1035 posts • joined Thursday 15th March 2007 16:58 GMT
Re: Take Sony back to its roots.
I have to agree - the marrying of content producer and device manufacturer is bad for consumers due to the willing imposition of DRM and the reluctance for either to act in a manner that risks the other's legacy income stream.
Just look at the root-kit fiasco and the various attempts to push DRM on user (e.g. mini-disk had it wilde CD did not, removal of Linux mode on PS3, etc) and you can see why Sony is not going to be on my buy-list for the foreseeable future.
I think these are intended to be mostly autonomous so loss of command link over the target is unfortunate, but not a show stopper.
Also most data relay is via geostationary satellites which are (probably) beyond the range of current anti-sat systems, unlike spy sats that are usually only a few 100km up and in the range of the last (and very dumb from a space debris point of view) demonstration of anti-sat weapons.
Once you have no SD card and a sealed battery, then WTF are they doing not making it waterproof?
Considering the times I have had to remove the battery to reset my HTC phone, and the rapid demise of an iPhone with water (as you can't get the battery out to give it a chance to dry our before electrolysis destroys it) this is a big deal.
Yes, I know Nokia is not the only one doing this, but if you are making the device effectively sealed, then do it properly!
My mind shuddered at the thought, and it was not about food!
I am amazed that somehow you think an astronauts "real work" consists of making power point slide shows or arsing around with word processing style sheets.
Re: What's the difference?
The difference is if you, or some other person, finds how to jailbreak a device you can offer that service or product without risk of prosecution and quite probably counter-sue if they deliberately try to stop your method.
Re: Internal use ...
We have old Cisco IP phones and those are the only two features I have seen to make them "better" than the POTS they replaced:
Caller ID (a name, not just number) + call history (handy for re-dial).
The phone's ID/number moves with the phone, not the socket its plugged in to.
Must try harder?
"Windows Phone invested additional engineering resources against existing APIs"
Sounds a lot like "Google did not help us, so we had to RTFM and get some smart folk to actually do some work on this product".
As for MS claiming "a bad boy hid the APIs and won't give them back" it really could not happen to a nicer company.
What users want?
Choice usually, for example:
(1) Why can't you have the desktop style of choice? In XP you could have "classic" over the Fisher-Price style. Seems things changed again with Vista/7 and now with 8 its worse with 3rd party tools needed to give users what they are asking for. Why can you choose the one you want/are familiar with?
(2) Menu vs Ribbon - again WTF is the problem with a simple config option to do things the way you are familiar with, or choose a new (who knows, better for some perhaps) option?
(3) The old oligopolistic practice of trying to force Windows by making things specific to it, the key example is Office. Available for MacOS (just, and often lagging) but why not for iOS where there is a market? Or for Linux/Android?
(4) Office365 - being pushed as the pay-always choice. Not to mention the exposing of all your data to USA law, something that could easily be avoided by client-side encryption before the data leaves your computer. And WTF is Office365 doing when bits of it don't work the same/at all on different browsers?
Yes, I know these are really rhetorical questions because we all know the answer is profit maximisation by forcing you customers ("hostages") to change and buy-again, and again...
I was wondering the same - what is the performance comparison of ARM vs x86 on the same fab technology?
Also, as others have pointed out, ARM is generally a lot cheaper to buy/licence than Intel's offerings, so this had better be really good to make it.
And what about SoC builds, will Intel be offering to integrate customer's hardware on the same fab as this new CPU?
Re: Argruably the desire was the 1st mainstream android...
Have to agree, I have a Wildfire and its crap - or more precisely the software is crap and HTC have done nothing to fix it in the last 2 years.
Any wonder their customers have deserted them?
Re: "the real ones who actually make money at this sort of thing"
They will pirate anyway, so it is not helping the content providers and, while it is unlikely to result in the innocent/dumb user being prosecuted, at least they may get their PC fixed and save the rest of the Internet one less zombie.
What helps the case for content providers is the end user gets the pirated-like freedom to view anywhere/anytime but is paying for the privileged, rather than paying to jump through hoops. More likely to get and keep customers that way.
DRM, in the sense of making you unable to do what you want, is ALWAYS a less good experience than the pirate version.
Watermarking has its own issues, but is much better as it can be made invisible to the viewer (in the same sense of "acceptably small" which video compression relies on) not to get in the way. By knowing their download is marked, less people are going to share the copy they paid for with others, which is the main goal of a commercial operation.
Of course, mashing up watermarks by using several copies is possible, but potentially hard to do in a way that stops any of the donor's being identified.
Hopefully the content makers will realise that you can't stop piracy, but you can make the paying option cheap enough and good enough (from the customer's point of view) to make the risks of pirating enough to stop all but the most hardened freetard.
Just now I would not hold my breath, as the 'big content' industries have shown themselves to be very dumb in this respect so far.
Probably by getting original copies of said pr0n and comparing them bit-by-bit. Also probably by watching them very carefully, over and over again, just in case there was some subtle political or technological message in "Big Girl Needs Big Dildo".
But who says he was not on the make, given the Great Firewall and China's anti-pr0n laws, maybe his stash of gentleman's entertainment was part of a pension plan?
Re: Fixes and stuff ....
Ah the old red / blue network arrangement :)
Just add someone with a rubber truncheon to deal briskly with anyone plugging in to the "wrong" network and you have pretty good security even with a leaky OS.
"already have migrated"
There are lots of reasons why you may want/need to keep an old OS going, the most obvious is you simply don't have the money to buy a new PC but that is probably not the biggest issue here (though report suggested so).
Legacy software, or special hardware, are both reasons why an 'upgrade' can be very expensive and time consuming because you find that the software won't work right on the new OS and/or is not supported or licensable on a new machine, and newer versions of said software is not 100% backward compatible and/or needs something else and so on...
My own solution for my dying w2k box was to convert it into a VM and run it on a Linux machine, more or less the best of both worlds (can run special software that is Windows-only, has better network security Linux-style). Even so, that takes IT skill to implement and user training to make it workable, both of which also cost money one way or another.
Certainly w2k and XP had nothing in the license about virtulisation, but AFAIK Windows 7 (probably also the abomination that was Vista) only permit it on the expensive enterprise version, not OEM/standard.
Not as much as a Humvee decorated with elephant tampons!
Re: Optional accessories?
You seem to have "autonomous vehicle" and "shark" mixed up. Don't worry, its a common mistake.
Re: RF jamming ?
"Since when is that supposed to be an issue ? Sure, it'll work the first day or two,"
I think an hour or so might be enough to cause a chemical plant to go seriously wrong!
Never underestimate the ability of dumb people to get stupid things done in places you never imagined possible.
I wondered about that, as a friend of mine mentioned the option of WiFi used for industrial control/monitoring systems. Amazing how dumb the cost saving of not having to install a dedicated (and hopefully air-gap isolated) wired network can be.
The high-res one is attractive - as a machine to put Ubuntu, etc, on.
The normal ones for students? Cheap perhaps, but useful, really?
I can see them being a good buy for the utterly-IT-incompetents . I can think of certain friends/family in that category who just should never, ever, be allowed to do more than access a web browser. And even then pinned full-screen so I don't get a phone call about something having gone "stamp sized" and that no they really did not touch anything...
Re: How does this work?
"SIP was accepted as a 3GPP signaling protocol"
So it is considered an 'essential patent' and so should be under FRAND terms then for 3G? Sounds like it should be FRAND elsewhere in that case.
Made me smile
Naughty Nurses "where smartphone penetration is over 40 per cent"
Thanks, mine has the book of double entendres...
How things move
Funny how all IP laws seem to move towards what suits big business.
I can't see how hard it would have been to deal with orphaned works in a fair manner: for example, you can make use of it without risk of prosecution, but if the legitimate owner turns up then some reasonable compensation is due along the lines of some fraction of a professional's fee.
Re: AC 18:15
No, you can't have an open system and DRM because, by definition, DRM stops you doing what you want and thus YOU are no longer in charge of your computer.
You could have a propitiatory 'blob' that hides the DRM key, but than you have to trust it absolutely (if root) or at least with your own account's information which in practice is quite a lot. See http://xkcd.com/1200/
Then of course the "big media" will not accept that unless it also relies on a closed path to the video/audio card so you can't intercept the decrypted data en-route to the display. See for example one of the reasons why Vista was so crap:
But this is a far bigger issue than media streaming, this also opens the doors to all future web sites being in lock-down mode so you can skip adverts, copy data if you want/need, etc. Therefore I am 100% behind the free software movement here as the web should not, in fact, must not become a closed system otherwise we are all going to live in the anus of a DRM's facebook in future.
And that is too hideous to be allowed just so Netflix, etc, can dance to Hollywood's tune.
Considering the recent security problems with apps (I hate that term!) updating themselves to become full blown Trojans, this makes sense. However, part of me also wonders about the more sinister control aspect...
"A homemade NAS is fine, and I've used one. But I wouldn't trust anything business critical with it."
I have used "enterprise level" NAS at work and to be honest would not trust it any more.
Repeat after me "RAID is not backup"...
Most customers have no idea what RAID-x means, so no point in telling them. The key aspect here is they should have never been shipped with an unsafe option!
Of course, the other thing is no one should have only one cope on any device, no matter what RAID system is in use. RAID != Backup.
Shame they do not support 10.04 desktop for 5 years, but foisted upon us the unpleasant business of gnome3/unity.
Really, if you have any sense you will have an independent backup copy so no matter what your cloud provider does, or has done to them, you still have your data.
Though before you get to that stage, you should be asking serious questions about the security of all of your data in another company/country. No open client-side encryption? Then fsck off!
Unless 4G provides much cheaper data (i.e. lower £/GB, say 1-2GB for the same price as others charge 500MB) then what is the point? You will just end up paying too much because you are tempted to use data-intensive services and getting gouged.
Assuming it goes open-source (or at least the protocols do, so it is properly reviewed), this is a great idea as you get all of the benefits of "the cloud" without having to open your privates to those you don't trust that much. Like MS, Google, Amazon, etc...
Ideal for extended families so a selection of machines can share files and act as back-up for each other.
Of course, if it has a "read-only mode" (i.e. original creator can make changes that propagate across all shares, no one else can) then it could stir up a lot of controversy as The Pirate Bay's web site could become a local searchable share on thousands of machines and be all but unblockable by court orders to ISPs.
Re: @Christian Berger
But is it practical to achieve that sort of tight beamforming in small enough packages and at reasonable cost, power consumption, and bandwidth?
If you consider the wavelengths for which we can probably use and get reasonable building penetration, say in the 10cm range, and an angular requirement of say 10 deg to get a large number of urban users then an ideal antenna needs a diameter of around 60cm and in practice a phased array is going to be significantly bigger. For a big base station that is viable, but not for handheld or set-top boxes.
For the OP's point about not going through service providers via white space mesh connection then it won't be practical, but for some future high rate mobile it might just be viable. If it is cost effective enough and has enough back-haul bandwidth.
Re: Hopefully China will continue
You really don't understand how radio works it seems. Two problems:
(A) There is simply not enough usable spectrum in a typical built-up area to give everyone gigabit links like wired/fibre can.
(B) Cognitive radio is only usable if everyone is sharing the same negotiation system, and ideally (and essentially for non-cognitive systems) you have some database of users so you don't have a white-space user talking over another radio link it can't sense (due to sensitivity or shadowing issues) but is actually in use.
Hence radio should really be reserved for things that need it, such as mobile use, and not as a cost-saving option to avoid investing in fibre, etc, that has enough capacity for the foreseeable future.
 Yes, I know there is huge and very sparsely used spectrum up at tens or hundreds of GHz but that is not going to effectively penetrate well through walls, etc, and currently it is not cost-effective to produce TX/RX for them in single chips, etc.
When the Home Office has cited "national security" for not disclosing how a system they want to introduce at our expense should work, and when they start talking up terrorists and paedophiles and are not talking clearly about just who needs the information and why, it is time to can the lot and seriously review who is working there and just what sort of relationship they have with potential suppliers of said spook kit.
I smell a rat.
Quite a lot of ordinary motherboards have hardware watchdogs built in, for example the w83627 and similar chips that provide hardware monitoring (voltages, temperature, fan speeds, etc). This can provide a last-resort method of rebooting a sick server if you don't have lights-out support, but only SSH access.
With Linux you can add the corresponding watchdog driver module (they are black-listed by default in Ubuntu) and then the watchdog daemon and configure it to check a few vital signs. Typically you would check the load averages are not stupidly high (say over 5 per CPU core), maybe that rsyslogd is running, that you can run a simple bash script, etc.
If any of those tests fail then you get a moderately orderly reboot, and the hardware watchdog makes sure you get a reboot even if there is a kernel panic style of fault. Brutal perhaps, but it gets the system back up and hopefully either all OK again or at least you can SSH in to fix it.
"still really don’t know the value proposition of ultrabooks"
I kind of agree with the AC above, really what is the 'value' of an ultrabook to justify such a high price? Let me see:
Screen resolution better than 1080? Nope, in fact often not better then 768 lines.
Is much cheaper than a "look at me, I'm cool" Mac? Nope
User replaceable batteries, etc, compared to a Mac? Nope
Battery life better than an iPad? Nope
Has useful connectors like RJ45 Ethernet unlike a Mac that has lost them? Nope
Runs software much better than a typical £400 laptop? Not sure, but probably not twice as good.
I think you are rather naive to assume that IE6 use will simply die when XP is end-of-life'd.
For the web in general, yes, that is pretty much true even now for IE6 but not so true for IE8. But XP use will still continue for a while until home users finally replace older PCs (almost nobody actually replaces their OS outside of El Reg readers) and I sadly suspect a whole lot of corporate intranets will still have a couple of IE-specific crap for which the likely replacement cost is so large that they keep XP/IE use in place. Either with Win7's XP mode, or using XP in a VMware machine, etc, to balance that business need against the appalling risk of having an out of support OS & browser facing the Internet at large.
Thought I would fire up Pidgin and see who was on-line for IM. Nothing. Nobody I knew on Yahoo or on MSN seen for at least a year.
Maybe others still use it, but it seems everyone I know has gone for FB messaging (a nauseating decision).
It is an odd thing as you point out, the main reason for this framework was supporting that crap that is IE6, 7 and (to a slightly lesser degree) 8.
For home users its less of a problem. Want to stick with XP? Then download and install FireFox or Chrome, etc.
For corporate us the legacy of IE-specific crap will linger for a long time though.
I think the main, if not only, reason for MS supporting IE6 even this long was the huge legacy of corporate stuff that was written with only IE6 in mind at a point in time when cross-platform support was ignored and pointy-haired basses believed everything MS told them about IE6 being "the only and final" web browser they ever needed.
We can see how laughably wrong that was now, but the legacy of crap remains and even MS wish they could scrape IE6 from the soles of their shoes but have bottled out so far.
XP's general support death 2014 is looking pretty final though, after then its going to be "interesting" with browser plug-ins or virtulisation possibly being cheaper and less painful options than solving the underlying problems of stupidly designed software that depends on IE6 (or ActiveX in general).
Re: Well, at least it'll be secure!
Mind you, web browsers are practically an OS now anyway and routinely compromised.
Re: This is why...
Yes, because hanging folk for stealing sheep was so successful that ultimately we could store £250k+ in a shoe box under our beds and not have to consider higher security methods...
Must be more to object storage?
Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but using a UUID for a block of data rather than a directory tree entry seems pretty trivial, in fact you could probably write a small layer to allow one to appear on top of or underneath the other.
So what else has "object storage" got that you simply don't get with a file-based system?