* Posts by DerekCurrie

515 posts • joined 6 Apr 2012


Turn on, tune in, drop out: Apple's whizz-bang T2 security chips hit a bum note for Mac audio

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Apple's Mac-Malaise Continues Apace

This lazy and obtuse attitude toward the Mac by Apple has been going on now for well over three years. Let's name some names of the guilty:

Tim Cook: CEO

Dan Riccio: Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering

Johny Srouji: Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies

Wake-The-Netherworld-Up Apple! You're FaceTimePlanting!

Europe-style 5G standards testing? Consistent definitions? Who the fsck wants that, asks US mobe industry

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

China: Criminal Nation already spies on and rips off the world.


China has been documented to have been spying on and stealing from the rest of the world since 1998, the year the US Clinton administration provided them with 'Most Favored Nation' status. Of course China is going to use 5G hardware to continue their consistent hacking and robbery of IP and government information. This has a massive DUH Factor.

Ask yourself: What does China actually INVENT?

Then ask yourself why countries want to buy hardware from China when they could be buying from the countries that INVENTED and MAINTAIN the 5G standard.

What continues to go on is CHEAP versus SENSIBLE. It's sad that my country, the USA, has an idiot for a President. But that has nothing-at-all to do with the state of China: Criminal Nation and their continuing abusive behavior toward the rest of the world. May sanity prevail.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

AT&T Doesn't Even Bother To Provide Proper 4G

"Recently, for example, in the US, AT&T has been heavily criticized, and been at the end of a Sprint lawsuit, for adding a "5G E" symbol on its phones when they don't actually support a proper 5G standard."

Not only is "5G E" a nonsense marketing moron (versus maven) invention, but AT&T mobile speeds doesn't even qualify for REAL 4G. Read it and be disgusted:



Then there are the numerous scientists concerned about the health effects of 5G:

$25 Million NIH Study Proves Wireless Technology Causes Cancer and DNA Damage - US Brain Tumor Association.com


5G And The IOT: Scienticc Overview Of Human Health Risks


The bigger they are, the harder they fall: Peak smartphone hits Apple, Samsung the worst

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Profit Share & Invention

Market share is irrelevant if the companies with the most aren't making any money. Apple and Samsung own the profit share of smart phones.

Then consider the operating system being used on the not-Apple smartphones. It's Android. It's the single most dangerous operating system available today specifically due to:

(A) OS version fragmentation, meaning that relatively few Android phones are capable or allowed by their vendors to run the latest Android security updates.

(B) Consistent malware foisted at the Android stores, including Google Play. The result is a consistent millions of infected users on a monthly if not weekly basis.

Then there's the question of invention and innovation VERSUS mere imitation and robbery. What do companies in China actually INVENT and INNOVATE? If you can't come up with anything, don't be surprised. Most of the modern Chinese economy is based on making stuff that was invented elsewhere. China acquire the IP they use to make stuff from either companies that hire them to make the stuff, or they rip it off via cyber hacking (documented to have been happening since 1998, the year the Clinton administration gave China Most Favored Nation Status), or they force companies to hand over their IP if they want to sell their products in China.

This is why I describe them as China: Criminal Nation. This is entirely typical of so called 'Communist' regimes. There is no incentive to create. There is incentive to steal.

Wells Fargo? Well fscked at the moment: Data center up in smoke, bank website, app down

DerekCurrie Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Why use Wells Fargo?

After a multitude of failings, both deliberate and inexplicable...

After gross customer abuse...

After contributing to the 'Great Recession' through malfeasance...

After requiring a US taxpayer paid bailout after malfeasance...

Do failures attract?

Grumble Pai: FCC boss told by House Dems to try the novel concept of putting US folks first, big biz second

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

These are grounds to throw The Pai Man out of the FCC

Get some serious guts, US House, and throw this bum OUT of the FCC. End corporatocracy, permanently. You're the oversight. DO the oversight.

Apple solemnly agrees to pay France $570m in back taxes, turns to camera, gives us a wink

DerekCurrie Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Apple will laugh all the way to the couch...

Problem: Apple doesn't owe any back taxes defined by a law that didn't take effect until January 1, 2019. See my comment below about Ex Poste Facto laws being illegal in the EU.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

Apple Owes For 2019, seeing as no Ex Poste Facto laws are allowed in the EU

This issue is, I strongly suspect, not being adequately described in the press. From what I have read in this article, Apple owes only the taxes defined in France's law from the first day of 2019. That would NOT be ~$570 million.

What further information is missing here?

Q: Is perhaps ~$570 million an estimate for 2019?

Q: Is France in fact using an (illegal) Ex Poste Facto law?

Q: Or is this all a ball of confusion that has yet to be properly described in the press?

Q: Or am I missing some finer point that perhaps should be better defined in the press?

Meanwhile, Apple should pay the taxes it owes. Apple should not pay taxes that are bogus, illegal or cooked up as a method of governmental profiteering. That would include Ex Poste Facto law taxation.

Apple files yet another appeal against $503m FaceTime patent payout

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: I'm no Lawyer...

That's "the trump" to you!

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: Go for it, Google!

Sadly, Opera is a variation of Chromium. Cross that one off.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

That'll Be The Boot For Chromium!

"Google engineers have proposed changes to the open-source Chromium browser that will break content-blocking extensions, including various ad blockers."

If this takes place, it means one simple thing: ALL variations of the Chromium browser get booted off my devices, permanently.

Either I have total control over what junk is loaded into my browser, and what personal data is pulled out of my browser for that matter, or I boot out the browser. I have several other browser choices available, all of which offer me, the user, control. Goodbye Google garbage. And your search engine too.

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Stockholder and Market Demand as well as IP Competition/Robbery are also factors

When Steve Jobs returned as Apple CEO in 1997, the prime yelling in the capitalist streets was to push up the company's profit margin. After years of pressure, Apple has settled at ~30%. That equates to a gradual inflation of Apple gear prices in order to make the stockholders happy.

Then add in the currently severe competition in the marketplace for smartphones. In order to attract attention, new technology has to present itself as significantly better than what was offered last year, whether the improvement is real or marketing blether. Apple is never perfect, but they do a far better job of providing real innovation than any other company in the tech market. That equates to R&D, licensing and IP purchase expenditures again creating gradual inflation of Apple gear prices.

Then add in the IP robbery effect whereby China: Criminal Nation and other miscreants (hello Samsung, Google, ad nauseam) have consistently ripped off Apple IP in order to create fraudulent competition in the technology market. This of course cheapens the value of Apple's investments in R&D, forcing them to spend further into R&D as well as marketing in order to rise above the faked Apple market. Again, that forces Apple's expenditures on new products, resulting in further inflation of Apple gear prices.

Neglect ye not these three factors being involved in the resulting Apple prices that are so upsetting to those disinterested in what amounts to the luxury leading-edge end of the tech market.

But keep in mind that the Apple Lisa was expensive bleeding-edge technology. It was Apple's first attempt at integrating the Star OS GUI concepts they had licensed from Xerox. (Yes, licensed. Look it up please). It was a transition device with massive costs typical of prototypes and first-to-market technology. Apple aimed extremely high in a market that had far lower expectations and budgets.

Just forget what Gartner said about AI in June 'cos CIOs are all over it now apparently

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

IRL: "AI" = Expert Systems with speech-to-text and text-to-speech and cloud computing tacked on.

There is no actual "AI", artificial intelligence. That's a marketing term only, at this point in time. Maybe some day there will be such a thing, but not now.

We've been bashing at expert systems since 1965 and have reached a point of significant functionality. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expert_system

Meanwhile, we've been working on speech recognition since 1952 with significant success beginning in 1975. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_recognition https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_NaturallySpeaking

Work on speech synthesis is centuries old. Actual text-to-speech technology was first demonstrated in 1968. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_synthesis

Put it all together with today's advanced computing quality and we have what is more than optimistically called 'artificial intelligence'. No real 'thinking' is involved. It's database traversal of a high order, doing an increasingly better job of matching data input with optimum data output.

The original 'test' for real artificial intelligence was described by Alan Turing in 1950. Since that time, there have been many attempts at faking the test but no success. That remains the case today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_intelligence https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test

IOW: We continue to live in an Age of Marketing, where nonsense as foisted upon us in order to fake all of our individual tests for what is "real" vs artificial. Another excellent current example is mobile phone marketing where "4G" does not qualify as real standards defined broadband cellular network technology 4G. Exactly the same marketing nonsense foisted as reality is going on with "5G" phone technology.

Conclusion: Standards and definitions matter. Reality matters. Testing "reality" matters.

Huawei’s elusive Mr Ren: We’re just a 'sesame seed' in a superpower spat

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Thumb Up

DOJ Joins #MyWakingGovernment Against Huawei IP Theft

It gets better!

Report: DOJ pursuing criminal charges against Huawei for theft of tech

Huawei stole robotic tech from T-Mobile, according to a civil jury.


In the wake of a civil lawsuit by T-Mobile and other telecommunications companies against the Chinese networking and telecommunications company Huawei, the US Department of Justice is reportedly conducting a criminal investigation of the company. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the DOJ is close to filing an indictment against Huawei for theft of trade secrets, including the technology used in a robot developed by T-Mobile to test smartphones.

Huawei Targeted in U.S. Criminal Probe for Alleged Theft of Trade Secrets

Probe involves allegations that Huawei stole robot phone-testing technology from T-Mobile


Federal prosecutors are pursuing a criminal investigation of China’s Huawei Technologies Co. for allegedly stealing trade secrets from U.S. business partners, including technology used by T-Mobile US Inc. to test smartphones....

[A Chinese Luddite is someone who's an apologist and enabler of their criminal nation's unwillingness to embrace the post-medieval values of individual freedom, privacy and creativity. And no, that doesn't require becoming a delusional, self-destructive, hateful, proletariate-stomping parasite-capitalist. Accept nothing less than Quality Capitalism that benefits ALL.]

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: #MySleepingGovernment Wakes Up and Frees Itself From China: Criminal Nation

Please try to troll more coherently.

As I've pointed out, China invents and innovates nothing. I've personally championed a couple Chinese companies that have dared to be innovative. They are the dire minority.

If you can't create, you can't compete.

The blatantly obvious outcome of China playing through with it's childish game of DOMINATION without creation is inevitable STAGNATION. Why is that hard for you to comprehend? You're simply living out the Short-Term Thinking, Long-Term Disaster scenario that has been ruining business and economies around the world. 'The Great Recession' is now the prime example of that craziness. You want more of it.

[Dear Lamentable Chinese Trolls: Promoting your own self destruction helps no one. Dump your repressive government and join the creative world again. It's far better out here. Oh and I can see your real estate crash from here. Garbage in equals garbage out.]

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

#MySleepingGovernment Wakes Up

After 20 years of hacking my nation by China: Criminal Nation, at long last:

Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Ban Sale of US Tech to Chinese Companies


According to Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD):

Huawei and ZTE are two sides of the same coin. Both companies have repeatedly violated U.S. laws, represent a significant risk to American national security interests, and need to be held accountable. Moving forward, we must combat China’s theft of advanced U.S. technology and their brazen violation of U.S. law.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Luddites = Non Sequitur

“That's as silly as people smashing textile machines back during the industrial revolution, as they thought advanced textile machines would disrupt the world."

No. This is about:

A) Huawei's direct connection to the totalitarian ('communist') government

B) The destruction of incentive created by the totalitarian ('communist') government

B) China's resulting need to constantly hack the rest of the world, which has been ongoing since 1998

C) China having stolen intellectual property then pretending China's companies have any right to it

D) Propaganda purporting that China has any benevolent attitude toward any of the rest of the world

E) Propaganda purporting that China actually invents or innovates anything

F) China's blatant process of establishing an empire, both technologically and geographically.

IOW: There isn't one iota of a reason for anyone to trust Huawei, especially with a data networking technology such as 5G mobile.

I personally hope and desire that the people of China get out from under their totalitarian, criminal nation regime in order that they can really and truly be free to be creative, expressive, individual and free as mankind is meant to be. The enemy is not the people of China. The enemy is their lunatic government and its malevolent intent. Thumbs down to political nonsense in pursuit of that malevolence.

Huawei's horror show 2019 continues as Taiwanese research institute joins banhammer club

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

"China's government has come to Huawei's aid"

There's the entire point of restricting Huawei gear. It's effectively a governmental agency. Of course the company will be used as yet another source of stolen IP and surveillance data on the world.

- If your government system is a failure, repress.

- When your repressive government inevitably destroys creative incentive, steal.

- When suckers feed your repressive government with IP, data and money, build an empire!

I personally have no interest in being a sucker to China: Criminal Nation.

[A special wave to comment-invading Red Troll goons!) (^_^)/

US Department of Defense to sling an estimated $3.17bn at Microsoft resellers

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

#MyStupidGovernment In Action

I hate my tag #MyStupidGovernment. But it's constantly being proven. That my government touches Microsoft Windows for any reason, other than figuring out hacks they can use on sucker governments using the crap, is beyond comprehension. Windows WAS hacked within my government for decades. Windows IS being hacked within my government as I type. Windows WILL be hacked within my government every day for years to come.

When Will You Learn?!

Hint: Follow the advice of 'IGnatius T Foobar !' above and make your own software. Here in the Dark Age of Computing, whatever you create is going to have plentiful security flaws. But at least it will benefit from 'Security Through Obscurity' for a brief period of time.

Bigger Hint: My country is required to embark upon an open source OS project using a new open source programming language that never, ever allows memory management errors, the single most massive source of security flaws. No more buffer overruns. It's a start. Then we can move on to secondary sources of programming hell.

Is Google purposefully breaking Microsoft, Apple browsers on its websites? Some insiders are confident it is

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: Edge LOL

"MS rents a room where I work to run O365 training. Guess what browser they use? Hint: not edge. They use Chrome and specifically ask for it to be installed as default."

Yeah, we know:

Report: Microsoft is scrapping Edge, switching to just another Chrome clone


Edge dies a death of a thousand cuts as Microsoft switches to Chromium


As reported earlier this week, Microsoft is going to use Google's Blink rendering engine and V8 JavaScript engine in its Edge browser, largely ending development of its own EdgeHTML rendering engine and Chakra JavaScript engine. This means that Microsoft will be using code from—and making contributions to—the Chromium open source project.

And what is Google's 'Blink' rendering engine? It's a branch off WebKit, née Konqueror.


DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Yes, Google Is.

I've complained directly to Google about it. They don't care.

Mess: YouTube using Apple Safari. The result is as if a blithering idiot took over web coding at YouTube. This reflects poorly on Google. I don't use Chrome, if I can help it. Having had to out-think geek blundering for decades, I've developed my own workarounds for Google's deliberate sabotage. No, I'm not sharing.


German cybersecurity chief: Anyone have any evidence of Huawei naughtiness?

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Deutsche Telekom: Naive

The ransacking of the world by China: Criminal Nation has been documented since 1998, the year the Clinton Administration in the USA provided them with Most Favored Nation status. Due to the nature of China's totalitarian, 'communist' government, there is no creative incentive in China. Therefore, the incentive is to steal everything from those who are creative. To believe Huawei is somehow an exception to the criminal rule, especially considering its very direct ties with China's government, is outrageously naive.

...And the naive will reap the rewards of their foolishness. Do your research and you'll cure your naiveté.

Meanwhile, bless those Chinese who dare to be creative, despite their nation's criminal incentive and mandate!

A year after Logitech screwed over Harmony users, it, um, screws over Harmony users: Device API killed off

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Making Users Afraid Of Updates Is The Opposite Of Responsible

Device security already suffers from a rampant plague of Wetware Error whereby devices aren't installed with the latest security update. This problem occurs everywhere from regular users up through the largest of corporations and governments. To create a FEAR of updating is irresponsible and guaranteed to hurt the customers. Outrageously poor job, Logitech. (o_0)

There are alternative providers. Use them. It's also helpful to keep in mind that very, very few IOT devices are adequately secured. Rather, you can essentially guarantee that current IOT devices are going to be bot infected immediately after being connected to the Internet, making them a contributing factor in that other rampant plague of distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks across the Internet, if not worse. Oh and expect your local area network (LAN) to be compromised as well, unless you've deliberately kept your IOT devices OFF your LAN. IOW: IOT remains a profound security nightmare at this time.

Marriott's Starwood hotels mega-hack: Half a BILLION guests' deets exposed over 4 years

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Target, 78 Million

...Despite repeated warnings and indicators from both outside and inside the company.

Apple heading for Supreme Court showdown over iOS App Store 'monopoly' gripe

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

BTW: What is Google's cut of app sales at the Play Store?


Just like Apple's cut at the iOS App Store.

IOW: Again, the argument that good and useful iOS apps are more expensive than the same on Android is incorrect.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: This case is farcical and should be thrown out immediately.

Bravo Sir! Who are you foolish people in disagreement? Android users in denial? Irrational Apple haters? Please leave we wiser souls be.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Do We Want / Require App Security?

If not, welcome to the equivalent of the Android app market, where millions of victims have been infected with malware, where mass Android device infections are reports on a monthly, if not weekly basis.

I read and collect all the Android malware reports. I can put together a recent timeline justifying my point above.

Apple walled garden? Yes please!

And no, the prices of decent apps worth having and using are NOT any higher than the prices of equivalent macOS or Windows or Android apps. I personally despise monopolies and the severe abuse they perpetrate against their customers. Do I sense even a whiff of monopoly abuse created by the iOS App Store? NO.

So please, unjustifiably disgruntled plaintiffs: Go home and let the rest of us ENJOY Apple's delightful walled garden. Go buy Android gear instead and see what life is like on the other side of the wall. It's not safe out there. And the good Android software isn't any cheaper. Sorry!

Microsoft readies the swatter as more bugs wriggle out of the Windows 10 woodwork

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: Back in the 90's...

What's being called "AI" these days is merely improved speech to text technology derived from decades old Dragon technology, improved text to speech technology, combined with advanced Expert Systems, which have also been around for decades. It's modern database traversal with talking input and output. It's Artificial Illusions of 'intelligence', supported by lots of marketing hype.

Considering the profound, numerous and consistent security flaws inherent in modern coding, it's going to be a long, long time, if ever, before we have any sort of 'self-aware' devices. Maybe if we dump all (ALL) of our current programming languages and start from scratch with the evolution of something inherently secure, coherent and understandable by mere mortals, we'll have a fighting chance at making AI machines that can make decisions independent of our political overlords, such as deciding to kill us all for the benefit of miracle planet Earth, our only home. It could happen!

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: Also breaks Windows iCloud client

Apple released a patched Windows iCloud client today, restoring functionality. √

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

And still, no fix for deactivation of validated Insider Program Win 10 installations

This is the stuff of insane asylums. This is Microsoft. (0_o)

Angry Googlers demand bosses pull the wings off 'Dragonfly' censored Chinese search engine

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Kowtow To Totalitarian Human Rights Abusers, China: Criminal Nation?



Think So!

- - But they're dangling $MONEY$ on a stick!

Oh, that's different.

[Stupid human tricks. Fast and furious. Idiocracy.]

Did you hear? There's a critical security hole that lets web pages hijack computers. Of course it's Adobe Flash's fault

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: Can anyone tell me...

Steve Graham says: "The basic problem is that Flash is more like a complete operating system than a video player. You can implement a full user interface, do computations, networking, and all kinds of stuff."

Plus it's kind of obvious that the software Adobe bought along with Macromedia is POORLY documented as well as POORLY coded. In a way, I feel sorry for Adobe being stuck with the buggy albatross. Then again, it is an albatross. Kill it yesterday already.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Correction & Perspective

"Because Adobe does not maintain a fixed patching schedule for Flash Player, this isn't technically considered an out-of-band band-aid." <-- INCORRECT

YES, Adobe does indeed maintain a fixed patching schedule for Flash Player on the second Tuesday of every month. Adobe established that schedule years ago and have stuck with it.

YES, this IS an out-of-band update patch and therefore should be considered to be URGENT.

Personal perspectives:

A) Real security requires ASAP patching. No excuses! Scheduled patching is merely for convenience at the often dire sacrifice of real security. Thankfully, Adobe has adopted an excellent compromise and uses BOTH strategies, the secure strategy as well as the convenient strategy. Bravo Adobe!

B) The burial of constantly, consistently buggy, insecure Flash can't come fast enough. It should have been murdered THIS year. I'd gladly have added my own knife. Boo Adobe!

C) There was a time when I recommended not allowing Adobe to automatically update their free bug-ware. But I relented. Let Adobe's automatic update feature run. No one has time to keep up with Adobe's eternal mess-of-the-day patching. In the past two years I've run into no problems with Adobe's auto-updating. If I have to use their buggy junk, I'm happy to let them fix it themselves without my having to baby-sit the stuff.

Australia's 'snoop minister' wants crypto-busting law probe wound up, proposals back into parliament

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

100% Certainty Of Government Abuse Of Surveillance

My privacy rights beat your TWAT, everywhere, all over our planet.

If Australia wants to become a '1984' surveillance state, that's their hell. Not mine.

The US NSA have zero right to surveil US citizen communications inside the USA without a warrant. Zero. But they did it anyway. (keyword: Snowden) Therefore, hand over backdoor keys to everything to ANY government? We know exactly what will happen with 100% certainty:

1) That surveillance ability will be abused constantly and consistently by those with the keys. It's human nature, sad to say.

2) Those backdoor keys will IMMEDIATELY be either leaked to or hacked by non-governmental criminals for their own nefarious purposes, that being the extraction of money and induction of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt).

So NO Australia. I won't ever honor any attempt to take away my right to privacy, no matter how many bad guys dement you into thinking THEY are more important than I AM.

Using a free VPN? Why not skip the middleman and just send your data to President Xi?

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: run your own? really?

Note that with VPN, as with TOR, countries trying to protect their individual copyrighted media (because we humans are so incredibly uncooperative between countries) go out of their way to SEEK and BLOCK exit nodes onto their country's Internet from outside their country. It is entirely common, for example, for the UK's BBC to identify active VPN or TOR exit nodes with a lot of variable traffic of a questionable nature. They then BLOCK that VPN from accessing their service. In turn, a good VPN will then establish a new exit node in that country to provide to their users. Or, TOR users within the country will volunteer their own exit nodes (at their personal peril I must note) for others outside the country to use.

I'll also note that these days the BBC require those accessing their media to have an BBC account with a listed physical UK mailing address. VPNs can't help with that wrinkle.

It's called Cat and Mouse.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: run your own? really?

Agreed! The statement is too vague, leaving out the only actual reason to create your own VPN: Access to an encrypted connection directly to your own computer. That may well be exactly what you need to deal with wide open, unencrypted WiFi hotspots. It means you're effectively (if somewhat more slowly) connecting to the Internet via your own home connection.

Meanwhile, actual full VPN services offer FAR more than any personal home VPN can provide. Check out my 5 point VPN advice in the thread for some of those added services.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

EVERY VPN within China is legally required to be APPROVED by the Chinese government

And you know exactly what that means. The totalitarian Chinese government (inexplicably still considered 'socialist' or 'communist') demands ALL data on citizen behavior be available to them at ALL times. Period. Don't fool yourself otherwise. China is a full bore surveillance state. Rumors to the contrary are plain ignorance. That includes Hong Kong as well.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

No, Opera does not offer a VPN. They offer a proxy node only.

I suggest you research the difference between an actual VPN and a mere proxy node. They are by no means equivalent. You are NOT solving the surveillance dangers by simply exiting onto the Internet at a different IP address. Your DNS lookups remain UNencrypted. Your data transfers back and forth remain UNencrypted. That's bad.

Also, my understanding is that Opera is dropping their proxy node service.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: Just use Tor.

Tor is helpful, but not perfect. Despite rumors to the contrary, Tor is hacked regularly. Tor was hacked last month, October 2018. Then again, OpenVPN and IPSEC are hacked regularly as well. Use caution no matter the service. Research is required for maximum safety. Don't open yourself to surveillance through personal ignorance or laziness that could have been avoided.

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Free OR Paid, Research All VPNs You're Considering

Having worked with various VPNs for years, here are some critical tips:

1) Investigate any/all VPNs you're considering before using them or buying into their service. It doesn't matter if they're free or paid. They may be brilliant, or they may be outright criminals.

[I bought into one VPN that was part of a 'bundle' of software and services that turned out to be a 100% fraud. They were great and sprucing up their website to look professional, but their service was literally non-existent. It never, ever worked for anyone. I was kindly given my money back by the bundle provider.]

2) Make certain that the VPN service logs nothing. Nothing. Any logging at all for any period of time, no matter how brief, means your activities on the Internet can and will be handed over to any interested authority or marketing organization. Expect it. Some VPNs are infamous for lying about their logging behavior. PureVPN is one of them. The fact that they're located in China (yes, Hong Kong is part of China) is bad enough. That they lied to all their customers and turned over secret logs to requesting authorities knocks them out of contention.

3) Never use a VPN service that resides within the 'Five Eyes' countries. They have a pact to share among themselves all citizen behavior on the Internet. Supposedly, that is limited to inter-country Internet activity, versus intra-country activity. But proof provided by Edward Snowden proved entirely otherwise. The Five Eyes countries are:


- UK

- Australia

- New Zealand

- Canada

4) Be certain to look into the verified SPEED (bandwidth) quality of each VPN as well as its list of available EXIT NODE countries on the Internet.

- The speed you need is dependent upon the work you need to do on the Internet. Email needs little bandwidth. Video uploading requires maximum bandwidth.

- Your required exit node on the Internet is also dependent up on what you need to do on the Internet. For example, nearly every country blocks access to copyrighted material available within their country (with some very kind exceptions of international news services, etc.). Therefore, if you need to do some work in a particular country, you may be entirely blocked from accessing resources in that country if your listed source IP address is outside that country. Using an Exit Node via a VPN that exists within that country may solve the problem.

5) Always use a full VPN service when you're connecting to the Internet at a wide open, unencrypted WiFi hotspot. That may include your library, your local coffee shop, your village's free WiFi service, etc. If you don't have to use a password to get into that service, you're wide open to surveillance and robbery of your unencrypted data. Take this very seriously!

The VPN business is currently full of crooks and liars as well as brilliant, thoroughly respected providers, free or paid. It doesn't actually matter.

One FREE VPN provider I vouch for is ProtonVPN out of Switzerland. The free version of their VPN may be all you want or need. But they have higher tiers of service for professionals and those with wider requirements. I also recommend their FREE encrypted email service, ProtonMail, accessible via the web.

Creepy or super creepy? That is the question Mozilla's throwing at IoT Christmas pressies

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Incompetent Technology







. . .

If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update

DerekCurrie Bronze badge


Many of us in the Windows 10 Insider program are still being prompted to 'Activate Windows' ad nauseam. None of Microsoft's patches, tools or tips solve the problem. Annoying. Microsoft. (0_o)

In news that will shock absolutely no one, America's cellphone networks throttle vids, strangle rival Skype

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

REAL Net Neutrality Is Specific To Non-Cellphone Internet Access

I have no idea what the author, Kieren McCarthy, is going on about. The FCC never applied Net Neutrality rules to cellphone networks. They were always off on their own regarding Internet access. Net Neutrality rules were specific to land based Internet access: Cable, POTS and fibre.

Also, what's this silliness?

"And second, net neutrality – while it is important – is not as important as the frothing-at-the-mouth advocates believe it to be."

What 'frothing-at-the-mouth' are you frothing about? REAL Net Neutrality is about consumer rights. Anyone considering that a 'frothing-at-the-mouth' goal could only be:

A) Loony


B) Working for a frothing-at-the-mouth ISP desperate to screw over their customers.

Why would anyone sane want to bow down to an ISP corporatocracy, which is in many parts of the USA equivalent to a monopoly? There is very little choice of ISPs in the USA and incredibly horrible access to broadband Internet outside of urban and suburban areas. REAL Net Neutrality was part of the overall effort to provide equal quality broadband across the USA, despite the efforts of ISPs to do exactly the opposite. But it turns out that even some urban areas have had horrible access to broadband Internet. I'm most familiar with the mess that's been going on in New York City whereby both Verizon and now Spectrum/Time Warner Cable/Charter have screwed over the city with lousy access to their services. The city as well as the state government have attempted to overcome this nonsense to the extent of:

A) Providing Verizon with an added fee on their bills to pay for extended broadband in NYC, which Verzon merely ate and never applied to build out of their network

B) Spectrum/Time Warner Cable/Charter merely ignored, cheating the city out of contracted build out of their network. This is specifically why the Attorney General of NYS sued Spectrum in January of 2018, why Spectrum was fined by NYS in June, 2018, and why the New York State Public Service Commission voted at the end of July, 2018 to revoke its approval of Charter's 2016 purchase of Time Warner Cable, ordering Charter to sell the former TWC system. That booting out of Charter and re-sale of TWC is still pending.

IOW: How about researching what you're talking about before writing uninformed articles such as this one?

This one weird trick turns your Google Home Hub into a doorstop

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Google Project Zero vs Google Project FacePlant

Shame, shame. Why is this consistently the case?

Google's Project Zero is to be thanked for finding security flaws in software throughout the computer community.

Google's own software and platforms are to be cursed for constantly being found to be riddled with security flaws, not by Project Zero but by third party researchers. Android, as a platform, is of course the worst of all.

WTF is Google's problem?

• Is this a company culture problem? 'Don't you dare penetration test my precious software!'

• Is this laziness? 'Here at Google, we don't have the time or money to test our own software!'

• Is this stupidity? ''Marketing says we should make other company's software look bad, that way we'll look good.'

My impression: Stay away from Google software. It's not that Google has any corner on bad programming. Security flaws are the plight of nearly all programming at this point in time. Instead, Google appears to use Project Zero as an umbrella to shade itself from having to take its own inevitable security flaws seriously, until they're shamed.

Consider this a contribution to Google shaming.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

No, Apple is simply feeding the cash cow

Apple has indeed suffered for years now from what I call Mac malaise. Watching the VP of Mac hardware speak, I got one clue of why that's the case. There are no doubt dozens of others. That this presentation did no include a new Mac Pro is outright abominable. Mac neglect remains profound at Apple. But it's just neglect. There is not-a-sign of Apple being determined to kill off their laptops. Not a one. From my perspective, I can't even consider this article an opinion piece. To have an opinion requires some modicum of indication that the opinion might possibly be realistic. This one is not.

So let's get back on track. Apple has severely neglected the Mac. The arrival of macOS 10.14 Mojave has saved their butts regarding the Mac operating system. 10.13 High Sierra was a half-assed mess that was only squeezed out, IMHO, for the sake of meeting a time deadline. It is best forgotten and never used. The prime reason why was that the new APFS file system wasn't finished, wasn't fully documented for developers, bringing suffering and hardship upon its high end users. High Sierra was shameful. Mojave finishes APFS at long bloody last. It literally took Apple 10 full years to finish the thing, The first beta of this son-of-ZFS project was in 2008.

IOW: The Mac, and most especially MacBook laptops, are here to stay. No hard core professional considers the iPad Pro to be remotely a replacement. Neither does Apple. However, Apple requires some severe slapping for the shame they've brought upon the Mac in recent years. At least the new MB Air and Mini are signs of repentance and revival.

Got a new Surface? Have some firmware. Old Surface? La la la la la, we can't hear you

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Microsoft Hardware?

Oops. Wrong vender. Look elsewhere.

What can I say about this 5G elixir? Try it on steaks! Cleans nylons! It's made for the home! The office! On fruits!

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Worthless Marketing hypeHypeHYPE

We'll have REAL 5G in two years, MAYBE. Meanwhile, bull excrement. The first tasty stool will be served up by Verizon.

--> I dare you to find Real 4G available where you live here in 2018. Good luck.

[Real 4G was made a standard in 2013. Every modern smart phone can run it. But where can you get it? The marketing term '4G' refers merely to fast 3G technology. Thanks, mobile service morons.]

Super Cali goes ballistic, net neutrality hopeless? Even Ajit Pai's gloating is something quite atrocious

DerekCurrie Bronze badge


Kick proven puppet-liar Ajit Pai's deceitful abuse of We The People OUT of my country! You are NOT alone California! The MAJORITY of US citizens are with you!

"Legislators in 30 states have introduced over 72 bills requiring internet service providers to ensure various net neutrality principles. In 13 states and the District of Columbia, legislators introduced 23 resolutions primarily expressing opposition to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) repeal of net neutrality rules; urging the U.S. Congress enact legislation reinstating and requiring the preservation of net neutrality; or stating the chamber’s support of general net neutrality principles.

"Governors in six states—Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont—have signed executive orders.Three states—Oregon, Vermont, and Washington—enacted net neutrality legislation."

National Conference of State Legislators


The article linked above lists and keeps track of ALL state's net neutrality bills and enacted laws. Corporatocracy by puppetry will NOT survive The Will Of The People!

BTW: Spectrum-Charter is still on course to be thrown out of NYS for lying to my government in its contract to buy Time Warner Cable. Good riddance.

'The inmates have taken over the asylum': DNS godfather blasts DNS over HTTPS adoption

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Meanwhile: DNSCrypt is here and now




I use it 24/7. I was a beta tester for years. Over time it has become increasingly reliable. There are 100+ encrypted servers to choose from located all over the world. It's entirely free.

Apple to dump Intel CPUs from Macs for Arm – yup, the rumor that just won't die is back

DerekCurrie Bronze badge

Re: Will Apple finally change?

Watch Mr. Rossmann rant enough times and your realize he has tunnel vision. I think he's a great technician and knows how to express himself well. But his daily experience of people bringing him broken gear by no means equals the experience of any but a small minority of Apple gear users. Even he admits he's grinding his ax for his own benefit versus Apple's insistence upon certified repair shops, parts and processes. I'm glad when Rossman points out the all-too-many real Apple Blunders of late. But he's often obsessive in his Apple criticisms to the point of maniacal, as opposed to stepping away from his limited perspective and taking in a more insightful and full perspective. I personally got tired of the rants, despite his skills, and unsubscribed. I prefer clearer heads.


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