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Comment: Re:When are the x86 Surface tablets coming? (Score 1) 521

by Astatine (#41671779) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Pricing Goes Toe-to-Toe With Apple iPad

The ARM version of Surface runs Windows RT, just like other ARM based Windows 8 tablets.

No Windows desktop, only Metro, err, I mean, "Modern UI". Can only install apps from the Windows Store, subject to an Apple-like approval process. $49 for a personal, or $99+ for a corporate, developer license (IIRC).

The x86 version will run the desktop, but I still don't want one, because it'll use the Intel "Clover Trail" Atom and Linux distributions won't run on it (or rather they'll run, but will get a battery life of about 10 minutes, due to closed power management specifications; useless).

Surface is a toy. Keep buying laptops. :P

Comment: AAISP (Score 1) 250

by Astatine (#40738421) Attached to: I most recently switched ISPs ...

(In the UK) They're one of the BT DSL and fiber resellers, they're a little pricey, but completely awesome.

There's no filtering or traffic shaping of any kind, no restrictions on running servers, and they offer web-based constant quality monitoring -- by-the-minute graphs of bandwidth usage, latency and packet loss on the line. Ring them up and you're immediately speaking to a technically competent person in the UK, no answering machines, no outsourced support.

I'm on the FTTC service (VDSL). I get 76Mbps down, 16Mbps up to speedtest.net with an 8ms ping time, and it bears out pretty well in the real world too (8.5MB/s downloads from Steam, 30ms ping to Diablo 3, Rift etc). And I get 5 static IPv4 addresses and an IPv6 /48 (!)

I switched from Virgin Media a while ago. The AAISP service blows Virgin out of the water in every way, even the top tier 100Mbps option. Friends are especially impressed when we do a Skype video call and my side auto-adjusts itself to a multi-megabit HD stream (Virgin's connections have very low upload speeds).

No, this isn't astroturfing -- just a satisfied customer! :)

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 178

by Astatine (#38354648) Attached to: Linux Mint Diverting Banshee Revenue

I like banshee. It resolves the track details and album art of CDs I rip, supports a wide range of formats, copes well with my large music directory and its file and directory name conventions, has working gapless playback (rhythmbox's never quite worked right whenever I tried), and integrates well with last.fm.

I didn't even know it was built on Mono until a couple of weeks ago. I haven't noticed any sluggishness, and I'm not running it on a terribly fast PC.

Comment: Bugs? (Score 1) 455

by Astatine (#37702902) Attached to: Ubuntu 11.10 ('Oneiric Ocelot') Released

I was a long time Ubuntu user. When I upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04, I found that Unity was unusable. Forget opinions about the redesigned, touch-friendly interface: it was broken. Menu items not appearing; rampant graphics corruption in the menu bar; window dragging taking several seconds to redraw the window; lots more. Does anyone have impressions of how buggy Unity is in this new release?

(Yes, proprietary nvidia driver. Playing nice with it is non-negotiable. Gnome 3 and KDE both do.)

Comment: "Certified credentials" (Score 1) 214

by Astatine (#36705716) Attached to: Ex-NSA Chief Supports Separate Secure Internet

Do they mean a PKI, with certificates?

If so, .secure will go down like a lead balloon.

See: Email encryption (S/MIME etc) -- do you know anyone who uses it? In the unlikely event that you do, can you say they're not a huge nerd? Hell, I work as a security specialist and I don't use it because it's too hard.

Also see: DNSSEC -- even the big network operators are having difficulty deploying it, let alone anyone else.

And the https system for web certificates, which only "works" because it's fundamentally insecure (every browser trusts a huge list of CAs, any one of which can sign a certificate for any site, which is all that's required to impersonate the site -- and that's before we get into mixed content and all the other problems). .secure will require usable, secure authentication over the Internet, and that's *hard*.

Comment: Why are you still memorising passwords?! (Score 1) 276

by Astatine (#36349756) Attached to: A Brief Sony Password Analysis

Passwords short enough to memorise are now short enough to crack in many cases. See recent article about hash reversal with GPUs.

Use a password safe. Just search -- there are lots around. I use KeePassX (small, cross-platform -- Windows, GNU/Linux, Mac, Android, no install required on Windows). It'll make strong passwords for you and save them in a tiny encrypted file you can copy to all your devices, with a couple of clicks. The only passwords you'll need to remember are your local login password and the password to the safe.

Life is better without having my web accounts chain-hacked or having to clutter my brain remembering a bazillion passwords...

Too much is not enough.

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