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Comment From an unnamed Oxford lecturer (Score 2) 376

"nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest use to you in after life â" save only this â" that if you work hard and intelligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view is the main, if not the sole purpose of education"

Comment Re:Redefining words so we can make a "discovery" (Score 1) 141

I learned in school, 40 years ago, a continent is a big plate floating on the earth magma. That is actually a pretty strict definition. Plates are called "continental shelf", mere islands like Hawaii or Japan are not on a continental shelf.

No idea why the english/american wikipedia article disagrees, I guess because it is written by hobbyists?

Now it seems some scientists argue that NZ has its own shelf ... if that it is the case: it is a continent.

Comment Re: Hiding of recording abilities is crucial (Score 1) 139

Juist because it is not clear to you what is allowed or not does not make it unclear for the people making the decisions.
This is like so much under civil law: An arbitrary, idiosyncratic decision that does not provide any real insight into how the next decision about a similar example should be made.
And how is case law or if you aim more for criminal law different?

Why you hint VOIP Apps could or should fall under the "not allowed" category is beyond me. Especially as the rules are made for devices, not for Apps.

Are laptops with microphones allowed to use WiFi or not?
As soon as you find one that can be remotely triggered to activate the microphone and convinced to sent the voice to you, I would assume yes. (And yes I know about laptops where bugs like this exist and that some experts claim every laptop/computer with camera can be easily hacked to do that.)

The problem with the Doll is probably not that it offers the ability per se, but that it is hackable and furthermore that it was probably disguised as an A) and now was found to be a B)

I mean a Doll that clearly claims to be baby phone via the mobile App, would probably have no issues at all: provided it follows simple security standards e.g.

But why do you care? I don't ;D pffft.

Comment Re: Hiding of recording abilities is crucial (Score 1) 139

This is factually wrong. This doll doesn't work like that,
The argument in the article is: the doll works like that. It gets activated by someone else and then sends the audio that it captures to that one else.

phone can capture audio and transmit it to another phone even more easily than this doll can.
No it can't. No idea what is so difficult to grasp. My phone can not use BT to activate the microphone on your phone and convince it to sent all audio it picks up to my phone via BT. For that to happen you would need to have an malicious App on your phone and BT activate, and I need to be the one knowing about it and how to exploit it. And you can't do the same trick with my phone neither, I have no such App, and BT is deactivated ...

Why did it approve this doll for sale in the first place?
It is most likely not approved because the "voice transition" feature to unknown malicious partners was not "known" and hence the vendor/manufactor did not even ask for a license. Or, it is approved, but then again the same argument holds: it was unknown at time of approval that it easy can be convinced to transfer voice to devices that are not paired upfront ... or whatever.

and in particular that it is "NOT A COMMUNICATION DEVICE" is silly. Talking is one form of communication.
Well, with nitpicking you don't win arguments, you only make you either look silly (very silly) or make you enemies.
My elaboration was about "communication via radio waves between two devices" That is actually pretty clear.
That the Doll talks to children and "understands" simple phrases and hence is "communicating" with the child has obviously nothing to do with radio waves, telecommunication etc.

You still have not explained why the doll is considered a hidden surveillance device, but a phone in your pocket or a smart TV is not.
And why should I explain that? I explained very clearly the laws divide devices in group A) and group B). I don't care which device is in which group.

A phone is a phone is a phone. Plain and simple. It is not looked at and some one asks: uh, can that be used as a hidden spy device? The law simply defines: the phone is ok.

Facepalm. Why are you nitpicking over something stupid like this?

Car analogy
Car with a driver with a proper license and insurance: ok.
Self driving car: not ok

Uber analogy
Driver with a commercial person transport permit: ok
Driver without such a permit: not ok

Rifles analogy
Rifle with only limited automatic fire: ok
Rifle with unlimited automatic fire: not ok

Your question is simply silly.

As far as I have seen, this doll only transmits audio to an attacker if the attacker exploits a bug in the Bluetooth interface to run malicious software on the doll.
No, he is running the standard software on the Doll ...
The doll is attackable, hence its license, if it ever had any, is void as the BNetzA argued in their press notice.
The same would happen with your phone or smartTV ... a no brainer. So why do you raise them as example?

Any device with a microphone and a radio can have the same kind of behavior due to software bugs.
Of course it can. Facepalm.
And when it happens AND GETS DISCOVERED the BNetzA will place such a device from category A) into category B)

As soon as the bugs are fixed the device can be put back into the other category.

What are you arguing about? Having laws and arbitrarily ignoring them just: because ...????????? I mean you are asking the people working at the BNetzA to neglect their duty. They can be sued for that. Why not let them do their duty?

Comment Re:Base load (Score 1) 194

You are unfortunately mistaken. I understand thermodynamics very well.

So the only two rules/laws that you could remotely abuse and declare universal are:
a) entropy increases over time
b) the energy of a closed system is constant

Both laws are not suited to describe anything of relevance in a pumped storage plant. So if someone claims, as my parent: "Laws of thermodynamics dictate that efficiency of a pumped storage can never exceed X%" then he is wrong. The next best sentence than usually is: friction. And: friction is not part of the realm of thermodynamics, it belongs to mechanics. Just for your interest.
b) would not apply because the system is not closed, not even the combined energy of two pools that never get refilled by rain etc. describe a "constant energy" (or even closed) system.
a) true, but not relevant as translated into this problem it only would mean: wait till the end of the universe and all water will be in the lower basin. In other words: the so universal everywhere valid law: is pointless in this case. Hence: it is obviously not as universal as people like you claim.
Wow, that was so easy again.

I already gave you the layman's summary about TLOTD, and more no one who is not working in the topic needs ever in his life: "as soon as a form of energy is converted into heat, it is extremely difficult/impossible to convert it back into another energy form."
And: that has nothing to do with the theoretical or practical limits of thousands of topics in engineering and or physics. E.g. "photo electric effect", or electric engine, or charging a capacitor or transmitting electric power over a cable ... or for that matter: sending a probe to Jupiter.

The book seems interesting, though. Perhaps I buy it anyway.

Comment Re: Hiding of recording abilities is crucial (Score 1) 139

I did not say or meant to say that the law makes. I tried to explain what the law is.

The law divides devices that use radio waves for transmission of voice into two big groups:
A) allowed, partly with restrictions, like requiring a license e.g. for VHF radios on boats
B) not allowed

As the law right now is, the interpretation of "Die Bundesnetzargentur" is: such devices fall into category B. The mentioned agency is the agency that grants licenses for A) if the person passes the tests (in case a license is needed, as for naval short range radio certificate (SRC) ). It is somewhat equivalent to the US FCC and NCTA.

To get the parliament to change the law for such a trivial case, especially when every member will be aware about the bugs that allow the eavesdropping: is basically zero.

Comment Re:ECC (Score 1) 263

No boot ROM means that a hardware device constructed from discrete logic and analog chips directly demodulates digital data from the radio, addresses the memory, and writes the data. Once this process is completed, it de-asserts the RESET line of the CPU and the CPU starts executing from an address in memory. Really no ROM!

Comment Re: Hiding of recording abilities is crucial (Score 1) 139


you are either the stupids nitpicker I have ever heard of or simply don't want to grasp it.
This doll is no more capable of picking up my phone's microphone input than your phone is
Facepalm, no one said this. However my phone is able to pick up what you are talking if the Doll sends it to my phone ... and that was the point.

What you say about our phones is irrelevant anyway, but I give you a hint: a phone is a device that is PURPOSELY designed to allow wire less COMMUNICATION via radio waves. It has a FCC number e.g. and gets in EVERY COUNTRY where it is sold an APROVEL, or can't be sold.

That doll is SUPPOSED to be a DOLL and NOTHING MORE. The Bluetooth chip involved might require an FCC number, too. No idea. The doll is NOT A COMMUNICATION DEVICE. Correct?

However the doll can be ABUSED as a COMMUNICATION DEVICE. That is illegal on several ends first the owners don't know it, secondly it has not the required LICENCE as a COMMUNICATION DEVICE.

To make it half way legal and your point halfway correct, the Doll needs at least a license/ist own FCC number to be legaly used in "consented communications". Every BABY PHONE has such a license. Why not the Doll???

And then finally, why you don't want to grasp the fact about the secret spying, is beyond me. It is ILLEGAL to OWN devices that have the sole PURPOSE to be used for EVESDROPPING for everyone except LAW ENFORCEMENT (under order of a judge!)

This all has nothing to do with the question if the Doll had a build in mobile phone, uses Bluetooth, uses Wifi or is an UHF radio. The simple fact that it is transmitting voice is the start of the legal problem chain.

And instead of arguing wether the german agencay that pointed out that those devices are illegal is right or wrong, I would suggest to check your own laws regarding that first.

E.g. start with: http://www.wikihow.com/Get-an-...
Wow, you need a license to operate a powerfull radio transmitter. In Germany you unfortunatly need basically for EVERY apparatus that does transmissions a license. Either the one producing the device. or the owner, or both.

I guess as soon as the software bugs are weeded out the doll simply counts as sophisticated baby phone, and all is fine. So what is your proble?

Sorry for the random capitalization of singel words, but this is IE under Win 10, it is autocorrecting bullshit and I can not see all mistakes (because the whole text is red)

Comment Re: Hiding of recording abilities is crucial (Score 1) 139


if you think I don't write coherent, then let me ask 2 question:

a) did you even read the summary?
b) did you read the article?

My phone can not be used as mobile radio to pick up your phones microphone input and transfer that microfone input as "wireless signals" that happen to be BT and then play them back as audio on my phone.

If I gift you such a doll, and you think "what a silly gift" and put it on your desk: I can spy on you. Such spying and using such devices for spying is illegal. It is exactly the same thing as if I hand you nice looking stone with a "bug" inside. That it uses Bluetooth in this particular context is irrelevant, every "wireless transfer method" would fal under the same argumentation. Was that now coherent enough?

Sorry, I only try to explain, and really grasp what you want to know. Obviously you have done neither a) nor b) above and just sidejumped into the discussion.

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