.3.P1.

I am not familiar with https://dnsflagday.net, or whether they are actually authoritative. However announcing a flag day two weeks out for which the sw they say is mandatory has not yet been released seems very strange.

Oracle v Google: Big Red wants $9.3bn in Java copyright damages

Scott Wheeler

Obligatory Linux angle

If APIs can be patented, there is no obvious reason why this would be restricted to application libraries, rather than including things like the API or ABI of operating systems. Linux was designed as a work-alike for Unix, and this could imply that the entity holding the copyright for Unix would be able to shut Linux down. It is not entirely clear who that is at the moment - either Micro Focus International, or our old friends SCO.

How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

Scott Wheeler

Re: Can't click any of the things on the screen

> I've heard of people asking for a bigger mouse mat because with their

> small one their pointer can't reach the whole screen.

Well what's wrong with that? Would you want to spend all day lifting your mouse and re-placing it under the circumstances? Yes, you know that it's possible to "gear up" the mouse movements. They don't, so a larger mouse mat is a reasonable solution from their point of view. And since it would actually work, what's the problem?

From Zero to hero: Why mini 'puter Oberon should grab Pi's crown

Scott Wheeler

Why Oberon is not my favourite language

Three reasons why children would hate an Oberon programming environment.

* Oberon is case sensitive

* The key words are upper case

* You're going to have to type PROCEDURE an awful lot.

So you need a PS/2 keyboard with a comfortably upholstered Caps Lock.

Let's get to the bottom of in-app purchases that go titsup

Scott Wheeler

Re: Re SCART -I think you'll find PAL is about as English as Queen Victoria ....

> Is there still a special relationship between England and Hannover?

No. Hanover had Salic law (monarchs must be male), so Victoria could not inherit it when she came to the throne.

POW: Smut-seeding copyright troll slammed as 'extortionate'

Scott Wheeler


Isn't this straightforward blackmail, and hence a criminal offence?

Hello? Police? Yes, I'm a car and my idiot driver's crashed me

Scott Wheeler

Re: How severe does the 'crash' need to be..

> As a bonus, there is a summary of the privacy considerations contained in the technical document above.

Thanks - this is exactly what we needed to see. So to summarise the document: the device is not registered with any network until an accident occurs. This is more stringent than not having a data connection open: the device will not have a way to receive incoming calls, data or SMS. [This should preclude its use for bugging or tracking, including use by insurance or road-use based taxes]. The device will not retain more data than is necessary to establish the current position and the direction of travel - older data will be discarded. All of this being subject to possible change in the final requirement.

In summary, it seems to be designed with privacy in mind, and to be resistant to abuse by state agencies. While I would rather not have one, this appears to be a Germanic product - safety conscious, and also very cautious about the potential for mis-use.

Scott Wheeler


> My iPhone tracks my every move in much more detail anyway, who cares if the car is doing it too!?

Your iPhone tracks you because you have allowed it to do so. Mine doesn't because I've turned off that option.

US military SATELLITE suddenly BLOWS UP: 'Temperature spike' blamed

Scott Wheeler

They have already demonstrated the capability to destroy an old satellite, so it would appear that either this is not a treaty violation or they don't care: more likely the former I would say.

Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

Scott Wheeler

Re: Microsoft hardware

> You would simply find that an Apple device is all but unusable if you deny it the chance to phone home with a far more comprehensive set of personal data.

No it isn't - that's exactly what I do, using Little Snitch. In any case, Macs don't do MITM attacks on HTTPS sessions. They are far from perfect, but on both Windows and Mac it's still usually possible to prevent sw phoning home.

However I do agree with you that a Mac will attempt to phone home much more than I am happy with.

Ferraris, Zondas and ... er, a bike with a 500hp V10 under the saddle

Scott Wheeler

Re: fugly

> Wrestling a V10 down a motorway seems an utterly pointless exercise, and on a racetrack it would be doubly so due to bends.

The bike was build by Adam Millyard a few years back. As with all his bikes, it's a real road-going bike, not a design freak. I've seen him ride it down single track road to the West Hagbourne bike night. It's a lot more practical than the donor Viper car. The fact that it does 207mph is neither here not there.

You'd probably prefer his latest creation, the Flying Millyard, a 5L V-twin minimally based on a big aircraft radial. It's hard-tailed, has manual mixture and advance/retard, and requires kick-starting - which I've seen him do. Or is that removing too much complication and weight for your taste?

Quicker, easier to fly to MOON than change web standards ... OR IS IT?

Scott Wheeler

Re: We went from NCP to TCP/IP overnight.

NCP could only address 256 hosts. It's hardly a comparable problem to changing an Internet standard today.

Speaking in Tech: 'Software-defined' anything makes me BARF in my MOUTH

Scott Wheeler

Please take that phrase out and shoot it. And I'm not talking about "software defined".

AV for Mac

Scott Wheeler

Re: Impossible.

Al fazed:

The computer is a Mac (i.e. Macintosh) not a MAC. The company is Apple, not MAC. Given this level of knowledge, perhaps you'll understand if I ask for a source for your assertion that:

> thousands of users and administrators contacting MAC tech support asking for help with, what turned out to be .... a virus.

Are you perhaps thinking of other forms of malware, such as a Trojan?

TrueCrypt turmoil latest: Bruce Schneier reveals what he'll use instead

Scott Wheeler

Re: Whoa there

> Furthermore, Bitlocker requires TPM hardware

No it doesn't. It will use it if available, but it runs fine without it.

MPs blast HMRC for using anti-terrorism laws against whistleblower

Scott Wheeler

Re: Lawmakers and the law

As far as I know, RIPA was not justified on the basis of counter-terrorism. It's simply there to define which authorities can require interception, and what authorisation they require for it - and this has always included use for criminal investigation. A RIPA-type law was clearly needed as prior to that it was ambiguous who had the right to intercepts, which could lead to abuse. Of course it's possible to argue that it permits interception too easily (and I would agree with this), but that doesn't argue against the need to define the legal framework for interception.

Planes fail to find 'credible' candidate for flight MH370 wreckage

Scott Wheeler

Except that following DB Cooper, the planes have been designed to prevent parachuting out of them.

Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

Scott Wheeler

That sort of thing is what I'm worried about with this "authentication". While it's unlikely that they use RFID because the coins are metal, I'm concerned that they may give coins individual identification, which will make cash transactions trackable.

Spend zero notes to take all notes with OneNote: Microsoft makes app free, builds it for OS X

Scott Wheeler

No local storage on Mac version

You have to use Microsoft's Skydrive on the Mac version - no way avoid your content going on to their servers. I can't use it for this reason. While I prefer OneNote on the PC to Evernote, at least Evernote allows local storage.

Mac OneNote also missing a significant amount of other stuff which I happen to use - for instance the "Print to OneNote" function has gone. On a PC I'm in the habit of printing large docs to OneNote, putting the image in the background, then writing notes over the top. This won't be used by everyone, but it was important to me.

DARPA: You didn't think we could make a Mach 6 spaceplane, so let us have this MACH TEN job

Scott Wheeler

Re: Once something become possible

> Basic nukes aren't hard. They require zero engineering experience (for a gun-type nuke.)

Ok, that means you need U235. Do you know of an easy way to get that?

Do you need an initiator for your design? What will you make it of, and how large is it?

What is your critical mass? What amount of explosive do you need in the gun to avoid a squib explosion? Is there any danger of the explosive shattering the uranium that it is propelling?

iPhone 5S: Fanbois, your prints are safe from the NSA, claim infosec bods

Scott Wheeler

Re: Pinky

> everything on the iPhone (except the fingerprint, of course) is in the clouds

Speak for yourself. I don't use cloud storage, and I don't use Siri (because it would upload my contacts). You may be happy living in the panopticon, but you don't speak for everyone.

Steelie Neelie calls for TOTAL BAN on EU mobe roaming charges

Scott Wheeler

Unintended consequences

I work for a large international mobile phone company. I think this would probably work well for us: we can do cheap roaming on our own footprint anyway (and have some pretty good deals to encourage it). However it looks to me as though this will kill smaller companies: they will have to pay a roaming partner (perhaps at a reduced rate) while not being able to recover the costs. This is particularly true of MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) who use the infrastructure of MNOs (the big companies). Some of them are tiny - a few thousand users. Basically this looks good for the big incumbents, bad for others.

Xerox copier flaw changes numbers in scanned docs

Scott Wheeler


A) Users don't have the manual; B) Users don't have the admin privileges to raise the scan resolution; C) A bug like this should be fixed, not documented as a "feature".

Two more counties to get gov-funded bumpkin broadband from... guess?

Scott Wheeler

Why do you always refer to anyone living outside the Great Wen as a bumpkin? Were you frightened by a cow-pat at an impresionable age?

USB accelerates to 10 Gbps

Scott Wheeler

Re: Potential

It turns out that running network protocols over USB is already used. Many 3G USB "modems" are actually routers, and also run a small web server on the device to control the router functionality. However I agree with the general point that replacing physical Ethernet cables with USB is not obviously a good idea.

MS brandishes 'Katana' HTTP/2.0 server

Scott Wheeler

Does anyone know whether it will support SCTP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCTP) transport in addition to TCP? SCTP is a protocol at the level of TCP or UDP which is intended for just this sort of message stream. It's extensively used in the telecoms world for signalling, but is not supported on Windows without a 3rd party driver.

Nuke plants to rely on PDP-11 code UNTIL 2050!

Scott Wheeler

Re: if it aint broke....

> BTW I believe DLR run a PDP11 in every single train.

I think it's an 8080 running Forth, from memory.

How did something so small and pink cause so much trouble?

Scott Wheeler

> After having carried a Hong Kong ID card for a few years now....I'm all for it, provided the cost isn't absurd. Very convenient.

Even more convenient *not* to carry an ID card.

Scott Wheeler

Re: Tyranny

> And yet strangely France is one of the countries where ID cards aren't compulsory.

Up to a point. You are not required to carry it, but if you don't, you can be held for up to three days while someone fetches it for you.

Hotel marketplace Airbnb: Show us your privates if you want to book a bed

Scott Wheeler

Bear in mind that most continental hotels will require a photocopy of your passport when you turn up, so that information is going to leak in any case if you're travelling in Europe.

Firefox 'death sentence' threat to TeliaSonera over gov spy claims

Scott Wheeler

Re: CAs

DNSSEC itself relies on the DNS records being signed, and hence on the integrity of the CA chain. So no, it doesn't appear that verifying web certificates using information carried by DNS will help.

Office for Mac 2008 support umbilical chopped off

Scott Wheeler

Re: History son, history!

> MS really need to sort out the backup problems with Outlook for Mac (effectively, you can't) , although we know they won't, don't we!

MS need to sort out Outlook backup, full stop. At some stage long ago, someone had the bright idea that everything should be in a database on Windows. Admittedly, that was the orthodoxy of computer science at the time, and Windows was supposed to be changing to a database file system (WinFS). That left us with gigabyte .PST and .OST files rather than small files that could be individually backed up: a problem for both MacOS and Windows.

Scott Wheeler
Thumb Down

Re: OneNote, Access and Publisher?

> And OneNote is ably replicated in the Word for Mac Notebook view.

Oh, rubbish. I use both. Notebook view is better than nothing, but it's missing about 95% of the functionality of OneNote. It's basically good for banging out indented pure text notes in linear sequence, with perhaps ten pages in a "notebook". Push it beyond that and it's very poor even for the features it is supposed to implement. It also has problems with its rendering, so that you can find that a chunk of text simply doesn't display: this is absolutely fundamental functionality which does not work reliably. A couple of weeks ago I even managed to corrupt a document by moving a notepad tab (i.e. a section), so that if I tried to display that section, Word would lock up. The only reason I use it is because the small number of things that it does do happen to correspond to one job I do on a Mac every 2-3 weeks, and I want to use Word to be able to read the documents a few years on. I'm not a great fan of Evernote compared to OneNote, but for most purposes it is a country mile better than notebook view.

Giant solar-powered aircraft to begin cross-country flight

Scott Wheeler

Re video: a small point, but I wish the USAians wouldn't keep flagging up Lindbergh as the first to fly the Atlantic. The first non-stop heavier than air flight was by Alcock and Brown. Lindbergh did the first solo (and had a more elegant landing).

Microsoft unwraps sysadmin-friendly Office 365 for biz update

Scott Wheeler


MS Word is not a copy of Word Perfect; Word Perfect is not a copy of Wordstar. Unless you consider the concept of a non-modal screen editor to be innovative

MS Excel is not a copy of Lotus123; Visicalc had some dependence on Visicalc, but was very different.

MS Access is not a copy of dBase. Did you ever use dBase?

Nokia wants to build the Google of human behaviour - and share it

Scott Wheeler

> “Where do people go at 10pm after a movie? It’s about building up these kinds of connections.”

Nope. And to be clear, this is not just about what they do with the data, or which third parties have access to it.

Open source app can detect text's authors

Scott Wheeler

Old hat

This was in use at least 40 years ago for analysing Biblical texts. Other than it being open source, I don't see anything new.

Phone-bonker Bump tells desktop users: We swing both ways now

Scott Wheeler

Ad-hoc WiFi is used to offer a tethered 3G connection on iPhones - but that's the only use I can think of for it.

Sick software nasty uses child abuse pics to extort infected victims

Scott Wheeler

Re: I think the only solution here is DBANing the drives.

However, if you report CP on your disk, expect to see some repercussions if you ever need a CRB2 check, which is based on suspicion and rumour as well as criminal record.



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