* Posts by big_D

2277 posts • joined 27 Nov 2009

Pokemon NO! Hospital demands ban on virtual creatures after addicts invade private wards

big_D
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There have been a lot of complaints in Germany, with Pokemon being placed on private property and people breaking into gardens to get their kicks.

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Germany calls halt to Facebook’s WhatsApp info slurp

big_D
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EU rules say that what Facebook is doing is illegal, but it is up to the respective member states DP organizations, working within the locally implemented laws, to take Facebook to task.

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Moron is late for flight, calls in bomb threat

big_D
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Re: Only 1 year?

Now that would be a heavy sentence indeed!

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Microsoft cuts ribbon on Euro cloud bit barn for Office 365, Azure

big_D
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Which is why they opened this data center. It is run and managed by T-Systems, a German based company. Microsoft don't get any physical or administration access to the server farm, so if they get a US warrant, they just tell the US Justice Department to go get a German search warrant and talk to T-Systems, Microsoft have nothing to do with the process.

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big_D
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Re: Segregation

The data centers are in Frankfurt and Magdeburg, as stated in the article.

Additionally, whilst the servers front-facing services are on the Internet, there is no remote administration access to the server farm, it must all be done locally and only vetted T-Systems employees have access. If Microsoft want access, they have to turn up with authorization and will be escorted to the machines.

Allegedly, they will not be able to touch the machines directly, so no admin access and no copying data off. That also means, that if MS are given a US court order for access to the data, they will have to refuse, because they will not get access to the servers without a valid German search warrant, as T-Systems falls under German jurisdiction and is solely responsible for the running of the services.

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Is Tesla telling us the truth over autopilot spat?

big_D
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At the weekend, I noticed that my Qashqai was beeping at me at junctions, as though something was approaching the front end at low speed (front parking sensor). There was nothing, I assume it was residual water running over the sensors when braking. Luckily it didn't try and slam on the brakes, but it was a little annoying.

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big_D
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I can remember watching Tomorrow's World in the 70s and 80s and seeing self-driving experiments from the likes of Volvo, Mercedes and VW Group being shown on a regular basis. The major manufacturers have been experimenting for over 40 years on building in automation to vehicles.

Some of it back then was pretty basic, I think the VW system was mainly aimed at slaving the following cars to the leader on the autobahn.

But if you look at what has trickled down to today's cars, you can see that some of that technology is slowly maturing enough to be used safely on the road, as assistive technologies. The ADAC (German motoring organisation similar to the AA in the UK or AAA in the USA) did a test last month of the assisted braking systems in BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Kia, Subaru, VW/Audi and a couple of others. What was interesting was, that none of these systems were 100% effective in avoiding an accident, in fact the ones you would expect to be good (Volvo, BMW and Mercedes) faired very badly in the test. Unfortunately, they didn't test the Tesla S, so I don't know how it would have faired.

But only two cars avoided colliding with a slower car in front of them - most braked hard, but still rolled into the "car" in from (a bag full of air, shaped like the back of a VW Sharan). When it came to pedestrians, again only 2 of them completely avoided hitting the pedestrian, and only the Subaru managed to stop completely at night, many of the others didn't even try and slow down! And none of them could cope with a cyclist - some slowed down, but all of them hit the cyclist to varying degrees (from around 20% speed reduction to 85% speed reduction from 50km/h). Unfortunately, i couldn't find an online link to the test - it was in the member's magazine.

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Using a thing made by Microsoft, Apple or Adobe? It probably needs a patch today

big_D
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Re: I patch

Moaning pays off! The Nougat update turned up on my phone about 22:00 last night. My wife's Nexus 5X is still waiting.

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big_D
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Re: I patch

They also forgot to mention Google, they had a lot of patches for Chrome and Android this month as well - and I am still waiting for Nougat to be made available to my Nexus 5X.

I would patch, if I could...

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EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords

big_D
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Re: The EU

Essentially yes, although you will need a two stage system. You can keep the SSID WPA2 password as is and freely available, but you will need to put in some additional gateway / proxy system that then asks for additional identification or a special "ticket" number to allow them to gain access to the Internet.

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big_D
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Re: Erm - 2+2=5

Not exactly, there are two stages or passwords that can be used.

Using a known password for the hotspot to enable encryption is a good thing. This password can even be displayed on the counter, so that customers can gain access to the internal network.

The second stage, which is more controversial, and is probably what the courts want, is to have a proxy or gateway that requires users to be registered, before they get from the internal network out onto the Internet. These systems are available and cost money. In Germany the likes of Deutsche Telekom and the other large telcos generally run them and customers of the Telco can often use the hotspots "for free", because it is included in their monthly mobile or landline contracts.

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big_D
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Re: Erm

Having a WPA2 password / passphrase makes it secure at least and cannot be eavesdropped by others in the vicinity. It doesn't matter if the password is printed for all to see, once the traffic is encrypted, it make it a lot more secure.

Having to use a logon-page on top of that, so that you can access the Internet through the router is another matter.

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big_D
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Re: Meh

In Germany, you could put in an NFC reader and read the customer's Perso (Perosnalausweis or national identity card). The governments are trying to push the use of the modern NFC enabled ID cards in Europe, so I can see them saying this is a good idea...

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big_D
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Password makes sense

It makes sense to require every hotspot to have a WPA2 password, just for security purposes. That way your traffic can't be so easily snooped upon, because it is encrypted. Even a simple password, such as the name of the SSID or the establishment's name would do.

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Brexit makes life harder for an Internet of Things startup

big_D
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Re: CE marking

We put our industrial touch PC through testing, it passed with flying colours first time through (CE) and cleared IP67 and IP69K. All without problems or the need to recertify.

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big_D
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Re: CE marking

And there is no need to assume that CE will be needed in the EU after Brexit, it will be, FULL STOP.

Even goods coming from China etc. must have CE approval, if they are to be sold in Europe. As said above, go to TÜV or an equivalent and get it tested.

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

big_D
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Re: eh?

I use Google Maps once in a blue moon - probably 2 times a year, tops - to get me somewhere, so I don't need location services most of the time.

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Tesla to stop killing drivers: Software update beamed to leccy cars

big_D
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Re: Mansfield bars

What I read said that they managed to free themselves from the vehicle without the aid of the first responders, but that they had serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

There is a big difference between being able to free oneself from the vehicle after the accident (not being clamped into the vehicle and having to be cut out) and not being injured.

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Apple killed OS X today and binned its $10,000 BlingWatch too

big_D
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So shiny you have to hide it...

What is the point of the high gloss finish, if you have to hide it in a case, so that it doesn't get scratched? Might as well buy an untreated aluminium one, hide it in the case and say you have Darth's phone... At least they aren't asking extra for the shiny finish.

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Google emits three sets of Android patches to fend off evil texts, files

big_D
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Still waiting for Nougat on my Nexus 5X...

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EU will force telcos to offer 90 days of 'roam like home' contracts

big_D
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The problem is, a country with a small population still has to provide the infrastructure, but they can't spread the costs over most customers. So a big country, with lots of users can have cheaper infrastructure costs per customer, thus offering cheaper contracts.

The smaller country still needs to provide the infrastructure, but if their residents are buying contracts from a neighbouring country with a larger population and therefore cheaper contracts, then the telcos in the small country aren't generating enough revenue to maintain, let alone improve, the native infrastructure.

The only way it would work is if it was one of the big telcos, like Vodafone, O2 etc. who are multinational and they provide the infrastructure in both countries. Otherwise the telcos in the smaller countries can't compete, they will go bankrupt and there will be no infrastructure for mobile comms...

That the extreme and would probably never happen, but if everybody in expensive country started using contracts from cheaper country, then expensive country would have to increase their prices, because they still need to maintain the same infrastructure with fewer customers. Also, even with the cross-carrier compensation, as the prices in the expensive country increase, the cheaper country will notice that many of its customers are continually roaming in expensive country and they will have to increase their base rates to compensate...

Free market with borrowed resources doesn't work well. Distinct products or distinct services will work fine (buy a physical product or service in cheap country), but if the bought / leased service requires somebody else's infrastructure, it won't work well/properly.

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ABBA-solutely crapulous! Swedish router-maker won't patch gaping hole

big_D
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@Martin Summers anyone who manages to get onto that network? Like the hundreds of thousands of other customers for the ISP, so no chance of any of them being malicious then (or an open WiFi point that is connected to the network?

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Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 ... and Linux, BSD, OS X

big_D
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They are dropping x86 support, as oposed to 386 support. That means 32-bit versions will no longer be actively developed / supported going forward.

That means no Linux for 32-bit Atom chips or older hardware. As most Intel processors today are 64-bit, there is less and less need to support 32-bit, although that means that 32-bit processors will be restricted to older distributions with LTS support.

As for Windows, it doesn't say that it can't / won't run on older versions, just that if there are problems, you are on your own and will have to solve any compatibility or stability problems yourself.

The biggest problem here is that the "support" for new processors means adding new features and drivers to Windows 7 and 8.x. Windows 7 is in extended support, which means that it only gets security updates. As new features are not security, there are no resources available to implement them.

If you are a large corporate, buying thousands of PCs with Kaby Lake, then you can probably pay for MS to write the relevant drivers, as a private individual that isn't realistic.

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Microsoft releases firmware fix for faulty Surface Pro 3 batteries

big_D
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Re: For sale- 10000 m mains extension lead.

The length of the cable doesn't matter. If the battery reports less than 3% the Surface shuts down, even if it is on mains power! I managed to get mine replaced under guaranty, but I need 12 attempts at booting to get to the login screen without it switching off, before I could reset it to factory. Luckily it held through the reset...

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German minister seeks facial recognition at airports, train stations

big_D
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Re: Wow! In Germany?

The German government has a track record of implementing surveillance, only to have it revoked in the consitutional court or in the normal courts by data protection law.

They tried the "Bundestrojaner" a couple of years back (State-Trojan), which was state sponsored malware, which they wanted to install on every PC in the country. Luckily the courts told the government in no uncertain terms that such an action was illegal.

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big_D
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And the German constitution and data protection laws would make such a system illegal, so he will have to do a lot of work to get such a thing legalized.

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Paper mountain, hidden Brexit: How'd you say immigration control would work?

big_D
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Re: Propaganda by CEO's

@Peter2 here, in Germany, there is a huge influx of migrant workers every year for picking fruit or harvesting vegetables - white aparagus, for example, is a labour intensive job that cannot be automated.

Likewise, Amazon employs hundreds of migrant workers for peak times, such as Christmas, to work in their warehouses, usually underpaid and poorly housed; a documentary last year showed that the sub-contractor responsible for luring the workers from Spain, Portugal and points East, offered them decent pay and accomodation and flew them to the warehouses in Germany, where suddenly the promised wage was halved and if they didn't sign, they had to make their own way back home... The accomodation is often off-season summer bungalows in holiday parks, where a dozen workers were stuffed into a bungalow designed for a small family. It caused quite a scandal here, when the documentary was aired.

Likewise, the food industry, especially slaughter houses often uses vast numbers of unskilled workers on their production lines at much lower wages than they would pay for local workers. The same for the building industry, anyone remember Aufwiedersehen Pet? That still goes on and a lot of the workers are so-called "black" workers, meaning that they don't have any papers, no contract and no residency permit. If they are caught, they are deported and the employer gets a fine.

This also applies to a lot of restaurants, nursing homes, cleaning companies etc.

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Google AdSense abused to distribute Android spyware

big_D
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Re: no additional clicks

If it was a silent install, then the story should mention which exploit it uses to get around the standard settings of only installing from approved sources (Google Play Store) or signed files.

If it is getting around the standard security, then the article should state this, as this would be a real problem. If it requires the user to turn off the safety features to install the .apk (which they would normally have to do), then it is a bit of a non-story, but the article should warn that users who have deliberately disabled the standard policy to install an app from an unknown source should turn the setting back on afterwards...

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Thieves can wirelessly unlock up to 100 million Volkswagens, each at the press of a button

big_D
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Re: Quick Release or build it like it is in my head

So, you want to replace a small, pocketable key for a big one that people will just leave in the car? I can't see people wandering around the local supermarket, steeringwheel in hand.

The problem isn't the form factor of the key, but the fact that the serial numbers in the keys are based on a very small number of master serial numbers, which means they can be easily cracked. Whether you put the serial number (generator) in the key or the steering wheel doesn't make any difference, you would just need a steeringwheel with the software hack, as opposed to a key with the software hack.

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big_D
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Re: So long and thanks for all the fish

It is the regional state governments that hold shares in VW, the investment is not at the Federal level.

Oh, and the German courts have given the OK for those investors to sue the board for misleading them and trashing their investments.

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Firefox to banish hidden Flash files – and kill off sneaky ad snoopers

big_D
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I don't have Flash installed on any of my machines and the BBC site just says that I should use a modern browser (I'm using Edge, Chrome and Firefox, all on the latest versions)... No BBC, you need a modern website!

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Huge double boxset of Android patches lands after Qualcomm disk encryption blown open

big_D
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Re: Everything is just

The only safe computer is one embedded in a block of concrete, in a locked room, with no power...

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Kill Flash now? Chrome may be about to do just that

big_D
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Re: About to?

Yes, until the end of the year is a long time. I killed it on all of my machines over 18 months ago and I haven't missed it yet.

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Germans set to make schnitzel out of controversial Wi-Fi law

big_D
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I've stayed in two hotels in Magdeburg in the last 12 months and both had free wifi.

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big_D
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Re: The Law of Unintended Consequences

The law states that if you have an open (i.e. not passcode protected) Wi-Fi spot and you do not log who used it and when, then you are responsible for any crimes committed. If you can say at the time of the offence who was accessing your network, then you are not responsible.

For commercial premises there are solutions, where users are logged as they attach to the network and a log of their activities is recorded, this means that the network provider is off the hook.

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Lyft, Uber throw Texas-sized tantrum over Austin driver law

big_D
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So, basically, they are saying that they don't give a fig about passenger safety... Makes me really want to use their services!

But not really a surprise, they are letting most of their drivers in German drive with no valid insurance! (A criminal offence)

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Android's security patch quagmire probed by US watchdogs

big_D
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Cheap non names? Like Samsung and LG you mean?

Both my Galaxy S3 and my LG G2 stopped getting updates before the 2 years of the contract were up. In fact the G2 still has a couple of months left on contract, but it is so old that some apps (MS Word and Excel, for example) refuse to load as the OS is too old to be supported.

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Getty Images flings competition sueball at Google Image Search

big_D
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Mushroom

If Getty don't want them to appear in search results, don't sell them with web usage rights...

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America edges closer to get-a-proper-warrant-to-read-my-email law

big_D
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The 180 days is also bad, given that often business emails have to be kept for 10 years for tax reasons...

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Not OK, Google! FTC urged to thrust antitrust probe into Android

big_D
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Re: "Freezing out third-party apps"

and 3rd party maps, search, browser, mail, etc.

If a manufacturer takes Android with Google Store (as opposed to AOSP), you need to install the Google apps and you aren't allowed to bundle competing apps with the phone.

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US-CERT advice says kill Quicktime for Windows, quickly

big_D
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Re: Next

I haven't had Flash on my machines for over a year and I can't remember the last time I used QuickTime, probably around 2009.

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Apple assumes you'll toss the Watch after three years

big_D
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Re: Four years?!?!

My 2007 iMac is still going strong as well - running Linux, as Apple stopped providing OS security updates about 2 years ago.

My original AppleTV is also still working - although we only use it for viewing photos now.

The last time I spent Apple Watch type money on a watch was 20 years ago, and it is still going strong...

I put an SSD in my 2010 Vaio notebook and it feels nearly as fast as my Surface Pro 3...

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Microsoft sues US DoJ for right to squeal when Feds slurp your data

big_D
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Joke

Re: Hat's off

Microsoft representing the masses, the MS of the 90s is shuddering in its grave.

Meanwhile, I've heard that cats and dogs are now having a love in and Beelzebub is offering cheap skiing holidays.

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Google yanks Chrome support for Windows XP, at long last

big_D
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Re: Chrome for 32 bit Linux is also dead....

On my 32-bit Atom processor? Not really an option.

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Bay Area man forced out of his $400 box home

big_D
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Re: Street Living

It makes my old 110M² loft for $450 a month sound like a bargain!

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Would you let cops give your phone a textalyzer scan after a road crash?

big_D
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I thought that police have used carrier meta data for years, in order to find out if the driver had sent / received a text at "around" the time of the accident?

With the advent of Whatsapp, Telegram, Threema and Co. it is not as easy to use carrier metadata. As long as the search is restricted to looking to see if messages were sent/received at the approximate time of the crash, then I'm OK with that. If it is a cart blanche to actually read those messages, then no...

Having been rear-ended by somebody too busy texting to see that the traffiic lights were red and we had stopped, I'm not totally against such a rule.

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Windows 10 with Ubuntu now in public preview

big_D
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Re: It is like a dog's walking on its hind legs.

@nijam they work on Linux Servers exclusively with command line tools. They need a web browser, an Exchange client and the telephone client - the latter of which only runs on Windows (there is an OS X version in Beta, but it isn't very stable).

Up to last year, they were running on thin clients, but with the event of the new telephone system, the thin clients had to make way for real PCs running Windows.

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big_D
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Re: It is like a dog's walking on its hind legs.

I can see a lot of uses for where I work - although we are currently mainly CentOS and SUSE based for server side.

But most of our devs are Linux server devs and don't like being forced to use Windows (the client software is Windows based and our telephone system is Windows based). They spend 90% of their time working in bash. If they have the bash command line in Windows, it is one less thing for them to moan about.

It might also make rolling out new installs easier, as it is one less 3rd party package to install (E.g. Cygwin or NX).

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big_D
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Re: Hmmmm???

It could be useful for us, we do support on Windows, but our server software runs on Linux, so we have to have Cygwin or NX installed at the moment, if the bash shell can save us having to install that, depending on how tightly it is integrated, it might bring some benefits.

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Huawei's P9 flagship: There's a lot to Leica

big_D
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Exactly cambsukguy, we have bought phones in the 100€ - 200€ range for the last couple of generations. They are fine and last 3 or 4 years. I did buy the Lumia 950, as an exception to that rule, but unless something radical happens in the market, it will be the last mid-priced phone that I buy.

The high end, expensive phones often don't get support for 2 years, let alone 3 or 4 years, so they just aren't worth the extra money over the cheaper devices.

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