* Posts by whitepines

727 posts • joined 29 Aug 2017

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When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan

whitepines Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Oh, the joys of dd!

I'm happy to report that for whatever reason, dd hadn't actually started writing before I was able to stop it

Very likely because it was busy filling its buffers before starting the write process, and if your tapes are as slow to respond to the initial position request as some of ours, that could be several minutes before dd would even have enough of a buffer to start writing anything.

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

whitepines Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

Am I the only person who doesn't use a mouse mat any more?

I use one, but not because the mouse needs it, more like the desk needs protecting from the mouse. Had to replace a fairly nice desk once before when I wore through the veneer where the mouse was, and didn't feel like scraping the mouse or my hand across the sandpaper-like glue board underneath!

A nice sheet of blank A4 does the job nicely, and it's rather cheap to replace when it wears out.

Detroit cops employed facial recognition algos that only misidentifies suspects 96 per cent of the time

whitepines Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Not surprised

If someone was able to unlock my phone with their face, I don't get arrested and potentially imprisoned for a crime I didn't commit.

Careful now...that's a naive statement in an otherwise spot on post. If someone truly malicious manages to unlock your phone (which is registered nearly everywhere as yours) all they need to do is a few carefully crafted searches / posts to put you in prison. Good luck claiming you weren't the one doing that at trial when the judge / jury* is presented with that 50000:1 chance that the phone unlocked for anyone else.

This is just a long way of saying it's a bad idea for governments to assume a digital device is, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as the individual. Of course they do it anyway, and what the digital device does is permanently added to the individual's (mostly hidden) lifelong record. Very bad spot to be and one reason I detest mobile phones.

* If present. They may not be depending on what was actually posted!

whitepines Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Not surprised

The reason your accuracy is so high is because: a.) the human brain is hardwired to do this and b.) your training sample set (people you know) is orders of magnitudes smaller than a useful police database. Also you tend to constantly refresh your internal training data when you interact with the people you know!

And if you misidentify me, I'm probably not going to automatically go to prison. Application matters just as much as technology and capabilities.

Stinker, emailer, trawler, spy: How an engineer stole top US chip designs, smuggled them to China to set up a rival fab

whitepines Silver badge
Coat

Re: So what about Chinese non-nationals?

Great British Industry (tm) to dominate the world?

I wouldn't worry until a Great British Industry (tm) actually shows up somewhere.

I'm going, I'm going!

Hey, Boeing. Don't celebrate your first post-grounding 737 Max test flight too hard. You just lost another big contract

whitepines Silver badge

Re: It worked once, ship it!

I may be wrong, but I think adding extra sensors etc. would have required re-certification of the whole 737 Max or at least its flight control system

No, especially if those sensors just fed the MCAS system. What likely happened in reality is that a triple voting system is expensive -- by specifying one, you've highlighted to the regulatory bodies "this item is safety critical" (MCAS was not specified as safety critical during design), and the extra weight for wiring and extra sensors goes into someone's budget somewhere. Knowing a thing or two about corporate culture, could have been as simple as no one wanted to trim something else out or be responsible for the increased weight of the overall aircraft.

Boffins baffled as supergiant star just vanishes – either it partially blew itself apart or quietly turned into a black hole

whitepines Silver badge

"The stars are going out". Something amiss in the Medusa Cascade?

Fitting somehow for 2020.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

whitepines Silver badge

Re: chewed wires

Many birds can sense the Earth magnetic field. Being close to a power cable with its rapidly changing magnetic field, to say nothing about chewing on one, may be something they instinctively don't like?

Fasten your seat belts: Brave Reg hack spends a week eating airline food grounded by coronavirus crash

whitepines Silver badge

Re: Opportunity

Ever heard of "VPN"?

I'll bite. Who is using VPNs with local servers on both ends versus just using Google/Zoom/whatever cheap n' cheerful cloud videoconferencing service is available?

whitepines Silver badge

Re: Opportunity

5000-mile video conferences on triple HD screens with HD audio, and it was like having the other people in the room

And all the TLAs listening in really appreciated both the fidelity of your cameras and knowing exactly what your business plans were.

Until you fix the snooping problem, this simply won't be an option. One could argue that for every "terrerst" caught several hundred / thousand people die from climate change just because face to face meetings are required to have any privacy at all in this age of lunacy!

After huffing and puffing for years, US senators unveil law to blow the encryption house down with police backdoors

whitepines Silver badge

I think the general idea then is:

1.) They're now formally un-electable

2.) They can now be charged with various crimes as the (disgusted) populous sees fit (unfortunately mob "justice" is a thing in the United States)

So out of power and probably locked up (hoisted on one's own petard). Sounds good to me.

Russia lifts restrictions on Telegram messenger app after it expresses ‘readiness’ to stop some nasties

whitepines Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Two Questions

2. If telegram is truly a secure E2E platform, how can they possibly determine the content of a message in order to cooperate with authorities?

Because it isn't -- it's a proprietary, effectively closed source* app on a phone. That's about as far from secure as you can get. I am assuming that the open source desktop variants are not relevant here, for the sake of argument, since the vast majority of users are on some kind of cell phone and the open source version should be verifiable to actually do what it says on the tin regarding encryption.

If they're not bothering to MITM the traffic directly, it's probably some proprietary local filter in the app detecting keywords. Where it gets interesting is what happens when that filter detects unsanctioned content -- does it send out a trace to the authorities and pretend to send encrypted? What exactly happens in that case?

Other possibilities could be metadata checks -- better hope you're not within some degrees of a known bad apple, or you'll be tasting Putin's special polonium dessert...

* If you can't compile the app yourself, it could have any special modifications required for the app store / local authorities, and you can't check it or fix it.

Google isn't even trying to not be creepy: 'Continuous Match Mode' in Assistant will listen to everything until it's disabled

whitepines Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Paranoid

that was completely accurate, if understated.

Having worked with some of the underlying commercial cell and WiFi /BT technology in $DAYJOB that the NSA etc. then hook into, the simple fact is if a device has has a radio it's a bloody position-transmitting beacon, and algorithms to correlate activity of location beacons to find unwanted patterns (mass gatherings etc.) are so trivial they could be run en masse with 1990s era technology.

The simple fact is, in today's surveillance world, you just don't go up against the state, the state will always win, as a lot of people in China have learned the hard way (if you count understanding a problem right before you cease to be able to change behavior due to a sudden, permanent lack of brain activity "learning"). You have to change things via more legal means no matter how distasteful or seemingly impossible it is, and if your country is as fucked as China is at the moment you basically have to be willing to pick up and leave via whatever means are necessary.

All of that is a long way of saying if you don't want your country to go a certain way, you make absolutely bloody certain that you have done and continue to do everything within your power to stop it going full on surveillance authoritarian. Even if it takes every bit of resources you have, you make sure everyone knows what that means, make sure everyone you know is deeply uncomfortable carrying a phone without strict changes to law to stop the surveillance, etc. Once a country goes surveillance authoritarian it cannot be recovered by any means short of external takeover in a war (which could happen after internal economic collapse, or just over the natural course of time) -- this isn't something you fight from a couch, this is something that takes real, continued effort to drive the vote etc. as needed without putting yourself out of action with illegal activities.

What I wonder is if a human sized heat signature without a digital beacon (i.e. person with no cell phone) is now automatically flagged as a potential threat? Given how pervasive phones are and how few people understand they're carrying around a spy in their pocket, it would seem to be a potentially high quality signal.

whitepines Silver badge

Re: Power without abuse never loses it's charm.

Sooo.. Assuming you're not on a metered Internet connection. Stick a mic in a sound damped box, add speaker, add loop saying 'OK Google, FOAD'. Close box.

I'd bet bottom dollar after some amount of resources are used that way Google would detect "suspicious traffic" from your IP and force you to engage in a lot of unpaid Mechanical Turk AI training validate that you are human across all of its services, for some indefinite time, when trying to use them. No validation, no more load on Google's servers.

For this to work it's a lot more complicated, you have to feed it something its AI doesn't think is garbage (this rules out even playing movies on loop in front of the mic). Some kind of random speech generator on a PC could do the trick, but then you're wasting a lot of your own resources (power, the PC itself) just to create a very slight additional load on one server of Google's millions.

Nice try though.

whitepines Silver badge

Re: GDPR issue??

microphones recording anything you say

I know several countries and states where this would put you in prison for a very, very long time unless you had written consent from everyone being recorded.

So, if Google is doing the listening via "your" phone, for instance, who goes to prison in case someone does not give consent for that recording? Why is Google above the law? Or, scarily, is it actually your responsibility because you purchased an always-on listening device and failed to follow the law regarding such things?

Adobe about to pull the plug on Creative Cloud freebie 'at-home' access for students

whitepines Silver badge

Re: Remote desktop

That's against the Windows 10 desktop EULA (no CALs, you see, it's user locked -- RDP only legal if you are the primary user of the machine) and almost certainly against the Adobe TOS too.

Note Microsoft has (cunningly) chosen not to enforce this little limitation in software. Remember Windows NT and similar lax enforcement for market share gains? It won't last, but for now, there are probably millions of users and / or thousands of lucrative companies just waiting to be extorted gently pushed into a brand new paid subscription Azure/Windows-based infrastructure under threat of criminal prosecution for past misdeeds.

Windows Server to require TPM2.0 and Secure boot by default in future release

whitepines Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: ME/PSP

You owe me a new keyboard! Malware engine indeed.

We need a better name for the AMD version though. Public Secret Publisher? Pathetic Security Processor?

whitepines Silver badge
Alert

Because if they can remotely access your boot sector and change boot device

Perhaps via the Intel ME or AMD PSP that Microsoft also effectively* requires?

Food for thought: most of the time, the TPM 2.0 on those platforms is implemented by the Intel ME or AMD PSP.

* Windows might still run on some old pre-ME/pre-PSP hardware, but for how long is anyone's guess given the age of that hardware.

EU aviation wonks give all-electric training aeroplane the green light – but noob pilots only have 50 mins before they have to land it

whitepines Silver badge

Re: The silence of the lands

I suspect the OP knew a little, but not much, about flying.

Guilty as charged. I'm still learning and as you can tell I have a ways to go.

That said, I have noticed the absolute noisiest takeoffs in prop-driven aircraft being at the steepest climb angles for a while now (I live near a GA airport). Those doesn't really sound like classic engine exhaust noise either, more of a sharp noise I'd associate with the propeller, and as the aircraft passes that noise diminishes sharply and you hear the engine itself more clearly (and a lot quieter).

In VP aircraft attempting to take-off in full coarse pitch would be a huge mistake and probably culminate in a failed take off or accident. So is a very, very rare occurance.

Interesting. From a physics perspective why is this the case? Not doubting what you are saying in any way, but it seems counter-intuitive from the standpoint of taking off at maximum possible power output.

whitepines Silver badge

Re: The silence of the lands

I keep hearing noise being cited as an advantage, but honestly on your average GA light aircraft how much of that noise is from the prop vs. the engine? Especially with students that think they're flying a rocket not a plane and take off at an accordingly steep angle with prop pitch at full coarse?

An Internet of Trouble lies ahead as root certificates begin to expire en masse, warns security researcher

whitepines Silver badge

Re: hopefully a response from the industry to start fixing stuff

This. IIRC BMW have already tried it for their infotainment systems, and Tesla seem to be doing something sinister when cars are sold on.

Which is why I will never even consider a Tesla, and if BMW really does that they'll be on my shit list too.

So far VW seems to be somewhat reasonable, but I wonder how long that will hold out.

OK Windows 10, we get it: You really do not want us to install this unsigned application. But 7 steps borders on ridiculous

whitepines Silver badge

Re: Not for solo developers

If you are a low volume specialist indie developer, Windows just isn't a viable platform any more.

Ever consider releasing for Linux then (yes, proprietary software has a place on Linux too, just don't make it impossible for system admins / users to sandbox your app as much as they feel they need to), or have you just switched to mobile?

Publishers sue to shut down books-for-all Internet Archive for 'willful digital piracy on an industrial scale'

whitepines Silver badge

Of all the things to attack about the publishing industry, I wouldn't start with the authors.

The authors could insist on continued availability of DRM free ebooks or paper books at reasonable prices. Those that just allow the publishers to set whatever terms they like for access to the content, at whatever prices the upper echelon of the market will bear (note that mandatory personal data sales / rental access is actually a price, and a high price for many), are very much complicit and partly at fault through inaction for the current situation.

The authors are the only ones that can change this part of the equation. They need to step up before outright piracy, or unpaid open works, become the social norm.

whitepines Silver badge

Re: But what about...

But I presume you expect publishers to keep printing every book ever made, just in case you may want a copy.

If they insist on 120+ year copyright, YES, while they are still under copyright protection. We didn't choose to put the publishers in that position, they put themselves there with excessive copyright durations.

If they can't at least make our culture available to us for purchase when we choose, then they should release the work to the public domain. Simple.

whitepines Silver badge

If you're one of the few that allows an un-DRMed ebook purchase, I applaud your efforts and would purchase those works and abide by the copyright on them.

Obviously what IA is doing here is not legal, I'm not sure how they managed to come to the conclusion that this was acceptable. That said, most publishers and authors have taken such a hardline stance on rental only content that something has to give somewhere, the copyright social contract has been repeatedly violated by the publishers via technology at this point, and I wonder if this is the first salvo in the coming war over what the new social contract for content will look like.

In the absolute worst case. i.e. if publishers refuse to compromise and return to at least some semblance the pre-digital status quo, it's very possible for society to choose to reject the legacy publishers entirely. I wonder if IA did this on purpose to challenge the current abuses by the industry, though I suspect they just screwed up here.

This is an issue that has been bothering me for a while now. One book I wanted access to costs well over £250 for the hardcover dead tree version, if you can get it at all, while the digital DRMed Windows-only spy-on-you-as-you-read Internet-linked version is only £30 or so. Nothing exists in between. Because I value my privacy and the permanence of my collection, I had to pay 9x more to read the work. If that's considered "fair" by publishers, it's no wonder society is starting to ignore copyright en masse.

whitepines Silver badge
Alert

Re: Welcome to the mordern world

If you'd kept copyright at sane terms (duration and license agreements) you might have an argument.

But, as it stands, you're reaping exactly what you've sown. You made the deal to keep things legal so terrible that society is simply ignoring you now.

Note I don't condone the piracy any more than I condone what copyright has turned into, but I will say that if I can't buy a paper copy, one on physical media (no Internet connection or authentication required), or a non-DRMed digital copy, I don't "buy" the work at all. I support open content as a means (really the only legal means) of protest as a direct result of DRM and related restrictions.

You have no one to blame but yourself.

eBay users spot the online auction house port-scanning their PCs. Um... is that OK?

whitepines Silver badge
Alert

And what do you think Ebay's response to you actively scanning their servers, perhaps behind their firewalls via exploits, "to protect against fraud" would be? After all, just because it says ebay.com in the browser doesn't mean their site is secure or that you are on the legitimate ebay.com.

I suspect the response would be in terse legalese threatening hacking charges and prison. It's the active penetration / behind firewalls part of what Ebay is doing that probably makes it illegal, but IANAL.

Das reboot: That's the only thing to do when the screenshot, er, freezes

whitepines Silver badge
Devil

Re: The nasty version

No, that's actually understandable to a German speaker. You need to make it unintelligible except for the "I can't understand you" bit.

IBM cuts deep into workforce – even its Watson and AI teams – as it 'pivots' to cloud

whitepines Silver badge

Re: Pivot

If they finally do sell the rest of their hardware divisions, yes, Itsy Bitsy Morons would effectively be in an assisted care facility, waiting to shuffle off this mortal coil...

whitepines Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Cut loose, foot loose

You can get commercial time on a Power cloud over at Integricloud, and I think non-commercial time at a university in Brazil (?), but if you're looking for AWS style stuff you're out of luck at the moment. IBM saying it looked at cutting Power loose entirely won't help adoption there either, in my opinion.

It's a real shame, I love my OpenPower desktop, but it may end up being my last secure machine. Orwell always seems to win in the end, somehow...

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything

whitepines Silver badge

Re: reviewer uses Google extensively

Have an upvote for the info. I completely agree on this -- it's not acceptable for Google to do it, and it's also not acceptable for Huawei to do it. Everyone wants to sell that juicy data instead of just selling decent hardware; of all firms you'd think Huawei might understand the distinction, but apparently not!

whitepines Silver badge

Re: reviewer uses Google extensively

Can we get a review from someone who doesn't like sending all their data to Google?

Seconded. I go out of my way to avoid and confuse Google's slurp machine already, and it sounds like this might be a perfect phone to use with Lineage, but I'd need to know if it's available with an unlocked bootloader or not.

How about phone reviews for both the Google lemming masses and the more tech-savvy, privacy-conscious crowd? Bonus points to use something like Nextcloud as the backend cloud storage instead of anything Google/Microsoft/Huawei!

India makes contact-tracing app compulsory in viral hot zones despite most local phones not being smart

whitepines Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Could be

The fact that I went to the hardware store and supermarket last Thursday strikes me as being a data point whose value to anyone is as close to zero as it is possible to come without violating the laws of quantum mechanics.

Supermarket: Verify sanctioned "healthy lifestyle" purchases were made, if not, send fine due to predicted extra load on NHS.

Hardware store: Check for council approval on improvements, verify items bought are not used for terrorist purposes or to subvert the state in any way.

You're just thinking too small! Big Brother is watching...

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

whitepines Silver badge
Coat

Re: Saws

Considering I've only ever seen it spelled Mjölnir?

Or did you actually want to use a gun turret on your PC? I know using Windows 10 can make this seem like an attractive solution, but you can just install Linux you know...

Happy birthday, ARM1. It is 35 years since Britain's Acorn RISC Machine chip sipped power for the first time

whitepines Silver badge

Re: "All issues with management blobs etc. aside, this is a bit debatable IMO"

You're correct, for the SiFive stuff it's open source(ish?). For a while it wasn't, and I'll admit to not knowing if the underlying issue was fixed or if they just managed to hide the blob somewhere else that hasn't been looked into. If they managed to finally open source the entire firmware, that's good.

All I'm really trying to say is that as an OpenPOWER user on desktop I can't imagine going backward to where RISC-V is at, and it frustrates me to no end that RISC-V keeps getting the spotlight when it's actually quite inferior as it stands today. I know some of this is RISC-V was first to the gate as an open ISA, but from a technical perspective it's always been a bit of a mess.

The simple fact is, if I have $3,000 USD to spend I can either get:

* A RISC-V system with a few PCIe Gen 2 lanes and an ARM class CPU that can't run a lot of my software without fiddling around with it, plus doesn't have any real distro support and (one of the main reasons I won't touch it) could become nearly worthless with a future update to the ISA

* An OpenPOWER desktop system with near-x86 class cores and a bunch of PCIe Gen 4 I/O, that runs standard Linux distros and the vast majority of existing Linux software out of the box, and has an established backward compatibility track record. And uses a standard form factor to boot.

Both are open ISA, yet one seems on paper to be an objectively better choice. Given the options, why doesn't OpenPOWER get the same interest as RISC-V at this point? I'm genuinely confused...

whitepines Silver badge

Re: "Not sure why El Reg keeps only highlighting RISC-V as the One True ARM/x86 Killer"

capable of running desktop Linux.

All issues with management blobs etc. aside, this is a bit debatable IMO. Looking at the Debian archive build status * (which unfortunately is b0rked at the moment) RISC-V has a lot of software that just doesn't build. It's in the ports tree, not main Debian, and frankly with the lack of standardization on what the ISA actually is / does or does not include it's not going to be an easy thing to try to support in the larger software packages. Best case I expect it to break apart into several flavors (as ARM once did with the original Raspberry Pi -- remember Raspbian specially built packages?), worse case it may have enough incompatible hardware in the wild not to gain traction in the major distros for many many years.

Most of the cited examples have one thing in common. They are all largely embedded devices (even if fairly powerful) where the vendor has control from cradle to grave, so it doesn't really matter if binaries for one implementation run on another. This is how ARM development was done for years before SBSA and similar initiatives, and I just have no appetite for that on desktop personally. I tried ARM on desktop in that timeframe, and it just got to be too much of a pain in the rear to continue -- having to compile almost everything outside of the kernel and base system components means you end up running outdated insecure software in the long run. I can apt-get / dnf anything I need from the main distros on x86, ARM, and OpenPOWER -- RISC-V is just not there yet and it has a long road to go.

I want an open system to succeed, but I just don't see RISC-V being a viable desktop or server option without some serious re-thinking of how they approach ISA design and ecosystem maintainence. The fact that the majority of RISC-V chips by volume ship in closed, locked products is something of a reinforcement from industry of that viewpoint.

* https://buildd.debian.org/stats/graph-ports-week-big.png

whitepines Silver badge
Coat

I'd think the threat from RISC-V is lower than that from OpenPOWER, but then again the threat from both combined is more significant than from either one alone.

Not sure why El Reg keeps only highlighting RISC-V as the One True ARM/x86 Killer, it's not the only open ISA out there, and in point of fact it's currently the one with the least amount of usable open-friendly silicon available for purchase, and also the one where most of the existing open source software simply won't run. And with those trends not changing very quickly, if at all, it's not currently a serious threat to all but the smallest ARM designs in reality.

Elevating cost-cutting to a whole new level with million-dollar bar bills

whitepines Silver badge
Joke

Re: ...in order to itemise a customer's bill...

when a cheap and simple SEP Field generator would have made the problem disappear.

I hear a 5G mast (the more visible the better) works wonders to generate a SEP field...

...it doesn't even have to do 5G. A decoy is much cheaper for the same effect!

IBM Watson GPU cloud cluster Brexits from London to Frankfurt – because GDPR

whitepines Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Pointless And Political

There's an article in this fine publication about new UK snooping laws. Why is anyone surprised this little island (wannabe) dictatorship isn't magically compliant with GDPR at the same time?

whitepines Silver badge
Linux

Re: Genuinely...

or has this computationaly big been running for >3 years without modification?

Clearly you have no experience with academic code, as in software written by PhDs that have nothing to do with computer science but are Big Names in their chosen field (material science, for instance). Poorly written doesn't quite capture the spirit of the thing.

Icon 'cause some of them only code for Windows. On software intended for supercomputers.

Why should the UK pensions watchdog be able to spy on your internet activities? Same reason as the Environment Agency and many more

whitepines Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Extraordinary surveillance powers set to be injected into govt orgs

but they still need revenue

And when the companies and developers creating that revenue dry up because they won't work in a backward little nation like Blighty that wants to pretend it is anything more than a poor English copy of a much more powerful Asian surveillance dictatorship?

Oh, right. Consequences are something new and undiscovered for politicians.

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so

whitepines Silver badge
Boffin

Re: My favourite timing bug

Probing the LM723 power regulator chips pins fixed it for several months.

My best guess is that you found a cracked solder joint, probably in some feedback circuit where current was almost non-existent. Physically touching it re-made the connection enough for it to work, but it would have worked loose again over time.

You could have used a non-conductive stick to do the same thing and it would have "fixed" it just as well. Maddening failure mode, I've had a few in my career. Easy to keep in mind that with normal circuits if it's a signal margin error, removing the probe always causes the issue to reappear almost immediately.

Internet Archive justifies its vast 'copyright infringing' National Emergency Library of 1.4 million books by pointing out that libraries are closed

whitepines Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: It has been pointed out ...

Not as ignorant as you'll be when you can't afford to renew your (future) PPV reading license!

Me, I'll stick to dead trees. They don't have a habit of vanishing into thin air, and if they do the police are happy to investigate.

whitepines Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Disengenious

I understand why people think that IP law needs a comprehensive re-think. I don't get why people think that they can just ignore laws because they don't like them.

Probably because:

a. "copyright infringement" in the manner discussed, especially when it's just DRM bypass, is a true victimless "crime". In many cases the law (copyright) also goes against morality; we have copied from one another since our very first days as a species and inherently we know that restricting copying for more than a short duration is intrinsically bad. Especially when an improvement is completely locked away for no other reason than a corporation's selfish greed (e.g. the Disney Vault -- that business practice should be made illegal if we have to put up with copyright as-is).

b. Any discussion on reforming copyright is demonstrably a lost cause. Copyright is enshrined in treaty and shrouded in pathos ("the poor authors! they'll starve!"). The only outcome of legislative discussion on copyright for the past century has been more and more expansion of it and more and more draconian restrictions.

Given that track record, civil disobedience is apparently the only way the people can make their voice heard.

whitepines Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: It has been pointed out ...

take money out of the pockets of those who need it the most – American authors.

What a bunch of whiny crybabies. Business is hard, grow up -- you have the easiest job in the world with guaranteed legal protections on your work. Many others just muddle through with far fewer protections, including some fairly large corporations you just might have heard of like Siemens. And they're not whining about work they did 50+ years ago being copied.

Maybe if you and your ilk hadn't extended copyright to cover multiple generations people would actually care, but as it stands your own incompetence in making a living wage over a period of 120+ years per work with a DRM locked subscription model forced down your victims' customers' throats for added insult is not society's problem. We (society at large) simply don't care about your whining any more -- you've made the deal so bad that you can simply disappear and take your copyrighted rubbish with you as far as we're concerned.

By all means, don't get copyright duration under control, keep forcing renting and streaming of works, keep locking copyrighted works behind obtrusive, ineffective, privacy-invading DRM, and all you'll see is more and more people choosing to "own" a pirated copy instead of paying monthly or paying per view. Stop taking money out of the pockets of hard working American people -- many of whom work on a wage so low they can barely afford food and housing -- to fund your lifestyle through subscriptions, then, and only then, maybe you'll gain some respect. As it stands you don't even deserve a seat at the table.

Oh, and trying to profit from COVID19? That's just sick -- it shows where you really stand. Authors seem to be all about the money these days.

AMD dials 911, emits DMCA takedowns after miscreant steals a load of GPU hardware blueprints, leaks on GitHub

whitepines Silver badge
Trollface

Re: So let me get this right...

Probably a Ryzen laptop...running Windows, naturally...

whitepines Silver badge

I'm biased because I only really ever use Linux / BSD, and use a Power desktop, but the Open Power systems are actually quite good replacements for normal desktops and servers. The big drawback is there are no mobile devices, and of course Windows will not run but I think if you are running Windows the CPU hardware and firmware security is the least of your worries.

I also have a couple of ARM laptops. They are adequate, nothing special, but they do get the job done.

whitepines Silver badge
Alert

And yet, somehow, we're supposed to just trust that no one has stolen, or could ever steal, the Platform Security Processor master keys?

This should be a wake up call to anyone still willing to blindly trust AMD (or Intel!) for the continued security of their data.

The shelves may be empty, but the disk is full: Not even Linux can resist the bork at times

whitepines Silver badge
Joke

Re: The cruft builds up

Canon "Canada Goose" edition!

Britain's courts lurch towards Skype and conference calls for trials as COVID-19 distancing kicks in

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WTF?

Where exactly is it written that if you are arrested you have to give extremely private information to a foreign corporation (Microsoft) at trial?

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