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* Posts by Charles 9

3710 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Snowden to warn Brits on Xmas telly: Your children will NEVER have privacy

Charles 9
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Re: An Alien XSSXXXX Concept or SMARTR App .... for Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems*

""Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Thing is, when you do the same thing over and over and ACTUALLY GET a different result, you're praised for your persistence.

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Charles 9
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Re: Definition required

But the firewalls were all relative and based on a level of trust. What happens when no one trusts each other anymore because everyone has a chip on someone else?

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Charles 9
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Re: Definition required

"You kept up with everyone else, so there was a balance. You also knew who could be trusted with sensitive information and who could be relied on to gossip to anyone who would listen. You had a reasonable expectation of privacy."

But when the community is small enough or connected enough, then it's hard to hide things from ANYONE because SOMEONE with loose lips will notice and spread the word. The very FACT you were trying to cover things up DREW attention to you. Before it was the rumor mill, then it was the tabloids, now it's the Internet.

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Charles 9
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Re: Definition required

"Privacy is the most fundamental protection an individual has. Without it all other protections, rights and freedoms are as good as worthless."

Well, what happened back in the old days when there was basically no expectation of privacy because everyone in the community kept up with you?

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Charles 9
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Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

I don't know. What happened back in the old village days when everyone pretty much knew what everyone else was doing because there were enough eyes and gossip to go around?

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Ubuntu desktop is so 2013... All hail 2014 Ubuntu mobile

Charles 9
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Re: Why?

I think the article was hinting at a Janus approach: phone in your hand, computer in a dock (and the dock would provide the necessary breakouts for attaching mice, keyboards, etc.). The phone and the dock tech isn't mature enough just yet, but it's tantalizingly close.

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Charles 9
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Re: I've given up on complaining about Ubuntu....

For me, the escape has been Xubuntu. For its spate of quirks, XFCE for me provides a nice middle ground: functional but not too demanding.

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Charles 9
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Re: Mint and Mageia bypassed Ubuntu as the most used Linux desktop distros

"To be crystal clear about my point - no one in the world give a slightest damn about Linux desktops, let alone their sandpit wars. Get over it and buy a Mac if you can't stand Windows."

And if I hate Windows AND Mac AND routinely work in graphics so need a GUI no matter what?

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Charles 9
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Re: Microsoft's failure is Canonical's failure.

Didn't the article mention docks as a possible way for mobile devices to bridge the gap and become PCs (complete with mice and keyboards) one they become powerful enough (almost there IMO--more and more full-fat retail games are appearing on Android).

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Charles 9
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Re: Microsoft's failure is Canonical's failure.

But unlike Microsoft, Linux desktop users may be a dying breed. Seems to me like this is a leap of faith with nothing else left to lose (either they get thrown under the bus or they fall to attrition in any event).

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We don't need no STEENKIN' exploit brokers: Let's FLATTEN all bug bounties

Charles 9
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Re: "Free" market prices

So that brings up a new problem: How does one encourage people to turn in bugs like a white-hat when the opposition is a type for whom money is no object?

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Silk Road 2.0 busted! At least two arrests as federal crackdown begins

Charles 9
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Re: It's all good

"As for coke and meths well they should be marketed like champagne and vodka. Cocaine is very popular in the USA and certain British politicians."

The trouble is these some of these drugs can have side effects: FATAL ones. Cocaine can cause fatal heart attack and certain opiates like heroin can cause your heart to stop. In ONE controlled dose. I think even Ecstasy can do that in one pill. Drugs that can kill when used as directed MUST be controlled for the same reason we control uses of strong acids and the like: they're life-threatening.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's all good

"All drugs should be controlled. I believe we should have stronger controls on alcohol as one of the most dangerous, addictive and socially harmful drugs available."

But also SO ingrained in many cultures that people would sooner declare war on their countries than declare war on their vices. Look at America's Prohibition era. If people want something badly enough, they'll get it in spite of God, Man, or the Devil. That's why the US hasn't even tried anything serious with tobacco: it's in the same boat.

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Proposed California law demands anti-theft 'kill switch' in all smartphones

Charles 9
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Re: Except it doesn't deter theft

Then explain the people who rob, mug, even KILL...JUST for the phone. Taking the phone to prevent them calling 911 because you've robbed everything else on them is one thing, but mugging them and taking JUST the phone smacks of a targeted mugging.

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Charles 9
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Re: Bricked trying to organize a protest...

"the crowd sourced gatherings that we have seen in the mid-east, just might have to resort to 60's style communications to get a decent protest into action. And no one will be able to video it... when the authorities brick all the phones in the area !!"

You forget. THEY control the NETWORK. The most common tactic they use in such a case is blackouts. What's to say they also don't OTA updates with spyware built into them?

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Charles 9
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Re: Duuh!

Because you can defeat the tracking the same way you can defeat the killswitch: with a faraday bag. Inside, it's invisible to the network, and as long as it's invisible to the network, there's no way they can get to the phone.

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Charles 9
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Re: Can you think of any other consumer good @ Alan Denman

Yes, my WALLET. And since it's UNpowered, there's sod all that can be done to "killswitch" a wallet.

Besides, what's to stop thieves from carrying faraday bags to block any killswitch signals? Then they can switch it to airplane mode through the bag or take it to a faraday cage to download all the stuff at their leisure, flash a new firmware that doesn't respond to the killswitch (and probably includes malware backdoors so they can double-dip), and THEN fence it, confident it won't brick.

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Picture this: Data-wrangling boffins say they have made JPEGs OBSOLETE

Charles 9
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Re: Browser support (JPEG2000)

"Yes, but JPEG2000 is required for PDF 1.5"

Maybe that's why I typically see PDFs at v1.4 instead.

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Charles 9
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Re: Who cares about saving space over jpeg?

"Even if it could store megapixel images in a single byte it would never displace jpeg, because saving space or bandwidth for images is a problem that no longer exists in today's world. The inevitable patents, and even if made freely available, inevitable patent trolls who will claim patents on various things it does, make switching from jpeg to something new not worth whatever storage/bandwidth could be saved."

Thing is, if you ALREADY have patents for the tech when the trolls come knocking, you can use them as a defense and threaten a patent war. That's what Google did against MPEG-LA concerning VP8 tech. With defensive patents, you can threaten to invalidate the troll patents, and if your primary mode of business isn't patent-related, you have more lenient winning conditions than the trolls: all you have to do is not lose, giving you an advantage if the fight goes to court as a mutual nullification doesn't hurt you.

I think that's one reason PNG was accepted over GIF--when the LZW codec used by GIF was enforced, sentiment swung towards PNG which used the more-lenient Deflation (trading off animation for RGB color support).

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Charles 9
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Re: In a world where selfie and cat videos rule the web

Actually, compression is what allows YouTube to thrive.

Without the ability to deliver these videos (and the attached ADS) over narrow mobile pipes, where would YouTube be now?

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Charles 9
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Re: Browser support

Which was why I mentioned Google. They're in a unique position to be able to (a) simultaneously saturate both the browser and mobile markets with the tech thanks to Chrome and Android, respectively, and (b) not really the type to patent troll: only using patents defensively and getting their revenues in other ways.

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Charles 9
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Re: Will it matter?

Probably because any patents related to JPEG have expired by that point, forcing the tech into the public domain.

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Code-busters lift RSA keys simply by listening to the noises a computer makes

Charles 9
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Re: Congratulations - excellent work!

"Of course, they then took this further, realising that, as the source of information was seemingly voltage regulation, there should be ways to measure this more directly. In one of their experiments they get the same information from connecting a voltage probe to a CAT5 cable connected to a switch - at the switch end."

That's an interesting feat, given that CAT5 cables are UNshileded (being a UTP cable).

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Macbook webcams CAN spy on you - and you simply CAN'T TELL

Charles 9
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If the camera can see infrared (which can pass through the tape), maybe.

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Charles 9
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Re: I'm more worring about hacked "Smartphones"

"I think perhaps you need to realise there are other phones on the market other than ones made by Apple and a good number of them do indeed have normal removable batteries."

I think perhaps you need to realise that companies OTHER than Apple are building phones with permanent batteries. Recent phones from the likes of HTC and Motorola spring to mind. Indeed, due to a demand for more battery life (and, if you're paranoid, a desire to steal control away from users), more phone manufacturers are doing this. I personally don't trust this (I insist on being able to yank a battery in case of a sleeplock or wakelock), but consumers aren't the only voice in the matter, and the consumer doesn't always win in this market.

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Don't listen to Snowden ... Intel: We've switched on CPU crypto for Hadoop

Charles 9
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Re: Bah!

(JOKE RIPOSTE) I think that's the plan. If it's so transparent the hackers see THROUGH it, they can't see the cipher data meaning they don't know where to hack. Encryption where my data becomes invisible would be rather nice IMO (END)

But seriously, the easiest way to get data encrypted on a widespread basis is to make the process turnkey simple, and a transparent (automatic on-the-fly) process can be a step in the right direction if done properly.

As for the paranoia, you might wanna just wring your hands of the whole affair. Let's face it; few things have as much resources as a state, and if ONE state hasn't subverted half the programmers and coders in the world, then the Russians, Chinese, and Arabs have probably polished off the rest. Which basically makes it a case of "Don't Trust Anyone," which means nothing gets done anymore.

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Steelie Neelie: EU biz can use YOUR private data WITHOUT PERMISSION

Charles 9
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Because the tool that can hide you from the government can also be used to subvert and destroy it. That's always been the dilemma of governments that give some sort of liberties: those very liberties can be turned against the government, so the government is basically underpinned on trust. Which becomes more complicated in a country like the United States which was founded on DIStrust of government.

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Charles 9
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So someone needs to tell as many people as possible that, due to the business models involved (where just ONE trace is all it takes), anonymity has become black-and-white. Either data is untraceably anonymous or it's not anonymous at all: nothing in between.

Makes me think to the general polarization of society in general, to the point that I can't help but think the ultimate outcome will either be NO anonymity (resulting in a police state) or TOTAL anonymity (resulting in anarchy).

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French gov used fake Google certificate to read its workers' traffic

Charles 9
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Re: Techie question.... @Jamie

Even so, if your client has been pwned without your knowledge (due to a drive-by, for example), they could disguise the fact they stole your key by replacing any DISPLAYS of their key with your original one (false facades are common in malware now). In that event, how would you be able to tell that the key you see is the key you're actually using?

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No anon pr0n for you: BT's network-level 'smut' filters will catch proxy servers too

Charles 9
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Re: if the sites which host the workarounds are blocked...

That would just be considered a site hosting a workaround that gets blocked, too. Put it this way. A workaround for a workaround is still a workaround.

Frankly, I think all the tail-chasing is just an exercise to build evidence for whitelisting, which can deny by default.

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Charles 9
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Re: this will end in disaster

What about a whitelist? Then it's deny-by-default.

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Charles 9
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Re: Change the DNS server...

So even if you poll DNS directly from your PC, it'll still change the DNS request to BT? What about an obfuscated or off-default DNS request?

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Charles 9
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Re: Who cares!!!

"all am going to say is look at chinas firewall and your see why filters will not work"

IIRC China's system doesn't outlaw all encrypted traffic and doesn't work on a whitelist system (meaning you can ONLY go to those sites they've vetted, meaning new sites are blocked by default). Without this "deny by default, deny when in doubt" attitude, things will still be able to slip through.

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Charles 9
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Re: First they came for the DNS

If that were true, it wouldn't be able to block an encrypted connection because encrypted data, by definition, can't be sniffed. Has anyone been hit with a "Site Blocked" message while using HTTPS that's either direct to the IP or using a third-party DNS? If so, then IP checking must be in place at the least (how else would they catch a connection for which the only thing they know is the IP).

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Bjork, 500+ novelist pals ask UN for 1 bill of digital rights to RULE 'EM ALL

Charles 9
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Re: Why anonymous in concept for democracy is important

In other words, because the average person lacks the desire or capability to think in terms other than black and white, the inevitable outcome of society (ANY society) is polarization into either totalitarianism or anarchy: most likely the former as the latter will likely devolve into the former given time.

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FreeBSD abandoning hardware randomness

Charles 9
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Re: AVEGED

"Yes, but HAVEGE originates from a French institute (http://www.irisa.fr/caps/projects/hipsor/index.php) and so is likely to fart in your general direction, you son of silly persons."

It's not like it's being used directly. In Linux, it's used like most other HW generators are: shoveled into the kernel entropy pool where the kernel then does the scrubbing. In that context it's at worst harmless and at best quite useful.

And failing that I can go back to the webcam generator, since I've been monkeying with the code personally, I know what's going on. The original code did plenty of whitening, but in my tests using a cheap webcam with the lens taped over (and just to be sure, it's face-down) it couldn't pass FIPS 180-2 tests until after I gave it a further parity scrub. Beats waiting on an Entropy Key.

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eBay head honcho: Amazon drone delivery plan is 'FANTASY'

Charles 9
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Re: Collection points..

The whole business is a classic tradeoff between consolidation and turnaround time. Consolidated delivery centers provide the benefit of lower logistics costs, but now Amazon is seeing the other side of the coin: the fact that people will pay for instant gratification (thus why big boxers like Walmart still work; for some, there's nothing like walking out, goodies in hand, and they feel the added taxes and so on are worth it to get right blanking now), meaning having warehouses closer to the customer costs money but saves time.

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Bring it on, stream biz Aereo tells TV barons – see you in Supreme Court

Charles 9
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Re: Stream Your Own TV

To do that, you need a device with DLNA capability. And believe me, I check the specs carefully on those things. Trouble is, many of them have (a) spotty codec support, (b) lousy UIs, or (c) both. The closest thing I've found to a repurposed PC is the WD TV Live, but its video quality leaves plenty to be desired. And no, the Raspberry solution tends to be laggy at high resolutions.

Many "network-enabled" players don't really support DLNA but rather support the "usual suspects" like Pandora and YouTube.

Plus your TV capture cars only supports OTA programming. My programming tends to come through digital cable, requiring a box, so it's more complicated.

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Charles 9
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Re: "...a tiny TV antenna each in a nearby data centre..."

IINM, though, the transition to DTV reduces the need for aerials. It's not like you need a very strong signal to get a very good picture. All the data is now focused on a pretty tight frequency range and is digital, meaning a different kind of antenna can do the job (which is why you don't see rabbit ears in stores anymore--only those flat antenna plates).

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Google tells EFF: Android 4.3's privacy tool was a MISTAKE, we've yanked it

Charles 9
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But I like to use ART, and Xposed and ART don't mix. Anyway, I have a build that includes a working Privacy Guard built-in. I've set it to default to blocking new apps that I install. That way it's hard to be caught off guard.

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Charles 9
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Re: I'll side with the Against but Sympathetic crowd

But you do. Controlling the acts that give your privacy away is HARD...because SO MANY things give hints as to your identity. It's like the skill needed to do some actual work on your car like changing the oil or swapping wheels: many people don't care about it and let the experts do it, but if you want to do it yourself, it's considered wise to read the manual first lest you break something.

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Charles 9
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Re: Broken model?

"The current model where the app declares what it needs, in a take it or leave it manner, and apparently is free to lie (my impression at the moment is that the only recourse to actually enforce a restriction is to cancel the install - or uninstall if you manage to catch the app red-handed) looks completely backwards to me."

The problem was that the model was demanded by the developers. Basically, it was either Google conceding to them or they would never have strayed from Apple's system, crippling Android in a vulnerable moment. And even now, they can't change it too radically for fear of devs walking away. And it's the devs that help make the real money for Google by making people use Android phones.

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Charles 9
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Re: Obeying aircraft mode

Last I checked, Airplane mode is a separate setting that overrules all the data settings (WiFi, Mobile Data, Bluetooth, etc.), like an outer lid covering the multiple inner lids. An app cannot turn WiFi on while in Airplane Mode. Now I know some apps are capable of switching Airplane Mode on and off, but I have to recall whether or not they can only do it under root permissions, because I don't recall Airplane Mode being a listed app permission.

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Charles 9
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Re: I'll side with the Against but Sympathetic crowd

So hide it behind an Expert toggle. There's a develop options menu that's normally hidden, but if you know the access key (tap the Build in About Phone a bunch of times), you can get access to them. Similarly, keep expert options covered unless a specific setting is turned on (with appropriate warnings given like for External Apps permission).

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Charles 9
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Re: Outrageous permissions

What about if lets you take pictures to integrate with the program?

It's been something I've been thinking about. Perhaps in future, Google should demand that app makers provide not just an access list but also an EXPLANATION for each and every permission. For example, if an app needs to take a picture, there must be an explanation (written by the developer) such as "We use the camera so you can take pictures for your avatar." (for some communication program) or "We take pictures to process in the cloud for product recognition." (for something like Goggles).

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Charles 9
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Re: Some creepy apps out there

The trouble was that Android had to appease the developers, who pretty much insisted on permission control or they wouldn't develop alongside Apple (which at the time was their comfort zone).

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US military's RAY-GUN truck BLASTS DRONES, mortars OUT OF THE SKY

Charles 9
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Re: Ask The Physicist

"When polished metals reflect more than 95% of visible and longer wavelength light the only colour which can avoid almost trivial countermeasures is ultra violet."

I think the need to get it to at least 99%. Otherwise, the 5% that DOES get absorbed would deform and defeat the polish, allowing the other 95% back in again to finish it off.

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'Disruptive, irritating' in-flight cellphone call ban mulled by US Senate

Charles 9
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Re: Easy fix

"[*] There's a chance that if it's satellite-based, there's already a significant latency, about 230ms out to a geostationary satellite and back plus whatever other processing time is required."

People can be patient enough to wait on the lag of a voice conversation. Sat phones are sometimes used in the news for video transmissions in remote locations where better equipment isn't available, so people are getting used to the idea of a laggy conversation.

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Why America is no longer slurping electricity from Russian nuke warheads

Charles 9
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Re: Plutonium?

So noted. You can see this attitude in the Manhattan Project. Fat Man (the Plutonium bomb) required a very precise arrangement of explosives to set off the implosion chain reaction properly (this was why the Trinity test--Trinity was a plutonium bomb similar to Fat Man), and even then Trinity was estimated to have only managed to achieve about 20% fission of its payload. OTOH, Little Boy seemed simple enough to pull off: fire off one U-235 slug at high speed into another (although IIRC the main reason for not testing the Uranium Gun design was lack of materials--still proved to be valid).

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Charles 9
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Re: FIVE HUNDRED TONS of highly-enriched uranium

That said, in the greater scheme of things, I'd call this not a bad deal at all. No force of arms, and we take a good number of potential civilisation-wrecking weapons out of service and put their good bits to use in less-belligerent ways. It would depend on the final price tag, but I consider it money well spent.

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