* Posts by Charles 9

10418 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen on IoT: If it uses electricity, it will go online

Charles 9
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Re: Fire risk?

Probably. Also probably give it a valid reason for bricking.

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Charles 9
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Re: "We can't avoid the IoT revolution by refusing to play part."

"Er, my router, my firewall rules..."

BZZT! Their network chips, their rules, and they trump you because they're up the chain. And since it's a cartel up there, with plenty of network technologies covered by patents (and they're genuine hardware-based patents), good luck trying to roll your own network chips from scratch to get around them.

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Charles 9
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Re: Freedome will be illegal in the UK

Even if they're based OUTSIDE the UK? How will they get past sovereign immunity?

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Charles 9
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Re: Share and Enjoy!

Nope. They have connections. Try to put them up against the wall, they'll call in their friends and you'll have THEIR guns behind YOUR guns.

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Charles 9
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Re: IoT vs Users

Nothing. It's a cartel. You take it back and find out EVERY machine/toaster/microwave does the same thing. Plus they won't have to rely on your WiFi going forward as they'll use Whispernets, so they can connect without your ability to control it (like you say, they'll brick first if they can't get through, so forget about caging them or breaking their radio stuff). And the government isn't your friend there, as they WANT this to happen for their Big Brother campaign.

Better consider going back to open flames and wooden iceboxes.

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Charles 9
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Nothing new. Recall the original Amazon Kindle and its "Whispernet" which ran on top of the AT&T Wireless network? Same idea here. If it can reach the air, it can connect whether you like it or not, and you can bet these devices will brick if you try to Cage them or destroy their chips and/or antennae. And if ALL the manufacturers are doing it, you'll be left with a Hobson's Choice: either bend over or start living backwoods-style cooking with an open flame and storing cold stuff with a self-built icebox.

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Microsoft admits to disabling third-party antivirus code if Win 10 doesn't like it

Charles 9
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Re: Linux "pushers" again

Well, either that or say Overwatch (natively, you can get banned for using WINE on Battle.net), enough to steal a professional gaming sponsorship or two.

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Charles 9
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That level of paranoia would mean you couldn't trust ANY software EVER because it can be subverted any number of ways. That includes open-source software which can be either subtly subverted or simply usurped.

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Charles 9
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Re: '34 years of development - Windows 10 is the result'

And then you have the serious gamer set, for which consoles are a casual toy and no other OS compares to Windows for lineup and support, especially for headliners which would be the purview of professional gamers. Gamers (and especially professionals) won't jump to Linux unless someone is willing to back them up, and not even Valve's support is enough in this regard.

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'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

Charles 9
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Re: I was all set to agree but

"Or we need to retouch the paint and they've replaced the colour with a new shade that is just a fraction different (over and above batch variations)."

I thought most paints these days were tinted to order. Just bring a scrap of the color you want and they can mix you a quart of gallon to match it.

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Charles 9
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Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I believe you mean when "regular" leaded fuel was phased out because of pollution concerns, forcing some cars to get some serious work done to deal with the different fuel.

Question: Were some models forced into retirement because they couldn't handle unleaded fuel? This was during my childhood so it was all fuzzy to me, though I do know all the cars my family had required unleaded fuel. I'm just wondering if there were cars that required leaded fuel.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's an old story

"The sculptor Kathleen Scott had a definition for knowing when a figurative sculpture was finished. You walk round it looking for things to change - "Hmm - what if? - no". When you cannot find anything you think needs changing - then it is finished."

Problem is, the human mind is fickle. That's why there's the infamous interjection, "I change my mind." You may not find something you think needs changing, but sleep on it and you may find one...and another...and another.

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Charles 9
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Re: Mission critical stuff should legally never be done?

"I think that any mission critical software that carries a real risk to human safety should never legally be allowed to be done as long as the original vendor continues to trade."

But what if the target is hardware, especially "set-and-forget" hardware that becomes unreachable once deployed, meaning you basically only get one shot at it?

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Tesla death smash probe: Neither driver nor autopilot saw the truck

Charles 9
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Re: They still call it Autopilot?

"It's been many years since dead man switch mechanisms have been mandatory in locomotives - all over the world - and it wouldn't be hard to implement this in some form in of road vehicle that is designed drive without constant human attention - perhaps a warning every five minutes, with a second warning after 30 seconds if no action is taken on the first warning and automatic pull over and stop if no response to the second warning."

Except people have become rather ingenious at mindlessly dealing with nuisances such as vigilance controls. I think there have been instances where crashes occurred with vigilance controls and it turns out the driver was so numb to the routine he was doing it in a zombie-like state without even thinking about it.

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Charles 9
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Re: Right, $50 of bars will stop a 4000lb car going 74mph.

What about ride height issues, especially in places like the US where trailers have to roll over railroad track bumps where they can get caught?

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It's 2017, and UPnP is helping black-hats run banking malware

Charles 9
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Trusting matchmaking servers is a niche problem? Like I said, what if they're removed and what if they're Big Brothered? I'd call both legitimate and significant concerns.

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Charles 9
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Re: Americans have (on average) faster broadband?

Yeah, but how many ahead of the US have comparable land mass and thus comparable infrastructure burdens? All the countries ahead of the US are smaller and/or (particularly the Scandinavian countries) have concentrated populations. Both make rollouts a lot easier whereas the US has to maintain cross-country rollouts across vast rural tracts and mountains to prevent weak links.

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When we said don't link to the article, Google, we meant DON'T LINK TO THE ARTICLE!

Charles 9
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Re: ask for a clarification?

You're assuming "Der Tägliche Iris" is within the jurisdiction of "Zenith-Betriebe". What if the problem is that it ISN'T, thus a takedown notice isn't being honored on account of sovereign immunity?

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Charles 9
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Re: I think I'm missing something

The problem becomes: what if the offending website is outside the corporation's jurisdiction and will not honor a takedown notice because of sovereign immunity?

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Samsung's 'Magician' for SSDs can let crims run evil code

Charles 9
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Re: I wonder how security would be...

Perhaps because the problems DON'T usually look so obvious, especially during the coding phase and particularly with a deadline looming. Deadlines trump security since missing means you might as well not submit.

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Virtual reality audiences stare straight ahead 75% of the time

Charles 9
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How about, "I saw and heard the guy on the left shoot first" and "I saw and heard the woman on the right shoot first" when in fact BOTH shot at the same time (one resounding boom that has no direction) and it's all a trick of the director to get you thinking in different but say WRONG directions (when say the kill shot(s) came from elsewhere).

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Charles 9
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Guess you've never read "The Lady or The Tiger" or other open-ended stories.

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Charles 9
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But what if the narrative was about divergent perspectives? Then the director will WANT people to look in DIFFERENT directions (say two things happen in the same scene yet it's set up so you can only see ONE of them). That way, not everyone sees the same thing, creating debate later.

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Say hello to Dvmap: The first Android malware with code injection

Charles 9
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Re: Sounds like you need a modified device

That would just move the target, though. At SOME point, if you want the phone to be a mobile data device, you're going to NEED a Turing-complete implementation SOMEWHERE. And YES, I DO find a mobile data device to be very useful for on-the-spot research and so on. I've just come to learn that malware comes with the territory, just as jungles come with beasts, oceans come with sharks, and so on. Of course, I'm still concerned a clueless user takes others with him/her like a Private Snafu.

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You'll soon be buying bulgur wheat salad* from Amazon, after it swallowed Whole Foods

Charles 9
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Re: Not sure I'd call Whole Foods a luxury retailer

Not so much a luxury retailer as a boutique retailer: as in catering to a specific segment of the public.

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Charles 9
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Re: Whamazon Foods

Don't you mean Whammy (I grew up when Press Your Luck was on)?

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Charles 9
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I'm more curious than anything to see where this goes. As others have pointed out, Whole Foods is more a boutique grocer that caters to picky eaters. Now, granted, this is a growing segment of the market, but there's a reason Walmart and Kroger remain the two chief grocery chains in the country.

Amazon's delivery model to me doesn't mesh well with the average grocery shopper. Particularly in regards to fresh stuff like produce, the average shopper tends to be choosy. They pick through the stocks to be sure they don't get rotten produce, stale bread, moldy cheese, and so on. Something like this REQUIRES a hands-on presence, and that makes things like delivery and even on-site pickup (the approach Walmart is increasingly taking) not as viable an option. For example, I still haven't tried Walmart's grocery pickup system, not just because my bill tends to fall under the minimum but also because almost always one of the things I need to get is fresh and requires the hands-on approach.

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FOIA documents show the Kafkaesque state of US mass surveillance

Charles 9
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Re: To Constitute or not to Constitute...

"Arguably the sacrosanct, inviolable and supreme nature of the US Constitution is a real barrier to legislative progress in the US. It's not that it can't be changed - there's been a lot of ammendments over the decades. But to an outsider it does seem that US politicians tend to put aside rationality in favour of not being seen to tamper with the constitution. It's kinda nuts to have a "law" that cannot be changed simply because changing any part of it is somehow seen as an unwarranted attack on all other parts of it."

Unless the idea is that the law should not be subject to the whims (and evils) of man. Rule of LAW rather than rule of MAN. And given today's environment, they have a point. Given half a chance, do you think the various rights and protections given in the Constitution would STAY in the Constitution?

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Charles 9
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Re: Of course there's a comparatively easy fix

Problem is that the societal problem drills down to it being a HUMAN problem, making it nigh-intractable until we evolve a better human.

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Charles 9
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Re: Even if we could guess which company

He's saying the Speaker and President Pro Tem (the actual head of senate) can "call" a session and others conveniently don't hear it.

That said, Article I notes that if a quorum is called and there isn't a majority of the body present, that chamber can't operate.

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Charles 9
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Re: "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,"

But I believe the Supreme Court is the ONLY court directly described in the Constitution, just as the House and Senate are directly described in Article I (complete with qualifications). Everything else in those Articles goes through them as the ultimate bodies of those Articles.

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Charles 9
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Re: Of course there's a comparatively easy fix

It's extremely difficult for software to truly be free. It can be usurped, for example (see systemd). Plus back doors can still be added "by the backdoor"--subtly, through a series of otherwise-genuine fixes that can then be lashed together just so. As for GPG, its kind of encryption implies necessary complexity, so again someone could insert a backdoor carefully disguised as a fix.

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Charles 9
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Re: Even if we could guess which company

All it takes is ONE. What if they appeared and called for a quorum?

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Charles 9
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Re: "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,"

Since when can FISC overrule a direct Constitutional body (SCOTUS' authority comes from Article III)? Based on that, why can't SCOTUS strike down FISC if directly confronted?

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Charles 9
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Re: Isn't this the opposite of some nation-states laws: Innocent until proven guilty?

But the right to confront one's accuser properly applies to ALL cases.

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Charles 9
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Re: To Constitute or not to Constitute...

Oh? How does one properly confront one's accuser without a proper accounting of the evidence against you? Isn't that in the Sixth Amendment and why discovery of evidence is a key aspect of your normal trial (otherwise it gets thrown out)?

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Worried about election hacking? There's a technology fix – Helios

Charles 9
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Re: It's total bollocks

So no solution is bulletproof, and if no solution is bulletproof no solution is truly trustworthy, and if a solution is not truly trustworthy, someone will eventually have enough of a grudge to usurp the system.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's total bollocks

"Paper voting: it just works."

So do insiders.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's total bollocks

But not impossible, especially if you combine this with things like bribes and a political machine as large as a major political party. And if you think that's not possible, recall that the term "political machine" dates back to the Gilded Age in the late 19th century. This alone proves there's no real way to make an election truly trustworthy. And unfortunately, when it comes to something like this, it really is all or nothing, as one bad apple can spoil the entire election.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's total bollocks

"The day we have operating systems and applications that are provably immune to hacking of all forms will be the day that Helios would be a sensible idea. We could use it to vote on which squadron of pigs flying in formation over the ice-rinks of Hell gave the best display."

Ballot box swap done by a Kansas City Shuffle (a distraction opens a chance to switch them without anyone noticing). Purely physical and, done right, undetectable because the counts can also match. There, I pretty much proved your hypothesis impossible since this is essentially a Sneakernet hack that's pretty much always a possibility.

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Charles 9
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Re: No, elections don't work this way

That still doesn't help against ballot swapping, where the boxes or contents are switched out via a Kansas City Shuffle and the switched contents also have the same number of ballots.

What man can make, man can also usually subvert.

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Charles 9
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Re: "Because you can"

Then how so you guard against bribes and Kansas City Shuffles?

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You're all too skeptical of super-duper self-driving cars, apparently

Charles 9
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Re: Shills ignore Public Transit

Not if it's privately owned, in which case a profit margin is usually included in the contract terms these days. I also know of a few sanctioned toll operations that are completely self-funding (and in fact self-contained, complete with a local police force).

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Charles 9
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Re: Aircraft/public Transit

Trains are most practical for shorter distances where air travel isn't worth the short hop. Only problem is that the places where this would be most useful (say the Atlantic coast) are already heavily built up (thus William Gibson pictured the entire east coast becoming one huge megapolis called the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis or BAMA, better known as The Sprawl). Trying to build new infrastructure in a place that's already heavily built up is going to be expensive and time-consuming (= unpopular with the taxpayers). For a prime example, consider Boston's "Big Dig" project.

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Charles 9
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Re: Other considerations

Yes. Are any of those categorically easier for a HUMAN to navigate versus a machine? The natural-induced stuff, I don't think so. As for the manmade stuff, make the barricades machine-enhanced (such as by using special paints that stand out in UV or IR wavelengths) and you can make the job somewhat easier for the cars.

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Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs

Charles 9
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Inline comments? I generally don't align between lines. I usually just tab out from the end of the line once or twice to get some space and go from there. Since they're most pertinent to the specific line, I just go from there. If they're a cluster of single lines, I may attempt to tab-align, but these comments tend to be brief as well, so if they misalign due to changed tab width, it's just a mild nuisance at that point. More important comments I use whole lines and align with the code, meaning it moves along with the tabs and stays lined up.

PS. I've done assembler, and I DID tab-align, there. Thankfully, assemblers tend to have a restricted grammar that makes aligning labels, opcodes, arguments, and so on easier. And as long as you stick to a general rule of thumb of setting a generous tab width (6 at a minimum, 8's a good rule of thumb, more or less depending on your architecture), it tends to read just fine.

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Charles 9
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Re: What about the important things?

"So let me ask you - do you use comment blocks before functions, and if so, have you ever re-worded any just so a multi-line one lines up nicer on the far end...?"

Sometimes. Depends on how much of a discrepancy there is and if it's relatively easy to adjust that line.

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Charles 9
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Re: Maybe experience teaches you to not use tabs

"Guessing the value for given file is not fun."

I see it as, if it's done correctly, it shouldn't matter what the tab width was, it should still all line up neatly if the indentation was done properly and consistently. In which case, why both guessing? Just pick a number and get on with it.

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Charles 9
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Re: Tabs are inconsistent...

"Also, if you set, say, 3 spaces for a tab, what happens if you need to align something on something other than 3-space multiple? Yep, you end using a mixture of tabs and spaces - yet another negative aspect of using tabs. It's spaces all the way for me, baby :-)"

I simply ask, "Do I REALLY need an off-tab alignment?" If so, then perhaps the formatting style is wrong and I should adjust it to make them always tab-aligned. I mean, just what would absolutely need a non-multiple alignment?

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Charles 9
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Re: Tabs are inconsistent...

My style is to never mix, and to ALWAYS indent consistently. That way, even if tab width changes, it stays organized. In line comments are less of an issue to me.

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