* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Apple arms web browser privacy torpedo, points it directly at Google's advertising model

DougS Silver badge

Re: So what is to stop the user ...

You consider an ID that ranges between 0 and 63 (per the article) as not anonymous enough?

DougS Silver badge

Re: So what is to stop the user ...

Nothing would stop you, but why? If your personal information isn't being handed over, what difference does it make if there's an anonymous tick in a box "saw ad X, clicked on ad X, bought item advertised in ad X".

If you never click on an ad there's nothing for it to send back. But this would be a way to send a message to advertisers that you hate invasive ads. If you see a 'polite' ad for something you plan to buy, you could click on it before making the purchase as a way of saying "good job on not making a shitty ad that tries to cover my page or fool me into thinking it is a Windows error message".

DougS Silver badge

What about sites that detect ad blockers?

Or modify their content to look like ads so it "accidentally" gets blocked, forcing people to turn off their ad blocker for that site to see the content?

I think it would be great in theory for Apple to do this, but the companies that want to force ads on us wouldn't take it lying down and would find ways to get them back. They could go out of their way to make their site function poorly with slowdowns or crashes on Safari, and put a "best viewed with Google Chrome" icon on top, making people think it is Safari's fault. Or block certain functionality when Safari was used. Just make it enough of a pain that anyone can easily use a different browser instead would probably do it just to avoid the hassle.

I mean, if it was such a great idea to do this with no downsides Firefox would have done it a decade ago, and never lost its lead over Chrome. They built in a pop up blocker before any other major browser, so they obviously will do stuff like this when they think it will work out.

DougS Silver badge

Re: A start

If Safari and Firefox support it, and they can get Microsoft on board, then it would be interesting to see what excuse Google comes up for being the lone holdout.

AI can now animate the Mona Lisa's face or any other portrait you give it. We're not sure we're happy with this reality

DougS Silver badge

They're already doing this

Doctored videos of Nancy Pelosi slowed down to make it sound like she's drunken slurring their words are making the rounds tonight. You don't need fancy AI tricks able to work off a single photo if you have actual video of people to mess with.

The downside of this trend is that even if you get a video of someone admitting to / committing a crime, they will be able to cry "fake video!" and it will be difficult if not impossible to prove whether or not it is legitimate. It used to be that audio and video evidence was the most convincing proof you could come up with in a trial, but before long it will be seen as on the level of something bearing a signature - easily forged and therefore easily dismissed as not being "proof beyond a reasonable doubt".

So the question is, could someone theoretically come up with a way to work around this? Maybe have video recording devices use a private key to encode their identity into the recording, so if you could present the phone that made the recording into evidence it could be proven that the video shown is as was originally recorded by the device and not modified?

WikiLeaks boss Assange acted as a foreign spy, Uncle Sam exclaims in fresh rap sheet

DougS Silver badge

I was fine with the first indictment

If it really was true he induced / helped others to break into systems then he's guilty of a crime.

But a lot of these new charges amount to "being someone we have decided we won't call a journalist", which would be quite dangerous - especially with a president who thinks he has the right to decide who is "fake news" and who isn't, based on how their reporting treats him.

No Huawei out: Prez Trump's game of chicken with China has serious consequences

DougS Silver badge

Empire in decline?

I seem to remember the same being said in the 80s when it was Japan that had the huge trade advantage over the US. Now granted China is FAR larger and will easily overtake the US as world's largest economy without its per capita GDP needing to exceed 30% of the US's, but like Japan did with its aging population China has some demographic challenges awaiting it when the parents of the two "one child" generations reach retirement age, which is just beginning.

The US will never be as dominant as it was in the decades after WW II, but that was a one shot deal mainly because it had the only large industrial base that hadn't been blown to smithereens by the end of the war.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Airbus & China

Until China completely untethers their currency from the dollar, there would be no point in using it as a reserve currency in favor of the dollar. They have multiple reasons why they aren't going to want to do that anytime soon.

Until that happens it will just be used by smaller countries for their direct trades with China, and there is little practical difference with those countries holding reserves of dollars like they did previously.

Koh-MG: Qualcomm guilty of abusing chip patent monopoly, biz promises to appeal

DougS Silver badge

That's pretty much boilerplate after any company loses a big decision. This will go on appeal, but it is an open question whether Trump's FTC will support the appeal given that his DOJ wrote a memo in favor of Qualcomm. His desire to help US companies "win the 5G war" might cause an under the table settlement that amounts to a slap on the wrist, similar to what Microsoft had after a new administration took charge of the process.

If the trade war goes on very long, Qualcomm might find themselves collateral damage and designed out of most Android phones not destined for the US market.

DougS Silver badge

Mark 85: Were you not paying attention to the lawsuits between Qualcomm and Apple? That was one of Apple's biggest issues with Qualcomm.

Charlie Clark: Yes they "own the IP" but they CANNOT charge for it however they want. At least not for their patents covered under FRAND licensing, which would be any patent applicable to cellular standards like LTE. That's an agreement every participant in the standards process is required to sign as a condition of participation (no one forces them to participate, but if they don't the others will do their damnedest to design the standards around the patents held by non-participants)

A growing number of standards organizations are explicitly forbidding 'double dipping' and licensing based on the price of a device in the FRAND agreement participants sign. But of course that does nothing to restrict existing IP, and those questions are settled in court (after years of fighting, and probably not consistently in different jurisdictions)

This is a sett-up! Mum catches badger feasting on contents of freezer

DougS Silver badge

Re: Cat Flap

I've got experience with only one cat, and she had to stand at the door and meow to be let in or out so she was only out all night a few times (probably someone let her into their house, fed her, and couldn't figure out how to get her to leave!) and she lived to almost 22.

I've got friends who let their cats out, and they haven't died early either. I think this is a bullshit made up statistic by someone who likes birds or found cat poop in their kid's sandbox. There's no reasonable way cats could live only half as long having access to the outside, unless half of them are getting run over when young!

Uncle Sam to blow millions on mind-control weapon tech that can be fitted without surgery

DougS Silver badge

Is mind control a good thing if people aren't in control of their minds?

Pretty much everyone has random thoughts at times that aren't desireable...maybe you are driving and idly wonder "what if I crossed the centerline in front of that huge truck?" You don't have any real intention to do so, and you never would, but your mind wanders to that thought for a split second.

Unless there is a population of people who NEVER have such brief wandering thoughts, hooking them up to something that can read their thoughts and use them to control weapons fire in a split second would be a REALLY bad idea.

Honey, hive had it with this drone: Couple lived for years with thousands of bees in bedroom wall

DougS Silver badge

How could you not notice?

Surely a house with 80,000 bees in the walls would have tons of bees buzzing around in the yard looking for flowers or on their way to some flowers down the way a bit. Most times I'm in my yard I see zero bees, and one or more squirrels and/or rabbits. So I can conclude that the squirrels and rabbits either make their home in my yard or its trees, or very damn close, but there are no beehives nearby.

If I suddenly started seeing bees every time I was in my yard, I'd assume they had a hive somewhere and probably be curious exactly where so I wouldn't have to worry about stumbling onto it unexpectedly when mowing the lawn.

Wanted: Big iron geeks to help restore IBM 360 mainframe rescued from defunct German factory by other big iron geeks

DougS Silver badge

Nobody ever got FIRED for buying IBM

Said nothing about divorce...

Ahem, ahem... AI engine said to be good as human docs at spotting lung cancer developing

DougS Silver badge

There is an advantage to training on old scans

You don't have to rely on the radiologist's analysis, you KNOW which ones developed cancer and which ones did not.

The biggest issue with lung cancer screening is that they don't. By that I mean that unless you already have symptoms they aren't going to give you a scan. I've never smoked, so I'm at low risk for lung cancer (though I live in an area with a lot of radon so maybe not that low) but that doesn't mean I don't have it. Maybe I do and I just don't have symptoms yet.

If you have a way for completely automated screening they could do scans every five years or so as part of a regular checkup and a doctor wouldn't need to look at it unless it is flagged by the system for further analysis. Or the sorts of "health fairs" that my local university sets up with stuff like free cholesterol screening could do a free lung cancer screening. Since they don't use film the cost per scan is almost nothing if the analysis is automated. It would be cheaper for them to provide than the cholesterol test.

iPhone gyroscopes, of all things, can uniquely ID handsets on anything earlier than iOS 12.2

DougS Silver badge

Re: Please don't do that

I would not have an objection to a bank uniquely identifying my specific phone as a way to require less authentication, so long as the API that did that and permission it would ask for was something Apple had to specifically approve for an app to reach the app store.

Basically it would be sort of two factor authentication without requiring a separate dongle - I have MY phone and MY password, so they know for sure it is me. But the possibility of abuse is so high I'd want it to be something Apple controlled pretty tightly and only allowed apps from approved publishers for a very limited number of apps that deal with financial stuff like banks, brokerages, etc. and the user would have to approve it on their end as well.

Being able to know it is MY phone is too useful to throw away completely just because 99% of the market would abuse it for advertising purposes or worse. So I'm not ready to say "don't allow it at all" but it would need to be treated with extreme care.

DougS Silver badge

nearly everyone will put their phone down somewhere at some point

True, but will nearly everyone put their phone down on a PERFECTLY level surface?

DougS Silver badge

Well given that most Android phones aren't calibrated but still work for gaming, there's no reason adding noise to 'hide' the EXACT amount of calibration should negatively affect gaming unless they overdo it. I'm not really sure why you couldn't use this to uniquely identify any device, calibrated or not, that wasn't adding noise. Not that there's a reason to do this on Android, since it doesn't go to such lengths to prevent apps from uniquely identifying a device.

The difference between MEMS devices can't be that large or uncalibrated devices would not work properly. Apple's calibration must be precise to an overly large number of digits for it to be detectable to the point of identifying individual iPhones.

I have to hand it to those who figured out these attacks, that's a pretty impressive piece of detective work and engineering. Advertisers must be REALLY struggling to identify specific iPhones to go to such great lengths though.

Big payout for Dell, Apple et al as Toshiba Mem 'prepares' to buy them out ahead of IPO

DougS Silver badge

Hold on here

A year ago these companies paid $18 billion to buy in, helped by Bain Capital, and now Toshiba is going to buy them out for $4.5 billion? I know they won't, but I really wish Bain Capital had to eat a significant chunk and what appears to be a $13.5 billion loss this deal made.

Maybe the article is wrong and the $18 billion bought a combination of equity AND PRODUCT? Because if not, they're going to make Trump jealous losing $13.5 billion in a single year. It took him a decade to lose a tenth of that, though granted it was in 80s/90s dollars.

Lyft, Uber drivers boost app surge prices by turning off, tuning out – and cashing in

DougS Silver badge

I think what is actually happening is that the drivers turn off and get the price to rise, but people are at the airport and need a ride and agree to surge pricing. Then the drivers can turn back on and grab one of those already agreed to higher priced rides.

This is a perfect strategy for an airport since you know people will be there and are stuck so they are willing to pay extra for a ride (especially if they are on expenses so it isn't their money)

Which is why most cities instituted a standard fare to/from the airport for taxis eons ago...maybe Uber and Lyft will catch on to that, eventually.

FCC boss blesses T-Mobile US-Sprint merger amid sketchy promises, lashings of incoherency

DougS Silver badge

That's the problem - our choice is between 2 or 3 big players. If we hadn't allowed all the mergers years ago we wouldn't have two players with such a huge share of the market.

Once you start allowing all the small "harmless" mergers you produce bigger and bigger companies, making the case for allowing their competitors to merge to be able to compete. If we get to three, and one gets really strong and one gets really weak, I'm sure we'll be hearing about reasons why we should allow the #2 and #3 players to merge to take on that big bad bully #1.

This is why the US has so many oligopolies, because regulators think it is harmless when a player with 7% and a player with 5% merge in a field of 7 or 8 competitors. That triggers the next merger, and the next, and eventually we get down to a field of 2 or 3 and Europeans wonder how in the heck we pay so damn much for the services they provide.

Boeing admits 737 Max sims didn't accurately reproduce what flying without MCAS was like

DougS Silver badge

Probably none of them, because they know this is the time when scapegoats are being found so everyone is keeping their head down!

They might try to put the blame on the engineers who raised the warning by claiming "you didn't follow official procedures requiring you to submit engineering risk form XYZ234 in triplicate to designated department heads"

Swedish prosecutors request Assange detention: First step to European arrest warrant

DougS Silver badge

Re: re: The charges on the US sheet only carry a maximum of 5 years.

Why should Trump care about it, let alone use him as part of his re-election campaign? Few people in the US even know who he is.

Besides, he loudly proclaimed "I love Wikileaks" on multiple occasions during the last campaign. He'd get asked why he loves Wikileaks but its founder deserves to go to prison for information published on Wikileaks. You think a guy who can't even form complete sentences could answer such a question?

The indictment against him happened while Jeff Sessions was AG, which isn't surprising if you know much about him and his views on "law and order". I very much doubt Trump had any involvement, or heard about it until it made the news (if even then, it would depend on whether Fox News reported it since I'm pretty sure he doesn't read El Reg)

DougS Silver badge

I don't buy it

He SAID he was worried about being extradited to the US, but the only known indictment in the US was issued after Trump became president. Years after he sheltered in the embassy.

If the US had wanted him at the time, he was in London on bail for over a YEAR AND A HALF, so they could have filed an extradition notice at any time. So it seems pretty clear they didn't want him, but he was using that an excuse for not going to Sweden to face the rape charges. Even if he'd been found guilty, he'd probably have served less time than he did in self-enforced imprisonment in the embassy. I don't know anything about Swedish prisons but I'll bet they'd be nicer than his room in the embassy...at least he'd be able to go outside regularly.

Pushed around and kicked around, always a lonely boy: Run Huawei, Google Play, turns away, from Huawei... turns away

DougS Silver badge

I think you don't understand how bonds work

You can't "call debt due" anytime you want. You buy bonds knowing they pay on a predetermined schedule. China can only stop buying new issues (which won't hurt the US much since if the world economy is hurt by this there will be plenty of takers for them) or sell off their holdings.

Theoretically they could force US interest rates to rise if they put all $1 trillion of their holdings up for sale, but doing would also cost them a couple hundred BILLION dollars because they wouldn't get full price for them. Price and interest rates are inversely correlated on bonds the more they drive interest rates up the less money their bonds are worth.

It would be sort of like if an angry wife wanted to hurt the husband she was divorcing and burned down the house they own.

DougS Silver badge

I don't think Trump owns much stock, his wealth (what there actually may be of it) is tied up in a few real estate holdings and brand licenses.

His hard on for China is because he criticized Obama's handling of China and Hillary's initial support of TPP, and loudly proclaimed he could do a better job because he "makes great deals". So he was sort of forced to put up or shut up. Unfortunately his negotiation strategy consists of a lot of shouting and threatening, and hoping the other side gets scared and gives in to his demands.

That won't work with China. They know they have the upper hand because he has to run for re-election next year while China's president never faces voters. They can just hang on and weather the storm, waiting for Trump to cave, which he will be forced to by next summer due to the impending election - if not sooner due to economic issues it causes in the US. He'll cave, claim "victory" in a tweet, and his supporters will believe him because Fox News will support his lie.

If you want to understand Trump's motives there is only one - what is best for himself. That is solely to put himself in the best position to get re-elected, or be able to claim some type of treasonous conspiracy if he loses. The only economic factors he's personally invested in are lower interest rates (because he has a lot of debt) and generous tax treatment for real estate investments.

DougS Silver badge

There isn't going to be an "Android alternative"

They will use Android without Google, which was already an alternative (and owns nearly 100% of the Android market share in China already)

The question is whether they or anyone else can make Google-free Android a thing outside China, and whether customers will accept in places that don't have a full local ecosystem of Google replacements like China does.

What would even be the point of a third OS that isn't Android? The hard problem is how to replace stuff like the Google Play Store, Google search app and so forth. That problem exists whether you use AOSP or something totally different. At least using AOSP developers don't have a third API to target. There's little or no chance of a third API getting traction, but Android devs submitting their apps to alternative app stores used by another version of Android could easily happen.

Someone just needs to have enough clout (like say Huawei?) to set up that alternative app store and get everyone to buy into it. If phone owners have to manually point their phone at various third party stores it'll never work - that's fine for Reg readers who are technically knowledgeable, but the other 98% of people will be as hopless and helpless as if you told them in 2000 "just open up your PC and upgrade the RAM".

It's 50 years to the day since Apollo 10 blasted off: America's lunar landing 'dress rehearsal'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Grit

And the stories in the article, and many others like them, are why they mostly chose test pilots to be astronauts. Because they knew they were at the very limits of human knowledge and technology of the time, and needed people who had a proven ability to stay cool under life and death pressure, and make the "right" decision even when it isn't what they had been told to do or the situation hadn't even been planned for.

DougS Silver badge

Re: beancounters at the top

No the heads of SpaceX Blue Origin are rich men with huge egos who are treating going to the Moon as a feather in their cap. They aren't looking at going to the Moon as a business, and indeed it is questionable if there is a viable business case to be had for being on the Moon (let alone Mars)

Now being in orbit with its microgravity certainly offers some real business opportunities, but you don't see Musk or Bezos bragging about how they're going to build a big modular space station. Because there already is (a small) one, so they don't get an ego boost out of it. If NASA or the Chinese had gone to the Moon recently, I doubt you'd see either talking about going because they would consider it too pedestrian.

Tesla driver killed after smashing into truck had just enabled Autopilot – US crash watchdog

DougS Silver badge

Re: What's the point?

Autopilot on airplanes doesn't require you to keep your hands on the stick at all times, and you will never be called upon to take back control and make decisions within a second because things in the air simply don't happen that fast. You will need to take back control and make decisions within a second with Tesla's version, therefore it is quite inferior to what is present on airplanes.

Anyway, what autopilot does on planes is IRRELEVANT. What matters is what the general public THINKS it does on planes. And they think it flies the damn plane without the pilot, which is why Tesla calling it that is probably responsible for at least some of these deaths. Had they called it "SuperAssist" or something that wouldn't give the impression it could drive by itself, people wouldn't assume it can do much more than it is capable of and wouldn't be needlessly dying.

Let's check in with our friends in England and, oh good, bloke fined after hiding face from police mug-recog cam

DougS Silver badge

Re: Is there a law for that?

A lot of cops will become pissed off and make up nonexistent laws they claim prevents you from recording them. They want to be in control of all recordings, so they can conveniently be "lost" or "not working" as circumstances dictate.

Around here local papers had to take a police department to court, and only after 18 months of appeals were they forced to make bodycam videos public. Which of course showed that the officers at the scene had been lying about what happened all along, just like everyone else present at the scene had stated.

DougS Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: What the heck

And here we have an example of someone who will welcome an authoritarian government, because it "makes him feel safe".

Maybe you should move to Russia, China or Venezuela (while it lasts) rather than waiting on another country to become authoritarian enough for your apparent taste.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Is there a law for that?

Obviously it isn't illegal to cover your face in England. His crime was not covering his face, but pissing off a cop who thinks the public should "respect his authoritah!"

Dedicated techie risks life and limb to locate office conference phone hiding under newspaper

DougS Silver badge

Guess he should have tried calling the center

Didn't he want to see whether the line was dead, busy, fast busy, some message from the carrier about circuits being down, etc.? I would think that would be the first step in troubleshooting, not something you do only when you show up.

Wine? No, posh noshery in high spirits despite giving away £4,500 bottle of Bordeaux

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wine is wine

putting them on the menu makes the £260 bottle look positively reasonable

Yep, google "price anchoring".

Want a good Android smartphone without the $1,000+ price tag? Then buy Google's Pixel 3a

DougS Silver badge

Re: Double standards

You're definitely getting better hardware with the XR but I agree not better enough to be worth the cost. Part of the cost is Apple NOT stealing all your data to help sell your eyeballs to everyone. If you value that, it is worth something. If you don't, it has no value and the iPhone is not worth it for you.

If poking about Doctor Who's TARDIS in VR sounds like fun to you, better luck next time

DougS Silver badge

Dare I say it, I liked Sylvester McCoy's doctor. He was better than the previous two as far as I'm concerned. The plots he had to work with, however, were pretty terrible putting it mildly.

Of all the "new" doctors Peter Capaldi has been my favorite. I wish he'd stuck around longer, but it seems like all Doctors in the new series never stick around for more than three seasons. The writing in his last season definitely took a big dive from the first two seasons, and that's continued if not gotten worse with Jodie Whitaker's Doctor. If they can't fix that, it won't matter who is occupying the role, bad writing will sink the series like it did the original run.

LzLabs kills Swisscom’s mainframes – but it's not the work of a vicious BOFH: All the apps are now living on cloud nine

DougS Silver badge

Re: Reliability?

Since it depends on both your internet connection and your cloud provider, you can subtract at least two 9s from that figure.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Yes but--

This "mainframe in a cloud" solves the problem of fragility of hardware, but does nothing for fragility of code. And of course makes your business dependent on your internet link and cloud provider, which will have uptimes in no way comparable to a mainframe's.

Hours before Congress backs robocall blocking law, guess what the FCC boss suddenly decides?

DougS Silver badge

Robocalls have got worse just in the last couple months

Maybe it was just happenstance, but now I'm getting a couple a day - mostly the ones where they say you will have legal action against you if you don't respond but don't even use your name so a pretty poor attack. Maybe they heard that the FCC has been looking into it and figure they should go all out now before they get blocked.

Titan-ic disaster: Bluetooth blunder sinks Google's 2FA keys, free replacements offered

DougS Silver badge

Re: Short distance

Yes, stuff like this is likely to be a targeted attack. Sitting in a Starbucks isn't going to get you far, probably most of the people getting these are geeks who are using it for their Slack accounts. Corporations that issue keys aren't likely to go with a Google product. Especially after this negative publicity.

Prez Trump's trade war reshapes electronics supply chains as China production slows

DougS Silver badge

Re: China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

Kudlow was speaking truth last weekend, admitting that consumers pay "most" of the tariffs and the Chinese don't pay them at all. Supposedly Trump flipped his lid on him over that, so he might be next to be tossed overboard from the SS Orange Clown.

Business people will support all his stupid stuff until he interferes with their bottom line. Then the line is drawn - and they'll make that clear to senators who are groveling to the rich guys for campaign funding. If there's anything that will break the wall of shame of senators who've traded in their scruples to be Trump's yes-men, it is Trump's policies causing campaign contributions to dry up. If the trade war carries on too long, you'll start seeing some of them speaking out against Trump's handling of China.

DougS Silver badge

China has the upper hand and Trump is too stupid to see it

They know he faces an election next fall, their president does not. They can easily weather 18 months of economic disruption, knowing that as Trump's tariffs raise prices in the US and cause inflation, forcing the Fed to raise interest rates at the same time the economy risks entering a recession before election day since so much of US economic output is dependent on inputs from China he's screwed.

His approval rating is so low, and without any prospects for increasing to even 50%, his only hope for winning re-election is to have a very strong economy and successfully attaching enough negatives to his opponent that he knocks their approval rating down to his levels. Without the strong economy, even Hillary would win against him next fall.

I'm sure once his advisors talk him off the ledge he'll cave to China's demands to get a deal done, proclaim it a "GREAT DEAL!!!" in a flurry of tweets, and his drooling supporters who believe everything he says will believe that too. But it may be too late by the time they make him see reason, if he waits too long the economic impact will still be felt next fall and blaming the democrats won't get him anywhere with the swing voters he needs.

It's 2019 and a WhatsApp call can hack a phone: Zero-day exploit infects mobes with spyware

DougS Silver badge

Re: Needs to be on a phone to function? WTF???

It is only a problem if people buy into it by choosing a silo that doesn't have a fallback option. iMessage doesn't cause problems for Android owners because integrated into it is SMS/MMS so I don't need to care whether they have iMessage or not to message them and they can message me without knowing or caring that I have an iPhone.

AFAIK none of the other messaging apps integrate an SMS/MMS fallback, so if you want to use Whatsapp, Signal, Facebook Messenger etc. you need to convince me to get that app too. Good luck with that.

DougS Silver badge

Re: What about Signal

"Open source" is meaningless when you are installing a binary that may or may not have been compiled from that same source you can view. That might give you some comfort that Signal does not include an accidental buffer overflow (unless you missed it) but are you 100% confident that Signal does not include a DELIBERATE buffer overflow in the binary versions that isn't present in the source you can download.

If you are 100% confident, you are naive - it would be simple for someone to introduce into the build system by a third party if they were hacked, or placed there deliberately by the owners or by a compromised member of the build team.

DougS Silver badge

Needs to be on a phone to function? WTF???

I don't have it installed, never have had it installed, and have never had anyone suggest I should be on WhatsApp. When I text iPhone owners they get an iMessage, when I text Android owners they get an SMS/MMS. When I call either it places a call over the cell network.

Where's the incentive, let alone the NEED for me to have WhatsApp? What would I be able to do if I had it, when I can already text or call everyone as it is?

Japan's mission to mine Mars' moon is cleared – now they've filled out the right paperwork on alien world contamination

DougS Silver badge

Almost no gravity

When a grandma could throw a ball at escape velocity, I wonder how they're going to get it to "drill" down rather than the drill just lifting the whole lander up like a jack?

Guess what shrinks when it gets cold and then you shake it around a little? The Moon. We're talking about the Moon

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fascinating stuff

A successful hoax on that scale would probably be as difficult to accomplish as an actual moon landing

I think it would be far more difficult, because they still would have to get to the Moon to place things like the retroreflective mirrors that anyone can verify are present. You'd have to not only land something on the Moon, but have some sort of robotic arm to place the retroreflective mirror into position. You have to place rover, flag and other stuff. With 50 year old technology it would be pretty hard doing all that in an automated fashion.

Not to mention that even if the US government did this, they would have had to have assumed it would be a short term thing that would be proven false within a decade once the Russians landed there. If the Russians even suspected there was a .01% chance the US didn't go, they would have made sure to land a probe at the Apollo 11 site and prove that they didn't, to give the US a big black eye in the rest of the world.

Assange rape claims: Complainant welcomes Swedish investigation's reopening

DougS Silver badge

Re: @DougS

"Perverted" in the sense that he's found an AG that thinks he's Trump's personal attorney, or at least acts like it. Look at the lies he told in his "summary" of the Mueller report, that don't jive with the actual report. Now he's withholding the full report from congress, even those with clearance to see all the sensitive stuff, despite the history of previous special counsel reports going to congress in their entirety. What's he hiding for Trump?

And who knows what will become of the dozen investigations that Mueller referred that were listed (but redacted) in the report, given that Barr thinks that a president should be able to tell the DOJ to halt any investigation he doesn't like if he thinks it is "unfair". If he had been able to do that back in February 2017 when he tried to get Comey to lay off Michael Flynn, we might still have an unregistered/undeclared foreign agent as Trump's national security advisor.

It's 2019 so now security vulnerabilities are branded using emojis: Meet Thrangrycat, a Cisco router secure boot flaw

DougS Silver badge

The lowest level code MUST be in ROM

Putting it in something that can be reprogrammed is stupid. They should have a simple ROM that loads the "secure bootloader" code off flash, which has been encrypted with a private key that you keep secure and decrypted with a public key that's kept in the ROM. That way the secure bootloader code can be changed if necessary - but it should be done only to fix a bug or correct a security issue, "features" are for the full OS the bootloader loads. Better yet - have several public keys installed in the ROM, in case one of your private keys leaks and you have to stop using it for bootloader firmware updates.

Use of an FPGA here is strange, is it because they already have other FPGA resources in the router and can devote a little corner to this? It isn't like a bootloader benefits from running in "hardware" (if you can call an FPGA that) versus a little ARM or RISCV core.

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