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Comment Re: I do (Score 1) 166

Byuu has more detailed knowledge of the hardware quirks and is able to get more accurate dumps because he understands how the memory is mapped at a low level. His custom rig has already found several bad dumps that previously thought to be good.

And yet...he was okay with these being shipped by US Postal Service? I guess intelligence, experience and common sense can be compartmentalized.

Comment Re:Toys, toys, toys... (Score 1) 118

local administrative rights are needed by some software.

Well if need to have 2 laptops then I need 2 data cards with world wide data. Or is to ok use an hot spot for both?

This is less- and less-frequently true these days. More importantly, it's less-frequently true because companies are taking away admin rights, at which point they then notice which software is written this way. And in turn, that software often gets replaced by something that's better-written since it represents a security risk by confounding the business' need to properly control user access rights.

Comment You gotta be fucking kidding me. (Score -1, Redundant) 90

So...these people are angry that they were forced to give up, what...the iPhone 3? Whose cellular support tops out at 3G, which is barely even in existence any longer? Which didn't even have a forward-facing camera to do FaceTime in the first place? Which couldn't even do video in the first place?

Comment Re:And when people start hacking these devices? (Score 1) 59

These are small, battery powered devices. There is little that a "hacker" could do to hurt himself that he couldn't do better by sticking his tongue in a light socket.


So...on one hand, these are supposed to herald a bold new way of treating various disorders because its effects can be so powerful, but on the other hand, you couldn't possibly mess up and cause harm?

I don't think that kind of logic has ever been true, ever, about anything. Either it's inert or it's effective; inert has no upside or downside, while effective means it can be done incorrectly or abused, resulting in harm. Personally, I think the idea of zapping your own brain to alter your neurological functions is NOT a good idea from a "do-it-yourself" perspective. Some things are not suitable for unsupervised trial-and-error approaches.

As they say: if at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

Comment Re:At this rate, we'll have to go British style (Score 4, Informative) 152

I agree. A short cheap cable with an inline fuse could solve this problem. No reason to turn the function of a fuse into a fancy overpriced gadget.

No it couldn't.

USB-C is the standard that charges tiny little Bluetooth headsets and your MacBook. Same cable. It's also the standard that's supposed to be able to tell the difference between the big power supply for the MacBook and the little one that came with the Bluetooth headset, so that the MacBook knows that it's not going to get what it needs unless the big power supply is at the other end. Conversely, it also keeps the big power supply from totally detonating the Bluetooth headset.

The key to this technology is the ability for the cable and the devices at either end to essentially have a conversation about what's charging what. The problem here is when that conversation gets a bit garbled...and the capacity at one end and need at the other end are allowed to misalign, catastrophically. Sure, you could put a fuse inline to keep your Bluetooth headset from melting...but then you'd only be able to charge your Bluetooth headset with that cable. And the whole point of USB-C is about getting away from that paradigm.

Comment Re:Or just do this. (Score 2) 152

"Stop being cheap and buy known certified products from official channels"

Please, there's plenty of UL/CE-listed crap out there where the second you take the power transformer apart you can find violations.

Certification means jack shit in this day and age.

No, there's plenty of devices that have a fraudulent UL/CE stamp on them out there...there's a difference. The difference is in where you get your devices from...and recognizing that just because it's a major retailer doesn't mean that you're necessarily getting good product.

Comment Re:Or just do this. (Score 1) 152

Stop being cheap and buy known certified products from official channels in the first place, instead of cheaping out with items from Alibaba.

Exactly. I buy all my USB devices from Amazon, so I know I am safe.


I can't tell if this is sarcasm...because that's what this should be.

For example, a recent check of "Apple" chargers and cables on Amazon turned up that 90% of them were counterfeit...some of them dangerously made. And that seems all the more insane when you realize that there's only one Apple Computer, and yet Amazon doesn't seem to notice/check/even care about all the unsafe power adapters coming from a constellation of crappy little factories, when they could have a single unified stream coming direct from known Apple sites. Amazon does enough volume; they can do the homework and set that up.

Comment Re:Don't make the obvious mean joke (Score 2) 158

Show respect for the office.

I applaud you, Sir...for I was going to make some variant of the joke, but indeed your appeal to reason did work. Still, the temptation remains strong; it's hard to keep the respect for the office when the one who holds the office himself seems to lack such respect. But yeah...the higher road is like that, isn't it?

Bravo, Sir, bravo!

Comment Re:Shorter summary (Score 1) 146

we don't know that, for all we know they were one of those mongodb databases that got cryptolocker-ed.

Except that you're describing it wrong. Cryptolocker has nothing to do with the over 20,000 MongoDB databases that have been subjected to ransom.

Here's what's happened...and may well be the case in this particular instance as well. MongoDB, by default, has no controls on being able to write, read, or even delete information. If you make the database accessible via the Internet, odds are you haven't fixed that default state..and that's exactly what's happened to tens of thousands of public-accessible MongoDB installations.

Krebs on Security has an excellent writeup here:

Comment Re:Time to be pedantic (Score 1) 163

My argument is simple. A meter measures, nothing else (ignoring quantum physics). A device that controls the power in a house is not a meter. If such a device is called a meter is is incorrectly named, probably the handy work of a marketing department. Yes, I am being pedantic, but where I come from (New Zealand), smart meters are immune to the risk of property damage because they are meters and only meters.

Gee, that's swell...but you know these are real things we're talking about, being done by real people, yes? You don't get to just redefine the whole power grid to suit your ignorance of the industry because you could technically argue that something is no longer a "meter" because it has an on/off switch. Remote disconnect is an option on every major meter for sale today, and pretty much all of the minor ones as well...and it's an option that almost every meter in the field has because it's incredibly useful to the power company.

Comment Re:ftdi? sigh ;( (Score 1) 83

The problem is that they hit the wrong target. I don't blame them for wanting to block counterfeits, but they attacked people who had no way to know they were using a counterfeit. Basically, they mis-managed their channels to the point that a legit customer could make a good faith effort to buy the real thing at market price and still end up with fakes and no way to tell. FTDI had a way to tell but they wouldn't disclose it. Rather than fix their channels and help their direct customers to get the real thing, they punished people who had no idea what an FTDI was.

I see a bigger problem here. You've got a microcontroller that is ostensibly open-source hardware, but it's using a component from a company that most definitely swings hard in the other direction. Okay, so a USB-to-UART conversion option that is open-source hardware may not be available...but do you have to use one from a company that deliberately goes after clones in a way that punishes the innocent as collateral damage, too?

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