* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

748 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Page:

No, really, the $17,000 Apple Watch IS all about getting your leg over

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Misunderstood title

I came here thinking that the Apple Watch was somehow related to the Riker Maneuver.

1
0

GitHub ordered to hand over access logs to Uber

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Childcatcher

So... I can check my private security key into GitHub, wait for my computer to get hacked, and then I have a right to spy on GitHub's visitors?

9
1

This is what happens when a judge in New York orders an e-hit on a Chinese software biz

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Déjà vu

Blu-ray movies are "sold" and you "buy" them. Those are the terms used on the box and the adverts. When they require permission to play, they're technically a lease or a rental. I would hope this technicality bites AACS-LA the same way it did with DIVX. It wouldn't surprise me if China redirects a bit of their DoS bandwidth towards Blu-ray licensing servers.

4
0

Storm gathers around CDN Cloudflare after doxxing allegations, Pirate Bay deal

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: I'm lost

CloudFlare specializes in keeping sites up, not only against DoS attacks, but against complaints of abuse or illegal activity. Personally, I'd like to see of lot of the company thrown in jail for all the trouble I've had with their customers.

0
6

Pass the Lollipop: Google creepily warms to body contact with Android lock function

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Terminator

Not creepy enough yet

Let me guess, sensor data is uploaded to Google for complex analysis and it is retained for long periods of time as AI training data?

4
4

Atomic keyrings: Just how bright are they?

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Lost mine in a dark room

I had to turn on the lights to find them. The capsules are very loose inside the plastic chamber so I expect that one will break if I accidentally drop it.

0
0
Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

If you work out the cost per day of shipping, the number is quite small. (And getting smaller. I don't have mine yet.)

3
0

Apple Watch is like an invasive weed says Gartner

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
WTF?

...tapping consumers' precious music collections?

I buy music from iTunes because AAC sounds good and the files work on non-Apple devices. I'd buy even more if I didn't need to run that steaming pile of iTunes.

I'd say Apple is attempting lock-in by holding your data hostage to the platform: proprietary file sharing, proprietary filesystem, proprietary RPC, hidden user data, iCloud, patent trolling, and integration of Apple apps into the OS. It's the 1990s all over again. Analysts will predict never-ending growth due to lock-in and then one day customers will stop putting up with it.

10
3

Forget viruses: Evil USB drive 'fries laptops with a power surge'

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Meh

Zapping the data lines won't propagate beyond the USB port. A nastier trick would be drawing some to charge the capacitor bank then returning it at extremely high positive voltage. There's an excellent chance of there being a strong diode path allowing the surge to backflow into a common 5V power rail. PTC protectors used for secondary protection are too slow to stop this.

1
0

Nest seeks audio talent to delight … someone

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Facepalm

That's a brilliantly refreshing idea. A remote controllable WiFi music player. They could call it something catchy like "SoundBridge" or "Squeezebox." Maybe it could disguise itself as a tabletop clock while it's idle.

0
0

Devs don't care about cloud-specific coding, right? Er, not so

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

I did some checks on current cloud computing offerings and they seem to be better now. The original cloud model of many virtual machines is always a nightmare when it comes to tracking online resources, maintaining uptime, and implementing secure host-to-host communications. That overhead guarantees that every application is bloated, complicated, and dangerously buggy. Newer cloud services offer virtual data centers, which is what you really want for some clusters of related services.

1
0

CloudFlare launches nameserver DDoS shield

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Not just DDoS attacks

I'm starting to think that CloudFlare is sponsoring articles on The Reg. I don't see any good journalism here to investigate the other things that CloudFlare offers protection against: spam complaints, fraud complaints, and criminal complaints. These services are even stated in CloudFlare's own blog and Facebook page. Check out the comments section for lists of actual customers.

0
0

Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
WTF?

Need a bigger laptop bag

This new "One Jack Mac" is a lot like Trash Can Mac. Minimalist and elegant but needs a whole desk full of cables, gizmos, and peripherals to be useful.

17
5

Bite my shiny metal Ask: Java for OS X crapware storm brewing

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Applet plugin != Application runtime

The Java runtime is quite useful and common. Some types of applications are faster to develop in Java or easier to support across diverse platforms.

99.99999% of users should not install the Java browser plugin. The applet environment is so awful that software engineers gladly waited 15 years for JavaScript to catch up, and even tolerated Flash in the meantime. That bad.

26
1

US watchdog: Anthem snubbed our security audits before and after enormous hack attack

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: Easy peasy!

Insurance companies and the US government are both experts at fee manipulation. I picture both of them gathering greasy, vile, monocle-wearing lawyers and financiers into a dark room, deep underground, around a ancient and worn wooden table to plan the next attack.

1
0

Cash'n'Carrion restocks atomic keyrings

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Inventory is up, cart is down

"Due to an unexpected technical problem, cashncarrion.co.uk is temporarily unavailable. Please check back in a few minutes – we'll be up and running in no time!"

0
0

Ford to save you from BIKE FITNESS HORROR

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Weak article

"9-amp-hour battery"

At how many volts? Come on, only Wired should make mistakes like this.

"electric pedal assist for speeds of up to 25km/h"

That's hardly impressive, and hardly difficult on a normal bike.

2
2

FREAK show: Apple and Android SSL WIDE OPEN to snoopers

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
WTF?

Stuck on old Android

This is an issue with telcos locking down phones that they claim they're selling to you. You should never buy a locked phone. You will regret it in 6 months when you've hit a major bug and the telco offers to fix it with a $250 phone swap.

BTW, Apple stops providing security patches to older models too and offers no workaround other than switching to Linux or buying a new computer that isn't actually any faster.

4
8

Ikea to start making electrified furniture. What could possibly go wrong?

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
WTF?

Wrong end of the problem

Will Ikea sell Qi hardwood floors to power the Qi furniture, or do you still need to string an extension cord out to the middle of your living room?

1
0

MEGA PATENT DUMP! Ericsson, Smartflash blitz Apple: iPhone, iPad menaced by sales block

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

By the way

Somebody should remind the Ericsson lawyers that Ericsson is in the business of selling cellular base station hardware. There's a lot to consider there, like killing off your own ecosystem or inspiring Sony and GE review old paperwork about Ericsson Mobile Communications.

0
0

NERDGASM as Apple announces 'special event'

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Please stop destroying nice names

Yosemite and Mavericks used to have good connotations.

0
1

Oh No, Lenovo! Lizard Squad on the attack, flashes swiped emails

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Shhh!

Aw. My post about a certain company, involved with this and other El Reg articles, selling services to both sides of the battle does not seem to pass El Reg moderation.

3
4

Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy: Hands-on gizmo-packed motoring

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Trollface

Re: Oh dear

Complicated? There's just four magical plastic boxes in the engine compartment. Nothing all technical there to go wrong.

0
0

Wi-Fi beam-steering tech could KILL OFF fixed home networks

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Meh

This will really kick ass when paired with my 7 Mbps internet connection.

0
0

Android malware hijacks power button, empties wallet while you sleep

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: Surprise?

Granting temporary root permission is unfortunately too streamlined. Put up dialog box with a "Continue" button. Wait two seconds. Ask for root. Finger taps "Allow." You could probably improve timing using the camera, gyros, or touchscreen diagnostics to detect motions immediately preceding a touch. A countermeasure could be granting root permission using a gesture that's easy to abort.

3
1

Google Talk is dead, long live, er, Google Talk: Chat will survive app zap, flaps G+ chap

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Mushroom

If I have Hangouts on my phone, it somehow self-activates at a very annoying time and repeatedly posts notifications asking me to sign in. I quickly solve that by uninstalling it.

1
0

Samsung's spying smart TVs don't encrypt voice recordings sent over the internet – new claim

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Big Brother

Jail time

Just wait until Sony and Hollywood find out that Samsung is transmitting illegal copies of movie audio every time somebody says, "Hi TV."

4
0

Apple LIGHTSABERS to feature in The Force Awakens

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Gimp

Warranty void if seal is broken

I thought Jedis liked to customize their lightsabers. They won't go for a sealed disposable cutting appliance that takes a very long time to turn on.

2
0

So long, Cyanogen! OnePlus says its future belongs to OxygenOS

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Fail like the telcos

Big brother Oppo has gone the same way with their ColorOS. Much like big telcos with their custom ROMs, Oppo is angering customers with upgrades that lag by more than a year. AOSP is buggy, ugly, and no easy task to turn into a polished product. You'd think that independent phone makers would be better off donating money and technical support to public AOSP teams to improve custom drivers and themes.

1
0

City broadband ISPs: PLEEEEASE don't do 'Title II' net neutrality

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Small ISPs?

The list of signatures looks like it's from mayors and public utility companies. I'm not seeing any independent providers in there. Unfortunately, I think that mostly says that independent providers don't exist any more.

0
0

'Camera-shy' Raspberry Pi 2 suffers strange 'XENON DEATH FLASH' glitch

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Nude photography

U16 is a naked chip - solder balls on silicon that is melted face-down to a high precision PCB. It's supposed to be sealed with some black goop after soldering.

7
0

Bankrupt RadioShack to close up to 2,900 stores, share others with Sprint

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

I read this as...

They'll be closing their stores in two phases.

6
0

Tom Wheeler flings off dressing gown, dons gloves for net neutrality RUMBLE

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: "...no last-mile unbundling."

Sparsely populated areas can be well served by fixed wireless. Big cities are where big telcos bribe and sue the local governments to eliminate competition. Charging 6 million people $100/month to use decades-old wiring is extremely profitable.

BTW, Kansas City has Google fiber.

3
1

Carmakers DEFLATED by AIRBAG FLAW as US watchdog recalls TWO MEELLION vehicles

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: In the meantime,

The second recall was about them self-detonating so pulling the fuse or wires is no help.

(I have no hate for airbags. Having been in a crap 1988 Tercel during a fender bender, as the car flexed so that my front teeth almost met the steering wheel, I was thinking that a bag of explosive would have been a nice feature. That, and a car that doesn't flex so much. ...and a gas pedal that isn't behind the brake pedal.)

0
0

Powering the Internet of Stuff – by sucking electricity from TREES

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Firepower

Sucking power from trees to later detect a fire? By driving a giant nail into them? HOW ABOUT USING ENERGY FROM THE FIRE? Is that too obvious? A reservoir of liquid and a turbine. Heat from the fire boils the liquid, drives the turbine, and provides tons of power. It's so good at harvesting power that the circuits will stay nice and cool until the liquid runs out.

3
1

China 'upgrades' Great Firewall. Oh SNAP! There goes VPN access

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Step it up

I'd appreciate it if they'd hurry up. I'm tired of having to firewall China myself to keep out all the bandwidth-leaching attacks from state run networks that, by policy, publish fake contact information.

4
1

Verizon sprints to crush FiOS account exposure hole

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

Epic fail

Verizon engineers, please write this 1000 times on the whiteboard:

There must never be a user ID parameter in authenticated REST calls. That's what authentication is for.

0
0

Got a 4King big TV? Ready to stream lots of awesome video? Yeah, about that…

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: 15 Mbps is not enough

4K TVs are a gimmick so 15 Mbps should be plenty. With racks of CPUs crunching at it, the video can be compressed using proprietary intelligence that your average freeware on a desktop can't do. This is already being done to cram more channels into a single OTA stream without the P-frame distortion and I-frame flicker you'd expect of such a huge bandwidth deficit. You also have to take into account that smaller pixels in a 4K TV allows for much larger defects to go unnoticed. The MPEG group has gotten quite good at hiding losses in AAC and H.264 so I expect that H.265 will be able to convincingly simulate details without having to faithfully encode them.

1
0
Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: So broadcast is the way to go for 4k media?

There's plenty of bandwidth available in the USA because channels were sized for MPEG2 + AC-3 codecs with tons of error correction. All we need to do is start the 15 year process to free ourselves from the old codecs.

0
0

Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Too late

Agile has morphed into a religion backed by big money. Consultants will tell you you're inefficient, preach of miracles, and offer themselves as a guide down the long path to being Agile. Go ahead, find an employed consultant who says otherwise. Most Engineering teams suffer from weak project management so execs welcome change at all costs. In the end it's no different. Agile reduces the chances of having epic project cancellations but the pressure of rapid release cycles and unclear long-term goals instead pushes projects into a slow death of technical debt long before anyone is happy with them. I often say that I prefer a flexible process rather than Agile but it's heresy.

6
0

In space no one can hear you scream, but Voyager 1 can hear A ROAR

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Flash! Ahhh!

Did the need for a Flash plugin come from Voyager too? I thought Voyager was much older than that.

1
0

NoSQL pioneer to inject your database with ACID

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Hmmm

Maybe things have changed since I last looked at NoSQL... Key-value stores can be used in an ACID manner with just the server-side feature of an atomic conditional update, right? It's the compare-and-swap technique where you build new data and apply it only if its dependencies have not changed, otherwise throw the data out and compute again. It's such a simple operation yet, at least a couple of years ago, conditional updates did not exist. The same technique is used in highly multithreaded code where blocking semaphores can not be used.

0
0

Huawei? Apple and Samsung's worst nightmare, pal

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Computer versus appliance

I've had Samsung and Sony phones and am now using a Chinese Oppo phone. While Google and Apple are trying to make phone appliances, the Chinese phones are more like a pocket computer. They're more powerful, completely customizable, and they have all the bugs that come with those features. I don't see Chinese phones directly competing with iPhones because they appeal to completely different uses. As the open source community gains access to more brands of powerful unlocked phones, I do expect there to be a surge innovation and new expectations of what a phone can do.

The losers in this game are telcos wanting to force customer lock-in with custom ROMs. The telcos can't keep up with fast-moving releases from Apple, Google, and AOSP maintainers.

3
1

Norks blame U.S. for TITSUP internet, unleash racist rant against Obama

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Elephants in the room

Why all this concern with the origin of the hacking? It's probably some bored kids who received a bribe, which they'll later realize is 0.2% of the going rate. Networks need to get serious about shutting down bot armies and unplugging peers who willingly host them. Clean up your network and fix your abuse contacts or get off the Internet. I'm talking to you, Yahoo, EIG, China, Jordan, Taiwan, and Korea. I'm betting that all of these attacks would vanish with a few cables unplugged from the right places, and nobody would notice any side effects except for a huge drop in spam and unauthorized login attempts.

16
0

Little big phone: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, a toothsome hand-fulla Android

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: Questions...

Early reviews of the Z3 series said that rooting it caused advanced firmware to delete itself. The obvious loss was in camera quality. Later models seem to have a permanently locked bootloader to make rooting impossible via normal means. Full instructions are here:

http://developer.sonymobile.com/unlockbootloader/unlock-yourboot-loader/

1
0
Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

Broken microSD and locked bootloader

I just had to return my Z3 because the microSD card is read-only except for per-app cache directories. Those cache directories are extremely dangerous for storage because they're erased when an app's data is cleared or the app is removed. With this new phone, my 128GB card was rendered useless for the things that external memory is meant for.

This microSD problem is essentially broken KitKat feature from Google that various phone makers are supporting or rejecting. The Z3 had absolutely no way restoring microSD write access other than waiting for a Lollipop upgrade. The bootloader came permanently locked to prevent custom updates.

I figured a timely Lollipop upgrade wasn't happening with all the issues Sony is having.

0
0

FLASH! Aaa-aaah. 3D NAND will save every one of us

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

I see a slightly more technical article at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/23/sandisk_takes_the_bics_route_to_3d/ but the operation is still a bit fuzzy. Is it turning each cell into a small vertical bucket brigade?

0
0

Net neutrality: Cisco, Intel, IBM warn FCC NOT to crack down on ISPs

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: just look at the DSL market

DSL must be open to third parties. When that openness was mandated, DSL went from being an expensive and poorly maintained service to a moderately expensive and poorly maintained service. AT&T will not fix degraded wires if it only impacts DSL.

2
0

Brit boffins debunk 'magnetic field and cancer' link

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Margarine

This is probably going to work itself out like dietary fads. All the inputs and outputs are misunderstood so conclusions are made from patterns that exist only from unintentional inputs and unintentional measurements.

I doubt that magnetic fields are any more harmful than light or sound. Just keep in mind that moderate levels of light and sound, when modulated in exactly the right way*, does cause illness and death. Any other measurement of light and sound would find that it's usually safe except in high doses.

* Certain frequencies in the tens of Hz range, and possibly Fox News.

0
0

1&1 goes titsup, blames lengthy outage on DDoS attack

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Which way was that DDoS facing?

I had been receiving lots of spam and dictionary attacks from compromised 1 & 1 hosts until just recently (more than usual).

0
0

Page:

Forums