* Posts by DS999

493 posts • joined 9 Jun 2020

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Adidas now stands for All Day I'm Disconnecting All Servers as owners of 'smart' Libra scales furious over bricked kit

DS999

This is going to become a bigger and bigger problem

The average consumer is completely unaware something like this might happen, and could render their expensive internet connected fridge, TV, doorbell, etc. without the extra "smart" functionality they thought they were paying for, or in the worst case without any functionality at all.

I can't imagine there won't be some laws written before long to address this. Presumably in Europe, since they care about consumers at least a little. Unlike the US where any whiny owners will be told "buyer beware" and we should put our full trust in the free market to magically solve this problem for us.

GNOME alone: FOSS desktop folk to start counting in whole numbers again

DS999

Re: Translation....

Samsung went from 10 to 20 (which will only make sense if the next one is 21) but no one compares to Microsoft who went from 95 to 2000 then down to 7.

Before you buy that managed Netgear switch, be aware you may need to create a cloud account to use its full UI

DS999

Re: If it is a one time deal, who cares?

Nowhere does it say it requires an active cloud connection to be able to manage it. That would require a full time internet connection, and make it useless in a network that is firewalled off from the net.

DS999

If it is a one time deal, who cares?

Put up some bogus information and give it a throwaway email created on hotmail or whatever. It isn't as if they can verify the information is true, they probably just want to get your contact info so they can notify you of firmware updates (though the real reason will be to try to sell you extended warranties, support contracts, other Netgear products etc.)

US cybersecurity agency issues super-rare emergency directive to patch Windows Server flaw ASAP

DS999

Re: Do not patch ..

If is anyone is using an internet connected Windows Server that's part of a domain as a voting machine, we're in more trouble than I thought.

Oracle Zooms past rivals to run TikTok’s cloud, take stake alongside WalMart and ByteDance investors

DS999

Re: Missed a bit

You Trumpies like to paint crazy doom and gloom scenarios. Nuclear war is more likely with Trump as president, he's the one openly talking about using them and how "powerful" they are. He's obviously compensating for huge shortcomings elsewhere. Probably also true for many of his supporters.

DS999

Re: Missed a bit

I think the whole thing will be timed so that nothing happens until after the election, and if he loses the whole deal is quietly forgotten.

I also saw a story that Bytedance thinks the valuation should be at $60 billion, so the 20% that Oracle/Walmart are buying would cost $12 billion. The agreement they have right now is "in principle" meaning they haven't agreed on price. I don't see them agreeing it is worth anywhere near that much. Maybe Walmart could use it to harvest enough data / sell enough products to TikTok users, but unless Oracle is getting a backdoor deal where they store TikTok's data in their cloud at a $5 billion per year markup, I don't see how the math works for them.

The lifetime of most social media networks is pretty short. Vine was TikTok a few years ago, and where are they now? Why should anyone believe that kids aren't already moving on to the next social media network now that TikTok has been in the news so much lately and their parents are creating accounts or telling them "the president says that app is bad so delete it immediately or we'll take your phone away!"

Tencent in talks for 'longterm solution' to WeChat mess as injunction keeps the app alive

DS999

Re: Hopefully Nov 3rd will resolve the problem

Why should we care? There is basically no WeChat usage by non Chinese speakers. In the US it is used by Chinese nationals to communicate with people back home. If China wants to spy on their messages they can do it as the traffic passes through the Great Firewall (any traffic end to end encrypted, like iMessage, is blocked by the Great Firewall so I assume WeChat is not end to end encrypted)

I assume Chinese nationals living in the US who care about whether China could spy on them and worry that WeChat might be bugged by China's government choose to use something else to communicate amongst themselves, and only use WeChat to communicate to people back home.

If WeChat is banned, someone will create a new app designed for the same purpose, which would have to not be end to end encrypted, so banning WeChat would accomplish nothing other than inconveniencing Chinese nationals living in the US and people back home who want to communicate with them. It is just election season showboating by Trump.

As we stand on the precipice of science fiction into science fact, people say: Hell yeah, I want to augment my eyesight!

DS999

Re: I'd be willing to consider this when I'm old

I already live in a world where tonic water is disgusting and coffee (and tea) is completely undrinkable, and some wines too. But I love a good point of Guiness, and dark chocolate!

DS999

I'd be willing to consider this when I'm old

If age and decrepitude is making it difficult to walk, having some technology that helps so you don't need to be confined to a wheelchair would be welcome.

But as long as I'm healthy I don't want anything that requires power to upgrade me. I'd consider replacing my natural lenses with the type of lenses they give cataract patients when they are accommodative so I can have both close and far vision in 20/20 or better (this is being worked on and will probably become a reality before too long) Can't really think of anything else I'd upgrade, it isn't like I want better hearing or sense of smell than I currently have - in fact having better hearing or sense of smell might even be a curse as it would be harder to escape annoying noises and smells!

DS999

Re: Why bother?

I didn't realize Trump campaign ads were airing in the UK as well.

Did this airliner land in the North Sea? No. So what happened? El Reg probes flight tracker site oddity

DS999
Black Helicopters

Conspiracy theorists are going to love this

I'll bet the QAnon nutters have already woven this into their complex web and will be claiming a witness who could blow the lid on the whole huge conspiracy was on that flight.

Amazon gets its tax excuses in early amid rising UK profits – but leaves El Reg off the press list. Can't think why

DS999

Re: There is a possible way of getting tax out of them.

And if they closed warehouses in the UK and supplied goods from ones in Ireland or France instead?

iOS 14 suffers app preference amnesia: Rebooting an iThing resets browser, email client defaults back to Safari, Mail

DS999

The problem is in who does the beta testing

Are the developers and iPhone power users who run prerelease beta versions of iOS going to be setting Chrome as their default browser? Of course not, that's why this wasn't uncovered during testing. They set it to Chrome, found that Chrome was now the default, then set it back to Safari where they intended to leave it and as far as they were concerned concluded "the new feature works".

He was a skater boy. We said, 'see you later, boy' – and the VAX machine mysteriously began to work as intended

DS999

Never heard of anyone ever doing that

I think it may have been just you. I've heard of wrist straps but never anything so ridiculous as what you describe.

Alibaba wants to get you off the PC upgrade treadmill and into its cloud

DS999

Re: Obvious

Personally I like that Apple is making phones powerful enough that they can do things locally where no one can spy on you.

Even the language translation feature being added in iOS 14 that Android owners are saying "we've had that for years" is processed locally if you download a language pack. On Google products its all done in the cloud, and no one should be under any illusion they aren't using it to add to the data profile they maintain on you.

In China where you effectively have no right to privacy, you might as well carry around low power devices and do everything in the cloud because they're going to spy on you regardless.

DS999

Re: Little question

If I was them I'd put in a disclaimer saying people from the EU should not buy this as it does not comply with the GDPR. If you go to the Alibaba site and buy it anyway using currency conversion then you have no right to claim any sort of privacy protection.

DS999
Facepalm

Re: A ''cloud" computer!

Sure, and personal computers never have problems either.

Bad news for 'cool dads' trying to bond with their teens: China-owned TikTok and WeChat face US download ban by Sunday

DS999

Only a problem if you live in the US

The executive order only bans them from US app stores, so people in the UK and EU will still be able to download them.

The part of the order that bans WeChat from being involved in financial transactions is also supposed to be only in the US, but it could hit elsewhere given how intertwined international banking is.

Microsoft forks out $3m in back pay settlement to make Feds' hiring discrimination probe go away

DS999

No it doesn't

If you read the article the agreement specifically does not admit fault on their part. These types of settlements almost always admit no fault - the company wouldn't agree to it otherwise since it would compromise their future legal position if they are caught doing the same thing again.

Cisco’s 'intuitive security' tool can’t handle MAC address randomization out-of-the-box

DS999

You don't need the 'real' MAC address in the DHCP request, you just need it to be the SAME address each time it does a DHCP request for that network.

So if you wanted to set up static DHCP or whitelist what MAC addresses can access your network you'd have to first attempt to join that network so it will assign a new random MAC. Then you can use that new MAC to set up DHCP or the whitelist, try to join again, and it will work. It is a little bit more work, but IMHO the security benefit is worth it (especially since consumers aren't going to be exposed to this side of things anyway)

DS999

Re: Yet another elastoplast with unexpected consequences?

What you describe is already defeated by the MAC randomization that has been in use for years. Not sure how Android did it, but on iOS it would use a random MAC address when searching for wifi access points (i.e. to generate a list of SSIDs) When you actually connected to a wireless network, then it would use your real MAC - so stuff like static DHCP would work.

What has changed in iOS 14 is that they will be randomizing MAC addresses when first connecting to a wifi network. So if I wanted to set up static DHCP on two networks I'd have a different MAC for the same phone listed on each. For consumer use this isn't a problem, but it sounds like in certain corporate environments it is a problem (I'll leave it to those more familiar with how this Cisco device does things to explain that)

DS999

Re: Yet another elastoplast with unexpected consequences?

Unless 'the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook, NSA etc etc' own (of have access to) the AP you are connecting to, they're unlikely to see you MAC address

Not sure what the situation is in other countries, but in the US the default for the average consumer is to use a wifi router supplied to them by their ISP. So they can certainly link your MAC addresses to various web activity - and they could share/shell that information with Google or Facebook since the "privacy policies" US companies have are pretty much "we can share anything with our 'partners'" where 'partners' means "anyone who pays us money or gives us something of value in trade".

Not content with distorting actual reality, Facebook now wants to build a digital layer for the world

DS999

Translation:

"If we can't circulate blatant falsehoods like 'Biden is a pedophile' our guy won't win"

DS999

How the hell

Will it figure out it is in a restaurant or locker room or whatever? GPS isn't accurate to that degree indoors. Do they really think they can use image recognition to recognize "restaurant" or "locker room"?

They're just saying that to reduce the prelaunch backlash. The real backlash will come if this turd is actually launched and their assurances about where it won't record are shown to be false.

Never mind that you can run Meet on any old computer, Google unveils specialised hardware for vid-chat plat

DS999
Facepalm

Sure, I want a Google product WITH A CAMERA in my home...

They must think we're stupid!

Apple takes another swing at Epic, says Unreal Engine could be a 'trojan horse' threatening security

DS999

Re: "most egregious acts of sabotage that Apple has experienced with any developer,"

You think that a 6% margin means that wholesalers are getting 94% of the retail price? You've obviously never run a business!

That's the margin AFTER the cost of running the store, which is not insignificant. Wholesalers are lucky to get 50% in a grocery store.

DS999

Re: They tried to cheat their way out of payment system they knew upfront about.

Yep, app developers have found it is a lot better to give away the app for free and then charge a small amount at a time many times than to require full payment up front like most PC applications had been doing for several decades.

If something that would have been $50 back in the day is free and then relies on addicted users to spend $50 (and maybe $500 if they are really addicted) over the next few months/years why should the company that created the platform get stiffed because you think "charging for in app purchases isn't fair".

Now for stuff like a subscription to Netflix I think taking a cut is a bit more problematic, since the Netflix app is incidental to the service they are paying for. The same argument cannot be made for a game and its in app purchases, or say a biking or smart remote control app that's free but charges you a monthly or yearly subscription to access advanced features of the app or remove the advertising.

So basically I think Spotify has a much stronger argument against Apple than Epic does.

DS999

Re: "Apple would face incalculable harm"

entering CC details is no barrier to younger people

Perhaps not, but what would you recommend as an alternative for Apple's customers to prove they are 18 years old? Send in a scan of a driver's license? Sites that can put your picture and whatever name you want onto an image of a driver's license you can use to "prove" your age are all over the internet. A passport might be better since the penalties for forgery are a lot stiffer so hopefully it isn't quite so easy to fake, but a minority of Americans even have a passport (perhaps this is higher in places like the UK where other countries are so much closer)

Proving your age online is an issue with a lot of places, someone ought to come up with a solution. Maybe if you integrate it with something like Touch ID/Face ID your phone can attest to your age when you identify yourself to it, after you have proved to a notary that you are who you say you are and they add some sort of electronic notary stamp on your phone. While that would be useful for other reasons, it would be a bit much for Apple to suggest you have to visit a notary to establish your identity/age before you can be the 'responsible' person on devices owned by minors.

Stock market blizzard: Snowflake set for £33bn IPO as valuation bubble keeps on expanding

DS999

No way Buffett is considering this

He would never buy a company that manages to lose more money than it collects in revenue. He wouldn't be interested at a tenth of the price.

That's obviously a very false rumor put out by someone hoping to hype the launch so they can sell their overvalued shares before the bubble pops.

Storage consolidation: Why different flavors of database need different types of storage

DS999

Re: Sure

As long as you know the performance characteristics won't be an issue. One database can cause performance problems for the entire pool. Should the sales guys and manufacturing floor grind to a halt because the accountants pushed through a buggy software change that will cause their database load to go crazy during their month end closing process?

Keeping things separate may be a little more wasteful of resources, but better isolates each from the problems of others.

We want weaponised urban drones flying through your house, says UK defence ministry as it waves a fistful of banknotes

DS999

Re: Perfectly safe

Whether or not this gets built, it is only a matter of time before a drug gang buys a drone, packs it with as much high explosive as it can carry, flies it over the villa or vehicle of a rival drug lord, and detonates it.

You won't need .NET Standard... except when you do need it: Microsoft sets out latest in ever-changing story

DS999

.NET is still a thing?

Who still uses that POS? Is it the five people left who still use a Zune?

0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'

DS999

Unrelated

But in the US state of Missouri, the governor's office can issue special plates consisting of only numbers (up to 4)

Supposedly it is done as a status symbol, though the real reason is it serves as a way of letting the cops know you are an Important Person and shouldn't be bothered with petty stuff like driving 20 mph over the speed limit or parking in a no parking zone. Especially the two digit plates, apparently you can get away with almost anything driving around in one of those.

There may be something similar in other states, I don't know, I just recall this because I had a resident explain this to me when we saw a big SUV parked right next to a fire hydrant in front of a bar. It had a two digit plate, and she knew that it was Augie Busch's car (heir to the Anheuser Busch fortune) since everyone in town knew it was his by the two digits.

Singapore to pay its citizens to wear Apple Watches

DS999

Alcohol, coffee and pasta

Thinking of it as "undoing the good work" is the wrong way around. One of the reasons I work out regularly and keep myself in good health is so I can eat and drink pretty much whatever I want without worrying about it.

I figure "everything in moderation" is a good rule, so long as the definition of "moderation" includes special occasions where I might drink myself into a near stupor and/or eat as many calories in a day as I'd normally consume in three. You just can't do those things too often, but if you felt you could never do them life wouldn't be worth living.

Net neutrality lives... in Europe, anyway: Top court supports open internet rules, snubs telcos and ISPs

DS999

No, net neutrality doesn't mean QoS isn't allowed. It means QoS can't prioritize based on whose VOIP or video traffic it is. So you can prioritize VOIP traffic but if you do so you have to prioritize ALL VOIP traffic, not just your own VOIP traffic or that of favored partners. If you have caps you have to count EVERYTHING against the cap, not carve out special exclusions like "if you stream Hulu that doesn't count against your cap because they paid us".

Brit MPs to Apple CEO: Please stop ignoring our questions about repairability and the environment

DS999

Re: Yes, it is the consumers\fanbois

Actually iPhones are MORE repairable now than they were in the first few years. Especially for battery replacement, which along with replacing a broken screen is all that 99% of phone owners care about anyway.

They were getting a 7 on iFixit 3 or 4 years ago, now its down to a 6 (because of the difficulty and expense of replacing the glass back if it breaks) But when other flagships like Samsung Galaxy S / Note are 3s and 4s a 6 sounds pretty good.

Singapore to test compulsory COVID-tracker usage as condition of entry to some venues

DS999

You'd also need massive testing for this to work

Otherwise people who don't know they have coronavirus will spread it, and there's no contact tracing done until a positive test is reported. You'd probably need to test everyone on a weekly basis to be sure, though if you test if they'd HAD it you could maybe get away with monthly testing (at the cost that you'd have to contact trace everyone that person came in contact with in the month since they're last negative test)

So that's the US out then, we can't even test enough to catch all the actual cases, let alone have resources to test people who have no reason to believe they have the virus.

Another week, another dual-screen phone, this time a T-shaped LG thingamy

DS999

I didn't think anyone could take the idea of dual screen phones and make it even worse

I stand corrected.

Family wrongly accused of uploading pedo material to Facebook – after US-EU date confusion in IP address log

DS999
Happy

Re: 11Oct16

Many people outside the US know at least one valid US zip code, thanks to the TV show Beverly Hills 90210.

Who cares what Apple's about to announce? It owes us a macOS x86 virtual appliance for non-Mac computers

DS999

Apple isn't "moving to Nvidia". Did anyone claim they were "moving to Softbank" a few years ago? The owner of the company that licenses the ARM ISA is irrelevant to Apple, they do their own designs and haven't used anything designed by ARM for a long time. They won't use anything designed by Nvidia, so nothing Nvidia does could really affect them - they can't change the terms of Apple's architectural license, raise prices, or deny access to Apple.

The only thing they could MAYBE do is if the license only covers the current ARM ISA and not future extensions, ARMv9, etc. then they could raise the price for adding those in the license. If the terms aren't to Apple's liking they could simply say "no thanks" and stick with the current ISA which is more than adequate for a long time to come.

DS999

Re: Macipad is the future

That's your fantasy world you want to see because you obviously don't like Apple.

In the real world Apple has been running macOS code on their ARM SoCs for years, so they've already done the legwork and will hit the ground running and the ARM SoCs will be faster than every Intel CPU it replaces in each Mac model. They will not do the "heavy lifting", they will do it better than Intel CPUs!

DS999

How much of that is because Intel and Microsoft have included backwards compatibility all the way back to DOS 1.0 on 8086, making it hard to convince the beancounters of a business case for porting.

Sounds great in theory, why mess with software that "works", after all? The problem is that the people who understand it leave, and then it goes from "we can't justify spending someone's time to port this" to "we can't port this". So that old application written for Windows NT that doesn't take any advantage of multicore, has logic to optimize performance for a rotating hard drive that's pointless when it uses an SSD, and assumes VGA resolution since that was the lowest common denominator at the time will be used essentially forever.

At least they're finally being forced to replace that old ActiveX stuff, since the new Edge browser doesn't support that or 'IE6 mode' any longer.

Backwards compatibility is a good thing in the short term, but if you extend it out forever it is a curse.

Mozilla says India's planned data harvest law is 'blunt' and should be caste aside

DS999

What is "non personal data"?

If you collect data from me or what I do online, it is "personal data" as far as I'm concerned!

Infosec big names rally against US voting app maker's bid to outlaw unsanctioned bug hunting via T&Cs

DS999

If he loses, recounting won't change the outcome, he just wants that for show. He needs to throw up a lot of mud so that if he loses he can claim the election was stolen from him - the same scam he was setting up prior to the 2016 election when he was expecting to lose.

He'll get a regular show on Fox News next year where he'll whine and bluster and continue dragging the republican party down the drain with him, until all the investigations that he's no longer able to stop get the goods on him and he's exposed for the giant fraud he always has been.

Only after he's disgraced can the republican party purge his enablers and quit trying to be the party of the angry white man. If they continue down that path into the 2024 election, they will become the Whig party of the 21st century and some new party will spring up to replace them.

Take your pick: 'Hack-proof' blockchain-powered padlock defeated by Bluetooth replay attack or 1kg lump hammer

DS999

Re: Confessions of a bolt cutter

Well I know they are somewhere in my house. I just don't know where :)

Without having any locks I've needed to pick for a long time, I haven't ever really looked that hard for them. I assume they will turn up someday. I very much doubt I could make my own that would function as well - I think part of the reason I was so successful is that that it was a pretty high quality set. As evidenced in this thread others haven't found it as easy as I did, and I'll bet the pick set I had versus whatever they were using is a lot of the reason - I doubt there's much "natural ability" for something like that.

DS999

Re: Confessions of a bolt cutter

Lock picking is not difficult, at least not for the sorts of standard locks on a padlock, office door or the sort of home deadbolt you'd buy at Lowes if you were only looking at the big name / low price area.

Took me a couple hours to learn and get the feel of it, then I was able to pick most locks in 15-30 seconds. I lost my lock pick set so I haven't done it in years, but I have no doubt I'd be able to relearn quickly if I could be bothered to. A bolt cutter may be quicker, but it also renders the padlock unusable. If I pick one even if I don't have the key I still have a padlock I can attach to something I want to keep secure from anyone who doesn't know how to pick locks or isn't worried if someone sees them carrying a 10 pound bolt cutter around.

Bad apples: US customs seize OnePlus earbuds thinking they're knock-off AirPods

DS999
Facepalm

Perhaps CBP

Should wait to verify the products they seized are in fact counterfeit before crowing about the seizure on Twitter and making themselves look like idiots.

Wow, you guys have so much in common: Oracle hotly tipped to power TikTok’s operations as Microsoft deal rejected

DS999

Re: Technology providers

No Trump would only insist on that if his "national security" argument was legit. Since it is all about him being a whiny crybaby when Tiktok was used by teens to troll him on his Oklahoma event and make him look bad with its tiny audience, he won't have any objections to this. He's giving one of his biggest campaign donaters some free business, probably gets a kickback in terms of more donations, and thus will claim this solves all the imaginary problems with Tiktok that never existed in the first place.

Typical '80s IT: Good idea leads to additional duties, without extra training or pay, and a nuked payroll system

DS999
Trollface

Re: These old stories are fascinating

What stories will this column have in twenty years by today's crop of newbies?

"This one time my boss asked me to do something so I called the offshore team that actually does the work, and they told me the following story about they eventually solved it"

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