* Posts by Tessier-Ashpool

122 posts • joined 6 Feb 2016


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


Re: Rubbish

You need to be an old codger like me to get that one!

Japanese astronomers find tiniest Kuiper Belt object yet – using cheap 'scopes and off-the-shelf CMOS cameras


I might have to put my interstellar travel plans on hold...

...with all that debris out there, I wouldn't want to chance bumping into one of those at near light speed.

A picture tells a 1,000 words. Pixels pwn up to 5 million nerds: Crims use steganography to stash bad code in ads


Re: Lucky for crimz

Irrelevant. This attack was directed at Mac users, who are at liberty to install AV software (though this is generally inadvisable because most Mac AV is malware in disguise). iOS users were not targetable.

Note also that you'd have to be one dumb fucker to accept the subsequent invitation to install Flash, which requires user intervention, password entry etc.

Serverless is awesome (if you overlook inflated costs, dislike distributed computing, love vendor lock-in), say boffins


Is my data purely ephemeral? Sometimes, yes: anonymous connections yield a computed result that is returned to the client. Where data needs to be preserved, that’s where a database or cloud storage comes in. We’ve moved away from hosting dedicated sql servers or storage devices for the same reasons as outlined above. These are services that are not pinned to particular physical instances. My data may be in one of a dozen physical locations - I really don’t care where so long as each and every one has a high bandwidth connection. The biggest resistance we’ve met is from infrastructure guys, who get moody when they find out they’re no longer needed.


Indeed. Having dipped my toes into some of Azure's offerings, I'm quite looking forward to making use of Durable Functions. I got out of the mindset of relying on code running on a particular server quite some time ago. As a developer, it's a good thing if I can focus on writing efficient async stateful code without all that tedious nonsense of worrying about server instances, the OS that's running the code, platform upgrades etc.

Upgraders rejoice! The 2018 Mac Mini heralds a return to memory slots!


Re: I really don't care that much about upgradability....

Better still, don't use Adobe. Renting software is a piss-poor idea.

Supreme Court tells Big Cable to shut up for once: Net neutrality challenge shot down


Ajit Pai - Devil incarnate?

I’d quite like to see a fully shaven head, just to be sure that 666 isn’t tattooed on there somewhere.

Huge ice blades on Jupiter’s Europa will make it a right pain in the ASCII to land on


Does nobody ever read Larry Niven?

Just head there with your personal fusion drive and tickle the surface for a few seconds.

Send up a satellite to zap space junk if you want Earth's orbit to be clean, say boffins


Cant space lasers do this?

Just wondering.

Kernel sanders: Webroot vuln creates route to root Macs


Re: There seems to be an epidemic lately

Still no antivirus software required, though. Fnaaar, fnaaar.

You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't



No, Apple let you download a purchased movie from iTunes to an arbitrary disk drive of your choice. Said file will only be playable via iTunes on an authorised device, however. i.e. one that is associated with your iTunes account.

But, I have to say, gee-fucking-wizz. If Apple want their 30% cut on movie sales, they should simply say to the licence holder "If you sell your content on our site, you agree that the purchaser can stream it as often and whenever he chooses".

Neutron star crash in a galaxy far, far... far away spews 'faster than light' radio signal jets at Earth


Re: Just a side note

@Rol, there is not an equal amount of matter and antimatter in the universe. The massive imbalance is one of the great puzzles in physics.

Any stray antimatter whizzing around the cosmos would give off characteristic radiation if it encountered matter. We don't see it.

LG chairman Koo Bon-moo dies, aged 73


Re: Gosh yes...

Ah, Technics. I once owned a Technics cassette deck that featured DBX noise reduction. All those analogue noise reduction systems were rubbish, to tell the truth. Thankfully we now live in a digital world.

Crypto chat app Signal's disappearing messages found hiding on macOS


Re: Cant you just have...

macOS, like iOS, does have fine-grain control over which applications will preview notifications, and under what circumstances.

It's Galileo Groundhog Day! You can keep asking the same question, but it won't change the answer


Re: it doesn't matter

All we need are powdered eggs, Anderson shelters, Vera Lynn bakelite discs and a copy of The Sun. Isn't Brexit going to be terrific?

Google Pay heads for the desktop... and, we fear, an inevitable flop


"You have to unlock the phone to use the payment, where as just having a contactless card is enough to use it."

Piece of piss with my iPhone. I take it out my shirt pocket, point it at the reader with my thumb at the bottom. It authenticates and pays in a couple of hundred milliseconds.

Apple grounds AirPort once and for all. It has departed. Not gonna fly any more. The baggage is dropped off...


Re: One of their best products.

Mine, too. I hope it keeps plugging away for another 5 years because it's a rock solid workhorse that never lets me down. Prior to getting it, my home was a veritable graveyard of various sub-par routers that cheerfully dropped connections with gay abandon. To the best of my knowledge, the Airport Extreme has never been hacked or found to have any secret or accidental admin backdoors, which is a bonus if value your security.

Apple debugs debugger, nukes pesky vulns in iOS, WebKit, macOS


Re: No updates for iOS 10.3.x

The world moves on. Apple are much better than most vendors at supporting older equipment. Rich though they might be, they don't have the manpower to devote vast resources to maintenance of obsolete products and code. That's life. My lovely shiny Apple laptop will, one day, be declared a dodo, and I'll have to get a new one.

Thank your lucky stars you aren't one of the unlucky 96% of Android users who aren't on the latest version of that particular operating system. Contrast that with a mere 24% of iOS users.

Facebook previews GDPR privacy tools and, yep, it's the same old BS


I don't generally swear in public...

But this article is fucking awesome. Very clearly written and exposes Facebook for what they really are. It needs to be reprinted verbatim in the national press.

Boffins pull off quantum leap in true random number generation


Pah! Nothing is random.

The results just depend on which universe you happen to be in, that's all.

Whoever devised our multiverse simulation isn't entirely stupid, you know.

'Our way or the highway' warranty scams shot down by US watchdog: It's OK to use unofficial parts to repair your gear


Re: Because Apple Loves You,

You're first in the pub after work, aren't you?

Mind the gap: Men paid 18.6% more than women in Blighty tech sector


Fix BT, Evil Matriarchy

I look forward to The Guardian headline article on "How to Fix BT" so that men are paid as much as women. Or the article about "Women Discriminated Against in Deep Sea Diving". I won't hold my breath, though!

That rag has gone mental in the past few days, advising me that my company (search available) effectively stops paying women in November. I mean, for God's sake, Postman Pat could do statistics better than that,


The interviewer did an appalling job. Didn't you notice how, time after time, she tried to put words in his mouth, and he had to gently remind her that he neither said nor implied any such thing.

Apple, if you want to win in education, look at what sucks about iPads


Meh, who needs administrators?

If I were one of those young kids, I’d be spending my time figuring out how to use my own device with the school network. That’s what I do on our corporate network. The admins hate me, but at least I don’t get spyware installed as a matter of course, and I don’t have to worry about their stoopid antivirus interfering with my work.

Go for it, kids. I’d call it initiative.

You can Ring my bell: Amazon pays ONE BEEEEELLION+ dollars for smart home upstart


No thanks

If you've ever held one of these things in your hand, you'll realise that it's a bit on the cheap side. Nest doorbell looks much better.


Re: No thanks.

You're missing out, then. An alert on my phone from the smoke alarms is always welcome, as it's invariably a sign that the boy is having a nonchalent fry-up and smoking out the house.

Samsung's Galaxy 9s debut, with not much other than new cameras



Does that turn the phone green and crack the screen?

UK.gov's Brexiteers warned not to push for divergence on data protection laws


The Law of Unintended Consequences

...says that Liam Fox's carpet will be covered in pieces of toast butter-side down.

Apple's HomePod beams you up into new audio dimensions


Re: I think i have realised how Gartner predict Apple's future so accurately

In the early days Gartner advised Apple to stop selling phones, as it would never make them money.

Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors


Bag. Cat. Out.

Smell the coffee, Theresa.

Yes, your old iPhone is slowing down: iOS hits brakes on CPUs as batteries wear out


Re: This

The batteries are replaceable. Just not by you at home. The era of plastic-shelled phones that you can crack open on a whim and fiddle with the interior has largely gone, and it’s never been Apple’s bag. Lately, it’s not Samsung’s bag either. I imagine their thinking is

- Safety. People setting fire to their houses or their body with their phones does happen occasionally, but is far more likely with knock-off batteries. Not good publicity when that happens.

- Design. A phone that is easily dismantled involves design compromises. Phones that creak in your hand or burst open when you drop them aren’t good publicity.

- Support. Apple isn’t a charity. When your phone or apps go bad due to a knock-off battery or dodgy flash card, why should you be able to walk into an Apple Store and waste their time on a problem not of their own making. Also, long queues of people waiting for repairs not good publicity.

Don’t like it? Don’t buy an iPhone.

What I would definitely support would be a requirement for manufacturers or authorised agents to replace batteries on demand for a reasonable cost well beyond the time when a company arbitrarily decides to declare a product ‘obsolete’. If I have a working iPhone in 10 years’ time that needs a new battery, I should be able to get one.

Used iPhone Safari in 2011-12? You might qualify for Google bucks


Re: So...

You're thinking of the 'disconnect wifi' widget, which is a temporary affair. Airplane Mode is a different kettle of fish.

EU law bods closer to baking new 'cookie law' after battle


Do Not Track Me

Most browsers have a preference setting which, when enabled, will send a header asking sites not to track the user. It would be really useful if sites were obliged by law to honour these headers. As it is, many advertising firms just say "Fuck that, we know you don't really mean it. So, since we're not compelled to do otherwise, we're going to track you anyway."

Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale


Don't worry about the scale of it

It's just numbers at the end of the day. God can have any number he likes.

Adherents of the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics tell us that anything that can happen does happen, in a vast multiverse. If correct, the universe is doing a lot more number crunching than meets the eye. It also neatly kicks true randomness into the long grass: if everything happens there's nothing to make a choice about which apparently random event will take place compared to another. All possible events happen, so no random choices are truly made.

I haven't a clue why our universe really does what it does, so I'm in no position to say how it could be a simulation, other than in glib human terms. But I do find the idea compelling that there's computation going on at the deepest level. It would be a rational explanation for General Relativity, for example. Einstein's field equations tell us that time slows down in the vicinity of a Black Hole, but the why of it all rapidly fizzles out once the equations containing mass and spacetime start referring to each other. If something is doing a lot of computation, however, the vast number of interactions in the vicinity of a Black Hole could seriously slow down your 'virtual machine', or whatever you like to call it. Voila, time dilation.

Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't


Re: Industry standard ports

A USB-C connector is a fair bit larger than a Lightning connector and could be a bar to making a phone super-skinny. Having said that:

1. Phones are already too skinny.

2. USB-C is a vast improvement over micro-USB with its poxy polarised connector.

Nest cracks out cheaper spin of its thermostat



You can download installation manuals from nest.com

London council 'failed to test' parking ticket app, exposed personal info


Re: a 20% discount if the punter pays early

Ha! Here in the U.K., if I got a "red light violation" through the post, I suspect certain parts of my anatomy would be violated by an irate wifey.

AI quickly cooks malware that AV software can't spot


What's the answer?

I can see a day when operating systems are mandated to run only signed and hashed executables, with the signing attributed to a legal entity such as an established company or human.

Virgin Media mulls ditching 1 in 3 UK facilities, starts £20m spend audit


Re: I have to ask ... what is the point of Virgin *Media* ?

It's a stark choice. Get a Virgin Media box that can record six TV channels simultaneously. Or get a life.


"frankly, this investment is not working hard enough for everyone at Virgin Media"

It's working pretty hard for the people whose wages it's paying.

74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+


Dear Donald & Theresa

Please abandon your crazy idea to force companies to backdoor their products. This fiasco should be one big clue to you that you're barking up the wrong tree.

That apple.com link you clicked on? Yeah, it's actually Russian


Re: Edge

Real address in macOS 10.12.4, also.

Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list


Re: Presumably

I imagine the liability will lie with Joe Public. Banks won't reimburse you for fraudulent losses if you hand over your password/PIN to a third party.

Web-standards-allergic Apple unveils WebGPU, a web graphics standard


Nice demo

If you have a decent graphics card and compatible browser, there's a nice demo of WebGL here...

Drag the ball around for some lovely splashing effects.


Vizio coughs up $2.2m after its smart TVs spied on millions of families



If you're going to go all 1984 and have telescreens that spy on the proletariat, do it properly and fit a well hidden camera. Samsung TVs, if you remember, had half a go by slurping living room audio and sending it back to base, but they stupidly got found out. No, you need a bit more smarts if you want to do Big Brother properly.

LG's $1,300 5K monitor foiled by Wi-Fi: Screens go blank near hotspots



I have one sitting about 30cm from an Airport Express router. Not so much as a single flicker. I guess some routers are noisier than others.

UK Parliament suddenly remembers it wants to bone up cyber security *cough* Russia *cough*



I hope the Russians make use of each and every backdoor that our illustrious government is going to force onto device vendors. Starting with those being carried around the Palace of Westminster, of course.

TV anchor says live on-air 'Alexa, order me a dollhouse' – guess what happens next


Re: How about..

Unless it's green screen and bleeps I'm not interested.



Spotty battery life costs Apple's MacBook Pro its gold-star rating


Re: I agree but

In answer to your question: yes, you can swap the battery in an Apple laptop for a new one. It will cost you a pretty penny but Apple do offer battery replacement. What they don't make it easy to do is buy a lump of lithium from a Chinese market place, stick it in your laptop and have the damned thing catch fire or result in a call to support. Authorised replacement only.

The estimated time remaining was always a bad idea. There are so many variables that you simply can't have a reliable estimate, so it's best ditched. You might be doing a couple of hours of video editing and an hour writing emails with wildly different impact on power consumption.

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


Re: If you really wanna know....

The guesstimate is still there in Activity Monitor, too.


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