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Comment A response to UK powers "undemocratic" report? (Score 2) 546 546

This seems well-timed, just two days after David Anderson QC's report calling the UK surveillance powers "undemocratic", "fragmented" and "obscure". Got to keep the populace onside while working towards the next set of even-more intrusive laws, all in their own interest of course!

Comment A Death start-up (Score 1) 148 148

Here's a particularly fine example - a start-up for Death:-

The death you've been waiting for.

Satisfy your niche in the death ecosystem with online branding that’s built by active people for right consumers.

Quote: "Death was prompt, current, and current. Ten out of ten!" - Alexandra Sanders, San Gabriel, California

Comment Re:People are correctly annoyed by this (Score 4, Informative) 338 338

That'll be https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/.

Sadly, despite being a long-term FF user, it pains me to say it's far easier is to switch to Palemoon; it's a minimal effort and the result is firefox without all the BS (Palemoon being a firefox fork/tracker that values functionality over hipster cool)

Comment Lessons from using the same distro (since 1999) (Score 1) 716 716

Still running the same distro here, from 1999 (and am mercifully free of systemd, pulseaudio, etc). All upgrades have been done by downloading and compiling from source, with the exception of a small number of large programs/drivers (specifically Firefox, Palemoon, OpenOffice, Java, nvidia driver). This 'in-house' distro gets copied onto all new computers, so there's about 50 or 60 running it (including a few laptops). So what doesn't work?

In short, not a lot. Occasionally have to 'chmod a+rw' something in /dev (easier than running udevd), but that's about it. Written a couple of init scripts, fixed a few others (all very simple, maybe a day in total).

The best bit is, if anything breaks we can fix it - easily.

As to why modern distro's are so complex: "follow the money". If everything was so simple that no-one needed support, well, there goes the business model of all the major distros. So it's not unexpected they put developers in change who like 'elegant' (read complex, bloated, impenetrable and obscure) solutions - it means that end-users pretty much have to fork out for a support contract (or spend a *lot of time* on inhouse admin).

Comment An SS7 coder writes... (Score 2) 89 89

The comments above about SS7 being designed without security are spot-on. In the old days, access to the SS7 network was strictly for big players and salesmen with 'extremely customer-friendly' expense accounts. Basically, anyone with access was a big player (with all the baggage that entails).

Really, the issue here is with MAP (an add-on to SS7 to support mobiles). The explosion of mobile means SS7 is no longer just the playing field for national carriers - mobile-only operators came to the party (still all $xbillion players). Then, smaller countries with some interesting networks came on the scene, and rather naughty SS7 traffic started to appear on the network.

Smarter operators (or at least bigger ones who got their fingers burnt) spent money to install gateways that limit and control their exposure (wouldn't you?). The less clueful/more cash-strapped/networks in less-developed countries remain more exposed.

Anyone interested can search for 'SS7 mobility management' ; the <a href="http://www.informit.com/library/content.aspx?b=Signaling_System_No_7&seqNum=116">code is easy</a>, the issue is getting access to the network.

Oh, wait, these days SS7 is being routed over IP now (ever wondered what the <a href="http://lksctp.sourceforge.net/">linux SCTP module</a> is actually for?).

Comment Re:C is very relevant in 2014, (Score 1) 641 641

And C++ doesn't? (cited as it was mentioned as something better).

Any high-level language is an elaboration on the underlying reality. C is closer to whats really going on than its offspring (a simple consequence of it being built at the time we were learning to drive computers effectively).

Really, the argument is about teaching people how to drive when they don't know what's going on under the hood. How many people these days care about that? Like your average programmer, they just want to get from A to B.

Comment Systemd is great because... (Score 1) 928 928

The killer advantage of systemd is the money it makes. By integrating this software into our distro, we can be sure that any business using linux will take one look at the complexity, binary logs, and other great features and realise they really need to pay for a support contract. You see, this fixes the problem of the old, really lame (simple, yuk!) systems that have been around for years - anyone with a bit of shell knowledge can learn them in a few minutes, and it's really hard to make money when kids with some computing knowledge can sort system problems out. No, in order to convince customers that support contracts are necessary we need to replace the easy, working stuff with something we invented, something far richer, something that we can integrate into the system and which gives us addtional control. With this approach, we can effectively neutralise all those damn people who can learn how the system works in their spare time. Just make it so complex, only paid professionals can afford to flail about fixing things! As is clear, systemd fits that bill perfectly (along with pulseaudio and a nod to udev). Never mind all those whining ninnies (hey, tell them to go pay for a support contract if they want to use linux). What really matters here is the benefit to the bottom line - just remember, people, complex crap sells support contracts!

In summary, systemd is great on other's people machines - when you'd getting paid by the hour!

Submission + - How to Unbrick your Device after FTDIgate->

RJ31337 writes: So, as we all know by now, FTDI decided to pull a dirty little trick to brick devices using "non-genuine" FTDI Chips by changing their PIDs to 0000, rendering them effectively useless. However, with access to a Linux machine (In our case Ubuntu 13.04) We have found a method to reverse the process and turn the PID back to 6001, making the device perfectly useable again!

We know we shouldn't have to do this, but what choice have they given us ay guys?

Link to Original Source

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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