* Posts by Steen Larsen

47 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Mar 2010

Microsoft to spend $3.2B on expanding cloud and AI in green energy-rich Sweden

Steen Larsen

Author forgot nuclear

The author forgot to mention that a lot of Swedens low carbon clean energy comes from nuclear. After many years of closing down nuclear plants Sweden is now talking about new nuclear.

UK and US lead international efforts to raise AI security standards

Steen Larsen

Same old development cycle

Sorry but, except for the title, this hot new "AI development cycle" looks exactly like the good old general secure software development cycle!

Or did I miss something?

Boeing CEO takes aim at Musk’s Starman-in-a-Tesla stunt

Steen Larsen

SLS is not a Boeing rocket - BFR is a SpaceX project

The Boeing CEO should be reminded that the SLS is not a Boeing rocket. It is a NASA rocket where Boeing is supplying some parts.

On the other hand SpaceX has developed the complete Falcon 9 stack and is now financing and developing the BFR which will be the biggest rocket ever seen. The BFR consists of a booster(BFB) and a spaceship (BFS).

If SpaceX is succesful with the completely reusable BFR and reach their cost objectives there is a huge risk that the expensive SLS will be cancelled or only reach very few flights. Why pay almost a billion for a n SLS launch if SpaceX can deliver a bigger BFR launch for less than a 100 million?!

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Steen Larsen

Ran out of igniter fuel

The center core did not run out of the main fuel. Apparently it ran out of the hypergolic igniter fuel TEA/TEB so that it could not ignite the rocket engines for the landing burn. As a result it crashed into the sea with 500 km/h.

Best regards


PS. Have a look at the press conference with Elon.

Norman Conquest, King Edward, cyber pathogen and illegal gambling all emerge in Apple v FBI

Steen Larsen

Off course Apple must help law enforcement

Obviously we must all do our best to help law enforcement in solving a crime that has been committed. I do not understand why that is even being discussed. However ...

Given the encrypted state of the phone they are trying to access, Apple should immediately assist the police in setting up a system that can be used to brute force the encryption. That is the best that can be done given the state of the phone. If the bad guy has chosen a good password this might take a long time.

We should not confuse assisting law enforcement with the different matter that is if we should setup our security beforehand so that law enforcement has a backdoor access.

FBI v Apple spat latest: Bill Gates is really upset that you all thought he was on the Feds' side

Steen Larsen

Whats all the fuss?

Why all the fuss?

Yes, off course Apple has to assist the FBI. The best thing they can do is to explain how the crypto works and point at the best way of doing a brute force attack.

I think "assisting" is being wrongfully interpreted as "you have to insert a backdoor in your system". It is not the same thing.

El Reg's plucky Playmonaut eyes suborbital rocket shot

Steen Larsen

Copenhagen Suborbitals

Don't forget the open source space adventure Copenhagen Suborbitals who want to send a human above the Karman line in a suborbital flight. They have already launched some serious rockets, have a lot of interesting youtube footage and recently their English language web site has improved significantly:


Sometimes they do some impressive rocket engine tests that are well worth attending. Only a cheap flight to Copenhagen is needed.

Want an Internet of Stuff? Not so 4K-ing fast ... yet – Akamai

Steen Larsen

Re: Why the 4k?

Note the Akamai name in the head line! This article is based on an analysis of Internet traffic. Data from completely different sources such as media market analysis people would be needed to answer your valid questions. But don't complain that this info is not available in a report from Akamai.

Security? Don't bother until it's needed says RFC

Steen Larsen

Re: Not the right way to do this

> STARTTLS does this and can be easily MITM'd.

In think one of the points of the RFC is that TLS which can be easily MITM'd is still better than no TLS at all aka clear-text.

Amongst other, it protects against passive attacks such as the typical mass surveillance.

Nvidia flops out teraflop X1 for self-aware cars

Steen Larsen

Re: Wing mirrors

Wing mirrors will be replaced by cameras also for the simple reason that this saves energy by removing the drag from a large mirror.

Rise of the Machines: FIRST HUMAN VICTIM – 2015

Steen Larsen

The hacked surveillance state will do bad things too

They forgot another threat: The surveillance state and the police themselves are now part of the IoT. Hackers can probably easily get you committed to prison for the rest of your life by planting some nasty stuff on your PC and create a few fake communications trails in somebody's network.

Maybe one day the hackers will even be able to send a SWAT team around to get you killed. No, that will never happen! Oh wait, SWAT teams have already been commanded into innocent peoples houses numerous times.

Linux turns the crank on code for cars

Steen Larsen

BMW has Linux in cars

Yes, Linux in cars is last years news. Last year BMW announced that an infotainment head unit running a GENIVI (www.genivi.org) based Linux OS was going into production.

Shift over, TV firms: LTE Broadcast will nuke current mobile telly tech

Steen Larsen

Mobile TV available in France - a long time ago

Here in France most operators already offer TV on your phone. They have done this for a long time and it works fine on both 3G & 4G. I do not know if it uses any kind of broadcast technology. When we watched France Switzerland the other night a warning about the data usage was shown.

The quality was great on a Galaxy S5 but we soon realised that we were watching a delayed stream (about 1 minute) when the rest of the square broke out in wild cheers at the first goal.

Ireland accused of giving Apple 'selective advantage'

Steen Larsen


Something should be done about countries that abuse EU tax rules and "launder money" for non-EU companies. It cannot be right that we let foreign non-EU companies getting away with paying 2-7% tax on their EU earnings while we tax our own companies and citizens through the roof. How can an EU company compete in such a system!?

If the countries do not want to play ball the EU tax rules should be changed. We cannot afford this.

Get cracking on STARTTLS says Facebook

Steen Larsen

Re: And…?

> Encryption without authentication doesn't protect your content.

Right, but it is still worth doing because it is cheap and because it protects against passive monitoring which is often used in datagobbling dragnets.

Security is not a binary yes/no question! Just because somebody can smash your windows you don't remove the locks on your front door.

Instead of http we should also use unauthenticated SSL in https IMHO. It is not perfect, but it is certainly better than clear-text http!

Best regards


Freescale: Cloudy dumb sensors? Nope, not OUR smart Internet of Things

Steen Larsen

Who said the driver must be Human!?

It is a very reasonable requirement when the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (1968) states that the driver must always be in control of the vehicle.

The convention does not state the the driver must be a human - so where is the problem for autonomous self driving cars???!

No sign of Half-Life 3 but how about FOURTEEN Steam Machine makers?

Steen Larsen

Good excuse for "No Windows"

At least Steam is a great excuse for selling a PC without a Windows license. Perhaps this can help getting rid of the "Microsoft tax".

Price rises and power cuts by 2016? Thank the EU's energy policy

Steen Larsen

Soon taxes will subsidize fossils too

The solution is easy: subsidize the coal and gas plants to be on standby!

This is off course completely crazy. BUT politicians don't mind. :-( In Denmark they have spent billions on subsidizing wind power which has first priority on the grid. As a consequence the fossil power plants will close just as described in this article. The politicians have now introduced an "energy supply guarantee" tax which will subsidize fossil power plants! and probably also some biomass.

So the energy market is now completely scr**ed! First they subside wind to get rid of CO2 and then they end up subsidizing CO2 producing energy to secure the grid. Seems like they are back to square one except that the energy consumer is getting hurt by higher prices for nothing. :-(

Hollywood: How do we secure high-def 4K content? Easy. Just BRAND the pirates

Steen Larsen
Thumb Down

No need to break the scheme to avoid jail

You just have to lift the movie using a stolen identity - and do they really expect us to provide ID every time we rent a movie? Bye bye privacy.

Google: Thanks for the billions in revenue, UK. Here are your taxes, that's ... £11m

Steen Larsen

Re: We are too stupid here in Europe

You are completely missing my point. I just say that we are too stupid when we implement such taxation rules where we tax foreign businesses less than we tax our own citizens/businesses.

I am glad we protect the children, try to cure people, tale care of the poor, etc. We could do more of this and pay less taxes if we closed this huge tax loop hole for foreign businesses.

Steen Larsen

We are too stupid here in Europe

We are too stupid in Europe, and, sorry, I include the UK when I say Europe.

First we miss out badly on tax payments on revenue originating in Europe.

Second, we miss out on competitiveness. How on can European companies compete with foreign companies that are taxed so little when we are happy to tax our own share holders and companies in the 60% region!!?

Thirdly, the big multinationals store all the saved taxes in huge off shore slush funds that they can use to buy any competitor that might arise, against all odds, inside Europe.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

Which other region on the planet treat their own companies so bad compared to foreign companies!?

Nintendo throws flaming legal barrel at YouTubing fans

Steen Larsen

Doesn't make sense

If this logic was taken to other areas it would mean that:

1) Steinway would own the copyright to all piano concerts in the world?

2) Add you own crazy case.

Surely that cannot be right!

Best regards


Fukushima operator feared shutdown if risks revealed

Steen Larsen

Re: Still fingering the tsunami @sunnyskies

It is funny with coal fired power stations - for some reason nobody cares about the million+ dying from the pollution every year, thousands of miners dying every year, cancer causing and IQ damaging mercury and other heavy metals in the smoke and ash, etc. etc. No let us instead worry about some tiny risk related to our clean nuclear plants!

The land that has to be abandoned around Fukushima is small compared to land abandoned on a routine basis when we build hydro power stations - yet nobody really worries too much about that! On top of that you should remember that the land is only being abandoned due to unreasonably high safety standards that are causing more damage than the risk they are trying to deal with.

Please go and worry about something really dangerous instead of nuclear power!

Apple time is now world time

Steen Larsen

Why not buy a much better Samsug Galaxy S3 today?

Why wait when you can just buy a very nice Samsung Galaxy S3 today?

To my surprise I noted during the last month that all my "Apple wearing" non-techy friends have done just that.

Apple must be very afraid!

Now Apple wants Samsung S III, Galaxy Notes off the shelves too

Steen Larsen
Paris Hilton

Appe is scared

Most of my non-techy iPhone wearing friends have recently turned up with a white Samsung Galaxy SIII. I can understand if apple is very scared!

If you can patent rectagles with round corners I wonder if Samsung has managed to patent phones with screens that are bigger than 4 inches ;-) - Just because of size there is no way you can mistake a new Samsug phone for an iPhone.

Paris - because it is all about size!

How to pipe live telly into your pocket with 4G

Steen Larsen

Mobile TV works fine in France

Here in France all operators have offered TV on their 3G networks at least during the last 3 years. You typically get somewhere between 30 and 70 TV channels thrown in with your monthly subscription. It works fine.

However, my kids spend more time on Youtube than on those TV channels. No doubt that video on demand is the future.

Best regards


UK cops charge alleged Anonymous hacker

Steen Larsen

Phone thieves bevare!

I just realise that the computer crime laws appear to be offering great protection to smart phone owners.

If somebody steals my phone that must surely be covered by "do an unauthorised act in relation to a computer".

Insulin pump maker ignores diabetic's hack warnings

Steen Larsen

Standard procedure

As industries start to build computers into their products and attach them to networks and radio transmitters they become vulnerable to all kind of new attacks they fail to understand.

It is "standard procedure" that the go through several phases before their products eventually become secure enough to operate reliably in the new networked environment.

The first phase is almost always: Denial.

This is where Medtronic is now.

Remember Microsoft, the CCTV industry, the burglar alarm people, SCADA, etc.?

Four illegal ways to sort out the Euro finance crisis

Steen Larsen

The real issue

The real issue is that the Southern European countries fought very hard to join the new hard currency, the Euro, BUT they failed to re-adjust their policies and way of living to match the new currency.

They were used to funny money and salaries and prices going up 10% every year and they failed to adjust this down to 1%. For example, since joining the Euro prices in Italy have gone up more than 40% compared to Germany. The result is a massive fall in competitiveness.

The Germans took some very hard medicine with almost no wage increases during the 90'ies and adjusted pension age, etc. I can understand that they are very unhappy to support the Greeks who doctored the books, went on a binge of spending and took their pension at 55 before the crisis began.

Bailing out everybody will not save the Euro. On the contrary it will turn it into a failed soft currency. The Euro law was set up to create a strong currency and that is why bailouts are not allowed. Pity that our politicians will not take the hard medicine: allow a default. But perhaps they are also afraid of another set of bank collapses.

It is wrong to call this a currency crisis. It is a problem of national debt and national economic policy that fails to take the new hard currency into account.

Denmark gets its own NFC consortium

Steen Larsen

Oh no!

Oh no! Yet another local system that works in Denmark only :-(

Bad for tourists and danes abroad who visit the old motherland.

I hope this fails!

(Other Fails: half the of the credit card terminals in Denmark only accept the Danish dankort, no thanks to foreign cards!; their new Oyster card like system (which is a big failure) doesn't allow tourists to use it - we pay full price!)

Europe promises immigration action as North Africa moves

Steen Larsen

Avoiding queues

If you travel a lot it is a big deal to avoid queues at border controls. Imagine that you have to queue up and flash your passport whenever you go to work? Lots of Europeans cross borders when they go to work every day and the abolition of border controls has really increased the development of the border regions.

You don't have to flahs your passport going from Wales to England or from Scotland to England. Why should it be any different when you move around, for example, Italy, France and Germany!?

Before Schengen I used to travel in a night train between Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and Italy. It was sooooo nice to be woken up *twice* for each border crossing (check out of one country and being checked into another one) and having the train standing still.

Believe me, no border control is a Big Deal!

How is SSL hopelessly broken? Let us count the ways

Steen Larsen

We are all too lazy

One key problem is that we are all too lazy to bother deciding who we want to trust. This is too difficult! We are happy to rely on browser vendors huge list of root CA's from organisations who obviously do not have adequate security and are happy to sell that "secure feeling" of a $10 certificate.

This problem is unlikely top be solved by some technical solution such as improved protocols IMHO.

Perhaps our browser needs some kind of "trust mode". When in "banking mode" it will not trust domain validated certififates. When in "Dissident mode" it will drop trust in Chinese certificates or whatever local regime I do not trust. Etc.

Best regards


Grief and disbelief greet Elop's Nokia revolution

Steen Larsen
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I would have loved Android on Nokia

I dropped Nokia a few years ago due to crappy software. I would have loved to run Android on some cool Nokia hardware but that will not happen :-(

If a smaller company like HTC can do both Android and WM7 why can't Nokia?


Steen Larsen
Thumb Up

These guys built a real sub for $ 200.000

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UC3_Nautilus

$200K is a lot lower than the $5m DEA estimate!

The builders are now working on some very nice rockets. So far the people have no plans of entering the drugs trade AFAIK ;-)

Passenger cleared after TSA checkpoint stare-down

Steen Larsen

ID madness after 911

Much of the "show ID" madness began after 911 which is amazing since none of the 911 plotters used any fake ID!

In Europe they have removed the requirement to show ID before boarding a plane. So whenever I fly with Lufthansa from Frankfurt to France I show no ID anywhere - passport control has also been abolished within the Schengen area. The lack of ID check greatly speeds up boarding which is now done by a machine which opens the gate after scanning your boarding pass.

No need to take the bus! :-)

Elsewere within the Schengen area I find that airport or airlines want to see you passport 90% of the time - probably to stop you using somebody elses ticket.

WikiLeaks gets Swiss bank info

Steen Larsen

Unlawful processing of personal information

Surely this must be unlawful processing of personal information under the Data Protection Act.

Having seen the photos of Assange being handed the CDs the Information Commisioner should have been out with blue lights to stop this illegal activity. Ahhhh, I forgot, nobody takes the DPA seriously.

Feds subpoena Twitter for info on WikiLeaks backer

Steen Larsen
Thumb Up

Well done Twitter! (no sarcasm!)

Good to see that Twitter is open about this and informs their users before handing over the data. Many other companies would just hand it over silently!

Logitech said to turn off Google TV

Steen Larsen

No TV?!

Considering the amount of time my children spend on Youtube I think that Google will be sucessfull - even without the TV stations cooperating! Google also has enough money to buy some serious content. I wish them luck but hope that the "spying" can be limited to a reasonable level.

Financial vice tightens on Wikileaks, hacktivistas retaliate

Steen Larsen

I have just closed my Paypal account

"We are sorry that you have decided to close your PayPal account. With millions of members in dozens of countries and regions across the globe, PayPal is continually improving and expanding its award-winning services."

Living without Paypal is easy, a relief actually :-) But living without Visa is another story. However, I have a few cards which I do not really use and closing them now is a good time to send a message.

Apache threatens Oracle with Java exit

Steen Larsen

Revoke Apache licenses for Oracle!

What if Apache refused to license all Apache software to Oracle? That would probably hurt!

Would this even be possible?

Would it be fair if open source groups took such steps against bad corporates?

Pipe dream, I guess!

OpenSolaris spork ready for download

Steen Larsen

If you want a one word reply it must be: Linux

FreeBSD is a very nice OS but in my humble opinion it is not production ready unless you really feel like spending lots of time tinkering.

FreeBSD is suffering from a huge lack of "eyeballs" compared to Linux. Over the past years FreeBSD have missed many release schedules and you just get the impression that there are not enough FreeBSD developers out there to deliver the functionality and stability which we see in Linux distributions such as Redhat.

An important production issue is lack of official hardware support. Most vendors of servers, disk controllers, etc, will officially support Linux but not FreeBSD. The same goes for software. It is sometimes diffult to find FreeBSD support for your favourite configuration management tool, virtual machine hypervisor, etc. etc.

Many databases, such as MySQL, work better on Linux because the majority of the developers, consultants, etc. work on Linux. So the Linux platform gets tested, documented and optimised much better.

Package management on FreeBSD is less mature than Linux and due to lack of official FreeBSD support you often end up compiling your own packages (and kernel if you have a bad day) and maintaining your own package repositories. This really slows down patching/vulnerability management.

So in many FreeBSD production environments you may see low productivity and delayed projects because your staff will be spending time on debugging and fixing some low level critical issue that just works out of the box on Linux. Well, that is my experience. Your mileage may wary.

May your OS be with you!

Underweight passport pic left traveller stuck in Amsterdam

Steen Larsen

Flying European Hotels

Apparantly governments no longer require passengers to show any ID for flights within the Schengen area - but some airlines do. Lufthansa doesn't require any ID, great to bord quickly by flashing your boarding pass barcode at a machine! This may come as a shock to some: but I love these privacy respecting Germans!

When I moved to Britain is was shocked to realise that many British do not consider themselves to be European. Europeans are the (weird) guys living on the European continent! This makes it easier to understand the anti European stance in some of the tabloids. Then the Brits also had programmes like Eurotrash which paints Europeans as being crazy, weird and mostly naked - funny though!

I am as confused as everybody else regarding the showing of passports in hotels in Europe (Britain included :-). Sometimes they want it and sometimes they don't, seems like a 50% chance to me.

I have taken my coat and left for France. I really miss the good pub food and fantastic English humour. I do not miss NuLabours big brother attitudes and the long border control queues! Not to mention that you now have to register your passport details in advance when you travel to the UK - even from Paris! Crazy! I wish you Brits all the best in restoring some of your freedoms!

NTLM authentication: still broken after all these years

Steen Larsen

Where's the news?

WOW! An old authentication protocol which has been abondoned by its creator and replaced by Kerberos is broken. Yes, we all knew that, thanks.

Suggestions for similar interesting articles:

SSLv2: still broken after all these years.

HTTP basic authentication: still broken after all these years.

SSHv1: still broken after all these years.

Telnet: still broken after all these years.

Wow, this is getting exciting! ;-)

May I suggest to read some excellent The Register articles about how media should do some background checks before passing on news from other sources.


To the Anonymous Coward who wrote:

"Man-in-the-middle require fooling the user to send their data to them instead of where they intended - so the moral is don't trust unsecured networks."

The purpose of most security protocols is to allow trusted transactions on non-trusted networks. The benefit is that you do not have to trust the network. That is good, for a network is a big and complex beast that should never be trusted IMHO.

Google mobile ad chief fires back at Apple lockout

Steen Larsen
Jobs Horns

What if: Google lockout?

I wonder what HRH Jobs would think if the Googleplex decided that their wast number of services were off-limits to Jobsian devices suc as iPhones, iPads, Mac, iX ??!

IMHO this is yet another Apple app rule which is not in the interest of neither iPhone developers nor iPhone users.

Second biggest WiMAX network switches to LTE

Steen Larsen

Yota rocks!

If you ever go to Moscow, even for a few days, I highly recommend Yota.

After beeing fleeced by most hotels which charge RUB 900 (GBP 20!) per day for Internet access I now use Yota. It is great, mobile, 3 mbps in real life and only cost RUB 50 (GBP 1.10) per day. SIP and Skype works fine.

The Wimax dongle, which can be found in most shoppng centres, only costs RUB 2000. So compared to paying extreme hotel rates you are saving money during day 3.

English info is here: http://www.yota.ru/en/

Enjoy Moscow!

Bill Gates goes (mini) nuclear

Steen Larsen
Thumb Up

What about liquid fluoride thorium reactors?

Another promising small scale reactor type is the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR).

See http://energyfromthorium.com/

Would be interesting to hear The Reg Energy Nuke Boffins view on this technology!

HTC Legend

Steen Larsen
Thumb Up

Hero Battery Life Improvement

The HTC Hero battery life almost doubles if you stop unwanted synchronisation tasks and increase the email polll time from the default 10 minutes to, for example, 2 hours.