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* Posts by Vic

2816 posts • joined 7 Dec 2007

BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*

Vic
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Re: It's the unwritten part of GTD...

> any really important stuff will be sent again in a few days.

The Zambezei Principle :-

"And if a bill comes in

Just throw it in the bin

Because I'm sure to get some more another day"

:-)

Vic.

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Microsoft reissues Windows 8.1 Update for enterprise customers

Vic
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Re: Windows' Future in the Enterprise

if you have 10,000 or 100,000 machines there's a huge eco-system out there of well managed, well understood and scalable tools to help you herd it all. The Linux world just isn't like that.

Actually, the Linux world *is* like that. Herding large numbers of machines is pretty easy - indeed, you can even use things like AD to do the job, if that's your preference. And there are Free alternatives to boot.

Vic.

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German space centre endures cyber attack

Vic
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Re: Effing Windows

"The attack was “co-ordinated and systematic” with some of the Trojans used designed to self-destruct on discovery, while other malware lay silent for several months before being activated, according to the report."

Would you like to now argue the fact that just because it seems like they are using Windows does not mean that they are using Windows?

*What* ???

I think we need an award for "non sequitur of the week"...

Vic.

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> china does not trust the germans.

Whereas we already know that America doesn't trust the Germans, or else they wouldn't have been bugging Merkel's phone...

Vic.

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OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts

Vic
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Re: WTF generic security software FAIL

Downvote, because you made that assertion without even attempting to demonstrate that you had any kind of knowledge about the question I asked.

And if you'd bothered to follow the threading, you'll see I was not responding to your post, just refuting an unsubstantiated claim from someone else.

I don't like to downvote you, but I'd like to encourage you to do better

I'm not going to downvote you - but you should probably expect some downvotes from someone...

Perhaps you could be encouraged to try better to follow the thread of conversation?

Vic.

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Re: WTF generic security software FAIL

> I'm familiar with both.

I don't think you are...

i can't tell you why you got two downvotes, but I can tell you I was thinking of downvoting you myself. Your assertions about Linux security are incorrect, and parrot the same Internet memes we keep hearing from those that aren't as familiar as they think they are.

Vic.

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Re: @Vic

> Someone has built a Z compiler?

Not quite a compiler...

I wrote a lint tool for Z. I still have nightmares about that project...

Vic.

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Joke

Re: The real problem is C

> Well in that case, I choose D.

Nah. You want ArnoldC

Vic.

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> has anyone ever seen a code review actually catch a problem?

Many times.

The trick is to pick your reviewers carefully - those that hit the "Ship it" button within 5 minutes are not reviewing code.

Vic.

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Re: The real problem is C

> Well there are 25 other letters in the alphabet...choose one.

Not Z. Please, $deity, not Z.

::shudders::

Vic.

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Eugene Kaspersky: Ukraine conflict hurts enterprise security

Vic
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Re: Online security and political conflict ..

> Ukraine is a non-issue

I suspect the people of Ukraine might disagree with you...

Vic.

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Torvalds rails at Linux developer: 'I'm f*cking tired of your code'

Vic
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If you specify debug on the kernel command line, you want to debug everything,

Not at all.

If you specify the long-standing command-line parameter to debug the kernel, that's what you're asking for. systemd hijacked that parameter - which predates systemd by some while - to force systemd into debug as well. This is incorrect.

If you want to debug "everything", you need to say so. I wouldn't expect my apache and sendmail processes to go into debug mode just because I've told the kernel to; they would have their own parameters to do such. It is exactly the same with systemd - it should not have hihjacked the kernel parameter.

Imagine you have a problem to boot the system and you do not know where the problem lies, specifying debug on the kernel command line should debug everything

Nope. That means you only have coarse-grained control over your debug; aside from the probability of that becoming intrusive, thereby destroying your debugging attempt anyway, it also makes finding the correct log entry much harder - there is far more chaff.

Now it could be argued that "debug" should now be ignored, with each piece of code having its own flag - so we explicitly use kernel.debug and systemd.debug - but I wouldn't support that; "debug" has been a kernel command-line parameter for a long time, and this change would serve purely to counter to fact that systemd thinks it can re-use that parameter; that;s quite a bit of change to everyone's debugging methods just to sort out one errant coder.

Vic.

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Re: re: But ... but ... but ...

If you code the scripts right, the difference would be negligible, down to a few milliseconds

This is not true.

SysV is inherently synchronous. systemd is not.

systemd will therefore start a box much more quickly, but at the cost of greater complexity, because it runs the start-up in parallel.

adding an ampersand in the end of the daemon invocation incantation in the Apache and Samba initscripts actually sped my boot speed up by a factor of five back in the SysV days.

But at what cost?

SysV scripts expect all previous scripts to be finished before they start. If you're forking off into the background, this expectation is no longer met. Thus, if you have a dependency between two scripts, you have just built a race hazard into your boot system. This is not a good way to build reliable systems.

You gotta fork the initscript to the background

You must not fork the initscript into the background unless you're prepared to have boot-time failures. The minute or so you might gain simply does not warrant that sort of instability.

Vic.

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Re: Odd timing

> Many programs look at /proc/cmdline

That they *do* doesn't mean that they *should*....

> See "grep cmdline /etc/init.d/*" for some examples.

On my current laptop, I've just got livesys and livesys-late that do (and I don't really get what they're doing there anyway - probably an artefact of installing form a Live image). On my server upstairs, there are no /etc/init.d/ files that look at /proc/cmdline.

I agree with the earliler poster - these are command-line arguments to the kernel, and were already defined in that context long before things like systemd came along. Should a userspace program *decide* to look at the kernel's parameters and act upon them, on its own head be it; it is the one that is overloading those parameters.

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: coding

> "We are no longer taught grammar at school, so I have no idea."

A friend of mine was studying for the TEFL course a few years back. The course included formal grammar - but the teacher didn't really know it very well. The students kept coming to me to help parse things out...

Vic.

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Re: coding @AC 2014-5-5 SometimeOrOtherPerhapsElRegCanRestoreTimestampsPlease

> just saying 'you're wrong' repeatedly doesn't advance the debate.

I quoted the bit you got wrong. Feel free to go back and look at it. If you can't work out why it's wrong - I suggest you read a grammar. It really ought to scream at you...

> likewise your inability to read my prior post disclaiming exactly this.

Oh., I read that post - as well as the other one where you claimed exactly what you disclaimed :-

I do have the strong innate understanding that allows me to use english as well as, or better than, many.

That's the nice thing about the written word - it tends to leave a trace...

Vic.

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Re: coding @AC 2014-5-5 SometimeOrOtherPerhapsElRegCanRestoreTimestampsPlease

> It seems some people are really struggling to get what I say

We're not - it's just that what you say is wrong.

Many people are wrong much of the time - and that's just fine. But you set yourself up as being some sort of expert, whereas your knowledge of language is actually insufficiently thorough even to understand how wrong you are. So you get called on it...

Vic.

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Re: coding @AC 2014-5-5 SometimeOrOtherPerhapsElRegCanRestoreTimestampsPlease

> It's mine by use, as it is yours by use.

It is neither mine nor yours byu use. It only holds value when everyone agrees on what sounds or markings actually mean. Thus your attempt to use it in ways other than the accepted norm serve only to devalue the language and demonstrate your own lack of capability. "I does it different like" is utter bullshit.

> A disagreement between us does not necessarily comprise a ballsup on my part

Indeed it does not - but your hopeless grammar certainly demonstrates a lack of that "innate" understanding you claim to have.

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: coding @AC 2014-5-5 SometimeOrOtherPerhapsElRegCanRestoreTimestampsPlease

> My language

Yours? Got a receipt?

> all the while ignoring its larger point I'm making.

When presenting oneself as some sort of linguistic expert, it would almost certainly be better not to have made quite such a ballsup of said expertise...

Vic.

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Re: Yadda yadda yadda

> Go back to SysV init.

But ... but ... but ...

Then no-one could do any of that oh-so-important wily-waving about fast boot times.

Because, as we all know, boot time is *critical* to everything.

[vic@hobgoblin ~]$ uptime

13:20:55 up 257 days, 16:49, 2 users, load average: 0.70, 0.73, 0.79

Vic.

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Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL

Vic
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> NetBank does not (and did not) use OpenSSL

Assuming than NetBank and Commbank are the same entity...

...how on earth are they serving https from Apache 2.2.3 on Red Hat Linux without using OpenSSL?

VIc.

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Vic
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Re: Surprise!

> Hey, they run on IIS, it's a legitimate comment!!!!

Netcraft seems to think they run on Linux.

From the look of the version number, they're running RHEL5, which has never been vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug.

Still, quite a monumentally stupid declaration from the bank...

Vic.

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Brit boffins use TARDIS to re-route data flows through time and space

Vic
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Have I got this right?

This is a cache with a cost-based routing algorithm?

'Cos we've never seen that before...

Vic.

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'China's Apple' heading to Asia and Latin America

Vic
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If they want to go global...

... They really need a less Chinese-sounding name.

People can pronounce "iPhone". They can pronounce "Galaxy".

"Xiaomi" really doesn't roll off the tongue for many of us. That, quite simply, will cost them sales.

Vic.

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Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month

Vic
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Re: What's the point?

> Having set up major IT systems to use a static dynamic domain

A static dynamic domain?

If you're doing "major IT systems", why not just set up the appropriate records in DNS properly, rather than messing around with Dyn et al.?

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Improved Service

> This seems like an improvement for regularly paying customers

A first post just after registering, to sing the praises of a change which most people see as unpopular.

Can you see how that looks?

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: ZoneEdit

> Pretty sure hurricane electric does free dynamic DNS

Hurricane also support AXFR from a remote machine - so my domains all run on my office server, with the he.net machines acting as the public-facing slaves.

I'm a bit of a fan...

Vic.

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Re: What's the point?

Set up a scheduled task on one of their Internet facing computers which polls www.ipchicken.com, www.whatsmyip.com, or similar, scrapes the address shown, and emails it to you

I've done something a little simpler in the past...

Set up a scheduled job to do a wget http://myserver.example.com/their_name . Discard any return.

Then you just need to look in the Apache logs to find their current IP address :-)

Vic.

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Tesla in 'Ethernet port carries data' SCANDAL

Vic
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Legally speaking quite possibly none. All the services mentioned could very well be used out of the box to build a backbone on which they could run their own proprietary code without modifying any copyleft licensed code at all, thereby avoiding the legal need to contribute code back to the community.

Please stop repeating this nonsense. It is as false on the tenth reading as it was opn the first.

The GPL is available at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html . Section 3 states :-

You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following

a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)

You will note that this doesn't say "only if you modified it" or anything like that; for a commercial redistribution of GPL code - as is the case with Tesla - the source is required either to be shipped with the binary or to be made available to any third party on request. And the written offer must accompany the code.

Vic.

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Re: I'd guess none

> (it hasn't been tested in court)

It has been tested in Court. Westinghouse Digital thought they could tough it out. They lost a whole warehouse full of big TVs, which ended up being sold for charity.

See Groklaw, amongst other places, for more detail.

Vic.

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Re: I'd guess none

As long as they're shipping stock Ubuntu plus ordinary user-mode binaries, they aren't shipping any derived GPL code at al

Bullshit. If they're shipping stock Ubuntu, they're shipping *loads* of GPL code. A significant amount of all GNU/Linux distributions is GPL, and Ubuntu is no exception.

The OS is Ubuntu's distribution, get yours through the usual channels

You appear to misunderstand the GPL. If Tesla is redistributing Ubuntu code, it needs to supply source. That's it. It doesn't matter that it's the same source as Ubuntu ships - Tesla still needs to supply that source on demand or with the binaries to remain GPL-compliant.

The proprietary user-mode binaries are merely aggregated.

Nobody's worried about any putative proprietary binaries. Tesla is shipping GPL code, so they need to ship source.

Yes, if they have made changes to the kernel or to any of the GPL'ed programs in Ubuntu, they have to make source of those changes available.

NO!

If they are shipping GPL binaries they need to ship source, regardless of whether or not they have changed them. Please *read* the GPL before making such erroneous statements.

Vic.

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they chose Ubuntu, so presumably they should just link you to the Ubuntu source if you ask for it

No.

That would only constitute compliance under a Section 3(c) distribution - but 3(c) is specifically only permitted for non-commercial redistribution. Tesla is not entitled to this.

Vic.

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Re: I'd guess none

> I'd guess none, honestly.

You'd guess wrong.

If Tesla is shipping GPL code, it must *either* accompany every binary with the corresponding source *or* it must make a binding promise, valid for at least 3 years, to ship that source to any third party on request.

Given that the car is capable of OTA updates, it is incredibly unlikely that they are shipping source with every binary.

> there'll be nothing they've customized

This is irrelevant. The GPL requires you to ship the complete source for all GPL items within your distribution, not just your own patches.

> Whatever UI these are running is probably custom and not required to be open source

But if it *derives* from GPL code, it becomes covered in totop by the GPL. It remains to be seen whether or not it does...

> Do they have GPL disclaimers in the manual?

Back in 2012, they had no mention of the GPL in the manual at all. This is actually a violation, but the sort of thing that gets sorted out quite easily. But Tesla doesn't currently seem to be trying to sort it out, and that way lies a big problem.

Oh - and it's not a "disclaimer"...

Vic.

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Microsoft: We've got HUNDREDS of patents on Android tech

Vic
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If I remember rightly the Linux kernel makes use of numerous microsoft patents, but is protected by a cross licensing deal of some variety

You do not remember rightly.

Microsoft keeps *claiming* that hte Linux kernel violates a large number of its patents. But they have refused to let on which ones.

The commuinity as a whole believes them to be FUDding. There is no evidence to refute such a position.

Vic.

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The... Windows... XPocalypse... is... NIGH

Vic
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Re: I agree entirely...

As opposed to the sort of numpties who build servers with a RAID0 system partition.

I saw one of those at the last place I worked. On that server was a Wiki containing the only real documentation for one of the products they sell.

I got called in after the first-line guy had the brilliant idea of re-formatting one of the drives to get around the disk crash...

Vic.

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Technology is murdering customer service - legally

Vic
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Re: Not just phone support

Which I guess is why you hear so many stories of companies that fall over and settle just before it gets to court. They'll obstruct, threaten and make you suffer right up to the courtroom door in the hope that you'll give up.

I took Royal Mail to court over some numptiness. It was a tiny claim, but they sent me a full inch of paperwork from their legal department to try to deter me, claiming they'd spent many thousands for which I would be liable when I failed in my suit.

I applied for a court date, and all of a sudden, they sent me a cheque...

VIc.

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Re: BT

managers started to measure the Cost of Poor Quality, and wanted to minimise it. That leads to targets

...But it always leads to the *wrong* targets.

Manglement want issues dealt with quickly - but customers don't; they want issues *resolved* quickly. So measuring the average time to close tickets and making a target out of that just motivates call-centre staff to close tickets prematurely. What you really need to measure is the time to get a customer to click the "yes, that's fixed, thanks" button.

But they don't :-(

Vic.

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Helpdesk/Service Desk Recommendations

Vic
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Re: RT?

> Does nobody use RT any more?

If you're going to set up RT, you need to be the only developer setting it up.

It's so configurable, it's nigh-on impossible to get a concensus IME.

We had a guy insisting it be set up with more queues than we had employees. As he was a Director (and I wasn't), he got his way...

Bloody good tracker, though.

Vic.

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Final Windows XP Patch Tuesday will plug Word RTF vuln

Vic
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Re: "Windows XP is a thirteen year old operating system .." @Hans 1

> What the blazes? Sounds like we have the same wife!

Yeah, and she's moonlighting as my girlfriend.

We're going to fall out if this continues, y'know...

Vic.

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TV sales PLUMMET. But no one's prepared to say what we all know

Vic
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Re: @Vic

> STi9000

STi7000. What is wrong with my brain today?

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: @Vic

Are you saying the system is "time sharing" the receiver hardware virtually on a frame by frame basis to allow this?

Nope. I'm saying it has multiple tuners and demultiplexers, but probably only one decoder (unless it supports PiP). The decoder genreates the images on your screen; the on-disk storage will still be encoded (for reasons that are obvious, I hope).

Nevertheless, none of that changes what I posted earlier - you still have a time delay between attempting to select a channel and getting that channel's data available on the demux output. You then have a further delay getting that data decoded into images and sound.

Because (apart from incompetent implementation) the only other reason I can think of is that the system powers down the 2nd channel in a rather misguided attempt to save power.

That's because you are thinking of the decoder as a single, monolithic lump. It isn't - you have a tuner, a demultiplexer, and a decoder. Many STBs have multiple tuners and demuxers, but I haven't seen many[1] with multiple decoders

The "common sense" way to implement this function is too effectively switch the outputs of 2 live decoders between a single channel to the monitor, not to have a "primary" and "secondary" decoder and switch the channel inputs between them.

You could build one - but you'd price yourself out of the market. And you still wouldn't get over the inevitable delay in locking the channel - it just does take that time.

Obviously I'd expect switching to a totally new channel to take longer

Exactly.

but the speed of the switching for existing channels is rubbish.

It isn't. Switching to a channel for which you already have demultiplexed data is quicker, but there is still a decoder lock-up time. But that wait time will be less than the time to lock a tuner/demux as well as the decoder.

Vic.

[1] There were some interesting designs to do HD when we were introducing the STi9000 - certain manufacturers were gluing 6 STi3520s to a board and getting them to work together. But that's not something that's likely to make it to market...

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Vic
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Re: @Chris Miller

My guess is this was programmed by some linear thinking newby and it never occurred to them it's just a case of flipping between existing outputs rather than searching for a "new" channel.

No, it doesn't work like that.

Even if you were using ping-pong tuners for your alternates - and you almost certainly aren't - you still need to lock your decoder clock to the clock reference, find the assorted tables necessary to interpret the ES streams, then wait for a GOP start before you can actually decode anything. And if there is any issue with A/V sync, you might have to delay further.

This, I'm afraid, is the result of both the temporal compression scheme we use for Digital TV and the carousel nature of the tables. A channel *can* improve the rate at which a decoder can lock to it by increasing the rate of PCR and table injection into the stream - but this costs bandwidth (possibly significantly) and offers very little benefit to the channel.

Vic.

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Passport PIN tech could have SAVED MH370 ID fraudsters

Vic
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Re: Getting through Airport Security

can you imagine just how much longer it would take at passport control if you had to enter a PIN ?

Exactly. Passports get used a couple of times a year for most people - most of those PINs will get forgotten, so either they'll be written down on a piece of paper kept with (inside?) the passport - rendering the whole thing useless - or people will cluster around the gate trying desperately to remember a number they last used a year ago.

And then you've got the reliability issue. Given the *huge* number of passports in circulation, there will inevitably be some faulty keyboards. So even if the traveller can remember the PIN, he still can't type it into the passport, so he still misses his flight.

So there you go. Perhaps the article should be re-entitled "Man With Patent Seeks Ways To Make More Money"...

Vic.

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Office of Fair Trading: UK.gov IT deals lack effective competition

Vic
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> what do you guys call an angry drunk?

"Twat", usually...

Vic.

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IBM PCjr STRIPPED BARE: We tear down the machine Big Blue would rather you forgot

Vic
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Re: Floppy drives

> PC won't gain 3.5" as a standard drive until the mid 90s

The PS/2 had them in 1987.

Vic.

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Re: Ah the 7400 series ICs...

Could the first chip perhaps be a TL074 quad op-amp rather than a 74-series logic chip?

I suspect he's mis-remembering a little...

One of the classic guitar distortion designs was to use unbuffered CMOS 4000-series - e.g. the 4009UBE, which gave you 6 stages to play with.

I can't imagine TTL sounding much cop...

Vic.

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Blinking good: LG launches smart light bulb for Android/iOS

Vic
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Joke

Re: 60 W led?

> either it's one of the most inefficient led bulbs going, or it's not 60W

Alternatively, it might be one hell of a deal :-)

Vic.

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Boffins working on debris float models to track MH370 wreckage

Vic
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Re: Australia anyone?

The south path -to me- points to an elaborate suicide.

I'm trying to prove you wrong because that would be such an utter waste of time, effort, and humanity. But I keep coming back to agreement with you. Unless there are things going on that we don't know about (and we do know that there is *some* of that).

Whoever did it didn't know about the 'pings' and so had every reason to believe that the plane would never be found

I think that bit shows even more detailed knowledge - the page that someone used to turn off the ACARS VHF transmissions only really has two entries on it - a tick-box for VHF and a tick-box for SATCOM. That someone turned off VHF and not SATCOM implies he thought SATCOM wasn't important - and that implies that he knew Malaysia Airlines wasn't using SATCOM...

Vic.

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