* Posts by Cuddles

417 posts • joined 3 Nov 2011

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BBC to demand logins for iPlayer in early 2017

Cuddles
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"tailor its programming"

The entire point of on-demand services like iPlayer is that I can choose what I want to watch, when I want to watch it. If I wanted someone else to tell me what to watch, I'd just stick with broadcast TV. Spying on me in order to "tailor its programming" is the exact opposite of the reason to use iPlayer.

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She cannae take it, Captain Kirk! USS Zumwalt breaks down

Cuddles
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Re: Displaced, by gad.

"I'll trust USNI over some Wikipedia nerd any day, thanks."

I'm confused. Aladdin Sane pointed out that the Type 45 displaces 8,400 long tons, and therefore the Zumwalt is nowhere near 3 times the size of it. So what exactly are you trusting the USNI about in order to dismiss this point? The only thing you actually appear to disagree on at all is the exact tonnage of the Zumwalt, which is not in any way relevant since the difference between 16k and 14.5k will not magically make the Type 45 any smaller.

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Lethal 4-hour-erection-causing spiders spill out of bunch of ASDA bananas

Cuddles
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Typical Asda

Bananas are supposed to come with the highly deadly black tarantula. The family should be complaining for being fobbed off with a cheap substitute.

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Hackers hijack Tesla Model S from afar, while the cars are moving

Cuddles
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Re: Poor old Elon

"The only sure way Tesla have right now to fix it is to do a firmware update that disables the remote connectivity. Hopefully they'll learn the exact vulnerability exploited here and be able to fix it properly in the very near future."

If only the article had addressed this in some way. Perhaps they could have included a quote from Tesla saying they've already fixed it.

"A Tesla spokesman told El Reg: "Within just 10 days of receiving this report, Tesla has already deployed an over-the-air software update (v7.1, 2.36.31) that addresses the potential security issues."

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Rise of the Machines at Sea: The British firm building robot boats

Cuddles
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Gain from robots?

"“What they'd normally do is use a large 100-metre ship to do that which costs anything up to $150,000 dollars a day, doing a very low-value task,” said Cowles. “Essential, but low-value. If you can do two things simultaneously, tracing those transponders and also positioning them at the same time, you can save a lot of money.”

The gain here doesn't seem to be anything to do with having an autonomous boat, and simply down to having a small boat working at the same time as the big one. You could achieve exactly the same benefits by just having a normal boat with a person in it. The robo-boat may not need a salary, but it costs more for R&D, maintenance, and so on. There are no doubt plenty of areas where autonomous or semi-autonomous boats are great, but this really doesn't seem to be a good example of one.

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French hackers selling hidden .22 calibre pen guns on secret forums

Cuddles
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Re: "bagging between €5 million to €10 million a month"

"Also doesn't seem really worth it for that sort of money. Your taking a hell of a risk to make €200 a month. So I wonder how accurate those figures really are..."

As with all enterprise, it's incredibly unlikely that the money is evenly spread. You'll have the top 1% making €9.9 million, while the rest make virtually nothing. Quite possibly even more than that, since simply totalling all members will include both vendors and customers - a decent proportion of those 40,000 probably aren't even trying to make money, but are actually spending it.

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Yelp wins fight to remain morally bankrupt

Cuddles
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Re: My two cents worth

"But seriously, "there are rules, man"!"

There are laws, and if the service you're offering are actually illegal, as with Silk Road, then you will get in trouble. But no, there aren't any other rules, and simply being dishonest does not usually break the law. Running a review service that hides some reviews in return for payment is like running a restaurant that insults every third customer unless they pay extra - it's not exactly good business practice but there are no rules preventing you from doing so.

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Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

Cuddles
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Re: Buh?

"My understanding of the article, based on the odd word I understood ( eg: "and" ) was perpetual motion. So that can't be right then. Anybody?"

Perpetual motion isn't actually impossible. For example, a simple two body system of a moon orbiting a planet will continue in motion forever in the absence of any other forces. In practice, such macroscopic inevitably do have other forces involved - friction in particular being a bit of a bugger - so things mostly come down to reducing them as much as possible and just getting really, really close to perpetual motion. And as it turns out, even in the absence of friction or any external force, relativity says such a system must emit gravitational waves and so over a very long time it will decay and not actually be perpetual.

However, when we go to the quantum scale things, as usual, get a bit weird. An electron orbiting a proton (a hydrogen atom) is similar to the moon/planet system, but it turns out only discrete energy transitions are possible - an electron in the lowest energy state cannot lose any more energy and instead remains in "orbit" around the proton (the orbit analogy is obviously not actually correct, but the important point that the electron has energy and remains in motion is correct). That's what is called the "ground state", and it effectively means that every single atom, or indeed anything composed of more than a single particle, is in perpetual motion.

What this research essentially says is that you can construct a crystal that also has a non-zero ground state energy and so behaves more like one of those quantum systems than a macroscopic system. The important part is says that the system "must never reach thermal equilibrium or radiate heat" - basically you set things up so that it can't ever lose energy, and instead remains in the non-zero energy ground state. In fact, even that isn't considered particularly strange in this field, the weird part is that it's not normally possible for a system in the ground state to spontaneously start doing something. An electron in hydrogen in its ground state was already "orbiting" and simply continues do so, while these crystals are the equivalent of taking a proton and electron with zero energy which spontaneously suddenly start orbiting each other. It's pretty weird even for quantum physics, but doesn't appear to actually be breaking any physical laws.

Getting back to the perpetual motion thing, the reason this is generally the realm of the crackpot is that it's impossible to have perpetual motion and get energy out of the system at the same time. If you eliminate all losses you can have something in motion forever, but as soon as you take energy away it will stop moving. We can't use electrons in atoms as an infinite source of energy because the whole point is that it's impossible for them to lose any more energy. But understanding how electron energy states work has given us things like transistors and lasers, so even though these crystals won't give us any kind of free energy or useful perpetual motion, they could still lead to all kinds of useful things.

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Cuddles
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Re: eh?

"I had not realised it was standard practice to leave GPS enabled at all times, must be getting old."

Indeed. I don't really understand the logic of leaving every bit of wireless shenanigans you can constantly enabled, and then complaining that they're actually being used and running down your battery. It takes maybe half a second to enable GPS or wifi or whatever, you simply swipe down to get the menu and hit the relevant icon. Any meaningful use of those services takes far more user interaction than that anyway - typing something to search on maps, entering wifi passwords (you're not letting your phone connect to every open wifi network it sees of course), and so on, so it's not like you're adding a ton of inconvenience. Leaving them all permanently enabled is just utter stupidity with no benefit to the user at all.

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US Marine Corps to fly F-35s from HMS Queen Lizzie as UK won't have enough jets

Cuddles
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Re: Niche case

"But its a bit of a niche case, isn't it? How often do we expect to be attacking impoverished land-locked countries with no functioning government, no modern defences, no international allies, but who are surrounded for hundreds of miles by nations hostile to both them and the West?"

As often as possible. The alternative would be attacking someone who can actually fight back. Or not attacking anyone at all of course, but for some reason this never seems to occur as an option to the relevant people.

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Pixellation popped: AI can ID you, even after PhotoShop phuzzing

Cuddles
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"The pixelation destroys fundamental information from the image. Even knowing the algorithm used to perform pixelation will not allow full recovery or even ensure significant recovery."

Indeed. The only thing proved by recovering a pixelated image is that it wasn't pixelated enough in the first place. I suppose it's vaguely interesting if a computer can identify an image that's messed up enough that a human can't, but since we're dealing with a process that destroys information it's utterly trivial to do so in a way that guarantees nothing can ever recover enough information to identify anything.

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98.1 million CLEARTEXT passwords pasted as Rambler.ru rumbled

Cuddles
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Re: Really?

"Russia is not exactly known for being a "user friendly" state..."

Russia may have all kinds of issues with its politics, police, spies, organised crime (but I repeat myself) and so on, but people are people and business is business the world over. A large social media company being incompetent at handling user data is not something that requires any kind of conspiracy, regardless of which country it may be based in. By far the most likely possibility is simply people being incompetent and companies cutting corners, just as it is almost every time such a breach hits the news.

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Windows 8.1 market share grows, Windows 7 slips, Windows 10 lurks

Cuddles
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It's almost as though the figures might have changed in the last 15 months.

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Got to dash out for some rubber johnnies? Amazon has a button for that

Cuddles
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Nice idea, but odd choices

This idea seems to get a lot of criticism, but I'm not really sure why. We're already happy to order a lot of things from Amazon, Ebay, and various other places, and there's really no reason some things should always be restricted to physical visits to a shop. If I'm happy to order a single cable or a pair of shorts from Amazon, what is so weird about also ordering toilet roll? Just because the latter has traditionally been included as part of a supermarket shop doesn't mean there's something inherently silly about ordering it separately if that's the only thing you need.

But where it seems a bit odd is that the obvious use for having dedicated buttons instead of just regular online shopping is the added convenience for things you need quite regularly. So why on Earth are there things like Aerial and Playdoh on the list? Washing powder is not something you need a new box of every week, while things like playdoh and nerf equipment don't generally need buying more than once ever. Having a handy button to press when you notice you're down to the last loo roll seems like a great idea, but I just can't imagine a situation where you regularly need emergency playdoh replacements on 24 hours notice.

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AT&T trash talks Google over Fiber fiasco: Leave ISP stuff to the experts

Cuddles
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Leave ISP stuff to the experts

And if you can't find any of those, let AT&T do it.

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Ireland taxman: Apple got NO favours from us, at all, at all

Cuddles
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Missing the point

"in compliance with local laws"

Did anyone ever suggest it wasn't in compliance with local laws? If it wasn't, it would have been the Irish government investigating. The whole point here is that the EU believes the Irish laws are not in compliance with the treaties Ireland signed up to as part of joining the EU. If their defence only talks about local laws and doesn't address whether those laws are actually valid in the EU, they've already admitted defeat.

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Deep inside Nantero's non-volatile carbon nanotube RAM tech

Cuddles
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Bunch of CNTs

Maybe they should come up with a better abbreviation before this stuff gets popular?

That aside, I'm not really sure about this part:

"Nantero is seeing two potential markets: stand-alone non-volatile memory such as NRAM DIMMs, and embedded devices needing very fast non-volatile memory."

Its as fast as normal DRAM while using less power, stable enough to use as storage while being much faster than everything else, and already has hundreds of GB on a single chip. It's the classic too good to be true breakthrough that usually finishes articles with "...and they hope to do something commercially in 10-15 years" and is then never heard of again, except this time it's apparently already gearing up for production. So why are they aiming at a couple of minor niche markets when they could seemingly take over the entire world's memory and storage markets?

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Our pacemakers are totally secure, says short-sold St Jude

Cuddles
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Not really a denial

"MedSec claimed that this was easily hackable after buying second-hand kit on eBay, but St Jude points out that such kit has to receive security updates in order to work."

St Jude's point appears to be entirely unrelated to the original claim. Lots of things are hackable despite receiving security updates, all that is required is for said security updates not to cover the specific flaw/s used in a given attack. In other words, this appears to be an outright admission that their devices are, in fact, hackable, since the whole point is that they didn't know about this flaw and therefore couldn't have patched it in an update.

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$329 for a MacBook? Well, really a 'HacBook' built on an old HP

Cuddles
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Re: Psystar

"Wasn't the difference with Psystar that they were shipping MacOS on their machines? Whereas this outfit are just flogging a laptop that could run MacOS if you supply it yourself."

I'm not so sure that's all they're doing. From the article:

"The machines ship with no operating system but do include an installer... Jack Kim, one of the people behind the project, suggests you buy an OS X licence from Apple."

It sounds as though they are supplying you with an unlicensed copy of OS X, they just make you install it yourself and "suggest" you buy a license separately.

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Windows 10 Anniversary on a Raspberry Pi: Another look at IoT Core

Cuddles
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Hobbyist?

"It seems to have two goals in mind; one is to support the hobbyist “Maker” community in order to attract developers to its platform, and the other is to provide large businesses with an end-to-end IoT solution. It is the latter which has most business potential, but go to Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT Core developer site and you see sample applications with a hobbyist feel, such as an Air Hockey Robot and a connected clock radio."

I'm not sure I understand the difference between the two here. The IoT crap large businesses provide aren't generally any more useful than a connected clock radio, and for the most part are significantly less functional and secure than anything a hobbyist might build.

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

Cuddles
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Maths check needed.

"If you're Octomom, the price goes down to $20 per line."

No it doesn't. As a family tends towards an infinite size, the price per line will asymptotically approach $20, but a mere 8 children is nowhere near that.

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Radicalisation? UK.gov gets itself in cluster-muddle over 'terrorism'

Cuddles
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Seems backwards

"This is necessary because of “young people’s lack of ability or awareness of the need to critically challenge their beliefs”"

It's fairly well established that young people are much better at challenging established beliefs than old people. This is why we have such tropes as the young rebel without a cause, the old being stuck in their ways, and scientific advances only happening once the older generation of scientists have died off. Obviously these are generalisations and there are plenty of exceptions all around, but the idea that it's specifically young people who have a problem with challenging their own beliefs can't possibly have come from anyone with the slightest connection to the real world.

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IoT manufacturer caught fixing security holes

Cuddles
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Re: Household insurance

"Judging by the design of the electronic catch side of the lock non would be passed by insurance companies."

Thanks for the summary copy and paste from Locks Online. I don't know the technical details of most "smart" locks, but there doesn't seem to be any reason they couldn't easily pass the standard. It simply comes down to making sure the bolt and surroundings are big and strong enough, and that's completely independent of whether a lock is smart or not. The existence of specific crap smart locks doesn't say anything useful any more than the existence of crap non-smart locks does.

The actual issue with smart locks, which none of that quote addresses, is what the definition of a key actually is; ie. if a lock meets the standard in every other way, does using a phone app to operate it instead of a physical key matter? Given that the standard was originally written in the '60s and last updated in 2007, it's certainly not a question that will be explicitly addressed. So any answer isn't likely to come until the matter is taken to court when insurers start refusing to pay out to people who use them.

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Huawei's pricey new Honor goes upmarket. Bold move when prices are sliding

Cuddles
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Compare and contrast

"pricey new Honor goes upmarket", "aiming at a pretty difficult midrange. That’s a £100, or 40 per cent, price hike over its predecessor."

"see our hands-on report here" - "high-spec cheapie", "aimed firmly at the price-conscious millennial"

Stupid Chinese manufacturers and their pricey cheapies.

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Top facial recognition algo joins the dots and sees pretend people

Cuddles
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Worse or just different?

Humans are very well known as seeing patterns where none exist, with faces being one of the most common things for us to see - in bits of cloth, toast, the Moon, blurry photos, and so on. So the question is not whether this algorithm has a huge problem because it can be fooled by images that don't actually contain faces, but rather whether the algorithm is worse overall than a human that would be fooled by different images that don't actually contain faces. It may be obvious to a human that this random pattern of dots isn't a face, but it may be equally obvious to the algorithm that Jesus doesn't appear on toast.

As for spoofing security systems, that may be the stated goal but it doesn't even seem to be related problem. The Viola-Jones algorithm is not a facial recognition algorithm as stated in the article, it is a face detection algorithm, as is clearly stated in the first link the article provides. It uses a few very simple filters to determine if there is something present that looks a bit like a face. While it is surprisingly good at doing so given its simplicity, it's not possible even in principle for it to distinguish between different faces - either it says there's a face present or not, and that's it. Spoofing a security system would require looking at the actual facial recognition algorithms used in them, and this research isn't likely to help with that at all.

Finally, on this point:

"These images only worked if fed directly to the algorithm; if they were printed out and scanned into the algorithm, they failed."

The images in question were never printed. This should be obvious from the the statement noting ways the physical world changes them - printing and scanning does not brighten the centre of an image. The physical test was to display the images on a tablet with a webcam pointed at it. Sadly, it appears to be the paper that is misleading here; the abstract claims that

"we show that it is possible to construct images that fool facial detection even when they are printed and then photographed"

but in fact they do no such thing. The only references to printing in the body of the paper are either hypothetical or a reference to other works. The only thing this paper address is the "simulated physical world" using tablet and webcam. There is not even any attempt to address the similarities or differences between this method and printing. Since this is just a pre-print, hopefully this will be caught by peer review before actual publication. It seems likely it's not being deliberately misleading, but simply that the scope of the final paper didn't quite match what was originally intended when the abstract was written.

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Tesla touts battery that turns a Model S into 'third fastest ever' car

Cuddles
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Re: I'll wait until...

""accommodates probably 99% of trips"

And, of course, you can afford to buy a second car for that other 1%."

If you can afford a Tesla in the first place, yes you can. That's pretty much the whole point and is exactly what Musk is quoted as saying here - these are expensive toys for rich people, and while they're pretty damn impressive they're certainly not intended to be useful for everyone in all situations. If you can afford one, you can also afford to deal with its problems. If you can't afford one, its problems are not your problems.

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NIST spins atomic gyroscope to allow navigation without GPS

Cuddles
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""While falling under gravity" implies that it's a one-shot measurement."

No it doesn't, it implies that it would be a pulsed measurement rather than a strictly continuous one, but that's not at all the same thing.

"And the kit to do this is huge."

No it isn't. 300 cm^3, plus a bit more for some supporting structure. This is a tabletop experiment, not some building-sized dedicated construction.

"This is not a portable device, even in theory."

Yes it is. In it's current form it would only be portable by a relatively large vehicle, but if you actually read the paper you'll notice that the entire point of this research is to develop smaller, more portable systems. The first paragraph of the paper:

"Over the last few decades, light-pulse atom interferometers (LPAIs) have proven their outstanding sensitivity and stability for inertial measurements.1 These sensors are now making their way out of the laboratory into field demonstrations. Transportable LPAIs have realized accelerometry in a zero-g plane flight,2 precision gravimetry,3–5 gravity gradiometry,6 and measurements of the Earth's rotation.7 However, applications such as inertial navigation will need systems that are smaller, lighter, and require lower power than the mobile systems demonstrated so far. This will require new techniques optimized for use in a compact volume."

In summary, every single word of your whole post is utterly wrong, and this could easily have been avoided by simply taking a few seconds to actually read the thing under discussion instead of inventing some nonsensical fantasy inside your own head.

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Stop lights, sunsets, junctions are tough work for Google's robo-cars

Cuddles
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Re: Roundabouts...

"The bit that got me was the 4 way junction without lights that really confused it, where drivers have to decide with other drivers who goes first. Sounds just like a roundabout in the UK which we have everywhere..."

The trick is that the US rarely has roundabouts so they're talking literally about a junction that has 4 rounds going in with absolutely no hint at who might have right of way. If you look at the link in the article given as an example, you can see that there are actually two lanes in every direction, plus two tram lines crossing over and four zebra crossings surrounding the whole thing. Roundabouts exist specifically to solve this sort of problem, but for some reason America usually prefers to set up a massive clusterfuck instead.

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'NSA' hack okshun woz writ by Inglish speeker trieing to hyde

Cuddles
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Threat?

"It continues that the Russians have taken the unprecedented action of dumping the contents publicly in a veiled threat to the NSA after the Democratic National Committee breach, which the US blames on Moscow."

"Stop claiming we hacked you or we'll hack you some more. Also, here's some stuff we hacked from you."

Apparently the threat is rather too veiled for me to understand. Demonstrating to the world that you've already done the thing you're threatening to do isn't generally how threats work, and doing the exact thing you're being accused of is not generally the best way get accusations to stop.

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Chocolate Factory exudes Nougat as Android 7 begins rollout

Cuddles
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Better sources needed

"Google guarantees Android updates for two years and the Nexus 7 passed that in July. The Nexus 5 ought to be good until October, but sources tell The Reg that it doesn't have the hardware chops to run the new operating system."

Those same sources should probably have told El Reg that the Nexus 5 is already well over two years old, having released in October 2013, and so certainly shouldn't be expected to still fall under a two year guarantee by next October. It hasn't even been available to buy for nearly 18 months. Two years is still a pretty shit support period, but let's not pretend Google are breaking the terms of their guarantee.

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The calm before the storm: AMD's Zen bears down on Intel CPUs

Cuddles
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Is that it?

"Summit Ridge is able to keep up with high-end Intel desktop offerings from earlier this year"

So AMD's new chip will be about as good as Intel's year-old ones, on an architecture that will be three years old by that point? By which time Kaby Lake will already be out (unlikely to be a big step, but surely with at least some improvement), and then Cannonlake will come soon after to completely blow it out the water. It's all very well saying that Intel need some competition, but this really isn't what competition looks like.

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Funny story, this. UK.gov's 'open banking app revolution'. Security experts not a fan of it

Cuddles
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Transparency

"The new rules from the Competition and Markets Authority are designed to promote transparency"

To be fair, if transparency is one of the main goals this is actually a great idea. You can't get much more transparent than letting the whole world have access to everyone's financial information via insecure phone apps.

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Hot iron: Knights Landing hits 100 gigaflops in plasma physics benchmark

Cuddles
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"The researchers explain that they chose a particular plasma simulation, “particle in cell” because it's a well-studied problem on many-core architectures."

No they don't. Particle-in-cell isn't a problem at all, let alone a well studied one, it's a category of solver type. Just look at the very first line of the abstract:

"particle-in-cell laser-plasma simulation is an important area of computational physics"

There's a huge difference between a specific well-studied problem and a broad technique that is used to investigate both well-studied and never-before-studied problems.

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Amazon launches its own plane line. Sort of

Cuddles
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Vertical?

"Amazon yesterday unveiled its first “Prime Air” branded plane...

Amazon is already increasing its vertical integration at pace."

I'm disappointed this wasn't about delivery via rockets.

@ Peter2

"Amazon setting up chains of small physical shops on high streets makes very little sense."

You should probably let Amazon know that, since they've already started.

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Your 'intimate personal massager' – cough – is spying on you

Cuddles
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Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

"Top states searching for 'porn' are Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky. Not exactly known for their liberal social views."

This kind of statistic gets thrown around a lot, but I don't think it says what most people think it says. If you know anything at all about porn, you are never going to simply search for "porn" on Google; you're most likely going to just go straight to your preferred site, or at the very least search for something a bit more specific according to your preferences. So in fact, having the most searches for "porn" is exactly what you'd expect if those states really did live up to their reputations - the residents look at so little porn that they don't even know how to find it other than just blindly searching the word itself.

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BlackBerry DTEK 50: How badly do you want a secure Android?

Cuddles
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Power button

"the biggest annoyance (YMMV) is the placement of the power button up on the left hand side. Where you’d expect the power button to be, you find the multifunction key. My brain is so accustomed to the power button being on the side"

I'm confused. The position of the power button was annoying because you're used to finding it on the side of the phone, but instead it was on the side of the phone? It all looks entirely standard from the pictures - power button on one side, multifunction on the other. Is the problem simply that they didn't blindly copy the exact button placement of Apple or Samsung? It seems every phone is either complained about for copying one of those two too closely, or for not copying them closely enough.

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Jeep hackers: How we swerved past Chrysler's car security patches

Cuddles
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Intrusion detection

"All these issues could be stopped if only car manufacturers built a basic intrusion detection system into their cars"

Is it even possible to buy a car without an alarm these days? As keeps being noted in regard to stories like these, physical access means game over. Trying to make things harder for someone who already has full physical access (and in this case not just a quick in and out, but a full 9 hours to play around inside your car) is much less useful than either preventing that access, or at the very least letting you know that it's happened.

By far the best security advice for car manufacturers would be to simply put the OBD port somewhere visible. If you can see there isn't a dodgy device plugged in to it, there's essentially no risk. Someone could still have disabled your brakes or something, but as others have noted they could also have just cut the brake lines. As long as all they can do is damage it in place rather than remotely change its behaviour while you're driving, it's no different from any physical sabotage.

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Intel's smartwatches are so hot right now – too hot: Basis Peak recalled for skin burns, blistering

Cuddles
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Lasers!

"Perhaps it was the laser-based heart-rate sensor causing all the trouble: Basis claimed the Peak took highly accurate readings, firing its optical sensor 32 times a second, so maybe that pushed the wrist-sized gizmo over the edge."

Seems unlikely, since it should be a very simple software fix to just reduce the rate it fires at until the overheating stops. Their inability to do anything about the problem without taking out multiple core functions suggests something rather more fundamental.

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US Air Force declares F-35 'combat-ready'

Cuddles
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Coat

Re: Perhaps

"If only we had installed cats and traps on our carriers, we could have much more cheaply developed a carrier version of the Eurofighter..."

At the very least they'd have significantly fewer mice on them.

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Black Hats control Jeep's steering, kill brakes

Cuddles
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Re: Why? @chris miller

"I think that even cars with self drive capability still take the steering wheel position as the main control input and only self steer if you are not holding the wheel."

Generally the exact opposite - they will only work if you are holding the steering wheel and deactivate if you let go.

"The main problem with having no security is the likelihood of theft."

Not really. The vast majority of hacks require physical access to the inside of the car. Potentially they could open up more ways to get around anti-theft systems, but there isn't a car on the planet that's theft-proof if you already have full access to every part of it.

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UK govt to launch a tech creche for military-focused startups

Cuddles
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Catapult?

Aren't these "innovation hubs" generally called catapults these days? Seems a shame to miss out on that name given the context.

On a side note, the Satellite Catapult just up the road remains the most disappointingly misleading name I've ever seen.

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Cats, dogs starve as web-connected chow chute PetNet plays dead

Cuddles
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Re: And it's not like it's either hard OR expensive. . . .

" . . to add an offline function."

Of course, the whole problem here was caused by the accidental addition of an offline function...

"Let me guess: Manglement pooh-poohed it, as they couldn't offer "pet-feeding as a service" if you could set the timer and let it run by itself."

The really sad part is that there are numerous feeders that already do exactly that, and are available for far less than $150. As with so many IoT things, this isn't so much a solution in search of a problem as it is screwing up the solution we already had.

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Airbus doesn't just make aircraft – now it designs drone killers

Cuddles
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Re: It's not a Drone

Both drones and UAVs can be either autonomous or remote controlled - the terms are used interchangeably in general usage, and really the only fixed part of the definition of either is that they don't have a pilot inside them. In any case, even an autonomous drone can be affected by a system like this; obviously it won't get knocked out of the sky due to loss of control, but but it would still affect its ability to stream live video and things like that.

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Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door

Cuddles
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"Door was operated by a person. Door was stopped by a safety. Door was probably operated because he signalled by hitting the damn button.

What happened to LOTO or personal responsibility for your own safety?"

It may depend on why you assume this sequence of events happened.

A) Ford randomly wanders around the set hitting buttons because he's bored;

B) Ford is practising a scene that involves him hitting the button, understanding that nothing will happen because the set is turned off for practice.

In the former scenario, I'd certainly assign at least some blame to Ford since pressing random buttons in an industrial setting is generally a bad idea. In the latter, Ford would appear to be entirely blameless. No doubt other scenarios could be constructed in which all, some or none of the blame is assigned to various different parties. The details haven't been made public, but a court appears to have decided that it was, in fact, the fault of the company managing the set and not Ford's. Unless you have access to information not in the article, blaming Ford seems a little odd.

As for the more general question of what happened to personal responsibility for your own safety, there's a reason health and safety laws exist in the first place. You might as well complain that it's child labourer's own fault when they get their arms chopped off in a mill. As a society we've decided that actually not all accidents are entirely the fault of the person involved in them, and that employers have the responsibility to minimise risk to their employees (and anyone else on site) as much as is practical.

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It's 2016 and your passwords can still be sniffed from wireless keyboards

Cuddles
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Re: There is a reason why I use wired KB's

"Bluetooth range is pretty short. Unless you live in an apartment with paper thin walls, I don't think people could get close enough to your keyboard to steal keystrokes."

What does Bluetooth range have to do with anything? As the article explicitly states, no Bluetooth keyboards were found to have a problem, it's wireless keyboards using various other radio connections that are the problem, and they could have pretty much any arbitrary range depending on what transmitter they happen to use - up to 100m away according to this report.

"As for the mouse, what exactly are they going to learn by stealing your mouse movements and clicks?"

Who knows? Good security generally means you're not leaking information at all, rather than simply hoping the information you are leaking isn't useful to anyone. There are endless examples of people not bothering to secure seemingly innocuous information only for someone else to prove it wasn't that innocuous after all. A recent related example would be using the accelerometer in a phone, often not secured because it can't do anything harmful, to reconstruct keystrokes from a keyboard on the same desk.

Obviously there are limits and wrapping everything in tin foil is overkill for most people. However, deliberately broadcasting all your information in plain text for anyone to see is generally considered something to be avoided even by those who aren't especially paranoid.

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Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

Cuddles
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"Russians" or "The Russians"

There's a rather big difference between saying someone in Russia probably did it, and that it was an attack carried out by the Russian government. The evidence seems to support the former (although it's far from conclusive), but there doesn't seem to be anything at all to support the latter. This may surprise some people, but Putin doesn't actually have personal control over every single criminal in the country. Plus it's worth bearing in mind that this is much too early to try pushing a political scandal to affect the election; if you want voters to actually remember an issue it needs to be a couple of weeks before the date, not months earlier before the candidates are even official. Whatever flaws Putin and his cronies may have, political naivety is not one of them.

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Florida Man cleared of money laundering after selling Bitcoins to Agent Ponzi

Cuddles
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Laundering?

My understanding is that laundering money means taking money that has been acquired by illegal means and undertaking some shenanigans to make it appear legitimate. Telling someone you're going to use some money to do something illegal isn't the same thing at all. Regardless of the status of bitcoin, the charges here don't appear to have anything to do with the actual facts of the case.

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Mobile broadband now cheaper than wired, for 95 per cent of humanity

Cuddles
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Re: "digital divides persist across economic and gender lines"

"Can someone please tell me what gender has to do with the speed of copper or fiber ?"

Absolutely nothing, which is why the report doesn't say anything of the sort. The line you quote simply refers to the fact that more men have access to the internet than women (or at least more use it, which amounts to the same thing), not that being male magically makes it faster if you do have it. It's no different from the economic part, which you don't seem to have questioned - being rich doesn't make any difference to the speed of copper or fibre, but it does affect whether you have access to it in the first place.

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Cuddles
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"Sounds weird. In sweden, assuming you use a lot of data, mobile internet is ridiculously expensive compared with wired."

Indeed. As far as I can tell the problem comes with their use of "comparable". The prices are based on comparing a mobile data plan with a 1GB cap and a landline data plan with a 1GB cap. The former is a fairly common limit, the latter is virtually non-existent (BT's lowest cap is 12GB, for example). A comparison of price per bit transferred or price per unit bandwidth would look very different. It seems rather like saying plane travel is expensive compared to a car based on a trip to the local shops, while ignoring the facts that the price per mile of a transatlantic flight looks a lot better and that the car is simply not capable of such a journey at all.

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After Monday's landing, SpaceX wants to do it in triplicate

Cuddles
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Price

"Okay, so by landing and re-using a booster, they are saving how much money? a few hundred million dollars?"

An Ariane 5 launch costs up to around €130 million, with the cost of a single satellite as low as $60 million. Falcon 9 missions taking a Dragon capsule to the ISS currently cost $133 million, and the standard price for a satellite launch is currently $62 million. Falcon is cheaper, and has already brought prices down due to the competition, but there aren't hundreds of millions there to save, only tens at the very best and not even many of those.

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