* Posts by Charles 9

4874 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Super SSD tech: Fancy a bonkers 8TB all-flash PC?

Charles 9
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The transition will be gradual because the price premium's still too high at present. Meanwhile, 3D Flash foundries are starting to go live for full-scale production and these will be using older chip tech as a base, giving them room to shrink even as they gain room to stack. Road might be a bit rocky at first, I'll grant you, but if the premium lowers itself gradually as economies of scale pick up on 3D Flash, I think desktop systems will become more primarily- or all-Flash within the scale of a decade if not sooner.

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Charles 9
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No argument there. I think the price premium factor is still around 10, which tends to call for specific needs to pay the premium. If it can get down to 3, better 2, then consumers will be more inclined to take the hit for a significant loading boost.

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Canadian bloke refuses to hand over phone password, gets cuffed

Charles 9
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Re: The Law on encryption passwords in the US is well established.

"In the US, the Courts have long held that you can't be compelled to recite the combination of a combination lock as that would violate your 4th Amendment rights, and the Courts have extended that to encryption passwords."

I thought the amendment in question was the 5th. The 4th allows them to seize the safe or drive or whatever, but being compelled to state the means to unlock or decrypt the data can result in an "I plea the 5th."

PS. I looked up In re Boucher and learned the point became moot because he'd already been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak. He couldn't plea the fifth because he'd already incriminated himself prior to being compelled further.

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Charles 9
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Re: This is a trivial 'software requirements' problem

Only trouble is some of the plods aren't stupid. They'll just turn around and go, "OK, now give us the other password. You know, the one that reveals where the REAL contraband is located." Which poses a problem if you're honestly NOT using a hidden volume.

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‪Obama criticises China's mandatory backdoor tech import rules

Charles 9
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Re: The difference is... (Charles 9)

"Well, those "hatters gonna hate" dudes (and dudettes)(let's call them "sickos" for brevity) have to obtain funding, training, shelter... . "

Well, the Islamic State doesn't seem to be having any difficulty getting men, material, or money. And all for a "Caliphate or Catastrophe" mission, it seems.

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Charles 9
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Re: The difference is...

But that leaves the "haters gonna hate" plots that exist for intrinsic reasons that can't be stopped. And given we're getting closer to the point that ONE successful plot can result in Game Over...

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Snowden, NSA spying, hard drive malware ... what we need is a UN privacy watchdog!

Charles 9
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"Outside of the "5 eyes" the amount of "slurping, snooping and pooping" by the rest of the world is minuscule in comparison."

I don't recall Russia or China being part of the 5 Eyes, yet we KNOW they have Big Brother ambitions.

"Where countries have signed and ratified international treaties they are expected to be bound by those treaties. So in theory governments have to also answer to those treaties that they have signed up for. In practice the powerful countries have trampled on the sovereign rights of weak countries, and at the same time disregard the international laws to which they have signed."

Those treaties are between sovereign states. And like I said, most of these come after the two-plus countries end up butting heads with each other over some issue. What actually enforces those treaties is the threat of retaliation from the other party. Finally, as noted, the treaty has to be ratified or otherwise accepted by the sovereign state to have any force (IOW, it has to submit to the agreement. And what happens if a country decides to withdraw from or otherwise ignore a treaty as ink on a page?

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Charles 9
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Re: Hmmm

"Also, the more times the subject gets mentioned, the more chance that Joe Public will realise there is a problem."

But there's a chance of a backfire. Mention it enough times and Joe Public, just interested in the nightly news and the football game (whichever form it may take), will tune it out and ignore it the next time it's heard. Cry Wolf Syndrome I think it's called?

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Charles 9
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Re: An angry letters and resolutions...

Which is just a load of hot air because all the governments involved carry sovereign power. They are each their own highest authority so answer to no one except another sovereign nature, and only if they butt heads. The UN does not have sovereign authority, and if it did it would by definition usurp sovereign power from everyone else.

IOW, trying to tell a sovereign power what to do is like dictating terms to the landlord.

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Superfish: Lenovo? More like Lolnono – until they get real on privacy

Charles 9
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Re: Self-signed certificates are the root of this insanity

So you expect people to spend book bucks every year or so just to maintain a secure local site like an Owncloud? Besides, the big problem wasn't the certificate but the masquerading which can happen regardless of the certificate.

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Carriers want 5G to do everything, for anything, anywhere

Charles 9
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Re: Lan replacement

In an office environment, perhaps cell tech isn't what's called for. WiFi-based tech is and will remain the preferred setup for closed environments (like an office floor). You can set up masts, boosters, and so on, link it to your landline, set up enterprise-grade encryption, certificates, and so on, and with some investment in time and capital come up with something within reason that can perhaps give you a return on not having to run cables and conduits from the drop ceiling.

While 5G may WANT to do everything, to borrow an idiom, not everything is best done with a hammer.

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Charles 9
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Re: Lan replacement

And it's that difficult to get a SECOND mast up compared to rewiring a whole office floor?

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Charles 9
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Re: Spectrum

Doubt they'll be able to, for the same reason LTE Band III is not used in America: prior commitments, usually at the state level (a chunk of Band III in the US is reserved for the military).

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Nvidia waves 4King big Android Shield at games console warzone

Charles 9
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Re: Shame..

"What do you mean? You can use PS3 and PS4 controllers on Android devices."

Last I checked, not without some fiddling, compatibility is not guaranteed, plus if you don't have a Sony phone, you have to pay for the Sixaxis interface app (and it only works on rooted phones). You tend to have better luck with Wiimotes or a dedicated gamepad (they make Bluetooth gamepads with built-in cradles for your phone, and they're not too expensive, either).

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Charles 9
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They can't because they're using ARM, and practically all Steam games these days require an x86/x64 processor. That's why Steam on Android is a portal only and not serving actual games.

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Vint Cerf: Everything we do will be ERASED! You can't even find last 2 times I said this

Charles 9
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Re: Turtles all the way down?

Actually, nearly 20 years ago I was able to preserve a lot of C64 and C128 data I had by shuttling the data from the C128 to a nearby 486 using modems and a phone cable. Okay, it was slow and tedious at 1200bps using Xmodem, but at least it worked.

As for the Mac HFS format, I recall there are Windows programs capable of reading them since around 1995.

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SanDisk launches 200GB microSD card

Charles 9
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Re: Too Small?

"And as before, the real benefit to having memory cards in those sizes is that they fit into the current generation of electronics. If electronics continue to shrink physically, then we may get to the point where even microSD cards are too big and it's unlikely that we'll reverse course and electronics will get larger."

Except, as the article notes, we're approaching the physical limit of just how small we can pack these things. Think why the device is 200GB and not (as tradition would dictate) 256GB. So IOW we're reaching the point where they couldn't make it smaller even if they wanted to. So an about-face may be forced upon an industry clamoring for more portable storage.

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Charles 9
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Re: What's that in RPs?

"8GB memory card as 8GB with 8GB capacity which I can use to put 8GB of data on. Windows shows the same card incorrectly as 7.4GB when it actually means 7.4GiB."

I've always been of the impression that ANY capacity listed on a package is listed as its RAW capacity (that is, the capacity prior to formatting). After-formatting capacity cannot be used because reformatting it under a different filesystem can change the overhead (and thus the amount of free space on the device afterward).

As for the Windows under-reporting the size, I actually appreciate this since I prefer conservative measurements when calculating "Will It Fit?"

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Charles 9
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Re: SDHC can't read 64GB either

But with a whole bunch of them running at once, can't they run in parallel, aggregating their bandwidth?

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Charles 9
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Re: SDHC can't read 64GB either

Actually, in the SSD sphere, reliability is a key metric, so the manufacturers use more conservative tech and include better redundancy to ensure the SSD lasts for a while. They also include stuff to better manage heat. SSDs are expected to keep running for years, even when at full tilt. Do we expect the same from a high-capacity MicroSD card? I know with my phone I only employ the external SD occasionally.

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Charles 9
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Re: What's that in RPs?

I don't think it will be easy to envision over 12 million ZX81 RAM packs. Beyond a certain point, the quantity gets lost and just becomes "lots".

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Superfish: Lenovo ditches adware, but that doesn't fix SSL megavuln – researcher

Charles 9
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Re: liability...

Assuming it's a crime to begin with. I'd love to hear the relevant section of state or federal law that makes it illegal.

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Charles 9
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Devil

Well, screw back. You're getting it whether you like it or not, even if we have to clamp you head to the chair.

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WD reveals NASty new boxes for home and small biz use

Charles 9
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Re: anti-stylish?

I think they look quite nice actually. Very business-like. Evokes an image of being ready to get to work.

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FCC says cities should be free to run decent ISPs. And Republicans can't stand it

Charles 9
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Re: Capitalism is direct democracy.

They might if accepting the contributor pisses off enough voters that the legislator loses his/her seat. Money's one thing, but it's second to power.

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Charles 9
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Re: [Not directed at anyone here]

" it DOESN'T MATTER what bills you pass to undo this, the President owns your ass!"

Unless the Republicans find a way to cajole or blackmail enough Democrats to side with them on an override. OR they attach the proviso to a must-sign bill such as a debt ceiling increase or (like yesterday) a DHS funding bill. If they can achieve the former (odds are slim; if they tried, the Democrats would likely counter), then Obama's powerless. Achieving the latter would put him in a bind, especially if the bill is time-sensitive: he must either sign the bill with the rider or veto it and cause a shutdown which the GOP will harp about.

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Charles 9
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"In principle, the threat to the free market is that municipalities will operate the local ISP at a loss, subsidizing it with tax revenues and precluding or destroying competition by private sector companies."

Can not a conglomerate or other large firm be able to perform similar chicanery by using excess revenues from captive markets to offset any losses due to predatory pricing in competitive markets? That's a big problem upstarts have against incumbents: the incumbents can leverage their size to smother the competition.

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Charles 9
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Re: They should compromise

Maybe not in ISPs, but I'll give you two concrete examples of the state taking an industry away from the private sector: Police and Firefighting. The reason for both industries were the same: private enterprise found it more lucrative to turn them into protection rackets ("Shame what could happen to your business, eh...?")

IOW, there are somethings for which money is NOT the best angle. When it isn't, then it's a possible thing for the state to run because the state isn't as concerned about money as private enterprise. And the "overhead" we lose becomes the price we pay for, say, a guaranteed minimum level of service.

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Charles 9
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Re: They should compromise

If the Tea Party really had its way they'd disband ALL federal facilities, including the military, and have everything done privately by uber-rich megacorps.

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MELTDOWN: Samsung, Sony not-so-smart TVs go titsup for TWO days

Charles 9
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Big Brother

Re: Storm in a teacup!

Actually, it's closer to all or nothing than you think. If it ain't one thing recording you, it's another, and you have no control over what happens in public streets where it's a free-for-all. Heck, thanks to satellites and aerial photography, they can even take multiple pictures (including infrared) of a mountain retreat miles from any electricity. So no, retreating to the mountains is becoming less viable of an option.

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Charles 9
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Re: Samsung Ignorant Arrogance

I've tried WD Live, but its format support isn't up to snuff and its upscaler is the pits. I'd be more inclined to use one of those newer Pi' 2s to install Kodi (I tried it with the original B, but even with 2.1A backing it up it couldn't seem to remain stable; perhaps the stronger 2 can better handle it).

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XenData’s storage Jurassic Park: PC tape backup is BAAAAACK

Charles 9
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Re: I wonder how that works from a technical standpoint

How did CD-R drives cope with finicky and slow (in the early days) spinning rust? Many turned to internal buffers to provide a cushion against slow spots. I'm sure a USB tape drive can pack a few megs of RAM as a buffer.

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Charles 9
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In the late 90's, QIC-based tape drives were actually within reach in the consumer sphere. I once had a Travan TR-3 drive from a brand called Eagle. For their day, they could hold a decent amount of data, and some clever folks found ways to extend the capacity with oversized cartridges. Shame tape niched into pretty much an enterprise-only affair (which this new device does nothing to fix).

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Charles 9
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Re: Great product, sort of a shame about the price

I have some concern over medium-term longevity, so I'll be interested to see how BDXL M-disc measures up. A reliable medium of size good for about 10 years would probably solve a number of archiving problems at the consumer end.

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Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys?

Charles 9
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Re: Next week's news:

Two counterpoints:

a) If you note my icon, I was playing Devil's Advocate. Playing along with the hypothetical scenario.

b) As recent open-source snafus have shown, open-source is no panacea. And as Stuxnet has noted, not everyone at the TLA agencies are stupid (it's not everyday someone can design a malware that can jump an air gap in a high-security setting). If someone were really clever, they can hide the malware code in plain sight, perhaps by (1) breaking the whole works down into a gestalt of tine little pieces scattered all over the code and (2) disguising each piece as an innocuous if not serious feature.

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Charles 9
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Devil

Re: Next week's news:

Nope. They actually went after the WebKit engine (which Opera is now based on...not to mention Chrome and others) first.

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Google's Softcard hookup: Never mind Apple Pay ... it's about beating the networks

Charles 9
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Re: No thanks...

Most PIN pads being installed today at least have the capability, even if it's turned off. It's up to the retailers, and they seem to be uniting on their own front that may be strong enough to resist even Apple.

BTW, speaking of Secure Elements, what of Host Card Emulation?

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FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

Charles 9
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Re: IT IS BROKE

"American consumers pay more for internet access (and slower access at that) than virtually any industrialized and many non-industrialized countries."

The thing about Internet access is that it costs money to lay down cable. Therefore, geography matters. In case you haven't noticed, the US not only has hundreds of millions of people but is also pretty damn big: near the top of the list in terms of sheer land area. Off the top of my head, only Canada and Russia are bigger, and I don't hold their internet standards as paragons of quality, either.

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Charles 9
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Re: @Herby -- When will they understand...

"Really? I suppose that's why gasoline prices tend to fluctuate at gas/petrol stations that are across the street from each other, and never go up or down in unison...uhhh, wait a minute...."

That's mostly down to "gentlemen's agreements" between gas stations that sit on corners of the same intersection. Otherwise, you end up with one loss leading incident turning into a price war which can ruin ALL the gas stations.

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Charles 9
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Re: When will they understand...

"Also, the notion that 'if one company is bad, they'll be forced to back down when all their customers leave for competitors' doesn't really hold up when you look at historical precedents."

Just remember: competition can't be expected with cartel behavior.

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Charles 9
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I think the main reason they won't make the text public is that, should it be made public, the GOP lawmakers will find SOMETHING in the text that will give them enough gristle to either (a) invoke some part of the Telecommunications Act that DOESN'T require a presidential signature or (b) pass it along to big Telecom so they can start suing in in half the Federal Circuit Courts, thus giving precedence to get the vote blocked indefinitely. Once the vote takes place, momentum favors the FCC instead because Congress then can't overrule the FCC without a full Act: requiring Obama's signature, plus even if the telecoms sue, the odds of an injunction are now unlikely unless there is a full ruling which isn't a certainty since the FCC can easily argue (especially thanks to VoIP) that the Internet can and must be treated like a telephone company.

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Charles 9
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Re: "Let’s leave the power where it belongs - with the American people.

Didn't airlines like Southwest and JetBlue get their start by being "no-frills" airlines?

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SSL-busting adware: US cyber-plod open fire on Comodo's PrivDog

Charles 9
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Re: If I were a layman

You just hit a HARD problem in computer security. It basically boils down to a question of "Who can you trust?" Because the first rule to having ANY form of trust system (chain, web, et al) is the need to trust someone or something; IOW, someone has to play the role of Trent. Only problem is, given sufficient resources, Mallory (or Gene) can impersonate anyone: including Trent. So ask yourself, "What now?"

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

Charles 9
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Re: I'm a big fan of WPS Office

The article and several comments note that if your editor is in the cage, you basically have no choice but to climb in.

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Charles 9
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Re: a writer sticking with WordPerfect

Moreover, Wordstar for DOS. No GUI for him. In fact, the system IIRC even has floppy drives on it.

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Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

Charles 9
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Re: Still some improvements worth having with a new handset for some!

"-3 day battery life (good for relieving me of battery anxiety)"

This may clash with one of your other requests:

"-fits in my child-like hand more easily than the last one but the screen's still big enough"

The only ways, physically, for the screen to be the same size yet fit your hand better are to (1) reduce the bezel and (2) thin the phone out, but (2) means you can't put in the big battery you really need to have a 3-day practical working life.

"-easier to read in sunlight than the last (though still utter pants compared to paper)"

Again, a tradeoff. A display that's good for transmissive light (ie. backlight) is generally bad for reflective light (ie. sunlight). While inroads into this are being made, there have generally been tradeoffs. The closest we've come to is Qualcomm's Mirasol display, as seen (albeit very briefly) in the Toq smartwatch (Where is Mirasol now?), but even that trades off night visibility to an extent.

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Charles 9
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Re: Sounds like a good idea

Hmm...wonder what happens if you remove it, and REPLACE it with a solid block of epoxy? NOW how are they gonna replace it without bricking the phone in trying to remove the epoxy?

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HAWKING ALERT: Leave planet Earth, find a new home. Stupid humans

Charles 9
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Re: he's right

But no one wants to be the among the 9/10 getting the shaft, doing it gradually is too slow, and many cultures still place great emphasis on children, especially when it comes to children caring for the elderly. How does an aging populace continue to live comfortably without enough children? And note, seniors tend to be active voters (they have nothing else to do), so telling them they can just go somewhere and die is a nonstarter.

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Why IP telephony is about more than just saving money

Charles 9
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Re: VOIPity VOIP VOIP

Dealing with power failure is simple; the phone companies do it: attach it to a backup supply.

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Linux 3.19 released for your computing pleasure

Charles 9
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Trouble is that a device driver by necessity has to go to the metal (as they are by definition the interface between the software and the hardware). Least privilege in this case IS the kernel, which should be the only thing able to go to the metal. This is why device drivers have always been a sticking point regardless of the OS.

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