342 posts • joined 3 Apr 2008
Re: None of this changes anything
Windows Phone is far from dead, but it has a long way to go. Sure, if Nokia wasn't on board with Windows then it would have gone the way of the dodo. Take a look at the Lumia 930 if you want to see where Windows is going.
As for Windows 8, it's a sound and very capable operating system which has been substantially spoiled by having two interfaces glued on top. Microsoft need to find a way to make the UI function more like Windows 7, without Metro apps cropping up when you least expect them.
As for Office.. I don't think any other application comes close to the capabilities of Office 2013. Yes, things like LibreOffice aren't bad for free, but the real thing is more capable.
Xbox One. What's that?
What Microsoft are trying to do here is play the long game. Kids these days are being brought up on the conventions of smartphones and tablets, the Win 7 desktop UI will eventually become a relic. Only Microsoft.. well, perhaps Microsoft and Canonical.. have an idea of how it will all fit together five or ten years down the road.
I have this argument over and over again..
I have this argument over and over again when email addresses leak out. Usually the people who've been hacked are either too stupid to understand the problem or are in denial.
Let's take an example of how unlikely it is that an email address like this has been guessed at random. If you use a 10-letter unique email address comprised just of alphabetic character then there are 26^10 possible combination to guess, which is about a 141 quadrillion to one against probability. And when multiple people report the same problem that it should quickly become apparent that the only explanation is an email address leak, everything else is statistically impossible.
Just to ensure that the email address cannot be guessed, you can combine it with a secret word (e.g. tribbles-santander@mydomain) and apply a filtering system to look for the secret word. That's quite a simple system that will cut down on directory harvesting attacks and should be within the capabilities of any El Reg reader to do.
Java on the desktop is dead
Java on the desktop is dead, it's primary use these days seems to be to infect your computer with malware. The best thing to do is deinstall it. I bet about 99% of people will never need it.
Servers and mobiles seem to be a success area, but really it's depressing to see smartphones running Java apps..
Perhaps they could charge you £16 in order to ship you the actual goods that you ordered, rather than randomly substituting it with other crap from their inventory.
DNS based? I don't use Virgin's DNS servers on my VM connection anyway, using either OpenDNS or Google as the mood suits me.
Rick Dickinson's Flickr
There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it link to Rick Dickinson's work on Flickr in the article, worth reposting because it's so awesome.. http://www.flickr.com/photos/9574086@N02/collections/72157608812198325/
Re: XP machine to live for as long as the hardware works.
If you're not connected to a network the there's really nothing to worry about. Even if it did get infected somehow (a USB stick perhaps) then the machine isn't really exploitable as it isn't connected to anything.
You might well have some stubborn XP systems on your network which will happily run if you just disconnect them from said network..
Not Elop then.
Mr Nadella seems to have the right credentials for the job, and I would certainly have been shocked if Stephen Elop got the job instead.. not because I think that Nokia's woes are all Elop's fault, but it was hardly the sort of turnaround success that Microsoft needs now.
Ditching Symbian was a mistake
I've owned a few Maemo devices and they're OK, but Nokia never really gave them enough resources to succeed and the attempt to transition to MeeGo was suicidal as it meant the not-too-bad N900 never got a proper successor (until the N9 and that was too late).
Elop was right to look at the MeeGo mess and kill it off as it was never going to build back market share. Despite claims of nepotism, Windows was an obvious choice.
However, I think Elop and Nokia made a huge mistake in getting rid of Symbian. The Asha range is all very impressive for an inexpensive device, but Nokia have stuggled to squeezed features into Series 40 that Symbian already had. Symbian's hardware requirements are pretty low, and it could certainly run on an Asha-class device. So, if Nokia simply moved Symbian downmarket (which was the plan in any case) then they would have had a better Asha range and Symbian sales would probably have not collapsed in the way they did.
As for Nokia and Android.. well, if there was an Android version of the Lumia 1020 then I would buy it. Simples. But although Windows is a good platform (I use it on my work phone) I'm not tempted to buy a WinPho device with my own money. If Nokia introduced Android devices then it is quite likely that they'd badly hurt Windows sales, and for that reason I would be very surprised if the Normandy ever comes to market (or at least to most markets).
Re: The answer is obvious
Abso-fragging-lutely. The simplest answer is the most likely one - Santander has been compromised, or one of firms that they outsource to (which I count as the same thing).
Like a lot of El Reg readers, I come across this sort of thing a lot because I also use a unique address for everything. And most of the time the people who have leaked out the information flatly deny it despite the evidence, and are often rude and hostile. And stupid, which probably explains why they got leaked in the first place.
This should probably be dealt with by whatever the current toothless watchdog that oversees the banking industry is.
Russia or Eastern Europe?
Russia or Eastern Europe? Really? Who would have guessed that?
188.8.131.52 is the IP address of rnbxclusive.com, taken down last year (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17039722)
Most people do not need Java
Most people do not need Java, the safest thing is to deinstall it. If you're a techy then there's a good chance that you might need it from time-to-time, but you always help to mitigate against threats with Firefox + NoScript.
Keeping Java up-to-date is essential but also futile. There's usually an unpatched vulnerability in it. It really is a heap of crap.
Well, except that Eric Eoin Marques of Freedom Hosting does actually appear to have been busted by law enforcement, so I think the exploit should be regarded in this context.
Also, the analysis I've seen of the exploit indicates that it simply collects data and sends it back , and doesn't leverage the vulnerability to install any malware on the machine. I would have thought that skiddies would do a lot more damage than that. Also, skiddies would almost definitely not be corporate customers of Verizon in the DC/VA area. It looks like a duck, it quacks like a duck..
Re: I did some of the debunking on that one
The NSA is certainly a candidate for the organisation involved, or equally as well it could be another three-letter agency or a contractor working for them. The whole approach could be a multi-agency thing anyway.
Just at a guess on the very little information we have to go on - I would think that the FBI would have worked with local law enforcement (the Garda, for example) to go after the obviously illegal content. They then may have worked with other agencies (NSA / CIA are candidates) to set up the "torsploit" and access other data (Tormail for example) that might have been seized. Different agencies would be interested in different aspects of the data collected.
If Tormail is involved then that in itself is not an illegal service, but it is exactly the sort of thing that has been out of reach of law enforcement and intelligence services for some time.
Re: I did some of the debunking on that one
Shhhh... that's a secret.
I did some of the debunking on that one
The IP addresses in question, 184.108.40.206 (for the code) and 220.127.116.11 (for the data upload) were incorrectly identified as belonging to a US government contractor, SAIC due to an error with the analysis tool used.
What happened was that DomainTools accidentally reported the entire 18.104.22.168/24 as belonging to SAIC, when actually it is a Verizon Business IP range shared with many companies. Verizon then suballocates most of the IPs to their customers, almost all of whom are based in the Washington DC or Virginia area. The error was made in good faith, and looking at the underlying data it is easy to see how it happened.
SAIC has the first few IPs, the next block belongs to some ISP, then the next to the US government. The fourth block is where the exploit is homed and the data uploaded, but the IP records don't show who it is allocated to. But analysing the rest of the range shows that it likely to be a large-ish organisation physically located in the DC/VA area.
Now.. just think about the sort of organisations that operate in that physical location. It's not as if the IP traces to an apartment block next to the bus station in Tiraspol is it?
Now, assuming that Eric Eoin Marques was the person responsible for the servers hosting the tracking code, then it doesn't take a genius to link his arrest with some agency gaining access to the server farm and adding the code. It seems highly likely that the two things are connected.
This is my debunking:
This is what is in the rest of the IP block in question:
It's hardly bloody new
It's hardly bloody new is it? This sort of thing was happening to El Reg back in 2004 - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/11/21/register_adserver_attack/
NDS had features in that Microsoft still haven't ported to AD 20 years later, and NetWare 4 was a very flexible and rock-solid platform but it got stuck in the File and Print niche for most customers and Microsoft seemed to offer greater flexibility.
Back then Microsoft really was a juggernaut, squashing everything in its path. Even though pre-AD Windows NT server was a horrible, horrible product businesses still bought it anyway. WordPerfect was dead the moment that Microsoft created the Office bundle for Windows and took over the market. As for Unix.. well, the irony is that Unix-derived OSes are bloody everywhere APART from the desktop.
Nothing of value was lost
This government department cut itself off from the rest of the world, killed its email servers and then started scrapping everything. Did it have any adverse impact on their effectiveness? It seems not. It looks like the moral of the story is that this is just another pointless government bureaucracy. Perhaps the kindest thing would be to kill it off..
Most of the mass of a rocket is made up of fuel or the propulsion systems. An Atlas V rocket ways over 330 tons but the payload is only about 1.5% to 9% depending on where it is going. So fuel is a critical issue, and gliding down (like a Shuttle) basically uses none at all, where coming down on a pillar of fire is probably going to use almost as much as going up in the first place.
Earth has a decent amount of atmosphere for doing that. However, Mars does not and this looks like a good solution to that problem, assuming you can get all that fuel into orbit somehow.
I think we're missing a trick here..
I like the idea of a Williams smartphone.. how about an AtariPhone tool with a faux wood finish?
Re: Motorola UK
The phone where Moto missed a trick IMO was the cancelled E1120. A great looking 3G phone from 2005 which was way ahead of most of the competition. What did we get instead? About a million different versions of the RAZR..
HSDPA is the problem
I originally saw the headline which refers to a RAZR V3, for which the modern 2G replacement is the Motorola GLEAM+ released last year.
But HSDPA support is the problem as the GLEAM+ doesn't do that. There's are pitifully few handsets with those specs in recent years, the LG GD580 (2010) and Sony Ericsson T707 (2009) are just about available still and have similar specs.
If you want battery longevity while sticking with a more modern Motorola, the upcoming Moto Xphone is rumoured to have a very large battery pack..
Re: Numbers Game
Sailfish is OK, but that's about it. All very nice, but I can't see the "wow" factor in it.
Yeah right.. a lack of kit. And not corruption or complicity then?
Re: What could possibly go wrong..
By and large, apps don't tend to install themselves as a drive-by on Android and iOS devices. The problem as I see it is that the security model creates a much greater risk that the security of the handset can be compromised by a drive-by attack.
Yes, of course iOS and Android can have malware installed in a drive-by attack despite the security model that attempts to separate the browser from the rest of the environment. In fact, most modern browsers (and plugins) attempt to sandbox the browsing session as much as possible. Firefox OS does the opposite.
So what can go wrong? Well, look at Java, Acrobat Reader, Flash, ActiveX and a number of other fundamentally broken web-enabled products. Despite all the assurances given by their vendors, they all just massively increase the attack surface area. My opinion is that Firefox OS does something similar.
It would certainly be good to have some competition to the Android / iOS duopoly. But the world isn't short of mobile OSes.
What could possibly go wrong..
What could possibly go wrong? Giving web pages complete control of the handset? Oh right.. complete pwnage, that's what.
I just knew..
I just knew it would be Tavis Ormandy when I read the headline. I don't doubt his excellent skills as an engineer, but I think he's a bit lacking in skills in the way he interacts with these other companies. I can't see Sophos or Microsoft offering him a job at any time in the future..
I'm not convinced..
I'm not convinced that a lot of the vintage IT kit in the bunker actually *comes* from there, I think a lot of it was added when it was turned into a museum. Still, it's well worth a visit. The bit that got me was the three-shift system for the bunk beds. A cushy little number this was not.
Re: Its not very anonymous is it..
AOL did something similar a few years ago, and it was demonstrated that a large number of users could be identified by this so-called anonymous data..
Re: "They've basically turned me into a future Android user"
It's not as if Google have access to your personal information. Oh, wait..
The tip of a very big iceberg
This is the tip of a very big iceberg with Prenda Law. If you want to know how they got to the state that a US judge basically takes the piss out of them, the full story can be found at Popehat - http://www.popehat.com/tag/prenda-law/. You will need a lot of popcorn.
I seem to recall..
I seem to recall that one of the Crays had optional leather seats that could be arranged around the core.
I always thought the the ZX80 was the best looking Sinclair, but there was certainly some inspired design in there.
Some other ones perhaps:
* The Lilith - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith_%28computer%29
* GRiD Compass - http://oldcomputers.net/grid1101.html
* Apricot Xi - http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=500
Re: What is it with the good guys?
Philip K. Dick springs to mind too, another writer who could take you to places and concepts that you could not have imagined, also taken from us too early. Perhaps they will meet up wherever SF authors go after they are finished here.
"It was the day my grandmother exploded.."
Best opening line ever.
Indeed, this is my understanding. There is no significant difference between accelerating quickly and slowly in terms of fuel consumption. The engine has the same work to do in either scenario. This only works if you're not over-stressing the engine though, if you're revving at the limits of what it can do then engine efficiency tends to drop.
The problem is not the starting.. but the stopping. If you are constantly in an accelerate - brake - accelerate cycle then you are wasting fuel when you have to apply the brake to slow down (unless you have a car with regenerative braking). Remember, most modern engines consume no fuel at all under engine braking, so a change in driving styles can have benefits when it comes to fuel consumption.
Re: Do the charger leads on this (and others) lock when connected?
One of the things that puts me off an EV is the business of the charger cable and what happens when it rains and your lovely connector cable and socket get wet. I understand that there are safety protocols built in to stop you frying yourself, but the image of struggling in the rain to hook up my nearly-flat EV doesn't appeal.
If you park your EV in a garage or undercover then you won't have that problem. But with the bloody awful British weather you might. Perhaps the next stage is to introduce a contactless charging plate?
My wife regularly gets in excess of 60mpg. It's a Mercedes C-class diesel estate which puts out just 117g/km while still having a 170 horses under the hood. So, you can have decent fuel economy in a decent car (insert obligatory sniping at Mercedes drivers here).
On the other hand, the g/km are only half the story. It really annoys me that cars get taxed on g/km at all. I own a big V6 powered Renault which puts out a frightening 271g/km.. but I don't drive it very much because the fuel consumption is frankly Not Good. The more CO2 you put out.. the more fuel you use. And the more fuel you use, the more tax you pay. And that's the way it should be. CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are directly linked.. if you drive less and drive more prudently, then you will pay less, which is exactly the sort of behaviour that is good. If you have a V8-powered behemoth that you take out to the shops at weekends, then your not doing a lot of harm.. except the people who set the vehicle excise duties will make you pay through the nose.
A bit of Googling comes up with this calculator: http://www.carbontrust.com/media/18223/ctl153_conversion_factors.pdf
Using those figures, charging the 22kWh battery would generate 11.54kg of CO2 at an average grid rate of 0.5246g/kWh. Assuming 100% efficiency (there won't be) and the maximum stated range of 150km (your mileage may vary) then that's 77g/km which frankly aint that great. An equivalent 85bhp diesel Clio produces around 100g/km.
OK, for the EV battery the charging is not 100% efficient, but on the other hand if you charge overnight then there tends to be a higher proportion of low-CO2 sources which should compensate somewhat.
It's worth remembering that renewables such as wind and hydro power have the drawback that they still generate power even when there is virtually no demand for it at (say) 3am. There are very few ways to store all that potential excess electricity.. except electric car batteries are one way that it can be done.
Re: Identifying callers
But the people who offer the service (e.g. the PPI Claims Handlers) are not always the people who ring you up (but they are sometimes). A PPI lead can be worth (I believe) about £50 to £200 per lead, so unsurprisingly they is a whole industry of bottom-feeders that just generate the leads and resell them on.
There's an interesting legal point here, and I don't know if it has been tested. If you are illegally cold-called by a lead generation company who then sell the lead onto another party (a claims management company, say), who is liable for the wrongdoing? The claims management firm? The lead generator? Both? Is there joint and several liability? The case of Roberts vs Media Logistics (el Reg has an article here - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/06/spam_court_media_logistics/) does set some sort of precedent for individual action through the small claims court, but I don't know if it has been tested in this scenario.
The problem with the PPI pests (etc) is that they won't reveal who they are, so it is very difficult to take action against them. They are only lead generators, they simply pass the lead on to another party.
£90k is a bit tame for a fine. The £440k that Tetrus got hit with is more like it.
Michelin never owned michelinguides.com
As far as I can tell (well, at least back to 2007) the domain michelinguides.com has never been owned by Michelin. In 2007 it was Keyword Marketing, Inc. registered in St Kitts and Nevis, then in 2011 it resurfaced registered to someone in China. That domain expired in September last year, the current owner registered it in December.
Michelin could file a UDRP complaint, but the owner can claim two defenses - one, there's not a trademark violation because it really is about "Michel in Guides", and secondly even if it IS using the trademark then there is a general protection for sites using it in parody or satire. Also, they never took action against previous owners, so this does seem to be inconsistent. Frankly, Michelin need to get their wallet out..
In principle these CO2s-to-hydrocarbon technologies could run on anything, although running them on fossil fuels would obviously be stupid.
For example, hydro, wind and geothermal power generators run all the time. You can use a technology like this to effectively store the excess energy produced when there's little demand (e.g. at 3am). Heck, you could even use nuke plants, although that seems somewhat perverse.
Clearly, there's some assembly required here. But if someone can produce a CO2 sequestration unit that runs on electricity, then it might just be a case of plugging it in to the mains somewhere..
Ah, well here's the rub. These plants produce ethanol or diesel or some other combustible fuel. So, what exactly are you going to do with all that very pure flammable hydrocarbon you've produced? Well, you burn it of course.. and turn it back into CO2, water and energy.
Now, you'd hope that if you could produce fuel from CO2 sequestration, then there would be an reduction in demand for fossil fuels (for example, one barrel of diesel from CO2 means one less barrel out of the ground). But it isn't necessarily the case - increasing the supply of fuel could simply reduce the price and lead to greater demand, cancelling out the sequestration efforts completely.
I'm not saying that it shouldn't be done.. but often the law of unexpected consequences applies.
Re: In the vicinity of factories and power plants?
I was wondering the same thing. But I guess if you somehow hooked it up to the CO2 output of Drax then you would get a lot of CO2 to play with and possibly a higher rate of sequestration. However, if you want a lot of *sunlight* to power it, then it is a different consideration. A nice sunny spot in Spain might be a better bet.
Re: too easy
Basically.. a UPS. Kind of expensive though, unless you can pick one up secondhand from some failed business somewhere. Like a Spanish bank.
Re: Comments about Symbian
By all accounts, Nokia Belle is a really polished revision of Symbian. But Symbian sales collapsed as soon as Nokia "dead-ended" the OS, which wasn't the plan at all.
I think strategically, Nokia made a mistake with Symbian. Instead of discontinuing it, they should have stuck with the previous plan to push it down into the Series 40 space, instead of trying to pull Series 40 up to fill the gap left by Symbian. Ditching MeeGo, for all its strengths, was the right call though.
" Windows Phone has dropped even more marketshare than it had last year"
Not according to Kantar, it hasn't (see http://bit.ly/UhJ1HH). In the UK the market share is up from 1.7% to 5.1%. OK, it's hardly the stuff of dreams, but it's going in the right direction. Those Kantar figures were produced before the Lumia 920 came on stream, it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
"they adopted an OS that offers nothing in the way is differentiation"
Really? WP7 and WP8 offer a completely different user experience from Android and iOS. IMO, Windows makes everything else look old-fashioned. It's not to everyone's taste though.
"Windows Phone is a utter disaster"
I disagree. It's not an utter disaster, but then it's not exactly a resounding success. It sits somewhere in between the two. WP growth is quite slow though, and Nokia found itself in a bad place as Symbian sales dried up quicker than expected, leaving Nokia with a big hole in the balance sheet.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a Windows Phone fanboy, I prefer the relative freedom of my Android device.. my previous phone was an Android device, I suspect my next phone will be an Android device. And if Nokia made an Android equivalent to the Lumia 920, I would probably be heading down to the shops for one RIGHT NOW..
- Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
- Analysis Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
- Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
- Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
- OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs