* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

1660 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Good news: Largest, most ancient known galaxy supercluster is spotted. Bad news: It's collapsing on itself

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Space

Yeah, Hyperion is progressing slowly but you can fast-forward 11 billion years by moving your chair closer to the show.

15
0

All through the house, not a creature was stirring... especially Samsung smartwatches: Batteries empty at 3AM

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Please try <painful solution that is worse than bug>

Good luck.

The Galaxy S9 series has a bug where joining a WiFi access point doesn't turn off cellular data. As soon as I join a WiFi network, apps start transferring everything in their queue over their original cellular connection. This phone has changed my data usage from about 600MB/month to 3+ GB/month and it costs extra. It's trivial to reproduce this but Samsung Support can't be bothered to do anything but offer canned useless responses.

Why yes, I can solve the problem by performing a factory reset and never launching any apps. Hey, thanks.

4
0

Alphabet in the soup for keeping quiet about Google+ data leak bug

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Google cares

Google cares about privacy and vulnerabilities when there's value in the data they've hoarded. Everything else is a festering scammer toolkit (Google Groups). It's interesting that they don't care about the G+ bug. One might conclude that G+ only attracted users belonging to undesirable marketing categories.

0
0

Tech hub blames tech: San Francisco fingers Uber, Lyft rides for its growing traffic headache

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: 30 years SF driver here..

Trying to fix SF is a lost cause. Parking spaces were removed to make room for driving, so then everybody drives around and around looking for a place to park. Room for driving was removed to make room for bicycles, but the bicycle you rode to work will be stolen before the day is over. You could take public transportation but it's all covered in pee - everything is covered in pee because restrooms are locked to keep drug addicts out. If you invented a magical self-driving hoverboard that could get everyone where they wanted to go, SF residents would find ways to abuse it so much that it gets banned.

23
0

Mobe networks battle to bring comms back after Hurricane Michael smashes US Gulf Coast

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: "Underground means either cut'n'cover"

"Look at microtrenching"

Micro-trenching works in limited areas. Soils that shift seasonally will shear and grind up anything near the surface. My town is using thick plastic pipes and burying them deep enough that cracking pavement won't hit them.

0
0

Hunt for Red Bugtober: US military's weapon systems riddled with security holes – auditors

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

possibly some missteps

I hope nobody is around when that happens.

0
0

Facebook's new always-listening home appliance kit Portal doesn't do Facebook

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
FAIL

But it doesn't make juice?

Two fails in one. First fail is that this clearly exists for no reason except that somebody wants subscription fees and marketing data. Second, massively failed computer designs are always displayed in a kitchen. Over-priced, under-powered, enormous computers for your kitchen countertop to help you manage recopies, cook, and send e-mails. Smart appliances collecting marketing information, offering sponsored advice, and giving hackers something to play with. Now here's a video chat application turned into a bulky and expensive appliance...and it's shown in a kitchen with people helping each other cook. Who seriously wants to do that? How did this again come to exist as a marketing segment?!?!

"Portal" looks like a tablet computer with a motorized swivel stand. JUST SELL A MOTORIZED SWIVEL STAND.

10
0

Sendgrid blurts out OWN customers' email addresses with no help from hackers

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

CIDR security?

Being compromised after adding load balancers makes it sound like they were using network addresses for access control. Throw load balancers in front, forget to set up X-Forwarded-For, and suddenly the whole world looks like local traffic.

1
0

Iron Mike Pence blasts Google for its censor-happy Dragonfly Chinese search engine

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Jealous?

Trump-Pence want the feature first so they can stop "fake news."

1
1

The fur is not gonna fly: Uncle Sam charges seven Russians with Fancy Bear hack sprees

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Correction here

US and Russia have been trying to weaken each other for a very long time. I think the only thing that has changed is increased reporting. Russia is suspected of helping Trump destroy the US so they're in the spotlight now.

14
4

Robot Operating System gets the Microsoft treatment

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Exterminate!

ROS is in the Knightscope robots guarding some Microsoft campuses. What could go wrong?

8
0

Spoiler alert: Google's would-be iPhone killer Pixel 3 – so many leaks

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

iPhoney

A real iPhone killer wouldn't be an iPhone copy. The iPhone is niche device - craploads of compute power but otherwise minimalist to a fault. Samsung's Galaxy S series is the opposite by having so many silly features that it's fragile and unreliable. I miss the old days when global phones had different features.

1
1

Cloudflare ties Workers to distributed data storage

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: It's not the sort of thing you'd want handling millions of rapid-fire financial transactions

It would be a caching layer for web application architectures having no persistent memory. Every web page or REST call has to open a database connection, authenticate, make 10+ queries to figure out what's going on, send back the result, then close the database connection. SQL queries might take 2 to 50 ms each but opening a new connection is typically in the 75 to 6000 ms range, depending on DB configuration and load. A KV store is used to hold all of the semi-constant data so that fewer requests need to execute SQL.

If you have insurmountable legacy baggage, a K-V store can also act as a cache for SQL queries that can not be made efficient or external API calls that are slow.

0
0

'This is insane!' FCC commissioner tears into colleagues over failure to stop robocalls

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Watch it burn

It's all part of Trump's plan to make Mexico pay for his wall (to keep US citizens out).

7
4

Braking bad: Mitsubishi recalls 68k SUVs over buggy software

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Not software

Electrical noise crashing the ABS computer isn't a software glitch. They'll at least have to put a noise suppressor on the ABS pump and/or the driver for it. There may still be other noise sources that can cause problems if they don't replace the computer.

This one would scare me. In the time between the fault and the fault detection, the brakes can completely engage or disengage. ABS needs an active feedback loop to work.

1
0

America cooks up its flavor of GDPR – and Google's over the moon

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Welcome to privacyrfc2018!

Thank you for subscribing! You can count on us to keep you up to date about all the latest privacy deals from our partners. Check out our shockingly intimate privacy quizzes online and share the results with your friends. Enter your email password and we can check which of your friends are already interested in privacy topics. Download our app to stay in touch.

To unsubscribe, create an account then adjust your topic subscriptions. Changes may take up to two weeks to apply. New topics are added weekly.

15
0

Whoa – oh no, Zoho: Domain name no-show deals CRM biz, 40m punters a crushing blow

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
Pint

Thanks, Tierra

ZOHO claiming that they don't have spam problems is proof that they have spam problems. They're clearly not reading very many complaints.

I blacklisted ZOHO's network in June 2018 because phishers were putting me on their mailing lists. Tierra has a valid complaint that being able to build mass mailing lists without any validation of the sender or receiver is a system vulnerability.

10
1

In a race to 5G, Trump has stuck a ball-and-chain on America's leg

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
FAIL

THz broadband

The latest argument is that ultra-high frequency, ultra-high bandwidth will solve fixed broadband problems. Nevermind that the range is shorter than Cat 6.

7
0

Developer goes rogue, shoots four colleagues at ERP code maker

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

So...

It seems the trillions of dollars of domestic spying isn't protecting us from terrorists very well. Perhaps it should be redirected towards health care, education, nutrition, and other things that help people from going crazy?

48
2

Judge: Georgia's e-vote machines are awful – but go ahead and use them

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Scanning?

It's not just the number of positions that can get crazy in the US. Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_gubernatorial_recall_election#Results and be sure to expand the list to see all 136 candidates on the ballot.

Edit: No, that election wasn't hacked. It really was that bad.

8
0

US govt confirms FCC's broadband speeds and feeds stats are garbage

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Useless even if it was accurate

There's no grade level for service in the maps. Some ISPs use combinations of NAT, PPPoE, VPN tunnels, obstructive firewalls, and outdated equipment. That means no incoming connections, no peer-to-peer, unreliable UDP, unreliable VPN, no IPv6, and dwindling connectivity in the future. Think of old independent networks reselling old abandoned AT&T Uverse bandwidth.

0
0

FCC boss slams new Californian net neutrality law, brands it illegal

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Typical

Well bribed legislators tell us that innovation requires deregulation while the sources of their income have lawsuit firehoses aimed at every emerging competitor. There is no free market.

Some of those "community broadband" plans that Pai & pals want to eliminate are actually EXTREMELY pro-competition. The city hooks up the fiber only for delivery. ISPs compete to deliver bandwidth through it to their customers. It destroys the typical US monopoly/duopoly telco lock-in.

NN can be repealed when consumers actually have competition from ISPs.

16
0

Probably for the best: Apple makes sure eSIMs won't nuke the operators

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Project Fi

The concept of destroying telco control isn't new. Google attempted to create an environment where phones could roam over multiple networks while routing telephone services through a consistent central point. I really liked the idea but the implementation had too many problems for me to try it. The biggest problems being that Google is a personal data collection corporation and Sprint's unreliable network was in the mix.

0
0

Apple in XS new sensation: Latest iPhone carries XS-sive price tag

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
Facepalm

World's fastest old phone in the palm of your hand

"A $900 CPU and camera jammed into a $99 phone is just what I was looking for," said nobody. Why is 64 GB storage and 3GB RAM even an option anymore? Do iPhone users huddle around WiFi access points and urban cell towers so their cloud apps never stop working? What is a super-fast CPU expected to do when the rest of the phone might not have enough memory for gaming, augmented reality, or anything else that might be fun?

Oh right, just upgrade the storage. Apple's only charging $350 for a workable 512GB.

11
4

You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Should be illegal

It should be illegal to call it anything but a rental when permission-based DRM is involved. Downloading is NOT a solution for iTunes because permission to decrypt content must be re-granted from Apple on a regular basis.

I will never pay more than a single-use price for DRM content.

18
0

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Worker pools revolt

We make computers do the tasks that humans don't want so it's a bit silly to keep the coding terms friendly.

9
0

Look at me! Phone industry contracts nasty case of 5g-itis

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: And what is 5G?

Sprint is probably hoping T-Mobile rescues them. They did a spectacular job messing up their own definition of "4G" and the odds of successfully rolling out a new tech is slim.

1
0

Register-Orbi-damned: Netgear account order irks infosec bods

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

You're not concerned about security if you're using Netgear. It's a bit late to complain about it.

Segev can create a technical support ticket that may provide access to internal builds. My experience is that the internal builds are hardcoded to allow telnet access on the default password. It's super fun.

18
0

Trend Micro tools tossed from Apple's Mac App Store after spewing fans' browser histories

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Oh well, no worries

It's not time for an apocalypse, but definitely time for another tech economy collapse. As before, marketing is transforming from a tool to a product. It's an expensive infrastructure promising money for businesses while producing nothing at all for customers.

10
0

Soft eng salaries soar by 25 per cent – and, oh yes, devops is best paid for non-boss techies

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: From the "no shit, Shirlock" files:

Shifting off 8-5 to avoid traffic started 20 years ago and there aren't many clear times left. There's no traffic from 11pm to 5am but those aren't good hours for me, and that's only 6 hours. Sadly, very few workplaces allow telecommuting.

0
1
Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: From the "no shit, Shirlock" files:

That would be 20 miles of crude public transportation or car drivers using their cellphone while occasionally looking up to see if traffic has moved. Set asside 90 to 120 minutes a day for it.

0
0

Google skewered in ad sting after Oracle-backed bods turn troll

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Technicality

Google censors what their customers see, not what they post. From outside of Google you see big piles of spam from Google mail servers and billions of Usenet spams from Google Groups servers.

3
0

I've seen the future of consumer AI, and it doesn't have one

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

I'm a creepy marketing device. Tell me about yourself!

Consumers will use AI when consumers control the AI processor and its data. Right now, "AI assistant" is just a facade for personal data collection.

1
0

Hundred-million Kiwi Oracle project on hold after Deloitte review

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Why Oracle?!?!?!

You could have an in-house team to build it and maintain it for half as much. It would work and there'd be no rabid lawyers. Hell, many Silicon Valley geeks would move to NZ in a heartbeat in exchange for a living wage and fast Internet.

23
5

Thunderstruck: Azure Back in Black(out) after High Voltage causes Flick of the Switch

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

The magic of the cloud

Trust us, you don't need to know where your compute power is hosted. It's virtual, safe, and infinitely distributed. We swear it's not all ending up in one place.

15
0

DraftKings rides to court, asks to unmask 10 DDoS suspects

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: SHOULD they be allowed to ?

The complaint is missing a LOT of details. It describes a DDoS but doesn't say what attributes of that were actually used. It could have been UDP with spoofed addresses, it could have been a highly targeted application attack over TCP, or it could be that their Node/React coder accidentally instructed several customers' browsers to attack.

2
0

Hackers latch onto new Apache Struts megavuln to mine cryptocurrency

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Y2K called

It wants its XML/JSP/Java EE monstrosity back.

https://struts.apache.org/getting-started/hello-world-using-struts2.html

0
0

Huawei elbows aside Apple to claim number-two phone maker spot

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: There's noticeable value ... upgrading from a $200 or $300 smartphone

Like cable TV, it's all about the bundles. You want microSD, headphone jack, and a lot of LTE bands so the phone works in urban US, rural US, and Japan. $400 in other features come along for the ride.

2
1

Android data slurping measured and monitored

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

This is nothing

Wait until Google unleashes free self-driving cars. Observation and persuasion become physical.

0
0

Apple tipped to revive forgotten Macbook Air and Mac mini – report

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Aren't the server parts of MacOS server being killed off?

MacOS Server is essentially a small app suite so there's little reason to kill it. It's a pretty nice front-end for aging Unix tools that are otherwise difficult to configure with significant prior experience.

A better question would be whether or not open source keeps supporting MacOS as it drifts away from the usual FreeBSD.

3
0

Australia blocks Huawei, ZTE from 5G rollout

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Huawei does have some espionage in their history and Chinese phones usually do contain questionable features. The now-dead ZTE Axon 7 has "MFVKeyguard" that's completely hidden from ZTE's apps and permissions lists. Chinese phones always come with a "Weather" app that wants to track your location even when you're not using it. It would be no shock if cell tower hardware came with extra services or "accidental" vulnerabilities.

Likewise, don't buy cell tower hardware made by Google, Amazon, Microsoft, or Apple.

7
0

Juno this ain't right! Chinese hackers target Alaska

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Just Tsinghua University?

They should get that firewall checked out. You should normally see the entire country of China attacking non-stop.

4
0

Google bod wants cookies to crumble and be remade into something more secure

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Stamp on Java?

It's like I'm reading a Wired article by accident.

8
1

Oracle: Run, don't walk, to patch this critical Database takeover bug

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

It's okay

No hacker wants to face an Oracle licensing violation audit.

14
0

Brain brainiacs figure out what turns folks into El Reg journos, readers

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge
Boffin

Stimulates the caudate nucleus

I have a new way to describe certain people.

1
0

Clap, damn you, clap! Samsung's Bixby 2.0 AI reveal is met with apathy

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Not AI if it can't learn to go away

My first two days with a new Samsung was an infuriating experience of dismissing shovelwear pop-ups. The phone literally couldn't be used because it would pop up advertisements for Samsung Cloud or start an app experience walk-through. None of it could be turned off by normal means. I would have returned the phone the next day if I hadn't found an app to disable it all. Count me in the "not impressed" group when there's a newer and more intrusive Bixby

8
0

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

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

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

Digital is a huge waste of power and bandwidth. It takes about 7 parallel digital circuits to match the precision of one analog circuit. When it comes to mathematics, digital needs massive gate arrays and microcode to perform the same task as a handful of analog components. Propagation delay hits big digital circuits pretty hard and workarounds further increase complexity. Analog computers are still alive and well for any time speed and efficiency is more important than precision.

I suspect the AI singularity will happen when analog and digital processors are efficiently merged together. Last time I read about it, flash cells were going to be the parameter buffers between the two.

6
0

Click this link and you can get The Register banned in China

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Re: Fake news?

There are documentaries that have gathered a good number of photos from the protest's aftermath. I don't have the stomach to examine the photos enough to see if tanks did that or not.

4
0
Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Best firewall evah

I'm going to put that on my webserver to see if it blocks all the brute-force attacks from Chinese networks.

86
0

Game over for Google: Fortnite snubs Play Store, keeps its 30%, sparks security fears

Kevin McMurtrie
Silver badge

Define "safe." Don't immediately kill you, sure. Search for any popular title in Google Play Store and note how many impostor apps there are. Even if you find the right one, it's likely a gateway for advertising malware. I've seen ads pretend to be a homescreen. I've seen spearphishing ads simulating a specific application's upgrade screens so that it can trick you into downloading an impostor app. There are apps full of 1-star reviews saying it's malware yet Google says it's OK.

No security is lost without Play Store. If anything, people will have an easier time identifying fake apps without it.

20
6

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018