Re: Lawrence Lessig in list, very UNexpected.
Duh, of course the title is supposed to read "...very unexpected."
577 posts • joined 17 May 2013
Duh, of course the title is supposed to read "...very unexpected."
Rather surprised to see Lawrence Lessig (Dem) in the list.
I wonder if this is the result of hypocrisy, double-standards etc., or just oversight and bad management.
"The big downside of open source software is that it doesn't work as a business unless (1) you make hardware and sell it at a high enough price to cover the hardware cost or (2) you get a sugar daddy."
I deliberately didn't use the 'source' with 'open', that means it is not 'open source' but rather the end user can examine it.
This is in keeping with longstanding practice–at least since the start of the Industrial Revolution–where equipment, machinery etc. came with manuals complete with blueprints and circuit diagrams. Thus, both the internal workings and functional operation were not hidden from the operator/user.
This openness didn’t concern companies as they were protected by copyrights and patents from at least the early 1700s onwards.
Let's just take a few recent examples: Hewlett Packard, Tektronix and IBM. HP and Tektronix built their reputations not only on good equipment but also excellent documentation. Tektronix's documentation is renowned, probably the best ever made–I suggest you download a few 7000 series scope manuals and look at them. Next IBM: I have a complete set of manuals for the XT and AT computers and included therein is the complete BIOS source code. Before the PC, IBM also produced some of the best documentation ever made.
Producing good 'open' documentation never sent these companies broke, in fact quite the contrary, it made them money and enhanced their repuation.
That changed in the 1980s when people started taking advantage of the fact that compilation hid what they were doing. It often let them get away with software 'murder': errors, bad design, and spaghetti code and etc., etc. The fact that the source was hidden meant that it was very difficult to make them accountable, and when bugs surfaced and patches made no one quite knew whether the faults had been fixed or not.
If you've ever taken the time to disassemble this code you'll know what I mean. You'll also know that it is very difficult, laborious and time-consuming, which for most intents and purposes, means that it's hidden from scrutiny.
What we're witnessing here is 300 years of 'open' practice pitted against at most 30 years of the 'secret'. We're now seeing what that secrecy means across many fields and endeavours, and often what we're seeing isn't very pretty. In fact, it's beginning to look as if the secrecy that surrounds embedded software has enabled one of the biggest industrial frauds of all time to take place. That can't be undone, and it hasn't gone unnoticed–and that includes regulators.
The fact that a huge industry of making secret embedded software has built up over the past 30 years doesn't make secrecy right–just because you can do it doesn't always mean that you should. I've been in this game a while and I'll be very surprised if this VW case doesn't become a point of inflection for the industry.
At last, the world will learn about the dangers of embedded software. Even here at El Reg posts I've been howled down in the past when I've raised such matters as unknown functions and security issues in ASICs, reprogrammable firmware etc.
Once our hardware was fixed at design time or its function could only be altered by DIL switches etc. Today, things are very different, with downloadable and updateable firmware users–even experts and maintenance people–now have very little idea about what's going on with respect to the functionality of their equipment.
With the exposure of VW's corrupt practices, this 'hidden' IT issue ought to be catapulted to front and centre stage; even the pollies and 'blind' company directors will have to take note and act.
Exactly what embedded software does is and will be an extremely important issue for the Internet of Things (and now everyone ought to know that). In fact, it's so important that in many instances it ought to be mandatory for embedded software source to be openly* available to users, regulators etc. (as it used to be in the handbooks of machines and equipment of only a few decades ago).
* If there are legitimate safety reasons etc.for not altering or updating firmware then manufactures can use non-reprogrammable chips, but hiding their operation is another matter altogether. Unfortunately, that might be the price of safety over convenience.
All Vodafone needs to do to attract customers is to differentiate its prices with respect to Telstra.
Telstra's rates are outrageously high by world standards and everybody in Oz is screaming about it–and they're itching to go elsewhere. When Vodafone or whoever lowers their rates people will switch.
They will not switch for piddling price differences however, but they will if there's real price competition and to date there's been none.
It'll definately backfire.
Eventually when the crims and terrorists all get them, when they fall into the 'wrong' (police) hands there'll be no evidence to convict.
Funny how when the public 'steals' from this mob and its cronies all hell breaks loose but when they steal from the public nothing happens for 80 years.
What we need is a class action against this mob of hustlers and carpetbaggers to set a precedent. Only when they're on the receiving end of litigation and have to pay back with interest the millions of dollars they've stolen from us will they begin to take note. Essentially, they've to be 'bashed' into being reasonable.
It would be nice to think our legislators would take this case into account and make fairer, more reasonable copyright law but I daren't hold my breath.
NirSoft's utilities are very useful, I use them regularly. It's disconcerting to see WebBrowserPassView used in this way.
As it is, many antivirus programs already over-target these utilities, thus often overly frightened users do not use them for this reason. The most targeted utility of these antivirus programs is the combiner/launcher NirLauncher.
It seems to me that antivirus software writers could be more responsible by explaining the issues of this type of utility rather than deliberately nuking them. For example, upon detection, AV software could, say, offer the user a sandbox-like function until he/she wishes to use them–and only free them upon a specific requests/input from the user.
Incidentally, I have an obvious way to stop AV software nuking or attempting to nuke perfectly good utilities that may have escaped some of you. I encrypt my utilities directory from the context menu using Axantum Software's AxCrypt but any equivalent would do. By keeping susceptible utilities encrypted AV software just passes over them. When I need to use them, I simply disengage the AV software's real-time/resident mode.
Right, much quicker than properly delousing its own code.
Nevertheless, this is very ominous; like Paulus at Stalingrad, I feel surrounded. I shiver that Microsoft's next move won't be in my best interest.
1. Say Alice has never come to the attention of the law thus there's no knowledge of or surveillance on her.
2. Alice is in her home and she says to Bob that she is planning an illegal activity. No one will ever know about that activity unless (a) either one or other blabs or (b) the knowledge of their identity leaks out because of imperfect execution of the crime. In the long history of fighting crime, normally this is where the police/authorities enter the scene.
3. Private living space expands: Alice and Bob are now connected via an unencrypted communication network. Again, in the normal course of events–i.e.: no ubiquitous state surveillance–no one will still be any wiser to their planned illegal activity.
4. Widespread state surveillance is implemented and Alice and Bob are overheard, game's up! It's roughly equivalent to Alice and Bob speaking loudly at home and nosey-neighbour serendipitously overhears the conversation and reports it.
5. Neighbours Betty and Paul are on the opposite side of nosey-neighbour and they hear of Alice and Bob's horrible plight so they agree never speak their nefarious plans loudly enough for nosey-neighbour to overhear them.
6. Nosey-neighbour, now keyed up with first success, deliberately spies (intrudes into) Betty and Paul's private space by putting a tiny mike bug through a hole in the adjacent wall and overhears a conversation that otherwise would be completely private. What nosey-neighbour has deliberately done is to commit an act of spying on his or her neighbour without any prior evidence. Just because he/she has spied and thus overheard some nefarious plan DOES NOT make what he/she has done right.
What Andrew Parker and cronies have done is to say we ACCIDENTALLY overheard Alice and Bob concocting some nefarious plan in their private home so that gives us the right to drill holes in everyone's wall and drop in a hidden mike.
Well, I and I reckon any reasonable person, would contend that The State has gone too far–because of technology it accidentally stumbled on a way of making plod detective work easier by spying on everyone. In essence, this is not new law for a new environment (i.e.: telephone/electronic network) BECAUSE in NORMAL circumstances that electronic network is just an extension of one's private space (being private space the old rules still apply–or they should).
7. Continuing on: Thus, when a third couple get wind of the plight of the previous two they decide to encrypt the extension of their private space.
8. When Andrew Parker and cronies get wind of this encryption they now cry foul as they permanently want access–to private space that they NEVER previously had rights to access. What Andrew Parker and cronies have done is fundamentally to reduce the freedoms of everyone in the state and they have done it dishonestly and by sleight-of-hand. This incessant creeping in on our freedoms by The State is not only Orwellian but it is also fundamentally paralysing democracy.
Private space is just that–private. People say and do silly things in the private domain which for the very vast majority of the population is harmless–thus they should remain private. Orwellian state monitoring of the population will not only detect many false positives but it will also likely to ruin people's lives in the process not to mention generally making society much more fearful.
If The State wants to gather surveillance then let it do it in the manner it has always been done–by foot, contacts etc., etc. Once it has good reason to think Alice and Bob are up to some nefarious business then it can apply for a wiretap warrant in the traditional manner.
Allowing The State and its spy agencies carte blanche is unacceptable. Just because it is easier for spies to sit all day in front of screens instead of being out and around on the beat is not sufficient an excuse for them to further ruin our fragile democracy.
…it's too depressing and painful.
With five prime ministers in five years, the Russian commentator who said that Australia was becoming the Italy of the Southern Hemisphere hit the nail precisely on the head.
For those in the UK, Turnbull is THE leading advocate of Oz ditching Lissie and becoming a republic. Turnbull's always been on a self-aggrandisement kick, so it's of little concern to him that Oz has been and still is behaving like a delinquent teenager and thus is simply too irresponsible to become a republic.
BTW, I'm a republican at heart, but with Turnbull in charge heaven help us.
Like it or hate it, I've absolutely no doubt that we'll eventually have female robot sex partners. Fettishes seem to be widespread and commomplace, so robots that are truly lifelike representations of females would probably be very acceptable to many males–they might even be a great hit.
Given that the current state of robot technology is equivalent to what computers were in the 1950s, just consider what a surrograte female robot would be like 50 years hence. Right, it's a no-brainer.
Meanwile I'll continue to enjoy the real thing despite tribulations.
Seems to me that there may be another motive behind Dr Kathleen Richardson's concerns. A small increase of a few percent in the number of women on the planet could effectively reduce the power of women. Female-like robot surrogates may fulfil that role.
If males could get enjoyable, consistent, trouble and argument-free sex from lifelike surrogates whenever they wanted it then women's power over them by withholding sex etc. could be seriously undermined.
Little wonder Dr Richardson couches her concerns in a somewhat ridiculous way.
"Brandis and the other asshats of the Australian federal government make a bus load of idiots look like a physicist’s convention"
Yeah (and I despair), but whose fault is that? I'm old enough to remember Vietnam and Civil Rights demonstrations–a time when governments were actually frightened of the citizenry. When citizens rioted in the streets governments then changed the laws.
Today, insufficient people care about the issues to effectively count. But why so? Seems Chomsky was right when he wrote [the Establishment/government] manufactured consent through necessary illusions and we didn't notice.
"I'd move to another country except the rest of the English-speaking ones are trying to out-gut civil liberties faster."
Yeah, on this one you'd reckon that 1776 and George III had never existed! (Sometimes I wish my first language wasn't English).
Never been a fan of Apple, but it's a solid upvote to their stand on this one.
'I'm astonished, how on earth could they implement or even apply these rules?'
Why not? The Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other laws already ensure you can't snoop on–or even worse–alter software, so why is it so surprising the same rule is now being applied to hardware? (Seems to me the timing has come about now as this is the first 'plausible' excuse the 'Establishment' has had to raise the issue of control.)
As I perceive it, any such control by The State would be utterly disastrous and it needs to be resisted and fought at all costs. There are many, many reasons for fighting this, most too detailed to mention here but probably the least of which is security and interference.
Clearly, safety regulation is necessary in specific instances such as the possession of radioactive materials, x-ray equipment etc., but banning the altering and tweaking of general electronic equipment is another matter altogether. With respect to spectrum management (non-ionising EMR), effective and workable regulation has long been in place so that mutual interference between services is minimised to acceptable limits. This regulation has worked well for most of the 20th C. without need to lock out the general (technical) public.
Consider this: since about the time of the introduction of the PC in 1980, access to the workings of technology has inevitably been reducing. The original IBM PC came out with full circuit diagrams and BIOS source code (I know I've still got the manuals) but nowadays we can't even get access to the boot information of our PCs let alone circuit diagrams of our domestic PCs and other electronic equipment. Circuit diagrams were once commonplace and the accepted norm, now they're extinct.
Essentially, the citizenry is rapidly losing access to the working and control level of many different forms of technology: from software, PC hardware to chemical system, to pharmaceuticals, one's vehicle, etc., etc. Both industry and governments use excuses such as security, safety, the equipment's too complicated etc., but the real reason is for industry and ultimately The State to have full control over the technology.
Technology is ever-increasingly important to our modern lives, but locking away knowledge of its operation not only deskills the citizenry but it's also a major threat to democracy.
Read Voltaire's Bastards by John Ralston Saul, Chapter 12: The Art of the Secret [pp: 280-299*] for why The State is so obsessed with unnecessary secrecy and why it's so easily able to get away with it.
Chapter 12 begins thus:
'Everything in the West is secret unless there is a conscious decision to the contrary. Our civilization, which never stops declaiming about the inviolability of free speech, operates as if it distrusts nothing more. The taste for the hidden has not played an accidental role in the distortion of practical democracy. ...
[QED - yours truly.]
* Pages for my copy of the 1993 Penguin paperback edition.
In Oz, we've already some of the highest internet access charges in the world, especially wireless because various greedy and incompetent governments fucked up the deregulation of Telstra--where we citizens have had to pay double, almost triple for everything: The unnecessary Optus network, a fucked NBN, and a buyback of the Telstra copper network for starters.
Fuck them again!
I'm in Oz and the majority of people I know:
- Do not watch on-line movies (legal or illegal ones), in fact many are like me who don't watch movies at all (except for the occasional one on free-to-air TV), we either do not have the time or have better things to do.
- Same with music, I've over a thousand vinyl and probably double that number of legit CDs and I've simply not the time to listen to them all.
- I'm in IT and the most of my clients haven't the whit to bypass or circumvent on-line TV download blocks, as it is, they've enough difficulty just connecting to the ABC TV's catch-up iView service.
- I see dozens of PC regularly and I'm surprised how few games are actually on them. As for me, I haven't played video games in years.
Yes, there's clearly a percentage of illegal downloaders and gamers around, and if you're in IT you'll easily recognize that demographic, but I'd reckon pigs will fly before that percentage reaches 48%.
What I want to know is how those BS statistics were concocted. Clearly, if you only survey the demographic that I referred to in the previous paragraph then clearly you're likely to get a figure of 48%. But then, this isn't a general survey of the population, is it?
(Seems to me it's the same old story/cracked record repeating itself: the MPAA, BSA and cronies are spending far too much moolah lobbying gullible pollies and generally making themselves objectionable.)
This is Disneyland stuff, sure those WiFi-Sense toggles aren't managed by the Cheshire Cat?
In recent years, every new version of Windows becomes less and less like a real Operating System and more and more like something out of Alice in Wonderland.
Year after year, version after Windows version, we continue to be faced with hundreds, actually thousands, of Microsoft security breaches, sloppy code and other crappy stuff. Yet despite years of industry and user condemnation, Microsoft just ignores it like water off a duck's back, then continues to add more crap as if nothing had happened.
Oh my Kingdom, my Kingdom for a truly competitive non-Microsoft Windows clone.
(A dream's about as close as I'll ever get, methinks.)
"If the theater is on fire, you don't whisper "fire" once; you shout it and you keep shouting it until everyone is out."
But that's not the current situation with asteroids, if it were so then shouting "fire" would be precisely the correct thing to do—unless perhaps a 20-50km whopper was on a collision course, then it may be best to say nothing for all the obvious reasons.
The current state-of-the-art for detecting and monitoring asteroids is rudimentary. Seemingly, most big asteroids can be detected and monitored but many smaller ones–those somewhere in size between Tunguska and the one that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs–are hard to detect; alternatively, their whereabouts is unknown or they're known to lurk in hidden blind spots.
The all-too-subtle-for-some point in my above facetious/acerbic comments is that we're continually being bombarded with alarming words from scientific doomsayers who've no definite/concrete evidence of any potentially disastrous asteroid strike. Without definitive evidence, their ongoing strident warnings do little other than to cause worry and alarm. Eventually, this evolves progressively into a state similar to one created by the boy who cried "fire" once too often, the population evolves into a state of ambivalence.
There's no doubt there's a real threat of a catastrophic asteroid strike, and inevitably one will occur at some future time. However, what precise details do we now actually have for any such future event happening? Let's begin by asking the doomsayers for actual evidence. For starters, to date the whole of human history has passed without incident, so historically the odds are low. Further examination shows that the doomsayers have no definitive evidence of real 'suspects' who are actually dangerous–ones who've signs pinned on them showing date, time and bulls-eye location. Simply, the fact is there are no precise facts about any imminent or impending catastrophic impact(s), there are only noisy dire warnings. The evidence, in totality, is accurately described by the phrase:
"There's a chance of a possible maybe."
Logicians will recognize this statement as it's often analyzed formally. But as you'll have easily figured out, that's unnecessary as it's clear that this existential statement contains no concrete evidence or information that can be usefully used in any practical sense to plan for a specific future disaster. Again, the nett effect of such vague but dire warnings has a negative effect on the population. Eventually, the ongoing and non-specific nature of such warnings end up having the opposite effect, emotions are numbed and become cathartic and they do so in ways similar to the way that climate-change fatigue has taken hold of the population. An 'immune' population develops a response that's equivalent to the boy who cried "fire".
Brian May's warnings are no doubt made with the sincerest intentions, they would however be best targeted specifically at asteroid researches and those who fund scientific research rather than frightening the general population, as its citizens know damn well they're essentially powerless to prevent any such potential catastrophe.
Scientific research into making the planet a safer place from asteroid impacts is another matter altogether. It may be surprising for some to know its research of which I'm strongly in favour.
'Best not to bother even contemplating potential contingencies'
Strange, I didn't say that, read what's written. Now, would I still be misinterpreted if I formatted comments more formally like thus: ∃x(D(x) → ∀yD(y))? Perhaps so.
I did refer to people being stressed by the continued repetition of such dire warnings; I also hinted that for the past two million years we humans have been on the planet we've not been hit by large flying rocks, thus we've survived. (Reckon the odds of a lottery win are probably better. If not, then it'll be amen—and quick.)
Now, what exactly didn't I say?
So, the risk doesn't seem much different to yesterday. We're all aware of the risk and we've nowhere else to go, and we don't need stress-creating reminders.
"The problem is that "best people for the job" becomes self defining. If you have a department full of testerone-addled males, women by definition won't be the "best people for the job" because they won't fit."
Often the "best people for the job" does become self defining, but to me it seems more complex than that, especially so in today's society. For instance, I find it somewhat strange that a significant number of women want to be soldiers. Why would women want to lower or debase themselves to work in the profession of soldiering–to use your words–one that's traditionally so full of testosterone-addled males? It's a double-whammy too, for soldiering is not only full of testosterone-addled males but the job of being a soldier often brings with it the absolute worst of all possible human experiences.
The fact that these days many women do want to be soldiers says something that we simply cannot ignore. Same can be said about the large number of women in traditional male enclaves such as electrical engineering.
I've argued above that some of my best employees are women, I have not however argued that on parity they've all the same skill-sets as my male employees, the percentage of males obsessively interested in the nuts, bolts and mathematics of the work is definitely higher (but it's also true that a higher percentage of females have better skill-sets in other related areas). Nevertheless, there's a large overlap, so generalizing is difficult.
I'm not a cultural or social anthropologist so I make no attempt to explain or understand the shift, only that it's happened and that we can't ignore it.
It's at times like this I know I've truly stuffed up well and good. As Gerard Hoffnung once said 'I must have lost my presence of mind' to have even contemplated using those two words beginning with 'a', experience has long taught me one can't do that without a squabble.
Now let me correct this:
"1. Someone who is like me except
2. Has a less dominant personality and
3. For some reason isn't likely to be a threat to my job. "
Seems simple but that's just not how it worked. First, it wasn't possible to easily rig the employment process as independents were used on selection committees to keep everyone honest. These independents were usually unknown to us (and the process was very fair).
Second, one's best employees are always a threat, but I can assure you that threat is much less of a problem than a stupid wayward employee who discovers (or thinks) he has rights and has the urge to exercise them. Good employees argue logically and I've been in many a scrap with them but matters are usually resolved amicably. I'm an argumentative didactic bastard by nature (many of my posts will attest to this), so I don't want 'yes' men around me. I often solve problems not by fighting but through argument, as there's little point if someone is always going to agree with one (such people I find intensely irritating).
From my experience, the greatest threat to one's job isn't from other good employees, it's from stupid management decisions usually brought about by some overly-paid consultant/management 'guru' whose only true expertise is cutting-&-pasting boilerplate from management textbooks.
"affirmative action" is just yet more institutionalized sexism.
Believe it or not I agree with you, but that does not mean that many of my female staff were less capable employees than their male counterparts (most were very good).
Irrespective of my views about affirmative action per se, there was no chioce in the matter–that policy was dictated from upon high and at the threat of dismissal.
Let's get the facts straight: affirmative action, rightly or wrongly, is a policy, loathsome or otherwise. From my experience, when employment procedures were implemented fairly and honestly it made very little difference, as the best person got the job anyway (their sex being irrelevant).
BTW, let me add that I'm not being holier than thou here. It's that my job was a damn side easier when I had good staff, so it's always been in my interest to hire the best person available irrespective of his pr her sex.
'...overwhelmingly male and white.'
Running an IT department I found it difficult to raise the female staff ratio more than about 30%. Often this was through the lack of female applicants–not through selection (as I (and hiring staff) actively practiced affirmative action).
My two assistants were female and they were excellent. The other female staff were also very good and often preferred to males especially when dealing with customers/clients (females exhibited less bravado and were far less likely to greet customers with comments such as 'what did you stuff up this time?').
Not all staff were white nor native English speakers. Foreign-language speakers (perhaps 20% of the staff) came from diverse countries including Germany, Russia, India, China and Arabic-speaking ones.
Leaving aside the etiquette/rights and wrongs of using "luser", there's a serious point here.
Microsoft has continually moved its Windows O/S towards the LCD-user (obviously to maximize sales/market penetration). In so doing, it's produced a 4GB bloatware behemoth that many technical users simply do not need.
Just as fundamentally important is that 4GB of bloatware code is considerably harder to maintain and keep secure (not to mention runs slower) than a basic minimalist one. Clearly, there's a real demand for a Win32/64-API compatible O/S that's techie compatible but I'm of the opinion that'll never come from MS (or anyone else).
We've worked (and are still working) on the assumption that as MS will never provide it and that there's no alternative–ReactOS being little more than a joke after a decade and half–that we've no alternative but to reevaluate our O/S strategy from scratch.
Damn nuisance really.
Right, but seems we're not getting those options. (See my additional comments).
Despite what I said, we'll see what the final product is like before a final decision.
That said, everything we've seen so far about Windows 10 is that it's a more integrated environment than ever. What we want is the exact opposite–that's to just use the parts of the O/S we need, basically that means a more modular O/S.
Simply, that's a back-to-basics O/S. Once an O/S was just a file-loader with basic file management tools, add a UI for windows-type environment if necessary. That's all we need, and Windows 10 is definitely not that.
'...number of settings that MS took control away from the user is just unacceptable'
Yeah, we know. Reckon it's the end of the road for us as far as Windows is concerned. To us, the 10 'upgrade' means: a lack of access to user controls (an increasing trend with every U/G since XP); Windows now as 'rented' software; an assumption that one's machine is always online (many of ours aren't even networked); automatic downloads essentially now forced on users with the network download costs charged to us–not Microsoft, etc. etc. Windows has moved from being an O/S to a blatant marketing environment for Microsoft.
Well, for us, this is completely unacceptable. So it's bye-byes time Microsoft!
Even Blind Freddy can see what MS is up to. We streetwise IT-ers immediately smelt a rat the instant Microsoft offered Windows 10 as a 'free' upgrade. Right, old-version Windows is totally incompatible with the new rented-software environment. (We shouldn't be surprised however, for years MS has been toying with the idea of rented software, now they've achieve it.)
Translation for those who've only a room-temperature IQ: 'Software as a Service' simply MEANS 'Rented Software'.
The difference here of course is that most of the National Archives should be open and readily available to the public. Unfortunately, too many records are either mediated and or unavailable from regular/casual internet access.
(And, from personal experience, I'm not talking about embargoed/sensitive files either. In the past, I've had considerable difficulties getting historic photographs and related documents that are not classified, as most are simply not available for regular on-line access. Perhaps the perpetrator had a similar bad experience and tried to solve the problem with an unorthodox approach.) ;-)
Yeah, good. Just remember every single treaty, trade or otherwise, signed by your government reduces the extent and scope of your democracy. As all those signed treaty provisions (as well as the multitude of enabling legislation) are now locked out of any further consideration by the legislature for the life of the treaty.
And governments can't change treaties easily, they can hang around for centuries.
It's only kept secret from the citizenry, not the corporations and multinationals who initiated it. That says everything.
Glad there's US resistance, as here in puppet-country Oz all we ever do is say 'thank you' after being shafted by grossly unfair trade deals.
I consider Ghostery an essential install-first tool on both Windows and Android, it's a good start but by no means the full answer. Also, I'd reckon down-loaders of Ghostery and similar apps would be especially flagged by Google if for nothing else other than to check how effective the anti-ad blocking tools are.
I've been so pissed of with ads and the pernicious spying that I've taken rather drastic action—my Android is no longer a phone. I've removed the SIM and placed it back into my no-internet phone-only LG, so it's strictly only a phone. Now, the Android's only connection to the internet is via WiFi which I disconnect before using the apps (fortunately most of the apps I used can be run offline).
As I see it, Google created the Android platform with ads and user-spying as the primary application, the apps we users want to use are essentially nothing more than attractive lures.
Once I used to balk at the commercialization of the internet under MS Windows but it's hardly a beginner against Google's Android.
Damn nuisance really.
A.C., thanks. Short of time to elaborate on your comments here except to say I agree with them. Will reply in more detail later. Also, Charles Haddon Cave video is fascinating, recommended viewing, and has echoes of similar things/incidents that I've experienced (but luckily with fewer repercussions).
In the meantime, with reference to TB/h 'I don't know where this figure comes from...', here's one immediate reference, there's others too: http://www.trilliumsoftware.com/success/_pdf/DataIQ_Fall12-Nigel-Article.pdf.
Reckon that's so but also there are broader issues here; essentially they're issues that emerge from complexity.
To the point: the complexity of modern airliners like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 are such that it's just not possible in any practicable sense to cover every functional mode of operation, design limitation and failure mode let alone properly evaluate all their relevant parameters [design limitations/omissions, failure severity, event probability etc.] through rigorous state analysis and similar techniques.
Anyone familiar with state analysis will know that it's nigh on impossible to cover every aspect (design limitations, failure modes etc.) of a system as 'simple' as a domestic VCR let alone one as complex as a modern jet airliner–even a VCR's complexity is such that the computational problems are enormous. Just defining the parameters for such tests alone is problematic.
I'm not saying that these modern airliners aren't reliable, clearly they are but putting an exact measure on 'reliability' just isn't possible with today's state-of–the-art. The fact is we've still to rely on the best expertise that's available and this ultimately boils down to the combined expertise and experience of the engineers, designers and manufacturer's wherewithal etc.–not to mention bean-counters and budgets.
Let me give you an example: the well-publicized Qantas QF32 A380 [2010-11-04] engine failure. The Rolls-Royce T/900s each generates about 20 terabytes of monitoring data per hour yet this was 'insufficient' to give any forewarning of the failure. Moreover, after the failure–despite the many hundreds of thousands of sensors on the A380–the pilots still had insufficient (or perhaps inappropriate) monitoring for them to determine what failed sufficient to the extent necessary to safely navigate and land the plane.
Sufficient data was only gathered after a passenger reported damage to the wing and a pilot visually inspected the damage from the passenger's seat. With all of the A380's sophisticated monitoring, human intervention (a human sensor) was still necessary.
The issues that arise are complex and many but the essential ones are reasonably clear: we now know the exploding engine cut sensor and control lines thus cutting off essential data to the pilots. The question is why this eventuality wasn't allowed for in the original design (given that engines have previously failed/exploded and cut control lines long before this incident). Also, why didn't a state analysis pick up this issue beforehand in the early design phase?
Moreover, given the long history of control cable/hydraulics failures (by being severed) and leading to crashes [e.g.: UA FLT 232, (1989); AA FLT 96, (1972)], one has to speculate why in such a modern aircraft the few truly critical circuits weren't also backed up by wireless links (powered at sensor source). Same goes for why there were no iPhone-sized camera 'sensors' in critical places–for pilots to view the engines etc. (as we all know from our phones, this is pretty trivial these days).
Similarly, Airbus designers appear not to have taken into account the overwhelming levels of error messages generated in the cockpit by the computer-based information system. It was essentially useless, as the huge amount of data presented forced the crew to process the data manually and in a time of great stress and with very limited time. The pilots reported that at no time during their training had they ever had to experience this level of data overload–had it not been for the extremely professional crew the craft could have been lost. The problem with the status/fault monitoring is nothing less than a very significant ergonomic design failure. (It's a damning indictment, as there's seemingly no reason why this problem should not have been foreseen.)
Effectively, the design parameters, in sum, were passed to be an 'acceptable' risk but in practice they were not.
There's no doubt the QF32 incident raises serious concerns, and both the regulators and Airbus need to be put under the spotlight for a series of problems and events that compounded to considerably more than could ever just be attributed to force majeure alone. That said, what is even more key is that this incident clearly shows that our current understanding of complex systems is very limited. State analysis etc. as applied to large complex designs such as modern aircraft has a long way to go before it can be considered mature engineering. Designers need to heed this fact.
In my opinion, the chain of events that led to the QF32 incident is a brilliant encapsulated example of the same kinds of problems we all too often see in large computer systems, Windows, the internet etc. Perhaps we computer types should spend more time examining them.
I've been accused of being a humourless irritable bastard but you take the cake!
Presumably, you're just buying an argument to wind us up. If not, then I'm genuinely sorry for you.
Even I laugh myself silly at this comic genius, fortunately much of the world follows suit.
A.C., perhaps you should actually read what I said.
I said nothing whatsoever about "operating without a licence, probably having no insurance and pocketing undeclared income", nor did I even infer it!
...But then what would one expect from an A.C. who'd even bother to be an A.C. over such a trivial headline. Perhaps you're trying hide from your own shadow.
Funny isn't it how the world wants competition and fee markets at almost any cost–witness all the free trade agreements etc? And yet in almost every country this aspect of free trade is verboten.
Decades ago when I was at school I recall daring kids to touch my charged capacitors. Some did which instantly deterred others.
I also remember the charge didn't last very long. Now, SSDs aren't quite the same but the theory of operation's not far off.
SSDs great devices, I use them all the time, but we're still testing their endurance. A few more years will tell. There's also the question of very long-term storage of decades. The message from similar technologies, EEPROMS etc., is mixed, I've some decades old and perfectly OK whilst a few have carked it inexplicably (but the manufacturing tech is much older of course) .
I well remember suggesting this in my organization well over a decade ago and I was laughed at. (At the time thumb drives weren't around but floppies, Zip drives, email attachments and mobile phones were.)
Even the management instantly balked at it such is their addiction to such devices. It'll be a brave organization that does. It might even stop it recruiting the top people when the fact's known.
Ha! A fisherman I ought to be. Mention Win APIs and Linux together and, even with an obvious lure, there's always a guaranteed catch!