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Comment: Re:Linux is secure right? (Score 1) 93

by ledow (#49157913) Attached to: Blu-Ray Players Hackable Via Malicious Discs

Claiming, or falling for, any argument that "open-source is secure" is a complete failure to understand. Security is relative, not absolute. To get this ass-backwards just makes you look like an idiot. Believing anyone who says ANYTHING "is secure" is utter stupidity (rather than "is more secure", for instance)

It's like saying "metal's secure". No it's not. I can walk around a sheet of metal just as easily as a pane of glass. However, a metal lock built to the same design as, say, a glass one is likely to be MORE secure.

As such, open-source is not "secure". It's considered to be "more" secure if everything else is equal.

Tell me, how many Windows-based Blu-Ray players can you buy in your local supermarket? Zero? Shocking. Why? Because Windows is not properly designed for embedded use at all really, certainly not until very recently. There were ATM's that run on XP Embedded, and there were a few cars that had Windows-based control systems (I remember a story of some ambassador being locked in a car by it).

As such, a complete install of Windows would be vast overkill and a huge attack surface for such things because it's just not ready for that. So it's not a fair comparison at all, as Windows is inherently "less secure" in such circumstances as it's just not designed to do that. However, Linux / open-source Blu-Ray players are "more" secure than many of the alternatives still, everything else being equal.

And why - because not only can you see if your player would be affected by the bugs but, by the same licence that grants you the ability to see the bug, you can CHANGE THE CODE if you so want. No waiting for vendor updates. One person in the world who knows how to code can look, see the problem, fix it, publicise it and therefore purge the world's devices of it.

Tell me, how many "security patches" do you think other commercial Blu-Ray players ever get given? Even the ones connected to the net 24/7 for their "extra media" functionlaity. There's even a facility to update Blu-Ray firmwares via buying new disks (not unlike the Wii games that bundle an update of the underlying OS before they'll let you play them). It's rarely used.

If you're going to pick arguments, have some vague understanding of what the real argument is, not some child on the Internet's poor re-stating of it.

Open-source is potentially MORE secure than closed-source, everything else being equal.

Those conditions and caveats make a HUGE difference to the intent, meaning, and truth of the statement.

Guess what, AES-128 isn't "secure" either. But it may be "more" secure than other algorithms, for example.

Comment: Re:Slashdot (Score 1) 299


Damn, that's stupidly impossible to see on a whole range of monitors that I have here. I've complained to support, but I doubt they'll do anything.

It's like the Metro Start hover all over again - you have to play some kind of pixel-hunting adventure game the first time you do anything to work out where to go next.

I was LOOKING for it and couldn't find it. And why would you ever want the button to be the same colour as the bar it's in? It's there for a reason - to be pressed. Don't hide it from me.

Comment: Re:Slashdot (Score 4, Insightful) 299

No, I have Javascript enabled, have latest Chrome. It's just borked, and it only happened today (no updates to software between yesterday and today - same browser session still running in fact!) but the site now doesn't render at all nicely and it LOOKS deliberate, but I'm missing any kind of Post button at all.

Comment: Slashdot (Score 5, Informative) 299

Anybody else's Slashdot break today?

I've gone to this top-menu-bar thing, with no left gap at all, with no comment button at all (only Reply To This, sorry!) without warning.

Also, the content is trapped in the left-hand half of the page and won't stretch across.

Not only that, by on the same screen where I have "Ads Disabled" checked, I see an ad.

Slashdot, seriously, without a comment button, I'm gone for good this time.

Comment: Re:Gaming on Linux will matter... (Score 5, Informative) 191

by ledow (#49138405) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

Sorry, but I could live tomorrow on Linux.

I only use Windows because it was "for free" because of my employer buying me a laptop.

But for five years, I managed and supported a 90% Windows network with hundreds of devices primarily using a laptop which had LibreOffice, etc. installed.

OS - sorted.

Office suite - sorted (sorry, but it is. I used to get people envy my LibreOffice setup, as I could do everything they could do, and manage their same files they managed, and also do things like open ancient foreign formats that people emailled us still).

General apps - sorted.

Games - 1/3rd of my Steam account "just works" on Linux.

For years, I didn't have Windows or Office, as an IT professional supporting users on Windows and Office. Sure, it would have been nice to have a native tool occasionally, but for the odd things I needed (e.g. AD admin tools) it was always safer to just remote-desktop into a Windows machine, or use VM's (Samba tools just aren't there yet).

For everyday use, personal and business, I used Linux as the base OS and for the vast majority of tasks. Only when I was doing something very Windows-specific did I have to load up a Windows tool and always did it from a Linux machine.

Comment: Re:Another carefuly planted article (Score 1) 280

by ledow (#49136715) Attached to: Drones Cost $28,000 Per Arrest, On Average

Not about cost. It's about value.

For that cost, for the price of a couple of drones you could put another couple of officers, stationed permanently to do just their job. And thereby free up whatever officers would also, presumably, need to be present to enable the original drones to operate too.

Simplify the choice - one drone, or two officers (maybe an officer and a half) on the ground doing the same job and NOTHING else - and the value motive really comes to the fore.

Law enforcement isn't about what it costs. Hence why the UK police are still sitting outside the Ecuadorian embassy at the moment waiting for Assange to move out of his personal prison to go to an official one. But it's about value. One high-profile "celebrity" openly-flouting the law is enough to encourage a whole spate of lawlessness in following suit, and you'll have every shoplifter and petty criminal claiming asylum in embassies to evade the law within a month.

So the cost motive would mean we'd leave him in there and forget about him because "he's too expensive to care about". And also that we wouldn't bother to deport illegals.

The value motive says we stay there to dissuade this kind of activity in future and make sure it doesn't cost more in the long run. And that illegals are deported at huge costs to prevent being seen as "weak".

Funny how changing one word (cost -> value) can change the whole intention of your post, isn't it?

Comment: Re:I don't know... (Score 1) 498

by ledow (#49136455) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

And what's happened?

We have gone back to large, simple, flat icons.

We have gone back to a desktop akin to Program Manager (large square blocks of programs on a plain background).

We have gone passed through Active Desktop, only to have it ripped to shreds and reincarnate in the form of the (still loathed) Metro.

We have gone back pre-Start Menus and removed taskbars (in Metro at least), albeit with added features. Then we've put them back in.

The people who work in IT know that these fads come round in cycles and eventually you'll go back to how you were because some things work and some don't. At one point, Windows 95 was going to be "the last Windows OS with a CLI", now we've brought in PowerShell, etc.

And all because, at some point, Microsoft have this ego trip about never being wrong and knowing better. And all the IT guys want is an option. Do I want shiny new stuff, or boring old stuff? Let me choose. It's really that simple. You can put EVERYTHING you want into an OS. Just give me a switch (and ideally a Group Policy setting) to turn it back off if it's not what I want.

I don't want Metro to be thrown in the bin, I want my users to be able to choose whether or not they want to use it. And that means giving them years of both that they can choose between at a click. It takes THIRD-PARTY FREEWARE and faffing about to do that, which isn't the best solution when I've paid for the OS for all my users on an annual subscription.

Nobody cares whether you want new-and-fancy stuff or not. But inevitably, it'll go out of fashion, then come back, then go out. All I want is the option. It's not hard. If a freeware project can give you the option, why can't Windows?

(P.S. Why can't I make Group Policy use AD stored user photos as the Windows 8 login? It's almost impossible with lots of login scripts and downloading an image via third-party software into a particular location on EVERY machine that they might even log onto. Why can't I set a myriad of basic options that are there on the screen for my users, and why can't I *stop* them changing them just as easily? Why can't I just have "skip Metro screen" as an option in Windows to go straight to an old fashioned desktop? Really... it's not that hard).

Comment: Re:HiDPI (Score 1) 498

by ledow (#49135761) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

Scaling is a one-off for the particular size of screen.

There's almost zero overhead in keeping the icons as SVG or similar, and rendering to a bitmap in the device dpi that you require, and then using that bitmap until the screen resolution changes.

Cache enough of them and after the first few resolution changes, you'll never have to render the SVG on that machine again.

So the "scalable has a cost" rules go out of the window, really. And even back in the 90's, did you ever see the stuff you could do with vector formats? Some of them were amazing even if they took 10 or so seconds to render on the machines of the day. Nowadays? Pah. Make it render in the background the first time you change resolution with a "Please Wait" screen showing while you do so. If it takes more than 20-30 seconds for extremely complex icons for the entire Windows control set on a modern machine, I'll be amazed.

There are issues, much like those that plague font sizing, where you have to "hint" at lower resolutions how you want the final bitmap to show (because you might want what looks like an insignificant single pixel to render as a single pixel no matter what the size to make it look right, e.g. cursors, etc.). But those are all solved problems.

Have you seen the speed and zooming size you can get on the MacOS bottom bar? It's fabulous (and I hate Mac with a vengeance). And I've seen it do the same speed on a VM with no 3D acceleration at all.

There's no excuse. This is just designer-pandering where "design" means "look", not functionality, usability, human interface guidelines, intuitiveness, etc.

I've often backed a return to the Windows 3.1 interface for even modern Windows because it was simple, plain, boring and worked, and the icons you could tell roughly what they did. But this is a STEP BACK from Windows 3.1 even. Urk.

And, yes, I have deployed the previews in VM's for on-site testing and, apart from the look-change, there's little of note there. I'd have been infinitely more happy with a 7 or even 8 clone with newer features.

Hell, I've used 8 on a tablet and on touchscreen PC's and each time it's easier to turn that Metro junk off and use it, and even then it's just NOT designed for proper touch usage.

Neutrinos have bad breadth.