Feeds

* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

672 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Page:

Dotcom's Mega smacks back: Our crypto's not crap

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: dedupe

Hash before encryption is it. Nobody will know what is in your original and personally created data but the hash matches will allow for reverse lookup of known files. Very small files could be brute-force decoded. It's not great privacy.

Big hashes do create false positives sometimes so there can be data loss. Sure, it's a chance of 1 in an nearly infinitely big number, but the amount of data in the world is nearly infinite too. Math says that a smaller number of bits can't represent all the patterns of a larger number of bits.

2
0

China turns to no-name handsets: Android - without the Google-iness

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Linux

Payback

Google rose to power by leveraging free software (and stolen content) like no other company had done before. Companies claiming it was unfair were left in the dust. I'm curious what Google will do when China does the same back to them.

3
2

Viruses infect vital control systems at TWO US power stations

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: Why are they backing up to a Flash Drive in the first place?

A USB drive can be used to bridge the air-gap protecting a critical system. It works well because it's a manual process that can't run itself while everybody is away. Of course, you need to keep an eye on the details or all of that security is pointless.

1
0

Korean boffins crack art of bendy batteries

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Bendy bricks

Bendy Korean phones? We need new slang. I call my Samsung Galaxy SII a 'brick' because it's a solid rectangular mass that often performs no function except being that mass. I can send it to Samsung for warranty repair but then it comes back completely 'bricked' and needs the ROMs re-flashed by Sprint. The next generation is going to think we're nuts when phones are flexible.

0
1

Kill that Java plugin now! New 0-day exploit running wild online

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Click to activate

You should set ALL browser plugins to only activate when clicked. Plugins are used for complex tasks that HTML 5 can't handle, and complex tasks always have bugs.

3
0

Standards sultan sanctifies 60GHz wireless LAN tech

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: Time to prepare for more cases of electromagnetic hypersensitivity?

Luckily, 60GHz won't penetrate your your head. Crawly skin is still theoretically possible if the WiFi transmission pulses happen to sync with your nerves. (Sensitive people should try setting a 1000ms beacon interval.)

0
0

Zombie BT mobile patent emerges in hands of troll

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

A mix tape of hair metal ballads for you

This tech was a big deal towards the end of the 1980 decade when analog cordless phones talked to your landline base station at tens of MHz and Radio Shack still had electronics. First cordless phones had a sliding frequency switch on the handset and base. Next they had a frequency hopping button on the handset. Finally they hopped frequencies themselves. No multiplexors, no QAM, no side bands, and no codecs; just simple 1980s analog processing. Good luck with the trolling.

0
0

USB 3.0 speed to DOUBLE in 2013

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

If it was...

Dialup: USB 3.0v.2

DSL: USB 3.02+

WiFi: USB 3.0g

Cell: USB 3.0 LTE

Apple: Corona Cord

Windows: Enterprise USB

Intel: Penngrove

Audi: 2013 USB S3

Bargain bin: USB 3.0 v2.2 ultra speed 1000GHz

Government: USB 3.0 Section 521, Article 134.5.c

10
0

Graphene plus molybdenum oxides yields faster electronics

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
WTF?

Re: What do you do with it afterward?

Disposal? It's another form of inert solid carbon atoms. You can buy low grade sheets of it called "pyrolytic graphite" at electronics stores. It feels a bit like paper but can be infinitely sliced horizontally like mica. Hold one side of the sheet to a candle and it will burn your fingers. Place it over a very strong magnet and it may levitate. Those small sheets are used for spreading heat in high power microelectronics.

5
0

Polaroid plans retail Fotobars to print out your pics

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

And next to Polaroid

I'll set up a kiosk where you can drop in a Polaroid and get a digital image, converting those misguided gifts back into something useful. For a few more pennies I'll send it to Shutterfly where they'll have backups of backups of backups keeping the bits safe and ready to convert into a new retro gift.

0
0

Boffins build elastic wires with liquid metal

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: resistance

Figure out how to make magnetohydrodynamic headphones. I'm sure they'd be technically awful but for audiophile junkies they'd be worth their weight in oxygen-free gold.

0
0

China 'enhances' Great Firewall, teaches it to choke off VPNs

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Big Brother

Only spam works at China Unicom

There hasn't been even a slight glitch in postscan, spam, and intrusion attempts coming from China Unicom to my firewall. The official contact "abuse@cnc-noc.net" still doesn't work. Its a surprise that outgoing packet rejection still needs to be done on China's side.

0
0

Windows Firefox stiffs Adobe Flash, plays H.264 YouTube vids

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: Hurry up Google - switch off H.264 on YouTube.

I have yet to see tests showing that VP8 is more efficient than H.264. Would you rather pay your regional telco monopoly more money for more bandwidth?

Efficient codecs that play at 60 fps are REALLY hard. That kind of research is not within the realm of your average open source developer.

0
0

Samsung mobes pwned by ANY APP, thanks to chip code hole

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Don't hold your breath

Many of us with the "Epic 4G" version of the Galaxy SII still have unresolved issues with the phone after over a year. GPS radio dies, cell radio dies, Bluetooth dies, WiFi/3G/4G goes to sleep while in use, the notification light doesn't work, it destroys batteries, and the soft keys don't always work. The camera works well but forget about using it as a phone or data device. Samsung repair says it "passes all tests", even when they have returned it to me dead, and Sprint has never been more helpful than removing bad software patches installed by Samsung.

1
0

Ocean seeding a dead duck as carbon solution

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: I wonder if there is a way to process atmospheric CO2 into graphite?

Bonding the carbon and oxygen atoms together produced the energy that's running the world. At least as much energy is needed to pull them back apart. There are solar powered devices that are not only capable of pulling the atoms apart, but can self-repair and self replicate. They're called plants.

26
1

GE boffins build micro-lungs to cool PC innards

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

GE not visiting the electronics store much

They're called "synthetic jet" fans and they're already on the market.

1
1

Astronomers find biggest black hole, 17 BILLION times the size of Sun

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Joke

It's the caption's fault

"A really, really, really big hole (click to enlarge)"

-click-

-click-

-click-

3
0

Ten four-bay NAS boxes

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

For when the world isn't perfect

I use NAS for backups so I like to see some protection against the usual problems.

What happens when a power failure interrupts writes? What happens when the NAS is in redundant mode and a disk fails? Does it send an e-mail, blink an LED that will never be seen, or pretend like nothing is wrong? What happens when a failed drive is replaced? Can bundled drives be replaced under warranty without long downtime? There are plenty of NAS out there that claim RAID 5 protection but are unusable for days when something goes wrong. I recall and old D-Link and a more recent LaCie 5big that needed to be wiped clean and shipped for warranty drive replacement. Even if they had simply sent me a new drive, they would have needed days to rebuild too. I don't like being without backups for days/weeks so I end up buying a different brand of NAS and giving away the old one when it comes back. What a waste of money.

0
0

Next big thing for hard drives: self-assembling polymers

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
WTF?

Shrinking the font size on stone tablets

This two dimensional surface nanotechnology is cool but the third dimension in hard drives remains enormous. Memory circuits that could be laid down in thin layers would have more storage even if the two dimensional density of each layer is very low. More research there, please.

0
1

One in seven North American home networks full of malware

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

Not clicking that

"Kindsight therefore has a vested interest in talking up the malware threat..."

That's not what's tainting the results. Most people would never install Kindsight's software. Those that would have likely installed many worse things.

0
0

Underdone iTunes put back in oven for another month

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Going MTV

You can sum up what the iTunes universe should do in just two lines.

iTunes - Gather a big list of media and play it.

iTunes Store - Figure out what you like and sell you more.

Neither does a good job at those simple core requirements. Shoveling more iCloud at it isn't the fix.

8
0

Young Frenchwoman desperate for fat pipe tumbles out of window

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Trollface

The other first

When are you Brits going to stop calling the second floor a "first floor"? "First above the ground" makes it, from any rational point of view, the second floor. I can see the French doing it to preserve quirky ancient cultures and all that, but this is a bleeding edge, high tech, serious online publication here. Even computer nerds know that an element at index zero is the first element, not the first after the zeroth.

2
10

Panasonic gets second chance with £4.7 BEEELION bailout

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

Build, sell, dump

Today we have expectations that a very complex product might not be 100% when it's first sold but it will be 100%, or even better, with a software upgrade that comes out soon after the purchase. What I've been seeing more and more of is that companies sell their tech long before it's ready and then immediately abandon it. Customers feel cheated and boycott the brand for years. That's the experience I got with a very expensive Panasonic TV (MPEG4 never implemented, Netflix failing, YouTube failing) and a very expensive Panasonic HD video camera (false resolution claims, missing software, and AVCHD metadata is incorrect). My mother had that experience with an upscale Panasonic microwave oven (blew internal fuses due to a power inverter design flaw).

The best news for Panasonic is that their competitors are doing this too. The bad news is that people may spend their money on non-tech instead.

1
1

Just how good is Nokia's PureView 41Mp camera tech?

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Fat pixels

They're amazing for a cellphone but I call BS on the resolution. Zoom in to the high res images and search for anything that has an optical resolution better than 3x3 pixels. It's not there. The prototype sample photos from Nokia actually had 3x3 bricks where there were unmasked defective pixels.

The technical white paper indicated that there are 41 M sensors for superior noise reduction and digital zoom, but said the rest of the hardware must process a downsampled or cropped image. My bet is that the marketing department demanded the 41Mpix back even if it meant upsampling after downsampling.

0
0

Larry couldn't, but we can: Upstart Waratek touts cloudy Java love

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

10 in 1

Running many JVMs is awful for efficiency, just as is running many OS VMs. The JVM was designed to run friendly apps concurrently with very little coding effort. Potentially hostile apps may be run concurrently with a bit more effort but Oracle will need to address that trickle of vulnerabilities that are posted each week.

0
0

Hitachi claims glass data storage will last millions of years

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

I remember when...

you had to use a chisel on a rock.

It seems to me that the longest surviving storage medium to date is DNA. The best way to keep data alive is to keep reproducing it with error correction.

4
0

'Over half' of Android devices have unpatched holes

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Shut up and pay

Apple managed to take a lot of power from the telcos with the first iPhone but most customers still don't control the very phone they pay so much for. The mix of Google, Samsung, and Sprint screwing with the software has made my Galaxy S2 unreliable at best. Now I'm one of the many getting stuck in roaming mode without service. Me repeatedly sending it in for warranty repairs is more of a protest than a way to make any actual progress.

3
1

Reg hack runs Windows 8 on 82-inch touchscreen

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Joke

82 inch TV

You have a large child.

0
0

Oracle backtracks from Java EE 7 cloud claims

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

-XX:MaxPermSize=6G

Nobody wants Java to be a mega-system. The JVM is quite impressive, language is functional, and most of the standard edition libraries work very well. Oracle should stop throwing everything into the bloated "Enterprise Edition" classification and focus on simple modular solutions to specific and well defined problems. They might even make some money on it. A marketing model of creating specifications so complex that only Oracle can provide implementations isn't going to work. As soon as I see a new feature listed for "Java EE" I stop reading.

0
0

Oracle rushes out patch for critical 0-day Java exploit

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Not servers?

One feature of Enterprise Edition Java web servers is multiple contexts. This is where multiple applications can run on a single server and JVM process but in complete isolation. The advantage of this is greatly increased memory efficiency and simplified management. The disadvantage is increased complexity and the need for a Java Security Manager. From what I've read in the exploit sample code, servers running multiple contexts are vulnerable. Specifically, the big Enterprise Edition servers that big companies pay Oracle support for. A JSP file should be able to execute code outside of its context the same way an applet would. Distributed/Cloud computing servers that execute sandboxed tasks from JAR file may be at risk as well.

0
0

Oracle knew about critical Java flaws since April

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: Different Java editions

It's about escaping the security layer by having trusted JVM classes run your code in their environment. Normal Java applications have no security layer or any need for it. The security layer is critical for auto-loading applets and multi-application web servers, though. Not only are web surfers at risk, but also the big corps funding Oracle's paychecks with those bloated multi-function Java Enterprise Edition server deployments. This hole means that almost any employee can hijack a corporate Java web server and the web server's role with a little malicious JSP code. (Smarter businesses running single function servers with no security layer have nothing to fear here.)

2
0

Court confirms $675,000 fine for sharing 30 songs

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Mushroom

$22,500 per track

I bet a lot of musicians wish they were getting paid that $22,500 for each track that Sony takes from them.

4
0

Scribe's mobe, MacBook pwned after hacker 'fast-talked Apple support'

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

It makes rain so it must be a...

Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon are data centers. They are not a cloud. The cloud is when your computer has full access to the systems of your choice. The cloud would be you, your family, and a few friends having online storage in their homes that you share with each other. There's nothing technically new or difficult about software to aggregate multiple systems into one robust virtual device. The problem is that ISPs have money making monopolies/duopolies that must be protected with tight customer usage controls. You don't get a static IP address, you aren't allowed to run servers, and anything that doesn't make the ISP money gets throttled. As long as ISPs don't allow it, nobody is going to create the software for it either.

2
3

Zynga plays BLAME GAME with Facebook as stock tanks 40%

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
WTF?

Moooo

$332m doesn't pay costs of operating online games?! Either they haven't realized that they can simulate the game in computers without using actual farmland, or somebody is pocketing a lot of money.

1
0

Mac malware Crisis as Apple lets slip its Mountain Lion

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: Java VM = malware portal

Applications have no security except for those placed on the current user. That goes for Java, Scala, Applescript, C, C++, Objective-C, PHP, Ruby, Bash, and everything else. Be happy that the viruses aren't being hand-coded in lean and mean x86-64 yet.

As for Java's speed - it depends on the quality of the code. Anti-aliased image rendering runs in Java just as well as C if given the same level of optimizations.

0
0
Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

Playing in the shadows

Apple assumes their users are dumb so they have come up with various ways to hide and disguise important files from casual access. Bundles make directories sometimes appear to be files. A shocking amount of critical data is placed into hidden directories starting with a period. 10.7+ even goes ludicrously far by hiding your personal "Library" folder from normal view. These areas are normal user directories so any application written in any language has permission to alter them. Essentially, Apple has gifted malware with big play areas without the assumedly dumb users being able to easily spot them.

4
3

Ten... dual-band wireless routers

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

Sync today, gone tomorrow

The #1 problem that I've had with access points is that they aren't reliable. A quick check of online reviews shows that I'm not the only one having this problem.

I had purchased and returned more access points than I can remember before I found one that could run for a week. Most of them started malfunctioning immediately or lacked features that were right on the box. Some good testing points are: Does the router survive many hits to bloated web pages, can devices remain continuously connected without WPA glitches, are broadcast packets reliable, and are the features on the box actually implemented. Now try that again after being on for a week.

It's also weird that this review complains about a brand of AP missing features when the reviewer has explicitly chosen a model missing those features.

0
0

Exploit posted for vulnerable F5 kit

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

In the wild

The code is a testing tool unrelated to the exploit being out in the wild. The advisory shows the exact nature of the problem and gives the single private key used for root login. Copy & paste it into any SSH client and you're good to go.

This is a pretty amazing vulnerability, that the installation guide would not disclose a default root login that needs to be changed.

0
0

Menaced cartoonist raises $60,000 for copywrong

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Let's play DMCA

I don't know if the DMCA was involved but there were takedowns:

http://theoatmeal.com/blog/funnyjunk

The DMCA is a game, not a tool. Infringers will take down the offending content but create an environment where it instantly and legally re-appears. YouTube mastered this abuse as much as the RIAA and MPAA mastered their own abuses.

19
0

Apple introduces 'next generation' MacBook Pro with retina display

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Ethernot

Needing to carry a separate Ethernet adaptor makes the laptop considerably less portable. WiFi is great for surfing the web and checking e-mail but it's crap for getting work done.

5
2

Samsung 'to launch Galaxy S III in US', snubs Apple's ban bid

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

The [Apple/Samsung] is better than the [Samsung/Apple] you own now

Does Apple or Samsung actually have any worthwhile upgrades to release? It seems to me that they both released half-assed products last year and have both decided to move on rather than help their ailing customers. It's like the American political system where we forever alternate between two parties, thinking that we're teaching one a lesson by electing the other. The SIII and iPhone 5 aren't worthy of so many news articles.

1
0

Missed the Venus solar flyby? It's only 105 years to the next one

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Trollface

███• • • • • • •███

Cool, but that video is over the top. I expect many Venus flyby parody videos to follow.

0
0

Who needs Spotify? Samsung launches Music Hub

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
FAIL

ø (No Service)

This is great. I've always wanted to replace my reliable 32GB SD card with intermittent playback from an overloaded cell tower while paying a monthly fee.

8
0

Smoke-belching flash drive self-destructs on command

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Trollface

Re: It's fake

I think the data can be restored using Photoshop's healing tool.

1
0

Samsung Galaxy S III: A Swiss army knife of wireless tech

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

...an IQ of 6000. The same IQ as 6000 PE teachers.

95% of the power goes to 'Android OS' even after a factory wipe. Samsung's SII firmware is buggy as hell - GPS rarely works, 3G doesn't work near other 3G phones, can't maintain 4G, phone spontaneously gets hot in weak reception areas, buggy sound drivers, and rapid battery drain. Samsung's fix for this mess is to release a new phone. People will buy the new phone thinking it will free them from the problems with their old phone. I have my doubts.

0
2
Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Trollface

Wireless Charging Kit

My Galaxy SII powers off from a dead battery in 25 hours when it's lying on a table or 4-8 hours when it's moving in any way. Perhaps the SIII wireless charging feature is absorbing all the power radiated from nearby SII phones.

1
0

Megan Fox fingers fondleslab in sexy store promo

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Happy

You're probably wondering where to find the other pics...

http://www.reghardware.com/2008/10/02/eee_girl_saga_continues/

1
0

Revealed: Inside super-soaraway Pinterest's virtual data centre

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge

Re: what on earth...

It's distributing rows of a standard relational database across many databases. You still have relational data but the relationships have a limited spans that always fit within one database. It's a solution when you have very complex customer data requiring transactions but at the same time have little customer-to-customer interaction.

0
0

Microsoft squashes Hotmail password hijack bug

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
Windows

Too late

These hacked Hotmail accounts are being used to create spam for sleazy web sites. It's unflattering and non-stop so my guess is that its not spam, but a vengeful attempt to create a flood of complaints against the advertised web sites. Whatever it is, I had to blacklist Microsoft's 65.52.0.0/14 this morning.

1
1

Ghost of HTML5 future: Web browser botnets

Kevin McMurtrie
Bronze badge
WTF?

WebSocket

A WebSocket is not a naked socket, but a protocol upgrade of an existing HTTP stream coordinated by both the client and server together. The JavaScript side can not open an arbitrary socket or speak an arbitrary protocol over it. Recent exploits have centered around using WebSockets as another form of HTTP header injection, which requires help from external brokenware.

3
0

Page: