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251  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for Free Linux DNS server on: February 06, 2013, 07:01:37 AM
So the question remains, what would be the best/most ideal light weight flavor of Linux/Unix to try labing this with? I want to be sure I can get it to work before suggesting anything.
Debian? There's probably more light-weight distros around, but Debian is known for being stability nuts... that also does mean you won't get bleeding edge updated versions of software in the repositories, but do you want to run corporate infrastructure on bleeding-edge? smiley

(Also, would you want to run corporate infrastructure on BIND? Hmm.)
252  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Gummiboot restructured to allow Linux to work on SecureBoot systems on: February 06, 2013, 06:37:58 AM
Ah, thanks for clearing that up.  I had assumed that since UEFI was a replacement for BIOS, it was a similar implementation, and I saw NOTHING in all my random web surfing research that suggested anything else.
BIOS is software as well smiley

I'm honestly a bit fuzzy on BIOS vs. UEFI, but... my understanding is something along the lines of this:
1) you have some really core code that does initial CPU and chipset setup, and you have the menu configuration stuff ("BIOS menu") - neither of this really has to be "BIOS vs. UEFI" (although on an UEFI system the menu config might be an "UEFI shell"? - haven't studied it closely enough!).
2) then there's the boot stuff, and this is where changes are radical. "Legacy BIOS" and UEFI boots are very different in nature (even for UEFI without Secure Boot). Both with regards to how additional boot code is loaded, but also the services the firmware exposes. BIOS exposes old 16bit code with a whole lot of legacy that no modern OSes use. UEFI is proper protected-mode APIs.

Any system that supports "legacy boot" in effect has a full BIOS.

UEFI in and by itself isn't a bad thing, it's good to get rid of some of the legacy junk - and boy do UEFI systems boot fast (not sure if this would be possible with a normal BIOS-only system... I still legacy-boot my Win7, but on an UEFI capable system, and this is very fast as well). UEFI is probably a bit over-engineered and bloated, and Apple have had some quirks that almost smell like intentional harassment.

But while we're on the subject, if UEFI is a software thing, can it be replaced with something less nefarious?  My mention of TianoCore/Coreboot was the only things I could find that was insinuated as any sort of a replacement.
Theoretically, yes - problem is that motherboard vendors only ship a full package with the CPU+chipset initialization, config menu and BIOS/UEFI booting, they don't ship just initialization + config menu. This means that any alternative project needs to implement every from scratch, and goot luck getting your hands on detailed chipset specifications.
253  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Mp3 File Format Issue Split From Silly Humor Thread on: February 06, 2013, 06:11:19 AM
Well, it works both ways in Trout, for me. I am a little behind on the updates (1.0.4 build 93), if that makes any difference.
Could you try the most recent version? If that still works, could you try using a hex editor (HxD is pretty nice if you don't have on lying around) to overwrite the "WAVE" header string with something else, and see if it still works? Also, is this a freshly re-downloaded version of Define.wav, or have you had it open in any other application after changing extension to .mp3?

Perhaps we can get Skwire to comment on how he parses files... and perhaps we can get mouser to cut all the file-discussion from this thread and put it into a new one :-)
254  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Futurama Icon Set: I think we can all agree that this is the best thing ever. on: February 05, 2013, 05:23:37 PM
Those are cute, but...

I'm not sure I would call them icons? Sure, they might come in (high-res) icon dimensions, and even in .ico files, but... I dunno, am I being overly pedantic?
255  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Mp3 File Format Issue Split From Silly Humor Thread on: February 05, 2013, 05:16:15 PM
I had no troubles getting Trout to play it as MP3.  Wink
Doesn't work for me, neither with .wav nor .mp3 extension (trout v1.0.6). With .mp3 extension, it does seem to try to parse it as mp3 rather than wav (given that bitrate, sample, channels and length are all wrong), the specs for the .wav version look sane - but can obviously not be played since I don't have the codec installed.
256  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Gummiboot restructured to allow Linux to work on SecureBoot systems on: February 05, 2013, 04:43:52 PM
@f0dder -thx for the link. I knew about that one. But AFAIK Microsoft nothing to do with it. And it is a very inelegant hack at best.
It's signed by Microsoft. The $99 mentioned in that reply doesn't go to Microsoft (it's for the code signing certificate, and it's my understanding that cash goes to Verisign, not MS).

I also don't see how the shim is an inelegant hack. I haven't tested it, so I might have misunderstood how it works, but it's my understand that the first time you boot with it, you have to do the somewhat kludgy key enrollment process (which, AFAIU, only enrolls the key with the shim, not the UEFI keystore) - after that, you can autoboot Grub (or whatever you've chosen). That's the standard pre-compiled shim - a linux distribution that's willing to shell out the $99 for a signing cert can build a version that has their own key embedded, and thus avoid the first-time kludge.

What most of us were hoping was that any computer owner could elect to permanently disable UEFI/SecureBoot and still have Windows 8 function the same way it does on a non-UEFI machine. That would allow users who wish to dual-boot (or simply not use WIndows at all) to sidestep this entire issue and continue working as they did before.
Dunno if there's anything in Win8 that (currently!) doesn't work if Secure Boot is disabled - one could expect potential DRM nastyness. But as long as UEFI implementations allow you to do your own key management, and there's alternate solutions like the Shim loader, there's no need to panic.

I really do believe that Secure Boot isn't necessarily a bad idea in and by itself - it does offer an additional level of protection against resilient malware. It might be broken, we'll see about that (given how complex a beast UEFI is, there'll probably be a way), but it's going to be one additional barrier that an attacker has to penetrate.

Heck, I even think it's possible that the engineers that came up with the idea actually did have security in mind.

On the other hand, I am cynical enough to know that there's bound to be a lot of slimey creeps in MS that are waiting for the right opportunity to use it for ultimate vendor lock-in... so I am weary & wary about the whole thing. But I'll still rather keep my eyes open and discuss things rationally and wait a bit before I cry wolf.
257  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Gummiboot restructured to allow Linux to work on SecureBoot systems on: February 05, 2013, 03:00:18 PM
Or blame the linux kernel driver developer?
Nope. Cardinal rule of the kernal team is: you do not ever break userland. The changes that resulted in the bricking were not made by them. I put the responsibility squarely on the manufacturer's shoulders.
Well, I haven't dug into the issue, but the H-Online article says "[...]it appears to be caused by a kernel driver for Samsung laptops." - I take it that "kernel" means "Linux kernel", otherwise it should've been "firmware driver" or "UEFI driver". Also, firmware isn't exactly userland tongue

So it could be Samsung that implemented something screwy, or it could be the kernel drivers that misundestood the UEFI specs (or simply had bugs in their code), or it could be a combination of the two. Stuff like that reaaaaaally shouldn't happen, but when you're writing ring0 code, bugs can have pretty fatal consequences.

Microsoft already signed the Shim that will allow you to boot anything

News to me. Hadn't seen that they had. If so, I'm a much happier camper. Could you post a link? smiley
Sure, here you go smiley

Also, while I haven't looked at Secure Boot enabled laptops, my impression is that the motherboards you can get for building your own boxen tend not only to allow you to disable Secure Boot, but allow full key management. It's understandable that Linux distros don't want to depend on this, since it signigicantly raises the difficulty of installing, and it might not be available everywhere - hence the signing pact with the devil.

But by the same token, Microsoft has a long and documented track record of breaking agreements and engaging in exceedingly aggressive and willfully deceptive business practices. Whenever they think they can get away with something, more often than not, they'll try to do so.

Is knowing that about them being paranoid, cynical - or simply realistic? Wink
A mix of all three, I'd say - hence why I think we should be on the watch, and remain skeptic. But it helps noone to spread FUD, which some people are doing (not pointing fingers here at DoCo, but there's craploads of incorrect (dis)information out there on the interwebs).
258  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Would a 41 megapixel camera get you to buy a Windows 8 phone? on: February 05, 2013, 02:39:34 PM
Note: in this case, they did use a much larger sensor - disadvantage there being that the phone is a lot thicker because the lens has to be further from a larger sensor.
Those results aren't really comparable, then smiley

The main advantage of more MP's with final image @5mp is the zoom capability.
Ho humm - digital zooming. I've honestly never really seen good results from that - and if one of the marketing pitches is "we use the insane mpix to resize down to acceptable quality and doing noise filtering stuff", doesn't that imply your image will get noisier and noisier the more you zoom?

Also, is there anybody clever around who knows if there's some big differences between zooming digitally, and the physical-world stuff that happens when you do it through optics?
259  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: How much have I downloaded? on: February 05, 2013, 10:52:39 AM
My Netgear CG3000 gateway doesn't tell how much is coming or going.
Hm, you have no way to logon to the router? (Wouldn't be surprised if TDC or one of their subcompanies locked down the router... they definitely do it for business lines, and tend to insist on DKK800 to make adjustments Cool ).

But oh, yeah, YouSee is cable and not ADSL - forgot that. I guess they might count TV and Data separately, then.
260  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Would a 41 megapixel camera get you to buy a Windows 8 phone? on: February 05, 2013, 10:37:26 AM
All those MPs are used to increase the quality of a lower resolution image (artifacts and noise can apparently be reduced a lot via averaging).
Wouldn't it be better to go for a lower mpix input and get a lot less noise to begin with? I'm not much into the tech behind, but I had the impression that the more mpix you try to squeeze out of a (physically too small) CCD, the more noise you get?
261  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Mp3 File Format Issue Split From Silly Humor Thread on: February 05, 2013, 10:31:23 AM
It's been soooooo long ago.  I encoded these years ago, back in the W95 days.  The reason I'm thinking it was already a codec in Windows is because I used sndrec.exe to encode, which is the original default .wav sound player.
That must've been because you installed the fraunhofer (aka l3enc) codec - and a commercial version, at that? Can't remember which Windows version introduced MP3 codec support, but iirc it was decode-only. For some reason, I don't have sndrec32 on any of my Windows VMs, so I can't check out if it let you specify codec on save.

I renamed the file to .mp3 and Windows Media Player won't play it, so I don't know what you did.
It has a WAVE header - some programs would try to interpret that and ignore the file extension (and then fail when you don't have the specified codec installed). Other will interpret as mp3, but will expect the file to start with an MP3 frame (or an ID3 tag).

During the period, this codec would make much smaller files than the normal .mp3, even at the same bitrate.
Given the same bitrate and method (which was Constant Bit Rate back in those days), that's simply impossible. Back in the early days (after the very early days, when it was the only codec around), the Fraunhofer codec had better quality than competing codecs, at least at lower bitrates. But constant bitrate means constant bitrate - same size, but possibly difference in quality, depending on psychoacoustics.

EDIT: curiosity got the better of me - interested me that nothing wanted to eat it as "mp3", even with the WAVE header removed, and I was a bit puzzled that I couldn't find a frame sync word. So, I downloaded GSpot to inspect the file, and it says the codec is DSP Group TrueSpeechw@8KHz... no wonder nothing wants to play it back as mp3 smiley
262  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Hardspace on: February 05, 2013, 10:18:20 AM
So, umm... is this going to result in an extremely {p,c}orny remake of Deep Impact? >_<
263  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Gummiboot restructured to allow Linux to work on SecureBoot systems on: February 05, 2013, 10:16:50 AM
40hz: wrt. the bricking, shouldn't you blame Samsung? Or blame the linux kernel driver developer? I can fry my BIOS/UEFI by flashing it with garbage, who should I blame for that? :-). Also, considering Microsoft already signed the Shim that will allow you to boot anything, could we cut down the paranoia level to "on the watch, and not liking things"?

Tinman57: you don't need any "permission" to install XP, you simply disable Secure Boot... which you kinda have to, anyway, since XP doesn't support UEFI boots.

Edvard: there's no such thing as an "UEFI chip" - it's a software implementation (possibly using a TPM chip, but that's a different matter). As things currently are, x86 vendors are required to allow the user to disable Secure Boot to get Win8 logo certification... and motherboards (as opposed to prebuilt systems) tend to come with full-blown key management facilities.

Carol: is AMD still in the motherboard game? I thought they quit both motherboards and chipsets several years ago?

EDIT: turns out it's almost guaranteed to be an UEFI bug, so strikeout'ed the Linux kernel devs part smiley
264  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: How much have I downloaded? on: February 05, 2013, 10:05:33 AM
A VOIP phone from a cable provider may also count toward your data total (find out from your provider), but since it connects through a separate modem, will not be counted by your router, or any device inserted between it and the modem.
And what about streaming TV? I wonder if YouSee includes that in their monthly stats... considering they're a daughter company of the extremely greedy monopolistic TDC, I wouldn't be surprised.

Curt, you really should find out if you can check the traffic at the router level.
265  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: a place to buy exotic plants? on: February 03, 2013, 11:26:21 AM
OK, then - nothing tooooo bad, but you can remove it if you feel it's embarassing, Stephen tongue

...made me feel quite sober in comparison! tongue
266  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: a place to buy exotic plants? on: February 03, 2013, 10:31:56 AM
tellme I don't remember posting this lmao!  Was rather....drunk...last night
I've got some funny irc logs smiley
267  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Lock PC during Boot. ??? on: February 03, 2013, 07:55:15 AM
The Windows logon password is not good enough?

What's your desired usecase here - preventing people from, say, booting from an USB stick or DVD? Preventing them from getting into your Windows account? Or actually securing your data?

If it's last item, look at BitLocker or (IMHO preferable) TrueCrypt.
268  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: How much have I downloaded? on: February 03, 2013, 07:33:17 AM
I am usually very satisfied with my Internet Supplier; the company is handling my land-line Telephone, my Televison, my Internet, my music file collection, and (for a while) my online backup.
TDC, eh?

I hope this "fair use" crap doesn't bleed down all the way to Fullrate. It's bad enough TDC keeps connectivity costs artificially inflated and does all it can to slow down fibre connections, but "fair" use? Ugh.
269  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Homeland Security: Disable UPnP on: February 03, 2013, 07:29:42 AM
is the online router scan enough if you're using a stand-alone machine?
Seems like they do a server-side check to your WAN IP - so you'll get to see whether your router is exploitable from the intarwebs (which is what really matters), but you won't get notified about other devices on your LAN.
270  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: 2013 Version: Browser Wars on: February 02, 2013, 11:08:44 PM
You missed Opera so you actualy get  the worst of the 3 xD

I gave Opera a try on my Nexus 7 - it's supposed to be fast & optimized and whatnot, so that'd make sense on a tablet (even if the N7 packs some oomph). It is sloooooow. Seems to load pages slower than both Chrome and Firefox, and scrolling is extremely sluggish. And it also often chooses default zoom levels that are way too zoomed out, resulting in almost unreadable text until you zoom in manually.
271  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Mp3 File Format Issue Split From Silly Humor Thread on: February 02, 2013, 11:04:43 PM
The MPEG Layer-3 wav's operates much faster than .mp3 and don't require special players once installed, it decodes on the fly in windows.
"Operates much faster", how? Do you mean because you can use the extremely stripped-down sndrec32 to play it rather than starting some bigger/slower media player? Or something else?

I can see it sorta makes sense if you want to have your Windows system sounds mp3 compressed, or for other applications that don't support mp3 (it'll only work for mp3-wave if those applications uses Windows APIs - a fair amount of programs, and especially games, parses the .wav by hand, and only supports raw PCM audio - and possibly even only one hardcoded format).

But you do need the codec installed, then, which not many people have these days - especially since all audio players tend to come with built-in mp3 support these days smiley

If I remember correctly, they also make much smaller files than .mp3's.  I only use mp3 format for actual music files.
Given the same (constant) bitrate, a WAV with mp3 audio should actually be slightly larger than normal mp3, since the wav container headers are in addition to the mp3 stream headers. If you see a size difference of more than a few handfuls of bytes, you're encoding the wav-mp3s with a lower bitrate than the mp3 you're comparing to.

Those three letters, W-A-V are sometimes magic, but sometimes the two letters M-P and the number 3 are even more magical. And in the case of your compressed wavs, that's the only difference between them and MP3's...the three characters after the dot. There is no magic in the file itself.
The file formats are different, though - and while the audio stream itself is the same compression format, being in a .wav container can matter - an application might not support mp3, but if it uses Windows APIs to handle it's .wav files, it should be able to play back pretty much any audio format you have a codec installed for.

Was it made on a stock system with no extra codecs installed, using only software or components that ships with Windows?
Tinman says he uses l3enc - I'm not sure whether he uses the original l3enc.exe, or compressed by opening input file and selecting l3enc codec - but at any rate, l3enc was the first mp3 compressor (and probably the first codec as well?), developed by Fraunhofer. It has pretty bad quality compared to today's codecs (it had to cut corners to run at acceptable speed - when I first got l3enc.exe, my system was a 486dx4-100), and unless you're using RADiUMs hacked version you're limited to 128kbps (iirc RADiUM not only hacked the codec to support the higher bitrates, but also optimized the (binary) code making it some 5-10% faster...)

Sounds more like it's just MP3 encoded data within a WAV container, (ie. it has a header of RIFF) - so renaming it to .mp3 won't work because the MP3 header info required by a true MP3 decoder is missing and anything that can only handle valid WAV files won't work because the data will appear corrupt.  Hence the need for a codec.
You're right that it's mp3 encoded data in a .wav file - as your screenshot also clearly shows smiley

However, you're slightly wrong about the header stuff. The following is off top of my head, so might not be 100% correct, but... here goes:
MP3 files don't have headers in the same sense that most other file formats do - which is normally a header located at the beginning of the file, in a fixed format. MP3 isn't a "container format", it's basically just a bunch of MPEG frames that happen to be in the same file. MPEG was made to support "muxing" (having both audio and video in one stream (or file), which means you need to chop up your video and audio streams to pieces and interleave them, since you can't "seek" in streamed audio... and it would've been problematic for optical media which are very slow at seeks)).

So, MPEG revolves around "frames" which can (theoretically) appear anywhere inside your stream (or file). Since the format need to support streams with many small frames, both for muxing reasons as well as jumping into the middle of a streamed broadcast without waiting too long for a sync frame, the identifier (the "MP3 Sync Word") is very short. And it's not very unique - so it wouldn't be a good idea to scan through a file looking for this signature.

ID3 tags are a bit of a mess, but I'm too fuzzy on the details to say much more about them than that. But without them, since MP3 isn't a container format, you'd have to read through the entire MP3 file in order to know it's playtime... so they're definitely welcome smiley

...anyway, file doesn't want to play here, whether I keep the file extension as .wav or change to .mp3 - tried Windows Media Player, mpc-hc or foobar2000. Win7-x64 without any codec packs installed - I might even have removed some, since I tweaked the install a lot (I did keep WMP, though). No go, even if I trash the wav headers.
272  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: February 02, 2013, 06:59:47 PM
Edited: f0dder got it:
As much as I'd like being your personal hero:
[01:42:42] <@Deozaan> fenixprod it sounds kind of like the song in the teaser for Dead Island.
[01:43:37] <fenixprod> checking
[01:44:14] <@Deozaan>
[01:44:20] <fenixprod> my hero

273  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Homeland Security: Disable UPnP on: February 02, 2013, 06:10:13 PM
Here was my result using rapid7's ScanNow program:
 (see attachment in previous post)
Same counts I got when scanning my LAN IP range - and zero hits at all when scanning my WAN. Is your router Slightly odd address for that?
274  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Security Software Showdown! on: February 02, 2013, 05:43:13 AM
My first thought always, and recently confirmed by the CNET abuse of editorial discretion, is can the rankings be trusted?
Of course not - follow the money trail.
275  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Homeland Security: Disable UPnP on: February 02, 2013, 05:41:35 AM
So I wrote Agnitum, because:

Quote from: ZDNet
So what can you do in the meantime? Just keep that firewall up once and for all against UPnP traffic.

We've survived UPnP until now, maybe all this is not extremely urgent...
I hope for an answer no later than Monday.
1) the threat isn't attacks against your computer, it's attacks against various other devices.
2) (totally unrelated to this story, but good general security practice) don't forward UPnP traffic from your router to your LAN.
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