* Posts by Michael H

7 posts • joined 27 Aug 2011

Google not sabotaging YouTube on Windows Phone after all

Michael H
Facepalm

Kind of an odd stance from MS

"Windows Phone invested additional engineering resources against existing APIs to re-architect a Windows Phone app that delivers a great YouTube experience. ... Microsoft did not receive any additional technical support to create the Windows Phone YouTube app."

In other words, reverse engineering, which Microsoft itself despises and works against (particularly with Skype)?

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Google's Brin admits he under-estimated Chinese censorship

Michael H
Megaphone

You've either misunderstood me or not read what I've written

Facebook and Google are all about identity consolidation and profiling in order to gather advertising metrics, which all rely on key aspects of the way the internet and web browsers work. Projects like Tor and Freenet attempt to engineer networks and software which preserve free speech by anonymity, and so undermine the ability of advertisers and analytics firms to track and profile users, a seriously large part of their business. Firms like Yahoo, MS, Google, Facebook, Alexa, etc will never support these projects on a significant scale because it would destroy the foundations of their internet businesses, full stop.

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Michael H
Stop

@AC 16/04/2012 17:53 Google are not philanthropists

The fact of the matter is, this won't happen. As much as people like to think, Google isn't a philanthropic organisation, sworn to protect all free speech on the internet. Google is a publicly-traded for-profit company with a market in advertising and web analysis, and a swarm of shareholders to keep happy.

As projects like Freenet and Tor undermine the traceability of users, which is the cornerstone of their whole profit-making operations that subsidise the squishy PR parts of Google, there's no way they will invest anything significant into their R&D.

They have provided some small contribution to Tor (under $100k incl. stipends paid out to GSoC participants according to their website), but this is another part of their PR creed of "Do No Evil". It's not enough to make a significant inroad to censorship prevention, and it's certainly not enough to turn it into global censorship resistant network capable of supporting the world's general population. What Google can do and what they will do are not the same.

As for the Hong Kong move, that was most likely a business move with a PR to appeal to Western consumers. My assumption is that their boardroom felt that the cost of complying with Chinese takedown orders frequently wasn't worth continuing in that market, especially considering they probably felt helpless to compete with a Chinese company that probably had big friends in the party and the national pride of a large part of the billion-strong population.

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US lawmakers claim Huawei sold censor tech to Iran

Michael H
FAIL

Siemens...

...is also German, not American.

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Michael H
Facepalm

Oh the irony...

Isn't it strange how these law makers:

A) Have 'conveniently not noticed' that Juniper and Cisco (both American networking moguls) are providing similar products and services to pro-censorship regimes?

B) Are currently trying to rush a bill through in their own country that instates such a regime?

You can tell that American politicians are desparately trying to clutch on to their country's status as the economic leaders in the technology sector by the repeated bogus or hypocritical accusations they levy at Asian tech firms like Huawei, and every patent case in favour of the Silicon Valley software giants.

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Android upgraded to be more resistant to hack attacks

Michael H
Facepalm

ASLR might stop people exploiting buffer overflows...

...but it still isn't going to stop J. Random Luser (the sort who uninstalls their AV protection because "the update balloons were annoying") from installing an app off the market that runs up a £4000 bill in premium rate dialing scams. This is where the real security issues in Android lay. (Of course, enabling ASLR is still an improvement, I'm not deriding that)

I'm firmly of the belief that background services in Android should be restricted from texting and calling, and bring up a confirmation when done by third party apps in the foreground, without explicitly setting it otherwise in the preferences. Not nanny state, just opt-out protection for those who don't know what they're doing.

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Phishing email used in serious RSA attack surfaces

Michael H
Devil

Sadly...

...thanks to the "helpful feature" that is Microsoft's COM, any ActiveX plugin can be inserted into office documents. Of course, Microsoft doesn't care about how flawed and insecure COM is, especially as a feature in Office documents. But why have security when you can have buzzwords and lock-in?

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