* Posts by Fazal Majid

482 posts • joined 16 May 2007


Airbus flies new passenger airplane aimed at 'long, thin' routes

Fazal Majid

Re: Long Range for a Proton

The A350-900ULR has a 9700 nautical mile range, and can do London or New York to Sydney non-stop, Qantas is trialing this as part of its Project Sunrise service due in 2025. It's still a twinjet but a much bigger one, with a capacity similar to early B747 Jumbo Jets.

The A321XLR is a much cheaper and economical jet that can still serve some fairly hefty point-to-point lines like most transatlantic lines.

Vivaldi email client released 7 years after first announcement

Fazal Majid

A good option for Linux user

I doubt it will displace Mail.app on my Mac, but it's definitely something I will consider above Thunderbird on Linux.

Ex-spymaster and fellow Brexiteers' emails leaked by suspected Russian op

Fazal Majid

It’s extremely dodgy when the intelligence services dabble in influencing politics, but Dearlove was not actually in government service any more when this plot was hatched, so it’s not like the abuses that spawned the Wilson Doctrine,

Minimal, systemd-free Alpine Linux releases version 3.16

Fazal Majid

I run my home server on Alpine

It's fast, simple, and has a much smaller attack surface than most other Linux distros. The sanity reminds me of OpenBSD. Probably not the best for desktop/laptop use for the reasons explained in the article.

It's 2022 and there are still malware-laden PDFs in emails exploiting bugs from 2017

Fazal Majid

Re: PDFs to blame, or Adobe Reader (for unnecessary functionality)?

In this case it's not JavaScript in the PDF but PDF's completely unnecessary ability to embed third-party file formats like Office docs, that has the actual malicious payload.

Telcos fear Big Tech will bleed them until they can’t afford network builds

Fazal Majid

Sense of entitlement

This just goes on to show the Telcos stunning sense of entitlement to value-creation they have no direct credit for.

Ad-tech firms grab email addresses from forms before they're even submitted

Fazal Majid


Will “helpfully” fill in many fields like email.

Good thing I use a separate email for each website (Apple’s email privacy feature before its time).

Google starts testing fenced frames to guard its Privacy Sandbox

Fazal Majid

That won’t work

If they think embedding their adtech infrastructure inside the browser will let them evade GDPR and its pesky requirement for informed consent, they are going to be disappointed. GDPR does not care one whit where the processing is done.

Wi-Fi 6E unaffected by chip shortages, claims Wi-Fi Alliance

Fazal Majid

The EU is lagging

And hasn’t approved the spectrum yet, because Telcos are furiously lobbying to arrogate themselves that spectrum as they unsuccessfully tried to do in the US, despite having in Ajit Pai the most telco-captured FCC head in decades. Telcos, really, *really* hate the idea that someone, somewhere, may be transferring data without paying for it.

114 billion transistors, one big meh. Apple's M1 Ultra wake-up call

Fazal Majid

I'm holding off

After a blistering pace of speed improvements, Apple's Silicon team seems to have hit a wall, the same one Intel hit a decade ago. The M1 Pro, Max and Ultra are just refinements on the M1 design from 1.5 years ago, and I suspect most unoptimized apps will not see any performance improvement from a lowly M1 MacBook Air, apart from the faster SSD and increased RAM. Let's see what the M2 looks like.

BitConnect boss accused of $2.4bn crypto-Ponzi fraud has disappeared

Fazal Majid

All cryptocurrencies are Ponzi schemes

But I repeat myself.

Construction starts on another Asia-Europe undersea cable

Fazal Majid

Diverse routes are also needed

It would be a good idea to avoid Egypt and the Suez Canal altogether and route a portion overland through Oman-UAE-Saudi Arabia-Jordan-Israel.

Make assistive driving safe: Eliminate pedestrians

Fazal Majid

Elaine Herzberg RIP

Then there is the case of the pedestrian who was mowed down by a Uber self-driving car in Arizona. Their programmers, no doubt hired from the same school of douchebaggery as their executives, programmed the car not to slow down because that would inconvenience passengers. The safety driver was busy playing with her cell phone. The NSTB issued a scathing report blaming an "inadequate safety culture", which is putting it mildly. Sometimes moving fast and breaking things means breaking people, to a pulp.

US carriers want to junk three times more Chinese comms kit than planned

Fazal Majid

Re: What American replacements?

It's not all 4G/5G equipment. There is a lot of SONET/SDH optical transmission gear, and quite a lot of Ethernet switching as well.

European watchdog: All data collected about users via ad-consent popup system must be deleted

Fazal Majid

Circular logic

Since they do not put a prominent "Reject All" button next to the "Accept All", the 69% number is as spurious as the alleged consent.

A better data point: 96% of Apple app users opted out of tracking when Apple introduced opt-in in iOS 14.5, and this was in the US, which is generally less privacy-conscious than Europe. So the real figure is not 69%, it's 4%.


Whistleblower claims NSO offered 'bags of cash' for access to US phone networks

Fazal Majid

Some of our more clueful legislators like Ted Lieu or Ron Wyden have been raising the issue of SS7’s terrible security for years, or more precisely its utter lack of any security, so far to no avail. Next generation signaling protocols like Diameter are a little better, but telcos have to invest in firewalls and audit tools for their signaling networks, something they are clearly unwilling to do. Note that this is not just applicable to legacy telco crap like SS7, BGP security is also a shambles.

Logitech Signature M650: A mouse that will barely emit a squeak or a clickety-click

Fazal Majid

After a brief dalliance with a Logitech M330 Silent Plus wireless mouse, I've gone back to a wired and cheap £10 B110S, buying a little gamer stand thing that elevates the cable so it doesn't drag on the desktop (and costs more than the mouse itself).

My experience with both Bluetooth and USB receiver mice is that after a few months the receiver starts acting up and the mouse skips. The simpler mice also work without needing you to install awful software on your computer to cause random crashes. As for the rubberized coatings, they are made of incompletely polymerized plastic painted on a hard plastic shell and will invariably disintegrate over time, instead of being made of silicone. Let's face it, these are inexpensive peripherals designed to last a year at best.

Log4j doesn't just blow a hole in your servers, it's reopening that can of worms: Is Big Biz exploiting open source?

Fazal Majid

Re: @Phil O'Sophical - The solution is in their own hands

It's not really abuse, more freeloading, really.

Europe completes first phase of silicon independence project

Fazal Majid

Re: Is this an EU or Europe thing ?

The UK is the home of ARM, but let SoftBank, a Japanese company specializing in Ponzi schemes like Uber or WeWork, acquire its tech crown jewel.

As for Intel’s plans to open a cutting-edge fab in Europe, their CEO clearly stated the UK is not in the running because of Brexit.

Fazal Majid

Jingoistic nonsense

Yes, there are no cutting-edge fabs in the EU, but conversely every single cutting-edge fab relies on ASML (Netherlands, A for Amsterdam) lithography equipment. The semiconductor supply-chain is global and interdependent.

Online retailers delaying sales of Raspberry Pi 4 model until 2023, thanks to a few good chips getting scarce

Fazal Majid

Here in the UK The Pi Hut has the 4GB version in stock.

Return of the Mac (mechanical): Vissles keyboard for fans of keeping a low profile

Fazal Majid

Re: No point in buying a mechanical keyboard if it's low profile

Option-3 on a Mac. The layout is US-ANSI, but I would assume the crackpot UK layout is available for those who use the ¬ or ¦ symbols on a regular basis.

I can't understand why anyone would take a gamble on this kickstarter during a time of supply-chain uncertainty, specially when the Keychron K7 is cheaper, available with optical switches, a more compact layout ditching the seldom-used function keys in favor of a Fn2 layer, and a track record of delivering.

Foreign Office IT chaos: Shocking testimony reveals poor tech support hindered Afghan evac attempts

Fazal Majid

Re: Rolls Royce Foreign Office

You'll note the UK has a far smaller diplomatic network than its French, German or even Spanish or Italian peers, at No. 11:


Quite shocking for a UNSC Permanent Member.

Fazal Majid

Re: Such is the way of things.

The French and German knew, and evacuated their Afghans much sooner, which is why they did not need as much capacity in the last days' mad scramble and that's why they were not the "second largest evacuation".

The Germans evacuated some through the land border with Tajikistan, as Tom Tugendhat pointed out to Raab. Raab responded "but the Tajik border was closed". Yes, because they evacuated in April, well before the closing, which he would have known if he had bothered to meet the Afghan or Pakistani foreign ministers.

Fazal Majid

Re: Disgraceful ...

Particularly disgraceful to have failed refugees when you yourself are the son of a Kindertransport who fled Nazi persecution.

Fazal Majid

Re: "fewer than 5 per cent of these people have received any assistance"

A few of the evacuees on the French flights was later found out to be a Taliban fighter. He was put in prison, but can't be deported back to Afghanistan due to human-rights laws, and the fact there are no more flights nor does the French government have diplomatic relations with the Taliban to arrange their return.

Euro-telcos call on big tech to help pay for their network builds

Fazal Majid

I just switched from Three to EE a couple of weeks ago, mostly because they are the only provider with Apple Watch Family Sharing support (so I can get my daughter a watch for emergency call and geolocation purposes). I didn't realize as a BT offshoot they had these public-service obligations, thanks for the info. Their speed is definitely slower than Three, but voice service is more reliable in NIMBY mast-hostile Hampstead. I still keep a Three SIM for my iPad, which is where most of my data use lies, however.

The telcos' sense of entitlement is something to behold. Just the term "Over The Top (OTT)" shows they feel entitled to a share of revenue they did nothing to earn beyond building the infrastructure they are already paid to provide by their clients.

Fazal Majid

Telcos have a legitimate beef with governments for being used as cash cows via spectrum auctions, and unfunded mandates like having to rip out their Huawei gear and install more expensive and technologically inferior Ericsson/Nokia instead. That said, no one forced them to overbid in the spectrum auctions.

As for the tech companies, if anything they are the ones who could be demanding payments. Without their content, no one would buy the telcos’ Internet service.

European carriers push for more OpenRAN support... but it might not end in a win

Fazal Majid

First, burn all the standards bodies

Most of the cost of 5G equipment is due to baroque telco standards laden with legacy baggage, that are exceedingly difficult to implement and test. It would make perfect sense for Western governments to fund a few competing open-source projects at major universities to develop 5G and 6G stacks. That would destroy the Western equipment manufacturers and their proprietary systems as well, but remove the risk of Chinese domination.

Web trust dies in darkness: Hidden Certificate Authorities undermine public crypto infrastructure

Fazal Majid

Comodo was deemed too big to fail

And got a slap on the wrist for offenses that other CAs were removed from the trust store for. Same with Symantec. The problem is that when a CA gets a significant enough market share, removing their trust flag will break too many websites and clients will complain, so even Google with its Chrome monopoly cannot afford to drop the hammer.

Seagate demos hard disk drive with an NVMe interface. Yup, one with spinning platters

Fazal Majid

Server simplification, really?

SATA ports are cheaper to provide andmore plentiful than PCIe or NVMe ones (M.2 or U.2), which is why this obsolete interface has survived so long.

Dutch newspaper accuses US spy agencies of orchestrating 2016 Booking.com breach

Fazal Majid

A breach of California’s 2003 Data Breach law


Epic battle latest: Judge reminds Apple it has 30 days to let apps link out to non-Apple payment systems

Fazal Majid

First thing I noticed as well. Their hatred of competition outweighs their hatred of El Reg in this case.

Reg reader returns Samsung TV after finding giant ads splattered everywhere

Fazal Majid

Re: My smart TV seems fine

LG is not as bad as Samsung, but still bad.

There are 875 million good reasons why the paperless office won't happen soon

Fazal Majid

Re: Paperless Never

Many companies decided to move to paperless statements in the aftermath of the 2008 recession to save on postage costs.

As for Covid, my family printed more last year than in the previous decade combined, due to school work, and I only have one kid.

Brit MPs blast Baroness Dido Harding's performance as head of NHS Test and Trace

Fazal Majid

Re: Share the blame

Wasn't it Matt Hancock, who also wanted to promote her to be the head of the NHS, until he was sacked for philandering rather than gross incompetence?

Opt-out is the right approach for sharing your medical records with researchers

Fazal Majid

With organ donation the donor is dead and the interests of the still-living outweigh theirs.

I realize the OP is Australian, but here in the UK the NHS has done things like transfer data to Google without proper consent, and given that despicable firm's equally despicable data practices, that means control over the data is forever lost.

As for her contention that data can easily be "anonymized and securely aggregated", it is simply laughable, as all anonymization schemes this far have proven easy to defeat by a determined data scientist.

The way to get that data for important purposes like epidemiology is by earning trust through transparency and accountability, and shady practices like implied consent are the opposite of that.

NSO Group's Pegasus malware was used to spy on Dubai princess's lawyers during child custody dispute

Fazal Majid

Re: How about Android?

It's because NSO was sloppy in its attempts to cover its tracks from a couple of SQLite process accounting databases used by Apple to track network activity per app (so they can report to you network usage in the Cellular control panel, presumably), or did not vacuum the databases to expunge the deleted rows from the filesystem. I'm sure they've fixed that since once the Amnesty International and Citizen Lab methodology was published.


IKEA: Cameras were hidden in the ceiling above warehouse toilets for 'health and safety'

Fazal Majid

IKEA France was found guilty of illegal surveillance

They were paying bribes to cops to get information on job candidates, and other forms of illegal surveillance.

This company should not be given the benefit of the doubt.

You can 'go your own way' over GDPR, says UK's new Information Commissioner

Fazal Majid

Re: Double trouble

Apparently British firms used to do 60% of the EU business in CE certifications, and have now been frozen out of that market.

British data watchdog brings cookies to G7 meeting – pop-up consent requests, not the delicious baked treats

Fazal Majid

What's needed is something like a legally binding form of the Do-Not-Track flag, but considering the vast majority of cookie "consent" pop-ups violate GDPR by not making "Reject All" as prominent and easy as "Accept All", seemingly with no consequences this far, I don't have high hopes.

China's biggest chipmaker to build colossal chip factory

Fazal Majid

Fabs with that feature size are good for automobile components, low-end microcontrollers and imaging chips that China’s surveillance society is a big consumer of.

Children of China, your state-sanctioned hour of gaming begins … now!

Fazal Majid


I remember reading an interview of TikTok's founders a few years ago when they were still called Musical.ly and when asked why they didn't offer their service in their home country of China, the answer was "Oh no, Chinese kids should study". Tells you everything you need to know about how they thought about their service and their customers.

UK promises big data law shake-up... while also keeping the EU happy, of course. What could go wrong?

Fazal Majid

There was talk of a browser-based mechanism similar to Do-Not-Track to allow users to do a blanket “Reject All” or (unlikely) “Accept All” and skip the cookie banners, but all the talk about “unleashing data” clearly signals the real intention is to gut the GDPR to suit the civilian surveillance-industrial complex (the UK’s completely out-of-control and unaccountable government surveillance complex is of course in complete violation of the law and in itself grounds for the EU to revoke the fiction of adequacy).

Activist raided by police after downloading London property firm's 'confidential' meeting minutes from Google Search

Fazal Majid

Isn’t making false statements to the police an offense?

And couldn’t he sue them for that?

Don't rush to adopt QUIC – it's a slog to make it faster than TCP

Fazal Majid

Tragedy of the Commons

QUIC is designed so the app decides what congestion control algorithm to use, not the OS networking stack. Most use the BBR algorithm, which is very aggressive and will steal more than its fair share of bandwidth in the event of congestion compared to TCP with CUBIC or older implementations. This creates a situation where greedy browsers using BBR have apparent better performance, and everyone starts switching over until the well-behaved clients are so penalized they become unusable when there is congestion. Of course, TCP can also run BBR, and outperforms QUIC, but that requires OS upgrades, which don't happen as frequently as browser upgrades.

Watchdog slaps down Three's claims to be building the UK's 'fastest 5G network' – again

Fazal Majid

Re: Dear Goverment.

You mean the same ASA that allows BT OpenReach and its sock puppet resellers to advertise its shitty VDSL as “fibre” and in fact shielded them from a legal challenge by a real fibre operator? They are fully captured, all right.

AWS gave Parler a chance, won't say if it talked to NSO before axing spyware biz's backend systems

Fazal Majid

The two are not equivalent

NSO was distributing malware from AWS’ servers, creating criminal liability for AWS if they did not shut it down as soon as they became aware of it. Parker’s questionable content is not illegal, at least not in the US.

Our Friends Electric: A pair of alternative options for getting around town

Fazal Majid

There are actual products you can buy today

Like the Renault Twizy, the Smart EVs, the Citroën Ami electric.

Tomorrow's wireless world will be fatter, faster, and creepier

Fazal Majid

Surely you mean “6GHZ Wi-Fi 6E standard”, not “60GHZ Wi-Fi 6 standard”.



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