* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

1028 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Page:

Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
WTF?

Those kids

World's most profitable tech company finds declining demand for its aging premium products. It must be the factory's fault.

13
2

A USB stick as a file server? We've done it!

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Too slow

I've tried cheap NAS before. It sounds like lots of fun - an instant way to share files without infrastructure. Soon you get tired of waiting for it. Simon's 100MB test works out to ADSL modem speeds so you might as well leave it at home plugged into your router's storage port.

It would be nice if these things got fast.

1
0

Unlimited mobile data in America – where's the catch? There's always a catch

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Carrier fee for suckers

T-Mobile only knows how much tethering data you're using when it passes through their custom tethering app. Without it, tethering data is normal data like it should be. It's an odd and expensive penalty for buying your phone from a T-Mo store rather than from the manufacturer.

0
0

Oracle reveals Java Applet API deprecation plan

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
Mushroom

Just kill Applets already

I'm not sure why you'd want to compile an Applet with Java 9 when there will be nothing to run Java 9 Applets. It wasn't just security concerns that ended Applets. Java's GUI, multimedia, and certificate APIs are pretty miserable on their own. Trying to get them working properly through a browser plug-in is futile. For all of JavaScript's flaws, it's still a million times better than Java Applets.

0
0

Google tells popup ads to p*** off on mobes

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Hey Googly...

99% of PlayStore would vanish if Google removed all apps that were vulnerable to click-fraud, phishing, and hijacks through malicious adverts. That's not good business to a company making money from data collection and advertising.

The real motivation is for Google blocking online crap is that it's not Google's online crap.

7
7

Microsoft, Lenovo cross-licensing love-in: Android mobes knocked up with... Office apps

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

No need to worry

Lenovo is currently not issuing software updates.

0
0

Breaker, breaker: LTE is coming to America's CB radio frequencies

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Unlicensed LTE

Does this mean letting people run their own low power community cellular services? This would actually be a great way to share Internet and fill in small areas where signals are blocked or roaming fees are too high. Auctioning it to telcos, or any large commercial deployment, would be a complete waste of public bandwidth.

Meanwhile, 26.965 to 27.405 MHz is still there for trolls leveling up their skills on a giant 1/2 wave antenna before heading to the Internet.

0
0

Two-speed Android update risk: Mobes face months-long wait

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
FAIL

Lying with statistics

About that plateau on the Moto graph: Lenovo has halted updates. As of right now, the X Pure is Android 6.0.0 with the February 2016 security patch. The May 2016 security patch is partially deployed and the 6.0.1 update seems to have been abandoned after a limited release. VoLTE isn't entirely working and there are no plans for a fix.

1
0

Microsoft promises free terrible coffee every month you use Edge

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Whoa, hold on there!

Of course Google tries to watch everything you do. It's in the disclaimer that everyone dismisses the first time they signed in to Chrome or "improved" their GPS settings.

The difference is that Google offers nice stuff for your soul. It's hard to feel like you're getting a good deal with Edge and Starbucks.

3
1

Verizon fingered in Android bloatware-for-cash cram scandal

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Another reason why you should never buy phones from a telco.

1
0

Intel teases geeks with 2017 AI hyper-chip: Xeon Phi Knights Mill

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

A chart with an arrow shooting up into infinity! Where's my wallet?

6
0

Cisco raises axe above 14,000 staff – reports

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Company that makes hardware for the cloud is laying off staff and moving to the cloud.

3
0

Google's brand new OS could replace Android

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Core control

About that Linux flame war - One consistent problem with Android is CPU core control. I have yet to see a governor determine accurately determine how many CPUs are needed and how fast they should be running. They need to know how many tasks may execute concurrently and whether or not intermittent loads are coming from a single operation (latency sensitive) or many operations (not sensitive). The hacks that try to make this work will make you cringe.

A new mobile OS that can control the CPU cores better could have at least 50% more battery life and 50% better performance for everyday tasks. A full-throttle benchmark would look the same, of course, but most uses are bursty.

0
0

Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
FAIL

This is not the market you're looking for

Google and Apple have been saying the same about India without success. Google likes personal data collection, advertisements, social manipulation, cloud storage, and other things that drain batteries and data plans in an instant. Apple likes sky-high margins, new technology, flashy looks, and customer lock-in. Neither one suits India. Even Apple's and Google's current markets are growing a bit weary of these designs.

Some phone makers do understand it - replaceable battery, splash resistant, protective rim around the glass edge, minimal OS that runs for days on a charge, unlocked bootloader for free third party OS upgrades, microSD slot for cheap storage upgrades, and a bit of extra bulk to avoid exotic construction.

1
0

Boffins' blur-busting face recognition can ID you with one bad photo

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: I call BS

I suspect it has issues with block motion compensation in modern cameras. Image features are a sharp but not exactly where they should be.

1
0

Thieves can wirelessly unlock up to 100 million Volkswagens, each at the press of a button

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: No need for hacking

I put a 'scope on the door handle. Touching the handle emits a coded EM signal in the audio frequency range that the transponder replies to. I was able to activate the transponder from a distance using a crappy old Archer Mini Amplifier (LM386 demo circuit in a box) and a couple of coils as a low frequency signal relay. A Satellite TV amp should be able to relay the return path from the transponder. Add directional antennas and you have an open car.

2
3
Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

No need for hacking

As it has been demonstrated before, VW keys don't need to be hacked because they're transponders. The natural decay of RF energy is their only security mechanism. An analog RF relay will open the doors and start the engine. I haven't hooked up my 'scope to the door yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if it used frequencies compatible with off-the-shelf cable modem range extenders.

You can pull the transponder battery out for security. The driver door has a hidden keyhole and there's a short-range RFID sensor on the steering column.

1
6

Raucous Ruckus router ruckus roundly rumbles: Infosec bod says Wi-Fi kit is weak, biz says no

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
WTF?

Is Ruckus Wireless entering the "small business network" market of expensive yet buggy products?

0
0

Toshiba flashes 100TB QLC flash drive, may go on sale within months. Really

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Truckloads of these will probably go to a remote location in Utah. This is the tech you'd use to correlate observed events on a large scale in real-time.

1
0

Facebook to forcefeed you web ads, whether you like it or not: Ad blocker? Get the Zuck out!

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Proof! that! Yahoo! not! really! dead! (Sponsored)

I've been getting that zuckload of ads for a couple of weeks now making Facebook look like Yahoo News. You can click "Hide all ads from..." for an advertiser but it's useless against what seems to be infinite permutations of advertiser names.

1
0

Video surveillance recorders riddled with zero-days

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: The joy of The Internet of Things

You drill down the soft brass bottom of the keyhole. The tumblers tear out and the barrel turns.

A Bluetooth hack is good for cases where social engineering is needed to get past neighbors. You can pretend that you're talking to the resident and being invited in while sending the unlock code. It's less convincing with the cordless drill.

3
0
Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Are there any robust systems out there?

Axis seems good, both in quality and customer support. Their IP cameras are little Linux computers that can operate by themselves or integrate with other standard components.

I second the recommendation to avoid all Hikvision cameras if you're interested in robust software. Maybe 2/3 of the cameras on any online web site are white-label Hikvisions.

1
0
Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
Facepalm

PHP

What is it with PHP programmers never escaping data? Hacked with a semicolon? Really? You grabbed a URL parameter full of whatever, concatenated onto the end of a shell command, and called it done? Maybe filtered out control characters after somebody said you're doing it wrong. Wait, why are you even launching a shell?

6
0

Latest Androids have 'god mode' hack hole, thanks to Qualcomm

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Risk categories

"Jailbroken" isn't all bad. A scan of Cyanogenmod 13 shows only one vulnerability and the fix is in tonight's build.

2
0

California to put all your power-hungry PCs on a low carb(on) diet

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
Trollface

The fans are good

All modern computers have brushless fans. As Dyson marketing says, this design reduces carbon emissions.

3
0
Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

They're telling you to update

This really comes down to whether or not a computer supports clock scaling and low power modes. Older computers have little difference in power consumption whether they're rendering an action game or displaying an e-mail. Maybe they can cut their power from a peak of 750W to 350W while idle. Modern home computers already scale the clock better and use more low power modes to keep the fans quiet. It's not unusual for a new computer to consume less than 50W while idle.

Old CCFL powered LCD screens were power hogs too. They lamps glow purple unless they're kept toasty warm.

It would be an amusing twist if ad blockers were required to meet power consumption goals while using a web browser.

3
1

Two first-gen flaws carried over to HTTP/2, warn security bods

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Slow Read

It doesn't surprise me that HTTP servers don't have Slow Read protection because it doesn't work well at the server level. A single server can detect that it has too many connections from a single client but it can't see the big picture. It could be that one client has thousands of connections open but each server behind a load balancer sees what looks like a legitimate set of requests from a tolerably slow connection.

Ten years ago, the most difficult time for a server was late night when everyone finished dinner and dialed in with a POTS modem. I/O and CPU dropped to nothing but system memory maxed out maintaining all those HTTP sessions and socket buffers.

3
0

Crocodile well-done-dee: Downed Down Under chap roasted by exploding iPhone

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Don't you watch those videos in your spare time?

A car has the advantage of being able to carry enough armor to direct the flames away from the passenger compartment. You have some time to get out before the whole car catches fire.

There are videos of Lamborghini Aventadors catching fire too. Some owners don't understand that the flaming tailpipe trick is a quarter megawatt of heat with nowhere good to go.

6
0

IPv6 now faster than IPv4 when visiting 20% of top websites – and just as fast for the rest

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Actually, thank the big telcos

As much as I hate US big telcos, they are the reason that IPv6 works. I have yet to see a decent home or small business router that can work properly with IPv6 turned on. You fight your way through inconsistent terminology, auto-configure bugs for the subnet size, and numerous things that need a reboot for no good reason. You start wondering if "6rd" is pronounced as "turd." Then connections start timing out because somewhere in the 1000 miles between point A and B, the MTU is smaller than each side thinks it is. Auto-config puts your MAC address in the IP address, then another auto-config tool warns you that your MAC address is visible. Maybe router rules doesn't work for IPv6 so you have to disable IPv6 on everything that's not hardened against global access.

Plug in the big telco modem and IPv6 usually works.

3
1

Seagate: We've doubled flash capacity without density changes

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

What Ta?

Consumer electronics still uses tantalum caps?

0
0

Captain Piccard's planet-orbiting solar aircraft in warped drive drama

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Personal aircraft

I see electric aircrafts winning for rural personal transportation where simplicity is more important than range and duty cycle. Keep it parked it in the sun and it's ready to go. No oil changes, tuneups, gas additives, fuel storage, or repairs for vibration wear.

0
2

I'm good, I'm fine, solid quarter, real well ... pants Sprint as it limps past, spilling $300m

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Sad, but

I don't see any hope for Sprint. They've done everything wrong and did it with conviction. They sold 2 year WiMax phone contracts even as WiMax towers were rapidly vanishing. They sold defective phones and told customers that they were stuck between a hard place and early termination fees. They advertise "4G" or "LTE" with hardly a tower to be found with bandwidth. They advertise great coverage but it's throttled roaming.

Sprint's big turnaround effort is selling off their cell towers for a quick buck then leasing them back. Wow. I just took a look at Sprint's web site and they're STILL using every trick in the book for quick money and contractual lock-in. I picture the executive staff drunk at a big party screaming, "F*ck this job. Down in flames! Down in flames!"

2
0

Cyanogen Inc 'axes 20%' staff

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Slow death of mediocracy

I don't know why Cyanogen doesn't sell direct to the public rather than promoting obscure cell phones hosting their commercial OS. Android is dynamic, buggy as hell and most cell makers have no interest in software. I know I would pay a small monthly fee to have a third party maintain a good OS, manage bug reports, and provide regular builds. Cyanogenmod is so close to being a great OS but free volunteers struggle to maintain undocumented chipset drivers. It tarnishes the Cyanogen name.

4
0

GOP delegates suckered into connecting to insecure Wi-Fi hotspots

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Why? - Let's have some critical journalism

Upvote for this. How is a fake WiFi AP any more dangerous than other public forms of Internet?

Most people have their apps and browsers remember logins, and that isn't fooled by a fake encrypted site. Downgrading to HTTP would disable automatic login and likely present an insecure form warning. Mobile apps and firmware are digitally signed to prevent tampering.

The one exception is sites not using HTTPS for login. No respected site would do that, right Reg?

2
0

How's this for irony? US Navy hit with $600m software piracy claim

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Better supply a new presidential candidate with that bill

The US of Trump will declare bankruptcy, settle for an undisclosed amount, counter sue for defamation, then hire a ghostwriter for a book about defeating Germany.

2
0

Harvard gives solar batteries performance-enhancing vitamins

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Lead-acid not flow

Lead-acid batteries are not flow batteries. Power is created by sulfuric acid taking oxygen off the positive plates and creating lead sulfate on both plates. Both plates become inert lead sulfate so adding fresh acid doesn't add power. (Except for some exotic experimental designs that move dissolved lead)

0
0

Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: A week is a long time in politics

Creating new companies and selling them to foreigners for mountains of money sounds like a pretty good business to be in.

2
7

FTC lets Nest off the hook over Revolv IoT hub bricking shame

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Home Server

Have you seen recent cloud service subscription prices? $500 for a server is a bargain.

1
1

Thermostat biz Nest warms to home security, touts cam with cloud storage subscription

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Yawn

At those costs, might as well spend nearly $800 on an Axis standalone network camera. Same features but uses a microSD card and/or NAS rather than a Google subscription.

0
0

A bad day for DBAs: MIT boffins are replacing you with a mere spreadsheet

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

A = Administrator?

Maybe you meant developers for relational databases or data mining. The new GUI won't keep the database running.

I suspect that the GUI won't replace relational database developers either. It looks like an excellent prototyping tool, though. Keeping SQL commands in sync with evolving diagrams on a whiteboard is exactly zero fun.

12
0

IoT puts assembly language back on the charts

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: You can "learn" assembly?

There are, in fact, assembly language courses at schools. They cover techniques for managing the call stack, passing parameters, multi-threading and interrupts, building and parsing data structures, breaking down mathematical formulas into bitwise operations, macros, optimizing instruction pipelines, virtual addressing, various means of interacting with hardware, and playing nice with an operating system. The details vary with each system but the basics remain the same.

0
0

Oracle says it is 'committed' to Java EE 8 – amid claims it quietly axed future development

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

The money! The money! Won't somebody think of the money!

The phrase "Enterprise Edition" usually means "so convoluted that you need to buy help." As I understand it, the Java EE set up the pyramid of training, certification, and consulting fees that made Java profitable to the owner.

Maybe nobody is buying Java EE support anymore? Java seems to be popular enough that you can always find a library or a developer to provide a more elegant solution than what's in some of the EE packages.

2
0

Obi Worldphone MV1: It's striking, it's solid. Aaaand... we've run out of nice things to say

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
FAIL

Obi Oldphone

Why would anyone buy a new Obi when there are plenty of old phones lying around that can be upgraded from KitKat to CM12 or CM13? The Obi isn't even a high-end old phone. It's a midrange old phone.

1
0

Those Xbox Fitness vids you 'bought'? Look up the meaning of the word 'rent'

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

The race to $0

Anyone who has used DRM media knows it's rental. When I see a DRM "purchase" I expect it to be as cheap as a single use or as cheap as a streaming subscription. I'm not paying any more for it. Studio greed is creating social expectations of cheap media and archive quality piracy that they probably won't recover from.

8
0

Magnetic, heat scanners to catch Tour de France electric motor cheats

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Tech

We might as well let the wealthy cheaters invent some cool stuff without completely cheating: Allow any modification as long as it starts with no stored energy and it will never be patented. Use solar, regeneration, cross winds, EM harvesting, electronic transmission, vibration adsorption, or anything else as long as the bike starts at zero energy.

Let's face it. Bikes need some new technology besides weight shavings and hipster wood paneling.

18
0

Surveillance, interrogation and threats: Behind the Nest witch-hunt

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Get right up to the creepy line but not cross it

Google collects everything about you so maybe you want to know about about Google.

It's an amazing place to be - excellent free food everywhere, bikes, pools, parties, and discounted everything. It's socially close to a Utopia. Now about the job part - It's one of the worst places to work. Google has many tens of thousands of employees so the odds are against you having anything interesting to do. It's average pay, expectations of long hours, on-call rotation, and endless bureaucracy. Those who can't code will try to look useful by trash-talking everyone else's project. Your boring project, which is probably just moving protobufs around in a horribly crippled Go/C++/Java that builds like you're on an ancient mainframe, is going to get blocked by people pretending like they're saving the company from your extra whitespace. Then reviewers will argue among themselves - Your change is too big, your change is too small, undo what the other reviewer told you to do. Time for more meetings. Build system is slow. Custom IDE is crashing again... Maybe you get 300 lines of code checked in after a week of work. Your suggestions to improve team productivity are met with a lecture of Google's sacred ways.

Google employees fall into pretty much three categories. First are blissfully ignorant masses that were pulled from graduation before experiencing the real world. They translate protobufs, hunt for bugs, and sleep in their cars until they burn out. Second are frustrated and angry employees waiting for more of their stock options to Nest, I mean vest, before leaving. Their day is one hour of productivity and another 9 hours of passionate hatred. Third is a handful of visionaries who have been given special bureaucratic exemptions to get work done. None of these three categories are very productive. That's why you need over many tens of thousands of people to accomplish anything.

9
1
Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

For whatever defense argument Google is preparing, it's not going to work. Google's memegen has about 60000 more viewers than anyone's Facebook account.

1
0

Linux's NFV crew: Operators keen to ditch clunky networks, be 'cool' like, er, Facebook

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: I must be getting old

The way I read it: Marketing is going to solve old wiring performance problems by adopting more modern methodology buzzwords. I'm confident that this new plan will work as well as Facebook and G+.

3
0

Google enlists Microsoft VoIP partner to unseat Office 365+Skype

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Wait, what?

Why all the bundling and integration if it's using plain WebRTC and SIP? This is what makes Project Fi a bit odd - a very simple form of personal communication being re-imagined by a large data collection and advertising agency so that it now requires special hardware and software.

4
0

Non-US encryption is 'theoretical,' claims CIA chief in backdoor debate

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

The world is flat so non-US corporations are at risk of falling over the edge. I stood on a ladder today and checked: it's true.

0
0

Page:

Forums