* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Cops gain access to phone location data

DougS Silver badge

This is a good thing for smart criminals

Next time I commit a robbery, I'll leave my phone at home. When the police get a court order to look at my phone records, and find out I was "at home" during the time in question like I said I was, my lawyer will have to be made aware of this court order when my case reaches trial. And he'll make sure that the jury knows that the police checked my phone records, and would have claimed evidence that put me at the scene of the crime had it revealed such, but instead found evidence corroborating my story. He'd be sure to introduce evidence of other trials where phone location records helped convict others, making it sound almost as good as DNA evidence to a gullible jury.

So long as I'm smart enough to not leave fingerprints or be caught with the stolen goods in my possession, which would both be difficult to explain away, in the case where a prosecutor has a weak hand this might be enough to tip the scales and set me free. All this does is provide another tool to catch stupid criminals, and law enforcement hardly needs another way to do that when stupid criminals have not only brought their phone on a robbery but even posted selfies of themselves WHILE COMMITTING THE ROBBERY!

Oh wait, I forgot I'm living in a country where the Constitution no longer matters, and they are going to access this data without a court order. So I'll never be able to know that they looked and found nothing and used it in my defense. Corrupt cops of which there are many will be able to look up phone records for people they are harassing, ex girlfriends or potential girlfriends they are stalking, and so forth. Another tool to continue our march towards a police state. Never mind!

Get an Apple Watch or die warns Tim Cook

DougS Silver badge

No one claimed that ONLY an Apple Watch could have been able to save his life. Only that in this case, it was an Apple Watch that did.

Tim Cook: UK crypto backdoors would lead to 'dire consequences'

DougS Silver badge

Re: Citation provided:

Just because they have vulnerabilities available to them doesn't mean they can break into everyone's network. Most would be protected via multiple layers from the outside, with two firewalls, with maybe a VPN in between.

Anyway, since Apple does not hold the keys to user's phones any longer nor are in they in the middle of or hold the keys to user's iMessage conversations, even if the NSA can access Apple's servers without their knowledge the data the NSA can collect from Apple is limited compared to what they could get from Google (since Google collects all that information so they can "provide better search results and more targeted ads")

DougS Silver badge

Re: the bleedin' obvious

Tim Cook and Apple are hardly alone in saying this, nearly every tech company CEO would agree. What is unique is how Apple publicly announced making changes to iOS to eliminate the possibility of getting access to a user's iPhone or their iMessage content, even with a warrant. That was a pretty public thumbing of the nose at the authorities in favor of individual users' right to privacy.

Qualcomm sheds last veil from Snapdragon 820

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Re: Doubling of processing power?

OK 40% will catch up to Samsung's current Exynos, but they have a new one coming out soon so if they want to win back the business they lost in the S6/Note 5 they'll need that 2x to be true.

DougS Silver badge

Doubling of processing power?

I read elsewhere about the 820 announcement and it claimed a 40% boost. Doubling sounds more like what they'd need to do to keep it within spitting distance of Apple's A9 (which would be about 10-15% faster than the 820 if it doubled single core performance over the 810)

Untamed pledge() aims to improve OpenBSD security

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Re: Stupid idea

Capabilities, which is a basic part of MAC. The thing missing with the Linux implementation of MAC is that you can only drop root capabilities (to make the process a less than super user) but not normal user capabilities like creating a file or opening a network socket.

DougS Silver badge

Stupid idea

Having a process limit its ability to do only those things it is supposed to do is a good idea of course. Killing it if it tries to do one is a terrible idea. Denial of Service, anyone?

A more reasonable solution would trap/log on an attempt to do something it shouldn't do but allow it to continue to go about its business. A resilient program should take attempts to subvert it in stride and continue to perform its intended function. Causing a program to kill itself via pledge could open the door to security holes (for example, if you could get an AV daemon to terminate, this would allow known malware to get a foothold)

This pledge() thing sounds like combination of MAC and assert() as far I can tell. It is hardly anything groundbreaking or novel. SELinux is a MAC which allows you to enable only specific privileges for a process rather than giving it the blanket setuid root. It sounds like pledge() goes further so you could for instance provide a hello world program the ability to output to the TTY only, but not do stuff like read from the tty or read/write from the filesystem or network. The self termination aspect in the example shown in the article looks exactly like assert(), except that assert is more syntactically concise since it encapsulates everything you need in a single line. Not sure why pledge() is more verbose here, this just adds to the possibility of programming errors.

So. Farewell then Betamax. We always liked you better than VHS anyway

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If I was asked to guess, I would have thought they discontinued making any Betamax products around 2000. Say what you want about Sony, at least no one can argue they orphaned the format prematurely.

How Twitter can see the financial future – and change it

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High Frequency Trading

We know it moves markets, but many don't realize how it makes those split second decisions. It isn't all about instantaneous prices and order volumes, some HFT systems have a sort of AI component that scans the news wire and yes in some cases Twitter, for actionable information.

It doesn't take much, if it sees a tweet it sees as negative for a company, i.e. "Oracle CEO rumored dead in plane crash", it could cause it to if not sell Oracle shares at least stop offering to buy them at any price. Other HFT systems see that one HFT system has suddenly dropped all open orders for Oracle, figure something's up, and do the same. Suddenly the floor falls out of the market for Oracle as millions of open orders that support the instantaneous price are gone - there are no market makers anymore now that HFT replaced them.

If there were no computers participating in the market, on a human scale a trader who happens to see that rumor retweeted might think to himself "I should short Oracle" if he's aggressive or start looking for confirmation from other sources if he's conservative. But this takes minutes, so any drop would be slow and affect only those who see the rumor and act on it before it is debunked. Having computers in charge of it makes it happen almost at once, worldwide.

LG picks up US smartphone crumbs, gains on Apple and Samsung

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Re: Eh, bad timing to be calling Apple trends

Ssssh, don't question the Reg's anti-Apple articles. They are hoping for a drop in sales so they can start their "peak Apple" taglines again!

Facebook conjures up a trap for the unwary: scanning your camera for your friends

DougS Silver badge

Why are they always testing this stuff in Australia?

Is the police state worse over there so the population is more docile and accepting of such privacy intrusions?

Once again I'm glad for iOS' security model that lets me prevent Facebook from accessing my photos. If I want to upload a photo to it I can give access just long enough to do so, then revoke it immediately after!

Judge bins Apple Store end-of-shift shakedown lawsuit

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Re: Judges are cool

Most or perhaps all that this point federal courthouses in the US are subject to search for everyone coming in. Every person goes through a metal detector, every bag gets searched. At least around here, judges are subject to the same searches as everyone else.

How to build a city fit for 50℃ heatwaves

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@Thought About IT

Your "easier solution" requires worldwide cooperation. The countries in the Persian Gulf can't even agree on things well enough to stop killing each other, let alone agreeing with major western governments.

You might as well claim "develop working fusion reactors" as your easier solution - since that will happen long before the Persian Gulf has time to be worried about whether it will be getting a few degrees hotter outside over the next century.

DougS Silver badge

This isn't a really difficult problem

As you say, the earth (or especially the ocean, if located on the coast) make great heat sinks.

If you can't use that for some reason (i.e. building on bedrock) then you can use a variation of the "pre-cooling" thing you talked about. With sufficient and properly planned thermal mass you can put the inside of the building on an opposite schedule to the outside - that is, in the absence of interior climate controls the inside would reach its maximum temperature when the outside reaches its minimum, and vice versa.

Then using traditional air conditioning that exchanges heat to the outside becomes most efficient, since you are running the AC at night and not running it during the day when its efficiency plummets due to the smaller difference between the coolant temperature and the outside temperature.

Safe-mail.net goes titsup. Storage failure blamed

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The aircrew is blameless?

Sorry, but I thought "we were just following orders" had been been held as no longer a reasonable excuse for war crimes since Nuremberg.

Now maybe the air crew had no idea it was a hospital they were strafing - I have no idea how close they could get. It was reported that the hospital was the only building in the area to be lit up, and one would presume a hospital would want to light up a big red cross on the roof or something so I am thinking there's a good chance they knew they were shooting up a hospital. So I'm sorry, but I'm not nearly so ready to hold them blameless.

Scarface's explosive 'Little Friend' goes under the hammer

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@Dan Paul

Curious how the movie weapon master modifies a firearm so it can ONLY shoot blanks? Do they bore out the cylinder a bit so it uses slightly larger bullets, meaning that if you accidentally load a real bullet it will be a bit too large and thus when fired be propelled at a far lower than lethal velocity?

Google engineer names and shames dodgy USB Type-C cable makers

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple Lightning cords/cables

Leave it to Apple haters to take an article about USB-C and use it to talk smack about Apple, and totally ignore the fact that Apple having the MFi logo for Lightning accessories (which they see as Apple trying to "force" you to pay inflated prices for cables) weeds out these sort of things.

Apple can and will sue over counterfeit Lightning products that don't meet their standards, because the 5 cent chip that authenticates it to the iPhone has to be counterfeit in a non-approved device. In the USB-C world there's nothing anyone can do beyond what Google is doing here by simply naming and shaming. It's nice that they're trying, but neither they nor the USB Forum can do anything to stop the sale of these dangerously made cables.

Apple's iBackDoor: Dodgy ad network code menaces iOS apps

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Re: Wouldn't be an issue...

Or Apple could require them to use their own ad network. I remember a few years back when Apple introduced iAd there was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth by the Apple haters, suggesting that Apple would soon force everyone to use their own ad network. They never did, but if this keeps happening some might suggest that.

Unfortunately this sort of problem wouldn't necessarily be limited to an ad network library. Any non-Apple library that developers are likely to add to their iOS apps would be a target for miscreants introducing a backdoored version. If Apple forced use of iAd, there are surely some other popular libraries that get included in apps that would be targeted instead. Ad network libraries are the low hanging fruit for obvious reasons, but if they were no longer an option they'd choose the next lowest hanging fruit.

Since iOS apps are sandboxed, and few apps will even be in a position to grab contacts lists etc. it seems the only thing they can do is try to trick the user into entering their iCloud or AppleID password. Not sure how easy it would be to catch that sort of thing, since the code could be obfuscated so you wouldn't have "iCloud" as a string present in the submitted binary.

BlackBerry makes Android security patch promises

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Re: Epic fail

Some people will be willing to pay extra for security - especially when we start seeing large scale exploits on phones and people realize the landfill is the only option for their "inexpensive" phone that will never see a patch.

Given that this is targeted at enterprises, they are certainly going to prefer this to support Android for their employees versus the alternatives. Blackberry still has a good reputation there, even if consumers forgot about them several years ago.

End in sight for wireless power standards war as field shrinks to two

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Re: Foot - gun

This wireless charging wet dream of having something built into the bedside stand in every hotel will NEVER happen until there is a single standard, so worry about Apple's support or lack of when that happens. Until then no hotel chain is going to waste money implementing this, and the wireless charger weenies will still have to carry the bulky charging pad around with them, which is less convenient than simply carrying a charger.

UK cyber-spy law takes Snowden's revelations of mass surveillance – and sets them in stone

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This is why the change in Apple policy

Where they changed their design for iOS so that it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to give up a user's key, since they never have access to it. Previously they kept a copy, so they could be support-friendly if someone forgets the password or the next of kin wants access or whatever and be able to remotely unlock it. That left open the possibility that the government could coerce them via secret laws with secret penalties for the company or its execs, so they protected themselves by changing the design so Apple never has the key. Too bad for forgetful people who forget their password, but it makes things easy for Apple if the NSA comes knocking. "Sorry, we couldn't help you even if we wanted to".

There's another negative effect that if an actual terrorist, pedophile or other Bad Person had some data on their iPhone the government wants to access, with a valid court order and so forth, Apple can't help them and neither can data recovery companies - even if it would be the only means of saving lives. That's too bad for prosecutors and the general public, but the government brought it upon themselves through their actions of thinking they are entitled to ask tech companies for data without a warrant.

DougS Silver badge

Migration from WhatsApp and iMessage

Maybe that's what the public "hey we want you guys to give us a backdoor" statement was for. They don't really expect American companies to roll over and give them backdoor access (especially Apple, who went out of their way to make it so they don't have the user's keys so they can't give them up no matter what)

What they expect/hope is that the paranoid people who have something to hide will shy away from using WhatsApp and iMessage fearing that maybe they've given the government backdoors, and use some little "under the radar" app as the article says. Such apps made by individual developers or small teams are far more likely to have implementation errors that allow GCHQ to break the encryption. It isn't easy to get it right, but Facebook and Apple can afford to pay for the expertise that at least lets them avoid all the known issues (if there are attacks that only the NSA/GCHQ know about, not much anyone can do...) The little companies will slip up, and make it easy for GCHQ to snoop the people who matter the most from their perspective - the extra paranoid ones who believe they have something to hide.

Samsung S6 Edge has 11 nasties, says Google Project Zero team

DougS Silver badge

Apple and Google are similar in the fixing of security issues, but Google is far behind in ability to deilver them. If there's a major exploit found for both, it can be wiped off iPhones in a matter of weeks, for Android it will live forever since half the existing devices in use would never receive the upgrade.

DougS Silver badge

@jason 7

Yes, Android will need a couple major security issues that affects a lot of people in a visible way. Think Nimda or ILoveYou viruses on Windows that after a few similar things got them to be more serious about security and halt development on the next Windows to go back and better secure (for some meaning of 'better') Windows XP with SP3.

But no it won't mean Apple taking all the rewards. Will it help iPhone sales, sure, but a lot of people around the world can't afford an iPhone, some won't switch because of the lack of choice compared to all the different form factors and feature sets available in the Android world, and some just won't care enough about security to worry about it even if it personally affects them (and obviously the Apple haters would never switch no matter what)

It would also be an opportunity (probably the last/only one) for Windows and the Blackberry flavor of Android to become more than just an afterthought in market share. The movement would be away from Android, not necessarily towards Apple. Not that Apple will complain about the influx, which might be enough to delay "peak Apple" from actually happening another couple years (my current guess is that the iPhone 7S will be the first model to see a YoY sales drop, though that depends on what the 7 and 7S add that might help goose upgrades/switchers)

Apple’s TV platform just became a little more secure (well, the apps at least)

DougS Silver badge


Thanks for the link, I hadn't heard about this. Sounds like it isn't confirmed yet (maybe they got it some other way) but I figured it wouldn't last forever.

Also interesting the visual that shows them allowing a way for 4K to be downgraded to HD and output using HDCP 1.x. I haven't seen any devices that do this yet so I wondering if maybe it was a contractual thing for 4K that it could never be downconverted, glad to see that is apparently not the case.

DougS Silver badge

This is a different meaning of security

These protections are meant to protect the MPAA's valuable content from being lifted by hackers (which is why Netflix and Amazon are working with this company on other platforms to protect their apps)

This is probably a contractual requirement to get the permission to stream their stuff, especially the 4K stuff that will protected by HDCP 2.2 and will never allow any analog output.

Volkswagen: 800,000 of our cars may have cheated in CO2 tests

DougS Silver badge

Re: A German lawyer acquaintance with a BlueMotion Passat diesel...

The German government would probably step in to prevent that, because if VW goes bankrupt it would put a massive dent in the German economy.

Google gets all lawyered up for ‘ambiguous’ EU anti-trust case

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If search is a contestable monopoly

Then so was Windows and so was Standard Oil. After all, you just needed to drill your own wells, build your own refineries and open your own network of service stations to sell the gas.

The investment to compete with Google on search is massive. Economic barriers to entry are still barriers.

Star Trek to go boldly back onto telly, then beam down in streams

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I hope it is a massive failure

CBS along with everyone else wants to add 'exclusives' to their online streaming offerings. What good is it if you have to subscribe to CBS, ABC, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, HBO, ESPN and on and on and end up spending $200 a month?

If it were on TV I'm sure I'd watch it. Making it online streaming only I won't even watch the teaser episode on TV - what's the point, since I can't watch the rest? If it is any good it'll be available elsewhere down the road and can be binge watched.

Only people who've already abandoned traditional cable/satellite TV would be interested in this, but even among them unless they already subscribed to CBS (and why the hell would you?) the only new subscriptions they'll get are from die hard Trekkies who are afraid not watching them when they come out will mean 'spoilers' when they go to a Trek con.

Food, water, batteries, medical supplies, ammo … and Windows 7 PCs

DougS Silver badge

Just disable Windows Update

That was my fix. I don't use my Windows install for much and I can always reset it back to a previous known good state if I got infected.

That's not what Microsoft's intent was, but that's what they forced since I can't be bothered to figure out how to defend myself against an unwilling install of Windows 10 - especially since they are reportedly going to force that out as an update early next year. The actual installation of Windows 10, not just an updater. I can't believe they'd really do that but I hope it is true and I hope it bricks millions of PCs and Microsoft is hit with a class action lawsuit the likes of which have never been seen before!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Windows 7

For me, Windows 7 has advantages over later versions.

1) it is not the abortion called Windows 8

2) it doesn't have the personal information collection built in like Windows 10

3) it is easy to pirate, so when I buy a laptop with the OEM version of Windows 7 riddled with bloatware, I can simply install a clean version of Windows 7 on top of it (yeah, that's technically illegal, but Microsoft is still getting their cut when I buy the laptop so I don't care) or if for my use instead of my girlfriend or parents, install Linux on the laptop and install Windows 7 in a VM.

If Windows 10 didn't try to copy Google in the collection of personal information department, and there was a way I could reset the OEM crapware version back to a clean virgin install (whether via piracy or a built in tool) I'd probably be willing to switch - though still in no hurry since my Windows 7 install does what little I need it to do and I have no incentive to spend a bunch of time getting a Windows 10 install in the same state!

Google roasts critical twin Android bugs in new Marshmallow OS

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"Google is unaware of any attacks" using these

The problem is, by releasing the fix it allows the bad guys to examine the changes and figure out how to craft an exploit. Obviously that's the case anytime Microsoft fixes a previously undiscovered hole, but all Windows users have the option to upgrade if they want. Most Android users don't, so all Google can really is "no one was using this for attacks at the time" but someone will now that Google just told everyone about it.

Not suggesting they shouldn't fix them, of course they should, but it just exacerbates the problem for those who will never see the patch because Google effectively made the exploit public.

Exploit devs allegedly bag $1m for 'secret' iOS 9.1 untethered jailbreak

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Re: Downvote

You assume they're on the level with their claims. That remains to be seen, it could all be a scam to get people to subscribe to their 'service'.

I don't see how an iOS exploit is worth a million bucks given how quickly Apple is able to turn around a fix and how quickly users update (and I'll bet they have a way to encourage people to update beyond a pop up telling them there's a new version available, if it were truly serious) They may even have a way of for example forcing Safari to update (to kill the browser based part of the exploit) without the user being given any choice.

Seems that an Android exploit should be a lot more valuable. True, Android users are on average less well off / spend less than iOS users, but that's more than made up by the fact there are 5-6x as many of them and the majority will never have the option to update their device so an Android exploit would have a much longer lifespan than an iOS exploit.

DougS Silver badge

How long could this be good for?

Let's say they're on the level and they make this available to all their subscribers. If Apple has employees that subscribe to keep an eye on what is going on in the underworld, they could probably turn around a fix in under a week if they wanted. That's a pretty short window to monetize it.

I don't see how a subscription service can justify this. The only feasible way to handle such an expoit would be to auction it off, so only one bad guy has access to it. Even then, once you start using it Apple would be able to turn around a fix very quickly if it is serious enough, but at least you aren't competing with hundreds of other bad guys to see who can use it first. Thus I'm really wondering whether this whole thing is even on the level, or this company is just trying to get a bunch of people to subscribe to their "service" (in an untraceable non-refundable form like bitcoin, no doubt)

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wouldn't it be simpler...

If Apple and Google haven't had one of their employees subscribe to them 'just in case' they're on the level, they're stupid.

Though I wonder if this is all a publicity seeking scam, and they offered $1 million they had no intention of paying, claimed someone found exploits that met the criteria, and are now hoping a lot of crims will subscribe to their service to get access to the juicy exploit.

Hi, um, hello, US tech giants. Mind, um, mind adding backdoors to that crypto? – UK govt

DougS Silver badge

Easy solution for UKgov

Ban use of iMessage, WhatsApp and so forth and only allow communication using government approved apps that give them a skeleton key. No need to bother Apple or Google, and they get a new way to arrest their citizens pointlessly - confiscate their iPhone upon arrest (for charges to be named later) and use their RIPA powers to make them unlock it, then look and see if iMessage has been used and if so you can now name the charges. Similar method for arresting Android users.

That they aren't doing this, and are instead going through the futile exercise of asking US tech companies to do something they won't do even with their own government asking, demonstrates that this is merely grandstanding to highlight the issue. That's so if there's a terrorist attack in the UK they can point the finger of blame at Apple and Google for allowing encrypted communications to take place, instead of having the blame fall on them for relying too heavily on hoovering up all communication and no longer doing any good old fashion police work.

We're not killing Chrome OS ... not until 2020, anyway – says Google

DougS Silver badge

Wow apologists/deniers are out in force

That statement from Google pretty much confirms that Chrome is dead. They are committing to continue to provide updates to existing Chrome users, it says no more than that. That's pretty much a non-denial denial if I ever read one.

Now whether abandoning Chrome and adding its features into Android counts as "continuing" Chrome in your mind is another matter, but those who suggested that Google would dump Android and fold it into Chrome because of superior security record don't understand how business works. Android has a billion+ installed base, Chrome has maybe a couple tens of millions. If they had to choose, it was always obvious which one they'd choose, even if Chrome has a much better underlying architecture security wise.

If there's any large change in Android between versions it just gives an opening to something like Tizen to come along and steal away OEMs who don't like Google's increasing control in every new version of Android. They want something they can load up with crapware, and Google wants to make that harder because that's what has led to the massive fragmentation problem with Android.

Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

DougS Silver badge

Getting people to turn off automatic updates

I don't think Microsoft will mind, if malware hits those Windows 7/8 machines because updates are turned off to avoid Windows 10 they'll slow down to the point where people think "oh my PC is slow, it means I need a new one" and then they'll be paying for Windows 10 (via the OEM who has to buy the license)

So they win either way.

Deutsche Bank to axe 'excessively complex' IT, slash 9,000 jobs

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Re: Savings?

It is rare for servers to be highly utilized in both memory and CPU, and even if they are during peak times you have off-peak times where a lot of resources go unneeded. Virtualization smooths a lot of that out, so you need far less resources. If you'd ever been involved in a large scale virtualization project and seen the before/after even when servers that were fairly well matched to their needs were used, you'd know that.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Just sticking to systems with reasonable share in Europe...

You forgot a few:





Novell Netware

I'm sure others can think of more

Plus they probably count different architectures as different:

Windows on IA64 & Alpha

Linux on POWER & mainframe

Solaris on x86

VMS on Vax vs Alpha

HP-UX on PA-RISC vs IA64

Might have a few supers out there, like Cray, those always run some special OS.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Just a couple of idle thoughts

I'm sure there are Macs somewhere in the company being used as servers. Maybe even some ancient Mac running A/UX, or a NeXT in some dank corner, who knows?

If they know they've got 44 operating systems they must have done a pretty decent audit and found a lot of those hidey holes to get the count that high.

DougS Silver badge

You obviously have no clue about how hypervisors work if you don't realize the massive savings in resources that result.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Respect

They probably are counting Linux several times in that 44, as they may have a half dozen different distributions, and will standardize on a single one. They might even have some on different architectures (i.e. Linux on POWER, Linux on mainframe) and for other OSes as well (Windows on IA64, Windows on Alpha) There are various different OSes you can run on a mainframe like VM/CMS, they will get rid of all the really ancient ones and go z/OS only.

Then you have boutique high availability stuff like Tandem, you have ancient servers sitting in a closet somewhere (Novell, OS/2, SunOS)

It would have difficult to get to 44, but I think it is possible even without having anything dating from earlier than the 90s) and without having to count "Windows 2012" different from "Windows 2008" or RHEL5 different from RHEL6. If they count like that they'll never have only four, because you will always have multiple versions of Windows and Linux at any point in a large enterprise. It isn't feasible or even possible to ever reach a point where they're all the same rev.

Buy a slice of the next Facebook with just your credit card and browser

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Scammers, start your engines

I expect about 98% of the new offerings to be designed from the get go as a scam, but people will happily give their money anyway because they'll hope to become rich. After a few well publicized examples and demands that "someone should do something" the SEC will put rules in place that make it pretty similar to participating in the IPO market (which has fewer scams simply because the paperwork puts off scammers who are by nature rather lazy otherwise they'd try to earn their money instead of stealing from others)

Top cops demand access to the UK's entire web browsing history

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Not sure if I'm happy I live in the US or not

On the one hand, no one here has the balls to advocate for this level of access to the browsing history of every single American citizen. On the other hand, the NSA did their best to get this level of access behind our backs, and even try to sniff the content where possible.

Is it better to be screwed from behind and not see your assailant like in the US, or have them look you dead in the eye while they're screwing you like in the UK? I'm not really sure, can I elect a third option where I don't get screwed?

Unpatched, passcode-free smartphones. Yes, they're everywhere

DougS Silver badge

What did they consider "out of date" for iOS?

If 8.4 was current when they did this survey, was anything older out of date? Or anything earlier than 8.0? Every new version of iOS and every new version of Android includes some security fixes, so obviously even if you are 100% up to date you are still vulnerable to some stuff they don't know about, or know about but haven't delivered a fix for yet. Being up to date only means you're vulnerable to less than if you were on an older version.

They seem to pretend that being "up to date" is a panacea and some arbitrary "out of date" line is bad. It is more of a sliding scale. Since there aren't any active large scale exploits happening with iOS, or with Android, at this time the risk is mostly theoretical. When such attacks begin (and I have no doubt they will come) then you can worry about x% of phones being vulnerable.

The key there is that iOS users will be able to take action to update their phone and eliminate the risk, while most Android users will be left without any recourse short of buying a new phone. I'm sure Android OEMs will enjoy the windfall that results from their own dereliction of duty, though part of that windfall may come Apple's way due to their better support for updates.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Capitalism at its worse.

Do you really believe a single angry call into Apple threatening a class action suit is going to get them to have someone magically access your personal iTunes install and get your ring tones back?

Whatever happened (I have no idea what) cause them to temporarily disappear and they came back later. Maybe some sort of index got deleted and had to be rebuilt, I have no idea. If you really believe your call to some bored front line CSR would get them to take any action beyond "log angry call with random threats" you're crazy.

Volvo eyes kangaroo detection tech

DougS Silver badge

Would help with deer collisions in the US as well

They are also fast and unpredictable, and while fatalities rarely result (generally if you lose control trying to avoid them, or they go through the windshield) they do a lot of damage. A little googling shows an estimate of around 200 deaths and $4 billion a year. They estimate 1 in 169 drivers will hit a deer in a given year. So far I've been lucky and haven't become a statistic but with those odds it is almost 50/50 I'll hit one sometime during my life.

Could never come close to eliminating all collisions since sometimes they're in dense woods or down in a ditch alongside the road and suddenly jump out - there would no way for IR or motion detection to see them until it is too late to avoid a collision, but even if the car slammed on the brakes and reduced the speed of impact it would help a lot. Might still be a handful of deaths, but that's better than 200.

How Microsoft will cram Windows 10 even harder down your PC's throat early next year

DougS Silver badge

I wonder how they tell? Since my Windows 7 install (as well as my parents) are using the Daz Loader, even though both machines are legally licensed for Windows 7 (the shitty OEM version riddled with bloatware) I wonder if it will think they are pirated or legal? Hopefully pirated, if that means they will never get Windows 10 pushed on them!

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