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* Posts by conscience

84 posts • joined 6 Jun 2013

Page:

Intel AMT security locks bypassed on corp laptops – fresh research

conscience
FAIL

Staggering

Another ridiculously embarrassing screw up by Intel.

Isn't it obvious to them that there should definitely be some security on such a privileged tool as the Management Engine?

I'm starting to wonder if there is anything they bothered to design correctly?

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4

Security hole in AMD CPUs' hidden secure processor code revealed ahead of patches

conscience

By the time you've gained access to the motherboard and rewritten the flash, arguably it's game over anyway for any security mechanism as your computer is physically in the cracker's hands. Besides, bypassing TPM/secure boot is surely a feature, not a bug? :)

And what would Intel give right now for their CPU problems to be so easily fixed?

I suppose the bright side is that perhaps CPU makers will sit up and take notice of this, finally reducing some of the needless complexity and with any luck kill their internal 'security' processors completely.

67
0

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

conscience

Re: Phew!

@whitepines

You mean like Intel's Management Engine? I'd much rather have AMD, at least they work as advertised and (as yet) aren't known to be full of security flaws like the Management Engine is. Obviously I'd rather have no 'security' processor whatsoever inside my CPU, but given the known bugs with Intel's Management Engine I'd still rather take my chances with AMD.

Ryzen is already a far better deal than Intel's offerings, especially when you factor in this latest flaw that makes Intel's chips run even slower than advertised. Intel trying to flog buggy, half-working hardware is getting beyond a joke.

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2

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

conscience

Re: Obligatory

Isn't that a little contradictory, stating "Call us when [Linux, BSD/Unix] can do mainline games like Street Fighter IV or V (and no, the arcade versions don't use Linux, either--IIRC they use the Type X arcade system...which is Windows-based)" and then claiming "When it comes to consoles, the OS doesn't really matter"?

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conscience

Re: Obligatory

"Call us when it can do mainline games like..."

You mean like Sony's PlayStation 4 uses Orbis OS, a fork a FreeBSD? Besides the kernel, much of the system software is also open source and UNIX-based. Though the console itself is not open source, even the SDK, compilers etc. are open source (LLVM). Much of this is also the case with both MacOS and iOS.

CellOS, the system software from the Playstation 3, also uses FreeBSD and much open source code.The Playstation Vita and more recent Nintendo Switch also follow this path.

When Sega tried to use a cut-down, mobile orientated Windows CE as their Dreamcast OS to try and pull in more developers, it broke them as a mass-manufacturer of hardware and nearly killed the company leaving them to transform into a software-only and IP licensing company to try and survive. Other than that, the only games console that doesn't use open-source UNIX-based software appears to be Microsoft's own XBox, which is hardly a great endorsement from the gaming industry.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2: Electric Boogaloo. Bigger, badder, better

conscience

No doubt Microsoft is a money making machine, but regardless of any rankings list I sincerely doubt that their brand is seen as 'better' than the likes of Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, Disney etc.

It would be interesting to see how those rankings were calculated, and whether there were any corporate sponsors who funded it.

EDIT: Didn't Microsoft do exactly that with the original XBox, and leave the Microsoft name off the console and packaging?

1
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Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

conscience

Another reason BIOS should only be stored in read-only ROM chips, or at least have a physical write protect switch.

The cynic in me wonders if this was deliberate by Intel in an attempt to prevent people removing or neutering their Management Engine?

4
3

5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing

conscience

Re: Replying this far down...

@hnwombat

My thoughts exactly RE the article headline.

While I don't know about anything about US politics, you'd have to hope it is a temporary situation and that somebody steps in to resolve this and fixes the mess that the FCC have created.

1
0
conscience

Re: Replying this far down...

I don't think anyone was blaming Microsoft for this, though the Windows shortcut is probably what most people know it for these days.

CTRL + Z was a control key to suspend the currently running process to the background in the C shell (csh) in the late 1970s BSD kernel, while CTRL + Z being used for undo was first done at Xerox PARC not Apple.

0
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Last week: Microsoft accused of covering up rape claim. This week: Microsoft backs anti-cover-up law ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

conscience

Re: It's a start

Congratulate them? It was Microsoft themselves who imposed the arbitration clause on their employees, and who failed to show the least bit of concern for the victim even to the point where if the female staff member legally obtained and enforced a restraining order against the attacker then it was her who would have to move and not the attacker!

This is nothing more than an attempt at a PR whitewash, and I doubt anyone will believe that them backing this proposed new law has anything to do with doing the right thing, when it clearly has more to do with the class-action court case being brought against them and the bad publicity (and potential for lost sales) that it is generating now it is in the public eye.

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

conscience

Re: This is false security

@ Kiwi

If the firmware code was done right in the first place there should be no waiting for replacement ROM chips to ship, and given the cost of doing so it would undoubtedly focus the minds of the manufacturers to put more effort into getting things finished and tested prior to release. The replacement option would only be to bail them out in the case of a monumental screw up. The trouble with downloading and installing something as important as firmware is that it just isn't very secure, especially when it can be done from within the OS, and there is nothing to stop a skilled malware writer adding in their own dodgy code or ME for their own purposes.

Read-only ROM chips could do the same job as firmware stored on rewritable flash - either option would just be storage space for the code. I don't see why read-only ROM chip functionality would necessarily be any more limited than if it used rewritable flash for storage?

A physical jumper or write-protect switch would be a very good start.

As much as I'd enjoy the profits from my own chip fab, I'm no expert hardware guru (and don't have a few billion dollars to spare). The manufacturers just seem to be in too much of a rush to actually finish their products before selling them. Though Intel seem to have more problems than most, I'm not specifically having a pop at them either, e.g. AMD's Ryzen has also seen (too) many updates for things like faster memory compatibility etc. when that could and should have been finished prior to release. Same story with the software industry. Not sure they'd get away with it in other industries, would you buy v1.0 of a car with only one wheel? But hey don't worry, v1.1 will see the rest of the wheels added and we hope to add brakes in v1.2!

1
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conscience

Re: This is false security

@Richard 12

Infinite? Maybe if you are Intel! If the system is too complex, then it shouldn't be too hard to break it into into smaller, more manageable pieces that communicate securely with no way to do any real harm.

In my opinion, hardware/software contains so many serious bugs these days primarily because manufacturers have the option to update it later (assuming the device/user has net access), so code and hardware is often rushed out without proper testing with an irresponsible "oh nevermind we'll patch it later" attitude. Trouble is, they don't always bother because it's cheaper and easier not to, or they simply don't have the in-house talent to do so.

I'm aware of Intel's microcode, in Intel's case they would first have to get the hardware right then concentrate on getting the code done right. Not trivial for Intel, who don't seem to have adequate skills and so make more than their fair share of blunders, but it's been done before and other processors have been hard wired correctly before being sold. Intel would just need to avoid so many mistakes and do the job properly.

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conscience

Re: This is false security

I'm not sure you understand. You can't update a system to be ROM based, it would be built that way. You wouldn't be able to upgrade or downgrade anything, but there wouldn't be any exploits in properly written, fully tested, finished code so no there would be no need to change the firmware - ever. That's the whole point of read-only firmware. Any potential exploits would have been found and fixed prior to the first release so, no, you wouldn't be stuck with any vulnerabilities. Having the ROM chip plug into a socket instead of soldered directly would facilitate swapping the chip in case of the odd accidental programming oversight, but it would deter manufacturers from rushing out untested code as there would be a significant cost involved other than writing the fix (manufacturing a new ROM chip plus a product recall to fit it).

Getting the code right prior to release would be essential of course, but it's more than possible. If any manufacturer isn't able to write good, secure code without security bugs then they should hire someone who can do the job properly for them. Having rewritable firmware is just an excuse to ship unfinished, inadequately tested, poor quality code, as well as a cracker's wet dream.

0
1
conscience
FAIL

Writeable firmware is a terrible idea that wouldn't be necessary if Intel (and others) could be bothered to get their code right prior to shipping.

We never had this trouble with the old ROM chips. Plus, if the ROM chips were socketed, there would still be the option to physically swap the chips if emergency updates were needed without leaving everyone wide open to attack and snooping. Anything has to be better than the current arrangement.

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4

UK.gov told: Your frantic farming of pupils' data is getting a little creepy

conscience
Stop

It's all just too creepy, and inflicting it on school children who could then be affected throughout their adult lives is unforgivable. It is a bad idea to collect so much data in the first place as it can never be guaranteed to be kept secret, and the bigger the database the more attractive it will be to hackers (or anyone who finds a government laptop left on a train). Besides the obvious "for money" answer, why on Earth would this supposedly confidential data be shared with anyone? There is simply no excuse for it.

12
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Kaspersky dragged into US govt's trashcan as weaponized blockchain agile devops mulled

conscience

"Anybody else read this sort of thing and thinking about buying Kaspersky antivirus?"

Yes. If Kaspersky had a version for Linux I would definitely be interested in buying it.

4
2

Trump to NASA: Fly me (or some other guys) to the Moon

conscience

One way trip

Maybe the best place for Trump is for him to join Willzyx and Tom Cruise on the Moon.

3
0

Lap-slabtop-mobes with Snapdragon Arm CPUs running Windows 10: We had a quick gander

conscience
FAIL

Microsoft desperation

We all know that Microsoft are very desperate indeed to get into mobile after so many failed attempts, but I can't see this changing anything.

For a start, $600-$800 for a netbook is way too much, it's not worth even half that price. Rather than a selling point, always on mobile data is a terrible idea especially knowing how much data Microsoft like to slurp from their users - this could get very expensive very quickly. Add in the very limited hardware that slows down to almost half speed while running emulated x86 code, and their crippled Windows 10S OS that's tied to their failure of an app store, and this is almost a guaranteed loser.

Then when these overpriced, crippled netbooks fail like all Microsoft's previous attempts, they will inevitably discontinue it and demonstrate (once again) that they cannot be trusted to stick around and support their own products regardless of whether it leaves their customers screwed.

ARM in netbooks, laptops and desktops is a good idea that has it's place, I just don't believe that Microsoft will benefit from it as they don't seem to have any clue what people want.

4
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FCC boss Ajit defends axing net neutrality by… attacking Cher

conscience
FAIL

Not sure if Pai is genuinely an idiot, has political ambitions, or has taken a bribe from the cable companies, but hopefully he's not going to get away with this.

38
2

Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars

conscience

Re: XDA

@Alan Brown

Apple had no real case against Digital Research or anyone else over the GUI as Apple didn't invent it, as the courts ultimately agreed. That distinction went to Xerox who first showed their GUI to the world in the early 1970s, Apple were just one of the companies who copied it.

As part of their efforts to beat Microsoft, Apple legally attacked every GUI that ran on top of DOS, but without success. Interestingly, Apple ignored the non-DOS markets they didn't care about e.g. Commodore had a GUI called Magic Desk running on the C64 computer that pre-dated the Mac (IIRC). Magic Desk had a joystick controlled WIMP GUI, with file manager and document viewer, and would have also been the desktop GUI for the Commodore Plus/4 computer had the author John Feagans not left the company before finishing it. Feagans also later ported GEM for Atari without any legal challenges from Apple, nor did Apple go after Commodore (again) over the Amiga GUI.

While Digital Research agreed to settle with Apple it was not because they infringed on anything Apple made, it was purely to avoid an expensive court case that they couldn't afford. I sincerely doubt they would have agreed to make any changes to GEM at all if they had they financial resources to have been able to defend themselves from Apple's spurious legal claims. But even then, Digital Research only agreed to a few very minor cosmetic changes to GEM, concerning really crucial and innovative Apple inventions like err... changing a couple of icons and the appearance of the close window button, changing the width of the scroll bars, removing window open/close animations and shaded titlebars, and changing the default desktop view to the file manager! This changed version of GEM was released as GEM/2 and continued to be developed and sold by Digital Research without any further trouble from Apple.

Amusingly, one of the main developers of Digital Research's GEM was Lee Jay Lorenzen, who had previously worked at Xerox PARC in the 1970s developing their GUI. In effect, Apple took what was largely Lorenzen's work in the first place, implemented it on their own computer, then sued over his next GUI!

Apple also sued both Microsoft over Windows and HP over New Wave, alleging the theft of the 'look and feel' of the Mac GUI but as you may recall Apple lost both cases once it got to court. Apple later 'borrowed' much from both, ironically including the look and feel of HP's New Wave with it's 3D effect dot shading! Then, like now, Apple routinely use frivolous legal action to both try and harm their competition, as well as just another tool in their PR tool box which serves to perpetuate the idea that Apple invented something better or first. People mostly remember the initial headlines that scream alleged infringement on Apple's property rather than the end results which often don't emerge until years later e.g. whether Apple lost the case, settled, made a public apology, had their patents invalidated, etc. somehow never quite seems to get the same media coverage.

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conscience

Re: XDA

@Chronos

What Apple _always_ did best was marketing, that was their chosen strategy from the very beginnings of the company when Mike Markkula made the decision that Apple would be a marketing led company rather than technology led.

Then as now Apple have never been above 'borrowing' features from their rivals, including GEM. GEM was more advanced than Apple's GUI in many important ways and they feared the competition e.g. GEM/1 offered colour interfaces, multitasking and more that Apple's more basic GUI implementation did not have. Naturally, as part of their PR strategy Apple's marketing department habitually claim each new innovation or feature as their own original invention regardless of where the idea actually originated. As for Ives, I'm no design expert to judge if he is any good or not, but I do know that before the numerous awards and honours started coming in thick and fast, he used to freely admit that his designs borrowed heavily from Braun so weren't really that original either.

That anyone thinks otherwise is testament to the superb marketing that sold the fiction of the Apple myth to the world. This whole idea of two of young kids who single-handedly invented personal computing out of their garage and who continued to lead the industry through technical prowess and original innovation was never actually true in any way, it was a total fiction that was artificially and very carefully constructed for them by Regis McKenna (the man who delivered both Intel and Apple a public image as innovative market leaders they arguably did not deserve with premium reputations that were misleadingly good considering their actual products).

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conscience
Gimp

Re: XDA

"And you know who had non-color touchscreens using a stylus before any of them? Apple, with the Newton. If you want to play the "who got there first" game with such a wide net Apple still did..."

Neither the iStuff nor the Newton did anything that was new or first.

Apple weren't the first to use touchscreen and stylus on tablets, phones or anything else, with examples of touchscreen devices like tablets etc. demonstrated stretching back to at least the 1950s. The tech has been gradually improved upon ever since, with resistive emerging in the early 1970s and multitouch in the early 1980s (IIRC). Nor were Apple first with handwriting recognition, that dates back a lot further.

What Apple did do was very much iterative and built mainly on the work of others, and what they did have was largely bought in (e.g. Fingerworks whom they bought a couple of years before the iPhone came out), based on open source software (iOS was based on BSD) or stolen from other companies. Besides the concepts themselves not being new, even the names 'iOS' and 'iPhone' belonged to Cisco and Apple were forced to settle with them (just like Jobs stole both the 'Apple' and 'Macintosh' names which also led to legal action against them). Interestingly, I doubt he even came up with the iPad name himself considering Fingerworks had a product called the 'iGesture Pad', which was a touchscreen peripheral with gestures for PC that ran on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Credit Apple all you want for opportunistically launching the right product at the right time, marketing things extremely well, or making a huge pile of money, but as innovative inventors? Not so much.

7
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Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

conscience
Stop

Waterfox has proved a good enough replacement for me so far, and it runs all my favourite extensions like NoScript, DownloadHelper, etc. Highly recommended.

If only Mozilla had any sane leadership maybe they would not be in this mess. Obviously they have vastly underestimated WHY people actually still use their browser: choice. Without the extra functionality and customisation offered by the old API and add-ons there is simply no reason to keep using Firefox at all for many users, especially as each update seems to make the browser worse.

The best thing Mozilla could do here is realise their mistake, change their minds about binning the old extensions and API, and apologise to users and devs alike. But even in the unlikely event that they did do a reverse, how many users who now have alternative browsers installed that can do everything they need with add-ons would even consider going back to Firefox? I'm not sure I would.

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Windows 10 Fall Creators Update tackles IT's true menace: Cheating gamers

conscience
FAIL

More DRM? No thanks.

This extra DRM seems pointless and unwanted.

Gamers won't want it turned on and will continue to cheat, mod, and generally customise their experience. All the DRM in the world won't stop workarounds, patching, cracks, edited files and custom hardware that enables gamers to get an advantage ranging from faster monitor, faster mouse and keyboard (both with a dozen buttons for speedy one-click macros each storing multi-key combos), plus other hardware cheat features built right in to 'gamer' motherboards etc. e.g. highlighting hidden opponents who otherwise wouldn't be visible.

Developers will make themselves very unpopular if they disable features if the option is not active, and publishers and developers risk the wrath of gamers and having to wait on Microsoft to patch it when it inevitably all goes wrong, potentially trashing the popularity and success of their games with bad reviews and an angry backlash from furious gamers denied access to their games.

Microsoft will likely abandon this sooner or later anyway, e.g. Microsoft shut down Games for Windows with zero consideration for the gamers, leaving devs and publishers to scramble to transfer their titles to Steam at their own expense or else piss off their customers by allowing Microsoft to kill their still played games.

And what do Microsoft achieve? More lock-in? Slurping more user data? Taking away even more control from the people who actually own the computer?

Business as usual for Microsoft, but no thanks.

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Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails

conscience

Re: I wonder why it's *still* not the year of Linux on the desktop

Having a "best" distro, implies a "worse" one, but that isn't the situation. All distros are comparable and all good, there are just choices for those who want a slightly different flavour e.g. different desktops to appeal to different aesthetic preferences.

Looking at a screenshot of the various desktops to see which you prefer is really all that is needed for people new to Linux to choose which distro to install, they are all equally capable and you can always change your mind later as you learn more.

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So the 'Year of Linux' never happened. When is it Chrome OS's turn?

conscience
Gimp

Microsoft clearly greatly fears Google judging by this unleashing of the their PR FUD hounds.

Fake claims that Linux looks like shareware, can't run games, can't watch movies, can't open documents, graphic driver support, printer drivers, requires faith and hope to try to install anything that's not in your repo, fragmentation, is just as bad for data slurping, Munich... it's almost the whole Microsoft PR FUD rule book! Windows must be really crap if you have to scare people into using it.

Pity for those Microsofties that none of it is true! It must break their hearts that:

Linux looks however I want it to look. I wouldn't have mentioned it considering how bad Windows 10 and the Metro parts look!

Games run just fine. As well as 100s of Linux games titles available, most Windows games will work perfectly well too. I've yet to come across any movie or music disc that won't play/rip, and the Linux PC I use as a media player has over 500 movies, TV series, etc. on it.

I don't even need drivers for most things as they're built in to Linux, with much wider support than offered by Windows that still requires individual drivers or nothing works. I've yet to find graphics card that doesn't just work, the latest AMD Vega graphics cards even launched with a choice of drivers from AMD plus open source ones.

My printer works just fine, as do most printers, scanners and peripherals even ones that have been deliberately obsoleted by Microsoft on Windows. Even the old Logitech Ferrari steering wheel and pedals I picked up - with a 'Windows only' driver CD - 'just worked' when I plugged it in to my Linux PC.

Installing non-repo software is as easy as on Windows, e.g. download the file and then open it. Additionally the repo provides most things from a safe and secure source, unlike the game of chance downloading all your Windows software from random websites.

Fragmentation? Hardly. POSIX is pretty compatible y'know. You seem to be confusing fragmentation for choice,

Zero data slurping on Linux, so it's the OS of choice for users who value privacy. Windows 10 on the other hand deliberately leaks personal data like a sieve because Microsoft want to be Google.

Munich has been debunked years ago, showing that Microsoft intervened and paid for the PR situation there because it made them look so bad. Nobody actually believes Linux was a failure, and a bent report doesn't prove otherwise.

Microsoft should come up with a new slogan: "Windows 10 is so terrible we pay people to tell lies about other software in the hope you'll use ours instead!"

0
0
conscience

Re: Widespread Linux on the desktop remains elusive.

@ Charles 9

Your comments read like you don't play that too many games. Gamers generally have vast collections and play many games, buying many new ones along the way. The absence of any particular game title is not the instant deal breaker for everybody that you seem to have assumed, and probably won't even be missed once they are no longer the latest hot current release. It's not like the whole world only ever plays Fallout 4, Overwatch and WoW (which, the last time I checked, worked fine on Linux using WINE).

0
0

Sounds painful: Audio code bug lets users, apps get root on Linux

conscience

Re: Oh for FUDs sake

Aodhhan: "If you want to be closed minded enough to think one OS is superior to another, fine. Just don't try to throw your crap here. Most of us are professional enough to become proficient on more than one OS; as opposed to sticking to one, and attempting to belittle the rest."

Straw man and you know it.

Once you move beyond insults and assumptions, I agree with the rest of your post RE closed minds.

Funnily enough, I was just making that exact point to JJ Carter. I was merely pointing out how tedious it is to always have comments like JJ's closed-minded and unnecessary digs at OSS spoiling the discussions. Why was there any need to bring open/closed source into it? This was a simple programming error and could have been on any system, even JJ's OS of choice (another point I made with my link).

3
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conscience

Re: Oh for FUDs sake

Pre-emptive? Oh come on, it is only ever a matter of time until JJ brings the subject around to MS superiority and/or their rivals inferiority in some way, e.g. the "many eyes" comment. Check the post history, JJ has probably posted that exact comment more times than I have ever posted here.

3
3
conscience
FAIL

Oh for FUDs sake

It didn't take you Microsofties long to start posting the same old tired PR/FUD. Haven't you got any new material? At least then we wouldn't have to repeatedly read the same tired fanboi drivel.

Besides, people in glass houses and all that: there were 60+ fixes for nasty Windows/MS software vulnerabilities in the last round of patching that leaky cheese that Microsoft call finished software products.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/10/october_2017_microsoft_windows_patch_tuesday/

With software as insecure as Microsoft sell, I'd be more careful mentioning security if I were you, just in case it drew attention to the fact Linux, while not perfect, is still far more secure than anything Microsoft has ever made.

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Microsoft silently fixes security holes in Windows 10 – dumps Win 7, 8 out in the cold

conscience
Windows

Re: Blast from the past

You're not wrong about Microsoft's army of professional apologists spewing out the same old FUD. I didn't think their reputation could sink much lower but here they go again breaking promises, destroying trust and alienating their customers.

There can be no reasonable defence or justification for not providing timely security updates to currently supported Windows OS versions. Windows 7 and 8 are (supposed to be) supported until 2020 and 2023 respectively, yet Microsoft didn't hesitate to screw their paying customers (yet again). What a pity that Microsoft didn't put as much effort into writing decent software that people actually liked and wanted to use instead of all this lame PR. It's amusing the apologists even think they can influence the technically literate commentards here on El Reg.

Rushing to defend an action like this with calls of "oh but x vendor's product is much worse", "L33t professional gaming!1!" and "very expensive industrial machines" is hardly a compelling advert to go along with Microsoft's plans or use their software and just serves to make them appear to be dishonest and desperate. If effectively telling users "You are forced to use Windows 10 so just grit your teeth and bend over" is the best reason for using Windows 10 they can think of it doesn't say a lot for the quality of their software.

5
1
conscience
WTF?

Re: If they cared about security at all

Security and gaming? For me that's easy - using Linux.

I have 300+ games just on Steam, some of which were bought before I switched to Linux. While I haven't yet tried them all and, obviously, I don't own every single title, I have yet to find a single title that I own that doesn't "just work" on Linux either via a simple right click on the installer file and installing via WINE, or using Steam directly. Even the Windows version of Steam runs on Linux under WINE for those few games that need it.The GOG games I tried also worked fine with Linux. IF the odd title genuinely doesn't work with Linux -as opposed to be falsely reported not to work - then I would consider losing access to that title a bargain compared to giving up both control, security and my privacy to the totally unacceptable Windows OS which offers neither security, the speed that gamers need, or compatibility with many older but still played games.

Linux is secure, reliable, speedy and able to run everything I want and need and I cannot be the only person that is true for. MS should be terrified, and they would be if they had any clue what was going on.

7
7

German Firefox users to test recommendation engine 'a bit like thought-reading'

conscience
Stop

Sounds like one to avoid to me. Enough people are spying on us as it is!

22
0

Microsoft extends free Windows 10 S to Win 10 Pro upgrade offer

conscience

The 'extra secure' Windows 10S was cracked inside 3 hours, so all it really offers is being locked-in to Microsoft's failing app store. It's no wonder Microsoft have been forced to offer the full version of Windows 10, they have zero chance of selling their new hardware otherwise.

2
1

New Amiga to go on sale in late 2017

conscience

Re: apple IIgs was the best

Even then it was pure luck and nothing Apple did.

VisiCalc was only on the Apple computer first because all the other computers available at the developers - Commodore PETs - were in use developing other software, so the author had to make do with the unused Apple computer that nobody else wanted to use.

Apple's early 'success' is all PR fantasy rather than fact. For example, the Pirates of Silicon Valley movie has people mobbing the Apple booth, when in reality people actually mobbed the Commodore booth and Apple went totally unmentioned by the attending tech press.

2
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conscience

Re: Amiga should have been the Mac

As it actually happened, the first Apple computer was nearly the Commodore PET instead!

Back in the 1970s Commodore decided to enter the computer market, but as they were starting their design from scratch and Jack always set unrealistic short deadlines for completion of projects, Chuck Peddle offered a shortcut on time to market: Peddle knew* Apple were a slightly ahead of Commodore designing a basic system board because he himself had turned Woz's non-working Apple I design into a fully functional working board some months before, and so Commodore were in negotiations to buy Apple (for relative peanuts - a couple of hundred thousand dollars IIRC).

The deal that would have seen the young Apple disappear would probably have gone through too, except Jack being Jack was playing hardball over price. Even that would have likely worked, but what Jack didn't know is that behind the scenes Apple were about to approached and financed by "Mike" Markkula to form their own company and sell their own Apple-branded computer instead. Once that happened, the Commodore deal was off and Peddle simply designed his own board instead.

* Commodore knew what Apple were doing because in a further twist of fate, Chuck Peddle (designer of the Motorola 6800 CPU, MOS 6502 CPU and Commodore PET) had history with the young Woz. Peddle was the man Woz bought his first 6502 processor from, learning much from the accompanying technical manual also written by Peddle. Later, when Woz couldn't make the Apple I work, Peddle was touring around trying to drum up business for his processor and was told about these two young boys who were having trouble getting their design to work so called in to see Woz to get his Apple design working for the first time. When Commodore decided to launch a computer, Peddle knew that buying Apple for their rudimentary board design, which he could then modify and enhance to suit his purposes, would have saved some time and helped to meet Jack's deadline.

2
0

We'll deliver 'in a few weeks' says troubled ZX Spectrum reboot firm

conscience

I'll believe it when I see it, RCL just cannot be trusted.

7
0

No chips for you! Toshiba takes flash off the menu for WDC

conscience

Without seeing the contracts it's hard to know for sure, but if I had to guess then I'd say WD is probably the one acting in bad faith here and that Toshiba is doing the right thing carrying on without them.

If WD had had the funds on hand to buy Toshiba out there would be no dispute, but because WD were overstretched with the Sandisk acquisition at the time they had to resort to using their lawyers tactically instead.

It's no secret that Toshiba need the cash, but what WD really need is no new cash-rich competitors entering the lucrative flash market and this is the real motivation behind why WD are so very desperate to block the sale of Toshiba's flash assets to anyone but themselves. Deliberately misinterpreting the terms of their contract with Toshiba may have been WD's only play at the time but it was always a risk that it would blow up in their faces like this.

2
0

UK publishes Laws of Robotics for self-driving cars

conscience

I'm still not sold on the idea of autonomous cars, but making the board responsible for security of the hardware and software is a great idea.

Maybe making the board personally accountable should be extended to all computer based products, there are many things are crying out for some security update love.

12
0

AMD shocks the world by only losing $16m

conscience
Happy

It's good to see AMD bouncing back. Hopefully their great looking server chips coming onto the market can continue them on their upwards trajectory for a while yet and maybe even start take back some market share.

2
0

Latest Windows 10 preview lets users link an Android to their PC

conscience
FAIL

Re: Sullying Windows 10, WTF?

Windows 10 IS the Android of desktop operating systems.

There really isn't much difference between them.

1
5

Systemd wins top gong for 'lamest vendor' in Pwnie security awards

conscience

No surprise that the blight on the landscape that is systemd gets a prize for their constant and repeated failures.

43
2

Wisconsin badgers Apple to cough up half a billion dollars for ripping off chip designs

conscience

It's about time Apple got slapped down for using tech that doesn't belong to them as though they have some sort of innate right to it. They could easily afford any licence fees and have no excuses, they'd be the first to scream and moan if anybody used any of their tech without permission.

8
2

iRobot just banked a fat profit. And it knows how to make more: Sharing maps of your homes

conscience
FAIL

Knowledge is power

"in order for the lights to turn on when you walk into a room, the home must know what lights are in which rooms"

Wrong. It would also work just fine with a sensor that only connected to a lightbulb and a power source, without the need for any internet connectivity or data collection.

The only reason iRobot would even suggest otherwise is to make more money by selling all that customer data, betraying their customers in the process. A real 'Ratner moment' indeed.

13
0

Microsoft ctrl-Zs 'killing' Paint, by which we mean offering naff app through Windows Store

conscience
FAIL

Desperate PR stunt

This reads more like a desperate PR move so that people actually talk about the Microsoft App Store, something that isn't happening organically because it is a failure that few are interested in using.

9
0

Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)

conscience
Thumb Down

Ubuntu on Windows 10 is one to avoid

I find the whole idea of Linux-on-Windows 10 truly odd by Microsoft. It can only be another of their traditional Embrace, Extend, Extinguish missions they wheel out to destroy any threat they perceive to their continued dominance. If MS really wanted parity for Windows applications and tools, rather than to destroy Linux, then why wouldn't they just write some of these software applications and tools that they say are currently missing from the Windows world instead of integrating/emulating a rival OS?

MS must have watched Android overtake Windows as most used OS for using the internet with dread, fearing it could/would turn their primary monopoly into an irrelevance. Linux certainly is a threat to Microsoft right now, what with Linux being streets ahead of their flagship Windows 10 OS. A fellow commentard hit the nail on the head when they suggested that Windows 10 was a pale imitation of Android rather than the full-fat OS it used to be, which besides there's more fragmentation and more adverts on Windows 10, is exactly what Windows appears to be these days.

Android uses the Linux kernel so MS can't currently slurp user data or establish any customer lock-in using it, so I can't help wondering if MS see Linux and emulating the Linux kernel as a way for them to one day finally infiltrate the mobile OS world with their bastardised hybrid proprietary/open source Linux-on-Windows 10 perhaps positioned as a drop-in replacement for Android with its Linux kernel? Obviously it is an insane thought, but MS aren't known for sensible ideas and all their other mobile efforts have failed spectacularly.

1
0

Intel is upset that Qualcomm is treating it like Intel treated AMD for years and years

conscience
WTF?

I had to laugh at Intel's sheer cheek here. With a story like that, I hope their lawyers have considered the penalty for perjury!

Apple might well design their own, but they'd have to hire the relevant hardware experts because its not so easy to do right, just ask Intel. Mind you, Intel have problems trying to make pretty much anything work properly, they have launched so much dud hardware they are (in)famous for it.

8
1

They say we're too mean to Microsoft. Well, how about this... Redmond just had a stonking year. And only 8% tax. Whee!

conscience
Stop

Re: RE: The Government is bad at almost everything it does

"In general, government is usually better than the profit-maximising, short-term, crony capitalist, winner-takes-all, ever-voracious market."

Except when government is corrupt and is doing the bidding of those same profit-maximising, short-term, crony capitalist, winner-takes-all corporations? I can hardly see any difference between them any longer.

1
0
conscience

Tax rebates?

Asking for handouts from tax payers with profits like those is some shameful stuff. It's simply theft by another name.

* waits for the 'well other people do it' 'defence' *

29
4

Microsoft drops Office 365 for biz. Now it's just Microsoft 365. Word

conscience

Re: Can anyone clarify...

Not sure it's the only option, yet... but all it would take is for the sale of individual copies of each to become unavailable (or unrealistically priced outside of the bundle) and that's exactly what just happened.

9
0

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