* Posts by SuccessCase

962 posts • joined 5 Jan 2011

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Factories counter-punch Qualcomm in the gut as Apple eggs them on

SuccessCase

Re: Evil

How are Apple rent seeking? They don't ask other companies to pay license fees. They don't join patent pools such that the patents they own are subject to FRAND terms (FRAND terms are available to other members of the pool). Qualcomm have put their patents into patent pools where they are deemed essential to a new standard that Qualcomm wanted to see adopted and therefore were prepared for their patents to be subject to FRAND terms. Apple simply don't want other companies to use their patented tech and aren't asking for royalties. Sure you can disagree with if they should have been granted the patents in the first place. But rent seeking no.

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May the excessive force be with you: Chap cuffed after Star Trek v Star Wars row turns bloody

SuccessCase

Re: In a fight over...

Who voted for Star Trek being better than Star Wars? Name a time and a place. I'll see you fuckers later.

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How to pwn phones with shady replacement parts

SuccessCase

Re: Fantastic way to make phones unrepairable

"This seems to be the way to make sure that only the manufacturers can repair phones."

"The way" being reality. You have just anthropomorphised an inconvenient fact, presumably to make it sound like the manufacturer is an evil actor "doing this" to make us have to pay more.

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Ever wonder why those Apple iPhone updates take so damn long?

SuccessCase

Except of course they weren't using users as guinea pigs. The Register with its the usual proclivity to place cynicism above information has presented half the story (or barely that).

The interesting and differentiating thing about a filing system isn't, as most assume, the physical files on the disk, but rather the metadata. So changing filing system means constructing a new file system metadata database, consistency checking it, then flipping a bit to say "now use this metadata / file indexing system." You can run all those checks including using the new filing system with a distinct process, without actually flipping the bit for the OS running on your device as a whole. It needs to be done during a system upgrade or startup process at a point where file system use by the OS using the old filing system can be prevented. So actually doing that check in a large scale release before doing it for real flipping the bit for the whole OS is eminently sensible. Of course The Register go on about wide ranging issues as though there was some specially bad upgrade experience for iOS 10.x as a whole when there was little out of the ordinary (and I get the impression they are a bit put out by that). So they are pointing to the usual low level of complaints you get at any point an OS is updated (which of course come from all over the world) as though that is proof customers were treated as guinea pigs.

But put in a more reasonable context, Apple switched out a whole f**king filing system with hardly an issue or complaint (indeed almost all users were entirely unaware) the real story is have you ever known such a large scale change go so smoothly? Go back to the 90s and early noughties and it certainly wouldn't have done. So in this nest of sneary cynicism I say "Well done Apple."

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Every time Apple said 'machine learning', we had a drink andsgd oh*][

SuccessCase

Re: iDonbilivit

Through the wonders of the internet you can watch the livestream of the Keynote event.

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Utah fights man's attempt to marry laptop

SuccessCase

There is quite a bit wrong with that statement, where to begin:

1. You don't have to agree with the motives of these people to agree it is good they have the right to try to clarify law through a court of law and to want to uphold their right to clarify the law through the law.

2. Who is the arbiter of "social trolling" versus simply a different opinion? Having a society where there is social trolling, is certainly better than having a society where social trolling is disallowed. What kind of mechanisms would allow that and how could they look any different from despotism? The only answer I suggest is that you would devise a system of law that would end up looking very similar to the system that has given rise to this story.

3. They will lose their case, thereby the law will underline and protect legislation for gay marriage. That seems to me to be a good outcome and a good example of the law working well and in the interests of society and the intent of the legislation that has been passed.

4. There will have been demonstration everyone has recourse to the law but that these people have wasted their money simply through being idiots.

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What happened when 300 DevOps experts took over the QE II?

SuccessCase

Re: I tried

I find it funny when snarky The Register that is down on everything, tries its hand at some commercial exercise and expects everyone to repond to the sudden switch out of snark mode. It's like saying "now seriously Internet, Boaty McBoat Face, fun, but now we need you to be serious for a while for our commercial benefit"

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Apple has finally found someone to support HomeKit

SuccessCase

Re: We are years away from a REAL "smart home" market

Yes Apple are entirely right to have changed course when they did to insist on a hardware based security solution. This point has already been demonstrated multiple times with botnets occupying a significant proportion of home automation gear out there. Also they seem to be the only Silicon Valley behemoth taking personal data protection seriously. And lastly the value of their customers is far higher than many realize. Way out of proportion to the size of the market share they occupy. To ignore Apple is akin to chopping the high end out of your brand strategy and seeing it suffer accordingly.

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Is your iOS app piling on weight? Blame Xcode 8.3: We shed light on Apple's bloat riddle

SuccessCase

Hmm, I'm highly suspicious about this. Bit code would not inflate the size of the binary to anything like that extent, if at all. Much more likely is that this development team has simply, directly or indirectly, used some SWIFT. It may be one of the frameworks nearly every development project will use. It may even be an Apple supplied framework. Apple are using SWIFT with ever more frameworks, and as Apple's own frameworks are precompiled and the SWIFT use can be entirely behind any frameworks used by this company's app, Apple could easily have done this in a way that meant the developer didn't have to change any compiler settings that would have alerted him to the fact SWIFT is now being used.

For now, while SWIFT is a young language, Apple want to ensure the language can be revised. A problem for many languages before SWIFT has been that the fundamental syntax and compiled code structure gets locked down before anyone has a chance to use the language, as it were, "in anger." To overcome this Apple are simply revising the language for a period of time and provide the migration tools to update existing swift code with any revisions. But this then poses a versioning problem. If structure of compiled code is revised, compiled code will be incompatbile with compiled frameworks if from different "versions" of the language. To overcome this, during a fixed initial period, when a developer uses SWIFT or a framework requiring SWIFT, a version of the entire SWIFT "runtime" compatible with the SWIFT version used in the App (it isn't actually strictly a runtime but the phrase will do here), is included with the App. This, understandably adds a large overhead. Once the SWIFT language reaches its final form, then apps will use common library code and there will be a significant reduction in App binary size.

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Dyson backs Britain plc with $2.5bn AI and robotics investment

SuccessCase

I think not. The story contains references to Germans, and an ex RAF airfield and there have been no war jokes referencing the two.

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Spotty battery life costs Apple's MacBook Pro its gold-star rating

SuccessCase

Re: Happy Christmas Trim Cook

I think it's a software problem. I have one and I too have experience wildly fluctuating battery life. Sometimes the battery drains ridiculously quickly. When this starts to happen, I've notice, if I quit Safari things improve considerably. My theory is the JavaScript engine sometimes hangs or due to a bug, all too often, ends up executing a tight loop. If this is the answer, they should be able to detect this kind of thing and reduce the thread priority to a crawl. Certainly they can deprioritise JavaScript on any tabs that are not currently showing (and do in fact do this). I'm sure there are many engineers looking for the cause and they will issue a fix soon. It's highly unlikely to be a hardware issue, though that can't be entirely ruled out at this stage.

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Dirty code? If it works, leave it says Thoughtworks CTO

SuccessCase

Re: Wow, she really is a thought-leader

Seems to me she is just regurgitating Joel on Software's seminal advice. Old code always looks like inelegant bad code, but it rarely is because it is also something the value of which developers who want to use the latest tools, language advances and code patterns tend to massively underestimate; Debugged code.

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Google makes it to third base with Home digital assistant

SuccessCase

Re: Kitchen interface for Spotify

It's the Register. People here defend and project their right to moan like ramblers defend and project their right to roam.

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Living with the Pixel XL – Google's attempt at a high-end phone

SuccessCase

Re: Speedy?

Aw cummon, at least try a little to check your claims or else people might mistake you for a fanboy who just makes stuff up. Not just benchmarks, iPhone is massively ahead on real world performance too. Incidentally this also illustrates why comparing a tick list of tech specs without testing is increasingly useless. Higher ram, processor clock speed or number of cores bear little to no relation to superiority in performance these days.

http://bgr.com/2016/10/26/iphone-7-vs-pixel-specs-performance-speed-comparison/

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Why Apple's adaptive Touch Bar will flop

SuccessCase

Apple's implementation will succeed. It's not about the concept so much as the execution and the tight relationship between OS and Applications on a Mac and the fact Apple carry weight with developers, where Lenovo do not will mean this will have a far better and more useful level of integration. It's almost the perfect example of where Apple are better positioned than their competitors in computer hardware. This will be like comparing the Archos Jukebox and the iPod.

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Disney aims for Netflix. If the deal was made, it would shoot itself in the foot

SuccessCase

This article assumes Disney are interested so they can control and to some extent merge operations. That's a big assumption. Their interest could well be purely a way to hedge in relation to the future of TV. E.g. a pure risk mitigation play. Famously the Netflix's business model is somewhat incompatible with legacy content producer models. If Disney own Netflix they can bridge across to the future without the valuable Disney brand getting steamrollered by disruptive forces and can at a future date use that brand with the new business model. The point is, if they don't make the acquisition now, there will be in the future an inflection point where Netflix or Amazon or a.n. Other streaming service is the content king and they will no longer have the financial muscle to control their destiny.

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Actually, yes, Samsung, you do have to pay Apple $120m

SuccessCase

They wouldn't be legal tinder.

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Is Apple's software getting worse or what?

SuccessCase

Re: Preview

"what was wrong with 'Save' and 'Save as'"

Quite a lot actually. This is a personal bête noire and is a very good example of how users like to stick with bad solutions they know rather than good solutions they are not used to. People are used to "Save As" but it is bad for so very many reasons. The problem being it combines two action that should be separate, duplication and renaming and, horror of horrors, it is often used to save versions of documents. Why is this bad?

1. Duplication where there should be one canonical version. Duplication results in multiple versions of a file often badly named. Far better to have one canonical version with versioning build in (as all Apple apps have had for some time - only many users don't think about it). "Save As" can too easily result in many versions of a file across the filing system.

2. Uncertainty as to what is contained in "orphaned" versions. When "Save As" is used, an old version is left behind. So if it is used to duplicate a file, was the previous file saved first? Very often the user doesn't remember. Is there any sensible coherent version of the file in the old version? The user may well have forgotten when it was last saved. Consequently after using "Save As" users tend to distrust the earlier versions unless they have a really highly developed habit of saving before using save as, or a disciplined sense of what the file contained when it was last saved. This undermines the value of Save As for the file duplication use case. But also results in file detritus. We've all been there. It's horrible.

3. Bad version naming. If used for versioning, doing version naming in a file name is an extremely bad way to do it; is a very 1980s solution we have the tech to move way beyond now. Version naming is more difficult to do well and more prone to error. Maybe modified dates can be used to overcome any possible user introduced inconsistencies? No relying on modified dates to determine version precedence is dangerous. If you keep to versions open and modify an earlier version, even by mistake, the modified dates are no reflect version order. My personal "favourite" bad file version practice is when you see files named things like "xxx Latest" or "xxx Updated" (though I acknowledge this isn't an argument against Save As per say, because you have to be a special kind of stupid to make this mistake).

So sorry I disagree, Save As is one of the worst user "I like it" habits in the history of personal computing. We really are far better off with dedicated and distinct duplicate and rename functions and with proper version management (which so many people ignore) built in. Alas, people like to stick with their habits. Personally a drink too much.

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'My REPLACEMENT Samsung Galaxy Note 7 blew up on plane'

SuccessCase

Re: Possibiities

The photographic evidence shows it was the replacement model. The battery had the replacement model identifier on it and the box had the "sticker" on it that identifies replacement phones. Evidence here:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/5/13175000/samsung-galaxy-note-7-fire-replacement-plane-battery-southwest

So this shows Samsung are up to their usual PR managment by deliberate obsfucation. The Samsung PR department wont be so happy with the last sentence in the article:

"He has already replaced it with an iPhone 7"

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Apple to automatically cram macOS Sierra into Macs – 'cos that worked well for Windows 10

SuccessCase

Re: anti-Microsoft rant more like...

"Typical rant by someone that didn't read the fcuking article."

Well here is the article.

"Cupertino's customers are conditioned to be extremely loyal to the brand and take whatever Tim Cook and co hand out."

AC, read it. think about it. Consider the deep and begrudging twisted of logic that produces reasoning like that. Stop being an El Reg sheep.

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Oi, Apple fanbois. Your beloved Jesus Phones are pisspoor for disabled users

SuccessCase

Re: @ successcase

"Wrong"

Oh dear one of those socially incontinent commenters blurting "Wrong" without any logic or reference to anything actually.

1. I haven't said Apple invented such a feature or anything at all in fact relating to the subject of accessibility.

2. You seem to be equating this single feature to the vast feature set that is categorised by the Term "accessibility."

3. You clearly don't know anything about the extensive work Apple have done or bothered to even check the references I have provided by way of reference to WWDC video's so let me make it easy for you.

Check this link. Come back once you have educated yourself and tell me again Apple aren't bothered about Accessibility or haven't done pioneering work. <talking to self> Jeesh. Stay calm. This is the Internet. You have to deal with utter ignorance on a variety of topics. </talking to self>

https://developer.apple.com/search/?type=Videos&q=Accessibility

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SuccessCase

"Whether Apple gives a shit about consumers like me is debatable but the way they design, build, and grow technology, affects its ability to relate to people that buy and use the things they make and that affects their bottom line, so here’s hoping."

Ok I fully accept it sound as though this important feature is lacking. But Jesus, get an education about the history of the iPhone. Apple pioneered accessibility features and pushed the accessibility before any other phone manufacturer. They have advocated building accessibility into apps consistently and strongly, without having been asked or lobbied to do so. Every WWDC has a strong emphasis on accessibility and constant reminders to app developers to build in accessibility features from the outset. They always have multiple sessions on the topic and have built strong support into Xcode. They employ many disabled people including those with muscular dystrophy and have their feedback at the heart of OS design. All you have to do to prove this is view the catalogue of WWDC videos which clearly show the extent of their work on this and the level of their advocacy is anything but trivial or half hearted. They have shown immense pride in their pioneering work and are very far from giving the impression of not giving a shit. I find it hard to believe this feature could possibly be missing due merely to oversight.

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Chubby Chinese students refused top bunk

SuccessCase

Re: High BMI not necessarily blimp

Muhammad Ali was, as measured by BMI, just a slither below obese when he had his infamous Rumble in the Jungle with Frazier. Look at photos of the man before that fight. Clearly the measurement has some issues.

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How many zero-day vulns is Uncle Sam sitting on? Not as many as you think, apparently

SuccessCase

Re: Except that the NSA is supposed to be in charge of America's cyberdefense too

One problem. How would you handle requests for an interdepartmental transfer. Outright ban?

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Yahoo! is! not! killing! Messenger! today!, just! the! desktop! client!

SuccessCase

Ah Yahoo! Messenger. The fun I had when it first came out. With the first desktop client, you could change font colour and embolden text. Also it had a default width, that almost nobody changed. User names were shown in the window in coloured text, which meant you could type a message, and then at natural line breaks change the colour of the text, so in one message you could construct what looked like an entire message thread. This trick could only be made to work if the user hadn't resized the window, because you had to rely on line breaks of your message recipients window being at exactly the same point as your own window. Also you had to reverse the colours of the usernames so they would match what the message recipient would see in his window. But that was fine. 90% of the time the window width was the default and the trick would work.

You could prepare the conversation thread in advance and then when the "away" or indicator appeared, paste it into the message window.

I played many practical jokes. Once writing out a message thread that looked something like the following.

Younger readers, please note this was before "sick" meant "good"

"Jack: Wow, what a night I had last night"

"Fred: Hey tell me man, did you go out?"

"Jack: Yep, I went to Heaven. Boy it feels good to be out the closet."

"Fred: But what about Jane? Have you told her yet?"

"Jack: Not yet but I will. I want to lose my butt virginity first, Just to be sure I enjoy it as much as oral"

"Fred: Shit man. Too much information. And the kids should also know - but not that much detail (obviously)"

"Jack: Not yet dude. Too young. Plenty of time to tell them later"

"Fred: Hey cool Jack, I'm glad your finding yourself. You can be my pal that tells me about the best moisturiser for men. I'd like to get some but have always been too embarrassed to ask"

[this was when the whole metrosexual thing was beginning]

Then you just had to leave the fake conversation for a while. After a while the "active" indicator would show, and you could just imagine furious typing.

"Jack: Fred"

"Fred: Yes Jack"

"Jack: That message conversation we just had. It wasn't me."

"Fred: Hey Jack, no worries, Cool with me. Be who you want to be."

"Jack: No you don't understand, that wasn't me"

"Fred: Look Jack, I'm sure it takes some getting used to. It's cool man, breath. I'm here for you. Just promise me you will be straight with Jane dude (as in truthful, not not gay, as that's what she needs to know). She's a lovely gal and you owe it too her."

Oh the fun.

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BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

SuccessCase

Re: Once upon a time detector vans existed

It has come, I understand, from financial cases involving fraud and there is a statistical probability as to who committed the fraud. There have been cases where whether x, y or z is found guilty or innocent is, on the available evidence, purely a mathematical probability. I remember this quite clearly but actually it stands to reason there has to be such a measure, because at some point or other it is inevitable there is a case where guilt or innocence on the available evidence comes down to a simple mathematical probability at which point a threshold has to be determined..

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SuccessCase

Re: Once upon a time detector vans existed

I suspect you can relatively easily determine if users are watching iPlayer "live" streamed channels, but with some important caveats. OK so packet delivery is a little mixed up, but it is on mixed up on average over a reasonably short time window. The BBC could conceivably be using pattern matching of data volume taking account of signal spread with a characteristic pattern over a time window. Adjusting for this, it wouldn't take long to get a positive ID with sufficient certitude to hold if court (there is actually a legal definition of the level of mathematical certainty required for Beyond Reasonable Doubt - and it is, if I remember correctly, much lower bar than many would think - something like there has to be better than an 18 : 1 chance of being right). Now of course you can have many other processes running and contributing to the data transmitted over your wi-fi link, like email checking and drop-box etc. which would subvert a positive match. However many people, will only be downloading a single iPlayer stream for long periods of time. All the BBC required is one positive match of sufficient length to provide statistical certitude it is the iPlayer the user is watching. That can probably much more quickly than many people might think. If we consider a randomly generated UUID a virtually unique event, it can be understood only a relatively short match will be sufficient and importantly, moreover with the right analysis algorithm the matched values don't have to be contiguous. Apologies my statistics and signals terminology is crap but I understand the principle here.

Of course if this is the technique they are using it will take about 5 minutes for someone to market a WiFi router that masks transmitted data volume. Also I would think if you go to court, the BBC would be forced to have to demonstrate how they can be sure it is you, and therefore would have to reveal the analysis technique being used and I'm sure even if it is different technique, it will then be easy get around.

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Longer wait for new iPhones?

SuccessCase

Maybe Nikkei can tell me if I did or not. But to be safe, they can hedge and say "I could have read it" then their analysis will be really fucking insightful.

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SuccessCase

Did I just fucking read that?

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Samsung chuckles, swerves around Apple's Q1 phone sales crash

SuccessCase

Re: Reg article leaves out vital information

Why would it be slower?

The intelligent measure of performance isn't the fastest chip in raw performance, but the fastest chip for heat produced. The future of everyday computing is the new MacBook, not systems with cooling fans. Sorry measured using the most relevant basis, ARM is simply faster.

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

SuccessCase

Also the move to online tax returns, also pretty good. And then the entire country was looking for any excuse to be able to say the process had fallen flat on its' face.

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Google-funded study concludes: Make DMCA even more Google-friendly

SuccessCase

At last The Register is beginning to end its decade long love-in with Google. For a long time people have had it completely the wrong way round with regard to Apple and Google. Follow the money. He who pays the piper plays the tune. Apple's business model has always been simple and transparent. You pay them a premium price for a premium product, but you are their customer. They see serving the best kit they can to you and treating you as the customer as a clear proposition that leads them to riches. Steve Jobs was an arsehole, but he was an arsehole who bent all his charismatic arsehole will to beating his company and staff into serving the customer. He obsessed over it. It was the little but important things. When printer manufacturers made printer drivers start to subvert serving Mac users (by for example always defaulting to printing in colour and forcing the user to have to select to print in black and white) he became incensed and ordered the overhaul of the Macs printer driver architecture so the system provided the bulk of the printer driver and the manufacturer process what is basically a configuration profile.

Contrast with Google. Google are incentivised by their business model to lie to you and to leech from you. They claimed a while ago that they support open source. But of course they support open source only in so far as it served to create client nodes that attach to the Google centralised data services. The Google hive. They don't open source their search algorithm.

They claimed to be anti software patents. Everyone lapped it up. But they were only anti software patents on client devices where they wanted the freedom to rip off other businesses IP to build a world filled with client nodes connected to the Google hive. In fact their entire business was based in and protected by software patents relating to searches based in link popularity and further patents around Adwords. They used them to fire warning shots at Yahoo when they moved in to take over the ad business Yahoo used to dominate at the start of the commercial Internet. If Yahoo had used Google patented IP Google would have launched a software patent lawsuit in a nanosecond. This is rank hypocrisy of the worst kind. And at the same time as doing this they got an army of fandroids building and enhancing client nodes devices for connecting to their hive service whilst decrying the use of software patents by others (and then after the implied open source promise, closed up shop pushing more and more services into a Google play black box). The fandroids were only interested in the software patents on the devices they had in their own hands.

They claim to be responsible custodians of your personal data, but they have statistical sampling of tracked search data where they can preserve a degree of uncertainty as to if data X actually pertains to you. So they want to have only 90% certainty X pertains to you because then they never legally have to tell you about X and on aggregate, with lots of 90% certainty data points they actually come to be close to 100% sure who X,y and z relate to you but never say it so never have to report what they know. It is now said a lot, but nevertheless it's true: with Google, you are the product and they are selling you to advertisers.

When Tim Cook took on the FBI over encryption, he was robustly defending the clear simple business model they have. The don't want to be distrusted by their customers and want to be able to sell them secure devices. But for Google, whilst they too would prefer not to be distrusted by their customers, privacy conflicts with the access they want to their customer's data. Their response to the FBI was a perfect example of how they play both sides. The language was hedged to logical oblivion and actually said nothing of substance "could be a troubling precedent", "might make users less secure" etc. whilst saying nothing about their commitment to keeping such data stored in their servers encrypted.

Maybe my distrust of Google goes too far, but somehow I think not. In fact I think general distrust of Google doesn't go nearly far enough.

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How do you build a cheap iPhone? Use a lot of old parts

SuccessCase

Re: "...used parts..."

From what I have read about Liam, they are. The iron in a Steel screw has been in the ground for several million years, spending a year in an iPhone hardly makes it any less worthy of being used again in a new handset. Why re-smelt something that is already in the final form and has been living in a handset untouched by human hands? I don't think they will be re-using e.g. the screen or flash memory in new retail units (though I think they are re-using such parts in reconditioned handsets that they provide as part of e.g. a warranty replacement), my understanding is that inert parts that are undamaged and can be re-used are indeed being re-used in new handsets. Some parts are used as raw material for melting down and recycling. I would argue that makes perfect sense.

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SuccessCase

"This further suggests that Apple could use surplus 5S parts, or at least much of the same manufacturing and assembly gear, for the two handsets."

It goes further than that and is quite deliberate. Apple have built a massive recycling robot called Liam (thought to be named thanks to Liam Neeson "I have a very special set of skills"). Liam can do a precision strip-down of an old iPhone every 11 seconds and reconditions the parts. Pretty cool actually. Can't really criticise them for going all in on bringing real world meaningful recycling of last gen product parts into latest gen products.

Who would have thought Mek-Quake was a premonition.

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Bring on the goats! Apple's cloud failure demands further sacrifice

SuccessCase

Re: Shame they stopped building servers...

1. Google and Amazon don't build their OS. Apple built Mac OS. Pre-Apple teams still in Apple built NextStep OS. Apple adopted the BSD Core architecture from NextStep and have built on their own filing system that is so venerable it now needs a total overhaul. So a long and deep history of OS Work.

2. Apple was the first successful personal computer company, before IBM, before any other computer company around today actually. There is no company still around with a deeper and longer reaching claim to the personal computer than Apple. Name one who cover hardware and software with the depth of understanding of Apple. The only answer is Microsoft and for them they have only done the hardware side in more recent years.

Asking you to understand this is like asking an 8 year old how you can listen to music on the original Walkman.

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SuccessCase

Re: Article takes many words to state the bleedin' obvious...

I wouldn't say they are bad at cloud services (they were once bad at cloud services), They now run some excellent cloud services that, for me at least, have been very reliable. The problem they have (that I will get too), is something different.

First what is good,

I've had Apple TV since the the second gen streaming device hit the shelves. It has always worked as near as dammit flawlessly and the model of rent and stream or buy it once, stream it as many times as you like, that Apple pushed is simple for the end user. You tend to just rely on it and forget how reliable it is, which is testament to its success.

iCloud file management was for years vey much simplified, but worked well as well. They struggled for a bit with drop-box style general file management supporting folders and files (folders and files were for a long time a bugbear if Steve Jobs because the user interaction model is so needlessly complex and through the history of computing has been the cause of much wasted time and data loss). After a shaky start (let's not mention yesteryear file management services they tried, which were dreadful). Now for file sync it works very well, and the only feature it wants for is folder sharing.

Maps famously is a similar story, getting off to an even worse start. But now becoming something far more useful. It wasn't reliability of serving up the service, but the bad quality of the data that was the problem. It's only recently I have been found I have no need to reach for Google maps though and that isn't because they have completely reached parity. They haven't. It's because Apple has now crossed the "good enough that I can't be arsed to reach for Google maps" line.

App based sync for notes, Apple email, calendars, reminders and photos have worked for me near flawlessly. Though I have heard lots of complaints from some people about calendars. Also for me, for many years inviting non Apple users in heterogenous calendaring environments (which is basically outside an individual company true for everyone) was for years pretty bad, especially for including/inviting people who might have got one Apple device, but don't use it as their main device but by a year or so,p ago it seems they had solved these problems and it has been pretty good.

Apple Music got off to a feature rich but very shaky start and whilst not terminally unreliable, was annoyingly glitchy. How Music Match service tracks got overwritten (or appeared to get overwritten) by DRM Apple Music streaming based tracks WAS a huge failure and caused some users a lot of pain. They have fixed that now though and it now works very well indeed. The UI categories remain a dogs dinner though. But once you dive into them and avail yourself of the human curated suggestion lists, the service shows some real strengths over rivals,

iCloud backup has always worked flawlessly for me doing exactly what it was intended to do.

The new photos service is one of those in the best category - it works so well you don't notice it. And the new photos app and iOS device storage space optimisation strategy works so well few understand or need to understand how awesome it is (e.g, the strategy of storing low res versions on iOS devices and retrieving high res only when needed and zoomed in has been implemented seamlessly and the non destructive editing in a simple but powerful photo management app is just great).

Apple's Office apps have matured into excellent very easy to use office alternatives to MS Office that do exactly what you would expect such an alternative to do. Really the only things they miss are 1) Scripting language support to the level of VB. Needed by enterprise (though less and less in a cloud based world). 2) Numbers lacks Excel style Pivot Tables - these are a huge feature for those that use them and are missed sorely. This is more a comment on the excellence of this feature MS implemented in Excel than criticism of Numbers as a spreadsheet. Numbers, Pages and Keynote are a definite usability upgrade over Office, though of course in most places a feature downgrade (only Keynote, the least important of the trio bests its MS rival all round). The cloud sharing and browser based versions of these apps have been a quiet success which beats Google equivalents by a long way in the usability / end user experience department.

IMessage also has worked reliably as a service for some time (the biggest issue being a while back now and that was the one that affected users who switched to Android, where their Apple account and ID would remain as an active entity getting in the way of messages Apple user friends were sending them).

So overall their cloud services, with some notable past problem areas, work very well across the board. So what are they doing wrong?

The Bad

In a word connectivity. They haven't provided the API glue that allows their cloud services to be anything much more than silos. Great for personal inter device transfer/sync, but not great participants in programmable data flows that are increasingly becoming available for coordination by other services, such as IFTTT. This failure to participate will bite them hard because it means their services will become marginalised. They still, just about, have time to address this deficiency, but the problem is they are showing no signs of the desire to do so. The only significant move they have made in this regard is two years ago providing a competent but still somewhat restricted developer web API access to a users iCloud account.

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Android's unpatched dead device jungle is good for security

SuccessCase

Re: Indeed.

Now when I go out, I'm going to leave all the windows in my house open. Then burglars will have to do some extra-hard thinking deciding which one to use and quite likely get so confused, they'll get dizzy and pass out.

11
1

Docker goes native with Windows, Mac beta

SuccessCase

Re: Just one question ..

The more it is obvious the guy is a techie trying his best and not a type A salesman with a flashing smile, the more I believe and trust what I am hearing.

3
0
SuccessCase

Re: It wasn't all that bad until

It doesn't cost anything. Or at least is on the same model as Github.

0
0

Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage

SuccessCase

Re: Don't blame users for the UI

Nobody seems to have mentioned the point that it the designers who you need to make decisions. Democratic design simply doesn't work to produce a good result. Steve Jobs loved to quote Henry Ford to make this point,

"If I asked people what they wanted they would have said 'faster horses'"

7
4

iOS flaw exploited to decrypt iMessages, access iThing photos

SuccessCase

It's not the 4 digit pin of course. It's the user's Apple password. The 4 digit pin is only used to grant access to a local physical device. Anytime services are set-up, the user's Apple account password is required and that also supports two factor authentication.

2
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Twitter at ten: The social network designed for 2006 struggles into a second decade

SuccessCase

Did Simon Sharwood write that entire story just so he could use the excellent description "vox populi" in the title?

I would have done. Superb phrase in relation to Twitter.

2
0

Smartphones help medicos, but security is a problem

SuccessCase

Re: Private comms? There's an app for that.

Good resource.

It's interesting how PGP (or GPG) has never been universally adopted for email. I think it is that it has always swum against the tide of human psychology and preference for convenience over security. I have worked in security conscious organisations and the use of PGP has always been something of a pain. But I don't understand why SMIME isn't suggested more.

The first problem for PGP is that the need for authenticated key exchange just doesn't suit human psychology. It is a barrier preventing the user from doing the thing he/she really wants to do "right now." Systems that simply aren't convenient always encounter user avoidance patterns ( remember Network logout software that would refuse a user machine shutdown if there was too much data in the user's profile? What was the result? 95% of the time a five second press of the power switch).

A second problem is that PGP plugins for common mail clients add complexity and can cause problems in relation to automated system updates. It's so last decade to be prepared to suffer systems with such version/dependency management fragilities.

SMIME is then a good pragmatic solution that mostly avoids both these problems (makes the first one automatic and painless if not instant and the second is not an issue because all the major clients support it out the box), albeit that you have to - you know - actually trust your security certificate chain of trust (which in the post Snowden world is more of a thing than it should be). But if your concerns are more about commercial secrecy than being sure to have stopped the NSA or GCHQ, then it is way more user friendly than PGP.

I think the main reason SMIME isn't being used more is that it didn't become a universally available standard all at once (so never had momentous "launch" awareness), and it used to cost money to get a certificate, so people have kind of never really woken up to the fact it is a practical working solution. Hmm sorry long post, and it seems I've ended up answering my own question about SMIME.

2
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Apple engineers rebel, refuse to work on iOS amid FBI iPhone battle

SuccessCase

Re: @gollux How unAmerican ...

Officially mainland China has one party The Communist Party of China. To compete in a global economy, and to attract inward investment and foreign companies, China has set up Special Economic Zones, where the rules of a Communist command economy don't apply and a more Capitalist friendly business regulatory framework is applied. This results in many embarrassing conflicts of principle but if you can control the narrative you can ensure they are simply ignored.

9
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Biometrics not a magic infosec bullet for web banking, warns GCHQ bloke

SuccessCase

Re: Biometrics are very popular among the technically less-educated

It's a good point, but still I'm willing to bet the proportion of those who consider themselves "technically well educated" and who also like to demonstrate "superior" knowledge by decrying biometrics (even for e.g. smaller financial transactions) but then blithely enter a pin code without checking if there is a security camera trained on the POS terminal, is greater than 90%.

Which I think illustrates the point it's all about risk management, not absolute security (which is a Chimera) and biometrics is probably currently, practically speaking, more secure than PIN entry whilst being one hell of a lot more convenient. One day, the techniques for and practice of lifting fingerprints to commit card fraud might be common enough that us security pragmatists pragmatically evolve a new pragmatic solution. But even where finger print scanning tech is concerned, the need for that change is certainly not today.

1
0

Ad-slinger Opera adds ad-blocking tech to its browser

SuccessCase

Re: Eh?

Why the image of an Oric-1? That takes me back. I was 1 of about 5 people who had one of those. Superior to the Sinclair Spectrum, yet for some reason (lack of marketing I guess) it never took off. What a shame.

The only reason I had one was because my dad knew the bloke who made them and he got me one instead of the Sinclair Spectrum I wanted. I needed an upgrade from my ZX81 because the wobbly RAM pack had wobbled it's way into short circuiting the main board. But on getting the Oric-1, I wasn't disappointed. To my surprise, comparatively, it was an excellent machine.

4
0

Brits still not happy about commercial companies using their healthcare data

SuccessCase

One of the reasons people are so wary, is because a single cock-up can mean the entire game is lost. There will be continual pressure to mine anonymised data for value and continual opportunity to fail to identify a vector that yields a way to de-anonymise the data (if you think it is easy to anonymise data, search for one of the many articles that show why it is a much harder problem than many realise). We always have to trust the anonymisation strategy is sufficiently thought through. If ever it isn't and the designated anonymiser is left thinking, "damn that's clever, I didn't think of that." It's a bust.

For that reason, I'm definitely in the 17% category. Even for research. I would want the option to opt in and would only do so after being information about the data mapping that is done during anonymisation and would only do so for research I want to support. Research also, let's not forget, is conducted by commercial companies.

24
0

Aye, AI: Cambridge's Dr Sean Holden talks to El Reg about our robot overlords

SuccessCase

AI encompasses some interesting developments. But there is a category mistake made by many in the field as to what constitutes judgement (which is a very different thing from blind rule following). Conscious emotional judgements are a part of what it is to be human. We sort of imagine that many many very fast clock cycles where a computer is following an algorithm, which every single time is following rules, might somehow be equivalent to an emotional judgement. As though if we have enough processing such that we don't really understand at a macro-level what has just been done, where the computer has implemented the kind of recursive self-defining patterns of logic we find in neural networks, we have created something that is the equivalent of emotional judgement. But there is absolutely no evidence that is the case, there is no way to know the computer has consciousness, and there is plenty of reason to think it probably doesn't have (it's though the "not knowing" what consciousness is, is then sufficient to say "we probably created it" if a computer passes a Turing test. A test which has always been logically insufficient as proof of anything other than that a human can under certain strictly limited circumstances confuse a machine with a human).

Doing much, much more processing very, very quickly doesn't transform a category mistake into a truth. It just means the same mistake is being made over and over on a larger scale.

It's important not to say "never" with regard to advances in computing and AI. Of course we are going to make great strides. But IMO there has to be a very different kind of advance than the current limited set of tools is providing.

2
0

Norman Conquest, King Edward, cyber pathogen and illegal gambling all emerge in Apple v FBI

SuccessCase

Re: Maybe if...

"But law enforcement is trying to tell anyone that will listen a hard truth: you like it now, but wait until you or your family are at the end of a crime and the person walks free because they were unable to prove their case. Thanks to that black-screened iPhone. Then you may not back Tim Cook quite so strongly."

Or maybe, you will be wise enough to see the value of upholding a right to privacy and back Apple anyway, like this victim of the shooter this is all about:

"When I first learned Apple was opposing the order I was frustrated that it would be yet another roadblock. But as I read more about their case, I have come to understand their fight is for something much bigger than one phone. They are worried that this software the government wants them to use will be used against millions of other innocent people. I share their fear.

I support Apple and the decision they have made. I don’t believe Tim Cook or any Apple employee believes in supporting terrorism any more than I do. I think the vicious attacks I’ve read in the media against one of America’s greatest companies are terrible."

-- Salihin Kondoker

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