* Posts by sprograms

100 posts • joined 6 Oct 2017


Huawei, your way, whichever way. We're cool with being locked out, defiant biz insists


Re: Guided Missile salesmen

The government of the PRC still refers to the mainland and province of Taiwan. Perhaps the Cold War is till on? It is. All that has changed is that the largest communist tyranny got a pass because corporations wanted to exploit the combination of vast labor force joined to an absolutely effective worker suppression system, aka the Party apparatus and its police. That is a very ugly fact. How did it arise? It was a bit like the Prisoners' Dilemma: Neither North America nor the EU nor Japan was willing to be the economy that gave up the profit opportunity. Competition being what it was/is, either all had to forgo it, or none would. The rest is history.


"Should the rest of the world therefore ban all US networking equipment and US companies from anything related to communications or critical IT systems? I mean if you are going to be consistent, then that is pretty much where your argument leads."

No. I did not and would not make that argument. It leads nowhere but to constant source-code checking by many eyes, and conducting of the builds, and design/fab examination of chip sets, etc...which is impractical in the nearest decade. My argument recognizes that the US (and Germany and the UK, et al) are daily engaged in broad network eavesdropping and targetted investigation. My argument is that ultimately the overall structure of government and intenton of each producing nation needs to be taken into account. My argument recognizes that thorough frequent checking of source code, chip designs and microcode, and so forth, will not be practical any time soon. Ultimately, I'm saying, each country and government has to decide, make choices, as to which other nations and manufacturers pose the most serious threat. No solution is provided by saying "every major manufacture is equally a threat." I'm saying "no, they're not." Every western nation offers the possibility, even likelihood, that information abuse will be outed and rectified. The PRC offers no such hope. If you (or Merkel) wants evidence of that, it certainly is available.


I'm a bit puzzled by the mixed reaction to "Hua Wei - Should We or Shouldn't We?" ambivalence. I grant that many people in, for example, Spain, love the low prices for phones. But, the Hua Wei debate is about network hardware and software, produced in China by a Chinese mainland company. We know that CCP Mandate requires unquestioning compliance with any requests it makes of its "private sector." We know that exploits can be planted with nearly the value of back doors, that they may take years to discover, and are completely deniable if the exploiters are well-camouflaged.

I have a simple question would the same ambivalence exist if the company were a Russian organization based in the 1970's Soviet Union? Of course not. And yet the CPR and CCP operate at a "surveil & command" power incomparably more efficient and complete than that of the former Soviets. A fair use excerpt from a current Ars posting:

"A February 22 China National Computer Emergency Response Team (CNCERT) alert warned that 486 MongoDB database servers out of approximately 25,000 such servers connected to the Internet had "information leakage risks." Apparently, some of those MongoDB servers were part of a social media and messaging collection and processing system used by Chinese law enforcement and security personnel to monitor and investigate citizens' communications......................(ed)....... But in exploring the data, it became rapidly evident who was using the system. The surveillance infrastructure, consisting of a large number of synchronized MongoDB servers, apparently collects social media profiles and instant messages from six different platforms segmented by province, according to Gevers. He adds that the infrastructure pulls in approximately 364 million profiles along with their private chat messages and file transfers daily." .........."The exposed databases revealed not only the collection of the data from social media accounts on services such as TenCent's QQ and WeChat platforms, Alibaba Group's WangWang, and the YY video and streaming platform, but also the workflow behind the collection. "These accounts get linked to a real ID/person," Gevers wrote in a Twitter post on the data. "The data is then distributed over police stations per city/province to separate operator databases with the same surveillance network name." "

The ever-intensifying one-way command structure of the unitary authoritarian state in China today suggests a path that ex-China IT should follow. I don't think ambiguous thinking should be part of it. Germany says "show us the proof of ill actions by Hua Wei." Would Germany say the same if mainland Chinese Guided Missile salesmen come calling. Just remarkable.

Huawei opens Brussels code-check office: Hey! EU've got our guide – love Huawei


Re: Good step

Independent assessment? In the world of state-of-the-art network core systems, no firm will offer it. Yet, even if they did, neither the EU nor any EU national government can afford the sufficiently skilled manpower to accomplish such assessment on an ongoing basis.

I'm fairly stunned: Every developed western nation has a whistle-blower protection law. China, on the other hand, has a "blow the whistle and you're dead" legal regime. Do you seriously prefer your doubts about core network gear/code and its ongoing trustworthiness fall on Chinese mainland companies rather than EU (Swedish/German) and US companies? "One belt, one road, one network"? I'm reminded of my 1980's university social-science elective courses, which always seemed to have at least one rabid supporter of Maoism, against all evidence of mass own-citizen murders. Then came the western corporations, who convinced the west that Maoism was fine, so long as the shareholders got their cut. What a world.

When the bits hit the FAN: US military accused of knackering Russian trolls, news org's IT gear amid midterm elections


Re: NSA attacks Russian infrastructure then accuses Russia of same

There has been so much talk about Cambridge Analytica. Little gets rehashed, though, about Facebook providing its entire social graph to the Clinton campaign for free (but not to the Trump campaign), nor about Eric Schmidt's/Google's wild enthusiasm and aid (financial as well as individual preferences info) to the campaign. The voluntary aid provided directly to Hillary's (and only Hillary's) campaign far outweighed any foreign meddling.

Demand for HP printer supplies in free-fall – and Intel CPU shortages aren't helping either


Re: Two years ago...

I've had the same experience. My LaserJet Pro M203 printer has been indicating "low toner" for more than four months. I print a fairly large volume per month. The print is still fully black.

Up up and Huawei in my beautiful buffoon: Trump sparks panic by tying tech kit ban, charges to China trade negotiations


Re: Boundaries

I would say it's all about sketchy laws and trade deals which failed to take into account protection of the national economy against unfair trade practices, unbalanced tariffs, illegal IP theft, and subjection of essential industrial capacity to the predations of an utterly totalitarian country having the world's largest population. Those "sketchy laws and trade deals" were made in order to line the pockets of the shareholders (domestic and foreign) of global mega-corporations.

I'd take the US situation and policies in a minute, compared the German position or that of the French. As for the UK, one cannot say which evil the government is going to choose.


The issues, which Trade Representative Lightheiser has again listed in recent days, are nothing new. It seems, indeed, a national security flaw to allow cheap (because capital- and contract-subsidized) cell infrastructure into western economies. On top of those realities, Chinese law requires explicitly that HuaWei do the Party Chairman's bidding when commanded. I say let Germany be the guinea pig in the matter, if they're so publicly sceptical.

The same goes for the national security implications of having foreign-company cars "built" in the US or UK when the engines and transmissions are built elsewhere: Such a practice really does bleed a nation not only of essential factories, but essential skills in the labor force.

Germany sloppily allowed the sale of Kukus robotics. Now it has panicked as an ever-larger percentage of Daimler shares falls into Chinese hands. Germany is a good example of nothing except "wishful thinking about the glories that will fall to them from that enormous Chinese market."

Insane homeowners association tries to fine resident for dick-shaped outline car left in snow


Re: Power unchecked

The compromise as to the selection of senators was a highly practical recognition of the primitive infrastructure of most states at the time. The practical effect was, really, much like the Europe-typical democratic vote for a party, not a particular candidate. So state elections to state legislatures provided the ground for selection of senators.


Re: Power unchecked

The USA is not a unitary democracy, but a federation of states. Each state is a democracy, majority rule. If the majority in many states is by a (fairly common) not-overwhelming margin...but there is one large extremely populous state that has formed something like a Uniparty (generally through very high spending and government-employee unions, i.e. California), then the electoral vote winner may well not be the "popular vote winner." We have, though, no such thing as a "national popular vote winner," because we've intentionally never subjected ourselves, and our states, to such.

The electoral college system actually provides a damping system in case one very populous state has very non-diverse politics. Without it national institutions and laws would quickly come to reflect only that state's Uniparty beliefs and policies.

Born-again open-source enthusiast Microsoft rucks up at OpenChain


Isn't it true that MS's immediate game is the Cloud client space? Doesn't working on the open licensing verification project lead to a big stack they can rely upon without fear of lawsuits, bringing in the market of government "must use open source," and without large costs, as a customer option in Azure? In the end MS needs another rock besides Windows upon which it can base a next killer corporate app. OS can be that rock, with the added grace that customers only have to pay for that next very-useful-trap: "Look, it requires only a bunch of open-source stuff...on which you also run many of your other apps....together with our new CosmosSQL.net!" A broader product range covering a very large number of potential customers...is not a foolish thing.

IBM so very, very sorry after jobs page casually asks hopefuls: Are you white, black... or yellow?


Re: There's A Bit Of A Slope On It

My son had to learn the formula for a line in analytic geometry, with its slope intercept.

I still ski the slopes.

I've never heard someone use the term "slope" as a racially derogatory term. It must be a regional thing?


Re: sorry or not

Not so difficult to Pict-ure though.

Tech industry titans suddenly love internet privacy rules. Wanna know why? We'll tell you


Re: Self-Regulation? I'll believe it when I see it.

Both the medical and the legal professions (which are industries) are self-regulating in most regards.

China's tech giants are a security threat to the UK, says Brit spy bigwig


Re: Norms?

Once you go broke, they don't even have to shoot. They just wave you toward the Camps and tell you you'll get food once you enter.

And before you go broke? They just offer the bosses cheap benefits-free no-unions labor, and tell them they'll get more money each year if they avail themselves of that labor. The labor outsourcing builds local supply hubs around it. Then the bosses say they'd move back (or elsewhere), but that now it's the only place with such a rich diverse supply chain....

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


Re: Is it an oxymoron?

Perhaps. I thought it was referring to the synthetic mortgage-backed securities business, or perhaps the investment advisory industry.

You're on a Huawei to Hell, US Sec State Pompeo warns allies: Buy Beijing's boxes, no more intelligence for you


Re: That seems like a dangerous stance

British power declined steadily from 1916-1944 due to the enormous financial drain of, together with France, not facing the reality of German ambition soon enough, actively enough. Too much effort was expended on global issues, not enough on European threats. Sound familiar?

I'm all for watching Germany go heavily with Huawei, and seeing how it turns out. Germany is so deeply in bed with Russia (for fuel) and China (for the huge market it thinks it will prosper from) that there is no need to worry about Germany as an ally. As an ally it has proven insincere for decades. Not a problem.


Re: That seems like a dangerous stance

Going it alone actually worked fine after Kim Philby et al. Not a big deal. It's a free world. I find the US markets more open than the Chinese at the moment. I wouldn't want to rely on China for parts and code maintenance/bug-fixes down the road. Silly me, eh?


Re: Economic warfare

Should the EU be counted as a nation? It seems ambiguous. On the one hand, Germany is very vocal about its opinions, nation like. On the other hand, Chancellor Merkel has said true patriotism is not nationalism, but loyalty a higher political body.

It's all so confusing. Why, then, not buy European network infrastructure?


Re: Economic warfare

Given the characteristics of nations you cannot trust, China is obviously at the top of the list.


The tariffs have openly been scheduled as a means to motivate trade negotiations. With Mexico and Canada the treaty awaits only congressional approval. With China the list of necessary (not merely reasonable) demands is also public. With the EU autos and agriculture need (from the US perspective) re-negotiation.

Not trusting Huawei flows from pronouncements by the Party mandating corporate obedience, combined with the reality that Chinese hacking to steal IP, actual theft on-site by CCP agents, and onward, calls for a pointed response.

As for Germany's reluctance to use EU-sourced equipment (which is available from multiple firms), perhaps it has some connection to the convenience of the One rail-Road leading from east-coast China straight to the Duisburg inland port? Volvo cars, Huawei network gear, soon-to-be Chinese-made Kuka auto manufacturing robots, all from one Amazon-like industrial source. What could go wrong? Germany's only response will be, not whether Huawei, but how much and how soon. Eriksson et al must love it. EU solidarity at work.

Germany tells America to verpissen off over Huawei 5G cyber-Sicherheitsbedenken


Re: How about Apple's apparent deflation? The surgence of "cloud"?

"Who'd buy a Chinese car if they even knew a brand?" Exactly. People know little and inquire little, when cheaper products are on offer, and when they imagine they're employers will capture some huge piece of the Chinese retail market. They don't even know the other side of the thing.

And so, Europeans are buying those Volvo Car products they've known so well for years. And yet almost all Volvo cars are now manufactured in China buy Chinese owners, using Kuka (had been German) industrial robots...which robots will in fact be manufactured in China not Germany once the 2023 contractual freeze expires. They've already, shock of shocks, built the new Kuka factory in China. They just aren't allowed to operate it yet. Where will the IP go in 2023? To China, of course.

The Volvo cars are shipped by train complete to some eastern european markets, while most others are shipped in containers as complete car kits, for assembly in the EU. The trains arrive at the Chinese-controlled post in Duisberg, the largest inland port in the world. The train traffic had been "clothing and toys from China, German cars back to China." Well, that pleased Germans until the Volvos started arriving.

Now Chinese investors (who swear independence of the CCP when abroad, but plead Party loyalty when in China) now control 10+8% of Daimler (Mercedes), have become the largest single shareholder of Deutsche bank, own Germany's largest and best industrial robot manufacturer, Kuka, so why not add Huawei to the mix: 5G network code has been vetted by GCHQ? Oh, are the code and chipsets static over the life of the system? No. China has Germany over a barrel. It's either breakup time or surrender time.

Uncle Sam to its friends around the world: You can buy technology the easy way, or the Huawei


Re: Translation

I should think the winners will be Erikson and Seimens, not a US company.

Perhaps you think the prospect of the UK as a part of "one ring, one road" enchanting? You won't really have much time to change your mind. Germany is already getting stuck to it, allowed the Chinese to buy two too many Germany technology-leading firms.


Re: "out of security concerns"

Helicopters are definitely the new trees.


Re: "out of security concerns"

And, imagine this: What if the Indian subcontinent tried the same thing as those damned Yanks? Terrifying? No right whatever to throw off the benevolent yoke of Britannia. Next it'll be the Irish, eh?

The UK has a choice: build your own connections to the world, seeking to create a national specialty as the Swiss have, or as Ireland and Luxembourg have (at least for the moment....).

If you don't think the Chinese CP is waging full-on economic war against the West, you haven't been paying attention.


Re: @Yes Me Let's not beat around the bush

If you consider the rate at which Chinese nationals and mainland hacking groups have been breaking into US tech vendor networks and stealing specs, drawings, etc.....then the China bit is no big deal. In my book it's a huge deal. But no matter: Soon enough China will be buying up UK tech and manufacturing companies as fast as they've been buying up the Germans...which Germans have only lately become sufficiently rueful as to what they've allowed, especially in auto-factory robotics. UK parts supplier to Volvo Cars or Daimler Benz? You're now either a supplier to a Chinese company on the mainland, or you're supplying a 27% Chinese CP owned company on its way to 51%


Re: Does that mean...

No. Certainly not. Rooting you has nothing to do with sharing sensitive information with you. It's obviously the other way around....

Prez Trump orders Uncle Sam to step up AI efforts – we all know the White House knows a lot about artificial intelligence


Re: The view through Rose Lawn tinted glasses ....... Spectacular Monoculars :-)

While my candidate never makes it through the primary season, I can defend US AI. Google. MIT, Cal Tech, Carnegie Mellon, et al, suffice. It is easy for people to overlook what Trump has accomplished. After all, they've get a nicely woven narrative to make them comfortable hurling insults over the wall. If you read/listened to the BBC, NBC, ABC or read the major European papers over the last two years, over the last month, what you'll read today will fit harmoniously with what they tell you today. Conformation isn't just a Bias, but a favorite flavor.

Even Joe Biden's brother Frank recently said, "everybody in the family voted for Trump, because we can't stand Hilary." It's no wonder. And I laugh: We're going crazy in the US trying to tie Trump to Russia somehow. Yet, first, we know Hillary actually paid, through British former and not-so-former spied to employ Russian agents to hunt up ultra-salacious-sounding slurs on Trump. About Trump's hypothesized Russian connections, we have nothing of note to point to. I know, though "you may hate what I say, you'll risk your life to defend my right to say it." Not so much? Well, it was a nice concept while it lasted....


Re: I can never understand anything the guy says

How could you have got PTSD from a beautiful language?

Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands


Re: Self Preservation mode

With the proper details entered into the system, a jetliner's autopilot does a lot more than simply fly straight-and-level. "Auto pilot" is a horrible name for "adaptive cruise control, plus "stays in a lane."

Grumble Pai: FCC boss told by House Dems to try the novel concept of putting US folks first, big biz second


Re: There is another system

The answer to the problem is to eliminate the practices of "the hops" along the way. Outlaw the change of the originating caller's number at any point before the intended destination number.

Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain


Re: "Apple had no duty to disclose the facts regarding software capability and battery capacity."

Which Tim will Insanely Grate.

Data flows in a no-deal Brexit are a 'significant' concern – MPs


Re: Project Fear

Indeed, cooperating as equals. However, I have questions: How come Spain and Portugal have shiny new highways and trains, yet the UK doesn't? How come Germany has such a large trade surplus but the UK doesn't? How come Ireland, Nederlands, and Luxembourg have such clever tax shenanigans but the UK....barely almost does? And, when Germany forces corporate tax-rate equalization on the UK and Ireland, will they simultaneously and diligently correct their trade imbalaces? Peers indeed.


Re: Project Fear

Certainly it means ceding control when three of the four major powers in the "peer group" have repeatedly and predictably push for laws and policies antithetical to the wishes expressed by British people.


Re: Scaremongering

What makes you think May will have anything to do with post-Brexit government actions?


Re: UK to EU data flows

If they were actually good at that, my front page would look like the Sun. It doesn't.

Facebook didn't care if your kids ran up gigantic credit card bills – lawsuit


Re: At Simon Hobson, re: authorization.

There was a person on the East Coast that, many years ago, got a call from a San Francisco producer of glass pot pipes and bongs. He answered. "Did you place an order for $900 worth of bongs?" "No." It was obvious what had occurred, the unapproved temporary removal of a credit card from a wallet.

The point? Glass Bong Makers in San Francisco had more conscience than Facebook, Zuckerberg, and Sandberg. Just stunning.

The Apple Mac is 35 years old. Behold the beige box of the future


Re: Typical el Reg @sprograms

MacOS (under this or any other previous sanctioned name...) was never submitted for UNIX 98 certification. I took a look to see if perhaps NeXT had applied. Nope. MacOS also hasn't been submitted for UNIX V7 certification. -Sorry about the gratuitous "System" term.

That wasn't pedantic grammar. I'm an attorney with an interest in IP, first and foremost. I write as I speak. Laugh. Your knowledge of UNIX history and variants is unquestionable far beyond mine. Thanks for your corrections.


Re: Typical el Reg

To quote Jerry Pournelle on the subject, that Apple had nothing to do with the democratization of personal computers, is to forget who Jerry Pournelle was. Apart from his brand of SciFi, he was a writer for PC magazines. And, he was simply wrong. The Apple 2 and Visicalc legitimized personal computers in business. MS and others saw the light and steered their app R&D into applications that could ride that wave. The large quantity of IBM PCs ("nobody ever got fired for buying IBM"), and then closes with MS DOS, sealed the deal. If you indeed worked in an office (accounting, law, clerks, etc.) you will recall the "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" which without doubt caused lock-in. To use a Mac with Word and Excel required essentially no training. Use of the character-based GUI DOS boxes generally did require training of staff.

Windows and MS didn't democratize computers. Oddly enough, businesses did. Purchasing agents counted cost above all else, and generally were not responsible for training expenses. Further, few executives were willing to risk betting with Apple against IBM, HP, et al. Done.

For years now Mac OS X (MacOS) has offered an accessible certified System 3 UNIX under the GUI. Few people need that access, but applications developers (including MS) have made good use of it.

US Department of Defense to fling $1.76bn at Microsoft


The DoD already paid to develop a "Highly Secure Linux" years ago. Perhaps they could just dump 100million into developing a more pleasant GUI and call it a day. There are Linux-compatible databases-a-plenty in use by serious industries. It is the most common operating system in AWS instances. I suspect it is the Video Game Players that form the MS Windows power constituency.

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


Re: Operational Incompetence

It has nothing to do with "next year's budget." Appropriations aren't itemized down to the cert spending. Additionally, agencies frequently use current-year appropriations to make payments against multi-year commitments.


Re: Oh God

System administrators are essential staff, and payments for IT security are still permitted. This article tries to expand the Partial Shutdown into an excuse for careless agency IT administration. Failure to update certs is nothing new.

Marriott: Good news. Hackers only took 383 million booking records ... and 5.3m unencrypted passport numbers


It seems to be an all-Chinese buffet at Marriott. "Marriott now says the (allegedly Chinese) miscreants who broke into its Starwood guest database.."

It was only months ago that a Marriott employee made (on his own time, his own social media) a comment critical of CPRC's abuse of Tibet....upon which Marriott promptly fired the man upon complaint by the Chinese. What has become of Marriott? Bowing to the Peoples Republic by sacrificing an employee unfairly. Did Marriott call the Communist Party and insist that one hundred of their best hackers get canned? Interested people want to know....

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


Re: Pah... when I was a kid...

I recall that upgrading my 1984 Mac to a Mac+ cost $1,000....to get the RAM up to 1MB!

I told my son last week that I currently had $32,000,000 worth of memory in a bag on the back seat of my car....at 1986 prices.

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display


Re: Is it a penis or....

An erect phallus was also a religious item in the widespread cult of Hermes in ancient Athens. Athenians would very often have a statue of Hermes in such a state, placed by their front door to protect the boundary of their house, as was also done to mark the boundary between neighboring towns. The statue was called a Herm. See Wikipedia's entry for Hermes, sub-topic Herm.

Reverse Ferret! Forget what we told you – the iPad isn't really for work


Re: Oh FFS

Perhaps intentionally, you've left out one wonderfully au currant reason that management prefers to hand out laptops, not towers: An employee with a laptop doesn't need an office. They don't even require a set little cubical. Making them redundant happens at the speed of Executive Stock Option: Just grab their laptop, nullify their building entry code, and move on.

I should admit that I prefer having both a laptop and a very quiet but powerful desk-near Mac Mini or Intel equivalent. Using what's right for the task at hand, and in my own offices, just seems right.

Supreme Court raises eyebrows at Google's cozy $8.5m legal deal


Re: @ST The Bret thing

He never said he never drank heavily. I happened to observe the entirety of the hearings. He claimed he never "blacked out." The opposition tried to claim he must have, but they had no evidence whatever.

"Newly seated Justice Brett Kavanaugh – who has been credibly accused of sexual assault and lied repeatedly during his confirmation hearing –" -this statement in the post is wildly innacurate. Many people said, on the day Blasey-Ford testified, that she was credible. They later made it clear that they meant "believable," which is a purely an emotional reaction to her demeanor that day.

Casually slinging such libels, statements made as if of fact, not mere opinion, is a despicable activity.

Chuck this on expenses: £2k iPad paints Apple as the premium fondleslab specialist – as planned


I'm not in the target audience for a loaded 2018 iPad Pro, but they aren't silly for the money. The typical target user is doing design, architecture, or other graphics work. The OS suits them, as they know it already from their iPhone. The thing is actually fast. It has been targeted by first-tier app developers.

I have a friend that seems to code in C, Python, and a few other PLs. He uses a "good value" laptop and an Android phone. But I'll point out that he has a mega-expensive gaming machine, and burns electricity like mad, paying through the nose...but "it's entertainment, relaxing."

I find the compulsion to overlook the the aesthetics and ease-of-use of Apple products overdone. Some people feel they get value from having one set of preferences satisfied. Others pursue a different set. Also overlooked is the value of OS software updated for free for many cycles. Choice. It's good.

Super Cali goes ballistic, net neutrality hopeless? Even Ajit Pai's gloating is something quite atrocious


Re: States’ Rights....

Obama's penchant for side-stepping congress allowed him to avoid great labors, persuasion. He therefore built many castles of sand.

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz


Does this mean Red Hat Linux coding will all be done in India hereafter? Does Red Hat have an exciting fleet of jets and helicopters? I can't see the draw for Mz. Rometti....


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