134 posts • joined 20 Mar 2009
Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??
Replacement Apple battery £55 - and loses all data on the phone (the user has to back it up and restore it himself - or pay for someone else to do it).
Replacement THL W8S battery £12.49 - all data on the phone is preserved as it is a user swappable battery.
(IPhone battery 5.45Wh - W8S battery 7.4Wh)
Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??
By the end of year 5 the charge cycle count for an iPhone will be about 1800 if like most smartphones it is charged every day. If even apple admit that the capacity will be down to 80% after 1000 cycles then a remaining capacity of 50% after 1800 cycles is perfectly plausible.
A properly designed phone should have a lifespan (excluding accidents) of 10+ years - however Apple would much prefer the phone to become unusable shortly after the warranty expires.
Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??
Except for the batteries - by the end of year 5, the run time is probably less than 50% of the original figure. For sealed units (APPLE and some android vendors) this limits the life of the kit. For the better value android phones with replaceable batteries (e.g. my THL W8S) a life expectancy of 10+ years is achievable.
If the judge wanted to punish Apple - require them to provide and fit replacement batteries for no more than 20% of the original purchase price of the kit.
40Gbits/sec is 5Gbytes/sec. As a single 4TB PCIe SSD can reach 4GBytes/sec and this system at full size would have 240 such drives with an total bandwidth of almost 1TByte/sec, the interface to the host is a SEVERE bottleneck.
(Even if the Reg has misquoted and the bandwidth to the hosts is 40GBytes/sec rather than 40Gbits/sec it is still a severe degredation of the potential SSD bandwidth.)
Blame Management price cutting
Power stations used to have sufficient manning that external day to day support was not needed and there was no connection between the control systems and the outside world. However skilled manpower costs money - so to reduce the costs a lot of the on-site staff was made redundant and much of the monitoring was done remotely instead. In a ideal (no-threat) environment this makes sense as by grouping the monitoring function it is possible to manage more generators with the same amount of people. However this (and the demand for computer based remote control of generator output to meet the trading systems requirements) requires communication from the power stations to the control and monitoring locations. For cheapness this is done by TCP/IP and often over the internet. The power station control systems were designed as isolated systems with no outside connection so security was never a design requirement. Given the difficultly of making the control systems secure (downtimes of months to years could easily occur), the security needs to be put between the power station system and the outside connection.
Minimum requirements for reasonable security
1) NO UNUSED USB PORTS (disable any unused non-removeable ports by filling them with epoxy or by using a locked cover over the ports). (Note that some plant interfaces and printers may be connected by USB.)
2) Dedicated non-Windows system (Linux, Unix or OpenVMS) running a stringent firewall application as the sole interface between the power station control system and the external site(s)
3) Encrypted comms between the firewall system and the external site(s)
4) No public TCP/IP address for the firewall system or any part of the power station control system
5) Enough trained staff at the power station to allow continued operation (including requested changes of output) if the remote link fails.
For the people who say that the control systems should have been designed with security as a prime requirement - this is like saying that a WW1 ship should be designed to stop sea skimming missiles. At the point where many of these systems were designed the current threats did not exist and even if they had, the isolation of the power station control network from the rest of the world would have made them of negligible significance.
New systems being designed now (or that were designed in the last 5 years) should have security as a major design requirement.
Re: No problem...
Bit nasty for the neighbours if the perp lives in an apartment block (or is in a hotel).
Re: Self-destruct helicopters? - Thermite
If you want to do an effective destruction of an aircraft then fire is the best choice. Include a 10Kg thermite charge on the craft with a manual trigger - if the vehicle has to be abandoned then trigger the charge and all that will be left is a pile of ash.
For self destructing chips, I would suggest using a layer of bullet primer compound under the silicon chip. When triggered it would both pulverise and melt the chip. Using this method the actual chip production would not need any expensive adjustments - the primer compound would be added as part of the packaging.
Virtual PC ?
If you run the "secured email" client in a virtual pc then what ever is displayed may be copied at the host OS level irrespective of ANY security that the client may have.
Banned password dictionary
Even back in the early 1980's VMS had a list of banned passwords - any attempt by a normal user to create a password that matched one in the forbidden list was rejected with a request for the user to choose a different password. Why is it that modern systems running on vastly more powerful hardware do not use the same method . (From memory in one of the early VMS versions the forbidden password list was about 47000 words long.)
Paying the taxes a different way
Instead of paying the taxman, they are paying CMU instead.
(As judges are human - there would be more chance of judicial support if they were a tax paying US company instead of a tax avoiding Bermuda one.)
PCs have become good enough for the majority of users that there is very little need to upgrade. With Windows 8 being unattractive to users, there is even less desire to upgrade.
(Even if the Windows 8 interface was not so horrible - touch screens have an inherent problem - fingermarks. By the time a touchscreen PC has been used for a few weeks, it looks bad compared to an older non-touchscreen PC. This further reduces consumer demand.)
At the moment the consumer PC market consists of new users, replacements for really old systems (Vista and older) and replacements for broken systems. Users with working Windows 7 systems have very little need or desire to upgrade.
Excessive copyright term
If the copyright period was reasonable (no more than 20 years) then fewer people would be in contempt of it.
Big companies (DISNEY and others) get the copyright term extended whenever one of their moneymakers is nearing the end of its copyright period (the 1936 Mickey Mouse film is still in copyright!!).
What I would like to see - copyrights owned by the original author(s) 20 year term - all other copyrights 10 year term - in both cases from first publication. (As politicians are so easily bought by "Big Business" the chance of this happening is zero.)
Get the mass right
The Russian meteor is estimated to have been about 12000 tons not 10 tons - for more info see the wiki entry
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelyabinsk_meteor )
There is an article on Anandtech about server memory that mentions server pricing
An HP DL380 G8 with 24 x 32GB LRDIMMs, two E5-2680v2, two SATA disks and a 10 GbE NIC costs around $26000.
Adding the extra SSDs to match the i2.8xlarge would cost less than $4000 so for less than half the cost of 1 years usage you can get a system with 3 times the memory and 40 virtual cores (20 physical + hyperthreading gives 40) instead of 32. The Amazon system is only suitable for short term peaks - if you need it for more than about 3 months then it will be cheaper to buy your own server.
What a surprise
An american lawyer paid by Microsoft says that the EU is not nasty enough to Google.
I also trust Google more than Pricerunner, Bizrate or Kelkoo to find the best deals (hint: select order by price low to high).
Microsoft does not like the fact that its search (Bing) is far worse than Google search and people know it.
Re: Reflective Shell ?
The effect of the spin is to distribute the incoming energy over a larger portion of the shell thereby reducing the peak heating at any one spot. Between the spin and the reflective coating, the effect of the laser is reduced to a general heating of the shell.
Do the maths
10kW for 1 second is 10kJ
95% reflection reduces this to 500J
For a 30 pound shell this works out to 500/30 joules/pound (16.67 J/pound)
Assuming a specific heat capacity of 0.1 (probably higher but this figure will do for illustration)
Each pound of shell will have the same heat capacity as one tenth of a pound of water i.e. about 105 joules per degree Fahrenheit.
The temperature of the shell would be raised by 16.67/105 degrees Fahrenheit i.e. just under 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the demonstration they probably used a single non rotating shell at a time painted in the usual dark colour that absorbs laser light efficiently.
For the demonstration 20 seconds at 25% reflection gives 15kJ and for a non rotating shell this energy would be concentrated onto a smaller part of the shell which gives the laser a chance to penetrate the casing and set off the explosive inside.
Re: Reflective Shell ?
A decent reflective surface will reflect over 95% of the incident energy - couple this with the fact that most mortar and artillery shells are spin stabilized and the chance of the laser getting enough energy through to cook off the explosive in the shell is small. Remember the laser is unlikely to have more than 1 second on any individual shell in a battle situation (as against a contrived test). With a 10KW laser this is 10KJ before reflection effects - with a decent mirrored surface this drops to 500J - which is far less than the energy to heat up 1 cup of tea. I STRONGLY SUGGEST that it is YOU who needs to learn about basic physics.
(A 120mm mortar round weighs about 30 pounds - even a 100KW laser is unlikely to be able to damage such a projectile in a 1 second engagement if the projectile has a mirrored surface.)
Reflective Shell ?
If the mortar rounds are covered in a nice mirror finish then the reflected laser beams may blind US soldiers on the ground and the shell would probably still survive to explode at the target.
Re: Start with the end in mind
In the UK, tax authorities can demand to see financial records several years old. If your database holds financial records then you might need to keep old copies for audit purposes even if they are of no other use to the business.
In one organisation that I worked for, one full backup each month was kept forever to provide the permanent audit capability. (This was specified as a requirement by our major customer.)
Re: It is not just about numbers here
Old backups can be vital. A coding or user error that corrupts or deletes some of the data may not be noticed for quite some time - it might only be noticed when a year end routine was run. Being able to retrieve (with effort) the missing data can outweigh the costs of the backup regime.
When I was a system administrator, I tended to keep additional backups outside the normal cycle. One time a private 4 year old tape backup had the last remaing copy of a vital piece of source code.
Too many backups is expensive - too few is courting disaster.
If a computer system is being removed - always get a full backup before it goes - if you do not then you WILL regret it.
For £165 the THL W8S is far better value for money - 2GB RAM 32GB ROM, full HD 5" IPS screen, dual SIM, SD card slot, 13MP and 5MP cameras.
If the report is right then particles up to 1200 TeV were detected - this is equivalent to more than the mass of 1,200,000 neutrons (or protons).!!!
How could a neutrino achieve that energy ?
Even if somehow all the energy of a collision of a uranium atom with an antimatter uranium atom could be put into one neutrino, this would still be less than one thousandth of the energy of this particle.
As the setup includes a DVD player, there will be a HDMI connection between the DVD and the TV. Put a HDMI switch in this lead and you will have a video input. (HDMI switches can be had for under £7 on ebay.)
Re: end of csco -agreed
Cisco have become the Oracle of networking and like Oracle faced with open databases, Cisco is faced with open networking products. The high premiums that Cisco charges for its products will no longer be sustainable as the products from lower tier suppliers become good enough. Unlike Oracle, Cisco does not have much of a lockin caused by other products dependant on Cisco's products as network switches and routers by their very nature have to talk to competitors products. Can Cisco survive when the profit margins on its products fall to the under 10% level?
Multiple independant jobs
With 205,000 molecules being analysed, this job lends itself to an easy split (1 molecule per core) with very little communication between cores. This makes it an ideal fit for this sort of array of computers. For a traditional supercomputer job such as CFD (computational fluid dynamics) there is a huge amount of communication as the state of a cell affects all nearby cells. Very high bandwidth low latency interconnects are needed for that type of problem - an Amazon cloud would be almost useless.
Except for the bragging rights and the free publicity, the job could have been done on a much smaller array - one that was one quarter of the size would have completed the job in 72 hours and they probably took over 72 hours negotiating with Amazon to get that much resource at once.
Friendly Fire - Senior Management
Unfortunately in many organisations, senior management seem to expect to not have to conform to IT standards. If the CEO demands full access to business applications and internet porn from his laptop then the first line of defence already has a hole in it. Where possible, applications should be designed on the assumption that there are threats already inside the corporate firewall.
(In military terms, the corporate firewall is like the AA defenses around a base - it protects from hostile enemy aircraft but cannot protect from someone rolling a grenade into your tent - to protect against that you need additional security.)
Use a stack of old Dell computers
Plenty of Core 2 Duo Dell computers available on ebay for under £70 each - 16 of those plus gigabit network cards, a 16 port gigabit switch and a monitor should make for a reasonable cluster (and just stay inside the power budget).
Re: Oh come on...
For many systems, the cost of conversion to a new operating system is too high.
If you have (as is all too common) a system with orphan software (bespoke software where the supplier has gone out of business or no longer supports it) then moving to a new OS may well involve man years of development and debugging.
For embedded systems (e.g. industrial control systems) moving to a new OS may well be impossible without scrapping the associated equipment.
For non-networked systems, the fact of the supplier having dropped support may well be irrelevant as there is very little chance of security vunerabilities being exploited.
For systems that are connected to the internet then the question needs to be asked - at what point will security software such as Norton fail to provide adequate protection - by that point either the system has to be upgraded, discarded or disconnected from the internet.
Please note - there are still embedded systems running Windows 3.1 (and even DOS) - loss of manufacturer support does not matter to an isolated system.
Re: Ceres is 26% water? Hmmm...
Earth might have had a LOT of water during the early stage of its formation - however the impact that lead to the formation of the moon would have resulted in the vast majority of the surface water being lost.
Re: What it will take to kill this and what should be able to do
Amplified antenna's are mainly useless - what matters is the signal to noise ratio which is dependant on the RF field strength, the gain of the antenna (excluding amplification) and the noise level of the first stage of amplification. For a modern TV the noise level of the first stage of the tuner is usually as good as (if not better than) the noise level of an amplified antenna. If you are in a poor signal area - use a bigger antenna mounted as high up as possible and outside (indoor mounting drops the signal strength by over 6dB).
For an example of the sort of antenna that you should look for in a poor signal area, look at BestBuy SKU: 1305458800 (link http://www.bestbuy.com/site/antennas-direct-uni-directional-antenna/1305458800.p?id=mp1305458800&skuId=1305458800)
(In the UK look at Maplin part number A20HG (link http://www.maplin.co.uk/71-element-high-gain-digital-tv-aerial-221121) )
(In an electrically noisy environment, the directivity of the antenna is also a factor - however all high gain non-amplified antennas are inherently highly directive which reduces the impact of the interference.)
The larger the antenna, the better the result (if installed correctly) is the general rule. A small antenna will give poor results except in very good signal conditions.
Would the Supreme Court hear the case
With few exceptions, the US Supreme Court has the right to decline to hear appeals. Given the current makeup of the court, they may decide that the best approach (for them) is to decline to hear the case.
(Only about 80 of the 10,000 or so appeals is heard - there is no right to have an appeal heard.)
Outgoing radiation is proportional to the fourth power of absolute temperature so if the outgoing radiation is reduced by 3.7Watts/square metre then the earths temperature would rise by about 1.07 degrees centigrade. This is far less than changes that have occurred in the past when human involvment was non-existant. The only way that the "climate scientists" could get the high values that got the politicians attention (and funding for the climate scientists) was to postulate (with no proof) a number of positive feedback mechanisms and ignore any negative feedback mechanisms.
(Average solar flux at earths surface over 24 hours is approximately 250 watts and the average surface temperature is approximately 15C (287 K). To radiate the extra 3.7 watts requires the absolute temperature to rise by the fourth root of (250/(250-3.7)) which is approximately a factor of 1.0037 which multiplied by the 287 K starting temperature gives a rise of about 1.07 K (or C).)
Re: I'm surprised that the Republicans are doing this in public
Unfortunately many of the more vocal Republicans seem to think that even Fox News is too left wing!!!!
(Anyone who has looked at Fox News knows that the adverts are closer to being accurate than the programs.)
Unfortunately the majority of US politicians are owned by the people who pay their election expenses - for many of the Tea Party group this is the Koch brothers. One of the aims of the Tea Party group is to neuter the Environmental Protection Agency which has prosecuted Koch Industries on many occasions. (A Google search for "koch industries epa violations" will return many links.)
Re: Way to miss the dick in your digestive tract
If the US does collapse (and it seems likely that it will happen sooner or later) then the rest of the world will be screwed.
1) Loss of US food exports will lead to huge numbers of deaths due to starvation
2) US government bonds becoming worthless will destroy the economic system of the rest of the world as banks and governments across the globe go bankrupt. The collapse will be far worse than the 1930s great depression.
3) Expect an internal bloodbath in the US that makes what happened in Yugoslavia seem peaceful as each group blames others.
Depends on size and usage
For small businesses without 24 hour operation - full image backup overnight (or at weekend) is probably the best option as it is certain to have a consistent state of all applications.
For small to medium businesses with 24 hour operation but small number of servers, full image backup using one of the disk snapshot products is probably the best - note there must be sufficient spare disk capacity to handle the requirements of the snapshot software. Depending on the business there might also be a need for transaction data to be copied offsite if loss of data since the last backup cannot be tolerated or recovered.
For large businesses with a number of servers that need to be kept in step - this is where the problems occur - there is no "one size fits all" solution. Full mirroring at a remote site MAY be possible but expensive. (Dedicated fibre links between the sites would be required along with duplicate disk arrays etc.) If the site is big enough then having the DR system onsite but far enough away to be safe may be possible (but again expensive). Trying to get a consistent snapshot across multiple active servers tends to be DIFFICULT (understatement). If a person (or team) is given the job of designing the backup regime in this case then the first thing to do is to try to find out what data is fairly static and what changes frequently. Then find out from the business teams how important consistency is - for some data it will be critical - for others not so important.. Decisions need to be made on what should be done if the backup system fails (e.g. Mr JCB digs up the offsite fibre link).
If backing up to "the cloud" is considered then legal problems may occur unless the data is heavily encrypted due to the collision between the EU data protection directive and the US government slurping up the data that is sent over the internet or stored on a US cloud server. Cloud storage is also expensive when the network costs are added to the storage costs. (Just to backup or restore a single full 1TB disk in a 10 hour overnight backup window requires an uncontended 230Mbit/sec link !!!)
Cheap hardware BUT
Knowing Oracle the cost of the software licences (and compulsory maintenance) will inflate the bill to the point where it is many times the price of the competition.
Low power battery
As a cheap THL W8S phone comes with a 7.4Whr battery (and a spare in the box!!) this low power battery once again shows that Apple stands for looks over functionality. The only reason for glueing it in is to try to ensure that the product has a limited life so that Apple can sell more phones in the future to its fans.
A decently designed and built phone shoud have a lifespan of over 10 years (easily possible if the battery is replaceable) not the 5 years or less of a fixed battery model.
Re: I'd be happy with ...
About the best that you can expect to get from LEDs is the same light quality obtained from flourescent lights.
Visible light LEDs are almost as monochromatic as the low pressure sodium street lamps. To get white light from a LED lamp either a blue LED is used with a phosphor to generate the missing colours or a UV LED is used with the same type of phosphors as in a flourescent tube. Unfortunately none of the energy efficient light sources approach the smooth spectrum of an incandescent light source.
This requires 2 iDevices
The Fine My iPhones app needs an iPhone or iPad to run on (as well as the lost device) so unless you have either 2 iPhones or an iPhone and iPad, this application will not be of much use.
Stability of supplier
Is the product (or support for the product) likely to disappear due to the supplier going bust ?
For software products - are the sources available in case of the supplier going bust or deciding to discontinue the product.
For larger software suppliers - what is the tone of comments on their user groups - and does the supplier seem to have useful interaction with complaints.
Does the supplier have a history of raising maintenance charges ?
With the likes of THL bringing full HD phones with 32GB for under £230 (inc VAT), prices from the big players (Apple, Samsung, HTC) will be forced to come down over the next few years.
About the only significent useful improvements that Apple (or Samsung) could make to their phones are ones that their competitors have had for years - user replaceable batteries and SD card memory expansion.
(THL W8S is under £230 new on ebay and includes 8 and 13 MP cameras, GPS, FM radio, dual SIM, 2GB RAM, 32GB ROM, full HD IPS screen etc .)
Re: Power and size
I was meaning a file that was used during the Linux kernel build so that the kernel had only the correct device drivers - not a boot time or run time configuration of a generic kernel (a CONFIG_MTK6589T make file).
Correctly done you would have a generic make file that included a type file (e.g CONFIG_PHONE or CONFIG_TABLET or CONFIG_EMBEDDED etc), the SoC make file and the specific board file (if any) for additional devices or to disable not connected SoC devices. The CONFIG_xxx files would include lower level files so for example the CONFIG_MTK6589 file would include CONFIG_QUAD_CORE_ARM_A7 minimising the amount of duplicated configuration information. This results in smaller kernels with fewer bugs as errors in code that is not included does not have any effect on the kernel.
Power and size
For suppliers of SoC based equipment, configuring Linux is often the norm to avoid the kernel having loads of unwanted code. For example on a basic MP3 player the complete communication stack is unwanted as there is no externally connected communication interface (even if the SoC has one).
Generic kernels are far larger than custom tailored kernels -for example on the netbook that I am using at the moment the generic kernel image on disk is 3.9MP - and includes support for IP6, DECnet, Packet radio, Bluetooth, EISA bus, multiple CPU types and many other options that will never be used.
For the manufacturer of small SoC based systems, having the devices discoverable provides no benefit and will hinder if there are devices on the SoC whose use is not wanted.
Having something like a CONFIG_MTK6589T file that configures all the devices on a MTK6589T SoC would seem to be the best approach. (The MTK6589T SoC is the chip in my current phone - a THL W8S.)
Their biggest problem might be another manufacturer - THL. For example their W8S model is quad core, 8MP and 13MP cameras, 32GB, user swappable batteries (it comes with 2), full HD IPS screen and costs less than £240 (inc VAT) from a UK supplier (look on ebay). With competitor prices like that, a new entrant will have difficulty making a good profit. Also the Tegra4 is rather power hungry for smartphone use.
Weak random number ? Compromised certificates ?
The public key encryption methods use a strong encryption to protect the session key which is used to encrypt the message. If NSA have managed to get their chums at M$ or PGP to weaken the session key so that instead of 128 bits of randomness it only has 32 bits of randomness and the other 96 bits are derived by an algorithm that is known to the NSA, it would then be trivial for the NSA to decode the messages. For an outside attacker that did not know that the key was weakened and did not know the algorithm, the message would still appear to be secure.
If you want an document to stay secret - encode it with a version of GnuPG that you have compiled yourself (just in case NSA have tampered with the binaries).
Everyone should assume that the NSA has aquired the top level certificates for all the major internet companies (Google, Microsoft, Amazon etc) either by cooperation from their management or by espionage. All communication with such companies must be assumed to be open to the NSA.
Neat idea BUT
This design has a nasty single point of failure - the IP6 access point. If the sensors are important then more than one IP6 access point needed to be provided - which requires a more complex design (at least in the level 2 nodes).
Re: access to documents by unix/linux credentials only?
With root access it is possible to totally bypass the security on any database by using disk block access to the underlying data files. (Or an easier method - make the backup procedure make a copy of the database somewhere else on the disk - set that up as an instance and give yourself full access to the copy.)
In older Oracle databases (I only worked on versions 5,6,7), it was easy as a system administrator to get access to the Oracle SYS and SYSTEM accounts or to set up an OPS$ account. Once you have access then adding an account (or modifying an existing one) with the READ ALL TABLES privilege (and any specific extra tokens needed to access a specific table) is trivial. Again with Oracle, one of the standard procedures that would be done from time to time is a full database export. The export file is ASCII text with no internal protection - if data is stored unencrypted in a database then it is unencrypted text in the export file. Note also that as a system administrator it is usually easy to define or modify where exception reports are sent so if accessing a table raises a flag then the flag can be made ineffective.
Remember - all databases have a backdoor built in to recover from the case where the admin password has been lost - with Oracle it was SQLDBA (at least in versions 5,6,7). With SQLDBA it was possible to change the password for any user or to add a new user with any desired privilege.
Do you hate Microsoft that much ?
The only company that I would like to see her join is Oracle.
A Sad Day
Another sad day for humanity. Groklaw helped keep some of the law clean by exposing it to the light of truth. Will anyone else be able to do a similar job in future - I doubt it.
If you are old enough and have a good pension plan then the best route may be to retire.
System admin jobs are going the same way as most coding jobs did - either automated or outsourced to cheap countries. The only support jobs likely to continue for a while are the junior IT support - swapping keyboards and mice - swapping PCs - replacing toner and paper etc but these jobs pay peanuts. For most companies under 1000 employees, there is no business reason to have their own system administration team if they can get their administration done by an outside group for less. Using the internet, most system administration can be done just as easily from 5000 miles away as from 50 feet away.
- Vid Hubble 'scope scans 200,000-ton CHUNKY CRUMBLE ENIGMA
- Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?
- Google offers up its own Googlers in cloud channel chumship trawl
- Interview Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't THERMAGEDDON
- Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad