* Posts by Bas Scheffers

19 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Sep 2007

Microsoft could block popular Azure apps

Bas Scheffers
Gates Horns

Just like in the Chocolate Factory

Sounds a bit like the Willy Wonkas' App Engine while it is in Beta... But at least they give you clear limits.

Jesus Phone vuln delivers fanboys to phishermen

Bas Scheffers
Jobs Horns

Needs to be fixed urgently

This needs to be fixed urgently so that the 0.01% of users who actually closely look at a link in an email before clicking on it are no longer at risk!

El Reg readers see a URL and can instantly identify all the parts and see something is not right. To Average Joe it looks about as complex as an equation Stephen Hawking might come up with and doesn't even being to try and read it.

You could create an email that looks like it comes from paypal with a link to clickheretoloseallyourmoney.com and the masses would still click it.

Google stretching underwater comms cable?

Bas Scheffers

@AC: The industry mostly self-regulates

The short answer is that if your cable is broken and you need to lift it up but another cable is on top - well, tough luck, cut off some more of your cable.

Great insight into the workings of the undersea cable business here:


Bas Scheffers

The missing link for Oz

Not on the map is PIPE's PPC-1 cable, from Sydney to Guam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipe_Pacific_Cable

Without the "Google cable", this wouldn't have made much sense so Unity landing on Guam too was the industry's worst kept secret.

2009 and 2010 will be great years of the Internet down under; between PPC-1/Unity and Telstra's Hawaii cable coming online and Southern Cross doubling capacity we'll see at least a 4-fold capacity increase over what we have now.

Uncapped plans, anyone?

Hack ushers in the insatiable toll booth

Bas Scheffers

The trouble with RFID

The trouble with RFID:

1. Cheap

2. Secure

3. Long range (more than a couple of cm)

Pick two. Obviously FasTrak chose 1 and 3.

Asus Eee Box to debut in UK... minus Linux

Bas Scheffers
Paris Hilton

Could have been media streamer

This could have been the (near) perfect video streamer to hook up to your telly. DVI and S/PDIF are there, but wanting to save an extra $10, they put in a crappy GMA 950 instead of an Nvidia or ATI chipset capable of decoding h.264 and outputting 1080p.

Instead they put in a chipset that does only 1600x1200 and is unable to offload MPEG decoding from the CPU.


BitTorrent tracker Mininova faces legal action

Bas Scheffers
Paris Hilton

167 downloads per visitor!

So 30m unique visitors generating 5bn downloads? Uhm, that's just about 167 downloads per unique visitor.

Yeah, right. The average mininova visitor downloads 167 torrents.

Someone must be doing some creative accounting here. 167 *hits* (i.e.: all pages, css files, images, etc.) maybe, but certainly not 167 torrents downloaded.

Dutch transit card crippled by multihacks

Bas Scheffers

Halting it would be irresponsible

I agree with AC, there are multiple checks; even off-line readers still sync at the end of the day and if you used a fraudulent card: smile, you are on CCTV!

They should continue as-is for now, going back to the drawing board would cost way more than they could ever hope to lose in fares through fraud. But get rid of the single use system and simply give proper cards you can load up with money again and again and ask for a deposit for these more expensive cards. Then over time upgrade all to the newer (and secure) Mifare DESFire card or the as-yet unreleased Mifare plus. (cheaper than the DESFire and unlikely to be hacked any time soon)

Tux, because an open system would have showed its insecurity a long time ago and have been fixed.

Google to launch database service from Campfire

Bas Scheffers
Paris Hilton

Not without hosting

How's that supposed to work, I would use a BigTable database from somewhere across the globe? That'll give great performance! Just like SimpleDB is only interesting for those hosting on EC2, any Google offering will require the same: some Google servers to host your application on.

I assume Google realises this too and will release the chicken before the egg.

Time for genuine 'write-once, run-anywhere' Java

Bas Scheffers


One of the problems of course, is competition. If BEA and IBM (and Glassfish and JBoss and ...) were supposed to be 100% compatible, there would be nothing to distinguish them, apart maybe from ease of use, performance and price.

Obviously, different vendors are going to put in value-added non-standard features and if you use them, your application won't run in another container without modification.

Unfortunately, many of those value-added features made J2EE 1.4 bearable and you could not live without them. The Java EE 5 spec is much better, so I hope that from now on this will be a lesser problem and programming to the lowest common denominator actually makes you end up with a decent, run anywhere, application.

Sun does Google's dirty work on MySQL

Bas Scheffers


Andrew, that would have been +1 insightful if MySQL was actually faster or easier to install and use.

And that's not me making that up, that is visible from published SPEC results. (http://www.spec.org/jAppServer2004/results/)

I happen to regularly meet the Sun guy that does all this testing (http://blogs.sun.com/tomdaly/) and know for a fact he doesn't have a bias. He actively works as coder on both, to try and make them go faster, regularly submitting patches.

Speed wise there isn't that much between them, though Postgres still has a massive edge on 4 cores or more, MySQL can't take advantage of those.

Also, on Linux it is the same, but the Windows installer for Postgres is actually better than MySQL's. (which might be taste)

The only thing MySQL has going for it is the enormous amount of books written and the ubiquity it seems to have because of LAMP. Which is strange because with the dual license MySQL isn't exactly free. (as in speech) Plus there are lots of options you have to pay for, like a thousand Euros for online backups in InnoDB!

So no, Postgres won't eat too much into MySQL's market share soon, but that has nothing to do with speed, technical ability or ease of use.

Warner Bros gives all its hi-def loving to Blu-ray

Bas Scheffers
Paris Hilton

Not that simple

In the wonderful world of HDBluDVRayD nothing is black and white.

All these announcements about allegiances are really only for the US market. Most studios have different distributors in different countries/regions and they may have another allegiance. It is not uncommon for a title that is exclusively Blu-Ray in the US to be available only on HDDVD in Europe.

And they wonder why consumers are confused about the formats...

The Electric Car Conspiracy ... that never was

Bas Scheffers

Most families have two cars

Most families have two cars.

You can have one EV for the daily commute for one person, shopping, etc. and the other petrol vehicle that normally gets limited similar use, but is there if you do need to take the entire family out, go somewhere far or need to haul something big.

It would work very well for me and that is what I plan to do once the bloody things are available.

Tosh to tempt laptop buyers with free HD DVDs

Bas Scheffers

How about some good players?

If Toshiba wants to make HDDVD a success, maybe they should sell me a good player. I mean, here in Oz they are still flogging their first generation players for double the price of what they ask for their second generation players in the US.

At $400 I'd buy one in an instant, but paying $800 for an obsolete model is just retarded.

So for now I'll just keep downloading HD movies and playing them from my MacBook Pro via DVI/HDMI into my 720p TV and Toshiba nor the studios make any money. Well done guys.

ICANN speeds IDN ccTLDs

Bas Scheffers

Re: IMEs

Ken: You mean those IMEs that are not always installed by default? And even if they are you need admin privileges and your Windows CD-ROM to install your obscure language that was left out of the defaults? (which, according to Windows, includes "East Asian languages"!)

Plus that if all your life you have been working with a localized keyboard, you probably don't know what an IME is. On top of that, while the Japanese one has a soft keyboard, in my Russian example you are stuffed; Windows simply assumes that if you select Russian you have an actual Russian keyboard connected; no soft keyboard shows in the language bar.

Seriously, they are a good solution on your own computer or in an office environment, but depending on them being available on some random person's computer across the globe is not realistic.

Bas Scheffers

Internationalized? Surely they mean localized!?

Even been traveling? Notice how keyboards in most countries are different, localized for accented characters and such? Until now, you could always find the ASCII letter you were looking for but this takes it to a whole new level!

Imagine you are Russian and you travel to England and go into EasyInternet to check your email. Uh-oh - you only know how to get to your ISP's webmail using the Russian IDN.

Sure, most website will end up supporting both, but because you didn't think to find out what the ASCII URL was before you left, you are screwed.

Not to mention I might think of doing business with some Russian company and they might have forgotten completely to provide for a domain name I can actually type in.

They call these "Internationalized Domain Names" while in reality they should be called "Localized Domain Names"; domain names that can only be accessed from one locality - the one with the keyboards that can input them.

Apple's Leopard rejects latest version of Java

Bas Scheffers

Still the best Java platform

I write Java software for a living and I have to say, Mac OS X is still the best Java platform despite the missing Java 6. "It just works" is true here and very much so. In fact, unless you are doing an internal project, you would not be wise to use Java 6 anyway because even on Windows or Linux, the installed base would be quite low and you would simply annoy people with an enormous JRE download that doesn't actually give them any real benefits over 1.5. Using it for Applets, as the article suggests, would be downright retarded.

To Richard Neil: No, it would not work. The Posix implementation of Java AWT/Swing is X11 based. The main reason for Apple doing their own JVM is that their AWT/Swing implantation uses Aqua directly.

To Alan Donaly: For a java programmer, you seem to have profound difficulties finding the dot and comma keys on your keyboard! :P

Oh, and like 99.999% (or more?) people out there, no BSOD to be seen on my Mac Pro or MacBook Pro upon upgrade to Leopard...

Flash memory makers propose common card

Bas Scheffers

You don't have a choice of OS

Bryan Seigneur: Why do you think a block device gives YOU a choice of OS? It only gives the maker of your camera/media player/etc a choice, you just have to deal with that choice. I am not talking about thumb drives and such here, but purely about cards used in cameras and such that should be easy and reliable to use.

People simply proposing "use ZFS or ETX3", like some do here, don't seem to understand just how hard it would be to get microsoft on board for that. In fact, it would be impossible. MS might be convinced to write drivers for the kind of thing I propose (like they did for PTP) but getting both them and the camera manufacturers to implement a different filesystem just because a body of flash card makers proposes it is not going to happen. They would have to come up with something really compelling to make anyone implement it.

But this is all a pipe dream of mine, obviously this new "standard" will just be another block device and everyone will continue using FAT32 on it as it is "the standard."

There is also no need for personal attacks just because you do not agree with my points of view.

Bas Scheffers

No more filesystems!

Lance, ZFS is not the answer: the file system needs to go away completely. Having the host (ie: camera, phone, PC) control the filesystem is retarded and as long as that is the case, the lowest common denominator filesystem needs to be used and that means one supported by Windows 98 and up. Yup, FAT.

What cards should have is a USB interface that does not use Mass Storage Class. Instead, it just needs to have a protocol that says: "store this stream", "list what you have on there", "give me n bytes from x", etc. How that is implemented on the card is up to the card's manufacturer. Low end cards may have a very simple mechanism while those targeted at pros might have much more CPU power on board and store everything with lightening speed in a fully transactional Berkeley DB.

But I doubt that is what UFS will be. Probably just another retarded piece of memory used to store and corrupt a FAT file system controlled by the host...