* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

1368 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Chinese boffins: We're testing an 'impossible' EM Drive IN SPAAAACE

Kevin McMurtrie
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Launch it!

Nobody knowing 'if' or 'how' an EM Drive works sounds like the perfect reason to test it in space. At some point you need to stop staring at the testbed and go generate more data. The answer should be useful whether it works or not.

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Apple sues Nokia's pet patent trolls

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: How is Nokia a patent troll?

All big companies hoard patents for obvious technologies and procedures that everyone uses. They're mostly garbage but it costs a lot of money under the current broken system to invalidate them. It's a weapons stockpiling standoff between the big companies with an occasional warning shot.

Apple believes Nokia partnered with trolls so that lawsuits against Apple come from various companies that evaporate at the first sign of trouble. If Nokia sued Apple directly for infringed nonsense patents, Apple could counter-sue in the same manner.

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Uber's self-driving cars can't handle bike lanes, forcing drivers to kill autonomous mode

Kevin McMurtrie
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Copied the idiot's answers

Google's cars also turn across the bike lane illegally but they've been programmed to halt and cause a major traffic jam rather than hit cyclists.

Very few people in Silicon Valley have any idea what the traffic laws are. Rather than enforce traffic laws, most cities replace merge lanes and turn lanes with red traffic lights.

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Facebook's internet drone crash-landed after wing 'deformed' in flight

Kevin McMurtrie
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When I first read about that plane, I couldn't image how complex its design must be to keep that enormous featherweight plane from breaking. It would need very sophisticated physics modeling, a database of reactions to exceptional conditions, and hardware to execute what the flight computer needs to do. I was amazed that FB had resources for that kind of science and engineering.

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DDoS in 2017: Strap yourself in for a bumpy ride

Kevin McMurtrie
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ddos.jpg keyboard

As long as we remove the offending letter from the Englis language, we're OK.

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That is pretty, er, Nimble. Storage firm claims 'six nines' availability

Kevin McMurtrie
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Coat

Pfft!

I can do an uptime with seven nines. There are other digits too, but at least seven are nines.

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Climate change bust up: We'll launch our own damn satellites if Trump pulls plug – Gov Brown

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Well done California

There are launch sites for hire outside the US too. The same deregulation and chaos used to make Billionaires Great Again would also make it hard to keep track of what California is up to. California depends on the weather being as it is so they won't hesitate to fight industrial activity that may change it.

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MacBook Pro owners complain of short batt life – so Apple kills batt life clock in macOS

Kevin McMurtrie
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Command Option P R

Why is almost every single Mac troubleshooting article for past 30 years instructions to reset the NVRAM? Either Apple needs to fix the NVRAM use or the OS has become so hopelessly complex that random superstitious traditions are actually productive.

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Remember that amazing video of the whale leaping out the gym floor and splashing down? Yeah, it was BS

Kevin McMurtrie
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Rotational head movements can be rendered locally. It's essentially the same level of effort as silly "360 VR" images on web pages.

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CIA: Russia hacked election. Trump: I don't believe it! FAKE NEWS!

Kevin McMurtrie
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So now what?

So what if the election was rigged? It probably was, so what does the country do about it? Everything went to hell long enough ago that there was no good candidate to vote for. Nobody can bear starting the election over from the beginning because we're tired and everyone hates each other. At this point I think the best option is keeping Trump too distracted to break anything. More Twitter, please.

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'I found a bug that let anyone read anyone's Yahoo! Mail and all I got was this $10k check'

Kevin McMurtrie
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Yahoo! is! in! the! USA!

So it's a "check."

The more interesting point is that Yahoo still had $10000.

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Bluetooth 5.0 emerges, ready to chew on the internet of things

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Reliability?

Same here. Most implementations barely work. Frequency hopping not right, audio buffering is broken, not quite speaking the same dialect for multimedia control, skipping important features, or just causing kernel panics. Apple seems to be trying hard to kill BT by modifying it to only work with other Apple devices. AOSP devices keep having old bugs come back over and over despite open source developers working hard to kill them.

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Real deal: Hackers steal steelmaker trade secrets

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: does EVERYTHING need to be on The Connected Internet? Really?

Why do you think it was bad security? Big companies suffer from hacks that start from the inside.

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Help! What does 'personal conduct unrelated to operations or financials' mean?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trumped up charges

The US election has somehow liberated all the xenophobes, conspiracy theorists, haters, and general crazies that have warped interpretations of a law and religion. I don't know what happened in this case but I expect that we're going to see a lot of conduct issues.

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NASA spunks $127m on SSL-powered robot to refuel satellites in space

Kevin McMurtrie
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Yikes

The complexity of building a refueling robot, especially one that doesn't make incredibly explosive mistakes, makes inventing new propulsion seem like a good idea. Maybe a way to ionize the air to reduce drag or add a bit of thrust, even if that air is essentially nothing moving at 30000 km/h. Or figure out the EM Drive paradox.

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Everything at Apple Watch is awesome, insists Tim Cook

Kevin McMurtrie
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In the year Two Thousand...

Shrinking the iPhone to the size of an Apple Watch will be followed by demand for a large secondary screen and charging base that fits in your pocket.

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CloudFlare warns of another massive botnet, er, flaring up

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Block the connections

Many large networks don't give a crap if their customers or internal systems are running attacks. Ever submitted an abuse complaint to Google, CloudFlare, or anything in China? This will probably require an opt-in blacklist service and a strong customer demand to have upstreams use it. Such blacklists exist for e-mail but they can't yet scale to the speed and size of idiot-of-things attacks. IoT blacklists would need to be very fast and need to rapidly group/ungroup neighboring addresses to maintain the desired dataset complexity.

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Apple blames air for iPhone 6S's narcolepsy

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Up

Something to buy for

Apple has been a questionable technological innovator for years but they could still stand out from the crowd by honoring warranties and providing customer support. Most phones are a $400 gamble because the manufacturer will blame everything on abuse, normal product wear, or forever claim that a fix is coming soon.

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Hackers waste Xbox One, PS4, MacBook, Pixel, with USB zapper

Kevin McMurtrie
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Overblown?

You could install TRIAC crowbars capable of stopping 10000 Amp surges only to have an immature individual prove that it's still not resistant to screwdriver prying.

I used to repair vending machines. People will always find a way to break something. If there's a break-away mount to shield something from excessive mechanical shock, people will break that. If all else fails there's chewing gum.

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GET pwned: Web CCTV cams can be hijacked by single HTTP request

Kevin McMurtrie
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Junk IoT

All of the white-labeling and firmware borrowing drove my crazy while I was trying to find a good security camera. They'd all die instantly when exposed to the Internet, and would literally crash on a gust of wind. Each new camera that I purchased was either exactly the same model or a clone of another that I'd tried and returned.

They all had the same flaws:

- Telnet or some mystery port stuck on.

- OOM crash on multiple concurrent connections of any kind.

- OOM crash if storage device slows down.

- Video bitrate regulation bugs (crash on moving leaves).

- Malformed video file headers.

- Sensor Bayer pattern wrong when rotating video.

- Session ID in URL and leaking through occasional plain HTTP requests.

- Unprotected REST/AJAX endpoints here and there.

- Remote access panel that crashes just using it normally.

- Running antique Linux compiled with no 64 bit anything so it overflows big numbers.

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Has Canadian justice gone too far? Cops punish drunk drivers with NICKELBACK

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

So you like Nickelback?

It's a world of laughter, a world of tears

It's a world of hope and a world of fears

There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware...

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Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

Kevin McMurtrie
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Maple burger

This sounds delicious when paired with Canadian bills. What other flavors are out there?

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Inside Android's source code... // TODO – Finish file encryption later

Kevin McMurtrie
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Probably not motivated

The Chinese phone makers are turning on full disk encryption to make Google happy but they don't support changing the default encryption key.

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Have some sympathy for the AT&T devil

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Bullshit-On

You missed the trick behind T-Mobile One. It's unlimited data but all the things that need lots of data are throttled to 1.5 Mbps. Yes, that's slower than even AT&T's ADSL1 home service. It's not optional and nobody has any opt-in. It's a forced throttle that breaks things.

T-Mo says can buy your way out of this throttle for $25/month, but you're still throttled. What that really buys you is a month's supply of "HD Passes." Every day you may edit your account to add 24 hours of normal speed at no additional cost.

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Make Christmas Great Again: $149 24-karat gold* Trump tree ornament

Kevin McMurtrie
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Wait until it's in position for a while

Gold plating starts out looking good but it promotes corruption...I mean, corrosion.

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Hackers electrocute selves in quest to turn secure doors inside out

Kevin McMurtrie
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Boffin

Missing flyback cap?

I wonder if they remembered to bypass the flyback transformer driver with a small amount of capacitance. That captures flyback from nearby inductance and feeds it back into the flyback transformer a moment later. Without it, the driver sees nearly infinite voltage and arcs or avalanches (semiconductor version of arcing over). The EM pulse from that will kill pretty much any nearby semiconductor.

Avalanching or arcing to create EM pusles is the eventual goal, but you don't want it INSIDE your circuit.

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Apple unplugs its home LAN biz, allegedly

Kevin McMurtrie
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Busy, too busy

Apple staff can't be designing screens that go under screens, designer BT earbuds, ways to make people suddenly need BT earbuds, coffee table photo books, and Christmas trees then still have time for computer hardware.

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More Androids carry phone-home firmware

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

"doesn't encrypt firmware updates"

I keep seeing that phrase as a vulnerability but I have never seen an encrypted firmware update. Not one. Digital signatures are used. Inject new content and the update aborts.

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LinkedIn officially KickedOut of Russia

Kevin McMurtrie
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That would be an honest mistake. LinkedIn built a new campus next to a neighborhood of Apple satellites. In the middle of moving, LinkedIn did a land swap with Google and decided to move their future HQ down the street behind Synopsys. (many blocks of abandoned HP buildings around there) Apple leased the new building that is no longer LinkedIn's future HQ.

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Antivirus tools are a useless box-ticking exercise says Google security chap

Kevin McMurtrie
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Terminator

Duopolies offer you a whitelist

I wouldn't trust a whitelist from Google because their interest is purely profits. If the Play Store is Google's idea of a whitelist, it's already an epic failure. Most apps contain malware imported from 3rd party ad managers and cloud tools. Flagging an app as abusive doesn't seem to do anything. Apple's store is cleaner but any device locked into it is crippled by Apple blocking anything that competes with inferior Apple offerings.

This will probably have to work like network blacklists. You subscribe to the ones you like and it's purely voluntary.

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And with one stroke, Trump killed the Era of Slacktivism

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

"Better broadband could be a grassroots cause"

You haven't been following the news where the local monopoly/duopoly kills these with a flood of lawsuits and city council bribes. Usually the BS revolves around access to poles and conduits used for household wire utilities. Suddenly they're all full, or they're dangerous, or they're fragile vital infrastructure needing absurd insurance coverage, or the city council should not use any resources to look at such matters at all. Being that grassroots efforts start at a local level, it's pocket change for telco to crush them.

This isn't a Silicon Valley thing. Just about every state has tried community or new private internet services.

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Mac book, whoa! Apple unveils $300 design tome

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

Apple's book is on your coffee table

But there are iFixit teardowns stashed in your bedroom.

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Judge throws out Trump lawyer's demand for poll worker info – because it'll feed Twitter trolls

Kevin McMurtrie
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Anyone in line when the polls close has the right to vote. This seems like a career ending move for Mr. Hardy.

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Apple drops dongle prices to make USB-C upgrade affordable

Kevin McMurtrie
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Flame

Re: Ha bloody ha

The Mac Server was better for Apple than they thought. It put benchmarks out in the open and forced Apple to compete on open standards. It made Mac software easier to develop, and better apps makes Apple customers happy.

The Apple ecosystem has been imploding for several years, repeating the ruthless pursuit of profit seen in the late 1990s when Apple was running a closed system and building those awful Performas. Regardless of how fanatic Apple users are, developers aren't going to maintain support for a platform that's extremely expensive, under-powered, and a shrinking market share. That was when I stopped being a Mac software developer.

Now we have two new "MacBook Pro" models designed for surfing the web in a coffee shop. The desktop "Mac Pro" is an old sportbike when professionals need a new truck. Every new OS release adds some bizarre and highly exclusive feature that nobody finds useful.

Steve Jobs won't come back to save Apple again. Apple needs to get back to open standards to reduce development costs and learn what the term "Pro" means.

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China passes new Cybersecurity Law – you have seven months to comply if you wanna do biz in Middle Kingdom

Kevin McMurtrie
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CNC Group

Does this mean government owned Chinese networks will now have valid APNIC contacts and it will be easy to report hackers? Right, I didn't think so.

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CERN also has a particle decelerator – and it’s trying to break physics

Kevin McMurtrie
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Boffin

Somebody with experience wired it. You need standardized parts and lots of slack or you'll never be able to move anything during development.

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Google makes it to third base with Home digital assistant

Kevin McMurtrie
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Music?

How bad is your music if it sounds good on a pint-sized monaural coaxial speaker? To say it's also a music device rather than something for streaming talk radio makes me think it's a marketing gimmick disguised as a marketing gimmick.

They could all save a lot of space by leaving the speaker off. That should shrink it down to something the size of a... cellphone. Yeah, I'll just use my cellphone (with a headphone jack).

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No spin zone: Samsung recalls 3M EXPLODING washing machines

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Re: First thing I would do

Every company balances the cost of fixing a defect in the factory versus in the field. Fixing in the field is very expensive but it impacts (ahem) a tiny percentage of products sold AND again a small percentage of products that have failed. Anyone who has had anything fail knows that a manufacturer has many walls of bullshit shielding them from warranty claims. You used it too much, looks like this scratch caused it, your home is in an area with power surges, hard water did it, improper care, you let a friend use it, not a factory authorized shipper, etc.

Samsung's mistake is people getting hurt. Had fewer people been injured, they likely would have escaped without paying out a single warranty claim.

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Hm, is that a minefield? Let me just throw my magic bomb-sniffing spinach over there

Kevin McMurtrie
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I wouldn't want to be an intern or wearing a red shirt when this goes into field testing.

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Three-commas Thiel expresses love for himself, Trump and downtrodden millionaires

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Catch 22

Why an Engineer can not vote for Trump: He loudly announces that he can do everything better than you without having the slightest idea what he's talking about.

Why an Engineer must vote for Trump: Nonsense and chaos is often the fastest technique for finding flaws in a broken system.

I'm pretty sure the US is screwed with any running candidate. All that changes is who gets hit first.

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Cloudflare ordered by judge to help unmask two website owners

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Cloudflare?

Cloudflare is the only US-based company I've seen so proudly host criminals and victims at the same time. I'm surprised that the IRS, a bank, or one of their shady customers hasn't made a messy situation yet.

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Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Only 96 batteries

Overcharging lithium ion batteries produces lithium metal. That's the fire you can't put out after the electrolyte mushroom cloud is done.

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Florida man ran $1.35m hack-and-spam racket with 50m-plus addresses

Kevin McMurtrie
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Timothy Livingston you've bee n Pardoned!

C LICK HERE ! !!

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New MacBook Pro beckons fanbois to become strip pokers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Gimp

"8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage"

The year 2010 called and said that's a nice laptop. The year 2017 called and said it's a very bulky cellphone.

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iPhone fatigue and fading Samsung. This planet is bored with big brand phones

Kevin McMurtrie
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Meh factor

The improvements that people really want, like a more reliable cell signal and longer battery life, have hit a wall. It's difficult to justify spending 2x on a premium phone when they have the same daily annoyances as every other phone. Premium operating systems, especially iOS, are starting to feel clumsy and dated compared to simpler systems that take on modern features more gracefully.

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And for our next trick, says Google while literally wheeling out a humongous tablet ...

Kevin McMurtrie
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Let me "Google" that diagram

I suppose Google is making this because they get to watch the screen while you're using it. Google's business is personalized and interactive advertisements - nothing more. Everything Google does ties back to supporting that in some way. Even the self-driving car is physical manifestation of their search engine with paid ranking.

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Today the web was broken by countless hacked devices – your 60-second summary

Kevin McMurtrie
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The blacklist of things

Too many ISPs and networks can't be bothered to handle abuse complaints, especially if they think they're too important to suffer any consequences. If we're going to put billions of Idiot of Things into the IPv6 address space soon, this all needs to be automated. That means a standardized and automated means of reporting problems, automated means for an ISP to detect that the problem is happening, and the ability to automatically block customers until the problem is resolved. Networks who can't be bothered to participate or who create false-positives should be entered into public voluntary routing blacklists, much like those used to track spam-friendly ISPs. It's the only way to handle tens of millions of attacks quickly. (Google may go offline for a week when this is implemented, but I'm sure they'll get around to joining the party.)

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Como–D'oh! Infosec duo exploits OCR flaw to nab a website's HTTPS cert

Kevin McMurtrie
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Blame the registrar too

So some registrars are displaying e-mail addresses at images to prevent automated harvesting, and those images are harvested with less than perfect reliability. It sounds 100% blame should be put on those registrars for implementing a solution that breaks things to fix nothing.

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Whinge on: T-Mobile US docked $48m for limiting 'unlimited' data plans

Kevin McMurtrie
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The old carrier ways are back

The US T-Mo "ONE" plan is "unlimited" but multimedia is strangled down to 1.5 Mbps unless you pay $20/month to turn that feature off. Tethering is also throttled unless you pay extra or don't use T-Mo's app.

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Coming soon to smart home devices? Best Before labels – with patch cut-off dates

Kevin McMurtrie
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More than IoT

This should cover a lot more than little IoT devices. I've had two cellphones that were abandoned while under warranty. Lenovo is selling Moto phones right now that lost support months ago.

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