* Posts by Michael Wojcik

3619 posts • joined 21 Dec 2007

Sprint: Our 'unlimited' mobe plan has one tiny limit: High-quality video

Michael Wojcik
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Sounds good to me

I quite like the sound of this package. The less bandwidth-wasting video on the network I'm using, the better.

Pity it's being offered by Sprint. I used Sprint for the first few years I had a mobile phone. Not an experience I'm inclined to repeat.

These days, I just use an unlocked GSM phone on an MVNO running over AT&T's network. Hardly perfect, but a decent compromise - much cheaper than equivalent plans from the big operators, no contracts, easy to slip in a PAYG SIM when I'm out of the country.

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Yikes! Facebook will run on TELEPATHY, thinks Zuck, in Q&A

Michael Wojcik
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Re: We can send rich full thoughts to each other

Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?

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Cisco gobbles OpenDNS, sorts out cloud security portfolio

Michael Wojcik
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Re: What could possibly go wrong?

Farewell OpenDNS, it was nice knowing you.

Personally, I dumped them years ago when it became too difficult to turn off their fucking wildcarding.

I use TCP/IP for real work, not just farting around on the web. I need DNS to return correct results, not redirections to some stupid OpenDNS web server.

For a while it was possible to disable that bad behavior, if you were running Windows, and their little tray program worked, except when the ISP connection dropped and came back up with a new address from DHCP, which happens pretty much daily with my ISP. Then even that stopped working even marginally reliably.

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Ditching political Elop makes for a more Nadella Microsoft

Michael Wojcik
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Re: Mobile vision

Adobe.

Also Apple.

Also Google (re Android).

Yes. And Microsoft has put a lot more resources and dedication into fixing the security issues with their software than Adobe or Apple. (Google has aggressive, well-funded security research teams; I haven't investigated how much they've done to improve their software development practices.)

Microsoft has significantly reduced their vulnerability rate over the past ten years. It's still a lot worse than it ought to be, but that's largely due to the huge backlog of legacy code. Could they do more? Sure - a lot of those resources wasted on Metro for desktop Windows could have gone into reviewing old code, for example. But they're still doing better than the industry average at cleaning up their mess, in my opinion (as a professional whose work includes software security, and not by any means a Microsoft fan).

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China's best phone yet: Huawei P8 5.2-inch money-saving Android smartie

Michael Wojcik
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Re: Still using...

Seems to have some keyboard problems, though.

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Supreme Court ignores Google's whinging in Java copyright suit

Michael Wojcik
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Re: I wonder if the Supreme Court understood the issue?

I believe they did. The Constitution gives Congress the power to make law regarding copyright. Google did not satisfactorily establish that Congress had overstepped its constitutional bounds in the extant text of USC 17; thus there was no constitutional issue.

If someone can make a better argument regarding the constitutionality of the existing text (or future text, as Congress amends it) of USC 17 in this matter, then SCOTUS may take it up. If other Federal circuits rule differently on the issue in the future, then we'll have conflicting precedent, and SCOTUS will have reason to take it up.

But it's not the job of SCOTUS to rule preemptively on a fine point of copyright just because Google and many others in the industry (myself included) would like to see them do so.

All of the whining here about the justices "not understanding technology" is completely beside the point. This decision had nothing to do with the merits of API copyrights or their possible effects on the industry; it had to do with the circumstances under which SCOTUS becomes involved.

The most proper remedy under the Constitution in this case would be for Congress to pass a law updating USC 17 to clarify the question of API copyright. I don't see that happening soon, though, and I wouldn't want to put any bets on who can wield the most influence in such a case.

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Github's 'Atom' text editor hits version 1.0

Michael Wojcik
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Re: Like Sublime

Personally I still find these editors still fall short compared to an IDE like IntelliJ or Eclipse for actual development but they're fine when used in conjunction with the command line.

Personally, I find IDEs still fall short compared to a decent editor, a real build system (that isn't a bunch of black boxes), a competent standalone debugger, and the vast wealth of tools available on the command line.

I won't say I've never liked an IDE. Turbo Pascal 3 was pretty good, compared to what else was available under MS-DOS. ISPF is OK, if you're working under zOS.

But tastes differ.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: Still no print capability?

I don't understand this. Surely "printing from the editor" means "pipe selected lines into lpr", no? Atom can't do that?

OK, so sometimes you want a longer pipeline with more goodies. Same principle should apply, though.

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Bitcoin, schmitcoin. Let's play piggyback on the blockchain

Michael Wojcik
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Re: The Real Story About The Bitcoin Blockchain

I am totally baffled by your "battered wife" analogy and fail to see any relevance at all to what I have outlined.

Apparently you don't understand the difference between de facto and de jure. As far as I know (IANAL), "legally true" is not a term of art in US law; but if it meant anything in that domain, presumably it would mean something like "de jure".

In short, claiming something is "legally true" when, in fact, the relevant authorities (such as the US courts) have not promulgated decisions on the matter is meaningless. Even if you happen to actually be all nine SCOTUS justices posting to the Reg as AC, your statements carry no legal weight. You might support your position if you can cite court decisions that are relevant - but you'd have to convince your audience that they're applicable. Otherwise the adverb "legally" is sheer puffery.

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Who wants a classic ThinkPad with whizzy new hardware? Lenovo would just love to know

Michael Wojcik
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Re: ThinkLight

On my Thinkpad that had the ThinkLight, I found it did a perfectly acceptable job of lighting the keyboard, as well as making it possible to read other things when I needed to glance at a reference book or handwritten notes. I've also had (non-Thinkpad) machines with backlit keyboards, and they do fine for the former, but don't help with the latter.

Of course, as Trevor notes, it's possible to provide both.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: Dual ThinkLights - already had them for 4+ years

4kg? That isn't a laptop it is a paving slab!

When I'm teaching, I regularly carry around a shoulder bag with two laptops (work and personal/academic) that weigh that much. The same when I travel. Honestly, the way people complain about laptop weight... Have computer users really become so feeble?

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: @gritzwally

That when you set it down on a desk, it does not creak and bend and it stays where you put it.

And when you knock it off the desk and it hits the concrete floor, it keeps chugging along calmly with no damage.

Oh, and all the Thinkpads (IBM and Lenovo) I've had were user-serviceable. Service manuals available online, straightforward disassembly, etc. I've replaced drives, memory, fans, etc. In this day and age that's a rare trait.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: @ Gritzwally

All the above plus the absolutely wonderful page back/forwards buttons (they are either side of the up arrow, making the direction key pad a full 3x2 grid). So few people mention these, but I don't know of any other keyboard that has them.

JFTR, my Dell Latitude E6540 - my work machine - has the second set of Page Up / Page Down keys on either side of the main keyboard's Up-Arrow. (This machine also has a numeric keypad, thus "second set". I rarely use the numeric keypad myself, but I know some people like them.)

The E6540 is a Thinkpad-inspired design. It also has an isometric mouse ("nipple mouse", etc) as well as a trackpad, for example. Pretty sturdy construction, replaceable battery, and so on. I'm not entirely thrilled with the machine, but when it comes time to replace my personal Thinkpad, this is one of the alternatives I'd consider.

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The slow strangulation of telework in Australia

Michael Wojcik
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Re: This article is a bit bizarre

Indeed. "[T]he typical use cases for 21st century professionals: retouching RAW images, podcasting CD-quality audio files, editing HD movies"? The typical use cases? I'm a "21st century professional", and so are a great many of my acquaintances, and very few of them do any of those things.

I work from home, and upload latency is a lot more important to me than bandwidth, unless the latter is really low. And what I do is plenty creative.

I'd be sympathetic if the article weren't so narrow-minded and generalizing.

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Killer ChAraCter HOSES almost all versions of Reader, Windows

Michael Wojcik
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Re: "Adobe again"

I've read that so many times on the Reg forums that it's getting a little bit boring! Find me any large software product that's been around for a while from any manufacturer that doesn't have bugs in it

I've read that so many times on the Reg forums that it's getting a little bit boring.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: Baffled

Some of us old grey-beards do like to read stuff on the console

That's why I only use a hard-copy terminal. I go through a hell of a lot of fan-fold, particularly when the browser refreshes, but it's worth it for the safety.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: Ah. Adobe. Again.

MS have completely re-written all of Windows from the ground up at least twice since this bug came in and they've managed to inadvertently re-introduce the flaw on each occasion.

No they haven't. They've significantly rewritten large parts of Windows, but they haven't "completely re-written all" of it. There's still plenty of old code. It's absurd to believe that even the big Windows rearchitecting moments involved rewriting every single line of code.

That's why ATMFD.DLL still has a copyright date that starts with 1993.

And, of course, ATMFD.DLL has a copyright notice that says it belongs to Adobe. They wrote it. Microsoft just sticks it in Windows.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: Compared to this...

Good try, but expecting amateurs to fix industrial strength cryptography code is a bit much. I understand the principles involved, but none of the maths.

The only maths needed to understand or fix Heartbleed is basic arithmetic. It's a read past the end of an array.

The hard part about Heartbleed was finding it - and even that shouldn't have been hard, if the commit had been reviewed in the first place, or if anyone was fuzzing new OpenSSL features as they were added.

Heartbleed happened because:

1) The code in question was written by a typical C programmer, i.e. one who prefers ad hoc, terse, poorly-structured code to the carefully considered and properly-designed sort. In that it matches the rest of the OpenSSL source base. I have much respect for Eric Young and Steve Henson, for their technical accomplishments and knowledge, but the fact is that their code is an ugly mess. As is most of the C I've seen (and I've been working with the language since the mid-80s).

2) The DTLS Heartbeat code wasn't properly reviewed when it was submitted. That may be partly because it was written by the author of the spec; it's probably mostly because the OpenSSL team was badly understaffed and undercompensated at the time. But this is what happens when you accept patches without thorough review.

3) Despite OpenSSL's widespread use, no one tested the feature thoroughly when it was added - at least no one interested in publishing the vulnerability. OpenSSL is widely used, but mostly because people need to tick off a "secure communications" checkbox. It's used grudgingly, not because it makes anyone's life easier. And so people don't want to test it. They just hope it works.

Once Heartbleed was announced, it was quite easy to identify the mistake, and fixing it was trivial.

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Indiana Jones whips Bond in greatest movie character poll

Michael Wojcik
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Re: We're doomed....

I'm happy with that pick. The character of Buffy Summers saw extensive development and refinement over the seven seasons of that show. Among the ten "greatest" characters ever shown on television? With no set rubric, the term "greatest" is pretty much meaningless, so it's a subjective popularity contest. But Buffy's a more complex and interesting character than some of the others on the list, and certainly than some of the others that people have suggested here.

Of course you can deplore the choice for whatever subjective reasons you may want. Without articulating a critical argument, though, it's just empty whinging.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: Zero credibility in my eys

There were only 2 indiana jones movies

Two? One and a half, maybe.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: From TV

I'd go for Dexter, fomr the show of the same name.

Nah, the better version of the character is in Dexter's Laboratory.

More seriously: While Dexter was entertaining, and Michael C Hall played the eponymous character with a nicely understated intensity (little gnawing of the scenery), I can't say I found the character terribly complex, personally. There are any number of characters in a similar vein that I'd call both deeper and more consistent over their run. Tim Olyphant's Raylan Givens in Justified, for example (and that show had a deeper bench of strong supporting characters too; Dexter really just had Deb and a revolving group of well-acted but pretty simple supporters). Or Jason Momoa's Phillip Kopus from The Red Road.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: Limited

Never heard of him

Clearly the results of the poll are meaningless, since some anonymous idiot hasn't heard of one of the characters in the list.

Nothing like an online forum for making egotism into an art form.

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What is this river nonsense? Give .amazon to Bezos, says US Congress

Michael Wojcik
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The letter is signed by J. Randy Forbes of Virginia and Suzan DelBene of Washington

Yes. They're also co-chairs of the Trademark Caucus, a new body (formed just last year) to winkle more dollars out of corporate contributors by promising to rattle sabres in defense of this most trivial form of IP. So this is their job.

And they're the only two signatures, so it's hardly a letter "from the US Congress". Two Reps doth not a Congress make. Had the article said "a letter from nearly 0.4% of the US Congress", it would have been accurate.

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How Music Got Free and Creatocracy

Michael Wojcik
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Re: Suffering artists

Didn't they tend to get people to pay them to compose?

We call that "patronage", and according to Orlowski, it's what Wurtzel is contrasting the US IP system with in Creatocracy.

A more important difference, of course, is that celebrated artists of the past are precisely those that made it through the filter of historical changes in taste. Whether that makes them "great" is a problem of aesthetics (and psychology and anthropology and various other disciplines), but claiming that there weren't mediocre artists in the past is sheer foolishness.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: Suffering artists

Being a Artist used to be a respected profession centuries ago, but to be called an Artist you had to be a damn good one (think Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and the likes)

Oh, look, the kids are posting again. Is it still Eternal September? (Yes. It's always Eternal September.)

Complaining about the degeneration of the present day - and yes, that includes whatever passes for art - goes back pretty much as far as the historical record. And there's no reason to believe it doesn't go back further; we just don't have evidence of it, for obvious reasons.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: If I hum a tune...

For "live performances" such as humming, it's ASCAP you really have to watch out for.

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It begins: Time Warner Cable first ISP accused of breaking America's net neutrality rules

Michael Wojcik
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Re: "that should be grinds thee'"

The "country was started" in that sense by a whole bunch of different groups of people, with rather varying beliefs. And since then it has incorporated a lot more people with a lot more variety of conviction.

If you're going to make some pat, sophomoric argument about national destiny, at least try to get the history vaguely accurate.

And, by the way, England has a long history of folks "forc[ing] everybody to accept their interpretation".

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: "Peer"?

"the æ grapheme"

Typographically, that's a "ligature". Ligatures are of course graphemes, so your phrasing was correct, just non-specific.

But yes, the voting pattern in this particular thread is odd. I assume the good doctor was downvoted primarily for suggesting that ISPs aren't inherently evil and that John Oliver is not the font of all wisdom, but the anger directed at Jamie Jones is harder to explain. Maybe everyone with the surname Jones is on the hit list today.

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THIS TIME we really are ALL DOOMED, famous doomsayer prof says

Michael Wojcik
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Re: We are all going to die

You're garnering more downvotes than upvotes, but the principle is sound. In fact, what the article reports as Erlich's specific claims in this case (I can't be bothered to read the paper) mostly seem reasonable. There is a mass-extinction event in progress - the number of extant species has decreased dramatically since, say, 1900, as best as anyone can tell. There's a good chance that biodiversity will get low enough that it will take a long period, perhaps "millions of years", to reach the same levels as, oh, let's say, around 1500 AD.

Neither of those are actually terribly contentious claims.

Then we have the third claim: That human beings, H. sapiens, may disappear before biodiversity returns to that level.

It would not be at all surprising if H. sapiens disappeared in the next million years or so. There are plenty of possible extinction causes - most likely a combination of a catastrophe event and then subsequent extinction due to secondary effects and an unfortunately timed pandemic. Neanderthals only lasted a quarter of a million years; H. erectus less than two million. Lots of mammalian species only stick around on the order of 10,000 years.

Now, the fourth claim, that humans are likely to go extinct because of the reduction in biodiversity, is rather more of a stretch. But humans disappearing for some combination of reasons in the next million years or so? Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.

(This is the point where two-thirds of the Reg readership announce that We Must Get Into Space for just this reason. To which I reply, eh, so what if humans disappear?)

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: doom

"A stopped clock is correct twice a day."

Not if it's missing the hour hand...

It can have both hands and not be correct, as should be immediately obvious when you consider how a two-handed analog clock represents the time. The hour hand points to the exact time (to the accuracy of the clock and correctness of its setting); the minute hand is a redundant indicator for the benefit of the human reader.

If the hour hand points directly to an hour, and the minute hand is on the 6, then the clock is never correct at any time of day.

That's why the proper form of the saying (used by the OP in this case) is "a stopped clock..." and not "a broken clock....". I see the latter more commonly here in the US, and it's patently wrong. "Stopped" is a specific failure mode that allows the clock to be correct at the appropriate time; "broken" is any of a range of failure modes, most of which do not apply here.

There really should be a published standard for these maxims. So many people get them wrong. I'll contact ECMA; they'll standardize anything.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: doom

absent a large asteroid nobody noticed, humaity isn't about to become extinct

There are plenty of catastrophic events besides Big Space Rocks that could wipe out human beings. Some are still hypothetical, like false vacuum collapse (and we'll never know about that one before it hits us, since it'd expand at nearly the speed of light). But things like gamma-ray bursts and supernovae are well-established and avoiding those is just a matter of luck.

Closer to home, a bad supervolcano eruption could easily stomp civilization into the dust. Survivors of the immediate event would have to deal with immediate problems like aftershocks and tsunami, and then the extended effects like crop failure. That would likely produce a severe population bottleneck, which would make humanity much more vulnerable to extinction by pandemic or the like.

While overpopulation doesn't look likely to wipe us out, and we've managed to avoid nuking ourselves to death so far, that doesn't mean there aren't other plausible candidates. The simple fact is that almost certainly, sooner or later a catastrophic event of some sort will wipe out what currently passes for civilization on this planet. The species might survive, and might even eventually put some sort of civilization back together; but Shelley had the right of it in "Ozymandias".

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Michael Wojcik
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No, no. Cats abhor vacuums. When Nature runs across a vacuum, it just kind of sits back and lobs stuff in its general direction.

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E3 2015 in a nutshell: Hurry up Hoth, and plenty to Unravel

Michael Wojcik
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What about Indistinguishable Sequel 5?

leaving a card-battling Elder Scrolls game and Fallout Shelter for mobiles as the truly new titles

So tired rehashes of existing series count as "truly new" now, eh?

Thank goodness for the independent studios. At least they're willing to sponsor a little creativity.

And, I have to say, I watched the Unravel presentation on Youtube, and I'd rather see a hundred Sahlins, honest and sincere and enthusiastic about their work, than sit through one professional presenter trying to convince me his company's flavor of the week is life-changing.

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Stealing secret crypto-keys from PCs using leaked radio emissions

Michael Wojcik
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Re: See my post from 6 years ago:

Sure. But that was in '77, so three years after the US government had gone public with TEMPEST (via the Industry TEMPEST Program). So doing something with EMF emissions from computers was already old hat at that point - though the music-playing trick probably was still pretty fresh.

The problem with all of these posts is that they ignore the tremendous progress made in side-channel attacks, both in theory and practice.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: @ 1980s_coder

there are numerous patent applications for RF capture devices

There are numerous patent applications for computing equipment; thus nothing about computer hardware is newsworthy.

Hell, there are any number of posts from Reg readers explaining why a given story is not newsworthy. Thus such posts are themselves no longer worth writing.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: @ 1980s_coder

Can't imagine why you were downvoted

Rather than trying to imagine it, why not do a little research?

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Michael Wojcik
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It's unthinkably difficult to separate the decryption signal from all the other tasks the computer is performing at any given time

Sigh. No, it isn't. Please familiarize yourself with current research in the field.

There are plenty of plausible attack scenarios under which general-purpose systems are coaxed into executing mostly the vulnerable code, over a sufficient number of iterations that the attacker can extract enough information and model the behavior sufficiently to narrow the keyspace down into something feasible to attack. That shouldn't be surprising for anyone who's paid attention to information security for the past couple of decades, since attackers have been using those sorts of techniques for various purposes (such as exploiting TOCTOU vulnerabilities).

Of course, GP systems are not the primary target for this sort of EMF side-channel attack on cryptographic operations anyway. The real profit is attacking embedded systems, such as digital satellite TV boxes, to derive master keys, which can then be used to generate user keys for the black market.

Man, any time anything crypto- or security-related comes up, the Reg Genius Brigade really swings into action.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: Thus spoketh the bearded man

Cool. Could you please post a link (or library reference) to the working exploits you have actually produced during all these years? Thanks in advance.

Wim van Eck's 30 year old paper "Electromagnetic Radiation from Video Display Units: An Eavesdropping Risk?"

"1980s_coder" is actually Wim van Eck? Huh. You'd think he would have mentioned that in his rant.

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Michael Wojcik
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If you want to secure yourself from this type of exploit, just run a few machines in the same room!

Awesomely naive.

Take a look at that CACM article I mentioned above. While it's trivial to reduce the s/n ratio sufficiently to defeat simple homebrew equipment with poor discrimination, it's extremely difficult (some say axiomatically impossible) to prevent all side-channel attacks.

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Michael Wojcik
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I would have thought that the low cost of the equipment would make it of more interest to hobbyists

Certainly ChipWhisperer is of interest to some hobbyists. Whether it's "cheap" depends on which hardware options you use, and whether you build it yourself. The prebuilt "complete kit" from NewAE is $1500, but one of the built-it-yourself options is under $100.

Basically you have the "James Bond" and "Captain Crunch" options.

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Michael Wojcik
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Most of us who have been in the industry for any length of time knew this twenty years ago.

Sigh.

There's been extensive research in, and improvements of, side-channel attacks over the past two decades (and longer1). Claiming that it's not newsworthy just demonstrates your ignorance of the field.

Many - though by no means all - side-channel attacks require proximity. Few require physical access, which is not at all the same thing.

I know. You're in the running for the coveted title of Most Brilliant Reg Reader and can't miss any opportunity to demonstrate you know more than everyone else.

1Try at least thirty years, not twenty. Van Eck's first public disclosure of EMF snooping on CRTs was published in '85. TEMPEST started in the late '50s; it was classified for a long time, but the Feds launched the Industry TEMPEST Program in '74. Of course, some classes of side-channel attacks only really became prominent with Kocher's presentation at CRYPTO '96.

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Michael Wojcik
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Sadly, the "side-channel key-extractor hidden in pita bread" scenario is still orders of magnitude more plausible than the vast majority of "computer hacks" portrayed on television.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: GHz processor vice MHz receiver with kHz BW

One of the basics of cryptography, known to anyone that pays even the slightest attention to the subject, is that it's now considered best practice to adjust your code so that 0s and 1s are processed in precisely the same number of clock cycles.

And everyone does. Look at the implementation in crypto/rsa/*.c in OpenSSL 1.0.1, for example, and note all the calls to constant-time implementations of various bignum operations.

Constant-time implementations, whitening, and other blinding attacks are only partial mitigations. The article quoted a sentence from the paper noting that the m-ary algorithm for modular exponentiation, used specifically for additional side-channel resistance, doesn't defeat this attack. Similar results have been obtained using e.g. ChipWhisperer to attack embedded crypto devices that employ various side-channel mitigation strategies.

See e.g. Chris Edwards, "Secure-System Designers Strive to Stem Data Leaks", CACM 58.4 (2015) 18-20. He quotes Chris Woods: "Side-channel attacks can break any countermeasure, given enough time; the countermeasure can only delay the process".

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Pew, pew, pew! Sammy shoots out updates to plug mobile keyboard snooping bug

Michael Wojcik
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Re: Amateurs

Plenty of professionals make equally serious and dumb security mistakes in software every day.

Directory traversal attacks, as an example, are common enough to merit specific mention in Howard et al's The 19 Deadly Sins of Software Security (under Sin 14, "Improper File Access"; note the book has since been upgraded to 24 sins). That means they're very common indeed.

Code this bad should not be sold

True. Unfortunately that leaves us with very little software that should be.

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Michael Wojcik
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Samsung just tell me to use Kies to update it myself. Right. Where is the OpenBSD version of Kies?

Certainly, there doesn't seem to be any reason why Samsung couldn't make updates available as APKs1 for download using Plain Old HTTP, so tech-savvy users who don't have a Windows system handy could upgrade from Linux, BSD, etc. I'm not expecting them to port Kies to *ix platforms, but then I wouldn't expect most *ix users to want that anyway.

Unfortunately the economic incentives are all against providing decent support for smartphones. Root-and-flash seems to be the best option for people with the requisite knowledge and time.

1Or whatever format is appropriate for the update in question.

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Airbnb beats actual posh hotel chain with stupidly large valuation

Michael Wojcik
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Re: Meh

With IPO's for tech bubbles being high profits for brokers, they will all be in sharpish, gambling pension funds

This can be profitable for those with diversified portfolios - a bursting bubble redistributes real wealth to those less-affected by the bubble.

My retirement account provider offers enough investment choice that I can adjust my allocations to various risk categories pretty extensively. Barring the complete collapse of civilization (in which case my account wouldn't be worth anything anyway), I should be OK - at least in the sense of "considerably better off than most US workers", many of whom apparently have essentially no savings as they near retirement.

So while I think these "sharing economy" valuations are stupid and very likely a bubble, I'm not worried about my exposure to them. Ditto most of my relatives, who are either diversified or don't have anything to diversify. In other words, either they're safe or they have bigger problems to worry about.

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The world .sucks at a minute past midnight on Sunday

Michael Wojcik
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How much effect can it have?

Perhaps Coca-Cola is worried about "coke.sucks", and so on. But I really have to wonder if a .sucks domain will have any measurable effect on brand reputation, regardless of how it's used - as a legitimate consumer complaint site (for some value of "legitimate"), as an astroturfing attack site run by a competitor, as a complaint-resolution site run by the brand owner... In any of those cases, how many consumers will be aware of it? How many will think it's at all a reliable source of information? How many will make purchasing decisions based on it?

For most Internet users the extent of the Internet is the first page of Google results and a few social-media sites. It's possible .sucks will catch on, but I'm not betting on it.

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JavaScript creator Eich's latest project: KILL JAVASCRIPT

Michael Wojcik
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it's a shame that all these language designers are fiddling with the web instead of just designing a better language

There are hundreds of language designers out there designing (purportedly) better languages. Most of those languages are never used for real work. Improving the state of web-application development is much more complicated than simply "designing a better language".

And since there will never be agreement on what that "better language" should look like, providing a common runtime for multiple languages - whether it's Asm.js or WebAssembly or something else - that will actually be available on a decent subset of browsers seems rather more productive.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: Source?

Source, in the same way that I can already use a disassembler to produce "the source code" for Windows 10.

I see the problem. Take a look at line 1287892832, and then line 19984904.

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Michael Wojcik
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Re: And so the wheel turns

Java very similar to the Pascal it is based upon.

For very small values of "very", I suppose.

The Java language is not close to Pascal at all, in terms of its syntax - aside from the similarities common to all the ALGOL-influenced imperative languages - or paradigms, since Java is an OO language and Pascal is not.

As for implementations, while the UCSD p-System Pascal did compile to a bytecode that was later interpreted by a VM, it's hardly "very similar" to Java. Certainly it was an influence, as was the Smalltalk VM, but many variations on compiling to intermediate forms that were then interpreted had been around for decades when Gosling invented Java. Besides p-System and Smalltalk, there were various tokenizing BASIC interpreters and Micro Focus' "int" format for COBOL programs, for example.

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