* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Fast-spreading CopyCat Android malware nicks pennies via pop-up ads

DougS Silver badge

Re: I feel retarded

How is anyone supposed to tell the legitimate vs illegitimate payments made to a bank account in China that receives both? When someone finds out about it they probably shut down payments to that account, along with barring the referrer ID these guys were using. No problem, they have other bank accounts and other referrer IDs, which future exploits will use (probably already are using) so trying to stop them is like playing whack a mole.

If we can't stop terrorist funding despite essentially unlimited budgets being thrown at the problem of terrorism, how do you expect to stop small time criminals like these from getting paid?

Trump's CNN tantrum could delay $85bn AT&T-Time Warner merger

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Re: Anti-Trump bias?

You can threaten to sue anyone, but that doesn't mean you will win. Or that you will even sue - Trump is notorious for threatening to sue and then never following through. He knows the press reports the threat but doesn't bother to follow up and see if it was ever filed, so in the public's mind "Trump sued them".

Of course what works when you're just another big NY developer doesn't work when you're president - the press gives you a lot more scrutiny so they have followed up and seen how empty his threats really are.

DougS Silver badge

If this story is true

And if Trump's administration actually acted on it in any way (i.e. communicating to Time Warner that the merger will be denied unless CNN goes easier on Trump) rather than just talking about it internally as an option, it would be a violation of the law, and become a matter for Mueller's team to investigate.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Anti-Trump bias?

The resignation of those journalists shows that appropriate controls are in place. If they were as out of control as Trump claims, why would those guys leave? Those who do the same at Breitbart get a bonus, they knowingly publish stories that are completely false because they don't do journalism, they do spin. You may not like CNN's choices as to what to investigate, or to publish, but unlike Breitbart they are not fake news.

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

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@CrazyOldCatMan

You'd think it works that way, but doesn't always. Qualcomm may specifically not license its patents to Intel, going after those who use them instead. That would have a beneficial effect for Qualcomm of making Intel's cellular chips more of a pain to use and therefore decreasing their market share.

DougS Silver badge

These patents are interesting

They are not FRAND, so they're separate from the previous allegations. Some of them aren't even related to cellular - one is a GPU patent, etc. But here's the problem - Apple has patents of its own, and while design patents for stuff like rounded corners on icons have been the subject of Apple's lawsuits, Apple has "real" patents too. I doubt they'd have to look too hard to find CPU patents they hold that Qualcomm's Snapdragon cores violate, or patents related to other parts of the SoC like image processing or touchscreen digitizer sensing.

That's the thing with patents, they're so easy to get (I'm sure most of what Qualcomm has here would seem "obvious" to those skilled in those particular arts) and it would be impossible to design any sort of complex CPU, GPU, SoC etc. without violating patents. You'd spend some much time with IP lawyers needing to approve everything you do is patent free it would take 50 years to complete your design!

Apple could easily come back on Qualcomm with a similar list of a half dozen patents that they're violating, and countersue. I expect they will do exactly that. I don't think this will have the impact Qualcomm expects, and it'll end up coming down to the battle Apple wants to fight and Qualcomm does not want to fight - whether they can get away with charging for FRAND patents as a percentage of device cost.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple's hypocritical

You realize Google "taxes" software developers the exact same 30%, right? Where's your outrage over that?

Did you think that software developers selling programs for Windows got to keep the entire sales price you paid when you bought a nice shrinkwrapped CD at Best Buy? They didn't even get 30% of it, let alone 70%. And most of them didn't get shelf space on Best Buy, whereas every software developer who follows the rules and pays $99/yr gets "shelf space" at the App Store.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "Apple will no longer use any Qualcomm chips in future products"

Intel has massively increased their investment in their LTE implementation in the last couple years. There's a little catching up to do, but by next year there will probably be little practical difference between them.

Arguably there already is little difference, providing you don't need CDMA. Sure, Intel's LTE implementation doesn't hit the same peak speeds as Qualcomm's, but is anyone really going to care if their iPhone 8 manages "only" 400 Mbps LTE downloads with the Intel chip instead of 1 Gbps with Qualcomm's? I know I wouldn't.

Semiconductor-laced bunny eyedrops appear to nuke infections

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Re: Double-edged sword?

It is good that the researchers noted that, but I think we should be more worried about what happens to the nanoparticles that get out into the environment. At least they'd be in such small quantities it would be impossible for them to have any large scale effect, but still something we should look at.

Is there anything like them in nature? Some interesting stuff is found on asteroids and comets, so if we already have something similar in very very very tiny amounts in our biosphere, there would be less reason to be concerned about adding additional very very very tiny amounts.

Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

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Re: Frozen winter shit.

If I ever had a job where I was asked to do this, I'd refuse. If was ordered to, I would quit. On. The. Spot.

DougS Silver badge

Wouldn't they have been tipped off by the fact the AC was running or even if not the fact the electrical wires they were hacking through were LIVE?

Not sure why they'd want to do all the extra work of hauling off an old AC unit even if it was no longer being used. Sure, it is easier to relay the roof without it in the way, but there's no way the time savings is made up for by the cost of removing a roof unit.

Google patches pwnable 'droids for Wi-Fi vuln

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Where does the "remote code execution" happen

If it exploits this closed source OS running on the wifi chip, how does that exploit the phone's OS? That shouldn't be possible unless the phone's OS trusts its hardware too much - which it definitely shouldn't in this case, obviously.

Oz government wants its own definition of what 'backdoor' means

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Police can't always SERVE a warrant to search something

If I have a locked cabinet in my house they can get a warrant to search it, and break into if necessary. If it is a bank vault with 12" thick walls, maybe they get someone out there with a cutting torch, but they have to consider the liability for damage they'll face if they find nothing and I'm never convicted.

If I kept my locked cabinet in Switzerland, they can't serve a US warrant to search it. If the crime is big enough maybe they can get the Swiss police to cooperate, but if not they're out of luck. If I keep it in a country where US law enforcement has no treaties, they have no recourse at all. If I keep the locked cabinet in a secret location, they can't compel me to tell them where it is and they can't serve a warrant without that information. If I hid a murder weapon in concrete at the base of a skyscraper they aren't likely to be able to serve a warrant to dig through all that concrete and rebar to find it.

Comparing encryption to a simple locked cabinet is stupid. Maybe ROT13 encryption is like a locked cabinet, but real encryption is comparable to being a smarter criminal and not keeping your records in a cabinet under your desk at home that can be picked by an 8 year with a paper clip. It is also comparable to being smarter in general and keeping stuff you don't want a common thief who breaks into your house to find. That's why you wouldn't keep your stash of gold coins in that cabinet with the cheap lock, but would instead buy a safe, or keep them in a bank vault, or in a secret location (though that's less effective with criminals who can threaten you in ways cops can't)

Need a change? Well, the Euro Patent Office needs a new president...

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Where do I apply?

Sounds like a great job - good salary/benefits and almost unlimited power so I can't be fired if I don't actually do any work so instead of working I can regularly berate people for no reason.

Trump has the above job in the US until 2020, but the EPO job opens up sooner, has fewer checks and balances than the US President and probably pays more too! As a bonus instead of fighting the NYT and CNN I'd only have to worry about El Reg.

Feelin' safe and snug on Linux while the Windows world burns? Stop that

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Poor counting in article

Why does the author add up all the Windows versions but not the macOS versions?

The line about 10% are non Windows, listing 2% Linux and 3.6 OS X seems really screwed up until you realize Linux is 2.36% and all listed versions of MacOS add up to 6.10%. Did the author really believe there is a mystery OS with almost 5% of the market that isn't listed??

DougS Silver badge

CVE TOTALS ARE MEANINGLESS!

Sorry to shout, but it is annoying that people keep quoting this useless link thinking it means something. CVE reporting is voluntary, and every company has a different process by which they determine whether to file a CVE for a security bug or not, and whether they file a CVE for each individual issue, each affected subsystem, or a single CVE that covers tons of unrelated stuff because they happened to be fixed in the same patch set. DIfferent companies ship different amounts of stuff as part of the "OS" as well.

Anyone looking at that list who has half a brain can tell easily how useless it is - notice that Windows 10 has more CVEs than Windows 8.1, which has more than Windows 7. Does anyone really believe Windows is getting LESS secure?

It's time for a long, hard mass debate over sex robots, experts conclude

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Terminator

Article's comparison of sex robots to autonomous cars

Suddenly the idea of "car sharing" those autonomous cars seems even less appealing than it did before!

RED ALERT! High-speed alien fugitives are invading our Milky Way

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Re: Hypervelocity...

Of course based on the Milky Way, since they're observed here.

Facebook's left hand is fighting for Americans' right to privacy

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I guess you're one of those "fake news" people who will claim it was just mainstream media lies when they reported how Alberto Gonzalez pushed through very creative interpretations of the law to allow warrantless wiretapping to be started up under Bush? Bush never did any of that stuff, it was all started in January 2009?

If your position is "Obama could have stopped it, but he didn't so he's to blame" then Trump is to blame today. He could have stopped it his first day in office, but he didn't. All the bad laws whether passed by Obama or Lincoln, are now his fault because he hasn't stopped them.

DougS Silver badge

The gag orders started before Obama, under Bush. Obama's administration expanded their use (at least until Snowden let the cat out of the bag about what was really going on)

Under Trump it is unclear, but since he hasn't taken any stances on privacy and talks about terrorism a lot it is more likely his administration is pushing harder rather than pulling back.

Ker-ching! NotPetya hackers cash out, demand 100 BTC for master decrypt key

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Re: $10,000 for all that trouble

Spam takes a minute or two to send out once you have the infrastructure built up, or rent someone else's. There's almost no time investment, and if you have your own botnet, no money invested.

Ransomware is a different thing. How many man hours did it to take to turn Petya into NotPetya, including testing? There's enough return there for a casual criminal in a third world country, but not organized crime. I suspect they're about done with ransomware, and the programming required is beyond most casual criminals - if they had that skill level they'd be hired guns on a darknet working for organized crime...

DougS Silver badge

$10,000 for all that trouble

That's like burning down a whole skyscraper to collect insurance on a single item in one office. And next time the take will be even lower, because it became known that no one got their files unlocked from NotPetya, so why would anyone bother paying up next time?

Microsoft boasted it had rebuilt Skype 'from the ground up'. Instead, it should have buried it

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They probably did do market research

The problem was they didn't ask the people who use Skype - they figured they already had them so they didn't need to care about their views. They asked the people who didn't use Skype they wanted to win over - i.e. the people who are using Snapchat et al, and that's how they got what they did.

The problem wasn't a lack of market research, but a lack of understanding Skype's market position. This isn't Windows or Office, where existing users are effectively locked in for all practical purposes. There's some degree of lock-in to Skype for corporate types, because a business has to choose one platform and not let some people use Skype, some Facetime, some Google Voice and so on. But it is a lot easier for a business to deploy a replacement for Skype than it is for them to deploy a replacement for Windows or Office. And some are now likely investigating alternatives to Skype.

Tesla, GitHub, tech bro VCs... Silicon Valley sexism row explodes as more women go public

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Silicon Valley

It exists in sort of a bubble, where women are fewer in number than they are in the general population, and more of the men are the "awkward don't have much experience talking to women" type than in the general population. Many people work long hours and have zero social life outside of work (though some of them would have zero social life even if they worked only 40 hours a week)

The spectrum from casual sexism to sexual assault isn't something you're automatically immune to committing just because you're progressive, so I don't see what being in SF rather than a more conservative big city like say Dallas has to do with it. You may be more aware of it and indignant when it is demonstrated that others have engaged in it, but that doesn't mean you'll be more aware of it within yourself.

I agree with those who suggested that money is part of this. Some women are attracted to men with money, and men with money know it. The problem with the behavior being described is that it ISN'T offensive to ALL women - some of them crave attention from men with money. There's certainly no shortage of money in the Valley.

Some men are lucky, and are able to read women like a book, and know who is interested in them beforehand, so they will never have to worry about making unwanted advances. Most of us are sadly not blessed with this, and some buffoons simply 'press ahead' with their behavior, perhaps likening it in their mind to asking a dozen girls to dance - even if most turn you down eventually one will say yes. Combine with alcohol, drugs and/or a general lack of empathy for how others feel and you get the behavior being described.

The only fix is for the women (and any men that may see it happen around them) to call it out, so behavior is eventually forced to be modified. That won't fix everything, of course, nothing will. It would at least dial down the casual 'bro culture' in SV that tolerates and enables it.

Imagination: Apple relations still rotten but, hey, losses have shrunk

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Re: It is all Apple's Fault

It is probably impossible to design anything as complex as a modern GPU without infringing on others' patents - that includes not just Apple but also Imagination, Intel, AMD and NVidia. No doubt all of their designs infringe on the others to at least some degree. There's a reason why big players often take out cross licensing agreements, because they really can't avoid stepping on each others' toes.

Now the catch is, infringement has to be proven in court. You can't just say "there's no way Apple could design that GPU without infringing on our patents" and have the court order discovery so you can go on a fishing expedition. They'd have to look at the code in iOS or remove the SoC from an iPhone and experiment on it to figure out how the GPU works to show it infringes on your patent. That's not cheap, easy or fast.

I think Apple probably has more to worry about from NVidia and AMD than they do from Imagination, simply because those two have a lot more graphics related IP than Imagination does. But since they don't compete directly with Apple they probably don't care enough to bother - it is more of a future risk than something you'd expect right away. Intel would likely lay off unless/until Apple drops x86 in the Mac in favor of using their own SoC designs, if that happens all bets are off.

If Apple was truly concerned they could buy Imagination and head off any worries about lawsuits from them, and have their own patents to insure cross licensing results from any conflicts with the other three. Buying Imagination seems like cheap insurance to me, but they must feel their legal exposure would be less than the price of buying them outright.

DougS Silver badge

I have an old Nokia 8860 in a drawer somewhere I could sell him that would be a much easier fit than any of Apple's current line, but it used AMPS so he might have trouble making it vibrate.

DougS Silver badge

Re: It is all Apple's Fault

I think he's referring to the rumors that the iPhone 8 will sell for $1000.

Which kind of makes sense - base model is $649, plus model is $749, and up to $200 more for the top memory config. If the 8 is considered a step above the 7S plus and starts at $849, and you add $200 for the top memory config, you're at $1049. Since some people were already paying $949 the last few years, another $100 won't make much difference beyond crossing that $1000 barrier.

I think the $1000 rumors started because someone assumed that Apple would charge more for the 8 than the 7S plus, and was able to do math...

MH370 researchers refine their prediction of the place nobody looked

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@Shane Lusby

It is interesting that many of the people in the US who believe in the incompetence of government and thus that the private sector should handle as much as possible also believe in massive conspiracies involving the Fed, the "Deep State", 9/11, election fraud, and so forth.

Not sure how you can believe the government is too incompetent to be trusted with anything, but also manages massive conspiracies that have never been proven. Belief that some part of the US government knows where MH370 went down but refuses to say for mysterious reasons (i.e. the US/NATO shot it down by accident, terrorist hijacking covered up for some reason, it was taken out deliberately to kill some person(s) aboard while making it look like an accident, etc.) is pretty silly. Given the multiple data dumps of classified information from the US over the last few years, as well as ordinary leaking, it seems impossible you could keep the circle of people in the know small enough to prevent the story leaking.

Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender

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Check for $0.00

I was once sent a "refund for overpayment" check for $0.00 from some company. I was going to throw it away, but I had to visit the bank anyway so I figured I'd try cashing it. I don't think the teller even looked at it until she was trying to enter the amount. She sort of stopped, looked at the check, looked at me, looked at the check, and looked at her screen. Then she typed and told me her system wouldn't let her enter a deposit of $0.00, and wondered why I wanted to deposit it.

I told her if the company was going to be silly enough to mail me a check for $0.00 I was willing to play along and deposit it. She apologized and returned it to me. I probably have it buried in a drawer somewhere, I'm pretty sure I never tossed it.

Intel axes 140 IoTers in California, Ireland

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Big surprise

Intel is a lot like Microsoft. Both have market niches where they are very successful and are a quasi monopoly. But those niches are no longer growing, so they want to expand into new markets, but every time they try it is an abject failure that costs their shareholders billions.

Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'

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Re: "pushing LGBTQI"

I'm against the gay agenda on only one front - adding more and more fucking letters to the original LGB, which became LGBT, then LGBTQ and now I see a damn 'I' has been added onto it. I can't be bothered to google what the hell that's for, but enough already!

Samsung ploughing billions into boosting memory production

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They always think this

That's why RAM (and more recently, flash) continually goes through a boom and bust cycle. I like reading about huge new investment in memory fabs, because it means a crash in flash prices a few years from now to the benefit of everyone who doesn't own memory fabs!

I used to care about it because it meant cheaper RAM, but now a beyond-useful amount of RAM for a PC or laptop is so cheap, getting cheaper doesn't have nearly the same impact to me as does dropping NAND prices.

One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

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Re: Confused units

Perhaps someone in this thread has had their mind twisted enough to tell me why a raven is like a writing desk?

Why, Robot? Understanding AI ethics

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Easy decision

Run down the person who ran onto the road where they don't belong. The car should stay off the sidewalk, because that's where people belong. The only time the car should drive on the sidewalk is to avoid an accident in the street where it can be 100% sure there is no one on the sidewalk to harm.

Yeah, yeah, someone will say "but the person who ran onto the road was a child who didn't know better". If they didn't know better that's bad parenting, and if they were too young to be taught not to run into the road it was bad parenting to let them run free near a road. People should have a presumption of safety if they are where they're supposed to be, i.e. on the sidewalk or properly crossing in a crosswalk. Just because they're old doesn't mean their life is less valuable than that child's. Maybe the child grows up to be a serial killer, or Donald Trump.

I think this should be the case even if four people were in the road where they're not supposed to be versus one person on the sidewalk. It shouldn't be a numbers game. Heck, if you really want to get dark, you could almost concoct a scenario to murder someone - figure out a spot where your target walks by regularly where an autonomous car would be forced to go to avoid someone in the road. Hide nearby across the street as he walks by each day until a car is coming along at just the right time and two of you burst out into the road at the last second, forcing the car to kill your target!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Different people?

Not 100%, but the vast majority (I do know people who refer to themselves as bad drivers) That's why I have long maintained that autonomous vehicles won't be generally accepted until it can be shown they have 10x fewer accidents and fatalities per mile than the average human driver - across all conditions, not the self-selected easy driving scenarios where Tesla "autopilot" would typically be engaged.

If it is only "better" than average that's not good enough because most people think they are, too!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Really Strange CodeXSSXXXX ...... For the Truly Erotic and Exotically Adventurous

As the longest lived AI most Reg readers know of, I wish amanfromMars 1 had posted about any ethics programming it may have.

For all the chaos it sows, fewer than 1% of threats are actually ransomware

DougS Silver badge

iOS is seeing attacks decline

According to the PDF, with the authors claiming the reason is because Android attacks are profitable and iOS attacks are not. They say it has "dropped below meaningful percentage points" and thus don't even list the number of iOS attacks. I wish they'd have expanded on this, because it is interesting.

Obviously iOS is a minority of smartphones - a bit less than 15% worldwide by sales - but since they cost significantly more on average, the average iOS user comes from a richer country and is richer. Presumably a better target for malware, right? macOS has an even smaller percentage of PCs than iOS does of smartphones, and a lesser degree of cost difference from Windows PCs, but attacks there are rising. Why the difference?

Maybe it is because when a working attack on iOS is found, Apple can and will patch it very quickly, and it is applied quite quickly and widely, meaning that working attack is really only useful for targeted attacks (i.e. I want to break into Trump's Twitter phone) rather than trying to infect many people. A targeted attack can stay under Apple's radar and keep the exploit secret, but once it is released very widely it will become known and be fixed almost immediately.

While Google probably responds as quickly with Android patches, those fixes will never reach a majority of phones in the wild at the time the fix is made, so a working Android exploit may be thousands of times more effective due to its far longer useful life. Even if the average Android user has less money (worldwide, most are buying phones for $100 and under) the fact the exploit will be able to work for years means it will easily outearn iOS exploits that would have mere days to earn before they're shut down.

On PCs, Windows and Mac are probably about equal in how quickly fixes are developed and applied by end users. The fact most Mac users don't have AV software should mean they're easier to infect given a working exploit and therefore profitable enough to attack despite having something like 5% market share worldwide.

Constant work makes the kilo walk the Planck

DougS Silver badge

Re: "discovering an increased value for Planck's constant"

Planck's constant has a small amount of uncertainty associated with it - we don't know the exact value. If in the course of creating the Watt balance kg they found Planck's constant was higher than previously believed, while simultaneously shrinking the uncertainty so it still fell within the bounds of the previous constant +/- uncertainty, there's no real impact other than on ultra-precise measurements that take the "value" as input, without the associated uncertainty.

Kaspersky repeats offer: America can see my source code

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Re: Seeing the source wouldn't help

If America has decided that Kaspersky is "bad" then it's probably for other political reasons rather than an actual belief in them subverting their own software.

You left out the most likely possibility. That they don't think Kaspersky is bad TODAY, but is a threat to be bad, because it is Russian and the Russian government is able to exercise considerable control over Russian companies via multiple means. If they did so, like I said in my above post they could own all PCs running Kaspersky AV in a matter of hours. Or they could target it at only certain people (people involved in elections, or people at the Pentagon, or people in the oil industry, or whatever)

Lest someone think the idea the Russian government would secretly subvert Kaspersky is silly, look at the Snowden revelations about the cooperation the CIA was secretly getting from most major US tech companies. It is unlikely all those companies would have decided to cooperate voluntarily, so there must be been some sort of arm twisting used. Does anyone really believe the US government is capable of exerting more control over US companies than the Russian government is capable of exerting over Russian companies? You'd have to be a big time Putin apologist to believe that line.

Of course the US government should not trust Russian AV software, or Chinese AV software, versus US AV software. That should hardly be controversial, given the potential risk. The equation is different for others - you have to decide "who is more of a threat to me?" As an American citizen, the US government can make my life a lot worse than the Russian government or Chinese government - unless I travel to one of those countries, they have little reason to be interested in me or try to hack me. So I don't have much reason to worry about being targeted by the Russian government's hackers. Of course if I was running elections for my county, that might be a different story...

DougS Silver badge

Seeing the source wouldn't help

Even if you could be 100% sure what is installed on PCs exactly matches the source. By necessity and design, AV software has some hooks pretty deep into the OS, and runs with full privileges. It also updates its behavior constantly and in a completely automated fashion, without the oversight of a sysadmin.

It would be simple for an AV vendor - any AV vendor - to subvert every machine running its software in a matter of hours from the time the trigger was pulled on an "evil" update.

Seeing the source code of AV software is like seeing the code of the Linux kernel - while allowing it to load arbitrary module binaries on its own.

So. A cross-Europe cyberwar simulation. Of ransomware

DougS Silver badge

Re: This is why...

There's no reason you couldn't get the latest stats delivered to your phone. You'd just have to implement it as a one way channel via UDP or maybe even serial with the RX line disconnected, sent to an intermediary computer which is what your phone or browser connects to.

The problem is that companies want to sell features, so they don't want a simple data dump that's not configurable. The minute data can be sent the other direction, you should begin to worry.

How to pwn phones with shady replacement parts

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Re: Error 53

Where do they use glass that glass doesn't belong on the last few year's worth of models? You can't very well use plastic for the display, it scratches WAY too easily. Sapphire would have made the display scratch proof (unless you carry loose diamonds in your pocket) but wouldn't have made it shatterproof. Corning even claimed a sapphire screen would be MORE prone to shattering than Gorilla Glass, but they're hardly impartial. At any rate, Apple didn't "decide" not to do the sapphire screens, the company they were working with to produce the screens was unable to produce them in sufficient numbers at sufficient quality, or so it was reported.

Apple lost a few hundred million dollars on the whole fiasco, they obviously wanted the sapphire screens as a competitive advantage - that's why the exclusive relationship with GT so competitors like Samsung would have to find their own supply. If they could make the 'holy grail' shatterproof and scratchproof screen they'd obviously do it - what a competitive advantage that would be! The loss of repair revenue and "unforced upgrades" would be chickenfeed to compared to Android users who would come over to Apple to get a phone that would never break when dropped.

The glass backs are reportedly making a comeback with the iPhone 8, because a metal back doesn't work well with wireless charging that will reportedly have. I guess the conspiracy theorists will claim it is because Apple wants more phones breaking...probably in many cases the same people who have been whining about Apple not having wireless charging!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Error 53

Why do people always assume Apple is doing this for revenue, as if repairing iPhones is a huge business for them? Considering the ridiculous rent where they locate their stores, while the cost to have Apple replace your screen is higher than at the mall kiosk, given the cost involved and the fact you get genuine parts with full warranty, they can't be making any more money at it than the mall kiosk guys.

Apple has taken the blame for dodgy third party parts before, so they need to protect themselves. Now maybe an "error 53" wasn't the right way, and instead the phone should raise a stink at you when it boots and require you to hit 'OK' to acknowledge use of non-Apple approved parts that may compromise functionality and aren't covered under your warranty, but letting people put low quality parts that weren't designed to be used is undesirable for Apple and its customers.

Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

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Trump listens to this guy

That's all you need to know about his administration's credibility in determining what's "fake news" and what isn't.

At least unlike the "pizzagate" idiot, it isn't possible for a nutcase with a gun to show up on Mars to free the child sex slaves...

Europe seeks company to monitor Google's algorithm in €10m deal

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Google could set up a subsidiary

With a few layers of corporate shells, who would know Google is monitoring itself?

Dead serious: How to haunt people after you've gone... using your smartphone

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Message activation delay?

To be properly useful, it needs to somehow find out (obituaries?) that you've died so it can release your screed immediately. This serves the dual purpose of letting people know you've died in a funny/awful way (depending on whether you like them or not) and giving you a chance to give a last message of joy/bile to those who were already aware while your death is still very fresh in their minds.

It would be embarrassing indeed to be given a year to live by the doctor, set an activation delay of two years just to be safe, only to unfortunately have a miracle cure and forget to reset the timer, and tell everyone you're dead when you're not. It would unnecessarily upset those who (hopefully) like you, and cause undeserved joy for others. Though if you later ran into them at the grocery store the look on their faces might be worth it!

Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

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NO ONE with a mainframe

Kept it in a room that wasn't built as a datacenter! You don't spend a million bucks plus on a single piece of hardware and stick it in a broom closet. Sure, lots of companies did that with Novell and Windows servers, but that's a totally different thing.

DougS Silver badge

Humidity control

Aren't computer rooms typically humidified in dry climates to avoid unwanted static discharges? Any moving part (fans, etc.) can create static discharges in dry air.

Fancy fixing your own mobile devices? Just take the display off carefu...CRUNCH !£$%!

DougS Silver badge

According to ifixit

Repairability score of the last three generations of iPhone is 7, and the ones before that (except the first gen) were a 6. Only one phone made in the last five years scored higher than an 8 - and Samsung, who was responsible for most of those 8s four to six years ago, went down to 3s and 4s with their last three year's worth of phones!

Other than the special screwdrivers, which are generally included when you buy e.g. replacement batteries or screens, iPhones are simple to fix. Their recent tablets and laptops on the other hand, are down at the bottom of the repairability list. I've never tried to take apart an iPad, but you'd think it would be a 'big iPhone' and assembled/disassembled in a similar manner. Guess not!

I bought a new laptop last fall (HP 17t) and swapped out the hard drive it came with with an SSD. Had to take the whole thing apart, and it was hard enough I had to go to the web for instructions and it still took a half hour! The days of having access covers on the bottom held by a couple of eyeglass screws for the hard drive and RAM are past, I guess.

Did you know? Today is International Asteroid Day! Wouldn't it be amazing if one were to...

DougS Silver badge

Killing the dinosaurs

Maybe if the dinosaurs were still around humans would be even better. We'd have to have superior survival skills to have dealt with them and made them into endangered species by now.

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