112 posts • joined 6 Mar 2009
Re: Mass market?
OK - so how does the software cope with differing resolutions? colour temp? different CPU/GPU specs? differing accelerometer sensitivity? memory limits? differing OS builds with jitter effects from different interrupt handlers?
Moreover, the lack of a clear long lived reference design would be a major issue for any company thinking of using it as a target for a major release (which tend to be years in the making and film level budgets).
I'm not denying that software could provide a functional experience across a variety of form factors - but its certainly not going to be optimised. I'd argue that for most near term applications that is likely to be a pretty fundamental issue.
While it certainly looks like a cheap way to create a 3d system - I suspect it'll struggle to find mass market developer support as there isn't a standard hardware platform. One of the key benefits of consoles (and the iPhone for that matter) has been that developers can properly test (and they know that the platform will exist for a significant time span).
I'm a fan of Andriod, but for an application like this I can see the variety of devices being a huge issue with getting it adopted.
Re: Are you insane?
Historically MS made source code available under restricted terms. There have been documented leaks in the past. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3485545.stm]
I think its fair to assume that copies have made their way into some restricted "blackhat" groups (any government agency that *really* wants a copy for example!)
The only difference here is that its a freely available release, but as I say above - the people you'd be worried about having this will already have done so.
<Disclaimer> I've not used GNOME is years so the following comments are purely based on the article and other comments. </Disclaimer>
I've got no problem with the view that some users may want a more complex environment - although personally I do like common operations within my GUI to be fully usable within the "G" context (i.e. without the need to manually edit a config file)
However.... if you want a something within a main stream distribution then you need to accept that being main stream they aren't going to include an interface which is only really useable if you're up to admin grade tech skills.
Re: Seems strange...
Well yes they could - if you assume that any back door was setup to be always on, and that it had been implemented in a way that made detection possible. As an example, suppose that a piece of kit had an "error" in its SNMP handling such that a badly formed packet, or perhaps a sequence of "random" community strings caused it to execute a buffer overflow which then happened to run a decrypt option on a block of binary data which just happened to then become a back door.
There is form for attackers trying to insert backdoors into the Linux kernel via deliberately incorrect handling of TCP flags which was caught in code review (https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/the-linux-backdoor-attempt-of-2003/) - can you imagine trying to find that sort of logic trap purely from compiled object code? Especially if it had been designed to be hard to find and existed only within a code block which was dynamically modified.
So.... if I was worried about this sort of kit possibly shipping with back doors, I certainly wouldn't want to rely purely upon analysis of the kit as deployed.
Trust is a very hard thing to create and ultimately is never 100% and is dependant upon understanding the process by which something is created, tested, distributed and used.
I'd strongly suggest you read "Reflections on Trusting Trust" and then consider if you still think its possible to achieve a good level of assurance purely from observation of behaviour within a test environment (http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~ganger/712.fall02/papers/p761-thompson.pdf)
Re: If only...
I don't believe materials are a significant element of the cost of these craft, its the R&D and supporting infrastructure (maintenance, fuelling, air crew training, etc...) which make them expensive.
People often quote a cost of £XX per air craft, but that drops rapidly as you increase the production run and spread the R&D budget more widely.
Re: If only...
sorry not buying this -
a) I've heard the search area described in percentage terms of the total globe, if that's the scale you are using then frankly the chance of ever finding your target if its not actively emitting a signal for you to track is going to be extremely low. Going fast over a stripe is still a tiny fraction of that search area so having a couple of high speed long endurance plans would make very little difference to your odds.
b) you've got to consider the cost of such a program vs the benefits it generates - I am not suggesting that the likely loss of the plane and those on board isn't a tragedy - but in a global context it wouldn't justify an annual multi-billion pound/dollar program which might make a fractional difference to the chance to locate them in this extremely odd scenario.
if a repeat of this scenario becomes a serious concern for policy makers going forward then it would be cheaper and simpler to insist that:
1) every aircraft on certain routes had to subscribe to the service which allows them to relay back in flight data in real time and that the on-board hardware be redesigned/moved such that it couldn't be disabled by the pilots
2) aircraft start to carry an inflatable buoy with a homing beacon which could be deployed in the event of a crash (so that you have an active signal above the water).
Alternatively it could be used to justify a standing fleet of airborne patrol radars if a military force was looking for a budget argument (although again I think this would be massively expensive relative to modifying the planes)
Re: they won't need these 70k in equipment anyway
Of course the bit of me that's run budgets knows that the equipment budget is likely capital (and thus subject to amortisation over a number of years) and any consultancy would be revenue (which is booked straight to costs).
Therefore typically a £70k reduction in equipment would provide something like a £23.3k consultancy spend within the budget year (and probably creates £23.3k savings in years 2 and 3 which could then go to savings targets in those years without needing to do anything else).
I'd therefore be particularly annoyed about exactly how they'd nicked my budget.
Re: "They can now allow processors to work at full power"
I'd say "not wanting to be picky" but actually I do.... increasing wattage (power) for a short period is exactly what an ultracapacitor will provide, what it doesn't do is increase the number of joules (stored energy capacity) of the device.
It might allow you to withdraw the stored energy in a more efficient profile which might then have the effect of making the hybrid device deliver more energy in real world usage.
In any case, I do think that thin ultracapacitors are likely to start popping up all over the place as they will support form factors which batteries cant.
IP is generally *not* put in escrow
I've arranged escrow for quite a number of solutions over the years - the agreement is typically for an escrow copy of the source code and a non-exclusive and non-transferable licence to any IP required to maintain the software in the event of a trigger event (typically the insolvency)
The ownership of IP is entirely separate from the licencing of it and access to code.
Re: I think I speak for most when I say...
this is one of those articles where I understand every word on its own... but have real trouble with the whole
you mean like say Yahoo Email, or Gmail, or Hotmail, etc.... these sorts of service only ever work if you have a really large operation and the lifetime or free service is actually a loss leader to sell other products.
Making your central business model a cheap lifetime service isn't sustainable - but maybe the model was something like : get lots of clients onto the platform and make the money from business consultancy and add on recurring services.
Not saying that is the case - just making the point that there are business models which can and do offer long lived free services, but not at a small scale.
If I was Apple, I'd simply bundle a convertor which could plug into the current port and allow charging via micro USB. I'd be amazed if that was particularly hard to do - charging shouldn't be more than two pins and the adapter could do any negotiation necessary (and presumably would negotiate to a low speed charge with some smoothing to account for the fact that they probably wont trust the input voltage to be exactly what they want)
From a design perspective I think its unlikely they'd add a second port within the handset and from what I can see the standard will only apply to chargers not docks (and do you really want a mandated technical interface standard for docking stations set by a political forum?)
Re: It costs so little to the end user just because the Indian governament pays for it...
Ummm - this model is launching 2014 as an upgrade to an existing, maybe not high spec but there are certainly plenty of similar speced tablets being sold commercially in the UK. I thought vapourware when they announced the first iteration (and was broadly right at least for that model), but this is gen 4.
5-7 years is the rollout time, India has a population of around 1.2B and a life expectancy of about 65, so assuming flat demographics you'd have about 20M people in each year (and in reality more than that at the bottom of the age range). So assuming you want to put one in the hands of all 5-10 year olds that is 100M+ devices, which are being subsidised by their government.
Or to look at it another way, they are aiming to roll out approximately 15-20M devices per year. With (as this article demonstrates) a number of hardware revisions during the rollout.
I don't know enough to have an opinion about if this is a good project or not - but from a pure project management perspective that doesn't seem an unreasonable approach or timescale to me.
The big issue for business is generally the effort involved in the migration - why do it if you aren't getting any benefit?
Getting off XP due to end of life might be an argument, but if that also requires a new Exchange, Office, etc... then the direct cash cost for the desktop OS licence becomes a relatively small part of the overall bill. Its worse for companies with bespoke internal apps who have dev, testing costs and issues.
Also as others have said, I'd have thought any move by MS to offer products for free would get a lot of regulatory scrutiny.
"But we can't help but agree with exasperated folk stranded at airports over the weekend who - quite reasonably - asked why such a failure could have happened in the first place with a critical system. Redundancy, much?"
The fault sounds very much like a configuration problem, if caught at implementation its usually a case of revert to prior state... but once its been in use for a period its the sort of thing that in the middle of a safety critical system can be immensely hard to back out (do you really want them to shut down all phones on the air traffic system???).
Redundancy means having a duplicate system - hardware wise that's easy, software wise do you really mean they should maintain a completely parallel system with distinct config at all times? I appreciate the trite answer to this could be yes - but in a real situation (which has to interact with external parties) that can quickly become utterly pointless.
Frankly I'm quite impressed that they managed 80% throughput in the circumstances - I'd guess the contingency plan became a lot of post-it notes very quickly.
one of the most interesting decisions is that the 8GB / 16GB storage is actually a micro SD card rather than chip based flash.
Re: The VERY definition of Android Landfill
the battery will be good for at least two years, and replacement looks pretty straightforward (a few screws, some light prying and one plug). Yes there will be some - but if that becomes a common failure there will be plenty of people able to refurb them for £20-£30.
Got mine last week
Have to say I'm impressed, its certainly more of a functional phone than a pretty phone with the default black back - but that's what I want. It feels solid and its perfectly fast enough for anything I need. My old Galaxy S had some flex, and the odd squeak from the case - this doesn't, its hard to quantify but physically it feels reassuringly solid.
The battery might not be "removable" but I've read a couple of teardown reports and its certainly replaceable - the inner cover comes off with a few screws and there is only light glue holding it in place. I don't need to swap batteries during the day, but I do object to throwing away a device if the only fault is that the battery isn't holding charge.
Yes an SD slot would be nice, but with the 16GB model I cant honestly say I feel stuck for space (although I personally would find the 8GB model hard to live with)
The Motorola migrate app also worked pretty well, so for an average user the migration should be pretty painless.
Having used CM 9/10.1 for the last year stock android is what I'm used to - and frankly seems a lot nicer than the bloat overlays that other manufacturers put in. The oddest sensation I've got therefore is that it looks almost the same as my old phone, just fractionally bigger, a little heavier and a lot faster.
All in all it seems a really good handset.
Re: say wot ?
I think you are being a bit unfair there. Cars have a tendency to be involved in accidents, part of a cars design is that it includes an energy store. Under failure the stored energy may get released in an uncontrolled fashion, especially if the failure includes significant physical damage.
I like the idea of electric cars, and will buy one once they hit 300 mile range on a charge, and either fast charge or range extended. However, i fully appreciate that the design issues of a large energy store are significantly different from a laptop battery. From a h&s perspective it's the difference between injury and multiple deaths
Re: At the risk of resurrecting an old joke ...
anything blends if you have access to an industrial grinder for HDD disposal
"Only" 8.5% attended a bullfight....
On a national scale that doesn't sound like a small number to me.
Re: This needs a name.
I dont like to say I told you so...
but I thought this was a natural step to take for electric cars:
Re: But will gam devs use it?
The article does explicitly say that its for non-latency sensitive elements. Back in my school days I wrote a turn based tactical squad game on the *cough* Archimedes
it wasn't brilliant and the AI for the bad guys was incredibly basic, but at the time I remember having to run a loop that repeatedly polled for mouse movement/clicks. Because of the low power of the systems in those days I wrote the AI to sequence its planning in small chunks and processed one chunk each cycle of the UI loop (which had the nice side effect that if you moved quickly most of the bad guys would simply repeat their prior actions).
Abstract this up and I can imagine having a local basic tactical AI, but with a cloud based strategic AI backing it up. The local system could handle basic tasks such as target selection, choice of cover and advance/retreat type options - the strategic AI could look at flanking, co-ordinated cover fire, moving units to elevated positions, etc...
Technically the system could send out one packet of current locations and waits for strategic input from the cloud - which can happily take 3-5 seconds to return it because its operating at a higher level and in while its waiting the local tactical AI is still doing a reasonable job of the second by second tactics. Hey presto, cloud based service improves the game, but an outage it doesn't prevent it from running in a basic sense.
I'm not saying this is what would happen, but its one way I could imagine it being used.
Can a properly managed paid development / test team produce better results - probably (I've known plenty of buggy commercial software), but in practice they are focused on the latest handsets so access to newer features is largely via custom ROMs.
I run CM9 on my i9000 (Galaxy S), custom ROMs are the only way to get Android 4.x on that handset. Yes it has the odd bug, but I can live with that easily for not having to spend £300 on a new handset (either one off or via increased monthly costs).
I also have an original Note 10.1 which I like a lot, but I'm still waiting for a 4.2 update from Samsung and I am starting to be dubious if it will ever arrive. As my kids also use my tablet I would *really* like the multiple profile functionality. At some point I may wipe that and install a current CM or similar ROM.
Re: hard to count
all you can say is that there are examples where the security services have made a fanfare about having stopped particular plots - you have absolutely no data on what they havent publicised.
How would you ever know if someone was identified as being crucial to a terror plot but that the authorities didnt want to advertise the source of their intel, so they are picked up for say handling stolen goods instead.
It could be zero, it could be two a week - neither you or I know.
Actually all they've accepted as I understand it is that Fairfax have a preferred status to offer to buy out the company for $9 per share. BBY are free to talk to other parties and could accept an alternate offer subject to a (significant) penalty fee.
At present nothing is binding on either party and they are still trying to arrange the funding to allow the deal to be completed .
May well happen - but its a long way from certain.
I think the point is that Nokia doesnt sell to the end consumer - they sell to the network. So they want a device thats desirable to the end user, but only to negotiate with the network. I suspect that at a simplified level these deals have an initial fee and a per device fee - I'd be curious to know the split in revenue between those two parts.
Re: Now watch all Western European Mobe companies go bust overnight
if you read what was proposed there are two options:
a) allow roaming at no additional cost
b) allow a user to use a different operator without changing SIM
I wouldnt be overly suprised if this leads to tariffs which dont allow roaming at all (or perhaps only roam voice/SMS) and the model could become buy a PAYG card when you get to the country you're going to.
Re: re: Battery life
get an EyeFi card - I have one and sync with my Note 10.1, I agreed I'd prefer a full sized slot and just popping a card. But generally it works about as well.
My inbuilt satnav also doesnt have full postcode search, it really bugged me for about the first month. Now I'm used to it I actually prefer it, I've had mixed results with postcode searchs in the past (e.g. being dropped within a couple of meters of where I wanted to be, but the wrong side of a 15 foot wall that didnt have a door and in a one way system)
The system in my car lets me use the first part of the postcode (e.g. AB12 1) and then street and number, so far its put me outside the door I wanted every single time. The only time its annoying is when I'm driving somewhere and need to make a course adjustment mid-way as people are a bit suprised when they cant just give you a postcode.
Still overall I dont think its too much of a deal having lived with it for 6 months.
or alternatively - somewhere under the cost of 10 days benefits payments from 2010
Re: Just what I wanted
I honestly cant decide if that's a joke or not....
Nokia is more than a single division
"Nokia’s stock actually rallied on news it was finally going to stop trading as an independent company"
They are buying one of its divisions (the loss making one) for about half of its market capitalisation at the last business day close. From a stock perspective Nokia is going to remain as an independant company, just not making phones any more.
As the first Data Protection Officer I ever worked with put it - sensitive personal data means the things that the Nazi's killed people for
Re: Too bad
hmmmm not convinced. I run CM9 on my phone and am very happy with it - but I'd regard anything physically built into my car as having the potential to be safety critical - I appreciate that it *shouldnt* be, but that doesnt mean it absolutely isnt.
I have a satnav built into my car for which there are unoffical ROMs floating about (essentially hacked versions of other regions binaries)... I thought about applying one for maybe 5 minutes and then decided the grief simply wasnt worth it. Plus the cost of replacing a bricked embedded device can be very large (as opposed to a bricked handset where I can easily replace it with a second hand device at a known cost in a lunch break)
Just because something can be hacked doesnt mean its sensible to do so - as above some people do already do this, but I really cant see it becoming main stream.
APIs to standard sensors (e.g. GPS, pressure sensors, etc... I can imagine, and the mirror screen tech that allowed a handset to use a cars screen also makes sense. But replacing an embedded system with something that I have relatively little assurance over the development, codebase integrity and testing? No thanks.
Re: In response to "A" Key Removal..
I know someone at university in the late 90's who managed to get a cursor left ASCII code into thier password this way on the basis that if anyone key logged him it would overwrite the previous character and he'd still be secure.
Almost as nice as the guy who wrote a postcript fractal generator which locked a printer for about 8 hours when sent.
Re: a question
I'd argue that your first reason is actually a great reason for a company to create a subsidary - its a way to take risks without necissarily putting the whole organisation at risk. As a consumer you want companies to be able to take risks or there would be less inovation (of course it does require anyone dealing with the subsidary to recognise that its not the parent and therefore is more likley to go bust). A good example of this is expanding into another teritory.
A more pratical example is sometimes a "compay" isnt allowed to conduct two forms of business (e.g. insurance broking and under writing) - in which case a group might want to own to companies to isolate the regulatory requirements (and then possibly a third service company to park various support staff like HR, finance and IT who arent allowed to be directly employed by both but realistically do need to work with both). Under that arrangement the point of sale staff and key senior management for each company arent subject to the conflicts of interest (or at least the conflict is very much reduced).
Re: An obvious choice
which does beg the question - is the answer to break MS up? (and thats a business question not a monopoly one)
within the UK "anonymous" usually means that the organisation can't identify you as a specific individual from the information it collected plus other information it may hold (or may reasonably expect to acquire) - this is the DPA definition of personal data. I think this may also have now been broadened to allow the concept of reasonable effort (i.e. if you could identify someone but it would require 10,000 hours to go though boxed files then they are still considered anonymous)
This doenst mean that the information will continue to be anonymous if accessed by someone else with better access to more information.
An example would be an IP address - to most organisations this would probably be considered anonymous data, but clearly can be narrowed down quite a lot by law enforcement (I wont go quite as far as to say it identifies an individual due to NAT, etc...)
It gets more interesting with large scale "anonymous" tracking, as the start and end points of an individuals subjects movements can become a signature in their own right. So for example in a shopping center, if someone wanted to stalk a member of staff they could potentially isolate the "anonymous" trace that always entered from a particular car park, at a particular time of day and ended up in a particular shop.
"picked out things that wouldn't harm anyone or endanger national security"
whatever the rights and wrongs of him releasing the data - its utterly naive for him to believe he was in any way able to make that determination given the volume of data released
As a single person he'd never be able to understand the linkages between all that data - at best he can say I only released things that on their own I didn't expect to harm anyone. All sorts of apparently innocuous things when put together become significant... and some of it may only be possible with data outside of the communication list.
Its not a good legal defence, but the only credible position is that I knew there would be some damage to operations and the possibility that someone may be harmed as a result, but I tried to minimise this and believed it was worthwhile.
The problem with this is you'd actually need to cut a deal with Apple and Google (who run the stores which track licencing) plus the developers - the chances are Apple/Google would refuse and even if they didnt it would be massively complex to implment and manage.
A far simpler option would be for MS to bundle say £5 of store credit with each phone (keyed to something like the IMEI for a one time activiation into an MS account). That said I'm not sure this would make much difference to the average buyer.
I might have spent £50 on apps via Google over the last couple of years - but as they've mostly been £2-£3 purchases of games I've looked on them as mostly a disposable spend. Yes I still have the licence but I dont really play the game much when its finished - with maybe a couple of exceptions.
The "sticky" apps for me at least tend to be free and linked to a cloud service.
Re: Windows Phone
I do wonder how many of these comments are from people who've used WP... I've just swapped my work blackberry for a Lumia 620 running WP8 and while I dont like it quite as much as my personal Galaxy S i9000 running CM9, its pretty damn close.
I've a couple of very slight niggles - I find the app switching a little slow (slightly masked by the animations but I know its there), there are a couple of nieche apps I cant find equivalents for and shortly there wont be a sync option for my google contacts (not that I'm using this now as its a work phone - and anyway thats slated to be fixed in the next update I believe). I also dont like not having a data usage counter available - but again I believe thats due to be fixed in the next update. I'm also not entirely sure I like the single home screen, but I think I can live with that
Do I believe WP8 is the best mobile OS, absolutely not. Do I believe its good enough for me to use it as a primary mobile device - for me yes, but only just and not enough for me to swap. Do I believe that it would be good enough for me to swap once google contacts sync and data counters are in place, Yes.
Will I swap - I dont honestly know, but having lived with one for about a week its certainly something I'd consider.
Re: don't feed the bumpkins
40 bits is actually the effective key length of single DES (there is some redundancy in the 56 bits), this is the determining factor in the size of the rainbow table (you need one entry for each key). The length of the response message (or even the hash string) is irrelevant, that would increase storage linearally rather than increasing the bit length for which each bit doubles the search space.
ummm no... i don't think there was any suggestion that the Hassblad was comparable. in there same way that a Range Rover or Merc isn't comparable to a motorbike... they excel at different jobs in different environments.
as someone with a D300s and full set of studio lights (and an Olympus XZ-1 for when i want something lighter) i am interested in this Nokia unit and will demo one when my current contact runs out.
Re: Never failed....
much like my magic rock
go read some contrarian investing theory
nothing to see here - high P/E stock misses unrealistic projections, cue signficant drop in share price. Buying "leading name" tech firms is pretty much guarenteed to end this way as they are all priced on stupid long term compound growth rates.
This is purely market valuations pulling back to something sensible from previous over inflated expectations. Its one of the reasons I wont invest in IT tech based funds, when I looked about a year ago many of them had about 30% of their holdings in Apple as they were based on market capitalisation based indexes.
The tech industry as a whole generates massive benefits for mankind - but the individual stocks within it always seem to be very bubble prone.
I did consider air craft carriers - but what they have is a certain flight deck size and arrestor wire setup. Aircraft are then designed to fit these parameters so in reality these become a modular weapon.
The A10 and tanks are good examples - but they are much smaller units, the service life of the unit will principally be the service life of their main weapon.
I accept that the navy *could* build warships designed entirely around railgun technology, I just dont think they will. If you consider it from their perspective would you like a system that requires you to build a new fleet or one that you can selectively refit your existing fleet over a decade? Which option has lower risk, capital cost, lead time, etc... and which provides the greatest projection of power at the earliest window.
I would expect early rail guns to be a modular unit that replaces a current turret mount - once they've been in service for a while (10+ years) I can imagine someone saying why not scale this up for the next major battleship (presumably nuke powered). But this wont be the way that they are intially deployed.