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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

3636 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 3: HOT CURVES – the 'gold grill' of smartphone bling

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Superior?

Why? Oh so many people spend their time typing words into a box then posting those words on the internet with no greater intent than "feeling superior." How is getting a product that actually does something valuable any different from the aforementioned self-aggrandising textual masturbation?

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Microsoft comes through on Oracle cloud partnership

Trevor_Pott
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Good to see competition in the American cloud. I wonder if the licensing deals will trickle down to services providers so that those standing up Azure Service Provider can help non-Americans achieve the same benefits?

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How many apps does it take to back up your data?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: The problem here is

Then it becomes a question of risk tolerance; yours and theirs...and how good your contract is for when it inevitably explodes. Where does the finger of blame point is ultimately the question.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Product placement much...

No idea; you'd have to ask sales. I suspect a pretty penny was exchanged, but then, there's nothing for free, eh?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Reconstruct, don't just restore

Down that road lies Puppet. "Infrastructure as code."

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Trevor_Pott
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Usually, yes.

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Samsung's new image sensor promises better snaps in smaller devices

Trevor_Pott
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I'm okay with increased Z height. What is with the obsession on minimal-height phones? Give me some girth to that thing, dang it! Unless the phone is flexible, I want it to feel like it's sturdy; some extra millimetres will help in that regard.

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Trevor_Pott
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You'd get a lot more megapixels if you just made a bigger sensor. Really, you can double or even triple it without impacting my usage of the device at all. And I get a better camera. Wot?

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Apple ups revenue estimates in wake of nine million–phone weekend

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @toadwarrior (Bronze badge)

Tizen or bust.

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Office 365 goes to work on an Android

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Desperation? What Linux next?

Bingo.

If you want to define and dominate a new market in IT you can't be afraid of cannibalizing your existing markets. If you play that sort of ass-covering game, you're done. Some dude in a garage in a non-software-patented country will take you apart.

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Trevor_Pott
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Funny, I have almost a dozen Android devices that give me over 12 hours, and a Windows 7 device that gives me 16.

Now, I'll admit the 16-hour device is not what I would traditionally call "portable" - it is a Lenovo X230 with the extended battery *AND* the underslung attachment battery - but it's a decent compromise when I was shopping for a netbook replacement. (Especially as I can choose to leave behind the underslung battery if I only need 8 hours and that cuts the weight in half.)

The Android devices do the thing, are perfectly secure, powerful, fast and basically do everything I could ever ask of them...except have a decent office package. (Unless I'm using Office 365 through Dolphin, which I usually do.)

Windows 8 isn't a consideration. It's complete, utter shit. Windows 9 might be decent, but I seriously doubt it. Microsoft's corporate attitude in general - but especially that of the endpoint divisions - are so utterly user hostile that I think it's safe to bet that the next several years' worth of endpoints are going to be worse, not better.

Desperation and repeated failure breeds fanatics. Fanatics aren't capable of rational thought. They collapse into an echo chamber where anyone who doesn't think like them is not merely wrong, they are evil. Their voices and opinions mustn't be heard.

This is where the Microsoft endpoint divisions find themselves.

They have dug themselves a deep hole and sealed themselves in. Outside thought, opinion, reason...it is viewed by them as hostile and treated as such. Increasingly, the few remaining fanboys are falling into the same category. I would liken them to an early-2000s Apple Mac mythology, but that would frankly be unfair to the Cupertinians; Microsoft and the banner-wrapping fandom that remain clucking after their endpoint products are way farther gone than the Macolytes of the past.

Microsoft doesn't do portable. When Microsoft can reach 12 hours of sustained usage that doesn't require outright lying about usage patterns or power metrics the rest of the world will be at 24. Microsoft has no desire or care to solve these problems. They don't feel it's relevant.

X hours - defined as roughly however long the existing technology lasts - is "good enough for anyone." In fact "what on the table today" is "good enough for anyone" which is part of the problem; so indoctrinated into this message are the very people making this technology that they have become unable to see where improvements are possible, let alone needed!

Microsoft have done many great things. Some parts of Microsoft will continue to do great things into the future...but the endpoint guys are a complete write off.

Changing the guard with Ballmer II: The Elop Boogaloo isn't going to change anything. Elop's eyes are as calloused as the rest.

Maybe - maybe - if they choose Satya Nadella as the new CEO they stand a hope in hell on the endpoint. That's a great big bloody maybe and it doesn't seem like powers that be are even capable of that level of rationality. Sad, really.

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Trevor_Pott
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Yes, I am a troll; where have you every seen me say otherwise? I also happen to be right.

Th market decided that things with "hot swappable batteries" were not "portable." I have an ASUS R1F myself; have various tablets today and I'm perfectly aware of the form factor (in all incarnations, from small screen to largeish and clunky) and the level of portability. Not only that, I have traditionally been a true champion of the Lifebook P1510d and P1610d notebooks, even back when tablet's weren't yet much of a thing.

They don't fucking sell.

The P1510d, P1610d and some less successful successors were the closest that Microsoft got to "portable" before the Surface, and they suck sweaty balls compared to an iPad. "I can put it in a backpack and carry it around" is not portable. "I can pick it up with one hand and read it for a few hours like I could a paperback book" is portable. Even here, the iPad is bordering on too clumsy and too heavy. (The Nexus 7 is dead on rights for that.)

You are constantly having to stretch "usable battery life" by cutting out "things you can use it for" in order to support your arguments. You are talking about devices 4-5x as heavy as a true tablet (which is the modern standard for portability) whilst talking about devices easily 4x (at least!) a tablet's cost.

Every post you are in here rah-rahing Microsoft. It doesn't matter how completely off the mark you are or how badly Microsoft have done in teh area you are cheering, you rah-rah them like your paycheque depends on it.

Face it, friend, Microsoft does not have the answer to all things. In fact, they done fucked up real good on a great many. Tablets are their corporate specialty; they "don't get it" with as an elemental force of nature!

If you want to say I'm bad at journalism, hey, I can take that. I haven't been at this for more than a few years. I, at least, am able to cheer Microsoft when they deserve it (Server and Tools, baby!) and tell them to eat a great big wiggling sack of fuck right the hell off when they have screwed the pooch. (Microsoft's endpoint efforts.)

I don't have a loyalty to any company, product or service (well, except Ninite.) I will cheerfully rip into a company for screwing up as well as praise them for getting it right.

Here is a great example: tablets.

Good:

Microsoft have cottoned on to the right idea: a single, converged device that can "do everything".

Microsoft made halfway decent hardware: the Surface RT

Microsoft finally broke with "old windows" and created a new version: Windows RT

Bad:

Microsoft completely screwed the launch and absolutely shattered end user, consumer and even investor trust.

Microsoft poisoned their OEM relationships so badly it will take them a decade to recover.

Microsoft didn't listen to their end users after screwing them over and doubled down on douchbaggery with 8.1 leading to a further loss of confidence.

Microsoft restricted Windows Rt in a whole bunch of really stupid ways that made it a complete pariah even after they fixed some of the bigger issues. (Outlook as one example.)

Microsoft refused to allow desktop access on their proper tablet OS (Windows RT) thus cutting people off from real productivity app access unless they used Office and only office.

In short, Microsoft had a FANTASTIC idea. But Microsoft tried to leverage Windows 8, Windows RT and the Surface line to further lock-in and drive people towards Metro - which many loathe - in an effort to acclimate people to phones. The net result being a bunch of terrible, irritating design choices and restrictions that resulted in a truly shit series of products and services and a worse corporate attitude.

What people want is the portability of an iPad. Many of us want to use those portable devices to do work. Microsoft could have owned that market like a boss. They screwed it up.

If MIcrosoft want to have a hope in hell of making it in the endpoint business in the next 5 years they need to own that failure. They need to say "mea culpa," admiting both internally and externally that they did not do well on this and then come back and Window 7 the fuck out of their current Tablet Vista.

They could do it. They choose not to.

If you want to wrap yourself in their banner after that, you go right ahead. But don't for a second try to pass off Microsoft's tat as in any way competing with Android or iOS. It isn't. It competes with Blackberry. And if they're really, really lucky, they'll hold onto third place.

But the way they've been going lately, I wouldn't count on it.

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Trevor_Pott
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"Hot swap battery" is not a solution. Look, I realize that you are probably Microsoft marketing, but can you please get your head out of the 2003-era messaging? It's just embarrassing. Microsoft has pivoted several times since then.

"Hot swap battery" was replaced with "you don't really need that much battery life" about two years ago. Also: the market decided this already and said the idea of hot-swap batteries was completely ridiculous, in case you missed the memo.

12 hours. On the batteries that come with the device. Actual usage. Not the made up "here's a Haswell that can get 12 hours, honest! (But if you breathe on it that drops to 6.)"

Microsofting the message with "we can do 12 hours if we completely throw away the "portability" portion of the tablet exercise and instead go to some megalith with multiple hot-swappable internal batteries" is shameful. Gods man, half of what my company does is tech marketing; you are bringing their entire profession into disrepute. Please stop; you shame the all aspects of the IT industry with your desperate grasping.

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Trevor_Pott
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The Ativ500t is Windows 8. Fuck off. Windows 8 isn't a serious consideration for anything here. Besides, an Atom has terrible battery life.

12 hours minimum or go the fuck home..

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Trevor_Pott
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...except that Android doesn't support click-and-drag to highlight. Doesn't support right-click anything. Doesn't change between tasks easily...the mouse is a third-class input device on an Android device. The Android device says push/click-and-hold-and-wait-and-smeel-the-flowers-and-isn't-it-nice-we're-pissing-away-your-whole-afternoon-with-our-shitty-UI-that-isn't-productivity-based-in-the-slightest?

Yeah. cute. Because I haven't been bashing my head against that for years with the Transformer. Un-hunh...

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Trevor_Pott
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A tablet PC running office. Does it "play for sure?" Do you need it to be "always on?" How's Microsoft at actually listening to it's userbase and fixing bugs, changing the UI where required or climbing down from previously idiotic and pointless restrictions? Does it have an app for that? How's the feeling amongst the developer community and the userbase? Most critically of all:

...when can I actually get away from this wall socket? 12 hours of battery - minimum - or just go the fuck home.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Why does there have to be "one device to rukle them all"?

"Why does everyone want a palm pilot a PMP an MP3 player and a phone all in one device? We're a long way off from that yet. It's better to just carry around multiple devices that are each the best at what they do."

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Trevor_Pott
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Agree wholeheartedly. The Surfaces are the best tablet idea so far. If only Microsoft hadn't alienated the entire developer community and most of their end users by refusing outright to listen to them about anything, locking away the desktop from tablet-mode users and pissing on the "fully connected" UI.

Microsoft had good tech. What they screwed up was the community engagement and pretty much every single detail of implementation. I wish Apple had made the surface. They'd have botched the first version, but the "8.1" version would have been amazeballs.

Instead, we got "always on" that "plays for sure" and a whole great big pile of "nope".

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Odd article.

I have an ASUS transformer as well, and the thing is damned near useless for anything excepting very minor document editing. Highlighting text, cutting and pasting are multi-second each affairs. If you do that (on average) 100 times per document - not remotely "out there" when writing something for others to consumer - this "multi-second each" thing starts to become a real drain on productivity. Especially since with a proper keyboard and mouse I can do all those activities as sub-second items.

Inability to open multiple documents is a big one, but lack of consistent keyboard shortcut support - and virtually non-existant highlighting or right-click support - are the big ones. Going from a browser to a document to copy links and back again (to do research) isn't exactly smooth. Everything about tablet UIs is designed for this "one thing a time" monofocus. It's slow, and ponderous and based on the idea that your time has no value, so you don't mind take a few extra seconds to do everything.

If I have an Asus Transformer and a shitty, beat-up, wrteched old netbook from 5 years ago, I'll choose the netbook. The Transformer is more portable, but the netbook won't leave me wanting to strangle someone by the time I'm done writing an article.

I still carry the Transformer most places. Because it's portability is far better. Yet every time I have to sit down and RDP into something because it needs fixing, or bash out an article, complex e-mail or what-have-you, I picture the slow-roasting of various Microsoft executives who botched the Surface launch.

Their widget could have been - should have been - the solution to all these ills. Why, why, why did they have to screw it up?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Apples and oranges

Bluetooth or USB. Suddenly a keyboard and mouse appear. That wasn't hard. Now, software, support it. Oh, it won't? Chicken and egg.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Office suites on Android (or iOS)?

A 7" tablet is a perfect size for portability. If I could have a Surface-style keyboard cover that had a little detachable mouse (maybe fold-up-int-a-PCMCIA-slot style affair?) I would be on that like white on rice. Bigger screen is better, but try wandering a convention with a 15" notebook! Even my 13" was bulky and awkward.

There are so many places where I go during my regular day that a tablet goes and a notebook just doesn't. Increasingly, I can't rely on there being a "proper computer" available when I get where I'm going! People use notebooks almost exclusively now. They take them with them when they go. If I want a PC for doing the thing I need to do then that often means I have to bring it with me.

Depending on how much I am doing, sure, I'd use a larger converged device. But in most cases I can work on a 7" widget since what I need it to get something typed up, rearranged, hyperlinked and fired off. (Or somethimes I need to edit a powerpoint, make substantial changes to a spreadsheet, etc.)

A 7" at 1280x720 is smallish, but not so small I can't read it from a sitting position on the table. Still, why not have devices that supported touch AND keyboard + mouse, both as FIRST CLASS input devices and available in a wide range of sizes and resolutions?

Was it do mad to dream that one day we could watch video, listen to music, browse the internet, organise our calendars, do e-mail and answer phone calls all on one device?

Why is it so mad to add "actually using the thing to create content" to that list?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Related topic...

I don't know; I'll ask around. There are a lot of bluetooth keyboards out there and that could get expensive, fast. What are people's favourite devices?

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Trevor_Pott
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Many manufacturers make netbook-like products, though you have to pay a lot more. The Lenovo X-230 tha I am working on right now met all the requirements to finally be the first thing acceptable enough to replace my netbook. (Though it was bloody expensive.) The wife replaced hers with a similar model that had fewer bells and whistles in the $550 range.

That said, the playbook is better than most for productivity, but still not good enough to make up for lack of apps, amongst other issues. If only it had had e-mail from the start, it might well have had a real chance. Playbooks aren't bad devices, but they Microsofted the launch something fierce.

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Trevor_Pott
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Chicken and egg. Most people don't use a key/mouse combo to extend the cabability of their tablet from "consume" to "produce" because the support sucks.

Back in the 90s we had a CD player, a Palm Pilot, a Cell Phone and a PMP for video. Most people wanted "one device that could do all of these things." People said things that sounded very much like you do now to discourage the rest of us from ever dreaming that we could get a single device that did all these things well.

Then Apple and Google came out and just fucking did it. They created an entirely new market and crushed their opponents like bugs.

Today there are all sorts of people saying "I wish I didn't have to bring a tablet along for portability and a notebook for productivity." I wish that I could simply use one device for all things!

Microsoft actually heard these people (holy shit!) but ultimately botched the roll out (no surprise there.) Like always, they saw a demand in the market but succumbed to terrible internal politics and decision-making that prevented them from turning a fantastic idea into a market-destroying superproduct.

People want to do more with fewer devices. We always have.

And there's always some dude in the background going "no, it's better to have multiple devices, each good at the one thing they do right!"

I'll give that a great big double-middle-fingered "nope" and keep on towards converged devices that "just work". One device. I only want to carry one device.

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Trevor_Pott
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Documents to go is still a very touch-based input application. If you are willing to put up with an awful lot of frustration you can make it do something. My measure of it's effectiveness, however, is "how long does it take me to make the same document on the tablet that I can make on a netbook, where the document I am making is a simple blog for The Register, including several hyperlinks, a moderate amount of copying and pasting and some moving of blocks of text to get the right order of events?"

If the answer is "it takes more than 5% longer on the tablet" then I don't consider it to have a viable office package. It may have very nice document viewers. I may even have the ability to do minor markups in those viewers. But that's not an office suite. It's a PDF viewer with a commenting system that can handle office formats.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Eh?

Touch-based apps like Kingsoft Office which have virtually zero support for mice (such as click-and-drag to highlight or any form or right-click support whatsoever) are worse than useless for productivity.

The ability consume content is worthless. The ability to make very minor changes then fire it back is almost as worthless. An office suite should be focused on productivity. "Push and hold, then fight with the stupid drag balls, then click the touch button, then drag, drag, drag, drag, darg, then spend a mintue fiddling with the damned thing to get the cursor where you want it, then push and hold, then push the button to paste" is not a productive work flow.

Until the office packages are optimized for content creation not content consumption I'll have no more regard for them than I do a PDF viewer.

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Trevor_Pott
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It's more than just right click. Click-and-drag highlighting is another key element missing.

The fact remains that simple functions which take fractions of a second to complete in a true mouse environment take multiple seconds to complete in a touch environment. Copy and paste is a great example. Touch is just not a "productivity"-based input model.

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New ransomware strain forces hapless users into becoming Bitcoin miners

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Crime and Punishment

You can't legislate away stupid.

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Five reasons why you'll take your storage to the cloud

Trevor_Pott
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Obviously, you are right. Your analysis is exacting, covers all scenarios for all sizes of company and definitively proves that Amazon S3 is the pre-eminent source of all storage goodness on earth. Thank you for correcting me, I guess my maths are totally wrong and, in fact, reality conforms to your assertions.

That's great to know. Glad you cleared that up.

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Microsoft puts something hard and sensitive in your pocket

Trevor_Pott
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Interestingly enough the number of individuals capable of entering any of the major high IQ societies seems roughly cognate with the number of individuals who use Cyanogenmod. >:D

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Trevor_Pott
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Note the part where A) I use a custom Android ROM with MANY eyes on the project. (CyanogenMod). B) I don't treat my phone as a secure device.

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Trevor_Pott
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As a dirty "furriner" I say to the Microsoft: "nyet".

"Microsoft everywhere" and "security" simply don't...what's that knocking at the door?

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Life … moves … in … slow … motion … for … little … critters … like … flies

Trevor_Pott
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Duct tape made of graphene...

Mind = blown

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Size of brains?

Graphene will solve it. It solves everything.

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Just how flash is your enterprise storage rig?

Trevor_Pott
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Depends on if your needs are IOPS or bulk storage. Right now, Flash beats rust for IOPS, not for bulk storage.

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MPs: This paperless health service plan isn't worth the paper it isn't written on

Trevor_Pott
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@AC; were those images available to any doctor that took up your file across the entire country? What level of privacy and security controls existed?

Because if they managed that on $10M for 60M people, I'd be mightily impressed. (And did that figure include the construction of the datacenters, costs of bandwidth, what level of redundancy, non-imagery data, etc.)

I'd love to know who implemented such a system for $10M!

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Trevor_Pott
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As a sysadmin that makes a living building networks for "digital imagery", it is not remotely as simple as you might think. Even a small setup for a dentist with two locations is stupidly expensive. Trying to get enough capacity, bandwidth, redundancy, metadata sorting, automation, security, etc for all of the medical imaging in a country of 60M? Including the text records?

Yeah, you know what? I can see getting into the billions.

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DARPA: You didn't think we could make a Mach 6 spaceplane, so let us have this MACH TEN job

Trevor_Pott
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@pascal monet

Building an implosion type nuke is about as hard as a space plane. Building a gun type nuke is child's play.

An implosion type nuke is what you need to put on a ballistic missile. It also can theoretically scale up to at least a hundred megatons. A gun-type nuke is something you'd be lucky to get a handful of kilotons out of.

They are completely different devices.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Once something become possible

1) I live in Alberta. Strikes me that a good chunk of the world's supply can be dug out of the ground not far from here. It doesn't take much to find a mining company with some rights to prospect up there and piles of equipment either. IIRC NK has deposits of it's own, and they can buy from the Chinese.

2) You don't need a neutron initiator for a gun-type nuke. They make it more efficient, but if you wanted efficient (as opposed to a self-spreading dirty bomb that makes a small crater) you wouldn't be using a gun-type nuke in the first place.

3) IIRC, it's about 20 lbs of Uranium at 80% for the design I know best. Yes, there are all sorts of risks to the design for things like squib explosion and shattering the bullet, but to remember that you don't have to ram the pieces together very large. You need to get subcritical mass A into subcritical mass B such that they go supercritical all on their lonesome and they make a boom.

If you really wanted to point to the difficulty of making a nuke you'd talk about refining the Uranium. Going from raw ore to even 20% enriched U238 (let alone the 80% needed for most primitive gun-type designs) borders on dark magic. You're basically talking about needing a gas centrifuge. How - exactly - one goes about that without killing everyone from Uranium hexafluoride poisoning - let along the possibility of inhaling some of the radioactive fun stuff - I have only the barest inklings of a clue.

Gas centrifuges are fair simple. Gas centrifuges that have to deal with something that corrosive and can't be allowed to leak even the smallest amount at any stage due to the radioactive nature of the product? Crazy stuff, right there.

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Re: Once something become possible

Building a nuke is easy. Building rockets is hard. Building space planes is dark fucking magic.

Seriously. "North Korea built it's own nukes." Annnnnnnnnnnd?

Basic nukes aren't hard. They require zero engineering experience (for a gun-type nuke.) Even a basic implosion device is simple, assuming you're okay with it being the size of a house. (The chances that these are miniaturized enough to fit on a missile are slim to none.)

"Possible feasible and affordable" take a back seat to "comprehensible." An iPad is "possible, feasible and affordable." Yet, if you weren't allowed to do commerce with the rest of the world to buy one and didn't have knowledge of the past 50 years of intermediate technologies, that iPad simply isn't "comprehensible." It takes massive amounts of infrastructure, engineering and high-tech capability to make an ipad.

It takes some C4, a couple slabs of U-235 rich(ish) uranium and some scrap metal to make a nuke.

Wake me when North Korea can make an iPad using technologies it didn't have to steal. Then I'll believe that there is a chance of anyone but DARPA developing a SSTO spaceplane within our grandchildren's lifetimes.

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Trevor_Pott
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Tried this one already. Lost the Kerbal. Spaceplanes not so good for getting payloads into orbit. Maybe I need a new mod?

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Redmond cash splash follows mobile hash

Trevor_Pott
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It is well Ichan is wasting his time tilting at the windmill of Apple. Were he not occupied with that I suspect he'd happen along and ****ing wreck these people.

Microsoft, get your house in order. Before someone else tears it down.

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Anti-drone bods haul MoD to court over SECRET KILLER ROBOTS

Trevor_Pott
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Mk1 eyeball

You are fucking a-rights there should be an eyeball on target before the call goes up to loose the bomb. As many of them as possible. Because it is exactly that sort of bullshit, cavalier "fuck 'em if they can't take a nuke" attitude that killed my friends.

So FUCK YOU if you suggest for even a moment that we shouldn't have complete civilian oversight over ever bit of ordinance dropped. Fuck you with an F-16.

Asshole.

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How do you choose your vendors?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Instant 'No!'

Gods help me, I work(ed) for one of those types. Nothing but rage.

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Privacy lawsuits: Will sueballs lobbed at US cloud services hit you where it HURTS?

Trevor_Pott
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"What does one hope to achieve" is typically "don't share my data with third parties." That is how these lawsuits (and/or the settlements) usually go. As to "what is the privacy of one person worth in dollars"...nobody knows. As said in the article, this is minefield has yet to be cleared.

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NIST denies it weakened its encryption standard to please the NSA

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Verified

As verified by Carlos Danger (among others...). T,FTFY

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US plaintiffs can seek damages over Street View data slurp - court

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Blame the NSA

Doesn't it suck when the tinfoil hat brigade end up being validated?

As usual, Jon Stewart fucking crushes it, months before the NSA scandals even started. Add the NSA shit in and...you know what? You - nor I - nor anyone else gets to mock the tinfoil hatters regarding the US government for some time.

Power corrupts; it seems to have happened with some regularity in the USA. Apathy and denial are absolutely the wrong reactions.

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Brit and Danish boffins propose NSA-proof crypto for cloud computing

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Laughable

1) 2048 qbits doesn't help you crack 4096 bit keys. Actually, it's dubious it will help you crack 2048-bit keys. I remain confident the NSA does not have a quantum computer with that capability because they just aren't that well funded.

You see, in order to get a quantum computer like that, they'd have had to have developed it outside the mainstream of academia and industry. We're missing all sorts of precursor technologies to get us there, which means that to assume the NSA have a quantum computer that can crack hard crypto you have to assume they managed to get enough of the right people to develop it in total secrecy without ever publishing a paper on it. Have you met the kinds of people who have the ability to do that kind of research? Convincing them not to publish a paper on it is damned near impossible.

2) As I said in my previous post, I am pretty sure the proper hard crypto algorthims remain uncompromising simply because so many people have attacked them for so long. These are not algorithms that were developed in secret and that remain secret. (Bitlocker, as one example.) These are public knowledge and the best minds in the world are constantly trying to break them. So far, with little success.

3) Explain to me how you feel you can "compromise" hardware processors in such a way that they specifically create a back door in any cryptographic algorithm they generate? This might be possible with specialist chips like TPM, but a general purpose CPU or GPU? Do you honestly believe the CHinese wouldn't have found that by now and exploited the living piss out of it?

4) Windows has all sorts of backdoors. Bitlocker is a great example. If you don't use the operating system's libraries to generate your crypto you're fine...or are you going to tell me that suddenly there's magic voodoo within Windows that has heretofore gone unnoticed that simply "knows" (how?) when a library or thread is running "some form of cryptography" and magically backdoors it?

A crypto library that Microsoft ships as part of their OS certainly can be compromised. They probably all are. TPM is probably completely untrustworthy as well. ("Trusted platform module" my fat, jiggly ASCII.)

But the generic computing stuff? CPUs, GPUs, basic execution of libraries written by third parties? To compromise that? We're not talking about your run of the mill engineer here. We're talking about potentially requiring the single smartest individual the human race has ever produced. Someone who would be able to learn so much - to know and retain so much - about how so many different things worked that he would make Leonardo Da Vinci look like Honey Boo Boo.

If such a person existed and were identified by the United States Government before anyone else...do you honestly believe - really and truly, deep down in your heart of hearts - that they would waste that person's talent so utterly by having that individual come up with new and interesting ways to compromise cryptography in generic computing systems?

Why? Where's the logic in that? What possible reason could they have for that when there are way easier methods available? Man in the middle fibre taps. $5 wrench. Secret letters demanding keys from providers and crypto implementers.

I think your tinfoil hat is on too tight, buddy. You should visit my guy. He custom-manufactures mine and it's quite comfortable to wear.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Laughable

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd...you're an idiot.

You do realize that proper hard crypto would take a computer with the mass of the universe several times the lifetime of the universe to crack, eh? And that at least some of those algorithms were developed with enough oversight that the NSA could not realistically have compromised them to have back doors?

If you honestly believe that the NSA can violate the laws of physics then you're a chump. And no, "quantum computers" will not crack that kind of hard crypto in a meaningful timeframe...even assuming we could make one (we can't). D-wave doesn't count; we're still arguing over if the damned thing behaves in a quantum manner. It sure isn't much faster than traditional computing at these sorts of tasks.

It is theoretically possible that a quantum computer could one day take apart RSA 4096, though we haven't the foggiest idea in hell how to build one that could do so. The chances of that happening within our lifetimes are slim to none. The chances of taking apart a 15360-bit RSA key within our lifetime are nil.

AES is another interesting one. It's symmetric, so it doesn't require as many bits to be funcitonally unfrackable. AES 256 requires polycosmic time to crack. Even after the dude from Microsoft found a flaw in the algorithm, we're only talking about 3-5 times faster. 3-5 times faster than polycosmic time is still longer than our solar system will exist.

Now, is it possible that the NSA has subverted the AES and RSA standards and have some means of decoding them without "cracking" in the traditional sense? Yes, it is possible.

Is it likely? No.

Too many people have been attacking those algorithms for too long. Attacks on them by the NSA are far more likely to be "get the key from a MITM attack" or "get the key from the service provider."

There are a lot of others encryption standards that I am absolutely positive were backdoored by the NSA (see: DES). I think, however, it's reasonable to assume that AES 256 and RSA 15360 remain uncrackable for the next few years, at least.

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Torvalds suggests poison and sabotage for ARM SoC designers

Trevor_Pott
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Torvalds 2016

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