* Posts by BillG

727 posts • joined 29 Jan 2010

Page:

Bloke cuffed for blasting low-flying drone with shotgun

BillG
Silver badge
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???

15
0

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

BillG
Silver badge
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.

0
0

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

BillG
Silver badge
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.

6
1

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

BillG
Silver badge
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!

30
1

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

BillG
Silver badge

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?

2
0

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

BillG
Silver badge
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.

4
6

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

BillG
Silver badge
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.?

0
0

Mozilla loses patience with Flash over Hacking Team, BLOCKS it

BillG
Silver badge
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.

0
0
BillG
Silver badge

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.

1
6
BillG
Silver badge
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.

7
1
BillG
Silver badge
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".

4
4

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

BillG
Silver badge
Happy

Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

Malwarebytes still supports XP. 'nuff said.

3
0

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

BillG
Silver badge
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.

6
0
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.

4
0

UK politicos easily pwned on insecure Wi-Fi networks

BillG
Silver badge
Angel

Re: Unfair

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

2
2

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

BillG
Silver badge
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".

14
0

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

BillG
Silver badge
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.

4
11

Assange™'s emotional plea for asylum in France rejected

BillG
Silver badge
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.

22
4

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

BillG
Silver badge
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.

3
0

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

BillG
Silver badge
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.

0
0
BillG
Silver badge
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.

2
1
BillG
Silver badge
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?

2
4

Buh bye fakers? Amazon tweaks customer product reviews system

BillG
Silver badge
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.

1
1

Assange™ celebrates third year in Ecuadorian embassy broom closet

BillG
Silver badge
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.

2
6

Client-attorney privilege up for grabs in Google fishing trip

BillG
Silver badge
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".

4
0

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

BillG
Silver badge
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.

0
1

Undetectable NSA-linked hybrid malware hits Intel Security radar

BillG
Silver badge
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.

0
0

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

BillG
Silver badge
Joke

Re: I can believe her

I mean, her Iraq evidence was beyond reproach.

I think, your statement is lacking facts.

1
0
BillG
Silver badge
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"?

0
6

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

BillG
Silver badge
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.

1
0

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

BillG
Silver badge
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.

5
0
BillG
Silver badge
Devil

Google's New Privacy Statement

At Google, we value your privacy and sell your information at our discretion. As always, you have no privacy, we will do anything we want with your information and you can and will never ever know what we do with it as each user's information is worth between $3 and $5. Our campaign contributions to all political parties in most developed countries insure that this policy will continue. Thank you.

12
0

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.

1
0

Tossed all your snaps into the new Google Photos? You read the terms, right? ... RIGHT?

BillG
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Translation

The three biggest lies in the world:

1. The check is in the mail,

2. We're from the government and we're here to help you, and

3. At Google we respect your privacy

15
0

Google Google GOOGLE! Cloud cloud CLOUD! These prices are INNNSAAAANE!

BillG
Silver badge
Happy

Crazy Eddie

Thank you for the headline.

0
0

Why are all the visual special effects studios going bust?

BillG
Silver badge
Happy

Re: there's plenty of people willing to see ads

there's plenty of people willing to see click ads.

I win. Sadly, for those of us with websites, the sentence was only true before my correction.

0
0

Android ransomware poses as FBI smut warning

BillG
Silver badge
IT Angle

How is it installed?

How is this installed? Does the user choose to install an APK?

1
0

South Korea mandates spyware installation on teenagers' smartphones

BillG
Silver badge
Alert

It's Already Here

Actually this is already on all LG phones. Last year I removed a hidden LG service called "MLT" from my LG phone that looks for words like suicide, porn, drugs, revolt, and a few others. It can only be disabled from the "secret menu".

http://forum.xda-developers.com/lg-g3/general/mod-mlt-service-disabling-t2904361

1
0

Reach for the popcorn: Obama opens personal presidential Twitter account

BillG
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: POTUS

Sadly this is yet more political misdirection. By law, the President may not directly communicate on the internet without "internal review" and "proxy" which means Barry isn't really directly tweeting, it's an aide or the Secret Service.

There are many reasons for this, but the best reason is that the President might post something in all innocence, that might betray security and put his life or his family's in danger.

There was a great Discovery channel show that discussed POTUS security, even how the President wears a personal LoJack GPS locator strapped and locked to his torso enabling his location to be tracked even inside the White House. The lengths to which the President's life is guarded are extreme and almost draconian.

0
0

Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks

BillG
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Rent a door lock?

WTF? What if I stop making payments on it? Will you come take it out of the door? Or will you try to lock me out of my own house?

Well, look at what automobile dealers are doing. They are installing remote GPS kill switches with 4G on new cars. If you miss payments, they disable your car.

0
0
BillG
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: IoT Doorlocks...

The problem is that smart locks are worse than the manual variety. More expensive, more fragile in operation, less secure. ... Does anyone think the IoT is a security dream? IT needs tending - no-one wants to read security advisories listings to see if their house is still reasonably secure. Look at the picture for the article - smartphone entry key? That would be the same smartphone running flappy-bird and a random "bejewelled" clone?

Smarthome aren't popular because they just make things worse.

This has been my argument against "smart" homes for the past 15 years. Inexplicably, suppliers think it's a matter of price and not security. I wonder what kind of insurance these electronic lock vendors provide - if any?

0
0
BillG
Silver badge
Megaphone

Re: Rent a door lock?

Johnson bemoaned how difficult it was to get smart tech into the home...

...because despite 20 years of hype, nobody wants smart homes, period.

6
0

Welcome to the FUTURE: Maine cops pay Bitcoin ransom to end office hostage drama

BillG
Silver badge
Joke

Re: And why isn't the first word of advice to be

"Backups?

You want backups?

We don't neeed no steenkin' backups!"

(famous last words of a former sysadmin I worked with before he was "deleted")

0
0

How Groucho Marx lost his voice and found his funny bone

BillG
Silver badge
Happy

Re: One of my favourites

Alan Alda proudly proclaims that he based Hawkeye's machine-gun style of humor on Groucho.

P.S. Why a duck?

0
0

Fancy six months of security nirvana for free? Read on...

BillG
Silver badge
Pirate

Re: And just below this, in 'More from the Register...'

Last November we tested Bitdefender for our environment. The user interface was very non-intuitive. Also, if you look at the Bitdefender forums you'll see that once you buy a year's subscription to antivirus your credit card is automatically charged every year - you are automatically opted-in. In 3 out of 4 times, when you opt-out of autobilling you stay opted-in. Scary company.

0
0

Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

BillG
Silver badge
Alert

Re: Now an intelligent design

Would have used pads from two different makers, different OSs, and with the software written by two independent companies. Otherwise they're a single point of failure, as demonstrated.

Smart. As I recall, the U.S. Space Shuttle has/had three independent & redundant onboard computers with three different hardware configurations and software written with three different compiler manufacturers.

1
0
BillG
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Now an intelligent design

Replacing the bulky 35lbs flight bags also allowed airlines to save fuel.

I don't see how 35lbs results in a significant fuel savings. Rather, I think a smart pilot would want to keep the 35lbs paper flight manuals on-board anyway as a backup. As a passenger, that's O.K by me.

1
0

Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

BillG
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Gah!

The idea being that when you feel safer you become more complacent

Very true. How many people have encountered some idiot in an SUV who feels so invulnerable they wreak havoc on the road, making turns and changing lanes like a blind elephant on the highway?

2
0

LG slaps SIX CORE Snapdragon 808 in LEATHER G4 dog&bone – not overheaty 810

BillG
Silver badge
Holmes

Compared to the G3?

If the LG G4 is the same size as the LG G3, then it's a clear upgrade.

1
0

Page:

Forums