* Posts by fuzzie

241 posts • joined 1 Feb 2012

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Ubuntu-on-a-phone crowd fix Google account issues in new Touch update

fuzzie

Re: Sounds a tad behind

If you're in areas of weak coverage or spotty charging options, e.g. music festivals, it's well worth turning your phone into a "feature phone". Switch it to 2G-only and you still get calls, SMS, MMS and avoid the battery-draining signal strength hunting that goes along with spotty 3G/4G coverage.

And, because 2G is a long-solved chipset and power problem, you get retro style stand-by times like a week or more. Sure, not an option where 2G has/is being discontinued, but sill widely useful.

It takes more clicks to reject their cookies than accept them, so France fines Facebook and Google over €200m

fuzzie

Re: Don't touch my session cookies!

You do call out a good point that's often lost in the noise. The regulations does not require the cookie consent banner if you use any cookies, only if you use cookies which could be viewed as tracking and/or storing personally identifiable information. Simply session cookies or retaining your cookie preferances are perfectly fine and doesn't need a pop-up.

Of course, many companies are acting very passive aggressive about this and making the experience worse for the users, presumably in order to "show them how bad these laws are".

fuzzie

Re: Oh thank god.

Lots of sites seems to use OneTrust to present their cookie validation dialogue. And the arms-long list of partners and vendors you mention is probably the list from IAB (some advertising conglomerate). That's like three hundred or so "partners" all claiming legitimate interest and you often have to go unselect them individually. Some one should just slap down OneTrust for not following the symmetrical UX rule.

Qualcomm doesn't fear custom chips – in a weird way its modems matter more

fuzzie

Buddy buddy

I'm not quite convinced their modems are that much better. I believe it's more a case of a very cosy relationships with the mobile carriers in the US. They've been running a very profitable oligopoly there. Qualcomm was made by their CDMA tech and patents which made its way into 3G and subsequently LTE/5G. I would be very surprised if the US carriers just aren't keen to qualify many different modems. And, as was shown in the Qualcomm competition case, they force bundles, i.e. "You want our modem, you have to use our main SoC as well". That's how they've been siting very pretty pushing out mostly lightly-tweaked Arm reference designs.

And, related to Mr Coward's comment above, Qualcomm are very aggressive at end-of-lifing products which makes it really hard for ODMs/OEMs to offer any longer term support for devices.

Zuck didn't invent the metaverse, but he's started a fight to control it

fuzzie
Unhappy

Low hanging fruit first

Zuck is not totally oblivious to the objections he might face from the other incumbent Big Techs. That's why he's been winding his way in through the back door. Everyone's been scrambling for the next billion users, hence the stampede and continual love-ins in India (and to a lesser extent Africa). Things like zero-rated facebooks/whatsapp access gets the unconnected online. And with heavily-subsided phones, for many of these, facebooks/whatsapp become "The Internet" much like AOL and CompuServe used to be in the dial-up world. They've already integrated with India's national payment platform. You can do c2c and c2b (and probably b2b) through it. No need for pesky EMV or Libra/Diem. And facebook Pay is happening. More recently they've been carpet bombing businesses to get them onto WhatsApp business. They'd host the entire customer support, etc infrastructure for free and charge only per message. That's a very compelling proposition. I've seen many business now, even the large established corporates, lead with WhatsApp contact details. Sure, they promises end-to-end encryption of messages, but WhatsApp doesn't care about that. They score boat loads of meta data about who's talking/shopping with/etc who. Frankly, they might have/get a better view of the economy and its networks than the tax authorities.

tl;dr: The magic bullet here is the network effect. And building that network is always easier from the large "wild west" markets were they have little competition and relatively weak legislation and regulators.

Asia's 'superapps' bundle ride-share, food delivery, even financial services – and they're beating big tech

fuzzie

Re: I'm starting to believe that we need some regulation

My underlying assumption with fair-access data sets is that they are suitably anonymised. We have pretty clever ways to do that already, be it cryptographic envelopes or homomorphic encryption. That, of course, still requires someone to set the standards, enforce their application and hunt down and slap the inevitable violators. And all for the sake of a very elusive and hard-to-quantify ideal. We already know how well politicians and the electorate handle abstract notions.

fuzzie

"Group of Companies"

This is exactly the direction I see Facebook heading. They also realised people aren't too keen on one app doing it all. Whether that's for privacy reasons, I suspect not. I suspect it's much more about the illusion of choice, i.e. if I don't like X any more, I can move to Y. And I only do it for that single use case, not upend my entire life, i.e. swapping GMaps for Waze or for WeGo is easier than switching Android to/from Apple.

What Facebook is now doing is making all the connections behind the scenes, out of sight. Branding has already changed: InstaGram, WhatsApp "from facebook". And more and more things like events and marketplace and payments and business-hosting, are added to existing apps. Other offerings might become separate apps, but behind the scenes is one humongous shared data model into which and from which they all feed. In the mean time people continue to think they're exercising choice.

I'm starting to believe that we need some regulation that says if you've accumulated more than X amount of data regarding more than Y percent of the population, you must make that data available to third parties on an equal access/non-disciminatory manner. It introduces a return-on-investment calculation compared to "owning it all" and levels the playing field for new entrants into the market. Also players can survive in niche markets, because the data for their niche still has market value.

Arm teases its GPU that will follow next year's graphics processor tech

fuzzie

Arm Consortium

As the subjects says. I believe Arm would be better suited to be owned by a mix of companies in a consortium. A bit like what happened when HERE maps spun out of Nokia and is now owned by a disparate bunch, but all who have a vested interest in an open platform for mapping and logistics. And none of them have large enough, controlling interest to dominate, unlike, e.g. OpenSymbian and Nokia

> https://www.here.com/company/investors

A similar setup could work just as well for a group of interested parties with a vested interest in a neutral CPU architecture provider. The current Arm architecture licensees are probably a good starting point of that group, but I can see it span anything from the mobile phone companies to IoT through home automation, etc. You name it. And draw up the charter that the consortium continues to be managed, steered by the current crowd so it doesn't devolve into a W3G or other tail-wagging-the-dog world.

Dishing up the goods: Square Kilometre Array moves out of the theoretical and into the contractual

fuzzie

These might be a good places to start

> https://www.skatelescope.org/newsandmedia/outreachandeducation/skawow/hpc/

> https://www.sarao.ac.za/vacancies/

Texas cops sue Tesla claiming 'systematic fraud' in Autopilot after Model X ploughed into two parked police cars

fuzzie

Re: Yes it is Tesla's fault

That's a hugely important point you make. The steady decrease in driving-related fatalities over the past decades have not been because humans magically became much better at driving. It's because we've learnt how to built better and safer roads, improve signage, made cars safer and make it easier, sometimes trivial for humans to do the right thing not get themselves or others killed.

We're now entering the uncanny valley where cars appear to be better than they really are at self-driving and the responsibility is on the manufacturer and car to ensure the human is always fully aware of the limitations. We lob large sue balls at companies about "water proof" vs " water resistant", but somehow in this case the distinction is not important enough.

One-size-fits-all chargers? What a great idea! Of course Apple would hate it

fuzzie

Re: Spec?

There's even a spec for it already. I notice Apple is on the committee. I'm quite sure they could leverage that to ensure they remain in control of which USB-C cables they will allow to charge their devices

* https://www.usb.org/document-library/usb-authentication-specification-rev-10-ecn-and-errata-through-january-7-2019

Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa test cross-border crypto-payments

fuzzie

Experiments expanding internationally

The SARB (South African Reserve Bank) has a Fintech unit which has been running various experiments and built proofs-of-concept over the past few years. Crypto currencies are just a small part of it. One of the experiments investigated inter-bank settlements, i.e between various commercial banks and the reserve bank itself. Subsequent projects looked at bond settlements. They were looking at scalability and interoperability across diverse on-prem and different cloud-based platforms.

* https://www.resbank.co.za/en/home/quick-links/fintech

* https://www.ledgerinsights.com/south-africa-launches-second-cbdc-trial-central-bank-digital-currency/

* https://www.itweb.co.za/content/KPNG8v8dZW2v4mwD

* https://www.itweb.co.za/content/Gb3Bw7W8n98M2k6V

My understanding of those new announcement is expanding those projects across into an international sphere, i.e. across legal and regulatory frameworks and between different currency domains.

Biden order calls for net neutrality, antitrust action, ISP competition – and right to repair your own damn phone

fuzzie

Re: "if you buy a product, you own it"

South Africa has recently introduced legislation to curb that practice. Manufacturers can no longer demand cars be serviced only through their anointed channels. It spreads liability around a bit, but at least it means third party service, repairs and parts can no longer be deemed sub-standard by default and the manufacturers will have to justify rejecting warranty claims.

Audacity users stick the knife – and fork – in to strip audio editor of unwanted features

fuzzie

Audiance

Audio + Ambiance ?

As another vendor promises 3 years of Android updates, we ask: How long should mobile devices receive support?

fuzzie

I've you are, as am I, a fan of headphone jack and SD cards, you should look at the Sony Xperia range. They had a brief moment of insanity when they removed the headphone jack, but it's back. Both those items have been nearly identifying features of the range. Add in that they've been really good open source supporters and listed second/third after Google for timeous software updates.

fuzzie

Re: Android Automotive?

See also Android TV and Google TV. Same thing.

The more ephemeral consumer software gets backed into medium-life consumer goods, the more urgently we need either minimum support standards and/or right to repair legislation so unbrick old(er) devices. I'd argue the software support cycle should at least match the hardware support, but preferably the parts supply cycle.

Does Samsung want you to buy new phones? Asking 'cos Galaxies now get four years of security updates

fuzzie

Re: Pointless

The last few years' Xperias has had a "battery care" feature that does predictive charging. It looks at when you usually go to bed or plug it into the charger and when you get up. It'll charge up to ~80% initially and leave over night to top up to 100% about half an hour before your get up. They claim that doubles the battery's life span. My current phone is getting to two years old and I've not noticed any decrease in battery life/capacity. It also monitors your use during the day and will warn you if it looks like you'll run out before your anticipated charge time so you can enable stronger power saving features if you need.

ThinkPad T14s AMD Gen 1: Workhorse that does the business – and dares you to push that red button

fuzzie

Re: AMD version of Thinkad ISNT!

The T14/T14s variants are 14" and don't have a numeric keypad. The 15" T15/T15s models do have numeric keypads. What frustrates me about the 15" models is that the trackpad is centred in the middle of the main keyboard. I end up pushing the keyboard to the right to centre the main keyboard in front of me. Ended up with nasty RSI in my right shoulder due to repeatedly reaching past the numeric pad to operate the mouse. Now mousing left-handed, because compact desk keyboard seem to now be a thing. Also very awkward to balance a 15" on the occasion you might have to rest it on you lap.

fuzzie

Re: 16GB LPDDR4x soldered.

The reviewed model is the *s model, T14s. It's slightly more ultra-booky/streamlined and hence more of a stock configuration. Go for the non-s T14/T15 model and you have mixed ram, some soldered, some user upgradable. I have 16GB base/soldered + 8GB; can upgrade to the 16GB + 16/32GB. The non-s models also have wired Ethernet and HDMI. Battery, and many other parts, are user-replaceable. No special screws required, and conveniently documented in the public Hardware Manual.

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.

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