* Posts by Detective Emil

148 posts • joined 10 Feb 2010

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Zero accidents, all of your data – what The Reg learnt at Bosch's autonomous car bash

Detective Emil
Thumb Down

Who pays?

Bet all this wonderful data-sucking infrastructure's going to cost the car-owning punters just as much as they save on insurance.

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Well, that escalated quickly: Qualcomm demands iPhone, iPad sales ban in America

Detective Emil

IANAL

The FTC is investigating Qualcom for possible monopolistic practices involving, inter alia, “an anticompetitive tax on the use of rivals’ processors”. There’s also a good chance that, if Intel considered that it needed to use the techniques described in Qualcom's patents in its baseband silicon, it licensed them, so exhausting Qualcom’s right to collect on its IP. Consequently, I don’t think this is likely to fly at the ITC. (If Intel hasn’t licensed the patents, yet is infringing, it could be argued that this is a result of different anticompetitive behaviour suspected by the FTC, namely that Qualcom “refuses to license standard-essential patents to competitors” — although Qualcom is careful to claim that these particular patents are not SE). And yes, Qualcom could go after Intel if it hasn’t licensed the patents, but patent law means it can go after whom the hell it likes (or, in this case, dislikes more).

1
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Time to rethink machine learning: The big data gobble is OFF the menu

Detective Emil

I get this feeling of déjà vu …

Google Ngrams shows that Artificial Intelligence enjoyed a vogue in the late eighties, neural networks in the mid nineties. The graphs don't show mentions of Machine Learning rising much, because Google hasn't added to the Big data behind them since 2008. But, if it does, and if I run this query again in 2010, I'm sure the pattern will repeat.

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Western Digital bares fangs in $1bn Toshiba lawsuit

Detective Emil
Headmaster

Legal question

Is it possible for a claim to be frivolous, but nevertheless have merit? Or not to be frivolous, yet still be meritless?

1
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Murdoch's £11.7bn Sky takeover referred to competition regulator

Detective Emil

Re: An Empire....

The Premier League challenged the pub landlady in using a Greek TV Decoder, and i am not sure where the £8,000 fines came from.

Ah. That's copyright. A related bucket of sulphuric acid, but one for which the blame cannot entirely be laid at Murdoch's door. Which isn't to say that his companies don't milk it for all it's worth, and don't lobby against its weakening. (By, for example, the European Union. Don't worry: Blighty will soon be free of all that.)

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America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

Detective Emil
Paris Hilton

Paris Agreement

Glad to see the Trump administration doing its bit to reduce global warming by cutting demand for long-haul flights.

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Google hit with record antitrust fine of €2.4bn by Europe

Detective Emil
Meh

With friends like these …

The full list of outfits egging Commissioner Vestager on: Disconnect, Inc., Getty Images, Inc., News Corporation, News Media Alliance, Oracle Corporation, Trip.com, and Yelp Inc. There's not an anticompetitive bone in any of their bodies, I'm sure.

19
5

Report estimates cost of disruption to GPS in UK would be £1bn per day

Detective Emil

Re: Why not..

The key word is "augmented": if the satellites go down, there's nothing to augment.

I must admit that, on seeing this story, I though that the undead eLORAN proposal had again risen from its coffin. And, sure enough, if one follows the links in the article, the full report turns out to discuss (even-handedly) it at some length as one possible fall-back.

4
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Samsung releases 49-inch desktop monitor with 32:9 aspect ratio

Detective Emil

Re: weighs 45 pounds

Well, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Screen-LED-Lit-Monitor-LC49HG90DMNXZA/dp/B072C7TNC5/ref=sr_1_1”>Amazon link I found says the “item weight” is 33 pounds (still not light), so the larger figure includes packaging, the odd cable, inadequate printed docs and maybe a power brick.

4
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Giffgaff 'roam like at home' package means £1/min calls in Jersey

Detective Emil
Meh

"Most powerful"?

It Would Be Nice if it could be explained by what measure this satellite is the "most poweful". El Reg is far from alone in not saying, but hey, this is El Reg. Do tell!

0
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WannaCrypt: Pwnage is a fact of life but cleanup could and should be way easier

Detective Emil
Unhappy

Re: Throw the monkey from your back people. It CAN be done...

Munich? On thin and melting ice. I can't find any English coverage of the outcome of the February vote mentioned in the article, but here's a long piece in German. Or Google Translate.

4
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Vigorous tiny vibrations help our universe swell, say particle boffins

Detective Emil
Boffin

That paper has 214 equations!

A document containing 214 equations should have a readership of 2^-213 times that of Hawking's A Brief History of Time. That's um, about 10^-57.

2
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Microsoft sparks new war with Google with, er, $999+ lappies for kids

Detective Emil

Wake me up …

… when they get to the part about "telemetry".

13
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Back to the Future 2: Gasp! America's trade watchdog discovers the risks of 'free' movies

Detective Emil
Meh

"served up a slew of unwanted ads …"

Are ads ever wanted?

9
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Lochs, rifle stocks and two EPIC sea gates: Thomas Telford's Highland waterway

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

Re: Car, roads?

If a satisfied, although considerably poorer, customer may be allowed a plug, try Caledonian Discovery. (A few) Other operators, both cheaper and even more expensive, are available.

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Microsoft wants screaming Windows fans, not just users

Detective Emil

Re: I thought they didn't want screaming fans?

See also Three things I miss after ditching my MacBook.

2
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As of today, iThings are even harder for police to probe

Detective Emil

Well, actually …

HFS+ in iOS did effectively provide full disk encryption, as explained at Protected Until First User Authentication in the mind-numbingly long iOS Security document (old version, as the current one has already been updated). But that's not to deny that AFS' encryption facilities are better than HFS+'s in many ways.

4
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iPhone-havers think they're safe. But they're not

Detective Emil

Apple situation: More "mind how you go" than "lock up your daughters"

Reading the report, the headline Apple spyphone crack uses phishing, followed by an attack called Trident, which uses a sequence of three vulnerabilities to jailbreak the iPhone. Users who keep their iOS up-to-date (which does require hardware that is less than 3–4 years old) are not susceptible, since Apple has definitely fixed two of the vulnerabilities, CVE-2016-4657 and CVE-2016-4655. The documentation for the third, CVE-2016-4556, does not mention Apple at all. It's possible that its ID is incorrect: Nokia made a typo in one of the other two.

Of the remaining Apple vulnerabilities mentioned, AceDeceiver exploits an untrusted network and is defeated by two-step authentication; apps created with the booby-trapped xCodeGhost developer tools have been purged from the app store, and Apple is supposed to have made it quicker for Chinese developers to download the official xCode package (developers were reportedly downloading xCodeGhost because it arrived faster); KeyRaider affects only jailbroken iPhones; and Yispector, which affected only non-App Store apps, was blocked 18 months ago.

Of course, there are always more exploits coming down the pike, but a need for paranoia is not indicated at the moment.

3
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BT hit with £42m fine for Ethernet compensation delays to competitors

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

Re: How incredibly convenient

Bonding copper lines might sweat things a bit more, but the whole thing just becomes an unreliable mess (in terms of time wasted) when scaled across millions of customers.

Too right. Here in Nameless European Country, we have two bonded copper pairs giving us 100Mbps down and 50 up (true figures). And yet another warm box with blinkenlights in the service cupboard. Silly thing is, FTTP arrived the following year, but the provider won't put in the final 2m of connection between the termination and out router unless we want to shell out for more capacity (or less latency — but, if I asked for that, the help desk would not know how to react) than the copper will provide.

1
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Samsung's Bixby totally isn't a Siri ripoff because look – it'll go in phones, TVs, fridges, air con...

Detective Emil
Meh

A hard row to hoe

It's not clear to me why developers would use Samsung's API, toaster-fridge compatibility or no, given that Samsung's only got about 25% of the Android smartphone market. By programming for Google Assistant, a developer can address 100% (well, modulo quite a few smartphones that use Android but not Google's goodies). That's not to say that (unlike constrained Siri functionality on iOS) either API is available yet: Samsung says "eventually", and Google invites you to sign up to a mail list for announcements. Who knows who will be first out of the gate? But I'd back Google to win over Samsung, whatever.

1
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Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

Detective Emil

ARM is fine for what it's intended for, but a fire-breathing high performance general purpose CPU suitable for weather forecasts it is not.

Yet. The Mont Blanc Project ("European Approach Towards Energy Efficient High Performance — thank goodness they didn't try to bludgeon that into an acronym) is addressing just this issue, using the Cavium ThunderX2™ mentioned in the article. This press release is a bit more readable than the project's website as a whole.

17
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Quantum board shake-up on the cards as threat of NYSE delisting looms

Detective Emil
Paris Hilton

Who?

A sentence or two of background about what Quantum does (or is failing to do) would be useful.

0
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UK watchdog to probe political campaigns trading personal info

Detective Emil
Meh

Louis Heron's advice in such situations

Ask yourself "Why is this lying bastard lying to me?"

4
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NHS patient letters meant for GPs went undelivered for years

Detective Emil

Crime

Posties get prosecuted for stuff on a much smaller scale than this. I trust that the guardians of the law will be feeling collars at NHS Shared Business Services in the near future.

9
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UnBrex-pected move: Amazon raises UK workforce to 24,000

Detective Emil
Coat

Swings/roundabouts capacity question

If Amazon takes on 5,000 people, what's the effect on the unemployment rate and tax revenues?

Mine's the one that came from a high street shop.

1
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Blighty watchdog Ofcom has a butcher's hook, clocks spectrum for 5G

Detective Emil

Factoid?

… it would be far better to address patchy 4G, with the UK having recently been found to have worse coverage than Albania.

Credible citation required. Although this claim comes from OpenSignal, its 4G coverage maps for the UK and Albania make one wonder how it can be true. I can only conclude that those in Albania who have the OpenSignal app on their phones, and who can apparently pick up a 4G signal more consistently than their UK counterparts, don't leave the cities and major roads much.

(I heard an interview by the BBC's Radio 4 Today with a person in Albania about this story when it broke. It sounded as though they were talking over a low data-rate 2G connection…)

2
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Devonians try to drive Dartmoor whisky plan onto rocks

Detective Emil
Meh

Everybody's at it

In the past year, I've had acceptable single malts from Brittany and several parts of Germany. I don't know whether the distilleries have pagodas, though. Maybe they don't, and that's why their products still have a way to go before they could show their face in Scotland.

1
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2017 is already fail: Let’s try a Chinese reboot

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

Re: dozidoze?

Well, dozidoze is at least a Googlewhack. Don't see many of those these days. Well done!

3
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Igneous ARM CPUs: What if they tossed the blindfold?

Detective Emil
Boffin

Don't think it'll fly

My understanding of erasure codes is that, given any 20 of those 28 chunks that 20 chunks-worth of data is spread across, you can reconstruct the original 20 chunks. Conversely, if you look at any one of the 28 chunks, you cannot tell anything about any part of the original 20 chunks — you need another 19 before you can do that. This means that, by the time a chunk has hit a (somewhat) intelligent drive, it can't usefully be indexed or searched on the drive itself. So indexing has to be done on the original 20 chunks before they hit the array, resulting in more chunks which, with added redundancy, also hit the array.

"Or am I talking bo**ocks?" (as another poster put it).

3
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No envy for NVMe: Hardened newbie talks to the Reg

Detective Emil
Paris Hilton

Hardened Ethernet??

This piece would be better if it explained what on earth "hardened Ethernet" might be. A search for the phrase just turns up switches that one can install in one's cement works. And diving a couple of levels deep through links in the article leads only to a white paper that uses the phrase once without explanation.

2
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Jeremy Hunt: Telcos must block teens from sexting each other

Detective Emil
Headmaster

Educational initiative

This must be part of the government's drive to increase teens' technical skills through making them research and develop ways around the ban.

15
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Veeam kicks Symantec's ass over unpatentable patents

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

Phew!

I've been breaking most of those with my hacked-up scripts for years.

2
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TfL to track Tube users in stations by their MAC addresses

Detective Emil
Black Helicopters

Determine routes of users of old Android versions

Isn't the Wi-Fi probe MAC address randomization introduced in iOS 8 supposed to defeat this kind of caper? (It got off to a shaky and ineffectual start, but reportedly was much improved in iOS 9.) Android got around to introducing the same feature earlier this year. So TfL is likely to be tracking only users of old Android versions. They'll just have to hope that these punters take the same routes as those with pricier phones, who are probably the people that interest advertisers most.

4
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HP Ink shrinks workstations to puckish form factor

Detective Emil
Meh

Bricked

One of the nice things about Apple's, umm, mature Mac Mini is that it has an internal power supply. Like all the competition (AFAICT), the Z2 G3 has (will have) an external power brick. In this case, it's 135 Watts, which means that it will be big, and that the workstation will potentially be very noisy if its fans have to shift all that heat out of a small space.

0
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Samsung flings $8bn at buyout of connected car biz Harman

Detective Emil

Hmm. Wonder where this leaves the in-car entertainment line that supports Apple's CarPlay.

0
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Capita's head of tech solutions resigns

Detective Emil
Go

Just hang on in there, Capita!

There's bound to be some juicy government contracts coming up because of a need to impede things currently moving freely: people, goods, services, patents …

1
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10x faster servers? Pop a CAPI in your dome

Detective Emil
Meh

POWER only

The linked materials suggest that CAPI is specific to IBM's POWER architecture (currently POWER8, POWER9 next year), which makes it a lot less exciting from most potential users' point of view.

2
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Cisco president: We've lost to AWS et al on the public cloud

Detective Emil
FAIL

Cisco just jumped the shop …

So now I have to enter retail establishments with a hop, skip or jump to avoid the floor-level cameras. Glad to know that they care about my fitness.

Hmm. The kids' stilts are still in the garage …

1
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FT journo roasts channel leaders for spouting bullshit

Detective Emil
Thumb Up

Where can I get a full transcript?

0
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Man accused of $180k ass-based gold smuggling scam awaits verdict

Detective Emil
Coat

Laundering the proceeds of crime

Absolutely essential in this case.

15
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Is there paper in the printer? Yes and it's so neatly wrapped!

Detective Emil

Climbing out of the first floor at 02:00

Reminds me of the time I wrapped up a job in Italy, only to find myself alone after hours on a locked site. The security guard (conforming to Italian stereotyping) was nowhere to be found, so the only way out was over the three-metre wire fence, patrolled by guard dogs. Happily, as well as being badly-fed and flea-ridden (poor things), they were untrained, and treated anybody inside the wire as a friend. It was only after I'd scrambled over and was outside that they started to bark at me …

31
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Star Trek's Enterprise turns 50 and still no sign of a warp drive. Sigh

Detective Emil
Boffin

Re: EmDrive is an impossible idea?

It's supposed to be happening, although in a somewhat less ambitious testbed than you propose.

0
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Detective Emil

How old would those naysayers be?

If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right; but if he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

(Clarke again.)

7
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EU will force telcos to offer 90 days of 'roam like home' contracts

Detective Emil

Re: To play devils advocate here...

… only really works if taxes for services are the same throughout.

I think that loophole got fixed last year: vendors of downloads no longer sell out of Luxembourg, where VAT was 3%, because they must now charge the rate of the country where the customer is established. If this rule does not yet apply to telecomms, I'm sure the stroke of a pen could change that.

7
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Diablo conjures up hell of a DIMM: 128GB NAND pretend-RAM summoned

Detective Emil
WTF?

Data? What data?

What I don’t understand (and the company’s web site does not explain) is why the product is volatile in the face of power failure if it’s using NAND, a non-volatile storage technology. Maybe it’s that the driver software makes no guarantee about what’s in DRAM and what’s in NAND when the lights go out.

0
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AirPort owners: Apple's patched a mystery vuln

Detective Emil
Paris Hilton

Odd

These patches actually appeared almost a month ago. I wonder why news of them only just hit Apple's product security list.

1
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Flexi-Plexistor's software-defined memory roadmap

Detective Emil
Flame

Someone call the fire brigade!

My buzzword detector just went up in in flames.

2
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Adobe scrambles to untangle itself from QuickTime after Apple throws it over a cliff

Detective Emil

Adobe should take QuickTime over

After all, they're specialists in offering products with gaping security holes.

16
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Nutanix cracks its first $100m quarter

Detective Emil
Headmaster

Please sir...

What does Nutanix actually do?

2
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Swedish sysadmins reach for the hex key, reassemble services after weekend DDoS

Detective Emil

My guess is that it's something to do with Swedish publishers plan summer ‘Block Party’ to thwart ad blockers, reported a few days ago in El Reg.

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