1060 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 14:47 GMT
Re: cars are not computers
Square steering wheels are old technology, I once owned an Austin All-aggro with one.
Ah well, explains the cold weather. Some small part of Hell just froze over.
Re: Ok, Tom.
You're not AC from the Reg journos, only the rest of us.
Scary thought, thief mugs you, grabs your phone, forces you to look at it to unlock it and then quickly disables the facial recognition. I think a PIN is more secure than that.
AC @4:54 Well, we know he's certainly legs-free.
He's probably disturbed by the lack of faith shown by the iTunes store which is refusing to allow his Dark Side application because it competes with Apple's business.
Bears with Arms
So is a country where it's considered a basic right to own a gun the best place to operate a drone fleet? I wonder how many they'll lose to gunfire? I'd think it would be open season if you lived near a distribution centre and these things were forever flying over your house. Even a piece of rope with a weight on each end would probably do it, and would be far more fun and challenging, too.
Well, it makes it more difficult for the NSA or anyone else to read my mail without asking me or breaking into my house. They can still do it, but it means they have to try that little bit harder and use another method. It's all where I get at it, I can easily keep backups and I don't get bothered with adverts if I read it using webmail.
I use a Sheevaplug for my mail server too, although mail is stored on an external USB hard drive, I wouldn't trust the SD card for that (had a few of those go down due to bit rot).
Of course, it's fun to learn how to set it all up and make it work, knowing how to run such things can be useful on occasion. I run two DHCP servers and two DNS servers on my home network too, in a master/slave arrangement so if one goes down, everything falls back to the other one. Sheevaplugs are good for this, extra resources, low power consumption.
Re: Stop wasting the Police & your ISP's time
Pretty much anything giving backscatter now is poorly configured. Your average spam zombie machine doesn't bother trying to send rejected mail to the fake From: address, it just drops it on the floor[*] because it knows it's probably fake and not worth wasting bandwidth. The backscatter is from systems that accept the initial mail and then fake a bounce based on subsequent processing, which is not a particularly net-friendly behaviour. Either reject it immediately or just eat it, preferably the former. The only exception to this is a secondary MX, which might not have access to the list of valid users at a site and so will accept it to forward ot the primary MX - it's possible that a spammer has worked out that he can unload a lot more messages that way.
I remember once adding a tweak to my spam filter software to pick out the backscatter that helpfully told me I had a virus and auto-forwarding it to postmaster@site pointing out that I didn't and that they really ought to fix their software to stop spamming me because I never sent the original.
[*] Admittedly this is based on observing stuff supposedly from me to me being given a 5xx by my mail server, and then never seeing an attempt to return to the sender.
Use of Backups
Understanding what might be needed and why is also useful.
Thre's the obvious disaster scenario, total equipment loss at the primary site, in which case you'd want a complete copy of everything from the day before (assuming daily granularity).
Then there's a partial data loss, where one or more disks fail, but as you can't predict which data might be lost, you'd still like everything from yesterday to be available.
Then you get onto audit trails and archival storage. I'm sure most IT people want to be elsewhere (except the BOFH) when someone asks if it's possible to recover a file from last week/month because they've only just realised that's when they broke it. Then there's the need to haul up old versions of documents for other reasons - software people are hopefully already using version control and can reconstruct any version of a file, but other parts of the company are more likely to have just overwritten a previous version.
If it's needed for tax or accounting purposes then it should have been properly archived and so probably isn't taking up 240x the storage.
Re: Its a Netbook with a lid that comes off.
My Aspire One was built better than that, five years old and the lid is still properly fixed on.
Re: replace xp with...
Yes, definitely. Linux Mint 13 (so long-term support) XFCE edition runs just fine on my Aspire One. I did subsequently install LXDE (a trivial process) because I preferred it to XCFE in trials, but they are but two examples of lightweight window managers - avoid KDE/Gnome/Unity and all the other modern stuff only suited to systems with reasonable grunt (which an Atom N270 is indeed lacking).
As for Minecraft, you just have to go download the jar file from the Minecraft website once you've logged in. I vaguely remember Mint 13 comes with a working Java engine without having to try hard to get it to go. I managed to install it first time on an old Celeron-powered laptop from 5000 miles away and it worked first time. However, it will probably have a dire performance on old and underpowered machines, the Celeron (eight years old) couldn't cope, and I suspect a 2008/9 vintage netbook would similarly fail in the speed department when rendering all those blocks.
Sounds a bit like the old Microsoft tax where the customers didn't want to refuse because they were afraid that would cost them more than agreeing. At least Apple aren't demanding a fee per phone sold regardless of whether it's running iOS or not, but they seem to have found a way of squeezing the smaller competition to their advantage.
It helps that I've never bothered to set up (and presumably pay for) Skype voicemail. This small fact didn't stop 68 (so far) voicemail notifications landing in my junk mail account, but at least I wasn't tempted in the slightest to open any of them. Having my own domain and using different email addresses for different organisations makes it really easy to filter the crap, most of it comes in to the wrong address and on the very faint chance that one manages to guess the correct one, the presence of all the other near-identical messages to other addresses surrounding it show it up as a fake.
Re: I think the "no wake" zone might also be worthy of further study.
Most teenagers have a "no wake" zone, usually in the morning.
Re: Only a few lucky winners
It'll be either a 747-400 or 747-800 airframe. The current ones are based on an older 747 airframe and are probably a bit noisy, not as fuel-efficient and more expensive to maintain. I guess the new extended 777 airframe might get a look-in too. The competition would probably have been the A380.
Only a few lucky winners
Reminds me of the tanker aircraft bid that was won by Airbus and then Boeing threw its teddies out of the pram and got it reversed. If you're not on the approved winners' list then you can have a contract taken away.
Of course, Airbus got the last laugh in that case when it subsequently refused to even bid on the Air Force One replacement, meaning that the US government was stuck with a sole bidder and whatever price they chose to quote.
Re: The wonders of having a metal phone body
If it's a 2-pin supply then yes, there's usually some EMC suppression capacitors in the supply that cross the safety barrier. I think it's about 3nF, and if you've got an AC (milli)ammeter you can measure the current between the supply output and a convenient ground point.
Ironically, the cheap supply probably won't bother fitting EMC capacitors, so might not have this small leakage current.
Re: It's all about the money
A concrete floor is considered to be a fairly low impedance to ground.
As for dodgy chargers, it's worth looking on Google for articles where someone strips down a dodgy charger and explains all the problems. You'll find that many of them don't use properly rated components, the design often doesn't meet the performance specification, the safety clearances are not met and the isolation transformer is not double insulated. No wonder there are failures - it might still be a one-in-a-million chance, but if you've got ten million out there, that's ten people getting zapped, and more likely than winning the lottery jackpot.
There's also a fire hazard - if you leave your phone charging overnight, you might be woken early by the smoke alarm. Approved devices are usually more fire resistant than the dodgy ones.
If I could have an Android phone that started with a basic internet browser capable of accessing the internet and the app store for downloading apps (which could then come from places other than Google), then that would be a really good start. No unwanted apps taking up space and stealing my data. How about it, Eric? Android without needing Google at all.
Re: Initialism disambiguation
Yes, I thought it was going to be a tale of how important deliveries ended up in a field due to a navigation issue.
Mind you, given the efficiency of government procurement, they probably wouldn't notice if half the stuff spent a month in a lorry in a field somewhere while being delivered.
Re: On the basis of yesterday
I never thought much of McGann based on the 1996 film, but having seen him in that short prequel, I now think that it's a shame that he didn't get to do more with some decent storylines because I think that given the chance he'd have turned out quite good.
I have to agree with the steady decline in the 80s. I think Peter Davison was capable of much better than the scripts they gave him, and by the time Colin Baker came along, I was right on the edge of giving up on Dr Who. Then he picked up a gun and shot a cyberman and I decided that was it - a proper script would have had him get out of that without needing to shoot.
Re: Patents have little to do with innovation
Patents were originally intended to encourage innovation by rewarding the inventor with a relatively short-term monopoly in return for letting the world have the details of his idea.
Now, patents are used to stifle innovation, lest it rob large corporations, who are the only ones who can afford legal fees to defend patents, of their profit.
Re: How do they know I emigrated?
As someone else from the UK and also in the land of the free at the moment, I don't think I've told the UK that I've left yet. I probably ought to, the Inland Revenue owes me some money. However, that's about the only incentive to let on, and I'm sure the taxman doesn't bother telling anyone outside the financial side of things. That would imply joined-up government.
Did the silver lining fall out of the cloud?
My school got one sometime in 1980, and I had the chance to spend a fair amount of time on it in the sixth form, including doing a Computer Science A-level (completely self-taught, the teacher was learning from me and what I did so he could teach the following year). I remember poring through the BIOS listing (including the Lewis Carroll quotes), working out how to do floating point maths and other things. The circuit diagrams were equally instructive, and I used some of the tricks in my home-made computer that I built around then. I even remember being the person who installed the RAM upgrade because I knew how to do it. Fortunately it still worked afterwards...
Amy and Rory benefit because their stories were mostly single episodes, so they could get through a lot i a single run. Back in the classic days, they were often 4-part or 6-part stories, so you might only get three or four in a season/series.
Bringing a coil of wire nearby could provide quite a bit of power. However, it would be a bit of a bugger getting it back to Earth.
this kind of accounting goes down very badly with US authorities.
They're probably more forgiving if it's totalling up your deductions.
I wouldn't trust my email to an SD card, since playing with Sheevaplugs and Pis, I've had several cases of corruption on SD cards, including one in the past week. However, I run my mail server on a Sheevaplug with an external hard disk for more reliable storage. That's the one where the SD card went dodgy, but a quick swap out for a new one and it's all up and running again. I need to look at the configuration a bit more closely to eliminate as many writes to the SD card as possible.
As with anything, provided you've got backups of important data, it's recoverable. The only reason cloud providers are safe (and then not always) is because they do have some redundancy in their system. at least with your own personal IMAP server, you've got full control over your own email, and if it's a small, low-powered device, it can be left on and configured so you can access it remotely from your smartphone.
Thunderbirds are Go
We need Thunderbird 2 to go chase the satellite down as it re-enters, just like it did when they thought Rick O'Shea was on board.
I assume it's down somewhere by now.
One hopes that those of us who can only afford cattle class will be spared because the ones who can afford the phone bill will all be closer to the front of the aircraft in the posher seats.
Re: Not visible here
But the INSTALLER offers to install Crudware nothing to do with Filezilla.
Ah yes, I missed that bit. However, for my OS, I download the .bz2 file and install from there so no dodgy installer to deal with.
Not visible here
I just went and had a look at the Filezilla download and it appears that Adblock Plus is doing a grand job of keeping all the crud away from my browser screen. I didn't see any of the dodgy stuff.
I recently had to use a PC that didn't have it installed and the amount of unwanted clutter on webpages made it pretty much unusable. It was definitely necessary to exercise caution as to which links were wanted ones and which were done up to look like wanted ones.
I still have my home-made Z80 machine from about 1982, and it even worked last time I powered it up. It was loosely based on the MK14, in that it had eight 7-segment displays and a hex keypad. I ripped off the single-step mechanism from the RML380Z (reset a counter that gave an NMI after a number of M1 cycles) so I could debug stuff and examine the register states. I was quite pleased with it, considering I was still at school when I did most of it. The code almost worked first time too, the display scanning was off one digit because it wasn't clear with the repetitive OUT instructions whether the B register was decremented before or after it was put on the high order address bits (I was pointing to a memory buffer, selecting the display port and using the countdown in the B register to index the digit being addressed).
Re: Big languages with big libraries
This is why embedded programming is still fun. When you're using a PIC, MSP430 or 8-bit AVR, there's still a challenge to make it fit in the smallest one. I even remember the ADSP2105 and hand-crafting the assembly code (no C) to fit into the 1K instructions allowed.
Even the Raspberry Pi and its ilk suffer from the extra boot-up complexity, whereas with a small embedded processor there's very little that has to be done.
I remember being in a group sat around the school's RML380Z, probably in about 1980. Someone was meticulously plotting a static image on the screen when I had an idea and pushed him aside. A quick bit of typing later and this blob moved across the screen. Everyone was duly impressed, although now it seems ridiculously simple, and after a quick explanation of how it just plotted a blob, then plotted it elsewhere and deleted the original, several action games appeared over the next few weeks. We were fairly clueless to start with, but showing off what we'd figured out and learning from each other, we all got a lot better quite quickly.
Re: "I'm still getting PPI and "you've had an accident" junk"
Funny you should say that, I've got an old Nokia 6210 with a PAYG SIM in it and that gets loads of this sort of junk. It sits on my desk and I often discover it's missed a call or has received a spam text. I've taken to answering the phone and leaving it on the desk for a few minutes on the rare occasion I'm around when a junk call arrives.
It doesn't have to just be the dull weirdos, some quite entertaining ones can write code too.
Anyway, coding is the last[*] stage of a much bigger process - in order to write code, one has to have given some thought to what the finished item is supposed to do and how to do it. It's often done by breaking things into ever smaller blocks until the coding side of things becomes relatively trivial because the block complexity is low. Algorithms are the key.
Not everyone has a brain suitable for writing software. In the same way that we're not all great artists, musicians and theoretical physicists, some people find it hard to handle the mindset required for good code design. So no, it shouldn't be forced on every child, because to some it will not be relevant, but ICT should be far more than just learning how to drive MS Word, Powerpoint and Excel, which is what it seems to have become.
[*] Not strictly true, testing, debugging and verification should all come afterwards. If you get it right first time, the debugging can be skipped.
How many people have seen the level of technology in the computers controlling the old Magnox (I think there's still one running) and AGR nuclear power stations in the UK? They never upgraded, they stuck with what had been tried and tested.
I once bought a new car because the tyres wore out...
(OK, there were other reasons too...)
I avoid it by not having a G+ account, so I have no friends so they can't advertise to me.
I'm going to need a US SIM next week, perhaps I'll call into a T-Mobile store and see what they've got to offer. The ability to call UK landlines cheaply certainly stands out, although it'll still be competing with VoIP/Skype for my business.
I wish they'd come and test them all in my house, then I wouldn't have to clean the floors.
I want an upgrade to my Aspire One in the same general form factor capable of running Linux as a standalone computer. The AA1 is five years old now and still doing fairly well, but is beginning to creak. A shame someone can't do an upgrade motherboard that would fit in the same case, with the same connectors on it, but I suspect the market would be rather small.
Re: Rand Paul
When there's a "none of the above" as standard on the ballots, then it's a democracy. Until then, it doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always wins.
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