* Posts by Pete H

190 posts • joined 26 Feb 2008

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Oculus Rift noggin-bucket ... heyyy, errr ... have we all got them on already?

Pete H

Re: meh.... Oculus Rift Virtual Blinders™... WTF?! Where's the peripheral vision?

> Where are the curved screens offering peripheral vision?!

Why do I need a curved screen? Just need some clever lenses to distort the flat screen so what reaches your eye looks like it has more peripheral vision (and enough chromatic aberration correction in the software to avoid it looking all rainbow like (because different wavelengths diffract differently through the lenses)).

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Supreme Court ignores Google's whinging in Java copyright suit

Pete H

What I don't quite understand is what Oracle hope to gain out of this.

The only reason I have Java installed on my PC at all is because of Android development. If they piss off Google, there is a good chance Google will go off and invent some "Java-like" alternative and replace Java completely (I mean it's not a bad language, but its not worth billions - you can build a good alternative for that kind of $$$). Which means Java will die all the more quickly.

Ah no. It's Oracle - squeeze all you can out of it while you can and then dump it because you never wanted it in the first place. I remember ...

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5

So much for rainbows, Zuck: Facebook staff still overwhelmingly male and white

Pete H

> and I think quota-based hiring is retarded ... you have to be able to pass some kind of standard in ethics ...

This is basically the point of quota-based hiring. There are many industries which are, for reasons of history, male dominated. There are many which lack basic infrastructure for employing disabled people, even if those people are awesome - such as ramps. In such an environment "bad habits" develop - if you hire lots of guys then you will get frat-house behaviour from some, which would not have happened in a more mixed sex environment because the need for social behaviour regulation isn't there. You need trail-blazers of <other> [sex/color/race/disability] in order to cause that work environment to adjust, and quotas just help that help a little faster, as it removes one part of sub-concious self-selection.

The general aim is that once society adjusts the quotas can be backed out, and it should be self sustaining, although in some countries such as Sweden the quotas for sex equality basically turn into something which is just about the quota, even though social norms are now pretty good, and that is destructive in the long term. The trick with quotas is realising when you don't need them any more.

Quotas are not about any specific job - they are about causing a shift in social norms - and they have a long-term view to fixing problems because society does not move quickly ...

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This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

Pete H

Individual transistors and LEDs - sure - but hand made wiring looms? I'd at least have gone for some PCBs for the backplane (with hand made looms linking the PCBs together). Density of components looks low enough that even one sided PCBs would work with small hand soldered bridges to jump wires.

Fair play indeed - more patience than I have ...

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So why the hell didn't quantitative easing produce HUGE inflation?

Pete H

Re: Tons of inflation

> 1) Buy a field from a farmer; 3) See what happens next...

Yes. Current green belt policy is pretty much exclusively why we don't have a functioning market. That was my point. The price of land is nothing to do with the actual price of land - you can buy agricultural land for about £6K an acre - so it isn't a land supply issue, it's a planning an approvals issue which entirely self inflicted by policy and therefore fixable.

> So let’s consider building 15 million houses. That would destroy current property valuations for generations to come.

Sure, but as you so clearly point out 15 million houses are not going to appear overnight, so the banks will have plenty of time to adjust. If it takes 100 years then I think we're screwed (that's slower than the current rate of building, which isn't fast enough to keep up with population growth, let along alleviate some of the pressure).

> Optimistically over the next 10 years we might build 1/10th of that.

As population is currently growing relatively consistently at around 5 million heads every 10 years we'll need to to a lot better than we are now (i.e. if we keep building ~160K houses a year nothing really changes).

> or incentivise house building [which can only really be done via tax reductions]

You just need to relax planning and free up some (OK, quite a lot of) land (and possibly tax those who sit on land banks to avoid them hoovering up the supply to keep prices high) - market forces _should_ take care of the rest. The material cost of a house is not that high once you factor out land prices (which are self inflicted costs, which are entirely within the remit of the Government to fix).

> but pointing the finger at preceding generations

It's got nothing to do with pointing the finger at anyone. House prices cannot sustainably rise at 10% a year when underlying wages are stagnant - it's a monetary fiction which is going to either implode or turn the entire economy in to a Japanese basket-case. Building more houses is the only way to release the pressure - sure, you can't do it instantly without ballsing up the financial system, but it needs to happen at some point. Sky high housing costs just make much of the UK uncompetitive for many industries, or are a massive hindrance to labour mobility - neither is good for the long term health of the economy.

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Pete H

Re: Tons of inflation

> I think the causality runs the other way round

All true, although the long-term sustained rampant increase is only possible in situations where there is an sustained undersupply of the resource in question.

Your arguments explain why people were _able_ to pay more, but not why they _needed_ to pay more. In a well functioning market, more houses would have been built a long time ago to meet demand (i.e. houses cost a lot less than £300K to build, so why is no one building more of them).

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Pete H

> He complained about banks paying poor interest and banks operate in a very different way. Most of the money they are lent by savers they lend out again to people who need it for some purpose.

Yes I know that. My point was that if you look at any cash account over the last 10-15 years the basic rate of interest is at best around 2% percent above inflation. Sure, you used to be able to get 4% in a cash account, but the underlying inflation was 2%, so the next gain was 2%. There are 2% cash saving accounts out there today (mostly on fixed-term bonds, so not the most liquid form), so I was really arguing that the effective cash interest rate isn't much worse than it used to be if you are willing to shop around for a bit.

If you want much more than 2% today then you're in to unsustainable banking problems again ...

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Pete H

Re: Tons of inflation

> the cost of housing

Housing prices were rising long before QE and have been for years - so you can't blame QE for this. There are many and wide ranging reasons for it.

* Massive massive under supply of housing stock. Mixture of issues here. Physically we have a larger population (some due to immigration, a lot due to people just living longer). Logistically we have a more spread out population - families no longer live together as much as they did. Students go to university and need housing, students don't go back to the family home after university to chase the jobs and so need housing, women leave home to find work rather than staying at home until they get married and so need housing.

* Poor utilization of the housing stock. People are living longer and staying in large houses after children have left home / spouse has died.

* Women working (effectively more than doubled the disposable income of a household, as all of the essentials were budgeted for off one income, and most of that £££ gets steered towards "big ticket" items - housing, cars, etc).

* Modest rates of inheritance tax. The next generation of a family can now inherrit £650K from both of their parents tax free. If your parents own their house, you get a HUGE boost to what you can afford, which in an arena with limited supply will always drive prices go up. If your parents don't own a house then you're buggered, as the lack of that "step up" basically locks you out (i.e. it would take you 25 years to earn that 600K if you and your partner both put away £1200 a month, at which point you probably don't need the large family house anyway).

Basically we need to build 15 million houses, and then prices will drop to something sensible. If you want a "social" model then taxing inheritance more heavily wouldn't hurt to level the playing field between those who's parents had houses, and those who did not, but the fundamental issue is massive undersupply.

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Pete H

Inflation is 0%. Why do you expect to be rewarded for piling gold coins into a vault, and having a dragon sit atop it?

Curiosity here, more than anything else - interest on cash savings accounts has generally approximated the underlying inflation rate for years - with a few exceptions (IceSave had a great interest cash account rate - 8% - I bet that was sustainable, oh wait, no it wasn't).

12
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Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

Pete H

Re: How do the manage the fuel

Propulsion - none. Voyagers were launched via a grand slingshot approach, using various planets gravity to build up speed.

Fuel in this case is a pint sized plutonium cell, which produces electricity for the inboard instruments.

14
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Caterham 270S: The automotive equivalent of crack

Pete H

Re: It's good to see Caterham thinks of the passenger...

Yep, it's the weight that makes it.

Brother in law has an R400 which he bought second hand for track day "playing" and it overtakes pretty much everything with ease. Porche's "best effort" racer for consumer purchase weighs 1.3 tons (that's the lightened version) and costs 3-4 times as much - it's very very hard to beat a Super 7 on power to weight without spending an awful lot of money.

It's basically grown-up cart racing ...

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Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht to spend LIFE in PRISON without parole

Pete H

> For those n00bs wanting drugs to be legitimised so they can be taxed and therefore crime will go down. Haver you heard of tobacco and alcohol?

Yes both, and yet despite being legal they don't destroy society all that badly.

> Both get taxed to the hilt because they make you dependant on them and therefore will pay whatever is asked because you need them.

Not sure the data backs this up - tobacco usage is dropping, and alcohol is also dropping off in younger end age groups (in the UK at least).

> Also the 'medical benefits' argument is equally flawed.

Evidence? Lots of scientific reports say otherwise, and for the most part "dying happy quickly" is a lot more useful than a "living" a life prolonged by really agressive treatments such as chemo and radiotherapy. Seen both my parents go through it and for the last few years of life, it was just an endless sequence of feeling shit because of chemo, feeling shit because of radiotherapy, feeling OK for a month, then back around again. Would palliative care have been a better option?

> It's a death sentence.

We all die. The real question is not how you die, but if you enjoy life getting there. Modern western society seems to want to prolong life as much as possible by taking all of the fun out of it. Alcohol - bad. Red meat - bad. Watching telly - bad. Flying too much - bad. Sun - bad. Too little sun - bad. FFS western society, I don't want to live forever in a bland universe where everything is the same every day because it is "safe".

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The 'echo chamber' effect misleading people on climate change

Pete H

Re: Consensus is not science

> "They laughed at Galileo!

No, they arrested that one.

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Pete H

Re: Echo Chamber

> These users tend to choose what they see in front of them.

The machines do that for you now. Search for "XYZ" a lot, the algorithms promote that type of search to the top of the list because you click on it more often than "ABC". The modern machine-lead learning experience of internet generally entrenches your own prejudices unless you really make an effort to dig our both sides of the debate (which most people don't).

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Last flying Avro Vulcan, XH558, prepares for her swan song

Pete H

Re: What a shame

... and hear it fly, those engines roar out a sweet tune.

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Feds: Bloke 'HACKED PLANE controls' – from his PASSENGER seat

Pete H

Re: Lemmings !

> So just how the fuck are we supposed to be experts?

You're not, but it would be reasonable to do 5 minutes of reading and apply some common sense rather than just believing what is written on the internets, and then spouting off about how terrible the world is ...

[You in the general sense, not you specifically]

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Don't look now: Fujitsu ships new mobe with EYEBALL-scanning security

Pete H

Be Well

"Access granted, Warden William Smithers. Thank you, and be well."

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Mozilla flings teddy out of pram over France's 'Patriot Act'

Pete H

> In my experience DRM often taints a product's entire design

I love the smell of hyperbole in the morning. Anti-DRM is really turning in to a religion of the first order. It doesn't help the argument.

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Theresa May: Right, THIS time we're getting the Snoopers' Charter in

Pete H

> I simply don't see what the problem is.

Ignoring the civil liberties aspect for one moment, there are a number of other issues which are a problem.

(1) Electronic intercepts of this nature are notoriously unreliable, and just getting a lot more data doesn't mean you actually get better "intelligence". For most cases of terrorism which this is supposed to help "fix" we actually already had solid leads and intel on most of the bombers, but lacked man power to actually doing anything about it. Drag-netting a huge amount of low quality data makes the problems of data analysis harder, not easier, so actually risks making it less likely you find the bad guys.

(2) Actually doing something with all of the data requires investment in both technology and/or people. Given the relative expense of large scale government IT projects, and all of the administrators that go along with it, and all of the agents you would need to hire to actually follow up data leads, it is highly likely that you would save far more lives by plowing that money into the NHS or some other social scheme that have ever been killed by "terrorism".

That final point is the nail in the coffin for me - no politician ever looks at the opportunity cost of what the money could do elsewhere. The downside is that if the government doesn't do anything, and something does happen, you just know that the press will slaughter them for not doing anything. They can't win - we really need the public to say "you know what, liberties are more important than a few people dying in very rare circumstances which you probably wouldn't be able to stop anyway". But that's not likely to happen.

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Google has tested its speedy QUIC internet protocol on YOU – and the early results are in

Pete H

Re: Decrease page load times by A WHOLE SECOND!

Which would be all well and dandy if this proposal had anything what so ever to do with reducing bandwidth. It doesn't - at best you would save some control headers which are tiny - so if you network is bandwidth congested you're still screwed.

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WHAT did GOOGLE do SO WRONG to get a slapping from the EU?

Pete H

> So, tell me, WHY should I go out of my way to use something that isn't better?

Did you actually read the article at all? Been good at something is not a monopoly. Being good at something and then using that as leverage to force people to to use something which you are not so good at is abusive.

If they are good at search, fine, but they are not allowed to use that "good at search" to also force Google+, Maps, Google Shopping, analytics, etc, etc, or whatever other "beta software" they have invented down your throat - that stifles competition. Doubly so in Google's case because they subsidize all of the peripheral stuff on the back of a huge ad network, which makes it almost impossible to compete against on a commercial footing.

The general risk is that you end up in a situtation where users can't use something better because it doesn't exist, but it should have existed in a well functioning market. Mega corps are nearly always "bad".

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Streaming tears of laughter as Jay-Z (Tidal) waves goodbye to $56m

Pete H

Re: Would rather have a download on demand lossless format

That would be Amazon. It has very good download rates, but latency can be a bit high - around one to two days I find.

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Is this what Windows XP's death throes look like?

Pete H

Re: Oh wow...

> Why wouldn't a console do?

Keyboard. Mouse. That is all.

> I mean, something like Civilization wouldn't work on console, I see that. And I'm told that big FPS games don't translate well either.

OK it wasn't all. Didn't you just really answer your question? I want a machine which can play ALL games, not just the subset which happen to be available in walled garden #1 with a stupid interface form factor.

For sake of disclosure, I do own a console (or two), but also heavily use a decent Windows gaming PC. With Linux in a VM for "Real Work".

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Google cracks down on browser ad injectors after shocking study

Pete H

Re: Unwanted ad injectors aren't part of a healthy ads ecosystem

> That will come when the advertisers understand that they haven't got a god given right to shove their crap in your face 24,7 whether you want it or no

Which will come when "users" realise they also have a right to pay for the content they are consuming on the internet. It all has to get paid for somehow, and the general trend so far is that users are a bunch of tight fisted folks who would rather put up with adverts (indirect costs) rather than pay up front (direct costs).

Not just web - happening in gaming too with "free to play" - people just don't like paying for software.

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Apple's Tim Cook and Salesforce's Marc Benioff DECLARE WAR on anti-gay Indiana

Pete H

> It's all a bit cyberpunk, isn't it, when Corporations can have a direct influence on political policy.

Who do you think pays for the billion dollar election campaigns. If you think US politics is not entirely "corporate" you need a head scanning. Companies do not stump up a billion of dollar in total unless they think they get something out of it.

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Tennessee sues FCC: Giving cities free rein to provide their own broadband is 'unlawful'

Pete H

I get the impression this is more about "state" vs "federal" turf war than anything to do with providing good and competitive internet to the good citizens.

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If you can explain what 'an API management platform' is, you too can be worth $700m

Pete H

*Boogle*

How can a company with not much history (it's a young company), which is losing $60M a year, at an apparently increasing rate, be worth $700M. *Boogle*. If it is "just software" it's not even like they have a monopoly on "analytics in the cloud".

Tech Bubble 2.0.

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Our 4King benders are so ace we're going full OLED, says LG

Pete H

Re: HDR?

High Dynamic Range

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-dynamic-range_imaging

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AMD, ARM, Imagination, Samsung alliance publish official shared GPU-CPU blueprints

Pete H

Re: Pete H

That was my point - the bus is still there, you are still moving data over it. If processor A has the data and processor B needs the data the only way to get it is to copy it over a bus (on chip or off chip, it makes no difference - there are always wires linking things together, it is just a question of scale).

All this spec seemingly changes is the need for manually keeping the different memory pools in sync - the "clever bit" is the reliance of system level hardware cache coherency - not the removal of the need to move data around the system (which is impossible).

Sorry if I didn't state the point in the most "smooth" way ...

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Pete H

> without having to copy chunks of data over buses, for example

Unless they have just invented a chip design which works on quantum entanglement of particles, so data can magically jump from the CPU to the GPU caches or to main memory as required, I'm pretty sure that moving data over busses is still firmly in the picture.

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Facebook security chap finds 10 Superfish sub-species

Pete H

> I think you may be making some incorrect assumptions about what these certificates mean. They are purely and simply there to certify that a given web site belongs to a given organisation.

Yes, but they don't do this directly. The entire system is based on the fact that there is a "trusted authority" which can attest that the entire certificate chain from root to signer is valid. You implicitly have to trust everyone in that chain not to have leaked a key, or the security of the chain is DOA.

The entire scheme is trust based, and the OP is correct - most of those certificate signers I wouldn't trust at all (I have never head of them, so why would I trust them or their processes to keep their signing keys safe?). However, as most websites are only signed via one CA you don't get a choice - you either accept the certificate or go elsewhere (which is a choice, just not a very useful one).

Personally I would say that there isn't enough visibility of how any of the certificate vendors or their processes actually work, so the security processes involved are totally opaque. That's not really trust - that's just taking everything on faith - and that's no real way to build a security system.

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Apple drives itself round bend: PITIES THE FOOL who inks deal with carmakers – source

Pete H

Re: Oh dear...

It'll be fine on American roads without them ...

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Boffins turn nano-wires into their OWN thermometers

Pete H

It's entirely possible to get very small parts of a design running VERY hot. The average chip temp will be much lower, but hot spots can cause massive problems as dissipating heat out of an area only a few 100 nm across is hard.. I seem to remember some Intel slides on Pentium4 claiming there were parts of the design around the same thermal density as a SaturnV rocket nozzle. We all saw how well that turned out for that micoarchitecture - hot spot problems were so bad it got shot.

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Basic minimum income is a BRILLIANT idea. Small problem: it doesn't work as planned

Pete H

Re: Does it matter?

> Combine that with a single flat rate tax system (possibly with a tax exempt threshold), and suddenly the cost of administering the system becomes tiny compared to what it is at the moment.

It doesn't work for a sizeable chunk of the system. There are a large number of exceptions - people who are severely ill and/or disabled - where £130 doesn't cover expenses (i.e. needing 24 hour care). Hell, around here it wouldn't even cover rent in social housing, so those out of a job would still need support.

Assuming you are giving the parents the money for the kids (it was cradle to grave, right?), it also encourages parents who shouldn't be having kids to have more of them just to get the £££. If you don't pay parents for the kids, then you get a much worse poverty trap as today with parents on benefits with 5 kids. Unless you start wanting to forcefully sterilize portions of the population, this is an "interesting" route to go down.

Society is full of corner cases - the problems with policies like this is they try and treat everyone as if they were "average" - it simply isn't true.

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

Pete H

Re: So Stupid

... and neither is my wife.

8
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Dev put AWS keys on Github. Then BAD THINGS happened

Pete H

> "I only had S3 keys on my GitHub and they were gone within five minutes!"

Assuming they got comitted to a git repo, I wonder if there were still in the version history. Seen that happen a few times on internal repos - people delete the file from HEAD, but nuking the history totally is much harder.

1
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Microsoft kills its Euro pane in the a**: The 'would you prefer Chrome?' window

Pete H

Re: Most people never had a choice . . .

> I think the argument against IE is relevant only in that it controls the complete stack and allows (allowed) MS to pretend (or insist) that IE is essential to the proper operation of the OS.

The real issue was that Microsoft deliberately did not follow the defined standards so only their browser worked for the majority of sites - it was an wilful abuse of a dominant market position, and made compatibility for other software difficult.

As a result of the legal ruling, and increased competition, Microsoft were basically forced to start paying more attention to the standards. Still not perfect, but a lot better than they were ...

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Google pushes 'go' on Android Studio

Pete H

Re: "the fact that it meshes in so well with bash and the command line"

> WHY THE FUCKING FUCKITY FUCK WOULD I WANT A COMMAND LINE!!!!?!?!?!!

TortoiseGIT for Windows?

EGit for Eclipse?

> And it has no Windows support.

I mean "Git Windows" on Google throws up about 3 or 4 different download sites at the first downloads. "No support", sure.

> with no documentation

http://git-scm.com/book/en/v2

Sometimes I think organizations roll out tools without teaching their staff the first thing about how to use them. WHAT THE FUCK HAS HAPPENED TO THE FUCKING WORLD???

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Pete H

Re: Yuck

> I do hope they come up with a new flavour of the month to replace git soon, as its a total stinking pile of shite.

Out of curiosity, what's wrong with it? I've used most of the "free" ones over the years (CVS, SVN, mercurial, GIT), and managed to avoid the uber systems (Perforce, etc), and TBH git seems to be the best of those that I have tried.

It's fast, flexible, and generally comes with a whole pile of features which I can't get in the others (although mercurial has some of them). Once I embraced the concept of a local repo with local commits for my working copy I suddenly became a whole load more productive. Just don't try to use it like a drop-in swap for a traditional CVS/SVN - it will drive you crazy and you'll never actually get any of the benefits.

Is it perfect? No - I miss having a global incrementing version for trunk (my only feature gripe - and one which I have "emulated" simply by tracking the hash history over time for each major branch I maintain), and it does have a learning curve, but it is one hell of a powerful tool.

2
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The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

Pete H

Re: The fad now leaving from platform 4 ...

> Once your TV picture has a dynamic range that exceeds that of our eyes, without them dilating all the excess DR is wasted.

Not all the dynamic range in HDR needs to be "brighter" - you generally get more quantized levels available in the between the existing "LDR" min and max luma levels. In dark scenes where you eye is already dilated this allows the HDR scene to show subtle detail which is not visible in an LDR encoding.

Yes, ambient light doesn't help this (eye dilation isn't only determined by the scene), but TBH many people do watch films (the most likely HDR candidates people will actually care about) with the lights off ...

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Pete H

Re: I'll wait thanks

> So far their plan has been ... <snip> ... 4k ...

I'm not complaining about 4K, not because I want a better telly (hardly ever watch the one I have), but because it is finally meaning decent resolution panels being produced in volume, so it may finally kick 1080p out of PC and laptop displays. PC monitors have been static in terms of resolution for 10 years thanks to TV determining the "economics" and TV moving to something better is the only way to unblock that.

4k2k monitor - yes please. 4k2k TV - whooo ultra high definition HDR amplified compression artefacts on freeview - wonderful.

3
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Oculus Rift tech-specs 'MANY MONTHS away' from hitting the shelves

Pete H

Re: Spec creep?

> It's really a minority of people who have that though - otherwise they wouldn't be able to have darkened cinemas.

You generally don't move your head in a cinema - it's a different problem. If all the VR environments provide is a 3D scene without head tracking, then you'd be right, but IIRC half the point of the head-mounted display is that you can look around.

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Nvidia's screaming new Maxwell GPUs bring 4K gaming to notebooks

Pete H

Re: What ... you mean your notebook doesn't have a 4K screen?

I'd be happy with a full 1080p screen in a notebook ... 1376x768 is still all too common ...

7
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'Apple Watch' sapphire glass maker files for bankruptcy protection

Pete H

Re: bankruptcy

Money owed > Money in bank.

Chapter 11 is designed to let companies restructure before they implode into an unrecoverable mess. If you only try it when you have $0 in the bank then you're unlikely to have enough time to recover anything.

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ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7

Pete H

Re: Coincidence or by Design?

> And gosh they are tiny chips, 0.1mm square is nothing for such a useful chip.

Worth noting that's just the CPU area _in_ the chip - not the whole chip. Someone will have to bolt on peripherals, bus, internal memories, pin out pads, etc to form the whole chip which an end developer would buy.

That said, in reality at the "small end" the logic gate area is significantly smaller than the area needed for pin out (I think the smallest I've seen is 2mm x 2mm, which was achieved by eschewing packaging and just dipping the silicon in a ceramic paint to insulate and protect it).

3
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Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack

Pete H

Re: What industry do these guys work in ? Clearly not a tech one.

> A process that could be easily devolved to a 3D Printer - which are hardly like rocking horse shit.

Most 3D printers I've seen can't capture the level of detail required for a finger print - not the mass-market squirty plastic kind anyway.

As above - on many sensors blutack or plasticine works just fine. Low tech and far easier ...

> If there's an incentive, things will be made simple. Look at the grunts who skim cards, using quite high tech.

True, but that's a create once and use many kind of operation. Getting one fingerprint of one guy unlocks one phone - it's not scalable to quite the same extent.

That said, if you really really want to get into one guys phone hacking is a lot of bother - just threaten to hit him with a wrench until he gives you the pin number, or cut off his finger. Attack the fleshy part - not the technology - it's normally simpler.

6
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Google recommends pronounceable passwords

Pete H

> attackers shouldn't be able to determine the password even if they know what method you use to create it

Yes, if every user applies a cryptographically sound key generation technique this is indeed the theory. I think Bruce's general point is that if you ask the average punter to string 3 words together the amount of entropy is far from what it looks like, and so the algorithm is not cryptographically sound - you either need longer key lengths (more words), or a new algorithm.

> Why, that's less than a week!

I assumed that he's talking about rainbow table attacks working backwards from a website which has leaked a hash, the issue is not processing time (you only have to generate the rainbow table once per salt), but the amount of space it takes to store the tables.

Assuming most users pick from a relatively small pool of words in common use, it's not an insurmountable search space. Yes, the total search space in theory is pretty enormous but, I suspect many people have a password with "Cat" in, and many more with "Dog", and more than a few with "Password". Hackers only have to skim off the 1% of the easiest passwords to get into a system- not the 1% of the geeks with the uber difficult ones which are hard to remember ;P

1
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Scared of brute force password attacks? Just 'GIVE UP' says Microsoft

Pete H

Re: Interesting

I read more as "there is no point investing in really expensive locks (long passwords) if everyone makes the safe out paper (i.e. the other security is implemented wrong)".

That said their approach is a race to the bottom - lets make everything as weak as the weakest part - rather than trying to improve industry best practise to reduce the number of "implemented wrong" instances in the wild.

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2

iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms

Pete H

Re: Drop in Ipad sales / saturated market?

Bang on.

I'm still using my iPad 1 - it gets used daily on my commute, and basically is as good a new and still has a week-long battery life.

The only reason I may consider an upgrade is that they's stopped providing iOS updates for it, so some new apps don't work if they require iOS-latest. However, given the price of a new one I really can't justify it, and I don't want to encourage companies to stop supporting perfectly functional hardware =) Given that most apps work on the current one just fine and the hardware is basically in perfect condition, an upgrade just seems like spending for the sake of it.

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