* Posts by Phil Endecott

433 posts • joined 29 Nov 2006

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BREAKING NEWS: Apple makes money

Phil Endecott

> You shouldn't pay off someone's debts until they have learned the way

> not to just rack up another one

Greece now has a significant primary budget surplus.

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Dead device walking: Apple iPod Touch 6th generation

Phil Endecott

Re: Tempting for devs?

The fact that it has a different screen size from most of your users makes it less attractive as a development target.

But having thr same processor is a good thing. This is exactly the opposite of the last iPod, which had the same screen size but a different processor than the corresponding phone.

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Brit school software biz unchains lawyers after crappy security exposed

Phil Endecott

> ought to have respected established protocol

I fear that in the 99% of cases that we don't hear about, the "respected protocol" is to quietly sell your exploit to the highest bidder.

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ARM servers look to have legs as OVH boots up Cavium cloud

Phil Endecott

I can't see anything on the OVH website, not even a press release. Any links anyone?

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The Great Barrier Relief – Inside London's heavy metal and concrete defence act

Phil Endecott

I also remember visiting in the 80s; I think there was a special bus. It was very impressive, and I still have the souvenir guide!

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Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

Phil Endecott

Isn't TO-2015 a power transistor package?

(The closest I can find is TO-201, which is a coaxial transistor! If you want to waste the rest of your weekend exploring a dinosaur's graveyard of obsolete transistor packages, have a look at https://www.jedec.org/standards-documents/focus/registered-outlines-jep95/transistor-outlines-archive )

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This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

Phil Endecott

Re: Completely and utterly bonkers

> None of which are actually functioning today.

The Manchesterr "Baby" replica in the museum of science and industry is functional. Or was last time I visited.

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Even Apple doesn’t mess with Taylor Swift

Phil Endecott

Supermarkets

It's worth noting that when supermarkets run e.g. two-for-one deals, that may be funded by paying the suppliers less. I don't know much about the doughnut industry, but the example in the story might not be entirely accurate.

See e.g. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jul/02/british-farmers-supermarket-price-wars

Quote:

You can pick up a punnet of British raspberries – at their best this weekend – on a two-for-one offer in most supermarkets. But as shoppers reach for that quintessential summer treat, they should perhaps ponder the fact that it is the farmer, not the supermarket, who is paying for the generous discount.

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FBI says in secret that secret spy Cessnas aren't secret

Phil Endecott

> "Clear rules for when and how the Federal government can watch Americans

> from the sky....."

Only Americans, of course. The rest of us can be not only watched but murdered from the sky, and that's just fine.

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Apple CORED: Boffins reveal password-killer 0-days for iOS and OS X

Phil Endecott

Keychain on iOS is secure

Having just read the PDF -

- The keychain on iOS is not affected.

- The only thing on iOS that is affected is URL schemes. This has been known forever; anyone can publish an app which claims any URL scheme, so you shouldn't send anything sensitive using them.

OSX has more holes....

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Everything Apple touted at WWDC – step inside our no-hype-zone™

Phil Endecott

That's wrong. It's referring to the amount of free space that you need to do the update from 8 to 9, compared to the amount of free space needed to do the update from 7 to 8.

I'm waiting to learn if this improvement is because 9 will drop compatibility with 32-bit binaries.

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Phil Endecott

> Apple will also require developers to use HTTPS for all network traffic on

> iOS 9 apps

That seems surprising, to say the least....

I mean, what about something like an ssh app?

No, I think someone has got the wrong end of the stick. Anyone know what has actually been announced?

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Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

Phil Endecott

Re: How do the manage the fuel

> I must admit that most of that is completely, and I mean

> completely, over my head...

I'm curious. What sort of person reads The Register, but doesn't know where Voyager 2 gets its electric power from? (Isn't that in the GCSE science curriculum?)

Seriously, I may have completely misjudged this site's demographic!

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Belgian telco prepares to tear out last of nation's phone boxes

Phil Endecott

One box near me has been turned into an ATM.

I also wondered if they could be turned into super-loos. (Serious suggestion.) They are clearly a bit too small, but thinking about what visitors to this city centre need pre- and post- busy Saturday evenings, it is cash and urinals.

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PayPal adopts ARM servers, gets mightily dense

Phil Endecott

The "10,000 CPUs shipped" number is very impressive. Where are they all? Not on the $1,500 or $2,500 dev boards that I can buy, surely! Someone - PayPal or someone else - is doing some seriously large scale deployments. Good!

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Apple to devs: Watch out, don't make the Watch into a, well, a watch

Phil Endecott

Communication with phone

My understanding is that at present 3rd-party watch app's all run on the phone with which the watch is communicating over Bluetooth. So an app that displayed a watch face would need to create the watch face graphic on the phone and transmit it to the watch every second. That would clearly be much worse for battery life (both of the watch and the phone) than a "native" watch face. Maybe this is the reason for the restriction?

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C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

Phil Endecott

Scribd

Commenting only to say how awful Scribd, on which the linked presentation is stored, seems to be.

I am allowed to view 3 of te 5 pages (on my iPad), at which point I am told that I must download their "free mobile app" in order to read the last two. FUCK YOU SCRIBD. I will not install some app just to view this! Bjarne, is this what you wanted? If not, maybe try Google Docs? Or just host it on your own website FFS!

</rant>

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Marvell: We don't want to pay this $1.5bn patent bill because, cripes, it's way too much

Phil Endecott

Re: A school owns patents?

> Even at British universities, students on Msc & PHD are 'informed' that

> their work at the university belongs to the university and any ideas they

> may have during their time at the uni. also belong to the uni.

That certainly isn't how I remember it. Have a look at the Cambridge rules here, for example:

http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/so/2010/chapter13-section2.html

Scroll down to section 14 for the rules for students, which starts like this:

14. The entitlement to intellectual property rights in material created by a student shall rest with the student, with the following exceptions:

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Apple is picking off iOS antivirus apps one by one: Who'll be spared?

Phil Endecott

The "lookout" app does not claim to be anything like an anti-virus app.

The "virus barrier" app was apparently a thing that will scan for nasties in e.g. email attachments; it looks like you would choose to "open in..." their app from e.g. the mail app, and it would tell you if it found something matching its signatures. So it is also not an anti-virus product in any conventional sense. Not sure what Apple's objection would be. Have a look at: http://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/virusbarrier-ios-8-antivirus-malware-scanner-iphone-ipad/ :

"For instance, email is one of the most common sources of malware in iOS. Once you receive an email attachment, before you open the file you could scan it in VirusBarrier to make sure that it is not infected with malware. Here’s how easy it is to scan these files:

Hold your finger over the attachment until the share sheet pops up

In the middle section of the share sheet, select “Open in VirusBarrier”

The VirusBarrier application will open and perform the scan

If no malware is found, you can return to the email and feel safe to open the attachment

If the scan comes up clean and no malware is found, our integrated file reader will open the document for quick and easy viewing, or you can send the file to a remote location, such as Dropbox, for storage.

*All scans must be done manually; automatic scans or real time scanning are not possible due to Apple restrictions. You may scan entire cloud drives and websites, but email attachments must be scanned individually."

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The West's cloud giants toss escape rope over Great Firewall – and China's not happy

Phil Endecott

If there were a provider with a more anti-censorship attitude, I would give them my business.

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UK call centre linked to ‘millions’ of nuisance robo-calls raided by ICO

Phil Endecott

What you describe is "answering machine detection", AMD. They don't want to talk to you, they want to leave a message on your answering machine. So they wait for a bleep. If they detect a real human, they hang up.

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Phil Endecott

Re: "four to six million recorded telephone calls a day"???

> Did nobody from their phone operating compay *notice* this?

I once tracked down a company operating a telephony gateway service that was being used for spam calls and sent them a complaint. Their response was "you probably made a mistake, and even if it did come via us, they are probably using an opt-in list."

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Ark scoops £700m to host ALL UK.gov's data centre needs

Phil Endecott

700,000,000 pounds! That is a hell of a lot of something.

Over 4 years that's £2.50 per year for each person in the country.

On AWS, that would buy 25 GB of data - 500 MB per week, each. That's the sort of numbers I would expect to see for the BBC, not for .gov.uk.

Of course it's not all spent on data, but if that were all spent on hardware that would be a similarly vast amount of something.

Does anyone know what they were actually asked to provide?

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ALL comp-sci courses will have compulsory infosec lessons – UK.gov

Phil Endecott

It says "further education", not "higher education". So no, they aren't saying what is taught in universities - and the "ALL" in the headline is therefore somewhat misleading.

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Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science

Phil Endecott

Re: We'll see...

> What exactly is a field?

Look up "scalar field" and "vector field" in Wikipedia.

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Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

Phil Endecott

Re: How does this work exactly.

Apple have a doc describing their approach here:

https://www.apple.com/br/privacy/docs/iOS_Security_Guide_Oct_2014.pdf

See page 11:

Passcodes

By setting up a device passcode, the user automatically enables Data Protection. iOS supports four-digit and arbitrary-length alphanumeric passcodes. In addition to unlocking the device, a passcode provides entropy for certain encryption keys. This means an attacker in possession of a device can’t get access to data in specific protection classes without the passcode.

The passcode is entangled with the device’s UID, so brute-force attempts must be performed on the device under attack. A large iteration count is used to make

each attempt slower. The iteration count is calibrated so that one attempt takes approximately 80 milliseconds. This means it would take more than 51⁄2 years to try all combinations of a six-character alphanumeric passcode with lowercase letters and numbers.

The stronger the user passcode is, the stronger the encryption key becomes. Touch ID can be used to enhance this equation by enabling the user to establish a much stronger passcode than would otherwise be practical. This increases the effective amount of entropy protecting the encryption keys used for Data Protection, without adversely affecting the user experience of unlocking an iOS device multiple times throughout

the day.

To further discourage brute-force passcode attacks, the iOS interface enforces escalating time delays after the entry of an invalid passcode at the Lock screen. Users can choose to have the device automatically wiped if the passcode is entered incorrectly after 10 consecutive attempts. This setting is also available as an administrative policy through mobile device management (MDM) and Exchange ActiveSync, and can be set to a lower threshold.

On a device with an A7 or later A-series processor, the key operations are performed by the Secure Enclave, which also enforces a 5-second delay between repeated failed unlocking requests. This provides a governor against brute-force attacks in addition to safeguards enforced by iOS.

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ACLU: Here's a secret – cops are using the FBI's fake cell-tower tech to track crims' phones

Phil Endecott

Can someone explain why they don't want to get a warrant from a judge?

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After Brit spies 'snoop' on families' lawyers, UK govt admits: We flouted human rights laws

Phil Endecott

Re: Cases thrown out due to mistrial

> this sort of thing causing a mistrial

That would apply if the lawyer-client communication were of the defendant.

In this case, the Libyan is the accuser, and the government is the defendant.

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Watch: FIRE-SPITTING time-lapse images of Sol showcase NASA's sun-gazing highs

Phil Endecott

What always get me is how we're programmed to recognise "ballistic", i.e. Newtonian, trajectories. But these solar surface dynamics are driven by magnetic fields, so they look different - i.e. "wrong" - to our eyees. Sometimes they look as if they're playing backwards, for example. All very weird, but very beautiful.

Is that Mercury we see transitting a couple of times?

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Swift gets swifter: Apple updates its new programming language

Phil Endecott

Re: How about ...

Apple wants developer lock-in, not standards.

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WATCH IT: It's watching you as you WATCH IT (Your Samsung telly is)

Phil Endecott

Re: Smart TVs

> Am I the only one who thinks you don't need massive CPU for voice

> recognition? A couple of ARM chips might do it?

Yes. I've actually built this, using Pocket Sphinx for voice recognition on an i.MX53 CPU. It does an excellent job for speaker-independent limitted-vocabulary recognition, e.g. "Record bbc2 at 10 pm for 2 hours". It's much less good at unlimitted-vocab, e.g. "Record university challenge".

I've also chosen to use a microphone with a big red button on it. You press the button and talk into the mic, and it does what you ask. When the button isn't depressed, the mic element is disconnected. This avoids the privacy issue entirely.

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Dixons Carphone clings to EE, Three in Phones 4U bullet dodge

Phil Endecott

Re: Mobile Contracts for what things?

> I'm not convinced my "Smart Fridge" (if I had one) might need a mobile

> service contract. Nor my "Smart TV" (if I had one), or anything else along

> those lines

I agree. The things I might make an exception for are:

- Burglar alarm.

- Heating.

Two reasons: it might be useful to communicate with them when the broadband has gone down for some reason, and I might prefer to communicate with them via some sort of text message or voice interface, rather than e.g. a web interface.

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REGARD our TINY but POWERFUL LASER, suitable for very SMALL sharks

Phil Endecott

Come on El Reg, your job is to turn dumbed-down press releases into something we boffins can understand. hair dryers? stepping stones?

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UNDER A VEST: Man cuffed for smuggling 94 iPhones strapped to his body

Phil Endecott

Maybe it was this guy?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/11/chinese_programmer_fails_to_woo_sweetheart_with_99_new_iphones/

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Disney, McLaren and National Rail walk into bar: Barkeep, make me a Wearable

Phil Endecott

Re: From here, looks like the Titanic all over again

I think it's much more likely to be the cleaning staff wearing the tags, so that their toilet breaks can be more closely monitored.

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Checkmate, GoDaddy – Google starts flogging dot-word domain names

Phil Endecott

Google Sites

I have been spectacularly unimpressed by Google's "Google Sites" website building product, having seen what a friend has managed to do using it. So I'm not entirely convinced that they are going to up-end the market, if the quality of the product is an important factor at all.

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Verizon says 40-hour outage was outage to end all outages

Phil Endecott

Verizon has a cloud?

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Not app-y with VAT: Apple bumps up prices in Blighty, Europe, Canada

Phil Endecott

> Apple traditionally claims this is down to the higher cost of doing business overseas

No, it's due to the UK and EU prices that you quoted being inclusive of VAT but the U.S. prices being exclusive of sales tax.

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Get your special 'sound-optimising' storage here, hipsters

Phil Endecott

Re: One Foot in Reality

> Slight variations in the time in which a DAC is given new data

> can indeed affect the output signal, even if no bits are changed.

Nonsense.

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Phil Endecott

Re: I'll see your audiophile cat 5 and raise you

If you're using "oxygen-free" copper for your wires, then you certainly need "oxygen-free" air for your wifi!

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Hubble 'scope snaps ENORMO SPACE ERECTION: Pillars of Creation 20 years on

Phil Endecott

Re: Usual taunt.

http://xkcd.com/1440/

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Burglars' delight no more: Immobilise UK secures property list

Phil Endecott

Re: change the web address??

> Intrusion prevention or other security technologies might have been

> tripped by such behaviour.

I read that as, "if they had had intrusion prevention, it might have detected it".

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When algorithms ATTACK: Facebook sez soz for tacky 'Year in Review' FAIL

Phil Endecott

I wonder if any of these people will actually stop using facebook as a result?

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BT to gobble EE for £12.5bn – BTEE phone home

Phil Endecott

I don't want "synergies", I want several companies who compete with each other to have the best products and best customer service.

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Car-crash IT: HUGE write-off for Universal Credit - PAC

Phil Endecott

Re: Pretty good @ Buzzword

> If you've got the kids, you're entitled to the child benefit.

Unless you're a higher-rate tax payer, IIRC.

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Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport

Phil Endecott

Re: not very big

> Without engines

Losing BOTH engines in this scenario would be quite an achievement!

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Phil Endecott

Re: not very big

There is a distinction between "damage to the engine" and "endangering the aircraft", i.e. endangering the lives of the people on board. As a potential passenger, I'm much more worried by the latter than the former. If aircraft might really be brought down by hitting a (smallish) drone, that's worrying.

I'm also curious as to how much more dangerous is the combination of plastic and carbon fibre that e.g. quadcopters seem to be made of than the flesh-and-bones of a goose. A goose could certainly weight a lot more than the sort of drones that I'm imagining. Hence my question above: do we know how big the drone in question in this case was?

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Phil Endecott

How big was this drone?

How big would it have to be to be a significant danger to an Airbus? (Bigger than a goose?)

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The Information Age: A day out for grown-up children?

Phil Endecott

Re: Location within museum

Yes, I was also horrified that there was absolutely no attempt to explain the method of differences (when I visited - at least 10 years ago). It's not exactly complicated, after all. I think I had reinvented it myself by the age of 12.

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It's BLOCK FRIDAY: Britain in GREED-crazed bargain bonanza mob frenzy riot MELTDOWN

Phil Endecott
Pint

Re: Buying For The Sake Of It.

> urge to go out and buy anything today.

Hmm, Beer!

Does that count?

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