* Posts by theblackhand

400 posts • joined 1 Oct 2009

Page:

Bloody TECH GIANTS... all they do is WASTE investors' MONEY

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Nuts! It is Not Big Tech.

And central banks are keeping interest rates low to let existing debt devalue, allowing everyone who ended up with overvalued assets (predominately houses - either those with mortgages or the banks that ended up with houses through defaults) to let the debts devalue and be repaid or written off when they are at a level that doesn't cause major knock-on effects.

Sure, it hurts those who are saving, but the alternatives aren't necessarilly any better for those with savings as letting the banks fail would take out some of those with savings as collateral damage.

3
0

Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Legality

I suspect the legality of this is a grey area - governments involved in Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States) or the various extensions (including European countries) have been monitoring international traffic since the 1940's and most (all?) governments have had the ability to monitor local communications providers for law enforcement and security purposes. The grey area is if this monitoring is done (largely) in secret, exactly what is acceptable, where is the oversight and is it sufficient to balance the public's needs (i.e. the elected government) with the watcher's abilities (i.e. the security agencies)?

The big differences between when these systems were first put in place and now is how people communicate (both frequency and type of calls) - monitoring phone calls before mobile phones got the monitoring down to a group of people at a single location - but phone calls went from unusual (and therefore possibly suspicious) to common for local communication to common for national communication to the current day where International calls are common. Mobile phones and the ability to monitor mobile phone calls gave governments the ability to both monitor and track an individual. Now with most Internet services being based in International locations, suddenly everything is a "legitimate" target....

Almost all of what I mentioned above has been publicly disclosed in some way or another by mainstream media (think high profile criminal cases where Police uses mobile information or IRA cases from the 80's involving phone taps) - the real difference with the information provided by Snowden is that it has the authority of an insider and the details for how it is done.

Although I have to admit that the stealing of the encryption keys versus decryption using algorithmic weaknesses or brute force is impressive - I can imagine Q asking "should we build another enormous data centre or should we just get Bond to steal the keys?"

1
1

Expired router cache sends Google Cloud Engine TITSUP

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Remind me again @Lee D

It's horses for courses....

If you have an environment that provides a suitable high availability environment for your companies requirements at present, then cloud may not look so great.

If on the other hand you are the average Silicon roundabout company* where you interact with your customers via Internet services (email/web services/file transfer) and your Internet connection is whatever DSL/cable line you can get for under £50/month, cloud services provide a significant increase in availability.

* Note: all comments based on recent media coverage. Journalists only tell the truth don't they?

1
0

Game of Moans: Sky coughs to BORKED set top box BALLS-UP

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: WOW!

The Greek financial problems are easy - defer the IMF repayments to allow the Greeks to get a concession and the EU to get paid without any toys being thrown out of the pram. Just spend a few weeks "negotiating" so that it looks like all sides worked hard to achieve the deal.

2
0

Qualcomm, ARM: We thought we had such HOT MODELS...

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Disagree with comparision of ARM and Qualcomm

Qualcomms challenges are arguably of their own making (struggling to deliver a 64-bit SoC that matches the power/performance of previous generation so delivering a reference design instead and an umbrella licencing deal that allowed them to charge a significant mark up on their patent portfolio that has failed a legal challenge). If they can resolve their SoC issues, they will remain a strong player but they will need to get by with less revenue because the Chinese defeat of the umbrella licencing terms will flow through to all of their markets.

For ARM, I still see a bright future based on the 64-bit reference platform they have delivered - it appears to continue to deliver incremental increases in power and performance and they have room to continue to develop it. With that in mind, they will continue to have a market in the portable/low-end computing space and as they deliver reference designs with more CPU power the market will continue to grow. The growth will come at the expense of the other CPU manufacturers (Intel/AMD) and as long as their licencing terms are considered fair (i.e. allowing mix and match of design components, allowing modifications of designs via a licencing agreement and keeping licence costs reasonable) I can't see them being challenged. If their licencing/pricing structure changes, then there is the potential for MIPS to compete, but the software development inertia would need a fairly substantial change.

2
0

Samsung, LG wash dirty laundry in two separate court cases

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: If only Apple vs Samsung was as entertaining.

Sigh.... I'm sorry I said bad things about your favourite toy and I won't say bad things about them again....

9
0
theblackhand
Bronze badge

If only Apple vs Samsung was as entertaining.

Am I the only one who thinks resorting to physical violence is a (significant) step up from patent disputes where lawyers get rich and the cases appear to hinge upon arguing points that seem to ignore where a patent is actually valid or not?

i.e.

Apple: Knock knock

Samsung: Who's there?

Apple: Goons

Samsung: Goons who?

Apple: Hired goons.... (followed by the sound of a door being smashed and various electronic products being smashed)

Much more entertaining than having lawyers argue about whether some such design thingy is unique and it results in less money going to lawyers.

8
3

SPITTLE SPATTER as America weighs into FCC net neut shoutgasm

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: American internet users will win!!

But if either (1) or (2) happen, won't it result in re-drafting a new bill?

More time will pass, with more uncertainity and almost certainly more significant changes in how Americans get their Internet access.

Disclosure:

I'm against net neutrality as it rolls up a lot of different issues (poor residential Internet services in many locations, lack of competition in many locations causing xDSL/cable services to be over-priced, disputes between how ISP's/content providers interconnect and how large ISP/content providers deliver services). I expect an regulation to only address part of it (most likely interconnects and fairness of delivery of traffic because they are easy to address by regulations AND are very likely to date quickly as the Internet continues to change.

I'd prefer no net neutrality and regulations to encourage ISP's to provide minimum levels of service (within the limits of current technology) to prevent communities being left behind, provide caps for the cost of services (to prevent communities being priced out of faster services) AND (most importantly) remove any restrictions on regional competition between providers. The caps should be high enough to allow current ISP's to operate as they are but provide an incentive for new players to enter local markets.

Being a telco/ISP is hard, so there needs to be rewards for the significant investment involved to encourage new players to enter - being given a monopoly on services in a region should not be one of the possible rewards. Note that these changes would require 2-3 years before the market improved for the consumer.

For interconnects, companies need to pay for the connectivity. Most of the time it will be the content providers that need to improve their connectivity (sorry Netflix....)

For QoS within an ISP providing better service for the ISP's own traffic versus a competitiors, I have no issue with this as long as there are sufficient players in the market to allow customers to move between providers.

3
1

Samsung snub sends Qualcomm into a spin over Snapdragon 810

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Hmmmm

I understand the 810 is 64-bit - but it is using ARM designed Cortex cores versus other Snapdragon processors using Qualcomm's customised Krait cores.

The thing that differentiated Qualcomm in the past was their ability to produce custom ARM7A cores that competed with Apple on both CPU performance and power usage - the 810 loses that advantage even before any supposed manufacturing issues resulting in poor power performance.

The 820 is supposed to be the 64-bit Krait (or successor to Krait).

1
0
theblackhand
Bronze badge

Hmmmm

What could be wrong with the 810? Why is it using a Cortex core instread of a Krait core? Samsung can get Cortex cores into Exynos so why go elsewhere...

Maybe the Snapdragon 820 will be better - or will it take even longer before Qualcomm has their own in-house 64-bit core?

0
0

UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: And still using DISCS IN THE POST

"Royal Mail Special Delivery is specifically mentioned as a permissible transmission channel for everything up to Top Secret"

Or, to translate for Police and associated staff:

Royal Mail Special Delivery is specifically mentioned as a permissible transmission channel for everything up to Top Secret. To use this service, shred all information and send an empty envelope to the recipient. In the off chance this is not "lost" by Royal Mail or consciencous Police staff, when the recipient recieves the empty envelope and contacts you advise them the contents have been stolen.

3
0

Apple patch shields Macs from Thunderstrike

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Is this an issue for any PC using EFI

Only EFI signed with Apple keys will be vulnerable to this particular exploit, but the principle applies to all EFI devices - if someone can get signing keys for other EFI's then the same issue could occur.

0
0

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Frikkin' shark movies on SyFy

I enjoyed Sharknado as well - it may have had something to do with drinking and doing shots every time something truly dire happened.

Three of us finished a bottle in the last 10-15 minutes alone....

1
0

Will fondleslab's fickle finger of fate help Windows 10?

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Will the fickle finger of fondleslab fate help Windows 10?

If they deliver tablets that are similar to higher spec Android devices at a similar cost and provide MS tools (i.e. Office) as part of the bundle, they could manage to get market share.

Instead MS will deliver a budget tablet at the same price as a high spec Android device with a premium product priced against iOS devices with Office as an additional cost.

TL;DR - you're right...

4
0

'Success'? Verify FAILED for 40% in self-assess tax trial

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: "Good luck with that March 2016 deadline"

Fund raising? The politicians could just submit expense claims for the ticket price...

New office equipment - check

Moat cleaning - check

Fake invoice for office supplies - check, although their is a query on whether billing for the time spent in prison is included or will be invoiced seperately

Rocket trip to the brave new world - check

4
0

Ailing AMD battered by goodwill, inventory charges

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: They missed a trick

I'm not sure there was really any trick missed - the ARM market is well served by competent chip designers and it is a cut throat market where a poor chip design may result in a lot of unsold inventory. Look at nVidia's ARM products - as far as I am aware they have been losing money on them for 5-6 years trying to become an established player.

It may change with 64-bit ARM chips for servers, but I'm not convinced as adding IO performance to ARM chips to improve server performance will result in higher power usage and cost, Atom isn't that far away due to process advantages, and there are other potential competitors such as MIPS in the AP market.

Intel may have all the cards in the x86 market, but at least it tolerates AMD to avoid any monopoly issues that might cause the US government to intervene.

0
1

Pull up the Windows 10 duvet and pretend Win8 and Vista were BAD DREAMS

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Most hated version of Windows

Not sure if you can count Windows ME.

It was so god awful that most people stuck with Win98 (or 95 in corporates) and jumped to NT4/2000.

Did MS even release it as an OS or just for coffee coasters?

3
0

Want a cheap Office-er-riffic tablet? Microsoft Windows takes on Android

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Linux? Re:Steven R

You do realise that saying product X is good makes product Y slower, less capable and crap on your doorstep when you're not looking?

After reading too many reviews about a certain phone, my now inferior phone even went so far as not caring if I was looking when it defecated on my doorstep.

3
1

LIFELESS BEAGLE on MARS: A British TRIUMPH!

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Curiosity

Re: USB

Don't be silly - of course it can't use a USB stick to download the images as Curiosity won't be returning to earth and Curiosity's arms don't have the ability to self-insert the USB stick.

On the other hand, if there was a friendly Martian to help then a lack of USB could be a huge oversight on Curiosity's part....

0
0

MAINFRAMES are SO NOT DEAD: IBM's launched a new one

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Rubbish - Old IT Grey suits out!

Hey youngster - stop playing on the mainframe lawn and go in play in the Android/iPhone park with the other pesky teenagers on TheReg....

Once you've read enough Gartner reports declaring everything you use "dead" and replaced by the latest flash in the pan, read up on various subtle forms of humour such as irony then you can come back for some more grouchiness...

13
0
theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Can I just have the case?

Is that one of the water cooled racks?

0
0

Boybanders ONE DIRECTION launch DoS attack on open-source bods

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: How is this a DoS Attack?

"And I also happen to run a massively popular One Direction fan site (don't ask), "

Let me guess - there was a recession, you needed the work, when you went to the interview the lift seemed to go an awfully long way down, it's very hot in the office, you always thought Beel-Zebub was an unusual name but it seems to suit your boss well...

0
0

Windows 7 MARKED for DEATH by Microsoft as of NOW

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Oh noes! We've only got 5 years!

It won't catch gov.uk by surprise - they already have people negotiating with MS on how to extend support for the organisations that haven't managed to start their Win7 migration programs by 2020.

0
0

iPhone addiction will RUIN YOUR LIFE – if only that were true

theblackhand
Bronze badge

I did a test last Friday....

I met a journalist friend at his office for a drink - when I said we're off to the pub, there was visible shaking from those that still had work to complete and couldn't come to the pub immediately.

Maybe they should have wrote half-assed stories about "Beer/crisp/pork scratching addictions will RUIN YOUR LIFE". At least they would have got to the pub faster but not sure if the content would have been appreciated in a technical publication.

Is that sufficiently scientific or should I continue to repeat the experiment to gather more evidence? Am I eligible for a research grant?

0
0

Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Transaction taxes

Doesn't this demonstrate Tim's point?

B2C users can't easily set up their own trusted payment system, so end up paying - B2B users can afford to set up/use their own payment system (BACS) so avoid the additional cost.

If there is a way of minimising taxes, most people will - whether that is paying trades people for cash jobs or employing specialists to create tax-efficient organisational structures or operational practices that avoid or delay when tax needs to be paid.

1
0

Get your special 'sound-optimising' storage here, hipsters

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: It's true

Dear frank ly

I have good news and bad news for you.

The good news is I can fix it. The bad news is that it will be expensive.

But don't worry, as part of the upgrades you'll get this lovely new coat that only intelligent people can see....

I look forward to doing business with you

4
0

Right to be forgotten? That’s not Google’s call – data MEP Albrecht

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: WT Everlasting F???

They say free trade is a good thing.

I'm unsure what the TTIP will be and everyone who does know either won't say or will end up in jail.

I guess we'll just have to wait until the good ol' US of A comes and rescues us Brits (and the rest of Europe) and imposes some democracy....

6
3

Ford recalls SUVs … to fix the UI

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Of course they go together.

Options:

Sport option pack: The sport option pack consists of a racing strip and an additional sports button on the gearbox (add $999)

5
0

THREE MILLION Moonpig accounts exposed by flaw

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Facebook vs Moonpig

I couldn't see where to enter my address and credit card details on Facebook so posted them as a status update.

Am I doing it right?

3
0

Qualcomm prez says nowt about $1bn China fine rumours

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Let me guess...

China will settle the "abuse of market position" charges in exchange for Qualcomm dropping claims relating to China's 3G technologies and with a cross-licencing agreement for 3G IP?

2
0

JPMorgan Chase mega-hack was a simple two-factor auth fail

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: one one of the biggest data security breaches in history.

AC - if I have two servers that need to talk to one another (lets say a classic client-server app where a front-end website talks to a back-end database).

How would choosing a protocol other than TCP/IP or a protocol supporting encryption provide me with more protection than a well firewalled (i.e. only necessary ports opened between zones, ensure zone separation for non-related functions), TLS-encrypted transport stream running over TCP/IP? In terms of one continuous network, firewalls provide an easy way of addressing the "one continuous network" issue to provide security, assuming they aren't configured with allow any rules.

The problem isn't TCP/IP, the problem is poor implementation - alternative network protocols will suffer the same issues.

1
0

ICANN's technical competence queried by Verisign report

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Sounds like a plan!

Security through obscurity?

I thought Verizon was highlighting process and operational issues rather than fundamental security issues. The key exchange process works (based on it being in use for sometime), it's just a little fragile - I suspect because it relies on people rather than automated jobs.

0
0

Fancy a .trust domain? How's $150,000 sound?

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Maybe...

Would you be interested in a .itspracticallystealing domain for ONLY US$100,000?

0
0

Sony hackers dump more hunks of stolen data, promise another 'Christmas gift'

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: They are done

Apple/U2's only mistake was not giving users the choice or their new album or a video of Bono falling off his bike in NYC.

Why would anyone need more than two choices?

0
0

Hold the front page: Spain's anti-Google lobbyists lobby for Google News return

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: oops

Popcorn?

Surely it should be cake as AEDE appears to want to have their cake and eat it too....

7
0

BT to gobble EE for £12.5bn – BTEE phone home

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: You guys have it all wrong.

DT taking over BT? That sounds more like an OFCOM fantasy - beat up the nasty foreign company to make them give rural customers broadband versus rolling over and letting BT tickle there belly as OFCOM playfully try to swat them away.

1
0

Uber? Worth $40 BEEELLION? Hey, actually, hold on ...

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Surprise - the bailouts were profitable!

Careful when comparing US mortgage debt with other countries.

In the US, Fanny Mae got into trouble when people couldn't repay their mortgages and choose to wlak away. The asset passes to Fanny Mae and the borrower is left with nothing (no asset but also no debt) which leaves Fanny Mae with a large loss that has to be filled with government money but can be quickly rescued (assuming you don't ask too many questions about where all that government money comes from and the side effects....). Hence Fanny Mae is now profitable.

In many other countries (i.e. the UK), failing to pay your mortgage triggers a mortgagee sale and then any difference between sale of the asset and the outstanding debt remains the responsibility of the borrower - this leads to a large pile of debt that continues to accrue interest with something that will eventually be written off (it's labelled "toxic debt" as it will never be repaid). As this debt can only be written off as banks make more money, it greatly slows an economies recovery.

Note: there are some generalisations but the post is long enough as is...

1
0

Nothing illegal to see here: Tribunal says TEMPORA spying is OK

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Thank goodness!!!!

I was worried they might be doing something bad, like breaking the law....

17
0

Brit smut slingers shafted by UK censors' stiff new stance

theblackhand
Bronze badge

UK law

UK politicians don't make laws to be enforced, they make them to win votes of whatever vocal minority they are trying to please at the time.

Enforcement is someone else's problem...

7
0

HALF A BILLION TERRORISTS: WhatsApp encrypts ALL its worldwide jabber

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: WPA2 is pretty unbreakable

WPA2/AES is only as secure as the key. If you are using pre-shared keys, rainbow tables (i.e. http://www.renderlab.net/projects/WPA-tables/) take you a long way to getting access to some ones Wifi to then sniff traffic.

Using one of the 802.1x options for authentication via a RADIUS server with regular re-authentication periods largely addresses that (i.e. re-authenticating every hour will mean separate brute force runs over each hour of captured data).

0
0

Are MPs smarter than 5-year-olds? We'll soon find out at coding school – Berners-Lee

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: Doubt it

That's a little harsh.

There are also unskilled conservative, unskilled liberal democrat, unskilled regional loony, unskilled loony, unskilled dope smoking layabout etc

2
0

You know where Apple Pay is getting used a LOT? Yes - McDonalds

theblackhand
Bronze badge

So....

Will iPhone buyers now be asked if they want fries with their order?

3
2

Sky: We're no longer calling ourselves British. Yep. And Broadcasting can do one, too

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: It used to be that...

Didn't the ECC and IRB sell cricket and rugby rights to Sky to help develop the game and international players?

I know it means those that want to watch the game have to pay, but doesn't the counter argument also apply? Why should those with no interest in these games pay for them out of the TV licence fee?

As for Sky - can you create a Sports product without football as an option so that those who watch rugby and cricket don't have to pay a fortune for something that we never watch? I know - they won't kill the cash cow...

2
0

Net neutrality, Verizon, open internet ... How can we solve this mess?

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: ISP costs re: theblackhand

Cheaper for the ISP - ISP's will typically not pay for data transmitted via a peering arrangement (a direct connect between the ISP and the content provider) but will have to pay a volume based fee for transit traffic (content that traverses one or more ISP's and a peer to reach your ISP's network).

0
0
theblackhand
Bronze badge

ISP costs

"It costs the ISP the same for me to download a 1MB document from netflix as it costs to download a 1MB document from Google."

Are you sure? And if it is valid for 1MB, it's likely due to a rounding error - does it still apply for 1GB/1TB/etc?

Content from providers directly connected to an ISP will almost certainly be cheaper than content that has to transit one or more other providers.

0
0

TalkTalk's 'unbeatable signal strength' and 'fastest Wi-Fi tech' FIBS silenced by ad watchdog

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Dear Talk Talk

If you stray from "Talk Talk - we're crap but cheap" you're going to get in trouble....

14
0

7 questions we're dying to ask the internet's MOST EXCITING BLOKE

theblackhand
Bronze badge

"greater sexual equality"

It's an attempt by telecoms people to get as much sex as the rest of the IT community. Men/women will be multiplexed into available slots to prevent "bandwidth hogs".

Don't worry, I won't be here for the rest of the week....

0
0

Data protection laws come to the rescue of poor, underpaid UK MPs

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: MPs: Lying, thieving, corrupt gits who think the rest of us are stupid RE:AC

Of course people vote along party lines rather than based on the integrity of the individual - how many politicians do you think we would have otherwise?

0
0

It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future

theblackhand
Bronze badge

Re: FutureShock999

"This effectively spells the end of the POWER architecture too. Knowing that the support contract to produce new chips is only for 10 years"

I think you maybe reading a little too much into the move by IBM. I don't think IBM is trying to stop POWER (even unintentionally) - this is about securing GlobalFoundries medium term future as a manufacturer by allowing GF to present rosey forecasts to banks and investors to ensure they stay in business. And I would expect future agreements.

With AMD struggling against Intel and a lot of TSMC/UMC/Samsung capacity tied up for the foreseeable future, keeping GlobalFoundaries in the game is important for IBM (and AMD).

4
0

Page:

Forums