* Posts by Neil Alexander

252 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

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Renewed calls for Tesla to scrap Autopilot after number of crashes

Neil Alexander

Usually one can blame their stupidity on a different kind of autopilot. Certainly not all autopilot is of the technological variety. Just ask the morons who text whilst driving.

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Sorry, iPhone fans – only Fandroids get Barclays' tap-to-withdraw

Neil Alexander

" Apple restricts the use of iPhones' NFC chips to its own Apple Pay facility and there's no hook-in that for third-party apps from banks or anyone else."

As far as I'm concerned this is a good thing. At least that way I know there's no leakage of payment data to some rogue application that makes use of an API vulnerability.

The real question here, though, is why Barclays have had to implement some custom app-powered NFC hook to get this to work when existing NFC payment infrastructure would handle this use case perfectly?

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IPv4 is OVER. Really. So quit relying on it in new protocols, sheesh

Neil Alexander

In reality, this is massively overdue.

IPv6 is in it's late teens, IPv4 address exhaustion has been on the table for years and is hardly recent news and it's not acceptable for so-called "standards bodies" to just sit back and pretend like nothing is happening.

The IETF should have been rejecting drafts that were dependent on IPv4 long before now. If anything is going to drive IPv6 adoption, it's real-world use cases - that is, protocols and services that actually work, are well-defined and solve real problems.

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A British phone you're not embarrassed to carry? You heard that right

Neil Alexander

"WileyFox"

Not strong on names, are they?

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WebAssembly: Finally something everyone agrees on – websites running C/C++ code

Neil Alexander

Never will understand this constant desire by developers to make applications as web pages instead of applications as applications. The user experience delivered by web applications usually sucks.

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Hackintoshes hackable

Neil Alexander

"Mac OS is notoriously hard to virtualise, and creating a Mac OS VM that will run on non-Apple hardware requires all manner of tweaking"

No it isn't. You can do it effortlessly in VMware Fusion, and then you can even take those VMDKs/VMXs and take them to VMware Workstation on Windows, or even ESXi, and often they work fine with only very minor tweaks to the SMBIOS lines in the VMX file.

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Tesla's big news today:
sudo killall -9 Autopilot

Neil Alexander

Re: "...and a more powerful computer."

"Do 'A.I.' cars realized when an unexpected crash has occurred?"

Non-AI cars know when they've been crashed. How do you think airbags are deployed?

Also see Volvo pedestrian airbags, which deploy even if a human is hit without the front-end being damaged or crumpled.

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Mercedes answers autonomous car moral dilemma: Yeah, we'll just run over pedestrians

Neil Alexander

Sure does depend on the situation. After all, dinging the car is one thing. Writing off the people inside of it is another.

Not all external players are pedestrians or cyclists, though. Some of them are in HGVs or trucks. Some of them are idiots in Range Rovers who think they're indestructible.

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Neil Alexander

Not sure this approach of protecting the occupants of the vehicle is so unusual. The autonomous system can at least largely control the vehicle, whereas it has absolutely no influence or control over external players.

If someone outside of the car does something reckless then I don't suppose it's really fair to expect the car to sacrifice its own occupants as a result.

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Desktop budget wrangles: Whose device is it anyway?

Neil Alexander

I guess I can appreciate that somewhat, but not because I expect to get any real work done on such a device. Sometimes it'd be nice to have a little 8" screen to carry over to a colleagues desk when I just need a quick opinion on something or to flick through minutes from a previous meeting when sat around a table.

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IPv6 now faster than IPv4 when visiting 20% of top websites – and just as fast for the rest

Neil Alexander

Re: 20% is not noticable

"And if you *are* trying to open up that server, I *want* there to be some effort to prevent services being accidentally exposed to the outside world."

That is the job of a firewall. Repeat after me: NAT is not a firewall.

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Neil Alexander

Re: Time to learn

"That would actually be Prefix Translation rather than address translation, but unfortunately (AIUI) that got kicked out as "not needed" quite early one."

Despite that, you can NETMAP quite easily using netfilter6 to translate prefixes with minimal effort on Linux. In fact, this is exactly what I do on my home network with my EdgeRouter X, which includes these modules out-of-the-box.

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Did you know iOS 10, macOS Sierra has a problem with crappy VPNs? You do now

Neil Alexander

PPTP should have been dead years ago.

Congratulations go to Apple.

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Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

Neil Alexander

Is it really a bad thing for new devices to feature "incremental" improvements? We've pretty much reached the point with smartphones where they do what we need and they do it reasonably well. We don't need a massive paradigm shift. We need refinement.

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Pains us to run an Apple article without the words 'fined', 'guilty' or 'on fire' in it, but here we are

Neil Alexander

To give them credit for one thing

The AirPods do look really well thought out. If they work as well as advertised, I'll be sold.

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Beautiful, efficient, data-sucking Smart Cities: Why do you give us the creeps?

Neil Alexander

The ironic thing here is that not everything in a smart city needs to be heavily networked in order to be "smart".

A street light that dims when nobody is around needs a dumb heat/motion sensor, and that's about it. At worst, it might want to know about the nearest few street lights and their motion sensing too, but it doesn't need to know about me, you or anyone else individually, and it doesn't really need to be networked with street lights some miles away. Road junctions can be monitored in volume of traffic and not necessarily by following individual vehicles around using ANPR. Some traffic lights already can detect oncoming traffic to stop people sitting at red lights unnecessarily - no citywide network needed there either.

The problem isn't making things smart. The problem is making things too networked.

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FBI Director wants 'adult conversation' about backdooring encryption

Neil Alexander

Non-technical people in Government trying to rule on technical matters, sky still blue, etc.

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Update your iPhones, iPads right now – govt spy tools exploit vulns

Neil Alexander

Re: Safe and secure...

That's a dangerous assumption to make, given that security holes in Windows Phone are much less likely to be as widely published given the comparatively minor market share. That doesn't mean that they aren't there and that the bad guys don't know about them.

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Native Skype for Windows Phone walked behind shed, shot heard

Neil Alexander

Re: Bad reporting - Skype UWP part of Windows 10 Mobile etc.

"All active users of Windows Phone 8.1 devices (i.e. 2014 handsets onwards, roughly)"

So, er, not all active users of Windows Phone 8.1 then.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update is borking boxen everywhere

Neil Alexander

Re: Plan ahead

That would absolutely be wise, given that some Windows 10 users have seen such updates nuking their Linux partitions too.

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Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?

Neil Alexander

Turns out that it's really hard to pull major components out of an operating system that so desperately wants to be compatible with applications from 1995 without breaking things. You're right, it's a mess, but until Microsoft are willing to fully modernise, it's not going to go away.

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Neil Alexander

And over here we can see the Linux user community jumping into comment sections of Windows articles to needlessly explain the supposed virtues of turning to the the almighty penguin. For many a year it was Apple fanboys who filled this niche, but as you can see, times have changed.

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Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

Neil Alexander

Needed a Windows box at home, but feared that the upgrade advisor would jump in at some point and molest my machine if it was running either Windows 7 or 8.1. Decided to install Windows Server 2012 R2 with the desktop experience features instead. At least it won't accidentally (deliberately?) become Windows 10.

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Remix chomps Marshmallow, updates its Android for PCs

Neil Alexander

Re: why no linkage love? 'Bing'?

"As if 'google' wasn't endemic enough, now we have 'Bing'..."

No we don't. That's not a thing.

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Third time unlucky? HPE in redundancy talks with UK services staff

Neil Alexander

Lessons learned?

They aren't. Ever.

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Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Neil Alexander

Re: Rather Late....

"But a a full fat native Linux Phablet would be a long time coming."

The Linux community still can't get desktop computing right for "average users". They're quite some way off managing a decent tablet experience.

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McCain: Come to my encryption hearing. Tim Cook: No, I'm good. McCain: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you

Neil Alexander

McCain's just pissed because Tim Cook knows that the Government have absolutely nothing sensible to say about encryption. Cook's refusal to entertain it sends a powerful message, one that not many companies are strong enough to send.

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HPE dumps software biz into the bargain bin

Neil Alexander

Bye Felicia.

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Linux letting go: 32-bit builds on the way out

Neil Alexander

Re: Goodbye Skype?

"it will become impossible to use Skype on Linux"

That can only be a blessing.

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Eat my reports! Bart ransomware slips into PCs via .zip'd JavaScript

Neil Alexander

Someone please tell me

"contains malicious JavaScript code that, when opened, fetches the Bart executable via HTTPS and installs it."

Why in fresh hell is JavaScript able to install or execute anything?!

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Lexus cars suffer Purple Screen of Death – code bug turns the air blue

Neil Alexander

Re: So what else have they borked that's a little more serious ...

Presumably they mean "don't shout at the infotainment system whilst driving".

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Adpocalypse 'will wipe out display ad growth' by 2020

Neil Alexander

split the revenue 70:30 with publishers

Very ominous sounding, given that this would either require them to be tracking your site visits for fair metrics, at which point you are the product yet again, or distributing wealth in some greedy, predetermined and unfair fashion that doesn't represent user browsing habits.

I think I'll stick with current and free content filtering methods. Strangely it seems more ethical by comparison.

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Kill Flash now? Chrome may be about to do just that

Neil Alexander

I wonder if anyone at Adobe is ever kept awake at night wondering how the hell they managed to inherit one of the Internet's most hated products.

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US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'

Neil Alexander

Re: Good for competition?

But I agree the visa system needs to be stopped immediately, entirely, permanently.

You've clearly been burned. I'm sorry for that, but that's no reason to be so insular and closed-minded. If we all looked at the world as full of opportunity instead of obstacles then we'd all be better off for it.

I've never understood why skilled, proactive and willing people should have such a hard time getting a working visa anywhere. What a terrible thing to want to come to your country and contribute to society and pay taxes and better ourselves and the work we do.

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Privacy warriors take legal action over UK gov's right to hack

Neil Alexander

Re: What expansion of capabilities?

All the bill does is document what the journalists and Snowden have managed to uncover so far

It also sets a disturbing legal precedent that corners citizens into thinking they have a lessened right to privacy because "it's the law" and also "we need to stop the terrorists", "think of the children", etc.

If one thing is for certain, a legal precedent such as this will only ever be extended, and never be firmly revised or reduced. The Government will never admit "actually, this was a complete and total waste of time" and repeal.

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The 'new' Microsoft? I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole

Neil Alexander

"If enough customers disagree with Microsoft loudly enough a response will appear on a VP of somethingorother's blog detailing why Microsoft Knows Best and thus nothing will change."

Unfortunately accurate.

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MongoDB on breaches: Software is secure, but some users are idiots

Neil Alexander

"servers [...] on the internet that were completely open"

Firewalls. They aren't just for fun.

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HTC 10: Flagship goes full Google – but the hardware's top notch

Neil Alexander

AirPlay

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

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HERE: We're still, er... HERE

Neil Alexander

The navigation system in my Volvo already uses HERE maps, I wonder if other manufacturers do too already.

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Cook moves iPhone debate to FBI's weak ground: The media

Neil Alexander

Re: My question is: why Apple gave away the phone backups, but refuses to access the phone?

The law can compel them to hand over data to which they have access. The law hasn't yet successfully compelled them to create the ability to hand over data which they currently can't access.

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Confused as to WTF is happening with Apple, the FBI and a killer's iPhone? Let's fix that

Neil Alexander

"For Your Protection", yadda yadda.

At least someone significant is standing up for our privacy. Feels like the Government aren't.

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Why Tim Cook is wrong: A privacy advocate's view

Neil Alexander

Re: "Either it is possible to load a compromised firmware into the phone"

When you have ultimate freedom to cryptographically sign whatever firmware you want for the hardware in question, of course it's possible.

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Time acquires Myspace, creates 2004's most fearsome media giant

Neil Alexander

I imagine MySpace's customer data would be completely ideal for your advertising network if you were interested in advertising to last decade's 13-year-olds. I can't think that anyone has so much as touched it since.

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FaceTime, WhatsApp UDP streams AWOL on iOS 9 beta with T-Mo US

Neil Alexander

Re: Another story?

464XLAT support in iOS is the beta bit, not IPv6.

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Microsoft to begin alerting users about suspected government snooping

Neil Alexander

Shame that the UK is already legislating against such alerts.

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Tesla recalls every single Model S car in seatbelt safety probe

Neil Alexander

Customer service done right.

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UK citizens will have to pay government to spy on them

Neil Alexander

"I think you mean revolution. It's not a boat."

The UK is a lot like a boat, in a "sinking ship" kinda way.

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Neil Alexander

"Whilst I sympathise, what exactly will stop the useless, self interested, ignorant fuckers?"

Mutiny?

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Neil Alexander

Insult to injury.

Trying to understand exactly why the Government would think that people actually want this sheer violation of privacy in the first place, let alone why the Government would think that we want to pay for the privilege.

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UK's internet spy law: £250m in costs could balloon to £2 BILLION

Neil Alexander

Wait a minute.

We're basically paying to be spied on?

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