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Comment Re:Damned if you do, damned if you don't (Score 2) 387

Why should the touch ID sensor need to, or be actually doing, store any data or provide authentication?

What you're saying is that you can replace the fingerprint sensor and thus fool the device into thinking you provided ANY fingerprint, without any knowledge of that fingerprint? Sound inherently INSECURE to me. I could steal Barack Obama's iPad, change the sensor, and order a coffee on his credit card without having to enter a single credential or knowing what his fingerprint looks like.

Compare and contrast to "it's just a fingerprint reader that provides a hash of the offered finger, which the OS compares to a list of known hashes of valid users", for instance. Unless you know what the fingerprint looks like, or can read the original hash and generate hashes of any possible combination you want, you shouldn't be able to do that. And if you did it properly, only Apple would know what the hash was on a remote server, and the entire conversation between reader and end-server would be encrypted and nonced to prevent replay attacks.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 2) 387

It doesn't matter.

Consumer law trumps any EULA, signed consensually or not.

Apple tried to only give you one year's warranty in the EU, the EU told them that's not how it works. Now everybody gets a "free" 2-year warranty. Amazing, that, given that's its compulsory under EU law on such goods.

Just because you signed something, just because Apple says something, just because they can point at a line on a piece of paper, does NOT mean that's the end of the matter. By far.

Comment Re:WTF happened? (Score 1) 135

You tried to get Microsoft EU to send all our EU-based personal data to the US courts, in pretty much the same kind of shitty outmaneuver described here, even when we told you where to go.

If you're that cut off from Britain, please remove your authority required to launch our Trident missile solutions too.

Comment Re:legalism is a crap philosophy. (Score 1) 562

I live in a different country to you.

I have been pulled over several times. For car checks. Never for speeding.

If you're below the limit, why would they pull you? And in my country we hold police accountable to the reasonable cause - you can't just pull people over "just because". Even a dodgy taillight - fine. Suspicious swerving, sudden slowdown when they see the cop, fine. Because "normal" people don't do those things or have those problems.

And the vehicle is safer FOR YOU. Stopping distance at a given speed for a car with ABS hasn't really changed in decades. This is precisely the point - you FEEL safe, but that safety is only for you, inside the car. Outside the car, you're just as dangerous to other road-users or pedestrians.

And speed limits used to be "slower than the guy with the flag walking in front", so don't talk bollocks.

If you have a problem with the police state, try not breaking a quite clear, reasonable and obvious law, and hold your police accountable. And if everyone does what you do, don't be surprised that the limits keep lowering. "We lowered the limit to 20 but people are still doing 40" is a known problem. So they lower the limit more to get more of them convicted on harsher limits when they do it.

Honestly, quite what do you think you save in terms of average hassle over your life by going over that number? Because the seconds you gain each time you go over are more than cancelled out by the hour by the side of the road while you're ticketed and your car looked over, even if that's once a year.

I've been pulled over any number of times - I drive old bangers of cars and they are an instant pull because of the appearance, but are always road-legal. I've not actually had anything more than a "Sorry to keep you, sir, everything appears in order" from any of the stops and never been delayed more than a few minutes.

Comment Re:legalism is a crap philosophy. (Score 1) 562

Or, alternatively, the punishment for speeding isn't harsh enough.

It all depends on your point of view of whether a legal limit is a legal limit, or something you can just ignore without consequence.

If you were only allowed to bring 100 cigarettes back from abroad and you took 110, and it was plainly stated everywhere, and it was common knowledge, and you had to pass a cigarette test to be allowed abroad, and there were signs all over the place, would you expect to get away with bringing back 110 cigarettes?

Or to drink at 20 and a few months instead of 21?

Personally, I'd be all in favour of people campaigning to raise speed limits - nobody EVER does. But to expect, allow, or ignore people breaking a limit is just stupid and a bad precedent to set. And yet everyone thinks that's fine.

Comment Re:Science! (Score 4, Insightful) 127

And you're discussing it on a medium that didn't even exist 50 years ago, in a browser that only works as expected on websites if it was made in the last 5 years, running on a computer that has to have been made in the last 10 at least to be fast enough, and the markup surrounding your post would probably fill the memory of any machine made when you were a kid (let alone the processing and display of that markup).

Tech moves fast.
Hell, we've basically ended up in a Star Trek-like universe where anyone can call anyone they know, at any time of the day, almost anywhere in the world, by tapping a button and saying "Call Fred". And we barely even noticed.

Comment Re:It's important for a tech ecosystem (Score 3, Interesting) 312

I agree.

But they have to be usable.

Technically, FreeDOS had USB before GNU Hurd.

And 64-bit.

And that had to emulate a Microsoft piece of software not that much older than itself too, to the point that all DOS programs (even things like BIOS Flashing utilities) still work.

GNU Hurd is just a dead-end. An intellectual project of little practical use. It's like pushing for MINIX or similar. Yes, alternative OS are all good. But only if they are vaguely in the same decades as the machines you can buy today.

Comment Water (Score 1) 49

Does rather call into question the surveys we do of foreign systems.

I mean, if we were surprised by how much water Pluto has, and Mars has recently changed in our opinion several times too, how we can pretend we're measuring the potential atmospheres or compositions of just about anything outside the solar system with any degree of accuracy?

We have things SITTING on Mars and we're still not sure. So should we really be playing such guessing games at all?

Comment Not new. (Score 2) 171

A guy did this at a little local election near my workplace.

He was an idiot, but changed his name to None of the Above in protest.

Come election time, there was an option for "Of the Above, None". The idiot forgot to check how names were listed on the ballot. It was quite funny.

That was until the next month when the guy came to the school I was working for in the middle of the night and thought it funny to glue up all the locks, including the fire doors.

The reason I was originally aware of him was because he was canvassing parents leaving the school (and it was only a primary school) so vigorously that they made complaints. So he was asked to leave by a member of senior staff. There was a scuffle, and a child was injured. The police came, took him away.

Then he came back a few months later and gummed up all the locks in the middle of the night. The police came again, arrested him and charged him with trespass on a school property and criminal damage.

What do you want in a guy you vote for? Of the above, None.

Comment Re:Windows Phone? (Score 2) 455

Not a case of can't figure them out.

Can't be arsed to use them because of the problems they have (so not perfectly useable at all). Simple shit, like joining to Exchange accounts, is actually not as easy as you think. So they got used as "just phones" until the contracts were up, and then put aside for real "just phones".

And they were in my office to get sold off because they were of no use. Literally, they were junk. Unfortunately, the school budget is so huge that nobody had the time or inclination to bother to trade them in. They don't even figure on our radar.

We were offered £20 a unit on them, second hand. It's not even worth the time to document, charge, wipe, box and send at that price (and the price sort of reflects how good the devices are and how sought after).

It took me 25 minutes to Bluetooth a photo off one of them. Fuck knows what they claimed to support but that's usually a 10-second job and it turned into a farce of epic proportions.

Kind of my point. We had them and they were just junk, so we put them aside and bought something that could actually do the job. It was more a case of "old shite that we had no end of problems with, consigned to the bin, never touched again, and it wasn't even worth the effort to deal with them at EOL".

Comment Windows Phone? (Score 4, Interesting) 455

Was it ever alive?

I sit next to a box of Lumia's that someone bought for the school I work for before I started. They were only ever used as... well... phones. Nobody ever even tried to log in and use apps on them. And when I started two years ago, they'd not been used in over a year. Recently they were given to me as they'd been "sitting in a box" in someone's office collecting dust, and had been replaced with bog-standard dial-only phones.

My tech had one when he first started here - but he was 19 and naive. Within days of seeing what a real phone did (and not crashing his on-screen keyboard like his one did all the time), he changed his contracts.

The only other one I've ever seen was a teacher's at a previous school - who knew nothing about them and bought it because it "had Skype". She never managed to collect her email or anything else reliably and so never used anything that it could do.

That's out of literally HUNDREDS of adults that I know who come to me with all their tech problems, all the new-starters whose phones I set up with our email etc., all the parents and kids that I see every day about anything even vaguely technical. I must touch several hundred different phones a year, and the majority are almost 50:50 iPhone and Samsung, with the rest being cheap knock-offs and less common brands.

But Windows phones? Honestly? I've touched more Palm Pilots and Windows CE devices in the last year. And to be honest, they probably worked better and did more.

(Funniest thing ever was trying to get a WPA key into a WIndows phone where the on screen keyboard crashes, and then trying to modify the key so it didn't use the numbers that you couldn't get to, then finally getting it online and finding out that the "Update" button not only would never fix the problem, but also that it never actually did anything... it would download for over an hour, reboot, and be exactly the same... this was THREE MONTHS after the tech discovered that it was sucking up all his data trying to download the update and his phone company just wrote off the data charges the second he mentioned "Windows phone" because they were so accustomed to it).

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