* Posts by BillG

744 posts • joined 29 Jan 2010

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Jailbreaking pirates popped in world's largest iCloud raid – 225,000 accounts hit

BillG
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Megaphone

Re: You answered your own musings...

Which is another reason they're so down on jailbreaking, as it can extend the life of the phone and thus reduce sales of new phones.

Once upon a time, my Android phone, out of the box, got me 30 hours battery life during normal usage. After I rooted it I removed a lot of uninstallable bloatware/crapware/spyware that included Facebook, Twitter, and all my provider's account apps. Next I installed a firewall and blocked network access to apps and services that did not require network access like the camera, notetaker, calendar, bookmark manager, and 50 others. My phone is now incredibly fast and gets three days battery life. The End & Thank You.

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US to stage F-35-versus-Warthog bake-off in 2018

BillG
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Holmes

Re: versus?

The A-10 is not a plane...

...it's a cannon with wings.

True. During the first Gulf War, an Iraqi surface to air missile scored a lucky shot on the wing of an A-10. I remember watching the news and seeing an A-10 land with half of one wing missing - as it was designed to do.

Also, the A-10 has a stall speed so slow (officially 120 knots) that it looks scary at that speed, enabling it to easily engage tanks. With the F-35's wing formation a stall speed of below 200 knots is doubtful.

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Intel's Compute Sticks stick it to Windows To Go, Chromecast

BillG
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Megaphone

It's a nice form factor, very portable and you can carry it to customers to do improptu presentations. However, out of the box it requires a WiFi connection to do anything. Also, it is underpowered - kinda like a netbook on a stick. And in the first generation we saw the WiFi and the Bluetooth interfere with each other which resulted in lags in one or the other.

As usual, you can count on Intel to fix these in the next version of the Stick.

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Software update borked radar, delayed hundreds of flights, says US FAA

BillG
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Facepalm

His name is Walter.

So why that M*A*S*H photo? Why the picture of Radar O'Rei... oh, NOW I get it!

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Botched Google Stagefright fix won't be resolved until September

BillG
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Megaphone

Looks like MS and Google are competing in more ways than one, who can deliver the crappiest updates and bjorked patches.

You have to admit, MS has an OS that is made for patching directly though Windows Update, which works regardless of what software you have installed or how you have Windows configured.

It looks like Android can't be patched, an entire updated OS needs to be installed, which may break your phone depending on if it's rooted, or if Xposed modules or BusyBox is installed. Android is not configured like that because of Google and the carriers desire for control of the handset.

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Would YOU make 400 people homeless for an extra $16m? Decision time in Silicon Valley

BillG
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Holmes

This is Silicon Valley. Sorry, but I believe that if he sold to the non-profit for $39M, that non-profit would expect to be approached by the same developers for that same $55M, earning the non-profit a cool $16M in profits. That's not including the under-the-table fees that would be passed to make the deal "go smoother".

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CAUGHT: Lenovo crams unremovable crapware into Windows laptops – by hiding it in the BIOS

BillG
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Thumb Up

Re: It's in China

Whoops – ok, fixed.

Thumbs up for fixing it so fast!

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BillG
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Facepalm

It's in China

Lenovo's software also phones home to the Taiwanese giant details of the running system.

Lenovo's commie headquarters is in Beijing. That's mainland Communist China, not the Constitutional Republic of Taiwan.

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Want Edward Snowden pardoned? You're in the minority, say pollsters

BillG
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Angel

Where did they conduct the poll, that bastion of copyright sensibility called Texas ?

Actually according to the Dallas Morning News, Texans overwhelmingly want Snowden pardoned. It's the people that voted for Obama that want him in jail - how dare Snowden defy the Anointed One!

53 per cent of the public want Snowden to face trial,

Obama won in 2012 by 51% of the vote. Obama goes on national TV and says Snowden belongs in jail. Do you think those that idolize him will disagree? Do you???

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W is for WTF: Google CEO quits, new biz Alphabet takes over

BillG
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Devil

Re: As long as I get my flying exosuit..

Alphabet will run Google's X Lab skunkworks, along with Google's prototype drone delivery service, bio-boffinry base Calico and other advanced projects, including presumably its self-driving cars and its robotics division.

...giving the Google subsidiary immunity from lawsuits resulting from drone and self-driving car lawsuits.

Which is the real reason for the creation of Alphabet. There are no legal precedents for lawsuits resulting from misbehavior of these automated drones and cars.

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IoT security is RUBBISH says IoT vendor collective

BillG
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IT Angle

Re: "The framework also includes the following minimum requirements:

I'm deep into IoT and I can tell you we ain't seen nothing yet.

IoT will have a direct impact on people's lives. Hacked IoT will have a devastating impact that will cost lives. Corporations are protected by laws that insulate the individuals responsible for the fiasco. This lets them achieve their personal corporate goals while being totally apathetic as to the destruction they can cause.

No politician anywhere will change the laws to make corporate officers responsible, but someday there will be an IoT hack so great that a way will be found to haul them off to jail.

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Google guru: Android doesn't have malware, it has Potentially Harmful Applications™ instead

BillG
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Joke

Re: When people start arguing terminology like this

“I regret that we use the word spyware. When we say it, we mean that it grabs too much data and sends it off the device. There is a profound difference between grabbing all your SMS, and grabbing all your installed apps to send off your device. It's often called 'aggressive advertising'.”

It's also called Google.

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Update Firefox NOW to foil FILE-STEALING vulnerability exploit, warns Mozilla

BillG
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Holmes

Note to Mozilla

Note to Mozilla:

Please design from the start with security that is hand in hand with the application code, instead of designing the application code first then patching security later. This is how us experienced hardware guys do it.

This way you don't have to push out browser updates that are emergency security updates of the previous version. Thank you.

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Big Blue to give car insurers IoT peeking powers

BillG
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Megaphone

Re: IoT

IoT = Internet of Targets.

I predict many more "IoT Thingie Hacked" articles on The Reg in the future.

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Windows 10 wipes your child safety settings if you upgrade from 7 or 8

BillG
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FAIL

Re: Disgracefull!

Adults must now create a completely new set of family settings through a long-winded procedure in Windows 10 that requires the child’s participation.

It's easier to just tell people "Windows 10 is not safe for children."

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If you installed Windows 10 and like privacy, you checked the defaults, right? Oh dear

BillG
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IT Angle

Re: By design

Who does Microsoft think they are, anyway? Google?

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Hacktivists congratulate Daily Show's Jon Stewart via Donald Trump's website

BillG
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IT Angle

Re: Donald Trump

He can throw all the money he wants at lawyers, but if they did the hack from a laptop in McDonalds or somewhere else with free public wifi (which, honestly, they'd be morons not to have done) the odds of actually catching them are pretty much nil.

Not true. They can still be tracked in many, many ways. For example with government assistance a unique identifier can be gotten from the laptop. Also, if they used that same laptop to ever log into Google, Yahoo, eBay, etc, or had background services running that accessed the internet, they are as good as found. Even assuming the hackers did everything right, including buying a throwaway laptop that they only used once, from the IP address and time of day they can be found using the McDonalds surveillance cameras, including tracking them to their car.

Hacking Donald Trump the real-estate developer is one thing. But hacking a Presidential candidate gets access to the FBI and Secret Service to assist in this. Look at what happened to the people that thought they had anonymously hacked websites and emails of politicians in the past such as Clinton, Palin, etc. To my knowledge they were all found.

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Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun

BillG
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Thumb Up

Re: I sort of agree

When I started reading the article I wasn't sure how I felt. But when I read that the guy had two daughters out on the back deck (read the full WDRB article), well, I applauded his actions. Better to shoot the drone than have photos of his girls show up on the internet, or worse, wind up a target.

Children tend to change your POV on things. Daughters revolutionize your world, bringing fear where it never existed before. No wonder the guy has a shotgun - he has TWO daughters to protect.

Also, he was not charged with a gun violation, he was charged with first degree criminal mischief and first degree wanton endangerment. And the drone was only 10 feet in the air and peeking at the neighbor's daughters, too. Ian needs to make some corrections to his article.

It doesn't show much for the intelligence of the four drone operators that they approached the guy and angrily asked if he shot down their drone ("Are you the S-O-B that shot my drone?"), then walked up on him. You know the guy's armed, you know he's willing to fire to protect his family. WTF were they thinking???

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

BillG
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Stop

Re: Workarounds

Anonymous commenter at Slashdot suggests modifying the following entry in /system/build.prop:

media.stagefright.enable-player=false

(Root is required to modify build.prop)

Do NOT do this until further research is done. Users on XDA are reporting that disabling Stagefright in this way can result in an unrecoverable boot loop.

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YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

BillG
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Megaphone

Re: Wishing and Hoping

The IAU does not include a single planetary scientist and made a non-scientific decision with only a partial membership there to vote.

Astronomy inspires and motivates us. I spent my youth looking at the stars. As a degreed scientist, I choose to not recognize the IAU's decision.

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Crazy Chrysler security hole: USB stick fix incoming for 1.4 million cars

BillG
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Megaphone

Re: Muppets

Chrysler is treating this like it's a public relations problem. To make them take this seriously, the top level executives of Chrysler should be held criminally liable for any damage. So if someone hacks a Jeep and kills the occupants, charge Chrysler's CEO with manslaughter.

Watch how seriously Chrysler takes security then!

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Contactless card fraud? Easy. All you need is an off-the-shelf scanner

BillG
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Re: Who's laughing now???

Not all you downvoters who mocked my RFID-proof wallet, that's for sure.

Question - do RFID-proof wallets set off airport metal detectors?

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Thunder-faced Mozilla lifts Flash Firefox block after 0-days plugged

BillG
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Devil

Re: Stop it, Mozilla

The block – imposed on Monday – meant that all versions of Flash were blocked within Firefox by default... Blocking every version of the plug-in seems highly unusual, perhaps even unprecedented.

This doesn't look like Mozilla trying to protect users, as they blocked ALL versions of Flash. Instead it looks like Mozilla playing games with Adobe, with users as the unwitting pawns. Or maybe it's Mozilla getting sick and tired of Flash's pathetic security history and so sending them an in-your-face message that Adobe needs to clean their act up.

In any case I am really, really curious as to what in bloody hell is going on at Adobe's Flash development team and if anyone from the team's management has been fired yet.

I think Adobe's incompetence was made clear soon after they purchased Flash from Macromedia. They issued a Flash update that deliberately broke 3rd party Flash tools that competed with existing Adobe products. Almost put one of my businesses out of business. That lack of respect for users is still demonstrated by Adobe to this day.

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Citizenfour director Laura Poitras sues US for years of border security harassment

BillG
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Big Brother

Re: Stupid and obvious reason

The Republicans would be as bad if not worse traditionally.

@Mage, what's your point - are you saying that makes the Dem's treatment of Poitras O.K.?

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Mozilla loses patience with Flash over Hacking Team, BLOCKS it

BillG
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Who wants to stay unhacked forever?

SPLUTTER

:

Is this like whitey playing it cool in the ghetto?

Your ugly racial comment notwithstanding, you haven't written anything of any technical consequence, including your linking to a Firefox general bug list that I'm pretty sure you don't understand. But I think your last sentence says it all for you.

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BillG
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Re: How do they know?

You're aware that a lot of the bugs affecting versions 29 to 39 probably also affect version 28, right?

No. Not at all. You are speculating without facts, right?

In any case, FF is constantly adding new bugs with every release. It's like Mozilla is playing wack-a-mole, trying to squash their bugs as soon as they release them. Why do you think they are constantly updating the browser?

Security by obscurity is a much better system. Thieves go after the most popular browsers, ignoring older browsers because they are so rare.

Until I moved to another house two years ago I used to have some older laptops with 2GHz single-cores & Outpost Firewall that I used as file servers for music, videos, etc. These slow laptops ran a very old Firefox 3.0.28. I once got into a debate on a forum with people flaming that I'm "sabotaging" these laptops, lousy security, etc. So to counter the insults I offered an escrow bet, $500 or so (I can't remember the exact amount) to anyone who could craft a webpage that would infect the laptop through the browser, and $100 to me if they failed. After two weeks I had no takers.

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BillG
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Go

Re: How do they know?

Which older version of FF are you running?

I'm running v28. The security issues for this version are totally inconsequential, especially when compared to more recently releases. I've got the full menu and status bars and the plugins I need.

I no longer have the time to tweak Firefox with each new update. I've also lost patience with how Firefox changes the UI and is no longer compatible with certain plugins.

To me the browser is a means to an end. It should not be my hobby to constantly tweak it because Mozilla thinks it knows better than me what I want.

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BillG
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Big Brother

Re: How do they know?

Firefox periodically phones home to check for updates. It's simple enough to imagine that, besides version update notices, it can receive blacklist notifications for plugins and certificates.

And it checks for updates even if you have "check for updates" disabled.

I have an older version of FF and I'm very happy with it. It's stable and I have my browser set up exactly as I want it. Regardless, Firefox feels it knows what's best for me and constantly nags me to upgrade with two types of popup screens. And now it checks to protect me from myself on Flash.

Firefox is the "nanny browser".

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Microsoft nixes A-V updates for XP, exposes 180 MEEELLION luddites

BillG
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Happy

Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

Malwarebytes still supports XP. 'nuff said.

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Uninstalled Google Photos? Thought your pics safe from slurping? WRONG, bozo

BillG
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Meh

Re: So

If you find it, report it, please, don't just delete it.

In theory, yes, but in practice it depends on the police officer investigating, the DA, etc. Also, what if the customer claims you planted the files there because you're such a computer expert?

Believe me, I would want to do the right thing, I really really would, but there's no protection for the technician. Even an unjust accusation by the perv customer can ruin your life. And it doesn't change the fact that, by the letter of the law, the technician is guilty (possession = guilt) and can be prosecuted. The solution is the law needs to be changed to protect the technician.

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BillG
Silver badge
Stop

Re: So

If Google are slurping down kids sexting pictures does that make them guilty of distributing child porn?

Technically, yes.

Years ago I used to do computer repair. I once asked my lawyer what I should do if I ever found child porn. His officially answer was that a computer repair person should report it to police. But off the record he told me the repair person should delete it then do a wipe of free space because, technically, the repair person would be in possession of kiddie porn.

It's like trying to pass off money you don't know is counterfeit - you're still guilty.

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UK politicos easily pwned on insecure Wi-Fi networks

BillG
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Angel

Re: Unfair

This is why I never use public WiFi. I stick to my phone and tablet's 4G/LTE.

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Decision time: Uninstall Adobe Flash or install yet another critical patch

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: As a gesture of goodwill

Adobe at least ought to change the default of trying to install something from McAfee every time you update Flash.

Yes, but the irony is delicious!

"If you install our Flash, you better have an antivirus".

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Linux on the desktop is so hot there's now a fight over it

BillG
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Happy

Re: Linux Desktops?

For Linux desktop to see any degree of significant popularity it needs to either run MS Office, or a 100% compatible Office suite, Note that 100% compatible does not mean 99.999% compatible.

All businesses are emailing Word and Excel docs, along with Outlook appointment notifications, between each other, on a daily basis. Like it or not, MS Office is the foundation upon which modern businesses are built.

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Assange™'s emotional plea for asylum in France rejected

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: France...

There is a chance he'd get extradited to the US, but I doubt the US would want to lend any credence to his self proclaimed "status" as being anyone important.

You know, you're right.

This is the absolute worst thing that could happen to AssangeTM. Imagine this:

- AssangeTM is extradited to Sweden.

- Found "Not Guilty".

- Then as he stands around waiting for Obama to scoop him up he finds that Obama does not want him.

I doubt his ego could handle the disinterest and obvious irrelevance. It would show his resistance to be an obvious waste of time.

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Ford recalls 433,000 cars: Software bug breaks engine off-switch

BillG
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Devil

Turning a key should NOT be under software control! Who ever did that should be fired.

I worked with Ford. This does not look like something a Ford engineer thought of, instead it looks like a non-engineer manager thought of this over the objections of the engineers.

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Amazon enrages authors as it switches to 'pay-per-page' model

BillG
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Happy

Re: Use Large Fonts.

Not really a viable option on eBooks as you can change the size.

Then I have the real solution - use more page breaks.

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BillG
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Paris Hilton

Re: So....

Is this based on the percentage of the book read? if so, it seems that high quality 500+ paged ebooks will do poorly compared to lousy quality 20-page ebooks.

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BillG
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Meh

The Honor System

This is based on The Honor System - in other words, authors have to trust that Amazon is telling the truth as to how many pages a reader views.

Doesn't this sound like the same honor system that contributed to the failure of Amazon's affiliate program?

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Buh bye fakers? Amazon tweaks customer product reviews system

BillG
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Flame

Re: Wow... Ooooh... Ah...

Note: Actually the Amazon coder drones are some of the best

I agree. Meanwhile, LinkedIn coder drones are the worst.

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Assange™ celebrates third year in Ecuadorian embassy broom closet

BillG
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Holmes

Probably been asked before, but what's stopping them making him a diplomat to give him immunity?

First, being a diplomat does not grant someone blanket immunity. A diplomat can get away with, say, parking tickets and idle misdemeanors. Only in the movies are diplomats immune from a felony charge, subpoena, or extradition order.

Second, a diplomat has to be accepted by the host country. Making AssangeTM a diplomat would be an obvious and blatant attempt to exploit the system to avoid prosecution. Such behavior can result in Ecuador's representatives losing diplomatic status in many of their embassies around the world.

Face it - Obama wants Assange's ass and he's going to get it.

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Client-attorney privilege up for grabs in Google fishing trip

BillG
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Big Brother

The Google Ultimatum

Google has asked for any documents containing the keywords “Project Goliath”, “Goliath”, “Keystone”, “Project Keystone”, “expanded Goliath Strategy”, “negative Goliath news” and “tangle with Google”. And, any documents that mention the “Stop Online Piracy Act”.

Also any documents containing "Project Treadstone", "Black Briar", or "Outcome".

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FBI boss: Apple's iPhone, iPad encryption puts people 'ABOVE THE LAW'

BillG
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Holmes

Re: "Please won't someone think of the children"

"What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law."

Pot. Kettle. NSA.

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Undetectable NSA-linked hybrid malware hits Intel Security radar

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: If it was truly firmware?

...the risk of using write once chips for the devices "firmware" would not be large especially if some R&D money was spent to re-verify the code. A clever suppler could even market it as a feature and charge extra.

The safest way to do this is with a ROM, which are also a lot cheaper than Flash.

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Condoleezza to China: 'The rules' mean cyber-spying isn't allowed

BillG
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Joke

Re: I can believe her

I mean, her Iraq evidence was beyond reproach.

I think, your statement is lacking facts.

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BillG
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IT Angle

Re: Sorry

Her speech, however, was a ringing endorsement of American exceptionalism; the doctrine that the US is inherently different and therefore gets to play by its own rules.

I didn't see that. Condi spoke at the .NEXT Conference, which is an IT conference and so is a discussion about products and technology, not politics. I did see plenty of anti-American sentiment in Simon's article. And certainly calling her "Leezzzeee" is borderline prejudiced, although that may not be understood outside the U.S. Or maybe @hplasm is counting on that as a defense.

Also, from a review of the .NEXT program, none of the speakers at .NEXT mentioned the NSA, or the British equivalent, the GCHQ, who was exposed in 2013 to be vigorously spying on British citizens in a way that makes the NSA look like inexperienced teenagers:

http://mic.com/articles/50333/gchq-the-british-are-spying-on-us-more-than-the-nsa-is

excerpt: "...a slide from a top secret briefing to GCHQ intelligence analysts reveals, they were even encouraged to 'have fun' spying on people and to 'make the most of it.' " Translation: spying for personal gain, while illegal at the U.S. NSA, is encouraged at the U.K. GCHQ.

Was anyone from the UK speaking at .NEXT? Did they criticize the GCHQ? If they did not, wouldn't that be a ringing endorsement of, uh, "British exceptionalism"?

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Microsoft spunks $500m to reinvent the wheel. Why?

BillG
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Holmes

Re: Now MS has bought them

These apps and/or companies have something else that Microsoft wants: patents, market or marketing intelligence, a database of users, specific members of management, a specific software team, or something similar.

It's the less obvious acquisitions that often have the more compelling business plans.

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OK Google, how much of my life do you observe and disturb?

BillG
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Paris Hilton

Re: More anti-Google dis-information

"At Google, we ... sell your information at our discretion."

No, they don't. In fact they don't sell your information at all.

Actually, they do sell it.

Do you know you can get a Master's Degree in List Analysis? By mathematical analysis a company decides how to best use the information collected, for advertising, selling, and what info to sell. Believe me, Google does sell personal information, they go through brokers like everyone else because brokers isolate these companies from the public. One day Google or a company like them will have their Edward Snowden leak how they use the information they collect.

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Airbus confirms software brought down A400M transport plane

BillG
Silver badge
Megaphone

Re: Why can you install software incorrectly on an aircraft?

the problem wasn't that the software is buggy. Rather, someone in the final assembly process installed the software incorrectly.

Having worked for a defense contractor, let me translate: The software was buggy.

You never, ever admit fault to your customer, ever, as this can and will affect your ability to get new contracts and also scuttle the contractor's stock price. If pressed you only admit to human error (which is impossible, see below).

To make this more clear, the final assembly process is the most solid part of the process. The final code is complied, after which it is run through an automated code check which can take hours. In final assembly, or rather when the code is loaded into each computer, a series of diagnostic tests and simulations are run to verify both HW and SW operation. These are composed of test vectors simulating actual operating conditions. These are all Go/NoGo tests as simple as a green light means pass and a red light means fail.

Upon power-up (here, before each flight) all systems run some built-in self-test (BIST) diagnostics. They are not just standalone tests, they depend upon inputs from other systems on the plane that share the same parameters. A failure locks the system and prevents operation. See how this can't be an isolated failure?

For a failure such as this I have seen two reasons for failure: either the software was buggy, or somehow the system was tricked (hacked or accident) into running the factory test simulation code. In one case (not a plane) the operator accidentally pressed a secret key combination (holding down 3 keys simultaneously, released, then pressing one key within three seconds) that forced the system into diagnostic mode, with tragic consequences.

Maybe things are different with non-U.S. contractors, as the above process is extremely expensive.

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