01
Aug
09

Troll of the week #4: the registry is good fun.

I’ve been AWOL for a while so let’s have a bumper pack of trolls for our troubles. How many Windows users ever edit the registry, I wonder? Probably the number is very few. Unfortunately, more people should know how to do this, at least, as editing the registry is often the only way to completely obliterate programmes you have removed. Virus scanners are notorious for this. Still, any how, here’s somebody defending the very worst aspects of Windows. It’s from yet another SJVN article, this one about Canonical offering paid support for desktop users. You wouldn’t expect Windows trolls to care, but apparently not.

Continue reading ‘Troll of the week #4: the registry is good fun.’

30
Jul
09

A Mono proposal

Mono developer Jo Shields has created a couple of Mono-free Ubuntu remixes. Here are the torrent links for i386 and amd64 architectures. There is talk of maintaining a regular Ubuntu edition sans Mono over on the Mono-Nono site. It’s a little unfair to expect Jo to do it all by himself, and it’s a good chance for people suspicious of Mono to do something about it rather than simply grumble about the whole thing. The Ubuntu Technical Board have made it clear that they don’t see inclusion of Mono-stuff in Ubuntu to be that much of a problem, so rather than start another flame war, head on over to Dan Serban’s proposal on the Mono-Nono site and volunteer to help out.

For the uninitiated, Mono is one of those things that people feel… strongly about. People who are ambivalent or even completely apathetic about the whole thing do exist, they just aren’t very vocal about it. Perhaps I should blog about that. Sure, why not?

Diary of someone apathetic about Mono.

As I was making breakfast this morning, I noticed how the scrambled eggs in the pan before me failed to remind me of the great Mono debate. The kettle came to the boil, whistling in that shrill way that’s almost, but not quite, completely unlike the flame wars I hadn’t read the night before. I realised then that I hadn’t thought about Mono for minutes, perhaps even tens of minutes. My girlfriend looked at me in a way that was completely different from the way Miguel de Icaza and Roy Schestowitz would glare at each other if they were thrown to the bottom of a bottomless pit, destined to fight each other to the death for all of eternity.

Err, perhaps not.

19
Jul
09

Troll of the week #3: something lacking

Here’s a nice troll from a rather funny article entitled “Linux Sucks“:

Anonymous July 18, 2009 10:26 AM
[...]

So again, why would you ever want to use Linux, its old, its clunky, and if you use it you lose the advantage of having windows and all its apps, and massive app base, and you are restricted to only using apps available for linux. Which are few a well lacking in quality. (lets be honest here please).

One day you guys will realise that free is not everything, and if your product is free and crap it wont fly. Linux has been going over 17 years now and UNIX far longer. and Yet still your on the bottom of the pool and you see to be very still ?

the other main problem is the linux “community” its degenerated into a cult, and zealots, who think the universe revolves around Linux.

Pretty good effort, there, buddy. The word zealot is presumably the word of the now, seeing as it’s written endlessly these days. It’s always been a favourite word for trolls. It has religous connotations, which certainly helps people characterise Linux users as crazy bastards. And don’t even think about advocating actually using Linux, of all things. Don’t try that unless you want a “peoeple can decide for themselves stop pushingyourbeliefsdopwnpeople’sthroats” speech. Shut it, you morons. This is the internet. YOU CANNOT EMAIL SOMETHING INTO SOMEBODY’S THROAT. Except cum. Sure, esex is every troll’s favourite pastime. That’s probably why so many people come across this blog searching for “hair in boobs” and “reel life girlfriends”. They want a taste of something they can never have, which is silly because throats don’t have any tastebuds. I want hair in boobs, too. It’s only natural.

But seriously, it’s got to the point now where saying something like, “I like Linux,” you will be interrupted with “–FUCK YOU ZEALOT!!!!!” All right, so I’m over the top. Well fuck you. Nobody told you to read this blog. And on to our next quote,

Well fuck you. Nobody told you to read this blog.

What an arsehole, trolling his own audience like that.

And finally for our last troll, I can’t tell if this one is serious or not, but considering this guy was spamming up the tubes with his bile, I’m guessing he’s pretty genuine. If true, then he’s a cunt. From the Linux Today talkback section of an article on Penguin Pete’s blog, in this exerpt he is defending dodgy business practices:

Starting from Injuns versus Settlers, slavery and a certain protracted bar-fight over whether that ought to be legal, then skipping to the mercantile “robber barons”, strike-breaking, the way US car manufacturers hobbled competition by the nations’ railroads, the waterfront mafia, the way in which Standard Oil used its commercial clout, “Ma Bell”, the development of anti-trust legislation and its use on Microsoft by Judge Jackson (you can Google for it).

If you do, you may find a pattern. Which is that ethics has no place (and never had) in US business or politics. Nowadays it does have a place, which is to serve (nowadays) as a convenient cop-out in case of legal trouble in the form of a “Code of Conduct” (You know, that tome filled with Maoist gibberish that your company adopted along with its “mission statement”).

As long as something isn’t demonstrably illegal *and* so visible as to attract prosecution, it’s something that will be used. Over and over again. And that’s what Microsoft is doing, Ok?

And by the way, since when was using your commercial clout to disincentivize “the channel” or public officials from offering other people’s products “illegal” eh?

I don’t even need to make fun of this one. There is a word that describes the capability to live to a set of principles, and respecting and abiding moral values. Something this guy lacks. The word you’re looking for is integrity.

18
Jul
09

George Orwell is spinning in his grave at 3,000 rpm

In what’s a rather stunning example of irony, Americans who own a Kindle copy of Orwell’s Animal Farm or Nineteen Eighty-Four have discovered that their books have been mysteriously deleted. The works are still under copyright in the US (though not here in the UK), so the US publisher has the right to allow or deny the books to be disseminated electronically. And it seems, for whatever reason, that they have revoked that right. Amazon were obliged to delete the books remotely in order to comply. I used to love Nineteen Eighty-four. A very powerful novel (or a very powerful manual for modern governments, if you prefer). What annoys me though are the morons you see around the internet who love to trot it out whenever they wish to grumble about the latest government decision to outlaw moths or whatever the fuck it is this time. So in light of that, I promise I’ll only do this the one time. From a comment over on the Slashdot article:

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

WAR IS PEACE.

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.

OWNERSHIP IS DISCRETIONARY.

That is all.

17
Jul
09

Linux malware, sure it’s possible

Update 18th July 2009. If you want to read actual desktop environment developers (i.e. people who who know loads more than I do) discussing this vulnerability, then this 2006 thread from a Xorg mailing list may interest you. If you want to see the proof that it actually works, then go right ahead and read on.

I tried to ask questions about this on a forum and got banhammered for it. But never mind. I did a bit of research into it and discovered that a few people have already documented this possible vulnerability, and that it is somewhat legitimate. People love to say that the biggest security threat for computers is the users themselves, which is fair enough. Who needs to craft a drive-by download when you can just get the users to click on naked_chix.jpg.exe all by themselves? Linux makes it difficult, but not impossible, for malware to take hold, but it pays to be aware of the dangers, however slight they may be. I don’t personally believe that there is much of a threat at all, and the particular exploit I’m about to describe isn’t very special or clever, either, and can only affect a small number of people. The only thing that is somewhat interesting about it is that it can get root access without drawing attention to itself.

Continue reading ‘Linux malware, sure it’s possible’

17
Jul
09

Feynman lectures for the rest of us

It seems a few people are coming across my blog whilst searching for the Linux-playable versions of the Feynman lectures. Well that’s a shame because they won’t find any here. Or will they!? Bill Gates put a bunch of Feynman lectures online. Of course they require Silverlight in order to play properly. And no they don’t work with Moonlight, either. But that’s okay, because they’re on Youtube. And if you want the more technical videos, you can watch them here. Enjoy the lectures.

16
Jul
09

The sublime and the enormous

When you connect to an internet site, many things happen. First, your request is sent to a domain name system service, which translate the friendly-looking http://www.sex.com into the much more computer-friendly 76.74.255.123, which is the address of the server you’re looking for. The server gets your request and sends a bunch of information back. All of this data is broken up into tiny packets which all take different routes through the mystical tubes, and are reassembled at the other end–your end. And, after just a couple of seconds of waiting, you’re looking at porn. Magic, huh? The thing is, though, we are running out of addresses. We can get about four billion addresses out of the current system, known as IPv4. The system intended to replace it, known as IPv6, however, puts paid to all that. It has, give or take, 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 possible addresses. How to visualise a number that large? Well, I gave it a go, using a trick first used in John Gribbin’s In Search Of Schrödinger’s Cat.

Continue reading ‘The sublime and the enormous’




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