* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Kaspersky axes antitrust complaints against Microsoft after Windows giant vows to play nice

DougS Silver badge

Re: In Time

Only when we are free from malware. I don't see that happening in my lifetime.

The only way around it is to require signed binaries, and even that isn't a guarantee (you can still be hacked, but you don't have to worry too much about viruses and worms at least so there's not much of a role for AV software)

Lauri Love and Gary McKinnon's lawyer, UK supporters rally around Marcus Hutchins

DougS Silver badge

@kain preacher

The US had some fucked up drug laws up until the 90's

Do you think they are NOT fucked up now? AG Sessions is bringing back extra harsh sentences for drug crime, part of Trump's "get tough on crime" thing - since he is preaching the republican lie that crime is a huge problem (murders and all other violent crimes been declining steadily since the early 90s nationwide, though their alternative facts do not acknowledge this reality)

Long sentences for marijuana are just stupid. What they ought to do is jail the doctors and pharmacists who are knowingly writing/accepting bogus prescriptions for people obviously addicted to opioid painkillers. Prescription drug abuse is the biggest problem right now, and the obvious way to attack it is to hit those supplying it to the street dealers and addicts. Unfortunately doctors and pharmacists are white, and prosecutors prefer to go after blacks and hispanics since they can't afford attorneys so it helps their 'numbers'.

Can GCHQ order techies to work as govt snoops? Experts fear: 'Yes'

DougS Silver badge

Re: "threats about what would happen if they revealed its existence"

Interesting idea.

So if you wanted to eavesdrop on your ex-wife or the kid that stole your lunch money once in 3rd grade, you could prepare an official looking warrant that includes a gag order clause, buy a nice fake gub'mint badge on eBay (delivered by eParcel from China, no doubt!) and rent a big black SUV (if in the US, substitute appropriate vehicle for the UK) and show up at the door of a telco.

You'd have to pick a smaller one, a big one probably has people with government connections who can verify these sorts of things, but a small rural one? If you are convincing, it just might work!

Watch this nanochip reprogram cells to fix damaged body tissue

DougS Silver badge

Re: WOW!!!

I'd gladly put up with having nerve cells outside of my body for a short time if it was to fix BRAIN DAMAGE. Hell, those nerve cells are too sensitive just stay in bed for a few weeks while the skin cells are turned into nerve cells until they can be injected. Sounds totally worth it to me.

DougS Silver badge

Re: WOW!!!

I wonder how being older would affect this? If your skin has more DNA damage from age or sun exposure maybe it wouldn't work as well?

DougS Silver badge

Re: WOW!!!

I didn't mean to imply I thought it could be used directly inside the body - that's a given not to be the case if it needs skin as a starting point. But if you could grow a kidney to be surgically implanted in your body (or better yet the starting point of a kidney that would finish growing and gain function once implanted) this would be a powerful tool indeed.

This has basically been the promise of stem cells, but getting to the "ear growing on the mouse" stage as a practical day to day alternative hasn't proven to be so easy. It looks like this is a shortcut that essentially can use your own skin to perform the function of stem cells.

DougS Silver badge

Re: WOW!!!

I wonder what qualifies as "damaged" here? If you had a kidney removed, could it be grown back? If you have heart blockages that can't be repaired otherwise, could they cut them out and reconnect with fresh unblocked vessels? If your spinal cord is severed, could this grow it back together?

Sounds very promising...I don't really have any body parts I need fixed or replaced yet, but sounds like I may have some options if I eventually do!

Please virtualize my reality before asking me to goggle at a fake one

DougS Silver badge

Yes, it would be nice if you could do a 3D scan of the house and get a model of what it looks like inside (the iPhone 8 might be able to do this if does depth sensing as some rumors say) but that's only good if you want to do something like "what would the living room look like with this huge sectional couch I'm thinking of buying" or other redecoration ideas. Once you want to knock out walls, you have to know everything that is inside them, plus what is inside the other walls/floors/ceilings you may try to reroute the wiring/piping/ducting in the wall being knocked out.

Maybe the sort of THz scanners they use for airport security could do this. Perhaps someday you'll be able to hire such a scan of your home for a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars that could be uploaded into a 3D model that included everything inside your walls.

So you're thinking about becoming an illegal hacker – what's your business plan?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wow

On the other hand, it might have taken six months but not full time. They probably already have full time jobs, or something to make them money on the side while they're trying to get into HBO. Maybe they try what they know and fail, but figure out a few things about HBO's setup so they ask some other black hats "hey anyone have a hack for xxx" and every week or so they try another method, or learn something new that leads to different avenues to pursue. They might take a few days on a particular attack, but it will just be a script running against the target. It isn't like someone is going to need to be there driving it.

The "$500,000" investment they made has to be their time. I can't see how you could spend that kind of money, unless you were buying gobs of cloud computing time to try to crack a password. Maybe they did actually spend that, if they are also credit card fraudsters who aren't spending their own money.

Horsemen of the disk-drive apocalypse will ride upon 256TB SSDs

DougS Silver badge

Where is this "£1m waiting for you" you're talking about? If you are claiming that it is impossible to read the old data when a hard drive has new data written over it in the same sector, you're wrong. There are research papers where they succeeded in reading data that had been overwritten 4 or 5 times.

Maybe it is more difficult with modern drives that are so much denser that back in the 90s when this was being done. MIL SPEC erasure did not come about to protect against a theoretical attack.

DougS Silver badge

If you are worried about that (i.e. someone opening up the drive and removing the chips to read the raw flash and get at the contents of spared sectors) you need to be sure you are using one of the drives that is automatically encrypted and generates a new key as part of the secure erasure process.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "Just" a 2.2x price premium by 2021?

Fine, so then you still buy a hard drive for capacity and a smaller SSD for boot and commonly used files.

However, I think once the price premium gets much below 2x that the market for hard drives will begin to shrink so fast that production lines will be halted and the only drives you'll be able to buy will be ones remaining in the channel. It isn't going to be a very smooth transition, so if you need hard drives you'll need to plan carefully once you start reading about production lines being shut down.

It's August 2017 and your Android gear can be pwned by, oh look, just patch the things

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hmm

All the remotely exploitable ones are real world threats once the source code fixes are out there so every black hat in the world can weaponize an exploit.

Whether they remain threats only, or become actively exploited problems depends on whether someone has a strategy to profit somehow from exploiting a lot of Android phones, or wants to risk having Interpol come after him for just making a hack to be a bastard. Since the fixes will never arrive on 90% of the Android phones in use at this moment, they have plenty of time to come up with a profit scenario.

Delivery is actually the easiest part of all this. People hack major websites all the time, compromise ad networks, and so forth. No need for complicated scenarios to trick people into downloading apps from a third party store if you can merely embed a "specifically crafted video file" on cnn.com, doubleclick.net, or other location that millions will hit each day.

Sticking your head in the sand and saying that because there hasn't been a mass Android exploit yet it isn't worth worrying about is not a solution. A lot of Microsoft employees and Windows fanboys thought Microsoft had licked the malware problem with Windows XP, which finally abandoned the old DOS based Windows and went to the "secure" NT kernel. When you had Code Red, I.Love.You and others back to back, spreading at internet speed now that everyone was connected, they were forced to rethink that and Microsoft finally had to start taking security seriously. I'm sure Google already realizes this, but the OEMs won't until they have a similar come to Jesus moment.

Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork

DougS Silver badge

Re: It's true most people are not programmers, but:

I don't think it is the "chess champion" alone, but the list of institutions he attended. Maybe he got full ride academic scholarships to each, and had to excel in a public school with limited resources to get into U of Illinois. So Kieren is making some assumptions here, but one with a decent shot of being right. He probably should have tried to track down where the guy grew up and what high school he went to. If it was some sort of private prep school, then case closed.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Thumb on the scale

Why would making a martyr out of him be bad for business? Are those who think his firing is a travesty going to start using Bing for search and switch to iPhones? Google is in the relatively comfortable position of knowing that political outrage on either side isn't going to harm their bottom line. Few will feel strongly enough about their objection to boycott Google, they'll just shout a bit and then move on to their next outrage.

Google is more concerned about whether his presence will damage its ability to run its business and hire top people. This may cause those within Google who agree with his viewpoints to be more likely to seek jobs elsewhere, and those who might have considered applying at Google to apply elsewhere instead.

Regardless of one's feelings on whether his viewpoint is correct or not, Google obviously does not want employees who share it, so firing him makes sense as a way to further their aims. Those who agree with him will feel Google is going to hurt themselves in the long run by excluding those who share his views, while those who disagree with him will feel Google will be better off by getting rid them. Everyone wins! Or at least believes they do, which is the next best thing.

DougS Silver badge

Re: It's true most people are not programmers, but:

One would assume Google hired him for a reason, and that their hiring process consists of more than simply reviewing resumes.

But being a "good programmer" doesn't mean he isn't easily replaceable to Google. Almost everyone reading this is easily replaceable in their job. If you think you are irreplaceable in your job and are not self-employed, you are probably wrong.

70% of Windows 10 users are totally happy with our big telemetry slurp, beams Microsoft

DougS Silver badge

@fidodogbreath - "Windows and Android are not free"

Windows isn't, but Android is. You pay for the Android phone, but you don't pay for Android and neither does the OEM. At least not in dollars - as you point out, you are paying for it with your personal data.

If Windows really goes to a subscription model then I wouldn't be surprised to see it become free as well. Free to acquire, but you have to pay a yearly fee to keep it running (or more likely, to prevent pissing off customers, if you don't pay still run in some sort of degraded fashion that disables some functionality or limits performance)

DougS Silver badge

Charging for the OS versus selling your personal info

Why choose one strategy when you can have them both? That's the advantage of having a near monopoly in the PC OS market, you don't have to worry about competition. They even have a way to solve the problem of the PC's lengthening replacement cycle by making it subscription based.

That way they can move to charging $0 for the OS up front to better compete in case Chrome OS ever gets any traction at all, while insuring they make a lot more money if someone keeps running that PC for 10+ years as is becoming all too common for their liking these days.

That's what happens when Google catches them flat footed on search, something they didn't think was important until Google showed them how much money that could make off the data collection and advertising, which they tried too late to ape. And when Apple catches them flat footed by showing them how to make smartphones a mass market product everyone wants, instead of being limited to geeks and PHBs like they were in the Windows Mobile days.

DXC Franken-firm 'on track' to slash $1bn with deeper 'synergies' ahead

DougS Silver badge

Removing four management layers?

That leaves only a dozen layers, how will they get by with so few middle managers?

Microsoft's Surface Pro 2017, unhinged: Luxury fondleslab that's good...

DougS Silver badge

Re: 90% deliberately chooses a tiny 10.8" screen?

Age has nothing to do with it - do you see 25 year olds buying 15" monitors for desktops (for those who have desktops) or 32" TVs? Are smartphones with 3.5" displays making a comeback? People want bigger displays, the only reason to choose a tiny display for a laptop is if you think an extra couple pounds of weight from a laptop with a larger display is a problem.

Maybe I could generalize equally well with "weak people need lighter laptops" :)

DougS Silver badge

90% deliberately chooses a tiny screen?

Ugh, that would keep me away from choosing this even if it cost only $100 and was best in class in every other way (which it is not)

Samsung drops 128TB SSD and kinetic-type flash drive bombshells

DougS Silver badge

Re: The millibit/second strikes again!

The dies are 1 Tb, stacking 16 makes a package that's 2 TB. You can also stack multiple packages in a single "chip" as well, so doing that and putting things on both sides can allow as many as 64 packages in a 2.5" drive (probably chips composed of four stacked packages, with 8 such chips on each side of the 2.5" drive)

Between the 3D stacks on the die 64 layers deep, then the package stacking and the die stacking, I guess we're up to 4096 layers deep in a single surface mount chip these days. Pretty impressive!

DougS Silver badge

I remember wanting to upgrade my NeXT slab from 16MB, and found someone selling eight 4MB sticks for $800, which was a hell of a deal for the time. I only needed four since that's all free slots it had, so I bought them, installed four, and sold the other four for $600. I recall being pretty proud of myself for getting that upgrade for only $200 :)

When I was a kid I remember my brother and I spending a couple weeks convincing our dad to pay something like $300 to buy two 16KB expansion RAM cartridges for the Atari 800. Now that was expensive RAM!

No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wot!

Look to their masthead - their remit is to take the big companies down a peg or two. They don't come any bigger than Apple does at this point in time.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Calling Dick Tracy?

Who says it sounds cool? I have no interest in such a thing, nor do I believe there are very many people who would want to either be permanently talking on speakerphone in public or hold their wrist up to their ear in some awkward way that still allowed them to talk in it.

Anyway, I don't believe Apple will make the Watch able to make calls if LTE capability is added, though I'm not quite sure what use cases there are to include LTE in it since most people have their phones with them almost all the time. Certainly that would be true of the types of people likely to buy an Apple Watch (or any smartwatch) who are by definition tech lovers.

Everything I come up with that could use LTE I realize you'd still have your phone. For instance, having it give you driving directions would avoid having to hold your phone, which is illegal in more and more places. But it could connect to your phone via Bluetooth to give you the directions the phone is providing. I see many people strapping their phone to their upper arm while running, and a watch would be more convenient for tracking your running. However, many are also/primarily using it for music, so it would require a Bluetooth interface to AirPods to fulfill that role also.

Now maybe if you are hiking way out in the middle of nowhere you don't want to bring your phone, but think about why that is - no cell service. If there's no cell service, how useful is having LTE in your watch going to be?

Intel Pumageddon: Broadband chip bug haunts Chipzilla's past, present and future

DougS Silver badge

Waiting for the cable operator

Cable operators let you buy your own cable modem, at least in the US, so once Intel releases the fix you could buy a new one from the first OEM that integrates that fix into their product, instead of waiting an unknown amount of time (possibly forever) for the one you rent from your cable company to get the fix.

Unless your cable company doesn't charge a monthly fee for using one they provide, it is cheaper to own it yourself anyway.

If we're in a simulation, someone hit it with a hammer, please: Milky Way spews up to 100 MEELLLION black holes

DougS Silver badge

Re: If we're in a simulation...

Maybe this simulation is based on the following research premise: "What happens if we create a simulation where everything is the same as our reality, except we don't support our systems for more than a few years after sale? Can any civilization survive long enough to leave its solar system and spread out to the stars before a security hole lets hackers take down the worldwide power grid and the population resorts to cannibalism?"

DougS Silver badge

Re: Answers the Fermi Paradox?

In what way? The volume of the Milky Way is estimated at about 8 trillion cubic light years. 100 million black holes would mean one every 80,000 cubic light years. Not exactly likely to pose a problem for a civilization before it can leave its home solar system, or a navigational hazard once it does.

DougS Silver badge

Wouldn't all Population III stars have ended up this way?

Because they were so massive they'd have to leave behind a black hole. In addition, many Population II stars would have been quite large and short lived as well and ended up this way.

To any astronomers reading this: why the heck did you guys name star generations backwards? The first stars should have been Population I, and so on. There have to be a few fourth generation stars around somewhere, what would those be called, Population Zero?

Windows Subsystem for Linux is coming to Windows Server

DougS Silver badge

Where was this a decade ago

When I unfortunately had to do occasionally do shit on a Windows box and dearly wished I could just scp over my bash scripts that did exactly what I needed?

Oh well, by forcing the customer to create a Linux VM as a scripthost maybe I did my small part in making Windows less palatable to them as a server in the long run...

FBI's spyware-laden video claims another scalp: Alleged sextortionist charged

DougS Silver badge

Re: Gawd bless Media Player

I think most of the time when you read a complicated account of how police finally caught up to a determined bad guy you can spot one or two ex post facto "if they had done this differently they'd still be free" holes. The perp has to get everything right, all the time.

One slipup is enough for a case like this where significant resources are brought to bear. Doesn't even have to be his own slipup, as the more complicated his software setup to avoid detection the greater the chance something he uses has a bug that could prove to be his undoing.

If you get down to it, if one out of a hundred guys doing what he's doing is smart enough to take everything into account and remain free, being able to catch 99 out of 100 would still be pretty damn good. Police work is a game of numbers, not perfection. If there were four burglars plying their trade where I live, I'd rather the cops caught the three that were easy to catch, instead of putting all their resources into trying to catch the Night Fox while those three run free.

US trade watchdog puts down the phone to Qualcomm, reaches for probe, sticks it in Apple

DougS Silver badge

No, import for sale.

Assange offers job to sacked Google diversity manifestbro

DougS Silver badge

Re: the global alliance of weapons-grade bellends

Which fat boy with a weird haircut, North Korea's or America's?

Can the last person watching desktop video please turn out the light?

DougS Silver badge

Advertisers want to pay for ads on OTT boxes

Because you can't skip the ads, like everyone with a DVR does these days for traditional TV. You can't block the ads, like everyone with half a brain does with adblockers on desktop/laptop/smartphone.

Color me unsurprised that advertisers prefer buying ads on the side of the billboard that faces the road, instead of the other side that faces a vacant warehouse.

Britons ambivalent about driverless car tech, survey finds

DougS Silver badge

@short - "don't think the mapping is yet good enough"

A car only has to find your house once, and then it (and all other cars it shares its mapping info with) will know how to find you, and even remember special instructions like coming around the back of your house if you have an alley that's closer.

So I wouldn't really worry about this as an issue. For the destination it doesn't matter since you can give it precise instructions exactly where you want to be let off.

Cisco's server CTO says NVMe will shift from speed to capacity tier

DougS Silver badge

There are in fact two articles on El Reg today about double digit TB capacity 2.5" SSDs...

The main thing holding them back is cost, there's not a problem with building them.

Florida man is world's fastest flasher: Just 53 quintillionths of a sec

DougS Silver badge

Re: I Love Science!

Hope for humanity until someone straps an attosecond laser on a shark and holds the world hostage for one meellion dollars.

It's 2017 and Hyper-V can be pwned by a guest app, Windows by a search query, Office by...

DougS Silver badge

Microsoft has a bumper crop

Yet Adobe STILL manages to beat them with the bugs in just one product...and that one product isn't even Flash! Do Adobe hire their programmers out of Trump University or something? How do they have such consistently shit code??

Toshiba fires off trifecta of SSDs with 30TB range-topping whopper

DougS Silver badge

Re: 30TB

At 2.72 GB/sec, you could only write the 30TB drive about 7.5 times per day, so offering it with 5 DWPD isn't much of a stretch!

Meet VRfox: Mozilla's latest attempt at regaining browser share

DougS Silver badge

What goes around comes around

I remember when SGI had a VRML browser in the mid 90s. Maybe it will prove more useful this time around!

China can't find anyone smart enough to run its whizzbang $180m 1,640ft radio telescope

DougS Silver badge

Re: IT Angle :

Which means you probably won't hear much about Trump or May. Bonus!

DougS Silver badge

They aren't opening it up to foreigners because of "affirmative action", but because they can't find anyone qualified inside China.

DougS Silver badge

You should apply for it

If you stay in a Holiday Inn Express the night before the interview, you'll ace it and get the job for sure!

Engineer gets 18 months in the clink for looting ex-bosses' FTP server

DougS Silver badge

Also incompetence on his end

I mean, he was accessing it directly from his home IP address? No VPN or Tor? Stupid criminal!

Google's macho memo man fired, say reports

DougS Silver badge

Re: Back story?

If Google was going to fire an engineer for good reasons, why wouldn't they just fire them? It isn't as if the firing of a random Google engineering is going to rate the local paper, let alone be discussed on El Reg. I mean, you said "very good reasons" so if he's watching porn at his desk or keeps responding to spam emails and infecting the internal network, why would Google need to distract anyone from a firing that everyone would agree makes sense?

If this was some top guy like a CFO and they were firing him because they found he was cooking the books then maybe they might want something to distract because firing a CFO might actually attract some unwelcome attention in the tech/financial press.

Dems fightin' words! FCC's net neutrality murder plot torn apart

DougS Silver badge

@strum - Oh really?


I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.


To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act

Less than three months later on Feb. 4th 2015, Wired published an article written by Wheeler proposing the reclassification of ISPs under Title II. I guess you're going to tell me this was a coincidence?

DougS Silver badge

Re: "Taking direction from president Trump"

There are legal rulings that make corporations equivalent to people (google 'corporate personhood') but that's not the same thing as being citizens.

DougS Silver badge

"Taking direction from president Trump"

Back when Wheeler took direction from Obama to go the whole Title II route (after rulemaking to put net neutrality in place was rejected by the courts) the democrats were silent, while republicans were up in arms. Now the situation is reversed and republicans are silent while democrats are up in arms. You'd almost think whether they feel that a president interfering with the supposedly independent FCC is wrong depends on the party affiliation of the president!

It is too bad the FCC has become so partisan and such a victim of regulatory capture. What is best for the people should be the FCC's remit, not what is best for the corporations being regulated or what fits republican or democratic platform ideals. There are reasonable arguments to be made on either side of the issue as far as what is best for the people, which is all that should matter for the decision ultimately made. The government shouldn't exist to make things better for corporations, but for the citizens.

HMS Queen Liz will arrive in Portsmouth soon, says MoD

DougS Silver badge

Re: wrongo

Ford and Reagan served, so while the case for Reagan may be a bit iffy since he wasn't a Navy man, there's at least some loose justification. It becomes still looser with GW Bush Jr., who had daddy pull strings to get him into the Air National Guard during Vietnam.

It is well known how Clinton had strings pulled and worked the system to dodge the draft during Vietnam. Trump supposedly had "bone spurs", but you'd have to be pretty gullible to believe someone was unfit to serve despite being a multisport athlete during those years, and walking 18 holes for many rounds of golf in the decades after. Those with rich or connected family always seemed to have a far higher incidence of minor ailments that kept them out of the draft pool versus the poor... Obama was born after the draft so he didn't have to dodge it, but never served.

Seems unlikely we'll ever see a ship named after Bush Jr, and there would be a TON of controversy if there was ever a serious effort to name a ship for someone who never served, like Clinton, Obama or Trump. Maybe they'd name a shipborne UUAV after them or something.

UK publishes Laws of Robotics for self-driving cars

DougS Silver badge

Re: "Ensure systems are secure over their lifetime"

Insurance companies that will be handling the liability insurance (i.e. if the car kills someone) can require proof of adequate "maintenance insurance" as a condition of covering the car, whether or not the automaker or the owner is responsible for paying for that insurance. Or maybe just roll the cost for that into the liability insurance - since it is obviously in the interest of the company underwriting the liability policy to insurance that security fixes are made in a timely manner!

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019