* Posts by Waseem Alkurdi

1225 posts • joined 16 Apr 2018


BOFH: They say you either love it or you hate it. We can confirm you're going to hate it

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: So he was "visiting" during working hours

I don't miss no hotplug and easily bendable pins.

Right to repair shouldn't exist – not because it's wrong but because it's so obviously right

Waseem Alkurdi

Spot-on analysis

But that first paragraph is way off the mark. Those stereotypes ...

Microsoft has a workaround for 'HiveNightmare' flaw: Nuke your shadow copies from orbit

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Time to 'Nuke' Microsoft

Linux is flexible, free / FOSS, light, tinkering-friendly, but not secure.


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

Waseem Alkurdi

"The self-interested thing and the altruistic thing," he said, "are one and the same."

Huh? Has someone forgotten to disconnect this thing before they left for home?

United Arab Emirates’ Mars probe successfully launched and phones home

Waseem Alkurdi

Honestly no idea what are they proud of

but the mission is significant as it is the first interplanetary effort mounted by an Arab nation. As such it is the source of considerable pride.

If the technology is sourced from Japan, the actual probe was built in the United States, and the expertise is sourced from the West, where's the "Arab" angle? That they funded the project?

It's good that they did *something*, but had they channelled these funds to actually train people who would build the aircraft and manage the mission from top to bottom (perhaps like the Mangalyaan project), it would have been a source of actual pride. Until then, it's just another demonstration of how rich these guys are, not of their actual will to contribute.

Everything must go! Distributors clear shelves of ALL notebooks in Q2, even ones gathering dust over last 12 months

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Do you ever change your mind, based on data?t


Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Still plenty of good used laptops on eBay

Second- or third-gen Core i5? Runs hotter than an oven, battery lasts 30 minutes, if one is being generous.

'It's really hard to find maintainers...' Linus Torvalds ponders the future of Linux

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: I wonder why?

Will never be? After Torvalds steps aside, just give it a few years and watch them do it.

It's already time to choose from one of the BSDs.

Leaked benchmarks from developer kit for Apple's home-baked silicon appear to give Microsoft a run for its money

Waseem Alkurdi

Of course it won't have the same chip.

"Another point worth noting: there's no guarantee the A12Z chip in the Developer Transition Kit will appear in the first consumer Arm-based Macs, which are expected to land later this year. "

The other well-known Developer Transition Kit, the one for PowerPC to x86, had a Pentium 4, while the final release had a Core Duo chip (which was much more powerful).

Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: There is no price...

An HP laptop I presume?


Capture the horrors of war in razor-sharp quality with this ruggedised Samsung phone – or just lob it at enemy forces

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Does it phone home

It's more for consumers who like rugged stuff. The military surely has something more, er, fitting?

But then again, the UK army used WhatsApp for orders so ...

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: It's ugly

Of course it has <strikeTouchWiz</strike> OneUI - see the navigation bar.

The rumor that just won't die: Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length in 2021 with launch of 'A14-powered laptops'

Waseem Alkurdi

They would be better off porting to ARM and releasing an ipad pro-pro with full macos.

Won't happen, at least currently.

What I would note is that MS' attempt at ARM laptops have not been a spectacular success and the only place I've seen a lot of Google's devices are those dumped on kids in school.

What about phones, which are pretty much mini PCs without a keyboard?

What about the Raspberry Pi and its clones?

What about ARM servers? (I know that ARM servers tend to be specific-purpose as opposed to general-purpose, but hey, it's there)

Welcome to life in the Fossa lane: Ubuntu 20.04 let out of cage and Shuttleworth claims Canonical now 'commercially self sustaining'

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Go Ubuntu!

Don't want to be a spoilsport, but you can.

Thought you'd go online to buy better laptop for home working? Too bad, UK. So did everyone. Laptops, monitors and WLANs fly off shelves

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Mr downvoter

You really shouldn't. Not only the elderly die. There have been deaths in otherwise immunocompetent adults.

This is also hedging lots of bets on your perceived immunocompetence.

It's a little like playing Russian roulette.

Nation's home workers hitting refresh on 7 April can buy... Honor's bargain-basement Ryzen ultrabook

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: The machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the 13-inch MacBook Pro

"But it's Apple and we all know Apple laptops don't break!"

- somebody

Look ma, no Intel Management Engine, ish: Purism lifts lid on the Librem Mini, a privacy-focused micro PC

Waseem Alkurdi

As far as it's known from Intel documentation, Intel MEI loads its firmware from an SPI chip on the motherboard, the same one that holds the BIOS/UEFI.

This project's whole point is to keep only a minimum of MEI components that would still permit the CPU to boot (while obliterating ME functionality).

Waseem Alkurdi

I said x86 (the architecture), not Intel CPUs themselves. Your question was about how the choice of architecture could affect backdoor presence.

Backdoors could be built in any hardware including open-source hardware. You have to have perfect control of the supply chain, from the individual silicon wafers, even the machinery used to cut and process the wafers, to the couriers transporting your finished CPUs. An impossible amount of control, plain and simple, even for nation-states.

Same goes for software. You have to write your own assembly code if you want to be 100% guaranteed to be free of backdoors.

As you can't, there's still an element of inherent trust.

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Good but not great

A stateless laptop isn't a Chromebook. It has persistent storage, but that persistent storage is external to the laptop.

The whole concept of stateless means that the laptop itself doesn't have any chips capable of storing anything (including malware) - everything is moved to an external USB stick. Therefore, malware can't persist in firmware on the machine because the user can replace the stick on demand.

Waseem Alkurdi

x86 is well-documented, despite not being open-source, and aside from MEI there's no persistent storage on the CPU (so a reboot should be enough to remove any malicious code provided that it isn't reintroduced on boot).

Waseem Alkurdi

Good but not great

Purism is the ideal candidate for designing the stateless laptop.

Don't know why they don't ... the concept surely makes sense.

All roads lead to Bork in Kansas as Windows puts on a show for motorists

Waseem Alkurdi
Thumb Up

This is simply gorgeous.

See title.

HMD Global revamps infamous commuter-botherer, the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic

Waseem Alkurdi

The only reason these are called 'reboots' are to get them to sell.

Otherwise they are a disgrace to the original phones.

Apple updates iPad Pro with a trackpad, faster processor. Is it a real computer now?

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Still not a real computer.

These omissions are the result of progress. The above are the result of arbitrary lockdown.

Waseem Alkurdi
Thumb Up

You pretty much nailed it here.

Maybe they have a skunkworks project to get their chip to run a full version of macOS, but they haven't demonstrated anything yet.

To be honest, some "practical" proof exists.

Ages ago, the original iPad Air (only the iPad Air) can run Mac OS X Mavericks, because Apple had included ARM binaries of the whole system in the Mavericks release.


Waseem Alkurdi

Still not a real computer.

Unless you can totally control every partition of that flash storage.

Until you can change out the operating system for anything you might see fit.

Until you can swap out parts, because thin 'n' light != not repairable. They don't make them the same way nowadays.

Until it runs a real operating system, not a mobile operating system wearing a T-shirt five sizes too big.

Waseem Alkurdi

The previous release was faster than an i7-8700U, so faster than basically all laptops on the market at the time except gaming laptops and workstation laptops running H-Series chips.

These figures are very suspicious. They are based on benchmarks, which are prone to all sorts of fiddling. And that's for the same SoC on the same OS ... let alone when both are different.

But on the other side, perhaps this is why ARM Apple laptops are coming in 2021 or thereabouts?

Google halts Chrome, Chrome OS releases to avoid shipping flawed code, prioritizes security fixes amid coronavirus crunch

Waseem Alkurdi

Will they have a development reset

Like Longhorn?

Official: Apple debugs MacBook Air of sucky Butterfly keyboard

Waseem Alkurdi

Recently refreshed with Intel CPUs

How would that affect their (supposed, expected) ARM offer next year ... if that offer is also supposed to be a MacBook-Air-class machine?

Who needs an iPad Pro? Look everyone, Windows Terminal has mouse input

Waseem Alkurdi

That translucency stuff?

Linux has had that for ages now. Move on, nothing to see.

(Icon: Trolling .. but isn't it?)

Hello, sub £-100 Moto: Lenovo punts 6.1-inch display e6S at low-cost crowd

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Aged?

. *glances at old Nokia n810, single core 400Mhz CPU with 128MB RAM*

And Real Actual Linux, unlike 99% of current Android phones. It's (was?) even being mainlined.

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Can you root it?

It's a MediaTek chip - so a mixed bag, it may be very easy or nigh-on impossible. And Motonovo phones are traditionally anti-modding.

There are no-root solutions that use a dummy local VPN (that routes your traffic to an app on your device) ... but that's fishy unless the one you use is open source.

If you want a really moddable phone, go for a used flagship model (or low-end if it really has to be new) that has a Qualcomm chip and a leaked/available factory programmer. Xiaomi even officially supplies them (instead of them being leaked like LG's or OnePlus's ones).

XAML Hot Reload sounds like a gun you need for the 2050 zombie apocalypse – but it's a Visual Studio 2019 16.5 feature

Waseem Alkurdi

XAML Hot Reload sounds like a gun you need for the 2050 zombie apocalypse

More like the COVID-19-pocalypse, judging by how the masses are in a frenzy.

Tinfoil hat brigade switches brand allegiance to bog paper

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: How to use the phone plate most effectively.

No, it's on page 49 of the fifth thread on the "Application and Installation Subforum" of the blasted thing's Community Forum ...

... in the Archive.

Borklays soz for the ailing ATMs but won't say if fix involved a Microsoft invoice

Waseem Alkurdi

Does misspelling something over and over and again make it correct?

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: What makes you think it's Windows 7 ?

A whole lot of Windows versions between 95 and XP existed that did do gradients.

And it's definitely 7, based on the command prompt icon. That's the icon first introduced in Vista, and I sincerely hope this isn't Vista.

The command line background is blue, so it's possibly PowerShell in a Command Prompt window.

Appareils électroniques: Right to repair gets European Commission backing

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: My wishlist


1- You gotta be kidding me.

2- What's wrong with the Genius Bar?

3- Huh?

5- Done, but look, here's the next-gen Apple USB-C complete with a chip to prevent non-Apple equipment from sipping pure Apple power.

6- Like the latest Surface Laptop with a socketed but still proprietary SSD.

Google: You know we said that Chrome tracker contained no personally identifiable info? Yeah, about that...

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Why is anybody expecting privacy?

Compelling in the sense that "if you've got something to hide, then you're a criminal and a risk to society".

Not true, but one has to concede to avoid being called a criminal in this case because criminals, well, do have something to hide.

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Just one question

Why is it important for a website I visit to obtain knowledge on my Chrome installation ? I come with a browser, they serve the page, that's the deal. Why is it important that they be notified of any extensions I have ?

To fingerprint your browser (therefore you), so they could track you, so they could target ads depending on which websites you visit.

If I ever have the chance of meeting someone from Google, before shaking their hand I'm going to ask them the brand and size of their underwear, their shoe size, what deodorant they're wearing and how old their socks are. Let's see how they like that.

That's like the analogy I give to laypeople to explain this. Imagine that you're riding a cab when somebody slides into the seat next to you with a clipboard, asking you for where you live, where you work, what your interests are et cetera, jotting down your answers in minute detail. Any sane person would tell them to go mind their own business.

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Why is anybody expecting privacy?

The question is whether we should just silently watch them do it or kick up a stink.

But for this to happen, you need people to realize the big issue. However, on the other side you have:

(a) catchy arguments that ring, are easy to grasp and are mostly true (like the compelling nothing-to-hide argument) ... and:

If what they do is covered in new legislation then we need to apply pressure to ensure the legislation is enforced.

(b) lobbying against almost all hope of an actual implementation of such legislation by megacorps, because there's money to be lost because of such legislation.

Most people don't think of Google of a data mining operation, however misguided they may be.

Some people think that Google is a really nice philanthropic corporation (compared to traditionally ugly ones like the smoking and pharmaceutical ones), offering services for pittance in form of ads. Let them target me, I'm not that significant, such a person would say.

The people that understand and have concerns need to raise those concerns to have a chance of reining Google in.

Brings us back to (a). Scaremongering really works when the scaremonger uses catchy arguments and have lots upon lots of money to back them up.

Schermata blu di errore: Italy might be in lockdown, but the sh!tshow must go on

Waseem Alkurdi

We are far too classy a publication to suggest that perhaps the computer driving the display has become infected with a virus and hacked up a big ol' screen of blue. That would be in terribly poor taste.

This deserves a medal.

Latest bendy phone effort from coke empire spinoff Escobar Inc is a tinfoil-plated Samsung Galaxy Fold 'scam'

Waseem Alkurdi

So Escobar Inc is all about continuing the family legacy?

And Samsung has become a bloody ODM?

(Assuming Samsung knows of this)

Microsoft nukes 9 million-strong Necurs botnet after unpicking domain name-generating algorithm

Waseem Alkurdi

Couldn't the malware authors read this and simply reconfigure their name-generating algorithms?

The Reg produces exhibit A1: A UK court IT system running Windows XP

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: No one goes to jail

Precisely why this is the case. See my response above.

Safety-critical applications (or business-critical ones) should not change so often or have so many hands out there using it.

Anything else, the users should grow up and readjust.

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: What logic is this?

You've made a mistake here which has proven my point: considering any of this equal to a home or social user.

Not so fast:

It's ok if people screw up doing something recreational because of a UI change when using Twitter/ Facebook/Instagram, or any other non-critical application.

A critical application isn't something that would get many changes and is something that is not supposed to get so many hands on it that retraining its users is a hassle.

Think of a hospital application, since life and death were mentioned.

A hospital application that allows the janitor to prescribe controlled substances is seriously flawed. And a hospital application that has its UI changed with every UX fad is also in deep need of a reality check.

TL;DR: critical applications should not suffer from the issue at hand, unless that critical application is incorrectly implemented.

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: What logic is this?

3. Re-training users regarding updates

I find it odd how users could magically retrain themselves when it comes to Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/$ANTISOCIAL_APP/$PHONE_OS updates and major UI redesigns ... but not when a work system changes something ever so slight ... like Windows updates prior to Windows 8?

Like seriously, is the difference between XP and 7 even close to enough to reconsider retraining?

Waseem Alkurdi

How's that even remotely useful to store data?

Waseem Alkurdi

Re: Blame the apps

There are exploits that do not require administrative privileges, often resulting in privilege escalations.

Example: CVE-2014-4971



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