* Posts by Starace

111 posts • joined 16 Jun 2007

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Funnily enough, charging ££££s for trashy bling-phones wasn't a great idea

Starace
Flame

Shit article

This article is shit. Pure undiluted excrement.

Its actually down to the standard of recent 'I made it all up' Daily Mail efforts.

The author has started from a place where they didn't understand what has happened, padded it out with their own invention, then pressed send.

Can we have a factual retread from some of the remaining El Reg talent rather than the sub standard San Fran element?

Maybe start by looking at how the business ended up in its current ownership and what exactly happened since then.

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Zero accidents, all of your data – what The Reg learnt at Bosch's autonomous car bash

Starace

Zero accidents?

Surely must have been marketing bods making those statements.

The engineers would be able to reel off at least half a dozen scenarios where things could still go wrong and at least a couple of those wouldn't even have a theory for mitigation.

And unless you can guarantee that you won't require the user to constantly monitor & possibly intervene then the whole exercise is pretty pointless as it's really just good old adaptive cruise/lane keeping/active braking/auto park. Safe & hands off is what they're trying to sell & they're not even vaguely close to that.

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In the week Uber blew up, Netflix restates 'No brilliant jerks' policy

Starace

Monoculture

The problem with their idea is you build a monoculture, maybe not the same one their competitors build (like Google) but a monoculture all the same. And those are never healthy.

You need a mix of people to really get things done; the mercurial type who comes up with the radical new idea and the slogger who'll do the boring bits to get it to production.

And while it's reasonable to go looking for the brilliant but nice type I'm not sure they exist, at least not if you want someone who will get their idea to fruition. At best you'll find someone who just does a really good job of hiding what they really think and does a good line in making the team believe they've achieved consensus when it was really a skillful sell/tell job seeding their thoughts.

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Amazon announces new Echo just as Microsoft's first Cortana-powered clone breaks cover

Starace

Re: The Amazon Echo was a hit

Realise that A and S are next to each other on the keyboard and you get to the truth.

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Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Starace
Alert

I blame Sad Nad

Sad Nad getting to the top is when it all *really* started to go pear shaped, what with the forced 'upgrades' and all.

We went from poor product planning and some odd ideas to a company actively hostile to its customers and turning its back on ways of working that had been in place for years.

Bring back Gates and Ballmer!

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TP-Link 3G/Wi-Fi modem spills credentials to an evil text message

Starace

Re: SMS

But spoofing the sender would leave it unable to reply with the details which would make the exercise pointless...

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How Ford has slammed the door on Silicon Valley's autonomous vehicles drive

Starace

Exactly. I saw that bit and just thought 'bollocks'. Even the infotainment is usually running something else.

Though for some reason Tesla do like running their systems on Linux and other COTS bits.

Another minor point re. some comments is that manufacturers are now switching to secure bootloader and encrypted firmware for everything, well beyond where it was before to prevent any possibility of fun and games. The only options will be reloading the approved firmware and the signed as-built configuration and everything else will be out of bounds. The only reason it hasn't happened earlier has been the performance issues related to programming everything in the time available on the production line and that is now pretty much sorted.

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Boffins Rickroll smartphone by tickling its accelerometer

Starace

Re: Hang on a mo...

As spun it's a bit of a bollocks story.

Yes you can spoof the sensor readings if you want to.

No the isn't any route to using this as an injection vector.

It's an interesting POC but nothing more and a bit of analysis on the sensor data would probably detect it if you had an application where something like this mattered. Especially if cross referenced with other inputs like any sensible sensor user does.

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Tesla, Atlassian told to go through front door in effort to save Australian industrial civilisation

Starace

100 days from contract signature

Elon hasn't exactly had huge success with meeting specific deadlines in the past so I'll assume he knows he'd never be asked to meet this one.

The statement does get him in the press though...

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Can you ethically suggest a woman pursue a career in tech?

Starace

Hand the bleach to the author of this rubbish.

After all he's the one thinking that poor helpless women are somehow utterly unable to do anything for themselves without his (particularly condescending) help. Even down to language like 'inviting' women into the tech industry. It's deeply insulting.

In his own special way he's just as bad as the people he complains about, maybe worse as his actions are actively hypocritical.

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Intel swallows Tesla-hating self-driving car biz Mobileye for $15bn

Starace

Overpriced

They've paid Internet bubble premium for that.

Compare and contrast with the value of most of the major automotive component suppliers and it seems steep for what is a component that may or may not have a big future, from a company that does nothing else.

And that's before we even start to work out where the financial return is meant to come from.

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Video intercom firm Doorbird wants $80 for device password resets

Starace

The guy is an idiot

A password reset is free if you registered your device which gives them a verifiable link between the device and your contact details.

A password reset if you've managed to lose the password *and* didn't register is charged because they make a lot of effort to verify who you are without the benefit of the cheap verification that registration would give.

Or would he really prefer they just hand over access to random people with no checks of anything?

PS the headline is as misleading as the guy is stupid - password resets are free. Security verification for resets of unregistered devices is not.

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Autonomous cars are about to do to transport what the internet did to information

Starace

Re: Niave much?

The old cynical Register would never have published something like this.

I miss it, and mourn for what used to be.

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Ford fills up ex-Google, Uber engineers' tank: $1bn pours into Argo AI

Starace

Genius move

I can see absolutely nothing wrong with spending $1billion on a me too effort for a technology with some fundamental conceptual flaws, and even better spending that money with people who have so far failed to deliver this same thing for their previous employer, have no IP and in the event they do produce some IP will spend the rest of their lives fighting over it with their previous employer.

The vast amount of money just shows it has to be tech bubble induced madness affecting people I would normally think of as sensible.

The only viable move left is to jump on the bandwagon. I'll be happy with a mid- 9 digit funding package. I might even deliver something, but make no guarantees it'll do anything except slowly blink a single LED.

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Cattle that fail, not pets that purr – the future of servers

Starace

Costs

It's great to treat servers and such as a disposable thing easily substituted in case of failure. In general terms I absolutely agree that the 'thing' itself isn't important, only what it does.

The big issue is cost. Between the platform and the application license costs the things are just too expensive to treat casually or to scale to X redundant instances just because.

I have no problem building and throwing away as and when I need to. But when I see the size of the bill attached I do start to think twice. Especially when you start to have licensing schemes which are actively hostile to cloud use except say if you run on the vendors platform.

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Trump signs 'no privacy for non-Americans' order – what does that mean for rest of us?

Starace
Stop

Yet ANOTHER Trump story?

How many is that today?

I know they all have a tenuous link to tech news but I come here for actual technology stories, not endless reminders of the muppet in the White House.

Whatever backroom staff changes happened at El Reg in recent months have absolutely fucked the site content.

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Samsung set a fire under battery-makers to make the Galaxy Note 7 flaming brilliant

Starace

Re: "placing anodes and cathodes in locations where they were likely to come into contact"

Simon seems to have slightly misunderstood the analysis with his talk of tape and electrodes.

The battery fault was internal. Tape and electrode spacing would be a factor on Samsung part only if it related to the installation of the battery. Faults inside the battery are an issue for the component supplier especially when they are the expert design authority and you have asked them to meet a series of outline requirements that they have agreed.

Going as far as waving actual accusations of negligence around is a massive step too far especially when it's clear you can't understand the fault they described.

My main takeaway from the whole saga was that the move to builtin batteries mean it went from a simple issue of supplying a $20 part for the end user to replace (with phones made safe in the interim by removing the battery) to a massive complex recall of an expensive device with no easy options for rework and no easy option to make the device safe in the interim.

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Did Oculus swipe blueprints from rival? Zuck takes the stand

Starace

It's credible

I can believe the claim that a certain person actually had little in the way of tech or prototype.

And that an established game company would have something developed.

And that when there was a hype bandwagon to jump on with a pile of cash attached someone saw an opportunity.

The whole Oculus story has been full of bullshit from the start so an extra helping would at least be consistent.

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BT installs phone 'spam filter', says it'll strain out mass cold-callers

Starace

Re: BT need to sort out CLI

You do realise that some people do genuinely have 5 digit phone numbers?

Utter pain though when someone has a fiddle in the system somewhere and incoming calls (eg international) don't come through if an extra random digit isn't tacked on the end. Took a couple of weeks to get sorted.

In other parts of the EU I've known people who had area code plus 3 digits.

One thing that should be a giveaway is the calls where they spoof the number they're connecting to as being the source as it's an obvious impossibility.

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That's the way the Cook, he stumbles: Apple CEO pay cut as sales tank

Starace

Shocked at this

What exactly did they expect when they put an ops guy in charge of a technology company?

He did exactly what you'd expect, incremental change and manufacturing cost optimisation and product mix based of analysis of volumes shipped.

Actual product concept and marketing and innovation and all the things Jobs did to make it all work are beyond him. We've had a few years sustained by the momentum of the company but that doesn't work forever. They've trimmed too much of the range so are left with a narrow set of core products and none of those has innovated or really led the market for a while.

The fall will take a long time to happen though, their cash reserves are so big that they can decline to utter irrelevance and still survive for decades.

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Meet the Internet of big, lethal Things

Starace

'amateurs (who frequently refer to CAN frames as “packets” and CAN identifiers as “addresses”) '

Professionals have been known to use similar terms too, certainly addresses was the term that was used in a recent discussion around interoperability of different bus standards.

As for the fiddling aspect the amateurs are really going to be out of luck as everything is moving to hardened secure boot and signing of all software updates, the only reason it hasn't so far is the extra overhead required on the low power SOCs. Apparently.

You're even more out of luck with Tesla as they don't even give you diagnostic access and encrypt the buses too.

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This is your captain speaking ... or is it?

Starace

Re: Whoa, hang on

What subnets? Or for that matter what Wifi or Bluetooth? In the context of the avionics there isn't any.

But there are data diodes and gateways and things like that to ensure total isolation of passenger crap from real systems.

It's not like it's exactly complicated to implement a hard one way link to feed speed/altitude/heading/location with zero possibility of anything going the other way.

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Starace

What a load of crap

They've managed to get a load of coverage based on very little. Just like their previous efforts.

They've maybe managed to hack a little into the IFE, so what? It's just a game/entertainment system built on COTS technology. And even being generous they barely scratched the thing.

They've then managed to get a boost to their frankly amateurish 'hacking' by saying they think that maybe it might somehow be possible to do something to get at aircraft systems. Which it isn't. The language suggests they have no clue about the architecture and implementation but just a vague idea that hacking one bit might get access to other unconnected bits. Which you can't.

A lot of so called security researchers these days seem to be at the level of teenage skiddies who are all about hype and nothing about actual real exploits. But they get coverage based on a load of 'what if' that works because the majority of press and public are just as ignorant as the people making the original claims.

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Fatal flaws in ten pacemakers make for Denial of Life attacks

Starace

Re: Need a sense of proportion

They're going to have a hard job making it look like an accident when the evidence of tampering is all over the device logs.

This is one of those lovely security scares where yes, you could do something but it's complicated, specialist and expensive and leaves a lot of evidence behind.

And they fail to mention that they could use a strong magnetic field (or strong RF source) in similar conditions and obtain similar results without the evidence trail or the same complexity.

But to security researchers every problem is a security problem.

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Unlucky Luckey: Oculus developers invoke anti-douchebag clause, halt games for VR goggles

Starace

You think this was that moment?

The guy has always been an arsehole, and Oculus have been doing stupid things for a while now.

This latest bit doesn't really add much beyond what we were already very well aware of; he's an obnoxious guy with too much money from not actually doing very much at all.

His politics don't really matter to me as I couldn't have thought much less of him than I already did.

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Apple wants to buy Formula 1 car firm McLaren – report

Starace

Talk about the right company

What seems to be up for discussion is McLaren Automotive which is a separate company from the other activities and these days mostly owned by former McLaren bondholders who swapped debt for equity.

Bringing the other companies into it could be seriously misleading.

Not sure what exactly is worth buying into as pretty much everything in terms of technology and manufacturing at Automotive was subcontracted. About the only things in house are marketing integration paint and assembly.

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'Inherent risk' to untried and untested 4G emergency services network – NAO

Starace

It's a stupid idea

Everyone knows it's a stupid idea.

The key requirements are coverage, reliability and voice performance. Instead they've gone for cheap, shiny plus a bit of extra data.

The current solution might be a bit expensive and a bit clunky but it has the key advantage that it actually works unlike this 4G fantasy concept.

The same thinking comes up again and again - why should I spend XXX when my cheap gadget does sort of the same thing? Because maybe your cheap gadget won't work or won't survive?

On a side note I recently had a go with a prototype to try one of the peer to peer forwarding modes for voice in environments without a proper basestation signal. The latency was comical.

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Tesla to stop killing drivers: Software update beamed to leccy cars

Starace

Re: Radar is well proven, why has it been ignored by Tesla ?

We won't mention why Audi moved to twin transceivers plus camera - OK we will, the earlier version with a central transceiver was prone to getting confused by oncoming traffic, corners and other things, plus the vagaries of the interesting range of radar profiles of other traffic such as the stealthy rear end of a mk2 Mondeo saloon which could appear on occasion to have accidentally matched what needed millions for the F117 to achieve.

It also isn't widely mentioned how the camera positioning has evolved over a short period as real life proved certain engineering assumptions wrong.

I have to say that the Tesla statement suggests they don't really properly understand how the sensors behave, or the best way to use them, or what is reliable and even things like their iteration rates seem a bit optimistic when you consider what can happen in 100ms at normal traffic speeds. And this assumes they have used a proper certifiable scheduler to drive it.

You can throw software updates at the thing but their hubristic approach smacks of an Internet startup way of thinking that doesn't match with the sound engineering approach something like this demands.

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Brexit makes life harder for an Internet of Things startup

Starace

I feel dumber for having read this

So the key point is there is nothing to worry about?

Yet somehow wrapped with a misleading headline and a load of scary what-ifs.

Note: I have occasionally been involved with CE and other test processes in house or carried out by a third party. None of these things are scary. An extra one on the list isn't a worry, even in the extremely unlikely event that the UK diverged from the CE process.

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Drone speedboat isn't

Starace

You do understand why it was manned?

The story implies it was manned because it didn't work.

The actual reason was that it wasn't legally allowed on the river without a crew being present, even if they were just sat back having coffee.

Slight difference.

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USBee stings air-gapped PCs: Wirelessly leak secrets with a file write

Starace

Not even news 30 years ago

Seriously. This is hardly some great revelation that a machine can leak noise of whatever sort that may include information.

It's also not much of a challenge when you have physical access, can install and run arbitrary code and maybe even plug something in, and the installation environment allows you to get some sort of detector close and then let that in turn get information outside.

A five year old could probably achieve the same 'research' and maybe get someone to write about it.

Proper air gapped systems - as opposed to something that doesn't just have Internet access unplugged - are slightly harder to crack and the ways of protecting them have been much the same for decades and would have prevented this sort of amateur nonsense right from the start.

In further news I can get information off an air gapped system by pointing a camera at the screen through your office window. This is a new and exciting technique as I use an IP camera so I can 'hack an air gapped system remotely'...

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Labour's Jeremy Corbyn wants high speed broadband for all. Wow, original idea there

Starace

25 billion fits easily into 500 billion

The big question is where exactly does the 500 billion come from?

Not worth worrying over too much though as my dog has more chance of becoming Prime Minister than Comrade Jez does.

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US military's fake chips battle

Starace
Flame

Who are they buying from then?

Unless they're going to some really dodgy sorts I remember that the whole purchasing system involved (and still does) a ton of certification and QA on all the parts for a military or aircraft manufacturing process. Almost exactly like Suricou Raven suggested could happen; it all ready did.

Which is why everything turned out to be so expensive to buy due to the volume of paper and process involved all the way through.

It also made life interesting if you wanted small quantities of something (say 50 chips) where you could get them easily enough - maybe even free - from the manufacturer but then you had to insist on the full purchasing & QA process on a really tiny order when the usual MOQ was 1000.

Maybe that has broken down recently for some of their suppliers or maybe the military's purchasing side have been deciding things were too expensive from the official source, gone grey market or to broker then finding out where the saving actually came from.

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Protect your staff from Toronto's terrible Twitter trolls, bosses told

Starace

Re: The Reg = SJW?

Look at the byline on the article. Kieren is at least consistent.

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Starace
Meh

Easy solution

Just subcontract their Twitter account off to a third party, then it's not their problem and they're compliant by default.

This is what most corporates do anyway, no point keeping it in-house.

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Jeep hackers: How we swerved past Chrysler's car security patches

Starace
FAIL

Re: Physical Access

Exactly.

You wouldn't even need to use the diagnostic port, you could splice straight into a bus on the other side of the gateway and push anything you like down it, which would also nobble their stupid little security idea.

Which in part is what I suspect they did because they're claiming to have done stuff that doesn't seem to be possible if you're going in via diagnostics, but could be if you went in elsewhere. Like overriding the vehicle speed messages which aren't on the diagnostic bus if you're talking about the ones between the control modules.

It's like claiming I can hack your banking passwords on your ultra-secure system after I've stuck a keylogger on the keyboard cable; not exactly complicated and doesn't really prove much.

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Firefox to banish hidden Flash files – and kill off sneaky ad snoopers

Starace

Figleaf

They're busy knocking back Flash and claiming it causes instability (fair enough) but what is their excuse for the utter lack of stability in their Flash-less and feature restricted Android client?

Once they knock down Flash what are they going to have to blame for the bloat, resource leaks, insecurity and instability other than their own junk code base?

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Nitwit has fit over twit hit: Troll takes timeless termination terribly

Starace

Re: So reporting the ban of an abusive guy is like the Guardian?

I don't know that they should have bothered reporting it as it isn't tech related beyond being on Twitter, though this is a comment piece not a report so reflects the author's opinion as opposed to just facts.

Someone was suspended by Twitter. So what? Happens daily. And as far as I can tell there were no innocents in this. On one side there seems to be a right wing attention whore and on the other a semi literate comedian prone to racist outbursts who seems to have been upset by a film review. Both seem happy to stir the crowd when it suits them.

And ultimately to the wider world it's meaningless.

But I still see an article reflecting a particular viewpoint that not so long ago would have come nowhere near this site but looks right on target for Comment is Free.

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Starace

Kieren generates yet another article turning the once great Register into an outpost of the Guardian.

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Martha Lane Fox: Brexit is all about MEEEEeeee!

Starace

Re: Her dad brilliant as well

Because as they've both found a sub-90 IQ is no handicap if you know the right people.

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What Brexit means for you as a motorist

Starace

Possibly maybe.

I just ended up wondering what an opinion piece about Brexit related motoring costs is doing in the hardware section of an IT site?

Though El Reg is rapidly morphing into the technology wing of the Guardian so I'm not surprised this got shoehorned in.

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SWIFT hackers nick $10m from Ukraine bank

Starace

So not a SWIFT hack then?

So they attacked the bank computers and the mechanism used was the normal one for all transfers.

So SWIFT as such wasn't hacked? A bit like saying 'Openreach hackers' when someone's private online banking gets hit.

I guess 'Ukraine bank hacked' isn't much of a headline so SWIFT is in there to spice it up.

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Lyft, Uber throw Texas-sized tantrum over Austin driver law

Starace

.'This cut and paste reply that has nothing to do with the article was brought to you by Uber'

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Ford tops up Pivotal's $253m cash slurp, parks CIO on its board

Starace
Flame

I love this sort of thing

It never goes well though...

- Company invests in/buys out technology supplier. Large bonuses for key management!

- Internal policy starts to mandate the supplier is used for all future work in this area.

- Engineering staff point out technology isn't what they currently use/doesn't work/was already rejected/is inferior to competition/costs more than the competition/has worse license terms etc. etc.

- Arms are twisted.

- Situation turns out to be as bad as or worse than suggested, projects go elsewhere to try to find something workable.

- Investment is quietly written down.

- Key supplier management retire to enjoy the money they made.

I'm not saying this is will happen here but the pattern and experience is familiar. The trick is to be the one taking the cash, not the one trying to salvage something from the fallout.

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FOUR Avatar sequels

Starace

Will probably never happen

He's been messing around for years now talking about these sequels that no one really wants.

I'll believe they're actually happening when there's a little more sign of actual production, not just messing about and random statements every year or two.

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Universal Credit at high risk of cyber-attack, fraud from the outset

Starace

Old data?

So this is what the situation was in 2011/12.

So the meetings that happened in 2013/14 to fix it won't be included?

That said telling the civil service what they need to do and them listening are very different things but don't jump to the conclusion they haven't been told how to sort it. I understand the Treasury bods are particularly resistant to input.

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Bundling ZFS and Linux is impossible says Richard Stallman

Starace

Stallman is a loon

All religions have their wild eyed prophet in the early days. But there comes a time when pragmatism takes the lead and the evangelists need to be retired to their hermit hole so new thinkers can bring the valuable core ideals to the world without the baggage.

License wars are the kind of stupidity we can do without, the key is whether the tech is free, open and works. Beyond that it's all arcane theology.

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The future of Firefox is … Chrome

Starace

Firefox used to be the future

Then everyone at Mozilla disappeared up their own arses. Over the years all they've done is climbed further inside.

Users and what they might want are obviously just an inconvenience.

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Soho baroness at Twitter

Starace

Hmm

So yet again she proves a complete lack of any discernible skill or talent is no barrier to progress if you know the right people.

She should fit right in at Twitter.

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Neighbour sick of you parking in his driveway? You'd better hack-proof your car

Starace

My thoughts exactly.

A scheduler, application partitioning and signed code on a secured SOC with a fixed and validated ICD with key handshaking doesnt leave much room for what they're selling.

On the other hand there have been a few muppets recently using a full operating system on an embedded computer to build entertainment systems plus at least one well known manufacturer who seem to think Linux and bog standard ethernet is a good platform for their electric car.

But mostly it sounds like marketing bullshit that no OEM would touch, or if they did it would be via their existing RTOS supplier adding what was actually needed.

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