* Posts by Mage

6248 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Former Mozilla dev joins chorus roasting antivirus, says 'It's poison!'

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Problem with Anti-Virus

AV is rubbish:

User education is more effective.

It regularly trashes OSes.

It slows machines

It has wrong default settings

Never up to date.

Gives false confidence, so users don't bother learning about basics.

Disable uPNP on router and PC, always use EXTERNAL firewall, turn off SSSD and all other stupid default services on Windows. No remote content in email. Use NoScript and whitelist and blacklist on each site you use (once per visit is usually enough). Don't install stupid toolbars. Always use custom install and untick extras. Don't download "free" versions of pay only software. Only use sensible sources for SW and codecs.

Disable Autorun on all devices.

All far more use than ANY AV.

I've been saying this for 25 years.

All far

15
4

Bookish hacker finds holes in Amazon, Apple, Google epub services

Mage
Silver badge
Coat

Clarification

Is this about DRM? DRM is unethical and should be illegal.

People or publishers can publish on Amazon or Smashwords, DRM free. I write and publish. I'm opposed to DRM and have never used it. I will though pursue anyone selling without giving me my royalty, or giving away copies, or plagiarising.

DRM doesn't even work anyway. It's contrary to the Berne Convention as it is still there when the copyright expires. Frequently blocks all fair use, or seriously limits it.

I also believe copyright should revert to author after 5 years and never be assigned to publisher for life of copyright, also 10 years after death is generous. The 70 years is a corporate land grab.

I remove DRM from anything I buy, but I don't even make copies for friends, only to other devices (like read Kindle on a Kobo) and/or backups.

Can we have clarification as to what these vulnerabilities enable?

Mine coat has a paperback and a Kobo. A commercial "pirate" can cut off binding, auto scan a book quickly, OCR, and even proof.

The problem is never ordinary individuals or downloaders but people uploading to "file sharing" sites and mostly commercial piracy.

When stuff is easily available, and reasonably priced (you listening Big 6 on eBooks or all CDs vs DVDs) then most people don't bother with piracy.

2
2

US Congress asks FCC to snuff out Google's TV landgrab

Mage
Silver badge
Facepalm

The arguement is irrelevant.

PCMCIA vs USB dongle misses the point.

1) It's possible to do cable or VOIP with no set box or dongle. My TV has DVB-C, 2 x DVBS-2, Wifi, Ethernet, DVB-T2 (USA models would be ISDB or whatever) and the PCMCIA style slot that can take a CAM for cable or satellite and a viewing card. It has dedicated USB HDD port (encrypts drive sadly even for FTA content. I have very small setbox. for HD TV DVB (which is more demanding than cable TV HW & SW), cost $50. I have an even cheaper HD Sat box, a little bigger. Ten years ago Motorola had a PVR setbox with HD, Cable, Ethernet VOIP(via external or using internal cable modem) and no need for a card. It could use DOCSIS to validate. It had the PCMCIA CAM slot too.

2) It's really about perceived control of content (anti-piracy) rather than forcing box rental (that's a means to an end).

3) Who gets to supply and bill the customer for content. That's why sky is going head to head with Global Liberty/Virgin and Netflix in UK by supplying not just by dish, but also by Broadband (even over virgin) via linear and non-liner VOIP streaming.

It's true you shouldn't have to rent the box. Sky actually gives away their boxes, but they are crippled (even the sat one) if you have no sub. The minimum contract with Sky ensures cost of install and box is covered.

0
1

Bloke launches twinkly range of BBC Micro:bit accessory boards

Mage
Silver badge

Hmm

Very nice range of boards.

Unfortunately the BBC "motherboard" is a rather poor design concept.

Still, he's overcome the existing really stupid interface to create a decent one.

1
0

Google tests Android Instant Apps streamed on-demand to mobes

Mage
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Instant Apps

It's a terminal and server. So 1960s.

No thanks. I only want things that need Internet Content to need to connect to the internet.

This also has even less security and privacy (potentially) than locally installed apps. With a local app, you can turn off data connection.

1
0

Jinn workers besiege delivery app co-founder to protest wage changes

Mage
Silver badge
Devil

Gig economy?

It's merely using the Web to exploit naive workers, like has been going on before the Internet existed. Show me one of these companies that isn't undercutting real businesses that pay insurance, tax and holidays by exploiting their workers by pretending they are not employees.

11
0

DDoSing has evolved in the vacuum left by IoT's total absence of security

Mage
Silver badge

Clue in the name DDOS

An individual might have as much legitimate traffic as their IoT thingy. Far too complicated for an ordinary ISP to figure out.

1
0

Nuclear power station sensors are literally shouting their readings at each other

Mage
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Encrypted Morse code transmitted via sound

It's not new though, dates to 1950s!

0
0

Resistence is futile: HPE must face Oracle over Solaris IP

Mage
Silver badge

Daft

Is Oracle wanting to extinguish Solaris with their fixation on only making money from support?

13
0

Government to sling extra £4.7bn at R&D in bid to Brexit-proof Britain

Mage
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Martha Lane Fox

Forgot about her. I was thinking of a different one.

Not that I have a problem with women in tech. But those are not tech women.

2
0
Mage
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

I doubt it will work.

UK Governments have a bad track record.

Computers in 1950s.

First aircraft with added rocket engine, 1950s

Ever Ready Batteries. Blocked their takeover of Mallory (now Duracell), now gone.

Inmos and Transputer sold to a clueless buyer.

UK Electronics was too dependant on Military / P.O. pork, quality was so poor that when Japanese opened UK factories they had to import parts.

Tarrifs higher on parts than finished goods for many years to protect useless to non-existent parts makers.

Only country to abandon Space after reaching it.

Only country to abandon working Nuclear weapons in favour of import only.

Scrapped Harrier.

Thatcher's dream, a Nation of shopkeepers (financial services who are parasites and money launderers and other "service" industries).

Silicon Roundabout

What's her name with the pointless websites.

UK in the past wasted Billions on protectionism and investment in doomed stuff, killed anything new with potential.

The BBC Computer was only incidentally successful in creating ARM. It was the innovation of core Acorn people backed by Apple investment, to help the Newton. For every tech success like ARM (most of which like the successful Sussex based Satellite building company are despite the Government) there are many the Government actively killed or created a a toxic environment for.

Maybe 1952 was the zenith and it's been downhill since.

15
0

Bane of Silicon Valley patents sets its sights on Rackspace and NetApp

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Bonanza is coming to an end

I hope so, but is that definite?

1
0

Samsung set a fire under battery-makers to make the Galaxy Note 7 flaming brilliant

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Pushing the envelope too hard

Not so much greed as "fashion" (appearance) over ruling function and sound engineering. Product design is too much orientated to showroom appearance.

8
1
Mage
Silver badge
Flame

Pushing too hard.

Phones are getting too thin and fragile.

If the phone had been 2mm thicker this would never have happened.

1) Needing a bumper case is a design fail on the phone.

2) Not being able to sit with it in jeans pocket without it bending, unless it's designed to bend like an eraser or chew bar is a fail.

A larger phone needs to either be designed to be flexible or be even thicker. So ultimately the problem is Samsung's design. I imagine it will happen with other brands of phones unless they reduce the battery capacity.

9
0

Stallman's Free Software Foundation says we need a free phone OS

Mage
Silver badge
Big Brother

Free PA

No.

Why should a "free" OS copy every stupid feature of the closed ones?

5
0

Windows 10 networking bug derails Microsoft's own IPv6 rollout

Mage
Silver badge

Re: I don't know what the fuss is about.

"Only the Internet should be IPv6.

With internet doing IPv6 then we could use 4,294,967,296 IPv4 addresses in our internal networks."

If the two systems interworked sensibly. Good luck finding an off the shelf ready to run box that can do that.

0
0
Mage
Silver badge

IPV6 is a bad design

It takes no account of the real world, privacy is an afterthought kludge and has about zero ability to work with IP4.

I hope the IETF has been working on an IPv8 that interworks properly with IPv4 and that can be easily configured for privacy and security by default on home users "edge routers + firewall + modem + Wifi Airpoint devices.

Essentially we can only turn off IPv4 when EVERYONE is using IPv6, that's not realistic. Nor is the configuration of a home LAN other than for network specialists.

IP6 may be a wet dream for Google and IoT, but it's not fit for purpose for ordinary consumers or to allow seamless transition to IP6 from IP4.

0
2

One BEEELLION dollars: Apple sues Qualcomm, one of its chip designers

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Que ?

Very possible with Qualcomm. Without the "exclusive deal" the "mark" gets charged even more royalty (protection money?) often a percentage of entire product as well as surcharge on chip.

Even Intel only charges just for the chip (which no doubt partially explains the high cost), not a percentage on the entire product it's used in.

Qualcomm is to manufacturers what some exploitive software companies are to retail or business end users. I don't think they are liked by any manufacturer.

3
3
Mage
Silver badge
Devil

Business Model

Qualcomm's main business model is NOT selling chips, that's a means to an end. They licence.

Thus they lobby to have their IP in standards (which is why 3G was much less good than it could have been), buy up small companies and shutter them and buy larger ones and kill almost all products that don't have a per handset or per chip (or both) royalty.

They not only charge you for a chip, but want a slice of the product that uses it. They epitomise what's wrong with patents.

Of course they charge too much. Apple though should take care, most of Apple's patents shouldn't have been awarded, nor the excessive awards against those deemed to be breaking their patents, both "inventive" (= supposed real patents) and "design" (=Registered Design, a kind of copyright)

People in glass houses.

Kettle & Pot.

19
0

Elementary, my dear IBM: When will Watson make money?

Mage
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

AI solution

It's the cost of all those pesky humans, experts and programmers, that are curating and tuning the datasets. What they need to cut costs is replace them with AI.

After all it's working for the Japanese purchasers of IBM kit?

I'd love to see a break down of HW costs vs ongoing "development costs" for each Watson sale. Or are Watson systems like a sale of a Adobe Creative Cloud or Oracle DB*, a trojan to ensure annual income from support, so it's losing money as it's still at the infiltrate stage (like inkjet printers in supermarkets which have to have only partially filled cartridges as they are so cheap).

(*Though those have an almost zero additional cost per sale unlike Watson sales.)

0
0

AWS offers $20 bribe to derps who buy old IoT condom-o-matic dunce dobbers

Mage
Silver badge
Coat

Re: When down to last 9 pack

How is the crises averted? Magical Replicator delivery via internet?

Or do you live in a 19th C style American Rural retreat? I'm rural and it's a 20 minute ROUND trip to the cheapest supplier, or 5 minutes to the village shop.

I like mail order using the Internet instead of a printed catalogue and posted order, it's more convenient and faster (except from outside Europe). However for food, basic household items, footwear, many clothes and large heavy things the local retail suppliers are actually cheaper and I'm more likely to get something uncrushed, fresh or fits.

If I'm sick I can even use the sort of service people had from 19th C. to 1960s, instant contact of retailer and home delivery (Tesco via Internet and various fast food via phone or internet).

These Amazon buttons are a malicious supplier "lock in" for the terminally lazy.

My coat might have my phone (inc internet) or car keys. Both far useful than this Amazon tat pushed on their home page. You can imagine what I think of Amazon Echo.

12
1

Seven pet h8s: Verity is sorely vexed

Mage
Silver badge
Happy

Yah!

gcy2017 := New (Year);

gcy2017.happy := TRUE;

Great to have you back Verity.

5
0

Fired Ofcom Remainer bod sues UK gov for withholding his payoff

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Private Eye

Yes, especially as the documentary series on it stopped production ages ago. Far more enlightening than Panorama, Newsnight etc.

"Yes Minister"

9
0

Viral Chinese selfie app Meitu phones home with personal data

Mage
Silver badge

Sad truth of Android

Many applications that shouldn't be, are communicating no-one knows what to no-one knows who. Eating your data allowance and privacy. Several apps inc. Kindle ereader put up error messages, even when you have not run them since last power on, when data is disabled.

Many versions of Android (even on things still being sold) don't allow any disabling of permissions. Many don't even properly inform you what is happening. Android TV on so called "smart" TVs is particularly bad.

* Only install Apps you REALLY REALLY need.

* Disable all Data when not explicitly wanting Internet

* Creatively use alternate versions of Apps that don't communicate (Calibre on Mac, Windows, Linux etc can take a remove DRM plug-in that uses your own Kindle serial number, then your /phone tablet can use any eReader app, even an ePub one.

Don't use eBooks using Adobe DRM. It contacts Adobe.

Don't use stock Android or Chrome Browser, but use Firefox on Android phone/Tablet.

Don't use ChromeOS or Chrome Browser on Windows, personally as I'm not Chinese, the Chinese security people rather than Google knowing everything might be preferable? However I avoid that too.

This is hardly news. Very many big name USA companies Apps do this.

1
0

Mozillans call for new moz://a logo to actually work in browsers

Mage
Silver badge

Disable URL box search

see https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1134010

2
0
Mage
Silver badge
Flame

Re: Searching for "moz://a"

An address bar that searches or redirects to a similarly spelled website is a vulnerability. It's a really really stupid GUI design. Was it for tiny 3" phone screens?

8
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: ...the new logo is confusing Safari. Chrome and Firefox interpret it as a search term.

Typing moz://a

Actually if the really stupid "search or load wrong website if you mistype URL" feature is disabled in Firefox you get:

The address wasn't understood

Firefox doesn't know how to open this address, because one of the following protocols (moz) isn't associated with any program or is not allowed in this context.

You might need to install other software to open this address.

Any other behaviour would be really stupid.

6
0

Wintel part deux? Microsoft Azure first for Intel Clear Linux

Mage
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Optimised for x86 ?

I'm sure Intel really means AMD64 rather than 386/486, or the sinking Itaniaum x64, see Wiki about XP version, which died in 2005, only two years after release. There was a 64bit NT4.0, but that was for DEC Alpha. The Itanium version was the 2nd 64bit Windows. The similarly named XP for the AMD64 was the 3rd 64bit Windows, released in 2005.

I stopped my MSDN "get all the disks" sub in early 2004. I don't think I missed out on anything useful from MS.

3
0
Mage
Silver badge
Coat

Intel Strategy

An x86 only Linux?

ARM must be doing better than I thought!

10
0

Assange reverse-ferrets on promise to fly to US post-Manning clemency

Mage
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: What Was Really Offered?

... the US has not asked for Assange's extradition. So what was he going to do, stand on the steps of the Department of Justice and look like a stupid tourist?

Absolutely, I can't upvote you enough! The whole "US wants me" looks like misdirection, as the UK would certainly have extradited him and Sweden is very unlikely to accede to any such hypothetical demand. Look at UK -> USA treaty and Sweden -> USA treaty and past record.

4
0

Solaris 12 disappears from Oracle's roadmap

Mage
Silver badge

Re: The Windows 10 model?

Or Mac OS after version 9, what, 15 years ago? I forget.

1
0
Mage
Silver badge

Banks?

Like moths to a flame embracing outsourcing, same with Mobile system management back ends (used to be all Solaris and Sun).

Remember when a high proportion of Web servers ran Solaris on Sun HW.

Follow the money. What areas (A) give Oracle best ROI and (B) most Gross repeat sales, (C) Profit?

How many more years of Sparc silicon development will there be?

1
0

Kill it with fire: US-CERT urges admins to firewall off Windows SMB

Mage
Silver badge
FAIL

Only now?

I've been blocking SMB with a firewall ever since I started installing networks with Internet access, well over 20 years ago.

2
1

Chrome dev explains how modern browsers make secure UI just about impossible

Mage
Silver badge

Re: HTML5 can do WHAT?!

PS4 does Netflix.

Or Phone with HMDI cable.

Chromecast is overhyped piece of spyware, but so is "Android TV" to enable "smart TV" functionality.

1
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: HTML5 can do WHAT?!

I use my TV set for full screen content.

7
0

Google loses Android friends with Pixel exclusivity

Mage
Silver badge
Devil

Why many phones & Tablets have no updates.

They need maybe 5G to 6G free space. The cheaper Android tablets only have a 3Gbyte free when new.

Only buy gadgets with a SD slot and 16G+ Flash to start with. Note some versions of Android and some apps can't use data on user SD card, only internal Flash. So avoid entry level tablets with older Android and only 8G byte Flash memory.

0
0

Google harvests school kids' web histories for ads, claims its Mississippi nemesis

Mage
Silver badge

Education deals

No School or Educational institution should be promoting Apple, MS, Google Etc.

Nothing to do with Google should be used in schools, as by design it's meant to exploit private activities. Android and ChromeOS are not fit for purpose for schools due to the lack of privacy.

8
2

Euro space agency's Galileo satellites stricken by mystery clock failures

Mage
Silver badge

Re: HARRY LIME

Though Cuckoo clocks are perhaps a Bavarian thing and not really Swiss?

They have all that nice cheese, dried beef, salami ...

Did Graeme Green (original book author) or Orson Welles write the monologue? Though it really suited the Harry Lime character, the people just being "dots", and thus to Harry it didn't matter that he was killing children with his diluted penicillin.

3
0

Japan's terrifying techno-toilets will be made foreigner friendly, vow makers

Mage
Silver badge
Alien

Aliens

Quite good icons compared to some recent ones for Operating Systems.

Unlike the NASA torture machines called toilets, for microgravity, the toilets the Aliens use on their starships are pleasant. They are curiously similar to the Japanese ones.

“Good, just try and rest,” she urged. “I will put up navigation plots superimposed on the camera feeds. The bright line is the Intergal One starship and its torch drive. Let me know if you are thirsty or need to use the personal waste facility next door. It’s simple to operate and suitable for both sexes and most species. We can cut the thrust to one gee if you need it.”

“Every species has two sexes?” asked Bill.

“Yes,” agreed Mikle, “some say it’s evolutionary pressure and others claim intelligent design.”

Ed was sceptical of the idea of a simple to use space toilet. They had all used their own on the shuttle before the flitter rendezvoused with them. It was hardly suitable for humans. They all had then added adult nappies. He watched the display, which looked like very large pane of glass. He could see a pair of tracks. It looked like the couches and the panel had two positions. The image was very high quality and high resolution with no frame rate flicker even in peripheral vision, but like all the video feeds it was monochrome. He wondered why they didn’t have a colour screen. Then he realised they should have had an anthropologist or something. Understanding the alien cultures and motivations was surely as important as the science.

Later:

Back at her starship apartment, Janethra announced she had to go to a meeting and then would be going to bed. She showed them how to work the bathroom.

“You didn’t use the toilet in the flitter?” wondered Gemma.

“I did, it was just like here, built in bidet function.”

“The away team never mentioned it either. Why didn’t you mention it?”

“I didn’t think it was important,” explained Jack, “the Japanese have them.”

“Oh.”

(From "The Solar Alliance" by Ray McCarthy)

1
0

LTE-Broadcast has broad deployment models. What it doesn't have is the iPhone

Mage
Silver badge

Why LTE Broadcast when DVB-T2 exists?

The plan is to sell off ALL TV spectrum (Ofcom and Comreg have admitted this).

Then Mobile operators will be PayTV operators.

LTE broadcast is ultimately PayTV for Mobile Operators. We don't need it.

3
0

US watchdog sues Qualcomm for 'bribing' Apple to swallow chips

Mage
Silver badge

Re: WiMax?

There are other reasons for WiMax failure. Intel, also lack of flexibility.

The Mobile Networks and handset makers were not going to have an Intel sponsored system forced on them. The work on LTE had already started and Flarion already had working 4G (Flash OFDMA). Sadly Flarion was bought by Qualcomm and their product buried. Qualcomm only really wanted the IP.

For this reason the sale of NXP to Qualcomm should be blocked. Qualcomm isn't interested in most of NXP's production / products, only IP that matched their road map. It will be a bad day for Electronic designers.

Microchip takeover of Atmel, Texas of National Semiconductor, Intel of Altera and ADI of Linear Technology are all benign in comparison.

It's sad that Toshiba is selling out their chip bis and that ARM was sold.

1
0

Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring

Mage
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Julian's Hollow Promises

"I don't think we'll see his lying ass leave the embassy unless Trump grants him asylum for services rendered"

Actually even then he'll find a new excuse. He won't leave unless Sweden drops case and the UK breaking of bail is dropped.

The UK could have shipped him to USA. Sweden is very very much less likely, so the the "reason" for being in the Embassy is either something else, or he's deluded.

9
2

Valley techies to protest outside Palantir – Trump adviser's creepy citizen database biz

Mage
Silver badge

Next Week

If they are being fair, they should next protest outside Google, then Facebook, etc. Those are already really lacking transparency and in the case of Google, exploiting almost everyone using the Internet. Facebook's plans (inc their "free" Developing World Basic Access) are no better.

We don't know what exactly Trump is going to do. Certainly none of it sounds very good.

What about Google's subversion of Obama's Administration?

15
2

Credential-stuffers enjoy up to 2% attack success rate – report

Mage
Silver badge

Re: "Special" characters...

1) all lower case = 26

2) all upper case

3) both = 52

4) add numbers = 62

5) add others (approx 36) = 98 characters.

Length 8 or more.

MUCH harder for a machine brute force. if you are level 5 rather than level 1 or 2. They try 1 & 2 first.

They try dictionary words, then with suffixed digits, then with like 4 replacing A and 1 replacing l etc...

I'd rather that they have to try all 98+ possible characters in each of 8 to 10 positions, than 26 in 6 positions.

You ought to be able to use ç ß ð Ð á é í ó ö etc too, but some programmers seem to believe in 7 bit ASCII

0
0
Mage
Silver badge
Headmaster

Amazing

I'm amazed it's not much more than 2%.

It's simple, write ALL email, website, username, passwords in an address book NEVER kept with computer / phone / tablet. Somewhere secure that's accessible when you are dead.

Let the password manager on OS / Browser/email etc remember all the stupid site logons, not any involving money. Use a master password.

I memorise two passwords and 3 PINs. My usual laptop login, my master password and PIN for three pieces of plastic. These are written down somewhere safe. I might get knocked down or mugged even putting out the bin.

0
1

Why Theresa May’s hard Brexit might be softer than you think

Mage
Silver badge

Re: The fly in the ointment?

It's fantasy to think Ireland would leave EU.

2
3
Mage
Silver badge

Re: Common Travel Area

The 1922 to 1973 CTA is impossible with Ireland in EU and UK outside. Totally unworkable. The UK asked Irish Government if they would do UK Immigration control at Irish Airports and Ports. The Irish Government AND Opposition is still laughing at that one.

10
2
Mage
Silver badge

Re: 2 years?

Indeed, the UK has almost no cards and N.I. will be destroyed by a hard border, the first ever. Gibraltar will become unemployed and economic collapse as Spain will close border.

Scotland has no say and can do nothing unless they leave UK (which will seriously upset the Spanish till it's pointed out that Scotland is not England and was only part of Great Britain from maybe 1707). So no EU deal for an Independent Scotland till Spain calms down (or possibly Catalonia leaves Spain, who knows what that would trigger?). Anyway why is Spain holding bits of North Africa?

It won't be marvellous for Ireland in short term but in longer term better as too many Irish Imports are via UK middle men creaming off a percent (likely goes back to Victorian Era in some cases). Certain agriculture aspects of Ireland will be hit worst.

It's a disaster, but at the end of the day it's UK, Gibraltar, NI that suffers most, short term damage to some Irish industries and nothing more than a blip for rest of EU.

22
5

Balancing miners borks blockchains, say boffins

Mage
Silver badge

Re: And in this day and age ...

Good luck finding two in the same country ...

1
0
Mage
Silver badge

Also issue is speed

How fast can the blockchain be processed with 700, 7000, 70,000 transactions at once?

I think it doesn't scale and is worse than linear.

1
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017