* Posts by Charles 9

5087 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Samsung’s consumer IoT vision – stupid, desperate, creepy

Charles 9
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Re: Turn ON the microwave???

"Why would one need to turn on the microwave before one gets home? Every microwave I've owned is 'instant on' - unlike an oven, it doesn't need to warm up.... is this to save the half second it takes to push the "start" button?"

Or it could, you know, push the button BEFORE you arrive so that, by the time you walk in, the microwave does its DONE sound so that it's hot and ready for you the moment you arrive (or perhaps 30 seconds after in case you want a bit to get your shoes off).

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Charles 9
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Re: Yeah, but...

One possible angle would be for it to be able to send alarms that it's about to Halt and Catch Fire. A few house fires due to catastrophic dryer failures and the like could see a push for this as a safety tech. This would also handily remove all the dumb devices from the market as unsafe.

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Charles 9
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Re: Just you wait...

Only to find they're ALL like that, probably because they're mandated as a safety feature (to detect say a Halt and Catch Fire).

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Charles 9
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Re: Why....just why?

I'd always heard it "dish" rather than "plate", but that's a toMAYto/toMAHto matter at this point; it still meters right in the end.

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Charles 9
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Re: Why....just why?

"Now if you connect it up to anything is another totally different story indeed.

Will I? Nope. Not in a gazillion month of sundays."

Does the phrase "Whispernet" ring a bell? Next thing you'll know they'll find a way to communicate via neutral wires, making even Faraday cages useless.

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Pioneer slaps 80s LASERS on cars for driverless push

Charles 9
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Re: Air France Flight 447 accident

"What amazes me is that Airbus pitots don't have automatic sensors to turn on the heaters under icing conditions."

Now you got a sensor ON a sensor. And that sensor can still fail.

"Or that it didn't use inertial/GPS nav input as well as the mechanical airspeed inputs (there are a number of ways of estimating speed sans pitots and pilots are taught them. This should be part of the flight control program too)"

Which doesn't help much if you're getting conflicting readings, meaning one sensor says one thing while another says a different thing. At this point, it can't figure out which one's the right one and having additional sensors isn't likely to help since you can always have a failure cascade that makes multiple sensor say the same WRONG thing at the same time.

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Charles 9
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Re: Dazzled by a radar gun?

So what about you use something like a dazzler (which is very bright and has a wider beam) tuned to match the frequency of the LiDAR laser?

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Charles 9
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Re: "I will welcome"

Probably because the human simply cannot fulfill the "at all times" provision, meaning another solution is needed.

PS. Perhaps Pioneer can demonstrate a little more confidence in its technology by showing field tests in less-than-ideal conditions such as heavy rain (which can refract the LiDAR) or whiteouts (which can cover up necessary details).

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Google robo-car suffers brain freeze after seeing hipster cyclist

Charles 9
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Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

"Anyone who knows about friction will tell you that a heavier vehicle does not need a longer stopping distance"

That depends on the strength of the vehicle's brakes versus the inertia of the vehicle. Since the brakes on a truck aren't proportially larger relative to its weight versus a car, that means the truck has a harder time stopping. With trains, the brake:weight ratio's even lower AND it has to contend with the reduced friction of its riding surface (a smooth steel rail versus a rough, frictious road). Then you have ships, which cannot use the sea as a means to stop so have no real "brakes" persay. They stop by reversing thrust, which for a huge vessel takes some time (again, huge ship, tiny propellers). Airplanes are somewhere in the middle of all this. They have brakes but they're really only for when they're taxiing so have to first use thrust reversers upon landing to slow down to come back down to taxi speed.

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Charles 9
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Re: Maybe you "Entitled" cyclists....

And there are reasons for each noted line:

"a vessel not under command;"

Meaning essentially a vessel adrift. Since it has no means to steer itself, you must give way to it.

"a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre (this may include vessels towing one another);"

Same reason as above; they can't steer so well. This is also why a smaller powered vessel must give way to a larger one: the larger one can't steer so well due to inertia.

"a vessel engaged in fishing;"

Fishing vessels have equipment overboard and therefore are pretty much fixed in place. An emergency move for them would entail some costly consequences, usually in lost or damaged equipment.

"a sailing vessel."

Sail vessels are at the mercy of the wind, including to steer, meaning they can't always move on demand, so you have to give way to them.

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Want security? Next-gen startups show how old practices don't cut it

Charles 9
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Re: Not fully convinced

But doesn't that create the risk of a lockout situation where no one can access it because, say, the owner doesn't exist anymore and there's no user of last resort?

"If you are concerned about the inside people that just means you need to do a more thorough background investigation first."

But then the infiltrators just make a better job of hiding their tracks. Trouble is, the infiltrator has the aggressor's advantage in the siege game.

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Canned laughter for Canadians selling cans of air at $15 a pop

Charles 9
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Re: Around fifty years ago ...

Why aren't there any in Beijing right now, then?

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Charles 9
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Re: Seriously ! 35 comments

Honest, never heard of it, but I AM familiar with Mel Brooks' Spaceballs, which was the first thing noted in the comments and the first thing to spring to my mind. Something about sneaking in a can of pure, fresh air is both macabre and amusing.

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Charles 9
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Re: Old news

First thing that sprang to my mind, too.

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Web giants gang up to take on MPEG LA, HEVC Advance with royalty-free streaming codec

Charles 9
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Zmodem, xvid is supported on those devices because MPEG-4 Part 2 (which the DivX codec used) is supported. xvid is nothing more or less than an open-source version of MPEG-4 part 2. It even supports the same DivX encoder profiles.

If you honestly think xvid is all that, here's a way to end the debate: take a high-motion high-def event (a good example would be an auto race) and encode it both with xvid and with x264 (an open-source implementation of AVC), using the same bandwidth constraints. There's a reason Part 2 was superceded by Part 10 and now is being challenged by HEVC.

PS. Last I checked, YouTube doesn't use Part 2, meaning that clip you linked was using AVC (Part 10).

PSS. What's the problem with x264, for that matter? It's open source just like xvid.

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Charles 9
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Re: There will never be a royalty free codec

But you forget. The consortium has patents of their own (take Google and how they bought the company that developed the VP codec series). Meaning if a submarine patent does emerge, whatever they're using it on is likely to be in conflict with one of their patents, meaning attempting to attack the consortium risks a patent war in court, with the possible result of their patent being invalidated. That's probably one reason MPEG-LA stopped attacking Google over VP8: because Google got patents in the buyout, too, which could potentially snarl AVC.

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Charles 9
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"And yet Microsoft is a member of the Alliance for Open Media that is developing the new codec. Perhaps they also would like to be done with the need to pay royalties for patents that many think ought not to have been issued."

And yet Microsoft is part of MPEG-LA last I checked, meaning they get a cut of the proceeds.

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Kaspersky says air-gap industrial systems: why not baby monitors, too?

Charles 9
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Re: Airgap: Impossible

"What about when the IoT is all about devices with their own built in 4G/LTE modems with its own IPv6 address? This is what worries me. I fear that there will come a day where all my appliances will be able to dial home irrespective of my WiFi set-up or outbound firewall rules. Personally, I may decide "To hell with the warranty" and open the device and remove or destroy the transceiver."

And the moment you do, the appliance will either (1) stop working altogether, forcing you to replace it out of warranty (since opening the appliance to break the radio voided it), or (2) the device emits all sorts of annoying sounds so as to draw attention to it.

Worse yet, this will likely become standard issue for all appliances in future. Maybe even require any appliance not broken up to be retrofitted before being resold, at which point we may well be on our way to either 1984 or the Stone Age, with no third option.

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Honor 7 – heir apparent to the mid-range Android crown

Charles 9
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So you were comparing two different phones on the SAME network? Because if they're on different networks, tower placement (which differs from network to network) can make a difference, especially as you say when the terrain is hilly and prone to bouncing signals.

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Charles 9
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The RDS I think is a feature of the app rather than the radio, so you should be able to download an app with the capability.

But the lack of removable battery is a deal-breaker for me since I've had a plenty of cases of battery bulging and demand the ability to replace them easily by myself.

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Chinese mobe market suffers pre-pwned Android pandemic

Charles 9
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But none nearly so scare as a phone compromised pre-manufacture.

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Charles 9
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I'm surprised they haven't gone straight to the throat and inserted spyware in such a way they can't be removed because they're in read-only areas. Not just pre-pwnd, but pwn-locked.

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At LAST: RC4 gets the stake through the heart

Charles 9
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Re: Good luck, with some devices embedded management servers...

About the only way you can do that is to demonstrate to them that NOT replacing the million-quid piece of kit could result in, say, a TEN-MEEELION-quid cost, either as fines or as the result of a lawsuit.

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Microsoft backports data slurp to Windows 7 and 8 via patches

Charles 9
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Re: Hard-coded?

"I have client data on my machines. I have a responsibility, defined in NZ law and other places as well as a simple reasonable expectation by my clients to do the best I can to protect their data. Now I have to wonder how much extra work I should be doing - whereas I would often let them do updates in the past (sometimes a great way to fix corrupted files where all else fails) now I have to think a lot more about those updates and whether or not they could constitute a breach in privacy. And I have to make sure my co-workers are aware of the same issue. Do we risk a privacy lawsuit by allowing updates to run on a machine while it's in our possession?"

Do you risk a privacy lawsuit by NOT allowing updates to run and leaving a hole open by which a hacker can invade your system and pilfer your client files? Sounds like pick your poison to me, especially if the software required for your business can't be run on anything but Windows.

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Charles 9
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Re: But you never do.....

"Now you may get something come up to say that there are "restricted drivers" available for your machine. These are often from NVIDIA, and are still easily installed - just for some reason they can't be automatically installed (I've not cared enough to look further into this, I just know message comes up, I click "install the driver" and it's done). That may need a restart (seldom), so if you've used a USB it should be able to load the new drivers, if not or on DVD don't bother."

The main reason is because they're non-free and have strings attached. I think the condition is they have to be explicitly permitted by root in order to be legal, plus non-free stuff in a distro is frowned upon as it goes against the Linux copyleft philosophy.

"As to the programs, that's another issue. I've found many install quite well on WINE, and there's the likes of Play On Linux and other tools to get things going that don't. I cannot recall it atm but there's other WINE-like systems out there, one maybe named "Cross Over" (can another commentard help here please?) - try them and if they work you're done with MS, enjoy a life of peace and running machines rather than stress, multi-hour multi-gig updates (with 10billion restarts) just to make a few bytes of change to a friggin web browser!), and lots of breakage."

CrossOver is simply an advanced, supported implementation of WINE. That said, the newer the software (particularly games), the less likely it'll run via WINE. In particular, support for Direct X 10 and up is known to be flaky. Plus I've personally had issues with graphics support on Linux, running afoul of multiple X crashes and kernel panics.

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Charles 9
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Re: Charles 9

"Actually, speaking from significant hours of gaming (I need a 48" monitor now just so I can see it past my gut!), DirectX is the lower-performing graphics system in many cases. Certainly when I've compared games between Windows and running them on WINE, they tend to play a lot better on WINE on the same hardware. This isn't always the case, but then I haven't really tried for a while either so WINE could be much better today, and of course there's various other tools to make it easier to use."

If they're running faster on WINE, odds are it's because the WINE run is using less-intensive graphics settings than Windows. For example, support for DirectX 10 and up is known to be flaky with WINE, so to turn the phrase, "Can WINE run Crysis?" Answer: "Yes, but not as well as on Windows."

As for my personal experience, I used to play TF2 a lot, and I personally noted the Linux port was somewhat slower and flakier than the Windows version. Also, despite owning a pretty recent AMD graphics card, support could get flaky, and I've more than once had spontaneous X crashes and even panics, no matter what version of driver I used. So let's just say I've been around the block more than once, and each time left me wanting. This whole spyware bit has put me in a very uncomfortable position since I want to jump but risk losing too much. I'd be more inclined if Valve could push to increase Linux compatibility, but until then...

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Charles 9
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Re: Hard-coded?

No, I meant security updates, or would you rather be left wide open to the next thing the black hats reveal in Windows?

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Charles 9
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Re: Charles 9

Kinda late for that, don't you think? I've stopped buying games altogether yet I still have the issue of my existing library. And 20% doesn't even cover a fair chunk of my library. Come back when it's closer to 90% so I don't have to leave the vast majority of my game behind. And the games that tend to run on WINE tend to be older ones, not the cutting edge (which will soon include DX12 games with their close-to-metal coding).

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Charles 9
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Re: settings-win.data.microsoft.com.

"Maybe there will be an open source code that can be compiled to replace the MS supplied one shortly."

Given the low level, it's likely (1) kernel-level, and (2) signed. Meaning replacement files are a no-go.

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Charles 9
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Re: XP still looking attractive :)

But no security updates. How do you keep them from getting pwned over the network or by a stray USB insertion?

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Charles 9
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PeerBlock. Trouble is, the IP for the service also hosts other Microsoft Services. The concern is that Windows Update will be among them, meaning blocking the spyware also blocks the security fixes.

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Charles 9
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Re: So, settings-win.data.microsoft.com is hard-coded, eh ?

No, it'll just turn out to be an Andromeda Strain, meaning nuking it will only make it stronger...

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Charles 9
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Re: Hard-coded?

They do, but it's the same IP that hosts various Microsoft services, meaning you can't block at the IP level without collateral damage. And before you say, "Who needs them?" one of them could be Windows Update, which is the mechanism for pushing security updates.

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Charles 9
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Re: Escalate beyond the hosts file?

Plus the IPs they resolve to are the same ones that host most Microsoft-based services. Meaning you can't block it without collateral damage.

Can anyone see if Windows Update is among those services, meaning blocking the IP also blocks future security updates, meaning you're pwned either way?

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Charles 9
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Probably hard-coded into the kernel, which is of course below the network driver which is below the TCP/IP stack. Thus why you have to block it outside the PC, thus why they use the same IP as assorted other services, thus why you can't block it without collateral damage, thus why serious gamers are pretty much stuck since there's no real alternative to Windows there.

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Charles 9
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Re: No block through windows

It's pretty simple, really, and one I'm not too surprised to see:

The IP address 64.4.54.253 resolves to a pretty generic Microsoft domain (ns2.msft.net), which means it's probably used for a variety for its services.

Basically, this means you can't block it outside your PC without collateral damage. I wouldn't be too surprised if it's also the Windows Update IP, meaning security updates would get blocked, too.

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Sorry, Californians, you can't have this: Asus to build WATER COOLED notebook

Charles 9
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Re: What's water-cooled?

If it is an external GPU, meaning the water-cooling is confined to the dock unit, it'll be extremely interesting to know just how it connects to the laptop.

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Wileyfox smartphones: SD card, no bloatware, Cyanogen, big battery – yes to all!

Charles 9
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Re: QI charging and NFC?

"Every time I see a new device come out that doesn't have a type-C port on it, a little tear forms in the corner of my eye."

Well, you have to wait. Type C only got approved recently, and it takes a while (at least six months in my book, usually closer to a year) for something like this to reach critical mass.

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In redneck heaven, internet outages are the American Way

Charles 9
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Re: Er, that's actually a South Dakota/Minnesota billboard

Barely. Getting from Orange (east end) to El Paso (west end) in a single day requires fully exploiting the generous speed limits of I-10 and not planning much in the way of breaks in between.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's a sport....

Since we're talking a shotgun, then no odds are the shot falling back down isn't likely to be an issue. Recall we had this discussion a month ago when a man took a shotgun to an invading UAV. Since shot aren't on spiral trajectories, they'll just tumble back to the ground like comparably-sized gravel.

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Charles 9
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Re: @ Charles ...Spade fade

That depends on how tall the telephone pole is. If it's the normal 15-20 feet, then yeah well within range. But once you get to the taller 50-foot ones, then the scatter of the shot makes it a much less certain affair.

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Charles 9
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Re: Poorly thought out attempt at Bitcoins?

There are people in the south who are proud to call themselves rednecks. Otherwise, Jeff Foxworthy would never have gotten off the ground as a comic.

PS. I hope everyone realizes the term itself comes from the sunburn on the back of the necks of people who work outdoors all day.

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Mac malware has a neat trick to install itself on OS X fans' machines

Charles 9
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Re: Here have an analogy

And therefore they're the ones who get the money and stay in business. No one cares what's under the bonnet even if it kills them. You can't win.

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Charles 9
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Re: Here have an analogy

Why? Because people are asking for them and threatening to go elsewhere if the seller can't deliver. What can you do when you're dependent on customers who demand the moon?

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T-Mobile US CEO calls his subscribers thieves, gripes about 'unlimited' limited tethering

Charles 9
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Re: Daft

What's the difference between running a BitTorrent client on a PC piggybacking on a mobile tether and a BitTorrent client running directly on the phone?

What's the difference between a heavy YouTube/Netflix/etc. watcher using his PC tethered to a mobile and a heavy video watcher using his HD tablet that has a SIM?

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Charles 9
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Re: So..

Well, two can play that game if push comes to shove. I'm sure someone would love to be the one who represents the clients who put bell cellular to heel and therefore would be willing to work on contingency.

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The Honor's a defo gamechanger, but good luck buying one

Charles 9
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Re: They've staked a claim on my money...

That's known in credit parlance as a hold. Gas pumps are best known for it. Basically, they tell the credit company they're calling dibs and to reserve the amount until the transaction goes through, at which point it officially posts. It's not all bad, though. If it falls through, it's easy enough for them to rescind the hold.

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OS X remote malware strikes Thunderbolt, hops hard drive swaps

Charles 9
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Re: Doh!

"It wouldn't be fool-proof, but it would prevent firmware malware from being downloaded an installed on the sly."

But then you get caught between a rock and a hard place. If the firmware can't be rewritten, odds are an undetectable bug (that require perhaps a rare but distinct liminality condition) will come along that gets exploited. And if it CAN be updated, odds are social engineering and a famous Douglas Adams quote will undermine any safeguards you try to put on it.

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Dropbox DROPS BOX as service GOES TITSUP worldwide

Charles 9
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Even if it's midday?

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Linux Foundation releases PARANOID internal infosec guide

Charles 9
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Why all the magnetic treatment if you're gonna burn a hard drive, given that heat (especially intense heat like a thermite fire) affects magnetics, too?

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