* Posts by fidodogbreath

1020 posts • joined 23 Sep 2009


Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Fast charging

I think it varies by device and charger. Fast charging will heat up the battery, and excessive heat will shorten its life. That said -- my understanding is that the specific fast charging method, battery controller, ambient temperature while charging, and thermal design of the device itself can all influence the amount of actual harm to the battery.

After huffing and puffing for years, US senators unveil law to blow the encryption house down with police backdoors

fidodogbreath Silver badge

"It is blind to the fact that as millions of us march in the streets [...] we've never been more dependent on secure communications and devices."

The bill is not blind to that particular fact at all. The government's primary security goal is not to protect the people; it is to protect itself from the people.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Fax up

Back in the 90s I worked for a company that published books and magazines for farmers. Our subscription department had assiduously collected fax numbers in our subs database (running on AS/400 IIRC) and thought it would be brilliant to save on postage and send out solicitations by fax. Further brilliance ensued when someone realized that calling rates were cheaper in the wee hours, and the die was cast.

The first broadcast fax went out, and the next morning our inbound lines were flooded with complaints. In all the above-mentioned brilliance, no one had ever stopped to think that our customers were mostly small growers whose "office" was their house -- y'know, the place where they needed to SLEEP AT NIGHT so they could get up early to grow stuff. Many (most) also didn't have a dedicated fax line...so basically we were calling the shit out of their home phones in the middle of the night to offer them a $5 discount on a magazine that they already received.

In our navel-gazing brilliance, we thought of everything; well, except for WHO THE #$%& IS OUR CUSTOMER?!? The response rate on that promo was one of our highest ever...if you counted all responses. The positive response rate, however...not so much.

Readers of a certain age will remember GPRS: Old insecure tech from turn of millennium still haunts 5G networks

fidodogbreath Silver badge

"Most of the issues with GTP protocol relate to roaming networks because operators use a 'friendly' model – which assumes all of the users accessing their networks as legitimate and authorised and that attackers will not appear in their network," Novikov explained.

Since there are no threat actors looking to monitor or disrupt cellular comms, that seems like a perfectly reasonable security posture. Ditto for continuing to rely on SS7.

From off-prem to just off: IBM Cloud goes down planet-wide so hard even the status page didn't work

fidodogbreath Silver badge

The status page lists fifteen active events though offers almost no detail other than the admission that:

"Feces occurred."

Ooo, a mystery bit of script! Seems legit. Let's see what happens when we run it

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Could have been worse

Did you read the Snopes write-up? It said the claim is true:

"In the early 1990s, a small UK-based company that performed bureau work for direct marketing campaigns on behalf of third parties did indeed make the “Dear Rich Bastard” gaffe." Etc.

California emits fine-print of its GDPR-ish digital privacy law, complete with Google and Facebook-sized holes

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: "Ideally, it's just a first step."

Or the last one because it tells lobbies they are capable to water down and stop any attempt?

They already knew that. The entire US political "system" is built on the concept of pay-to-play.

"Corporations are people, my friend."

Man responsible for least popular iteration of Windows UI uses iPad Pro as a desktop*

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Expensive to be a fanboi in general

the cost of the setup was nudging $1,600. A mere snip as far as Apple fanbois are concerned.

Or Microsoft fanbois, for that matter. $1600 is the same price as the lowest-spec Surface Book 3 (i5, 8GB/256GB); the top-spec model is $3400.

The A12X Bionic (2018) and A12Z (2020) iPad Pro CPUs bring considerably more horsepower than a mobile i5, and stack up very well against the mobile i7 in the $3000+ Surface Books.

For more of a tablet-to-tablet comparison, a Surface Pro X 8GB/256GB runs $1300 -- sans keyboard & mouse, of course. However, the A12X Geekbench 4 scores are 50% higher (5030/17995 vs 3492/11493). Battery life is about the same.

Obviously iOS is not Windows; but you can do a hell of a lot with an iPad Pro, and for the money "iPad onna stick" compares pretty well to MS' "Windows onna stick" offerings.

Mind your language: Microsoft set to swing the axe on 27 languages in iOS Outlook

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Why bother with Outlook, anyway?

Agree. I use the native iOS apps for my work and personal email & calendar. They're fine. Mail comes in, I read it; reminders work as expected. An added bonus is seeing my personal and work calendars on the same display.

I know there are better calendar solutions, but they involve spending money, having my private info data-mined, or (increasingly) both.

Microsoft announces official Windows package manager. 'Not a package manager' users snap back

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: One software manager to rule them all!

Yet we'll still need Powershell scripts to "manage" useless W10 crApps like Xbox that can't be removed through the normal UI.

SAP proves, yet again, that Excel is utterly unkillable

fidodogbreath Silver badge

it can be made to do *almost anything* to varying degrees of success.

Many, many moons ago I was rental manager for a stage lighting company. The tech guy for the company liked Macs (we had even had a Lisa before that) and he bought a stonkin' expensive Mac IIx for the rental department "so we could keep track of our bookings." Problem was, there was NO rental tracking software for Mac at the time.

Enter Excel. I sat down with the printed manual (!) and figured out how to write macros that would subtract units from inventory over a selected time frame. Over a year, that evolved into a relatively mature and stable system with custom menu bar, dialog boxes, etc. that anyone in the department could use with minimal training. The company used it for years, even long after I left.

All done with Excel for Macintosh (1.0 & 1.1 IIRC), half a decade before Windows 95.

So yeah; I can see people being loyal to Excel. Sure, it makes everything numeric look like a nail; but you can accomplish a lot by hammering on things.

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Not quite Windows

All Windows error messages have been reduced to "Oops we're sorry but something's gone wrong there. Please try again later or talk to your administrator who's somehow supposed to know what the fuck this vague message means."

Or my personal favorite: "Something happened."

Good to know; thanks for sharing.

The iMac at 22: How the computer 'too odd to succeed' changed everything ... for Apple, at least

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: The full-blown Apple formula

with Windows's USB stack being somewhat fragile at that point

That's a polite understatement. The joke in the Win 95-98 era was that USB stood for "U Son-of-a Bitch."

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere

fidodogbreath Silver badge

I couldn't give a rat's ass about people hacking into, say, my commentard account on The Register

Shirley you're not suggesting that commenting on Reg articles is somehow unimportant? How else will randos know that a bunch of other randos don't trust Google / Facebook / *cloud* / MS / gubmint and that IoT is shit?

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Experienced tester.

Users have a habit of using software in ways the designers never thought of.

Most devs test their code against how they know it's supposed to work. They then tell the test engineer how it's supposed to work; s/he tests that and also runs a regression suite against it.

I'm a tech writer working mostly on end-user docs. I treat every product as a black box and document the behavior I see in response to stimuli. If something is clickable, I click it; if it's not (supposed to be) clickable, I click it. If a field expects integers, I try to enter decimals / text / emoji / SQL / paste in a GIF / etc. If there are start date and end date fields, I enter a start date that's after the end date. If the intended action runs a long javascript that produces an output file, I hit Reload in the middle of it. Because some rando out there will do any or all those things (and more that I can't imagine); but when they do, the product should handle it or fail gracefully.

Let's just say I report a lot of bugs...

Who's still using Webex? Not even Cisco: Judge orders IT giant to use rival Zoom for virtual patent trial

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Webex and Skype

Bring back Program Manager!!!! (Grumpy old man, get off my lawn, etc. --->)

Ehhh, only if you're into that new-fangled Gooey Interface. Sidekick is how real power users et stuff done.

Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

fidodogbreath Silver badge

And this is why you buy printers with CIS systems installed. Not much they can do to control the ink sourcing with them.

Or block printers from accessing the internet.

Cortana, why are you still here? Microsoft makes the long-suffering assistant chattier for more countries with new Windows 10 build

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Cortana had more functionality turned on for other countries including Britain

"Yippee! Cortana just got more features!"

-- No One, Ever

CFAA latest: Supremes to tackle old chestnut of what 'authorized use' of a computer really means in America

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: "he was an authorized user of the plate system"

Whataboutism worthy of any Fox Noise commentard. What about we stick to the subject at hand?

Um, using authorized data access in an unauthorized way is exactly the subject at hand.

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

fidodogbreath Silver badge

On the contrary, we will likely be urged to adopt it permanently. For our own safety, of course.

Don't assume that it will remain optional. This issue sits at the nexus of surveillance capitalism and governments protecting themselves from their citizens. It is in the self interest of all of the stakeholders* to populate their "social graphs" with ever more intrusive and inescapable surveillance.

* Except us, but no one in a position to decide cares what we think; we're just the batteries that power the matrix.

fidodogbreath Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Yebbut...

the wearing of surgical masks by people with colds will become the new norm so that's one in the eye for facial recognition

Or not.

Boeing 787s must be turned off and on every 51 days to prevent 'misleading data' being shown to pilots

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Turning it off and on

So, Boeing is using Windows in its planes now ?

Some airlines charge extra for Windows seats.

Mine's the one in the plastic bin by the X-ray machine.

fidodogbreath Silver badge

(Fr)agile avionics development

Performed by the lowest bidder, of course.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talks hardware supply chains and elasticity: 'Bigger issue' is what happens around US and Europe's 'demand side'

fidodogbreath Silver badge

I find your lack of faith disturbing

In the article photo, SatNad looks like he's force-choking somebody.

Apple updates iPad Pro with a trackpad, faster processor. Is it a real computer now?

fidodogbreath Silver badge

The iPad can't do general purpose computing. General purpose computing by definition requires that you be able to run arbitrary software from any source of your choosing.

That's one definition, but it's not the only one.

I can run a variety of office suites (including MS). I can save and load files in any format to/from local storage (including a USB-C external drive), or multiple cloud platforms -- and/or print those files to either of two wireless printers in my house.

I can connect a USB-C audio interface -- the same one I use with a desktop PC or Mac -- and record high-bitrate multi-channel audio. I can edit and mix that audio, and output it using any of the above-mentioned storage methods. I can edit video. Play games. Manage my network. Etc., etc.

Those are the same things that I (and most people) do on desktop PCs and laptops with Windows or MacOS -- and yes, I have those as well.

Obviously some computing devices are better-suited to some applications, but that's more a matter of form factor. To say that an iPad is "an overpriced toy, nothing more," solely on the basis of not running code from arbitrary sources, is (a) doctrinaire, and (b) not reflective of how most of the world uses computing tools.

fidodogbreath Silver badge

I have a 2018 iPad Pro 12.9 that I use for general-purpose computing, and as a digital music stand on stage. I bought it mostly for the latter application, because it can display music sheets at 100% size. Given the cost, I wanted to make it as useful as possible -- without paying Apple prices for add-ons.

* iPads work fine with 3rd party BlueTooth keyboards and mice. I use a Logitech keyboard that I already had and a generic $5 Chinese mouse. (Hoping that iPadOS 14 will make the mouse more useful; the current Accessibility support is crap for general use.)

* I don't need the pressure sensitive feature of the Apple Pencil, so I got a Logitech Crayon for $50. It supports palm rejection, and it's fine for scrawling quick notes and such.

* The iPad is wrapped in a really nice $30 leather case from Amazon.

Even if I'd had to drop $50 on a good-quality keyboard, the whole accessory package would have come to maybe $150, tops. My hodge-podge is not as sleek as Apple's magic thingy. But it does all of the same stuff for a tiny fraction of the cost, and I rarely need the keyboard and mouse anyway.

Pervasive digital surveillance of citizens deployed in COVID-19 fight, with rules that send genie back to bottle

fidodogbreath Silver badge

the White House has held talks with Google and Facebook about how the data they hold could contribute to analysis of the virus’ spread

Google & Facebook? I should be pretty safe then...for now, at least.

Apple fans may think they can't get viruses but Cupertino disagrees: WWDC 2020 dev summit goes online-only

fidodogbreath Silver badge

The Register cast these questions into Apple's media relations void and, to our surprise, received a reply. But it contained no new information.

Baby steps...

Firefox 74 slams Facebook in solitary confinement: Browser add-on stops social network stalking users across the web

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: "Log in with Facebook"

Plus, when you use FB or Google to log in, they provide the 3rd-party site with your personal info.

Um, no. Never used that, never will.

House of Lords push internet legend on greater openness and transparency from Google. Nope, says Vint Cerf

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Feet of clay

He was the future once.

Weren't we all?

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Circular argument

In other words, Google is a monopoly in search and video sharing, ie there is no competition that can keep their products trustworthy.

And should any competition appear, they will do everything they can to squish it like an insect. So that's at least one thing that we can trust Google to do.

More than a billion hopelessly vulnerable Android gizmos in the wild that no longer receive security updates – research

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: This is what the vendors want ...

They should be forced to support them for a least 5 years after the last one is sold - not from when it is first released.

Apple is actually pretty good about long-term device support. iOS 13 fully supports phones back to the 6s (released 9/2015, discontinued 9/2018). Rumor online is that the 6s/6s+/SE will be supported by iOS 14 as well. That's not quite five years from last sale, but it's longer than you get with even a Pixel.

Premium Android phones tend to have a longer support life than the landfill variety, but they also cost just as much as iPhones these days. If you prefer to keep a device for a long time but also care about security, the longer support lifespan for iOS means you get more value from the iPhone.

'Optional' is the new 'Full' in Windows 10: Microsoft mucks about with diagnostic slurpage levels for Fast Ring Insiders

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: MS are moving their slurping all into CrEdge.

Re CrEdge: much easier to just run Firefox with an ad blocker.

Fancy that: Hacking airliner systems doesn't make them magically fall out of the sky

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Natural vs. artificial intelligence

Not necessarily. These systems were developed to address specific conditions that are not always apparent.

A pilot flying a jumbo can't see directly below or above the aircraft. Also, two jets approaching each other have a very high closing speed, and thus not much time to react. Hence TCAS.

In poor visibility conditions, and especially if combined with a secondary instrument failure, a pilot might be a lot closer to the ground than s/he thinks. Hence GPWS.

Autoland was not created because pilots do not know how to land planes.

How's this for a remote support fix? Solar storm early-warning satellite repaired with million-mile software update

fidodogbreath Silver badge

“Bringing DSCOVR operational again shows the unique skills and adaptability of our NOAA and NASA engineers"

Quite a contrast in methodology and results vs. their supposed star contractor.

Boeing didn't run end-to-end test on Calamity Capsule, DSCOVR up and running, and NASA buys a Falcon Heavy

fidodogbreath Silver badge

"The fault, dear NASA, is not in our Starliners,

But in ourselves, that we are bean counters."

HP hostile takeover warms up: Xerox queues print job cash_and_shares.pdf, mails it to the board to mull over

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Xerox queues print job cash_and_shares.pdf, mails it to the board to mull over

Not that they needed to send the doc over; HP's "connected driver" had already picked it up out of the Xerox print queue and sent it to the mothership.

Delicious irony: Credit rating builder Loqbox lets customer details and card numbers slip after 'sophisticated attack'

fidodogbreath Silver badge

This is why I avoid financial aggregators like Mint, Yodlee, etc. It's bad enough that each individual bank, brokerage, etc. seems to struggle with data security. But with aggregators, an attacker can get all of their customers' data for all accounts in one breach. That's way too big a risk -- especially since these companies don't do anything that you can't do for yourself with a spreadsheet.

Never thought we'd write this headline: Under Siege Steven Seagal is not Above The Law, must fork out $314,000 after boosting crypto-coin biz

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Who could possible care...

...what Steven Seagal thinks of cryptocurrency exchanges? There can't really enough people who do to make his shill endorsement worth a million dollars...can there?

Famed Apple analyst chances his Arm-based Macs that Apple kit will land next year

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Would-be .org gobbler Ethos Capital promises to keep prices down in last-ditch effort to keep $1.1bn deal alive

fidodogbreath Silver badge

It also appears that Ethos Capital is going to extraordinary length to shield the name of one individual.

He who must not be named?

Your McDonald's demo has expired. For full functionality, please purchase a licence or try another fast-food joint

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Demo food

As in demolition?

Breaking bad... browser use: New Mexico accuses Google of illegally slurping kids' private data via G Suite

fidodogbreath Silver badge


A scorpion, which cannot swim, asks a frog to carry it across a river on the frog's back. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung by the scorpion, but the scorpion argues that if it did that, they would both drown. The frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung the frog despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: "I couldn't help it. It's in my nature."

The analogy falls down in that Google will, as usual, face no consequences. However, the point remains: they can't not collect data. It's [in] their nature.

You'll never select all and mark as read again after this tale of peril... Oh, who are we kidding? Of course you will

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: User problem: needed to be escalated.

Happy friday, I'm just here for the bad puns.

What other types of puns are there?

Xerox ups bid in hostile takeover of HP Ink to more than $36.5bn

fidodogbreath Silver badge


Two large legacy companies that continue to exist mostly due to inertia. Combining them will mostly ensure that the inevitable collapse will be one giant job-implosion instead of two large ones.

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

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Hmmm...

Has anyone else noticed that ALL of Boeing's problems seem to come from either a) Management (we dont want to recertify what's in effect a new aircraft because it will be expensive) or b) Software.

It was a few years ago, but I think the self-immolating Dreamliner batteries were actually an engineering fail.

Twitter says a certain someone tried to discover the phone numbers used by potentially millions of twits

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Ibrahim Balic revealed he had managed to match 17 million phone numbers to Twitter accounts by uploading a list of two billion automatically generated phone numbers to Twitter's contact upload feature, and match them to usernames.

Why would they allow an end user to query two billion phone numbers? Rate limits and quotas are API security 101.

Oh. Security 101. Never mind; answered my own question.

Google's OpenSK lets you BYOSK – burn your own security key

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: only good if you carry one... watch ?

iOS 13 supports FIDO2 in Safari. I understand that's not the same as using a watch or phone as the token, but it's a positive step.

Hardware tokens kind of scare me. Suppose I'm traveling. My options are to take both tokens with me and risk losing both; or take one and risk getting locked out of accounts on the road if it's lost or fails.

I use an OTP Auth, which is a TOTP code app that can sync codes between devices using iCloud. Phone lost? Get another one, restore the backup, good to go.

As a previous poster mentioned, most 2FA implementations (all kinds, not just hardware) have an account recovery method if the token is lost, which is another attack surface that could undermine 2FA. Necessary evil, I suppose; but still.

SF tech biz forks out $146m in fines, settlements after painkiller makers bribed it to design medical software that pushed opioids to patients

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Who could have seen this coming?!?!?

I am shocked to the very core of my being.*

* Not really.

Attempts to define international infosec rules of the road bogged down by endless talkshops, warn diplomats

fidodogbreath Silver badge


Does anyone think for a second that any country would actually honor unenforceable "rules of the road?" Governments will do whatever they perceive to be in their own interest, period. Large, powerful countries such as Russia, China, USA etc. can freely ignore so-called norms because, well, they can and what are you gonna do about it? Pariah states such as North Korea will continue to do what they do because why not?

NATO allies claim that they don't spy on each other, but of course they do. Intel on internal deliberations of allies can be as important as intel on opponents, because you have to know if your allies will really have your back when it hits the fan. Biometric scans at ports of entry and big data digital footprint analysis are making human intel harder, so hacking is becoming even more important. It's a very small step from spying to weaponized hacking, since they by necessity target many of the same vulnerabilities to gain access.

So who exactly will observe such norms? Anyone? Anyone at all? As Will Rogers observed, "diplomacy is the art of saying nice doggie until you can find a rock."



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