* Posts by kirk_augustin@yahoo.com

113 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Mar 2016


It's perfectly legal for cars to harvest your texts, call logs


Re: You own the car, and it retaining your information is no different...

The "remove phone" or "remove user/profile" function is too late.

The car constantly uploads your profile for sale to advertisers.


Re: I can see two cases here

It is different than just what you normally store on your phone, because what the car takes from your phone, gets uploaded to 3rd party advertisers to use however they want.


More than 2 cases, Re: I can see two cases here

What you are ignoring is that it is not just the storage of your messages that is harmful, but downloading them to 3rd party advertisers who will use to to send you ads and do other things that could be harmful.


Re: "Dammit, why it is so hard for those corporations to stop grasping every single byte of data

Np its not "legit". The car maker never warned anyone that their message and phone info would be copied and sold.

The judge was wrong.


Re: This isn't as bad as it sounds

Wrong. The local dealers are who provide the profits to the parent company, so then the state can easily force the car makers to change.

But all the car makers have to do is admit they are logging private messages with a disclaimer sticker warning sticker.

There would no longer be any harm to sue over if the users had been appropriately warned.


No warning

It is fine for phones, cars, networks, sites, etc., to save copies of things you enter, but they should warn you if they are going to be controlled by someone else.

The expectation people have is privacy of communications to another individual, so keeping and using those messages to others is a violation of the privacy the owner assumed.

The fact they assumed incorrectly is not their fault.

The perception is phone calls and messages expected to be private.

So the problem is the car companies did not provide the appropriate warnings that privacy is not maintained.

Why can't datacenter operators stop thinking about atomic power?


reactors reduce radiation, not increase it

The idea reactors create or increase dangerous radiation is false.

They do slightly accelerate the release of the previously created and stored nuclear energy in the isotopes, but they do not create any nuclear energy and only help to speed up the decay back to safe material.

The ores used for reactor fuel are even more deadly than the waste taken out of the reactors.

All the reactors do is slightly speed up the decay process.

They do not create more radioactive energy than it put into them in the first place, from the radioactive fuel.

The net result of all reactors is the fuel isotope are less deadly after having decay accelerated in the reactor.

You do want to not have them around humans while the decay process if accelerated, but reactors do not create any deadly radiation energy.

It is all already there and always somewhat deadly.


No such thing as "nuclear wastes"

The argument about nuclear power generating wastes is incorrect.

All the nuclear energy is created in some old star that died long ago.

The nuclear material got all of its dangerous energy eons ago.

All the nuclear reactors do is slightly accelerate the natural decay process of releasing that stored energy.

If you do not put the nuclear isotopes in to a reactor, they will just retain their deadly nuclear energy longer.

The reactor does not create deadly nuclear energy, but just releases it, allows it to decay faster, and reduces it.


Nuclear is best

The only reason why nuclear is not used for everything is because it is not as profitable.

But we do not want energy production to be profitable to greedy companies, and we would prefer it to be public and free.

Those claiming it is too risky have a point in that anything nuclear that can produce electricity can also be used for weapons.

But the idea of nuclear wastes being a problem is foolish, since nuclear reactors decrease nuclear material, not increase it.

The fuel used in reactors is much more radioactive before it is used in the reactor than afterward.

All a reactor does is speed up nuclear decay.

They do not cause or create it.

It is already in the fissile material, created in the core of a extinct star.

It will remain radioactive until it has totally decayed.

How TCP's congestion control saved the internet


Re: WAN congestion is not DC congestion

The solution is to establish permanent virtual circuits ahead of time, like ATM does. Then both sides agree how many uniform frames will be sent ahead of time, and the overhead and delays essentially disappear.


Re: Ah, ATM

True the 48 bytes is a compromise, but frame size does not at all matter when you only handshake to establish a permanent virtual circuit once before the first frame. Since there is no overhead for the following frames, then frame size is fairly irrelevant. You just send more frames instead of making frames larger. The only time it matters is with long distance satellite communications, where there is such huge transmission latencies.


Re: Ah, ATM

ATM is still used for anything where speed matters because TCP is almost 10 times slower. The military, aviation, cellphones, cars, financial institutions, etc., all do not use TCP.

The only people who do use TCP are the ones who don't really care about how bad TCP is, and simply want plug and play compatibility.


Re: Ah, ATM

ATM only needed a small but consistent frame size because you did not do all the handshaking for each frame, so then could quickly and easily send as many frames as you wanted to. So then frame size is irrelevant. And while some may like the variable packet size of TCP, in reality all virtual packets are always actually transferred by a consistent physical frame. So all the TCP variable packets do is add lots of run time overhead.


TCP - terrible control protocol

TCP is awful and all other transfer protocols are a lot better. But TCP was the military and educational standard for so long that nothing else ever had any chance as a standard. But anyone with an option, like financial institutions, the modern military, cellphones, aviation, automotive, etc., would never use TCP. Frame Relay came from X.25, and later morphed into ATM. It is vastly superior to TCP, about 5 times faster, and much less difficult to implement. To support TCP/IP, you have to implement ancient libraries like Veronica, Archie, FTP, Gopher, etc. It is a kitchen sink approach instead of an optimized approach.

The main functional difference is that with ATM, all the frames are the same size and you do the overhead of handshaking a connection only once.

While with TCP, there is no packet size standard, and you have to do all the handshaking back and forth each and every time you send any packet at all.

TCP is immensely more complex, slow, and prone to crashes.

Probably about a whole order of magnitude slower and less reliable.

Tesla knew Autopilot weakness killed a driver – and didn't fix it, engineers claim


There is no possible fix

While Musk was attempted to claim that autonomous driving vehicles are possible, any programmer knows it is not,

So Musk has never claimed the Tesla is autonomous and can handle cross traffic.

It is only intended or marketed as an adaptive cruise control.

That is all.


Amazon confirms it locked Microsoft engineer out of his Echo gear over false claim


Automated is bad

No one should be automating their household to activate verbally. Nor should your door camera ever try to say anything. The room for error is way to great. There are a number of houses that speak to me every time I walk by, and it is very annoying.

Microsoft is busy rewriting core Windows code in memory-safe Rust


The weakness in Microsoft code is from COM, not C or C++, so Rust won't help anything, but instead make it easier to hacks, as well as slower.


Bad choice of Rust

It is silly to use Rust for memory safety since it is easy to make C or C++ perfectly memory safe yourself.

And all you do by using Rust is to expose the memory safety methodology to all the hackers, who then know exactly what the Rust weaknesses are.

When you use C or C++ and do your own memory safety, then no hacked knows what you did.

There is no way to use Rust for everything either, since sometimes you do have to do unsafe things with memory, between the operating system and the hardware.

Child-devouring pothole will never hurt a BMW driver again


Where are the pictures?

No pictures?

Take a 14-mile trip on an autonomous Scottish bus starting next month


Wildly Dangerous and Irresponsible

Since no one has come close to getting autonomous vehicles to yet be at all safe, this is wildly irresponsible and dangerous. Autonomous vehicles have no ability to make new decisions but can only use the canned logic the programmers anticipated. And since reality is infinite scenarios instead, horrendous accidents and deaths are inevitable. Image recognition is about a million times slower on a computer than with humans, so computers do not know they are speeding past pedestrians or inanimate objects like light posts. So, they do not know when to slow down or not. They never will. They also will not know where lanes are, after a light dusting of snow. The idea anyone would run these known failures, is totally irresponsible. All computer programmers say they should not be run in public.

NSA urges orgs to use memory-safe programming languages


NSA wants more back-doors

Obviously these languages the NSA are promoting, like "C#, Rust, Go, Java, Ruby or Swift" are the least reliable and secure, because the NSA does not want "security", but instead want more backdoors they can more easily exploit.


Totally Backwards

All the programming languages listed, like "C#, Rust, Go, Java, Ruby or Swift", are terribly insecure, as well as being much slower and limited.

All of them require installing run time security breaches that can easily be exploited.

None of the secure facilities I have ever worked at would ever allow a Java interpreter engine be installed for example, because then it is easily controlled by anyone who knows the details of the built in vulnerabilities.

C and C++ are the MOST secure languages because they rely on loading the fewest run time leaks, and are totally self contained except for driver and OS calls.

This article should have known better, and any real programmer should know that C and C++ are by far the most secure programming languages.

About the only security weakness in C and C++ are buffer over runs, which should be caught by the OS calls.

Software engineer jailed for 2 years after using RATs and crypters to steal underage victims' intimate pics


Autism a valid defense

The reason autism is a valid defense is that anyone who puts naked pictures on their computer is an idiot. It is essentially posting them in public. So then a person with autism will see no logical contraction in collecting them, because there is nothing at all wrong with that. People who think they should have privacy on their computers are idiots who simply do not at all understand computers. If you look at the running processes on any computer, you will see dozens, if not hundreds, and only 1 or 2 will be the user. The rest are all systems or externally initiated processes, like communications from your network, printer, mouse, keyboard, or other devices. That is just how computers work, so anyone who thinks their computer is at all private, just is ignorant.


Re: Austism Defense

Sure you can still tell right from wrong with autism, but that does not mean the judge was right to convict him, because collecting images off other computers is not wrong and even someone without autism should be able to understand computers well enough to understand that. Computer networking works by the computer being essentially public. The crime would be damaging files, not copying them. Merely copying them harms no one. If you think that violates privacy, you would be ignorant because no computer on a network can ever be private.

Phone jammers made my model plane smash into parked lorry, fumes hobbyist


Re: Failsafe?

If the signal is being jammed, then no loss of signal can be detected. Instead the signal is being over ridden by a stronger and constant signal, which prevents any control OR any failsafe.


A drone is any craft without a person on board. It can be autonomous or remotely controlled. A drone also does not have to be a hovering quadcopter. Military or any long distance drones are winged and NOT quadcopters.

As for jammers, one would think they should be easy to trace, since their signal has to be stronger than what they want to override.

Magna Carta mayhem: Protesters lay siege to Edinburgh Castle, citing obscure Latin text that has never applied in Scotland


The article is incorrect. The Magna Charta is a principle that applies everywhere and at all times. Sure it was the Barons who forced it on the King, but the point is the Kings is not the ultimate source of authority. That same principle applies against the Barons as well. And whether or not article 61 gets repealed, the principle still exists as an abstract truth, which hopefully is then encompassed by additional articles and we do not just backslide.

Record-breaking Kuwaiti heatwave triggers inadvisable TikTok expletive outburst


Change what we can change

We may not be able to do anything about the weather, but we can do something about the questionable government of Kuwait.

Spy agency GCHQ told me Gmail's more secure than Microsoft 365, insists British MP as facepalming security bods tell him to zip it


Microsoft 365 NOT in-house

Of course GMail is more secure than any cloud service like Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 is NOT in-house. It is a remote cloud service, and is about the least secure system anyone could ever come up with.


Re: O365 but not as you know it

You can easily make a secure email system by not connecting to the internet, but then what is the point? If you have to in the building to access it, then just talk to the person instead of emailing at all.


Microsoft 365 Very Insecure

As a cloud service, Microsoft 365 likely is less secure than Gmail. But it is foolish to want or expect email to be secure. It really can't be. If you want security, you need encryption, and then you need something like Cisco VPN.

State of Maine orders review of $54.6m Workday project as it alleges delivery failure and threatens cancellation


Never hire out for a proprietary system.

When the code writers are gone, you can't modify it and you got nothing.

Always hire you own permanent programmers, and use students to help fill in.

If you want to use a company to write it, then use generic programs many already use, so that you an be sure the software will be maintained.

Cobol, Fortran, Pascale, BASIC, or even Python, can all easily be rewritten in C or C++.

Richard Stallman says he has returned to the Free Software Foundation board of directors and won't be resigning again


You said," letting Stallman back in after what he said, and his characteristic refusal to apologise makes it very hard to argue that the FSF is an organisation that represents the movement", and that is utterly wrong. Attacking a dead person like Marvin Minsky who can not defend himself is wrong. The allegations with Epstein are totally unverified and cross the line to illegal slander. Youi should shut up.


Stallman appears to be correct. Marvin Minsky not only is a national treasure, but dead so can't defend himself.

So then anyone else making unverified allegations about Marvin Minsky is violating basic ethics.

Happy birthday, Python, you're 30 years old this week: Easy to learn, and the right tool at the right time


Re: Why do some people not like python's indentation=code block container

Never had a missing { or } in my whole life. If one follows good programming indents and rules, it is pretty much impossible.


Python needs lots of work. Since it does not come with Windows OS, there needs to be a compiled version that runs as an executable and does not have to have the interpreter installed. Many places won't allow the Python interpreter to be installed, as a security risk. It also it way too slow interpreted. It needs to be able to make all the normal OS calls, like multi processors, sockets, pipes, etc.

GSM gateways: Parliament obviously cocked up, so let minister issue 'ignore the law' decree, UK.gov barrister urges court


Privacy is Paramount

The right to privacy supersedes any mere desire by government to make law enforcement easier for them. The right to privacy by individuals is paramount, and government has no authority to try to make the means of private communications illegal. Since government obtains all of its authority by borrowing delegated authority from us, then government can't have that authority. They can't have it because we don't have that authority to let them borrow. National security is a red herring. The actual bad guy have infinite ways of getting around this like BitTor or simple VPN encryption. The heart of the matter is that the government has exceeded its authority in such a blatant way that all those responsible should go to jail. This is the kind of abuse we would only expect from a fascist dictatorship.

Here's US Homeland Security collaring a suspected arsonist after asking Google for the IP addresses of folks who made a specific search


Not a shred of actual evidence. The guy could have been trying to prevent some sort of attack he heard about or by someone else he suspected of wanting to commit an attack. Since it was a rental SUV, it could ever have been arranged by Kelly to avoid payments. Very lame case. But does indicate why people should not carry cellphones. I never do. The alternative is to put it in a metal case to it can't ping.

Bill Gates lays out a three-point plan to rid the world of COVID-19 – and anti-vaxxer cranks aren't gonna like it


Re: Question for Reg staff

It is foolish to volunteer for something you know nothing about. For example, one of the proposed vaccines would attack all corona spikes, and cause them to become clogged up. And while that would stop all corona viruses, what they forget is that the whole point of those spikes is to mimick the spike of exosomes. So it is possible this vaccine would also cause all the exosomes to be rendered useless as well. And the point of exosomes is to allow cells to communicate with the immune system. So if you ruin the exosomes, it could be you end all other vaccinations, and make us vulnerable to all other pathogens again, that we used to have immunity to, like polio, smallpox, etc.


Re: What pandemic?

@Captain Dallas, if the "experts" are not lying, they how come they lied before, like when they claimed there was no immunity to covid-19, that immunity would not last, that no one hard inherent immunity, that you did not gain immunity by recovering, etc. Just tell me ONE entrenched epidemic in all of history that was ever ended by anything other than herd immunity? Or how about telling me one epidemic in all of history that was ended by "social distancing"? The closest anyone can come is Ebola, that was ended by quarantine, but quarantine is NOT social distancing. Quarantine is fast. Social distancing is the opposite, and makes an epidemic potentially last FOREVER.


Vaccine useless

Obviously we can't wait for a vaccine, and with 90% of the infected people showing up as asymptomatic, then the majority of the population is already inherently immune, and we are VERY close to herd immunity already. Instead of waiting for a vaccine, we should just ask for 10% of the young and healthy population to volunteer to be deliberately infected, and just get it all over with. It will not likely return unless someone goes back into those bat caves again. A vaccine against a disease that will never be able to come back is a total waste of resources and money.

You *bang* will never *smash* humiliate me *whack* in front of *clang* the teen computer whizz *crunch* EVER AGAIN


Too bad the Amiga is no more and no one has ever built a computer as good.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Hang on, the PDP 11/70 has dropped offline


It has been such a long time, I wish someone would post an image of a PDP-11/70 front panel?

I remember one that was red, but I think that was a PDP-11/45?

There are a lot of PDP-8 images confusing me as well.

Ah, just found one.



Repair store faces hefty legal bill after losing David and Goliath fight with Apple over replacement iPhone screens


Re: Change Apple to Boeing or Airbus

Airplane parts are required to be certified by the FAA, cellphone parts do not. No one has the right to dictate what parts are used for repairs, unlike planes.


Re: This guy gave evidence in one of these cases

If salvaged, then the logo should have been legal.

If not, then the most they should have been able to do is have them remove the logo.

The destruction and court costs make no sense.


The courts totally goofed this one up.

Apple has absolutely no right to claim you can't put in any third part parts you want, and if they are salvaged, they most certainly can retain their orignal Apple logo.

That is the end of me ever buying any more Apple stuff.

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds


80 column is ancient

The last time I was limited to 80 column lines was when I was programming the Commodore 64.

No sane person would limit lines to 80 columns.

Often I do use 80 column lines for code, but that is then where the comment starts.

Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way


Huge mistake to trust software

All software has mistakes, so should never be trusted. If you really need software to do something safely, then have 3 separate algorithms on 3 separate cpus all try to solve the same problem, and only allow the software to take control if 2 of the algorithms agree. It is still risky, but then you can still also have a human over ride.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal


Easily defeated

All people have to do is either leave their phone at home, or put it into a metal or mesh faraday cage. Which any intelligent person was already doing.

Anyone who thinks you can do anything honest of useful with tracking people, is an idiot. There is no way to trace infections by GPS.


Re: False sense of security?

Since the number infected is 10 times higher than we realize, and we only need 55% for herd immunity, then that means it is almost over, all by itself.