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* Posts by Charles 9

3608 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

THE DEATH OF ECONOMICS: Aircraft design vs flat-lining financial models

Charles 9
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Re: Where's Worstall?

"But people also value the lovely software that some of you guys around here write. And that requires no resource use (time and effort, yes, but none of those "finite resources") in manufacture. But it's still an addition to value added and thus is part of GDP."

You still need a finite resource even for software: you need energy: energy to think of the design, energy to exert yourself, energy to employ tools and machines to carry out your design, and (especially here) energy to actually put your stuff to use. In addition, you need time to do everything. Both energy and time are inherently finite.

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Charles 9
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Re: If you give a politician 1£ ...

"And that leads to another facet of the popular vote, maybe the hardest of all: you should learn all you can about the subject before voting and if you feel that you do not know enough d o n o t vote!!"

But then you run into the problem of "blissful ignorance." Everyone who goes to vote believes in his or her mind that they DO know all they can about whoever they want to vote. And there's no way to objectively test this because ANY test is a product of man (even a computer program must be programmed by a man at some point), which means SOME form of bias creeps in. And even if we make the test standard the same as for naturalization I would bet people are willing to screw both parties over. IOW, the potential for self-sustaining corruption is endemic to the human condition. There's just no way to escape it long-term, and even correcting their appearances short-term are difficult.

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Poverty? Pah. That doesn't REALLY exist any more

Charles 9
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Re: sorry...

"Simply statistics. If a company has 1000 people and 1 gets ill, if you are the ill one you are going to have sufficient problems that might make it impossible to work. I know someone who recently died from diabetes complications - a terrible way to go I can assure you all- but their employer did not eject them. This is why healtcare should be universal - we can quibble about the implementation but not the need."

But now take it to a more perverted end. The overall costs involved might make it cheaper to train a replacement for you from scratch. As far as the employer (and perhaps his/her investors) are concerned, let Darwin sort you out.

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Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors

Charles 9
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Re: It's all down to the stupid....

And the boss couldn't threaten to dismiss them?

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Charles 9
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Re: Two factor ...

So they just develop a portable biometric scanner. They can use a putty or jelly to snag your fingerprint, a syringe to get blood for DNA. Pretty sure they can whip up a vein scanner eventually. Put it this way: something you are may as well be something you have, for anything we can whip up to detect a live presence, someone else can whip up to simulate said presence.

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ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee

Charles 9
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Re: Right upto the point where the Netflix exec demonstrated on camera

Then why doesn't someone counter the claim by showing the same trick works with an UNENCRYPTED proxy?

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Charles 9
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Then what about companies like Comcast that have vertical integration? They not only own the pipes but also the content to send along it (Comcast owns NBC Universal)? It's like the railroads also owning the timber land. They now have a natural (and fiduciary) interest to favor their own sources (Comcast will want to prefer NBC/Universal content, the railroad will prefer timber from their own land). Trouble is, this creates a conflict between private property rights and monopoly behavior, especially if the transit line is the one and only line available.

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Facebook's Oculus unveils 360-degree VR head tracking 'Crescent Bay' prototype

Charles 9
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Or perhaps electrode helmets like in other VR sci-fis. I frankly don't know if we can sufficiently fool the brain without doing something too radical. Seeing as how the brain has to many sensory inputs to draw from: namely the entire nervous system which includes all the tactile neurons associated with out skin. Without full five-sense illusion, the potential always exists for Simulation Sickness.

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Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

Charles 9
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Re: Why cut it live?

"However, it's far easier to just hook in where the cable lands."

Perhaps, but also recall that some of the argument is that the cable may land in "enemy territory" where tapping on land isn't politically possible or safe.

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Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway

Charles 9
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Re: SSD

"One issue is when new technology comes out, like faster SAS speeds or an entire replacement. Then you just cannot swap drives out but a full-on migration."

But you can still perform it gradually. The big part is replacing the controller tech with one that can bridge the gap, say one with the new tech built in and the old stuff supported with a module. Then you can change out to the new drives as you swap out the old ones. Once the last old drive is gone, the module can go as well.

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Charles 9
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Re: Take a hint from nature

As I recall, DNA is an inexact kind of thing. Which is why even identical twins don't have identical fingerprints. In any event, while sharks may not have evolved much over a few hundred million years, we'd probably be able to note some incremental steps along the way, meaning the copying process isn't very exact.

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Charles 9
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Hey, people still look up Sun Tzu, don't they? Historical combat data can have its uses in the broader scheme of things.

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Charles 9
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Re: 1000 years?

"The thing to keep in mind is that with Blu Ray, you won't have to do the periodic (and expensive depending on size) tape migrations."

Then what happens when you have an optical disc migration instead? DVD migrated to BluRay, and for archival we'll probably be moving from BluRay to Archival Disc unless something else comes along, and even within Archival Disc there will be several iterations for starters. The vaunted 1TB/side won't be available for a few years yet. Heck, even external hard drive tech like RDX requires periodic migration (RDX claims a 30 year life right now, but can you really believe that number?).

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Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility

Charles 9
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Re: Game of Thrones

Unfortunately, that's part of the power of copyright. If HBO feels Foxtel's deal rakes in more money than any potential loss of customers due to the bundling, that's for them to decide and no one else. The only way you can counter is to offer a sweeter deal, but you can still be outbid.

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Charles 9
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Re: Pffft

"The film is no longer in the cinema."

Not at the first-run cinemas, but you forget all the second-strings like cinema cafes, airlines, prisons, hospitals, etc. All of these locations will pay good dollar to host content that's not available elsewhere at this time. And remember, this is all for view-once venues. The distributors won't go for one-and-done sales (videos) until they exhaust the oppotunity for view-onces since they still stand the chance of getting a double-dip until then. Which means they won't release discs until it has its day with On Demand/Pay Per View, either. Besides, for them, video release day acts as a second wind when it comes to advertising, so they're not too worried about people not remembering the movie.

"For decades bands have had merch stalls at concerts so you can buy CDs, tee shirts and other memorabilia."

Barring a phenomenon franchise like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, loyalty for any one movie tends to pass over time. People go on to the next one. To movie companies, once the movie goes out on home video, that's about it as far as they're concerned. People will buy it or not at their choosing, and time usually won't affect the sales that much, as people who want the movie will be willing to wait (ask any diehard Apple fan).

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Charles 9
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Re: Pffft

"A film with an August cinema release doesn't appear on Blu-ray/DVD until Christmas. How many people with a desire to buy and cash on the hip will wait that long?"

Do you know it's been this way since the days of the videotape? This is normal for any mainstream release, even in the US. Movies always get released on a specific staggered schedule (theaters first, then airplanes and other confined venues, then pay-per-view/on-demand, then home videos, and finally mainstream television), and they're not going to deviate from the schedule because it's very carefully calculated to maximize the revenues from each step before going on to the next one. Cardinal rule of publishing: don't introduce a new distribution stream until you're sure the effect it will have on your existing revenue streams (ex. you don't release home videos while the movie's playing at the cinema; otherwise people stop going to the cinema) are minimal enough to take.

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US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux

Charles 9
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Re: I'd still say it's MIMO

I thought the key element to MIMO is the fact it uses multiple antennae in order to take advantage of interferometry to improve signal clarity. IOW, this can't be MIMO as most would understand the concept.

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'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

Charles 9
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Caught up with Linux? What about true and ubiquitous symbolic linking?

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Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around

Charles 9
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Re: What?

About the dendrites? Yes, that's supposedly the bug-a-boo about both recharging techs. I recall that it's a disturbing tendency with alkaline batteries which is why the idea has since dropped (you don't get enough recharges out of it to be worth it). And dendrites have been fingered in more than a few spontaneous Lithium combustions. I recall the research shows that improper charging is a big factor in that, which means this research could help to minimize the phenomenon.

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New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone

Charles 9
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Re: Bytes?

GZIPped 7-bit ASCII if the article is accurate. Deflation works very well on simple HTML.

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DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster

Charles 9
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Re: Human flea instead?

"...then the opposing force turns on a wide-band high-power RF jammer, giggling all the way, and the drones are left to fend for themselves (if they have any onboard intelligence at all)."

And then the OpFor finds themselves minus a few members because the drones were preprogrammed to ID enemy targets so needs no outside input to carry out its mission. With gyroscopic accelerometers and a prior fix, it may even be able to find its way out of the battlezone without satellite guidance. This is not as crazy as you think and represents the current cutting edge of drone design.

PS. Going to the "short burst" design, I would think this would actually be more practical. Not so much to provide a continuous thrust but perhaps a quick burst of speed if and when necessary, say a jumpstart to get up to running speed (which is tougher to do when you're fully loaded), as someone said, a quick heave to get over a wall or perhaps something to get across the kill zone more quickly and with a greater chance of escaping unscathed. The unit would also have a longer work life that way.

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Charles 9
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Joke

Re: DARPA has a budget problem: How to spend it fast enough

Until you discover the man is still right behind you...because he's lived most of his life without shoes and therefore routinely runs barefoot.

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T-Mobile US goes gaga for Wi-Fi calling, AT&T to launch in 2015

Charles 9
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Re: Why?

"If WiFi calling is really just VoIP and uses the same setup as VoLTE, then roaming between the two seamlessly would work."

It doesn't quite work that way. It's more like a modified SIP as it's currently set up. It's a more or less proprietary implementation so as the article notes it needs a T-Mobile-specific firmware for it to work.

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European Court of Justice allows digitisation of library books

Charles 9
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Re: Creation and Duplication

Now, for professional textbooks and such with intricate and exacting layouts (picture and diagrams have to exist in a certain arrangement, etc), particularly in colour, yes there's an art in itself to the layout which would require the work of a skilled professional. Plus there's the research and verification of the source material by experts in the related field. Given all that and relatively low print runs, professional books will always be expensive simply for all that: never mind the ink, presses, and paper.

What about for a simple novel with few if any illustartions (all B&W) and no complicated layouts (say the illustrations are all full-page and all the text follows a fixed layout? Does it really, really cost that much to that such simple typesetting?

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spɹɐʍʞɔɐB writing is spammers' new mail filter avoidance trick

Charles 9
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Re: Meh

Even if it appears to come from a colleague? That's the point behind spear phishing.

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Charles 9
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Re: And of course...

"I'm still puzzled about the allegedly disguised filename. The story is that the text is reversed so the scanner won't pick it up, but the display presents it in such a way that it reads normally. When you click on a link or a filename it doesn't matter what it looks like, the thing that is executed is whatever is in the text, and that's what the scanner will see too."

The example in the article is erroneous, but the idea is that the filename is written backwards, too. Think "txt.setoN gniteeM evituc.exE". This is actually a program (which could contain a zero-day privilege escalation rootkit or such), but if it's displayed in a RTL mode, the displayed name gets reversed and now appears to be "Exe.cutive Meeting Notes.txt", making it look like an innocuous text file. See where this is going? Combine this with spear phishing, and the whole thing could be believable enough to click to open.

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Charles 9
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Re: And of course...

But wouldn't that still raise a red flag since that ALSO means the text becomes right-aligned? The standard approach is to align e-mail and common text to the same side as the start of the text, is it not? Thus English starts on the left while Hebrew, Arabic, etc. start on the right.

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Charles 9
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I thought they already moved on to encrypted ZIP archives which can't be extracted by automation since the password to decrypt them is hidden carefully in the text of the message such that computers aren't likely to make it out correctly. Furthermore, encrypted ZIPs can't be blocked out of hand since they may actually be legitimate correspondence from a coworker (which makes a spear-fishing encrypted ZIP even more plausible).

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iPhone 6: Advanced features? Pah! Nexus 4 had most of them in 2012

Charles 9
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Re: Take my money! Oh, you're too busy... @h4rm0ny

I may be wrong, but I believe the actual phones are kept in the back (every store I've been to the high-ticket items are kept under some kind of lock and key). You use the app to present to the desk, and they fetch it for you, then you leave with it. The desk would be able to verify the receipt is used once and once only.

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Charles 9
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Honest question for anyone who might know. How will this new iPhone handle WiFi Calling? AFAIK, the only major US cell provider that supports this is T-Mobile, and only on certain classes of Android phones (mostly higher-end models) and only with their rolling plans (prepaids can't use this or Visual Voicemail). Considering the text of the article, this may be specific to T-Mobile, too (which has had the infrastructure for years).

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NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies

Charles 9
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It'll be curious to see how far North Korea will go on this. As embassies, under the Vienna Convention, the people within are supposed to possess some latitude in regards to matters within their walls, but NK could also say their affairs are affecting things outside the walls and declare the people responsible for these "breaches" personae non gratae.

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No TKO for LTO: Tape format spawns another 2 generations, sports 120TB bigness

Charles 9
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Re: Lowest-cost archive medium

Anyone interested in the consumer market has to get used to the idea that price matters. It's not so much "We don't want to pay for it" as "We can't pay for it." For the consumer, "You Get What You Pay For" only goes so far, especially with limited budgets and competing interests. That's why there's the concept of the "comfort zone" beyond which any attempt to woo the customer will fail to attract all but hardcore adherents. The demand curve for the consumer is necessarily low and shallow. If the tech is such that even the lowest end is too expensive, that means supply and demand can't meet, leaving an untapped market.

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Charles 9
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Re: Lowest-cost archive medium

I know isn't a consumer-level product. I'm just pointing out there is also a need for backup media on the consumer end, too (indeed, many would say it's underserved). Consumer drives have reached multi-terabyte levels, and people are filling them up. Optical discs are rapidly being left behind in that regard; not even the upcoming Archival Disc will back up a 1TB HD in one disc, and the next step down, BD-R, is way too small. And there hasn't been a single consumer tape improvement since Travan-40 (raw capacity smaller than a BD-R). Which means pretty much the only practical way to back up a hard drive full of data is with another hard drive. But the reliability of external hard drives can be inconsistent, raising the specter of a Failsafe Failure before a cycle change occurs (I just did one when I transferred out my hundreds of backup DV-R's to HDs, and that wasn't without sporadic losses of data). So pardon if I seem a little concerned about mid-term data retention on the consumer front.

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Charles 9
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Re: Lowest-cost archive medium

I would love to have even something of an LTO-6 level of capacity, but at consumer prices (which they're decidely NOT--an LTO-6 drive runs nearly $6,000). Having something that can several TB of things pretty safe for the mid-term, say around five to seven years, would be really nice for packrats such as myself. Right now, external hard drives remain the most affordable choice in the consumer market, but I still have to wonder about their reliability and data retention at these lengths of time.

"Not to mention that if you really want to "archive" something for a prolonged period of time and have it readable by future generations, you're still better off sticking to ink on paper."

Kind of hard to put a movie on pen and paper. Same for a selection of music (sheet music is basically musical source code--most people prefer finished products).

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Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?

Charles 9
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Re: OnePlus One

"Is it common to require headphones for FM radio? Anyway, with that caveat, it seems to be standard on Lumias."

It's pretty standard fare for any tiny FM radio to use the headphone wires as an antenna. It's down to physics. To pick up a good FM radio signal, you need an antenna of a decent length. Cell phones are simply too small to provide that length. Back before cell phones, portable radios needed an extendable antenna for the same reason.

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Comcast using JavaScript to inject advertising from Wi-Fi hotspots

Charles 9
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Re: Slippery Slope to Much Higher Prices

How, when ABSOLUTELY NONE of the candidates who would actually do something about this are even on the ballot. Heck, many ballots are unchallenged.

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China is now 99.8% sure you're you, thanks to world's-best facial recognition wares

Charles 9
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Re: Identical twins are not identical

"Favourite fact regarding foetal alcohol syndrome: identical twins can be born with one suffering FAS and the other not. You'd have thought one womb would be as close to an identical environment as possible, but no..."

IINM FAS is epigenetic and so can be a crapshoot. Fingerprints are epigenetic, too, that's why fingerprints differ even among identical twins. There's a hypothesis that it's the same way with sexual orientation. Thus why some identical twins diverge in spite of identical genes and upbringing.

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Charles 9
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Headmaster

Begging one's pardon, but given the definition of "identical", one would think that monozygotic twins are physically indistinguishable from each other barring personal choices of hairstyle, makeup, etc. But if they wear their hair and makeup the same way, their faces should be nigh-impossible to tell apart. Otherwise, they're not identical, eh?

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'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin

Charles 9
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Re: Show me the hardware.

"Excuse my ignorance. Everybody keeps saying, referring to "FTTN" things like "it'll have to be ripped out to do FTTP". I would presume that the same fiber would have to get to the same node, irrespective of FFTN or FTTP."

The problem is that FTTP requires a completely different topology from FTTN, meaning most FTTN equipment can't be used in FTTP. If you use FTTP now, then in five or ten years time when more bandwidth is needed, it's MUCH easier (and less expensive) to build on an existing setup than it is tearing up the FTTN setup to replace it with a FTTP one. IOW, FTTP has a higher up-front cost but is more future-resistant.

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Finally, a USEFUL smart device: Intel boffins cook up gyro-magneto-'puter bike helmet

Charles 9
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Then recycling needs to be encouraged. Once it breaks (the internal electronics can be cushioned to reduce the chance of these breaking), they should be encouraged to call in and order a replacement for a reduced price. Maybe it can be done like some warranty jobs where the replacement comes in and you send the busted one back in the same box.

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Charles 9
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Re: All that safety...

It should be noted that some municipalities prohibit the use of earphones while on bicycles, on the understanding that auditory awareness is considered too important to compromise. As some have said, some people can't turn their heads that much without twisting their torso, which in turn means they unintentionally turn the handlebar. Meaning trying to look back can actually be dangerous. As for "hybrid cars", they're big enough that you can still hear the wind as they pass and the friction of the tires on the road, not to mention the whirring of the electric motor. I hear the same phenomenon in electric golf carts. They're not completely whisper-quiet ninja autos. Put it this way, you need as many senses as you can employ to be at your safest on a bike. You can't rely solely on sight (blind spots) or sound (drowning out).

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Charles 9
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"For divers, there are already dive computers to control depth, air pressure and ascent rates, normally worn on the wrist."

And they already make a helmet-mounted display for divers so the diver doesn't have to look down to be kept informed. In fact, they already make an HMD for firefighters, too (the C-Thru).

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Charles 9
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Re: As a motorbike rider...

So you're saying that a helmet display is more dangerous than taking one's eyes off the road to glance at the gauges on the bike? And it's not like it's new tech since helmet displays have been developed for military aviation as well. It's just a matter of developing a way to unobtrusively display useful information like speed, revs, and fuel.

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DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

Charles 9
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There's ALWAYS proxies. Given encryption, there's no way to block an encapsulated forwarding packet (the "double envelope" as I call it). As far as the ISP knows, the proxy is the targeted "entity", after which it's out of its control.

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Beer in SPAAAACE: Photographic PROOF

Charles 9
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Stop

Except last I checked, your average plastic cup is round. I've never seen one that was ellipsoid, probably because such cups are prone to collapsing on the narrow dimension. So, assuming the cup is round, either the cup is NOT pint-sized (such a cup in the standard shape would have to be at least four inches tall, and a Lego figure is only about two inches) or that's not a Lego figure on the right. Could be a Duplo figure, which are taller to account for the larger blocks.

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Nvidia blasts sueballs at Qualcomm, Samsung – wants Galaxy kit banned

Charles 9
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Re: If I had a time machine...

As I recall, 3dfx barely missed the turn of the millennium when nVidia borged them, and the PCI Express standard didn't come out until 2004. That's a pretty lengthy interval for "as soon as". As you mentioned, 3dfx was too ambitious. They lost the plot. Not only did they misfire catering to the hardcore set, they lost the more mainstream buyers.

Though I should note that an external power hookup from the PSU developed independently of PCI Express. I actually own a broken ATI All-in-Wonder AGP card that took an external power feed, either from a floppy-style connector or from the connectors we now associate with PCI Express Power.

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Charles 9
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Re: If I had a time machine...

Except that it would only cover you for the New and Improved design. The old design would still be open season, and anyone you tried to sue can just wave the expired patent in your face.

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Charles 9
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Re: If I had a time machine...

As I recall, both sides sued each other. offsetting each other in a patent war. In the end, 3dfx bet on the wrong horse (please direct your attention to the Voodoo5, a card so ungainly it needed its own external power supply to work properly--plus the FANS). People went with ATI and nVidia for more practical reasons, which left 3dfx in the cold and eventually borged by nVidia.

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Charles 9
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Re: Whither Apple?

Samsung may produce the Exynos SoC, but both the CPU and GPU are actually licensed designs from ARM (that includes the Mali, the actual infringing component--it's not unique to Samsung as many ARM SoCs use it). Most of Samsung's tweaking concerning the Exynos is on the CPU end, which isn't being sued. So Samsung could still point fingers: this time at ARM, who made the original GPU design.

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Charles 9
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Re: Whither Apple?

So why hasn't Sony been sued? Or HTC? Or LG? Why was Samsung singled out? And what about Samsung's claim that it should be taken directly to the companies that make the infringing chips (Qualcomm, etc.)? Samsung are just using the chips like everyone else, after all.

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