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Comment: Required HW (Score 1) 124

by Trevelyan (#49170299) Attached to: Google Backs Off Default Encryption on New Android Lollilop Devices
Do Android devices have a hardware encrypter/decrypter built into the DMA bus, like iPhone does?

I would guess without something like that, encryption would have a high latency and battery life cost. Encryption accelerated via special CPU features/instructions, like what dm-crypt is able to use, would only partially alleviate those costs.

My guess the problem isn't to do with features in the Andriod software, but rather hardware costs. i.e. Development and Manufacturing costs. Does the lack of encryption really affect sales enough to justify those costs? One thing is clear: The perception of improved battery life does affect sales.

I think in the end Android will get a botched job. Encryption in SW for those that want to turn it on, but off by default as to not affect the phone's vital statistics; especially early benchmarks.

Comment: The Rust Language (Score 4, Interesting) 407

I have been mulling similar question for myself for some time. i.e. where should I spend my limited hobby time: learning Obj-C or C++?

In the last few months Rust has caught my attention. Even then it's not yet at verstion 1 (at time of writing its at alpha-1), I really like the concept and what they are try to achieve with the language.

My comment will probably be burried, but if you do read it, spend a few minutes wondering around their web site. For exmaple their 30 minute introduction to Rust.

Comment: Re:So does this mean... (Score 3, Insightful) 264

by Trevelyan (#49110833) Attached to: Linux Kernel Switching To Linux v4.0, Coming With Many New Addons
Big step from 3.19: No
Same work as 3.20: Yes

The reference point is 3.0. Kernel development is now 'inline' (as opposed to the old even=release, odd=development system). That means the minor number just gets bigger and bigger, and the kernel gets further and further away from what 3.0 was.

This means at somepoint one should bump the major version number; the question is when? Linus has the answer for this: Basically when the minor number gets asthetically displeasing to him, he'll bump the major number and start the minor number again at 0.

One might ask what will Linus do when the major number gets too big (e.g. >20) ?
Others might ask, why don't they just use a year/calendar based version number? Like Ubuntu does.

Comment: Re:Too late (Score 1) 235

by Trevelyan (#48477883) Attached to: Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source
I know you were joking, but I'd like to make the following point anyway:

How long until we have fusion power is not a function of time, but a function of investment.
Insufficient/deacreasing investment results in increasing the amount of time needed to complete the required R&D.

In fact a Q&A here on slashdot covered this. It even provided the following graphic as clarification of "50 years until fusion":

Comment: Systemd broken PulseAudio!!! (Score 1) 928

by Trevelyan (#48284245) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?
I have a Debian HTPC system tracking testing and systemd tried to save from the indignation of PulseAudio. Given configuring ALSA for AC3 S/PDIF is not as easy as it should be, I let PulseAudio stay on my system.

Then came systemd and any application (Flash, KDE itself, VLC) would hang as soon as it attempted to output sound. "PulseAudio --start" instances would just multiply and multiply.

My girlfriend was somewhat annoyed that she couldn't watch her programmes, and trying to work out what was happening was getting to me too.

After battling PulseAudio and ALSA settings, I was started to question if it was a mistake to leave PulseAudio installed all this time. Systemd was trying to help me see my error.

However given my girlfriends mood and lack of patience, as well as the fact that everything worked before Debian switch my init system, I tried apt-get install sysvinit-core and reboot (mostly out of desperation). From that moment on we've had no problem with sound, PulseAudio nor any of the other 'bugs' that showed up recently.

Given my sense of humour, I find it hilarious that systemd seemingly broke PulseAudio. Beyond making me laugh it also induces a sense of nostalgia. As I was in Uni all those years ago, I remember playing CoreWars. This was a game where two users would to develop a programmes that tried to avoid and eradicate the other users program.

Up until I removed systemd I imagine a similar battle being waged on my HTPC. PulseAudio battling with PID 0 and spawning many copies of itself as protection. On the other side systemd using it ultimate control of the system to hijack dbus and udev in order to isolate PulseAudio and to prevent it from communicating with the outside world.

If it weren't for the non-amused look on my girlfriends face, I might have let the two battle it out. However as it stands PulseAudio has won, as systemd is no longer running on the system. Did good or evil win? We'll never know. Suffice to say during the whole affair systemd said nothing, not a single peep to stdout nor stderr.

Comment: Re:We need more than that (Score 2) 442

by Trevelyan (#44006817) Attached to: Birthday Song's Copyright Leads To a Lawsuit For the Ages
In the US because of the Mickey Mouse Protection Act or rather the Copyright Term Extension Act.

Basically every time Mickey Mouse is about to go out of copyright and into the public domain, Disney lobby for copyright to be extended.

Given that they actively use MM, their Trade Mark on him will never expire. Isn't that enough? Why continuously extend copyright?

Comment: OwnCloud News (Score 2) 335

by Trevelyan (#43973663) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Will You Replace Google Reader?
I have an instance of OwnCloud setup at home. I use it mostly for syncing contact and calendar data. I'm even subscribed to my girlfriends calendar and vice versa. The WebDav part I only really use as a quick way to get files from one device to another, and by device I mean smartphone, tablets as well as proper computers.

When Google announced the closure of Reader, OwnCloud started work on a news reader app too. I've been running it since the beta and I'm very happy.

Comment: Re:wayland's flopping, lets try again! (Score 1) 354

by Trevelyan (#43077625) Attached to: Canonical Announces Mir: A New Display Server Not On X11 Or Wayland
Here is a rather long IRC discussion between the Wayland and a Mir developer(s) on why..

AFAI can tell, a year ago when Canocial/Ubutunu were deciding which way to go, they stopped believing that Wayland would mature into something that fits their grand plans. Instead of discussing these concerns with the wayland people, they decided to fork Android's graphic stack. (and thus be able to talk to all the ARM SoC blob drivers that support it).

So we're going to get one Unity/Mir/Ubuntu stack on everything from Phones to Desktops....

In the end none of their concerns about wayland turned out to be valid. Daniel Stone even has a compositor that does server-side buffer allocation and runs on said ARM SoC h/w. None of the insecure wayland input remarks on Mir's wiki are true, etc.. Not that it matters now, Ubuntu have already invested in Mir and will likely continue to do so; it will after all, being under their control, no doubt fit perfectly into their grand plans.

Comment: An exercise in suspending disbelief.. (Score 2) 187

by Trevelyan (#41911599) Attached to: James Bond Film <em>Skyfall</em> Inspired By Stuxnet Virus
To enjoy the film, which I did, I had to actively ignore anything that was said in relational to IT. Something that I find hard to do.

The concept behind the plot, while at the most extreme of technical possibility, was a valid idea to explore in a piece of fiction. The Iranians would likely have never detected stuxnet if its 'herders' had kept a better control on its spreading. Imagine something like that in a western government (as the victim). No, what annoyed me most is that they didn't even bother. Simply swapping some of the IT buzzwords in the script for ones that actually meant something in the given context, would have greatly improved its palatability. However that would mean employing someone with real IT knowledge on the writing team. Such a person might have gone insane or have made the script 'boring' with too much attention to accuracy, who knows.

One theory I had when leaving the film, was that maybe the makers didn't want to give the general public any ideas or tips in how someone would go about achieving any of the anarchy portrayed in the film. The more misinformed about computer 'hacking' the safer we'll all be...

Comment: Missunderstanding the issues (Score 5, Informative) 455

by Trevelyan (#41739121) Attached to: Wayland 1.0 Released, Not Yet Ready To Replace X11
The two main complaints I see discussed here appear to derive from some fundamental misunderstandings about what Wayland is.

Wayland is a Protocol and an optional helper library to implementing that protocol. This protocol says nothing about net work transparency, in both the sense of enabling or prohibiting it. It also says nothing about client decorations. The key points here is not to make a decision for or against any particular technology or methodology and then be stuck with that decision for the next 20 years, like we are with X.

How or if, either of these work is all down to the compositor. The reference compositor 'Weston' does not do network transparency and leaves window decoration to the client or its toolkit. However none of the big desktops, i.e end users, will be using this compositor. For example KDE will continue to use Kwin as their wayland compositor, and KDE have already clearly said that Kwin will be decorating their windows and not the clients!

As to network transparency, all windows are drawn to their own back buffers, and where these buffers will be eventually displayed is also the choice of the compositor, and it might well just decided to send them over a network connection. e.g. like what VNC does.

I think if you base your opinion on what other people say, including me, then maybe you shouldn't comment? All of this is discussed first hand on the Wayland web site and/or mailing list.

Unfortunately since I've posted a bit late, I doubt many will read this...

Comment: False sense of security? (Score 1) 454

by Trevelyan (#40976731) Attached to: DOJ Says iPhone Is So Secure They Can't Crack It
Most people use the standard 4 digit pin, this pin unlocks the keys to the encrypted FS.

With physical access to the phone, one can brute force a 4 digit numeric pin in about 20mins. The brute force has to be done on the phone itself, because you can't access the keys directly, but rather the API of the crypto chip. So you boot your brute force boot image via DFU mode. This of course bypasses any wipe on X failed attempts settings that might have been set in iOS.

Alphanumeric PINs are a PITA, so I'd suggest using a 7 or more digit numeric PIN. This is done by turning off simple passcode and then entering a passcode with only numbers (dispite the full keyboard). When asked for the passcode again to unlock the iPhone will give the normal numbers keypad. (Telling a hacker that your pins only uses numbers, but also make your life much easier).

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.