* Posts by Mr.Bill

50 posts • joined 11 Feb 2015

Visual Studio gains some go-faster stripes for Android emulation



"Having struggled with the performance of the Android emulator in the past"

Well, I don't think you've tried the android emulator in quite a while then. Runs as smooth as my phone, on a circa 2012 sandy bridge PC (Linux, anyway). After an initial boot of a fresh image, it from then boots in 10 seconds, never mind if snapshot is enabled.

The key issue back then was that they were inexplicably defaulting to use emulated ARM system images, which of course bogged it down x10 right off the bat. The excuse was that they just didn't think anyone wouldn't just want to debug on a device and the emulator was completely an afterthought.

Android devs prepare to hit pause on ads amid Google GDPR chaos



If the best they can do on "targeting" is put up ads for the things I had already looked at and bought a week ago from amazon or ebay, (other then good old search based ads) - the good news is its clear that Google is using its knowledge primarily just to give me great services making my "data" work for me. The idea by some "privacy watchdogs" that perhaps my google home or phone is surreptitiously listening to me for "secret" words they hear to advertise against is ludicrous.

Qualcomm, Microsoft drag apps for Win-10-on-Arm into 64-bit world


Re: Dumb

Its represents a big part oof the frustration that MS isn't focusing on just making the traditional Windows professional desktop OS on "big iron" machines the best it can be. All these years of diversion, compromising it on desperately trying to continue to "have it all" i.e. casual consumers and the windows 8 situation of not realizing the inevitable that average people only used windows because it was on PCs in the stores and they wanted to get on the internet, so they bought these machines as the prices became affordable. Now the smartphone came along and they should have realized along time ago that the PC had only been embraced by consumers because it was the only way onto the internet, the true "killer app". Other than that PCs were not an appropriate "device" for them. Those of us who used computers pre-internet, because we loved them as a tech tool and what makes them tick, are again the ones left using them as average consumers have moved on.

Apple somehow plucks iPad sales out from 13-quarter death spiral


Re: Or maybe...

as always it depends on your definition of "the end of" or when something is "dead". I could laugh and say the typewriter hasn't died, since they are still in use. Its more like - the end of its market growth.


pretty much a no brainer

The nexus 7 had been dead for a while, a kid took over my chromebook, noticed the 2017 iPad on sale for $279 at best buy over here in the states.

Microsoft's new Surface laptop defeats teardown – with glue


Re: That's Surface crossed off my Christmas list, then!

Right - there's no denying its nice in your off time to use devices which don't require an IT department to properly maintain. Its just there was no hope for RT to be successful. The chromebook does get monthly or so updates but the worst you'll see is a 5 second boot up, when it would have been instantaneous from standby.

DeX Station: Samsung's Windows-killer is ready for prime time


Re: I think you mean:

Come on. There's no shortage of devices to run "GNU based OS with Linux kernel" on. Who actually does anything with them beyond the install phase - "look ma, linux is running on this <fill in the blank>!". Just get a raspberry PI and leave the dex alone.

Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files


Re: a crowning moment of AWESOME!

The masses should by now no longer be using PCs as a personal connected device - only used in professional/business environments properly locked down and maintained by IT. (not that that would have changed the outcome of this particular situation)

Thankfully the masses seem to have moved on as shown by the drop in PC sales over the years and prevalence of safer devices like tablets, smartphones and chromebooks.

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0



"Gnuinos, Refracta, Exe GNU/Linux, Nelum-dev1, Star, heads, good-life-linux and Crowz."

The sheer # of obscure distros. I'm wondering how many have essentially 0 regular users outside of the developer(s) themselves. They use the distro to develop the user-less distro. At best many probably have users who install, test, wipe and move on to the next in the distrowatch list, for fun.

Qualcomm's Windows-capable silicon will land later rather than sooner


massive legacy software base

don't forget its 32-bit-only. I suspect this is an extremely limited niche of practical usefulness, on top of the other obvious potential issues. At work, where I *need* windows at all, I am down to one 32-bit legacy style application that is the Keil uVision IDE (I assume). What are the chances USB debugging will even work on it on ARM, and why would I bother.


Re: It wasn't the hardware/cpu

They already blew the trial and error budget on win phone, win 8 and RT.

Hyper-V guest escape, drive-by PDF pwnage, Office holes, SMB flaws – and more now patched


just assume its always vunerable

I use a setup where I have two machines - my main machine is Ubuntu and I remote desktop to my windows 7 machine for windows only stuff, so its semi-seamless between the two. I only use my browsers on the ubuntu side and try my best to not do any internet access from the windows side and avoid inserting strange USB sticks, etc, since my windows work involves a lot of USB debuggers and devices, so I can't just put glue in all the ports. Not that I assume Ubuntu is not vulnerable to anything but odds are much lower, if nothing else than from relative obscurity. I do periodic windows backups and git source control to a local linux server, to avoid ransomware.

YouTube TV will be huge. Apple must respond


Re: Monopoly abuse potential...

Every company forces stuff down throats. I will say we are much better off having chrome as the "majority" browser, and a company like google behind it - with an interest in the best internet, than MS with IE.

I hope its successful because if they just could get a few more channels on board, I'd be on it.


Re: Once you have accustomed people to watch things for free...

its pretty well understood by now anything on the internet you don't explicitly pay for is ad-supported and that the internet would not exist without ads. I don't think we need to explain the use of "free" every time its used in this context and warn everyone.


Re: Apple has to do precisely nothing

has Google closed supposedly walking dead google+, google talk hangouts, youtube itself, youtube red, play music, youtube music, allo, duo, gmail, inbox, play movies, books. Sure you can point to some things it shut down too, like, Spaces? Not exactly something on this scale. What else has closed in the last few years. Wave? - quite a while ago.

Microsoft slaps Apple Gatekeeper-like controls on Windows 10: Install only apps from store


to each his own

"I always consider Google Chrome OS as pointless"

the full internet, done about as securely as possible for the masses, with zero maintenance, is useless? I'd bet 99.9% of them don't want such 3rd party applications as you mention that might make it "less pointless."

Microsoft's device masterplan shows it's still fighting Apple


Re: The PC market is nearly dead

" if anyone makes a serious go of Android-based keyboard devices "

we will see how play store on chromeOS works out, starting pretty much now. But they are playing a long game with it. No traditional computer is going to sell like crazy these days.


Re: The future for MS is grim

use a chromebook/box and remote desktop to a desktop computer (in your basement or something) for when you need full applications. If you game, then use the computer directly - it won't kill you once in a while. I don't know why we expect one device to do it all to where we have to fully "switch" to one thing or another.

Qualcomm, Microsoft plot ARM Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs, tablets, phones


Re: Software Updates

Cyanogenmod always ports in the monthly google patch within a few days after google's release. You'd be in full control that way. The community keeps many devices supported for years and years. I have a 5 year old galaxy nexus running marshmallow, with latest monthly patch, but they are reaching the limits of what can be done in 1GB RAM so we will see if nougat support will come or the end of the line.

By default cyanogenmod does not install any google apps, so your concerns about mining are alleviated, at least by google anyway. However you put yourself at risk for more malicious behavior because you wouldn't have access to the play store, instead resorting to 3rd party apk stores. Amazon is a safe option but has a more limited selection.


Re: When a phone is not a phone...

but then its why would you want to run *real* software on a phone in the first place? And just because it can *run* doesn't mean its anywhere usable. Even if certain select 32-bit win32 emulated programs appear to run OK in a demo is still a far cry from what people would expect to run and perform well in the real world. Even plugged into an HDMI monitor, you still have to contend with relatively wimpy processing, slow eMMC storage and limited RAM, probably loads of weird bugs and problems due to emulation. And even then its "why?". I can get a decent far more powerful PC box for $500 all there an ready to go assuming I have the monitor mouse and keyboard that would be needed for a smartphone computer anyway. No fumbling with docks, etc. The simplicity and increased security of smartphones/ipads/chromebooks is a *benefit* not a limitation, as far as most average people are concerned.

Lenovo exec: Nope, not building Windows Phones


Re: Optional

its a WAY better situation with choice of two equally competitive platforms in smartphones vs decades of windows PC 95% domination - being basically the only option (with windows phone the option equating to mac or desktop linux). I am not sure how in heck someone cannot find a great option between the myraid android based (yes, some with direct updates, windows phone would do no better) or iPhones, and why they see windows phone as some sort of better option - the "good guys" or something.

Google Pixel: Devices are a dangerous distraction from the new AI interface



I always question the "everyone is sitting around impatiently waiting for android upgrades" thing. I've used samsung because they've always had the important user facing features first, (not that they were always fully baked). What has android introduced over the last few years, that samsung and others hadn't had for years, that weren't internal OS improvements going forward, or that couldn't be added via play services or support libraries. For example the key user noticeable "feature" for android 5 was a painfully long boot time after a cache wipe or upgrade. Also I can think of the generally unnoticed google on tap, and the potential for a bit longer battery life. Eventually they introduced native IR support which they didn't use on nexus, and the IR phones have continued to disappear since.

Linus Torvalds says ARM just doesn't look like beating Intel


Re: "It's about time governments got involved and forced the market open."

The free market is a powerful force, but must be kept in check over the long haul with regulation. Unregulated, the market forces inevitably lead to negative long term consequences, from the natural trend toward cost savings/profit earnings, that goes unnoticed until things are in a bad state. I'm thinking of the mortgage crisis here. Industries that generate pollution, because its cheaper to just dump it, so regulation and laws are required. FCC requirements for RF interference. We need similar regulations of security and updatability for anything put on the internet. It will cost us more, however. If things got bad enough, eventually capitalism gets labelled "evil", the root of all our problems, and some commie dictator rides in, like cuba, venezuela, and then you get to see what real bad is. I'll take capitalism and a good dose of regulation, thanks.

Google AdSense abused to distribute Android spyware


no additional clicks

Its both in the security companies and news sites best interests to pick up on these non-stories. "no additional clicks" - right, maybe to download it. There are always multiple clicks and warnings to be able to install it.

Android Mew-ware, I choose you: Code nasty poses as Pokemon GO


Re: Why I own an iPhone

why -- because when you track down some dodgy apk file on some porn site that your browser warns you about, you wouldn't be able to resist trying install it, and resist clicking through several screens of actions required and warnings? You need your phone to simply not be able to give you that choice?


"Mind those downloads from non-official app stores"

Thank you for at least getting that out of the way in the first sentence - not that I was expecting this wasn't the case. Unless its a drive-by pwning or some big deal with the play store itself, is it about time that we can just skip this sort of useless "information" altogether? Come on guys, stoop a bit higher than the other sites.

Get ready for Google's proprietary Android. It's coming – analyst


Re: Hopefully leads to devices getting patched

Even apple only seems to support for up to 4 years, but by then everyone is complaining of bugs and poor performance of the latest iOS on the old hardware. I don't think apple patches outside of the current major version, but I could be wrong. Nexus patches for at least 3 years, with major OS update for 2.

Apple needs silver bullet to slay App Store's escaped undead – study


not quite

"The mobile security firm further argues that Google's Verify Apps feature addresses malware, but it can't stop all malicious code from running, especially since security patching on the platform is somewhat lagging"

Generally with malware we are talking about apps that were granted permissions by the user but abuse them. This is specifically looked for by the Verify Apps feature and can be updated at the play store level via GMS.

Android security patching has to do with OS level updates to "exploit" "virus" type bugs that typically give root access and then of course, all bets are off. An example was stagefright. Google also looks for apps that could take advantage of unpatched root exploits but again, the GMS verify apps/play store can look for this behavior too.

The biggest potential issue involves receiving and 'running' files such as media files (stagefright) that are specifically crafted to take advantage of an exploit, not really play store apps. Even there, typically there are other layers of mitigation (explicit and implicit) that make affecting significant #s of even unpatched users still quite unlikely.

Music's value gap? Follow the money trail back to Google


it comes down to this

Since the advent of quality digital technology including storage, reproduction and distribution globally essentially for free, infinite times, simply means the music industry simply can not expect to be paid for each copy of the data required to reproduce a song. Blame digital technology and the internet if you want.

The arrangement of the bits and bytes only needs to be paid for once and thanks to the same technology, great music can be created relatively inexpensively. The data itself is _physically_ worthless, sand in the sahara, doesn't matter if its all 0xFFs or forms actual audio (or video) samples.

We used to use vinyl, tape, CDs etc because that was the only way to get the data into the hands of people to reproduce the music for on demand playback. That music turned the worthless plastic disks into something that could be marked way up in price - like turning worthless sand into expensive glassware. That just is not the case anymore. No matter how much you plead to the public to pay $15 for the album "for the good of the artist", most will not - they don't _need_ to. Just like most will not "go green" just because "its good for the environment to".

The sooner they view the bits and bytes as essentially an advertisement to build up the value of the musicians/performers themselves, and get people to purchase merchandise and go to shows - things that you actually have no choice to pay for, the better.

Microsoft rethinks the Windows application platform one more time


yes, quite dumb

"There are 16 million Win32 or .NET apps in the world. When we built the Universal Windows Platform, we left them behind. And that was dumb,"

looking at my taskbar right now, I see about 24 applications open, and every one is a so-called "legacy application". Eclipse Mars, Android Studio, Atmel Studio, Chrome, Firefox, Saleae logic, Keil uVIsion, Wireshark, Putty, etc. How the funk did they "leave them behind". This is what I've been thinking for years, how can they be so blind? These are the reason I am typing on windows right now - the only reason.

Hmm, taking a look at those - only two are windows-only.

Bash on Windows. Repeat, Microsoft demos Bash on Windows


Re: Embrace....

You just have to follow the $$$, the business model, and that always dictates what the company will do. If feeding the sick and poor maximized revenue, MS would look like saints. No one has some evil plot planned per-se, it just ends up that way. Now that azure is more profitable than windows, that explains their actions at this point.

Ransomware now using disk-level encryption



"Ransomware variants will encrypt desktops and phones"

what are the phones that have had issues with this ransomware?

New iOS malware targets stock iPhones, spreads via App Store


attack vector

the whole post here is about how the malware gets on the phone - with no description of what it would do when on a phone, only stated here as "malicious behaviors". Fine, this is exactly what we should care about - the attack vector.

With android, the attack vector is, 99.999% of the time (the only other time in memory- stagefright) - jump through hoops and ignore warnings to install an apk file downloaded from a russian darkweb porn site or something. But those posts are used obviously for clickbait, glossing that over and going into an in depth account of just what it would do to the victim is always explained in gory detail. Completely irrelevant waste of page space, really.

So, leaving out the description of the maliciousness, the equivalent story here for android would much less exciting - a sentence or two basically "when the user installs the apk from the porn site, malicious behaviors occur".

Android Xbot trojan poses as banking app, nicks your login creds


forgot something

just to save you from having to read the source to get the only thing that matters at all, but is not apparently important enough for the author here it is:

"We are not clear how Xbot spreads in the wild [ed. stupid individuals]. However, using VirusTotal we found samples that were hosted on the below URLs over the past several months:






This Android Trojan steals banking creds and wipes your phone


"If installed"

and how might that happen? The only relevant bit of info is "how does it get installed". Isn't that the whole point of security?!?. Ill tell you - IT DOESN'T.

This whole article might as well be shortened to:

"if installed, yada yada".

Canonical reckons Android phone-makers will switch to Ubuntu


Re: Too late for Ubuntu

google now is absolutely NOT being shoved down any throat. Its probably the default launcher with nexus phones, but you have to go out of your way to get it running on most other phones. Siri and cortana are being shoved down throats.

With ubuntu and the unity launcher I was suprised to find various search lenses on by default such as Amazon.

Two-thirds of Android users vulnerable to web history sniff ransomware


not again

"The malicious app is not found on Google Play...users who have Google Play installed are protected from this app by Verify Apps even when downloading it outside of Google Play."

If you are going to post these sorts of scary stories from the security companies, can you at least mention that, as always, you cannot get the malware from the play store, the only place that 99.999% of 1st world users get apps from?

Updated Android malware steals voice two factor authentication


As usual

the "once the malware is installed on the victim’s device" disclaimer. Its like "once the robbers are inside fort knox...". Conveniently skipping the slight bit about how to get in there in the first place. This is the whole point of security. A chimpanzee can write a malware.

A little reminder that the reason android malware exists is because of large numbers of non-google play store phones from china and other 3rd world countries, and the little bit about that "allow unknown sources" checkbox.

T-Mobile US boss John Legere calls bulls*** on video throttling claims


tmobile customer here

They say you can turn off "binge on" but I haven't tried. Personally, Mr legere is probably a big a*hole, but he has been shaking up things and it has seemed to be benefiting competition overall.

I actually like the idea of limiting everyone to 480p video, I hate the idea of me or others burning through the shared bandwidth with 1080p video on a tiny smartphone. Previously I'd usually have to start a video, go into settings and change it to something lower. (this is for youtube, which currently still isn't part of binge on but they gave me unlimited data anyway, for another year at least). Its not like we are talking home broadband service here. There's probably only so many towers they can put up, mobes they can service in a given area.

When he says "not throttling" he seems to mean in the sense of the usual throttle to 100Kb when you've used up your high speed data quota.

Windows 10 phones are not dead yet. Acer, Alcatel OneTouch just made some new ones


Re: Why Windows Phones? Security and learning curve.

"The impossibility of getting security fixes for mid-range and budget priced Android phones is going to drive those consumers..."

Typically such consumers are blissfully unaware - and even unpatched mainstream smartphone it is unlikely that significant users will experience a hardship at all or directly identifiable as their smartphone unpatched vulnerability being the culprit, to where they will realize they need to go to another smartphone type. In the case of a tech literate consumer of budget or used phones like myself, I choose to use a nexus phone or an used phone running cynaogenmod that, once installed, is super easy to do a monthy update of, with the latest AOSP patches.

Got a Nexus? Google has five critical Android security fixes for you


Re: I hope

Yeah, I'm sure all the teens who seem to be 95% iPhones are buying them based on concerns of prompt security updates.



I don't know if I'd say bonkers, just ignorant. I agree in theory as a tech geek but after all these years I am really just unaware of any users of at least "first world" android based phones that have suffered at all. If for no other reasons than people seem to keep their phones for < 2 years and their more multilayered security vs Windows PCs for example, have a way larger attack surface, and legacy usage issues, such as admin by default and no vetted "app store". I think most of the vulnerabilities in phones just aren't practically exploitable in a significant way. The real security issue these days is these servers that are getting hacked.

Everything I see is Windows 10, says Microsoft's SatNad


windows 10

at the end of the day "windows" is only relevant as regular old desktop windows that we all need at work, else, as we've seen, the masses could care less. He can call the Band windows 10 but that's meaningless except an extra bit to get someone just that much more excited about just how "universal" it is, or not (more likely).

Network competition? Puh-lease. It's all about the Apple-Android Axis of Fondle


Google’s operating system attracts more malware than other mobile OSs

yes, attracts - because apks CAN be sideloaded, so there's a CHANCE it will get on a couple out of a billion android phones used by stupid people. However the 99.99% of mainstream users that only use play store are at no more risk than apple.

I fail to see any evidence of malware issues, its just reports of stuff that's out there, that will never get on the phones. Its like saying - banks attract robbers. Yes, but will they manage to get into the bank is the question. With the multilayered security and central app store of ANY modern smartphone is far safer than our PCs.


"consumers do not want to be beholden to any one or two specific platforms"

So why are windows and blackberry doing so badly then? Perfectly good devices, right? Actually we are seeing then that consumers are fine with two platforms - one which really isn't very specific - as in android.


Re: In before the flame war.

No one but you care about ext4 formatted sd cards on a phone. If you are the type, then you'd also be the type to root anyway. At least you have that option. No other OS will give you that option.

Just rebuild the kernel for ext4 support. Nexus doesn't even have SD slots, why is google blamed for motorola lack of ext4, even though its silly to support that on consumer phones.

How about this -format as FAT. Problem solved.

Samsung-Microsoft deal will bundle Office 365 with Android Knox



Maybe its nothing new to some of you but I finally started using it and its a great feature.

My work exchange server only gives me the option of pin or password, with only 10 minutes max autolock delay. I don't like it dictating my personal phone usage, not to mention it could wipe my phone. By using knox I can restrict that to just the knox sandbox and keep the main phone howerver I want. Also I can keep my work contacts separate. I don't want them getting lumped into my personal google contacts.

I never was clear on if an app can get permission for "read contacts" like facebook, would it also be able to get my exchange work contacts. But now, I don't have to know, as they are isolated.

I don't care if MS bundles some stuff - it could be worse. You can simply disable apps like that and they won't be seen.

Microsoft: Even cheapo Lumias to get slimmed down Windows 10


"Apple have the edge as they control the hardware and software, so the timings can be tightly controlled and given a known config"

Using Samsung as an example, just as with Apple and not "android", I have a Galaxy Note, for which samsung controls the hardware, and essentially the software as they can modify whatever they want as long as it passes google compatibility tests. So you can't necessarily compare "android" here - only base AOSP android.

So, to say that apple controls the hardware and software, but not Samsung, or any OEM for that matter, is not correct. You are just saying "android" as in "google", who doesn't make hardware. This is why there is that "update delay" always brought up regarding android updates. What are many of them doing during this time? "tightly controlling their timings", for one.

Samsung has always added and tweaked things over stock android. Music control works just fine, although I cannot speak for MIDI but how hard can that be? I have used real time guitar effect apps such as Andrig that stock Lollipop has only now caught up to as far as latency, which is on par with apple.

So, while there is some truth to what you say as a blanket statement, it is not true when you start talking about specific models of android based phones.

And windows? The OEMs cannot customize the source code. So there is certainly no optimization they can control there. MS's own lumia's could but how are they going to get any OEMs to be excited about making their phones if Lumia has the advantage?


Re: Wait,,,,What?

"Millions infected with malware"

yep, on non-google compliant models in 3rd world countries.

Patch now: Design flaw in Windows security allows hackers to own corporate laptops, PCs


"Most home users shouldn't be hit by this"

Don't worry, we home users have more than enough worries without this.


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