* Posts by kirk_augustin@yahoo.com

66 posts • joined 6 Mar 2016


UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal


Easily defeated

All people have to do is either leave their phone at home, or put it into a metal or mesh faraday cage. Which any intelligent person was already doing.

Anyone who thinks you can do anything honest of useful with tracking people, is an idiot. There is no way to trace infections by GPS.


Re: False sense of security?

Since the number infected is 10 times higher than we realize, and we only need 55% for herd immunity, then that means it is almost over, all by itself.


Herd immunity has the least deaths.

Odd how people admit the lock down only slows the curve and does not reduce the death toll, but then still do not realize that the quicker we achieve herd immunity, the least deaths result. The only exception would be if we were on the brink of herd immunity through vaccination, which clearly is 2 years away.


Tracing can't work

The reason tracking can never work with COVID-19 is that it is not one cholera pump or typhoid person.

If a COVID infected person picks up a loaf of bread in a grocery store, then decides not to buy, but 5 minutes later someone else does, then there is not going to be any way of tracing it.

You can't trace infection with GPS location because infection can't happen just because 2 people crossed paths on the sidewalk.

GPS does not tell you anything.

You need far more information than that, because there has to be actual contact, and you may not even know there is an infection and worth tracing until a week later. That would mean you would need to store all the movements of all the people for weeks, waiting until there was an infection. That not only is impossibly huge, but would be far more dangerous and intrusive than any virus.

Dumbest idea I ever heard of.

The Great British anti-5G fruitcake Bakeoff: Group hugs, no guns, and David Icke

This post has been deleted by a moderator


The higher the frequency, the greater the energy

High-band 5G uses frequencies of 25 - 39 GHz, near the bottom of the millimeter wave band. That is clearly in the same range as your microwave oven. Would you stick your head into a microwave oven and turn it on? Well that is what you are doing when you use 5G in a cellphone.

There are lots of people claiming that is no problem because the wattage is too low for there to be enough heat to damage the brain, but they are not physicists. Physicists understand Quantum Mechanics, which says that EMF travels as a photonic particle wave. Which means it is not spread out as gross wattage, but tightly bundled in to little quantas. And each quanta is so concentrated that is DOES have enough energy to cause an ionizing shear of a molecule it hit. So it could cause cancer, blood clots, or all sorts of problems.

The reason many do not understand this is that microwaves are below the visible spectrum, and most people consider only the higher frequencies above the visible spectrum as being dangerous, ionizing radiation. And the reason they are wrong is that humans are built for the visible spectrum, so our skin is designed to block it out. We can get damage from visible spectrum light, but it would only be on the surface, so then not particularly dangerous. But 5G is low enough frequency to pass right through the protective skin layer, and can cause much more damage internally then.

Web pages a little too style over substance? Behold the Windows 98 CSS file


The Interface Formally Known As Metro, (TIFKAM), totally sucks.

Everyone I know would always prefer the Win98 GUI by far.


Consistency, Not Style

We can adapt to other styles. That is not relevant. But adaptation is time consuming, painful, and absurd when unnecessary.

What makes Windows so terrible is that they keep changing it, for absolutely no reason at all.

Vista was awful for no reason. The Metro look of Win 8 was ridiculous, tedious, and stupid.

I don't see why MicroSoft does not get it, that people just want consistency.

You can add new features, but NEVER take away or change existing features.

Is that so hard?

The BlackBerry in your junk drawer is now a collectors' item: TCL says no more new keyboard-clad phones


Physical keyboards are vastly superior to virtual keyboards where you get no tactile feedback when you commit a fat finger mistake. No comparison. The Blackberry was the best, and will be missed by all rational cellphone users.

We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune


The quality of Apple products are ok, but I would never own one because their pricing is ridiculous.

Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated: Old eight-char password is finally cracked


DES backdoor

We always knew DES encryption had a backdoor and was intended to be cracked. The U. of Waterloo proved that many decades ago.

Having the secure file of hashed passwords has always been known as being reversible.

There is never going to be a way of preventing that.

That is because you do not have to get the right password.

All you need is to end up with the same hashed result.

And that is never computationally hard, just slow.

Handcranked HTML and JPEG japes. What could possibly go wrong?


Handcranked Superiority

The article was good and funny, but the title is bad. It implies handcranked html is bad, and that is wrong. Using an automated process to generate html leads to code more than 10 times larger, slower, full of bugs, and very difficult to change or fix. Systems like Wordpress and Drupal produce huge blocks of one size fits all in a kitchen sink approach that is awful. Handcranked html is almost always vastly superior, and only takes a little more time. But it more than makes up for the extra development time by much quicker runtimes.

Bus pass or bus ass? Hackers peeved about public transport claim to have reverse engineered ticket app for free rides


The main rule for cellphone apps is that you never store anything on the phone except a successful login token. So then yes, any transaction, like buying or using a ticket requires a connection. But that is no big deal because you are not going to do either of those often. Tickets can persist forever once stored on the server side.


The only way to seriously reduce global warming is with free mass transit. Pay for it will carbon taxes on gasoline. But anyone writing an app that puts its security on the client side, is totally incompetent. Only the server side is secure and persistent.

ReactOS 'a ripoff of the Windows Research Kernel', claims Microsoft kernel engineer


Microsoft is the ripoff

The claim anyone would steal anything from Microsoft is absurd, because Microsoft never created anything.

Windows was junk until Digital Equipment Company, DEC, went under, and Microsoft hired its programmers.

Everything good or interesting about Windows, like COM and DCOM, came from stealing from DEC.

Before DEC employee were hire, Windows could not even pre-emptively multi task.

Idle Computer Science skills are the Devil's playthings


Don't hire

It is such a stupid prank that he knew had to be harmful, and showed no skill of intellect at all. Of course everyone thought of capturing login name and password. I actually captured the professor's login and password even. It is not hard. That is not at all a skill worth hiring someone for.

But the point is he kicked every one off who was running when he crashed it, so did actual damage to dozens of people, for no reason and with no gain.

Quit worrying about killer robots, they are coming whether you like it or not – and they absolutely will not stop


Since AI is very unreliable and does the wrong thing most of the time in a real world situation that is not kept simple like a factory, no one should ever rely on AI. Like the Aegis System on the USS Vincennes, that shot down Iranian airliner. No computer system is every going to be reliable because they will never have the full, real world perspective we have. At best, AI will simply fail, but it could get much worse, and the enemy could use our own AI against us.

Microsoft debuts Bosque – a new programming language with no loops, inspired by TypeScript


Re: Ah, the loop

Yes there are lots of bad languages out there with no loops. We don't need another bad language.

The processor has loop machine instructions for a very good reason. To remove instruction access is never an improvement.


Bosque sounds terrible. Why is it based on JavaScript, likely the single most well know bad language out there?

Why would anyone want to do something that stupid?

And one of the worst things about JavaScript is that is relies on higher level functions like sets and maps that you can not dive into the details of when they fail due to bad data.

And to bring out another interpreter language is really foolish.

Some of the biggest problems in programming is from the slowness and memory waste of interpreted languages having to rely on garbage collection.

Interpreted languages prevent essential things like making systems calls, interacting with device drivers, accessing hardware, etc.

College student with 'visions of writing super-cool scripts' almost wipes out faculty's entire system


Teacher at fault

There was nothing wrong with the student trying to automate a script to do it right. Doing it by hand individually is the wrong way to go, and is more likely to cause problems. The problem is the teacher did not explain anything to the student first, so that he would have known how to do it safely, accurately, and more quickly.

And it is foolish to pretend there was any danger, risk, or that the source files has to be rebuilt by hand.

ALL multi user systems are always backed up every night.

And restoring the back up was the correct way to fix the mistake.

The student should have been told about that.

And in fact, the student should have been told to make a script first to do a localized back up of all that he was supposed to copy, first.

He also should have been warned about side effect, and his scripts should have been checked by hand first by the teacher.

The fault is entirely with the teacher and not the student.

Wanted: DVLA CTO. Must love cloud, open standards, agile – and retiring outdated kit


New flash, the Cloud is Insecure!

It is illegal for any government agency to use the Cloud because it is inherently insecure. Agile is another ways of saying they don't do any planning because they don't know how to plan anything.

Linus Torvalds pulls pin, tosses in grenade: x86 won, forget about Arm in server CPUs, says Linux kernel supremo


Re: Will we ever go back to processors that do sensible machine code?

Exactly. The x86 is the worst register and instruction set I have ever seen. Almost anything would be better, and Motorola certainly always was much better.


Torvalds obvious wrong

If Torvalds was right, then we should still all be programming for CP/M on a Z80 processor.

Clearly the x86 register and instruction set really, really sucks.

It is the worst I have even seen, and it should never have lasted nearly this long.

There have always been better register and instruction sets, along with better and faster processors.

And the whole point of programming is that you right in an abstract language, like C or C++, and it is the compiler that makes up for the actual hardware differences.

There is not a single reason to stick with x86 hardware at all.

Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?


No AI, But People Expect Autonomous Cars?

All the post here seem to pretty much agree that there is no such thing as Artificial Intelligence, and it will be too difficult to ever come close to what humans do so easily. But then what is so strange is that for some reason people have such a desire for autonomous vehicles that they think it is actually possible or even happening right now. I assume you that there is no such thing as autonomous vehicles. They are all fakes running on GPS, and can not recognize or read street name signs, know where lanes, are or recognize turn signals or brake lights. So then why is it people have this unrealistic disconnect? Perhaps we are lazy or incredibly gullible?


It does not at all matter if humans are also computers and algorithmic. The point is we have an inherent, built in and functioning value system, emotions, unambiguous data storage and retrieval system, instincts, pain/pleasure motivations, etc., that we likely will never understand or be able to program into a computers.

We function in complex ways relevant to our inherent system of values, instincts, etc.

Since computers can never share this exact set of instincts and values, they will never be relevant to us in terms of those human instincts and values.


Re: Bias, facts and statistics

Exactly. The computer will not know what a hotel room is, and for all a computer could come up with, it could be a circus act that requires lions. The problem being that computers never really know anything at all.


Re: Bias, facts and statistics

There is no way a computer can know information about lions and bunnys to be able to make decisions like that. It takes a human programmer to try to simulate reasonable choices based on data like size and danger, but that is far too unreliable to ever put to the test. So instead those sorts of choices should be left to humans, who have a built in value system and world knowledge.


Artificial, as in Fake Intelligence

What people have been told to expect from Artificial Intelligence is that a computer will become self aware, and become artificially like a human being.

But that is not the case, nor ever can be. That is because a computer has no instincts, emotions, autonomic nervous system, or anything remotely alive or possible to become sentient, ever. All artificial intelligence really is, is what ever a programmer decides to put into his fake simulation. And that can never be real sentience because no programmer likely will ever know how to do that.

Let me give you an example. If you say the word "dog" to an English speaking human, they will receive all sorts of associated memories, data, images, etc., that will include the dogs you have seen, read about, etc. But if the word "canine" is used instead, you likely get the same associated responses. In fact, you can use another language even, and it won't matter. That means this is not at all like a database program based on text keys. Guess what? That means humans are BORN with a built in semantic. We all internally have some unambiguous internal representation for dogs, that is identical in all humans.

So if you understood that, then you would understand that before we could actually ever duplicate what humans do naturally, we would have to somehow figure out how humans do it. And that likely is never going to happen. So forget about artificial intelligence. It is not likely ever going to happen.

Bad news for WannaCry slayer Marcus Hutchins: Judge rules being young, hungover, and in a strange land doesn't obviate evidence


But writing code under contract is not criminal, even if the code could be used for malicious purposes later by that customer.

Nor is there any legal way to compel him to testify, even if he knows who did use his software illegally.

His own 5th amendment rights against self incrimination prevent him from being possible to punish for refusing to testify, unless they gave him full immunity, which they clearly have not.

Statement over a prison phone are not evidence in the least.

He could have been bragging, attempting to intimidate, or who knows.

That is not evidence of anything.

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once


Latest Evidence of the Police State

Not only does everyone have the right and even the responsibility to view terrorist material, the reality is that government of countries like Gt. Britain are the greatest terrorists of all, bombing Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. How are assassination drones not terrorist attacks? And what is wrong about viewing terrorist material in order to reference writing an article or book? Government does not have the authority to censor individual research on anything the internet may hold.

Funnily enough, China fuming, senator cheering after Huawei CFO cuffed by Canadian cops at Uncle Sam's request


Guilty of what?

Ignoring a dictate by one country that has no authority over any other country?

Hauwei can legally do what ever kind of business it wants with whomever it wants, as long as they follow Chinese law.


Re: Jaywalking

No, the camera image of jaywalking in NY is not similar, because they are not accusing Hauwei of violating any US law in the US, but of violating a US dictate in the rest of the world. Last I heard, US dictates are not law if they violate the rights of individuals, and have no jurisdiction outside the US.


Clearly this arrest is totally illegal and amounts to an act of war.

{... "Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the Chief Financial Officer of a giant Chinese telecom company for breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran." ...}

In what way could the US legally impose economic sanctions against anyone, and how could US sanctions possibly have international jurisdiction?

And the UN has no additional authority either.

Sanctions declared by fiat at entirely illegal.

The ONLY time any sanctions could be legal, is if they were necessary in the immediate defense of inherent human rights. But Iran has the inherent right to defend itself, and to obtain whatever weapons it needs in order to do this. And this is especially true since the US illegally invaded Iraq and murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people, based on deliberate lies.

Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'


The ruling was obviously really, really stupid.

While it is possible for a laptop motherboard to go bad like this, it is not only extremely rare, the company is at fault for only providing a single laptop in the first place.

Laptops are notoriously unreliable compared to a desktop,and it is incredibly cruel to for an intern to work on a single defective machine.

It should have been trivial for the IT department to notice the hardware failure and to suggest a different machine, at least providing a loaner.

I have never heard of any company being so incompetent and insensitive.

To terminate a person over them not being able to work in defective hardware, is just sadistic to the extreme.


Re: It's not really about the laptop.

That is stupid.

Of course it is about the laptop.

No one can work on a malfunctioning machine.

Happens frequently, and the solutions are routine.

The fact the whole company refused to take any responsibility is insane.

There is no way a trainee can deal with bad hardware themselves.


Re: Clearly a messup


Everyone at the whole company did have in interest in ensuring the company was not compromised, but it was the responsibility of her boss and IT to at least ensure she had a good machine to work with.

Things should have been dealt with very early on.

The fact no one helped her, makes them all suspect.


Re: Sounds like...

That is just stupid.

No company should be expecting people to work on laptops instead of desktops anyway, and when something goes wrong with a computer, it should NEVER be up to the new trainee to fix it.

That is the responsibility of IT.

The fact IT refused, means it is the fault of the company.


Re: they should have simply swapped out the laptop

Of course they don't have to throw away the laptop, but they should not be expecting a trainee to have access to the boot image they use as standard start up, and she would not have a copy of Windows, the necessary device drivers, the UEFI (it has not been EFI for over a decade) image, etc.

Clearly it is ITs responsibility, NOT an intern.


Re: hardware problem ?

Not without leaving a track record.

The whole point of anti-virus is they want to advertise on how useful they were in eliminating threats.

They NEVER delete anything without bragging about it.


No its not. Reinstalling windows will not at all take care of any root virus, corrupted registry, malware device driver, etc. In fact, it won't really do anything. You have to reformat the drive and reload an image of the bios and bootup you want to start with. Even CMOS can easily have been reflashed, depending on the type of machine.

Obviously the company was not helping her at all, and it was all their responisibility.

They should have just given her an entirely different machine that was from a stock image.

There is no way she could have fixed things on her own.

The company was totally and completely negligent.

Scumbag who phoned in a Call of Duty 'swatting' that ended in death pleads guilty to dozens of criminal charges


Re: Mythbusters

That is ridiculous, because of course it take a long time to draw a gun out of a holster, but police always pull their gun out way ahead of time, so is totally irrelevant.

Not only that, but a knife is almost useless if the opponent has ANY tiny amount of training, not to mention a club, mace, taser, etc.

The reality is that you can still EASILY shoot someone coming at you with a knife, even if they are starting from only 2 feet away, if you already have the firearm out of the holster.

While you should do whatever any armed person says, it is illegal, dangerous, and wrong for police to even point a gun at someone who is not already armed and indicating a clear threat.

Almost everything police do is illegal, from no-knock raids, to putting people in jail over drug charges.


NO! It is the POLICE who bear full responsibility for shooting an innocent person.

They are not supposed to go off like that based on a phone call, under any circumstances.

It would not at all have been hard for them to have called the neighbors, used binoculars, use a parabolic mic to listen in, etc. and to have avoided the illegal armed confrontation,

The police also legally were supposed to have gone before a judge and gotten a warrant.

Everything they did was totally and completely illegal.

Former Intel love rat Krzanich finds his calling, lands at biz that sells tech to car dealers


Does not seem right for love interests to have anything to do with employment unless there was coercion?

But BK was a chemist, and Intel needs a Computer Science specialist instead. Too many engineering types already. They need someone who can dump the old x86 design, make a cpu with lots more uniform registers. And either embed or emulate for backward compatibility. And cores are stupid because shared memory is the bottleneck you want to avoid.

Danube diss: Cloud spending to outstrip Slovakia's GDP this year


I agree with Kev99. All the Cloud does is rent you your own data and apps back at you, losing all control and security in the process. There is no real point unless you are too incompetent to set up a VPN so you can work from home using your own work server. The only way to have any security is to set up your own server, not rent from the Cloud where not only do other people manage your data, but they do it in a very insecure way because their whole goal is sharing not security.

It's been 5 years already, let's gawp at Microsoft and Nokia's bloodbath


Re: Nokia was a phone company that couldn't make the transition

Except that Nokia did not fail because every one wanted handheld devices that also make phone calls.

Hand held devices are awful. Nobody likes on screen keyboards. No one needs a handheld when they have a full sized computer at work and at home. The only time you don't have a full sized is in the car, and it is or should be illegal to use a hand held then. Nokia would have done fine if MS had not made the purchase. There is a huge market for phones that are not smart, expensive, or high monthly.

Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers


The lack of awareness this can all easily be hacked, is amazing. People must be incredibly ignorant. No sane person would want a vehicle that can be unlocked or otherwise manipulated by an app. That is crazy because not only will it be hacked, but it can easily be disrupted to lock the actual owner out by denial of service attacks.

Foreshadow and Intel SGX software attestation: 'The whole trust model collapses'


Re: Intel only?

Unfortunately AMD has to follow whatever Intel does, the bad along with the good, or else people complain it is not working right.


There should be a meltdown in profits, but Intel never should have had any profits to begin with. The whole x86 architecture was horrendous even in the 1980s.

The main reason for the total lack of security is that the x86 uses over lapped paging for high and low memory addressing, but incorrectly calls it segmentation. So then the real segmentation that is necessary for security, one data segment and one code segment, are not supported in hardware.

So no Intel x86 processor can ever be secure.


Re: DRM was dead a hundred years ago

Correct. All you ever needed to totally defeat DRM was an mpeg encryption cars to capture your own video out put onto the hard drive, without any of the encryption that is not sent to your video monitor.

That not only works for all DVDs, but also any live TV you can see on your computer monitor.


Re: Stupidity

No, the problem has nothing to do with the TCP/IP protocol stack.

That has its own strengths and weaknesses, but you can tell the problem is Intel x86 processors because Unix machines and machines with other processors, like Motorola, were never historically very insecure, even though they used the same TCP/IP protocol stack.

The problem is that Intel does not protect process memory space in hardware. And now they can't, because Microsoft uses Common Object Model protocols, that violate normal process memory space rules.

So if you are looking for a solution, it requires a different processor than x86, and not Windows..



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