* Posts by SuccessCase

908 posts • joined 5 Jan 2011

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

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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...

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

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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.

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

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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...

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

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Re: Oi! Hillary

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

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Instascam! Apple yanks phoney app, Google follows

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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.

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

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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.

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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).

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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 ?

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Google snaps Dutch woman completely taking the piss

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"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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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Re: One less ...

Snake who?

Yep

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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."

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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!

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

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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.

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"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.

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Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos

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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.

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

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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.

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"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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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Apple news-churn app mysteriously stops churning news in China

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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.

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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.

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Porsche-gate: Android Auto isn't slurping tons of engine data, claims Google – but questions remain

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Re: FTFY

Yes when you learn to spot them they stand out.

One very clear instance just recently was Cameron's response to Andrew Marr on the Ashcroft Story. He just referred Marr to an earlier "clear statement addressing this" which was actually a carefully crafted non-denial denial statement, thus he tried to give the impression he had addressed it, when he hadn't ! The non-denial denial playbook. Except he did it quite badly, and needed to appear irritated as though "look I've gone to the trouble of issuing a full statement and you're still asking me, just do your job properly man and read the statement" That would have worked a bit better. Instead he looked a little sheepish.

The other person who used the same tactic (actually more effectively at the time) was a certain lib dem who ended up in prison for passing off his speeding ticket as his wife's.

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Re: FTFY

Someone really needs to teach The Register about the art and craft of non-denial denials. They have fallen for Google's response hook line and sinker. What Google's statement actually said was:

"We take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp, and coolant temp. Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in drive and provide more accurate navigation through the car’s GPS."

Years ago I worked in a corporate PR department and I can guarantee you every nuance and clause of that statement will have been considered by lawyers. From a company like Google, you can *always* analyse such statements as a careful exercise in deliberation.

1st They have said "The" data, definite article. Which means anything that doesn't quite match the Motor Trends article, even if largely overlapping does not count. Secondly, saying "such as" makes it sound like they are talking about all general cases, when coming after the definite article, it isn't saying they don't collect each of those things in any combination, but only that they are examples of the kind of data in the definite set of which they are not collecting. A very, subtle but important distinction.

2nd and more importantly, the statement "users can opt in to share information" is a non specific way of indicating data collection practice is modified by user choice and is compatible with them in fact collection of the data after that point. The fact you have to opt in for Android Auto to become useful is then the salient point.

Contrast with "we do not collect any of the data the Motor Trends article says we do." Shorter, clearer, almost certainly not said for the reasons given!

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Beard transplants up 600% for men 'lacking length elsewhere'

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And it's a false dichotomy as there is a large amount of ground between bearded and clean shaven. I suspect, while there is a fashion for beards, stubble remains the level women actually find most attractive. Of course, most importantly it, like how good a chat-up line is judged to be, it often simply depends on the face behind it.

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Only a CNUT would hold back the waves of the sharing economy

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Re: There's a little more at stake here

Yer right, so whilst the EBay style rating systems used by sharing economy businesses are not perfect it's still in addition to what you get with your local cab firm, ... And you're talking like you have never booked a mini-cab for one of your loved one's with one of them.

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Re: There's a little more at stake here

This article presents a mildly reasonable argument but is wrong because it misses a key point. Yes Tfl are responsible for reviewing the rules but they have perfectly sensible rules already. You can't hail a Minicab in the street, you have to book it through a mini-cab firm first. You still can't hail an Uber taxi in the street. Now technology simply means the existing booking process is super efficient.

The sensible reason for not being able to hail a - less regulated than black cab - mini-cab in the street is safety. By having to book via a taxi firm so there is a record and (more likely) a responsible controller running a business with many mini-cabs keeping a record of who is sent where. That, as long as users are aware and expect to follow the rules (which most are) reduces the opportunity for stalkers rapists and muggers being able to pick victims up in the street and drive them off to an evil lair.

Uber hasn't changed the mini-cab model, you still can't directly hail a mini-cab in the street, it's just made it more efficient, but Tfl are proposing changing the rules by artificially introducing minimum wait times from booking to fulfilment. EBay style in service ratings systems have already been shown to be an effective way to manage and help filter out charlatans. So while there will be teething problems, the system, given the journey is also logged and tracked is already potentially even safer than the average local Minicab firm.

Now black cab drivers are moaning, and it seems Tfl are proposing making an efficient system less efficient just to help them out. That isn't Tfl doing regulation as usual as Alatair argues, it's protectionism plain and simple. It makes an efficient system less efficient for the economic gain of a vested interest and at the expense of the consumer who likes the fact you can now get black cab efficiency at mini-cab prices. So sorry Alastair, your argument has some good points, but in the final analysis is just plain wrong. Uber aren't paranoid. It is all about them.

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Five things that doomed the big and brilliant BlackBerry 10

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"There is no single "right choice" for kernel and nor do consumers give a damn either."

Indeed. The advantages of QNX are really just down at the thread level, not the higher multi-tasking level, the two are reasonably closely related but not as much as many would suppose (and the two are frequently confused when people discuss Blackberry and QNX). And you will find, due to the requirement to tailor tasks into batches to be able to take advantage of power savings that can be gained when various subsystems are either powered down or put in a low power mode, the thread level advantages of QNX are no longer particularly realisable because to take maximum advantage still end-up packaging work into batches so making your thread context switching behave more like every other OS. iOS, for example, has had several generations of refinement to batched threading (the app level software engineer doesn't need to know about it, it all occurs at a lower level) This is why BB provided the option to switch off full multi-tasking on the Playbook, because leaving it on was such a battery drain.

Now once you start to get up to the higher level, which as much as engineering purists hate to admit it, is the level that actually makes most difference to the end user experience, the BB are increasingly left for dust. Their multitasking model is akin to putting a bucket of money in the middle of the street and saying "now, now everyone, this is a shared resource, so mind you don't take too much." Contrast that with iOS.

When support for third party app mutlti-tasking was launched on iOS it was much derided for being too restrictive, and indeed apps took a while to properly take advantage of it, but now engineers have had time to adapt adapted (and some still dislike it because it places constraints on them) it provides the end user with great advantages. There is a sophisticated system for leasing multi-tasking system resources and Apps can't hog the system. BB can theoretically implement similar higher level API's in a slightly more efficient way, (though really because of the batching requirement, it's difficult to see even slight advantages) but they are already behind and clearly struggling to keep up. Net result is the advantages of QNX are advantages of yesteryear, not because it isn't elegent, but because they are all hidden away in a layer that has been made nearly relevant and is now, unfortunately, never destined to be properly served or justified by those higher layers.

The tech industry is brutal and being theoretically best has never been good enough. Acorn found that out years ago and they did an even better job of actually realising their theoretical advantages.

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Are Samsung TVs doing a Volkswagen in energy tests? Koreans hit back

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Unsurprising. This *is* Samsung after all

This after all is Samsung, the same company as has already gamed benchmark applications. In the past in their handsets, they have implemented the equivalent to "defeat software" which ensures their chips speed up and don't use any low power modes when any benchmarking apps are run by users. This is effectively cheating. There are, I think, even greater parallels between what Samsung did then and what the car manufacturers are doing now (though clearly with a lower potential cost implication for the customer).

On a common sense view what they did is clearly, wrong, but they were able to, in PR terms "control the narrative" better than the car manufacturers have and put out a tenuous argument that it was justified on the basis that they were revealing the actual unbridled performance capability of their chips - even if you would never see it in the real world, and they didn't say upfront they were unlevelling the playing field in a way they hoped no-one would notice and they hoped would be permanent and for all time. It seems to me the car manufacturers might have been able to claim a similar argument as Samsung claimed (it would be very interesting to know if the emissions standards/tests are worded in such a way as to avoid a get out on this form of technicality). Where Samsung were "kind of" able to stop the narrative running away from them (e.g, get out a semi rational counter view before the story had spread). BMW clearly haven't been able to do the same. The story was already framed as cheating beyond any reprieve before they were able to address it.

Additionally Samsung have also previously sold flagship devices advertised as 8 core CPU's, which though they contained 8 cores, 4 of the cores were permanently disabled (not just due to lack of software support but actually in terms of the hardware design).

Samsung are unconscionable! Always have been.

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FATTIES have most SUCCESS with opposite SEX! Have some pies and SCORE

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I think this simply reveals the tactic of sitting on a partner so they can't escape your advances is far more prevalent than anyone previously realised.

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FOUR STUNNING NEW FEATURES Cook should put in the iPHONE 7

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I detect a slight "we were only joshing, we're friends really" tone to this article. Are The Reg softening their line on Apple at the same time as they innocuously introduce the fact they are reaching out by gaining representation on Apple News?

Personally I've always tended to defend Apple (as some people in these parts will know). I think Apple's line on ads and ad blocking for example, is right in the same way as Steve Jobs was right in everything he said in his infamous letter about flash player on mobile detailing why Apple would never allow it.

Before Apple made this move, it had already become obvious Ad companies, who have very little interest in looking after individual website performance, had jumped the shark and were simply destroying the user experience of simple browsing tasks. Video ads which play without asking (and interrupting the podcast I'm likely listening too - arggh) , massive Javascript installations that destroy performance, cause the JS engine to hang and worse, tracker after tracker after tracker integrated in a single page. The reality is we are facing ad-pocalypse and Apple have done something about it and Apple news (I've been using in beta) has proven to be pretty awesome in it's simplicity - which actually is ridiculous when you think about it. Presenting news in a simple performant way has become a revelation. So that's like presenting news in a way that it actually should be easier to code design, because it involves less code and less design. Insane. But I digress.

So now there is a counter story ripe for El Reg about how Apple have implemented ad blocker tech and at the same time have started a new Apple news venture - which, though on balance I like the News feature, even I recognise represents a conflict of interest - and yet The Register is licking the hand that feeds it.

Window open, money in, principles out.

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Robber loses heist case after 'evil twin' defence, gets 60 years

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I thought the evil twin defence is a defence used by actual twins, where it is not possible to prove which twin committed the crime. Someone needs to tell this guy he actually, you know, needs to be a twin. His self representation at trial sounded hilarious. At various times, in the style of Peter from Family Guy, blurting out nonsensical made-up-on-the-spot objections. "Unfair prejudice", he shouted out at one point, and "Freedom of speech,"

Too much watching of The Good Wife, or not enough, can't figure out which. Genius,... pure comedy genius.

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Asus ZenBook UX305: With Windows 10, it suddenly makes perfect sense

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Re: Wellll......

When I switched to using Mac, it wasn't so much the pg down and pg up end and home keys that were a bother, but the fact the cmd key next to the space-bar does mostly what the ctrl key does on Windows. It's so much easier to only have to sacrifice the little pinkie for multi finger key-presses than have to contort a major index pinkie into position when you also want to press a combo key on the left hand side of the keyboard. It just feels so wrong. Has done for years. Still does really.

That has always been my biggest irritation in making the switch because it is a small but significant ever present irritation (and I find just about nothing else worse, I've even got over decreased file manager -> finder functionality once I learned the strange keyboard ways of the finder and hidden power user tricks). I guess I could easily have given up and simply remapped the keyboard transposing fn and cmd but I've always striven under the perhaps misguided view I would be better off learning to do it the Mac way (it's always annoying when you have to use someone else's machine if you remap keyboards).

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Shedload of security bugs squashed in iOS 9 – what the hell went wrong with iOS 8?

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Re: I may have found a bug in iOS 9 already :)

No, not oops. Basically you either have to log in using your primary AppleId password AND have to confirm the login using the second factor (e.g. a message to another designated device) OR if using a service where the second factor isn't used, you login using an app specific password. Things have changed for the better with iOS 9 with the second factor used with more services, eliminating the need for the app specific password (even if you have set one up). Just because you used one for service x before, doesn't mean you need to now.

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URRGH! Evil app WATCHES YOU WATCHING PORN, snaps your grimace

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I expect, at least as far as the non techie population are involved, landfill Android is about to enjoin quite a few high-end handsets!

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So Quantitative Easing in the eurozone is working, then?

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"Because money created as debt must be paid back with more money (interest) created as debt then there is no option but to steal someone else’s money or inflate your own."

Here's a non economist, layman's take on this.

Interesting use of the word "more" there which shows your being uneccessaily melodramatic. The money created as debt and interest paid are on different sides of the balance sheet, so the word "more" doesn't really apply. So yes the cost is the interest paid, the benefit is monetary liquidity. So the interest paid is akin to the cost of buying oil and paying over the odds for servicing the engine which you have to do because you allowed it to run dry.

The money created as debt is lubricating the engine, so that's a good thing right. Whilst I'm no economist I do understand a nations finances, unlike a companies finances are like a balance sheet, but where - amongst other things - there is a factor, growth, that it gets fed in from a special account where the feeding tube is invisible and that we are only ever getting a best guess as to how much has been fed in (good of course but not good if you like the certainty of double entry bookkeeping)

The interesting bit with macro economics, it seems to me is that this opaque feeding tube (powered by they way by private enterprise and the workforce in private enterprise), means there is a feedback loop. If growth slows, it can choke off the working economy. Sometimes borrowing can be used to keep the economy moving so it doesn't lose momentum. All the political debate really pivots around this and how to "use" this knowledge. Do it well and there's the potential for a kind of slingshot effect (though that imagery is actually far too strong).

It seems to me centre right economists say ok there 's this feeding tube and were never sure how much has come in, but we know it's a specific amount and we have to be respectful of the balance sheet. Whereas leftist economists tend to say, borrow, puff up the economy, it keeps things moving so the real engine of the economy keeps moving without stall. Have confidence the growth will continue. Behave too much like accountants (knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing) and you will kill the economy. And actually most economists, left leaning and right leaning, see this mechanism has a role to play.

So when you say payment of interest on QE is stealing someone else's money, is demanding all travellers in the bus pay extra because the engine needed an extra service stealing money (when we all own the bus)? Incompetence by the person in charge, yes, but is the garage stealing? We want our bus to work and the garage are doing the work so no.

You also say "or inflate your own" as a way to denigrate current liabilities that have to be paid as a cost of QE. Well if you have produced money as debt, then you aren't cheating the balance sheet. The reason for doing quantitative easing is distinct from just printing money, is precisely so that doesn't occur.

I'm a realist. I don't believe in magic money trees. Money is a token of value which ultimately has some real basis in real assets and real work capability. Print money and you are watering down the value of each unit. Problem is, there is a lag. Money as tokens of value is worth what people believe it is worth and it may take time for the belief to adjust especially if the people are unaware of the extent of the printing of money. But adjust it will. So the BoE has to keep (liquid) money supply (one component of our national assets) in proportion to a balance sheet, the total value of which we are not quite sure.

So there is natural inflation which is a consequence of the market hedging against miscalculations in the rate of growth and consequent mismatches in money supply. This is ok, as natural consequence of unavoidable uncertainty and not knowing the variation in the value of your assets (not knowing quite how diluted they are if at all) and isn't indicative of an economic malaise. However if you print money, inflation occurs unnaturally as actors in the market hedge further to protect the value of their assets, which they *know* are being watered down, but just not by how much. Put simply you have paid x to produce and sell y, but while it's sitting in the shelf, the value of you liquid assets is being eroded so you edge the price up to protect yourself. As there is more uncertainty you hedge harder and build in greater margin for error. All your suppliers are doing the same, so the cost of x is also increasing by an uncertain amount. There's a name for that. A positive feedback loop. In this context most unwelcome.

Now quantitative easing increases the money supply, and can cause inflation if the authorities get it wrong (are wrongly guessing the rate of growth). But that isn't its intention. It isn't a necessary consequence. However if you simply print money, as a realist (e.g. One who believes there is a real value to the balance sheet even if we are never quite sure exactly what that value is) then you have to believe inflation *will* be a direct result.

So actually if you are arguing for unrestrained, Corbyn style, printing of money (which I suspect you are), then you believe in magic money trees and think you can get something for nothing.

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"Much as some of us love international biz editor Ambrose Evans-Pritchard over in The Torygraph, it is true that he can occasionally get a little bit excited about whatever it is that he's spotted."

Ha, that's so true. I'm not an economist and, probably for that reason, find him impressive to read. He has authoritative economist patter down to a T. Yet over the months and then years, it becomes apparent his prognostications are utter, utter drivel. He spies a problem with the economy and then sees it as this kind of thread on a jumper, pulling on which portends the destruction of the jumper and "oh oh, the other end is attached to a black hole we are negligently dragging into our solar system" Whereas in truth, apart from on very rare occasions, even economies run by tax and spend lefties have a lot of negative feedback loops which tend keep things self righting. In short he sees every economy as like a house of cards, when it seems to me, economies are like my garden, often messy, sometimes (rarely) close to critical but almost invariably, thanks to nature, alive.

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The Honor's a defo gamechanger, but good luck buying one

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Of course. My point is simply if the whole market is commoditised and starts competing on price, it actually ends up being worse for the consumer than many people realise. Running a company can be risky and when margins are razor thin, companies tend to do stuff simply to ensure they survive. That's why laptops got to be made of flimsy plastic and pre-installed with crapware and/or worse. I for one am extremely happy there is Apple competing on other axes than price. My beef is with the statement "The big budget, winner-takes-all flagship model looks broken" when it looks anything but (and as stated accommodates the highest market cap in the world - so if that's broken, give me some of it please). And the recommendation for this broken model, is more commodity priced handsets on a model that *is* broken, because outside of China, very few handset manufacturers are in the black. Especially because they don't own the whole stack and end up trying to differentiate via the crapware route (they have no margins to invest in R&D to truly differentiate).

If the consumer is driven too much by price, the same will happen inside China as well.

The handset market currently has far higher quality standards than the laptop market reached and Apple and to a lesser extent Samsung, have been a major contributing force (Apple is I think also now helping to improve the laptop market as few did before them - maybe Sony,IBM/Lenovo and to a very small extent Dell).

I just found the broken model remark to be either uninformed or unintelligent, or quite possibly both.

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"The big budget, winner-takes-all flagship model looks broken, and only Apple and Samsung continue to make profits."

Clearly when one of the two biggest handset manufacturers is the world's highest cap company the model looks broken !

No the only thing that is broken, is race to the bottom, razor thin margin handset supply where the business of creating new handsets is commoditised. We've had it for years with laptops. All the oxygen is sucked out of the market and the quality will take a dive into the handset equivalent of a plastic HP branded widescreen piece of electronic breeze-block with a ton of crapwhare like Form added for good measure. Which company is competing with a business model that has prevented the market taking a dive along precisely those lines? Hint: it isn't Samsung. And you think China commoditising handsets even further and pumping them out at ever lower prices (but more crucially with ever lower margins) will help the consumer? This is one of the greatest fallacies and conceits of current tech popular opinion. It *only* helps when you are considering your purchase in relation to a single axis. Price.

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Drum roll, please .... Results are in for the collective noun for security vulns

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Re: Awshit? (etc.)

Isn't this just evidence that crowdsourcing doesn't always produce good results?

Still what do we expect. When Greenpeace tried to crowdsource the name for a whale, the Internet piled in and made "Mr Smartypants" the favourite :) Strangely, if I remember rightly, the "name a whale" competition was quietly removed about 2 days before the results were due to be announced.

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French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'

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Re: Well-

She had Better Call Saul

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Mobile device screens recorded using the Certifi-gate vulnerability

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Also, it is highly surprising PlayStore apps are exploiting the vulnerability, as this should be entirely preventable by Google. On my reading of the vulnerability, the apps need to have an ID matching a hardcoded ID expected by the compromised monitoring software the vendors have integrated with their handsets (the compromise is largely due to badly implemented workarounds for a bug in Google authentication code, where the vendors have coded their own half arsed authentication solutions). Google should be able to bar any apps presenting a known "spoofing" ID. Makes me wonder if the bad authentication measures are actually worse than Check-point reported.

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Given the app is downloaded from the PlayStore this is a mainstream Android vulnerability, that 16% of devices are affected is outstandingly bad. OK all OS's have the odd vulnerability exposed, however given iOS security updates are applied to iOS devices across the board and relatively quickly, really anyone in tech should be recommending iPhones to their non-techie friends. Controversial statement for many El Reg readers, I know, but really, if you are responsible and recognise many aren't able or motivated to keep on top of the tech security position of these devices, it shouldn't be controversial at all. At least not until Google get a faster turn around sorted out with the carriers. It's the only responsible thing to do. Even vendors who have patched the vulnerability in their handsets are doing so far too slowly. The downloaders of this app are going to be generally more tech/savvey/security aware and if ~40% of such a selective set have affected devices, what chance have the rest?

What happened to all the Google promises of yester-year that security patches would be rolled out in a timely fashion?

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Apple tries to patent facial recognition

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Re: Really?

Ah yes cheers, I remember that now. Damn, to late to change it..

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