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* Posts by Charles 9

3271 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Virtual reality? Two can play THAT GAME, says Sony: New headset revealed for the PS4

Charles 9
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It depends on the type of scene you're watching, particularly in terms of travel (motion in gross that is not dependent on head motion--for example, going forward). If travel is limited and the head tracking is good, the brain can usually cope, and you don't suffer ill effects. OTOH, if your travel is significant and unusual (such as experiencing a first-person roller-coaster ride), the senses get mixed up. Your eyes say you're twisting and turning, but your ears (which carry organs that help the brain sense orientation) don't agree, saying you're still upright and motionless. As a TV show once put it, the senses are "not singing from the same song sheet." Then you're probably going to start feeling simulation sickness.

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Charles 9
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Re: Today's gaming rigs aren't powerful enough

Actually, last I checked, the latest Occulus devices being shown match the Morpheus: 1920x1080 using 3D in side-by-side mode. So resolution-wise, the Occulus and the Morpheus are currently in the same boat.

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Charles 9
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Re: Correction

So the PS4 would output 3D in side-by-side mode and the Morpheus automatically accommodates this. I wonder if this means you could use the same device attached to any HDMI 3D output that can do side-by-side mode (given the specs, I wonder if the Morpheus attaches to an HDMI port)?

Perhaps not a game-changer, but it could be a way to get in on the ground floor and make 3D acceptance at least a little easier.

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Charles 9
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Re: A few problems with these things

They're working on those points.

a) The benchmark to compare this against will be the Occulus Rift.

b) Dual-1080p tech is already at the consumer level. Now, whether this is at 30 or 60fps, we don't know, but 60 is within the realm of possibility and feasability.

c) That's due to "simulation sickness", the perception of motion when you're not moving. Basically, airsickness in reverse. That's probably why such a big emphasis on head tracking. This will make the motions more natural and less nauseating.

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Planes fail to find 'credible' candidate for flight MH370 wreckage

Charles 9
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Re: what happens

Probably what happened to Helios Airways Flight 522. Once the engines lose power, it will continue to glide for a short period until airspeed falls below the minimum needed for gliding, at which point it will probably start losing altitude faster and faster until impact.

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Charles 9
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Re: Mobile phones don't have remotely enough range

I still don't understand why they had enough time to turn the jet but not enough to radio a distress. Mostly this makes more sense, however, than anything else I've heard so far.

Pilots are taught there are three priorities when it comes to flying a plane:

1. Aviate (Keep the plane flying)

2. Navigate (Keep the plane on course)

3. Communicate (Keep tabs with others)

It's quite possible that an event that knocked out everyone aboard (similar to Helios Airways Flight 522--note everyone was knocked out before (3) occurred here, too) occurred at the (1) or (2) stage but before (3) could be conducted.

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NASA: Earth JUST dodged comms-killing SOLAR BLAST in 2012

Charles 9
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Re: Why would a compass not read true during this nonsense

Also, odds are the air itself will ionize and start to hold a charge. The same thing happens when lightning strikes.

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Europe approves common charger standard for mobe-makers

Charles 9
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Re: Whatever happened to a multiple-port USB charging base...

So if any one knows of a 4-port USB hub that sits on the back of a mains plug and can concurrently charge 4 iPad's etc. ....

Don't think you can do that just yet. Power limitations. 2A@5V = 10W of power, and that's pretty much the standard for charging tablets and high-end phones (including those from Apple). Multiply that by 4 and you're likely getting into power ranges better suited for bulky dedicated bricks rather than svelte inline adapters. I'm suspecting 15W is about as much as they dare for an inline: enough for a 2A and a 1A port.

1. Not all mobile phones recognise them - I have particular problems with Samsung, but the Nokia sometimes objects - never had a problem with the HTC & Hudl.

I see that once in a while with my S4. I've come to realize it stops recognizing a charger if it's underpowered: that is, it doesn't feed it enough juice to outpace its drain.

The "cheapest" multi-port USB-A-Female charger which can charge anything I throw it at is the Cambironix Series8 - Which is a 350$ piece of kit.

No bloody wonder. 8 ports able to deliver a full 12W per port (2.4A@5V)...thing's built like a brick (as it should given its total power draw of ~100W) and full of air vents (to draw away the heat losses from all that power conversion).

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Charles 9
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Be fortunate it's the plug that breaks. That was part of the USB Micro design (that most of the wear and tear, like the springs, should occur at the easily-replaceable plug, not the socket that's usually built into the very-expensive phone/tablet, like it was in USB Mini).

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Charles 9
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Except the A plug is diverging, too, with USB 3.0. What's to stop that plug changing in future also?

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Shuttleworth: Firmware is the universal Trojan

Charles 9
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Re: End Of Life

There would probably be unintended consequences, but what if there was a policy that prescribed that "working life" periods were determined by someone other than the manufacturer? Of course, the obvious question becomes, "Who?" DTA mode again...

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Charles 9
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But the thing is, trade secrets and patents are protected by law. That's why industrial espionage is illegal. The blob shows intent to keep secret, sorta like the DMCA provision.

Also, hardware patents prevent people from rolling their own, so you're up the creek with a Hobson's choice.

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Charles 9
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Trojans are one problem, the other being their reluctance to allow third parties to redistribute their blobs, which of course is their way of controlling their blobs.

That's because those blobs represent trade secrets if not patents. The blobs represent a guard against industrial espionage by a rival firm, so there's a money angle for them meaning they won't give them up. Firm like this, if forced to open up, would probably pack up and go home instead, leaving no one to offer innovations.

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Charles 9
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Re: But then we'd need hardware standards

Basically, you wanna ban trade secrets. Never gonna happen since trade secrets are one of the valid business differentiators still legal under law. It's what allows for nVidia and AMD to keep trying to one-up each other. As long as there is a need to protect trade secrets or patents (and I mean honest hardware-based patents), then there will always be a need for obfuscated, proprietary hardware to guard against industrial espionage if nothing else.

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Charles 9
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Re: He's right... and wrong!

As for flashcards and wrong size reporting - if you find a way to tell the firmware of a hard disk to mark its allocated contents as bad blocks, you will find that that content is no longer touched, and that includes any wipe or delete routines. Worth thinking about..

Is this true even on the low level?

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Battery vendors push ultracapacitor wrappers to give Li-ions more bite

Charles 9
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Re: Bah!

He meant it was accidentally detonated. The AN was held in the ship in a fertilizer form (normally considered denatured), but the fire in the ship (exacerbated by fuel oil and some ammunition on board) combined with the confines of the ship destabilized the fertilizer, resulting in a spontaneous detonation.

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Charles 9
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Re: Bah!

Ammonium Nitrate was known to be dangerous for decades. That's why it's normally mixed or denatured to keep it from becoming explosive. The Texas City explosion occurred due to fire helping to destabilizie the product. The men behind Oklahoma City found a way to renature the fertilizer to make it a useful part of homemade ANFO (not an easy thing to do). The military don't use the stuff themselves mainly because they have something better in RDX.

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Google's Drive SLASH, secret 'big upgrade': Coincidence? HARDLY

Charles 9
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Re: 1TB of digital parking space has one other problem

And the big problem with North America and to a lesser extent continental Europe has simply been geography. To maintain high-speed rates from coast to coast in the US requires high-speed links all the way down, which means running them across vast rural areas, big rivers, and one or two significant mountain ranges. I recall Europe can have foibles of its own if data links have to cross places like the Alps. The obvious question: who foots the bill when the customer is price-sensitive?

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Q. Can your Linux PC run Crysis? OK, it can. But will it run natively? A. Soon, very soon

Charles 9
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Don't blame Gabe for the lack of PR. Blame Epic Games. The issue is not the Engine, as the Unreal Engine has been pretty portable for years (consider that UE-powered games have been on the PS3, which uses OpenGL). It's just that few companies actually bothered to port UE-powered games to Linux. Perhaps one could put pressure on them.

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Tiny heat-sucker helps keep Moore's Law going

Charles 9
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Re: 24% bah!

We already have heat pipes that give us 250x (ie. 25000%) the conduction of copper. That is 200 times as good as this graphene/copper sandwich.

So why aren't they actually being used if they're so good? Probably because they're too novel and expensive. The one thing we don't know about is how much this new process costs. I mean, 250x improvement doesn't mean much if it costs 300x as much, but if a 25% improvement only raises the cost by 10%, most would consider that a practical ROI.

PS. I have a thing about these research article. I see so many research articles and not to many "going to market" articles about new tech. I feel the research articles could stand some control so that we mostly see things that actually have a reasonable chance of actually going to market. Otherwise, we're just being teased.

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Apple iOS 8 'will put end' to crap map app rap flap misery

Charles 9
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Re: will it have downloadable maps?

It's available on Android, too. Got it for free while it was on a promotion.

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Charles 9
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Re: will it have downloadable maps?

And while Google's own Maps app tends to prefer a mobile connection (you can try to cache a path ahead of time), there are at least alternatives out there that offer offline downloading and (if you wish) only use the mobile connection to get traffic data, which isn't nearly as demanding on mobile data allowances.

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Neil Young touts MP3 player that's no Piece of Crap

Charles 9
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Re: Oh Emperor! Your new clothes do look wonderful!

Thing was, he came upon his deafness later in his life, meaning he still had plenty of experience and exposure to music, thus he was still able to compose. The same would not be expected of someone born deaf and never having gained aural experience.

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Charles 9
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Re: PoC

Most consider 256-320kbps encodings to be near the point of "perceptual transparency" (IOW, the average person can't distinguish between this and a lossless encoding). provided the source (GIGO) and encoder (algorithmic tweaks for performance or architecture reasons can alter the end result, thus the qualification) are also of good quality. Perhaps a well-trained ear can still pick out the artifacts, but it's normally tricky in a blind sound test.

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Charles 9
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Re: We don't need no steenkin' PonoPlayers

I think the term you want is "lossless" rather than "uncompressed".

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Charles 9
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Re: all digital recordings

Choppiness is usually the result of bad processing. As for audio quality, it depends on the source (GIGO). Me, I have a decent ear and can distinguish the artifacts from low bitrates so I stick to straight rips at the spec limit of 320kbps. It may be lossy, but it's close enough for my ears, and I can still pack a nice collection into a few GB. Anyone asks, I just say I lack the ear for better and go my way.

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Charles 9
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Re: Am i being a numpty

The "audiophiles" are claiming the loss occurs sooner: at the point of digital conversion (like at the ADC). They figure humans have an Uncanny Valley of audio perception and can subconsciously detect the discrete steps.

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Charles 9
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Re: CAPS LOCK MUSIC

I'd be curious to know if research can prove a true audiophile exists and, if so, what this person would use as audio equipment.

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Euro cops on free Wi-Fi not-so-hotspots: For pity's sake, don't use them for email

Charles 9
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I would ordinarily say if you limit your use of public WiFi points to basic web surfing (news sites and the like), there would be little to worry about, but then you hear those stories about hotspots being hijacked and any new connections being probed by malcontents for direct penetration points (since by logging in you obtain an IP hackers can use to probe your device directly---part of the spec).

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Charles 9
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Re: Smartphones

As for a VPN connection, I'm seeing more home-grade routers support the ability... EXCEPT...they only work in Bridge Mode (TAP). Wouldn't you know it? Most smartphones and the only ONLY accept VPNs in Tunnel Mode (TUN). Make routers take Tunnels or smartphones accept bridges and perhaps more people will be inclined to use them by default.

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Not just for Glasswipes: Google to drop SDK for all Android wearables

Charles 9
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I was thinking that, too. I was under the impression that "dropping" something means to discontinue development on it, not to release it. Perhaps "Google to DEPLOY SDK..." would make for a more sensible title.

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The land of Milk and Sammy: Free music app touted by Samsung

Charles 9
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After reading the article, I went to the Play Store to check. Be advised that little bit about "ad-free" has a footnote attached: for a limited time

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Boston court confirms Peeping Tom's right to upskirt

Charles 9
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Re: When is an upskirt not an upskirt

""No one taking pictures of her in a public environment can be accused of voyeurism."

Really?"

In a swimsuit on public property? She's exposing herself.

So Yeah, Really.

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Charles 9
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Re: Bob Camp

Even if the skirt were ankle-length, it still wouldn't be long enough to cover up the infamous "shoe camera" (and note they said the perv took movies, which means the shutter wouldn't sound), as a show can still slip under the skirt from behind where she wouldn't notice. Any lower than that and the skirt risks scraping the ground and potentially getting caught on ground obstacles.

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Charles 9
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Re: When is an upskirt not an upskirt

Simple answer: When there's no skirt up which to look.

A woman in swimwear is basically self-exposed at or near the limit of decency. No one taking pictures of her in a public environment can be accused of voyeurism.

Pants and shorts of a decent length don't provide sufficient opportunity to look up them, rendering the matter for them moot.

It's only with skirts and the like where we run into the thorny issue of an expectation of privacy concerning body parts covered by said garment. It's an edge case in this case and needs to be addressed by a specific law (which is what the court is telling the legislature to do).

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Charles 9
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Re: Wrong law.

The point is that the peeping tom had the right because it wasn't abridged by any law (that was the finding of the court--that he can't be charged with a crime because, as the law stands it's not a crime).

Note that the court's ruling is very specific and with a narrow justification. In essence, in addition to telling the state why the peep can't be convicted but also how to prevent a repeat performance ("You want to make the practice illegal, pass a law saying so.").

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Google's mystery barge flounces out of San Fran, heads to Stockton

Charles 9
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Re: Block 1 of new off-shore tax haven

Yeah yeah, the old libertarian offshore city idea. Here's the rub. How does the chocolate factory get to their new offshore city without attracting the fed's attention ON THE WAY? IOW, moor offshore and the US can just consider the installation an international location and impose taxes, tariffs, customs dues, etc. on anything heading to or coming from there. And given that a lot of Google's customers are in the US, it would be kinda hard to avoid the port of entry.

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Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad

Charles 9
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So Apple believes people are willing to commit a felony (falsifying a government document; I know it's a felony in some US states but what's the case in England?) in order to commit a misdemeanor (stealing the iPad)?

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Charles 9
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Re: @ Dodgy Geezer

I suppose it depends on what is meant by a probate. If you mean a full hearing and so on, not really. Wills are meant to minimize the need for such hearings. In one case, I was designated executor in a will. I took the will to the City Hall where the deceased last lived (where it goes depends on the location, but it's most often the lowest judicial authority for your area--the one that handles all the local affairs). Your basic municipal hall should contain a probate office or the like. Armed with the will and proof of ID, one should be able to submit the will to the office, have it probated by a clerk (the will now becomes their property and is now legally binding--but it now acts in lieu of a probate ruling). They then issue you a document officially declaring you executor of the estate, giving you the authority to attend to estate matters in the deceased's name.

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Charles 9
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Re: No it still isn't enough

Perhaps what Apple's waiting for now is Declaration of Executor (which would be issued to the two of them once the will is actually executed by the local authorities IIRC). Armed with the declaration, they would OFFICIALLY be the executors of the estate (perhaps that was what was meant by a "court order" even though a judge need not get involved in your typical probate with a will).

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Charles 9
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Re: Worse to come...

I think Apple's big enough to fight back with those fateful four words, "They were never SOLD." Unless a court of some significance declares T&C's of the likes of Apple's to be unenforceable (Note: a similar T&C term exists for Valve's Steam system, so they'd be interested, too), then NOTHING sold via these stores is transferable from person to person: not even by inheritance (as I recall, lotteries do the same thing for their annuities, which is why many big winners prefer lump sums).

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Blighty teen boffin builds nuclear reactor INSIDE CLASSROOM

Charles 9
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Re: There's quite a story behind this... :-)

Well, it's not like the tech has been classified. Because goals were attached to the funding, they have to make regular reports on the progress of the thing. As for whether or not the tech makes it to commercial applications, I think the rub will be the eventual power/size ratio of the finished product should it succeed. Even the Navy would have a minimum goal profile (likely stated in a nutshell as no bigger than their existing fission tech).

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Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

Charles 9
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Re: I blame quack science

I think the BIG big thing Greenpeace has against fusion is that it won't advance their "renewables" agenda. In their mind, if it doesn't come directly form the sun, the wind, or the sea, it's taboo and must be avoided.

As for not being capable of supporting civilisation as it is now, some extreme environmentalists look at that and say, "Good!" because they feel the world is overpopulated and beyond the viability limit. IOW, they figure a human population reduction of say...75%...would be good for the planet in general.

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TV scraper Aereo pulled off air in six US states after tellyco court injunction victory

Charles 9
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Re: Wouldn't this be making more money for the broadcasters?

Oh? Comcast owns NBC, one of the big broadcast networks, AND is an ISP. I'd call that vertical integration.

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German freemail firms defend AdBlock-nobbling campaign

Charles 9
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Re: Pah!

Key word ALMOST. Sometimes, they ARE the exclusive source, leaving you, like I said in a Hobson's choice (as in Take It or Leave It). Or ALL the alternatives are similarly blockaded (I've seen that happen). It provokes some thinking on whether or not it's REALLY worth it.

This is only going to get worse as more and more sites adopt ad-detection-detection and raise clickwalls and other blockades to stop them. I think if it developed into a tech war, the server has the ultimate advantage since they can just require subscription which opens the legal door for data mining.

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Anti-snoop Blackphone hits shelves in June: NOW we'll see how much you value privacy

Charles 9
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Re: As long as it runs Android...

> True. Although if you encrypt securely with a decent key higher up the stack all the radio/WiFi sees is encrypted traffic.

Not unless the plods have other parts of the system borked like the OS core, the CPU, or a hardware security chip: areas where the key HAS to be readable in order to be useable. Meaning even if you encrypt before the modem/radio chip, they'll still know how to decrypt it.

> No, there are no better alternatives. But that was my point Android is no better or worse starting place than any other mobile OS. At the moment its security credentials (like most other OS) are lacking.

Meaning, all other things being equal, the price tag wins. Meaning AOSP (price tag $0) wins. Yes, it needs serious security hardening, but as you've said yourself you need to do that ANYWAY, so don't handicap yourself by paying for an OS license on top of that.

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Icahn and I will: Carl's war on eBay goes NUCLEAR over Skype

Charles 9
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Meh

Re: Tricky to parse those first paragraphs.

That's what I was noting. OK, so Ichan's a jerk, but that doesn't preclude him having a point. Unless someone can show us otherwise, these could be seen as cases of failure of fiduciary duty, insider trading, or both.

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Charles 9
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Re: Jackass

Honest question here. Aren't SOME things regulated by law, such as fiduciary duty? Isn't that why such things as insider trading are legal no-no's?

What I'm getting at is that Ichan seems to be alleging either failure of fiduciary duty (selling at an avoidable loss) or insider trading, either of which IS a legal matter. Ichan may be a jerk, but even jerks have a point sometimes, so has anyone taken a serious look at his allegation. If so, why doesn't it have merit?

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IM demo for TOR coming soon

Charles 9
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Re: Sir

The real goal is to make the connection look like an innocuous connection like a web session. Trouble is, innocuous sessions are typically wide-open and easy to inspect. Trying to do anything outside that purview, such as using exotic flags, is going to trip flags.

Frankly, given the current state of the Internet, I don't think it's possible to "hide in plain sight" and get a detailed message anything past a knowledgeable and savvy power who outlaws all encryption as a matter of course and can routinely sniff connections. The reason being just about anything you try will either (a) leave telltale clues when you try to parse it as it appears, or (b) is vulnerable to mangling such that the end product retains purpose as it appears but ruins stego (ex. whitespace-washing text, resizing images, resampling/recoding audio, etc.). You could probably get away with pre-arranged signal images and the like, but anything spontaneous or detailed would probably require another approach (if any is possible).

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