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Comment Why I will try it (Score 1) 96

For me, using iOS and waiting for Firefox on iOS was a conscious choice, and I will try to explain why I disagree with the majority here that the synching feature is unimportant because FF on iOS is using Gecko:

- On iOS > 8 Apple is encrypting the important files with the user password, so that they can not circumvent the encryption. So I can be shure that when entering a fife eyes state without a resetted device I will only be sent home when asked for my password for my switched of iPhone, not having the content compromised. That is a "best effort" against border bullies, not a solution against the NSA specifically targeting me. IOS throws away the key if the password was entered wrong ten times, leaving the phone unreadable. Workaround is to reboot directly after every attempt, good luck with a complex password. On Android, the encryption key is readable even after factory reset on many devices.

- Safari synch is NOT encrypted end-to-end, making it possible for secret services to mass collect the data of peoples browsing history and bookmarks. Firefox is encrypting the synch end-to-end. That is why I deactivated this feature on Safari and waited for Firefox on iOS. The slow rendering speed is annozing, but every security improvement on standard devices comes with disadvantages. It is a matter of how much convinience could be traded for what gain in security.

- On iOS, I could synch the address book, the calendar and tasks with any standard caldav or carddav service. Like, which does not know it's customers and offers me the possibility to encrypt everything with my password. On Android, I will need to install third party software to do that.

Doing the best to protect my privacy including using vpn from time to time does not mean that I am dark to the secret services. But making it harder for them is important. That is why I chose iOS over Android despite the annoying golden cage and that is why I choose Firefox over Safari despite the fact that the rendering time is slower because it needs to use a crippled safari rendering engine. Oh, and I do not trust chrome synch, although it offers password protected synch.

Filtering ads is one thing, I use privacy badger on the desktop and a vpn that only knows my serial number to stop trackers, because this data is collected in large quantities by the secret services.

All of this is best effort to avoid mass collection and Apple has no clean record at all:

- Up until iOS 8, the most interesting data (messages, browsing history, address book) was only encrypted with the cpu-password, so the data was readable once the iPhone was connected to a computer containing the right tools.

- icloud security is a joke. The data is not encrypted with a user specific key, making bulk collection easy. Except for the backup, which can be encrypted, but I won't trust a cloud backup to store the most important passwords.

- icloud is mandatory for notes starting iOS 9, making it risky to use it. I will need to use a third party app and vpn to my personal cloud at home in order to synch. Before that, it could easily be synched with my more trustworthy IMAP-provider.

- Synching photos and safari can only be done with icloud, which is a mess.
Thank you, apple.

Apple over Android, because black phone as an alternative is expensive and the loss in convinience is too big for me. Firefox over Safari because I want to synch on multiple devices without mass collection. I do not think that the world is black and white.

But people have a choice to make it harder for "them". Block trackers so that using services like facebook responsibly is possible without being tracked on multiple sites. Try to synch more secure instead of giving the information freely to the mass collectors or losing any modern convinience. That is not easily possible with safari, but with firefox.

That is why I do not agree with people claiming that the slower rendering of FF on iOS using webkit is a deal breaker. That is why I do not find the choice between Android and iOS so easy, everything comes with a price.

Comment Re:This has always been a big pile of hysteria. (Score 1) 86

How could this possibly be? How could we assume that he is an orwellian Big Brother, conpiring with the USA to build an orwellian, fascist surveillance scheme?

Because of reports like this?

Because there is nothing holding back the GCHQ from intersepting everything including porn use to denounce any resistance? Because the GCHQ has already infiltrated legal NGOs to undermine and control those "terrorist" NGOs like Amnesty International?

Because after laying waste to the middle east he leaves the refugees to the other european countries?

Because he already annnounced that if the european human right standards might hinder his orwellian fantasies, he considers abondoning these standards and replace them with his british version?

Because he does not even think that UN human right standards might also apply to his government?

Under which rock have you lived since the release of the Snowden files?

Every european country installed an orwellian surveillance scheme. But this government and his system to me as a foreigner seems to be by far the worst. They stop at nothing.

That is why I highly doubt he will be able to really compromise. He uses 1984 as a how to manual, even going to war with changing coalitions to keep the system going. But even George Orwell was not foreseeing a time when people buy their bugging devices and waiting in line to get their bug.

Comment Re:Bottom line (Score 1) 86

Not true. This Data is not encrypted by the users password or a separate encryption key. iMessage is encrypted end-to-end.

Emails, calendar, notes, address book, photos, unencrypted backup are not encrypted with a key apple has no access to on the icloud. You could encrypt the backup with a special password, the other stuff is NSL-able.

You could use or similar services for emails, calendar and address book and encrypt the stored data with the password for login. That is easy because apple uses standards (IMAP, cardDAV, calDAV) for these services.

Notes were stored with IMAP up until iOS 8, so you could rescue it from GCHQ and NSA. This no longer works with iOS 9, icloud is obligatory. So one could only switch the app for taking notes and store ist elsewere.

There is no way to securely stream your photos automatically that I am aware of. Switch it off or make them freely available, because icloud is not secure.

I would not trust the backup to be safe at apple even if it were enrypted, this encryption surely is one of the main targets for the NSA, I am shure.

Comment We are doomed! (Score 0) 421

Ok. So the oceanian slashdotters here in their majority believe the following:

- Renewable energy, despite the fact that solar and wind plants became more and more effective since the 80s (when being "green" became popular over voters from the far left to the far right) and batteries and other means of energy storage became more and more effecient, is doomed from the get go. You are shure of that.
- Germany will not be able to turn it's energy production around. It is doomed!

You know what? We have a lot of denates here on how (!) to change energy production from fossils and nuclear power to renewable energy. We are quite confident it can be done. It won't be cheap, there will be heated debates. But the goal in itself is not really challenged. We want our hippie energy, period. If a nuclear power plant blows up in the highly populated Germany, the results to us are not acceptable.

We will see in 20 years time who was right. But might I suggest that I am quite shure there will be a way.

It will be more expensive than neccessary, because there will be compensations for the nuckear and fossil power plants that are going out of business (lobbying) and the needed additional energy lines buried into the ground because of local governments being egocentric assholes.

There will be debate. But the goal that we want nuclear power plants to go out of business and renewables to be the main energy source is mostly undisputed because - gasp - there was a grass root movement starting in the 80s that was so popular that every party here has to be environmental friendly to some extend (the conservatives struggling to keep up, but if politicians actally start to lose poltical power they tend to get the message eventually).

And 20 years from now we might meet again at whatever slashdot has become and maybe we will concede it was such a bad idea and that we suddenly suck at engeneering and organising and that the oceanean slashdotters were right from the get go. But maybe... not. Maybe we will look back at the struggles and agree it was worth it.

I know that american people have a problem with health insurance, working public transport and a infrastructure that is not rotten from the core because that is socialism. But despite the permanent lobbying from neo liberals the basic fact remains that the constitution states we are a social and federal state and that most people here would not touch your unsolidaric society and wasteful lifestyle with a ten foot pole.

I know it's not accurate, but this preety much sums up how we see the USA . Unfair, I know. But then again - I am not so super punctual and I never wear lederhosen, so go figure.

Comment Re: Risk Assessment (Score 1) 182

Mod parent more up. Exactly this. It is basic project management. If the danger is "seize to exist", you'll need to avoid that danger, even if the chance is low. Insurance, for instance. You are nat supposed to accept that risk.

Look it up, even his equation is basic project management.

We have the means to avoid this

Comment Re:Google Apple (Score 1, Insightful) 117

I beg to differ, it does count:

1. Entering the american border with an electronic device storing sensitive data is not an option for foreigners. With Android, the resetted device contains both the sensitive data stored before and the keys used to encrypt the device. Apple simply throws away the key stored in the cpu, leaving only unreadable data.

Worse: Some Android manufacturers have not implemented whole device encryption correctly to this very day. And bitlocker is a joke on windows

2. Before Android did a similar thing with Android, I could allow or disallow location information, using of photos or personal data for every single app. On Android it was "accept or decline".

3. As Apple uses standard protocols, I could sync my calendar, my contacts and my notes using a very privacy-aware provider ( Try that with Android, you need additional programs. On Windows, it is not really possible, offering only to sync with icloud or google or microsoft (meaning a sync with the NSA). Owncloud or safer providers are a nightmare for data revenues, so windows and android make it as hard as possible to integrate safer cloud solutions.

There might be some information shared with advertisers and the NSA. The powers that be might be able to track us from time to time. But the privacy gain is significant as it more secure by design. More secure, not "most secure".

Comment Re: A return to performance? (Score 1) 405

I agree. But - as I stated above - on the machines were the assumptions for improved hardware were true, like hardware able to play decent games of that time, Vista was a blessing compared to XP:

Better performance and a 64 bit version that was compatible with 32bit programs (XP 64 bit was laughable), better security, (EAC was a security improvement although it came up too often), easy to work with an administror and a restricted user account (not really possible for many programs on windows xp).

Vista was not that bad if the hardware met the design goal for Vista when it was developed.

Comment Re: Windows Mojave (Score 1) 405

Not on a 64bit system with at least 8 GB of RAM. YMMV, but on a PC able to run a modern game of those times with everything cranked up the performance and security improvements were significant.

XP on 64bit was an incompatible laughing stock and it was ugly and insecure.

Speaking of Vista 64bit on decent hardware with separated user and admin accounts they actually did a really good job compared to XP except for the UAC prompt that came up too often. Windows would sit on about 3 GB of RAM for optimal performance, leaving the rest to applications and games. Windows XP was never really able to be run as a restricted user without some really ugly workarounds like scripts that made you admin, let you install stuff and make you restricted again. Switching to the admin account and installing programs broke the program for the restricted other user account.

Vista 64 bit was decent on good hardware compared to windows XP.

Do not believe anything you hear.

Windows NT, 2000, XP and Vista all needed more RAM and more cpu power compared to their previous versions. But since XP was there for ages people forgot this simple rule. Or they were playing around with the laughable windows 9x or ME versions that crashed often simply because a program crashed and couldn't really handle multitasking.

Windows Vista needed better hardware and the amateurs running crappy hardware complained. But it was an improvement over XP on many levels and since SP 1 it was OK. Remember: XP was total crap until SP 3 that did at least something to address the large security hole that XP RTM or SP 1 or SP 2 was.

And for XP home there is no way to describe what an ugly security letdown it was to restrict users from editing the access paramaeters for files or folders. There was no security until you upgraded to XP pro or edited the access parameters manually. OK, if you were doing the windows homepro hack, things improved. But that was a crude hack, although MS had no problems with it licence wise.

Windows 7 focused on lower hardware performance and the UAC and further improved on security.

But: Vista was not nearly as bad as the nitpickers said. Quite the opposite. But it was in need of hardware. But this was nothing new to people that were using the better Windows Line for years.

Comment Re: ... and the hype for Windows 10 begins.... (Score 1) 405

Parent is right. Windows 8 was broken, it was fixed by the complaints from the evil "nitpickers". The options grandparent mentions that make his system usable were intruduced to pacify the critics that had complained about the usability of using Windows 8.0 RTM on a System without a touchscreen.

The first improvements were intruduced in Windows 8.0 after the release because people complained louder than usual. It wasn't the typical bitching about every new Windows version. That was to be expected. But even people open to new OS or friendly towards Microsoft were complaining and backed up their claims with screenshots and really bad user experiences. People were fired.

Try it: Install Windows 8.0 in a VM on a desktop machine with keyboard and mouse and no touchscreen and do not install upgrades. Try it out. It really is a bad user experience.

Windows Vista was not the mess the nitpickers suggested. But Windows 8.0 RTM was a usability desaster, especially without a touchscreen.

Windows 8.1 was a response to the critics of Windows 8.0 and focused further on the desktop experience. Windows 10 brought back the start menue and tried to address the inconsistencies still present in Windows 8.1. Eg. there are some settings available only on the touch ui and some settings only available on the control panel for the desktop ui.

Windows 10 focused even more on the consistency of the user experience for touchscreen, desktop and hybrid devices. And they made it free for Windows 7, 8 and 10. While I agree that MS wants to reduce the zoo of Windows versions out there and lure people in their Windows store, I am still convinvced that this step was also neccessary to win back still annoyed Windows 8.x users and lure Windows 7 users to the newest OS.

Windows 10 is no longer as bad as the critics of Windows 8.x told the Windows 7 users. Another reason I assume for the free upgrade might be to reduce the transitional costs for companies that switch from Windows 7 to 10. If people use Windows 10 at home the transitional costs to upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 are reduced significantly.

Companies may have upgraded from vista to seven, but most skipped 8.x alltogether because the usability was nearly as bad as the nitpickers said. In my company, every new Windows since Windows XP was rolled out in two years time, because the transitional costs are less from (Windows version) +1 compared to bigger steps. And it is already clear that Windows 10 will be rolled out.

MS implemented a direct upgrade path from version 7 to 10 for a reason, even if companies opt for a fresh install.

Comment Re: So that means it's free to everyone (Score 1) 281


For instance, MS bought the company that was about to make the best looking game at the time for the PC and made it xbox-exclusive for years. And they did a lot of "xbox-exclusives", that would have run better on their own OS than it would ever on the xbox. An OS people paid for. And considering "pro" and "ultimate" it wasn't that small of an amount.

The the diversification of the installed directx-versions by making the newest directx exclusive to their newest OS was stupid and destructive for the pc as a gaming machine as well. In order to lure some hard core pc gamers to buy their newest OS (we are not that many) they degraded the experience for anybody else. This made the technical game support even more to a nightmare than it was before, when every Windows still supported would get the newest directx.

Oh yes, the xbox-controller is available for windows. But the driver does not even support the f...cking power off button. Switching between wasd and the controller? Go to the menu of the game and switch the controller off or don't be annoyed by the force feedback-vibrations on your desk or take the battery out.

Yes, the decline in pcgames was partly because people don't want to deal with all the hassle before a game starts on a pc. And many are fine with a tablet for browsing the internet, so the pc basis was reduced. But MS did anything it could to make pc games even more frustrating. For short term profits.

But MS is not apple, they mainly sell Software. So I understand that they limit windows 10 to already paying customers or registered beta testers instead of the whole world.

No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz