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Comment Mediatek and ADUPS (Score 2) 91

All of that will not help you in the slightest if the chipset vendor baked in spyware. Mediatek is the master of the cheap chipset, and they have compromised the OS in both Russia and the US with dozens and dozens of OEM devices.

[BLU] phones were regularly sending bunches of personal information to servers in China: text messages, call logs, contact lists and so forth. After more investigation, it came to light that this was happening via a low-level piece of software called ADUPS.

When Google had previously updated its systems to check for ADUPS, MediaTek (they make the chipset in millions of low-end phones) simply modified their system software to evade Google's checks. Nice one MediaTek!

Comment Say hello to CVE-2014-6041 (Score 1) 70

And in not disclosing that it is using both, it opens many, many security holes on older platforms. Furthermore, we don't know how much work is being done by the local Webcore, and what sort of hostile traffic that Presto might send to it.

Avoid this browser in those cases. It is not safe.

We should all be looking at Tor at this point.

Comment 3rd party code (Score 4, Interesting) 70

One common reason is 3rd party code, which they may have licensed and do not control or own.

Alternately, the code may still be seen internally as useful, which it is with Opera Mini. It is still used to generate revenue, and may contain what Opera considers to be trade secrets that give them an advantage over a competitor (i.e. Amazon Silk).

Comment Opera Mini is Webcore, not Presto (Score 3, Insightful) 70

If you set the "data savings" option down from extreme to high in the settings menu, the scanner at will report Webkit, not Presto. The Webkit version will be whatever is included on your device (Webcore). If you are running KitKat or Jellybean, you will see lots and lots of security problems with your Webcore, since they date from the end of the XP era, and haven't been updated since.

I believe that Presto would be installed at Opera's corporate systems, and it would feed a compressed stream to the Webkit used by Opera Mini.

Opera Mini could not be so small and include both a complete rendering engine and links to Webcore. They essentially cheated.

Comment Microsoft spyware purge (Score 5, Informative) 502

If you disable the "recommended updates" you don't appear to get any of the "old" telemetry - but it may all be back in the rollups and we would never know.

The old telemetry updates could be removed with the following:

wusa /uninstall /kb:Patch# /quiet /norestart

The patches to remove are: 3065988, 3083325,3083324, 2976978, 3075853, 3065987, 3050265, 3050267, 3075851, 2902907, 3068708, 3022345, 2952664, 2990214, 3035583, 971033, 3021917, 3044374, 3046480, 3075249, 3080149.

Comment And Candy Crush Soda comes free! (Score 5, Informative) 502

Microsoft believes that our PCs belong to them. They need to lose more market share.

The Windows app store is not something that we all want. It should be an optional add-on for all versions of Windows.

Some of us also like Aero. Windows 8 removed Aero simply because mobile devices could not run it well in Windows RT. We are asked to give up Aero solely because of Microsoft's mobile platform that failed in the market and was essentially discontinued.

Microsoft, we refuse.

Comment Re:Apple should outsource to HP and Lenovo (Score 1) 228

I do remember the Power Mac clones, which wrapped up immediately after Jobs came back (long before OSX).

PowerPC systems were a major share of Apple's revenue back then. These days, OSX/x86 is greatly eclipsed by iOS/ARM. Until such time that Apple wants to (re)focus on x86, they can farm it out.

All x86 is farmed out anyway - this just moves the outsourcing higher up the management chain.

Comment Apple should outsource to HP and Lenovo (Score 3, Insightful) 228

Seriously, it would make just about everybody happy. The designs must use aluminium cases, and they must be approved by Apple before manufacture. The Apple logo will be on the cover, and the manufacturer's logo will be over the keyboard.

PCs are no longer Apple's core competence, and they should make moves to divest the function.

Problem solved.

Comment And they will be covered in spyware. (Score 4, Interesting) 183

The market leader for cheap phones is Mediatek, part owners of ADUPS, the wonderful partnership that recently siphoned off texts, location, and call logs from BLU phones.

This is the same Mediatek that was caught doing the same thing with dozens of brands in the Russian market.

The only way to use such a phone safely is an immediate wipe, followed by a 3rd-party OS install to the eMMC.

The market will shortly realize this.

Comment ftp, nslookup (Score 1) 202

I don't agree with you that Microsoft hated "all things UNIX." If you take the ftp.exe and nslookup.exe files from C:\Windows\System32 and run UNIX strings on them, you will see:

$ strings ftp.exe | grep Cali
@(#) Copyright (c) 1983 The Regents of the University of California.
$ strings nslookup.exe | grep Cali
@(#) Copyright (c) 1985,1989 Regents of the University of California.

Microsoft has certainly swallowed and ingested BSD UNIX code. It would not surprise me if the FTP source code contains fragments from Bill Joy himself.

Comment CMD should never have existed in the 1st place. (Score 3, Interesting) 202

Windows NT was designed by Dave Cutler, who chose C as the language for the NT kernel. It was the most significant impact of UNIX on NT.

Cutler also designed VMS, and likely had deep familiarity with "Digitial Command Language" (DCL) that is a well-built and powerful command processor itself (if you like writing your scripts in FORTRAN).

Cutler wanted to "get UNIX." Why he allowed a product as shockingly poor as cmd.exe to be written for the NT command shell simply baffles me.

The cmd.exe shell is described as a serial killer by Microsoft employees.

I also disagree with elevating BASH. Steven Borne disliked C, and retrofitted ALGOL on it, not only for the parsing syntax that became BASH, but also on top of the C compiler itself.

Cutler had a chance to see source code for multiple OS implementations and their parsers: RSX11, UNIX sh/csh, DEC DCL, and likely many more. How cmd.exe could have emerged from his group is quite simply beyond me.

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It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely used higher level language for systems programming. -- J. Sammet