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Comment 3rd party drivers (Score 5, Interesting) 492

Who else's fault would it be that Windows requires 3x more support?

The vendors who supply the 3rd party drivers.

Macs are more reliable/require less support because there is very little a corporation or end user can add to it, to customize it beyond built-to-order. I've been building my own PC desktop machines for decades and I have had very few problems because I tend to carefully select the parts and use "better" rather than "less expensive" parts. However my PCs are sort of anomalies in this respect. When helping friends and family "debug" their PC problems the BSOD was usually coming from a 3rd party driver, from a second tier low cost vendor. By maintaining a higher degree of control Apple is less susceptible to such problems.

The secondary benefit of my BYO approach is that I have had very few Linux compatibility problems over the decades.

Oh, and Windows has been running natively (dual boot) very reliably on my Mac laptops for many years now.

Comment Re:Firmware must be signed by Apple (Score 1) 95

So the fallout to Apple would seem to be mostly limited to people being able to load alternative firmware, it would be a 'jailbreak' thing. And for a very small number of people law enforcement could access their phone when being 'searched'.

The former of which Apple simply does not want us to be able to do and the latter of which they want us to believe impossible. Oh, and it would be all law enforcement, as well as even the smallest of small-time hackers and data thieves.You do realize that, if the key gets out publicly (you know, since you mentioned people being able to load their own firmware), it's out there for everyone, right? Not just the good guys?

Of course, in case you forgot I wrote: "So its disclosure would seem to require physical access to the device to compromise it". Note that limits the number of hackers, and that they are also defeated by remote wiping. I assume law enforcement has some way to tell Apple not to remote wipe.

Comment Re:Firmware must be signed by Apple (Score 1) 95

I'm just guessing that Apple wouldn't do something so dumb as permanently burn a public key paired to a potentially (no matter how unlikely) guessable and (more likely) leakable private key into their CPUs, leaving themselves absolutely no way to revoke that key and replace it with a new one if someone cracks it or when someone leaks it. But, then, I don't know anything about security, I just work in the industry.

The key in question seems to validate only the firmware, other keys would validate other steps in the boot process. So its disclosure would seem to require physical access to the device to compromise it, or to compromise Apple's software update process which is secured with additional keys. So the fallout to Apple would seem to be mostly limited to people being able to load alternative firmware, it would be a 'jailbreak' thing. And for a very small number of people law enforcement could access their phone when being 'searched'.

Comment Re:Firmware must be signed by Apple (Score 1) 95

That's how Apple, a company with a habit of misleading consumers with regard to how their products actually function, claims it works. I'm not going to argue, because that's what the documentation says, but I also won't have a surprised look on my face (like you will) when it's proven false in a month.

You are absolutely correct. I will be incredibly surprised if Apple's more recent phones do not behave as described in Apple's documentation. When I have been shown to be wrong I will humbly pay for dinner for you and your significant other to celebrate your superior insight. :-)

Comment Have to counterfeit the processor to backdoor (Score 1) 95

There is no need to actually infiltrate the factories manufacturing the original ROM since you can just throw them away and install your counterfeit rom instead.

No, you have to replace the entire processor with a counterfeit. The first "ROM" that starts the chain of signature checks at each level of software is burned into the processor and can not be changed.

Comment Re:Firmware must be signed by Apple (Score 1) 95

Right, and Foxconn can't add their own signing keys to the devices when they're the ones burning the ROMs that hold them.

There is more than one "ROM", there is a series of them. The first "ROM" is burned into the processor. Foxconn does not operate the foundry that manufactures these processors. And it is probably part of the QA process to have Apple verify the ROM burned into the processor before they bang out a million of them.

"When an iOS device is turned on, its application processor immediately executes code from read-only memory known as the Boot ROM. This immutable code, known as the hardware root of trust, is laid down during chip fabrication, and is implicitly trusted. The Boot ROM code contains the Apple Root CA public key, which is used to verify that the Low-Level Bootloader (LLB) is signed by Apple before allowing it to load. This is the first step in the chain of trust where each step ensures that the next is signed by Apple."

Comment Firmware must be signed by Apple (Score 2) 95

Foxconn are the ones that build the hardware and install the software, they wanted to slip in a backdoor to idevices they are in the prime position to do it.

No. Firmware must be signed by Apple. Any substitution or modification (or a bit hit by an alpha particle) won't have a valid signature and the hardware will refuse to run it.

Comment Re:Not going to be very effective (Score 1) 221

You underestimate the creativity of corporals and sergeants to improvise some countermeasures. Not to mention the stuff you are describing is far closer to James Bond movies than reality. If you are going the movie technology route then why not give the troops small phalanx like systems mounted on humvees?

If you read the NYT article you will find the US military has already been addressing the issue but has not equipped the Iraqis and Kurds. Also now that they are aware the Iraqis are shooting down drones with small arms. The drones being used are consumer/hobbyist devices.

Also note that the ability to disrupt/degrade civilian GPS has been a feature since day 1.

Comment Useful for video games (Score 1) 159

Parent is right... what user wants to constantly look at the keyboard and then look at the screen, back and forth? Shortcuts like F1, F2 etc make sense rather than icons on the keys. This is just another superfluous technology, like $160 wireless earbuds.

Redefining the images displayed on the keys would be useful for video games. No bringing up the help screen to figure out what key some functionality is on. Just a glance down at the keyboard.

Comment Limited availability not a problem (Score 1) 159

It nice in theory, but I wonder how many software developers will put for the effort to add keyboard change functionality when the market is limited to those who have this keyboard. This is the chicken, we'll need the egg.

There is no backwards compatibility problem, no limited availability problem. The image displayed on the key may change but the character generated by the key can remain the same. Consider a video game that uses ASDW for movement. The displayed images could be changed to directional arrow while the keys still generate 'a', 's', 'd' and 'w' characters. So the only software change necessary would be to check for the new keyboard and if present update the key images for these keys.

Comment Re:Not going to be very effective (Score 1) 221

The attackers could send several drones from different angles ...

Which is sort of what happens on a skeet range, different launch points, different directions of travel, etc. :-)

... and program in a series of flight waypoints that take them between structures in the target area ...

Ah, choke points, put up a cheap bird net. The sort used to protect fruit trees. :-)

Comment Re:More Anaheim than Aleppo (Score 1) 221

Never fired a shotgon at a fast moving target (or at all?) have you.

Have you ever flown a drone? They don't just home in on a hidden target like in the movies. And if the target is in the open, you are much better off with the RPG.

If the drone is sort of an aerial claymore mine then precise targeting is not quite required.

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