nav search
Data Center Software Security DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes BOFH

* Posts by MacroRodent

1244 posts • joined 18 May 2007

Page:

EU court to rule whether Facebook should seek and destroy hate speech

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Simple Criteria

The big question in all this is, who defines hate speech?

I think a pretty clear criterium is, does it advocate violence (either physical or mental) against a person or group. An example. Free speech: "The ABCD religion is so stupid". Hate speech: "All adherents of the ABCD religion should be expelled from the country".

0
4

Uncle Sam's treatment of Huawei is world-class hypocrisy – consumers will pay the price

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Facesaving indeed

Huawei would give full access to its source code to GCHQ experts in a clean-room environment. It was examined, and pronounced clean.

Completely pointless, since there is no assurance that this code is what actually goes into production devices. (It almost certainly isn't, if only because of bugfixes added after the inspection).

16
31

Meltdown, Spectre bug patch slowdown gets real – and what you can do about it

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: also weird

Python is always compiled.

Depends on what you mean by compiled. There are actually multiple Python implementations, but the most commonly used (the one from www.python.org) compiles into an intermediate "bytecode", and then interprets that.

3
0
MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: also weird

Answering myself: had a look with a test program and strace on Linux. I did NOT find any extra system calls in the interpreter loop. So there is NO intrinsic reason why Python should slow down more than similar code written in other programming languages.

10
0
MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: also weird

It makes no sense to suggest that "Python", as a single thing, can be slowed down by a single amount by these changes.

Depends on its implementation. Python is an high-level interpreted language that may be doing a lot of things not explicitly written into the program code.. A wild guess: maybe the interpreter loop has code that occasionally queries the system time, which needs a syscall. Or polls some file descriptor state. I don't know if any of these is the case, but they are plausible. I guess I right now need to stop talking out of my ass, and go look at the actual (open source) code to see if I can find anything like that.

19
0

Smartphones' security enhancements just make them more dangerous

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Muddle through

IOW, if Franklin really is right, then human civilization is essentially doomed.

He is both right and wrong. These things are not absolutes no matter what the extremists say. Civilization will just muddle through in the middle, as it has always done.

8
0

If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

MacroRodent
Silver badge

But how do they spread fires?

Somehow I don't think they steal matches or cigarette lighters.

5
5

Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Pentium I

No need to go all the way to 286. The original Pentium and Pentium mmx did not spekulate. They just executed two adjacent instructions at the same time, if the pair satisfied certain conditions. Fun for compiler writers.

0
0

Woo-yay, Meltdown CPU fixes are here. Now, Spectre flaws will haunt tech industry for years

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Headmaster

Error?

"This time difference is very small, so by keeping the resolution of the timers that are exposed to JavaScript high enough, we mitigate the ability of the attacker to perform this step."

Isn't it the other way around? To mitigate the attack, the timer resolution must be LOW enough.

20
1

Open-source civil war: Olive branch offered in trademark spat... with live grenade attached

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: The most disturbing thing...

Is that either one of these supposed defenders of "freedom" felt it necessary to implement blatantly anti-freedom bullshit like "trademarks" in the first place

Unfortunately, if you don't get a trademark, someone else will, if you are succesful, and then hassle you with it. In the early days of Linux, there was a guy who had nothing to do with Linux, but trademarked it anyway! This caused a lot of concern for the real project. Eventually this was settled so that Linus Torvalds got the trademark. (see eg http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/2559 )

7
0

Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: Jumpers

> OMG welcome to the '90's when moving jumpers on the MB* was an absolutely almight b******g p-in-the-a!!**

You did not have to do it very often, and after you got the settings right, you could be sure no mere software could reach out with its clammy fingers to move the jumpers!

34
0

Yes, your old iPhone is slowing down: iOS hits brakes on CPUs as batteries wear out

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: Economy

It ought to be criminal to sell expensive devices without a user-replaceable battery.

13
3

Windows Store nixed Google Chrome 'app' hours after it went live

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Linux

Re: I use Linux

> I write software for Linux and embedded microcontrollers - on Windows

Well, whatever works for you. With me it is the opposite: I write Linux software and am most productive on that platform. It annoys me no end that the company technology choices force me to hop to the Windows side for various tasks (one of those companies that Microsoft now holds firmly by the balls with Office365 and sharepoint- there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth when they start tightening the screws...).

> Vim or Emacs?

That old canard. Those never were the only choices, and especially not now. I use Emacs since I learned it by heart back when my brain was more malleable, and text-only terminals ruled, but someone now coming from Windows will have no problem finding GUI editors with UI essentially indistiguishable from typical Windows editors (or even the very same code, as in the VSCode you mentioned).

4
1

European court: Let's not kid ourselves, Uber. You're a transport firm, not a 'digital service'

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: So...

I was under the impression that Uber drivers use their own cars. Obviously, if that its not the case, it is just another taxi company.

1
27

Fridge killed my baby? Mag-field radiation from household stuff 'boosts miscarriage risk'

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Sawing

> but the obvious health benefits of using an axe over a chainsaw (a good workout, no fumes, no horrible noise, fewer unscheduled amputations) are a happy bonus.

The manual alternative to a chainsaw is usually a bow saw, which is also less dangerous for the user than an axe. But felling trees and sawing logs with it is really hard work, and slow. I have done it occasionally, and most certainly would not be able to make a living that way! It really is very educational, shows what a huge productivity increase even simple power tools enable.

19
0

Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Increased my interest in Vivaldi

... as I'm always rooting for the underdog.

However, isn't Vivaldi one of those browsers that under the hood use the same engine as Google's Chrome?

22
0

IETF protects privacy and helps net neutrality with DNS over HTTPS

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Unwarranted optimism

> That's where DOH reaches into the 'net neutrality debate. For example, if a network provider is using DNS to identify sources it wants to discriminate against, it will be defeated by the encryption.

I'm afraid that is too optimistic. The evil network provider could simply block all https requests towards known DOH servers. Or manage to deep-inspect the packets to detect DOH.

0
1

Intel to slap hardware lock on Management Engine code to thwart downgrade attacks

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Big Brother

AMD?

Maybe Purism would have better luck petitioning AMD. They might see a market in selling chips that either lack their equivalent of ME, or provide a documented way for OEMs to totally disable it.

OK, privacy and security conscious "hippies" is a small market, but it exists, and catering to it should not cost AMD any extra in new chip designs.

20
1

Berners-Lee, Woz, Cerf: Cancel flawed net neutrality vote

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: I am quite bemused by this

> If the US keeps it "good". If the US ends it "good" - as the undoubted clusterfuck will at least serve as a warning to the rest of the planet.

The trouble is, USian policies tend to leak to the rest of the planet, no matter if they are good or bad.

12
1

Elon Musk finally admits Tesla is building its own custom AI chips

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: Nothing to worry then

> What's the track record of Elon Musk ?

Pretty good. His company created the world's first reusable booster rocket, and the first reusable cargo capsule. I suspect in the long run, the space achievements are what he will be remembered for.

I find him much more interesting than Jobs.

38
1
MacroRodent
Silver badge
Terminator

...existing drivers pushed to unemployment

The problem is not only that, but the lack of job openings for new drivers (and similarly in all other industries being automated). In the worst case, there will be a horde of youngsters with no gainful employment. Not all can be robotics designers or in other high-skill jobs. This would be a volatile situation. Lots of unemployed young men is one major reason for the mess in the Middle-East, and in other troublespots.

17
0

The sun rose, you woke up, and Qualcomm sued Apple three times

MacroRodent
Silver badge

"Card metaphor for activities in a computing device"

Sounds like Hypercard. On Apple Macs in the eighties...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMFscTOazS0

7
0

Tom Baker returns to finish shelved Doctor Who episodes penned by Douglas Adams

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: And for those lost episodes.

> Can't we just zoom out* and collect all the TV transmissions from the very beginning?

Judging by the passion Dr Who inspires in scientifically-minded people, this idea will probably inspire the development of FTL travel (or time travel, actually pretty much the same thing).

2
0

'Gimme Gimme Gimme' Easter egg in man breaks automated tests at 00:30

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Unprofessional bollocks

> Like this?

..

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_egg_(media)#Software

Doesn't seem to mention the Easter egg in Windows 3.1, where a certain key sequence ( I have sadly forgotten which) popped up a window with rolling credits of the developers on a movie screen, with a figure standing next to it that most of the time looked like a cartoon Bill Gates, but occasionally the head was swapped to look like a bear. There must be some inside joke there...

I think a "credits" Eater egg like this quite justifiable, given the anonymity under which most developers labour. Might even pay for itself by boosting morale.

4
0

Google aims disrupto-tronic ray at intercoms. Yes, intercoms

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: How quaint

Or simply use WhatsApp or similar on a normal smartphone, which everyone nowadays has anyway, in the pocket or otherwise nearby. Around my house, they all are joined to my local WLAN, so there is no charge for the messages. (Whether or not WhatsApp admins can read the utterly boring messages ("come up for dinner") and VOIP calls is irrelevant, but supposedly they are nowadays end-to-end encrypted).

0
0

Amazon to make multiple Lord of the Rings prequel TV series

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Turin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga

> Less obviously exciting is the “previously unexplored storylines”, because Tolkien's deep history of Middle Earth was not his most engaging work.

How about Narn i Hîn Húrin (Tale of the Children of Hurin), which appears as the most memorable of the sub-stories in Silmarillion, and other post-humously published writings? A few years ago Christopher Tolkien finally glued the pieces into a separate book. It could actually make a pretty good film.

6
0

Thousand-dollar iPhone X's Face ID wrecked by '$150 3D-printed mask'

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: When will they learn (@ AC)

> Unless the thief has a "Faraday Envelope" to take the phone to the Specialist's "Faraday Room".

Thief - or police. I recently browsed a book about mobile phone forensics, which pretty much started by presenting the requirement of ensuring the phone cannot be wiped remotely.

10
0

Brace yourselves, fanboys. Winter is coming. And the iPhone X can't handle the cold

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Deja Vu

I seem to recall some older iPhones also had a problem with cold, years ago. At that time one could smugly point out that Nokia works in winter just fine. I wonder what is the case with the "new" Nokias (really made by HMD), hopefully they don' t tarnish the reputation.

1
0

Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Windows

Re: Horsecrap

A better comparison would be Windows Phone, which was kept well updated, and as far as I know did not suffer from malware. WP 8.1 was possibly the best OS Microsoft ever made. Too bad Microsoft broke everything that was good about it in the phone version of Windows 10: after having now used it for a couple of months, I can say they lost the phone wars deservedly...

22
1

Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

> Sauron did actually "die" physically at least three times though...

Also, he did not die in the end of LOTR, either. At one point Gandalf notes that destroying the Ring causes him to diminish so that cannot be foreseen when he will rise again. But he said nothing about Sauron dying off completely (and he should know, being one of the Maiar himself).

In fact, this gives an opening for the new TV series: Sauron starting to build a new dark empire in the present...

12
0

Hardware has never been better, but it isn't a licence for code bloat

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Very good points!

> Shared libraries were very important when your machine had just a few KB or MB of memory, and disk space was small too, but far less important today

There also is another issue here: memory speed has not kept up with CPU speed, even if the amount of memory has grown. This makes fast CPU caches important for getting any kind of performance, but they have not grown as much. With shared libraries, it is more likely the library code is in the cache, than if you have N copies of the library. This also applied to other reasons of code bloat. So code size still matters, but for slightly different reasons than before.

7
0
MacroRodent
Silver badge
Unhappy

Very good points!

I would just like to add another: Nowadays it is rare that your program is the only one running on your computer, especially on interactive systems. This means all those gigabytes of memory and gigaherz of CPU are not all for your code. If you code as if they were, the user will be very annoyed when switching to another task, finding the machine grinds to a halt for a while. Sadly, most of the stuff on a typical Windows (or Linux!) desktop behaves like this. Frankly, the performance experience of using a 2017 Windows desktop is very much like using a 1997 Windows desktop, except for some added chrome and glitz...

26
0

Can you get from 'dog' to 'car' with one pixel? Japanese AI boffins can

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Another demo...

Another demo that machine vision still has a long way to go. Just recently a different group demonstrated an attack where a tiny change to a physical object, like adding a suitable sticker to a traffic sign, caused an image classifier to mistake it for something else entirely, even though to a human it still was obviously the traffic sign. Nice to know we are still better than machines at something...

6
0

AI bot rips off human eyes, easily cracks web CAPTCHA codes. Ouch

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: What about...

Some Finnish sites have used tests where a simple math problem is given in Finnish ("yhdeksän plus kaksi?), and you must type the result as a number (11). Was pretty effective since most spammers are foreigners, but now Google translate makes short work of these.

1
0

Please activate the anti-ransomware protection in your Windows 10 Fall Creators Update PC. Ta

MacroRodent
Silver badge

What apps are trusted?

So to work, it has to know which applications are allowed write to the trusted folders. I guess initially only the Microsoft ones, like MS Office. So a macro virus (or succesful phishing) targeting Word or Excel can bypass this easily.

By the way, this sounds like a limited version of Linux AppArmor.

3
6

Wanna exorcise Intel's secretive hidden CPU from your hardware? Meet Purism's laptops

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: Disabled? Yeah, right...

Purism seems to be doing here all they can do to disable the engine. If it gets killed very shortly after boot, it cannot get commands from evil masters. Any better ideas? Maybe using another CPU architecture would do it, but is making a high-end laptop around ARM (for example) feasible? In principle software compatibility should not be an issue (as long as you run Linux as the OS), but in practice x86 is still better supported for desktop applications, and it allows customers to boot Windows if they want.

22
5

Japan finds long, deep tunnel on the Moon

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: The hole truth

No, they are on the other side, See the Iron Sky (film),

5
0

OnePlus privacy shock: So, the cool Chinese smartphones slurp an alarming amount of data

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: And I'm still here...

... waiting for El Reg to review the new Android "Nokias" before I give up and plunge into the Android ecosystem. Is stock Android more or less slurpy than a vendor-backed version?

Seems to me if you want privacy, it is better to buy one of the old pre-Lumia Nokias...

0
0

'There has never been a right to absolute privacy' – US Deputy AG slams 'warrant-proof' crypto

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Backdoors for all

Just make sure your one-time pads never fall into the wrong hands, and you never, ever re-use them... See Project Venona for one case where this went wrong. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venona_project

4
0
MacroRodent
Silver badge

Backdoors for all

if encryption is backdoored, then not just those "authorized" can open it

It is even worse, because the number of governements with access to "authorized" backdoors would be large: If U.S. succesfully demands backdooring, most other governements will follow suit. Information about the backdoors will inevitably leak. At that point we might just as well not bother with any encryption products, they would not really protect anything. People with secrets would use homebrew or "underground" code, and hide its usage with steganography.

55
0

It's 2017... And Windows PCs can be pwned via DNS, webpages, Office docs, fonts – and some TPM keys are fscked too

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: The NeverEnding Story Continues...

but wonder if we’ll still be patching Windows security issues in the year 802,701 A.D.?

That is one job the morlocks do. But you know the price...

12
1

Russian spies used Kaspersky AV to hack NSA staffer, swipe exploit code – new claim

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: "no self respecting spook would be caught using Microsoft Windows to do their spying"

> For timesheets and expenses I still use the Excel spreadsheet

OK. If you prefer that, LibreOffice can do it just as well (and even save the results in an Excel-compatible file). I suppose there may be things that Excel can do and LibreOffice cannot, but adding columns of numbers is not one of them.

2
0
MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: "no self respecting spook would be caught using Microsoft Windows to do their spying"

> management wants their time sheets, planning, expense reports etc done on time. I haven't heard of a lot of Linux versions of the products that handle that, so you'll be most likely using Windows for all that stuff.

Stuff of that nature nowadays just presents a web user interface for the users. Unless their designers are total dolts, such interfaces normally also run in the browsers available on Linux and BSD. (OK; in old organizations, such software may be old and windows-only or needing ActiveX controls (yuck!)- but if so, stepping to more modern technology has also other benefits beside making the tools Linux-friendly).

7
0

Blade Runner 2049 review: Scott's vision versus Villeneuve's skill

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Alien

Re: Arrival? good?

"Arrival" is one of the very few science fiction films that takes seriously the problems we really might face with communicating with extra-terrestrials. One could compare it to "Solaris" (the Tarkovsky version), although it is mercifully not as slow. In most other films, the aliens come speaking perfect English, or there is a magical translation computer (or babelfish).

9
0

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Big Brother

Curiosity killed the cat

> Later today the Home Secretary is expected to announced that people who repeatedly view terrorist content online could face up to 15 years in jail.

So a journalist or researcher who follows t*ist web pages in order to understand how those movements are evolving goes to jail?

5
0

HPE coughed up source code for Pentagon's IT defenses to ... Russia

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Linux

Re: Did I understand this right?

> But then, when it comes to security, open source isn't much better.

At least open source software does not have the problem that revealing the source code can cause security compromises. Because it is revealed all the time!

This in my opinion makes it intrinsically a more secure option.

10
2

Angst in her pants: Alleged US govt leaker Reality Winner stashed docs in her pantyhose

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: Constant Fox news?

> All the Russians/Norks/ISIS/$other_groups_are_available have to do is influence Fox News and they're influencing the whole of the NSA.

Never mind the NSA, they would be influencing President Trump, who is widely known to get his news mainly from Fox.

1
0

Twitter reckons Trump's Nork-baiting tweet was 'newsworthy'

MacroRodent
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Twitter

> Now, you didn't put a joke icon on that, or a trollface, so I am going to assume that you think this is a serious potential solution.

I thought that was sufficiently outrageous and impractical idea not to be taken as anything but a joke. Obviously I was mistaken.

Just to be clear, I do not actually advocate banning any website or application globally.

0
0
MacroRodent
Silver badge

Re: Twitter

For some reason Twitter seems to be especially beloved of politicians, seriously lowering the level of political discussion. Harmful for democracy. Just ban it globally.

10
1

Researchers promise demo of 'God-mode' pwnage of Intel mobos

MacroRodent
Silver badge

Actually, it is standing on a turtle

> when Intel switched Management Engine to a modified Minix operating system, it introduced a vulnerability in an unspecified subsystem.

This is where it goes seriously pear-shaped. They are treating the ME like yet another general purpose computer, running a general-purpose OS, with general-purpose bugs... Pretty soon it will have a sub-ME of its own (it's ME's all the the way down).

Whereas it should have had a minimal OS, with minimal applications, reviewed, tested and static-analyzed to hell and back, like some space probe controller software.

9
0

Page:

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing