* Posts by I am not spartacus

59 posts • joined 7 Oct 2013

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PC nerds: Can't get no SATA-isfaction? Toshiba flaunts NVMe SSD action

I am not spartacus

"The RC100 is more than twice as fast on all these measures."

Random Read IOPS Random Write IOPS

Q300 Pro 92,000 63,000

RC100 160,000 120,000

Really?

While you filled your face at Noodles and Co, malware was slurping your bank cards

I am not spartacus

Optional

"Researchers say that POS malware infections are "epidemic" throughout the retail world"

I'll just point out that more than one set of words can be abbreviated to POS although maybe PoS is more correct. That's all.

TeamViewer beefs up account security after rash of PC, Mac hijacks

I am not spartacus

Re: Not TeamViewer's fault

"Speaking directly to The Register and in announcements to customers, TeamViewer has denied that the crime spree is due to any compromise of its own servers. Rather, it claims, the victims of the attacks had reused their TeamViewer login passwords on other websites that have been breached, such as LinkedIn and Tumblr. Armed with copies of those leaked passwords and email addresses, TeamViewer claims, thieves then log into people's TeamViewer accounts and access connected PCs."

Did they ever produce the slightest shred of evidence that their position on how this happened is correct? Did anyone ask them to (and it seems like an oversight if journalists were to interview them on this, and just take their assertions at face value)?

(And the 'denying the compromise of its own servers' part: had anyone asserted this, or was this just TV's straw man?)

Or is it ' this is a convenient thing for us to believe, so we are believing it...whatcha mean evidence? Of course we don't need evidence. We've got an explanation that suits us.'

Fact: Huawei now outspends Apple on R&D

I am not spartacus

Re: What derision?

As long as their HQ isn't somewhere rather irritating like Huawei Way, I'm minded to let them off.

Ofcom's head is dead against Three and O2's merger

I am not spartacus

"Writing in the Financial Times, White said: "[We] are concerned that the smallest mobile network, Three proposes to become the biggest by acquiring its rival, O2.

That statement - or, at least, that part of the statement - is unfortunate, in that it suggests that White doesn't really understand the problem. No part of the problem is that the smallest is intending to become the largest by spending money.

"The combined group would control more than four in 10 mobile connections.

That is closer to the actual problem: the biggest would be too big, and there would not be enough consumer choice in the market.

"She said the regulator has put forward those arguments to the European Commission and outlined its concerns. Ofcom is also worried that shrinking the number of mobile operators from four down to three would hike up prices for consumers.

If you take a hardline, economies-of-scale, point of view, the fewer MNOs the better. If you take a hardline choice-is-everything point of view, the more MNOs the better. Somewhere in the middle, there has to be an answer. Does White have a point of view on this, or does she just blow in the wind with whatever point of view the EU imposes or what happens to be convenient for her more local masters at the time? I get the impression that she just feels too threatened to say.

There is also the possibility that if MNOs are forced to offer decent wholesale rates to MVNOs, the question of how many MNOs there are becomes less relevant (particularly as the number of MNOs decreases, they get close to monopoly power), but it is probably a bit interventionist for this lot.

US government's $6bn super firewall doesn't even monitor web traffic

I am not spartacus

Re: hardly a firewall

Seriously, though, it us exactly a firewall.

What has happened is that people have got used to all sorts of non-primary functions being built in to domestic firewall products and have started mistaking them for what a firewall has as its primary function.

Raises questions about the procurement process, and who worked out the specification and what was in it. I suspect it was really inadequate, and the actual firewall does what is specified, but that could be wrong.

Mind you, I'm not sure how you can spend that much on a firewall, even if you try to spend to the max. Even if you are the gubmint...

Wi-Fi Alliance ushers in new era of intrusive apps

I am not spartacus

"Also to file in the drawer marked “what could possibly go wrong?”

Hmm, that seems to split in to the categories 'the usual stuff, that went wrong last time new IoT bugware came out' and 'unique, original stuff that didn't go wrong last time'. Honestly, I'd be a little happier if I got the impression that they were even giving some serious thought to the first of those, never mind the second.

Smartphone hard, dudes, like it’s the end of the world!

I am not spartacus

Re: 20,000 unread emails

That way it will appear as if they have been busy at work while the rest were slacking off for xmas.

Err

That way their e-mails will appear buried in an enormous pile of fetid festive 'offers', and the odds against anyone ever reading beyond the title are really quite long. And, in advanced cases, any tricky questions that later come up can be referred to 'the e-mail that I sent you that you could never be bothered to read'.

Researcher criticises 'weak' crypto in Internet of Things alarm system

I am not spartacus

Optional

"Oh well - whatever happened to devices having an ethernet port :(

It really has come to something when this fits in to the general category of 'Grumpy old git/technophobe response' (and, I'm not sure whether you would count that perception as undesirable, but that is how I read it).

Top VW exec blames car pollution cheatware scandal on 'a couple of software engineers'

I am not spartacus

Re: I agree...

"That sort of ignorance is still culpable of course.

Exactly, although 'our engineers will do the impossible by next Wednesday' is worse.

I am not spartacus

Re: Other makers

"...purchase a few of each of its competitors vehicle as soon as they hit the road and investigate many aspects of its performance.

Well, everyone does that, but the primary focus is what 'the others' do to keep the production costs down.

However, if they think that Manufacturer A is doing a better job with, say, Diesel engines than they are, Manufacturer B will give increased attention to anything that manufacturer A is doing.

That said, this is way more difficult than, say, 'Why are their seats cheaper than ours?'.

But, yes, I would say that it is difficult to believe that at least some other manufacturers didn't have a very good idea that something odd was going on, even if they couldn't describe what the strategy was, exactly. And, how did the University researchers know to look at VW? Good luck, or did someone give them a word to the wise?

Volkswagen blames emissions cheating on 'chain of errors'

I am not spartacus

Re: The affair is far from "largely concluded"

"I wouldn't, it's not difficult...

"All they need to do for lower NOx is increase fuelling at low power output to cool the combustion, that is what Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) does. A simple engine remap will fix that, perhaps with a tiny (< 1%) fuel consumption penalty.

Well, I think that you are underestimating things slightly. For the medium-sized VW diesel engines, I believe that there are two categories; the larger cars have the 'AdBlue' system for NOx control, and the smaller ones, Exhaust Gas Recirculation.

As far as I am aware (and it may just be that I am not sufficiently aware) the AdBlue cars don't have the EGR hardware, so being a bit more generous with the EGR would not be an option here, but it doesn't have to be. They would use more of the urea liquid, and it would need more topping up (so, in between service intervals, for those who have been able to stretch it to scheduled VW visits, so far). This shouldn't affect fuel consumption or CO2 materially.

For the cars that use an EGR system currently, EGR would have to be used a lot more. This would be such a significant change to the calibration that they would really want to repeat much of the qualification testing (eg, environmental extremes, behaviour with poor quality fuel...even electromagnetic compatibility) but they'll probably find excuses not to do everything while taking long enough to actually do it.

This will affect CO2, potentially,, and fuel consumption (and, even if it didn't, there will be howls of pain from drivers who claim that it does, even if they have only been taking any serious notice of consumption since the scandal broke). I'd estimate the potential fuel consumption impact at a bit more than your 1%, but still not gross.

I am not spartacus

Re: Though one might reasonably expect

...the only person able to tell the ECU that the canister has been refilled will be the 'qualified mechanic' equipped with the appropriate software...

I don't think anyone has to tell the ECU that the canister has been refilled (and, if you mean Engine Control Unit, as well you might, it wouldn't be the ECU anyway).

The level in the AdBlue tank is monitored, and, once it runs dry, you get two (?) attempts to start the engine, and then it won't play ball any more. I think this, or some variant, is mandated in the US and may or may not be mandated in Europe (although it is probably still there, given that it has to be present for the US).

I am not spartacus

Re: These is no such thing as a "Defeat Device"

"So the regulation you quote means that what VW are alleged to have done is actually OK after all."

No, you have misread it. You are not allowed to change away from the mode used for the test for any mode of normal operation, so what they did is not OK, unless they can argue that 'everyday driving' is, in some way, not normal operation. I can hear them cranking up their lawyers right now...

So why exactly are IT investors so utterly clueless?

I am not spartacus

Optional

"I kid you not. It has been added to our mandatory training, completion of which determines our annual increment. If we don't wash our hands correctly we don't get a pay rise.

"You couldn't make it up.

Hmmm, before I even got to your post I did think that someone from the NHS or other healthcare organisation will be along with their tale of how realistic this is, how the current training is given badly, and how people (probably secretaries with little frontline medical involvement) are being sacked for either not going to the training, or not taking it sufficiently seriously.

So, I claim I could have made it up (the 'pay rise' bit is better than my 'sacking' idea, but it is close). On the other hand, it isn't something I'm proud of. I made this up out of contempt for the modern world, and all that passes for management within it, and it is very troubling to be even that close.

Dry those eyes, ad blockers are unlikely to kill the internet

I am not spartacus

"That is the sort of attention to detail (and I see signs of more of the same all over the car) that commands my respect and loyalty....

And it does that in the face of the evidence that VW's popular reputation for reliability is significantly overblown? That is, in spite of all the technical gallimaufry that VW does to make a reliable car, really, they don't.

" ...but I'm absolutely convinced all major players either do something similar or do some entirely different but equally unsavory other stuff.

I would say no: I would say that all manufacturers get close to the edge when approaching this kind of test and all do things that most of the general public would consider slightly beyond the pale when it comes to fuel economy numbers, but the VW thing is of quite a different order.

Going over limits by 15 - 40x really is quite a thing, and then, on being caught, trying to get away with the 'You've measured it wrong' defence is a bit staggering, and then, when it was very apparent that they were bang to rights not preparing a fix, in the twelve - eighteen months that they had, is incomprehensible.

Ten years on: Ronnie Barker, Pismonouncers Unanimous founder, remembered

I am not spartacus

Re: Let me be the first to say...

I think when it came to the big funeral bash, where the choristers would have normally been equipped with a single candle holder in each hand, on this occasion, they were given double candle holders, so each Chorister was....oh, you are ahead of me!

VW’s case of NOxious emissions: a tale of SMOKE and MIRRORS?

I am not spartacus

Re: ARM did it!

Apart from the upvote,, for being generally correct:

"I'm sure that adding multiply would have improved benchmark results, but you can't argue that it is also useful in real applications."

I can argue that it would be useful. I want to multiply two numbers. A multiply instruction would be useful for that. There is a multiply instruction. That's useful.

QED

I am not spartacus

Re: Alltogether Now

"Assuming you were talking about sulphur, not nitrogen - yes, there are ways to do that."

Well, your answer is correct, but it should also be noted that, from a systems perspective, there is a cheaper way of dealing with the problem.

Now, sulphur in fuel is a bit nasty (not entirely without redeeming features, because it increased the lubricity of fuels, but it is likely to burn to oxides of sulphur and they are similarly nasty to oxides of nitrogen). More specifically, they increase the load on expensive vehicle catalytic converters.

So, sometime around ~2000, EU limits on sulphur in vehicle fuels were tightened quite significantly. Now, apart from a temporary outbreak of wearing out of high pressure fuel pumps in 20 minutes, on engine test rigs (not in the UK - UK fuel suppliers maintained reasonable levels of fuel lubricity, in spite of the removal of sulphur) you might wonder where all of the nasty, high sulphur, crude went? Did it all get cleaned up, in expensive sulphur-removal plants? Did they leave it in the ground, unpumped? Nah, it powers shipping, where the sulphur regulation is less well developed, and there aren't any catalytic converters to worry about.

I am not spartacus

Re: My issue

"How is this a shock?!"

I'll tell you why this is a shock, but first...

It is no secret that manufacturers go to the edge in meeting the requirements put upon them. This is part of the reason that everyone knows that the fuel consumption numbers in the formal EU testing are not the numbers that they get in real life driving. The test conditions are unrealistic, the manufacturers cheat (mildly) and the drivers are either not good enough or, quite often, not as bothered about fuel consumption as they would like others to think.

And then someone uses those numbers to set tax levels, which all works out just about ok, if everyone cheats more-or-less the same amount, and the tax limits are set with that in mind.

But then VW finds a way that they are not falsifying limits by 10 - 20%, but by 15x to 40x (depending on which reports you read or believe). In the mild cheating case, no real harm is done if everyone is cheating by roughly the same amount and the various limits are set taking the need for a 'fiddle factor' into account. In the VAG case, it isn't just a small percentage and it isn't (doesn't currently seem to be) that everyone is cheating by the same amount. Oh, and some people die, but they probably weren't a target market group for VW, so that doesn't matter much. (Well, I mean, 'even when they were alive, they probably weren't a target market group' - they are certainly not, now that they are dead, but you probably guessed that.)

Worse still, some smug gits, who had bought a green, save-the-planet, be-friendly-to-your-local-polar-bear, VW have now less reason for smugness than they thought they had. I wonder how VAG's various Ad agencies are going to try to spin their way out of this one?

I am not spartacus

Optional

As no automotive production code is ever written that way, this won't have been. To get it on to multiple platforms, which this was, may also imply it going in front of multiple pairs of eyes.

The smallest number of people I can imagine this going in front of is a couple of dozen; ten times that number, or more, is not implausible.

Given that, no 'whistle-blowers' or 'pissed off former employees' leaking details becomes a little difficult to believe, but who knows why independent measurements were first carried out?

Wikipedia’s biggest scandal: Industrial-scale blackmail

I am not spartacus

Re: I'll make your own Wikipedia with

"Any dissident Kazakhs would be very foolish to expose their real names by editing Islambekov's articles."

In that circumstance you are absolutely correct; the only outcome can be a bias towards the forces in power with whatever local opposition not choosing to give the regime a handy list of those to be disappeared. Ex-pat opposition might have a go, up to a point, but it would still be a bias.

One thing find a little disturbing is how few Wiki articles that you see with a 'this side claims this, that side claims the opposite thing' kind of tone. You'd probably expect all of politics and the contested parts of science (say, climate change, evolution, particularly from those who claim that they haven't), religion, whole swathes of history to be all of that nature and they're just not.

UK.gov will appeal against DRIPA-busting verdict, says minister

I am not spartacus

Re: "that total fuckwit Teresa May"

I would rather consider that the, in your words, "*almost* total fuckwit Teresa May", hasn't so much seen sense, as seen the opportunity to grab a minor advantage against Boris 'the Buffoon' Bunter in a forthcoming leadership spat.

If the Camerooney sticks to his pledge of not standing for PM again, that seems to imply a Toady leadership bash by the end of this parliament, at the latest. May, Johnson and Osborne seem to be the lead contenders (Davies a possible outsider), so I feel both trepidation and incredulity at the prospect. I mean, how could a party line up such an unattractive bunch of zomboid mutants as the prime choices for an important role? Makes Labour, whose selection looked initially weak, seem like a glamour contest.

I'm quite happy to contemplate Davies seeing sense, in spite of being from a different part of the political spectrum. He may be a little bit to the right of sensible, from my perspective, but not without intelligence. May, however, is a completely different kettle of kippers. Evil, but effective, I would say.

Thinking of adding an SSD for SUPREME speed? Read this

I am not spartacus

Optional

Dear Sir Runcible

It is worse than that. The first page link to the Kingspec review is dead; link rot I suppose. Wouldn't be bothered, but sometimes older Kingspec parts can be found cheaply. I might not like the means by which older Kingspec parts come to be available cheaply, though...

A tadge? Is that bigger than a tad?

The PCMark8 graph is a graph of 'GB/$' against something. Now, I'll admit, at first, to misreading that as 'GB/s', which is an easy mistake to make, and could have easily been clarified with a bit of text, but the other axis has nothing on it to hint what it might be. You can get between 2500 and 5000 of them, or maybe pay between 2500 and 5000 of them, if that's any help (but I probably can't afford them, whatever they are, unless they are Drachmas, and then I'll take all you've got, based on the contents of a wallet left over from a holiday some time ago, and which is of no other use).

"The theoretical bandwidth speed..." What is the 'bandwidth speed'? Is it similar to 'bandwidth'?

Then, on page 5, there is the CrystalDiskMark 3 benchmark. Well, there probably isn't, 'it' is probably 'they'; there are two bar graphs, the first is 'Sequential Read' and 'Sequential Write', the second is 'Default 4k Read' and 'Default 4k Write'. Now, if these results are all from a CrystalDiskMark benchmark suite, then you'd go for the plural, and the title really is only attached to the upper set, where it should be attached to both. If it isn't, then it is a bit of a mystery what the lower one is from, and what the 'Default' is about. Is it the default of some testing suite that is never mentioned? Is the assertion that somehow these drives default to reading and writing in 4k blocks (which seems unlikely, but would have been quite plausible with spinning rustware, and even some SSDs have a sort of 'emulation mode' which would do this, but on these (roughly) enterprise drives? I'd be surprised, but that has happened before. And why is it helpful for this test be in 'old, not very good' drive emulation mode, rather than 'spiffiest, most performant' mode - I mean, there are probably reasons that this mode is relevant to somebody, but what are they and who is it)?

But, the real shame here is that the Author had the chance to make it easier for readers trying to work out which interface is 'better' (more suitable), by including, eg, 'PCIe NVMe' on the labels on the graphs to make it clear. Now, the information is available a bit further down that page, but some won't have noticed that (yet) and will be flipping back to the first page to find out which drive is on which interface.

All-in-all, there is a good article in here, but the presentation prevents it from being better.

UK's data-snooping regulator steps down five months early

I am not spartacus

Yes, minister. May we move on...

On the other hand, does

"I am grateful to Sir Anthony for his outstanding work as the Interception of Communications Commissioner. He has consistently produced clear and decisive public reports that demonstrated the strength of intelligence oversight in this country. I wish him well for the future."

sound like 'I cannot express my enthusiasm for getting rid of this troublesome priest and getting in a less troublesome one in strong enough terms' to anyone else?

Maserati Ghibli S: Who cares what Joe Walsh thinks?

I am not spartacus

Re: diesel

I know that there is a case that I'm missing the point, and I know that it isn't what you immediately think of, but my main question was 'Is the diesel any good?'. (Any good being primarily, does it clatter like an FX4 taxi, and does it just waft you along on a wave of torque?)

Probably a bit sad to be more interested in those than in 0 - 60 times and gorgeous curves and detailing, but I don't think I'll be buying one, either way. But, the way these things have traditionally depreciated, who can tell?

Lies, damn lies and election polls: Why GE2015 pundits fluffed the numbers so badly

I am not spartacus

Optional

"You may find it easier to have the Tories as nasty and Labour or whoever as a paragon of virtue, but it doesn't in any way reflect reality.

Nastiness is not so much the issue, so much as 'Would you be ashamed to admit it?'; many people will divide this in to different sub-groups, 'Would I be ashamed to admit it to my neighbours?', 'Would I be ashamed to admit it to my work colleagues?', 'Would I be ashamed to admit it to my friends?', and so on, and give different answers to the different questions, but the fact is that if you would be ashamed to admit it, there has to be some chance that you would suppress the shaming fact in a poll response.

"I'm a Conservative voter ( of the socially progressive, libertarian, small state variety ).

While it may not be relevant, when I re-read this response, it sounds to me like 'I'm an Apatosaur, one of the most socially progressive and least Euro-sceptic, of the Dinosaurs'. allowing that there is a degree of misrepresentation here, maybe you feel that dissembling or suppressing the response now has its attractions?

The Internet of things is great until it blows up your house

I am not spartacus

Re: Surely this article is a joke

"What will the fossil record show of us in 10,000 years?

I don't really know, but if there is someone around to interpret it, I'm sure they'll misinterpret it. You know "Plugging their sleeping pods into the electricity supply only confirms that they worshipped electricity as a god, because it symbolised a healing cult (or something)".

I am not spartacus

Re: @ Ian Michael Gumby (was: I have a smart bed....)

"If a hacker can get in...

You are remarkably sanguine about the possibility of a hacker getting in to your bed. But, maybe, the bed records the hacker's breathing patterns and that helps the Police with their hilarity.

I didn't know that sane (otherwise sane) people did this - bought techno beds, that is. I have been educated, and not for the first time, this is a disturbing experience.

Motorola's 5-incher finds the G-spot: Moto G 4G budget Android smartie

I am not spartacus

Yes, this thing is handily ahead of the older 'Moto E', but the 2015 version has had a bit of a makeover, and now it isn't as clear as it was.

All cheap Androids are a bit marginal on the Camera side, and the 'E' is more marginal than the 'G'. But, if you are in the 'Cheap Android' department because you don't care about the camera, that may not be a factor.

The processor in the cheaper model is slightly better and the display is worse.

So, the thing that I missed from this review was the 'decent cheap phone, but is it worth the extra cost over the Moto E, 2015' aspect, which seems to be one of the more interesting questions.

Using Office 365 at work? It's dangerous to go alone! Take this...

I am not spartacus

"Sysadmins are also going to get improved reporting tools for security mechanisms with APT.

I think it makes more sense if that's 'ATP', but making sense to me isn't in any way a relevant criterion.

Would you trust 'spyproof' mobes made in Putin's Russia?

I am not spartacus

Re: Neil Barnes Switching off phones does not disable built-in GPS functionality

There is hot start, warm start and cold start.

Cold start, where you don't know which satellites to look for takes - relatively - ages. Better is to already have an idea of which satellites are likely to be there. If you have an approximate idea of position, from either last lock (you may have been moving, and the satellites certainly have been) or by triangulation, or even known locations of WiFi signals, then you can get close to the hot start times.

I am not spartacus

Re: I disagree, unfashionable but......

"In the West, you can generally trust your government ...

Well, technically you are correct that you can, but maybe it is unwise...

...to do what you voted them in to do...

Hmm, can't so much remember any governments who fully did what the electorate voted them in to do, although some had better excuses than others. Some had effectively no worthwhile excuse and some were in a situation unanticipated at the time of election or promised, intentionally or otherwise, things that were ambiguous. And some only had a choice between bad options and the least worst was all that they could do, and they don't get much credit for that.

...to protect your nation from inside and out...

To protect their own arses, more like. Not sure about the 'inside and out' bit, though. I'll admit though, rather like football referees, sometimes we have expectations that probably won't be met by normal human beings. We have just made the job too difficult, but that doesn't excuse a lot of the worst things that politicos do.

I can't honestly say that I share your faith in the general niceness of politicians, and any that are nice tend to be sidelined by the system. But it is good that someone has that unsullied point of view, rather than us all being cynical and disillusioned.

Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys?

I am not spartacus

Re: "We fully comply with the law"

...or the law is horribly broken.

I can't say that I fully agree with that. What I think is most likely is:

"We've got a room full of experts, and we've found a loophole in the law, or maybe a surprising use of technology, or even of the English language, and, provided that we are very careful with the exact words that we use, we can give you the impression that we are fully in compliance with the intent and the letter of the law, while only actually complying with one of the above. Or maybe even with something our legal eagles tell us is strictly allowable, but with which no one else agrees. Whatevs."

Of course, you might argue that, in practice, that is the same as 'horribly broken', but we have to be quite careful with wording here.

Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

I am not spartacus

Re: Astouded!!

"Read up on the principle of the 'Divine rights of Kings'.

You see, you can't both believe in the Divine Right of Kings and the Magna Carta principle that the King is subject to the law (err, particularly if you think that the MC was confirmed by at least a couple of Kings, even if one did have his fingers crossed behind his back when he signed up).

Chas I was a bit of a pillock, and he wouldn't have to have been a lot more reasonable to defuse the situation. Being reasonable wasn't in his nature, though.

Now, to make a slightly strained analogy with the current situation, being reasonable with personal privacy (and formalising it, in some kind of statement of rights) would be a big step forward.

TalkTalk 'fesses up to MEGA data breach

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Re: TalkTalk

"As a TalkTalk customer who has had one of the scam phone calls I can say that the spammer did not have the customers bank details until they asked for them when the wanted to upload a fake program to the customers computer. What the spammer did have was the customers name, address and most disconcerting of all, the customers TalkTalk Account number which they quoted to the customer without being asked for it.

That corresponds to my experience of the scammer, almost exactly. On the three occasions, in rapid succession, that they called, All I had to do was to go out of my way to neither do nor say anything more than the absolute minimum required (Q:'Can you turn on your Windows PC', A: 'No, I can't do that, currently') and they either gave up or hung up on me.

Now, for a combination of reasons, I have left TalkTalk and the calls have stopped. I can only suspect that the scammers probably have more of a direct connection with TalkTalk than they would like to admit, as me leaving them seems to have stopped the calls, and I can't see how someone who only nicked their customer list once would know that (or care).

El Reg's Giant Mobile Industry Roundup of 2014

I am not spartacus

Optional

"Android is also facing the other Windows fate: being judged by old versions of its own software. Microsoft did itself no favours by continuing to support XP into 2014: likewise, many Android users are stuck with Jelly Bean (or even Gingerbread) with no chance of future upgrades.

Yeah, but to an extent Microsoft did support XP. More-or-less timely (often less) bug fixes and security enhancements. Not seen much sign of Google coming out with security fixes for Gingerbread and them being rolled out to the phones. Not seen much sign of Google making it easy to upgrade a Gingerbread phone to something that is 'supported'.

So, in the Google ecosystem, the user is also damned if they do (to the extent possible) and damned if they don't. While it is also true that a large percentage of Android security problems are due to apps that are over-promiscuous (so you can be under-promiscuous? oh, well) with permissions, this is also a problem, and Google need to fix both problems.

The phone hardware manufacturers quite like this situation, of course. Phones become buggy/malware ridden before their time, and so they sell replacement phones more frequently, but, at some point, this casualness will come back to bite Android sales, and then there will be a real panic to fix it.

@Andrew Orlowski

"Android’s biggest problem in 2015 won’t be Apple, but competition authorities. And strategy, policy and regulatory issues are increasingly defining the landscape. I’ll deal with these in another story.

No, it won't. It'll be the users. At some point, the users will rebel, unless Google fixes the issues first. Right now, it hasn't happened because it is difficult to see where users would go instead.

Apple? Cost. Well, and buying in to being a ***** with an iPhone (other derogatory references are available). Tizen, Firefox? Insufficient apps, range of phones, not much presence in retail outlets. Not an established platform. Windows? Close, but it is still something to do with the hated Microsoft (with whom people will deal when it is a necessity, but here it isn't). But, it wouldn't take all that much for there to be enough of a change that one of the other options starts looking attractive, and then Android could get quite a kicking and quickly.

Let me just say that I like Android in many ways, but you can see the clouds on the horizon, and this stuff will take time to fix, so Google needs to be working on it now (or, if they want to do it properly, six months ago).

Tim Cook chills the spines of swingers worldwide

I am not spartacus

Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

That BMW vuln is an issue, but is it so much worse than being able to open a BMW using half a tennis ball (which was a feature of rather earlier BMWs)?

After all, arguing to the plod that you are carrying around a tennis ball (pre-cut, or not) for non-nefarious reasons, is probably easier than a similar argument for a computer loaded with 'cracking' software.

I am not spartacus

Re: @lusty and all the others who missed the preceding sentence. OH RLY?

"ANOTHER example of doing the right thing, is making devices almost entirely recyclable. Using materials such as aluminium and glass, and glueing rather than screwing...

You do realise that glueing reduces repairability and screwing doesn't? I'm sure Apple have a story to tell on their products, and are better than some (they ought to be, for the price), but that isn't it.

This is all a bit 'Rolls Royces are better than Fiats'. While, personally, I do need a Rolls Royce, because it is good for my voice, I can dimly appreciate that if the whole planet were to make that deathstyle choice, we'd be in a whole lot of trouble, so I can't really claim moral superiority for the choice.

I am not spartacus

Re: @m0rt

"I have no issue with Google offering 'free' stuff in exchange for peoples data (that is up to the people in question).

It is what is called a 'business model'. If it is transparent (actually 'apparent') what is going on, non-exploitative, not raping the planet, and a bunch of other things, that seems legitimate.

Proceeding to the point where you elevate your business model to one of the founding tenets of your religion, whichever BM that is, and claiming moral superiority because of it, whether it is 'don't be evil' or not, is always asking for someone to poke around to try to find areas where the practice falls short of the fine-sounding words.

I am not spartacus

Re: OH RLY? (@ Warm Braw)

"It's like they started to sell heavy machinery.

Or, maybe, it is like they started to sell music, when they had a contractual agreement never to do that. I'm not sure, would that be doing the right thing? It certainly wouldn't be setting a shining example to the rest, which is what seems to be being claimed.

I am not spartacus

Re: OH RLY?

"Can you give examples of where they have sold customer data?

You know that he did not allege that they sold customer data, and this wasn't what he was asking for examples of.

What was alleged was that Cook had made a high-minded sounding statement, and there were no examples which showed Apple as a Corp doing something because of the values that were being claimed. There are examples of Apple pursuing profit, and that leading to them doing what might be considered to be the right thing as a side effect, but that wasn't what was seemingly being claimed.

Or, have we all been deceived by Cook's fine-sounding words, and all he really claimed was 'We pursue a profit, but are prepared to take a longer-term view of the profit situation than some of competitors'. I mean, I'd be happy with that as a position, but he seemed to be claiming more.

HTC Desire Eye: The Android superior selfie shooter

I am not spartacus

Optional

It is another 'one of those phones'. If it was half the price, I'd probably have it in a heartbeat (plus or minus delivery times) and if more sympathetic colours were available.

As it is, however, it doesn't, to me, seem to offer value. Against, eg, the Motorolas (G, E), the Ace 4, the Desires of various sorts, the Ascends, the Sony Experia 3, it probably is better, but is it twice-the-price better? I can't convince myself that it is, and while the phones that I listed aren't perfect, for me, one of those will have to do.

Just to take a simple example, a Moto G (with 4g/LTE, while we are there) with an SD card slot (Moto seems to have made their designations sufficiently confusing that I can't work out which do and which don't) and a better camera would be fine; user replaceable battery would add icing, and a bit of a bump of ram wouldn't go amiss. But add all of that, and you wouldn't add that much to the cost, but where are the phones that are that small step up? It seems to me - and to the product pricing experts at the 'phone manufacturers, seemingly - it is a big step up, or nothing.

Orion hacker sends stowaway into SPAAAAACE

I am not spartacus

Re: Why the fuck ...

Well, at least that's broadly plausible.

I came here (the comments section) to find out what the story was actually about - without knowing why the 'names in space' thing was going on, it is impossible to assess the risks in someone subverting the process.

So, a plausible story is 100% more than I felt that the original author gave me. Make your own decision about whether that is significant.

Quantum computing is so powerful it takes two years to understand what happened

I am not spartacus

Ah, but did she die in vain?

Students hack Tesla Model S, make all its doors pop open IN MOTION

I am not spartacus

"...an unspecified flaw in the flow design of the car..."

I think that you could be clearer about what you mean. Do you mean that somehow the structure of the software is wrong, or something else? What do you mean by flow design?

LG drops G3 quad HD Android mobe with FRIGGIN' LASER camera

I am not spartacus

Re: Interesting phone but not original

You may have a very valid point about how LG deals with their customers, or at least it is a point of view that I have heard before for TV products. On the other hand, development will have started on this phone at least 18 months ago, and at that time, LG will not have had intelligence about what OPPO was going to do.

I am not spartacus

Here's a use case for you: if you are using your phone as a Sat Nav, and particularly in the cold and dark, if the Sat Nav is to save you time overall - not an unreasonable objective - you'll want the device to be in Sat Navving mode as close to immediately as po0ssible. And, given that Sat Nav mode tends to be relatively heavy on the juice, you'll also want it on charge immediately, if you have a significant journey.

So, you'll say 'Voila, probably solved with wireless phone charging'. That said, I don't know of any in-car wireless chargers, though presumably those are coming. (Again, I suspect it will really take off once Apple innovates on an iThingy, and 'invents' it..)

BAE retracts hedge fund hack allegation

I am not spartacus

This is not just b*ll*cks, it is big b*ll*cks.

AVG: We need laws to stop biz from tracking our kids

I am not spartacus

Optional

"If they are under 18 they can't be on the internet because they wouldn't have been able to sign a contract with an ISP.

I believe that you are thinking of the wrong problem. With the coming of the 'Internet of things, wearables dept' this problem will only get worse, but it is already here.

Assuming that the person in question has a phone, they are trackable. Now there are certain limitations, and some smartphone features make this easier, but the bottom line is that having a phone is enough to do some tracking, in some circumstances. Now, various things like smart watches could well make the problem more severe, but the problem is - potentially - here, and it isn't clear what is going to make it go away.

So, what could possibly go wrong? Well, I think the first thing that comes to mind to most parents is some very undesirable character following their kids around, and while that is one aspect, it isn't the only one.

Right now, all the bits probably exist for Supermarket B to know whether you have been to Supermarket A and to give you offers (or not) on that basis. That's a bit creepy, but probably isn't going to worry anyone too much. What about something that identifies you as having been at the scene of the crime, in the way that the street cameras can? Well, you might not have too much objection, if there was regulation that ensured that the data could only be used properly, in the way that you might have similar feelings with street spy cameras.

And, of course, everyone's favourite, speeding offences! For fixed road speed cameras, the government has a least done a job on making the conditions of use of the devices 'reasonable'; here there are no regulations, so a Police Force could use them in any way they wanted. I can think of a couple of circumstances where they could produce a likely-sounding accusation against a train user for exceeding the road speed limit, if the system were not set up sensibly. You might think '...but then I'd go to court...', but you'd probably be underestimating the degree of hassle involved in this, particularly if Plod was just doing this to make your life a misery.

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