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Comment Re:Data? (Score 2) 118

It doesn't phone home if you don't sign in to a Google account on your phone. Annoyingly it doesn't learn words if you don't allow it to phone home. Samsung replaced their internally developed predictive keyboard with one powered by SwiftKey. The net result for me was that it's more sluggish and doesn't learn words any more, since I don't have a Google account and wouldn't sign in to one even if I did.

Comment Re: Brought it on themselves (Score 2) 67

Well you thought wrong. Google Play Services automatically and silently updates itself with no user interaction. The only way to stop it is to disable it completely, but this also breaks that use its APIs. Most Android apps don't/can't update update silently, but Play Services definitely can and does unless you go out of your way to stop it.

Comment B.o.B. WTF (Score 1) 235

Why is anyone paying attention to that goofball B.o.B. anyway? He's a boring rapper with weak rhymes as well as weak science. I mean, his stage name is an initialism for Battery Operated Boyfriend (i.e. a vibrating dildo). All this does is draw more attention to him and his shitty rap. No-one could possibly believe the flat earth theory these days anyway when you can easily fly or sail around the world.

Comment Re:The copy writes itself (Score 1) 106

If you're enabling IME with default password, you're doing it wrong. If you enable IME you should be installing your own certificates and using certificate-based authentication. If you aren't, you're stupid. I've never encountered hardware where IME is enabled by default (in fact my Dell Precision T3610 is buggy in such a way that it's impossible to enable, and there's no way to enable it on 13th-generation PowerEdge by design). There's a lot of FUD about IME, but it won't hurt you if you don't turn it on.

Comment Re:Easy Fix for the Paranoid: Cold Reboot (Score 3, Informative) 165

The thing is, for security the operating system should scrub memory before before supplying it to an application. Otherwise you get all kinds of data leakage. The virtual memory system does this when an application requests more pages. SPARC CPUs generate an interrupt when they run out of "clean" register windows. NTFS ensures sectors that are allocated but not written in a files read as zeroes (FAT32 on Windows 95 didn't, you'd read back whatever was there on the disk). By the same token, the OS should scrub GPU resources before supplying them to an application. You don't need to do this on every allocation, only when the allocation comes from RAM that was not previously assigned to that application.

Comment Re:Flabbergasted (Score 2) 44

Yeah, I'm sure the operators of the Great Firewall could identify sources of hacks and DDoS after the fact, but it's just not within the scope of their responsibilities. They're just there to enforce government policies that most of them don't even agree with, it's just a day job. They're not going to go out of their way to make China friendlier to the rest of the Internet.

VPN exit points in China are most useful for businesses outside China doing business with Chinese customers or suppliers. It lets you check what your web presence looks like from inside China. Many things that people take for granted don't work from inside China, e.g. lots of sites suck in JavaScript frameworks from Google APIs, but this doesn't work from China because Google APIs servers are blocked. You can test for these kinds of issues by browsing via the Chinese VPN exit point.

I'd say the Great Firewall does more now that it used to. A decade ago, there wasn't really a Great Firewall as such, and ISPs were responsible for blocking what the government told them to, so you got different behaviour on different ISPs. Some ISPs would redirect you to a "this is blocked" page, others would give "connection reset by peer", while still others would black-hole traffic. At least now the government deploys the filtering and sets the policies now, so you get consistent behaviour across ISPs.

Yeah, some hacking comes from China. Some of it is just botnets of pwned PCs that could be operated from anywhere. That part of it isn't any worse per capita than anywhere else in the world. The Chinese government probably has some offensive hacking capability, and I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of it. It's probably used for very targeted attacks on high-value targets. But I don't think half the things blamed on China really come from China at all.

Comment Re:Flabbergasted (Score 1) 44

It does packet inspection of incoming DNS response packets, i.e. if a client in China makes a DNS request to a server outside China the result may be intercepted/modified. I think it also does some kind of deep packet inspection to flag possible SSL VPNs becoming popular, but that isn't used for real-time blocking, only to give the administrators potential addresses to blacklist. For all the talk about it, the Great Firewall doesn't really do a lot of blocking at all.

Chinese ISPs often block more than the Great Firewall itself. For example on of my friends is on an ISP that blocks egress to foreign residential broadband IP address ranges by default. This is supposedly so that when one of their customers gets infected with malware it can't attack residential broadband customers outside China. They will turn this off for a customer on request, though.

Comment Re:Flabbergasted (Score 1) 44

All the Great Firewall does is black-hole IP traffic to certain addresses/ranges. If you're sending data to/from an address range that isn't blocked, anything goes. The only people protected from hack attempts by the Great Firewall are the people they're blocking all access to (Google, English wikipedia, Facebook and the rest of that crap).

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