* Posts by M Gale

3542 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007

Google, Microsoft to add remote KILL switch to phones

M Gale

Re: Re. kill switch

You'd also have to be able to tell the cheap models from the expensive ones quickly by sight.

The size of the big glowing rectangle on the front face is a generally good indicator.

Anyway, even if the thief can only get a tenner out of the parts, that's four bags of smack and maybe worth it to some people. The point about phones being broken down and sold for parts is a very valid one. Cars nearly all have immobilizers these days, and yet, Grand Theft Auto continues to be more than just the name of a computer game.

There's no substitute for a bit of common sense. Not leaving your phone on the dashboard in the middle of a city centre for instance.

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Finding the formula for the travelling salesman problem

M Gale

40ft? A van?

That'll be lorry, truck, or if you really insist, "wagon".

And yes, it can make for an interesting night when the algorithms (and some humans in the loop) bugger things up a bit and the sorting warehouse ends up packed to the rafters with crap that's only going out via local deliveries in 6 hours, crap that should have gone out on a trunk 2 hours ago, all mixed in with crap that's supposed to be getting sorted and loaded right now.

Almost as much fun as being in the back of the wagon when the wrong driver is told to pull away and start with the deliveries, but I guess that's a different type of fuck-up.

EDIT: UPS adverts down both sides and all over the page. Har de har.

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Adobe all smiles as beret bods spaff cash on non-cloud Creative Suite

M Gale

Re: Where is the competition

I have heard good things about Paint Tool SAI. How well it performs next to say, Paint Shop Pro or The GIMP, I am unsure.

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YouTube will nuke indie music videos in DAYS, says Google exec

M Gale

Re: Don't Be Evil

Remember the days when the googlistas and googlefans were falling over themselves to worship google because of that mantra?

And on which planet did this occur? It certainly wasn't Earth.

Though I do remember Google getting much praise over a no-nonsense search engine that works.

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UK govt preps World War 2 energy rationing to keep the lights on

M Gale

Re: Not renewables...

Well they might not be sane in your opinion, but they are the people who feed and care for others and generally get stuff done.

Because that's the exclusive preserve of hardcore nutters who'd rather we all be living by candle light and see that dangerous elastic trickery stuff as an affront against Mother Nature.

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M Gale

Re: Not renewables...

any strategic move to more gas, coal or nuclear would be unpopular with the greenies.

And rolling power cuts will be unpopular with the sane.

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Redmond is patching Windows 8 but NOT Windows 7, say security bods

M Gale

Re: What better way to force people to upgrade..

I'm sorry, but this is just too funny. Is www.notruescotsman.com one of those sites? :D

Considering the majority of IIS's rise in the last year has come from one company, and the majority of the sites hosted by that company are apparently link farms and domain holding pages... I dunno, what do you think?

The "No True Scotsman" fallacy would only apply if those sites weren't basically spam and black-hat SEO. Are you suggesting that sites like that matter in any way except perhaps needing to be added to crudware statistics? Don't take my word for it though. Follow the links, and see for yourself.

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M Gale

Re: What better way to force people to upgrade..

Many is not most.

In any case, the April edition of the Netcraft stats is even more interesting to read. Not only is most of the IIS gain due to a single company, but the vast majority of sites hosted by that company are link farms.

IIS: The choice of web server for spammers and black-hat SEO specialists. Hardly a wonderful accolade.

Also interesting that amongst the statistics that actually matter (million busiest sites, active sites), IIS is now being beaten by not only Apache, but in a narrow margin by the open-source nginx. Like I said, that's the new kid on the block. Certainly one to watch.

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M Gale

Re: What better way to force people to upgrade..

For instance IIS server is now only 0.15% away from overtaking Apache in market share!

However, amongst sites that actually matter, the story is significantly different. Nginx is the up and coming new kid there, and Apache still enjoys a very strong lead. In fact amongst the top million busiest sites, and amongst sites that are actually active, IIS share is continuing on its long-term decline.

It could be that lots of people start on IIS because it's like building with lego bricks and about as easy. As soon as the admins want to do anything reasonably complex, IIS becomes a pain in the neck, because it's like building with lego bricks.

Try again in a couple of years and we'll see if that one-year rise in IIS share amongst all sites including crappy Geocities-esque personal blogs continues, or if, like every other rise in IIS share, it's been a blip that drops as soon as the newbies discover that IIS isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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How to strip pesky copyright watermarks from photos ... says a FACEBOOK photo bod

M Gale

Re: Probably only suitable for a thumbnail anyway

LOL. Nobody buys a license for their Photoshop

Not these days, anyway. Welcome to the "Creative Cloud", where everything is rented and you own the square root of fuck all.

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DARPA gamifies open-source software testing

M Gale

Wasn't this already covered?

Like, several months back?

Aha, looks like last time it was for "commercial software". Well I guess that makes all the difference.

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Google to let Chromebookers take video content OFFLINE

M Gale

Gasp.

Google have just discovered the hard drive.

Well fucking done.

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Plucky Playmonaut bails out of smoking Vulture 2

M Gale

Re: Why are you

He's also immortal, and ready to jump back into the pod even before you've finished scraping his remains out of the smouldering crater left by the last pod. I don't feel that our Playmonaut is quite so psychotically happy about a hypersonic splashdown.

Maybe we should set the Playmonaut's BadS flag to true.

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M Gale

Re: Luckily the story is supported by evidence

What, you don't like bird jokes?

Well this is hawkward.

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Glassholes beware: This guy's got your number

M Gale

What you CAN tell is where the packets are coming from and where they are going to. If you couldn't, then the network would be a notwork.

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M Gale

Re: Is that a portable access point in your pocket, are you ...

The big blinking LED is a bit of a giveaway.

As for phones, I wouldn't say that a top pocket with a hole in is all that great a length to go to. Somewhat less detectable, too.

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M Gale

Re: Is that a portable access point in your pocket, are you ...

There's a "simple" solution to 4G Glass. Replace your drywall with metal lath plaster walls. Windows with triple pane, ultra low-e treatment on the inside and outside layer. Unless those windows overlook a tower, no cellular will penetrate that building :)

That would block any and all mobile calls and data, including, I presume, emergency calls. Fair enough. The thing that gets me the most though is the picking on Glass specifically, when any mobile device can do what Glass does. And, as various people have mentioned, it's not like cameras don't have SD cards.

So yeah, "preventing people from recording artworks" is a bloody piss-poor excuse for "nerr herr I block you, Glass user." Even then, he doesn't block jack shit asides a MAC address that, given the supposed hackability of Glass, might well be a simple ifconfig eth0 hw ether 00:01:02:03:04:05:06 away from being something entirely different.

I think he wasn't loved enough as a child, myself.

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M Gale

I wonder what this does...

...about Glass users connected to the portable access point in their pocket?

Or a 4G-enabled Glass?

Well, I expect some people just have to be like that. Question: Why's he not blocking phones with cameras, if it's really about recording artworks?

Personally I don't think it is, and has more to do with "durr hurr aren't I clever I piss dem Glass users right off". Well, fine. I hope he enjoys his exercise in futility.

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How Bitcoin could become a super-sized Wayback Machine

M Gale

Protein-foldcoin mining? SETI@coin?

Might give some people an incentive other than a pretty screensaver and turning their computer into a space heater.

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Microsoft's NEW OS now runs on HALF of ALL desktop PCs

M Gale

Re: Wot no Vista?

Try using fallocate.

I'm sure Windows would take an age to create a new file if you did it by filling the file with the output of %RANDOM%.

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Beautiful balloon burst caught on camera

M Gale

Re: interesting fragmentation of the balloon

The powder is actually on quite a few weather-balloon popping vids on Youtube. It tends to continue rising upward along with the helium, while the rest of the fragments follow the laws of gravity.

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NOT APPY: Black cab drivers enraged by Hailo as taxi tech wars rage on

M Gale

Re: Monopoly

Or? Not?

Actually not. You phone up, tell them where you are and where you're going, and ask for the cost.

The price you are quoted will be the price you are charged, regardless of how many times the driver gets lost or what the numbers on the meter say. At least, that's been the case with every private hire I've been in.

Of course, if you ask mid-trip for a ten minute wait at a shop or to nip around to a friend's house en route, then all bets are off.

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EE unleashes birds of prey onto unsuspecting customers

M Gale

Buteo Buteo (yes that's really its scientific name) definitely has feathers on its head. There's a few of them that seem to use the fields and woods around here as a buffet bar.

Wood pigeon, mouse or rabbit today? Om nom nom.

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M Gale

HOW much?

For HOW many gigabytes/month?

No thanks. Partying like it's 2004 over at EE HQ are they?

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Autodesk CEO: '3D printing has been way overhyped'

M Gale

Re: Could care less / couldn't care less

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om7O0MFkmpw

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Or maybe I could have.

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Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements

M Gale

Re: Why the spite and bile at hifi lovers?

£500 vs £30k and you, having never met me, are absolutely sure I couldn't hear the difference? Stop being a muppet.

What I said was don't be surprised if you get it wrong in a double-blind test. You know, where neither you nor the tester know what hi fi is being used? Double-blind, geddit?

I would also suggest you stop being taken for a ride by the same people who sell £500 USB cables. I've known people with £300 midi systems that have half a kilowatt of RMS output, and yet can turn that box up all the way without the subwoofer even nearly starting to fart and rattle. It sounds good, across the whole frequency range, for £200 less than I suggested.

Yes, I have played with B&O gear along with various other overpriced "audiophile" items. Even B&O is bloody cheap compared with some of the stuff that the Golden Ear Cult comes out with, and I still dare you to tell me which is better in a double-blind test.

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M Gale

Re: Why the spite and bile at hifi lovers?

What I would like to see is a double-blind study where you can tell a £30K rig from a £500 rig.

Just don't be surprised if you get it wrong.

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M Gale

Re: 20khz

If you can't tell any difference between 44.1/16 and 192/24 then why go to the extra expense?

Assuming there is any extra expense, perhaps for people who want to create their own music? If I'm recording something for later copying and distribution, it's going to be recorded at 48KHz at least, even if it'll be mixed down to 44.1 later. 192KHz/24 bit means you can normalize, time stretch, do whatever it is you want to do to the original signal, while still filling up every spare ounce of bandwidth in a 44.1/16 stream.

So if you have a choice of a sound chipset capable of 44.1KHz/16 bit stereo, or 192KHz 24 bit 7.1 surround, and they both cost the same or are within pence or fractions of a penny of each other, you're going to choose the 44.1/16 option?

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M Gale

Re: It's not about the music.

He simply said " I like to hear a recording in it's truest form, & you don't really need that stuff in the middle if you design your system well."

True in theory.

In practise, no two speaker sets or headphones have the same response curve, and some people don't know how to master a track.

Though, it does sound like a nice amp stage for a stacking system. Blinkenlights, sliders and buttons everywhere? Pffft. Volume, on and off. Job done. I can definitely appreciate that.

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M Gale

Re: 20khz

Trouble is, the DACs on your Asus will suck, badly, like most PC audio DACs.

And yet the only not-music noise I get in the headphones when ramped up to full whack is... total silence. Not even the horrific electronic noises coming from within the PC that Yesteryear's shitty onboard sound chips (and some shitty dedicated sound cards) used to make. Not even the hint of a hiss from a cheap PA stage. The CRT whine from my monitor is louder, and that's when I'm wearing the heavily-earmuffed headphones. The line-in might hiss a tiny bit when you turn it up to clip-the-hell-out-of-a-gnat's-fart levels.

I've yet to feed the output of this thing through an oscilloscope to test DAC accuracy but, for an onboard sound chipset, it really is quite good. Again, whether you can or can't tell the difference, if 192Khz/24 bit costs beans to implement, then why the hell not? It's not like you're being charged a hundred quid for a metre of pure silver oxygen-free USB cable.

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M Gale

20khz

Only in mono. Divide by two to get the CD format's bandwidth in stereo. Still heaps better than what came before, mind.

As for why anybody would want 192Khz/24 bit, I have to say "if it costs beans, then why the hell not?" It's cheap enough to make hardware that good that it comes with my (Asus M4A78LT-M) motherboard as standard.

You also mentioned exactly why people would want sampling rates that high: For creating their own masters.

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Comcast exec says wired broadband customers should pay-as-they-go

M Gale

No, it really isn't.

Not unless you can show me how we're going to run out of Megabytes some time in the 2050s and desperately need to turn to green sources of pornography and lolcats.

The only limit to the pipes is how many bytes you can cram down them per second. There is no limit to the number of bytes total. Therefore, pay-as-you-go is a monumentally stupid idea.

Paying per unit of an infinite resource. Really?

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M Gale

"People who use more should pay more and people who use less should pay less"

Because there's only so many bits you can suck from the Lakes before they run out, and we might have passed Peak Megabyte a few years ago, so they're having to get into desperate measures such as disk-fracking and exploitation of Alaska's hidden porn reserves?

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Charity: Ta for the free Win 8.1, Microsoft – we'll use it to install Win 7

M Gale

I'm waiting for the commentards asking how a site full of techies can find TIFKAM so hard to learn, while conveniently forgetting that the article has little to do with techies.

(And conveniently forgetting how shite TIFKAM is in general, but hey..)

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Look out, FCC: R.E.M., Aerosmith, Jello Biafra, 57 others join net neutrality crusade

M Gale

Re: I wonder

especially backhaul which is always metered.

I thought that depends on the type of peering agreement that has been negotiated? Pretty sure that a few of those go something along the lines of "you carry our traffic, we'll carry yours."

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Google CAN be told to delete sensitive data from its search results, rules top EU court

M Gale

Re: @Captain Hogwash

"You wouldn't know injustice if it hit you in the face with a truncheon."

--Me.

I guess we should give people a lifetime of shit for littering offences or having the wrong type of plant matter in their pocket?

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Supposedly secure Dogecoin service Dogevault goes offline

M Gale

Re: Idiocy....

Why exchange for cash when you can exchange for BTC?

Or more directly, for guns, booze and hookers?

(I wonder if any hookers/pimps accept Dogecoin?)

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M Gale

Re: Whyyyyyyy?

The usual story - Linux / Apache:

http://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-26/product_id-3436/version_id-92758/Microsoft-IIS-7.5.html

I'm sure if they only used Microsoft, they'd be so much safer.

http://www.webmasterworld.com/microsoft_asp_net/4656855.htm

So very much safer.

Whereas simply updating the totally free httpd to the latest version would make no difference whatsoever.

http://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-45/product_id-66/version_id-161847/Apache-Http-Server-2.4.7.html

Nope, none at all.

You are Steve Ballmer, and I claim my £5.

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Vinyl-fetish hipsters might just have a point

M Gale

Re: There's a warmth to the sound from vinyl you just can't recreate with CD's or MP3's

If you do put a clipped waveform onto a vinyl

What you're basically saying is that if the master is a bunch of crap, the copies will be bunches of crap. Just that a stylus will act like a low pass filter to disguise the crap. This is not an indictment against CDs, or high-rate digital music files.

I'll just use a low pass filter. Or, perhaps, not try recording past the 0Db mark. If I want the genuine vinyl sound, I understand that some people are making expensive boxes (and the occasional free VST plugin) that put very authentic-sounding hisses, pops and clicks into the recording.

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M Gale

something that will never be possible with any digital format.

Better than 192KHz 24/32 bit non-compressed digital audio? The default VIA HD audio chipset on my motherboard can handle rates that high, let alone a "decent" sound card or ADC/DAC combo.

When the sample rate and accuracy of the digital portion exceeds the noise floor of the analogue portion of the circuit, I fail to see how the ol' spinning black disks can possibly exceed the quality of a good digital reproduction solution.

I also mentioned time-coded vinyl earlier. You should give it a try: The user interface that you're used to, plus all you ever need is two records and maybe a couple of spares just in case something bad happens at a gig. The audio comes from a bunch of MP3s, MP4s, lossless FLACs or uncompressed WAVs, and you can cue, speed up, slow down and scratch about with it just like it was recorded onto the vinyl. You also get the extra advantage that any feedback travelling into the stylus is basically ignored by the computer that's reading the time code.

It really is an awesome thing.

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M Gale

Re: Zero compression

It's got a pretty picture on it! oh...but you already ruined the look trying to get to those hidden tracks.

To be fair, if they've been halfway sensible about it, the "label" track will be etched onto printed/coloured vinyl. Same stuff that gets used to make records where the entire face is a 12" round picture.

Though as for whether sticking a track so far toward the spindle that anything outside of a professional DJ deck won't be able to play it is sensible or not, I leave for the reader to decide.

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M Gale

Re: Too Good to Be True?

Somebody didn't really use a tiny needle to scratch all those interference fringes into the master, did they?

Apparently they can be done.

I remember reading about them before Youtube came along, but I could never get a sharp enough needle nor be patient enough to make anything useful. That and old CD jewel cases aren't really the best for the task. Nice that the guy who made the site put that video up to demonstrate how it works more clearly.

I think there's some debate as to whether these are "real" holograms because you don't use a laser to make them; but since they are the same sort of etched-pattern affair that credit card holograms use, just on a larger scale, I don't see why they aren't.

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M Gale

Re: Vinyl-fetish hipsters don't have a point

Ah see, some headphones leak a hell of a lot more than others. I have a set of cans that I have for indoor use that I'd never bother with on the bus, partly because they are ridiculously huge, and partly because they seem to double as loudspeakers.

These days there is an EU-enforced limit on the volume of anything you can plug headphones into (which some manufacturers have a magic-hack way around). Generally if your ears are ringing after listening, that's a cue that the sound was too loud. It's still unlikely though, that you're going to be seeing many 18-30 year olds with burst ear drums due to loud headphones.

However, my hearing still goes up to a good 5, 6 or more KHz higher than other people my age and younger, with some teenagers not able to perceive the range of audio that I can. Of course, some have better ears, generally young children, but I still consider myself either damned lucky or just sensible.

Though it is a bit annoying to walk past one of the local curry houses when they've decided to turn the anti-chav "ultrasonic" blasters on. Affects teenagers only? My pasty white arse it does.

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Microsoft blinks, extends Windows 8.1 Update deadline for consumers

M Gale

Re: Meanwhile, in mobile-world...

It has to anyone with a developer account.

So basically, nearly nobody.

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M Gale

Re: Windows 8.1 - the secret update

I say on a desktop or laptop, it is a program and not an application.

Applications have been around a lot longer than the iPhone. A lot longer than Java - why do you think the preferred term for miniature Java things embedded in a web page is an "applet"?

An application is one or more programs that work together to apply the computer toward a particular task (like for instance, writing a letter, creating a spreadsheet). A collection of applications tends to be called an application suite (for instance, Office suites).

I hope that argument about "but apps are what phones have" is now thoroughly killed.

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Google: Mmm. Tab-free Gmail desktop client? We won't DENY it

M Gale

What I would like:

A tablet client that looks a bit more like the desktop client.

Oh well.

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Oh aye, a mobe grumble-flick player? No – it's a 'droid ransomware nasty

M Gale

I've always thought that people that allow the "install from any location" option on their droids were a bunch of wankers.

ISWYDT

Shame two other people (at the time of writing) didn't.

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