* Posts by fuzzie

222 posts • joined 1 Feb 2012

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Indian government slams Facebook over WhatsApp 'privacy' update, wants its own Europe-style opt-out switch

fuzzie

Re: GDPR

Thanks for the extra details on UK's new "GDPR" situation. Facebook have definitely stated they're moving UK customers from Ireland to the US. I'm curious how UK-GDPR is different enough to allow them to do that. Perhaps Privacy Shield style agreements?

fuzzie

Re: GDPR

South Africa has legislation, PoPI (Protection of Personal Information) very similar to GDPR and should also have an opt-out ability, but its market size is pretty insignificant in the bigger picture. Facebook generally just ignores it. India has the benefit of being the largest WhatsApp market so much easier to get Facebook's attention.

Note: With Brexit, UK lost GDPR protection and UK customers are moving from Facebook Ireland/EU to Facebook/US jurisdiction. I can imagine Facebook would fight hard against further balkanization of the customer base.

Another item, many EU citizens have noted that GDPR offers them protection regardless of where they are (resident), i.e. the Facebook filter cannot be geographic presence. tl;dr: It gets messier really quickly, but I bet it's not something Facebook really wants to address, because it "dilutes" their data schnarfing base.

India is also the proving ground for their deep integration with (hosted) businesses and payment gateways so Facebook has a strong interest in that not going belly-up.

You look for the largest objects in the universe and two come along at once: Astroboffins spot mega radio galaxies dwarfing Milky Way

fuzzie

Re: ANcient Wisdom

Lots of details here for you to peruse. I believe their secret sauces are in the detectors and ultra low noise cryogenic amplifiers

* https://www.sarao.ac.za/science/meerkat/about-meerkat/

Signal boost: Secure chat app is wobbly at the moment. Not surprising after gaining 30m+ users in a week, though

fuzzie

Re: GDPR

An analysis of the T&Cs changes were done and discussed in this HackerNews thread

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25685446

WhatsApp is technically correct that message and call content remain private and encrypted. What is happening is that businesses which host on Facebook will now also be able to have encrypted conversations with users. In order for that to work, the users encryption keys have to made available to these third parties. In addition, more meta data is being collected and shared with "Facebook Companies" and hosted third-party vendors. The "Facebook will read my messages" scare, I believe, is largely unfounded, but it is a sign that Facebook is becoming much more aggressive at monitising WhatsApp.

My view is they want to turn WhatsApp into WeChat, i.e. the one app in which you spend you entire day. See WhatApp Pay, UPI payment integration in India, forthcoming Reliance online shopping platform integration. Spot the direction? For none of those do they need to read your messages or listen in to your calls, but there's an absolute goldmine in meta data there.

That's also why they're so panicky in India, because it's their proving ground and stepping stone.

Also, there are different demographics between Facebook and WhatsApp. Facebook is losing its shine and becoming for "old" people. Integrating WhatsApp likely brings Facebook a large demographic who might not/not longer be active on Facebook. WhatsApp users are looking at incoming Facebook and thinking it's going to merge into Facebook or Messenger and are running. Watch this space, but I bet the same is heading to InstaGram soon enough.

Watchdog urges Tesla to recall 158,000 Model S, X cars to fix knackered NAND flash that borks safety features

fuzzie

Re: Keep retracting.

Those stats are also a bit deceptive.

They're comparing Tesla driven miles against miles driven by the general driving population. The general population miles also include other bits like driving in bad weather, or at night. And Tesla, for the most part, are on AutoPilot in day time highway/freeway, i.e. relatively open road scenarios. Human drivers on open roads and highways tend also to not have that many accidents. I'd venture most open road accidents are "stupid" things like overtaking on blind corners, rises or in bad weather.

tl;dr: Be very wary of that comparison.

Sort of related. The EU wants to make lane keeping/lane assist a standard feature on all cars. They reckon that would reduce accidents by 10-15%. That's quite significant. And that's already pretty much stock tech on mid- and higher end cars.

fuzzie

Re: Engineering solutions

Those have already been done, and it extended the life, but not to "infinite" (enough). A side problem is that the logs are often critical to investigations. In one case where a Tesla caught alight, killing the driver, the fire progressed fast enough to damage the ECU within the flush duration and they had no around-the-incident data to investigate.

The impression I get about the design is that it's very much a "this is where all the action" happens design and would require a fair bit of re-architecting. Not just a case of replacing the failing units with new ones with the same failure profile. The NAND is part of the Nvidia card/SoC so not just replacable either. They might have to go with a wholly different, newer model and one wouldn't know how modular that design is. Likely not a drop-in upgrade.

fuzzie

Tesla has gone with commercial, consumer-level components in many places. And that's bitten them a few times. The NAND flash thing is not "obvious", but for a typical automotive manufacturer with established design, development process, it likely would have been picked up. They've learnt, through hard experience, the cost of post-release repairs/fixes.

Telsa had an issue with tablet screens delaminating and fading, because they bought consumer-level components which couldn't deal with the temperature variances and UV exposure inside cars. They're rookie/newbie mistakes. Nothing that can't be fixed, some much more expensive than others. Bullying customers who complain about it, silencing others through NDAs and being argumentative with NTHSA doesn't help. But then, they now have a $500bn kitty to burn on fixes/improvements.

fuzzie

Re: Great

It might well that they still have all the components duly separated so that it's really a security issue.

The problem is the big table thing is _the one interface_ to rules them all. There aren't secondary controls, e.g. for heating, defrosting. Clearly they're playing system/safety and indicator sounds through the stock audio/entertainment system. Not a good dependency to have for safety critical bits. Or having separate display(s) for the rear/safety cameras.

It's a very stock PC/computer model, but this is not a PC. If anything goes wrong with the unit so it cannot display or cannot accept touch inputs, its impact is wide. Most other manufacturers seem to know or have learnt that critical components require their own, independent dials/knobs.

Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Gen 8: No boundaries were pushed in the making of this laptop – and that's OK

fuzzie

Re: Nothing? Surely you jest.

Just UEFI boot your favourite distro and it installs without issues. You can even, as of recently, order the machines from Lenovo with Ubuntu pre-installed. Additionally, all firmware, i.e. BIOS etc updates come through Software centre and/or "fwupdmgr". I believe they, and Dell, promised fingerprint reader support in 2021.

fuzzie

I similarly have the Gen 3, but the 1440p non-touch matte screen. It's been a real trooper and the newer models just haven't been that much of a huge jump to convince me to upgrade. Its 8GB is getting long in the tooth. It's picked up a freeze-up and non-booting issue recently. I hope it's just thermal paste.

For my work machine I got a T490 last year. Marginally larger/heavier, slighty beefier CPU and discrete GPU, wired Ethernet, even more ports, and, more importantly, user-upgradable RAM. Like yourself, I've had to navigate some HiDPI issues. It's a real solid workhorse machine. Highly recommended if you want something a bit beefier and more expandable than the X1 Carbon.

Why make games for Linux if they don't sell? Because the nerds are just grateful to get something that works

fuzzie

Re: Re Stadia

Amazon's Luna has been announced and seems to be in an early access stage

* https://www.amazon.com/luna/landing-page

Android without Google – and yes it has apps: The Reg talks to founder about the /e/ smartphone

fuzzie

SailfishOS

Just to add to the mix of Google-free alternatives.

The paid version does offer an Android run-time in which case you might get re-Googled.

Sony launches ‘Airpeak’ drone division

fuzzie

They do occasionally suffer from Not-Invented-Here, definitely less so these days. When my car's OEM head unit started acting up, I replaced it with a Sony one because (unlike most others) it supports FLAC. Similarly, PS3 (not sure about PS4/etc) and their TVs understanding mkv containers.

They still have their "moments", e.g. LDAC for HiRes audio over Bluetooth. aptX-HD now competes and world+dog is already on aptX band wagon, even though it's Qualcomm proprietary.

Sony's a big company with different "personalities"

'This was bigger than GNOME and bigger than just this case.' GNOME Foundation exec director talks patent trolls and much, much more

fuzzie

Re: The main problem with making a mobile OS...

Sony has been a very good Open Source citizen. Well, as much as they can within the confines of Project Treble, the hardware blobs and Google's licence requirements. You can find a list of devices, kernels and development guides here

* https://developer.sony.com/develop/open-devices

fuzzie
Facepalm

GNOME Shell

Do I even have to write anything more? Trigger warning: Ranty text ahead

When Ubuntu went on their Unity walkabout, GNOME Flashback provided me with a stable a happy desktop environment while GNOME fought their trench warfare to stabilise GNOME/GTK 3. With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, a new laptop with a HiDPI display, Flashback (based on GTK2) became unusable. Ubuntu had ditched Unity for GNOME Shell and I thought "Ahh, they must've sorted out the issues".

Well, yeah, maybe, no. It's so spartan by default, you have to resort to extensions to recover some of the old-style functionality. Sadly, it's become a crap shoot to find a minimal set of (quality) extensions which a) do what you want, b) still work on the version of GNOME I'm actually using and, c) which don't cause GNOME Shell to randomly lock up for minutes on end or just restart itself (sometimes multiple times daily). The desktop has become a Greasemonkey-esque playground (sandpit? swamp?).

I appreciate the GNOME project is much more than just Shell, but boy, it casts a pretty long shadow.

fuzzie

Re: The main problem with making a mobile OS...

Google's Project Treble helped a lot, but the basic dilemma remains that the SoC and other hardware bits require binary blob drivers and companies like Qualcomm End-of-life their support for SoC around 18 months after release. That's pretty insane and also one of the underlying reasons why becomes really hard for anyone higher up the technology stack to promise much better than that. It's pretty much current and next major Android release and then you're done.

Ubuntu 20.10 goes full Raspberry Pi, from desktop to micro clouds: Full fat desktop on a Pi is usable

fuzzie

Re: But snap... ?

As I recall, Snap came from Ubuntu's mobile phone adventures. It was intended to be used for distributing fully-contained phone apps. Apps couldn't have package-interdepencies like rpm/dpkg. The blob is larger, but space is cheap(er), it can be updated more often and independently from the underlying operating system, and are better sandboxed/isolated. Ubuntu claimed some way to de-dupe shared components between snaps. The isolation makes desktop, theme, file system, etc integration painful edges at times. That's usually where people start cursing. Of course RedHat/Fedora has FlatPak, which makes very similar claims.

Remember when Zoom was rumbled for lousy crypto? Six months later it says end-to-end is ready

fuzzie

Re: Good on the method, but bad implementation

Not to go to bat for them, but I suspect this is more a case of gently onboarding the early adopters and ensuring everything actually works and scales. As opposed to the more big bang approach of just changing the defaults... which more of than not, results in a Big Bang and operational nightmare.

What is your 'intent'? Google Assistant opens door to chatting with third-party apps

fuzzie

Anti-trust beads of sweat there?

Colour my lightly cynical, but between this announcement and hints about the next version of Android allowing other app stores, it sounds a lot like Google is rushing to hobble some of those pesky monopoly/market dominance complaints. They could go as far as making just about everything pluggable or at the very least allow app-preferences to be selected for a gajillion intents/actions. Then stand back and say "Look, our platform is totally open. Anyone can elect their favourite app for X, Y or Z". In theory that might even be accurate, but I doubt it will pad the velvet-coated brick of the GAPS Licence or the pure inertia of a handset with Google-everything as defaults.

Ah yes, Sony, that major player in the smartphone space, has a new flagship inbound: The Xperia 5 II

fuzzie

I also have one. A great phablet... when 6.4" was still considered large. Love the charging stand with the pogo pins for charging. A pity it got stuck on Lollipop.

fuzzie

For several years now the phones all have DualShock 4 drivers. So you can pair your controller with the phone and play games that way. They even have a DualShock attachment so you can clamp the phone horizontally onto the controller. From the Xperia 1 II they also have a power passthrough mode for when you're playing games. If you plug it into the wall, instead of charging the batteries while playing, it simply just powers the phone from the wall, bypassing the battery. The intent being that charging the battery produces heat which results in thermal throttling which impacts game play, i.e. take power straight from the wall and you can play indefinitely at full performance without heat and extends battery life.

fuzzie

Re: Too damn tall

I initially also considered it a gimmick. Turns out that, for those who consume movies/etc on mobile, with 16:9 results in significant boxing. 21:9 fits the predominant movie aspect ratio. Combine that with a colour-accurate Cinema display mode. Personally, I can't see myself staring at a smallish screen for an entire movie. Just about every review I've seen on the 21:9 devices specifically called out how they anticipated it would be awkward, but that it turns out very comfortable and ergonomic. The narrower body makes it fit the hand and palm more like a TV remote and, since many applications presents long pages or contents as lists, you get more content on-screen. I've briefly fondled a display model in a shop once and it is indeed well balanced, not top heavy as I had expected. They've added some touch gesture support that allows you to tap the side of the phone and it shrinks/shifts down the page towards the bottom so you can stretch/reach with one hand.

Personal data from Experian on 40% of South Africa's population has been bundled onto a file-sharing website

fuzzie

Re: The $128 million dollar question

South Africa does have a GDPR-style PoPI (Protection of Personal Information) Act. It's been long coming, but as I recall, it's not fully in effect yet. The laws dealing with company malfeasance do allow for the board and/or directors to be help personally criminally liable. Of course that would probably become some local mid- or country-level scapegoat, but it would at least be a god start.

Google wants to listen in to whatever you get up to in hotel rooms

fuzzie

Re: Oh, my aching ribs

Sadly I've become so cynical about these company promises that I automatically assume they're lawyering their statements, i.e. "No audio is stored"... but whatever meta/inferred data is fair game. Or "will be wiped... for the next guest" becomes "just after we archived the meta data to the mother ship".

Even, if they don't store the audio, just watching Bluetooth/Wifi floating around is sure to be plenty insightful. The concierge service probably ties into the hotel's back office systems. Easy peasy "Real Name" matching with room and sniffed devices. Even if they can't match locally, they have enough Googly bits on Android/iPhones to easily tie location tracking on the phones to room location. The device is a very effective Bluetooth/location beacon.

Experian says it recovered and deleted data on 24 million South Africans after giving it to random 'marketing' person

fuzzie

Re: Huh?

None of the items, on their own, is super secret, but in combination provides a very convenient identity-theft kit. The data included national ID numbers, telephone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, and such. All very useful tid bits if you want to open accounts or answer know-your-customer challenge questions.

fuzzie
Paris Hilton

But, but...

There are some more "fun" details missing from this coverage. In the Business Insider article it's mentioned how the breach^Wsnafu happened on 24 and 27 May, but that they only detected it 22 July. And not because of some regular security audit or such. No, they tried and failed to contract the person on their mobile. It then took until 18 August for the Anton Piller raid to be executed.

The most precious part is probably this

"The company also reiterated that it believes the breach was not that big a deal, as the "consumer information concerned was publicly available information"."

Robust Rust trust discussed after Moz cuts leave folks nonplussed: Foundation mulled for coding language

fuzzie

*cough* Servo *cough*

If, as has previously been suggested, Servo is also on the receiving end of the cuts, now might be a great time to move that into a foundation as well.

Having a reference quality browser engine implementation that's neither WebKit nor Chromium, is a distinct Greater Good(tm) for the industry,

fuzzie

Indeed, there was no sane way to lift and shift the entire code base over. A lot of Rust came from the CSS layout and JavaScript engines and more still in Servo, the Gecko-replacement. They've also done great work to wrap external library dependencies into WebAssembly sandboxes. Firefox, today, is build with several generations of languages and tools.

Mozilla signs fresh Google search deal worth mega-millions as 25% staff cut hits Servo, MDN, security teams

fuzzie

Re: Diversified to death?

Sure, that just underscores the issue.

Google really only has two incentives to giving them money: Firstly, Firefox has enough market share that Google earns back the "investment" in ad revenue. Secondly, they support Firefox to maintain a semblance of competition in the market. Without that, it's just Safari/WebKit and Chrome/Edge/Opera/Chromium. Electron apps and Qt's WebView/engine adds even more weight on the Chromium side.

I suspect the first case is marginal and they could pull the plug and only suffer a rounding error on ad income. On the second case, I'm not convinced a lop-sided three horse race is any more convincing than a two horse race. Both Apple and Google dominate their markets, because they own the (mobile) platforms. Desktop are becoming ever more niche.

fuzzie

Re: Diversified to death?

Unfortunately, barring a rich benefactor like Mark Shuttleworth started out with for Canonical, I'm at a loss how to fund crucial internet infrastructure and utilities. Canonical also suffered several diversification detours. At least they have service, support and other income streams.

There's just no money in a browser engine. We all understand that it's for the public and general good to have multiple engines, but it's impossible to compete with "free".

I'm a happy Firefox, through the dreadful years of Netscape 6 and the increased middle age spread before Quantum righted the ship some more. They produce great technology. The world will surely thank them for Rust for many more years.

I really want to see them keep being successful, but, as an industry, we really should be looking at how to ensure diversity in critical infrastructure and standards without stumbling from pay cheque to pay cheque. Some things are too important to be left to the "market"

fuzzie

Re: Baffling

Agreed, Servo and all the related browser engine projects is, to me, the crown jewels.

You can always pin your hopes on other people taking that and adding a browser around it, but that cut appears very short sighted. You can argue that if Microsoft with its deep pockets could not afford to develop and maintain a browser engine, Mozilla was always going to paddle upstream.

Bratty Uber throws tantrum, threatens to cut off California unless judge does what it says in driver labor rights row

fuzzie

Re: I’ll scweam and scweam and scweam until I’m sick!!

Likewise, in South Africa any driver providing public transport requires a public drivers licence. The car's insurance also has to be different due to public liability. Uber handily does not check that drivers meet these requirements. It becomes a cat and mouse game between the city impounding cars and Uber paying the fines and release fees for the drivers.

From drivers to which I've spoken, they can no longer make a reasonable income driving. There's an over-supply of drivers. The more clever drivers are like existing tour operators which use Uber hails as introductions to potential customers.

Granted, Uber have something with the app and the user experience and frankly a bit baffled why established taxi companies haven't joined that model.

Appeals judges toss out FTC win: What Qualcomm did to its rivals was 'hypercompetitive, not anticompetitive'

fuzzie

Re: Future standards

As I recall Qualcomm got their leg up by having some IP related to CDMA. They leveraged that into the standards process for 3G and later LTE. That's how they "suddenly" became a player. They leveraged that toe-hold with some, apparently "hypercompetative" packaged licensing deals of their Arm SoC and broadband modem combos. Soon they were setting quite pretty in the smartphone market and could throw around their weight even more. FRAND might be fine for the modem parts, but it might just be a case of "Yeah, so... err... sorry. We don't quite licence the modems separately, we can give you a good deal on the combo."

Germany bans Tesla from claiming its Autopilot software is potentially autonomous

fuzzie

Re: But...

My take is that the successful Musk ventures are the ones where he's not very hands-on, e.g. SpaceX, StarLink, Boring Company, Hyperloop. All those, especially the first ones, are highly specialised technical, some very niche, endeavours where BS just doesn't fly. None of those are directly consumer-facing either. Tesla is very much his life-dream project, hence he's very very involved.

Apple warns developers API tweaks will flow from style guide changes that remove non-inclusive language

fuzzie

Re: Old git

Nope, I believe "git" ever had a positive meaning. If you can by our friends at Oxford

* https://www.lexico.com/definition/git

"informal British: An unpleasant or contemptible person."

This highlights the more general issue of regional and international differences. There is not single universal standard "English". Many/some of the replacement phrases/words have often different or sometimes even negative or offensive meaning outside "American". Yes, many are quite universal,

Mozilla unveils $4.99/month subscription-based VPN, says it won't hang onto user logs

fuzzie

Endpoint stickiness

What would be of even greater utility would be if one could associate a specific VPN or VPN configuration with a container and/or web site and/or tabs.

I could then become even more elusive by funnelling, say, the facebook container's traffic through outer east Nowhere-land.

Apple's new WidgetKit: Windows Phone Live Tiles done right?

fuzzie

Re: Comparing Apples and Swiss Cheese

From the description it sounds more like the widgets from Symbian, as seen in Anna and Belle or Sony's souped up widgets on Xperia Android devices. Those all generally display mostly static or lazily updated snippets of information from an app (not Live Tile distraction levels). A given app may present different views and levels of detail, depending on the widget's size/shape. And the whole drag to resize demonstrated with other widgets flowing around it, is not exactly groundbreaking either.

Franco-German cloud framework floated to protect European's data from foreign tech firms slurpage

fuzzie

Re: "Europe has no notable operating system developers"

They seem to have also forgotten the other plucky ones: Symbian and SailfishOS. Though, yes, to be fair... Europe does come up with good tech, they just appear to lack the multinational take-over-the-world drive/ambition which the US startups have as Gene 0. Also, Europe can't market/hype itself out of a wet paper bag which makes it hard to compete with any US company where PR/marketing appears to be second nature.

What would be great is if Gaia-X styled itself on the GSMA, i.e. provide the broad technical standards and such that would allow smaller/niche players to build compatible offerings, e.g. a small company might specialise in niche compute offerings like FPGA/GPU/OpenCL/etc. And if the platform allows accounts, services, data to be truly portable, think SIM-card, mobile number portability, "roaming" and single-bill, they could be onto something.

Rich Communication Services: Nobody uses it, nobody wants it, but analysts reckon it's on the verge of a breakthrough

fuzzie
Meh

An Aternal Quest?

I've pretty much lost hope we'd ever have a truly global messaging standard. For a while XMPP was aiming for it, but it lost itself in a pick'n'mix assortment of options/add-ons/extensions. That doesn't mean it hasn't been successful behind the scenes, Initial Facebook chat, Whatsapp, Google Chat/hangouts (whatever the flavour at the time) used it, and even interoperated with third party clients. For a while at least. The GSMA has been gagging for a "social"/"messaging" platform for ages to make operators feel non-dumb-pipe. Remember Wired Village (from the days of WAP)?

I pinned my hopes on Signal Protocol being the newer, better XMPP and, again, while it's been successful in underpinning Signal Messenger, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, it still hasn't broken the vertical silos/walled gardens of commercial interest. Google's "generous" offer of RCS at least brought some federation across operators, but totally missed the boat on being properly secured and end-to-end encrypted. Something to which operators and governments are still rabidly allergic.

Messaging platforms definitely seem to have a generational clique brand aspect to them, i.e. there are the hot, hip and happening ones and the ones your parents or work/college/institution use. None of those make it easy to have work/life/social splits with the same interface. And people rush where the latest emojis, stickers and such are, cf. the swing onto Telegram and TikTok. I'm sure there's little reason the latter cannot use stock, standard back end protocols, besides the walled garden. In the new cloudy world, perhaps what we need is messaging-as-a-service so anyone can spin up their own, add their own special sauce interface bits to the client, but at least have common, at least technically interoperable back ends. We have the protocols.

Uber, Lyft struck by sue-ball, no, sue-meteorite in California after insisting their apps' drivers aren't employees

fuzzie

Re: Meanwhile (according to the BBC)...

There's a really good and thorough analysis of their business/financial model in this article

* https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/can-uber-ever-deliver-part-one-understanding-ubers-bleak-operating-economics.html#_edn4

It comes down to the "Get big. Fast" mantra. Use the venture capital to get as large as you possibly can, offer steep discounted rates subsidised by the VC investors. Keep that up long enough, and all the local competition is starved and you're left with the entire market. At which point, prices can be "adjusted" to be more "cost following".

Where the hell Huawei? It should be a bit easier to tell now the AppGallery has its first proper navigation app

fuzzie

Re: "utterly feature-crippled, only supporting offline navigation"

The offline maps/navigation saved my butt big time once. I was travelling, and SIM roaming wasn't working. Google Maps, specifically, but even other Google apps with vague location features all were stuck waiting for location services. The fused location bits seem to require GSM data and Wifi, despite having GPS, to work.

With Here WeGo I could use the pre-loaded maps, on-device search and the GPS pin location to get around. Depending on city, you even get public transport/transit navigation all offline.

Admittedly, it's points of interest aren't as up to date as Google's, but then Here doesn't slurp the world for a living. Fun fact: Here provides 80% of in-care navigation systems so they're not that niche, just less visible than Google and Apple.

fuzzie

Re: Here Wego crippled on android phones

That's happened to me, occasionally, but can't say it's ever borked itself permanently. Usually fixed by killing the app and restarting in. The cases where I experienced it were like driving out of basement parking, which had no GPS signal, into the open and there it seemed to not realise GPS had become available.

Consumer reviewer Which? finds CAN bus ports on Ford and VW, starts yelling 'Security! We have a problem...'

fuzzie

Did I read this correctly that their issue with the VW was that the could remove the radar sensor?

Did they least try and do something more interesting like replace it with a malicious one or one that spewed out bad/faulty measurements? Being able to remove a sensor doesn't seem like such a 'leet hack or huge vulnerability.

Commit to Android codebase suggests Google may strong-arm phone makers into using 'seamless' partitioned updates

fuzzie

My past few Sony handsets, primarily after they adopted the Project Treble model, received updates every other months. Nearly like clockwork. It's easy for Google to maintain a monthly release cycle for Nexus/Pixel. They only have three/four variants at any given time, maybe ten/twelve across the entire support window. Other manufactures may have ten/twelve localizations or market versions per model.

Generally, even after two years, despite the OEM's best efforts, the updates from Google start to dry up and they're left hanging. Google doesn't appear to buy into the idea that people are (at least wanting to) keep handsets for longer. The Android hardware requirements are often tweaked just enough for newer versions to require hardware updates.

Aside: Of course, this requirement could be aimed squarely at Samsung, which has been the main hold out on going Project Treble. They also go a fair bit of kernel/low-level tweakin, cf. Dex/Knox, which Google may not appreciate.

fuzzie

Re: I think we need some vendor-agnostic hardware abstraction...

Project Treble added exactly some of that.

It standardised and abstracted the hardware layer interface and allows the OS to be upgraded for longer and keep working with frozen-in-time binary blobs/drivers from the hardware vendors. Qualcomm has habit of declaring an SoC end-of-life barely 18 months after its initial general availability. This often made it impossible for handset manufacturers to ship updates past that point, even if they wanted to.

'I give fusion power a higher chance of succeeding than quantum computing' says the R in the RSA crypto-algorithm

fuzzie

Re: Forgotten what?

The whole point is that the right is not a blanket "I don't like this. Take it off the internet". The problem is that, search engines specifically, are not clever enough. They aren't nuanced enough to construct and proper and accurate time line to realise that the very newsworthy arrest you experienced ten years ago was followed by the case being thrown out or never prosecuted.

Many jurisdictions also have convictions expire after a time, once the fin has been paid or time served. The "right to be forgotten" doesn't mean all this magically disappears from history, it just means that search engines have to be much more careful about what they present in search results and, additionally, have to conform to local custom, law and (cultural) standards/expectations, e.g. do you consider the legal/justice system to be punitive or reformative? The answer to that will often determine which side of the fence you're sitting on the right to be forgotten.

Apple's tailored SwiftUI makes coding Mac and iOS apps RAD again

fuzzie

There's also Ye Olde Qt QML that marries declarative with C++ and/or JavaScript. Granted, non-C++ bindings like Python, Ruby or even Rust have varying levels of quality.

* https://doc.qt.io/qt-5/qmlfirststeps.html

The SwiftUI declarative examples even look eerily familiar.

It's 2019, and a PNG file can pwn your Android smartphone or tablet: Patch me if you can

fuzzie
Pint

Call-out to Sony (was: Re: Oh well)

Gotta give credit where's it's due. I have a Sony Xperia (XZ Premium from June 2017) and a week or so ago got the firmware update to the January 2019 security patch level. I started on Nougat/7.1, then upgraded to Oreo/8.0 and now on Pie/9. It never lagged security patches by more than about two months. My previous Sony handsets also got regular updates, up to and sometimes past two years from launch period.

Sony also publishes publishes build instructions and newer kernels for devices long past their two year support cycle for third parties who want/need to make custom builds

* https://developer.sony.com/develop/open-devices/get-started/supported-devices-and-functionality/

* https://developer.sony.com/develop/open-devices/downloads/software-binaries

Qualcomm lifts lid on 7nm Arm-based octo-core Snapdragon 855 chip for next year's expensive 5G Androids

fuzzie

Re: I'm Confused...

I have a Sony Xperia XZ Premium with 4K, ~800ppi, HDR screen. Sure, it's overkill for most cases. By default only select (generally the video/gallery) ones run at 4K, the rest stick to 1080p so no noticeable battery impact. Professional photographers love the 4K for pixel peeping on the go. Just select Professional/sRGB mode.

Even at 1080p "effective" resolution, the 800ppi dot pitch means small details, like serifs on text, flourishes on graphics, or detailing in notification bar icons, look painted. The same for e-Reader pages or text heavy web content. It seems to cross the same uncanny valley we experienced when laser printers crossed ~600dpi and print "grain" just disappeared.

tl;dr: Yes, mostly an indulgence, but a very satisfying one :)

Time for a little bet on Google? App-building framework Flutter now fitted for more than phones – desktops, too

fuzzie

Re: Thanks, but no thanks!

And people always seem to forget Qt :(

It's been doing cross-many-plaforms (desktop/mobile/embedded) for ages. It's featured hardware accelerated rendering even in the Symbian days, have native-ish look'n'feel and loads of language bindings. The native-look frameworks generate big update frenzies when a platform does a make-over and often don't honour customizations/themes/shortcuts. That's the price of portability, sadly.

If Google really wanted to add more cats to the pigeon coop they should just standardise of WebAssembly as executable format to unify(ish) the mobile and web deployment targets.

PS: We definitely appear to be in an era with a glut of new programming languages :(

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