* Posts by SuccessCase

930 posts • joined 5 Jan 2011

Page:

Google-funded study concludes: Make DMCA even more Google-friendly

SuccessCase
Silver badge

At last The Register is beginning to end its decade long love-in with Google. For a long time people have had it completely the wrong way round with regard to Apple and Google. Follow the money. He who pays the piper plays the tune. Apple's business model has always been simple and transparent. You pay them a premium price for a premium product, but you are their customer. They see serving the best kit they can to you and treating you as the customer as a clear proposition that leads them to riches. Steve Jobs was an arsehole, but he was an arsehole who bent all his charismatic arsehole will to beating his company and staff into serving the customer. He obsessed over it. It was the little but important things. When printer manufacturers made printer drivers start to subvert serving Mac users (by for example always defaulting to printing in colour and forcing the user to have to select to print in black and white) he became incensed and ordered the overhaul of the Macs printer driver architecture so the system provided the bulk of the printer driver and the manufacturer process what is basically a configuration profile.

Contrast with Google. Google are incentivised by their business model to lie to you and to leech from you. They claimed a while ago that they support open source. But of course they support open source only in so far as it served to create client nodes that attach to the Google centralised data services. The Google hive. They don't open source their search algorithm.

They claimed to be anti software patents. Everyone lapped it up. But they were only anti software patents on client devices where they wanted the freedom to rip off other businesses IP to build a world filled with client nodes connected to the Google hive. In fact their entire business was based in and protected by software patents relating to searches based in link popularity and further patents around Adwords. They used them to fire warning shots at Yahoo when they moved in to take over the ad business Yahoo used to dominate at the start of the commercial Internet. If Yahoo had used Google patented IP Google would have launched a software patent lawsuit in a nanosecond. This is rank hypocrisy of the worst kind. And at the same time as doing this they got an army of fandroids building and enhancing client nodes devices for connecting to their hive service whilst decrying the use of software patents by others (and then after the implied open source promise, closed up shop pushing more and more services into a Google play black box). The fandroids were only interested in the software patents on the devices they had in their own hands.

They claim to be responsible custodians of your personal data, but they have statistical sampling of tracked search data where they can preserve a degree of uncertainty as to if data X actually pertains to you. So they want to have only 90% certainty X pertains to you because then they never legally have to tell you about X and on aggregate, with lots of 90% certainty data points they actually come to be close to 100% sure who X,y and z relate to you but never say it so never have to report what they know. It is now said a lot, but nevertheless it's true: with Google, you are the product and they are selling you to advertisers.

When Tim Cook took on the FBI over encryption, he was robustly defending the clear simple business model they have. The don't want to be distrusted by their customers and want to be able to sell them secure devices. But for Google, whilst they too would prefer not to be distrusted by their customers, privacy conflicts with the access they want to their customer's data. Their response to the FBI was a perfect example of how they play both sides. The language was hedged to logical oblivion and actually said nothing of substance "could be a troubling precedent", "might make users less secure" etc. whilst saying nothing about their commitment to keeping such data stored in their servers encrypted.

Maybe my distrust of Google goes too far, but somehow I think not. In fact I think general distrust of Google doesn't go nearly far enough.

12
10

How do you build a cheap iPhone? Use a lot of old parts

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: "...used parts..."

From what I have read about Liam, they are. The iron in a Steel screw has been in the ground for several million years, spending a year in an iPhone hardly makes it any less worthy of being used again in a new handset. Why re-smelt something that is already in the final form and has been living in a handset untouched by human hands? I don't think they will be re-using e.g. the screen or flash memory in new retail units (though I think they are re-using such parts in reconditioned handsets that they provide as part of e.g. a warranty replacement), my understanding is that inert parts that are undamaged and can be re-used are indeed being re-used in new handsets. Some parts are used as raw material for melting down and recycling. I would argue that makes perfect sense.

1
11
SuccessCase
Silver badge

"This further suggests that Apple could use surplus 5S parts, or at least much of the same manufacturing and assembly gear, for the two handsets."

It goes further than that and is quite deliberate. Apple have built a massive recycling robot called Liam (thought to be named thanks to Liam Neeson "I have a very special set of skills"). Liam can do a precision strip-down of an old iPhone every 11 seconds and reconditions the parts. Pretty cool actually. Can't really criticise them for going all in on bringing real world meaningful recycling of last gen product parts into latest gen products.

Who would have thought Mek-Quake was a premonition.

10
0

Bring on the goats! Apple's cloud failure demands further sacrifice

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Shame they stopped building servers...

1. Google and Amazon don't build their OS. Apple built Mac OS. Pre-Apple teams still in Apple built NextStep OS. Apple adopted the BSD Core architecture from NextStep and have built on their own filing system that is so venerable it now needs a total overhaul. So a long and deep history of OS Work.

2. Apple was the first successful personal computer company, before IBM, before any other computer company around today actually. There is no company still around with a deeper and longer reaching claim to the personal computer than Apple. Name one who cover hardware and software with the depth of understanding of Apple. The only answer is Microsoft and for them they have only done the hardware side in more recent years.

Asking you to understand this is like asking an 8 year old how you can listen to music on the original Walkman.

2
9
SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Article takes many words to state the bleedin' obvious...

I wouldn't say they are bad at cloud services (they were once bad at cloud services), They now run some excellent cloud services that, for me at least, have been very reliable. The problem they have (that I will get too), is something different.

First what is good,

I've had Apple TV since the the second gen streaming device hit the shelves. It has always worked as near as dammit flawlessly and the model of rent and stream or buy it once, stream it as many times as you like, that Apple pushed is simple for the end user. You tend to just rely on it and forget how reliable it is, which is testament to its success.

iCloud file management was for years vey much simplified, but worked well as well. They struggled for a bit with drop-box style general file management supporting folders and files (folders and files were for a long time a bugbear if Steve Jobs because the user interaction model is so needlessly complex and through the history of computing has been the cause of much wasted time and data loss). After a shaky start (let's not mention yesteryear file management services they tried, which were dreadful). Now for file sync it works very well, and the only feature it wants for is folder sharing.

Maps famously is a similar story, getting off to an even worse start. But now becoming something far more useful. It wasn't reliability of serving up the service, but the bad quality of the data that was the problem. It's only recently I have been found I have no need to reach for Google maps though and that isn't because they have completely reached parity. They haven't. It's because Apple has now crossed the "good enough that I can't be arsed to reach for Google maps" line.

App based sync for notes, Apple email, calendars, reminders and photos have worked for me near flawlessly. Though I have heard lots of complaints from some people about calendars. Also for me, for many years inviting non Apple users in heterogenous calendaring environments (which is basically outside an individual company true for everyone) was for years pretty bad, especially for including/inviting people who might have got one Apple device, but don't use it as their main device but by a year or so,p ago it seems they had solved these problems and it has been pretty good.

Apple Music got off to a feature rich but very shaky start and whilst not terminally unreliable, was annoyingly glitchy. How Music Match service tracks got overwritten (or appeared to get overwritten) by DRM Apple Music streaming based tracks WAS a huge failure and caused some users a lot of pain. They have fixed that now though and it now works very well indeed. The UI categories remain a dogs dinner though. But once you dive into them and avail yourself of the human curated suggestion lists, the service shows some real strengths over rivals,

iCloud backup has always worked flawlessly for me doing exactly what it was intended to do.

The new photos service is one of those in the best category - it works so well you don't notice it. And the new photos app and iOS device storage space optimisation strategy works so well few understand or need to understand how awesome it is (e.g, the strategy of storing low res versions on iOS devices and retrieving high res only when needed and zoomed in has been implemented seamlessly and the non destructive editing in a simple but powerful photo management app is just great).

Apple's Office apps have matured into excellent very easy to use office alternatives to MS Office that do exactly what you would expect such an alternative to do. Really the only things they miss are 1) Scripting language support to the level of VB. Needed by enterprise (though less and less in a cloud based world). 2) Numbers lacks Excel style Pivot Tables - these are a huge feature for those that use them and are missed sorely. This is more a comment on the excellence of this feature MS implemented in Excel than criticism of Numbers as a spreadsheet. Numbers, Pages and Keynote are a definite usability upgrade over Office, though of course in most places a feature downgrade (only Keynote, the least important of the trio bests its MS rival all round). The cloud sharing and browser based versions of these apps have been a quiet success which beats Google equivalents by a long way in the usability / end user experience department.

IMessage also has worked reliably as a service for some time (the biggest issue being a while back now and that was the one that affected users who switched to Android, where their Apple account and ID would remain as an active entity getting in the way of messages Apple user friends were sending them).

So overall their cloud services, with some notable past problem areas, work very well across the board. So what are they doing wrong?

The Bad

In a word connectivity. They haven't provided the API glue that allows their cloud services to be anything much more than silos. Great for personal inter device transfer/sync, but not great participants in programmable data flows that are increasingly becoming available for coordination by other services, such as IFTTT. This failure to participate will bite them hard because it means their services will become marginalised. They still, just about, have time to address this deficiency, but the problem is they are showing no signs of the desire to do so. The only significant move they have made in this regard is two years ago providing a competent but still somewhat restricted developer web API access to a users iCloud account.

2
3

Android's unpatched dead device jungle is good for security

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Indeed.

Now when I go out, I'm going to leave all the windows in my house open. Then burglars will have to do some extra-hard thinking deciding which one to use and quite likely get so confused, they'll get dizzy and pass out.

10
1

Docker goes native with Windows, Mac beta

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Just one question ..

The more it is obvious the guy is a techie trying his best and not a type A salesman with a flashing smile, the more I believe and trust what I am hearing.

3
0
SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: It wasn't all that bad until

It doesn't cost anything. Or at least is on the same model as Github.

0
0

Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Don't blame users for the UI

Nobody seems to have mentioned the point that it the designers who you need to make decisions. Democratic design simply doesn't work to produce a good result. Steve Jobs loved to quote Henry Ford to make this point,

"If I asked people what they wanted they would have said 'faster horses'"

7
4

iOS flaw exploited to decrypt iMessages, access iThing photos

SuccessCase
Silver badge

It's not the 4 digit pin of course. It's the user's Apple password. The 4 digit pin is only used to grant access to a local physical device. Anytime services are set-up, the user's Apple account password is required and that also supports two factor authentication.

2
0

Twitter at ten: The social network designed for 2006 struggles into a second decade

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Did Simon Sharwood write that entire story just so he could use the excellent description "vox populi" in the title?

I would have done. Superb phrase in relation to Twitter.

2
0

Smartphones help medicos, but security is a problem

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Private comms? There's an app for that.

Good resource.

It's interesting how PGP (or GPG) has never been universally adopted for email. I think it is that it has always swum against the tide of human psychology and preference for convenience over security. I have worked in security conscious organisations and the use of PGP has always been something of a pain. But I don't understand why SMIME isn't suggested more.

The first problem for PGP is that the need for authenticated key exchange just doesn't suit human psychology. It is a barrier preventing the user from doing the thing he/she really wants to do "right now." Systems that simply aren't convenient always encounter user avoidance patterns ( remember Network logout software that would refuse a user machine shutdown if there was too much data in the user's profile? What was the result? 95% of the time a five second press of the power switch).

A second problem is that PGP plugins for common mail clients add complexity and can cause problems in relation to automated system updates. It's so last decade to be prepared to suffer systems with such version/dependency management fragilities.

SMIME is then a good pragmatic solution that mostly avoids both these problems (makes the first one automatic and painless if not instant and the second is not an issue because all the major clients support it out the box), albeit that you have to - you know - actually trust your security certificate chain of trust (which in the post Snowden world is more of a thing than it should be). But if your concerns are more about commercial secrecy than being sure to have stopped the NSA or GCHQ, then it is way more user friendly than PGP.

I think the main reason SMIME isn't being used more is that it didn't become a universally available standard all at once (so never had momentous "launch" awareness), and it used to cost money to get a certificate, so people have kind of never really woken up to the fact it is a practical working solution. Hmm sorry long post, and it seems I've ended up answering my own question about SMIME.

2
0

Apple engineers rebel, refuse to work on iOS amid FBI iPhone battle

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: @gollux How unAmerican ...

Officially mainland China has one party The Communist Party of China. To compete in a global economy, and to attract inward investment and foreign companies, China has set up Special Economic Zones, where the rules of a Communist command economy don't apply and a more Capitalist friendly business regulatory framework is applied. This results in many embarrassing conflicts of principle but if you can control the narrative you can ensure they are simply ignored.

9
0

Biometrics not a magic infosec bullet for web banking, warns GCHQ bloke

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Biometrics are very popular among the technically less-educated

It's a good point, but still I'm willing to bet the proportion of those who consider themselves "technically well educated" and who also like to demonstrate "superior" knowledge by decrying biometrics (even for e.g. smaller financial transactions) but then blithely enter a pin code without checking if there is a security camera trained on the POS terminal, is greater than 90%.

Which I think illustrates the point it's all about risk management, not absolute security (which is a Chimera) and biometrics is probably currently, practically speaking, more secure than PIN entry whilst being one hell of a lot more convenient. One day, the techniques for and practice of lifting fingerprints to commit card fraud might be common enough that us security pragmatists pragmatically evolve a new pragmatic solution. But even where finger print scanning tech is concerned, the need for that change is certainly not today.

1
0

Ad-slinger Opera adds ad-blocking tech to its browser

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Eh?

Why the image of an Oric-1? That takes me back. I was 1 of about 5 people who had one of those. Superior to the Sinclair Spectrum, yet for some reason (lack of marketing I guess) it never took off. What a shame.

The only reason I had one was because my dad knew the bloke who made them and he got me one instead of the Sinclair Spectrum I wanted. I needed an upgrade from my ZX81 because the wobbly RAM pack had wobbled it's way into short circuiting the main board. But on getting the Oric-1, I wasn't disappointed. To my surprise, comparatively, it was an excellent machine.

4
0

Brits still not happy about commercial companies using their healthcare data

SuccessCase
Silver badge

One of the reasons people are so wary, is because a single cock-up can mean the entire game is lost. There will be continual pressure to mine anonymised data for value and continual opportunity to fail to identify a vector that yields a way to de-anonymise the data (if you think it is easy to anonymise data, search for one of the many articles that show why it is a much harder problem than many realise). We always have to trust the anonymisation strategy is sufficiently thought through. If ever it isn't and the designated anonymiser is left thinking, "damn that's clever, I didn't think of that." It's a bust.

For that reason, I'm definitely in the 17% category. Even for research. I would want the option to opt in and would only do so after being information about the data mapping that is done during anonymisation and would only do so for research I want to support. Research also, let's not forget, is conducted by commercial companies.

24
0

Aye, AI: Cambridge's Dr Sean Holden talks to El Reg about our robot overlords

SuccessCase
Silver badge

AI encompasses some interesting developments. But there is a category mistake made by many in the field as to what constitutes judgement (which is a very different thing from blind rule following). Conscious emotional judgements are a part of what it is to be human. We sort of imagine that many many very fast clock cycles where a computer is following an algorithm, which every single time is following rules, might somehow be equivalent to an emotional judgement. As though if we have enough processing such that we don't really understand at a macro-level what has just been done, where the computer has implemented the kind of recursive self-defining patterns of logic we find in neural networks, we have created something that is the equivalent of emotional judgement. But there is absolutely no evidence that is the case, there is no way to know the computer has consciousness, and there is plenty of reason to think it probably doesn't have (it's though the "not knowing" what consciousness is, is then sufficient to say "we probably created it" if a computer passes a Turing test. A test which has always been logically insufficient as proof of anything other than that a human can under certain strictly limited circumstances confuse a machine with a human).

Doing much, much more processing very, very quickly doesn't transform a category mistake into a truth. It just means the same mistake is being made over and over on a larger scale.

It's important not to say "never" with regard to advances in computing and AI. Of course we are going to make great strides. But IMO there has to be a very different kind of advance than the current limited set of tools is providing.

2
0

Norman Conquest, King Edward, cyber pathogen and illegal gambling all emerge in Apple v FBI

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Maybe if...

"But law enforcement is trying to tell anyone that will listen a hard truth: you like it now, but wait until you or your family are at the end of a crime and the person walks free because they were unable to prove their case. Thanks to that black-screened iPhone. Then you may not back Tim Cook quite so strongly."

Or maybe, you will be wise enough to see the value of upholding a right to privacy and back Apple anyway, like this victim of the shooter this is all about:

"When I first learned Apple was opposing the order I was frustrated that it would be yet another roadblock. But as I read more about their case, I have come to understand their fight is for something much bigger than one phone. They are worried that this software the government wants them to use will be used against millions of other innocent people. I share their fear.

I support Apple and the decision they have made. I don’t believe Tim Cook or any Apple employee believes in supporting terrorism any more than I do. I think the vicious attacks I’ve read in the media against one of America’s greatest companies are terrible."

-- Salihin Kondoker

12
1

Docker may be the dumbest thing you do today

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: 'What is Docker and When to Use It'

"Any takers out there please"

VM's are generally OS heavy. Docker is a VM that is OS light, to provide a minimal VM wrapper generally used to run a single service. It can use more than just Linux to wrap services (MS is creating Docker compatible Windows) but generally in practice it is Linux. Docker takes advantage of a feature of the Linux kernel so it can run in an extremely efficient virtualisation mode where the overhead of virtualisation is extremely minimal. Up until now there has been a problematic disjuncture between what you want to do with VM's and what you want to do with services. A good example is when you configure services like Apache, or Node.js or MySQL or MongoDB to run on a local system for development purposes (in some ways this is a contrived example, which I will get to later, but run with it for now).

Let's say you install a combination of services, X, Y, Z to complete development project A. Well once project A is finished, its a pain to have to clean up your system and prepare it for project B that uses services V, X and Y. As we all know, systems slow down over time. You know longer have a clean base configuration from which to start and track configuration management as you implement the services.

This this is one reason VM's have become popular. Once you have finished project A, you can throw away the VM you used to develop with services X, Y and Z (or rather archive it). But still even with VM's, configuration management isn't always without unnecessary work. So now for project B you are installing services V, X and Y. Except you have just thrown away services X and Y and are reconfiguring them for the project B development VM.

This is the regard in which my example is contrived, because actually partly to overcome the problem I described, and partly for reasons of best practice, many developers configure their services one per VM anyway. So you have a node.js VM and a Cassandra DB VM etc. Except then the problem is a) configuring each VM is a little process heavy, and b) the VM's themselves are over specified when your problem has become "how do I run a single service" c) The VM's will be memory heavy to run multiple on a single machine. You want to get away from configuring detailed OS plumbing stuff over and over for each service (though partly this is mitigated with pre-built images).

What this shows is that in this modern cloud centric world, very often most of the services an OS provides are redundant (at least when we are only interested in it hosting a single service). We want it only in so far as it is a host for a single service.

Docker runs a VM "purely" to be the thinnest wrapper host for a service as possible (actually if had been built from scratch to match the Docker use case, it would be considerably lighter, so to this extent Docker is pragmatic in host OS use. So instead of configuring a VM with services, you have services that live in their own little VM light wrapper and the VM doesn't care what OS it is slung onto.

So docker makes the virtualised service a lego brick like unit with the lightest VM wrapper around the service. You can configure a set of lego bricks and you can throw that set of lego bricks onto any OS without worry as to whether they will run uniformly (yes you run multiple VM's on a single machine, that may itself be a VM).

The Docker environment allows the lego bricks to be grabbed in a similar fashion to how you can pull projects from github. It also in some respects works in a similar way to how a package manager works and pulls multiple "lego bricks" in the way a package manager will identify and pull dependent packages. Yes it is pretty cool.

I agree with the first post that this article has a very narrow Enterprise dependent view of how successful docker is. Docker wasn't conceived as a tool for the Enterprise (at least as far as I am aware), though I am sure they are be happy to see Enterprise adoption and are now finding many ways to encourage it. So it seems churlish to me to write about it as though it is failing in relation to the Enterprise, just as it would be churlish to say Bradley Wiggins has "failed" to win the 3:20 at Sundown Park.

4
0

Google screening missed hundreds of malicious Android apps, researchers say

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: hmmm....

Most people default to using mean average not median

0
0

US DoJ files motion to compel Apple to obey FBI iPhone crack order

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Oh, and re: "What about the 70 phones that Apple unlocked at Federal request that came before this?"

See, No Apple has not unlocked 70 iPhones for law enforcements

3
2
SuccessCase
Silver badge

"Has a law been passed or judicial decisions been made which actually state that is so?"

Yes it Is an established principle see here what an EFF lawyer says on it, (extract below):

"Reengineering iOS and breaking any number of Apple’s promises to its customers is the definition of an unreasonable burden. As the Ninth Circuit put it in a case interpreting technical assistance in a different context, private companies' obligations to assist the government have “not extended to circumstances in which there is a complete disruption of a service they offer to a customer as part of their business.” What’s more, such an order would be unconstitutional. Code is speech, and forcing Apple to push backdoored updates would constitute “compelled speech” in violation of the First Amendment. It would raise Fourth and Fifth Amendment issues as well. Most important, Apple’s choice to offer device encryption controlled entirely by the user is both entirely legal and in line with the expert consensus on security best practices. It would be extremely wrong-headed for Congress to require third-party access to encrypted devices, but unless it does, Apple can’t be forced to do so under the All Writs Act."

8
0

Security bod watches heart data flow from her pacemaker to doctor via ... er, SMS? 3G? Email?

SuccessCase
Silver badge

I think it's quite brave talking about security flaws in your pace-maker at a hacker conference. Yes it's human nature that most people want to do good. Yes there are very few people and/or hackers that are destructive and black-hat hackers of the "random acts of vandalisation" kind are far fewer than most in general society suppose (and less likely to be at conferences than say, white hat hackers). But still, they do exist and she's probably made some of the few that do curious if they might just be able to...

0
0

Surface Pro 4: Will you go the F**K to SLEEP?

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Hurray, Merry Christmas

"You missed one more reason to get a Surface - vertical industries and especially development for them. You can immediately test your stuff for real while having a decent environment and a keyboard to debug. This is something you do not get with Android or iThings because they are strictly "build on your desk(top), debug in an emulator, run on your slab"."

The last part of that comment is simply wrong (you you can of course debug on your slab and are in no way restricted to debugging on your emulator) and the implication you are trying to make about the decency of the development environment is also misleading - or at least highly partisan. All these platforms offer highly capable and mature IDEs.

Of course there are strong opinions about IDE's which mostly, IMO involve tribal loyalties based on some fuzzy algorithm based on what you use the most and started with first rather than rationally and objectively which is best. I think Visual Studio has a reputation as a rock solid IDE, whereas xCode for iOS/OS X in its latest incarnation is also fantastically good (really, I guess, this shouldn't be a surprise because all the clever bods at MS Apple and Google are highly invested in refining how the IDE's work) . MS Visual Studio is highly capable mature and has excellent code completion but really today there is nothing to distinguish MS Visual Studio and Xcode (even in terms of code completion or most other terms).

I personally prefer Xcode's philosophy for integrating UI design (where Storyboards provide freeze dried, or archived, views directly equivalent to the real thing). I found Visual Studio's philosophy of generated code a little flawed (hide code if you can't maintain it through edit cycles), but really I can see this with this I am splitting hairs.

I love both MS for innovating and leading the way with the introduction of the excellent and intellectually pure C# and Apple for taking up the challenge and producing the, arguably, more practical and so damned fast, flexible and powerful SWIFT. Really both those languages are a MASSIVE credit to their respective companies (and I think you will find both the C# and SWIFT teams have a great deal of mutual respect).

But mostly I think you have made one of those comments that sounds like it is making an important "knockout" point until you start trying to think of a Use Case for what you are describing. When you are developing you generally want to be in an office environment and with as few interruptions as possible. Development requires focus and concentration and isn't something you want to have to do in the field. So what you are saying has appeal until you really look at where development is done and done best.

Also the advantage of being able to develop on the device isn't much of an advantage when, as a developer, you generally want the largest screen avaialble, preferably dual monitor with the fastest processor. Sure the surface pro is a capable dual device and can be connected up to additional monitors, but as a developer you generally want the fastest machine available, so will err towards a beefier desktop class laptop/machine.

Also, importantly, developing on an emulator for 95 percent of the time is superior because you can have a desktop class CPU running it (so it's trés fast it's only when you reach the end of the development cycle and when doing performance optimisation that running natively on the app offers an advantage). It's an advantage to be able to run the simulator and your IDE on separate screens with all the windows nicely arranged. Of course there is a danger of failing to run your code sufficiently frequently outside of the simulator, but actually that danger also stands testament to just how damned good the simulated environments are for iOS and Android (which as said you don't have to use anyway) and the danger is easily mitigated by employing best practice.

There is an advantage to be had, for if you want to debug an application in the field (though generally you would be doing such at the end of your development cycle and generally any advantage this offers is restricted to a smallish subset of apps). I can see some value there, but by the time we get to that, the point you are making has been somewhat marginalised. So yes, kinda, its a nice option, and you wouldn't say no, but overall its nothing like as big an advantage as your comment seems to imply.

10
3

Research: Microsoft the fastest growing maker of tablet OSs ... by 2019

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: 5 years is a long time

"I wonder who will remember this prediction five years from now. I'll believe it when I see it."

Indeed this is the same Strategy Analytics as about 4 years ago claimed Samsung were about to surpass Apple in handset profit...

4
0

Hillary Clinton: Stop helping terrorists, Silicon Valley – weaken your encryption

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Oi! Hillary

Hilary is clearly worried she might end up with a snuke in her snizz.

3
0

Instascam! Apple yanks phoney app, Google follows

SuccessCase
Silver badge

If you were a developer, you would understand it is impossible to prevent malicious apps.

The developer compiles the app. How the code branches and what it might do is opaque even to Apple (it is compiled and reverse engineering such takes a lot of time and money, several orders of magnitude more time and money than is available to an App review team). It is very easy to create code to the effect "do nothing until 20th Jan 1016, then after that date do ... mawah ha ha ha haaar."

This code condition can be obfuscated. The chance of knowing about it before app launch is close to big fat zero. All you can do is block the app after it starts doing it's nefarious evil thing and ban the app developer.

This is why having to pay a yearly fee to be an app developer who can submit apps to the AppStore is a good idea. It means the developer id is not throwaway and immediately cuts out all those who might be tempted to have a go at building a malicious app for kicks, because it will cost them £100 a pop.

"This is the 100 millionth time they have let things slip by"

Complete drivel. Given the truth of what I have said above, I've been astounded at how very little has got through. This is because the real defence is the app sandbox and the permissions model and app review is limited in what it can do. It is only recently there has been any trend at all. As an app developer I monitor such things.

5
0

The spy in your pocket: Researchers name data-slurping mobe apps

SuccessCase
Silver badge

BTW, it just occurs to me that because I do development for iOS, general users might not understand that the way iCloud is implemented, it will appear as though the app process is generating iCloud requests in the same way as it will appear if the app uses the NSURL API to make a connection to any Web server, it will appear as though the app is making that request. The implementation could easily be different. iCloud transaction could have been initiated after as an OS system process after a request to the OS. Given the security protections are independent of the App layer, really whether requests are issued by the Core OS in an independent process or in the App process is an implementation detail. I suspect Apple implemented it as they have so that the App author has to account for power management and leasing of multi-tasking time relating to the apps use of iCloud (though this could also be managed if it were an OS process there would be perhaps an extra unnecessary level of indirection in the code to do so).

This also makes the research - without a thorough exposition of how OS services are accessed from OS to OS, potentially a bit arbitrary because there might be different policies from OS to OS. I don't know Android as well as I know iOS so, in this regard, can't comment on it.

Just a note.

0
0
SuccessCase
Silver badge

Because, to use iCloud as an example. iOS provides iCloud services. A user understands that is how app context and state is synchronised between a user's devices. ICloud services has it's own built in security model such that the logical boundaries of an app and it's "sandbox" surrounds it's state distributed across a user's iOS devices. For an app to use iCloud services that are secured within a sandbox fully encrypted and using a framework managed by Apple without asking the user is a completely different category of "liberty" than posting data to a third party server that is not either the App makers own domain or an Apple domain without asking permission. The former is expected and a normal part of the services supported by the OS itself and the latter is surreptitious and suspicious.

Additionally it rather looks as though the report authors have missed that per app control over iCloud access and location services is provided in settings by the OS.

So I think it would be much more useful if these two categories were separated out rather than all bundled together in a single column under the title "third party access."

So to be clear, I'm not saying the data should be ignored, but that as it is structured, the summary results are not as useful or revealing of bad practice as they might be. I think there is still an argument that an app should ask permission to use iCloud (though if it states it synchronises via iCloud in the AppStore description and that is obviously a part of its purpose then doing so really is unecessary cruft and, it just becomes an extra step where for many apps saying "no" means the app simply doesn't work properly and saying yes only means it works with standard OS services in the logical sanbox). The argument for still asking permission to use the OS standard iCloud service I think is more relevant to ensuring a user gets full control over data usage than problems with a third party having access to the data (remember control is there in settings anyway) and is only going to be a problem for the most uncompromising free software advocates. But then such people will be aware of he role iCloud plays in many if not most major apps these days anyway (and will probably be opting for an Ubuntu based handset or some such like).

0
0
SuccessCase
Silver badge

There seems to be a "flaw" or rather weakness in the survey. They categorise data as sent to Primary and to third party domains. But the OS provider is treated in the survey as a third party domain. The primary domain is the domain of the app maker. What would have been more useful would have been to categorise the data into App Maker Primary, OS Maker Primary and Third Party.

The problem is that for example company X creating an app and sending data to X.com and Google.com isn't necessarily failing to ask permission. On iOS also, sending data to X.com and an Apple domain isn't failing to ask permission if the transaction is for e.g. an iCloud sync. iCloud is built in and expected by the users. The user has control to turn it on or off for all apps and it has built in privacy protections. As an app maker you don't need to ask the users permission for a service they have already given permission can be used to the OS. The higher location sharing iOS has with "third party" domains is almost 50% with Apple's own servers.

So to get a view of the level data permissions abuse, it would be far more useful to split out that further categorisation,

Still all the data is there, so perhaps someone could volunteer to make this refinement ?

2
0
SuccessCase
Silver badge

Even your friends do it. The number of my friends that upload their entire contact list to services like "Linked-In" is huge. I've never been asked if it is ok they provide Linked-In with my personal contact details. Yet it was only about 7 years ago it was considered completely unacceptable to pass someone's telephone number or email address on without asking their permission first.

28
0

We're not killing Chrome OS ... not until 2020, anyway – says Google

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Nobody likes change

So your complaint is the WSJ haven't made clear merging doesn't mean they have to merge user interaction paradigms into a Windows 10 equivalent. OK that's a partially legitimate point in that whilst it's entirely possible (and even likely) it's true in terms of what Google is planning (and indeed what I naturally assumed having read the WSJ article). I then don't understand why you were being critical of the WSJ article, which simply said:

"Google engineers have been working for roughly two years to combine the operating systems and have made progress recently, two of the people said. The company plans to unveil its new, single operating system in 2017, but expects to show off an early version next year, one of the people said."

This doesn't represent a failure of understanding on the part of the WSJ, nor does it misrepresent Google as against what you have said. Perhaps you simply hadn't read the WSJ article and were judging it based on what The Register had reported. As always with The Register, it's best to go to the original source.

Later they go on to say:

"Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai, who led the development of the Chrome operating system in 2009, told analysts on a call last week that “mobile as a computing paradigm is eventually going to blend with what we think of as desktop today.”

Microsoft Corp. adopted a similar approach, creating versions of its Windows 10 operating system to power PCs and phones, allowing some apps to run on both devices.

By contrast, Apple Inc. maintains distinct operating systems: iOS for smartphones and tablets, and OS X for Mac PCs. Chief Executive Tim Cook said last month that combining them “subtracts from both, and you don’t get the best experience from either.”"

Again they have shown careful wording and haven't said what the new OS will look like on all platforms but have made some perfectly true reporting in relation to what Sundar Pichai said what Microsoft did and what Tim Cook has said. It could be argued they've implied Google has eschewed the Apple approach, when purely from the perspective of what the consumer sees that's not clearly so. But they haven't explicitly said that and any lack of clarity Is down to the possibilities Sundar Pichai has left on the table with his comment and is up for discussion (as we are discussing now). So to me the WSJ article appears a good one.

0
1
SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Nobody likes change

If your complaint is merely that the WSJ were using the term "merge" or "fold" in a source control sense, and that is not true, then why would you describe the article as damaging (and suggest possibly deliberately so) and not describe it as a legitimate scoop ?

Read between the lines, all Google have said is that they will continue to work on Chrome OS for the next few years, so it's clear the have plans to stop. It's reasonable to presume they will maintain it for a period. So it is most likely they are dropping it into maintenance mode.

3
2
SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Nobody likes change

"The 'damage' seems to have been caused by misreporting* by the WSJ."

Oh come on, it's almost certain Google are stopping the development of Chrome OS. Why on earth, if they are merging the two, do they need to continue with an independent Chrome OS? It becomes, by definition, redundant. Google themselves have already said Chrome OS is being merged with Android. This is not just the merger of teams and this new announcement only commits them to continuing code maintenance of Chrome OS, not further development.

The likelihood here is they have made this new announcement because they have belatedly realised they were about to bring down the Osborne effect on their existing Chromebook sales. Probably after someone in Chromebook sales read the WSJ article, spat out his morning coffee and got straight on the phone.

2
6

Google snaps Dutch woman completely taking the piss

SuccessCase
Silver badge

"I remember Mythbusters covered the 'Peeing on the electrified railway' myth once, and busted it on account of the fact that unless you literally piss like a horse, the stream will break up into air-insulated droplets well before it hits anything electrified."

I believe it, but excuse me if I avoid ever attempting to prove the truth of the assertion.

8
0

Post-pub nosh neckfiller special: The WHO bacon sarnie of death

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: +1 only for your name, Mr. Cupid Stunts.

Are you old enough to remember the late and great Kenny Everette ?

12
0
SuccessCase
Silver badge

Turns out the WHO are good at their work but terrible at talking about it to the general public. Their categories identify if substances are known to be carcinogens, but not the degree. Being a carcinogen seems really bad, but actually there are many, many known carcinogens that we don't worry about too much, so for example burnt toast is a known carcinogen, yet we don't worry too much if there is a bit of burning because the risk is low. Walking in the forest when ferns are releasing spores, is apparently much more dangerous than people appreciate, so there is one, that is a known carcinogen, that actually is quite bad but we ignore (presumably because we feel walking in the Forrest simply must be healthy because "green" and "nature"). So now the category grouping given to bacon (and processed meats in general) is the same as for cigarettes because they have identified for sure there is a link to cancer, but the grouping says nothing about the degree. All the newspapers picked up "It's in the same grouping as smoking" and then concluded, falsely, 'IT'S AS BAD AS SMOKING."

No, it's not. I'm still eating bacon for breakfast. I feel sorry for the pig farmers. This is Edwina curry all over again but for pig sales instead of egg sales.

Oh should add, I read about this somewhere last night, but can't remember what the source was.

12
2

Big mistake, Google. Big mistake: Chrome OS to be 'folded into Android'

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: One less ...

Snake who?

Yep

0
0
SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: One less ...

Thanks for the support but I have to admit there's a logic to what he is saying when you are referring to grammar books written in the 1950's. But that means we have to fix this, which now just doesn't sound quite right:

And Snake, wiping Semtex residue off his hand, looked back at the wreckage of the Google development lab and said to Flint, "That's one fewer Chrome to deal with."

This is better:

And Farquhar, wiping Semtex residue off his hand, looked back at the wreckage of the Google development lab and said to Gaylord, "By Golly, that's one fewer Chrome to deal with."

1
0
SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: One less ...

Bad criticism I think. I won't call it pedantry, because it isn't; it's preference. Pedantry is a word that should be reserved for when someone has got something wrong. "One less" is not bad English since Chrome (on Android versus Chrome the OS) can both be referred to by the definite article. Just because you can make a substitution doesn't mean you should, indeed "one less" has a cadence that emphasises the point. Consider:

And Snake, wiping Semtex residue off his hand, looked back at the wreckage of the Google development lab and said to Flint, "That's one less Chrome we have to deal with."

and

And Snake, wiping Semtex residue off his hand, looked back at the wreckage of the Google development lab and said to Flint, "That's fewer Chromes we have to deal with."

The latter is just grotesque!

23
14

Dad who shot 'snooping vid drone' out of the sky is cleared of charges

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Not at all. On a clay pigeon shoot a 50 yards (150 feet) is considered a long range shot because it is difficult to hit the clay at that distance, but a top pro will do it easily and consistently. If on target you will consistently brake a clay at much greater distances than that. Taking down a drone at 200 feet would be childs play as even a small drone will be twice the size of a clay pigeon and much slower moving (if not "stationary") so far easier to hit.

7
2
SuccessCase
Silver badge

"Oh. no I wouldn't because we're generally not allowed access to firearms in the u.k."

I feel a drone Kickstarter project coming on.

The FU Interceptor with patented tangulation tech. Launching a tangulation strike basically looks akin to spiderman ejuculating his webbing on the "wide" dispersal setting.

9
0

Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Wouldn't be worth it...

... So has no one picked up on the fact Bacon isn't necessarily processed meat? I know elsewhere the article mentions red meat, but it does seem like the author is assuming bacon is processed meat. Here's a tip. If it is smoked or looks it was squeezed out of a tube of toothpaste before being cut flattened and cut into squares, it's processed meat. Bacon can therefore either be processed or non-processed depending on if you go for the smoked or non-smoked variety.

8
1

Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Not really, Apple provides Siri a personal agent, Amazon provides Alexa, a personal agent. One is a little more focussed on shopping both are strategic for and used for TV services and mobile devices. The article said Apple is doing the same as Amazon in terms of sharing your personal data with third parties. They aren't. Indeed the whole premise of the argument started with an acknowledgement of the issues and then went on to say, in effect, but we won't worry about it because if you worry too much you won't use any of these services as they are all the same re: your privacy. That simply isn't true. Love or loath Apple, there is no denying Tim Cook has made privacy front and centre to their strategy. They clearly see it as a weakness that Google has.

Interestingly, I did a search for Apple and privacy and Google put up a big privacy banner advert at the top of the search results, saying "A Privacy Reminder from Google"

I used Firefox, via my mobile tethering so it would be another address, did a search for privacy and a link to Google's privacy terms came up (top of the list above Wikipedia privacy - how can Google's corporate privacy policy be more important than the concept of privacy) but no panel giving a low down on Google's privacy policies.

I've started to notice this more and more with Google. They appear to be targeting their own message about their own services in front of search results for search terms that clearly want to see competitor material. I've also noticed over the past two years - this is entirely subjective but worrying nonetheless - that if ever I do a search for a negative story about Google or Android that I have read, it quickly becomes much more difficult to find than negative stories about their competitors.

One story that was very a couple of years ago was Chris De Silva, an lead Android developer, who said that when they were working on Android and Apple launched the iPhone, when they saw it, the feeling was they would have start over again. Put in the search words:

"Chris da silva Android we had better start over"

In the past, Google would find such an article and put it at the top of the list. Where is it now I wonder?

put the same search term in Bing. What's top of the list? An article that is clearly the best candidate for fulfilling the search terms.

This all very much raises the suspicion that Google simply cannot be trusted. It is precisely what the EU competition authorities have been worried about. It also makes a joke of their little targeted panel.

I think these kinds of issues make the topic of privacy extremely relevant.

6
3
SuccessCase
Silver badge

"And lastly, who does it share this information with? With the third parties whose services it taps. In its own words: "When you use a skill, we may exchange related information with the developer of that skill, such as your answers when you play a trivia skill, your zip code when you ask for the weather, or the content of your requests."

Knowing that may unsettle you. But just know that the exact same thing happens with Siri, Google, whenever you use a credit card, whenever you enter a competition, and whenever you sign a petition."

Actually that isn't true. Apple have set out their stall re-privacy and it is MUCH stronger than what Amazon are providing. Of course on a service like Siri, there is going to have to be information they share, but in Apple's case the information is properly anonymised (as in they have very carefully considered how to remove secondary identifying information that allows users to be identified even on a statistical basis). Related personal data, (Post-code/zip code, contacts, location etc) is not sent in relation to identifiable user info and is only sent using a rotating anonymised identifier (and that is kept unique to that third party, so third parties can't compare and relate previously unrelated data). The "precognition Google now like" suggestion stuff that cant be handled this way, is all processed on the device. E.g. any recommendations, reminders, location prompts that are associated with personally identifying data are processed on the device not on Apple's servers. Indeed you could easily argue that with this latter point Apple are putting themselves at a disadvantage in relation to Google and Amazon because the average Jo doesn't give two hoots about where that data is processed, it's difficult to see how Apple's solution can deliver as good results, and most people, like this article demonstrates, believe they are doing what Google, Microsoft and Amazon et. al. are doing anyway.

2
4

Apple may face $900m bill after A7 CPU in iPhones, iPads ripped off university's patent

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: ARM?

Apple are now in fact one of the largest employers of chip designers in the world. Larger than all save Intel. Their ARM core design is Industry leading and is now providing them with a key advantage over the competition. They have been tailoring their chip design to perfectly suit iOS mobile usage.

"they have effectively surpassed the performance of Intel. This has been well documented."

http://stevecheney.com/on-apples-incredible-platform-advantage/

And now they are moving on to designing their own wireless chipsets.

1
1

On its way: A Google-free, NSA-free IT infrastructure for Europe

SuccessCase
Silver badge

I doubt European telco's can do particularly well with Cloud services except via what amounts to protectionism via the courts (which in itself, in this case, isn't a bad thing). But even then I suspect they will get nowhere and because we will see is some big effort on the part of the US cloud providers, Amazon, Google, Apple, MS Azure, Salesforce, Rackspace etc to provide secure cloud facilities in Europe who will each establish a European cloud operation subject to European law with the relevant protections the law demands (if they don't already have such or are not working on such already). Just as they have done, but for different reasons, in China. And that will be a good thing.

On a separate note here, logically, it should be perfectly possible for a datacenter/cloud service to meet European law from anywhere in the world. The law shouldn't limit the delivery of service to a particular geography. There is, of course, the very real practical issue of verification and trust (how do you verify the NSA haven't obtained access) but that shouldn't be insurmountable. If protectionist practice is bad, logically there should be no geographic requirement.

0
0

Apple news-churn app mysteriously stops churning news in China

SuccessCase
Silver badge

Whew, glad we sorted that out. Apple want to bar their customers from using the services they have developed. For a moment I thought it was the Chinese government.

2
0
SuccessCase
Silver badge

Re: Ah, the mysterious Apple News App.

Holy crap, you mean Apple aren't launching a service in the UK until it is ready and all the deals have been done. What is this madness?

If you really want it, join the beta program and download 9.1. Earlier in the beta the UK news coverage and updates were patchy but now it's pretty comprehensive.

0
1

Page:

Forums