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* Posts by Filippo

492 posts • joined 24 Nov 2007

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Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS

Filippo

Biometrics...

A password that you cannot change, and leave written everywhere you go. I can't fathom why people think it's a good idea.

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Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades

Filippo

Drivers

The last two "certified" WHQL drivers crash when playing The Secret World on Windows 8 about every hour. And not your regular crash-to-desktop either; you get a black screen, fans spinning to max on the card, and a message from the OS saying that the driver stopped responding and was restarted.

The previous ones fortunately only crash once in a while, but when they do they bring down the whole system. As in, hard reset required. Both these issues have been confirmed by multiple users.

Just when I finally get tired of AMD's crap drivers and decide to switch to Nvidia, this is what I get. Makes sense.

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Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT

Filippo

Frustration makes people angry

In other news, water is wet.

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

Filippo

Causes cancer, prevents cancer...

We really hate the idea of a risk that we can't control at all, do we?

Except for some well-known factors, ultimately whether you get cancer or not is almost completely down to blind luck. Avoid the really idiotic stuff like smoking or hanging around uranium. Hope you don't have broken genes. But after that, if you work really hard at it, all you can do is very, very marginal improvements. Ultimately, you're mortal, deal with it.

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Italy has a clumsy new pirate-choker law. But can anyone do better?

Filippo

The last videogame I played on my PC saw that I had Visual Studio installed, decided I must be a cracker, and refused to run. After wrestling with it for the best part of a day, I gave up and cracked it.

It's not the money. I regularly go to the cinema, despite ticket prices being, frankly, insane. The problem is accessibiliy, availability and ease of use. That's where content owners need to start competing with piracy.

At the moment, legal copies of stuff are *less* valuable than pirated copies (DRM means you're not sure it'll work on every device where you might want to see it), and a lot harder to get (good luck finding a legal copy of the latest American TV show subtitled in your language of choice). I wouldn't want them even for free.

But give me a legal way to get a standard video format download of anything I want, with subtitles in any major language, available 24 hours after the first TV or DVD release, and here, you can have my money.

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Homeopathic remedies contaminated with REAL medicine get recalled

Filippo

Re: What do we do for those for whom it works?

I had an "incurable" skin condition when I was a kid too. Modern medicine offered some cortisone for the days when it was real bad, but nothing to really cure it. Not believing in unproven "medicine", I didn't turn to anything else - I simply lived with it. Now guess what - I'm 33 and it's nearly disappeared, only occasionally flaring up a little but even then perfectly manageable without treatment. At this rate I'm pretty sure it'll be gone by the time I'm 40.

Of course, if I had taken to homeopathy, I'd have had the exact same result, which are exactly the same results you've had (down to the white patch of hair, which I've had since I was 20!), with the only difference that I'd be mistakenly attributing them to homeopathy.

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Ray-Ban to produce Google Glass data-goggs: Cool - or Tool?

Filippo

more accurately

Google used not to be in the hardware business.

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Not sure if you're STILL running Windows XP? AmIRunningXP.com to the rescue!

Filippo

<XP

What does it say if you're running, say, Win98?

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Rise of the Machines: Robot challenges top German player at ping-pong

Filippo

Re: Woooaaahhh

The obvious serviable slave isn't reason enough?

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Steelie Neelie 'shocked' that EU tourists turn mobes off when abroad

Filippo

Unwanted roaming data

During a trip to Portugal, my GF was surprised to find a few €s in data roaming charges, when she had disabled data roaming on her phone before leaving.

Turns out that due to some kind of bug in Android, there can be a small window of time, right after connecting to the network, during which the phone is connected to the network, but it doesn't know it's roaming. If the phone decides to download an update at this point, sure enough it will download until it figures out it's roaming.

Yeah, I know - I wouldn't believe it either, but I saw this happen with my own eyes. I googled the issue, and I'm not the only one either. I don't know what versions of Android are affected; the phone in question was 2.3.

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Tired of arguing with suits? Get ready to argue with engineers!

Filippo

Re: Let me get this straight

Agree, and I work specifically in this field. It's not that hard - the heavy machinery is well-known to be inherently insecure, so you keep it behind a layer of indirectness or three. I know enough of heavy machinery to know they can't really be secured, they know enough about IT to know there's hostile traffic, we set the whole thing up so that the heavy machinery is well shielded. Problems arise when someone thinks it would be really cool to be able to run their factory from their smartphone, or when they don't want to spend a single extra buck on making the design secure, or when they feel that having to enter passwords is an unacceptable drag on productivity.

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So cool it 2.4 gigahertz: BATTERY-FREE comms for international band

Filippo

I wonder how much power it takes to refresh an e-ink display.

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Minecraft developer kills Kickstarted Minecraft movie

Filippo

Re: Idiot film-makers

WinCE is still pretty widespread in industrial environments. And not just in legacy devices too.

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This tool demands access to YOUR ENTIRE DIGITAL LIFE. Is it from GCHQ? No - it's by IKEA

Filippo

My thought exactly. If it's a desktop application, there's nothing especially strange about it being able to access all of your files, given that desktop OSes simply don't have the same permission model that mobiles have. Chances are that Chrome just shows that warning on any .exe you download - I don't even see how it could possibly know what permissions the program requires. On Windows, pretty much the only choice is whether to require administrator or not, but even that is not something that can be easily learned without trying to run the app.

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Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

Filippo
Mushroom

Re: Practicality?

Technically, as food ultimately grows from sunlight, it's solar-powered. Then again, knowing how sunlight is made, it's actually nuclear-powered. On the other hand, knowing how stars are made, it turns out it *really is* gravity-powered. So the article was right after all!

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Sceptic-bait E-Cat COLD FUSION generator goes on sale for $US1.5m

Filippo

Re: Prove him wrong once and for all.

It's pointless. You won't get the thing. If you're lucky, they'll tell you it's backlogged; if you're unlucky, they'll take the money and then apply delaying strategies until you have to sue.

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Norks EXECUTE 80 for watching DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

Filippo

Re: I read this and I think

Yup. Freedom is a process, not a product.

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Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)

Filippo

Either we're alone, or we're not

Both possibilities are equally terrifying.

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Dying HealthCare.gov bagged JUST SIX registrations on first day

Filippo

Re: Is this really an IT issue?

It's quite impressive to a foreigner that you consider 1200$/mo PLUS up to 5K$ in case something happens to be a good deal. The mind boggles at considering what would be considered a bad deal - death, I guess?

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Do+ you+ use+ Google+? Seemingly+ you+ DO+

Filippo

Depends on what they mean by "on" Google+. At some point I turned my gmail account into a Google+ account, for reasons I can't remember, but I've never even visited the actual service. I suspect I'm not the only one.

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Bacteria-chomping phages could kill off HOSPITAL SUPERBUGS

Filippo

Re: One question...

Like most viruses, phages are extremely specific. As a treatment, they would be way more accurate than antibiotics, which notoriously tend to kill off good bacteria as well.

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Whodathunkit? Media barons slit own throats in anti-freetard crackdowns

Filippo

Streaming is a bad substitute for downloading. With my connection, I'm unlikely to get a reliable SD stream, and a HD stream is mathematically impossible. This is unlikely to change any time soon. And how many streaming services work with the PS3 I mostly use to watch stuff? It's pointless for studios to offer me cheap streaming, as I can't trust it to work in the first place. I wouldn't even want it for free.

And DRM poses similar problems - I can't trust it to work on my favored devices, I can't trust it to work ten years from now, I can't trust it to be able to be backupped or carried to a friend's home to watch together. Hell, even if they somehow came up with a DRM scheme that actually works perfectly, at this point the concept is so poisoned that it'd take years before I gave it a chance.

A straight AVI is free, but the important thing is that it JUST WORKS. Drag'n'drop it on a USB key, and nearly everything on the planet will reliably play it with one or two button clicks. They need to understand that their problem is not "competing against free". It's competing against *easy and reliable*.

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Cannabis can CURE CANCER - cheaply and without getting you high

Filippo

Actually, what I'm more concerned about is that when it comes to cancer, I'd really rather get treated with the most effective drug - not the most cost-effective one.

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London schoolboy cuffed for BIGGEST DDOS ATTACK IN HISTORY

Filippo

Re: 24hrs later

The Register don't just copy/paste news from agencies. They do actual analysis. I'll take that over getting it a few hours earlier any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

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Apple Maps directs drivers INTO path of ONCOMING PLANES

Filippo

There are three sides at fault here, and, frankly, Apple is the least of them. Navigators are not perfect, they can't be, and they should be expected to make the occasional mistake.

On the other hand, drivers should not follow a satnav's direction blindly, and signs - not to mention common sense - always take precedence over whatever the satnav is saying.

And finally, what the hell? The airport has a direct access from the public road to the runway that doesn't even have a fence? I'm not calling for three meters tall concrete walls, but seriously, every airport I've ever seen in the first world has at least a fence. Anyone could be an idiot even without a satnav.

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Java updates too much of a bother? Maybe online banking's just not for you

Filippo

If my bank required Java for online access, I would seriously consider changing bank.

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Boffins: Earth will be habitable for only 1.75 BEEELLION more years

Filippo

Re: but what about us?

On the other hand, so far humanity has a 100% success rate at not getting extinct.

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David Attenborough warns that humans have stopped evolving

Filippo

Genetic engineering of humans will fix this very soon. Not soon on a personal scale, possibly not soon on a historical scale, but definitely soon on an evolutionary scale. Unless we all die first, of course.

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Green German gov battles to keep fossil powerplants running

Filippo

When there's no way to make a profit selling something everyone absolutely needs, you know regulation is screwed up.

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Only 1 in 5 Americans believe in pure evolution – and that's an upswing

Filippo
FAIL

Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

Evolution != abiogenesis

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SkyDrive on par with C: Drive in Windows 8.1

Filippo

Re: ?

I don't think they mean it's the system drive. That doesn't make sense. I think they mean it's the drive where your collections (images, music, documents) are stored. Personally, I think it's a good idea - for those who are blessed with a decent broadband.

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You've seen the Large Hadron Collider. Now comes the HUGE Hadron Collider

Filippo

Re: Energy levels

Thanks! I was wondering about the wisdom of embarking in another ultra-expensive physics project when the LHC isn't even running at full power yet. Your explanation sounds reasonable.

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Sony sucker-punches Xbox on price, specs, DRM-free gaming

Filippo

catch

So the camera is a ~50$ add-on to a ~400$ box, while MS's offer is a ~500$ box that includes the camera. It doesn't sound much like a catch to me.

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UN report says killer bots could fight WAR WITHOUT END

Filippo

Permanent conflict? How so?

It's only permanent if the two sides are exactly balanced. A war like that is basically a challenge of industrial production capacity. Eventually, one of the two will manage to bomb more drone factories than the other, and then it's over.

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Warming: 6°C unlikely, 2°C nearly certain

Filippo

Re: Solution to global warming is easy

The argument that there is a hard limit on resources, and therefore we should stop expansion in a controlled fashion before it stops abruptly on its own, is very popular these days.

The problem with this argument is that it's a non sequitur: while it is technically true that resources are limited, this isn't sufficient to state that we need to stop expansion now.

You would also need to prove that we're close to the limit. That's a lot harder, but without that the argument doesn't prove anything.

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Revealed: Google's plan to float BLIMP NETWORK over Africa, Asia

Filippo

Re: Is this before or after

Okay, but Google isn't in the business of food and roads and water. It's in the business of Internet. If Internet gets there before food, roads and water, it's the food, roads and water guys that are to blame, not the Internet guys.

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Which petite model likes a fondle and GETTING WET? Sony's Xperia ZR

Filippo

As someone who broke a phone just by going on a somewhat wet ride in an amusement park, and as someone who knows another person who broke a phone just by having it in his trouser pocket while it was raining, I wonder why this is not a standard feature. It will certainly be a pretty significant factor the next time I shop for a phone.

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Brutally efficient galaxy SPITS OUT STARS at 'maximum rate'

Filippo

If the dot pointed to by the arrow is 30000LY across, then that big blue shiny thing in the top right corner should be bigger than our entire galaxy. What is it?

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Researcher hacks aircraft controls with Android smartphone

Filippo

Special equipment?

I don't think these systems connect through wi-fi or bluetooth, so surely some special equipment is required in order to implement this hack?

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Boffins say flash disk demands new RAID designs

Filippo

Couldn't wear-levelling actually work against you in a RAID environment, by causing all drives to fail at nearly the same time?

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Lasers capture 3D images from a kilometre away

Filippo

Re: Why no shoes?

Considering what's happening with the belt, I think it's because the shoes would have obscured the feet.

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Bill Gates offers big bucks for better condoms

Filippo

They're very effective compared to not using them. Also, your numbers suggest that investing in development of improved condoms is probably a good idea.

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Super-fast super-massive black hole spins at nearly light-speed

Filippo

Re: WTF radiation?

They don't*; this radiation is given off by the matter outside the black hole as it's falling in.

*except for Hawking radiation I guess

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Samsung laptops can be NUKED by ANY OS – even Windows: new claim

Filippo

Re: So is Eadon going to have a retraction of all his anti-windows comments?

That would take a *long* time.

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Earth-like planets abound in red dwarf systems

Filippo

Re: Entropy: Big Problem!

Maybe, but not necessarily. It might be a competition problem - maybe organisms that photosynthesize red can appear, as long as red is all that's available so there are no other higher-energy organisms around.

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Is your Surface Pro a bit full? Slot in an SD card, it's not from Apple

Filippo
Thumb Down

Re: Surface - if you buy one and then jump through hoops to work around its failings

Like the Nexus, which doesn't have an SD card slot either?

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You thought watching cat videos was harmless fun? Think AGAIN

Filippo

Shocker news

Predator does what predators do.

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Tiny tech ZigBee harnesses puny power of the press

Filippo

other uses

Can they make a wireless, batteryless keyboard with this?

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Boffins baffled over pulsar with 'split personality'

Filippo
Alien

C'tan communication?

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Asteroid mining and a post-scarcity economy

Filippo

Re: When...

That's true. It will be a very, *very* long time before space-mined materials are cheaper than just recycling something or mining inhospitable places that are still not as inhospitable as space.

However, that's true if you want your material *on Earth*. If you want it *in orbit*, for example because you want to build a satellite, or a space station, or a moon base, or just refuel a rocket, it could very well be that mining an asteroid quickly becomes cheaper compared to lifting cheap stuff from Earth to orbit. Overcoming the gravity well is just that insanely expensive. This is especially true for the stuff that's really cheap but of which you need many tons, like water or common metals.

Of course, at some point someone might build a space elevator, which would upturn the costs all over again...

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