* Posts by Frank Bitterlich

474 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Nov 2007


Airport chaos as eGates down for the count across UK

Frank Bitterlich

"Planned" maintenance...

... so why are they planning that for a Friday?

'Small monthly payment' only thing that stands between X and bot chaos, says Musk

Frank Bitterlich

It might just work.

Because what's the point of running bots on a platform that's more pityful than "Truth Social" and has just a few hundred Musk fans.

Unity closes offices, cancels town hall after threat in wake of runtime fee restructure

Frank Bitterlich

Re: CEO contempt of users ends badly as predicted

I don't know too much about stock market stuff – but isn't that the very definition of insider trading?

Scientists spot startlingly close black holes in Hyades star cluster

Frank Bitterlich

Re: The Asylum has shown the way

I say: ready the Arks! Ark B should go first, so that when the survivors of humanity arrive on our new home world, they will find shiny-clean telephones and a thriving advertising economy. Oh, and someone needs to build electric cars on that planet, so how about sending a certain CEO, too?

Apple's iPhone 12 woes spread as Belgium, Germany, Netherlands weigh in

Frank Bitterlich

Standing by for...

... Apple changing the baseband software to reduce radiation, and then getting sued for bad signal quality...

Stoner Cats NFT project declawed for being an unregistered security

Frank Bitterlich

I still can't believe...

... that Jackie actually married Michael Kelso, IRL.

On the other hand, the whole Stoner Cats thing has a distinct "Kelso idea" feeling to it...

I'll see your data loss and raise you a security policy violation

Frank Bitterlich

It can get worse...

"There's nothing more permanent than a temporary solution"...

User have been known to use even worse places to store documents. I once got yelled at because in the course of regular maintenance, I've been emptying the trash can ("recycle bin" for Windows users) on a Mac. The lady using that desktop had actually put documents there that she wantetd to sort out later. Well, tough luck...

UK air traffic woes caused by 'invalid flight plan data'

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Expertise

They said the French did it. So it was probably a circumflex character....

Tesla's purported hands-free 'Elon mode' raises regulator's blood pressure

Frank Bitterlich

Tesla responded...?

The NHTSA gave Tesla a deadline of August 25 to respond, and the company has done so, but the regulator is keeping the response private due to the presence of confidential business information.

In other words, they got a poop emoji and are still trying to figure out the meaning of that...?

Pakistan turns its back on crypto to keep anti-terrorism watchdogs happy

Frank Bitterlich

What is "Allied Technologies"?

Honest question... all that I can find is a few companies with that name...?

Samsung's screens will check your blood pressure if the movie's too scary

Frank Bitterlich

Interesting opportunities...

So if the whole display can take your prints by measuring the reflected OLED light - does that make the whole display actually a camera? Even without optics, I wonder what new possibilities are there for upcoming security problems...

China lands mysterious reusable spacecraft after 276-day trek

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Excellent planning.

Not sure why it was all in one facility, but I have a hunch on what the "computer error" may have been. The incident report will probably include terms such as "Excel", "Liquid Nitrogen Supplier", and some refernce to the bloke who forgot to order LN2 in time because he made a copy-and-paste mistake in his spreadsheet-based To Do list. Classic "computer error".

Court gives FTC 30 days to swing again in privacy bout with location data slinger

Frank Bitterlich

We didn't do it. And if we did, it was totally legal. And if not, it didn't harm anybody. Well, maybe it did, but you didn't drag anybody into court to testify and publicly put out all that private stuff that we violated. And if it did, it wasn't that bad. And if it was, you have no jurisdiction over us, anyway.

The "It may be illegal, but you didn't prove actual harm" argument appears to work well in that country. It's probably from the NRA playbook.

Dump these insecure phone adapters because we're not fixing them, says Cisco

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Bit hard on the bright young things?

"... shortening the signal path and drastically increasing transfer speeds"... you can't make that stuff up.

Oh wait, they did...


Zoho creates browser with 'Open Season Mode' for when you don't care about privacy

Frank Bitterlich

Oh, I think you just found an actual use for Open Season mode... to read their FAQ.

Pornhub walls off Utah in age-verification law protest

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Why do some posts have a bold black line above them

I see that effect too, without having any kind of blocker. But I think sometimes the ads just aren't loading for some other reason, and then you get that blank space (surrounded by said "bold lines") too.

European air traffic control confirms website 'under attack' by pro-Russia hackers

Frank Bitterlich

Re: But surely...

ATC is a massively complex system, with many stakeholders involved - airlines, airports, ... Not easy to restrict to specific IP ranges or networks. And commercial off-the-shelf solutions like CloudFlare typically can't be applied either, as they focus on HTTP and similar traffic.

That said, ATC systems are often ancient, and I wouldn't be surpised if that was part of the current problem.

With a mighty hand, and an outstretched arm, Musk scraps Pope's blue tick

Frank Bitterlich

I see dead people...

“Just Shatner, LeBron and King.” - Also, Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, and Chadwick Boseman. And lots of other dead people. I really wonder what phone number they've got on file for them.

The blue checkmark has nothing to do with authentication or verification any more. It's just a cash cow and, if you ask me, false advertising, as it implies some kind of authenticity.

Chromebook expiration date, repair issues 'bad for people and planet'

Frank Bitterlich

So you actually rent them?

So if Chromebooks have an upfront end-of-life date, it's now finally the same as with beer: You can never buy it, you just rent it.

What's really up with data disconnects in the deep blue sea?

Frank Bitterlich

Re: I thought who did Nord Stream was settled?

Actually, both. Though Nord Stream 2 had only one of two pipes destroyed. The other one is supposedly in operating condition (technically).

Microsoft to cap daily Bing AI queries to stop the bot delivering daft responses

Frank Bitterlich

What's the difference between Bard and Bing AI?

Funny, I stumbled across two articles on CNN today. One is about Bard making a single incorrect assertion about the JWST telescope (among others that were apparently correct); and the other being about the Bing AI demo where it failed at both a product comparison (comparing apples to oranges, and also making up certain product features), at generating a reliable travel itinerary (again inventing certain information, and missing important others), and a couple of other fails.

The article about Bard said that on that day, US$ 100 billion was wiped from Google's value.

The article about Bing AI said: "Shares of Microsoft were essentially flat on Tuesday."

Not sure what that says about peoples expectations from these companies. Apparently what can wipe of billions of dollars from one company causes millions of people holding shares from another similar company to say "meh". Impressive.

Eurocops shut down Exclu encrypted messaging app, arrest dozens

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Network Service == Single Point Of Failure!

Now that's the way to get maths banned.

I think they tried that in Australia, but it didn't work. To quote Mr. Malcom Turnbull:

"The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia."

The right way to go is not to outlaw mathematics, but to issue an Interpol Red Notice for it.

China reportedly producing quantum computers – good luck observing one

Frank Bitterlich

Excerpt from the User's Guide

A short excerpt from the User's Guide:

Dear user, do congratulate on buy best Qunatum Computer you enjoy. PLEASE NOTE: currently Qunatum Module may not be ready best working yet on now fully. Meanwhile, "power on" LED actually emits quantum (multiple, of green light color) We suggest you download new drivers on 制造商 website, which is avalable on 2024/01/01. PLEASE NOT leave negative feedback, or we not can contact on solve problem for you.

Massive outage grounded US flights because someone accidentally deleted a file

Frank Bitterlich

Re: My theory still stands

You mean someone dragged the "Click here to edit NOTAM database" icon to the recycle bin? Sounds plausible.

Twitter tweaks third-party app rules to ban third-party apps

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Leeching off a leech

That's called synergy, not leeching. There is a platform that makes sense (well, before it was ruined by its new owner), and there is a company that makes a good UI for it. Platform, software company, and users profit from that. In normal business relations, that's a win-win(-win) situation.

Now the platform shoots down the app makers, without warning, and making it sound like they were freeloading on the platform, where in reality, they improved the product.

Since the app makers are just a tiny fraction of the size of Twitter, they will lose, whether it makes sense or not.

How that affects your view of Twitter is up to you.

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Body count

If they make a good Mastodon client, thay can count me as a customer. Maybe it's time for them to leave the sinking ship and take up the opportunities created by Musk's hissy fit.

Punch-drunk Apple Watch called 15 cops to a boxing workout when it heard 'shots'

Frank Bitterlich

Re: confused

Well, when you press and hold the Siri button on a Siri-enabled device and speak a number that is a valid phone number, Siri assumes you want to call it. I think that's a sensible assumption (which my last flipphone with "voice recognition" from a few decades ago (was it a Razr? Don't remember) handled in exctly the same way, without involvement of any Siri or Alexa or Whatever.)

To me, the whole thing is a non-story. Dude accidentally presses the voice recog button on his smart watch (happens, I don't know, maybe a million times a day), and for once, it did not understand "call mom" but "call 112". Cops don't get a response from the caller, listen a bit, and hear stuff like "good shot" and whetever else. Decide to check what's up there and show up in numbers (I won't comment on whether that's a sensible approach or not, as I honestly don't know.)

If it's a toddler who gets their hand on a phone and accidentally calls the emergency number, nobody would have reported this here. But, hey, "Siri." So it must have some kind of "evil tech" angle.

To downvote, click here.



Frank Bitterlich

Re: confused

If you read the article carefully, it says that the owner's wrist pressed on the watch (holding down the crown button on the side activates Siri.) The watch tried to understand what was said and apparently the only part it could understand was "1-1-2" and so it assumed it was a number to be called. So it did.

Reading the original article, it says (quoting the watch owner) “The button is on the side of the watch and if it is pressed down for long enough, Siri is activated and in that time I must have yelled out ‘1-1-2’, it called emergency and they heard the impact of the pads and me saying ‘good shot’ or ‘nice shot’."

So the misunderstanding was on the side of the police disptacher, it was not Siri that tried to interpret what was happening.

Basically, it was a classic case of butt-dialling police (although with voice recognition instead of an actual butt).

But never waste an opportunity to blame it on the evil empire aka Apple.

US authorities release asylum seekers after leaking their data online

Frank Bitterlich

Write access?

"US terrorist no-fly list found unsecured on airline server" – did it have write permission? Asking for a friend...

Parental control apps prove easy to beat by kids and crims

Frank Bitterlich

In Soviet Russia...

In Soviet Russia, tablet controls parents!

Elon Musk to step down as Twitter CEO: Help us pick his replacement

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Optimus

... or a broken parking meter. Still a better replacement.

Cisco’s Talos security bods predict new wave of Excel Hell

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Workaround

... until next week when MS comes up with a new version of Notepad that can actually use XLL files.

It's laughable that in 2022 MS still thinks letting anybody execute arbitrary code packaged in a nice litte file that you can send by email is a good idea.

OneCoin co-founder pleads guilty to $4 billion fraud

Frank Bitterlich

Re: ...and run.

... as is Jan Marsalek of Wirecard fame. Looks like having some pocket money does help.

We need a Library of Congress – but for the digital world

Frank Bitterlich

Re: "make stuff do things it was not designed to do"

... plus, invent novel ways in which to fold a T-shirt. Take that, neanderthals!

The cubesats lost in space from Artemis Moon mission

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Batteries

Probably because none of the sats had a USB-C charging port, and they just couldn't find the right charger...

Boffins grow human brain cells to play Pong

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Why?


Elon Musk tells Twitter: My takeover deal is back on

Frank Bitterlich

Re: hmm

This constant need to be in the media gets rather boring.

Come on, this time he's trying hard to get out of the media, or at least his private texts.

It's like a billion-dollar "erase my browser history" attempt...

Boss of Chinese memory maker Yangtze departs for no obvious reason

Frank Bitterlich


Well, at least they're not falling out of departing through hospital windows by the dozen, like Russian oil execs.

FYI: TikTok tracking pixels can be found all over the web – just like Meta, Google

Frank Bitterlich

3. Kick the "legitimate use" exceptions out of the GDPR.

Tesla has a lot of work to do on its Optimus robot

Frank Bitterlich

Re: The richest man in the world

"Why exactly do we want to have a colony on mars again?"

Hmm, we could stuff Musk into a rocket and send him there first. Kind of like a vanguard. Think "Golgafrincham Ark B". This would be one valuable pupose for the whole project.

Australia asks FBI to help find attacker who stole data from millions of users

Frank Bitterlich

"... and therefore hopes very much that the company soon explains itself in a way that displays sincere regret and an intention to restore trust."

Oh, sure, no problem. You'll probably get an email later (or maybe a post on their Facebook page or such, if individual emails are too much of a hassle), explaining that "the security of [our] customers' information is our topmost priority", that it was "a sophisticated attack", probably by "state-sponsored hackers", that "only a small number of [our] customers are affected", "there is no evidence of any actual damage" from the theft, and that you're invited to supply your data to some credit-protection company (do they have that in Australia?), so that they can lose it, too.

Meta, Google learn the art of the quiet layoff

Frank Bitterlich

Re: "lose the dead weight"

No... "which led to things like the disbanding of its Responsible Innovation Team (RIT) earlier this month."

Easy to find such dead weight. Just look for departments and roles containing terms such as "ethics", "responsible", "data protection" etc.

Larry Page's flying taxi startup Kittyhawk calls it a day

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Robinson's revenge

Flying submarines, anyone?

Where's the Kickstarter page?

Update your Tesla now before the windows put your fingers in a pinch

Frank Bitterlich

Re: obstacle detection

All part of the Rise of the Machines...

School chat app Seesaw abused to send 'inappropriate image' to parents, teachers

Frank Bitterlich

Re: I'm waiting ...

You forgot "state-sponsored hacker" and "terrorist".

Can reflections in eyeglasses actually leak info from Zoom calls? Here's a study into it

Frank Bitterlich

Who cares about the screen...

... I'd like to know whether you can see what the glass-bearer is typing on their keyboard. Should be possible with right angle and/or curvature of the glasses, right?

Queen's shooting star was actually meteor, not SpaceX junk

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Islay

Depends on whether they broke into the on-board supply of single malt already on their way here...

US border cops harvest info from citizens' phones, build massive database

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Safety First!

While that is my instinctive reation to this as well (or to use a burner phone with just the necessary contacts etc for travel), some countries (including the US) see that as very supicious and may deny entry on that reason alone. So, Catch-22.

For me that has been a deterrent to visit certain countries for some time.

In East Germany, they had "Zwangsumtausch" (mandatory exchange of real money into their "money") for visitors; in more modern countries, they take your data for payment. That's called "digitization", I think.

Microsoft rolls out stealthy updates for 365 Apps

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Regional data centres

I think The Reg should add another field to the "Post Comment" form – "relevant XKCD(s)". I have rarely seen an article here that doesn't have a corresponding XKCD comic.

Mozilla CSO demands fines to curb Big Tech surveillance

Frank Bitterlich

Re: Perhaps a better way...

... or maybe... make tracking techniques under the guise of "advertising" illegal altogether, how about that?

I'm sick and tired of the constant "... but we need the advertising revenue" whining. You're not making any advertising revenue. You're making tracking revenue. Why do ad companies get away with pretending that they need "targeted advertsing" and thus need to track your web surfing to the max?

Who on this planet would accept someone ringing your door bell and going, "Excuse me, sir, we need to make sure the junk mail we fill your mailbox with is relevant, so I just need to have a quick look at your book shelves and the products in your fridge. If you could just step aside for a second..."

And don't get me started about the whole "legitimate interest" BS in the GDPR. That sounds like the rules for using the company credit card for personal expenses in the Hitchhiker: It's forbidden – unless you declare that you really want to do it. In other words, doing something illegal is OK, as long as that is your business model.