* Posts by fidodogbreath

1037 posts • joined 23 Sep 2009

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Android user chucks potential $10bn+ sueball at Google over 'spying', 'harvesting data'... this time to build supposed rival to TikTok called 'Shorts'

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Well Doh!

What should happen is when they caught with their hands in the cookie jar and lose the case, they are supposed to stop putting their hands in the cookie jar. Not find other ways of getting the cookies out of the jar until caught again.

If laws applied to wealthy people and corporations, sure. The US has chosen a different path.

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: It is their nature

On a side note, I don't have google's voice assistant enabled

That you know of.

fidodogbreath Silver badge

It is their nature

Raise your hand if "tech companies spy on users and exploit their private data" is a surprise to you.

How about "smartphones are always-on surveillance devices?" Show of hands.

Anyone? Anyone at all?

Firefox maker Mozilla axes a quarter of its workforce, blames coronavirus, vows to 'develop new revenue streams'

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Hard to believe...

Anyhow, what have the other 998 employees been doing lately?

Firefox maker Mozilla has axed 250 employees, or a quarter of its workforce [...] The organization will also "ship new products faster and develop new revenue streams."

Getting in the way, apparently.

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: This is actually a good thing

At least Mozilla's creepy-slurpies can be shut off or disabled. Assuming you're willing and able to wade through eleventy-million settings in Options and about:config, that is.

We've reached the endgame: Bezos 'in talks' to turn shuttered department stores into Amazon warehouses

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Endgame

Eddie Lampert has done more to kill Sears than Jeff Bezos.

Similarly, JC Penney blew itself up by hiring an Apple Store exec who did not understand JCP's business or customers, who then set himself to the task of alienating the latter from the former. JCP wasn't healthy when Ron Johnson got there, but he put it into a full-on death spiral.

Amazon has definnitely blown up plenty of brick & mortar; but in these specific cases, Bezos is more of a scavenger than a hunter.

UK lockdown easing heralds the return of burgers... and bork

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Step aside, Ronald

Borky McBorkface is the future.

Apple re-arms the iMac with 10th-gen Intel Core silicon

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: Their older hardware is good enough (and that's the problem)

Apple continues to provide security patches for older OS versions for several years after a new version comes out. So Macs still have a supported OS for something like three years after they drop off the support list for the latest-greatest.

After that ends, there are still other options. I have a 2009 Mini that had to get off the MacOS train somewhere around El Capitan, and is now happily running Ubuntu desktop. If the full-fat GUI gets too pokey, it can be a headless non-GUI server.

Also: unlike you-know-who in Redmond, Apple doesn't force you to install OS updates. If you rely on 32-bit apps or drivers in the Age of Catalina, stay on Mojave. If you don't like Mojave, stay on High Sierra. Your choice.

Microsoft to Cortana: you’re not going out dressed in iOS or Android, young lady!

fidodogbreath Silver badge

"Alexa...

...terminate Cortana."

SpaceX pulls off an incredible catch, netting both halves of its Falcon fairing as they fell Earthwards after latest launch

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Recovering a dunked fairing from the ocean is neither cheap nor easy. Given that catching protects it from a lengthy salt-water bath, it also saves on refurb time and cost (as noted in the article).

VMware to stop describing hardware as ‘male’ and ‘female’ in new terminology guide

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Inny and outy?

Amazon's auditing of Alexa Skills is so good, these boffins got all 200+ rule-breaking apps past the reviewers

fidodogbreath Silver badge

The Clemson boffins conclude that Amazon has been lenient toward Skill approval because it prioritizes quantity over quality

Given the pages and pages of knock-off garbage in their product-search results, that statement describes Amazon's entire e-commerce business model.

Ubiquiti, go write on the board 100 times, 'I must validate input data before using it'... Update silently breaks IDS/IPS

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Re: "This is a beta service for [their security] products"

I use and like Ubiquiti gear, but any longtime user will tell you that all of their Unifi "stable" releases are betas. Unless a new version contains a specific fix that I need urgently, I let their releases soak for a month or two before installing on production equipment.

Fortunately, their forums and r/ubiquiti are filled with masochists super-conscientious admins who install every release as soon as it's published and post about the aftermath result.

Twilio: Someone waltzed into our unsecured AWS S3 silo, added dodgy code to our JavaScript SDK for customers

fidodogbreath Silver badge

If "Liar Liar" happened IRL

"<CORPNAME> believes the security of our customers' accounts is of paramount importance," a spokesperson told us.

"Haha, just kidding. We can't be bothered even put a simple password on that crap," the spokesperson continued. "Since we got caught and called out, we'll make a show of locking stuff down for while. But that's inconvenient as hell, so once you lot move on to the next breach we'll be back to business as usual."

The volcanoes on Venus aren't dead, say astroboffins, they're merely resting, pining for the planet's lava fjords

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Pining

...for....the...FJORDS?!?!?!?!?

Finally done with all those Patch Tuesday updates? Think again! Here's 33 Cisco bug fixes, with five criticals

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Adobe: This release fixes 442 bugs in Flash.

Oracle: Hold my beer...

You're testing them wrong: Whiteboard coding interviews are 'anti-women psychological stress examinations'

fidodogbreath Silver badge

Possible solution

he stressed that's a gross oversimplification because men experience performance anxiety too

"Ask your doctor if Cialis for Panel Interviews is right for you."

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
Facepalm

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
Windows

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
Coat

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.

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