* Posts by Charlie Clark

7286 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Android clampdown on calls and texts access trashes bunch of apps

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Define security. There is no indication that IOS is more secure than Android. By design its security is better in some ways, poorer in others. And, can you really trust Apple more than you can trust Google?

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Wake locks

Something else that seems to have fallen foul of Google Play Store regulations are wake locks. For example OSMand 3.3.3 removed wake locks in order to comply. This severely affects usability because it's no longer possible for the app to wake the screen when giving navigation instructions. Can't find the rule itself and there are presumably good reasons for it, but annoying all the same.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Why on earth would Google have a problem with BlackBerry Hub?

BlackBerry handed over maintenance to another company a while back, privacy rules changed.

Google takes a page from Microsoft of old and revives browser ballot on Android

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The problem was that it was also built into the OS as part of the file manager, which is is why Microsoft said they couldn't make it optional.

Apple's revamped iPad beams a workhorse in from Planet Ludicrous

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Re: Waiting for a bus

There is probably no profit in the market for £2k folding phones. But down at £1k there probably is.

I think that depends a bit on how you do accounting. I suspect the marginal cost is a lot less than GBP 2000, so, as with I-Pad Pros, there is profit to be made but volumes might be too low to make it worthwhile. Dropping the price will reduce margins, but the boost in volume could make the difference.

Unlikely with version 1, which is probably as much about testing the market and working out the whole system as anything else. Samsung probably has the advantage here due to its work on DeX and producing so many components in house.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Still waiting...

Except that it suffered from Windows Mobile/Phone's Achilles' heel of not being able to run most Windows software, and Microsoft's chronic lack of commitment to its platform.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Waiting for a bus

and surely a very long time – before the £2,000 models Samsung and Huawei displayed at Mobile World Congress yield anything in the £500 range

Not so sure about this. First of all, like the proverbial bus, we've been waiting for the foldables for a while and suddenly three show up, which immediately increases the competitive pressure. Secondly, the mobile phone market already has massive scale and we regularly see it in action: features that were reserved for the high-end a few years ago (fingerprint scanner, face recognition) are cropping up in mid-range and entry-level phones within a couple of years, largely because so much of the process has been industrialised. Sure, getting screen-folding right isn't easy but, assumng it's more about process than yield, once the process is there, it's easy to ramp up volume, the caveat would probably be yields on larger OLED screens, which have proved difficult to make in numbers. But thirdly, there is a huge opportunity to go after all of what's left of the notebook market. Apple seems happy enough with its premium and even more premium and as you note, Microsoft isn't there yet. Still a lot to get right / go wrong, but the potential is there.

Don't get the pitchforks yet, Apple devs: macOS third-party application clampdown probably not as bad as rumored

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Re: Gatekeeper's a handwave anyway

And, as long as MacOS comes with a terminal you can always install binaries via the shell. As the article says, this sounds a lot like people overinterpreting rumours. Best waiting until they start releasing betas.

On a different note: anyone know how to disable the quick action symbols in Finder? Just switched to 10.14 and now I can't see at a glance how big files are.

Public disgrace: 82% of EU govt websites stalked by Google adtech cookies – report

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Re: Across the pond

Most online banking is just an accident waiting to happen.

I only do online banking via HBCI and a dedicated application. Avoids all the trackers and, in case of fraud, the onus is on the bank to demonstrate that the owner was careless.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

The report authors said this was of "special concern" because Google can cross-reference trackers with its first-party account details via its widely used consumer services such as Mail, Search and Android apps.

Yes, they might. But to do so would be a flagrant breach of GDPR and would come with a hefty fine or even a ban. Years ago Google refused not to do this but has since become willing to be contractually bound not to do so, though this might cost cash! It even provides the relevant Javascript to anonymise the last octet of an ip address. So, in these cases it's clearly the commissioning departments, or more likely the agencies that are at fault. And further evidence that every citizen should use an ad blocker.

Apple bestows first hardware upgrades in years upon neglected iPad Mini and Air lines

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Re: Slipping

I'm borrowing an I-Pad 2 from a mate to test stuff and I find it incredibly slippery, really just waiting to fall on the floor. My old Samsung Galaxy 8.9 had a rubberised back from the get-go. Really surprised given the US culture of strict liability (knives must carry a warning that they're sharp, coffee cups that they may contain hot liquids, etc.) that no one has taken Apple on for this.

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Facepalm

Re: Slipping

Why should you have to buy a case just to be able to use the thing?

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Slipping

Parents looking for something to slip into little hands on long journeys

In my experience the overly smooth I-Pads tend to lots of slipping out of little hands! Ergonomic fail not to have rubberised the back of the I-Pads

Just look at Q! Watch out Microsoft, the next Android has a proper desktop PC mode

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Re: North of 85%...

Tell me - at what point does the definition of "anticompetitive monopoly" start?

See as Google has already been accused of, and punished for abusing its Android's market dominance, I'm not sure I understand your point.

Mind you, I'd quite like the regulators to take a closer look at some of Apple's practices: no other browser engines, no other music stores, etc.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: But ...

Most of the non-consumption apps do all that – consumption stuff doesn't really do Copy&Paste largely because of DRM but loads of apps will store stuff on an external SD. Lots of apps will give you SMB and printing (almost invariably via the "cloud", but still it works)

But I'm not sure that people want to replicate the Windows desktop entirely on their phones. A lot of them will probably already be using something like OneDrive. What they really want is mobility.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Watch out Microsoft?

Do you really think the number of displays is really likely to be a problem? I think the bigger issue is the toolkit for the different form factors. I'm pretty confident the compositors can handle converting the virtual display into signals for different ones, or, just let some kind of docking station deal with that.

I don't expect the market for these devices to be large initially but I guess the companies that should be really worried are the PC makers: the few that are left just got even more competition.

Of course, the ChromeOS boys could still attempt to nip this in the bud, because according them the Gospel of Google is that devices with keyboards must use ChromeOS.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Watch out Microsoft?

Not so sure about that. Microsoft has already embraced Android with its Office apps. No, I think Apple should be more worried about this as further evidence of IOS falling behind technologically.

Bombs Huawei... Smartphone exploded in my daughter's pocket, seriously burning her, claims dad in lawsuit

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Re: "Well, that, at least is the claim."

Big assumption in this case. Not wanting to trivialise it but, in the absence of any other similar incidents, I'm inclined to be a little sceptical on this claim: the US legal system more or less invites this kind of suit.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Chemistry

because lithium-ion batteries aren't always manufactured with enough care to contain the stored energy they hold. Research into safer chemistry has been going on for years with no commercially practical results yet

Li-Ion batteries are inherent fire risks and, hence, carry warnings. There's not much you can do on the chemical side, all the work is done on the packaging and electronics to reduce the risk of exposure to air or getting too hot.

The chemical research is mainly looking for solutions with higher energy density and/or solid state batteries.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Original charger (or at least a good one)?

Well, that, at least is the claim.

That's Numberwang! Google Cloud staffer breaks record for most accurate Pi calculation

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Re: "...staffer breaks record for most *precise* Pi calculation"

Correct, ie. formally correct, to n significant digits, I don't see accuracy coming into it unless you're using one of the many approximations. It's all a bit pedantic but it does make sense.

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Re: 31.4 trillion? Rubbish

How are you defining your trillions, though? 10^12 or 10^18?

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Re: "...staffer breaks record for most *precise* Pi calculation"

Because precision and accuracy have clear and distinct mathematical definitions.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Depends on your defintion of accuracy: they're both only accurate to three significant digits and after that are almost equally inaccurate. I'm not engineer but I think that they're both good enough for most mechanical situations but nothing like good enough for anything computational.

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Coat

Not only is it more accurate, it's also actually feasible. Or has April got another day and nobody told me?

It's a pity because otherwise we really could have our Pi and eat it!

Charlie Clark Silver badge

I think the point is that, no it would not have been cheaper to buy a supercomputer. This is a single, highly specialised algorithm, so not necessarily directly comparable with the stuff running on supercomputers. But the speed and price are only, er, part of the equation: with a supercomputer you normally have extremely fast networking and storage for data going in and out.

Still, you can see that we're probably only a couple of generations from being able to rent say a supercomputer rack complete with dedicated glass fibre link. And in the meantime you can develop and test algorithms for that spanking new machine while you're waiting for it to be built.

They're BAAACK: Windows 10 nagware team loads trebuchet with annoying reminders to GTFO Windows 7

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Re: Time, gentlemen, please

Thanks for the comment. Some issues (Microsoft / Apple) tend to provoke reflex outpourings of hate.

You make a very good point about the licensing and, of course, potential liability issues. Any company running Windows 7 after EOL that has issues that could be related to the version being used, could easily find themselves in trouble.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Time, gentlemen, please

I haven't forgotten it at all. See my posts above: I'm no fan of nagware but there are bound to be people with Windows 7 who are not aware that it will not be supported after January 2020. Some kind of reminder is, in my opinion, okay. But users must be able to disable it and, and it shouldn't install anything automatically.

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Re: Time, gentlemen, please

Like, I said you need to have a strategy. I still have a Windows 7 VM and will probably still have one next year. But such systems really should be the exception in any company by the end of the year.

Of course, I should add, but of which no doubt you're only too well aware, of shitty MS support has been of the embedded systems, which can be a lot harder to replace than desktop systems.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Time, gentlemen, please

TBH, any company still running Windows 7 does now need to define their migration process either to Windows 10 or something else and a reminder from Microsoft, maybe even once a month doesn't seem too unreasonable to me for software that is approaching its EOL. But users should definitely have the option to disable it.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

They recently did something similar for MS Office, meaning I was getting very frequent notifications to enable auto-updating. Now, I normally do install the updates fairly quickly, but given their size and that I'm often on other people's networks, I don't think this is such a good idea for patches that are often more than 1 GB.

The HeirPod? Samsung Galaxy Buds teardown finds tiny wireless cans 'surprisingly repairable'

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Facepalm

Re: Wireless?

Hm, how about reading what I wrote: for navigating. I have one ear bud in so that I hear the directions. This means I can concentrate more on the road and the other traffic.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Wireless?

Bluetooth headsets are great not least because you can't get tangled in wires, the phone can be in a pocket or bag or, in my case, mounted on my bike for navigating. And many of them have excellent battery life. The bud-only ones are just asking to get lost.

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Re: Why bother?

As these things are designed to be lost as easily as possible, I think the repairability is indeed moot.

Just Android things: 150m phones, gadgets installed 'adware-ridden' mobe simulator games

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Magisk is pretty good at rooting only when necessary without borking too many apps.

The problem with any kind of VPN solution, is you can only run one of them at the time, but otherwise sounds good.

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Re: Any suggestions how to check these

Not easily. You're best off installing some kind of checker, and Checkpoint's essentially just touting for business with this report, but basically, you're going to have to educate your son about the dangers of installing just any old shit; you know a "don't go with strangers" talk. Note, it's not just games, anything that promises something for nothing is likely to be suspicious.

BTW. 150 million sounds a lot but given the installed base, and the way the numbers were calculated, it's not that significant. Checkpoint has form in the area and regularly releases reports like this.

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming

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Re: I forgot to add

Is it not unfortunate that the Ethiopians were onboard as well? I'm not following here.

I was being slightly facetious: unfortunate in the sense that it bumped the story up in the news cycle, which invariably favours westerners.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Panic

Nobody is pointing the finger but withdrawing planes is standard procedure (and really the only acceptable procedure) even when there is only a chance of them being at fault. Or would you like to be the one defending the decision if there is another incident, or should the planes should to be at least partly at fault?

See what happened when the batteries in Boeing's 787 started to smoulder, when the engines on the A380 (which can fly pretty well with just one) had troubles. Planes are very,very safe but, unfortunately, when they do have issues, the results are most often catastrophic.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: I forgot to add

Yes, it will be interesting to see what happens if the software is identified as being at least partly at fault. Difficult to see that not leading to a landmark judgement about the liability of software. Of course, as long as it was just people from south east Asia, er, test driving the software, there was always the hope that no one would lawyer up. Could be different for the Ethiopian flight which, unfortunately, had UN people on board, and where the flight recorder could end up in Paris.

Note, I am not making light of the tragedies nor even really pointing the finger at Boeing, which has still has an enviable safety record. In fact, one of the consequences of the near duopoly of Boeing-AirBus has been fantastically safe planes. But the idea of Boeing rushing to offer a software patch should have everyone worried. In fact, the FAA should seriously consider forcing a complete recertification or otherwise leave itself open to court cases for certifying the planes as safe to fly. Pretty certain some countries will require new certification in any case.

Alphabet top brass OK'd $100m-plus payouts to execs accused of sexual misconduct – court docs

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Re: key words

Maybe later we get the words "convicted"and "custodial sentence"

No criminal cases, so not going to happen. This is the problem of keeping this all on the civil side. Make it a criminal offence, once you've decided what this is, and not something stupid because unworkable like the current German law that consent is not given unless a woman says "yes", make disclosure obligatory oh, and by imposing custodial sentences you might be able to keep a lid on the tort side.

We can do this the easy way or the Huawei, US tells Germany with threat to snip intel over 5G fears

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Re: Trumpian Diploonacy

European countries don't necessarily want to "go after" Huawei

Recent discussions around the proposed merger of Siemens and Alcatel's train divisions suggest otherwise. Mobile networks and GSM were extremely successful for European companies, which meant employment and tax revenues.

Personally, I don't think Europe needs to worry more about Huawei's kit than it does about anything else. Unfair subsidies and unequal access to the Chinese market are a bigger problem.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Isn't that basically the same thing?

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kit from the USA that has been tampered with by the NSA

Qualcomm can only supply parts of the kit, the networks will have to built by Ericsson, Nokia-Siemens-Alcatel (IIRC), Huawei or Samsung.

All suppliers will have to be prepared to tamper with stuff if required to by the spooks: Siemens was happy selling SMS filtering gear to Iran. Mind you, given the amount of trade in instruments of death with unpalatable regimes (House of Saud at the top of the list), does this really surprise anyone.

Maybe Tim Apple will be building the US 5G networks, complete with rounded corners, notches and stylish detention centres for anyone complaining about signal strength.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Trumpian Diploonacy

Grenell has been shooting his mouth off like this since he was appointed. Seems like the new kid in the UK is of a similar mould. While this works for Trump and makes great TV, it makes the copycats look like morons and it's terrible diplomacy. First, of all it pisses off everyone, and secondly, it makes hands any kind of court case by Huawei a slam-dunk.

Existing EU anti-competition rules are the way to go after Huawei – it's unlikely any one country will allow only one company to build the network – even if they are cheaper and better, which is what the networks are basically saying.

The traditional way to throw sand in the gears is continually change the rules on the equipment and reduce the number of clerks processing equipment approvals. Just like the Chinese do.

2 weeks till Brexit and Defra, at the very least, looks set to be caught with its IT pants down

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: You beat me to it ...

The EU specifically mandated they won’t discuss post Brexit details until the Brexit deal or no deal is sorted.

Yes, but it also does make sense and something the UK agreed to. The negotiations for the time afterwards could easily take ten years. Probably longer if the current situation is anything to go by.

The whole thing is evidence of failure across the political spectrum but it is obviously no coincidence that the two largest political parties have essentially been kidnapped by their extremes. May or Corbyn as the leader of the country? What a fucking awful choice!

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: They should have assumed no deal

UK is in full "Titanic" mode, and the iceberg is approaching...

And it isn't beautiful?

Freelance devs: Oh, you wanted the app to be secure? The job spec didn't mention that

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: misunderstood that encryption, hashing and encoding are different things.

While the difference between encryption and hashing can be clearly defined, encoding and encryption are synonyms, even though if in practice encoding is generally used to refer to the character set. In the example provided, the encoding is done with a known public key and mechanism, but the principles are the same.

One issue is that the customer probably has no understanding of the processes and so won't necessarily ask for a secure system. So it is reasonable to expect developers at least to ask or suggest that encryption be used. Except you can't expect that on a piece-rate system where price and speed are sole determinants.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Bigger issue - how do you vet programmers?

The article makes it clear that websites like freelancer do absolutely no checking of the people they list. But, how do you vet remote developers?

Amazon Web Services ships own open-source flavor of Elasticsearch, insists it's not trying to fork developers off

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Slightly confused

If the project is apache licensed then it can't contain proprietary code. I'm not familiar with the details, but presumably this has something to do with add-ons to the project that are dual-licensed. Otherwise, Perens is right: going open source make affect your ability to make money. There is a risk that companies like Amazon will dominate the SaaS market because of open source, but this is more about business models (and financial leverage) than anything else.

Uber driver drove sleeping woman miles away from home to 'up the fare'. Now he's facing years in the clink for kidnapping, fraud

Charlie Clark Silver badge

As we see here, it doesn't really matter as Uber isn't considered as partly liable. Great new economy we have, isn't it?

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