978 posts • joined Tuesday 16th October 2007 08:37 GMT
Re: I mentioned before
Not to mention the deliberate exploits the NSA put into quantum mechanics itself. You think you know what a transistor *really* does? Think again. They call it "spooky" action at a distance for a reason, you know.
Re: It is even slower than you say
>> bzip2 is 20% better than zopfli on enwik8 test
Wat? So Google have made a 100x slower compression that is already beaten by BWT from 20 years ago?
I guess they could add BWT and make it better, then? :)
Re: Mead is right. Look at climate 'science"
"why we are having the coldest winter for years"
Global warming does not imply local warming.
Re: While I Am An Old Fuck
You really should Google "high-power DAC" before making such a claim :o
In particular, a 1-bit DAC can kick out immense quantities of power.
Parties like it's 60% of 1999 might be more accurate.
Re: The law is an attempt to return to a bygone age
Well, exactly. That's what happens post-internet. Since we *are* post-internet, that's the situation. The genie is not going back into the bottle. Perhaps we should be more concerned with how we move forwards *given that* it's readily available, instead of trying to selectively maintain certain properties of a particular moment in time before the internet but after the invention of microfiche. (In fact, following your argument, I'm thinking microfiche may have been a really bad idea too. In fact, the very concept of an index is suspect.)
Re: Well reported.....
And of course the purpose of government is to take care of all the things no one cares about, to prevent it all going tits up. This is why you're forced to pay tax, rather than, say, just paying what you feel like towards things you care about today/this week/this month.
Re: Black Helicopters Herald in Programs and Pogroms, an Intelligence Coup?
First rule of El Reg: don't diss El Reg. I do so regularly and all my comments are moderated. They always seem to post my comments in the end, though, so I'm not sure why they bother. Probably to stop me getting into fights.
Second rule of El Reg: if you are going to criticize them, don't criticize them for being a red-top. They're a red-top on purpose. It's ironic - or at least it was. Now it's more self-parody. But, still, it's their identity, and you could no more have El Reg without that than you could have it without Orlowski's broadsheet-quality trolling.
Third rule of El Reg: amanfrommars has been here longer than you have. Even if you are amanfrommars - it's not clear it's even been the same person all this time. And I'm pretty sure his apparent schizophrenia is a put-on.
It's passing off, obviously, but
It's passing off, obviously, but what better way to stand in the shadow of the company that beat you in the market, than by mimicking one of their figurehead trademarks as a lame semi-joke?
Someone at Sony isn't thinking straight.
> > They'll say "Thanks very much" and promptly wrap it in proprietary licences so that they can gain the benefits and not the people who did the work."
The idea that your project fails *because people use it* is perhaps one of the strangest ideas to have come out of Stallman's head.
The idea that you have lost anything because other people are using digital copies of it in ways of which you do not approve is strange, to say the least (especially when you don't charge for it).
But the underlying idea that other people *should* only use your products in ways of which you approve - that this is something that is even desirable to enforce - is actually rather a disturbing notion. It's forcing your mind set onto others whenever you can acquire leverage to do so. It's certainly not remotely altruistic.
> > experience has shown that if proprietary companies get the opportunity they will abuse it and behave like parasites.
And yet, LLVM and Webkit have both seen major investment (including code submissions) from large companies like Apple, so it's hardly cut and dried that LGPL/BSD projects are this one way traffic from the kindly programmers in their bedroom to the big nasty corporations. The fundamental tenets of the "why" of the GPL are on very shaky ground if this kind of thing can occur spontaneously, wouldn't you say?
It invites the thought: maybe there is no "us" and "them" after all. Maybe there's just, like, people, man.
"there are no controls in place to prevent a male adult from claiming to be a 14-year-old girl who attends a local school. He could then quite easily befriend kids on the network and then use Graph Search for online grooming purposes."
Except by the time he's befriended one kid at that school he doesn't need to use Graph Search for this purpose. This is a fairly obscure reason to be afraid of Graph Search per se, vs being afraid of kids being on Facebook per se.
Photo caption fail
That's not where the earphone socket is on an iPhone. The iPhone 5 has it at the bottom and the iPhone 4 has it the other side. Oddly, the earphone socket doesn't occupy the same physical space as the camera. The power button is there instead.
Googling (2) was fun, but didn't answer my question ... why it is hard to parallelize efficiently? The FermiQCD toolset seems to be based on parallel matrix algorithms but I couldn't get a quick idea of the limitations there.
"the third page of (say) 4KB of mine matches the 100th page of yours"
This doesn't work. The chances of getting any matches is astronomically small even for 16B chunks. For 4KiB chunks it's as close to zero as you will ever get in any practical measurement situation.
My money is on the impossibility of doing what he claims they're doing. If the encryption method obeys certain constraints it is possible, but those constraints *seem* to imply a trivial plaintext attack revealing the key. Strong crypto algorithms don't have trivial plaintext attacks revealing the key. I look forward to a real cryptanalysis of the claim, but most cryptographers appear to have the same gut feeling as I do. *If* he has cracked this problem, someone in his organization is a genius, and that seems less likely than that he's simply lying his ass off.
Re: Oh no, not another ruddy software ecosystem :(
I'd like to see more details on how NaCl is supposedly secure, though.
Yeah yeah. Wake me up when the BBC shows a pair of tits before 9pm*, then we can talk about those prudish Americans.
* Ant and Dec don't count
Re: Should be doable
It's fairly obvious that this doesn't work. The block size has to be larger than the amount of data needed to store the pointer-to-duplicate, otherwise deduplication is more expensive in disc space. So it needs to be at least say 128 bits. The likelihood of two random 128-bit blocks matching is astronomically small. Even if you have 2^64 blocks to choose from (250 million TB of data) the chance of a match is still only 1 in 2^64. You'd have to match a 250 mega-TB corpus with another 250 mega-TB corpus to get an expected saving of 16 bytes total.
Re: Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs....
"If it's a fast ship?"
"You've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? I'm the guy who found a short cut to Kessel so it doesn't have to be fast."
Try again fanbois.
"There is no distinction in law between distributing GPL code that your employer claims to own and didn't give you permission to GPL, and someone who takes an internal company project - say, their latest proprietary software - and makes it public on the web for people to download and even encourages them to download it with a "fake" license agreement."
Even if it were legally the same (highly arguable), a judge is likely to view the two scenarios quite differently.
"lots of companies give things away"
Oh come now. A company isn't "giving away" stuff you have worked on in your own time on your own equipment. It has no moral right to that stuff anyway. The real lesson here is don't sign a contract that's so ridiculous as to assign things you work on in your own time to the company - or, if you do, accept that you have done that, and don't start a freakin' OSS project.
Anyway, as Asay points out high up, such contracts are often unenforceable depending on jurisdiction, giving further lie to the idea that it's "legally just the same" as selling pirated MS Office if you work for MS, which is illegal in all jurisdictions.
Re: not quite the same but...
Well you can make a Skype call on 30kbps according to their site, so if you can cram 96k into that I'd be impressed. The 90s phone system was running at 64kbps after digitization hence the fastest modems, at 56k, were making rather efficient use of the bandwidth.
Apropos of nothing, CD-quality audio runs at around 1200kbps so if you achieved the same level of efficiency you could send about a megabit from a phone to a line-out device, and half a megabit via line-in. So some pretty interesting non-official iPhone add-ons could be made (the helicopters are cool but only scratch the surface of the available bandwidth).
Re: Web fads and video games
"I'd associated the bigger players in the HD console age to be based up North (Rockstar, the late Studio Liverpool)"
My friends from Studio Liverpool will be impressed that you considered them a "big player", but Wipeout is hardly in the same league as GTA IV (think 100 times less revenue). Sure, there's a NW games industry, and Evolution in Runcorn deserve a mention, but it hardly outshines the rest of the country. Just on PS3 exclusive there's Media Molecule in Guildford, and Sony's London studio (far larger than Liverpool). Then there's Lionhead, also in Guildford. There's Braben's lot in Cambridge, there's still a large contingent around Leamington Spa, and I think Sega Racing is still going, just outside Birmingham. On middleware we have Geomerics in Cambridge and Havok - well we can't take credit for them since they're in Ireland. But I think RockStar North probably dwarfs the rest of the UK console games industry combined.
Re: Sign in to get this article?
Try here: http://bit.ly/UphVwt
I think the point of Bill's story was to fill a slow news day. The sarcasm wasn't subtle but then neither was the irony. Still, thanks for posting *something* to read today! :)
If I ever own a proper company I'm going to send press releases out on 2nd Jan. Can't fail.
Re: Is unsubscribing really the worst possible thing to do?
I think he's aware of the conceptual principle that a signal is sent back to the spammer; what he's debating is whether or not spammers actually use that information in practice. What you're saying sounds like nothing more than the same assumptions he's questioning.
As others have said, most reputable companies are spamming people, but you know who they are, and they have to honour unsubscribe requests by law. The rest is probably in your spam folder already. So the article's worry about "should I click unsubscribe" is probably unfounded IMO unless you're still besieged by 90s-era Viagra spam because you don't have any kind of modern spam filter.
I think the point the article is missing (by focussing on these quasi-paranoid maybe-issues) is that we need a new generation of spam filters that can do things like show you emails from a company you're sort-of interested in, but at a rate that suits you rather than them. For some reason everyone has upped the ante and is sending stuff way more often now (judging by my inbox) but I don't want to unsubscribe from all of them because actually I do want occasional reminders about that stuff, but maybe only every month, or only 6 weeks before Christmas. And I'd quite like to filter emails from Lego so I only see the Star Wars ones. Things like that.
Cheap, effective justice = DMCA takedown
"There is no cheap, effective access to justice for the photographer dad whose picture of his kid has been copied and defaced,"
Well since exactly this happened to me, I can happily report that there is. A DMCA takedown notice. Experience says Twitter, for one, will act on these within a week. Not much you can do if it spreads - the same is true for the big players too, and is the nature of the internet - but it certainly counts as cheap, effective access to justice for the cases where justice could potentially be served at all.
Not to rain on anyone's parade, but ...
Update: 12/21 22:16 GMT by S : Apple has relented. A spokesman for the company told Ars, "Our technical specifications provide clear guidelines for developing accessories and they are available to MFi licensees for free. We support accessories that integrate USB and Lightning connectors, but there were technical issues that prevented accessories from integrating 30-pin and Lightning connectors so our guidelines did not allow this. We have been working to resolve this and have updated our guidelines to allow accessories to integrate both 30-pin and Lightning connectors to support charging."
For my money Lightning is a vast improvement on micro USB and the old iPhone connector, namely that you can plug it in easily in the dark. And apparently it can carry a bunch of different signals based on a config chip in the plug. I'm not sure how well it will cope with trouser fluff getting stuffed into it over the months, though. The official cables are no more expensive than the old official cables either. We'll have to wait for cheaper knock-offs. A shame I can't make one myself, as I could with the older connector, but that's a minor blemish on what looks like a major improvement.
Re: Oh boy....
It doesn't need incentive; it's hard-wired to pick up spoken language.
Wow, just wow
Siri Proxy looks amazing. A few points, since it's not described in the article:
* It's a *proxy* for *Siri*. i.e. you do some DNS magic to make Siri go to your proxy instead of Apple. So, no jailbreak required.
* It can handle commands apparently specified in English (e.g. "open the pod bay doors, Siri", which I damned well hope this garage door opener uses, otherwise its creator loses major geek points!)
I think the story here isn't about a garage door opener, it's about SiriProxy, and maybe a bit about making that talk to a Pi, or Arduino. The sky's the limit for what you could do with this. Love it!
Suricou, sadly, makes a good point above about what happens when Apple start to encrypt Siri traffic. Although if you're reliant on this I guess what happens is you don't upgrade :)
Re: Photoshop in Spaaaaace!
A quick Google shows the asteroid has a rotation period of 5-7 days, so it would not have rotated significantly during the flyby.
This isn't like those sedate fly-bys of Jupiter and Saturn. Wikipedia says the approach was taken at 10km/s relative velocity with a closest distance of 3km. The asteroid is 4km long. If you scale that to human units it's like driving past a house by the side of the road at 60mph, and trying to get a clear picture of the front. (If you scale to Voyager units it's like flying past Jupiter at 1/2 the speed of light!)
They did have quite a good camera on board though, so possibly it was the problem of rotating it fast enough to track an object at that speed. Maybe the camera mount doesn't rotate at all, only the craft. Lots of issues to solve to get that picture.
Re: Ah, Friday fun :)
"So the bottom link is say 1m separate while the top link is only 1/2m separate"
Swap those two. The bottom is *less* separate; the top is *more* separate.
"(and they predict something else anyway - that the bottom rises up)"
Or it may fall :) It definitely doesn't seem to stay where it is for a long period of time.
Ah, Friday fun :)
If you model the static solution with lumped masses you get tension at a distance X links from the bottom of the spring is proportional to X. e.g. for 3 masses of 1kg connected by two massless springs and held up by a hand, tension in the bottom spring is 10N, the top spring is 20N, and the hand applies 30N (to balance the 30N weight of the device as a whole). So the bottom link is say 1m separate while the top link is only 1/2m separate. Effectively, each point is pulled down by the weight of the spring below, and that's more weight at the top and less at the bottom. It works just like undersea water pressure.
This is why you see in the video the spring starts out more stretched at the top and less at the bottom.
When that hand force disappears the spring will *not* compress uniformly towards the center of mass. In fact, the forces continue to balance for the bottom two masses while the top mass has a 30N downward force on it. Literally, acceleration of top mass is 3m/s and acceleration of all the other masses is zero. As the top link shrinks by X=1.5t^2 the second mass starts to experience acceleration of k.1.5.t^2 due to the created imbalance in the spring forces there. So that moves, and the bottom link shrinks, as Y=k/8.t^4 (integrate X twice). In other words, the acceleration of the second mass is zero, the rate of change of acceleration is zero, but the rate of change of the rate of change of acceleration is non-zero. The acceleration of the third mass has the 6th derivative of X be non-zero. For larger numbers of masses the final expression for the bottom link is something like k/N! * t^2N, which is "motionless" in anyone's book.
Once the top mass reaches the 2nd mass the spring force from above is now zero, so it's like the 2nd mass has been "released" in the same way the 1st one was, plus it gets an impulse from the collision. So now the situation is about the same, but one mass lower. Thus, we expect to see what the video shows - that the top mass is the only one which moves, until the spring force is eliminated, then the next mass starts to move, and so on. It's a highly non-linear situation.
So it can be deduced from Newtonian physics, but it's not a uniformly extended spring so the simple center-of-mass calculations don't work (and they predict something else anyway - that the bottom rises up). The center-of-mass will as usual obey Newton's law of gravitation but the behaviour around the CoM is not what you might expect. Anyone who claims this is not counter-intuitive isn't thinking about it hard enough ;) OTOH, papers describing what a game physics engine could figure out don't seem to be genuine "new physics" :)
@ Chris Wareham
"I found myself thinking that I'd rather shovel pig shit for a living than have to work on a code base where ideas from that book had been used."
Unreal Engine 3 used ALL of them.
Then wrapped them in macros for the win.
Your pig shit metaphor is too kind.
Re: which way is the sun?
I think the idea is that the pin is a pin in the map, not a huge Space Needle type affair in the real world that you megalomaniacally control with your finger. Hence, the shadows would depend on your local light source, not on the light source at the mapped location. You'll notice they also fail to render the map in black when it's nighttime at the mapped location.
The real shocker here is that they're not using the front-facing camera to determine the location of the light sources where I am to make the drop shadow accurate even for that case. Clearly, it shows they have no attention to detail. I for one wish Apple would finally show some interest in Skeuomorphic interfaces.
But does it vworp when switched on?
How can you review this without mentioning if it vworps when switched on? I can imagine the tears on a young boy's face on paying Mac-level prices for a TARDIS PC that doesn't vworp.
Although, mad props for the type 40 joke.
"with seven worlds in our Milky Way making the list so far"
Well I'd be impressed if they could detect a planet in Andromeda!
The weird thing
The weird thing is this leaf is asymmetrical around the SW/NE axis, while the leaf on the Apple logo on my phone is symmetrical around both axes.
And why trademark the leaf alone, when it's not currently a trademark? This suggests a rebranding, or an alternate branding. I think someone's missed the story here.
I'd say selection bias. The upvotes for the pro-RMS comments are due to a predeliction of people who follow the religion to be zealous about it. GPL people care enough to upvote that comment; non-GPL or anti-GPL people don't.
The existence of selection bias makes it hard to accurately gauge the demographic from the comments section. But the upvotes obviously prove the presence of a pro-GPL/RMS contingent which was either absent or less active a few years ago.
As for "pro-FOSS", that could mean pro-BSD and anti-RMS. FOSS is a rather wooly term and I'm not sure anyone is *against* having open-source software available :)
Re: Zero sum game?
"Having said that, treating the whole thing as a game and trying to apply "Game Theory" to stock markets was arguably the beginning of the whole sorry state of affairs in the first place."
"Game" is a mathematical term meaning a situation in which two or more parties have a conflict of interests. Stock markets were always a game in that sense. Using game theory doesn't imply "treating the whole thing as a game" in the sense of the English phrase "to treat something like a game". It just implies using strategies that have some sound mathematical basis.
Re: Random levels required
Lee, your two posts on this are remarkable in that they give a very good sense of why this is a very interesting problem and why it's an interesting game, yet you are simultaneously telling us how pastiched and boring both the game and the problem of playing the game are!
Re: Fake nonsense statistics based on flawed samples
50% of revenue going to 25 developers is not "flawed samples". You can't accidentally get a result like that through a few rounding errors. Rather, it's clearly indicative of a power-law distribution, and as such is completely expected in a system where there is no hard maximum value for revenue.
As for the idea that if there wasn't a chance of success, people wouldn't try ... see "The National Lottery". (There's an extreme power law - consider the proportion of payouts which go to ~52 people each year.)
But there is a very silver lining here. The key fact is, the *other* 50% is going to the other developers. Big software houses are not getting all the profits. The big software houses are getting half the profits and leaving half on the table for smaller fry. Half the profits not going to the big boys is very good news indeed. Compare this with the movie industry, the traditional computer game industry, or the recorded music industry.
It's still not brilliant news for everyone though. If it is a power law distribution, then the next 25% goes to the next 25 developers, the next 12.5% to the next 25 developers, and so on - so 94% goes to the top 100 developers. Still, even the remaining 6% of the App Store pie is a ton of money. You can in theory figure out exactly where you need to be in the pecking order to get $X revenue per month. And it's high, but not that high, which is why we do see many individuals being financially self-supporting via App Store. But the number of people who have failed to even make $50 back must be 10 or 20 times higher than this.
Shame no books were included, as Wintermute is surely the most interesting computer in sci fi, being a huge part of the plot of Neuromancer, and an actual protagonist of sorts. (Deus Ex fans will also remember Daedalus, which is more or less the same character.)
Ha, I've seen it over many years but it's only your post which made me realize why it's used.
"Charts using IDC numbers show how Android devices will comprehensively dominate the market by 2016"
In fact, the chart in that TechCrunch article shows Android comprehensively dominating the market in 2012. By 2016 there will apparently be 2x as many phones, but the ratio between Android and iOS stays about constant.
Since this is my industry, I do feel compelled to point out that the death of consoles is pretty much an accepted fact by now. There's no real debate about whether or not it's happening or is going to happen. The curve for console-based revenue is downwards, and has been for some time. There are zero startups in the console space. Studio closures are endemic. The specialist retail sector is imploding / has imploded. These are not the signs of a healthy industry.
Sure, we'd all love to believe that it isn't true, because there are significant problems to solve before GTA on iPhone is as fun or as playable as GTA on PS3. But it's likely these issues will be overcome over the years, and every step towards the solution is a nail in the coffin for consoles, I'm afraid.
Lies, damned lies, and economic theory
The problem with economics is that it's not a hard science, or even a social science. It's a bunch of ideas, some of which may appear to be backed up by evidence. Hence, sentences like this:
"With respect to the incidence of corporation tax, we have known since 1899 (when Seligman first pointed it out) that the company itself does not ultimately carry that burden."
are putting the cart before the horse. One does not simply "point out" the truth of one's ideas. One might argue them; one might even have some figures to back them up (although I'd hope that when accepting economic theories as timelessly true one might look for data more recent than 1899); but one does not simply "point them out". This sentence is merely appeal to authority in disguise, and the author invites us to assume that no one has ever substantively argued against this point; however even a light perusal of the 1899 work shows there was a huge list of competing theories even then. Are we to suppose the work in question was some kind of economic logic bomb that disproved 20 competing ideas in one fell swoop?
Overall, since the author's entire thesis rests on Victorian ideas about economics, I might happily reject it, as this stuff is "Economics 101" in the same way that Newtonian Physics is "Physics 101" i.e. it's all since been proven to be a gross oversimplification of the real world. The issue we're supposed to be talking about today didn't even exist in 1899, so how is some economist supposed to have predicted the correct resolution back then with no data and not even the same kinds of globalized industries? Please. You may as well tell us what the Bible says, or what Nostradamus is supposed to have foretold.
Re: Misguided article
Income tax and employee's NI come out of the salary, so 30-50% is not added on to the cost. Nice bit of double-counting there.
Any VAT paid on furniture, computers, software, energy, etc. etc. is recouped by the company. Companies effectively pay no VAT.
And you can't consider taxes paid on monies that the company once paid out as taxes paid by the company. Otherwise you may as well say all tax is ultimately paid by companies, and completely ignore the individual's contribution in terms of effort. Companies get value from all the things they buy, and that value is not taxed until it shows up as profit ... which is the problem with these tax avoidance schemes. The effort made by the individual is taxed yet again when he spends his salary, but that is *his* contribution to taxation, not the company's, thank you very much.
Remove all those taxes which you claim companies pay as costs, but which they do not, and what of your argument remains valid?
"It is normally lefties who can not understand any of this."
Thanks, I thought someone would know :) So, not an integer frame rate then (I make that 60.147Hz). So the precise clock rate still makes little sense, unless for some reason 15.6672MHz oscillators were commonplace and 15.6288MHz (for 60.000Hz) oscillators were hard to find!
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