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* Posts by Chronos

1000 posts • joined 21 Oct 2007

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Dixons Carphone smarting from £440m loss as it writes down goodwill on mobile biz

Chronos Silver badge
Holmes

The novelty has worn off.

We've reached "peak shiny." Most of the people who would upgrade their kit every six months have been run over due to wandering about in the road transfixed by the damned things.

Huawei exec out of jail, just as US accuses China of Marriott hack

Chronos Silver badge
Facepalm

So...

Liberty and justice for all - except when the Mighty Dollar is at stake. That high ground is starting to look and smell like a dung-heap.

Arresting a Canadian was just stupid. Up to that point there was a reasonable groundswell of public opinion against Ms Meng's arrest¹ as political capital. Now it seems like six of one and half a dozen of the other. The PRC would do well to have a word with a decent PR agency...

¹ Let's not forget, though, that Ms Meng and Mr Kovrig are sentient persons, regardless of nationality, being used as stakes in a game where only the most extremely privileged can ante up.

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

Chronos Silver badge
Stop

Re: Dumbing down the general population

They succeeded above all expectations but in a completely unexpected way they didn't like: a majority voted for Brexit

Do you honestly believe that this was the undesired outcome? Look at it from their side: No oversight, no ECoHR, no ECJ...

The disMay is purely a front and explains yer wan's determination to push on in the face of, well, pretty much everyone else saying she's talking nonsense with The Best Deal For Britain™. The EU was a convenient place to hang blame but they always have the opposition as a backstop - or they would if it wasn't a rump government sitting to the right of the speaker now that the DUP have abandoned the sinking ship and she could trust the members of her own party not to emulate Marcus Brutus.

Ecuador says 'yes' to Assange 'freedom' deal, but Julian says 'nyet'

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Alternative solution?

Still irrelevant. Canada has no jurisdiction over a Chinese company. In fact, unless any US or Canadian resources were diverted through Huawei's shell company they have exactly zero grounds to detain a citizen of a foreign nation, regardless of that nation's status or involvement in a trade war with a straw-headed moron. Those sanctions only apply to subject citizens and corporate entities. Germany has flat-out told Arsenoise to go piss up a rope with them this time around. Ms Meng was just low-hanging fruit and they're relying on their "China Bad" propaganda to stop the general population thinking too much about the precedent this nonsense sets.

In Moriarty's Spin series of novels' timeline, the US is listed as a rogue nation by the UN. I think I begin to see how it got that status. If we're going to take the moral high ground, that pinnacle had better be built on solid foundations rather than a gilded turd sitting atop a load of self-interest.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Alternative solution?

Meng Wanzhou is accused of breaking the sanctions a number of years ago, not the ones introduced by the current US president.

Irrelevant. She didn't commit that "offence" under the jurisdiction of the US and wasn't on US soil upon her arrest. The arrest is blatant disregard for international law and needs rectifying, otherwise there will be no state visits by some very prominent European leaders to the North American continent for quite some time.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Assange is not a "professional secrets dealer"

How does he support himself when not an embassy guest?

On sunlight and love of his fellow man.

IIRC, it was alleged indiscriminate love of his fellow humans that got him into this fix. Edward ended up in Russia, poor Chelsea ended up in The Glass House. Exile or clink, they live with the consequences of their conscience every day and the world is at least a more honest place because of their sacrifice.

Julian's predicament, on the other hand, was wholly avoidable and came about as a result of something which had no contributive effects for humanity or Wikileaks at all: Him getting his end away. Without that, Sweden would have had no grounds to issue the arrest warrant - which not even Malfoy Major himself has suggested is outside the bounds of due process - and we wouldn't be hearing about this attention whore's antics every week.

Another 3D printer? Oh, stop it, you're killing us. Perhaps literally: Fears over ultrafine dust

Chronos Silver badge
Facepalm

You know what's always fatal?

Being born.

Spammer scum hack 100,000 home routers via UPnP vulns to craft email-flinging botnet

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Disabling UPnP completely isn't such a bad idea

Quite. I've removed miniupnpd from my OpenWRT builds and exactly nobody has complained.

Chronos Silver badge
Facepalm

Don't disable UPnP, at least not on the private side of the router - you need it for streaming audio etc, wireless speakers and so on.

Oh dear. I suspect you're confusing it with DLNA, which is often called uPNP by people who really should know better. The universal probe'n'pwn we (the grown ups) are talking about is the protocol that allows any old munchkin's half-arsed application to poke holes in your firewall/NAPT.

Icon says it all.

Chronos Silver badge
Holmes

Took longer than I expected

I've been saying for years that shipping routers with universal probe'n'pwn enabled by default is going to end in tears. That it's only a spambot, easily mitigated by using RBL dynamic allocation pool lookups, is really surprising given the scope for mischief.

Macs to Linux fans: Stop right there, Penguinista scum, that's not macOS. Go on, git outta here

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Great plan Timmy.

Especially when the core of your OS is built from code they built...

No, no, no! It's a drunken skip shag between the Mach microkernel and the BSD userland and nothing to do with Linux or GNU at all. I can see why abandoned big cats for their code-names; some people obviously couldn't resist lion about it...

Chronos Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

Yeah. Do let us all know how you get on with the TSA when they want to know what you've got on the Purism device/s.

I'll moon them from afar. I'm not subject to the laws of The Land of the "Free," nor do I have any immediate, i.e. in this lifetime, plans to visit which is a shame because there are many things about your country I would absolutely love to experience. Your barbaric penal system is not one of them, though.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

Not often I agree with Shouty McShoutface - and this is no exception. If you buy into the Apple ecosystem, you only have yourself to blame when you realise it really isn't your hardware. You may now own the materials it is made from but the fancy shiny it is wrapped in and the firmware remains licensed

The problem right now is that x86-64 is no more trustworthy with IME and PSP, not to mention the speculative execution flaws. If only there were someone making thin'n'light machines with Coreboot on them...

Oh, wait...

Mything the point: The AI renaissance is simply expensive hardware and PR thrown at an old idea

Chronos Silver badge
Devil

Re: Quite.

I think you'll find that's "Matiz," which is a very small Daewoo sub-compact car that people whose Model 3 electro-jalopy hasn't been built yet use to get around...

Also makes a damn fine backup when a) the battery dies as li-ion cells are wont to do, b) the utility company has stolen all your charge to boil all the neighbourhood kettles or c) they've pushed a firmware upgrade that e.g. swaps the function of the brake and accelerator pedals.

Woke Linus Torvalds rolls his first 4.20, mulls Linux 5.0 effort for 2019

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Thumb Up

Re: “I didn't want to make a pattern of it,”

All he has to do is link to this from the same site, no rant necessary.

Solid state of fear: Euro boffins bust open SSD, Bitlocker encryption (it's really, really dumb)

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Fed up with these nonstop security issues

And, therein lies the problem.... the "miscreants" would probably never know anything about this let alone exploit it if these issues were never made public to begin with.

Security by obscurity, compounded by the fact that the underlying issue is pretty much the same thing. Please hand in your geek card at reception.

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

Chronos Silver badge

Re: I stopped right here...

Systemd!

Devuan, Debian+sysv-init, many others that I haven't tried because Devuan is familiar enough to me that I didn't see the point...

Don't conflate Lennart's pet project with Linux. As an aside, I'm wondering if the corpse of SCO isn't twitching again since IBM bought Red Hat. Big Purple.

Chronos Silver badge
Coat

Re: Broken, yes... and not fixable.

Did MS actually ORIGINATE anything at all?

Clippy! :-)

Chronos Silver badge
FAIL

Re: I stopped right here...

yep NEVER any QA issues in the world of Linux!

Ah, bollocks, balderdash and tosh! There is no such thing as "Linux" as an operating system. You want stability? Run Debian stable. You want a decent desktop? Mint. A server? Debian. Paid for support? Dead rat/SUSE/Oracle or any number of vendors who would love to bite your arm off at the shoulder.

What you're talking about, my anonymous commentard, are distros. Some are good, some are mediocre, some are bad. The point here is you can CHOOSE, which is something MS don't want you to do with Windows. How many times have 7 users been plagued by GetWinX and trying to keep the spyware out? Choose to run Windows 7? We'll make your life difficult until you capitulate and learn to love Cortana.

When was the last time you saw a GNU/Linux distro telling you that update to Dead Rat 10 or GTFO are your only options?

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

Chronos Silver badge

Where's Rutherford?

Admittedly he was born in Kiwiland but the father of nuclear physics? How cool a title is that?

It's been a week since engineers approved a new DNS encryption standard and everyone is still yelling

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Tough

Most users aren't going to notice when Firefox or Chrome automatically start using DoH first (if available) rather than your defined settings, and will only fall back to standard DNS if DoH fails.

Already happening in Fx; see network.trr.* in about:config.

What we really need is some opportunistic crypto that doesn't attempt to identify the endpoints. For a start, it'll make encrypting SNI so much easier. Once you have your secure channel, then do verification and close if it fails. You've only signalled your intended destination to one host rather than lit a huge neon sign for any old nosy bugger to slurp.

Making Google, Cloudflare or Quad9 your one-stop shop for DNS really isn't protecting anyone's privacy, a problem which exists in both implementations.

Disclaimer: Stubby user, so I'm probably biased against DoH, not that I can't see DoT is riddled with exactly the same issues.

Budget 2018: UK goes it alone on digital sales tax for tech giants

Chronos Silver badge

Re: A tiny step in the right direction

Think about the tax on insurance policies

That one is a particularly regressive tax, especially when applied to things like motor insurance and buildings cover which are legal or contractual requirements for many of us. VAT on utilities when many people are in fuel poverty is utterly insane.

The other one that really grinds my gears, literally, is paying VAT on fuel duty at the pump. It's value added tax and I see no value in dead money going to the government for idiots like Crapita to waste which, incidentally, did not seem to be a casualty during this period of austerity when everyone was supposed to be sharing the pain.

It would make a huge difference to people's confidence in the system if it were fair and the proceeds were not being squandered.

Chronos Silver badge
Coat

Re: Brexit coin

Okay, don't groat over it...

Chronos Silver badge

Indirectly, yes. We buy something, a portion of that something's cost is advertising. Advertising costs go up, so do the prices of $THINGs.

Microsoft promises a fix for Windows 10 zip file woes. In November

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Windows Search

Isn't that the bit of 7 that slowed everything to a crawl until you disabled indexing? It's that long ago I can't unforget since there's a script that runs on my PXE server after a doze infection that disables all the problematic services and I haven't had to do it manually for yonks.

Congrats from 123-Reg! You can now pay us an extra £6 or £12 a year for basically nothing

Chronos Silver badge

Re: OK. Calm down. Fake news etc.

I suppose if you squint and look at it a bit sideways you could have a point. The fact remains that a company whose core business is that of communication miscommunicated a policy change. How do you know the droid you spoke to has it right and it's not just a "FFS, tell them anything, I can't handle all this crap on a Thursday" directive from middle manglement?

Competence? They've heard of it. Lovely name for a girl.

Chronos Silver badge
Flame

Re: OK. Calm down. Fake news etc.

Not really fake news if they sent the bloody e-mail, is it? They created the news, El Reg is just reporting it.

Please remember this is not Twitter or Facebook so such euphemisms as "fake news" mean sod all here. This is more a case of "no smoke without fire" in that, if they can't get their own communications right, how the hell can anyone trust them with theirs?

Chronos Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Speaking of domain hosting

.. how is the experience with Mythic Beasts, anyone?

Superb. As well as them being my registrar and secondary DNS I also have email with them after I got fed up of having to renumber every time my ISP pissed me off and, for two quid a month (inc the dreaded VAT), it is rock solid.

They also host usenet.org.uk pro bono.

Chronos Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: I want to move away

Mythic Beasts

Exactly what I was going to say. At this point I really don't know why companies like 123reg still exist given that Mythic Beasts are cheaper, have customer support light years ahead of anything this lot can offer, do pretty much everything you could possibly want or as little as you require and know what they're doing.

That last point seems to be a USP. Quite how the domain name and simple hosting sector got AOLified I really can't fathom.

PC version of Linux 4.19 lands with PC version of Linus Torvalds: Kernel handed back to creator

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ObNitpick: Would that not be SPI? I²C is serial clock and data.

Spotted: Miscreants use pilfered NSA hacking tools to pwn boxes in nuke, aerospace worlds

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FAIL

Are you reading this, Five Eyes?

This is exactly what was predicted. Even William Gibson predicted state sponsored malware leakage which, make no bones about it, is what this is, long before the Internet became widespread, albeit in fiction. Kuang Grade Mk 11, anyone?

At the risk of a logical fallacy, I suspect this is the tip of a very large iceberg. And they want us to trust them with back-door encryption? Not on your sodding nelly!

Brace yourself, Britain: Health minister shares 'vision' for NHS 'tech revolution'

Chronos Silver badge
FAIL

The NHS is under funded!

So let's spend more money on worthless white elephants.

And they wonder why there's voter apathy?

Softcat warns of Brexit cloud forming over UK tech, vows: If prices rise, we'll pass them on...

Chronos Silver badge
Flame

Already USD == GBP

...in this sector, at least. Now they're looking for an excuse to gouge us even more? Softcat? More like Fatcat.

Bastards.

Finally. The palm-sized Palm phone is back. And it will, er, save you from your real smartphone

Chronos Silver badge

All that's old...

...is new again. Tech progress is a big circle. Once it comes around again, you don't quite notice that it's USP is what you had 20 years ago (Nokia 8210? Ericsson T68i?). So it is with this.

My $DEITY, it's a small 'phone that works for making calls! Why did nobody ever think of this before?

The thing that differentiated Palm from the rest was PalmOS. Not WebOS, which was the Prè's downfall, but good old low res PalmOS with Grafiti. This is just another Mars bar reboot with Android shoehorned into it which, for using the virtual koybred (best I can do on a touch screen), will be bloody useless.

The Obama-era cyber détente with China was nice, wasn't it? Yeah well it's obviously over now

Chronos Silver badge

Re: China

Name one national government that isn't evil. Chronos's comment was meant to put down the US, period.

No! It was meant to put down blind faith in western "democracy," i.e. the pre-selected choices we get to elect the usual bunch of corrupt incompetents every single time, as the epitome of human advancement in government. You completely missed the point when I switched from "The US" to "The West." While we're lobbing rocks at China, we're not sorting our own shit out. "Better than them" == "dryer than the sea" and is no cause for celebration or declaring the job done.

This little island and Europe are currently deadlocked in a battle to see which bunch of corrupt incompetents gets what slice of the pie to waste - and waste it they will, whoever wins. Granted, they won't have big limos and massive security retinues - oh, wait...

So no, I'm not chucking rocks at the US. I'm chucking rocks at the people who meekly accept this system that only delivers misery time and again, myself included as my sole contribution to protesting this situation is to refuse to take part aside from making snide comments on El Reg. At least you folks have write-ins on your ballots, for all the good they do...

Chronos Silver badge

Re: China

But it's all a joke, right?

No, it's the lesser of two evils. Just because the West's excesses aren't as visible as China's doesn't make them any less evil. Satirising these excesses are probably the only recourse we have at this point - until, that is, people like you come along and try to stop us with silly hyperbole. For example:

and re-education camps for religious minorities

Sounds like Gitmo to me.

Now that's reductio ad absurdum done properly.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: China

@hplasm: Spooky. That's exactly, word for word, what I was thinking when reading that comment.

World's largest CCTV maker leaves at least 9 million cameras open to public viewing

Chronos Silver badge

Re: The problem is...

- The Xiongmai CCTV controller software is a _large_ stripped monolithic binary, but it actually contains a number of subcomponents (an OS within an OS?) and whilst attempts have been made to obfuscate what is in there, GPL symbols abound, as do the signatures of a number of GPL packages

Aye, the infamous "Sofia" binary. Realistically, the only way to secure these things is to filter at the gateway by MAC. Even then, a malicious local operator could easily break into the things or a zombie Windows box could deliver the payload, change the MAC with the nvram utility that is present on these things and bypass the filter.

It's a shame because the hi3518 with the OV9712 sensor is a pretty capable little night vision system. If they opened the source for these things they'd probably sell millions more of them, especially if one were able to set up only rtsp, motion alarm (I have a listener daemon for XM alerts which spawns an ffmpeg 30s recording) and a simple control panel for the settings. Add MQTT instead of the XM proprietary alarms while we're at it...

On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

Chronos Silver badge

This is exactly the sort of thing that keeps us coming back here time and again. People who have received a humour bypass are going to be offended, usually because many a true word is spoken in jest.

For the intended audience, it is pitched perfectly and poor taste is infinitely preferable to none at all.

Chronos Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: "oh boy"

He was a genius at marketing bullshit and convincing people to follow him.

I wish I could up-vote you more than once for this. Woz is the engineer¹. Ive is the designer. Jobs was the sales droid. It just happened to be a particularly persuasive sales droid with a built-in reality distortion field generator and zero scruples. Cook isn't quite the salesman Jobs was but all the hard, ground-breaking work has already been done. All Cook has to do now is whisper "new iPhone" to himself in an empty bar somewhere and the free marketing comes piling in.

¹ Actually, Woz is an über-geek, despite his Masonic connections. The epitome of non-greedy techie nice bloke with roots in the early phreaking and hacker culture and the naivete that usually accompanies those traits. Many of us can relate.

The fur is not gonna fly: Uncle Sam charges seven Russians with Fancy Bear hack sprees

Chronos Silver badge
Mushroom

Slightly below average temperature war.

I'm beginning to wonder if certain parties on both sides have looked back, seen all the money that was made and advances realised during the Cold War and are trying to return to those days. I certainly wouldn't put such a motive past Arsenoise and our very own Old Grey May-or would like a bogeyman or two if she's to undermine online encryption. Vladimir Vladimirovitch is quite happy because it makes Russia look like a superpower again and everything is gravy.

Icon. It doesn't really matter that yet another generation of kids will go to sleep wondering if they'll wake to a blinding flash followed by vaporisation or radiation sickness.

Volkswagen links arms with Microsoft for data-slurping cloud on Azure

Chronos Silver badge
Devil

New model

Volkswagen Up! Down. Up! Down. Up! Down.

As one Microsoft Windows product hauls itself out of the grave, others tumble in

Chronos Silver badge

Wile E. Coyote

The Register contacted Wileyfox to find out how long this stay of execution might last but has, as yet, received no response.

That's you, me and everyone else who bought a Storm who is waiting for them to stop twatting on Twitter and get back to us. So far, nobody has had any luck.

We need a Wile E. Coyote icon, preferably one of him off the end of one of those desert rock formations looking resigned to his fate and holding a sign which reads "BYE!" A very apt metaphor for companies which tit about too much on social media rather than concentrating on things that matter like getting the design right, not putting the magnetometer near a power rail and giving the LEDs enough copper surface to dissipate heat.

Spoiler alert: Google's would-be iPhone killer Pixel 3 – so many leaks

Chronos Silver badge

Here's a clue. My nearly five-year-old Moto G (the original one) still gets regular updates via LineageOS. There's a new build out every Wednesday and I tend to install them monthly.

*Applause*

Moto Gs less than or equal to v4 are built like brick outhouses, reliable, fast enough for anything but gaming and have more accessories than you can shake a stick at. Mrs Chronos has a Moto E. It's not as fast as a G but it still runs Nougat, gets an update a few days after AOSP vulnerability day and doesn't spy on her.

Even replacing the "built-in" battery for a G is a doddle.

I made the mistake of buying into the Wileyfox hype with the Storm (which just got Oreo from Lineage - not bad for an obsolete model that, before they went TITSUP¹, they disavowed ever producing) when I really should have bought a Moto. Lesson learnt.

¹ Total Inability To Secure Useful Profits, mainly due to titting about on Twatter and Farcebook instead of dealing with issues. And no, the bloody magnetometer still doesn't work and the LEDs behind the softkeys winked out one by one, never to return.

Chronos Silver badge

You're on Android. Complaining about an OEM slurping your personal data is like complaining about damp patches from under a capsized boat.

OEM Android, perhaps. Since the Orange San Fran, no OEM firmware has survived the unboxing here at Chronos Towers, although that has presented its own unique set of purchase research issues.

Of course anyone buying into the Pixel range is going to get rogered sans lube but, then, the Pixel isn't aimed at us. Far better to go with the BQ¹ mentioned by another commentard or something similar that can be freed from the data fetishists. It's a 'phone, not a fashion statement.

By the way, "glass back" is a derogative meaning lazy bastard over here. Devices with glass backs do not inspire confidence.

¹ These folks are a pretty geeky company. They also make 3D printers and consumables - and they're very good.

Intel boss admits chips in short supply, lobs cash into the quagmire

Chronos Silver badge
Holmes

ORLY?

"The surprising return to PC [market] growth has put pressure on our factory network," said Swan. "We’re prioritizing the production of Intel Xeon and Intel Core processors so that collectively we can serve the high-performance segments of the market. That said, supply is undoubtedly tight, particularly at the entry-level of the PC market."

Meltdown, Spectre (all variants), and people are still buying this half-arsed crap in droves?

Bullpats. Artificial scarcity disguised as capacity issues in an attempt to protect the cash cow from a well-deserved rogering by the silicon buying public.

While Intel screwing up would undoubtedly be Very Bad™ for technology, I have to admit a large part of me would like to see them smart a bit as payback for this and the weaselly way they tried to alter the microcode licence earlier this year.

UKIP doubled price of condoms for sale at party conference

Chronos Silver badge
Go

Inflation

"Look, mummy, Nigel Fromage balloons!"

"They're bubbles, dear, and they're about to burst."

UKIP flogs latex love gloves: Because Brexit means Brexit

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Stop

Heh.

Surely a condom means you don't have to pull out? Who thought this was a good match to their member-ship?

Chronos Silver badge

Farage

I always said the man was a knobsack.

Oi, you. Equifax. Cough up half a million quid for fumbling 15 million Brits' personal info to hackers

Chronos Silver badge
WTF?

Gob = smacked

"20,000 records included people's names, dates of birth, telephone numbers, and driving license numbers"

What in seven hells¹ were they doing with driver numbers? More to the point, how did they get them? DVLA being mercenary again? With that, a date of birth and a national insurance number they can pry into all manner of things that are none of their sodding business. So can script kiddies now.

Time these bastards were brought to heel.

¹ obligatory GoT outburst

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