1997 posts • joined Friday 9th March 2007 09:48 GMT
The Austrian power grid nearly collapsed recently because of a misguided broadcast packet instructing all sensors to dump their values onto the network causing a huge overload on the data network.
Re: @asdf (was: This plonker claims to have invented
Well from my own experience the patent clerk inserts/suggests those references. Patents clerks look for similar patents and essentially mention everything they find, no matter how bogus.
So being quoted many times in patents doesn't mean it's a novel idea or anything. It just means that it's something that seems relevant to a lot of other patents.
He claimed a lot of things
Like breaking into the GSM-network in the 1990s. Do yourself a favour, look at his "German years" before he mercifully left out country and was still called "Kim Schmitz". That guy was just one of the most annoying people out there.
Wait! They are selling it?
That's a revolutionary new idea for novel mobile phones. For example Nokia successfully tries a "no sale" strategy on their N950 and N9 phones, which much success, the N9 probably still sells more often than all their Windows phones combined.
So trying to sell it, that could be the new idea for successful mobile phones everyone's been waiting for.
Again let's compare the user experience
Pirate: Got DRM-free file immediately without paying. It plays on any device without any problems. And it will play essentially till infinity.
Customer: Had to install special software which may or may have malevolent components, and may or may not work on some devices. Lost all his content now.
Again, DRM only affects the paying customer. And it always affects them negatively.
Well I recently had an interview at an appliance vendor
They seem to believe that networks can somehow be secure, their TCP/IP stack is a custom one running on a microcontroller to small to run Linux.
The big problem is that we are used to having our systems designed by people who know about networking since they are experienced with some form of unixoid system. However there is currently a wave of new devices comming from people to whom the idea of a port-scanner is novel and undocumented protocols are secure... since nobody could exploit a protocol they don't know about.
The problem is, as long as there is nobody who does it right, we will never see any decent solutions.
I don't get the reasoning of the headline
I mean sure, microwave links become a niche, though I'm surprised they actually removed all those dishes, just giving those spaces to radio hams and Freifunk enthusiasts would put it into good use.
However it's current use to the BT is completely independent of its shape. It's a building, it got sensible amounts of fibre to it, it has a generator so they use it for backend broadcast systems. Of course it's a serious decision, but would it have been an office building with the same infrastructure, they would have taken that one.
So yes it's a relic even though they still get some use out of it.
Where's the advantage over free space optics?
I mean 240 GHz probably doesn't go well through walls... or dirt on the antenna.
The big driver of the start-up culture, particularly in "Silicon Valley" were some naval bases which attracted "defence" industry. Of course garages are useful for starting any company as it keeps your investment down.
Re: Why an I not surprised?
My experience is more that recruiters don't understand anything at all. They neither understand the job nor the people and just randomly match and mix. Besides in my experience companies which outsource their recruiting obviously don't care about the people they get, otherwise they'd do recruiting themselves.
It might be interrested once the main processor is usable
Currently you can only use that tiny little ARM core on the Raspberry Pi, while the main processor, a large DSP used for it's video outputs, is largely unusable running some closed realtime OS.
Opening up that DSP would enable a whole new set of applications. For example you could do fast data processing, for example to do sonar or even radar on that little board.
Missing the long term problem
Sure, they are now near copying ARMs approach and try to appeal to handset makers in that way, but that's not the long term problem. We are now in the "home computer" age of mobile computers. Every manufacturer has a totally different platform. If you are lucky you get some dedicated port of some operating system (i.e. Android) which won't be supported and which you will be stuck with.
In the home computing age the IBM-compatible PC arrived, sweeping away its competitors. Suddenly you had a machine that could run different operating systems, where you could upgrade the operating system just by booting from a different diskette.
If Intel wants to succeed in the long run, they must bring real advantages over ARM. For example they could create a SoC with a little boot ROM which allows booting from an SD-card. That ROM could also have routines to access the hardware, kinda like a BIOS. (But please not as complex as UEFI)
One of Intel's strengths in the 1970s and early 1980s was that they provided full developer support. For example you could buy their development system and it would include a full Pascal compiler, while the other vendors still required you to hand-assemble your code. Intel should try to do the equivalent of that today. Make it easy to build a mobile device and slap your software onto it, just like it's easy to slap a new operating system onto a PC.
They wouldn't be successful with it at first, but once all those tiny Chinese manufacturers get a hold of this they will have conquered the mobile devices market.
When in doubt, stick with your CEO
That seems to be the prevailing idea of investors these days, continuity of management, even if the current management consists of total idiots. I mean just look at HP, as far as I know they had a CEO who made stage publicity photographs of using a competitors product, and announced the discontinuation of the PC branch only to not actually do it afterwards.
As a CEO you have no actual accountability. You are paid to make decisions, you might have some bonus coupled to the stock price, but today it's near impossible to get sacked, no matter what you do.
I don't quite understand the reason for this
I mean just having short codes robs you of the fun of exploring the IVR. (If you are into it) Obscure options might be more interresting. If you want something from a company calling them usually is the worst option, sending a letter to the CEO personally will give you a better and quicker response. (letter not e-mail!)
Well for my IVR I'm thinking of adding an "I just want to talk to someone" option. It then randomly picks a country and city, and dials a random number in it.
Where's the advantage?
I still don't see where the advantage is. JS-interpreters are so amazingly fast these days, you will have problems getting any advantage from having some byte code.
However the disadvantages are obvious. Byte code is much harder to check for malware, and it's much harder to edit it when you have found some.
Re: Didn't know about the trial in Brighton
Well it might be caused by that, but it's also likely that your reception always has been "on the edge" and now is just a bit below. Even though marketing makes you believe it, DVB-T is not some plug and play solution. Your antenna needs to be carefully aligned and the question of having an additional amplifier or not needs to be evaluated based on individual facts.
Re: Outrunning a human?
Of course, that's the idea behind it. What else could you do with a running robot? It's much easier to terrorize people with such robots and drones than with actual people.
That's why you want free software
The Android universe is not really free. It requires device specific changes, making it nearly impossible to have sustainable free Android distributions. Just look at Cyanogenmod. It's a great effort, but they cannot support more than a few models at a time.
What we would need is a common scalable hardware platform. Essential things like unaccelerated frame buffer access (and setup) should work the same on all devices, as well as hardware discovery. Just like on the PC. Every PC boots your operating system the same way, it'll have certain standard hardware, it'll have BIOS routines to access other hardware. It has ways to enumerate devices on the PCI bus.
Right now every ARM device boots differently. And when you are booted you have no idea of finding out what kind of SoC you are on. You cannot access your framebuffer, you cannot access your external Flash. Often you cannot even access a serial debug interface for help.
We'd need better education first
In order to make sufficient progress in computing, we'd need to have actual computer literacy in our society. That doesn't mean that everybody needs to be able to program large software packages, but that people can understand what a computer actually is. People know what a book is, and they could write a little text if they had to, still few write whole books. However this knowledge is essential for widespread computer use. People need to know which limitations lie inherent within the technology and which ones are arbitrary, chosen by the designer of the system. Only then they can really choose which systems they want, or what changes they want to existing systems. Some of them may even be able to make those changes themselves.
The next point is that now that we have lots of data, we can make more interesting interfaces. Completely native interfaces are next to impossible, however you can meet somewhere in the middle between natural language and computing language. You end up with something like SQL, which, once you put a bit of effort into learning it, allows you to efficiently state complex questions to a computer which it will answer.
Whenever you read an economy study...
... keep in mind that economists are not scientists. They like calling themselves that way and they like to use metaphors of science, but they aren't. They don't conduct experiments to disprove their theories, they don't adapt/abolish their theories when they collide with observations, they do nothing real scientists would do.
Well they missed the digital age
As you said it, Sony used to have a great reputation. For example they also had a broadcast/industrial sector, and many consumer products seemed to be just spinoffs of that. For example Betamax was just a scaled down U-Matic.
Now in the digital age, there is little possibility to differentiate yourself from your competitors. People paid more for a Sony VHS recorder since they could reasonably well believe it could reasonably be a bit better than the competition. With DVD you can only have 2 levels of quality, working and broken. If you want to build a better product you need to make it more versatile. For example you have to make it play VCDs and SVCDs... and maybe MP3s... or MPEG4 video and so on. Sony refused to do that while Chinese manufacturers simply embraced it. So you could buy a better device for a tenth of the price.
If Sony wouldn't have had it's content arm, they simply would have built devices conforming to the consumer needs. They could have ditched DRM completely. They could have brought out an HD-capable format when the DVD came out (e.g. by using multiple disks per movie or something). Just like the LaserDisk it would have been a profitable niche.
Re: shock horror
Well the fear is something else. Real amplifiers don't just multiply the signal to amplify it, but they also have a non-linear characteristic. The stronger the input signal the stronger the non-linear distortions. (Think of clipping)
Now if such non-linear distortions happen, separate frequencies can mix. Just think about (sin(1.5x)+sin(1.6x))^2. It'll have lots of new components. LTE and DVB-T signals aren't simple sine waves, but more complex signals. If you have non-linear distortions it's nearly impossible to say if those aditional components will be relevant or not. It depends on how bad the non-linearity is, which depends on how close the input signal of the amplifier is in regards to the maximum input signal of it.
So it is hard to predict what's happening, and unfortunately most DVB-T receivers don't provide any decent debug features. It would mostly be a software issue.
EuroPCs are still made?
Of course you shouldn't be surprised that a PC with an 8088 CPU doesn't sell to well.
If a company or an individual claims some scientific breakthrough, it's safe to expect it's a hoax. Companies only very rarely provide an environment to foster innovation. Although it may be possible for a company to have a breakthrough, it's very unlikely that they research in that direction and are able to research.
5G may not be about speed
There's plenty of problems with current systems aside from speed. Speed is already something LTE Advanced tackles.
Maybe 5G will be about avoiding patents, or about cutting down the required infrastructure and making the network mesh like. There are a lot of things that could go into 5G.
Re: Microsoft lies about sales figures? *GASP* Say it ain't so!
Even when HP ships 100k Win8 machines, it doesn't mean they will continue running it at the customer.
Re: The problem is how many electrons in an Ampere.
Well it's electrons per second. So the speed you can count at limits the highest current you can measure. Additionally it's a bit hard to "scale" currents so it's hard to divide a current by a well defined factor.
Of course all of that is just theologic by definition since Metrology is just about the belief of something called "Reality" which can be explored by "measurements".
Re: Competing in the wrong direction
Near full ack. Although I see little point in an optical drive anymore. In my last laptop it simply broke. Though I have an extra PC for all things optical disk related.
Of course the importance of handwriting is shifting
In 2003 or so I worked in the archive of an old hospital. There I've seen their old books from the 1920s wher they carefully noted down everyone who came to them in beautiful handwriting. It had to be well written as many people had to be able to read it quickly. We usually don't need that kind of handwriting any more. We communicate less and less often via handwriting.
Today handwriting is mostly an extension to your brain. The best examples for this can be found in maths and engineering. You write down intermediate results which otherwise wouldn't fit into your consciousness. You only have something like 150 Shannons of capacity there. Handwriting is not limited to text, but can also other kinds of data, like relations or geometrical forms. That's the beauty of it. And that's a tool that's still useful... for people who deal with more than 150 Shannons of information.
The difference is deeper
Graham Walker talks about what employers want. He apparently doesn't see education as a means to enable people to take part in society, he sees education only a means to make people employable. Such people generally want education stripped of all non-essential parts to create cheaply and efficiently programmed people only doing and knowing what they are supposed to do. This is one of those ideas which sound reasonable at first... until you'll notice that those people don't have any visions, creativity or even knowledge to do anything different. Companies employing those will end up loosing their capability to innovate.
Well back when GSM came out...
...it was the early 1990s. And since nanocells do have all the data processing inside, all you need to do is to care about signaling. And that's not a lot of work since it had to be done by 1990 general purpose computers.
Once we get full access to the main CPU of the Pi, there will be a whole array of uses for that little board.
The CCC has been saying this since the 1980s
Only there they called it "Maschinenlesbare Regierung".
Well, you need to be consistent.
You can either spend money on education and first educate your users then give them cheaper and more productive systems to use, or you can keep your users ignorant and solve problems by buying newer and more expensive systems.
Those people could probably work way more efficiently on an old early 1990s UNIX box with a bunch of terminals, but uneducated users don't accept that any more. I mean I learned word processing on a Microsoft Xenix system. It even had Microsoft Works for Xenix installed. It worked, and it wasn't harder to use than modern versions of Offices. The main difference was that menus were accessed by hitting Esc twice, then you could scroll through them. However to be fair, that 386/50 we had was quite slow for 20 users.
How about putting all the network stack onto a virtual diskette drive?
If you change the ROM or load additional software into RAM you are loosing compatibility, but the diskette drive already has a fairly abstract interface. I'm not a good expert in that area, but from glancing over the documentation I've found, it may be possible to use the peripheral interface to talk to a TCP/IP stack running outside of the C64.
Re: I'm a bit torn here.
Well with most VoIP phones you can use a LDAP server which is perfectly fine for companies. I'm sure decent products will also allow you to use simpler ways, like text files and such. There are now even Android desk phones... if you prefer that.
NGNs essentially try to give you all the disadvantages of a dedicated phone line with the disadvantages of a VoIP service. I don't quite see why I should spend money on that. I can get VoIP telephony from another company which then also means that I can keep my number no matter where I am in the world.
Well snom does a particularly good job at integration. They have open interfaces which are deliberately simple. And they try to speak common protocols.
For example they sell a "box with buttons" that's designed to work together with their VoIP phones, however it's an independent device which can also do HTTP requests when you push a button. That's just simple and elegant.
I think those are the challenges we face, we need to develop a bunch of simple and obvious protocols for easier integration. And of course Video Telephony. :)
I never quite understood why such a market even exists
I mean you don't just install SAP R3 into a server and you are done with, those systems require a huge development effort to adapt them to the company. Wouldn't it be much simpler and more cost effective to develop your management software internally? I mean how much of SAP R3 do you actually need? Do you need new features of it? Wouldn't it be better to instead have something you made yourself (or contracted someone to make it for you, giving you the source code) so you could change it depending on what you actually want?
Computing is now such a vital part of many businesses, why hand it over to another company?
So... you give a list of all the people who visited you to a cloud service?
...just so they can ring a bell?
Apart from the obvious question why you even wanted to ring with your smartphone, wouldn't it be much more simpler to just have a QR-code with a picture... so you can direct the ringer to an URL which will make it ring?
scanning QR-code on door => starting CGI-script on your webserver => sending off IM messages and playing "ding dong" on your server
This seems much simpler than trying to get it to work with people who visit you. It doesn't need apps, and you can even buy hardware buttons which make an HTTP request if you still fancy a normal doorbell.
Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade
This is actually something I have tried, but it didn't work for me. I also don't quite see how it could work. After all after a few days your whole operating system and software will be in RAM anyhow.
It may however make sense for "suspend to disk" situations.
Makes sense, they are cheaper for small capacities in the long run
I mean if you just have a simple desktop PC you don't need hundreds of Gigabyte of storage, an SSD will just be cheaper in the long run.
It's not about criminals
In Germany that kind of data is mostly used against file sharers and against journalists. There was one case where a telephone company had a leak and used the call data to try find out where the leak was.
As many people already pointed out, it's not a good tool against criminals, but it's a good tool to find all those little punishable things. If you dislike a person, you can pull up their call record and find out what they did.
The other thing those systems are good for is to put a certain kind of oppression on people. You see some police person committing a crime? You want to call you local reporter? Do you really want information about such communications be in the hands of the police?
Or imagine you want to form an opposition party, perhaps an underground one because your government has already become quite oppressive? Guess what, exactly the same tools which are designed to track terrorist networks can be used to track opposition parties.
You probably now might say your government would _never_ do such a thing. What happens if your government gets replaced? During the Holocaust there was an extremely high rate of killed Jews in the Netherlands. Why? Because there was a census there was a "harmless" little question called "religion". The census data was available on punch cards so when the Nazis went in they could just plop in the census stack into a tabulator to get a neatly printed list of addresses of Jews. They could even get it sorted by address for more efficient ethical cleansing. Just because your current government don't do something, the next one won't do as well.
Re: Recycling isn't necessary for minimal impact on the environment
"Long life is quite an assumption here. Even assuming that the device will function for over 5 years, will the technology in it be relevant by then?"
This is why it is essential that we finally outlaw closed boot loaders and have common hardware platforms. If you look at a 5 year old PC you can still use it. Sure it'll be slow, but you can install the latest and greatest operating system on it since it's standardised and requires no porting. Plus PCs have no locked down boot loader.
On mobile phones you need to port your operating system for every platform individually. And virtually every phone has it's own totally different platform. That's a lot of effort and one of the reasons why there are so many Android devices stuck on some 2.x version of Android.
Re: The largely unsuccessful - but rather good - Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Well a few years ago when I heard a recording of a long interview of a radio station called WUSB with Roddenberry about that movie, I realized how goofy that title suffix was. Just try it, add "The Motion Picture" to something and it'll instantly become goofy.
"The Register: The Motion Picture" or
"Soap: The Motion Picure" and so on.
I don't think the expectations were that great back then, and I think the movie fulfilled its expectations. It's StarTrek on a grander and longer scale.
So to recap the difference between the old and the new universe
In the new universe anti-reflection coatings were never invented causing lots of lens flare and reflections ultimately leading to the destruction of the Vulcan empire and Nokia somehow surviving this decade.
Dedicated box for InfoBeamer?
There would be uses, but Android and touch seem more like obstacles.
Re: Shouldn't that be...
Well the point is, no matter what you do regarding DRM and watermarking. It will _always_ affect the legitimate user and never affect the pirate.
So with any kind of DRM or watermarking you are essentially making the pay experience much worse than the pirate experience.
I should open a cloud service....
for Chip8 software.
Or maybe even Basicode
Seriously .net always was a "me too" from Microsoft to copy Java. And Java tried to solve a problem which doesn't exist anymore. You don't need "platform independent bytecode" any more since now virtually all platforms are POSIX. Not even Microsoft uses .net for their important stuff (like Office).
Re: pin-out of a DB-25 DCE connector for proper RS-232
"only need two wires (TX and RX) and possibly a ground shield in an electrically noisy environment"
Actually you do need a ground as a "return" line... however in typical conditions if you omit it, the mains ground will be used... which can have devastating results (e.g. your ports frying) or work perfectly well, depending on your circumstances.
Re: Speaking as a consultant ...
Well dear Anonymous IV. The point is like this. If you don't even understand the simplest communications interface, which is BTW still widely used in embedded systems and debug interfaces, how can you understand more complex systems? RS-232 is a great starting point to learn about networking. Plus it's an "open ended" question. There are lots of reactions to it, from throwing a tantrum, over describing what pins there are typically, to a full explanation of the standard of all the lines including the obscure ones. Or a less hardware minded person might even go into explaining PPP and SLIP. It's a great interview question.
The point is, an employee who only looks at "relevant" technology and nothing else will quickly become closed minded. Any technology you widely work with will become relevant to you. If you don't look at what else is out there you will never find better alternatives.
Now what happens if the technology you work with simply becomes obsolete? What will you do? Do you know anything else? Do you know other technologies to switch to or to integrate to make the product more relevant?
I'm not even touching onto the whole idea of learning from older technology to make better products.
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