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* Posts by Peter 39

300 posts • joined 25 Jun 2009

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Biz coughs up even less for security, despite mega breach losses

Peter 39

won't happen

Beancounters are beancounters. And security is a cost, with no upside.

It is very, VERY hard for IT folks to put up reasonable numbers for risk, exposure and the like. Beancounters know about buildings and fire risks, and accidents and cost of insurance against that, but nothing at all about risk and exposure for information systems.

In addition, much of the cost of breaches is NOT borne by the company. If your credentials were compromised at Target and your identity stolen - do you think they will compensate you for a couple of years of effort to straighten it out? No, they do a deal for "monitoring" at low cost to them, and this only alerts you after the fact that you have a problem. Nothing preventative at all.

So, try as they might, IT managers have little success in showing Boards the real cost of a breach (except in banks, I guess). And until that changes, Boards will spend less and less on security.

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Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s

Peter 39

I guess many in China heard that it will be on regular sale soon, and decided not to pay the smuggler-surcharge.

Good thing too, as now it might be possible to get one at the local Apple Store. Unlocked/T-Mobile ones have been unobtainable.

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Wall Street woes: Oh noes, tech titans aren't using bankers

Peter 39

cobblers

"That is, the most important reason that the tech companies aren't using Wall Street is that they don't seem to be very good at using Wall Street."

Not quite it. It's that "they seem to be very good at NOT using Wall Street".

There have been many deal in the last few years where Wall Street didn't bring much to the table but certainly took a lot off it.

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First Irish boy band U2. Now Apple pushes ANOTHER thing into iPhones, iPods, iPads

Peter 39

third-party apps

The way I understand it, third-party apps CAN use Apple Pay. They can't use "raw NFC" for other things, but can do AP. Target apparently is doing its own shopping app, for example.

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iPhone 6 will make you fork over with Apple Pay if you want to BONK

Peter 39

third-party usage

Remember that third-party apps can use Apple Pay. Target has already said that it will do its own app, and perhaps others will too. It's just "naked NFC" that's not allowed.

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Peter 39

Re: This is normal

No - it's actually pretty normal for Apple. You do know that they have "header police" that manage what goes into header files, the naming of functions and variables, and a lot more. They are very, very picky.

And even more so with changes to an interface after it has been publicly "released" and made available to developers. That's why some APIs are known but still not permitted for use on iPhones. If your app uses a "private" API then it will be rejected.

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Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say

Peter 39

Re: This is nothing unusual

>sorry to burst the bubble but if Apple don't know the transaction values then they cannot audit for the 0.15% fee.

I would expect that the existing auditors of the financial institution will take on this task. It'll be spelled out in the agreement somewhere - it always is. Apple certainly isn't going to do any auditing itself.

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Peter 39

Re: This is nothing unusual

>Apple is a publicly traded company. It has a >>fiduciary duty<< to its

>shareholders to maximize their return on investment.

This is widely believed but is actually untrue.

Apple certainly does have a fiduciary duty to its shareholders but is NOT required to maximize their return on investment. Tim Cook made that very, very clear at the recent shareholders meeting. He was quite angry about it - the only time he seems to have ever lost his "cool".

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Comcast merger-bait spinoff to be known as GreatLand Connections

Peter 39

two parts will do

One part will be the ISP assets, regulated. Possibly to include email but nothing additional.

Second part will be the media assets - TV, video, studios, the lot. And unregulated.

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Too slow with that iPhone refresh, Apple: Android is GOBBLING up US mobile market

Peter 39

slave

Yet another adherent of the Church of MarketShare.

Those who have paid even the slightest attention over the past few years know that Apple has about 70-80% of the profits (depends upon exactly when you measure), Samsung has 20-30% and all the others are inconsequential (a point here and there - no traction in the market at all).

I guess there a reason why this ...

"Apple products are for those who want looks over functionality and feel good about buying expensive crap simply because it's expensive"

... is posted by "AC" rather than an actual poster. But since he/she is the self-styled Anonymous Coward then ... reason is not present.

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Loss of unencrypted back-up disk costs UK prisons ministry £180K

Peter 39

bollocks

Fining these jokers is just fining the taxpayers.

The only way to solve this problem is to put some of the stupidos inside.

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FCC not quite sold on Comcast TWC gobble

Peter 39

Re: ALL broadcast properties, not just NBC

Agree 100%

Split the "merged company" into two -- horizontally. Company A would have all the ISP assets and possibly be under telco regulations.

Company B would have all the media assets and be unregulated.

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Uh, Obama? Did you miss a zero or two off Samsung's Chinese supplier 'fib' settlement?

Peter 39

... maybe

Samsung might indeed complain (probably would, given past performance). But DoJ would probably use its discretion and decline to do so.

It's not as though Samsung doesn't have an established legal record of lies and thievery.

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USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

Peter 39

Re: Containing little but bolts and glue

This has always annoyed me with work trips to US. "Hey TSA monkey (apologies for monkeys...) ...since there is a visa stamped on the passport, immigration officials above your paygrade have already deemed that I have valid reasons to travel here"

Would be easier on tourist visa...

Why is it you think that it's any different at Heathrow?

The "tourist visa" approach may seem tempting but is not without risk. I will leave it to you to balance the risk/reward but please be aware that if you run afoul of CBP then any future visits to the U.S. are likely to be painful, at best. If you're on B1/B2 then just be upfront about what you're doing and for how long. If it's not excessive then you should be fine (if not then please respond here)

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Peter 39

Re: And what about electronic items WITHOUT batteries?

If it won't power up, check it in your luggage. Stuff indeed does fail and/or get broken.

Problem solved.

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REVEALED: Reg trails claw along Apple's 'austerity' 21.5-inch iMac

Peter 39

Education market, anyone?

I can imagine that these will be pitched to schools, as well as the light-use corporate market (receptionists, etc).

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Congress passes crackdown on NSA surveillance

Peter 39

Misleading headline - not "passed by CONGRESS"

This has NOT been "passed by Congress". That requires approval from both the House and the Senate. So far it has passed just the House.

I hope that the Senate approves it too but, as things stand, your headline-writers have allowed their wishes to distort the reality.

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Oracle's $5 BEEELLION acquisition zeppelin looms over Micros Systems

Peter 39

sad

this does not sound good :(

Embiggenment of Oracle is never a good thing.

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FTC seeks DEFCON help to finger illegal robocallers

Peter 39

penalty is not really the problem

@AC: the penalty isn't really the problem, although it is a part. The central problem is twofold:

1. it's stupidly easy to spoof call-origin

2. the telcos have no incentive to "discipline" abusive callers. On the contrary, the telcos are happy for the huge call volumes to continue, as long as they can deny knowledge

So here's the solution (part of which I described in another post):

1. use the "automatic number identification" (800-service)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_number_identification

info to identify all calls

2. require all telcos to filter the Caller ID info supplied on their PBX trunks for "reasonableness". That is, the telco know what range of numbers is assigned to the trunk and a supplied number outside the range would be replaced by the main number for the trunk.

This won't solve the problem of international spam calls. But those do have non-trivial cost. All the one I have suffered (in the U.S.) seem to have been IP from "various Asian nations" that then enter the U.S. phone system at a local point. That is, they aren't "international phone calls" but "U.S. long distance calls" with a non-U.S. endpoint.

If we can do this then all the U.S.-based boiler rooms will go away, "Rachel" will retire to a beach somewhere, and international phone spam will have to contend with phone charges, and Caller ID.

I think this would be a good first step.

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Peter 39

FTC and FCC

>Every spam call has the CallerID of a local unrelated legitimate business,

>so somebody else takes the hit.

>US phone calls come with zero authenticated information.

Actually, most calls seem to come from non-working numbers. But not all -- I have had several from an unfortunate taxi company in San Jose, and they're really, REALLY tired of their number being given out as the source of the spam.

Solving this needs action from FCC as well as FTC. That's because there IS authenticated information on the origin of calls. But it's not available to "regular punters". But the information IS available as part of "800" service in the U.S. and so enterprising folks have services that redirect your number to 800-service and then to your (hopefully unlisted) actual phone number. And the number you then get as "Caller ID" is the real, actual number of the caller. This number is supplied by the phone company and cannot be spoofed (AFAIK) in the way that happens to regular Caller ID. It's important that this number be correct for 800-service because the recipient pays for the call, and therefore the caller-info-data must be auditable. The 800-service info is separate from the Caller ID signaling.

So it's time for the FCC, which controls such things, to mandate that this info be available generally. The phone companies already have it and use it so the change would be relatively minor.

Of course, the Law of Unintended Consequences remain in effect so there will have to be attention paid to certain categories of call (think: battered women's shelter, etc) but these can be handled in a way similar to the way that people already get an unlisted phone number. I suggest that there would be a "substitute number" supplied that leads back to the phone company. If problems were reported against this number then the actual source would be available to law enforcement. So privacy of these people would be preserved but abuse of the phone system could readily be dealt with.

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Comcast to dump 3.9 MEEELLION subscribers to quell Time Warner merger antitrust fears

Peter 39

nothing but fluff

Why should 30% be a "magic number" ??

Truth is that the vertical (being an ISP, content distributor, content creator) is far worse than being a large horizontal (very big ISP, OR a very big content distributor, for example).

The only way this "merger" should be allowed to proceed is on the basis of join-then-split. Allow the merger and require the immediate separation of upper-level stuff (NBC, TV distribution etc) from lower-level things (being an ISP, providing pipes).

Once the ISP is out of the content business, the net neutrality issues fade away.

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This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices

Peter 39

yawn

I must admit that, being now retired, I am not likely to use the components of Office very much. But the three-year cycle was sort-of OK for the $80 or $90 it cost.

But that price EACH YEAR. Sorry, Redmond. You're not worth *that* much more than iOffice which is now free.

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Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style

Peter 39

benchmarks

Are these real numbers or has Samsung played the benchmark-genie again, as it has done before?

Did anyone check yet?

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Dropbox nukes bloke's file share in DMCA brouhaha – then admits it made a 'HASH OF IT'

Peter 39

hash

The article doesn't say whether or not the problem was caused by a hash-collision. Or if it was improper sharing.

So both Dropbox and El Reg have made a hash of this one.

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Australia doubts ICANN is ready to run the internet

Peter 39

How

>But the minister is not sure that ICANN is ready for the job

How the heck would HE know ??

And this is what his Attorney General is up to ...

Attorney General's new war on encrypted web services

http://www.itnews.com.au/News/375286,attorney-generals-new-war-on-encrypted-web-services.aspx

Basically, you have to give up your SSL keys to the "authorities"

>Under the department's plan, "law enforcement, anti-corruption and national

>security agencies … [would be able] to apply to an independent issuing authority

>for a warrant authorising the agency to issue 'intelligibility assistance notices' to

>service providers and other persons".

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Windows hits the skids, Mac OS X on the rise

Peter 39

Re: But do all Macs run OSX?

No - sucks for you.

There are reasons why Windows does it the way that it does. They have to do with windows (small "w") and not with usability. It is the way that it is.

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ITU given keys to autonomous car standards process

Peter 39

will not end well

ITU has no cred here. This will not end well.

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The long war on 'DRAM price fixing' is over: Claim YOUR spoils now (It's worth a few beers)

Peter 39

lawyer get-rich fund

I see that the players get 25%

PLUS their costs and expenses. Sweet for them. For us, closer to "sour".

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Ballmer: 'Microsoft would have a stronger position if I could redo the last TEN YEARS'

Peter 39

" ... almost magical " ??? NOT

"It was almost magical the way the PC came about with an operating system from us and hardware from IBM.

What does he mean - "almost magical" ? It WAS magical because, although IBM developed the hardware, Microsoft did not develop the OS. Bill just paid money and bought it.

Almost magical -- NOT

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Microsoft to push out penultimate XP patch on March Patch Tuesday

Peter 39

"... one more thing"

I can imagine the following scenario developing:-

1. MS releases its last XP update next month and soon thereafter the pile of exploits that malware miscreants have been hoarding starts to roll into new hacks.

2. After two months, MS releases a "one more thing" patch that squashes lots of them.

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Steve Ballmer: Thanks to me, Microsoft screwed up a decade in phones

Peter 39

Re: sounds like.. still waiting for BMW to release a cradle

I don't know what BMW is up to with this. It's not as though it didn't have to license the details for the iPhone 4 cradle, is it ?

But the "BMW Apps" software and "iPod Integration" stuff is very poor. My iPod and the car audio fight at least once a week. It takes all sorts of voodoo to get it going again. And BMW refuses to acknowledge that there is any issue.

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Peter 39

former CEO

I'm not sure he's a "former CEO".

He may have had the title but he didn't do the job.

And the Board is just as bad for having left him there so long.

And since he's still on the Board - how can one hope for improvement ?

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Yes: You CAN use your phone as a satnav while driving – appeals court

Peter 39

Re: Stopped in heavy traffic is still driving

Of course, being stopped in a traffic jam makes it impossible to pull off.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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Peter 39

Re: Not in the UK.....

A similar case came up in Australia a few years ago. Except that he person was sleeping it off in the BACK seat (alone, in case any one wonders).

The law was subsequently changed so that this is no longer an offense. But it still is if you're in the front seat.

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Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base

Peter 39

negotiation

"After the US Army cancellation, HAV negotiated successfully to buy the vessel."

Typical deal for a cancellation by the Government is that you can buy it for 10%.

No - not 10% discount. You pay only 10%. Sweeeeet.

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Retiring greybeards force firms to retrain Java, .NET bods as mainframe sysadmins

Peter 39

right on

There was quite a bit of interest around that time of Y2K but that quickly died out.

The situation has not improved since then - quite the opposite. This will be an expensive "upgrade".

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FCC will have to drop a bombshell to solve net-neutrality conundrum

Peter 39

Phil said it would be a long winter

The groundhog said that winter would be with us for a while, and it will. Verizon will continue to "throttle" various types of use without actually discriminating directly against any one. "So sorry, capacity constraints" and the like.

FCC will have a go at new regulations but will soon find that carriers have made an end-run. So it will finally be forced to tell the industry that you can't be both a carrier and a value-added supplier and have the same rules apply to both. The rules are going to be different and, as usual, the devil's in the details.

But the current trajectory is unsustainable, with most people in the U.S. having only a single broadband service (and many with DSL, which usually isn't "broadband"). Since there is no choice, market forces cannot possibly work. So there must be regulation. With value-added services carried on top of broadband there is choice and there the market can pick winners and losers.

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Language-mangling Germans fling open Handygate to selfie-snapping whistleblowers

Peter 39

"Handy" - WTF

How on earth did the Germans choose "Handy" as their term for a cell phone? It's puzzled me for a long time but no-one there seems to know. Or maybe they're too embarrassed to tell?

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

Peter 39

Threshold

"Threshold of a Dream"

Yeah. I remember that.

More seriously, on the threshold, you can go either up or down. It's unusual of Microsoft marketing to leave the question so open, regardless of whether or not the engineering effort lives up to it.

Maybe reality has started to impinge upon Redmond ?

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Could Joe Tucci's parting shot at EMC be to SELL OFF VMware?

Peter 39

RSA

I'd expect EMC to sell RSA first.

Before its value drops to zero.

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AT&T's sponsored data plan: Who, us, violating net neutrality?

Peter 39

data caps

If AT&T gets traction with this, expect them to roll out data caps on wired connections too. I think they already exist in a few places but not many and the cap is quite high. But that would soon change if they see there's money to be made.

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IBM's Watson-as-a-cloud: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's another mainframe

Peter 39

no problem

All this commercial/Jeopardy stuff is just a front for the NSA-oriented systems. Who knows how many they've bought (tell us in the notes if you know :)

But if you need deep pockets, these are your friends.

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Apple's iPhone did not rip off Googorola's wireless patent – US appeal judges

Peter 39

it all depends ...

It all depends upon the evidence, m' friend.

And it seems that Apple has been mostly clean about patent infringement. Not completely by any means, but mostly. And some so many patents are (most unfortunately) vaguely written and cast a wide net, that isn't a bad track record.

For the most part, Apple doesn't do SEP patents so it seldom encounters the FRAND licensing issues that have bedeviled Samsung.

Apple has lot a few. But not any lately.

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Top Microsoft bod: ARM servers right now smell like Intel's (doomed) Itanic

Peter 39

making a bet

"When you're a company the size of Microsoft, you don't want to make a chip architecture bet and get it wrong."

That's true but it would be a much less grievous error than several they've made in the last few years. What's one more going to do? Kick out Steve ?? Oh, wait...

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FCC honcho: Shifting our crusty phone network to IP packets starts now

Peter 39

ILECs

ILECs have for many years received special treatment, along the lines that Ma Bell received when she was the only one (with minor local exceptions).

Having enjoyed those for many years, ILECs seek to retain the bennies and ditch the responsibilities. They don't want to provide access to CLECs with their new systems, especially the fiber-based ones.

I don't care how ILECs provide their service - fiber, copper, IP, whatever - as long as they live up to their responsibilities.

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T-Mobile US: AT&T's mobe buyout deal is so 'desperate', we'll do it too

Peter 39

not really first

It has been widely reported that this was T-Mobile's plan first, and was planned for announcement at CES.

Somehow AT&T heard about it and made their speedy announcement last week. Right from the start their move was labelled as "preemptive" which gives you the clue that it wasn't their original idea. And AT&T is doing it only against T-Mobile, while T-M accepts switchers from all three major carriers.

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F-Secure won't speak at imperialist lackey RSA's 2014 conference

Peter 39

new conference

RSA has now passed its best-before date.

I suggest that a new conference be created by another group that still has trust. Serious folks will go to that and RSA will be left to wither.

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Microsoft's licence riddles give Linux and pals a free ride to virtual domination

Peter 39

interesting

> ... you might not have met “OS-level virtualisation” before

Err, sounds suspiciously like "time-sharing subsystem", which dates from the 60's IIRC.

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ULTIMATE ELECTRIC driving machine? Yes, it’s the BMW i3 e-car

Peter 39

propeller logo - NOT

According to BMW, the white-and-blue logo isn't representative of an airplane propeller. Although I do admit that it does have a certain resemblance, and aero engine is what the company started with.

Apparently it's really a piece of the Bavarian state flag. By the way - any good Bavarian will quickly correctly you if you you happen to refer to it as "blue and white". For reasons I don't pretend to understand, it's "white and blue".

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OH what a LOVELY, well-rendered WAR: Yes, it’s 'Call of Duty: Ghosts'

Peter 39

rating ?

The ads on TV in the U.S. include the comment "Rated 'M' for 'Mature'"

That's giving far too much credit where little is due.

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