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Comments

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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

arglebargle_xiv Re:Not a chance (541 comments)

The obvious alternatives for USB-to-serial are:
1) Prolific 220x

Prolific are never an alternative, unless the question is something like "Would you rather have gonorrhea or ...?". In order of preference, it's something like FTDI, FTDI clones, banging rocks together to get ones and zeroes, Prolific, Prolific clones.

yesterday
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More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10

arglebargle_xiv Re:how pretty (209 comments)

Is the overall appearance still that of Windows Vista Starter Edition that they moved to in Windows 8? Microsoft are pretty much financing an entire company, Stardock, whose Window Blinds you have to buy if you don't want your desktop to look like some bland flat pastel-shaded 1960s show home.

4 days ago
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South Korean ID System To Be Rebuilt From Scratch After Massive Leaks

arglebargle_xiv Re:20 million out of 50 million stolen? (59 comments)

Here's a really simplistic example - if you carry auto insurance the liability levels on your policy give a good indication of how much wealth you have (because liability coverage is about protecting your assets not anyone else).

You don't even need to go to the insurance companies, in Russia you just buy the registration database and then target people who have Mercedes and BMWs.

(I'm not being facetious, this is how the criminals actually do it).

about a week ago
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Google Releases Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK and Nexus Preview Images

arglebargle_xiv Re:Just make it fast (77 comments)

Don't check for updates, do not notify for updates

Isn't this the Android default anyway? If you want an update to your OS (not your apps, your OS) you throw away your current phone and buy a new one.

about a week ago
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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

arglebargle_xiv Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (349 comments)

Springer is a rather serious publishing company. Springer journals carry very real weight.

.

Springer was a rather serious publishing company. In the last decade or so they've switched to publishing any old rubbish that they can make a fast buck off. Look at the LNCS series for examples, they're publishing proceedings of conference that look like they were held around a table in a beer hall.

about a week ago
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Test-Driving a $35 Firefox OS Smartphone

arglebargle_xiv Re:Whoa (132 comments)

Now I'm curious. What OS would he run on a low-end device with 128mb of RAM?

Windows 95 would work fine: 4MB RAM (8MB recommended) so the RAM is overkill, ~50MB disk space so you could squeeze it in by omitting a few optional bits, VGA display so you really want 640x480 not 320x480 but it'd probably be OK, and the CPU is about as much overkill as the RAM. It had networking, a browser, everything but the touch-screen interface for which you'd need a third-party add-on. Or Windows for Pen Computing, a modified Windows 3.1.

.

about two weeks ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

arglebargle_xiv Re:Why still 32bit builds? (554 comments)

Citation on user noticeable difference? Maybe on synthetic benches but not in any real world scenario.

Exactly. The reason why MS has kept the baseline constant since Vista came out is because that's about all the typical user needs. Whether you have a 2006 machine with the CPU idle 95% of the time or a 2014 machine with the CPU idle 99% of the time doesn't make any difference to Joe/Jane Sixpack browsing the web, reading email, and updating their Facebook page. Now admittedly sometimes they may really load the machine down and fire up Word, so the CPU is only 92% idle, but that's the exception.

This is also why the PC market has been stagnant for the last five years or so. Despite the constant predictions of pundits that "the PC is dead, tablets are taking over", the real issue is that there's no need to upgrade every two years any more. If you're a typical user (so not a Slashdot reader) and you bought a PC in the last five years you can just keep on using it until it physically wears out. It'll do everything you need to do with loads of capacity to spare.

(Typed on my not-so-new laptop with its CPU clock-throttled to 800MHz, and 97% idle).

about three weeks ago
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Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

arglebargle_xiv Re:sounds like a job for (240 comments)

In addition to the obligatory "mod parent insightful", I should add a comment on HL7: It didn't get that complex for the fun of it, but because medical systems are extremely difficult to systematise, and over time you end up having to add special cases and exceptions and exceptions to the exceptions and so on ad nauseum. As you say, Google couldn't even get the basic CCR implementation done ("hey, we can simplify things if we leave out this, and this, and this...") which ignored the fact that those things (well, at least some of them) were in there for a reason. HL7 has all of its "more than one instance of X" and "free-form anything" fields in various places for a reason...

about three weeks ago
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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

arglebargle_xiv Re:good (427 comments)

I get irked by the forced soullessly bland corporate inoffensiveness which seems to be popular round these parts at the moment. I'm actually heartened to hear that that phone vendor has not also suffered from that particular disease.

There's actually two considerations, the obvious one is "Do I like the picture?", but a more important one in many cases is "Can I see the icons above the background clutter created by the picture"? In the not-quite-Hello-Kitty version the answer, for about two thirds of the screen, was "No". So I've now switched to a fairly bland pic of a sunset that has muted, graduated colours that allow the icons and widget displays to be visible. Probably counts as corporate bland, but the usability is greatly improved.

about three weeks ago
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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

arglebargle_xiv Re:good (427 comments)

Just note that the evil(tm) will be compounded by the crapware that some OEMs *and* carriers tend to slather onto the phones, on top of what Google is going to require.

I was stunned when I helped a family member set up their Android phone from a major vendor. A ton of Google crapware preloaded, and you couldn't do anything without signing up for Google everything (I didn't even know Android had an anal-probe permission before then). When I got my Chinese Android phone ($140, 5.5" IPS screen, unlocked, dual-SIM, quad-core 1.3GHz, etc) it had no preloaded crapware and, apart from Google Play which is needed to install apps (well, unless you want to jump through all sorts of hoops) didn't ask to sign me up for anything. The sole annoying thing about it was that the Chinese vendor's taste in wallpapers doesn't necessarily match Western tastes (it wasn't quite Hello Kitty, but close), but that was quickly fixed.

So it seems like the trick is to buy from vendors motivated by good honest greed (the product is the phone they sell you) rather than strategic business alliance blah blah considerations (the product is you).

about a month ago
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New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

arglebargle_xiv Re:Quality and Psychology of Practice (192 comments)

The entire nature/nurture debate almost always ignores the "quality of practice" issue. Not all practice is equal, just because it is deliberate. The specific activities chosen may be more or less efficient at improving a skill.

It also depends on what talent, or aspect of personality, you're looking at. One case which has been heavily studied, because it has such a large impact on society, is psychopathy. The answer to the question of "is it nature or nurture" is "yes". In other words an at-risk child doesn't necessarily develop a full-blown personality disorder (= psychopathy) unless the conditions are right, and conversely a child treated a certain way doesn't necessarily automatically develop a personality disorder (that's in most cases, in some cases they're lost no matter what anyone does). So having the needle swing back to "it's both" won't surprise people who have looked at nature vs. nurture in other areas.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Revives Its Hardware Conference

arglebargle_xiv Re:Frosty pasta! (47 comments)

Microsoft had tablets and smart phones years before Apple.

Are you certain that Microsoft has smart phones? I'm pretty sure I'd have seen one being used by someone by now if this were true.

about a month ago
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Man Walks Past Security Screening Staring At iPad, Causing Airport Evacuation

arglebargle_xiv Re:Walked past Security Theatre (217 comments)

Isn't it brilliant? We don't even need any real terrorists any more, we're so ready to terrorise ourselves that they've become redundant.

about a month ago
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At CIA Starbucks, Even the Baristas Are Covert

arglebargle_xiv Re:What's so hard about using the time-honored (242 comments)

There is nothing more annoying than:

1) Fake friendliness (if you care so much about my name try and remember it for next time since I tell you it on almost a daily basis)

2) People who can't pronounce my name

3) People who can't spell my name

4) People who use alternate spellings of my name without confirming the correct one (my name has 3 alternate spellings)

I get that all the time because of my European surname, I mean how hard can it be to pronounce Echsteinlefahrtengruber? With my Serbian wife I can understand it, Grzplstcknfltmrzovic can be a bit of a mouthful the first time you see it, but anyone should be able to get my name right.

about a month ago
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Google Quietly Nixes Mandatory G+ Integration With Gmail

arglebargle_xiv Re:Does it matter? (139 comments)

On Android, Google has been steadily making it harder and harder to avoid ... and in a few cases when trying to log into my gmail account from a web browser, I'm confronted with authenticating with YouTube. I'm not using YouTube, I'm using gmail. Leave YouTube out of this.

Yep, I've been noticing that too. If you have a stock Android phone (as 99.9% of users do, figure freely pulled out of my ass) then you pretty much need to sign up for Google Everything in order to use any of it. Even if you specifically avoid the endless prompts to hand your soul to Google on initialisation, you quickly find that nothing much works (you can't install apps, can't get mail, etc) unless you let Google into your life, and then a week later you're off taking a dump and your phone bongs and it's a notification from Google that based on their tracking of your movements you need more fibre in your diet...

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

arglebargle_xiv Re:Wow... (232 comments)

Managers with antisocial personality disorder can deliver impressive short-term results. This happens at the cost of long-term results, but since when did shareholders ever care about those?

Ah, OK. I'm guessing it would also depend on the degree, since it's not black-and-white, someone with a score of 10-15 on the Hare Checklist (PCL-R) would probably be an effective (if perhaps not very popular, depending on how high-functioning they are) manager, but once you're getting into the 20+ range you're asking for trouble. Mind you that would also depend on the job, in the financial industry (banking, share trading) a 20-25 or more would probably just make you one of the gang, while a manager in the services industry with that score... shudder.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

arglebargle_xiv Re:Wow... (232 comments)

For the companies that screen for psychopathic tendencies for managers, how many screen out psychopathy and how many screen out non-psychopathy?

Why would you screen out non-psychopathy? Any company clueful enough to be aware of this problem certainly isn't going to want to hire managers with psychopathic (strictly speaking, antisocial personality disorder and related disorders) tendencies.

about a month ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

arglebargle_xiv Re:at least the nuclear weapons will be gone (494 comments)

While continuing to be protected by UK's nuclear deterrent

Deterring what, exactly? Bruce Forsythe, Cilla Black, Peaches Geldof, Jeremy Beadle, the entire cast of Geordie Shore, who needs nuclear weapons when you've got that as a deterrent.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

arglebargle_xiv Re:Wow... (232 comments)

I've never had to work in a truly dysfunctional shop,

You really need to distinguish between cases where this is endemic and where it's caused by certain individuals. The linked article 10 Sure Shot Ways to Lose Your Team describes at least some behavioural traits that would correspond to one of the group of personality disorders for which the people who exhibit them are popularly referred to as sociopaths, and in their more extreme forms, psychopaths (unfortunately Hollywood has pretty much mangled most people's understanding of what that really means). This is why some companies specifically screen any management-level interviewees for psychopathic tendencies, they may appear to be (that is, create the illusion of being) effective managers, but they're actually very destructive to the company in the long term.

about a month ago

Submissions

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The upcoming Windows 8.1 apocalypse

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  about 6 months ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "As most people will have heard, Microsoft will end support for anyone who hasn't upgraded to Win8.1 Update 1 on May 8. What fewer people have heard is that large numbers of users can't install the 8.1 Update, with over a thousand messages in this one thread alone, and that's for tech geeks rather than home users who won't find out about this until their PC becomes orphaned on May 8. Check your Windows Update log, if you've got a "Failed" entry next to KB2919355 then your PC will also become orphaned after May 8."
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Windows 8.1 Update creates chaos for many users

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  about 6 months ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Update has been creating chaos for many users, as demonstrated by threads running to six hundred and eight hundred messages respectively in Microsoft's support forums. Users report spending days trying to get it to work, with the Microsoft-recommend solution of using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool fixing some failed updates, followed by more recent reports of it corrupting the Windows component store and requiring a complete reinstall of Windows. For users with OEM pre-installs, that means going out and buying a Windows 8.1 CD. Since no further updates are possible without the 8.1 Update, this now leaves large numbers of users of Microsoft's latest OS in the same boat as Windows XP users."
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Sophos A/V riddled with vulnerabilities

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  about 2 years ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "Security researcher Tavis Ormandy has had a look at Sophos A/V and found that it'll actually make your system less secure after you install it:

The paper contains details about several vulnerabilities in the Sophos antivirus code responsible for parsing Visual Basic 6, PDF, CAB and RAR files. Some of these flaws can be attacked remotely and can result in the execution of arbitrary code on the system. Ormandy even included a proof-of-concept exploit for the PDF parsing vulnerability which he claims requires no user interaction, no authentication and can be easily transformed into a self-spreading worm.

The findings also include this gem:

Ormandy also found that a component called the 'Buffer Overflow Protection System' (BOPS) that's bundled with Sophos antivirus, disables the ASLR (address space layout randomization) exploit mitigation feature on all Windows versions that support it by default, including Vista and later.

Original paper here."
Link to Original Source

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Is Google targeting Firefox?

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  more than 2 years ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "As of about two weeks ago, Google searches carried out from Firefox are returning meta redirects that require manually clicking through every search result in order to reach your target. In doing this Google is specifically targeting Firefox and no other browser (switching your user agent to anything other than Firefox gets rid of the problem). Presumably switching to Chrome would also resolve the issue. Could this targeting of Firefox be because it's Google's main competitor in the open-source browser market?"
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(Possible) Diginotar hacker comes forward

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  more than 3 years ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "At the risk of burning people out on the topic of PKI fail, someone claiming to be the Diginotar hacker has come forward to claim responsibility: It's the ComodoGate hacker. He also claims to 0wn four more "high-profile" CAs, and still has the ability to issue new rogue certificates, presumably from other CAs that he 0wns."
Link to Original Source
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The end of the end-to-end principle

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  more than 3 years ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "The Internet was designed around the end-to-end principle, which says that functionality should be provided by end hosts rather than in the network itself. A new study of the effect of vast numbers of middleboxes on the Internet indicates that this is no longer the case, since far too many devices on the Internet interfere with traffic in some way. This has serious implications for network (protocol) neutrality (as well as future IPv6 deployment) since only the particular variations of TCP that they know about will pass through them."
Link to Original Source

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