* Posts by skwdenyer

24 posts • joined 12 Nov 2009

Cyberlaw wonks squint at NotPetya insurance smackdown: Should 'war exclusion' clauses apply to network hacks?

skwdenyer

Not sure why Mondelez doesn’t also sue the NSA under the Federal Torts Claims Act?

A decade on, Apple and Google's 30% app store cut looks pretty cheesy

skwdenyer

Bigger oixture

I’ll admit I’m pretty staggered at the blinkers in this thread.

As much as anything, that 30% pays for OS development.

I’m an Apple user. I’m very happy with the deal I have - buy a phone every couple of years, get free OS updates and security fixes, access to an App Store that “just works” in delivering me free and paid content, etc.

And I really like the fact that every software developer gets the same chance of me downloading their app from the same store.

As others have said, 30% is not huge in mark-up terms. There’s this obsession with the idea that the internet is cheap - it is not, but it is flexible.

Fortnite’s developers don’t like that their successful app should be so encumbered. Of course not - successful companies always like to “pull up the drawbridge” when they’ve made it.

The *next* successful app can just as easily come from a small startup under the current model. Which is yet another reason why I like it.

ZX Spectrum Vega+ blows a FUSE: It runs open-source emulator

skwdenyer

Small claims court = no precedent. Each claimant will/would have to persuade each judge of the merits in each case.

And RCL appear to have no money...

You can Ring my bell: Amazon pays ONE BEEEEELLION+ dollars for smart home upstart

skwdenyer

Overseas expansion

I think the bit people are missing is that Ring is a fantastic name if you want to expand into non-English-speaking countries. Onomatopoeia at its best. Nest doesn't translate at all well, by comparison.

Amazon are not just buying tech; they're buying what should be the go-to brand name in this space.

Britain mulls 'complete shutdown' of 4G net for emergency services

skwdenyer

On the subject of local cells on emergency vehicles, would there be anything wrong with using satellite backhaul from vehicles? This doesn't seem a stretch.

In fact, that seems an ideal solution to the data services problem. COTS-related WIFI/4G devices, hybrid satellite/4g vehicle-based bases, etc. Pretty much guaranteed coverage anywhere on the face of the nation.

As regards TETRA, is there any reason it cannot simply be nationalised?

4G standalone seems madness...

Air gapping PCs won't stop data sharing thanks to sneaky speakers

skwdenyer

Re: Relevance

Just because in your mind the case does not exist, does not mean the case does not exist.

In many industries, PCs are tools, with an expected life in decades. Medical equipment, CNC machines, whatever. Air gapping there is all about simply not connecting them to the internet / a network (BSG75 style) - we're not talking national security.

The threat is therefore not theoretical. Infection vector is an issue, of course, but even those old machines need updating sometimes, with a (potentially infected) USB stick say.

Fast forward a few steps and find deep learning embedded into malware - searching for the best form of comms... This research is actually useful, because it forces those who need to think about these things for their situations to think further about every part of the machine (not just the ethernet jack).

Equifax's disastrous Struts patching blunder: THOUSANDS of other orgs did it too

skwdenyer

Re: CNC machines

There's a great guy (Ian Mapleson) whose sort-of-business is supplying SGI IRIX hardware to people who need it. Lots of CT scanners and their like still run by Octanes and their ilk, apparently. It is said there are still knitting machines run on SGI Indys.

Obviously his business gets smaller every year, but equally the amount people are prepared to pay for working hardware may nonetheless be enough to make it just about tick over.

skwdenyer

Re: What are the rest doing?

Surely the solution is easy - provide a network-accessible KVM. Either 1 per CNC machine, or 1 that can be plugged into the relevant CNC machine with ease. Turn it on when needed; turn it off when not. With proper access control, this is as secure as it needs to be for remote support purposes.

Drive for Lyft or Uber in SF? Your wallet is about to get lighter

skwdenyer

Re: What does the licence do?

My personal beef with the park ruling is this: according to the Parish Council it is "unfair to expect non-running residents to pay for path maintenance."

Let's think about that for a moment in the context of a different example. Only 2% (at most) of the population use wheelchairs: it is "unfair" for the remaining 98% to pay for drop kerbs and the like - we must levy wheelchair users.

Governments (large or small) operate on the basis that they provide services which, whilst not used by everybody, are available to many/most and benefit society.

The Parish Council provides a park. A small (and, yes, it really is only a small) number of people are now regularly running in the park. The promotion of exercise is in the public interest - in fact, it is likely the only reason why there is suddenly a concern over "wear and tear" is because the residents of Little Stuck are too f****ing lazy to run the rest of the time.

The Parish Council have decided that it is not their public duty to provide a park for people to exercise in. What next - individual joggers getting levied? Mothers with babys? After all, it is "unfair" to expect those not using the park to pay for those who are...

...oh, wait, that would be exactly the point of centralised provision of recreational facilities...

Report: Secret British spy base in Middle East taps region's internet

skwdenyer

Re: Cyprus?

Actually co-incidence is a form of correlation...

The hammer falls: Feds propose drastic controls on Apple's iTunes Store

skwdenyer

Re: Dream list by dreamers

Do anti-dumping laws (in reality) ever get applied to domestic companies? Surely this is one of those irregular verbs: I have a promotion, you have a loss leader, s/he is dumping...

skwdenyer

Re: Dream list by dreamers

Yes but where is the incentive for authors if there's just a race to the bottom on price?

skwdenyer

We lose

I'm sorry but this ruling is nonsense. A race to the bottom in ebooks helps nobody. The current prices seem reasonable reward for all concerned.

I'm not an Apple fanboi but, pre iDevices, the mobile space was nowhere. Fragmented crappy interfaces and fragmented crappy markets. Apple delivered easy to use devices, and stores where you could easily and cheaply buy content. It was a revolution.

eBooks for 99c? How will that help deliver great content? I'm one of those who was fine with the 'net book agreement' in the UK.

Apple's actions harmed nobody. A class action suit is pointless. Free markets don't necessarily make great content available for less money - they mostly make crap content available for less money. The value is seldom in the cheapest products.

Apple are a great business. They have produced devices that people want to buy and which, by and large, work very well. Nobody is compelled to buy them. Would people like them to be different? Perhaps, but then they wouldn't have produced the same devices...

Dixons: Brits to get iPad Mini, Kindle Fire for Xmas

skwdenyer

Re: You got it wrong

I'd buy an iPad mini, at a similar price to a regular iPad. The form factor is valuable to me. If Apple's research says that the form factor is important to others, and that they will gain more in additional sales than they lose in those who would have bought a full-size iPad, they will be ahead.

I can't put my iPad 1 in my pocket. I won't buy an iPad 3 because it is too big, I won't buy an iPod touch / iPhone because it is too small, and the apps I need aren't available on Android.

Boy wrecks £22k worth of MacBooks by weeing on them

skwdenyer

Re 'cart' I suspect this might be one of those custom-made 'charging carts' designed for educational establishments. That would mean that every single Mac was powered in some way, creating some problems.

In tema of 'trauma', anybody working in a school and claiming to be traumatised by child urine seriously needs firing for the good of humanity.

Apple App Store apps are often old, vulnerable versions

skwdenyer
Thumb Down

Re: Re: Android

Sorry, are you suggesting that there cannot be a malware app on an Android device which could attempt to bruteforce windows logins?

If the Wi-Fi access point is serving multiple laptops (or even desktops) then is it impossible for an Android device's wifi interface to be put into promiscuous mode?

It is all very well to cry that something is impossible, but proving that contention is a bit more tricky, I'd have thought!

Will Windows on ARM sink Windows Phone 7?

skwdenyer

Then show them the phones!

Having been into a variety of 'phone shops recently, I haven't found one yet with a working WP7 phone to demonstrate. Without that, how can people experience the 'phones in order to decide if they want one?

WikiLeaks' Assange to be indicted for spying 'soon'

skwdenyer

We're already well beyond worrying about legality or otherwise...

For those who claim that it is not feasible that Assange could be charged by the US for committing crimes outside of the US, you are being rather naiive.

For reference, look up the so-called NatWest Three. These men were indicted in the USA of offences which, if they occurred at all, did so on UK soil, and which were not actually illegal under UK law at the time.

Sadly, the UK has entered into an extradition agreement with the USA which does not allow UK courts to consider the legality or otherwise of the charges, but merely must rubber-stamp any correctly-executed extradition request. That lack of legality is not germane!

So all that is needed is an indictment and Assange will be toast. Hopefully, however, the UK's students will swing into action and attack the courts concerned!

PayPal banned WikiLeaks after US gov intervention

skwdenyer

Gambling?

Online gambling has been held to be illegal in the USA. A British businessman, who has not operated in any way in the US but has taken money from US citizens, has been arrested and tried in the USA for this. Online gambling businesses take credit card and/or PayPal payments every day; these are "illegal" activities in the US.

Unfortunately, this is all terribly reminiscent of the catch-all UK legislation prohibiting the possession of "items which could be of use to terrorists"... such as a map, for instance, or a pair of scissors... in effect, governments of all hues like to pass catch-all legislation which can be used to declare any act illegal or person guilty when it suits them. This is not the form of governance we should aspire to, it is not the sort of governance which should be wrought in our names.

How long before we can persuade the people of one nation - perhaps ours - to rise up and demand: "treat me better"?

Alan Sugar's 'cockup braindead in call centre clueless' BT row

skwdenyer

Not really that much money from sky...

Sugar's principal money came from Amstrad. He took his returns in cash and put them into extensive property holdings in Mayfair et al.

At one time Amstrad were Europe's largest PC manufacturer; by his own admission, he underestimated the speed of change in the PC market, and didn't innovate fast enough to maintain that position. But he made a lot of money in home computers, one way and another.

Similarly he made a lot of money from Binatone clock radios and such like. The Sky boxes came later on, and were profitable, as was Viglen, but the main money is in property.

He is shrewd and pretty honest, including about himself. I'm no defender of his, but he is what he is and has done well from it. Most of us are in no position to criticise!

ASSANGE ARRESTED in London - in court later today

skwdenyer

Diversion?

One can't help wondering if the whole leak of cables has been deliberate, in order to provide plenty of ammunition to use against Wikileaks in order to shut it down before it is able to obtain and release anything really, truly damaging?!

App Store II: Steve Jobs sucks Mac's soul

skwdenyer

Yes, yes

I've said many times that I thought that Apple should have bought out SGI some years ago, and pursued this consumer-and-pro approach. I think it would be a good thing, TBH

Czechs stop Google Street View

skwdenyer

Nonsense

I really don't understand what the problem with Street View is. I can go to any street in the UK, set up a step ladder on the pavement, and have a look around. Why shouldn't Google allow me to do this without going there?

If people don't want to be seen on a given street, don't go to that street. There are many problems with privacy, but Street View really isn't one of them in my opinion.

MS patent looks just like Unix command, critics howl

skwdenyer
WTF?

Only, err, at least 16 years too late!

This precise functionality - with a GUI - has been in IRIX since at least 1993 with the introduction of IRIX 5.x. Try to do something that requires root access and up will pop a dialogue asking for - you guessed - it the root password, or the credentials of another privileged user.

Surely there must be a way of sorting out prior art challenges to this nonsense before it gets granted, isn't there?

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