* Posts by Thoguht

349 posts • joined 10 May 2011

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Arm debuts CPU roadmap for the first time, sort of

Thoguht
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Re: ARM not Arm

From the Arm website:

... Arm delivers a complete Internet of Things (IoT) solution for our partners and customers.

You're fighting a losing battle trying to keep acronyms capitalised.

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Linux 4.18 arrives fashionably late while Zorin OS shines up its Windows

Thoguht
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The default desktop bears a striking resemblance to Windows 10, replete with a familiar-looking start menu

All the more reason not to touch it, then.

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Three more data-leaking security holes found in Intel chips as designers swap security for speed

Thoguht
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Re: Looking at the wrong holes

It's horse for courses. Embedded systems are vulnerable to various forms of attack, so they are secured by means appropriate to the environment. But for general purpose computing, security as I defined in my first post MUST, and indeed can, be absolute. Otherwise the cloud as we know it is dead. Not that this would necessarily be a bad thing, but that's another discussion entirely.

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Thoguht
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Re: Looking at the wrong holes

No, no and no. The CPU design must absolutely guarantee full isolation of virtual machines from each other and from the host OS, and must also absolutely guarantee that within a VM or the host OS, no unauthorised escalation of privilege, either direct or indirect, is possible. Otherwise what exactly is the point?

Embedded systems? I know a thing or two about those having worked on them for 40 years, but the things you do in embedded systems often don't apply outside that limited domain.

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When's a backdoor not a backdoor? When the Oz government says it isn't

Thoguht
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Re: Question:

Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice was rated "X", so that's over-16, not over-18. It's rated 15 now.

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Revealed: El Reg blew lid off Meltdown CPU bug before Intel told US govt – and how bitter tech rivals teamed up

Thoguht
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Neex? Perhaps writing isn't always the best option!

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For all the excitement, Pie may be Android's most minimal makeover yet – thankfully

Thoguht
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Re: Only option to stay sane...

With Android people don't pay for the OS, for the handset maker's customisation and installation and generally don't pay for apps

There's no such thing as a free anything. Handset manufacturers using Android pay licensing fees to Microsoft so you paid up front for this and for future customisation and installation when you bought or leased the handset, and of course you pay for "free" apps through advertising revenue or other means (like providing personal data).

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The age of hard drives is over as Samsung cranks out consumer QLC SSDs

Thoguht
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Re: QLC? It's not the one for me

The endurance of some high-capacity enterprise HDDs is actually less now than SSDs.

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Thoguht
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QLC? It's not the one for me

Each time you add another level, you add complexity to the drive circuitry plus you reduce endurance and so you need more and more complex error correction algorithms to safeguard the data. And all for less and less gain in capacity. From 3 levels to 4 only gives you a one third increase, and (heaven forbid) from 4 to 5 will only give you one quarter. Is it really worth it?

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Amazon meets the incredible SHRINKING UK taxman

Thoguht
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Re: Just say No to Amazon

Well, actually this follows from the duty placed on board directors in company law:

"The board of directors' key purpose is to ensure the company's prosperity by collectively directing the company's affairs, whilst meeting the appropriate interests of its shareholders and stakeholders."

So that means basically maximising the company's profits.

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UK cyber security boffins dispense Ubuntu 18.04 wisdom

Thoguht
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VPNs?

So we've got one part of GCHQ trying to get people to use VPNs and another part of GCHQ that would dearly love VPNs to be banned. Reminds me of that old saying about a house divided against itself...

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If you're serious about securing IoT gadgets, may as well start here

Thoguht
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Why not just embed an NFC tag in every IoT device and then have a smartphone app to read the tag and authenticate the device by some means to the home WiFi system? The router itself would need a secure element too, but these things are fairly cheap these days.

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Who watches Sony's watcher? Boffins poke holes in surveillance kit

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Pot meet kettle?

I bet they found the flaws a long time ago but have been hanging on to them so they could be publicised, oh, let's say a few days after Cisco has had to release a bunch of security updates themselves.

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UK spies broke law for 15 years, but what can you do? shrugs judge

Thoguht
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Be you ever so high, the Law is above you.

Rev. Preb. Thomas Fuller, 1608 - 1661

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Adobe on internal systems security hole: Panic not. It isn't critical

Thoguht
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Re: Is it just me...

You viewing it in Acrobat, maybe?

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Sad Nav: How a cheap GPS spoofer gizmo can tell drivers to get lost

Thoguht
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Built-in car satnav systems only use GPS as a sanity check, they mainly use the inputs from the road wheels and electronic compass.

My old car had persistent problems with water getting into the antenna assembly and rusting things up, so I was completely without GPS signal on several occasions. Did it make any difference? None at all if you were in a city because every time you turn the system is able to recalibrate your position.

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AR upstart Magic Leap reveals majorly late tech specs' tech specs

Thoguht
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Re: Should have been pretty obvious

Actually you'd be surprised at how many uses have been thought up (and patented) for AR.

But back to the Magic Leap, how come it's using a processor that's almost 2 years old? And won't that be totally underpowered for the light-field optics that ML was supposed to have at one point?

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An $18m supercomputer to simulate brains of mice in the land of Swiss cheese. How apt, HPE

Thoguht
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Re: "This is what Deep Thought should look like".

Liquid nitrogen cooling, well that figures, I suppose.

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Sueball claims Apple broke hacking laws with iOS batt throttling code

Thoguht
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Trespass to chattels?

Like when a certain company downloads OS updates to my computer without my express permission?

But like AC above says, probably allowed by the EULA.

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Spidey sense is literally tingling! Arachnids detect Earth's electric field, use it to fly away

Thoguht
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researchers at the University of Bristol, in England

Is El Reg so international now that we need to be reminded where Bristol is? Or was that just in case somebody confused a real university with the apparently dubious (and definitely defunct) Bristol University in California?

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UK.gov IT projects that are failing: Verify. Border control. 4G for blue-light services. We can go on

Thoguht
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This is why I have a cupboard stacked with canned food and bottled water.

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What a flap: SIM swiped from slain stork's GPS tracker used to rack up $2,700 phone bill

Thoguht
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eSIM, private APN, data only. Sorted.

Except they probably just went down to the shops to buy their SIM.

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New Android P beta is 'very close', 'near-final' but also just 'early'

Thoguht
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Re: Wonder what it'll break ?

Android is supplied by Google free of charge, but you'll need to license the proprietary drivers for the phone and other chipsets and of course you deploy it at your own risk unless you pay Microsoft their protection money licensing fee.

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A £1.3m prize for a plunging share price at BT? Not so fast...

Thoguht
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The last time I worked for a company whose share price had plunged I got laid off. How times have changed - maybe I'd get a pay rise now instead!

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RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

Thoguht
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The Swanee whistle parts were fully scripted in English and sent to the BBC for approval before filming. It was only Major Clanger who swore, and the worst thing he ever uttered was "Sod it, the bloody thing's stuck again", which Oliver Postgate managed to get the Beeb to agree to on the grounds that people wouldn't actually think he was saying that.

Strange really, because I had a Tiny Clanger plush that played that exact phrase when you squeezed it.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled

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Alien

"Unexpectedly, we found that Oumuamua was not slowing down as much as it should have due to just gravitational forces"

Well duh, that's because its EmDrive was still working, of course.

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Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

Thoguht
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Re: Fgs

This is WAY out there

You can quote all the random websites you want, but this is settled US policy and has been for decades. In practice of course they would try jamming first if the EU doesn't comply as it's a lot cheaper than a missile, but nevertheless it is a fact that the US reserves the right to destroy any navigational aids, satellite based or not, if they are being used by an enemy.

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Thoguht
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Re: Fgs

There is not much point in having a nuclear arsenal if we can only aim it when the yanks say its ok.

Actually Galileo only operates by the consent of the US military. If they say turn it off, it has to be turned off otherwise they reserve the right to take out the constellation.

Strictly speaking, it also only operates by the consent of the Chinese military due to international RF spectrum allocation rules.

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Reality Winner, liberty loser: NSA leaker faces 63 months in the cooler

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It's trivially easy to change your name in the US. Except in Louisiana, which still follows Napoleonic law.

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Thoguht
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Being called Reality Winner should itself be an indictable offence.

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The strife of Brian: Why doomed Intel boss's ex86 may not be the real reason for his hasty exit

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Intel and MS are made for each other because their flagship products are totally overburdened with decades of backwards-compatibility cruft topped off with ill-conceived crap dreamt up by marketeers rather than engineers. Time for something fresh and new (no, Itanic was rotten from the outset and xnix is 20 years older than Windows). Then we can have Moore's Law back again, at least in terms of performance, if only for a short while.

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NASA eggheads draw up blueprints for spotting, surviving asteroid hits

Thoguht
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Re: 2 points here

Making it profitable? How about asteroid impact insurance? Maybe that will be the next big thing.

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Hot new application for blockchain: How does botnet control sound?

Thoguht
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Re: No worse than something on a web page

Yes, no more of a risk than any web page that's duplicated potentially millions of times around the Internet with integrity checks so it can't be undetectably altered.

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mark the life of Slack for Windows Phone

Thoguht
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Re: Impact?

They'll work something out, they sit in adjacent cubes anyway.

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Bank of England to set new standards for when IT goes bad

Thoguht
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Re: Banks too big to fail ...

I think it's pretty clear that the TSB isn't "too big to fail".

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Thoguht
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We need a backup system

I think we need to have some sort of alternative backup system in case of major failure. Maybe some type of metal token or small slips of plastic or paper that you could use in lieu of a debit or credit card if all else failed. Look, we're all super-patriotic these days, so you could even put a picture of the queen on them.

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Microsoft reveals which Windows bugs it might decide not to fix

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If you think all this is bad, you should try getting them to fix a bug in Windows Mobile 6.5.

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First A380 flown in anger to be broken up for parts

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A380 leasing as an investment

Food for thought here for people investing in A380 leasing via the Doric Nimrod trusts or similar. The spiel once was that by the time the current leases are up, there will probably be a thriving marked in used A380's and so the residual value can be easily realised, but that is looking less and less likely as time goes on.

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Which? calls for compensation for users hit by Windows 10 woes

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Re: Windows 10

Like all garbage-collecting languages, C# will prevent memory leaks caused by failing to release memory referenced by objects that have gone out of scope. However, it's still perfectly possible to write C# code that leaks memory. Not to mention leaks in the .Net runtime itself.

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Microsoft commits: We're buying GitHub for $7.5 beeeeeeellion

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Re: Shite

I had the Microsoft C compiler v4.0 and CodeView in the mid 80s and it was genuinely good.

That's because it was originally written by Lattice, not Microsoft.

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Smart bulbs turn dumb: Lights out for Philips as Hue API goes dark

Thoguht
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Old mechanical switches are unlikely to fail as such, but the contacts can get very worn and that can lead to arcing which could cause premature lightbulb failure.

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Thoguht
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We can't really think of any good reasons why remote control of Hue lights would be useful.

Annoying your cat while you are out?

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Visa Europe fscks up Friday night with other GDPR: 'God Dammit, Payment Refused'

Thoguht
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Cash?

This cash stuff is all very well but governments don't like it because they can't track it (or impose negative interest rates on it either). I mean, look what happened in India. So basically don't expect cash to last much longer.

You can quote me on this when the current £50 note is withdrawn with no polymer replacement.

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Your F-35s need spare bits? Computer says we'll have you sorted in... a couple of years

Thoguht
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Re: There's an old saying.....

Except now the HUD has moved into the pilot's helmet, although using the ejector seat still improves your chances of survival should you need to use it, it can apparently cause some pretty nasty injuries to smaller pilots.

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Re: Israel F35

"Stealthy" doesn't mean "cloaked". Maybe the reflectors would change the radar signature so that the Russian-supplied air defence systems can't get all calibrated and ready for it in its natural state. You know, a bit like when a newly-designed car goes out for road-test and they paint it with patterns to disguise the shape. Or perhaps it deploys the reflectors when it's in friendly airspace to stop commercial aircraft bumping into it all the time.

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American Electric Lightning?

The squadron has 30 jets on charge...

Must be that new F35-E, then.

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You should find out what's going on in that neural network. Y'know they're cheating now?

Thoguht
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I remember one (though probably apocryphal) story told about the early days of neural nets. The military of some country or other wanted to find out if a neural net could help detect camouflaged objects such as tanks that were hidden behind, say, vegetation. So the AI bods took a bunch of pictures at the edge of a forest both with and without a tank hiding out behind the trees and then fed them into the neural net, and fairly soon, the system was able to detect the presence or absence of a tank with pretty much 100% accuracy.

A demonstration was duly arranged for the top brass showing what had been accomplished, so the system was set up in the same location and totally failed to detect the presence of the tank. On actually looking at the net that had been constructed, it became obvious that all it was doing was seeing how dark or light the picture was in order to flag the presence or absence of a tank. Mystified, they looked at the training photographs and realised that it had been cloudy when they took the pictures with no tank, but by the time the tank had been positioned, the sun had come out.

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The glorious uncertainty: Backup world is having a GDPR moment

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I think it means beyond use in the sense that someone inspecting the raw backup data couldn't extract any meaningful information from it.

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Samsung escapes obligation to keep old phones patched

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Re: Two things

Analogies time again...

If Yale sold you a lock that had a manufacturing fault in it then they would clearly be obligated to replace it if you reported the fault within the warranty period. However, design deficiencies are much trickier because you cannot expect any given lock to be resistant to all possible methods of entry anyway.

Your average one-star rated cylinder lock can be opened in a few seconds with a bump key, and as a purchaser you should be expected to know that. If you want a lock that is resistant to today's most common picking methods then get a three star lock, but who knows what techniques might be invented tomorrow by some miscreant.

@ mark l 2, as I've pointed out, locks are not and cannot be expected to be resistant to all unauthorised attempts to open them. When you buy a lock, the various standards that it conforms to (if any) should guide your purchasing decision with respect to the security it can offer. So for example a TS007:2014 one star lock should not be expected to be bump-resistant, and therefore its fitness for purpose is not negated by someone being able to bump it open in two seconds flat.

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'Autopilot' Tesla crashed into our parked patrol car, say SoCal cops

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Re: Hmm

I'm not sure I'd want a computer in my car that had a self-preservation instinct, I'd rather it had a people-preservation instinct.

And by the way, my car has lane-following, adaptive cruise control and emergency braking controlled by front-facing Lidar, but Ford had the good sense not to give the impression that these things make the car self-driving.

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