* Posts by Charles 9

5693 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Protecting users against advanced threats and the human factor

Charles 9
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Re: There might be an other solution to this issue

"Obvously, no Luser is ever above suspicion."

But what if the Luser is actually over your head? How many security plans have been ruined by someone up top?

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Charles 9
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Re: Oh For Fuck's Sake!

Until someone starts wearing a helmet or simply doesn't react to the board.

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THIS MEANS WAR between USA and Japan! GIANT ROBOT WAR

Charles 9
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Re: Errrr ...

Let's just call it a mech and let it go at that. Mecha would just be a subset of the mech (let's say its short for mechanical humanoid exoframe) that uses more sci-fi elements to take more liberties from what one would expect in reality, which is where western mech universes tend to better base themselves (think the BattleTech universe, for example, which MechWarrior is a part of).

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Charles 9
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Re: Robot Jox

Actually, stuff like Robot Jox and Pacific Rim I think show the differing viewpoints of mechanical exosuits between America and Japan. Japan's view of the mecha was a huge yet surprisingly mobile unit able to mimic human motions to a considerable degree. Whereas in America, we tend to associate them with giant, complicated machines that take a considerable amount of effort to move effectively. I keep getting the impression Japan went for a more flowing and artistic approach while America tended to ground themselves in the grit of war and a closer sense of realism.

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Adam Smith was right about that invisible hand, you know

Charles 9
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Re: Congratulations

"That's monopoly or oligopoly you're talking about there, control of supply. What Marx was (rightly) much more worried about was monopsony, a single buyer. In this case, a monopoly purchaser of labour, who would then be able to determine wages."

Why can't an oligospony work as well? If all the members of a cartel agree to limit their wages equally, since there's no need to compete for, say, a glut of workers they need less of (one dies/leaves, get another), then can not a cartel exert the same kind of single-buyer influence as a monospony?

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Charles 9
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Re: You say "High Frequency Trading -I say "Man in the Middle Attack."

The problem lies in the lobbyist MAKING the legislator turn towards that area of concern. That's why lobbyists exist: to convince legislators to see things their way. Meaning, even if they don't see eye to eye at first, they probably will by the end.

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North America down to its last ~130,000 IPv4 addresses

Charles 9
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Re: value of class A network on resale market

"That said, IPv6 was meant to coexist indefinitely with IPv4. Various 6-to-4 mechanisms have been provided to ensure that the initial islands of IPv6 can interoperate with the ocean of IPv4. Eventually, when adoption of IPv6 becomes widespread, there will still be (probably very large) islands of IPv4, and those same 6-to-4 mechanisms will be what allows them (the IPv4 nodes) to remain online. Thus I think my main point still stands: you do not need to take down your IPv4 networks to build out your IPv6 network."

Don't think 6-to-4. Think 4-to-6 (as in what if it's the IPv4 device that has to connect to an IPv6 device, not the other way), using only existing IPv4 protocols.

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Charles 9
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Re: value of class A network on resale market

"I do believe that eventually you will, though, simply because the transition is so easy; simply because you more likely than not, do not need to replace any equipment; simply because when you do decide to make the transition, the environment to support that transition will already be in place. IPv6 does not require the Internet to "take a holiday" to make the transition."

That assumption is part of the problem. Reality doesn't hold up to this, as there really ARE plenty of hardware fixed to IPv4 and incapable of being upgraded to IPv6. In addition, a small but significant portion of these "stuck" devices serve linchpin roles that make them difficult to replace. How do you replace such a device when there's no budget for it, when the hardware's so customized that replacing it would be a project, not a chore, or if the only possible source for the device no longer exists?

Then you have the IT people working behind the scenes, the ones who have to work the nitty-gritty of the network: especially when things go wrong. These people need to be able to talk low-level, and in terms of low-level, IPv4 was at least within reach for most: four numbers no higher than 255. Now, what if you have to work on IPv6 at a low level and you now have a complicated address with more than 4 non-zero words? And as others have noted, some networks shouldn't be directly-addressable, not trusting in the filtering capability of the firewall (which they feel can be bypassed), which means that aspect of IPv6 is a liability.

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Charles 9
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Re: Canecutter - 2 things wrong with IPV6

So you're saying that the public part of IPv6 is intended to greatly simplify routing by making say the first x bits be hard-routed, say, geographically to a few levels so that tables only have to come play later on and be of a more-manageable size since the packet's been partially pre-sorted already.

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Charles 9
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Re: 2 things wrong with IPV6

"Not up on these things for a while (naughty me) but didn't I see that subscribers are dished out /48s or /32s of IPv6? Might not be as unlimited* as people think?"

But they can always be adjusted as time passes. We can't change the fact IPv4, being fundamentally 32-bit is limited to around 4 billion entries total (not accounting for some specialized verboten ranges). The human population combined with multiple devices per person, many of which WILL need to be directly addressable, will eventually overwhelm the range.

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Charles 9
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Re: 2 things wrong with IPV6

(WHOOSH!)

We remember alphanumeric combinations more complicated than hexadecimal (because they use the entire alphabet rather than just the first six letters) on a regular basis in license plates, postal codes, even some telephone numbers that employ the telephone letter system.

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Charles 9
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But then what if you have tons of old hardware that ONLY understands IPv4 AND can't be upgraded replaced? Do we basically tell them, "YOU LOSE"?

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Charles 9
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I don't see how letters would make too much of a difference, as we're using to seeing letters on our license plates and some places use letters in their postal codes. They even try to be accommodating by creating shortcuts when the quartet is 0000 (the :: shortcut). I personally see a max of eight quartets easier than trying to memorize up to 16 different numbers.

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Charles 9
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Re: Multiplexing

"At the web host farm several customer's web sites can share an internet facing IPv4 address. Each site's requests are differentiated by information other than the external dedicated IPv4 address on which it arrives."

Which then kinda falls apart when they get a request that contains ONLY an IPv4 address. Some protocols are like that.

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Charles 9
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Re: We need to invent a new version of IP

Sounds to me like you're describing IPv6 (which is two versions up AND 128-bit). Did you neglect to use the Joke Alert icon?

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Charles 9
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The reason they want it "perfect" is they feel the slightest problem will snowball, like a crack in a foundation stone. They don't like NAT because we already have problems of NAT-to-NAT and carrier-grade NAT. As for the benefits of NAT, what benefits are there that a firewall can't do?

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Charles 9
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But eventually you end up with double-NATting, carrier-grade NATting, or having a scenario where both ends of the connection are behind NATs, one or more of which may be beyond the control of the endpoints. Then things get complicated.

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Charles 9
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Re: 10 years?

But this is NO joke. We've gone from stories of IPv4 running out to stories of IPv4 HAVING RUN out, as in there actually ARE empty shelves now, with only scattered items left here and there. And not just in one major part of the world. Asia's been dry for years, but who cares about them? But now it's both Asia AND North America: TWO key world markets. The IPv4 world is basically overcrowded with only two options left: jury-rig it or move to a bigger world. Thing is, moving to IPv6 has so many growing pains few want to go while jury-rigging will only work for so long. There's already complaints about handling carrier-grade NAT; what happens when someone behind a carrier-grade NAT wants to connect to someone else behind another carrier-grade NAT?

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This box beams cafes' Wi-Fi over 4kms so you can surf in obscurity

Charles 9
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Re: Power is easy.

Microwave normally requires a pretty clear line of sight, owing to how the waves themselves can have an effect on most things it passes through, including paper. Now, if you can find a socket concealed behind a shelf, you can conceal the transmitter. But as said, concealing the transmissions will be another story.

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Charles 9
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Re: Fail of fails.

"I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Wifi was subcontracted out to a third party to operate, probably with some form of unlimitted/Gigabytes plan."

And I would be amazed an ISP would be offering unlimited traffic to a non-residential customer. Most firms I know meter, and some meter even to residential customers. After all, they have to pay their upstream providers, and metering is the norm there, if at the least to negotiate peering agreements between other providers on that level.

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Charles 9
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Re: Fail of fails.

"And why on earth would there be a traffic spike?"

Murphy's Law. Soon as some lowlife spots an open relay, they'll hammer it, guaran-damn-teed.

"The use case is anyonmous/darknet browsing activity not torrenting or warez unless a total moron uses it."

I rest my case.

"Plus - how many librarians both to check their usage logs EVER?"

You assume a library is staffed only by librarians. Like I said, if anyplace has a network, there's usually at least one IT guy set up to manage it (and, if all else fails, to take the fall if something goes wrong). Especially in a place like a library which in most places is government-run and therefore will be watched over. If not, it's probably on a business plan where all traffic is metered. Either way, there will be a case for traffic abuse being noted (either the watchdogs will come calling or they'll have to pay the bill).

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Charles 9
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Re: libraries

Don't think about the librarians. Think about the IT people working behind the counter at the access point. Since their network access is either delegated by the government or leased and therefore metered, they will have an obligation, one way or the other, to manage the traffic to keep on the lookout for abuses. Now, if the traffic capped at some absurd sub-Mbit/sec rate, then you're right; anyone trying to abuse such a low rate would be no more than a nuisance and would only raise awareness if library-goers start complaining of dropped connections. But if a subscriber starts hammering the connection for long periods, that should be enough to trip watchdogs and at least post a notice to take a closer look. Point is, such a device isn't going to be of much use. ANYWHERE there's an open Wi-Fi spot, people are going to notice it, especially since many devices are on the lookout for open spots so as to divert from low mobile data allowances. Eventually, one of two things happen: either it gets hammered on a low bandwidth allowance and becomes clogged or it draws enough attention that someone's going to investigate.

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Kryder's law craps out: Race to UBER-CHEAP STORAGE is OVER

Charles 9
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Re: Cube storge will save the day

Cube storage has been around in some form since the 1990's (I once saw it on an episode of Beyond 2000). Trouble is, they always run into problems: destructive reading, alignment, and so on. There's also the matter that crystals aren't the stablest forms of matter on our planet (I kid you not; diamonds are NOT forever—give it enough time and they'll turn back into graphite).

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What Murphy’s law has to teach you about data centres

Charles 9
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Re: The Official list of Murphy's Laws

I wonder what would happen when a device is built that would require a violation of the laws of physics to fail catastrophically.

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Bitcoin, schmitcoin. Let's play piggyback on the blockchain

Charles 9
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Re: Transactions will be by far the more important application in the long run

So IOW contract law is dependent on trust, and in asymmetric transactions (where both sides aren't simultaneously met), that trust depends on each side trusting the other, which usually requires the parties knowing each other. In which case, any kind of blockchain can act as no more than a ledger for the transactions themselves. They can't be an enabler, as enabling goes into the "First Contact" problem of security in general: a Hard Problem that can't be solved without some gesture or arbitration of trust. If no trust is possible (paranoid or DTA setting), identity can always be faked and therefore can never be confirmed. IOW, it's a whole other hill of beans.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's self-limiting

"Also, the "illegal lottery" idea fails because Bitcoin mining is a game of skill, not of chance. Still doesn't mean there is any winning move besides not to play, though."

Playing Devil's Advocate. If Bitcoin mining is a game of skill, that implies that one can, with enough skill and/or resources, predict the next winning block or come reasonably close to it, just as one can try to read the other players at a poker table (thus why poker is at least partially skill). How does one figure out the next winning block in that case?

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

Charles 9
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"A much better weapon against ISIS, boko-haram et al would be to simply stop reporting their murders in such a massive way."

If you try to ignore them, they'll just up the volume until you can't ignore them anymore (because the risk becomes destabilizing or existential), such as the Westgate attack in Nairobi or 9/11. IOW, it's hard to silence an enemy who's playing no holds barred.

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Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

Charles 9
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Re: FCVs soon to outpace BEVs and we need Hydrogen NOW!

"The only viable option for high volume, "neat" hydrogen production is SMRs, i.e., the new super safe and clean small modular reactors. The vast majority of the world's engineers are very much in favor of SMRs which are the best "fit-for-purpose" solutions that are also "FIELD PROVEN"..... and that is extremely important...... no time to allow for the roll-out and ramp-up of unfinished R&D concepts that are destined to fail en-masse."

Just so we're on the same and to stave off a potential counterpoint by dagnew, can you provide concrete evidence of these SMRs in use right now under actual field testing and how these designs are failsafe even under sabotage conditions? I've been trying to find this information myself, but no luck; not even Google's been my friend in this (all I find is news releases and speculation).

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Charles 9
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"China has two PBMRs under construction, expected to produce 210 MWe combined, beginning AROUND 2017. At the end of 2012, China had installed 76 GW wind power capacity. That's nearly 400 times the EXPECTED PBMR output 5 years earlier. This is the shining promise of nuclear?"

China can afford to do the wind turbines. Not only are they less concerned about toxic byproducts, but they have lots of rare earths lying around to use. this combination cannot be said elsewhere. Plus China's facing the same problems wind farms elsewhere are having: the sources are nowhere near the sinks, and running transmission lines are expensive, reduce efficiency, and introduce additional points of failure.

BTW, China's hedging its bets. They're building plenty of nuclear reactors, too, and by the numbers, their reactor output will be comparable to their wind potential with the added benefit they can build them closer to the populated areas.

"But "have to take what we've been dealt"? What does that mean? We must take whatever GE and Westinghouse develop (to profit their stockholders)?"

Like I said, got any better ideas? Wind and solar have toxic byproducts in their manufacture (so they're not really "green"), their long-term longevity cannot be assured, and since they're intermittent, they cannot be used as baseload power. And yes I know about solar thermal which is one of the few solar techs that can still generate at night, but the largest one in the world's can't even supply 1% of the power needs of nearby Los Angeles County, so scale's an issue. And I've heard enough alternative power pipe dreams to fill a book, so I'd like to see something rather more realistic.

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Charles 9
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Well, as they say, no guts, no glory. If America had gotten cold feet after Apollo 1, they wouldn't have won the Space Race. Every technology available has its problems, and NO site in my memory has been SO contaminated as to be completely uncleanable: even Hanford, unless you can demonstrate otherwise. And before you say nuclear is the only bad thing around, consider Love Canal, Times Beach, and Bhopal, all victims of chemical, not nuclear disasters, so it's a case of pick your poison. We need lots of power, we need it soon, and none of the alternatives has the oomph without side effects (including wind and solar, both of which require exotic materials with their side effects of toxic byproducts). Show us a proven and completly green (from resource extraction to disposal) power generation technology able to feed a yottawatt of power to the world and perhaps we can start talking. Otherwise, we'll have to take what we've been dealt. And things CAN improve. Otherwise, someone would've found a way to cause stuff like a pebble bed reactor to catastrophically fail (no way found yet).

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Charles 9
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Re: Well...

Can you PROVE that with IRS records?

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Charles 9
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Re: very old news, deliberately ignored for too long

The closest thing we have to an energy storage innovation is the US Navy's research into artificial hydrocarbon production. They at least have a genuine incentive to push this through (their carriers have power to spare and the carrier jets need plenty of jet fuel to stay in the air), so if they can't do it, odds are no one can.

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Charles 9
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Re: Current Renewables are a Band-Aid

That's also some claim when Germany is in such tight electrical straits they've had to buy a sizable chunk of their electricity from France lately. Would love to see this claim backed up with some hard data and plenty of details that spell out exactly what they mean by renewable sources.

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Charles 9
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Re: Stop proposing....

"80% of civilization lives where there is a WINTER season!

80% of the US population lives somewhere that needs AC."

And plenty of the world lives in an area where BOTH conditions exist, usually in turn, which means the area requires climate control for most of the year: double whammy. That's why the heat pump is popular in these kinds of areas: one device that can handle either temperature extreme as needed.

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Charles 9
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Re: Nukes....

"perhaps Charles, risk assessment comes into vogue again. As in how idiot human factors play a major causative role in the "accidents" As for other deliberate events, a read of the technology article on how hard, dangerous and generally fatal attempts to steal and manufacture nuclear weapons from powerplants would be to the terrorists. Electronics Australia July 1987? ITIRC, had a reprint of article. Was a hilarious read on a greenie pushed nightmare."

But that was nearly 30 years ago. We know some people CAN be that damn crazy and they may have found ways to get around the dangers if they're that bloody determined.

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Charles 9
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Re: Nukes....

"Maybe the "duck and cover" generation need to die off before the fear goes away."

No, because they teach the next generation and keep stoking fears of Chernobyl, Fukushima, and the nightmare scenario of a 9/11 attack on major nuclear plants.

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LG won't fix malware slinging bloatware update hole

Charles 9
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Re: Surely possible

I think the problem is the lack of certificate checking on the old version. Attempting to overlay the new version on top of the old (which is how system apps like Play Store get upgraded) still leaves the old, unsafe version in the ROM, leaving the potential to downgrade back to it by another exploit. There's also the potential of a rogue update since the certificates aren't checked. The only way to make a system update stick is to flash it directly into /system.

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Charles 9
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Re: Who does this?

The trouble is, to fix this problem you have to update the updater, creating a potential chicken-and-egg problem that apparently necessitates an OTA update to fix. Now, you'd think you can just install an updated version on top like you can with other system apps, but perhaps they're worried about exploited downgrading or some other security mechanism that only works if installed to /system.

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Charles 9
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It's not a little inconvenience. It's a LOT of inconvenience since most of the firmwares have to be signed off by the network operators before they can be patched OTA (and if they want the phones to be sold in the carrier stores, they better the heck be signed off or else). That means getting in touch with hundreds of operators around the world, not all of which may be forthcoming. And let's not start on the handsets that are close to if not past EOL status.

It WOULD be easier if LG could send this direct to the phones, but only Apple has the consumer pull to dictate terms. Everyone else as of now is beholden to the operators.

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Secure web? That'll cost you, thanks to Mozilla's HTTPS plan

Charles 9
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Re: Amateurs

Then perhaps you can elaborate on why this won't help us.

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Charles 9
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You don't care about things like the Chinese Cannon, then? Even if you don't care, your apathy can hurt others, so yes everyone MUST get involved or everyone will get hurt. We're a SOCIETY. Our actions AND inactions WILL have an effect on others, will ye nil ye.

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Q: What's black and white and read all over? A: E-reader displays

Charles 9
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Re: double sided tablet?

Thing is, that can be hit or miss. Your idea works on the assumption it doesn't miscue, which I've seen plenty of times with touchscreen phones: either it doesn't turn off right and the ear triggers a button or you take the phone off ear and you find the screen won't react. IOW, there's a fair chance a double-sided device will pick the wrong side.

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Charles 9
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"For a moment, I thought that maybe the answer is to have a two-layer display. One layer alternates between black and transparent, and below that is a layer of pixels that change between white and one of three colors. But that won't allow bright reds or yellows, even if it allows white, so instead three layers that alternate between transparent or a subtractive primary are what you need."

I think the trouble with a layered approach is that the lower layers will likely look muted or blurred having to go through the intervening layers to be reflected and then through them again to get out. Whichever primary's on the bottom—cyan, magenta, or yellow—isn't going to look too pretty if that's the only color you need to display. That's probably why most color tech uses the color dot approach instead.

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Charles 9
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Re: double sided tablet?

That's how the Yotaphone works, IIRC. I think part of the concern is that people normally put their fingers on the backside of a reader while reading so there's concern of triggering something accidentally. And even with an appropriate cover and toughened glass, I have to wonder about endurance issues.

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Abort, abort! Metal-on-metal VIOLENCE as Google's robo-car nearly CRASHES

Charles 9
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Re: Not a near miss

Trouble is, the scenario I describe is a kind of race condition. If I read this correctly, CSMA/CA doesn't work well against race conditions because the two sides are committing at the same moment, then see the impending collision at the same moment, then back out, then notice no more impending collision at the same moment, and so on.

Now, I understand this is probably not universal, but most of the traffic codes I've read specify the law for such a race condition. If two cards try to move into the same lane from opposite sides at the same time, the rule normally is that the one coming in from the outside lane (further from the median, nearer the shoulder) must yield to the opposite car.

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Charles 9
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Re: Not a near miss

Until two cars on opposite sides of an opening in the middle lane choose to commit at the same instant. Either they crash halfway or they'll yoyo in and out.

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Incoming! Linux 4.1 kernel lands

Charles 9
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"One hardware vendor not being very good with their Linux driver's isn't the fault of "the linux community" or Linux itself. There's nothing in the kernel that stops AMD's stuff from working if they want to support it properly. If they don't that's their problem. I'll just stick to nvidia stuff."

Did you read about the problem I had with the Dell Inspiron? That was an nVidia chipset, which means I'm having problems with BOTH the big boys.

"You can't just stick any old nvidia card in a Windows machine and expect it to just work either so your point is moot from the start."

Inspirons are laptops. You don't HAVE a choice with those.

"How do you push commercial entities that rely on profits from sales to produce products that would certainly lose them money?"

More and more applications use more common frameworks that make them easier to port. Take Source and Unreal Engine, both known multiplats. Why aren't more games that use them coming out for Mac and Linux? In such an environment, the cost to port shouldn't be that great, putting them in a "Why not?" situation: small risk for potential additional returns.

"If demand for Linux drivers for the latest generation of GPUs goes up then driver support for those GPUs will improve."

The demand IS there, but the graphics companies are still snubbing them to some degree. Read about the current complaints concerning the nVidia GTX900 series. You just can't win. The incumbent Windows still carries all the momentum, and there's no substitute for the PC in performance gaming and performance-heavy tasks that call for dedicated workstations.

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Cambridge boffins: STOP the rush to 5G. We just don't need it

Charles 9
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Re: I'm of two minds here

"What I would encourage would be to emphasize the "LT" part of 4G LTE - Long Term. Rather than a new standard, how about just working on getting the existing 4G up to where it was promised. On that note: Does anyone know what happened to VoLTE? Has that actually been sorted?"

Not yet, primarily for the reason you describe: legacy momentum. The big catch is this: any VoLTE solution can't talk to the vast numbers of legacy tech without something in-between and vice versa. And as long as the legacy tech exists, devices will be built to use it, especially if the tech can't use LTE at all (which many phones still being built today can't).

IOW, for VoLTE to have a decent chance of taking over voice communications, it has to wait for LTE to be the norm rather than the exception. That's not expected to happen on a worldwide basis anytime soon. VoLTE is basically too far ahead of its time.

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Charles 9
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I would think you need BOTH at the same time. Just as you need to spread the coverage, so too do you need to improve the speed within the covered area to handle two factors of growth: new customers and increased demands of existing ones.

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Shadow of the Beast: Amiga classic returns from the darkness

Charles 9
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"As are the developers responsible. They overlooked that fact that video games are supposed to be fun, not bloody hard work."

You have to consider the context. In the late 1980's, arcades were still alive and well, and what was one surefire way to get a determined gamer to divest his coinage? Make the damn thing hard. Even going into the late 90's there was a breed of gamer who lived on the challenge which was how the "Bullet Hell" shooter genre emerged.

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