* Posts by regregular

58 posts • joined 1 Mar 2017


I helped catch Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht: Undercover agent tells all


Re: Just starting to read and..

>> just take a minute to think about the full horror of that sentence

Am I the only one that thinks life in the slammer somehow sounds worse than death penalty? Maybe it is one of these things where you change perspective once it affects you, but I'd rather be dead than spend 50 or 60 years in the US prison system.

>> What he did was bypass the government's monopoly on deciding what we, as adults, can and can't do

That was strike one, but I would think they were equally scared about someone attacking the dollar, the only legal tender that almost universally works around the globe. A lot at stake there, and for many of the people involved back then Bitcoin and Silk Road were probably synonymous.


OpSec is hard. We are creatures of habit.

Well that's just spliffing: UK Amazon merchants peddling Mary Jane


>> no its still a controlled substance in the UK CBD and THC both are present in weed buds.

Presence in buds does not make something an illegal substance. Else Chlorophyll would be illegal as well. It is the other way around - buds are illegal because they contain the banned THC.

CBD is legal in the UK by now, if sold as a food supplement. Currently, CBD oil in the UK can only have a maximum THC content of 0.2%. Any CBD oil with a higher THC content remains to be illegal and use is prohibited.

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


Re: anti-crime


I like it. This should be done in the digital realm.

Find those unpatched plastic routers with known vulnerabilities on the internet, gain access and update the damn firmware.

Bug bounty alert: Musk lets pro hackers torpedo Tesla firmware risk free


It looks good on the surface, but it seems to be a shoddy compromise for PR looks mainly.

So, you can enroll IF you happen to have a Tesla and are a known security researcher. Put that into a Venn diagram and how many people does it leave you with?

And they will do OTA or reasonable actions at a service center, if deemed appropriate. That is such a dirty weasel-clause. To me it reads: If we can't OTA it, you're free to tow your car to the service center at your own cost. If you shoot out the control unit beyond what the Tesla diagnostic service computers can deal with you're on your own. If you genuinely brick the device beyond physical repair you're on your own.

How about: we will OTA or attempt to service the control units for anyone who requests it, even hobbyists. If you are a vetted researcher you can be assured to receive a replacement control unit if necessary and you are eligible to receive a set of control units to work them over in a proper bench setup at your hearts content, without freezing your gonads off in the cold garage.

That would be a worthy recognition of free security research.

Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling


Re: Look at all those wonderful alternatives insight.....Oh wait

Devils in the details of licensing. If Sony made a single device that had Android minus Google Suite they would not get licenses for the Google Suite for ANY other phones (and possible would break existing licensing on other phones WITH the Suite).

Any manufacturer with just one "free Android" phone in the lineup will be denied the Google Suite for all devices. And as we have seen, a phone / tablet without an App Store is quite useless to the general public (and it is called Fire).


The ruling doesn't attack Android in itself, nor does it "demand" the mother of all fork fragmentations.

It ciriticized a few points, changing those is very much in the realm of the possible.

a) Google as the default search provider.

b) Chrome as the default browser.

Both have no easy, well integrated ways of being switched for, say Opera and Bing or Firefox and DuckDuckGo. The EU took the very same offense with Microsoft, ruling that the deep integration of Internet Explorer sucks and consumers should have an easier choice of browser. Mind you, that was when getting rid of the "IE standard browser designation" required regedit.

The ciriticism of the app store integration is indeed flimsy, I guess they thought three is better than two and didn't think the implications of that through (patching vulnerabilties in system components makes the device safer, etc)

What can $10 stretch to these days? Lunch... or access to international airport security systems


The more I find out about the management of important and critical infrastructure, the more I get interested in building an off-the-grid house and taking up hunting.

The Notch contagion is spreading slower than phone experts thought


Re: Charge by wire

Even wireless charging requires a wire for the section between the power source and the wireless "base station" thingamajig you rest the phone on.

They could extrapolate their proprietary bullshit dollars from those things just as well. Deliver the wireless cake, and eat your bucks, as it were.

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere


"UPDATE: Since publishing this story we've heard whispers that IBM has taken note of staff objections to the removable storage ban, especially when doing software updates, and is considering making a few exemptions."

I can totally see IBM sysadmins lugging around a USB stick epoxied to a chain, which is attached to a brick in the future.

You know, like those gas station bathroom keys...

OK, deep breath, relax... Let's have a sober look at these 'ere annoying AMD chip security flaws


Re: Closed black box firmware

...an analyst who has already been implicated of market manipulation.



Also worth of note:

The company Viceroy Research has just recently been implicated in attempted stock market manipulation by german stock market / banking authority BAFIN (similar to US SEC).


This is very dodgy.

Germany says NEIN to purchase incentive for Tesla Model S


As soon as electric, german high-end sedans and SUVs trickle out of the manufacturers pipelines that price cap will mysteriously vanish, I am quite sure...

Tesla share crash amid Republican bid to kill off electric car tax break


>> yAccording to the article, Georgia had monthly sales of 1400 before cutting their own tax credit. It would only take 32 states with sales like that to hit the 530k figure. Apparently Georgia is fairly big in terms of population and economy so it may be a bit of an outlier, but given there are 50 states in total it's still not an obviously silly figure."

32 states at 1400 does not make it 530k. Still an order of magnitude off.


4bn divided by 7500 gives me a bit over 530k. There are that many electric vehicles sold in the US per year? Or does the same amount apply to hybrids?

Stealthy storage startup wants to fly read-write heads closer to disks



To my knowledge the head is not even actively positioned, but merely floats on a tiny cushion of air turbulence generated by the spinning disk. Also, a fingerprint on a disk surface would be twice as high in profile as the distance between head and platter. Any of those information tidbits wrong?

With active positioning you'd have to create a head capable of "sailing" undistrubed inside those turbulences, instead of being lifted above them.

Closing this gap even further in a mechanical device seems to be asking for trouble.

Australians still buy 100,000 feature phones a quarter



30k - 35k drug dealers nationwide that toss their phone about once a month?

Elderly people who keep losing or breaking them?

VW engineer sent to the clink for three years for emissions-busting code


Not that clever. It is literally reading one sensor - steering angle. If that remains stationary the jig is up. Supposedly some other parameters are checked for verification but that's it. No magic done.

San Franciscans unite to smite alt-right with minefield of doggy shite


Interesting point brought up... I too remember dog shit turning white over time from back when. It doesn't seem to do that anymore, at least I don't see it anymore (and I have a dog and walk him where other dogs roam, so I see a good share of aging turds).

What's up with that? Have there been any changes in composition of dog food or something?

10 minutes of silence storms iTunes charts thanks to awful Apple UI


Re: Not the first time... won't be the last...

So, like listening to vinylcrackle.mp3

A glimpse of life under President Zuckerberg? Facebook CEO's boffins censor awkward Q&A


So, if /r/science has such a very strict policy, and I support their right to do so and enforce it, should they not rename AMA to AMA(sti)* or something? It IS kinda misleading...

* Ask Me Anything (sciencey, that is)

An 'AI' that can diagnose schizophrenia from a brain scan – here's how it works (or doesn't)


Re: the elephant in the room

1. I have nowhere seen an indication that the falses were all false positives. They might as well have been all false negatives, although a split into false pos and negs is the more likely variant. Assuming a 50:50 split between pos and neg it would give a false positive to 12 percent. And it would "miss" the other 12 percent.

2. You're sort of assuming that this kind of brain scan is going to be mandatory for everyone. I doubt that anyone advocates this kind of method becoming even a routing screening in hospitals. It is just another diagnostical tool to be usedby medical professionals.

Las Vegas locks down ahead of DEF CON hacking conference


Maybe UPS has a smart tech guy who set up an machine with TAILS or a similar live read-only OS. Box is connected just to the Internet for fetching those mails with attachments and prints to a printer hooked up bia USB. No connection tomrest of machines / printers. If something b0rks salvation is just a reboot away.

That would probably the smartest solution. Apart from just placing a cheap Staples printer on the counter and telling DefConites to install drivers and just connect to their own machine.

Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10


Re: Are you folks nuts or just whiners?

>> Is there anything Microsoft can do that you will applaud?

Yes, full source code release.

>> WTF do you guys want?

See above.


Will we see a Paint successor, maybe called OnePaint or CloudPaint, in which the ToS fine print states that everything created/modified with the tool automatically surrenders all copyrights to Microsoft?


Re: The end

Using Snipping Tool saves a few steps out of this even.

Yet seeing paint go sucks.

Human-free robo-cars on Washington streets after governor said the software is 'foolproof'


Foolproof. Indestructible. Unsinkable.

Cue Titanic jokes.

NASA brainboxes work on algorithms for 'safe' self-flying aircraft


I wonder how this will work in terms of "acceptance of the public". Sitting in a semi-autonomous car is already very bewildering, but you have the pedals and steering wheel right in front of you and you know what to do.

Now, with your butt planted in seat G02 and the plane taxiing to the runway, how many Xanax does it take to keep you calm?

Sons of IoT: Bikers hack Jeeps in auto theft spree


Re: Nothing to hide

Yep. Back when Europe had borders and expensive cars used to vanish towards the east of Europe it was supposed to be an easy way to verify whether VIN was registered as stolen.


Re: Not IoT related, just bad security

This is not 100% correct. I think your procedure applies only if all keys known to the vehicle computer are lost.

If you just lose one, you can order a replacement, it will arrive mechanically precut at dealership, and then the local dealer can use his diagnostic device to program the new keyfob into the vehicle. Procedure simplified:

1. Diagnostic device communicates to BMW central servers to get auth/leave audit trail

2. At least one keyfob known to vehicle has to be present for "authentication"

3. New keyfob is registered

4. Lost or broken keyfob is removed from pool

Unfortunately, BMW fucked it up majorly, and you can steal even the recent ones by using a handheld aftermarket piece of kit and generic transponder. Somewhere in the procedure is a way to bypass the "known keyfob present" requirement. IIRC from the tech analysis it had to do with shitty crypto implementation. It is possible to just a third key into the pool, bypassing the theoretically quite clever system.

There's youtube videos that show pros pulling that off, evidently on some models the interior motion sensors are too narrow, and you can smash a window, wiggle you arm to the diagnostic port without triggering the alarm, connect the handheld device, scramble the new key into the pool. Then you click the fob and off you go.


Re: Alarms

>> On most "modern" cars (15 years +) which are designed to be used with a remote key fob for unlocking, the alarm will be activated if you use the mechanical key to unlock the doors. To silence the alarm you then have to insert a registered/paired key into the ignition switch pdq.

Define "most", plesae. Most "modern american" cars? Because this does not hold true for ANY of the modern cars I have owned / driven in the past and had the need/curiosity of opening mechanically. That includes a 2006 Alfa Romeo, a 2003 VW, a 2012 BMW, a circa 2010 Audi A6. There is a trigger switch in the door lock assembly that will immediately trigger the alarm if you try to turn the lock brute force or if you try to pull the core out. But using a properly cut key to turn the lock without force has not set off the alarm on any vehicle I have ever seen (here in Europe). It in fact not only doesn't trigger the alarm (because door is opened) but it disables the "movement detection" sensor in the interior on all examples.

>> It actually makes sound logical design sense, as a mechanical brute force on the lock, or a forged key will trigger the alarm.

You are talking about two different things. Brute force (screwdriver) will sound alarm. A forged key is indistinguishable from a real one as far as the mechanical doorlock assembly is concerned. If the cut is right it fits.

The opposite is correct, if you have the legitimate key, but the keyfob lock/unlock is broken it would essentially mean the car cannot be used if it was indeed wired / setup like this. You could open the door with the mech key but the alarm would be blaring for no good reason at all.

You have to allow for complete failure of the keyfob electronics (dead battery, broken electronics) or you will have pissed customers swearing on $DEITY that they will never again buy a car from $BRAND. That is why the mechanical key is still part of the fobs. And the transponder for immobilizer is separate from the keyfob electronics and will allow starting of the vehicle so customer can haul himself home and replace battery or buy an overpriced replacement fob from dealership (and on being quoted the price he will then swear to $DEITY to never again...)


>> Seriously, where do you think the battery is, does that need another door to protect that?

It can go pretty much anywhere. And the article was not talking about unhooking the battery (which proper brands defend against by powering the alarm circuits with a small emergency power source NOT accessible from engine bay), but unhooking the alarm system. Because with the battery cut off you can't very well use the diagnostic port to register the duplicate key, can you, genius?

>> What if the alarm system box is in the cabin? What then? Is there a place on a car, or a device that will thwart someone armed with manufacturer knowledge and devices, AND a properly fitted key?

No, which is exactly my point, yound padawan. With a fitted key all bets are off anyway and it makes no sense that someone (allegedly) had to disarm some alarm system. So either there is shoddy reporting on the side of the DoJ that describe modus operandi wrong or some serious engineering idiocy.

>> All they needed to do was disable the primary alarm,

>> yes they needed to disable the alarm, THEN they needed to pwn the engine electronics security.

No, they SHOULD not need to do that. With a proper key the alarm should not go off. If your keyfob is out of juice or defective, opening the door mechanically with the cut key should not set off an alarm.

>> And so what. What if they just smashed and grabbed the car and hot wired it? Same thing,

Not really. That should set off the alarm. Just like tilting / rocking the car (think pulling/lifting onto trailer).

>> I say they did a fair job and a novel process. And nothing of value was lost!

I don't disagree, especially with "nothing of value" part. Because if the car is really engineered to bother it's customers with the alarm just because they dare to use a properly cut mechanical key I'd say good riddance. But, in reality, probably not even Mexicans would take possession of such shoddy lunacy, except for disassembling... oh wait, there you go.

>> Take the most advanced car and security; it can be thwarted with knowledge of the system, and that you can get to the vehicle and physically pwn it.

Without a doubt. But in this particular case, the not so uncommon case of a dead/defective keyfob would supposedly trigger the alarm even for the legitimate user. I mean, by including the cut key with the keyfob the manufacturer basically allows for this case. He says, well if you drop in a puddle, accidentally fire it from a spud gun or whatever, use the mech key, the transponder will disable the immobilizer even without power, well you're good to go. But if the DoJ is right Jeep thought differently, and I want to know who's the idiot here.

>> Duh. I've yet to see a car that can't be broken into. Do let Detroit know of your special knowledge, I'm sure they will hire you straight away! :P

Broken into will always work on a metal can with a huge amount of surface glass. And unfortunately driving away is also easy, even with high end brands. Because those idiots do not use proper protocols. It would be easy enough to thwart the "open the can and use diag interface to register new key then driva away" approach.


>> The DoJ believes that, armed with the duplicate key, a thief popped the hood of the car to disable most of the alarm system and open the door.

1. Really? If the alarm system wiring / fuse box is easily accessible through a popped hood that is a serious design flaw.

2. Why would you even need to bother? If you legitimately open the door by mechanically unlocking the door lock the alarm should not go off. If it did it would be another design flaw and defy logic.

Are Jeep vehicles really wired that idiotically?

So, you're 'ISO 27001 accredited', huh? Just saying so doesn't cut it


Re: Can be misleading

I am fully aware of the scope and requirement for the ISO9k family and have spent a good bit of time watching companies implement those a few decades ago (as a bystander, but still).

The problem is how ISO is represented. You are very likely a techie, or at least someone who looks behind shiny things to figure out how they work. Don't make the mistake of assuming that for everyone. There are far too many people who don't go that mile. Many of those wash up in management. ISO9k was rep'ed as "Quality Management Norm". That is the very problem. You can read it as "a norm to manage quality". As in "ensure quality".

That is FUD deliberately thrown into the eyes of decision-makers.

Eric S. Raymond says you probably fit one of eight tech archetypes


Re: Attempting to pigeonhole people has a major issue.


"You need about 16 starved pigs..."

BMW chief: Big auto will stay in the driving seat with autonomous cars


Re: Well...

<blockquote>Of course, (some of) the traditional car makers will survive. We've seen this before. Kodak may have destroyed itself but the line up of major camera brands today would be largely recognisable to someone from 50 years ago.</blockquote>

Well... Next to manufacturers of old (Nikon, Canon) you will find brands you never expected to make a car (Sony, Panasonic) and an absence of respected brands gone under... (i.e. Minolta, Konica). So yeah, it might be "largely" recognizable, but that 50 year time traveller might just wonder what the heck happened and how those reputed brands could have missed the turning of the tide.


Re: Well...

<blockquote>The big brands are not unaware of this shift at all, [...] the car business is far more diverse, and doesn't gravitate to one pole the way IT does. [...] If there's something you're not considering, I think it's how the average customer will treat autonomy. For personal transport, it's not a product category, but rather a feature. An important feature, but a feature nonetheless, and one that may not be too desirable outside of the unique traffic environment of the mass-transit-starved SF Bay.</blockquote>

It's true, the demands put towards a car are very diverse and change from region to region and between each customer. I can only regard trends I see developing here in Germany, and the trend here is towards not owning a car anymore at all. Many urbanites these days just register with a car-sharing service and pick up a car somewhere in the neighborhood when they need one. This is of course vastly different in the US where public transport is not as developed and where usually longer distances are involved. But with that generation autonomous driving seems to be very popular, because despite needing a car every now and then they are not keen on driving. And of course they are not at all brand-loyal, excited by horses or torque or in need of color-matched contrast stitched leather seats or legendary panel gaps. They don't own the car, they just happen to drive it whereever and want it to be as simple as possible. Autonomy is an important feature, while many of the other features that make the brand identity of certain manufacturers are losing importance very, very fast.

<blockquote>You drive a BMW. BMW does not make its own transmissions. [...] Similarly, everything in the interior of your car is made not by BMW, but by other companies: Adient (seats), Faurecia (dashboard trim), Magnetti Marelli (switchgear and instrumentation, and external lighting). [...] This is how the car business works. Most "innovative technologies" pioneered by car brands are from third-party suppliers who specialise in these things.</blockquote>

Exactly, thanks for reaffirming this, I brought up those exact points in a previous post in this thread (currently 5th post down from top).

<blockquote>So, let's say BMW wants to make autonomous cars on one side, and Uber/Google/whoever wants to make autonomous cars on the other. Whereas the Silicon Valley people have to source and build everything around their big feature to make a car from it, the likes of BMW simply has to find one of the many autonomous-vehicle companies and strike a deal with them to build that killer feature into a BMW.</blockquote>

Generally, you are right of course. Two points though: this can cut both ways. Silicon Valley cash reserves rival many nations annual GDP. There might just be a buyout of an established but struggling carmaker by the Valley that then starts to churn out the whatever-car. Valley likes to buy turn-key solutions and an established manufacturer will have all the machines, sources, personnel, dealership network and know-how. That is my point, making a car today is not black magic anymore. The autonomy development is, the rest is up for grabs on the market if you have the cash.

Also, if BMW sources the "killer feature" components from a 3rd party, how can they claim that BMW is / will remain in the driving seat regarding autonomous driving in the future. That is a major claim I am in disagreement with.

Also, there is the difference in company liability between the USA and Germany. In a nutshell, before something can be marketed in Europe, you have to conclusively prove that your product works as advertised, is safe and won't cause damage or hurt/maim/kill people. In the USA you essentially have a free-for-all situation where a company can throw a product out, but then if it fails and causes damage or loss of life the lawyers are rubbing their hands. I am not sure how that difference can be squared between a german manufacturer and a US supplier, especially when the determination of safety is so immensely complex. For tires, shocks or other products the determination is easily done in a lab prior to approval.

So, my point remains, I am relatively certain that the major german manufacturers will get seriously sideswiped in the not too distant future by a product with superior autonomous features that they thumbed their noses at before, like the Tesla. And playing the catch-up game on two fronts, electric mobility and autonomous driving might prove impossible and drive them into a tiny niche or bankruptcy. The arrogance displayed by the BMW bloke mentioned in the article is very uncalled for.

<blockquote>If it's "just mechanical engineering", why has Waymo/Google abandoned its grand plans to build autonomous cars, and partnered with Fiat-Chrysler instead? </blockquote>

The last I read about that is that Google does not plan to follow the completely autonomous vehicle without wheels or pedals any further and has shifted that branch of development off towards Waymo. Regarding the Fiat/Chrysler deal, the last bit I read was that Google took delivery of 100 Chrysler vehicles to enlargen their test fleet. This suggest to me that they are not quite there yet, but not exactly giving up either. I am not sure if this qualifies as a partnership. With those ugly LIDAR contraption on the roof of the Chrysler Pacifica vehicles I am very sure that this is not a pre-production prototype but just a technology testbed that could just as well have been delivered by any manufacturer. But maybe I misread that or missed specifics of that deal.


Re: Well...

What kind of decades worth of data are you referring to that will be beneficial to BMW et al in surpassing other competitors in this particular realm?

And while I agree with the sentiment of rather trusting a autonomous BMW with my life, I probably do it for different reasons. Assuming the worst, a heavy accident, I would want to be in a vehicle made by people that have more experience in designing cars to ace the crash tests. For now at least. That is a bit of experience I grant to the established brands.

But that is a sentimental, not a logical preference. Because whatever advantage BMW et al might have there can be matched by newcomers relatively quick. It's just mechanical engineering, not black magic. And the more digitally refined autonomous cars might have prevented the accident or softened the impact with an earlier reaction time in the first place.

Full disclosure: I love cars, I drive a BMW, I love it to death and will very likely keep it until it falls to pieces while other cars do the daily driving, but the attitude of the big brands towards the paradigm shift in mobility bugs me a lot.


Re: Well...

The actual similarity I was referring to was not the kind of production or development processes that would have to be changed.

But in the arrogance of the industry heavyweights. The too-big-too-fail assumption. "Customer will buy what we push, everything else is a fad". Automotive industry is quite conservative in adopting new concepts, because the market used to be very conservative. And the film industry existed with hardly any innovations for decades. That breeds a certain leadership mindset, and I think there is a lot of congruence here.


Re: Well...

<blockquote>The point that the Auto industry will not allow anybody else on its turf is quite valid though.</blockquote>

There is only so many roadblocks they (german/euro brands) can put up though. Tesla got 'em bad, in many markets the vehicle is ridiculously successful, much to the surprise of the industry. They are scared and despite best attempts can't make a purely electric vehicle that is as sought after. Considering price and shortcomings they don't really understand the success.

The only real thing I can imagine is lobbyist intervention from the vehicle industry, essentially playing the protectionist card and undermining government approval / homologation of "newcomer / startup" vehicles. That is a very possibly approach and valid concern, but that is not what the bloke said. His point is "We're huge and our transition from vehicle manufacturer to tech company will go smoother than some vehicle/tech startup or some big tech player going vehicle manufacturer". That is a wild assumption and I see nothing to support that claim.


Re: Well...

<blockquote>There's still an awful lot of engineering that go's into any car, this stuff is bread and butter for companies like BMW.

While creating a self-driving car is a technological marvel, it counts for little if you don't know how to actually put a car together in the first place.</blockquote>

I somewhat disagree. Building cars, nowdays, is not that rocket-sciencey thing that it happened to be in the post-war era during which the big german brands built their reputation.

Isolate it: You have the chassis. That's essentially metal cutting and stamping and automated weld jobs. If you have the tech to produce military helmets or cooking pots you can stamp the sheets / panels that make a car.

Next: Engine / transmission / differentials. Those are what most brand reputation is built around. And they are indeed the bit that is very hard to get right, lots of moving parts, high rpms, high temperatures, demands like efficiency and emission regulations to be met. But even the halo brands are starting to branch out developments on those parts to independents and then buy the final product, such as transmissions from ZF or Getrag.

Suspension / Brakes: Those are usually grabbed from the shelves of independents and adjusted to the required specs.

Engine ECU and the myriad of other control units: Third party. Bosch, Magneti Marelli etc etc

Interior: Hard to get right, not because of technological challenge but due to the large variety of customer taste and conceptions of how a car should look and feel like. But definately no rocket science involved there.

So, if you want to build a car these days, there is certainly a large financial overhead required for design, prototyping and the machine park. But everything you need you can buy from relatively independent 3rd party OEMs, except for the engine, which might require a bit of looking for a struggling manufacturer who needs some cashflow and will take your money even if it might hurt his industry as a whole. Or you could just avoid that issue, dump the burner and go electric like Tesla did.

If anyone is going to take over the driving seat in the autonomous driving market I believe it will be a vehicle brand independent 3rd party OEM.



Someone is full of himself.

They may be going the way of Kodak and Agfa who missed the digital photography starting gun and continued to make film. Because of course those digital gimmicks would never catch on. Not with real photographers. Never.

Dishwasher has directory traversal bug


Re: its obviously on the dirty network

The article is indeed along similar lines, at least in terms of manufacturer strategy, although the deal with farm machinery is different - a purchase like that usually remains in use longer than passenger vehicles, and they don't change hands like used cars do.

And yes, the same tricks are deployed by some car brands, and it is not even about cheap unsafe knock-off parts. There are ways to actually block minor, simple repairs / maintenance. Examples: BMW requires new batteries to be "learned" into the system after replacement, after an oil change the "nag counter" has to be reset etc. If access there is blocked your car might be just fine but keeps nagging you. Worse than that is automatic parking brake setting on some brands which can make replacing brake rotors / pads a pain, a dealership will just hook up their diagnostic tool and tell it to release the parking brake.

This is not a safety "feature" but an attempt to lock people into the dealership rates, with ridiculous parts markups and hourly rates. Thankfully, for most of these nuisances the aftermarket quickly finds workarounds or hacks because demand is high.


Re: Bewildered. (That's grown-up speak for "wtf")

>> and I get a bill each month for what I actually use rather than the company making up a random number, direct debiting whatever they feel like, and then trying to reconcile a huge discrepency every couple of years.

Just make sure you have no LED lighting or dimmer switches in your home. With those devices, some smart meters have been reported to report wildly inaccurate readings. Wildly inaccurate as in 700% higher.


Re: its obviously on the dirty network

Actually, they are milking the used car market. At least that is the reason I suspect for the higher end cars from volume manufacturers / the entire fleet from premium manufacturers.

Most people who get to buy a brand new car and spec it to their needs automatically receive a "all-inclusive" deal for Telemetrics and Updates for 3-5 years. That is the deal for BMW and Mercedes, I would assume similar deals for other brands.

The folks who can afford to buy those brandnew will evntually, usually well within the free period, move on to a different brand car or a newer model, releasing the car to the used car market. And that is why this racket will keep working. Corporate does not care about a second hand owner, because they regularly do not earn any money with him. Second hand owner might shell out the cash for a update grudgingly, but will surely take oil changes and repairs or tire changes to the bloke round the corner. The only person to be taken seriously when bitching about this is first hand buyer, and he never noticed the racket due to his free period.

It's quite well played...


Re: Who in the FUCK ...

Google the model. Full height, industrial size dishwasher with capacity over 200 glasses.

This is clearly not con- or prosumer, but for large outfits. I can see why a convenient remote monitoring feature might be a selling point to customers who need one, or even many, of those things. Big kitchens are loud and busy, and missing the "bing" of a finished cycle or a red LED requesting maintenance happens easily and wastes time.

This is probably a feature aimed at maximising efficiency, so no time is spent by walking up and checking to see if it is ready to unload and reload. You just wait until it tells you it is ready.


Re: Bewildered. (That's grown-up speak for "wtf")

Regarding to the "Why do we need that", the question can be answered by googling the actual device. Unless the model number has a typo, this particular device is an industrial grade washer for restaurants or similar places. One selling point is the capacity of over 200 glasses, not exactly a con- or prosumer grade appliance.

I can see a few reasons why a large gastronomy outfit might want a dishwasher that "calls the boss" when it is done or needs attention. There may be more than one of those, the "bing" that signals a finished cycle might be drowned out by ambient kitchen noise etc.

Now UK bans carry-on lappies, phones, slabs on flights from six nations amid bomb fears


Re: Checked in luggage

It is not that much colder in the cargo holds.

All current pax airliners have at least one cargo hold that is fully temp controlled, like the cabin. This is used for pet transport, on some models the heated area also contains flight electronics that need be kept crispy.

The other holds on any particular model are usually passively heated by blowing warm cabin exhaust air through or other means. Those will cool down to the single digits (Celsius) but never freeze. It may be 15 degrees below cabin temp, but compared to the outside temperature in the high negative double digits that is a moderate temperature difference.

Also, as I have seen it mentioned: all cargo holds are pressurized like the cabin.


Re: non-public?

I once asked a german airport security guy who swiped my notebook for explosives residue what the fuzz was about. I brought up exactly your point, namely that the scan of the device should reveal anything out of the ordinary, so why bother with a swipe?

His reply was that those carry on scanners do not show the composition of the material they scan. Only the specific density. And that certain explosives have a specific density that bang-on similar to those of the insides of battery cells.

For that reason they single out notebook batteries that look odd for additional screening (mine was a Lenovo x220t extended battery that sticks out on the back of the machine), aside from that the scanner every now and then notifies them to swipe a particular notebook. No idea if that's a random function or image analysis driven.

Can anyone confirm that thing about the scanning for density or that the battery contents are similar in specific density to explosives?


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