* Posts by Si 1

426 posts • joined 13 Jun 2009


Apple emergency patches fix zero-click iMessage bug used to inject NSO spyware

Si 1

Re: Apple screws the pre-iOD 13 customers

Every device from the 6S onwards is compatible with iOS 14. If you're still using an iPhone 5S it came out in 2013 and the iPhone 6 was 2014. You can ditch Apple if you like but you'll likely find Android devices get even shorter support times (I'm still bitter Google dumped support for their Nexus 6 after just two years).

Si 1

Re: Autocratic governments, that's a broad brush nowadays.

Scotland already had one referendum. How many are going to be held until you get the answer you want?

Sort-of Epic win as judge kills Apple ban on apps linking to outside payment systems

Si 1

Epic Greed

It seems Epic got greedy trying to abolish payments altogether and ended up only slightly better than before. I know Apple aren’t popular around these parts and the 30% charge is excessive, but I do think they should receive some sort of recompense considering they host the app, distribute the updates, provide the APIs, development tools, etc. They are a business and not a charity after all.

It will be interesting to see how Apple handle this. I’m sure they will try various tricks to discourage people using external payment platforms, like being extra picky about approving apps, maybe making changes to the T&Cs so that only reputable payment platforms can be used, etc. I’m sure they’ll be looking for ways to skirt this judgement.

The judge in this case was very impressive, she really seemed to know her stuff and wasn’t in the least bit afraid of calling these mega-corps out on any bovine excrement they would throw out.

BOFH: But soft! What light through yonder filing cabinet breaks?

Si 1


I especially loved passing off the Proliant 6500 as a bit of recent equipment!

Arm chief hits out at 'ill-informed speculation' over proposed Nvidia buyout

Si 1

Where was all this concern when ARM was being sold off to SoftBank several years ago? That seemed to sail through with nary a peep.

UK digital secretary Oliver Dowden starts national security probe into proposed Arm-Nvidia merger

Si 1

Should never have been sold in the first place

If ARM is that important to national security then the government should be buying it. Whenever a UK company gets bought all that ever seems to happen is the IP gets retained and all the jobs go elsewhere. I know ARM is currently still based in the UK, but how long is that really going to last, under Nvidia or Softbank?

Sure, Dave might seem like he's avidly listening to this morning's meeting, but he's actually doing a yoga routine

Si 1

I’d be quite happy going back to the office...

... once we’ve got autonomous vehicles that let me kip on the back seat while it wastes its life stuck in traffic jams.

BOFH: Time for the MMOCC. You know, the Massively Moronic Online Christmas Call

Si 1

"We've signed up to a multi-presence company”

"We've signed up to a multi-presence company that does everything for you – all you have to do is install the app."

Until it goes wrong and then it’s IT’s problem to fix something they weren’t consulted about...

BOFH: You might want to sit down for this. Oh, right, you can't. Listen carefully: THIS IS NOT AN IT PROBLEM!

Si 1

Re: I'm fondly remembering the time years ago

Were they computer tissues? Y'know for wiping screens and stuff?

Apple's T2 custom secure boot chip is not only insecure, it cannot be fixed without replacing the silicon

Si 1

Evil maid would have got away with it too...

... if she had a memory stick that was USB-C and not A.

Apple takes another swing at Epic, says Unreal Engine could be a 'trojan horse' threatening security

Si 1

Re: No "Good Guys" here

I've seen it suggested that Epic didn't expect Google to boot them off the Play Store which is why the lawsuit and pre-meditated media campaign were all targeted only at Apple. Of course it could just be it's because Apple is where they make most of their money (apparently a significant percentage of Fortnite players are on iOS) and aren't too bothered about what happens on Android.

I was also surprised to see Microsoft file some sort of notice that they support Epic's case when they also charge 30% for digital games on the Xbox store. That seems like something that could come back to bite them in the future...

Rip and replace is such a long Huawei to go, UK telcos plead, citing 'blackouts' and 'billion pound' costs: Are Vodafone and BT playing 'Project Fear'?

Si 1

So they can’t install the new kit and get it running before switching the old kit off? Sounds like a load of excuses to avoid removing the Chinese spyware from their networks.

Beware the trainee with time on his hands and an Acorn manual on his desk

Si 1

Re: punchlines

I get that when I boot up my Dreamcast and because the clock battery is flat it always thinks it's a brand new console on launch day in 1999.

Conspiracy loons claim victory in Brighton and Hove as council rejects plans to build 5G masts

Si 1

Great find!

Thank you, that's such a useful find, I will no longer have to go out wearing tinfoil on my head to keep the negatively charged electramowhasits from entering my brain.

Y2K, Windows NT4 Server and Notes. It's a 1990s Who, Me? special

Si 1

Re: Even to this day...

That's a good idea although I recently had a situation where users were receiving emails from a system I maintain and I could find no evidence that my system had sent it. After looking at the mail headers and finding the sending IP I discovered there was a duplicate of the live VM running right down to the same hostname! It was merrily pulling in data and sending out order updates all on an old copy of its database.

I don't know who spun that server up or why, but you should always beware that some dodgy sysadmin hasn't cloned your test server from the live one and you're actually on the wrong server! ;)

Open-source 64-ish-bit serial number gen snafu sparks TLS security cert revoke runaround

Si 1

Re: Confusion due to lax use of terminology in RFC?

Yeah, I don’t understand this, why did they use a signed 64-bit integer when negative numbers are never used?

Dutch boyband hopes to reverse Brexit through the power of music

Si 1

Re: Slightly wrong.

The world would also go on if we just left the EU. All this cliff-edge nonsense is blown out of proportion.

Si 1

Re: Brussels is evil I tell you!

My nickname for Classic FM is Advert FM, as it always feels like there’s more adverts than actual classical music most of the time!

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

Si 1

I for one welcome our new Chromium overlords

Actually, no I don’t. I’m quite shocked the author thinks web developers wants a rendering engine monoculture. I rarely bother to test all the browsers these days because compatibility and standards compliance is very good, unlike the bad old days where I’d need to test every f***ing version of IE and write custom CSS hacks for it.

I don’t want to go back to the bad old days of zero web innovation or progress, MS ditching Edge can only be a bad thing.

Black Friday? Yes, tech vendors might be feeling a bit glum looking at numbers for the UK

Si 1

I’m not surprised everyone has stopped caring. The first year most retailers were caught by surprise and had to actually discount stuff to get in on the game and the next year was somewhat similar, so there were some real bargains on offer.

Now though, the shops seem to have got wise to consumers expecting bargains this time of year and are making sure they get in plenty of tat they can flog cheaply on the day (well week) rather than losing money on stuff people would actually want. Consumers have noticed and aren’t all that bovvered about the day any more.

Cookie clutter: Chrome saves Google cookies from cookie jar purges

Si 1

Why do people still use Chrome? It’s just a massive piece of spyware, I keep all of Alphabets domains (that I know of) permanently blocked.

BOFH: Their bright orange plumage warns other species, 'Back off! I'm dangerous!'

Si 1


I'm surprised the boss wasn't rushing into mission control to beg the BOFH to help sort out the mess he's made of their GDPR preparations. I'd imagine taking a fire axe to the marketing email server and blocking Mailchimp would prevent most of the organisation's drones from breaching the rules.

Meltdown, Spectre bug patch slowdown gets real – and what you can do about it

Si 1

Are we sure gaming won’t be affected?

Lots of games these days are “open world” which means the system is constantly streaming new chunks of the landscape from disk.

I would imagine those sorts of games would be affected by this, as a general example they try to predict where the player will go next and often stream in the next area they think the player will visit. If the player then turns around the game has to hurriedly dump what it has loaded and stream in the data for the other direction.

BOFH: Don't back up in anger

Si 1

Re: New technical terms.

The latest version can go as high as 6 micro-gauss but you need a Bayesian compatible GPU to provide the additional processing power needed for the double ROT-13 calculations.

Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works

Si 1

Re: Fallacy

Thank you, you have very eloquently conveyed exactly my concerns that people may not be able to re-train for a new type of job when their old one is automated. Sure new school leavers may be qualified to supervise and manage the machines and therefore balance the employment figures but the old workers won't just vanish into thin air, they will be the ones left on the scrap heap.

While it's not an exact comparison, I think a good real world example is the closure of various British heavy industries in the '80s. Most of the workers in those industries were unskilled and when the coal mine/steel mill/factory closed there weren't any new jobs in the area that they were qualified for and they weren't able to re-train for anything else. I could see automation doing exactly the same thing.

Google Pixel: Devices are a dangerous distraction from the new AI interface

Si 1

iOS 10 adoption

You're a bit behind on the iOS10 adoption rate, it's reckoned to be 54% already with 38% still iOS9 and 8% on an earlier version.

Brexit would pinch UK tech spend but the EU wouldn't care – survey

Si 1

Re: Leave the Conman Market before its too late!

@LegalAlien The UK imports far more from the EU than it exports to it (and those exports have been dropping for over a decade now as the EU contracts). The UK constitutes between 0.5% and 1% of each EU country's economy, so if the EU decides to put up trading blocks they will only be harming themselves when we reciprocate.

The UK economy contracted by about 2.5% during the 2008 banking crisis, so how bad will it be on the continent if every economy contracts by 0.5% overnight? If the EU is mad enough to block trade with the UK they would only be harming themselves in the process.

One more thought: If the EU really is so vindictive and malign towards countries leaving, then surely we are better off getting out from being controlled by them?

SSL's DROWN not as bad as Heartbleed, still a security ship wreck

Si 1

Re: Is TLS vulnerable or not?

If your server still accepts SSLv2 connections and you've used the same private key to generate your SSLv2 and TLSv1.2 certificates then you are vulnerable.

If for example it's an Apache web server and it's configured to accept SSLv2 HTTPS connections then a hacker could theoretically use the weaknesses in SSLv2 to reverse engineer the private key being used. Once they have that, they can decrypt all TLS traffic as it's using the same private key.

In practice, this means bombarding the server with SSLv2 connections to work out the private key and then the hacker needs to be able to capture any TLS traffic to your server so that they can decrypt it. That's a lot easier said than done.

The simple solution is just to disable SSLv2 support on your server (unless you know you need it). This seems to be a fairly complex and difficult to achieve hack (unless you're GCHQ) so it's not the end of the world if you haven't yet disabled SSLv2 but I would definitely recommend reviewing what versions of SSL/TLS you currently allow and disable any that aren't needed.

All eyes on the jailbroken as iOS, Mac OS X threat level ratchets up

Si 1

Re: iOS Jailbreaking is a good thing...

I used to jailbreak but there's just no point any more. iOS does everything I need with only emulators being missing from the App Store... and I can get those now by just building them in Xcode (Provenance is especially easy). There's really no need to jailbreak these days other than to prove you can...

Mozilla releases iOS app version of Firefox browser for world+dog

Si 1

Re: If it is using webkit...how is it different from Safari?

I don't know about Firefox on iOS but with iOS 9 you can get plenty of content blockers from the App Store for Safari.

IT contractors raise alarm over HMRC mulling 'one-month' nudge onto payrolls

Si 1

Re: Not about IT?

Yes, this is more my take on it as well. Employing people as contractors has become an easy way for companies to easily avoid any of the responsibilities of an employer and to be able to get rid of people without having to give any notice or pay redundancy.

I'm currently working as a contractor for a company who have a hiring freeze on, I would prefer to be an employee but there's just no chance of that.

Alumina in glass could stop smartphones cracking up

Si 1

Hello, Computer

Just use the keyboard...

Mostly Harmless: Google Project Zero man's verdict on Windows 10

Si 1

I see where you're coming from, but I think the problem with UAC is that while it does prevent nasties being able to run silently it doesn't fix the fact that once that app has been given permission to run it can do anything it wants to the system.

The registry for example is basically a one-stop-shop for everything on the system and has no concept of restricting apps access to their own area. The entire registry is there for the taking. Likewise there's no jailing an app to its own directory or preventing it overwriting files or programs in other areas of the disk.

UAC is less of a security feature and more of a button to absolve MS of any responsibility if the program you're running messes your system.

While it would break compatibility with loads of applications I think MS should look at moving away from the registry and start jailing apps to their own install directory. Sure there will be plenty of times where apps will need access to external resources but I think that could work a bit like Android/iOS where you can decide what features an app can access like the camera or contacts.

Apple's big secret: It's an insurance firm (now with added finance)

Si 1

I'm sorry but I used WinPho devices back then and they were sluggish, fiddly shite. Tiny buttons and overcomplicated screens that required a stylus to poke, a browser that might have run Flash but barely reached IE6 levels of compatibility and apps that just stayed open in the background using up all the RAM until you waded through several Control Panel screens to manually kill things.

WinPho might have ticked a lot of feature boxes back then but they were all so badly done that it was a rubbish device to use. Plus the Athena was gigantic, it was hardly something that could be slid into a pocket like most phones or the iPhone. Oh and the iPhone 2G was made of aluminium too.

I do applaud MS for building Windows CE, it managed to cram all the essential elements and APIs of the Windows desktop into a portable device which was an impressive feat. The only problem with that though was they failed to recognise that on a mobile device you need a simple and fast interface that doesn't require getting out a stylus or poking fiddly little buttons. For all its flaws the first iPhone's multi-touch interface made it a pleasure to use on the go.

All aboard the Skylake: How Intel stopped worrying and learned to love overclocking

Si 1

Re: I've NEVER understood the opposition to overclocking.

I believe Intel's concern about overclocking was over unscrupulous PC makers buying cheap CPUs, overclocking them and then selling them as higher specced models. This would not only hurt Intel's bottom line but could also annoy customers who have paid extra for a chip that Intel wouldn't replace if it failed due to overclocking.

That said, that was their argument about 15 years ago when there were still smaller companies building desktop computers. These days most people want laptops and the few desktops made all tend to come from Dell/HP/Lenovo. It's only the enthusiasts who really still build the big gaming rigs so I guess that's why Intel are relaxing things a bit. That said, they were doing Extreme Edition unlocked chips about 12 years ago so I think overclocking goes in and out of fashion at Intel.

Another root hole in OS X. We know it, you know it, the bad people know it – and no patch exists

Si 1

Considering OSX ships by default with a block to prevent execution of anything not downloaded from the App Store I'm not sure how much of a problem this would be. Tricking people into downloading an app off the web would be pointless because OSX would simply not run it. It wouldn't even prompt for an admin password like Windows, it just behaves like you never even clicked on the app.

Of course that does leave room for nefarious apps being allowed onto the App Store by Apple but that would require the developer to pay for a developer account, pass Apple's certification tests (which could well catch an app giving itself admin privileges) and then you'd need people to actually want to download the app.

Unless Apple promote the app on the App Store homepage it would probably sit in some corner of the App Store being ignored like 90% of the other apps on there... Bit of a storm in a teacup methinks...

Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

Si 1

Re: It's all about the developers

Personally I think it's free because MS are desperate to show they are still relevant. If they can point to Windows 10 adoption rates and show it actually beating Windows 7 instead of languishing way behind like Windows 8 and 8.1 combined then it counters the current narrative that Windows is dying and that Microsoft are basically running a legacy platform.

The other clever master stroke was announcing you could only get the OS free for the first year, thereby causing people to rush to reserve their upgrade to ensure they don't miss out.

I also think the free upgrade queuing mechanism means that MS are in control of when people get Windows 10, so they can spread adoption out evenly and even boost it in slow months to give the appearance that Windows 10 is selling steadily and that their business model still works.

I think this is all about getting the casual users back on Windows, many of which probably use their phones or tablets for Facebook/YouTube/Twitter/Email. They don't care to buy a new PC when Windows 7 does the job, but if the upgrade is free they will decide they might as well grab it while it lasts.

That's my conspiracy theory anyway!

Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

Si 1

Re: On/Off switch?

But I don't wank with my left hand.

Shh! Bose and Apple ink secret deal to settle 'noise-cancelling' suit

Si 1


I saw a rumour the other day to suggest Apple were about to pull all Bose products from their retail stores as well as the online shop. Perhaps the threat of losing access to the Apple market altogether forced Bose to settle?

Will we ever can the spam monster?

Si 1

I must admit I'm tempted to switch to Google, the install of SpamAssassin on my server is letting so much through these days. I still can't quite bring myself to let Google go snooping through all my email, but I suspect it's only a matter of time before I get annoyed enough to switch!

Buying memory in an iPhone 6: Like wiping your bottom with dollar bills

Si 1

Re: "...pure profit!"

In fairness Apple also solder the chips to the mainboard for you so some unscrupulous type can't eject and steal the memory card and put your naked pictures of Jennifer Lawerence on the internet....

In three hours, Microsoft gave the Windows-verse everything it needed

Si 1

Re: Too Little Too Late

I agree it's too little, too late. I think the sudden appearance of Office on iOS is a sign Nadella recognises market share is more important than quibbling with Apple about their 30% App Store cut.

Imagine what the market share of Office on iOS would be if Ballmer hadn't wasted nearly 2 years arguing the toss about that. Instead they're now trying to charge £80 a year for Office when all new iPhones and iPads come with Apple's Pages/Numbers/Keynote apps for free.

Unless you're a power-user that needs macros and mail merges those apps are more than adequate for any average user, meaning Microsoft are again losing out on capturing new Office users.

I like what Nadella is doing, but I think it really is too late to turn the ship around...

Don't panic! Japan to send nuke fuel rod into MELTDOWN in Fukushima probe

Si 1

In all fairness, their only real mistake was keeping their diesel generators somewhere a tsunami could wash them away. The reactors and the buildings survived a quake a magnitude greater than they were built to withstand as well as being hit by a wall of water. If those generators hadn't been lost they could have carried on cooling the reactors and there wouldn't have been even the partial meltdown that occurred.

The moral of the story is to always keep your diesel generators away from tsunamis!

XBOX ONE owners rage as HDMI SNAFU 'judders' Brit and Euro tellies

Si 1

The Xbox has a picture-in-picture mode, so you can have the TV playing in the corner of the screen while you play your game.

Doctor Who writers Neil Gaiman and Terrance Dicks talk to The Reg

Si 1

Re: Am I the only one

I didn't like it much either. For a worrying time it also seemed like every Doctor Who fan posting on the internet was going to refer to the TARDIS as "Sexy" from then on, although thankfully that hasn't persisted. It was almost as bad as all the people who insist on constantly using the phrase "timey-wimey".

But I'm just a curmudgeonly bastard who grew up on '80s JNT Who and doesn't like Doctors being all shouty and flirting with companions...

APPLE EATS ITSELF: iPad Mini set to wolf Air's market share

Si 1

Mini replacing the Air

I'm not sure what Apple are up to with the Air. While I personally prefer the larger screen, it's hard not to notice that the Mini has an identical spec and is cheaper too (in a way the Mini actually has a better spec due to a screen having a higher pixel density than the Air).

It's like Apple are trying to kill off the 10" form factor, although I don't know why. Maybe the rumours of an iPad Pro are true and the Air will be a mid-range model?

HUMANITY STUNNED - Apple Retina iPad Mini arrives. A solemn moment

Si 1

Re: Retina?

It's 2048x1536 at 326 ppi, the same res as the 10" model..

Tim Cook stands firmly behind pro-LGBT, anti-discrimination law

Si 1

Re: Not Princess Hacker.

Agreed, and frankly if I received a CV from someone who said their previous job was "hacker princess" I would have no qualms immediately discriminating against them for having a stupid job title that doesn't suggest they take their role of system security seriously.

ECHR rejects free speech plea over offensive online comments

Si 1

Re: It can be explained concisely...

Yes, it's only the UK courts that the ECHR likes to overrule. I suppose in this case they made an exception as it allowed them to find in favour of restricting freedom of speech, something the EU isn't keen on.

Mine's the ballot paper with UKIP ticked...

There's ONE country that really likes the iPhone 5c as well as the 5s

Si 1

Re: stock issues

Yeah I really wanted a 128GB model as well, I'm surprised Apple didn't launch one considering there's a 128GB iPad now. That said I need it less for music (I've uploaded my entire collection to iTunes Match and just download stuff on demand), I want it more for all the 1GB+ games that are coming out now and for films which tend to be at least 1GB as well.

Maybe if Apple lifted their restriction that prevents movies and large games being downloaded via 3G I wouldn't need that much storage and would stream stuff as I needed it. The all-you-can-eat data package from Three really is great...



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