* Posts by DrM

129 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jul 2009


The crime against humanity that is the modern OS desktop, and how to kill it


Rule Z

I have found what I call Rule Z for people offered newer versions of any HW or SW. "Rule Z: If it's new, it must be better, you ought to use it."

AWS wobbles in US East region causing widespread outages


The baskets keep getting bigger

Put all your eggs in one basket, save big bucks!

South Park creators have a new political satire series with some of the best AI-generated deepfakes on the internet yet



Gee, if the Roborace competitors would just wait a few months, they can just port-over Tesla's finished software.

You may be distracted by the pandemic but FYI: US Senate panel OK's backdoors-by-the-backdoor EARN IT Act


People's Committe on Free Speech

Oh, that sounds good. A non-elected committee deciding what can be said on social media, and what cannot. I think they used to have that in Russia?

Wanted: An exit strategy from the overt surveillance of smartphone contact tracing



"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." --William Pitt, The Younger (1759-1806), British statesman.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

Starliner snafu could've been worse: Software errors plague Boeing's Calamity Capsule

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It's 2020. All Software Is Crap -- Get Used to It.

US border cops confirm: Maker of America's license-plate, driver recognition tech hacked, camera images swiped



4,000 images? That's like 30 minutes of traffic?

Who left a database of emails, credit cards, plain-text passwords, and more open to the web this week? Tech Data, come on down!


Never ends


Hours before Congress backs robocall blocking law, guess what the FCC boss suddenly decides?



<emb> Pai responded, “Many Federal agencies reduce operational costs by letting an industry test and regulate itself under careful oversight. The FAA would be a prime example.” </emb>

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes


Just a tad pregnant

So, Boeing finally went the Airbus (AirCoffin) route and put in SW the pilot couldn't take command away from.

Decided they'd go the XL Airways Germany Flight 888T route when the three angle of attack sensors disagreed and killed everyone on board?

Just a little bit though, just a little bit pregnant, just piles of dead bodies.


How politics works, part 97: Telecoms industry throws a fundraiser for US senator night before he oversees, er, a telecoms privacy hearing



Always amazes me how we are sold out for tiny specks of money like $200K. Could we offer him a $1M per year bonus if he is honest for the whole year? It would be a bargain.

Secret mic in Nest gear wasn't supposed to be a secret, says Google, we just forgot to tell anyone


Benjamin Franklin

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety

deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

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Click and run


Intel SGX 'safe' room easily trashed by white-hat hacking marauders: Enclave malware demo'd



It's a bit like carjacking someone using the tire iron in the vehicle's trunk (or boot for our UK readers).

You have a boot in your trunk in the UK?

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019


I don't buy this

Whilst devices may not have been prepared for the rollover in 1999 (all mine were fine), I doubt anyone could not be aware of such a thing by now. If you are writing the firmware in 2014, you buy any year less than 2014 as a rollover. Duh. The sky is falling not.

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently


Adblock Plus

"Google and other internet advertising networks apparently pay Adblock Plus to whitelist their online adverts"

I read this a lot. Note that the so-called "whitelist" is completely optional, once click in setup and they are all blocked too.

Cyber-insurance shock: Zurich refuses to foot NotPetya ransomware clean-up bill – and claims it's 'an act of war'


You picked our "never pay policy."


My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

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May I add?

May I add any household appliance with a color LCD touchscreen?

Solid state of fear: Euro boffins bust open SSD, Bitlocker encryption (it's really, really dumb)



"Basically, the cryptographic keys used to encrypt and decrypt the data are not derived from the owner's password, meaning, you can seize a drive and, via a debug port, reprogram it to accept any password. At that point, the SSD will use its stored keys to cipher and decipher its contents. Yes, it's that dumb."

And who would be dumb enough to think it was otherwise? You can change the drive’s password in a few seconds – how many people thought it decrypted and re-encrypted the whole drive in a second?

Flying to Mars will be so rad, dude: Year-long trip may dump 60% lifetime dose of radiation on you


Anything can be done if you just tell the engineers

Musk will just tell his SW engineers to fix it in software.

You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't

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Torrents never steal from you. :-)

Keep yer plastic, says analyst: eSIMs aren't all they're cracked up to be


OMG, what ever will we do???

How can we survive without real plastic physical sims!?!? How would it work?! I’ve had a cell phone since the bag phone days, with two networks, Verizon now – never seen a sim card in real life.

I love it when people ponder how the future will be if xxx happens, when the “new” situation is already around, open for full observation. OMG, how will Great Britain survive without the EU!? Ah – like it did for several centuries before the EU?

What tickles me is in this age of The Cloud, of everything interconnected, when you can set your house thermostat and pay bills from Antarctica, when you can share all your photos with friends online – you need to carry around this little piece of plastic? LOL!

Muslim American woman sues US border cops: Gimme back my seized iPhone's data!


Polly want a cracker?

"At the time she was stopped, the Trump administration was cracking down on Muslim people traveling into the States."

Why does an otherwise high quality article in a top notch publication print nonsense like this? They were cracking down on visas from countries that couldn’t properly vet travelers. From 6 of the 50 majority-Muslim countries, 12% of the world’s majority Muslim countries, plus N. Korea and Venezuela.

And she was a citizen so the whole visa issue didn’t apply.

Please don’t just parrot this “Trump hates Muslims” misinformation?

Australia on the cusp of showing the world how to break encryption


Consider motivations

Everyone is assuming that these politicians really want to help law enforcement. Politicians have but one goal -- re-election. They need to be saying to the voters, "We did everything we could, look at this law." They can't afford to say nothing can be done -- that is suicide for a politician. Someone else will immediately say they can fix things and they will be replaced.

Besides -- the ongoing war on terror is the greatest watershed since the Iron Curtain,

Ticketmaster breach 'part of massive bank card slurping campaign'


Ho hum

Boring, as common as a suicide bomber story from Iraq, We're all used to ASIC, the programmers and managers involved will get bonus checks. It's the new normal.

ASIC - GUI (All Software Is Crap -- Get Used to It)

Not OK Google: Massive outage turns smart home kit utterly dumb


Life Imitates Art


Actual control of Windows 10 updates (with a catch)... and more from Microsoft

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How much do you charge for not practicing?

So, you have to pay them to not update your WIN10 features?

How much do you charge for not practicing? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhaDA7TneL4

Australia wants tech companies to let cops 'n' snoops see messages without backdoors

Black Helicopters


Second Writer: Splunge.

Larry: Did he say splunge?

First and Third Writers: Yes.

Larry: What does splunge mean?

Second Writer: It means it's a great-idea-but-possibly-not-and-I'm-not-being-indecisive!

Larry: Good. Right. (to third writer) What do you think?

Third Writer: Er. Splunge?

Larry: OK.

First Writer: Yeah. Splunge for me too.

Larry: So all three of you think splunge, huh?

Writers: Yes!

'Incomprehensible failure' – Canada's $1bn Phoenix payroll IT fiasco torched by auditors


Let's just skip that step

"The Department did not completely and properly test Phoenix before its implementation, which is contrary to recognized practices for developing a system," the audit stated. "Phoenix executives cancelled a pilot project with one department that would have assessed whether Phoenix was ready to be used government-wide."

In the automotive assembly plant world, this would be going with production tooling and skipping prototype tooling.

Welcome to your sci-fi dystopia: Sonic firewalls to crumble inaudible ad-tracking phone cookies

Big Brother

Ah ha!

Now I know why my pet bat Eric didn't like the smartphone I got him.

Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn? Doesn't matter – they may need to update their room key software


Good luck

Hotels are expected to run around and reprogram each and every door lock by late never-ever.

Don’t fight automation software for control, just turn it off. FAST


Re: I know that military aircraft...

The problem is in a small non-fly-by-wire aircraft is the control stick and the surfaces are directly connected mechanically. The autopilot can't tell if movements are taking place due to the pilot or due to air on the control surfaces. The pilot simply must turn off the autopilot if they want the aircraft.

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Hookup classifieds ad sheet Backpage.com seized in Feds shutdown



So, where do the ads move to next? Overseas websites? Dark web?

Oh, all prostitution will end, will it?

Autonomous vehicle claims are just a load of hot air… and here's why


Hey, we're safer!

How Many People Have Died From Falling Down Stairs?

https://ellisinjurylaw.com › Blog

Dec 13, 2017 - According to the most recent data on stairway accidents in the United States, an estimated 12,000 people die from falling down steps each year.

OK, so if I was an elevator maker, and I showed statistics that our elevators only kill 6,000 people per year, I could say we were twice as safe as stairs and everyone would be satisfied?

That microchipped e-passport you've got? US border cops still can't verify the data in it


Does not compute

Well, the government says the only thing on the chip is the passport number. They say nothing is stored but an index number for your data.

So are they lying, or is this fake news?

'Open sesame'... Subaru key fobs vulnerable, says engineer



The “rolling code” instead merely increments codes.

Ah -- yes, that is how rolling codes work, the whole idea behind them. They roll, they don't hop.

You think a randomly selected code can work with a one-way data link? If you can use a random number for the next key, why not just use the random number? What do you need a rolling code for??

Rolling code hacking is nothing new. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_code#Vulnerabilities

Equifax: About those 400,000 UK records we lost? It's now 15.2M. Yes, M for MEELLLION




Ghost in Musk's machines: Software bugs' autonomous joy ride



.. developers from Silicon Valley whose backgrounds are in general purpose software – software that, of course, crashes with reasonable frequency.

Am I the only person that thinks SW sliding into pure unreliable crap is a global problem in all parts of our lives? Or I should just get used to ASIC, All Software Is Crap?


What weighs 800kg and runs Windows XP? How to buy an ATM for fun and profit


Oh no!! Old software!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!

Oh no! Old software!!!! They are running WIN-XP!!!!! How can anyone use /old/ software, you /must/ have the new version!

Can the IT crowd who specialize in always-defective SW always in need of repair ever understand fixed function appliances? These will be working perfectly as ATM's running XP till they crumble to dust.

There is *no* reason to change to the newest OS, none. They are on VPN's and not on the Internet. They don't need to support some new application or anything new. They run as ATM's, period.

Look at the attacks on ATMs, the compromises in the article? Any have anything to do with XP?

Apple bag-search class action sueball moves to Cali supreme court


Re: When will this bosses realise it works both ways?

So, why do you hate people because of their race/sex? :-)



Yes, and we are going to cavity search anyone who visits a bathroom. Hey, using our bathrooms is voluntary!

Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full



What if Google fired a bunch of make employees, hired female replacements to get the numbers (politically) correct.

And then a number of the female hires announced they now identified as males. Would they have to fire them and get more genuine females?

Could they just offer a bonus for any male employees willing to identify as female whilst at work? That would fix things.

Such nonsense.

Hotspot Shield VPN throws your privacy in the fire, injects ads, JS into browsers – claim


Birds of a feather

I'll bet Google buys them.

IETF moves meeting from USA to Canada to dodge Trump travel ban


Re: stupid politics

You miss the whole point of the article -- Trump bashing. The role of modern journalists these days.

They have to complain about the Trump Travel ban. Not only is it great alliteration, it has been vilified, the definition warped into Islamophobia and away from vetting. It gets people to read articles, tickles the group-think.

Some long-winded piece about the pros and (major) cons of searching computers. just isn't sexy. You have to explain why customs can look up your arse for drugs, but should leave your phone untouched.


Sounds good to me

Canada is welcome to all the travelers from countries that cannot properly vet its citizens (per Obama's standards). If the tourist dollars are worth the risk to their citizens, OK. Perhaps they will take a more careful approach if they get a building or crowd bombed.

For that matter, if a full 15% of the attendees are from the list of six countries, it's a great idea to move it out of the USA, excellent.

If the 15% are not on the list of six countries, then either they perhaps they believe the hype being pedaled about how horrible it is in the USA? Or they think themselves SJWs and are saving the world?

Dear racist Airbnb host, we've enrolled you in an Asian American studies course



"Either way, the case is an ideal opportunity for the authorities to flag that people may want to reconsider making money from renting out their rooms or properties if they are racist."

Or they may want to consider being honest. She should have simply said the plumbing broke.

We must accept other cultures and their belief systems – and if you believe differently then you’ll have to change. She is a bad person for thinking someone is a bad person, her lack of acceptance was not acceptable.

Hackers able to turbo-charge DJI drones way beyond what's legal


Software is licensed

"Modifying the firmware of a DJI drone is not recommended,...and we strongly condemn any user who attempts to modify their drone for illegal or unsafe use."

Isn't modifying the software a violation of the license they supply it with? Why doesn't DJI take legal action?

One-third of Brit IT projects on track to fail


Cha Ching

But we’ll keep throwing money at them. I mean, the IT world is so random and unfathomed, incomprehensible. No way you can expect better rates, it’s a crap-shoot with Mother Nature. Like gold mining.

Robocall spammers, you have one new voicemail message: Cut it out!



Schumer and I agree on an issue? OMG, have my thoughts become confused? How can this be?