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Comment Re:It really is Google's fault (Score 1) 111

Google should have created an OS architecture that allowed for it to push its own security updates while leaving the aesthetic aspects and third party apps of the phone vendors and carriers alone (unless they were fundamental to the security problem).

If there were a clear dividing line between "aesthetic aspects" and "things fundamental to the security problem", that might be feasible. The Android One project has actually tried to draw such a line, but none of the big OEMs are happy with where Google drew it. They want lots of control.

Comment Re:This is an Android Problem (Score 1) 111

I don't see why Google can't figure it out

(Android security team member here)

It's not that Google doesn't know how to do that. It's that Google can't do that while also having a free and open source OS. Every piece that's moved out of the OS and into Play services is another piece that is no longer open. Moreover, if Google does too much of that sort of thing and removes the ability of OEMs to customize and differentiate their devices, they'll ignore Google completely, filling in the missing bits with their own code. Removing components from the OS is a last resort, not a first choice.

What makes things worse are carrier specific builds. Apple managed to do tell them to F off, Google should too.

AFAIK, Google doesn't do carrier-specific builds for Nexus devices (though I know there is some carrier-specific testing). Google can't control what other companies do. Their devices have to pass the tests to prove compatibility or they can't use the Google apps (including Play, which is the biggest carrot), but that's the full extent of the control Google has.

Comment Re:Even if you disagree with the judge . . . (Score 1) 147

The general thrust is: You can't help people commit crimes.

True, but if you do help someone commit a crime, then you should be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit a crime, not money laundering. This guy was prosecuted for money laundering and the judge said "this ain't money laundering". If they want to prosecute him for conspiracy, they may have more luck. My guess is they went with money laundering because they thought it was easier to prove or because it had heftier penalties.

Comment Re:Even if you disagree with the judge . . . (Score 1) 147

The reason banks care is that they want to make sure you didn't borrow your downpayment from another bank. So the red flag for them is not the amount or the claimed source, but how recently you got the money. If the cash has been sitting in your bank account for several months -- and doesn't show up as a loan on your credit report -- they're happy to assume it's yours.

So, if the AC's parents gave him the 100K and it sat in his account for a few months, the bank probably wouldn't ask many questions about it. Twice I've used the proceeds of stock sales as part of a downpayment. I sold the stock just a few weeks before the purchase so the lenders *did* question the source of the money and I had to provide documentation to show that it was from a stock sale.

Comment Re:It's not money (Score 1) 147

In many parts of the world, and especially in India, gold is indeed widely used as an "ultimate" store of value. Go to Dubai and you'll see the immegrant workers buying "genuine guaranteed" ingots to take back home

Yep, it has worth because lots of people believe it does. Same as fiat currencies... gold just has a longer history of being considered valuable, so people think less about the fact that its actual value, in terms of stuff you can make/do with it, isn't actually that large.

Comment Re: They did the same thing for dual booting Linux (Score 1) 366

From what I recall, the thing that triggers exponential delays upon reboot that can tie up the computer for days is when you do something like:

1. Boot into Linux

2. Back up an entire Windows C:\ drive into a gigantic tarball

3. Perform the annual Windows Reinstallation Ceremony

4. Spend the next two days installing updates, half of which could have been avoided if Windows weren't too fucking stupid to install SP1 FIRST, instead of installing 430 updates that are actually PART of SP1 and would have been included in it ANYWAY.

5. Boot into Linux

6. Unpack the tarball of your old C drive in its entirety into c:\oldC

7. Reboot into Windows. Windows sees a few hundred million files in c:\oldC with invalid GUIDs, and spends hours/days rebuilding its ACLs.

Or... if you want to watch Windows REALLY hang for a week, fill a 4 terabyte drive with severely fragmented files, then boot into Linux and use a program to do a full offline defrag. Windows will take SO LONG to complete the next boot (assuming it ever DOES), any time savings from the new, efficient organization will be consumed a hundred times over waiting for Windows to finish loading.

Comment Re: Basically... (Score 1) 333

You can coax Windows 10 into letting you install and run Windows Media Center, but everything DRM-related is broken under Windows 10. So no DVR'ed HBO (or other channels, depending on how aggressively the cable company sets COPY_ONCE flags... some, like BrightHouse in Central Florida, flag fucking EVERYTHING, including local channels that are free with an antenna).

The biggest problem with Windows Media Center 7 is the fact that it had few compelling uses until the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime (HDHR3-CC) came out around 2012 and FINALLY made it possible to use WMC as a DVR for cablecard-protected cable content like HBO. By the time many of its current biggest fans and most hardcore users even realized that it EXISTED, it was technically an abandoned legacy product. As a direct result of the HDHR Prime, WMC has the distinction of being literally the ONLY way to own a DVR without monthly guide subscription fees that's compatible with channels like HBO.

Personally, I think SiliconDust was slightly crazy for deciding to try and roll their own Linux-based replacement for WMC, instead of just buying the sourcecode and rights to WMC from Microsoft (kind of like the way Citrix did with Windows NT 3) and taking over its development. It would have been a win-win for both of them... SiliconDust would have had the DRM engine that already works perfectly ready to go, and Microsoft could have sold more xbox 360 and xbox one systems to people buying them almost entirely to use as DRM-compatible Media Center Extenders. At the very least, SiliconDust should have solved the DRM problem (the one problem that I, as a consumer, am utterly powerless to solve on my own) FIRST and gotten it to work as a bunch of scriptable commandline apps without a real UI, and THEN worried about assembling it into a consumer-friendly DVR app, instead of spending 2 years developing a product that's still behind Kodi, and has no hope of supporting DRM'ed cablecard shows anytime soon. Microsoft was able to somewhat bully CableLabs into playing nicely with them. SiliconDust doesn't have that kind of power, and by all appearances it looks like CableLabs is doing its best to wear them down and deflect them as long as possible (because CableLabs is owned by Cable companies, and exists solely to further THEIR agenda... like forcing customers to pay $15+ per month in perpetuity for a DVR, instead of being able to buy one and show the cable company their middle finger).

Comment Re:They did the same thing for dual booting Linux (Score 1) 366

I think it's mostly a NTFS thing. Back when 99.9% of files were under 4 gigs, I just put all of my data on a FAT32 volume.

I believe the problem got worse sometime around Vista or Win7, when Microsoft started applying "special" permissions and restrictions to directories like c:\, "c:\program files", anything that's a subdirectory of c:\users, etc.

I'll freely admit that doing things like sharing Thunderbird data files between Linux and Windows was known to be suicidal even in the "good old days", but at least back then you could edit a Windows .ini file under Linux without having Windows blow up due to permissions problems the next time you booted. There were more than a few times when I successfully repaired a borked Windows installation by booting into a Linux live CD and fixing the mess Windows itself wouldn't have allowed me to fix. Now, fixing a borked installation of Windows by booting into Linux has become almost impossible. Even if you fix the original problem, Windows will invent new problems of its own and STILL refuse to start up.

I think the startup delays occur because the Linux version can't spoof Windows' auditing metadata, so Windows notices that someone was editing files it regards as its sovereign property and runs scandisk on them to re-analyze the permissions and ACL metadata. Prior to Win 7 (maybe Vista), Windows didn't particularly care about that metadata unless you had the system locked down by policy, but now it enforces it vigorously. Kind of like how I had a full-blown domain-based Samba network back in 2000 that worked perfectly, but ever since Vista and its fucking homegroup bullshit, it seems like I have to spend 20 minutes fixing Windows' latest self-inflicted breakage every time I need to access a file on the Samba server from under Windows.

Comment Re:If you think Twitter is bad... (Score 1) 107

Most jobs

People have passwords for things other than their job. Hopefully, they don't use the same one for their DoD job and Slashdot.

I have 110 uid/passwords for various accounts (everything from banking to Netflix) stored safely (encrypted, pass-phrase protected) on a portable device.

Comment They did the same thing for dual booting Linux (Score 4, Interesting) 366

Ten years ago, it was relatively straightforward to install Linux in one bootable partition, install Windows in another, and share data partitions between them.

Try that now, and you'll be forced to wait somewhere between 20 seconds and a week every time you boot into Windows after writing to a NTFS partition. Every. Single. Goddamn. Time.

It's gotten so bad, I know people who've set up a NAS just to keep Linux and Windows from directly touching each other's files.

The fucked up licensing for exFAT is another example of Microsoft making it intentionally hard for Linux and Windows to directly share hard drives. It's damn near impossible to get proper exFAT support under Linux, using ext2fsd under Windows is slightly brittle, FAT32's inability to deal with large files has gotten too annoying, and Windows goes full-on psychotic whenever it notices that someone else has been touching a NTFS filesystem it regards as its sole property.

The NTFS problem is particularly frustrating, because it's the only modern filesystem we have LEFT that works under both Linux and Windows. Unfortunately, Windows enforces limits on NTFS filesystems that go above and beyond the limits imposed by NTFS itself. It's absolutely possible to get a NTFS filesystem into a state that's completely legit as far as NTFS is concerned, but Windows won't touch with a 40 foot pole.

I've personally been living dangerously and using ext2 via ext2fsd, but when you do that, it's REALLY easy to accidentally mangle or delete files by mistake... especially if you go a step further and try to selectively move certain special directories, like "my documents" and "my pictures", to the ext2 volume. Moving personal special directories is semi-undocumented black magic to begin with, and it doesn't take much to end up in Windows Permissions Hell (where not even a user with admin rights can touch a file, and attempts to recursively take ownership of files in a directory STILL fails because Microsoft decided to treat unknown ownership GUIDs and permissions as "deny everyone, INCLUDING administrator".

God, I miss the days when being a local admin was as good as being root under Linux. Under recent versions of Windows, admins are more like Orwellian "outer party" members who can do slightly more than proles, at the cost of having their every move watched and second-guessed by the inner party. Microsoft needs to add a third option to their "access denied, contact your administrator" that says "I *am* the Administrator!"

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