* Posts by Henry Wertz 1

2332 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

Henry Wertz 1
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Glad I don't use WIndows

"Today's move does mean you can expect to get a lot more technical support calls from friends and family who don't know what's going on"

I don't get excessive calls from friends and family, I've made it clear to them I do not recommend they run Windows and that I don't provide support for it. I will solve their problem if it's something easy, but I'm not going to spend hours fixing the litany of Windows-problems that simply do not appear on any other OS

Man reading about things like this makes me glad I'm not using Windows any more. I mean, Ubuntu will remind you when there's a new Ubuntu release but it has "remind me later" and "never remind me again" buttons, and this reminder can be totally disabled too (for anybody, not just business users.) It doesn't go around repeatedly trying to slip an OS upgrade in as a normal software update either.

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You, FCC. Do something about these overpriced cable boxes, yells Bernie Sanders and pals

Henry Wertz 1
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A few comments

Three comments here --

1st, props to Mediacom. Nobody ever gives props to a cable co and it feels odd to do so. But the likes of Comcast are now encrypting ALL their cable channels (INCLUDING local OTA (over the air) channels that FCC regulations REQUIRE them to carry in the clear... when the FCC brought enforcement action against Comcast, Comcast took them to court instead of following the rules.) So you need a cable box to get ANYTHING. In contrast, Mediacom not only has OTA channels unecrypted, but SD copies of ALL the channels (except pay ones like HBO) in the clear. I can plug my cable straight into the USB TV tuner and mythtv handles it fine.

2nd -- honestly, I must agree 100% with what Sanders etc. say. It's predatory pricing to rent out these low-end set top boxes (that have about $5 worht of parts in them, so probably cost under $30 full retail) for $2-3 a month. The cable cos were SUPPOSED to be required by the FCC to support CableCard, so you'd stick that in your cable-ready TV and not need a box. But a) Some cable cos are straight-up violating the FCC rule by not having cable cards available or supported. b) The ones that "support" it, the customer tends to have to keep calling until they find someone who knows it even exits and knows how to set it up. c) Predatory pricing, some cable cos have it but charge more to rent the card than for a deluxe set top box. They can't comprehend that someone may want to use the controls on their own TV. d) I don't mention DVRs here, CableCard is useless for computers due to excessive rights restrictions requirements.

3) "They don't have rules that allow monopolies, they lack rules that prevent them." False. In the US, most market have a cable *franchise*, potential competition is LOCKED OUT of the market. Artificial monopoly due to regulation. I'm not saying deregulating is necessarily the solution but your argument is not based on facts.

4) Why party and state after names? US has 2 nearly-identical main political parties, (seriously, by UK standards one is nearly center center-right and the other nearly center center-left, to the point that they'd probably both be one centrist party there), but members of BOTH parties like to pretend *they* are totally different, and pretend whatever topic they are on that any problems are ALL the other parties fault. (For example, federal spending is greatly increased each and every year, but both parties claim they want to DECREASE spending -- pointing to programs they want to cut and ignoring the huge spending they want to spend on OTHER things -- and those deficits are ALL the other party's fault.) But since the parties are so similar, unless you recognize someone from an election you won't be able to tell which party they are a member of jut by hearing them talk, thus the little letter.

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Microsoft: We’ve taken down the botnets. Europol: Would Sir like a kill switch, too?

Henry Wertz 1
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As for the kill switch

As for the kill switch itself -- it's tricky, because I absolutely object on principal to having a third party redirect my traffic. But, the botnet itself is already generating unauthorized traffic, it's not redirecting any traffic the user authorized anyway. But, since I don't use Windows, I don't have to worry about it 8-)

"How about ISPs blocking traffic to the bad IP addresses that control botnets? That would not involve anything remotely resembling a backdoor on people's computers."

I view the ISPs job as providing me internet access. If an ISP wants to do this, sure, but it is quite simply not the ISPs job to prevent Windows computers from infecting other Windows computers. And, for Windows, that ship has sailed regarding not having "anything remotely resembling a backdoor" on it, see the numerous complaints of Win10 users turning of the "phone home" stuff only to have it turn back on every time they get updates.

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Henry Wertz 1
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No sympathy

"45 minutes is not bad. On one particularly slow afternoon I did manage 27 minutes before they managed to work out my machine was running OSX."

Yeah, me too. They *told* me "my Microsoft" was having problems. I tried to clarify "what Microsoft?" (to waste the scammer's time; if they had asked if my computer had Windows on it I would have pointed out "No" but thyey never asked.) They *assured* me "my Microsoft" had a problem. I actually had them wait while I *did* install a remote desktop (knowing I could just pull the plug.) They saw that Ubuntu 14.04 (non-Unity) desktop come up and were like "What is this!?!?!" I pointed out "You didn't ask if I was running Windows, and I didn't say I was. " Then I pulled the network cable (well, wifi stick) and uninstalled the remote desktop software. I think I had them tied up over 30 minutes.

So... I'm with the AC near the top "@Dave 126 - People who are thus tied to Windows deserve to suffer ever increasing pain. Throughout the decades they always scoffed at any non-Microsoft alternative so they've lost my sympathy."

I won't go as far as saying they *deserve* to suffer every increasing pain. But people like me have been warning people off Windows for 20 years. You get me playing the world's smallest violin (no sympathy whatsoever) when you have had 20 years to switch off and continue not too. I mean, if you were warned off Yugos, bought one anyway, then said "it's to late to switch now", fine but you can't expect me to sympathize in the least when you keep complaining about your Yugo giving you trouble.

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NSA spying on US and Israeli politicians stirs Congress from Christmas slumbers

Henry Wertz 1
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Ahh hypocrisy.

Ahh, the hypocrisy of Congress and the US'es main 2 political parties.

(Find out the pubic is being spied on): "Oh? You don't want the NSA spying on you? We're 'balancing' your rights. If you have nothing to hide than fwah-de-blah-blah..."

(Find out THEY are being spied on): " **WE** are being spied on? How dare they! This is completely unacceptable!!!"

Although up to this point the main 2 political parties have basically tripped over themselves to see who can take away privacy rights faster, maybe now that they realize THIS WILL AFFECT THEM TOO they will actually start to reign in this out-of-control spying and place some oversight over it to make sure the "reigning in" is not just ignored.

(The irony of this all being, this specific spying incident -- spying on diplomatic relations between various Congress-critters and Israeli counterparts -- that is actually the kind of thing the NSA is intended to spy on.)

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iOS 9 kludged our iPhones, now give us money, claims new lawsuit

Henry Wertz 1
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True, but...

It's true that you cannot expect the same performance from a 4S as from a 6. But, there have been cases with Android devices where a port of (next version of Android, like 2.x to 4.x) was made to the device, they found in internal testing that performance was inadequate (usually because the device was a bit short on RAM), and the update not pushed out. If IOS9 had significantly higher system requirements, it should have been either held back for 4S, or.. well, honestly, I think all phones should permit flashing an older firmware on if you want to. Or if the 4S owners are lucky, ios9 is missing a few optimizations and it runs fast enough on 4S.

On the other hand, I haven't seen a first-hand comparison, so I guess my feelings on this depend on if this really makes the phone all laggy, or if it's just ever so slightly slower and there's much ado about (almost) nothing.

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Trustworthy x86 laptops? There is a way, says system-level security ace

Henry Wertz 1
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Slot machines?

Has anyone looked to see what slot machine vendors have to say about this? They worry about security (both for the obvious reasons, and regulatory framework that ironically requires slot machines to have much higher security than ATMs or electronic voting machines). I've seen one boot, it's pretty verbose.. the BIOS validated itself, the bootloader, and the package it booted. The bootloader validated the BIOS and packages (kernel and root filesystem). It booted into Linux, which validated the bootloader, the kernel and the executables. The executable appeared to run a self-check of some sort before the slot machine software came up.

Not that a setup like that would be viable for most systems, as I want to be able to actually add and remove software from my system. But, they may have something practical to say about (for example) being able to disable or restrict the ME, so people who are not interested in it's functionality are not exposed to the potential additional attack surface it represents.

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Upset Microsoft stashes hard drive encryption keys in OneDrive cloud?

Henry Wertz 1
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Crypto from Linux

"My system is a linux/windows dual boot, with some of the drives accessible from both OSs. Presumably this would fail if the windows involved were win 10 (not that that is going to happen in the forseeable future). Come to that, would linux partitioning tools screw the drive so that windows could not read the data either?"

Can't speak for Windows in terms of being able to repartition (they love to use "magic" sectors, hidden files, and so on...)... but I think the principles are the same, see below.

I just got a Chromebook13 (Nvidia TK1, quad-core ARM + decent GPU) that I set up to dual boot Ubuntu (ChromeOS on the internal flash, Ubuntu on an SDCard). I accidentally repartitioned the flash first; whether it would have screwed up the encrypted "vault"s on there or not, I don't know (I doubt it); the ChromeOS automatically decided something was screwy with the partition it wiped itself back to factory defaults (and then when I re-expanded the partition back to full size it did it again.) I would GUESS (as long as you don't trash the NTFS filesystem) that Windows, including the cryptosystem, would not care a bit if it's partition size changed.

So, from Ubuntu, I mounted the largest volume on the flash drive and looked around. I went to the /home/chronos and it's empty, /home/user/ and it's got an empty directory with 40 character (0-9, a-f)... I found there's a /home/.shadow/ directory with same 40 character (0-9,a-f) directory in it (so you can't even get user names), under that under vault/user/ there are files and diectories all named like ECRYPTFS_FNEK_ENCRYPTED.(15 chars).(40 chars).(40 chars) (these are not hex, it's (0-9, a-z, A-Z) ). So, if I wanted to snoop, not only encrypted file contents, no useable file names either. I assume it'd be similar with Win10...either useless file names and contents, or "best" case useable file names but unreadable contents.

For the record, I've looked into Chromebook key handling, and it's sensible; the disk crypto key is based on username, password, and TPM value (or a value from Scrypt library if you ha a non-TPM system.) This key is not stored or sent out anywhere! When you log in, the Google account password is not sent to Google, rather a hash value is sent. If you use the Chromebook to change your account password, it updates the on-disk crypto to use the new key (I assume having to reencrypt everything?) If you change your account password elsewhere, then log into the Chromebook, it logs into Google, then realizes the disk crypto key doesn't work; it gives you a chance to put in the older password. If you can't, it wipes the encrypted data and starts fresh with the new password (hased with username + TPM data).

So yeah, accessing one of these Win10 accounts from Linux-side would fail. But it's not a Windows-specific fail, it's true with any encrypted disk system.

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Henry Wertz 1
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A bit flippant....

This seems a bit flippant to me, the "Oh, well, 'they' will have to physically get a hold of your computer anyway so who cares?" Yeah, by the same argument, why have disk encryption at all, since no-one can read your disk if they can't get a hold of it. Given this cryptosystem is fatally flawed (since it puts the decryption key "out there" somewhere...), honestly I'd probably prefer to run none and enjoy the extra battery life of not having to run useless crypto. As much as you dismiss the NSA, you do have agencies such as them and GCHQ who by all appearances have simply gone power-mad (the quantity of info they already get exceeds their ability to do even a cursory automated analysis, but they seek access to more and more info anyway). They view their goal as being to collect* as much info on as many people as possible, ignoring both the law (and constitution), right to privacy, and seeking to get backdoors put into cryptosystems just because (ignoring that increasing the attack surface of a cryptosystem makes it worse for everyone.)

It's highly irresponsible at best for Microsoft to turn on full-disk crypto without notice, then send their crypto keys out without notice. Pray tell, if you've lost your Microsoft account password, how would you get into the Onedrive to get this key yourself? And if you can supposedly have Microsoft give you the key, how will they verify you are you and not some guy who just "found" your computer?

How far Microsoft has fallen from a few years ago with the "Scroogled" campaign comparing how much more privacy-minded Microsoft's options were compared to Google's, compared to now where Win10 will keep dumping out info, and even have updates that keep re-enabling privacy-unfriendly options that the user or administrator has disabled.

=============

*I'm using the plain-English word "collect" here, where info is "collected" when it's thrown in some NSA database.... , not the NSA-speak word "collect".. they have told Congress they don't "collect" all sorts of info that they definitely do, because they redefine "collect" so info is not "collected" until a query displays it on someone's screen.

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USA doubles visa fees for migrant IT workers

Henry Wertz 1
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Detroit

"Having been to Detroit, you were wise to not go. Robocop is a documentary."

As if. I've heard it's better now, but when I went about 15 years ago to visit a friend... well, the actual city in Robocop looked quite in good shape compared to the reality. It looked like it had been nuked about 20 years in the past and left there. Buildings with all windows broken out, burned out, collapsed, and blocks of just grassland (had the buildings collapsed or did these use to be parking lots? I don't know.). Driving in on the interstate, the road (still supposedly 70MPH speed limit) suddenly became alarmingly potholed to the point that I almost hit my head on the roof, slowed down to about 40... still was shaking about as bad as that Klingon War bird when they slingshot it around the sun... I had to slow down to about 25MPH for the car to not threaten to fall apart. I looked out the window and found to my alarm that some of the concrete had worn down so much that I could see the rebar and see right through the bridge. The onramp nearest my friend's apartment had a "road closed" sign in front of a big pile of rubble, it had collapsed. On the other hand, I wasn't particularly worried about being mugged or anything, the whole area seemed largely depopulated (his apartment building had nothing within blocks of it, for instance.)

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13,000 Comcast customers complain to FCC over data caps

Henry Wertz 1
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These mixups happen

I ran into problems with my local cable company until I cancelled internet service (I won't name names because a) they use the same billing software as several other cable cos. anyway, it's just an example of technical snafus gone wrong rather than malice and b) They don't have much competition in virtually any market they're in anyway).

I kept getting my cable internet service shut off for complaints (from whoever) about torrenting. They said I was should also be receiving notices in the mail but I did not. Long story short, I got shut off several more times while running absolutely no torrents, finally got a printed letter in the mail (with a handwritten address with 2 digits in my address swapped, crossed out by someone else and the correct address written on it.. probably why I never received the previous 2 notices.) This listed files, times and IP... the files were things like wrestling videos I would have never watched, and it was not my IP address (the IP doesn't change often but one of the logfiles logged the IP address when it did.) In fact the IP on the printout was for a different market.

I'm just saying, I'm not surprised to find there are problems when they suddenly start measuring data usage and assessing overage. 66GB when the cable modem's unplugged is pretty bad 8-)

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'Unauthorized code' that decrypts VPNs found in Juniper's ScreenOS

Henry Wertz 1
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elliptic curve

Per the link AC above points to, there are two vulnerabilities here. The ssh/telnet administrative access one (which sounds like some kind of programming blunder, but there's no actual info on it yet except that it exists and is being patched) and the VPN one. The link discusses the VPN change... the VPN uses an elliptic curve-based pseudo-random number generator, and the patch changes the constants fed into this PRNG to initialize it. So speculation would be that the former values were found to be exploitably weak. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to decide who would want to snoop into VPNs.

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Nest defends web CCTV Cam amid unstoppable 24/7 surveillance fears

Henry Wertz 1
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Just badly designed

"...But, in that case, the CCD being on and (presumably) constant transmitting of video signal only uses an extra 10% --- is that realistic?"

Yeah. Wifi chips are rather power-hungry, and the (I assume ARM) CPU is probably using some power. CMOS camera chips (it's probably not CCD) use in the order of 10s of miliwatts. W=V*A (watts = volts * amps) so this means under 10milliamp curent even if the Nest is 3 volt.

"What they actually mean to say, is that instead of powering off like you tell it to, it goes into standby mode."

Given the high power use, I doubt it's even going into a true standby mode (i.e. putting CPU or wifi chip into a lower-power but slower-to-respond mode.) Needless to say, I figure if you go to the trouble of turning something like this "off" it should get MUCH closer to "off" than this -- it's no problem if it takes a few seconds to get ready when turned on. (Satellite TV boxes get a pass on this to some extent, since they are potentially recording shows when "off"... but a device like this that should actually be doing nothing when "off" has no reason to use that much power.)

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Who's right on crypto: An American prosecutor or a Lebanese coder?

Henry Wertz 1
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Bad actors

I would like to point out, the reason the feds (etc.) have so much trouble persuading people to give up their privacy, is because of how clearly the feds (etc.) have abused their powers. Seriously, if the feds (etc.) had at least tried to follow federal law and the Constitution (and British feds follow UK equivalent), for example by getting a warrant before they dove through data, and quit assuming people are stupid and can be "persuaded" with nonsensical spurious arguments, they may have had better luck. In other words, if they had earned the public's trust, instead of being bad actors violating it at every possible turn. Of course this doesn't change strong crypto with a backdoor in it being nonsense, but they wouldn't have such widespread encryption as now if the feds hadn't thoroughly abused their position.

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Henry Wertz 1
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The coder is right

First, as stated in the article, the mathematics are unavoidable. A flawed cryptosystem is flawed, and the flaw WILL be found and exploited.

Second, Vance's list of examples of phone data being used to solve crimes -- ZERO instances there require fiddling with encryption in any way whatsoever. They list examples where people have photos on the phone, or used text messaging to each other. Text messages are already stored by the phone companies for (hopefully with an authorized warrant, but let's face it probably without one) it is available to law enforcement or whoever. Pictures and messages sitting on the phone are sitting on the phone. If the phone is on and running, then the full-disk-encryption decryption key is already in memory (just as full-disk-encryption won't help secure a PC that is already up and running.) I think you'll find people like Vance are INTENTIONALLY muddying this issue to try to gain far more access than they really need to do their job.

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Downloads for Windows 10 November big-bang build axed by Microsoft

Henry Wertz 1
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They probably don't

"I wish Microsoft would understand that most people run Windows 10 on SSDs and having 16GB Spare is no mean feat. "

Probably most people still run Win10 on spinning rust. That said, it would be good to cut down the requirements for these things.

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A font farewell to Fontdeck as website service closes

Henry Wertz 1
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Open source?

"Couldn't they have offered to sell a perpetual licence to the font in question on a per website basis to all existing customers?"

I don't know if they could or not. I don't think they own the fonts, they are like a broker.

I wonder if Fontdeck has considered open sourcing their software? If they are losing money this won't help... but if they are making enough to keep the site up, but not enough to do the development they feel they need, they may find that people love the site enough to (given source code to work on) add the functionality for them. The typical risk of doing this is someone duplicating your product -- but in this case, the web site is not the main product, the vast collection of licensable fonts is.

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Hillary Clinton: Stop helping terrorists, Silicon Valley – weaken your encryption

Henry Wertz 1
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Dear Hillary Clinton, and Clipper chip

Dear Hillary Clinton: The industry is not being difficult with you. Strong encryption with a backdoor simply doesn't exist. Encryption with a backdoor tacked on, mathematical analysis will make the backdoor apparent and all too soon this will become useless encryption that anyone who wants to can crack.

I'm voting Libertarian.

--------

Recall the Clipper chip. Introduced 1994 and off the market by 1996. One device (an encrypting telephone) used it. By the time that device even shipped, 2 flaws had been found in the chip that would let the chip encrypt without a recoverable key; it also relied on the algorithm being secret (the chip was a black box with a few commands for setting your key and such, plaintext going in and encrypted data coming out, or encrypted data in and plaintext out.)

So, you would not be able to use some special crypto chip for this like planned in the 1990s, since it needs to run on the existing installed base of phones etc. If the chip design had to be kept confidential, it could not be integrated into the main SoC that the phone or tablet uses, and it seems unlikely phone and tablet makers would want to have to purchase (and find room and power budget for) a single-purpose crypto chip. The Clipper chip was made at a special secure fab facility; it seems likely a chip would not be made on the most modern process (since they won't send it out to a regular fab company.) On-CPU AES acceleration lets modern CPUs encrypt at about 1GB/second or more. It seems to me on the server-side, a) Google, Microsoft, etc. would be quite resistant to being expected to order and install thousands of crypto chips and b) At the scale of Google and Microsoft, they end up pushing the limits of even 10gigabit switches, these chips better be pretty quick to not turn into a big bottleneck.

Doing it in software, you can't keep the algorithm secret. For the usual crypto libraries to support this new algorithm, they'll need specifications to implement an open source implementation. Oh, you're going to ship .o for various CPUs? You forget about the existence of debuggers, these guys and gals that analyze viruses for a living will have no problem turning a .o back into a description of the algorithm.

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Windows 8.1 exams kept alive six more months, Win 7 tests immortal

Henry Wertz 1
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Probably a necessity

Probably a necessity. Linux, since there are POSIX standards to follow and so on, and old UNIX roots, in general info you know about a much older version of that distro applies to a newer one (and indeed other distros), and if you learned a newer one up and down you can apply a lot of that info to the older distro, it'll be missing some features compared to the newer one but similar enough for the newer distro knowledge to apply.

Windows, Windows 7 and Windows 10 really are quite different, you could learn Windows 10 up and down and find Windows 7 is different enough to have some real difficulties. I think there'll be demand for these Windows 7 training and tests for a while.

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Considering application whitelist tryst? NIST will help you clear the mist

Henry Wertz 1
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Should be used but isn't

I have the feeling this will not be used much. I mean, look at "obvious" use cases where it isn't.

, and the sole

Slot machines? They're very secure, and the sole device type I know of that most definitely does use whitelisting among other security. I've seen one boot (it's very verbose so, in theory, the casino owner could watch for irregular boot messages); the BIOS was mildly customized to check the bootloader for tampering before loading and running it; the bootloader checked the BIOS and the stage 2 loader for tampering; stage 2 checked the bootloader and Linux kernel and initramfs. The Linux kernel initramfs verified everything it ran was on some list, and the slot machine software was on that list. The slot machine software ran some further self-checks to check for tampering.

ATM machines? Obviously don't do this, or (even if it were running Windows) the ATM malware that Windows-based ATMs seem to get again and again would not be able to run. Those crappy electronic voting machines they had a few years ago? Nothing. Signage computers? Nothing. Those PC-style cash registers typically net-boot, but then aren't actually prevented from running other software. Various PLC systems, and other single-use systems, you've read about them on El Reg every now and again getting waves of viruses over them -- which is partly on Windows just running things just because, but also indicates they don't use a whitelist either.

I'm just saying, if a vendor of a single-purpose device (that uses a PC) can't bring themselves to use a whitelist, I doubt this'll be used widely, even though it's a good idea.

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Cell networks' LTE-U will kill your Wi-Fi, say digital rights bods

Henry Wertz 1
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wifi devices shouldn't be equipped to step off LTE-U

""Wi-Fi devices aren't equipped to recognize the presence of an LTE-U device and don't know that they should only transmit when the LTE-U device has scheduled itself to remain silent," the EFF said."

Good. I'd be interested in an LTE-U "access point", I suspect LTE's access control and scheduling characteristics will avoid collisions between clients and so allow much higher channel utilization than 802.11n or 802.11ac. But, I don't think that's what's happening. Barring that, if I had a "be nice to LTE-U" option in my access point, I'd turn it off.... carriers have plenty of licensed spectrum, they can damn well have their LTE-U hardware step off when wifi is active, rather than expecting wifi to step off for their LTE-U hardware.

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TPP: 'Scary' US-Pacific trade deal published – you're going to freak out when you read it

Henry Wertz 1
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I guess it's fine.

I guess it's fine then.

You must understand, it's rather extraordinary for these people negotiating TPP to have expected to be able to negotiate a totally secret agreement, then expect the various countries congresses/house of commons/parliaments to pass an agreement they have had almost no chance to look over. It really was almost expected that groups like Motion Picture Ass. of America, who have tried to ram through most objectionable laws but found public scrutiny made it difficult... to stick clauses into TPP -- and either hope nobody noticed them, or hope countries would not reject a 2000 page agreement over a few pages of garbage they rammed in.

But, it sounds like things like this may not have happened, it may have merely been representatives from all these countries trying to come up with a trade agreement.

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AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly

Henry Wertz 1
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OK I've decided

After reading John Savard's post that both cores using FPU only stalls one core when running AVX instructions, I think it's pretty clear that the AMD design can reasonably be said to have 2 cores per module.

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Henry Wertz 1
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Jeez it's tricky...

Jeez this is a tricky one. (I'll call the module "2 cores" here to keep the sentences readable -- I'm not sure which side of the fence I'm on .) So, the AMD design has seperate integer and load/store units per Ccore, but shared almost everything else, and call them seperate cores.

A point toward them NOT being cores... hyperthreading. When this was added to the P4s, what happened was Intel added additional execution units to each core compared to older P4s, but found the scheduler was very frequently unable to keep a reasonable fraction of these execution units busy. So, they added the hyperthreading, where it would show an extra "CPU" that would only utilize execution units unused by the real CPU. They did not refer to a single-core with hyperthreading as a dual-core.

A point toward them being cores... with hyperthreading, it was possible for well-optimized code to keep all (or nearly all) execution units busy on the "real" CPU, so the hyperthreading CPU would make little or no forward progress. With this setup, each core *does* have some dedicated resources so neither will stall.

As for performance... again tricky. I mean, if they touted a certain per-core performance, and it regularly only gets 1.5x that performance on dual cores (instead of more or less 2x) that's not good. But, in this modern era, you've got CPUs allowing some cores to run faster if others aren't running, power gating, throttling to limit to a given TDP, and so on. Shared cache between cores is common; sharing branch prediction units is highly unusual but (perhaps) smart... most software is not branching constantly, so sharing a branch prediction unit between 2 cores shouldn't slow things down much. The shared FPU is odd; but it's possible they used a single faster FPU over giving each core a smaller, simpler, slower FPU, and although this means FPU performance can vary somewhat (depending on what is happening on the other core) that FPU performance ins overall better than it would be otherwise.

Really, for this "the devil is in the details".

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Think Fortran, assembly language programming is boring and useless? Tell that to the NASA Voyager team

Henry Wertz 1
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Re: Replace technology drudgery by automated life-cycle convention

"Re: Replace technology drudgery by automated life-cycle convention. "

Not sensible. There are two big objections (that would scuttle this technique even if reliabilty were not a concern, which it most definitely is.)

1) Custom hardware. So, you get gcc to emit code for this CPU (and make sure it handles any corner cases properly). You still must support the various 1970s-era hardware on this probe. Does it use interrupts or polling? DMA? I/O ports? Some other mechanism? It's unlikely the existing code has seperation between the "OS", "drivers", and "application code", this is an embedded CPU running a dedicated task in a limited-RAM environment.

2) They have an existing, working code base, and are not looking to make radical changes or rewrite from scratch or anything, they're not looking to port other stuff to run on this CPU either. So, to port this to C, you'd have to have people knowledgable with assembly and (I guess) Fortran anyway, to decipher what the existing code does and write up a description of this behavior. They would then write a C implementation of this behavior. Then, they would cross their fingers that GCC's build of this code would still fit in the same RAM that just managed to hold the hand-written-assembly implementation.

So, is NASA *really* hiring or is this one of those "woe is me...." type articles? I'm in my early 30s, know assembly (x86, PDP-8, 6502) and Fortran (and have a "Fortran IV with WATFOR and WATFIV" book just sitting on the shelf), have no problem with working on older hardware, and have full respect for the Voyager I and II probes and what they have done. I did several reports through my educational years as Voyager II flew past Uranus and Neptune and even got to talk to Professor Gurnett (who was largely responsible for the Plasma Wave instrument on board the Voyagers).

9
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Deutsche Bank to axe 'excessively complex' IT, slash 9,000 jobs

Henry Wertz 1
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Savings?

"You obviously have no clue about how hypervisors work if you don't realize the massive savings in resources that result."

I know how they work. In the raw, they have zero savings -- they have (claimed) ~1% CPU overhead and (measured) more like 10%+ CPU overhead. Single-digit-percentage disk and network I/O overhead with the right paravirtualization drivers and support, or pretty high overhead without it.

The highest savings are probably with Windows deployments -- where there's a high likelihood of app A requiring it's own server, app B requiring it's own server, and app C requiring it's own server, not due to resource usage but due to these apps (maybe) stepping all over the filesystem. It's definitely better to have one 75% loaded server due to 3 VMs, than 3 20% loaded servers.

Linux software tends to not play the "you must use your own server" game, but nevertheless virtualization would help if they preferred different distros or what have you.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of virtualization. But the virtualization has significant overhead, it's the higher server utilization that saves. (Plus, of course, being able to move things around more easily in a virtualized environment is nice too.)

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Net neutrality debate: If startups want to rival Google, they must show some green to telcos

Henry Wertz 1
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What's going on.

"Right, the same way as you keep adding lanes to a motorway when it keeps getting jammed up at rush hour. And an extra lane whenever an ambulance needs to get through."

Not at all like this. For the most part, for their backbone they'll have exactly the same fiber and just put newer equipment on the ends of it.. voila, higher speeds. Same for the link to the customer (except it may be.. well, let's face it, almost certainly is.. cable or phone line or wireless instead of fiber.)

"The economics of scarce resources is pretty much the same on the Internet as anywhere else, which the NN lobby has consistently failed to understand."

You're failing to understand. The internet backbones are keeping up with demand; the Netflix of the world pay fully for what they use (they are not getting a freebie, they are paying for backhaul to various peering points and for the equipment and space there, just like everyone else.) The Deutsche Telekoms and Verizons of the world are charging their customers for use of their network, and for providing adequate internet connections... then wanting to double-dip and charge everyone else for what their own customers are already paying for. Pure greed.

The talking head from Deustsche Telekom is being particularly disingenuous because they are (I assume intentionally) conflating the use of CDNs (Content Distribution networks) -- legitimate -- with the greedy double-dipping scheme these certain ISPs want. The CDN provides a useful service -- by putting CDN servers within various ISPs networks (the CDN may or may not pay the ISP) and charging whoever's providing a service for use of the CDN (lets's say video streaming), it cuts the load on the video streaming service provider's servers, it cuts the amount of internet traffic this uses, and cust the internet traffic coming in through the ISP's "pipes". In contrast, the greedy double-dip scheme provides none of these benefits and tries to charge the video streaming provider for equipment and traffic they are already charging the ISP customer for.

Finally, I'd like to add, in a free market, this wouldn't be a problem. In the Netflix example, in those areas where Verizon is not an effective monopoly, Nextflix customers are ditching Verizon en-masse in favor of ISPs who do their job and ensure adequate internet connections instead of trying to greedily double-dip money from companies who have nothing to do with them.

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European Parliament votes to grant Snowden protection from US

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"The EU just burned a very important bridge as they will come to understand very soon."

*rolls eyes*.

US likes to say they are the world's last superpower, but I just don't see it any more. I'm not seeing any important bridges being burned here.

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NSA can keep illegally spying on Americans into November

Henry Wertz 1
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"Balance"

First, regarding the comment from TFA about Congress "balancing" privacy and national security. Keep in mind any time ANYBODY in power says they want to "balance" your rights that means they are taking them away.

"Assume the NSA owns the judges and assume that they own anyone in power. "

Well, once factor here, the US effectively has a one-party system. Both main political parties favor a large, expensive government (while blaming the "other" party for overspending); both main political parties gave lip service about worrying about surveillance while tripping over each other to pass spying laws; both main political parties have had no problem "balancing" (i.e. taking away) people's civil rights. You've got this bizarre situation now where religious nut-jobs (who would have their own party in a functional multi-party system) and tea-partiers (who would have their own party in a functional multi-party system) and so-called "conservatives" (the traditional Republicans) all are trying to take over a single party. (Democrats seem to have avoided this problem, but honestly like it or not they're almost politically identical to the Republicans they claim to oppose so much.) The reason for this? The political polling system is totally broken, some people in the old-school media select people to put on the poll, and the polls have NO choice for "none of the above" (and a chance to specify a name). So 3rd-party candidates (or main-party candidates the media does not select) will NOT be on the polls. There've been cases the last 10 or 20 years where a candidate got 20% of the vote while not being on the polls at all! Again, the solution is as simple as requiring a "somebody else" choice on polls.. so if no-one else gets significant polling it might just end up being "1% other" but if the poll-creators miss some viable candidate they'll show up on the poll anyway (and maybe they'll be added to later polls as a direct choice.)

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VMware vs German kernel dev: Filings flung in Linux-lifting lawsuit

Henry Wertz 1
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Interesting

First, shame on vmware for trying "you don't have a copyright interest" argument. If you manage to build a kernel with zero of his contributions, then maybe this argument has merit; but you haven't, you are using his copyrighted work, straight up.

As for license violation? Tricky. The typical "GPL case in Germany" has been companies using GPL'ed software while TOTALLY ignoring the GPL (no acknowedgment of GPL software, no source code for modified software, no link to kernel.org or wherever for unmodified software.)

This isn't that clear cut - in this case, there's a proprietary "VMKernel" that is not Linux-derived and is closed-source.. this does all the virtualization, and has some drivers available for it (but nowhere near as many as Linux supports). This VMKernel can load "vmklinux", which is a full (well, stripped down) Linux kernel, used to load Linux driver modules (for disk and network I assume), and there's a few VMWare support modules that this loads to pass data between vmklinux and VMKernel.

VMWare has full source up for vmklinux and (I think) the support modules. But the argument being made is that VMKernel and vmklinux are basicaly tied together into a single product.

Personally, I can see why people are unhappy about it, but I do think VMWare's design successfully keeps the VMKernel and vmklinux seperate, with a shim layer in between. The fact that vmklinux is ONLY useful with VMKernel/ESXi is immaterial, plenty of Linux kernel ports are single-purpose. BUT, it is kind of pushing it so I can see how it could be argued the other way too.

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IoT's sub-GHz 802.11ah Wi-Fi will be dead on arrival, warn analysts

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Specifications

I don't see 802.11ah being built into access points (the same ones that provide 2.4/5ghz.) I thought "Hey, nice, an extended range 802.11n". Well, no. This will typically use a 1mhz channel with peak data rate of ~4mbps (and designed to provide 100kbps minimum.) I figure it's in the same boat as Zigbee and Thread, perhaps one will dominate this market, perhaps the whole market will whither on the vine (I don't feel like getting an internet-conected doorbell 8-) or perhaps it will just stay all fragmented and incompatible.

It's possible it'll end up just staying fragmented and incompatible; if you look at "regular" wireless doorbells and thermometers, they do not follow any standards. There's no expectation of mixing a doorbell button with a different doorbell, or using a outdoor remote thermometer with a even a different model receiver from the same vendor.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you had a "totally IoT tricked out" house (without regard to compatibility) if you didn't need a zigbee network bridge, an 802.11ah bridge, and a Thread bridge (3 seperate receivers plugged into your switch.)

edit: With all that said, if future APs and clients started showing up with 802.11ah, I wouldn't complain. Getting a mbps or something is a lot better than being in a dead spot and getting zero. 8-)

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Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

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8-)

Smug mode enabled.

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Internet daddy Vint Cerf blasts FCC's plan to ban Wi-Fi router code mods

Henry Wertz 1
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DFS and radar

"That is a lot of FUD for devices whose 5hz signals can often be measured in meters."

It's not FUD, there's some shots online of 5ghz wifi interfering with weather radars. It can be received meters away using a tiny wifi-sized antenna... but weather radar uses a much larger antenna to try to detect reflections from up to 200 miles or so away.

"Debian Linux, as an example, defaulted to a minimal wireless config where the wireless was limited very limited channel wise until I specified my actual region. After I set my region, it opened the channels allowed by my country. To change that, would require me to actually go and edit the kernel source."

(Or change the regulatory region.) But still, point made, the aftermarket firmware can follow regulatory limits.

I actually know where the FCC is coming from here. Their response is 100% wrong, but the problem is there?

I have a Cisco E4200 with DD-WRT on it (among some other access points, but his is the only one with 5ghz support.) I set the regulatory domain to US and it removes channels 12, 13, and 14 on 2.4ghz. On 5ghz? If I take the channel off "auto" it lists like 20 or so channels, but about 12 of those are supposed to require DFS. The GUI gives no indication those channels are any different from the other channels.

My proposal to the FCC is

1) Scrap the signed firmware thing. It's a waste of time, the firmware signature system will be cracked anyway and it'l then be just as easy to put my own firmware on as it is now.

2) I assume most people are not intentionally breaking FCC regs, but the current GUI just gives no information whatsoever to determine if a setup follows FCC rules or not (it uses the installed regulatory DB to remove totally prohibited channels but doesn't seem to use the DFS, TPC, etc. info at all). If the DD-WRT so much as put a asterisk ("*") next to DFS channels, and a short explanation of what the asterisk means (in short, pick a different channel or use "auto"), most people would choose non-asterisk channels. If the user chooses a DFS channel anyway it can either give a firm warning or refuse to set to that channel. They can't "force" DD-WRT to do this (since they are based in Germany) but it's such an easy change I seriously doubt there'd be resistance.

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You can hack a PC just by looking at it, say 3M and HP

Henry Wertz 1
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Not on demand

Someone at HP doesn't know what "on demand" means. If it's integrated into the screen and can't be removed, it's not on demand since it cannot be "turned off".

Anyway... *yawn*. These have been around for decades, banks tend to use them. Why would I want to buy a computer with it built in when I can just buy the overlay from 3M if I wanted one?

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Drunk driver live-streams her slow journey home

Henry Wertz 1
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"the cynic in me is thinking "Did people *really* call 911 on seeing someone driving drunk?"

In US, people are NOT cool with drunk driving. The drivers here are too poor when sober, there's too much traffic on the roads, to have some drunk bastard careening down the road. Even worse, screwing around with her cell phone while driving! Yes, I'm sure she was called in.

To be honest, I've had enough problems with people screwing around on their phones when the car is rolling down the road (I can't refer to this as "driving" because they are not driving, they are letting the car to go where it will while they stare at the phone...). Since she was holding the phone with one hand (instead of using some kind of mount), and frequently looking at it... if I'd seen this live video I'd have called her into the police even if she was stone-sober, for screwing with the phone while driving.

Chivo243, hehe... I found the designated decoy hilarious 8-)

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Internet Architecture Board defends users' rights to mod Wi-Fi kit

Henry Wertz 1
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I just posted to the FCC

I just posted my proposed solution to the FCC (along with commenting that DRM -- Digital Rights Restrictions -- do not work, and attempting to require vendors to lock down firmware on all new APs will just cuase a time-wasting "arms race" between vendors and end users.) This isn't an exact quote of it but is essentially what I sent them.

In short, the problem -- I have a Cisco E4200 with DD-WRT. It allows to set regulatory domain to "US", and this removes 2.4ghz channels 12, 13, and 14, but the rest of the regulatory info is apparently not used.. But, in 5ghz, I can set the channel away from "auto" and it shows like 20 channels... but about 12 of those are supposed to require DFS (dynamic frequency selection, i.e. they should require channel to be on auto.)

Solution -- most people are not intentionally using improper channels, they are using improper channels because the GUI gives NO indication that a bunch of those 5ghz channels are not free for any and all usage. Make it so the GUI shows an asterisk ("*") or something next to DFS channels. If the user selects a DFS channel anyway, the firmware can either give them a stern warning or refuse to set that channel. The FCC can't put much pressure on DD-WRT to do this (since they are based in Germany) but I can't imagine DD-WRT or Tomato makers not being willing to take a relatively easy step like this.

1
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Researcher messes up Wi-Fi with an rPi and bargain buy radio stick

Henry Wertz 1
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I didn't need a special setup...

One of my old wifi cards (PCI), the sucker would lock up every so often.. with the transmitter jammed on. I don't know if it was transmitting the same packet or jibberish, or just whatever the equivalent of an empty carrier is for OFDM, but the whole network would drop dead until I powered off the computer (rebooting the computer would not reset the card.)

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Google's .bro file format changed to .br after gender bother

Henry Wertz 1
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brogrammer?

" You attribute objection to sexism to "fat humorless women" because apparently objection to sexism comes from not being successful as a sex object..."

He was not objecting to people objecting to sexism. He was objecting to people that will take up any cause, real or imagined, and then rail on about it. (Admittedly in a rather sexist manner... I wouldn't say "fat humorless women", since I've seen thin humorless men do this too.) In some cases there's clear evidence that what they are on about is true, in other cases you'll hear them describe the problem, and it doesn't even resemble what you'd hear from virtually anyone else. People in the computing industry object to this description of it being so sexist because generally it's not.

I've never heard the term "brogrammer", but in the US "Bros" (when it doesn't mean "brothers") does mean guys hanging around doing guy stuff. I don't think ".bro" should offend anyone, but if someone does object, what the hell, calling it .br instead makes no difference to me.

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Scotland Yard pulls eyeballs off WikiLeaker-in-Chief Assange

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Possible

"One possibility is that GCHC have dveloped a "reliable enough" automated technology for monitoring who leaves the embassy building,"

That's a possibility. Last I heard, with the kind of facial recognition available... it was like 99% accurate (that was looking straight at a camera), which sounds OK but does mean in a 50,000 seat stadium you'd have like 500 false positives; it's not really practical to look for a bunch of faces (or even once face) over a bunch of cameras.

But looking for a single person leaving a building is a much narrower problem, it would be practical (if there's a camera in the area) to have an alert sent to the police station if he steps out.

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Furious LastPass fans fear password wrangler's fate amid LogMeIn's gobble

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Surprised

I'm surprised there's this much backlash, honestly.

I was surprised when LogMeIn dropped the free service, instead of just having a trial or putting service limits on it or something (after all, how are they going to grow their user base? I wouldn't have recommended buying LogMeIn service if I hadn't been able to try it first...) But I didn't end up with any problems with the service.

Is it fears they'll force-bundle LastPass with some other junk? Or that they'll turn it into some mutant hybrid of LastPass and LogMeIn's password service (that I'm not going to bother scrolling up to see what it's called?) Other problems with LogMeIn? General buyout fears?

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Dot-gay bid fails again: This time because it is too gay

Henry Wertz 1
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Does seem odd...

Does seem odd. To be honest, I doubt ICANN are being bigoted, they probably are rigidly following some procedure. But I do think they need to reconsider this procedure if this gets a 0 while .spa or .radio get enough points to pass.

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FBI boss: No encryption backdoor law (but give us backdoors anyway)

Henry Wertz 1
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Good luck with that

First off: Hey Feds, good luck with that. It's business suicide for a business to slip intentional backdoors into a service in this day and age, and it WILL be found out. And probably exploited by hackers. And spread all over the media, so you'll lose all your business.

"Why doesn't Obama just issue an Executive Order telling them to stop demanding back doors?"

Because he doesn't want to. Like most members from the US's main two political parties, he will say what he thinks people want to hear at election time, so I'm sure at some point he vaguely intimated he'd do something about this little surveillance problem. But (based on his actions in office) he is actually a staunch supporter of ubiquitous surveillance. And based on both words and actions in office, he's a supporter of the NSA's programs in particular.

"Do they really need such a device when they have a cell with Bubba waiting for Contempt of Court?"

They don't need it either way, they don't have to be omniscient. Unlike UK, however, as much of a zeal as the US's main 2 political parties have shown in ignoring the constitution, if you're asked to give up crypto keys in the US you can still take the 5th (invoke the 5th ammendment right against self-incrimination.)

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BT to shoot 'up to 330Mbps' G.fast into 2,000 Gosforth homes

Henry Wertz 1
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Good on them

"That would not really explain any shortcomings in London, though. On the face of it FTTC should be easy as it is densely populated and would not require fibre to be pulled in over great distances just to get anywhere near the customers. "

Actually, old and densely populated cities are the best to run fiber through for this reason, but the worst to run fiber through because there'll be layers of pipes, sewers, subways, possibly older abandoned subways, cobblestones and things instead of regular pavement, and relatively densely packed buildings. Also, there tends to be a relatively high rate of "NIMBYism" ("Not in My Back Yard") where the same people whining they can't get faster speeds will then show up at planning meetings to complain they want to dig up their street (or in the case of phone service... they'll whine they get bad cell phone service but then show up at planning meetings to rally against having any cell sites put up.)

Anyway, here's hoping they roll some G.Fast here. And that CL starts following normal industry standards for line length, instead of offering about half the speed they could be. I've got the worst of both worlds here - CenturyLink ran fiber to the cabinet to the front of the mobile home park I live in, and this runs VDSL2 rather than ADSL2+... so I cannot use a regular DSL/ADSL modem. Unlike DSL, ADSL, and ADSL2+, I have not found a single non-carrier-branded VDSL2 modem on the market in the US. Despite using VDSL, they only offer 7mbps at my distance (while line stats suggest the line should be able to do at least 15mbps on ADSL2+ and faster on VDSL.) They'd charge me 12mbps price for that 7mbps too, since they don't have a 7mbps plan any more.

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PHONE me if you feel DIRTY: Yanks and 'Nadians wave bye-bye to magstripe

Henry Wertz 1
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Several points...

I must make several points...

1) I don't know that (as a practical matter) these will actually improve security. Presently, it's a mess, if I go to one store (with my mag stripe card) the checout never asks for my PIN; if I go to another, they ask for my PIN if I run the card as debit but not credit. I've seen a demo (linked off the Register!) probably 5 years ago where someone (with card holder's permission) cloned a chip card and ran a transaction on it (and the UK banks insisted it is secure even after being shown the video.) Apparently, these cards being rolled out in the US are not chip'n'pin, but chip'n'signature. I think require PIN is the best way to ensure security.

2) Theory aside, as a practical matter, I've had *one* ATM that did not want to read my card, and zero checkouts act up reading it. The door cards, I doubt anyone was responsible for cleaning the reader; on ATMs presumably the ATM owner cleans the reader when they add cash, and at checkouts I'm sure if nothing else the cashier cleans the thing when it starts acting up for them. Or they're self-cleaning, or immune to dirt... I don't know, I'm just saying I have not had mag stripe problems even to the degree I would expect, let alone what you'd expect based on those mag-stripe door locks.

3) I was going to comment how I don't want a card that can be copied or have a transaction run against it while it's still in my pants. But it turns out, these cards are not NFC, they rely on contact with the card reader! 8-)

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Oracle, SAP, IBM: They're rubbish and charge you billions for Excel, says man

Henry Wertz 1
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Everything's not a database.

"At their core, if a program makes use of storage, it's an effing database! "

No it's not.

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To save mobile web, we must destroy JavaScript, HTML and CSS

Henry Wertz 1
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Javascript

I do disagree with "no javascript". But how about "think about what javascript you use?" Those pages that seem slow? I have written up a Greasemonkey script to log settimeout and setinterval calls.. they aren't even animated, but some of these banner ads javascript is so inefficiently coded that they'll call some function 100 times a second just to check if it's time to rotate the ad yet.

I would say "keep the javascript, but lay off the timers." Again moderation is the key - I'd say feel free to use timers when you need too, but it's typical for a site with no apparent activity (page and ads have loaded, and nothing's animating) to have 5-10 timers running every 100ms (10 times a second), a few running every 80ms (~12 times a second), so you'll have like 100 calls a second to various javascript, and that's when there isn't a banner firing off yet more every 10ms (100 a second).

This seems to be the problem. I've been to sites that make heavy use of javascript (but no random banners) and it runs great, it's all those timers that hurt things.

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Smartmobe brain maker Qualcomm teases 64-bit ARM server chip secrets

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Yup

"So we're in a race to the cellar for cost/compute and watts/compute. Effectively TCO/compute in my book. I just can't see Intel being any more worried in that market, here or in China."

Yup, I didn't think Intel had anything competitive, but Intel's got some low power Xeons that use much more power than contemporary ARM, but also run quite a bit faster, so the performance per watt is pretty good. Atom also, (pretty slow but low power), but apparently Intel's planning to keep it for "consumer" usage and not for servers. Whoever gets best instructions per clock will be used. I guess Google, Facebook, etc. are looking at Xeons, Power8, and ARM primarily, but whatever gets bets performance per watt and density will be what they use. They don't have a bunch of purchased non-portable software, so they have no actual reason to run Intel if there's something better.

I can tell ya, back in the day I ran Linux on an ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, Alpha, PA-RISC, as well as x86. Debian do a good job of this, you had a complete distro on all of these, not some noticeably smaller subset of packages.. To bootstrap linux on a new CPU you basically get gcc, the kernel, and glibc to build on it (there's a few lighter libc for embedded use too), and (in Debian's case) a build system builds all other packages from source, logging which packages failed to build. Once your GCC and glibc are up to snuff, everything should build (it won't try to build something platform specific like virtualbox, it'd be flagged x86-only). ARM, and POWER/PowerPC have been supported for years, modern ARM and Power8 are already supported so I don't think a company with a home-built Linux-based software stack should have huge problems porting over if they prove more power-efficient (or to a future power-efficient chip, once it's got gcc, Linux, and glibc on it everything else should follow and you end up with a full distro on there too. Hopefully the C/C++ portions of your custom software stack build and whatever else (python or shell script or whatever) should just copy straight over.)

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Henry Wertz 1
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What held back ARM so far...

What held back ARM so far...

1) 32-bit chips. This really is the big one, they apparently have an equivalent of PAE (which allowed/allows >4GB of RAM on 32-bit Intel systems) but server buyers have been buying 64-bit for a while and did not want to go backwards in this regard.

2) Single-threaded performance. If you're running some number-crunching task(s) that do not paralellize and should finish as fast as possible, the top of the line Intel cores still outrun top-of-the-line ARM cores. A lot of server loads (both with and without virtualization being used) will split up quite well between cores though. If you have a situation where it wouldn't matter much if you have (say) 2 cores versus 3 cores that are each 2/3rds the speed, then you're god to go for ARM.

3) To a lesser extent, compatibility. If you want to run Windows on these... well WinRT and "Windows IoT" are basically a joke, you're stuck with Intel. Linux? I ran a full Debian for ARM desktop (via X over wifi) off a Droid 2 Global (1ghz *single core* ARM, 512MB of RAM) years ago (long enough to test it), and you would not have noticed it wasn't an Intel system until you looked and saw a phone where the desktop should have been. If you follow good programming practices for stuff written in C or C++, it should port right over. If you're writing in virtually anything else (Python, Java, C#, etc.) there's no porting to do, the runtimes are already ported over.

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Talk revealing p0wnable surveillance cams pulled after legal threat

Henry Wertz 1
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So name and shame?

So name and shame? Anybody? I want to know which vendor or vendors to avoid. I'm disinterested in using vendors who use legal threats to bully security researchers instead of taking their lumps and fixing the products.

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4K catches fire with OTT streamers, while broadcasters burn

Henry Wertz 1
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Not interested

Don't get me wrong... I'm not going to go rallying against 4K sets. Since LCDs use conventional techniques, so making the same-sized 4K LCD panel should cost about the same as a 1080 panel. The decoder chips should cost about the same (decoding H.264 or -- hopefully they come to their senses and use H.265 -- shouldn't cost much more than an MPEG2/MPEG4 decoder already does.) If the 4K and 1080 sets cost the same (within a few dollars), well, OK.

That said -- I think 4K is useless. Personally, I'm not buying new TVs, period, as opposed to computer monitors. HD over SD? Yeah, it looks better even at a realistic viewing distance (unless you have a very small TV). 4K over 1080? I don't know anyone that sits close enough to their TV to possibly notice the difference*. Furthermore, I have zero interest in buying it when there is no 4K cable and no OTA 4K content (I think DirecTV and Dish Network may have a channel or two), and (since there is no standardization), if and when 4K OTA came out I'd be stuck buying ANOTHER new TV anyway.

*I'm curious if people swearing up and down that 4K looks better are looking at the same content in both 4K and 1080 -- when HD came out, the tendency on in-store demos was to use over-sharpened video with the contrast set excessively high to make it look "vibrant", and some blurred out dim crap on the SD sets. I heard several people (watching an ad ON THEIR EXISTING SD TV showing an HD set with excessively sharpened forest scenery on screen) exclaim how much sharper that HD picture was, until I burst their bubble and pointed out they were watching the ad on their existing TV, so it couldn't be sharper.

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