* Posts by EveryTime

366 posts • joined 15 Mar 2016


Googlers to flood social media with tales of harassment in bid to end forced arbitration

EveryTime Silver badge

Re: Social media "campaign" versus legal challenge

I first directly encountered the JAMS system (a California-centric arbitration system) almost two decades ago. Even back then it had a reputation for being heavily biased toward the repeat players, which is almost always the employer. (The rare exception being out-of-state employers with a few California employees.)

Arbitrators are selected by the parties involved. Like any short-term client relationship, they make their money on repeat business. It doesn't take much imagination to foresee the result.

Intel's Software Guard caught asleep at its post: Patch out now for SGX give-me-admin hole

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Was I supposed to learn something from watching that video? I expected it supplement the story. Instead it was just someone running a batch file named "exploit.bat".

Want to get rich from bug bounties? You're better off exterminating roaches for a living

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Bug bounty programs are often set up to get people to work for free, or for minimal pay relative to the effort and skill.

But there is a down-side for a company that tries this approach. They.will likely attract people motivated solely by money. When a security vulnerability is discovered, the calculation will be "will I make more money by exploiting, selling or reporting this?" Only the minor, low-value bugs will be reported through a bounty program.

Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows... Yup, it's day 20 of Trump's govt shutdown

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I blame Canad... uhhh Mexico.

It will be just a few more minutes before this will be the longest shutdown. Making America Great Again, one record at a time...

Germany has a problem with the entire point of Amazon's daft Dash buttons – and bans them

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This initially seemed ridiculous, but after a minute considering their position I see the point.

I know that I've been miffed at Amazon's 'Subscribe and Save' program, where you don't know what you'll be paying. All too frequently I subscribe to a product because of the great price, only to find that the price jumps dramatically, sometimes 4x the original price, for a subsequent order. That's just the sort of shenanigans that consumer watchdogs should be protecting against.

Oracle's in-house lawyer denied access to Uncle Sam's procurement docs in JEDI legal battle

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Re: $10bn cloud contract

Some background on federal contract announcements: the value of the contract in the press release is the maximum permitted over the full contract term. It's not the expected revenue. Quite often the amount spent is substantially less. Somehow there never seems to be a press release that says "that $50M contract we talked about 5 years ago only resulted in $3M in revenue".

Fake news? More like ache news. Grandma, grampa 'more likely' to share made-up articles during US election

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Re: True, but

> "Breitbart and Fox News are by far some of the worst and most blatant purveyors of tat."

I would like to think that, but I've listened to AM talk radio. Those crackpots moved to the Internet and cross-pollinated their off-the-scale ideas.

Jeep hacking lawsuit shifts into gear for trial after US Supremes refuse to hit the brakes

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Re: History not favourable

> "We have managed so far without network connected vehicles..."

You might be surprised at how long we have had connected vehicles.

How old is your car?

I was taking apart the telephony interface of a turn-of-the-century BMW. This was advertised as a feature that charged specific cell phones, used the car audio system as a speakerphone, and connected to an amplified external antenna. I expected it to be a relatively simple speaker and microphone interface. Instead it was a complete data interface. Inside was a significant microcontroller, an audio modem, and even an unpopulated section of the board for a dedicated cellular radio. This was a car built almost two decades ago, and it had full call-home connectivity capable of accessing engine and chassis status and the navigation system.

Until now, if Canadian Uber drivers wanted to battle the tech giant, they had to do it in the Netherlands – for real

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I see Uber driver's as contractors. But they are close enough to the line that a definitive legal call should be made.

This is not a decision that can be made by an arbitrator.

The underlying issue here is denying people access to the legal system. An argument can be made that it's judicially efficient to make parties to certain types of agreements go through arbitration before taking up court time. But that argument falls apart when the rules put that process outside the jurisdiction, especially when it's in a different country.

Nobody in China wants Apple's eye-wateringly priced iPhones, sighs CEO Tim Cook

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Ahhh, it's good that a few people remember how Apple has acted.

Nvidia had an unquestionably better GPU a few years ago when Apple decided that it was too expensive. Apple switched to slower, power-hungry AMD GPUs, while increasing the end-user price.

A similar situation occurred with the CPUs and chipsets. Apple changed from using the latest Intel chipsets to using ones a generation behind.

If you are trying to project a premium image, users eventually resent paying super-premium prices for discount internals.

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider

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Re: Spiders: there is no "overkill"

Having lived in the near-tropics, the ideal situation is co-existing with a single hungry spider.

Suunto settles scary scuba screwup for $50m: 'Faulty' dive computer hardware and software put explorers in peril

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Re: Isn't that what the watches with the numbered bezels are for?

Before dive computers, there were dive tables. Dive tables are simplified and eliminate most parameters. Because of this they are very, very conservative. And even then they won't help you predict when you need to start your ascent.

For shallow water recreational dives, it's no big deal. You are down there to see the pretty fish. You have no motivation to get close to the limit. For more challenging dives there is a huge difference in capability and time spent at the destination.

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

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Echoing spurious accusation from a former intern is not the same as researching a story.

There are lots of reasons for having an empty element, from inefficient automatic generation to later overwriting. It's a major stretch to claim that it was done deliberately.

Pork pulled: Plug jerked out of beacon of bacon delight

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Bacon is vegetarian Kryptonite

There is a wide range of bacon in the U.S. Everything from quick wet cures to dry smoked.

Just like beer, don't judge it all from what is served in bulk at a tourist hotel.

UK spam-texting tax consultancy slapped with £200k fine

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Buried deep in the fine print "You agree that we, our subsidiaries, contractors and affiliates may contact you regarding services previous rendered or offered."

Doesn't give adequate notice that you've "opted in" to every sleazy advertiser that they can sell the list to?

Thanks to UK peers, coming to a laptop near you in 2019: Age checks for online smut

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My main experience with "Age Verification" is unwanted pop-up ads already showing a "full spread" but wanting an age verification before showing more (were they going to put clothes on?). It was obvious that the age verification wasn't to keep minors from seeing smut (too late...) but solely to charge the credit card number.

'Massage parlour' location looks like Amazon stealth-testing secret new wireless network

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It's a credible theory. It's exactly what I would do to make it a little less obvious what the company was working on, right down to using a massage parlor as the front. And throw in a competitor's product name just to confuse the issue.

Facebook spooked after MPs seize documents for privacy breach probe

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Re: The irony....

> "Facebook don't like other people collecting their data."

I believe that you are wrong in this case.

Facebook was looking for effective ways to monetize their users. They approached it in the Silicon Valley way -- encourage a bunch of start-ups to try different things, and then copy or buy the ones that gained traction. In this case it also had the benefit of distancing them from unsavory practices that they didn't want to be associated with (unless it made money).

The discovery documents presumably showed that Facebook knew exactly what was being shared through the API, and that they tracked the usage in order to evaluate what was succeeding.

Microsoft's edgy Open Enclave SDK goes cross platform

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I followed the link.

It appears that the press release is a pre-announcement: they intend to release the functionality at some point.

And yes, as the first poster noted, it's "Open Closed". This is _The Register_. There are writing standard. And those standards involve puns. Especially for a topic so obviously absurd as this. I expect (.. demand) that this story will be pulled until there is at least one groan-worthy pun per paragraph.

Ethernet patent inventor given permission to question validity of his own patent

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This article is clearly only telling a slice of the story, and it seems to be a biased slice.

Most patents go through several iterations, both prior to filing and in response to rejections. Patent attorneys write the claims to be as broad as possible, and narrow them minimally in response to the patent examiner's objections. Each round provides an opportunity to add more claims, keeping the same priority date.

It's quite possible that the inventor of a key claim didn't have anything to do with the subsequent pile-on of broader claims and additional claims.

Scam or stunt? It's looking like the latter... Xiaomi so sorry for £1 smartphone 'promo'

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If you guys in the UK don't have advertising standards clamp down on this immediately, you are going to end up in a situation where no part of advertising needs to be truthful. As an example, just look at telecommunications advertising in the U.S.

Cheeky cheesemaker fails to copyright how things taste

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I followed the link to the story about Aldi "rip off" products.

What a load of.. hand-wringing. Yes, in a sense they are knock-off products. But no one would legitimately be confused with the originals. Side by side you know you are buying a product modeled after the original. The only confusion might be which is the original, but that isn't what trademark is intended to protect.

Western Digital: And when I pull the covers off, behold as NAND becomes virtual DRAM

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It really does sound as if this is swap-to-SSD, but done in a bare metal hypervisor.

So the real product is a hidden bare metal hypervisor that exists solely to manage a hidden swap drive.

Hypervisors look easy from the outside, but they are very tricky to do correctly. That's a lot of complexity for a single feature.

Bloodbath as Broadcom slashes through CA Technologies personnel

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It's incomprehensible that a company can be worth paying $19B, and then you immediately discard 40%.

Cutting 10% risks leaving a company in crisis. Unless you are closing an isolated factory, cutting 40% leaves a company non-functional.

Companies are notoriously bad at figuring out what is 'fat' when cutting 5%. They'll cut a guy putting in 6 hour days on the off-season, then be short of people at the end of the quarter. There isn't any way that a 40% cut can be done wisely.

Dollar for dollar, crafting cryptocurrency sucks up 'more energy' than mining gold, copper, etc

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Why is energy cost a worthwhile comparison?

Physically mining ore has huge costs besides energy.

Mining bitcoins is primarily energy cost, plus the cost of rapidly depreciating hardware. Other costs are negligible in comparison.

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

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Tesla was exception at intuitively understanding near-field effects, and the evolution of coupled 3D rotating fields.

He didn't understand far-field effects *at all*, and didn't have the mathematical expertise to fake it by working with the equations.

The former ability allowed him to design rotating electrical machinery that people hadn't even conceived of. Everyone else was thinking in terms of static fields, resulting in awkward, inefficient commutated motors and generators. Tesla's AC generators and motors were compact, symmetrical, efficient, smooth and reliable.

But his lack of mathematical ability meant that he was often very wrong when his intuition failed. That was evident in his ideas that were, to put it gently, were those of a crackpot.

The end (of the flash boom) is nigh! But not before SK Hynix tallies up its record revenues

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We've been reading for a half year about the coming crash in flash prices.

From what I've seen, they haven't even been following the historical trend down. The record profits here confirms that we definitely aren't in the 'bust' part of a boom-bust cycle.

However my crystal ball says that software is just about to become much more efficiently written and compact, and there will be a dramatic decline in data collection and cat videos. Combined with world peace and sensible political decisions, the worldwide demand for flash will fall to zero next year.

We asked 100 people to name a backdoored router. You said 'EE's 4GEE HH70'. Our survey says... Top answer!

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Really the risk is very limited.

You need to be on the local network, the vent needs to be targeted at exactly the right angle, and the approach is guarded by laser cannon. Sure, it's a direct path to the core, but no one is going to find out about it anyway.

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

EveryTime Silver badge

"Smart" cars (AVs) don't have the trolley problem. That's not how driving decisions are made. The trolley problem has almost no relation to any real-life decision.

The AV will be making the decision pretty much as we do: "let's avoid the first critical thing first, and deal the rest later". At most it will have a ranking of badness (fragile people, impact-absorbing vehicles)

It will (*should*) avoid the homeless woman walking the bicycle across the dark street, even if that means running into whatever is hidden behind the bush on the side of the road. Or the bus, which may be carrying 50 school children. It's certainly not going to try to model the collision and decide if they will all be killed, or barely notice the impact.

US congress-critters question prime directive of Pentagon's $10bn JEDI cloud contract

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This has nothing to do with the technology or capability of the presumptive winner (AWS). It has everything to do with political manipulation to keep out the new kid on the block. (Not that Amazon is completely new, but the defense contractors trying to torpedo the contract have been entrenched for a good part of a century.)

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

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It seemed very strange initially, but it made increasing sense as I read the story.

I do completely agree with not changing or simplifying the original text. One of the ten commandments was originally a prohibition against taking or owning slaves. It was translated differently because powerful people wanted to own slaves, and wanted their religion to support that. "Thou shall not steal" is a much different concept than "Thou shall not a steal a person as the spoils of war".

Patch me, if you can: Grave TCP/IP flaws in FreeRTOS leave IoT gear open to mass hijacking

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No details yet on the key CVEs.

That means we can't evaluate if these are actually exploitable flaws, or theorized vulnerabilities that aren't exploitable in real-world scenarios.

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

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The evolution of euphemism

Historically, the words we substitute for words "not to be used in polite company" quickly are regarded as offensive themselves.

A gentle reminder is much more likely to be productive than an outright ban. Sometimes "offensive language" should be used.

GitHub.com freezes up as techies race to fix dead data storage gear

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Five Nines

Remember, it's always Five 9s of reliability.. going forward.

Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

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We recently started locking our doors, but only because the 2 year old next door likes to come in and play with the toys.

It's a nice change from living where you couldn't leave the garage door open while running back inside for something you forgot.

FYI: Faking court orders to take down Google reviews is super illegal

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Re: Or he could have just used the money to make his business not so crap

> "For all we know he's a just a small honest trader being victimised by competitors or some keyboard warrior with a grudge. "

That's possible.

But few honest businesspeople think it's a good idea to forge a judge's order.

Fair and honest people stop there -- it's obviously unethical and illegal. They don't even get into the trade-off between the benefit and the chance of being caught.

Chinese biz baron wants to shove his artificial moon where the sun doesn't shine – literally

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Re: Behaviour of fauna

I came here for the math, but was also looking for real report on ware-creatures.

I found only one, just posted. Leading to an inescapable conclusion. Ware-moderators deleting the objections.

The problem runs far far deeper than I had feared.

Icahn to Dell investors: You can't touch this DVMT offer

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It's Icahn. He's not there for fair treatment of all shareholders. He's always angling for a shakedown where he gets paid more than others.

Facebook mass hack last month was so totally overblown – only 30 million people affected

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Read the executive summary in the first paragraph... no need to read further.


Yale Weds: Just some system maintenance, nothing to worry about. Yale Thurs: Nobody's smart alarm app works

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> "To be fair, they are at least doing maintenance and attempting to improve the system ..."

No. "Unplanned maintenance" is a PR phrase for "the system crashed, probably corrupting all of the data. We don't have a backup system, and the recovery plan was stored only on the system that crashed."

PC makers: Intel CPU shortages are here to stay ... for six months

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No mention of the impact of the Spectre bug. That must be a corporate communication strategy.

Throwing out inventory and a bubble in production had to hurt much more than they are letting on.

I find your lack of faith disturbing, IBM: Big Blue fires photon torpedo at Pentagon JEDI cloud contract

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This is the same story, with slight tweaks, that has been popping up every week or two since early this year.

AWS is the obvious winner here -- the only one with the proven, existing technology and experience. Microsoft Azure is the only runner-up.

But the beltway bandits are pulling out all of the stops to kill the contract or force multiple awards.

Chinese Super Micro 'spy chip' story gets even more strange as everyone doubles down

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Re: Why are ICs always in large packages, how is this dot powered?

> "An inbuilt thermocoupler could potentially provide enough power for such a small chip to do its work, depending on what exactly the "work" is."

A thermocouple will not work. It will generate under a millivolt and trivial power. You need a significant temperature difference for a usable voltage, and significant heat flow for usable power.

And a small chip isn't likely to have enough cleverness to analyze a system, let alone extract keys. A realistic scenario would be to rely on direction from an external system.

And even if it could extract the keys, how would it transmit with a near-zero-length antenna?

EveryTime Silver badge

A small die-bonded chip on a motherboard is feasible. When attached to the BMC, either on the SMBus or SPI-connected program flash, it could modify just enough to accept very simple remote commands. It would be fragile and take lots of network traffic, but it could work.

Saying that such an attack is technically feasible is far different than saying that it occurred, or occurred that way. It's a complicated approach that would involve subverting the board fabrication company at multiple points. It would be far simpler to just modify the BMC firmware directly.

I think that someone was spinning a yarn, and the reporters fell for it.

Super Micro China super spy chip super scandal: US Homeland Security, UK spies back Amazon, Apple denials

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Update: The Bloomberg story is changing

Bloomberg now has a fresh story where apparently the mod is in the Ethernet jack itself.

The story was supposedly researched for over a year, but the key details are radically shifting just days after publication... I'm beginning to suspect that the reporters were pitched a story by a "security researcher" raising his company's profile.

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Re: Is SEC still hibernating?

> "It caused the SMCI stock to drop more than 40%! Is SEC still hibernating?"

SMCI was recently (August 2018) de-listed by the SEC because they cheated on revenue recognition, and couldn't sort out the accounting for re-stated revenue figures before the SEC deadline.

That makes SMCI stock price hit less actionable. If the story is wrong, they have a case, but it's an uphill battle.

DB dev waggles GPU-dosed POWER9 server at data warehouse crowd, yells: SQream

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Only 150%?

They have a lot of room to tune.

NVLink is a beast, albeit a challenge to use effectively if you don't have massive chunks of data.

Uber to dole out $148m settlement among US states over breach it paid $100k to bury

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The fine seems high, but not excessive for how clear-cut the offense was.

If the people involved are consistently able to avoid criminal liability for breaking the law, then only painfully high fines will keep management and the board from making cynically corrupt decisions.

'This is insane!' FCC commissioner tears into colleagues over failure to stop robocalls

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Re: The FCC isn't going to do anything that isn't easy

> "But the solution is pretty easy. I use Tasker to do this, but there's probably other apps that can accomplish the same thing: when a call comes in, my script checks if the number is one that's in my address book. I"

Which works for many of the calls, for you. The approach is unusable for most people, and works for you only until more people use it. Then illicit lists of your contact phone numbers are sold, and the calling number is spoofed as one of your business contacts.

WWII Bombe operator Ruth Bourne: I'd never heard of Enigma until long after the war

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It's worth echoing that operational security is *very* hard, and breaking the encryption is one of the last things to suspect. It's pretty much like burglars rarely bother with trying to pick a lock. It's easier to just look for an unlatched window or an unlocked door. Even if they get in using the door lock, it was probably using a key found in the unlocked car, under the mat, or copied by the valet.


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