1635 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007
An article about an NSA project. The advert runs "Office 2013: A Breakthrough In Productivity".
Productivity for whom?
You forgot to mention this is also the site of the UK's best bacon sarnie, as voted by El Reg readers.
I guess probing bacon sarnies is what you do when not following the UK's leading on-line lesbian magazine?
Re: Yeah, right
I hear them, and I am paddling as fast as I can to escape!
How times change
1765, colonial America: "no taxation without representation"
2013, rest of world: "no snooping without representation"
Re: What Security?
That is a valid point, and not just about Android.
It is high time that all devices with embedded software had a legal requirement to provide timely fixes for all notified security exploits for at least 5 years after purchase, along with proper financial penalties for the companies selling such devices that fail to do so.
Think of all of those phones, printers, routers and numerous other semi-smart devices that have a network connection and no one looking after them.
I agree that changing the doctors sex and/or colour makes no sense. But would be happy to see Freema Agyeman again (ideally with less clothes).
<= mine is the dirty mac.
Re: My vote goes to
Yes, I am sure we could all find some way to slip Nigella in...
Re: Bill Clinton
That would suck!
Will this info on "unified communications" cover how best to talk to your NSA handler?
Maybe the looked at the success (or otherwise) of the French before acting?
Really, there is a need for providers to grasp the inevitable which is no geographic limitations and DRM-free formats that users want. The 'stick' of DRM and legal threats has not worked and is unlikely ever to work, where are the tasty carrots?
Re: The Swivel Eyed Loons carry the day
Claire Perry who is both dumb and anti-pr0n has a failed marriage?
Sadly it iis cruel to laugh at another human's misfortune.
Oh wait, its a politician? HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAH...
Difficult to tell if you are just trolling or not.
Who makes up these lists and/or equipment? Last time I looked it was USA or Chinese suppliers. Do you really think they give a rat's cock about what the public should be seeing by the UK's laws?
Really, but on who's definition of illegal? And why can't we see this block list?
Re: Baby steps
There needs to be a way of seeing the block list, and penalising them if they make mistakes. Shame I don't have the resources to force a law decision on the matter.
Hard to say, but OpenDNS works for me and they offer *you* the choice of categories if you want to block stuff home-wide.
Having said that, their system is stupid in needing a client on your home machine so it knows your IP address to match any preferences to, without that it cant be controlled. Should be a router setting like dynamic DNS support.
So who will get to see the block list to verify it is only for pr0n?
Who will compensate any business incorrectly blocked?
How much do you want to bet it will just be for pr0n, as clearly sex is bad, but not for violence?
You are stupidly naive if you don't believe this will be abused for Gov policy, and business reasons by the ISPs.
"Theft of intellectual property has resulted in the greatest transfer of wealth in history"
Outsourcing everything to the cheapest country, irrespective of morals, has resulted in the greatest transfer of wealth in history
Fixed it for you...
Re: @The Man in Black
Some say they are the one and the same, the only difference being the recent dosage of dried frog pills.
"The truth is, my toddler, Kit, responds better to good-looking people"
Funny, for a moment I read that as "my todger, Kit", I wonder why?
Really, it was MS' fault?
Having seen the attitude of most GUI developers, not just Linux but MS and others, where they jump from one way to another announcing that their way is the best, I have to wonder about the underlying idea behind this article:
1) Did MS' vauge patent threats actually matter or get taken seriously, or
2) Did the various Linux GUI designers simply spend too much time with their heads down their Y-fronts?
I liked Gnome 2 and it was such an obvious option for XP-escapees due to its similarities, and yet Gnome 3 was a re-write with the attitude of "users are dumb, lets make all our options dumber" (even if there were technical reasons for wanting to fix some G2 stuff) and the apparent desire to move things around for no obvious reason. See Linus' comments on Gnome 3 for further information.
AFIK Unirty was Ubuntu's attempt at a touch-friendly desktop for small devices with the modern p[iss-poor HD style screens, hence the side icons and default-to-full size operation.
So as afar as the fall of Gnome 2 and something sensible on the Linux desktop it is more a case of incompetence and managements problems of the Gnome teams that being forced off. The same irritating design decisions are also part of MS' TIFKAM cluster-fsck so it seems to be one of industry-wide phone/tablet fixation taking precedence over what a power-user's desktop should be doing.
Re: Less neurotic BDSM practioners?
Most fucked up, really?
Like boxers who spend 12 rounds punching the shit out of each other and sometimes ending with brain damage, detached retinas, or even death? As a sport?
I thought Unity sucked until I experienced a work mate's Windows 8 laptop and realised its not that bad after all. I also think Gnome 3 sucks due to the things removed from Gnome 2 (basically user choice as Gnome seem to be suffering from the same "users are idiots, dumb it down" fascism that both MS and Apple have) but so far have not had the time and inclination to properly try out XFCE or KDE, etc, to see which I think is better.
But...at least I have a choice!
Sorry, but a better analogue is DRM is like someone else installing locks on your doors and promising to let you in and keep others out.
If you behave.
And they can be bothered keeping your support up.
Re: A standard for a plugin by another name
Having a lot of hassle for DRM is good - it stops everyone else getting in to it unless they are really paranoid and have something sufficiently worth while for the end user to jump through hoops.
DRM in HTML5 is going to lead to web sites where you can't block adverts or skip crap or copy prices for comparison, etc, becoming the norm.
DRM has no place in the free world, as it demands a locked-down computer and that is something that anyone with an interest in technology should oppose.
Not Tron's fault for anthropomorphism, how about the iPad:
Re: Software Theft?
Even if they got the source code, it is not "theft" unless they also deleted it from your servers.
Of course, for the MS Office assistant that could be considered an act of mercy...
The USA can't care really...
...otherwise they would be jailing the CEOs of the companies & contractors responsible for putting secret & top-secret data on networks connected to the outside world that could be hacked remotely.
Re: "...But will it stop there?"
Of course not, and such censorship filters are always opaque - they won't tell you what is being filtered and why, other than the usual fake rant about "terrorists and paedophiles".
Remember the Australian government's attempt at "protecting the children" via a filter that turned out to have gambling sites, general pr0n and a dentist's office on its list?
Re: Flat-rate access
My concern here is who decides what "valuable bit" are?
For ISPs that are bundling other services, such as IP TV or similar, there is a major incentive to prevent you from getting such as good service from other competing suppliers. Extend that to a general case where ISPs cut secret deals with some of the big players on the web and you have a recipe for anti-competitive practice.
It may not be framed in the style of targeting certain competitors, but if they have crap back-haul capacity and rely on caching of their own/partners offers then they are, in effect, selling you a discriminated service.
What should be happening is the ISP deal you get provides some guarantees of 'service' (say bandwidth and/or latency) for those services that matter, such as on-line game play or VoIP, that are detached from who they connect to.
That is how I support net neutrality: not a free for all but an honest arrangement where you buy connectivity of differing grades according to needs, convenience and price (e.g. cheaper and faster general purpose data transfer at night, for example).
The one-price-fits-all and weasel worded 'unlimited' deals are simply dishonest, and OFCOM should have been stamping on ISPs for not providing understandable and measured performance for the various prices they offer.
Why should internet access be bundled like cable? Really, you are paying for a connection for bits, and all that should matter there is an ISP model where you get an honest choice of service versus cost.
Sure, ISPs want to be "value adding" but in most cases this is likely to be achieved by throttling services that are not directly revenue-providing to themselves.
You might argue about the practicality of an "unlimited" ISP offer, and we all know that is not a sustainable model for an ISP (though they are mostly racing to the bottom here), but a more honest model is a connection fee plus a 'reasonable' data volume+speed cost (as typically used for other services).
Sadly what we are getting is dishonest advertisement and toothless regulation.
What we DO NOT need is the ISPs or similar becoming gate-keepers to the Internet, with variable charging for access to services depending on who they can screw over the most.
Re: They only have themselves to blame...
Yup, when those ultrabooks and medium-high end laptops cost more than a fondle slab and yet have poorer (or equivalent) screen resolution, WFT would you expect?
While Windows 8 is not the reason, it certainly has not helped either.
Otherwise you are right - the majority of home users are not El Reg readers with specialist work loads and a fixation with technology, they just want something simple and easy to use for Facebook and on-line shopping etc. Tablets are good enough for that, in fact, very much better while relaxing in the settee, and only a modest proportion will need a laptop, let alone a desktop, once they have one.
There will still be a demand for desktops and laptops for business applications, power users, gamers, etc, but it looks like the majority of money has moved away from those now.
Re: Peculiar problems with Huawei smartphones?
My HTC phone is also a bit crap at web search/browsing, but equally it is likely to be the network sucking donkey balls. Since it is pretty easy for anyone with moderate resources to check what a phone is doing when you attempt to connect, Huawei would be incredibly dumb to put something so obviously dodgy in there.
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"
The radio's design being compromised should not be *that* much of an issue as a system for such use should be designed to be secure and jam-resistant even with general knowledge of the frequency range and modulations, etc, being used.
Unless said plans also included the various PN & encryption keys as well that ought to be kept 'top secret' and on a need-to-know basis only.
Oh dear, if its like the UK's favourite IT contractors then they are royally screwed, aren't they?
Re: Exists already?
It happened because in a population of ~60 million there will be some homicidal maniacs no matter what you do.
No, you are not reading it wrong as what is being said is largely bollocks. This, for all its tragedy, is not a terrorist act causing mass panic. It was simply some religious nutters out to make a statement and will do nothing to help whatever twisted "cause" they spout.
"The same as we shouldn't trust open source software?"
More like would you trust warez downloads.
As for open source, it also depends on the particular source and your ability (and others) to review it and decide if its good/bad/malicious or not.
Some things that appear to be missing in that report are these:
(1) WTF are these multi-million dollar companies doing about computer security? If this "IP theft" really is so important why don't they have proper (ideally physical) separation of external (internet) and internal (valuable) networks? Too much cost/trouble?
(2) Most of the vulnerabilities being exploited are either people or, equally relevant, down to MS & Adobe in the majority of cases. Why is the US gov not penalising them for such a "IP rape" of the nation?
(3) Last time I looked, IP was covered by patents and trademarks which can be enforced against those who copy it (even if stupidly, e.g. Apple vs Samsung). Are we to really to believe such a huge value of IP is not protected by these established means?
(4) Considering most US corporations have out-sourced to China already (and the Chinese are smart enough to make most "joint ventures"), and they do so to save money so staff move a lot, is that not also a real risk for your IP? If so, why are they now complaining about the bloody obvious?
Has anyone gone to AMD's (or indeed Intel's) web site to choose a processor and actually found it useful? It is an appalling 'experience' and you lose the will to live trying to work out what CPUs offer what features and how they may (or may not) rank compared to others.
Please AMD, start by offering prospective customers a selection matrix of manageable proportions (say 5-10) of your current CPU/APU choices covering low to high cost+performance, and links to compatible motherboards from a few well known suppliers.
Make buying your stuff easy!
Call me cynical, but I suspect a lot of the moves towards security by Joe Public for communications have been driven by the uncovered abuse of surveillance powers by all sorts of governments and companies/RIAA types.
Pointless at current caps
Really, how long till you blow your 500MB or whatever cap?
Unless this comes with a *much* lower cost per MB it is not getting my vote.
Re: How about a reliable 2/3G?
Not much use on the move!
Re: @jake 04:12
"Front line...is your company thinking?
Oh, maybe said staff have to visit customer premises and need something handy that works over 3G networks? An iPhone is not essential, but also not that bad a choice in that case.
IT departments are there to serve the business, that means balancing what people need/want to do against the risks of letting them do it, and as necessary to make sure the systems are protected from the dumb and malicious (both inside and outside the company).
Re: It does genuinely save money
While you may well be right that being monitored tends to reduce instances of dick-headedness, the real problem here is mission creep.
If all the boxes did was gather stats about speed, cornering, use during light/darkness in some way that the owner could see and only be uploaded once per month or similar without the ability to track exact positions, then fair enough - it is roughly a sensibility monitor.
Maybe actual detail could be kept for a limited time as a black-box style for post-crash investigation, but such detail, like the aircraft block box, should be subject to proper privacy protection and only used when a disputed or fatal crash is involved.
But far more worrying is the real-time and every detail aspect that is BOUND to be sold or or mined for other reasons. If such a system is indeed going to save money/lives, then the system needs to be openly designed and thoroughly reviewed so what it can and cannot do is known and not subject to mission creep.
As for the lack of control/configuration options, that is just an example of the Gnome teams design fascism where they dumb things down and treat the users as idiots (which may or may not always be true).
Just look at all of the options removed from Gnome 2 when it went to Gnome 3.
Re: Ubuntu / Gnome etc.. use the Gnome Keyring...
That is a bit of an off-topic rant really. Expecting to remove the login control of a desktop and still being able to use the desktop is a bit much.
Don't want gnome keyring? Don't use gnome! Install the server version and all you have is text-mode (or SSH) login and the usual password management of Linux.
Look at the code if you want with:
~/Downloads$ mkdir software
~/Downloads$ cd software/
~/Downloads/software$ apt-get source gnome-keyring
Not well documented (but what software is?) but it is all there. Find the data files having seen the entry in gck-secret-binary.c file:
#define KEYRING_FILE_HEADER "GnomeKeyring\n\r\0\n"
With the command:
~$ find .gnome2 -type f | xargs grep 'GnomeKeyring'
Binary file .gnome2/keyrings/login.keyring matches
Binary file .gnome2/keyrings/default.keyring matches
If you really worry about others remotely logging in via some keyring vulnerability then set up your firewall(s) to only permit IP addresses from specific machines you use as an additional layer of filtering.
Re: Look before you leap
Up to the point when they out-sourced the call centre I had quite good service from VM for my cable connection. Of course, it is different now but not quite so bad to jump. Zen anyone?
Looking over the article again, it says both cross platform and "is delivered through Intel Identity Protection Technology".
So will it only work on special Intel hardware, thus seriously limiting its usefulness on the phone/tablet front, or is this talk of special Intel hardware an aside to basically a software solution, in which case how can it be any more secure than other more open systems?
There are two issues that trouble me, beyond the usual McAfee crapware-trialware-scamware aspect:
1) Are you really asking users to put all of their most important data in the hands of a USA company? Now it appears to be properly encrypted when 'at rest' but how sure are we this scheme has no designed-in backdoor?
2) Even if the back-end storage is secure, what happens if the user accesses it on a machine already infected with a root-kit? I am presuming in this case it is compromised, unless somehow Intel's encryption hardware is able to bypass the OS to bring your data to the screen, etc.
And if that is the case, it is also deeply worrying as you (as in administrator of your OS of choice) are no longer really in charge of the computer.
Given the strengths of Linux in the HPC arena, I am surprised the penguins of Antarctica have declined to show.
What is the Aussies excuse?
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