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Comment: Re:Well ... duh! (Score 2) 23

by gstoddart (#48203317) Attached to: DHS Investigates 24 Potentially Lethal IoT Medical Devices

You don't have to harden your internet connected refrigerator against malicious attacks. Why? Because when you ask "what could possibly go wrong?" the answer is your food will spoil, and you will have to throw it out. It's not like spoiled food is not instantly recognizable.

See, anything which would allow a remote attacker to destroy your property and cause you to spend money is an indication than in internet enabled fridge is either a really stupid idea, or that it needs to be hardened.

So, other than some moronic social experiment of "information wants to be free so if you see what's in my fridge what's the harm" ... what the hell would I want one for? What benefit does it give me? It's just another stupid, insecure application which wants to tie into a smart phone so I can feel all hip and cool.

If some asshole hacking my fridge and spoiling my food (or, possibly my medication) is the price of having an internet connected fridge ... then why would I even consider owning one? What is the upside here for me?

You sound like you're willing to give manufacturers of fridges some kind of free pass to be incompetent/indifferent to security. I'm saying any manufacturer which is either of those two things doesn't deserve to get my money.

The same goes for my thermostat. And my lights. And my stove. And my freezer. If you're not taking security seriously, I'm not taking your fscking product seriously.

So, if the internet of things is predicated on terrible security, or being indifferent to it altogether ... then the internet of things is a bad joke doomed to failure. And, of course, things which are that bad at security make additional risks for other things.

If I have to firewall my fridge to make it useful, I won't connect it to the internet at all. If it pokes holes in my security and provides an access point to attack other things ... then I really don't want it.

To me there is no scenario in which I'm willing to accept companies being too damned lazy to care about security. Because that pretty much makes the devices not trustworthy from the start.

Comment: Well ... duh! (Score 1) 23

by gstoddart (#48203153) Attached to: DHS Investigates 24 Potentially Lethal IoT Medical Devices

If you are going to connect things to the internet, you pretty much need to harden them against malicious attacks.

So many of these things are done with the very naive "what could possibly go wrong?" kind of attitude where there's pretty much no attempt at security.

So many companies (especially some of the medical companies) treat security as something they don't need to worry about. The problem is if something is accessible, and people can muck about with it, they will simply because it's there.

It may sound like a movie plot, but if I know you have a particular kind of internet-enabled implant ... it's far easier to go after you from a distance than up close.

Sadly, while they're looking at the medical stuff, I'm betting there will still be a huge list of other "IoT' devices for which security is a complete joke, if not outright non-existent.

Which is why I have no interest at all in the Internet of Things. At present, it's marketing hype, which hasn't even begun to address basic security and privacy issues.

Comment: The holy trinity ... (Score 1) 143

by gstoddart (#48196201) Attached to: 'Microsoft Lumia' Will Replace the Nokia Brand

Embrace, extend, and then extinguish.

Nokia used to write good software, it just didn't happen to be Microsoft.

Resistance is futile, especially when the CEO gets parachuted in to make decisions which aren't good for Nokia.

It's hard not to think that the Nokia shareholders didn't essentially get robbed in order to benefit Microsoft.

Comment: Re:TOS violations (Score 5, Insightful) 217

by gstoddart (#48194943) Attached to: Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

Sadly, it doesn't work that way.

In their view, they're allowed to break any law they need to to do their job. But if anybody else breaks any law, they can and will use that to achieve their goal.

So, when Schwartz does it, they can trump up the charge to make something stick. When the DEA does it, it's business as usual.

In other words, the law as applied to us little people is not the same as applied to law enforcement. Because they, in their minds, are above the law.

Welcome to the dystopian future, where laws exist only at the whim of those who enforce it, and only apply to those who don't.

Law enforcement is above the law. That they'll abuse it all they want is kind of inevitable.

Which means you should assume that all forms of law enforcement will become completely corrupt and out of control -- like happens in every other banana republic in which the police decide what is legal.

Comment: Re:are the debian support forums down? (Score 1) 282

by gstoddart (#48176299) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Stop PulseAudio From Changing Sound Settings?

And, can you talk to people who have Skype with them?

Or are you thinking everyone you know is going to start using some open source product to talk to you because you say so?

If they're not compatible with Skype, then they're not replacements for it.

Open Source isn't always the solution, especially when they're not compatible with the things they're supposed to replace.

Comment: Re:I don't get it... (Score 2, Informative) 186

by gstoddart (#48164539) Attached to: Warner Brothers Announces 10 New DC Comics Movies

The people that go to them don't expect much and hence are rarely disappointed

Actually, prior to X-Men, we were regularly disappointed. Because everyone who tried to make a comic-based movie did a terrible job prior to that. There's almost not a single comic-based movie before this which treated the material well and didn't devolve into some corny parody,

Are they escapism and popcorn cinema? Absolutely they are.

But, what you can't argue with is the bottom line -- they make money. Lots and lots of money. When X-Men came out on DVD, the sales of the DVD were higher than the highest grossing films in the box office. That was the first time sales of a DVD had done that, and suddenly people stood up and took notice.

Disney bought Marvel for something like $4 billion dollars. I believe the Iron man films alone have brought in something like $4 billion dollars, and that's possibly before we hit the merchandising.

So, you may not like them (and nobody says you have to), but there's really no denying that the Marvel properties which have been turned into film since X-Men have generated huge amounts of money, have been seen by tons of people, and have even more films (and money) in the pipeline.

DC is hoping they can cash in on the action, but they may not have as many properties as people relate to, and if they don't have a "big vision" kind of deal where someone who knows the material keeps it such that the fans still watch it.

If they carve it up, do a bunch of things which don't go according to canon, or generally do a half job and expect to just roll in the money, they could be seriously disappointed.

Marvel has been smart, they know the rules and stories of their characters, and have entrusted it in the hands of people who actually know the material. Which means the people who want to see them don't find themselves halfway through a film going "no, that's not right".

Contrast this with the Spider Man series, which is a Marvel property but has been in the hands of Sony. They're on their second reboot of the damned thing. We don't want yet another Peter Parker origin story because you don't want to pay the actor. If that's all you have, just stop.

So, "pre sold to comic fans" isn't a gimme. If DC just acts all cynical and "give me the money", they might find they've made crappy films that nobody has any interest in seeing. Think Dare Devil and Electra.

The proof is in the pudding, and in the revenues. Just jumping on the comic book movie isn't a guarantee of anything.

Comment: Re:iOS 8.1? Already? (Score 1) 353

by gstoddart (#48161807) Attached to: Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Yeah, that's kind of my point. If you're releasing a major version a month or so before you launch new products, you'd hope you have the OS for those products squared away.

This sounds like they pushed out iOS 8, ran into problems and released iOS 8.0.1, and apparently 8.0.2, and then 8.0.3.

And now they're rolling out 8.1.

That is a lot of churn in a relatively short period of time. Which tells me I'm still going to wait a while, because I expect 8.1.1 or 8.2 to appear within a month or so.

Comment: iOS 8.1? Already? (Score 0) 353

by gstoddart (#48161677) Attached to: Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

Wow, so it wasn't much more than a month ago they rolled out iOS 8, and then bug fixes for it, and now iOS 8.1.

That kind of thing doesn't instill a lot of confidence.

I'm curious to know how many people have been holding off on upgrading to iOS 8 to begin with. I know I looked at it for my ipod touch and sorta decided to wait a little while and let it sort itself out. I think I'm glad I did.

"We are on the verge: Today our program proved Fermat's next-to-last theorem." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982