* Posts by WatAWorld

1252 posts • joined 24 Feb 2012

Page:

US domestic, er, foreign spying bill progresses through Congress

WatAWorld
Silver badge

It may already be too late for legislatures to stand up to security agencies

It may already be too late for legislatures to stand up to security agencies.

Our security agencies may already have so much information about our politicians that our politicians cannot speak or vote according to their consciences or the public good.

18
0

IBM offloads Notes and Domino to India's HCL Technologies

WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: Interface Hall of Shame

"We criticise the product now for its defects, but why didn't said global corporations do their research prior to embracing it? Methinks that it is the sheep mentality: Such & Such Megacorp is using Notes, it must be ok to use it."

IBM salespeople were the highest paid in the industry. They could sell ice to eskimos.

VPs of Finance and VPs of IT of the day (themselves mostly enthusiastic non-tech ex-sales yesmen) didn't stand a chance of making a good decision for their companies.

1
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

No price? HCL was smart enough to not pay for this old stuff.

The article mentions no prices?

So, at least HCL was smart enough to not pay for this old IBM stuff.

I think IBM is like Apple: primarily a sales & marketing organization.

The difference being that Apple makes easy to use products that are sometimes up-to-date with the times.

1
0

Australian senator Pauline Hanson wants devilish scam calls to flash '666'

WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: Pauline Hanson

He's/she's using an ad hominem attack.

- Doesn't have a valid argument against the idea.

- Can't debate the points others have made that T-Mobile and Android store have working apps that already do exactly this -- proving that it works.

I wonder if he/she realizes she's negging a "big government" "government regulation" proposal?

I'd expect Trump supporters to be against this on the grounds of big government and more government regulation.

Is Trump supporting what those personally attacking this Pauline person are?

0
3
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: Mr Bell, your child is dead.

They may not have a choice. They may be in a call centre and:

1. The phone on their desk has no externally visible phone number.

2. They're grunts, their managers are monitoring them electronically to see that they're constantly busy, and if they're idle or on break more than 5% of the time they get sacked.

So it is a deadlock. If you're in a similar grunt level job where you're constantly busy and can't be interrupted you'll never connect, unless one of you calls the other at home. (Or communicate by email.)

1
1
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: Mr Bell, your child is dead.

<<"That's what voicemail is for."

You trust your telco to store confidential messages on their servers?>>

The security conscious can still get their own answering machines. That is what I have.

3
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

So it works. Probably the only reason US and Canadian telcos don't all do it now is the royalty fees on the patents.

I'm not in the USA, so may I ask, is T-mobile is in a competitive market place? Is it offering this as a feature to boost market share?

If introducing this service is only going to be prompted by companies seeking competitive advantage we'll never get for landlines unless there is legislation.

1
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: I propose another use for 666.

<<"I suspect Pauline Hanson has D-K"

Hmm ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DK ...

Dorling-Kindersley>>

<<So she's too stupid to realise she's an idiot. OK. That fits.>>

It is likely anyone using D-K in an ad hominem attack in an argument is themselves suffering from D-K.

2
1
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: I propose another use for 666.

<<So, the bank rings you to tell you you're getting close to your overdraft limit, so you put the phone down and dial *666#. Fourteen other people also do the same, and now your bank can't ring anyone to tell them they've hit their overdraft limit. >>

Yes, 15 is too low a number. We don't expect politicians to work out the details, and when we do (and elect mostly lawyers) it is a huge mistake.

It should be a percentage of the calls the calls completed are reported as *666.

Since not everyone is community minded enough to take time to dial *666, some study and tweaking will be required.

The percentage might initially be set at (say) 30%, with a minimum of 15 completed calls reported as *666. As public interest declines, reduce the 30%.

As others have said, there are services that do this for cell calls in the USA. Experts can check there to see what problems and issues need to be avoided.

Also to see what patent fees they'll have to pay.

2
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: I propose another use for 666.

>But surely '666' is the Australian emergency services?

>(Yeah, yeah, I know that joke probably only works in the UK...)

That joke works even better in the US.

0
3
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: I propose another use for 666.

"I suspect Pauline Hanson has D-K, she is a nasty racist character"

Even nasty racist people can have good ideas. Which is why ad hominem (i.e. personal) attacks are invalid.

If you want to disagree with an idea, it is best to argue the idea, rather than stoop to the level of those you criticize.

2
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: I propose another use for 666.

Telcos don't get revenue for connecting spam callers in the USA or Canada. We pay for local service, not for local calls.

And we still get telephone spam, even when signed up for the "do not call registry" -- although not as much here in Canada as they do in the USA.

I like the idea of extending some of the smartphone apps to telephone companies and landlines.

We don't all live in tiny overpopulated countries with really excellent cell service.

(BTW, did you know that if you consider the population density of England (not the entire UK) England has the highest population density of any non-city state in the EU?

With Scotland, Wales and NI, you're #30 of all EU countries. With just England you're first except for the City States. You even beat the Netherlands. Check it for yourself on WolframAlpha.)

0
0

'Independent' gov law reviewer wants users preemptively identified before they're 'allowed' to use encryption

WatAWorld
Silver badge

Lack of encryption jeopardizes politicians more than most of us: look at Clinton

Dale Carnegie said something to the effect, "To convince someone to do something, we have to frame it in terms of what motivates them. And in order to do that, we have to be able to see things from their point of view as well as our own. "

One the groups most jeopardized by lack of widely available private encryption is politicians, like Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, and Theresa May. In Clintons' and many other cases, that jeopardy is with lack of security on their personal email.

Another of the most jeopardized groups is political candidates. And candidates are generally stuck using the deeply flawed and vulnerable civilian communications and telephone products regular civilians do.

Yeah, restricting encryption makes life easier for our security agencies, but likewise it makes life easy for the other side's security agencies, organized crime, and political opponents.

Yeah, journalists care about how restricting encryption affects them. And yeah, businesses worry about how restrictions on message security reduce their ability to keep trade secrets from competitors. Similarly with academics racing to publish papers ahead of their competition at other labs and schools.

But what really matters, what will decide things, is whether politicians see restricting the availability of effectiveness of encryption makes life hard and embarrassing for politicians.

Make politicians aware that their security is our security. Make politicians aware that government agencies that want to make it easier to spy on civilians are making it easier for everyone to spy on politicians, candidates, and constituency workers.

Politicians have to be made to realize that spy agencies against encryption are spy agencies against democracy and in favour of a chekist regime.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chekism

"Chekism (from Cheka, the first Soviet secret police organization) is a term to describe the situation in the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia, where the secret political police controlled everything in society"

Our security services will control everything, especially politicians.

12
0

Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork

WatAWorld
Silver badge

I vote to add the clearly bigoted Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco.

You cannot condemn people for holding beliefs you disagree without being called a bigot. You can debate their beliefs, freely, but you cannot merely observe they hold a belief you disagree with and that make them dreadful.

So I vote to add the clearly very bigoted Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco. For a long time bigotry has been standard in the USA, only who is doing it and who they condemn varies. It is so entrenched there the bigots don't even realize they are themselves committing a dreadful evil act when they speak, post or write.

Oxford English Dictionary definition of bigot:

A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.

Merriam-Webster definition of bigot:

a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/bigot

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigot

13
2

Assange offers job to sacked Google diversity manifestbro

WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: A job in the Ecuadorian embassy?

It is at this place:

WikiLeaks, its publisher and its journalists have won many awards, including:

The Economist New Media Award (2008)

The Amnesty New Media Award (2009)

TIME Magazine Person of the Year, People’s Choice (highest global vote) (2010)

The Sam Adams Award for Integrity (2010)

The National Union of Journalists Journalist of the Year (Hrafnsson) (2011)

The Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal (2011)

The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism (2011)

The Blanquerna Award for Best Communicator (2011)

The Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism (2011)

The Voltaire Award for Free Speech (2011)

The International Piero Passetti Journalism Prize of the National Union of Italian Journalists (2011)

The Jose Couso Press Freedom Award (2011)

The Privacy International Hero of Privacy (2012)

The Global Exchange Human Rights People’s Choice Award (2013)

The Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts (2013)

The Brazillian Press Association Human Rights Award (2013)

The Kazakstan Union of Journalists Top Prize (2014)

As well as nominations for the UN Mandela Prize (2015) and nominations in six consecutive years for the Nobel Peace Prize (2010-2015)

https://wikileaks.org/What-is-Wikileaks.html

11
2
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: Obligatory xkcd

That is a bigoted US-only legal definition of free speech.

Most of us are not in the USA.

8
9
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: Well...

This morning. He works from the embassy.

9
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Real journalists meet and question those they disagree with.

Journalists have to meet a higher standard than the regular public. Journalists are not merely supposed to avoid being bigots by respecting contrary opinion. Journalists are supposed to seek out contrary opinion.

Real journalists meet and question those they disagree with. So Assange is a real journalist, whereas your editors and publisher wouldn't know a real journalist if they saw one.

"*Assange recently met Nigel Farage, has offered tentative praise of Donald Trump, and was defended by George Galloway as having merely engaged in "bad sexual etiquette" in relation to the allegations of sexual assault against Assange, which the WikiLeaker has always denied."

Trump is going to get impeached, hopefully for improper things he did that no other president before him did. But that doesn't mean he has had no good ideas. Even the devil has an occasional good idea.

8
10
WatAWorld
Silver badge

OED definition of bigot: A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.

OED definition of bigot: A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/bigot

MWD definition of bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

Note that in the definition, race and ethnic group are listed as examples. There is no exception that permits mistreating ethnic groups because you "don't like them" or you think "your prejudices are based in science and everyone else's prejudices are based in pseudo science."

4
0

Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: I use

"do not like Chrome, for a start where is the search box?"

In the URL box. Just overtype the URL. Or open a new tab and type in your search.

1
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: IMO It is an engineering fault for their failure...

"agree with all points, another engineering mistake was to remove many of the ssl nag screens. Removing the opportunity to bypass the problem.

Bug reports say 'use chrome'!"

The ultimate in stupidity, having your engineering dept doing marketing for a competitor. I remember when I was waiting for FF to improve before switching, there was a lot of that. Sound muting. 64-bit. Some security suggestions. Disabling hotkeys.

They wanted to do what they wanted to do, and if customers didn't like it customers were advised to switch to a competitor.

Wise advise. We took it.

Incidentally, I remember hating the bland Chrome UI. So FF copied it after I left. Idiots. I hate these bland indistinct UIs. MS seems to love them too. And now Google News has adopted one too.

Lasik doesn't really improve presbyopia.

2
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: It should be made illegal...

"2) It should show the ballot on Android.... which has the same market dominance Windows had."

Sounds like a good general rule that OS's have a ballot for competitors products. So a ballot on iOS and MacOS too.

1
1
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: blocked?

"So are Google blocking access to rival browser's installers?"

Not on my computer. It just downloaded fine.

0
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

FF isn't needed for competition. There's Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, Pale Moon, Safari, MSIE, Edge?

"Have you been living under a rock..... the latest firefox is using the same memory print as chrome which i actually do not like but that is another discussion."

One or two good releases of FF is not going to persuade people who left FF to switch back.

Generally only a few hobbyists are going switch browsers every time one beats another in some test. Switching, but to hobbyists the hassle is the attraction of their hobby.

For FF to regain customers who left:

1. FF is going to have to be noticeably better than what they switched to (be it Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, etc., etc. apparently no lack of choices).

2. FF is going to have to build a track record of being consistently better.

That is a lot of choice besides Chrome, so FF isn't needed for competition. There's Opera, Vivaldi, Pale Moon, Safari, MSIE, Edge, and more.

0
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: Google - It is getting worse for us

"Google is EVIL I tell you, EVIL. Avoid at all costs."

It's like Linux fanbois blaming MS for Linux's failure to attracting customers amongst either the general population or on desktops and laptops of regular business users. If MS being evil was a problem people would be fleeing TO Linux (or, if money didn't matter, Apple).

The article is about why customers have fled FF and aren't returning. Your theory that it has to do with Google being evil doesn't fit reality.

The theory that Google is a hidden evil that people are generally ignorant of doesn't make sense either, since their supposed evil has to do with advertising that everyone sees everywhere in their products.

People know about the advertising, but they choose to see it as either non-evil or less evil.

Remember that outside of IT a large percentage of the population works in retail, marketing, or sales, and even tradespeople are generally aware that their own employers and their own jobs depend on advertising. People don't see themselves as being evil. They usually find undirected shotgun advertising a timewaster, but they don't see advertising as 'evil'.

Certainly Google's advertising (even on Youtube) is not as bothersome as what we get on TV.

0
4
WatAWorld
Silver badge

I'm not switching back until new FF is as much better than Chrome as Chrome was than old FF

This is bullshit:

"Firefox's decline is not an engineering problem," writes Gal.

+++"It is easier to retain customers than to get them back once they leave."+++ Mozilla engineering was never told this maxim and now the entire company is paying the price.

I waited and waited for FF to improve its terrible performance and to improve its security by making FF 64-bit viable with full plug-in support.

And after a couple of years of inaction by Mozilla Engineers I tried Chrome 64-bit, and indeed Chrome was far faster for me than FF. There would be huge time savings every week if I switched.

So reluctantly I switched from FF to Chrome.

It took effort, finding new plug-ins, getting Chrome set-up in a way I liked. +++I'm still pissed-off about Chrome's lack of suitable Zoom options (increments are way too big and cannot be changed).+++

Having gone through the effort to switch I'm not switching back until there's a new FF that is as much better than Chrome as Chrome was than old slow FF.

FF doesn't have to match Chrome's performance and features, they have to exceed them greatly.

"It is easier to retain customers than to get them back once they leave." Remember that if you want your employer to stay in business.

3
0

Australia releases MH370 sea floor data but search is still off

WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: It is a salvage mission in international waters, China should take over the search

Agreed that it is only going to show the crash location. The bodies have likely been eaten or otherwise disintegrated by the oceans. In monetary and engineering terms there is next to nothing that would be learned.

There is not only the monetary cost, but also the risk to human lives of the doing this in a very stormy ocean. Risking human lives for what to us is 'no good reason'.

But I understand in Chinese culture there is an emotional desire to recover the bodies and that the Chinese families have been pushing the Australians to resume the search -- to make the attempt even if it is unlikely to be successful. Just like US marines risking their lives to drag home a deceased comrade.

I can understand that desire, but the Chinese should be pushing their own government.

Yes, we know the engines performed as designed until they ran out of fuel. We know that about the IMSAT transponder too.

One of the strong likelihoods is that the accident was caused by a loss of pressurization due to fire in the cargo of LiNH batteries. With that theory the course changes are explained as the pilots attempting to take the aircraft where it could dump fuel and then land. Some of the cargo might be non-buoyant and still down there to provide charred evidence. But don't we already know that the bulk carriage of LiNH batteries is too dangerous to be permitted in passenger aircraft? So nothing to be gained there.

A botched hijacking or robbery resulting in a depressurization is another theory, but that would not leave any evidence after so long.

Pilot suicide wouldn't leave additional contrary evidence either. (Why commit suicide in a lengthy 7 hour manner where passengers and crew would stop you? Why not nose dive? Or better yet, why not kill do it at home and kill only yourself?)

I doubt if the cockpit voice or flight data recorders, or cell phone memory cards, would be readable after so long under such deep water. Charred wreckage would be the only hope. And it would merely confirm what we already know about NiMh batteries.

It can't be terrorism because by definition terrorism is done on civilian targets in a manner to create terror in civilian populations. By definition, if it is made to look like an accident, if it is deliberately done in a manner not to cause terror, it isn't terrorism.

The only reason to pursue the salvage is cultural for the families of the survivors. So they can tell their friends and family, and the spirits of their ancestors, that they tried to do the (culturally) right thing and recover the bodies. I can understand that. But I cannot understand asking the Australians to do it for them. To whatever extent this is a part of Chinese culture the Chinese government should want to do this for its people.

IF in fact there is some new suggested search zone. I read the quote from the end of this fresh report as saying drift debris is consistent with the zone already searched on the basis of the satellite transmissions.

But yeah, no economic or safety reason to continue the search. Only a cultural one.

4
5
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Contradicts suggestion drift modeling indicated a different crash location than was searched

This quote near the end of the report (near the end of the "The data behind the search for MH370" section of the report, ahead of the "Drift Modeling Simulations by CSIRO" video) seems to contradict the interpretation that the drift modeling suggested a different crash location than was searched.

"Using the locations of confirmed debris, the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the CSIRO, conducted drift modelling analysis to determine possible locations of the MH370 crash site. The results of this modelling were consistent with the search area."

IF that is correct, then no wonder they haven't restarted the search, and no wonder China hasn't take over the salvage search for its own people.

2
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

It is a salvage mission in international waters, China should take over the search

Australia only had exclusive jurisdiction when it was a Search and Rescue mission.

For a long while now it has been a salvage mission in international waters, anyone or any nation can do that.

China or Malaysia should take over the search, because they have human reasons for wanting the salvage. (Or the USA, the aircraft manufacturer being based in the USA gives the USA technical reasons to want the salvage.)

The rescue mission was completed long ago. Australia has no greater responsibilities in the salvage mission than India or South Africa or Canada does.

For the sake of the families, I hope China does the right thing and starts planning its salvage mission immediately.

13
0

Despite high-profile hires, Apple's TV plans are doomed

WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: Must watch tv ?

Richard, maybe check out your local public library. Many libraries have CD and DVD collections. I watch a lot of Criterion Collection DVDs and blu-rays. They tend to have digitally restored director's cut BFI Top 100 or other top film, and in the extras there will be 2-3 interviews on the historical setting, making or meaning of the film, biography of the director, etc.

I find this sort of content more interesting that what is broadcast.

Turner Classic and Silver Screen try to emulate this, but they don't spend the bucks to get the content digitally restored, so the video is seldom clear.

So much of what is broadcast today is either a remake of what was an inspired classic, or so sticks to rigid PC gender and race stereotypes that I can predict the ending 1/5 of the way into it. No suspense, no good writing, no good acting. Excluding TV for women and TV for kiddies, today's TV depends on special effects and violence. That and the actors are all made-up to look like they're 15 to 27 years-old, even when they're playing the senior officials, generals, etc.

Exception: If you don't mind subtitles, there is some inspired TV coming out of New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, etc. But sadly we don't get that much in Canada. What we get are the un authentic Americanized adaptations (sometimes made in the UK), with the PC stereotypes, simplified story lines, worse acting, and (sometimes) more graphic violence.

0
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: Must watch tv ?

It is 'must watch' only for its target audience. If you're outside of that target audience it is meh.

1
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: Apple

Apple is only in the tech news these days for discussion what outrageous amounts they can get the 'uniformed' spendthrifts to pay for old technology.

I say 'uninformed', I mean uninformed about technology. I think Apple's customers tend to be very art and fashion contest. You know the type:

Q: "What kind of car do you drive?"

A: "Its minimalist 2018 slate coupé."

2
3
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: "There's more premium original content than consumers can even watch."

Over the past 2 years I've watched maybe 30 hours of TV. Back in the 1960s and 70s I probably watched that much in a week. Watching TV was a lifelong habit, until 2 years ago when I decided I was just fed up.

Unless you're a Nielsen family you're watching less TV than ever. (Being surveyed makes you watch more.)

What is killing TV is not too much TV programming available.

It is leaving people out of audiences, leaving people without content they desire.

There are plenty of viewer hours left unused, taken up by the internet, by reading, by going for walks, by socialization. The problem is the viewers the lack of content aimed at the viewers who have those available viewing hours.

I still have a cable TV subscription. The cable network gave it to me for free when I called up to cancel -- it just rarely ever use it. (The TV is directly free, but they offered me a package discount on my phone and internet equal to the cost of the TV packages and PVR rental. So the TV is free so long as I don't cancel anything.)

1
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Apple could succeed only if it makes programming for the ignored demographics

Pretty much TV and movies today are made for the 12 to 25 year-old male and 12 to 30 year-old female demographics.

If Apple makes TV for the 40+ demographic they've got the marketplace to themselves.

Problem is Apple won't get advertising dollars, because advertisers ignore older folks. But these are people who grew up on TV and we can't believe we don't have anything much to watch.

Make TV for us and you won't have much in the way of competition.

2
0

Marissa! Mayer! out! as! Yahoo!-Verizon! closes!

WatAWorld
Silver badge

buy a company and cut as much of the services, products and work force as you can.

Verizon expects to cut about 15 per cent of the workforce of the new Oath organization, representing the elimination of about 2,000 jobs.

If the new owners do as poorly as Meyer they'll be able to make even bigger cuts.

That seems to be the objective these days, buy a company and cut as much of the services, products and work force as you can.

Heck, wipe out the workforce and company entirely and you get $130 million plus a brass ring.

5
0

IBM CEO Ginni flouts £75 travel crackdown, rides Big Blue chopper

WatAWorld
Silver badge

Seriously, the old guard of tech need to quit hiring old-guard CEOs who have little clue on leadership and innovation.

Stop the agism. It isn't that they're old guard. That idea should bite the dust as surely as the idea that the problem was an "old boys club".

It is that top executive management comes from sales and marketing.

Managers, marketing types, they're loners know nothing about technical innovation, nothing about innovation on teams, nothing about the technology, nothing about the physics.

They're detached from the programmer and engineer class, which makes it super easy for them to lay such "technicians" off.

They can drive an entire mega-company into the ground without a moment's guilt over drawing a huge salary while failing to deliver the success shareholders are paying them for.

11
1

We're heading back… to the future! Net neutrality rules on chopping block

WatAWorld
Silver badge

refusal of creators to patent and charge license fees was the start of the internet revolution

The refusal to regulate the nascent internet like the telephone companies was the start of the internet revolution, he noted.

Was it not the refusal of creators to patent and charge license fees for the technology was the start of the internet revolution.

Otherwise every company would have wanted to save fees by having its own version of TCP, HTML, etc.

3
0

Don't gripe if you hand your PC to Geek Squad and they rat you out to the Feds – judge

WatAWorld
Silver badge

a prominent California gynecologist

"a prominent California gynecologist"

I know I'd expect to find confidential medical information on a physician's computer.

And what sorts of confidential information and photos would one expect to find on a gynecologist's or plastic surgeon's computer?

Seems to me like there has been more than one perverted criminal act here.

22
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Class Action suit? FBI paying bounty for illegal searches of photos, emails and documents?

The agency has a close relationship with Geek Squads, and offers $500 bounties for successful finds of illegal material.

Rettenmaier's defense team had argued that this was an invalid search, but Judge Carney ruled that is was legitimate since the defendant had signed a contract with the Geek Squad that contains a warning that illegal material will be reported.

Is this correct:

1. So the FBI was either knowingly paying for illegal searches, or turning a blind eye to the fact that $500 is going to cause illegal searches.

2. The searches include any material relating to crime or possible crime, including emails and documents.

3. The FBI is paying Geek Squad, and Geek Squad is accepting, payment for searching and viewing all sorts of emails, documents and pictures on everyone's computer, hoping for a $500 bounty.

4. The illegal material in this was not stumbled across, but discovered after an active search paid for by the potential for the FBI bounty.

I think there is a class action suit possible on behalf of all Geek Squad customers whose confidentially was violated by the existence of this FBI bounty and Geek Squad's acceptance of it.

14
0

Proposed PATCH Act forces US snoops to quit hoarding code exploits

WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: "chaired by an Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official"

Good point.

Will government civilian agencies charged with protecting US businesses and investments, like the FTC and FCC, have seats on the board?

It would still be inadequate, because nobody to represent individual Americans, but at least there might be consideration of protecting private trade secrets.

2
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: It's a nice thought

But in reality, it doesn't matter if they do, or do not, create this new secret clearing house for zero day vulns, because any serious security researcher, or a nation-state-hacker-team (they always need more than one guy) can collect, examine, reverse engineer, and redeploy any remote hack that anyone can dream up, ever.

That would be like the invention of the time machine in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

If it were so trivially easy to discover all the zero day vulnerabilities, then all the zero day vulnerabilities would be discovered at once, days after the release of the program product concerned.

It generally takes either expertise or random luck plus time to find new zero day vulnerabilities.

That is why it is total BS when some security researcher with either a Phd or no job eventually finds some (specifically) zero day vulnerability and releases it to the world because "all hackers already know about it".

a. If they already knew about it then you don't deserve publicity for finding it?

b. If they already knew about it why do the exploits only follow your information release?

c. Peer reviewed journals, tech journals, and newspapers would not mention the zero day discoveries because trivial things are not newsworthy.

d. We wouldn't have internet connected computers, since nothing substantial can be programmed by humans without it having vulnerabilities.

1
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Is what we might learn about the terrorists worth risking people's lives for?

Obviously GCHQ didn't know about it - otherwise they would have told the NHS

It's not like the British government would risk the lives of 1000s of ordinary people to keep secret a tiny exploit

We don't live in a police state. If you patch the NHS computers, civilian computer types are going to know, including civilian computer types without security clearances.

So the decision would have been something like, "Is it what we might learn about 'the terrorists', Russians and Chinese worth risking the lives of UK citizens needing health care?"

Similar conversation in the USA regarding US civilian lives, except that protecting US health care systems is even harder since few of them are government owned and operated.

1
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

safe assumption various intelligence agencies been using these against our businesses for years

I'm still amazed that no-one else had found this vulnerability*

* I assume the Russians hadn't, or there would have been some "suggestions" to Russian organisations to at least block SMB at the firewall. Though maybe the Russian security services liked having their own EternalBlueski that they could use to snoop on their own people?

There was that Adylkuzz private cryptocurrency mining malware that had been quietly churning in the background of people's computers for a few weeks, and was only discovered during the search for WannaCry variants.

You can assume that real intelligence agency spyware would have been as unlikely to be randomly discovered by our side as Adylkuzz was.

The safe assumption would be to assume that the Russians, Chinese, Israelis, British, etc all knew of this vulnerability and had been using it against state, local and industrial targets for years.

Why would the security agencies of other countries not reveal the vulnerability?

a. Some of these countries are police states and would have probably have been able to apply protective patches to their national, state and local government computers without the public knowing.

b. The rest of these countries have fewer industrial secrets than the USA. So less to lose and more to gain from the continued existence of the holes.

4
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Past practice has meant the NSA has been helping the Russians, Chinese and terrorists

Any vulnerability the NSA can find, a foreign intelligence agency can find.

The current situation is that the NSA assume nobody inside the USA has any data useful to the Russians, Chinese, Indians, Iranians, Israelis, Pakistanis, Swiss, Germans, British, or terrorists.

And we know from past disclosures the security agencies of all these countries consider international trade and trade secrets somewhat within the purview of their signals intelligence agencies.

Even if the NSA were to start ensuring all US government computers are patched, that still leaves US local and state government, industry, business, academic, and personal computers open to hacking by foreign powers.

The NSA's assumption that US citizens and US businesses have fewer valuable secrets than the Russians or Chinese is invalid. And those US secrets would be valuable to terrorists too.

The NSA must be made to help safeguard Fortress North America and Fortress USA.

By keeping secret vulnerabilities in US local and state government, industry, business, academic, and personal computers -- by keeping Americans vulnerable -- the NSA has been unwittingly helping the Russians, the Chinese and "the terrorists".

5
0

Shadow Brokers resurface, offer to sell fresh 'wine of month' club exploits

WatAWorld
Silver badge

the 75% is just marketing hype.

Maybe that's what TheShadowBrokers are hoping for? They only claim to have 75% of the NSA's exploits. Obviously the NSA want to hang on to the remaining 25%, but they probably don't know which exploits they are.

To know you have 75% of the NSA exploits you'd have to know the total number of NSA exploits.

So I imagine the 75% is just marketing hype.

0
0
WatAWorld
Silver badge

It is countries spying on their own peaceful citizens and future politicians I object to.

"The NSA's EquationGroup has spies inside Microsoft and other U.S. technology companies, the Shadow Brokers allege."

If not actual NSA, FBI or CIA "employee spies", then covert agents and subverted employees, as well as people legitimately tasked by the government of their private industry managers to aid the NSA.

The are probably inside a lot of technology companies from around the world, including those companies based in loyal NATO allies, unaligned countries and 'opposition' countries.

I don't doubt the UK, Russia, China and Israel attempt to the same.

It is countries spying on their own peaceful citizens and future politicians I object to.

Companies in high tech, governments, and government leaders should expect to be spied on by enemies, and by semi-friends. Such entities have the resources to defend themselves.

0
0

MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech

WatAWorld
Silver badge

MP3 didn't die, it became license free

From the article it sounds like MP3 didn't die, but rather it became license free.

1
0

Do we need Windows patch legislation?

WatAWorld
Silver badge

Let us here from OUTLAW on this. Nothing is sold with a warranty against vandalism

Nothing is sold with a warranty against vandalism.

Do you guys think your cars are warranteed against people being able to smash the windows?

Do you guys think Chrysler Warranteed the M1 Abrams main battle tank against vandalism?

If this went to a court I think the MS lawyers would be quite rightly saying, "We never promised our software would be vandal proof."

There would be no case to be brought.

But I'm not a lawyer. WHY NOT COMMISSION OUTLAW.COM TO DO A FEATURE ON THIS ISSUE?

Is there a case under US law? Under European law?

0
3
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: What

"For example, the factory next door to us bought them selves a spiffy new moulding machine , the price... about 500 000 pounds, now imagine that in 3 years time , m$ go fsck you we're not supporting your OS anymore , upgrade or else, and the machine is rendered useless."

Someone bought a GBP500,000 molding machine that is tied to an obsolete operating system?

And what did the device manager pay for that operating system? If it were Windows, $25?

I think the quarrel is with a device maker ripping the customer off by providing an inappropriate operating system to save money.

0
2
WatAWorld
Silver badge

Re: A tidbit from the NY times:

"The [medical] machines can (as they should) last for decades; that the software should expire and junk everything every 10 years is not a workable solution."

Can you give us an example of a medical device, CT scanner, MRI, etc. that runs Windows?

I think you'll find that Windows is run on things like PCs used as PCs, not $50,000+ specialist hardware.

0
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017