* Posts by Voland's right hand

2649 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

Former US anti-terror chief tears into FBI over iPhone unlocking case

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Re: Give them the source!

There are random goto statements. See here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/01/28/line_break_pilot/

The third example is Apple.

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Voland's right hand
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Re: Kind of what I said a couple weeks ago.

They'd hack the hardware, possibly reading the security key

For a 4-8 digit (digits only) PIN? Gimme a break. That can be brute forced on a desktop PC once data is available. It is simply a matter of sourcing the data and it can indeed be done by taking the flash out and reading it off-line.

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Shock: Russian court says Russian court is right in slapping down Google monopoly

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Leaving the political background aside

If we leave just the meat of the case it is identical to proceedings being brought in the Eu competition commission which are still dragging on. This one: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-4782_en.htm

There are if memory serves me right similar proceedings opened competition authorities in nearly every jurisdiction on the planet.

The only thing to differ from the Eu (and other) proceedings here is that the case has gotten past the competition watchdog, the competition watchdog has quite rightfully decided against Google, Google has tried to protest in court and the court, once again, quite rightfully, has given it a slap in public.

When the Eu case will finally reach a decision it will not be any different (unless Google defangs the Eu competition commission through the transatlantic trade partnership first).

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Microsoft traps and tortures poor little AI in soulless Minecraft world

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It's an ekk.. ekk... ekk... DRINK!!!

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British IT outsourcers back Remain in the EU referendum campaign

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It's a double edged sword

Exporting services of UK workers is one edge. Using foreign services instead of UK workers is the other.

When we limit them strictly to Eu, they are significantly smaller than people tend to claim. UK living standard tends to be too high to work well in "providing services from the UK" computation.

The reverse direction is also negligible. Most other Eu countries and even some USA companies with significant Eu presence have moved a lot of what used to be done in India and the far east to Eastern Europe (both in-house and outsourced). It is simply better value for the money for a German company to get things done across the border to Brno in the Czech republic than in Bangalore (despite Czech salaries being higher than starting IT salaries in the UK). Similarly, Amazon has found its "better place" in Romania and Vmware in Bulgaria.

UK PLCs and UK Government have so far not joined that trend. The only large outsourced project with Eastern European labor I can think of the top of my head is the digitization of the library and archives of the Parliament (including the secret sections by the way). Done with Bulgarian labor. The rest of UK outsourcing still goes to India as the tradition (and other "factors") command.

So all in all the effect of in-out on outsourcing will be minimal. In fact, as noted by some people as Eu regulations on data, labor, etc will no longer apply it will become easier for UK companies to ship jobs overseas (and they will).

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Dell's Ubuntu-powered Precision Sputnik now available worldwide

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Multiple no-buy flags

Nice, but lots of red flags.

1. Price - major red flag. For that amount of money I you can have both a monstrous 8 core Athlon black edition 4.7GHz desktop/workstation and a perfectly usable low end laptop to connect to it.

2. Intel inside, idiot outside. No thanks. I'd like to have my Radeon as present on A4 CPUs, thank you. Intel is yet to come up with anything that gets even close for predominant Linux use (2D acceleration, font accel, etc).

3. Hell label. Sorry. Dell label on the lid.

Nope, no buy. I had some ideas on refreshing my "travel development" laptop, but its A4 and 16G RAM are still coping with what I throw at it so I will pass this time.

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Clear November in your diary: SpaceX teases first Falcon Heavy liftoff

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Re: Potential

Falcon Heavy "53,000 kg to LEO!"

SLS Block 1 70,000 kg to LEO.

SLS Block 2 130,000 kg to LEO

1960s Saturn V 140,000 kg to LEO

While Space-X selfindulgent marketeering w*nk is understandable, can at least El-Reg do not repeat it.

In addition to SLS and Saturn, Energia (in _MINIMAL_ config) could put 100,000kg to LEO. The maxium Vulcan config was not tested itself, but all of its components have flown - Zenits, boosters, core (as part of Energia M and Energia-Buran launches. Its capacity stands at 175 tons to LEO and _THAT_ is the biggest rocket ever designed by man. Compared to that Space-X Falkon-Heavy is still a minnow.

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I beg you, please don't back up that secret directory full of photos!

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Unprofessional

Unprofessional, that is all I can say.

There is very little difference between an IT person and a specialist in sexually transmitted diseases.

When the next patient comes in you can (and should) suspect a cocktail of Chlamydia, Syphilis and Gonorrhea. If you are a professional, you will deal with professionally, prescribe the appropriate antibiotics, etc. There are some cases when the individual in question is a threat to the society, then you call the cops. However, for the majority of questions you are _BOUND_ by an implicit oath of silence simply by nature of being a professional, not a witch doctor.

If you are using the opportunity for sh*ts and giggles, well...

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How a Brexit could stop UK biz and Europe swapping personal data

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Re: Nice that someone else realized it

The trouble here is that you are preaching to the converted

Not quite. Even the converted (as shown by previous discussions on El-Reg) have not quite thought all of these through. We cannot really blame them for that as we have lived with EU and EEA for so long, we have forgotten what does it mean to be outside it.

When I first moved to the UK 15+ years ago, the country I was moving from was still outside the EU. So I know _FIRST_ hand what is required - the whole drivers license, insurance, taxation, etc rigmarole. I could not buy my first house in the UK as the mortgage provider (hello xenophobic a***holes from RBS) declined to give me a mortgage because I was at a time non-Eu foreign scum. Thankfully, I found a less xenophobic mortgage and insurance provider after that (still charged me extra, but at least I got what I needed).

I also know how much of that changed after the country joined the Eu and I have the basis for comparison of what legislation applies in either case.

All of that is awaiting. Best scenario - massive costs and hassle to everyone who is out. Worst scenario - you outright cannot do business with Eu (that will be the case for some stuff).

Been there, have that T-shirt, do no want to have it again (hence, this is why I keep my Eu passport valid in addition to the UK one).

Compared to all of that, data protection is just that - some spice to make things interesting and interesting they shall become as do we like it or not, the Daily Beobachter and Scum readers are a majority. They will vote Out.

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Nice that someone else realized it

In a Brexit scenario 95% of the legislation governing how a British subject does business in/on the continent is null and void, resulting in fallback to pre-Eu conventions. At the very least - massive pain in the a**e, usually massive extra cost too. Even if Brexit somehow makes British industry more competitive (I doubt that), the extra costs put the overall balance in the red straight away.

Data protection is only the tip of the iceberg and it is a bloody big iceberg indeed.

Even your driving license becomes void in the Eu - it is falback to 1949 International Driving License convention and having to have that abominable piece of paper re-issued every year by a UK post office in the UK (until validity is re-negotiated with every country involved).

British vehicle insurance on the continent (both private and commercial) is null and void - governing legislation are the EEA insurance harmonization directives, so you are back to car green cards and the extortionate costs of underwriting by target country. So yeah... make British manufacturing great again. Jolly good idea, did you realize that it is automatically uncompetitive because of costs of shipment?

Rights to own certain type of properties (on agricultural land) in half of Europe for British subjects are null and void - it is a privilege reserved to local and Eu subjects (enshrined in constitution in some countries). So a British subject will have to register a local limited company _AND_ have sufficient annual turnover through it for it not to be closed by the local tax office. That limited company also has _NO_ double-taxation treaties in force to shield it as all governing legislation on that is Eu level. Leaving individuals and villas aside (they are just lined up for mandatory purchase) - want to ship goods to Europe, think 10 times on how and where exactly establish a distribution center if you do not want an "interesting" bill.

Compared to all of these the inability to handle any data you need in order to sell to Eu customers (even a warranty registration database) is only the icing on the cake and a rather thin one too.

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Feds tell court: Apple 'deliberately raised technological barriers' to thwart iPhone warrant

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Re: There Is No Freedom In China

Freedom aside.

It is very simple - no certification, no sale. Apple complied with the requirements to certify its hardware and software for sale in China. It could have chosen not sell there, but it decided to sell a country specific version.

There are no such certification requirements in USA. No western country has them at present.

If FBI wants them, it should go and make them a law same as they have with Calea and various telecoms regs. Until that is the case, any technological measures on the phones and their services are not directly against them. They are simply the last in line of the attackers behind all kinds of crooks, fraudsters and thieves. They are not being specifically singled out as an object of countermeasures.

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Behold, Microsoft SQL Server on Linux – and a firm screw-you to Oracle

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Yes and No

The SQL server itself is only half of the story. For each machine running sever you have tens, hundreds if not thousands of clients.

The _MUCH_ bigger part is how do you access it remotely. Ugly or not Oracle can be accessed from pretty much anything under the sun - perl, python, java, various spreadsheets, analytics, etc. The same is valid for most open source databases.

Last time I checked MS SQL, on the other hand however could be accessed from non-MS platforms only via FreeTDS (so there is no officially supported client) and the highest protocol version supported is the one that came out with SQL Server 2008. Any new features in 2013 (not sure what they shipped) as well as anything in 2016 AFAIK are not yet supported.

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MP wants to stitch 'digital' misuse laws into one bill

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Re: So can I

No.

You forgot to stick 5 occurrences of digital into your sentence.

Do so and it may end up in the bill remit.

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German lodges todger in 13 steel rings

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I suspect a bit of both

They have kit which can cut through way more serious stuff than steel nowdays. You have to have it when dealing with the various space alloys and ceramics which go into the prosthetics and implants.

However, that kind of gear is usually not in A&E (it is only in places where they do specialized surgery). There is definitely a sh*ts and giggles element too and that is on purpose. They want the most ridiculous instances to become famous enough for people not to try it again and create more work for the A&E department (though that usually does not work - people never learn).

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Critical flaw in Pidgin, Adium's Off The Record chat lib. Patch ASAP

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Can we have that fast network connection please?

Sending such a message to a pidgin client took only a few minutes on a fast network connection

I was going to comment about it being unrealistic. However a quick back of the fag packet calculation shows under 7 minutes at modern Cable network or FTTH speeds, so the speed part is not unrealistic as it seems. With congestion, overheads, etc - you are looking at 20-30 mins which is not unrealistic. Now, eating 8G RAM on the client without it being "noticeable" is slightly different. That is probably easier to notice.

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London cops hunt chimpanzee in top hat

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Re: really?

Come on, his value is not that high either.

Now Tony Bliar, that is a different story. I know whole countries which will pay gladly for the honor of having a taxidermied effigy of a war criminal so they can burn it at the stake.

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Re: Police Alert

No, but I have noticed yet another incident of bananas for questions.

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Re: Apes

They're apes.

If you are you referring to our esteemed Members of the Parliament, you may be overestimating them. Though dunno, we have not tried bananas for questions lately.

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Chinese boffins grow new eye lenses using stem cells

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Re: So they've "solvedcd" a problem that does not really exist?

Problem does exist.

You cannot implant an artificial lens in a child until they are at least 4+ years old and the eye is fully formed. Keeping a child blind until then is a major development issue.

I have some acquaintances which have adopted a child which was misdiagnosed as severely autistic and with developmental problems while the real problem was that the 5th world orphanage where they got her from did not pick up a +6 shortsightedness until the age of 4. It is taking YEARS and quite a lot of effort to correct for the first 4 that have been effectively lost.

So even if this never makes it to be an adult treatment its value as a pediatric medical treatment is off the scale.

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European commish considers probing Android, again

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Disagree

Paraphrasing Arnaud Amalric: Inquirere eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

Investigate them all, God will recognize his own.

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Airbus' Mars plane precursor survives pressure test

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Tail?

I came to say the same thing

Rutan's signature is not tail - it is tandem or duck wing/control surface arrangement:

http://www.scaled.com/projects/

90%+ and pretty much all "extreme" ones have that configuration.

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Voland's right hand
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Not necessarily

The original is not Rutan - it is Alvin and the other deep sea submersibles. Canopies stop being a realistic solution past a certain pressure differential, especially if you have aero (or hydro) dynamic requirements to contend with.

Checkered window pattern coctail:

1. Pressure differential of 1 bar (or more - for the submersible equivalent)

2. No pressure suits

3. Aerodynamics requirements

Shake with some coffee and serve to an engineer - you will get the same result in most cases.

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Sexism isn't getting better in Silicon Valley, it's getting worse

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Re: Dr Sue Black

So how would you react if a bloke gave you flowers?

A better analogy would be coming to work and finding a bottle of my fav booze next to the keyboard. Or a fresh coffee in the morning. Though I do not mind flowers too and I have had flowers left on my desk in the morning (with booze and chocs) - a few jobs back after going at 3am to fix the servers so our colleagues in a different TZ can work.

I know, I am supposed to be a demented, politically correct idiot and assume that this is an "unwanted advance" which I should immediately report to HR and my wife. How about an alternative explanation?

TOKEN OF APPRECIATION. Ever heard this one? Oh, I forgot - that explanation requires treating your colleagues like humans. Not like corporate drones. Yeah, tall order - I know. Goes to confirm my hypothesis that the "wrong" with the industry is not misoginism and sexism. It is sociopathy (regardless of the sexual aspect).

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Voland's right hand
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Re: Dr Sue Black

Can I give you my $0.02.

A society where you cannot give women flowers just because you feel like that without implying a sexual or sexist context because of f**** political correctness is not f**** worth living in.

Some people seriously need to get a life.

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Can we stop this nonsense

Can we stop this nonsense of people generalizing Valley tendencies as if they are the rule of law across the entire industry.

The gender imbalance is _VERY_ geographically dependent and somewhat "part of the industry" dependent as well.

Similarly, try unwanted sexual advances on your Serbian colleague for starters. You will think of Alice from Dilbert as a gentle, kind and caring soul after that. Whatever is left of you.

As far as the workplace going nastier I have a slightly different theory. It is not so much a question of who enters the workplace (it was geeks then, it is still geeks now). It is a question of who is the role model. The "Social Web" role models - the "successful ones" have an extremely strong sociopathy streak in them. That was not around 15 years ago. Sure, you could drown in testosterone and adrenaline on a bad day in the office. The sociopaths, however, were few and far between and they were not particularly successful.

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US chap sharpens paradigm-busting scissors

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Re: Phew...

Looking at my hands... I would have gladly paid for this gadget this weekend.

Wire mesh is a necessity in construction (especially in rural parts and third world) as it is the most effective anti-rodent measure. In fact, there is very little first-world to it.

If you ever had to cut it (especially in place while nailing it to rafters) you would have appreciated this invention.

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Java evangelist leaves Oracle to save Java

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Re: Please just let Java die...Please!

You took the words out of my mouth.

Read on BrainFuck: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainfuck

Read on Java Generics: https://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/java/generics/

<<<<Compare>>> <<<<Wheep>>>>

It is a pity Google put it on eternal life support with Android. If it was not for that rather stupid decision (they could chose anything early on - even python), it would have been a niche language by now.

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US slaps trade ban on ZTE over Iran links

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Countries do not have friends. Countries have interests

Not sure. This closely resembles (+/- translation) the first sentence of a monologue by Klaus Kinski's character in "The Death of a Dishonest Man". That is probably one of the most vicious satire movies on politics as it is and still valid today. Unfortunately you are more likely to see it in Russia than in UK or USA. Quite hilarious - the Russians used to always show it the night before the elections in the past.

This is one movie I definitely would not mind paying for (if I can get my mitts on an English translation or subtitles).

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Microsoft has made SQL Server for Linux. Repeat, Microsoft has made SQL Server 2016 for Linux

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Re: Wow

Just as Apple based OS X on BSD are we going to see Microsoft build a future version of Windows on Linux?

If that happens, hell will become the best place in the universe to perform superconductivity and superfluidics research. In igloos built out of solid nitrogen.

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Re: Wow

Also... Hell just got a whole lot cooler...

Definitely. I just booked an appointment for a pierced eardrum with my GP. The pig squadron from the nearby airbase didn't just take off, they went hypersonic above a residential area. My eardrums still hurt from that....

Looking at the calendar once, twice, thrice - nope it is still not 1st of April.

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El avión de papel del proyecto PARIS aterriza en un libro de texto

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Re: Interesting.

niño grande .

Poco niño, poco problema. Grande niño...

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Open trucker comms lets Shodan snoops alter routes, tap CANs buses.

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Realtime Embedditis

Embedded software development at its usual best.

One of the reasons the only IoT that is likely to enter my house and vehicles over the next decade is IoT I am going to write myself, outsource to offspring to write instead of me and/or get as open source packages whose source I can inspect.

Car upgrades are postponed too for pretty much the same reason - the household ones are already "Razzie-ed", but with a proper firewall in place and talking back to base via a VPN. As they should.

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Yelp-for-people app Peeple is back – so we rated Julia, its cofounder

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Re: A Dollar a Day for a "Truth License"

I'm still not sure what that means but it smells like a bit of blackmail money.

My exact thought. I smell an outstanding arrest order appearing for them shortly in USA and Europe. All it takes is a couple of libel or harassment lawsuits and a no-show both of which are bound to happen.

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'You've been hacked, pay up' ... Ransomware forces your PC to read out a hostage note

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Re: One way to scupper ransomware

In a world where you still get Nigerian bank manager emails and Microsoft support scams there will still be someone idiot enough to pay.

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Re: "Eastern Europeans go free"

Exactly - the list of countries that get the red carpet treatment is ex-Soviet Union, not Eastern Europe. So the Czech's are indeed in the post.

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Brit firm unleashes drone-busting net cannon

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Re: Crikey

If you generate more than 12lbs per square inch

The muzzle on this is HUGE. There is no way in hell the puny compressed air tank attached to it can generate 12lbs per square inch (approx 1 bar) across an area with a diameter of a shoulder launched missile and more than a meter and a half in length So as far as the current regs go (and are literally interpreted) this is most likely an "airsoft"

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100metres of 20lb fishing line, what, a couple of grammes

And a hell of a drag to unwind it.

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Re: Crikey

surely it doesn't fall within the definition of an air rifle...?

Actually - it does. You do not need any frigging license to own it. Where can I buy the 300 version before they scramble to fix the licensing regime? It will look grand on top of my truck :)

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AMD to fix slippery hypervisor-busting bug in its CPU microcode

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Re: Slight Schadenfreude

I am reading it :)

You got correctly downvoted then and there. Let me explain why (as someone who has _WRITTEN_ hypervisor software in use for virtual routing and firewalls).

This is no different from any firmware or CPU bug. You can break out of protected mode, exploit buggy network card firmware, etc. If anything, virtualization, when used correctly provides an _ADDITIONAL_ layer of protection.

By the way, from that perspective, in the specific cases of virtual routing and firewalls you are better of to consider forms of virtualization which use as little as possible in terms of hardware accel features. Sure, you pay in terms of absolute performance. You get it back in terms of maintainability and security. If you do it _THAT_ way, your virtual firewall is actually more secure than one running on bare metal as you have one more layer of "defense in depth". It is more maintainable too. That is is also exactly the use case I would advocate for (and what I used to do for a living). I would also not go schadenfreude-ing on every single firmware bug as the reason to invalidate the whole concept.

This is no different from the argument which Cisco tried to mandate to all of its indoctrinates ~ 10 years ago that they answer that PIX is more secure than firewalls which use combined kernelspace + userspace mode because it runs everything privileged in a monolithic system. That as we all know is bollocks. Sure you get a bug from splitting things once in a while - that is still better than doing everything in one blob.

By the way, looking at the bug, it offers a specific exploitation route in kvm. That does not mean that it does not have an exploitation route outside virtualization domain. There is a gazillion ways to trigger an NMI on a NUMA system. In fact, I have some userspace, unprivileged code lying around somewhere which will kill any older (and probably newer) 2+ socket Xeon running Linux within 15 seconds by hard fault through NMI storm. It is not that difficult.

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French parliament votes to jail tech execs who refuse to decrypt data

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Re: Irrelevant to Apple, even if they pass it

but if what they are asking for is IMPOSSIBLE then they can hardly fine Apple or throw Tim Cook in jai

Au contraire, mon ami. He will be spending time in the slammer because he deliberately made it impossible. Double time too - half under encryption laws, half under "obstructing the course of justice" laws. Do not forget that France has a good form in the latter - it is the only country in the world which applies the "obstructing the course of justice" statute to GPS vendors and other sources which publish list of fixed speed camera locations. Successfully too.

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Re: SIEG HEIL, Monsieur Hollande

SIG HEIL, Madame Le Pen - more likely. SIG HEIL, Monsieur Sarkozy - definitely. Hollande - not so much.

Monsieur Hollande happens to oppose this idiotic madness which originated on the far right somewhere in between the frankonazi and nazifranko part of the tabloid feeding populists. Same as in every other country - it is the same type of politico proposing it and the same type of politico driving it

They usually also think about children. A lot (with or without "the" in that sentence).

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India challenges US visa price hike at World Trade Organisation

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Re: Apart from India

Who else does this impact on?

Nobody

Imports from other countries are really (not fraudulently) based on qualification and business need and quite often fit L and M visas instead of H1B anyway. The costs incurred by companies for people relocated under that heading are so high that a one off 4k is practically pocket change. You usually pay more than an order of magnitude more than that for all the expenses around relocation.

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That is an interesting take on it

So, India openly considers trading in people to be kosher? I guess it is good to know where we really stand on this one. In any case, I thought Abraham Lincoln did away with the idea of "people as goods" a while back.

In any case 4000 is not enough. The way H1B (and similar programmes in other countries) is formulated it postulates the same salary for the import as the local. This does not reflect the real cost of the local vs import. You nearly always end up with additional retention costs for locally hired staff - you have to raise their salary and run salary reviews, you have to provide bonuses, share options, etc. That in IT accounts for ~ 50K of employer costs per retainable head. At least.

So frankly, the cost of the work permit should not go down. It should go UP. To 50K or thereabouts so that only qualified staff which is worth it is imported on work permit programmes.

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Microsoft wants to lock everyone into its store via universal Windows apps, says game kingpin

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Re: Stating the obvious

Gandalf

Didn't I tell you to take his staff away?

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Fifth time's the charm as SpaceX pops satellite into orbit

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Re: "How are we going to get to the Moon if we can't talk between two buildings?"

Hint: A 2nd smaller barge,

I thought there was a support ship already. While the barge is fully autonomous during the landing itself it is crewed on the way in an crewed on the way out (if it survives). That crew has to go somewhere in the meantime.

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We’re not holding biz to ransom, says pay to play ad-blocking outfit

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The industry is ripe for a new google

When google added ads for the first time up everyone was happy because it served high value relevant unobtrusive ads which did not eat 90% of the resource of your PC.

One of the reasons why it bulldozed everyone out of the way was exactly that - its ads rocked and the lusers actually did click on them.

That continued until it ate double-click resulting in a fatal brain rotting inf*cktion. The admen which Google was effectively driving out of a job took over and destroyed the fundamental basis for Google's competitive edge. The math based algos for ad relevance were replaced by crap. When that happened my revenue from my website went down by a factor of 10+ times in a matter of a few months so I just decided to throw in the towel. The unobtrusive ads were replaced by utter tripe same as double-click was serving pre-aquisition and which it was losing market share on. And so on.

In reality - it is not Google who acquired DoubleClick. DoubleClick acquired Google and Google is the new DoubleClick. That actually means that if someone comes with an ad + search platform which apes the one which practically drove DoubleClick into the ground pre-aquisition, the market will be ripe for the taking once more. What goes around, comes around.

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'$5bn for Slack?! I refuse to pay!' You don't pay – and that's its biggest problem

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Re: Speaking as someone who knows bugger all about Slack..

It is not just yet another one. It is yet another one with a proprietary protocol.

I may not like XMPP as it is often way too verbose, but it works, interoperates and is proven to run and ludicrous scales (Google hangouts/talk and f***book messenger). I really do not see why an attempt to reinvent the XMPP wheel via JSON sreaming should be valued at 1Bn.

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Facebook paid £4k in tax. HMRC then paid Facebook £27k – for ads

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No more Nookie for Blighty as Barnes & Noble pulls out

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Re: Another white flag is raised

This is not the tablet market, it is the content market.

The way large publishing houses have set-up their digital content agreements prices, discounts, etc are applicable _ONLY_ if you sell X amount per year in a geography. If you do not, you no longer get discounted prices and in the worst cases you do not even get content licensed for that geography.

Nook failed to get its numbers. So it effectively lost its content source.

That is not surprising - the Amazon juggernaut is now unstoppable and effectively unsinkable. I originally started with Kobo. I have now got rid of all the devices (thankfully, only a couple of books on them were paid for) and switched to Kindle. So have most users. All other eBook content distributors in Eu are now effectively dead. The only content is Kindle or pirated (for Kindle).

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Essex cop abused police IT systems to snoop on his in-laws

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Why did he make the searches?

Well, reminds me about an Eastern European joke:

Dada, dada, why is granny running around the yard and hiding behind the trees?

For you - granny, for me - mother in law. Shut up and pass me the next clip.

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