1104 posts • joined Friday 19th October 2007 15:54 GMT
Re: Pathetic Munich misinformation
Come on AC - give us a link to the HP study paid for by Microsoft that 'proves' Linux was more expensive than Windows:
Microsoft need resellers
When you discover the software is not fit for purpose, you cannot blame Microsoft because you bought from a reseller. The whole reseller thing is about blame shifting and responsibility dodging.
Re: I'm not the pheasant plucker ...
... I'm the pheasant plucker's mate,
and I am here plucking pheasants
'cause the pheasant plucker's late.
Any more and there will be nine pleasant pheasant pluckers presently plucking pheasants on a pleasant pheasant plucking day.
Don't stand too close
Pick one of the isotopes of nickel from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_nickel an note its mass. eg ⁵⁸Ni: 57.9353429 amu. Add the mass of a hydrogen atom (1.007825 amu) and subtract the mass of the corresponding copper isotope (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_copper) ⁵⁹Cu: 58.9394980 amu. For this example the result is +0.00367 amu, so the reaction releases energy. Convert to MeV by multiplying by 931.494061 (3.4Mev) so the energy comes out as a gamma ray.
If we walk past the magic required to get nickel to absorb protons at a useful rate (1.8x10¹² reactions per second per Watt), we still need another spell to convert the gamma rays to electricity with 100% conversion efficiency. Consider some of the consequences of failure. Pretend to device is only 99% efficient at absorbing gamma rays. That still leaves 150kJ/second. If you stand 100metres away, you get a very lethal dose of radiation every second. (A 1cm thick lead shield drops the gamma ray intensity by 50%, so a useless 99% shield is equivalent to 6.5cm of lead surrounding the reactor). The other problem is generating electricity. The usual way to do this in bulk is that the radiation heats a liquid that drives a turbine that spins a generator. If you get 1.5MW of electricity out like that, you also have to have to get rid of 3MW of heat. Again lets use magic to get 99% conversion efficiency. That still leaves 15kW of heat. I did not see any fans on that container, so park it somewhere cool.
Alternatively, as no-one has died from radiation poisoning, you can safely assume this E-Cat does not use a nuclear reaction.
Except of course
At the time...
Labour in Japan was cheap - certainly compared to US and EU. The two keys to manufacture moving to Japan were quality control and investment. Shipping product half way round the world only to find it was broken wasted far more money than shipping it to another state. Also, the cost of repairs would depend on local wages. Japanese companies used investment to start selling at a low price. They used quality circles to feed problems reports back into the manufacturing process so that mistake were not repeated. This let the manufacturer get the cost down below the initial low price. Also, back then, patents were sometimes rejected for being completely obvious.
Back in the nineties ...
Downward pointing aircraft radars were set to highlight missing pieces of ground. Tanks using this kit would really draw attention to themselves.
Advertising illegal downloads
The lead-in with the girl downloading a film made an excellent advert for illegal downloading. I assume RIAA and MPAA want similar adverts in schools so they can do a Prenda.
Find a mirror with ftp access
The naming convention is easy to understand. Searching and downloading via ftp is far simpler than with the user hostile http site - and that was before people started complaining about the ads.
Anyone got the names of the 28 MPs?
I just wondered which ones the Security Services have the most dirt on.
... follow Steele and Hansmeier's example. I am sure the government will give away another £250 million to set up Prenda UK.
Anyone know ...
... what percentage of customers are driven away by analytics?
Please understand patents
In theory mathematics is not patentable. In practice anything can be patented. Software is mathematics, so it is not patentable. There is an explicit exemption that makes software unpatentable in the EU. To get a patent on software in the EU, you call it a 'computer implemented invention'. The RSA algorithm for public key cryptography is covered by (expired) U.S. Patent 4,405,829. The disaster with patents is that an infinite number of code monkeys can come up with an infinite number implementations without ever reading any patents, but they can still all be sued for infringement - even if they all have licenses for the litigated expired invalid patents.
The thing is, we have had the basic requirements for security well publicised for decades:
Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits.
You need all of these to give people the power and incentive to find and fix bugs efficiently, and to distribute the results. Without the source code, and the rights and tools to use it, you can find a thousand exploits, but still have to pay lock-in prices to the supplier to get anything fixed. On top of that, you have to put up with whatever addition features the supplier chooses to include with security updates.
Just curious ...
How much did Apple pay to license these patents?
It's 'make phones or die'
Ballmer is getting pushed out because he took Microsoft's phone market share from 12% to 4±1%. According to Mr Orlowski, 'Windows Phone has been a success for Microsoft in 2013' but it has been a disaster for Nokia. WP took Nokia's market share from 35% to 4±1%. The only reason it got such a high market share was because the unsold piles phones were sold from the bargain bin at a huge loss. RT is about as successful as Windows Phone.
The desk top market is dying and the laptop market is not healthy. Microsoft are converting their desktop OS into a legacy business - the shinking market will be countered by increasing prices. At some point, the price will get so high that sales will fall to 0. Microsoft need a different market, and Bill has decided it is phones. The phone market is still growing. Phones are powerful enough to do common tasks that used to belong to desktops and laptops, and phones are getting more powerful each year.
Microsoft will continue to throw money at the WP/RT burning platforms for as long as they have money to burn. That is not poor management. It is sound business sense. The problem is that Microsoft have been utterly incapable of getting a significant market share. You can blame it on bad management, unenthusiastic salesmen, the developers, the carriers, or the dog that ate Ballmer's home work. What ever the reason, Mr Orlowski will be writing another article saying how well Microsoft have done to increase their phone market share to 2±1% next year.
Going back a decade ...
... some service providers reduced the prices of mobile calls when the call was made from home. The kit back then knew when your phone was at home - it might get the wrong answer if you were next door, but it knew if you were further away than that. This was to better compete with land lines - and to be sure the service provider knew your home address.
So, the additional cost to the operators of knowing your location when the phone is registered with the network is £0. There is a cost in transporting that information to the police. I am sure the current prices for that are exorbitant. I have assumed that this information has been streamed continuously to GCHQ for years. It is the sort of thing they would do, and they have no incentive to care that it is supposed to be illegal.
If I call the police, I am happy for them to know where I am, and I would rather they did not have to pay an excessive amount to find that out. This enquiry might lead to a better deal. Decide for yourself if this means lower taxes or increased phone bills.
The operators are required to keep records of where phones were, and the police get a court order for subsets of that database. (Some people really are stupid enough to regularly commit crimes while carrying a mobile.) The information is out there. It is being used and abused already. The only thing a new law will do is legitimise existing practice. If you want to be sure you are not being tracked, removed the phone's battery just like you cover the lens of a camera if you do not want to be photographed. (Guess why there is no off-switch for the microphone.)
Re: howtogeek secure boot article
Microsoft’s own Windows Hardware Certification Requirements state that for non-ARM systems, you must be able to both disable Secure Boot and change the keys
A while ago, it was big news that manufacturers did not provide the means to disable secure boot or change the keys. I do not see it in the news so often. I do not know if that is because manufacturers have given purchasers control of non-ARM Windows8 computers or because lack of action has persisted so long that it is no longer news.
To me, this means that the first step in buying a new computer is to check that I can install the operating system of my choice. It also means that if a friend wants to try Linux on their computer, they may have to buy a new one because that particular model does not completely follow Microsoft’s published Windows Hardware Certification Requirements.
Although I wish that it would be possible to change the OS on ARM devices, it is fair to say that Microsoft is following the industry standard with regard to tablets here.
I think it is fair to say their are plenty of ARM tablets without boot loader restrictions. There is no such thing as "the industry standard".
Secure boot prevents malware from infecting your system at a low, undetectable level during boot.
Secure boot prevents unsigned malware from infecting your system during boot. I am sure it allows NSA malware to boot, and whatever malware was created by the nation where you bought the computer. UEFI is sufficiently complicated that it is likely to contain security flaws anyway. I would have more confidence in OpenBIOS on the grounds that it is far simpler and it is possible to audit the code.
Campaigning against UEFI/Secure Boot as a technology is short-sighted, misinformed, and unlikely to be effective anyways. It’s more important to ensure that manufacturers actually follow Microsoft’s requirements for letting users disable Secure Boot or change the keys if they so desire.
The good news is you can buy devices without UEFI, Secure Boot or Windows 8. I think that is much more sensible than buying an OS you do not want, begging for a means to install your own keys and hoping that UEFI is not back doored and full of flaws. I would like to think that campaigning against UEFI/Secure Boot as a technology was effective, and contributed to the reduced sales of Window PCs. If there is such a contribution, it is probably hard to measure because of all the other reasons people are buying alternatives to Windows PCs.
I thought the sensible plan would be to remove the hard disk and set the BIOS to boot only from a CD ROM. That way, turning the machine off an on again wipes out any remotely installed malware. If someone has the ability to change the CD, then they also have the ability to swap in a new CDROM, or a new hard disk. BIOS restrictions on the type of boot device are not a significant barrier to anyone with physical access.
The other fear
Even higher energy bills.
maximize value for its creditors?
The whole idea of chapter 11 is they can make their pre-petition creditors (suppliers) wait until after the reorganisation is complete. While in chapter 11, the company runs up post petition debt (with bankruptcy lawyers) that get paid if the bankruptcy court approves the bill. A competent law firm should be able to suck the company dry within a couple of years and build up enough debt to collect the entire proceeds of chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.
Surely a famous firm of professional analysts like Gartner would have seen this coming...
The US PTO has about 28 days of reserve funding
I glanced at an (incomplete) list. US PTO had the longest reserve. Second place had 14 days. Perhaps diverting R&D budgets to lawyers is critical to the funding of congress critters.
The bit that got me was the quoted paragraph. If a feature may be part of an invention, then a product that lacks the feature is still covered by the patent. Try that paragraph again without the optional features:
The invention relates ... to a building made using building panels.
That is all that is left. According to this one paragraph, glass, layers, curves, fins, beams, fittings and a roof are not required to infringe this patent. Apple have patented the garden fence - among other things. With work like this, why does the PTO get any funding at all? If lawyers want a patent system, they should fund the PTO themselves. While we are at it, deny them access to the courts. They can publish free abstracts of what a patent achieves, and charge people who want to read about how it is done.
Sample of 1
The only Windows app I still use runs quickly in WINE on an ancient laptop. Most of the time it is used remotely with a raspberry pi as an X server. I think someone with a larger XP legacy will find mileage will vary. Even if it only solves half your problems, at a cost of $0 forever, WINE is worth trying.
Space and power
A big 2.5" is 1TB. A big 3.5" is 4TB. To compare space and power, compare four 2.5's to one 3.5. It think the reason HAMR is starting at 2.5" is they are starting with a small, high-margin market because there will not be much production capacity to start with, and the cost of a recall will not be a disaster. I would much rather send three apologies and three trucks of new drives to Google, Facebook and Amazon than send 100,000 disks to 50,000 different commentards.
I am sure a big slow 3.5" will arrive when manufacturing has scaled up. In the mean time, shingle is a more obvious choice than HAMR if high speed is not required.
Other reason to let them play
"Boss, wasn't that illegal?"
"Take a look at this record of you listening in on your girlfriend's phone call."
"Sorry boss, my mistake. I am sure you were acting within the limits of a secret FISA warrant I have not seen."
@BlueGreen: SAK (and much more) is in Linux
<ctrl><alt><backspace> Terminates the X server. This will cause the death of the window manager and any program it started. Most installations have a display manager that will restart the X server with a login program. Read the xorg man page for how to change the key combination or disable. The most common display managers are gdm and kdm. Both are very configurable.
<ctrl><alt><delete> can be intercepted by software that puts the keyboard into raw mode. Read the /proc/sys/kernel/ctrl-alt-del section of the proc man page to set the tty layer's behaviour if the keyboard is not in raw mode. The default behaviour is to send SIGINT to process 1. This is normally init, which will execute the command specified for ctrlaltdel in /etc/inittab.
<alt><sysreq>H Outputs the help for sysreq keys to the current virtual console. The one you are looking for is the secure acces key: <alt><sysreq>k - unless you changed the keyboard translation tables with loadkeys. The documentation is here. SAK cannot be intercepted by putting the keyboard into raw mode. It kills all processes on the current virtual terminal. Unless configured otherwise, init will spot this and run login on the terminal.
There are other handy things you can do with the sysreq key like remount all file systems read only and sync all the disks - unless the functionality was disabled from /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq.
I tried to buy a big TV - not something I do every decade. Someone claiming to represent the vendor asks me for the publicly available information my bank asks for when 'verifying' my identity. I explained that I did not give that information to unknown callers for security reasons, but I would be happy to call the vendor or the bank to answer the questions. This basic security measure was beyond the understanding of the caller and her computer was not programmed to offer any sensible solution, so the purchase is cancelled.
I repeated the above with a different vendor. After the deal got cancelled, I got a call from someone claiming to represent the bank who said that someone might be trying to use my card. Again I refused to answer the questions. I called the bank, answered the questions and explained what was going on. They removed the block on my card, but could not do anything about processing the payment. [The solution was to go to the first vendor's shop, and pay there - I paid the internet price rather than the shop price because of the failed online transaction.]
If a few computer illiterates take a passing interest in online security then the first time they try to apply their new knowledge they will be stonewalled by the vendors' and the banks' brain dead payment processing systems. The place to start online security eduction is with the banker responsible for making the bank's web site look stylish. Also the programmer responsible for hiding the 'http://' in Firefox should receive some proper security training with a clue bat.
Take a look at a rip-off bar menu
Pick somewhere touristy, sleazy and expensive and you will find the local variant of a rip-off bar. The obvious place to look in London is Soho. You do not have to look hard, as a sexy girl will invite you in. In the UK, such places are required to display a menu with prices outside. Start with the small print at the bottom and you will find things like:
30% service charge
No alcohol served in this establishment
If you buy a girl a drink, it will be $some_silly_name
Next look to the price of $some_silly_name. It will be well over £200. A few rounds of drinks for the girls plus the service charge will get the bill up to several thousands. $17,000 shows some determined cluelessness. Doing it twice demonstrates world class stupidity.
Responsibility, but no mention of power
Power to investigate what the NSA is doing? Power to collect evidence? Power to show that evidence to a judge and jury?
Why not just hire someone to take responsibility of earth quakes and tidal waves.
Dual boot phone?
Imagine if phones came with one of the free operating systems installed, with the option to buy, download and install one or more of the others. That would be real competition.
Social engineering security test
NSA guy turns up and asks Linus to install a back door. When Linus says no, the NSA can have some confidence that Linus will not install a back door for any criminal claiming to be from the NSA.
The article did say 'up to 5.4%'. An unfortunate phrase since we hear 'up to 20mb broadband' so often. I have confidence that Ballmer can get the market share back below 3% before he leaves.
If you live in a lake, it takes longer to walk to the well
If you are considering a robot economy, you can use the robots to solve its problems: robot recycling, robot mining, robot manufacture of power stations. The flaw I see is population growth. If resources become more available, the population will grow until some resource becomes scarce - or until we use killer robots to cull the population.
Re: CDDL and GPL not compatible
Since when is the GPL the yardstick by which free or open source software is measured?
Since about 70% of open source projects select a GPL license.
I wonder if you do really 'stick to GPL', or just think you do. Do you use X11? That's an MIT licence. Do you use Apache? Apache licence. Firefox? MPL. And so on.
'stick to GPL' is your phrase, not mine. I am very well aware of the licenses for X11, Apache and Firefox. All the licenses you just mentioned are GPL compatible. I have a specific problem with the CDDL, and why Sun selected it.
Oninoshiko: You are welcome to pull a ZFS disk out of a Mac and plug it into a Solaris box. I pick the most appropriate file system available on the OS and move data with a network connection. Where is the limitation?
My red food dye has "Artificial" and "Cochineal" in a big font on the label. I assume they put 'cochineal' on there to scare away anyone who knows what it is, and 'artificial' to scare away anyone who doesn't. If I had been a little less alert, I would have missed it because I was looking for something that did not contain E120.
CDDL and GPL not compatible
If the Trojans had looked their gift horse in the mouth, they would have found it was full of Greek soldiers. Likewise ZFS is stuffed with patents. It is not possible to simultaneously satisfy the terms of the GPL and CDDL in a single piece of software, in part because GPL would require a patent license that Sun/Oracle do not provide. You are welcome to get sued like a GIF user, but I will stick to GPL or compatible. BTW: pi's already have BTRFS.
Give them your rivals' contact details
If they aren't going to pay, you do not want them as clients. Send the hassle to your competitors.
Try getting the reference manual for a chip...
My ZIP code is 90210, just like every over embedded system programmer. My phone number is identical to their fax number. I am my current project is intelligent flame retardant underwear and my name really is Mr Stopasking Stupidquestions. I would like to thank firstname.lastname@example.org for saving everybody's time by using the password 'password'.
This Ig Nobles have been awarded!
Nothing about peppers this year, but now you can find out why onions make you cry.
home tape solution = external hard disk
For that size range look at LTO-3 to LTO-5. You might find an LTO-4 drive second hand for less than the cost of a 3TB hard disk. The ones I saw were all SAS, and a new SAS card will cost about the same as a pair of 3TB hard disks - perhaps you can find a second hand controller too. Then add the cost of the tapes. Tape is only economic and huge scales. Places that use them do upgrade when the price is right, and the kit is sufficiently reliable for a second hand market.
In the real world, you are not going to beat hard disks for backing up a few TB. If you really are burning 10-40 blue rays per backup, build one of these.
Until Intel divide that price by 5, all they get from me is a loud raspberry. A pi behind each TV does most of what I need at home, and a remote login to something older does the rest.
Back an fourth
OK, so you network will not get revenue from roaming fees any more. They won't have to pay for them either, or the infrastructure that counts the fees bills customers and sends money back and forth between different networks.
The one the has me concerned is the contract breaker for less than advertised data rates looks open to abuse. We could end up with mass contract breaking parties the the middle of Dartmoor or the Isle of Skye. More likely we will get promises like 'up to 20 millibits per second' like we have now.
When you are only using 75% of the available space, there is a fair chance that the OS can put new data somewhere it can reach quickly after accessing related data. When you are using 95% of the available space, there is a fair chance that the OS will have to scatter data into places that will require head moves and disc rotations to get it all back.
Modern filing systems have at least one separate free space list per core. That way, any core can allocate (or release) some space without having to lock the other cores out of the only free space list. When a file system is mostly full, some of the free space lists will be full, and cores will have to queue to allocate space.
If your data is static, you can use something like cramfs and use 100% of the disk efficiently. If your use case involves modifications, you have to choose between performance and utilisation. If this is costing you thousands per month then experiment to find which solution gives you the best trade off. You really cannot have a whole cake while rapidly adding and removing slices.
Different parts have different life times
When a PC gets tangled in malware, most of the public go to PC World and buy a new monitor, keyboard, mouse, box, power supply, DVD player, hard disk, motherboard, super-duper CPU, RAM and graphics card. Anyone with basic computer literacy and a screwdriver updates only the parts that will make a difference when required.
I have wanted standard laptop components for decades, and they are now approximately practical (tape a monitor into the lid of an attaché case and a raspberry Pi with some USB components). Much of the cost of a laptop is the display - the second biggest cost is the bundled crap that is inflicted on me because of segmentation. Modular laptops would save customers lots of money, which is why the OEMs do not make them.
Modular phones do not exist for the same reasons as modular laptops. (Does Dell still swap some pins on the power connector to annoy customers who want to upgrade their PSU or mother board?). If love the idea of a modular phone. The only way they will exist is as a bunch of DIY components. Some people would like to pay for a quality camera. Others would like to save money there. I would like a physical off-switch for the microphone. I would like a good display, but not have to replace it when I upgrade to a more efficient CPU. I do not want to replace the entire phone when the battery no longer charges.
Blame the NSA
For all we know, the NSA required them to slurp this data, but Google cannot say so because of a secret national security letter.
Dyson does not have to sue
He could spend his money on R&D and make a better product. Even if someone copies the previous product, Dyson can stay one step ahead. All this legal action says is that Dyson knows his products suck badly and the business he is any good at is nuisance litigation.
Whose data is it?
Encypt your data. Pay in cash. Put a random MAC address in your wifi device, upload your data from a busy shop with free wifi then restore the MAC. Anyone got a method for transferring large amounts of data without letting an IP address connect you to your account?
Imagine a microphone in every street lamp ...
The microphones listen for gun shots and speeding bullets, and transmit a warning by radio when a bullet goes passed. The suits listen for the warnings and lock solid if the bullet is going to hit. With an obese military budget, such a system could be demonstrated to work with current technology under ideal conditions. The really expensive research would be in methods to arrange ideal conditions in the front line of a war.
I can see this project lining the pockets of a few contractors. I am not convinced that it will lead to tanks with masts and sails or soldiers asking for a ceasefire so their solar panels can charge their batteries.
nationally agreed default safety standards
How are they going to get everyone in the nation to agree on anything?