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* Posts by Charles 9

3810 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

NO! Radio broadcasters snub 'end of FM' DAB radio changeover

Charles 9
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Re: DAB is pointless @Ben

I stand corrected.

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Charles 9
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To say nothing of the US which isn't even trying and is instead using a different scheme (HD Radio) which works IN the FM band.

That said, takeup has been slow here, too (you can retrofit an HD radio receiver into your car, but the demand just isn't there, and let's not start with portables), but at least they're not doing anything to the FM radio band anytime soon.

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Bitcopocalypse! Top crypto-currency can be HIJACKED, warn boffins

Charles 9
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Re: Electricity is free is you steal it

"Sure, 10k slave machines would do some good. But what are the odds of the infection going unnoticed, when it is gobbling 100% of the CPU power, turning the computer in a home heater?"

If it finds slaves with viable GPUs, the malware can use the OpenCL cores to make these slaves increase the MHash output. Just a few hundred slaves with GPUs within three generations of present could even the stakes. Plus smart trojans can wait for low activity or nightfall to do its dirty work, making it less likely to be noticed.

As for the "other dirty work," it doesn't have to be either/or. Do that on the side as well. Malware diversification.

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Charles 9
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Re: Electricity is free is you steal it

I think some like Coinbase are still around because they play above the board (Coinbase works WITH the banks). If the US comes calling for tax information, they'd probably provide it, keeping them in the clear. I used it to basically check out of Bitcoin and I personally noticed things were getting too dicey.

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Google patent: THROAT TATTOO with lie-detecting mobe microphone built-in

Charles 9
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It's hard to carry on a clear conversation using a mobile phone EVEN IN A QUIET ENVIRONMENT. Wind and breath, for starters. That's why throat mics. They're immune to wind and resistant to ambient noise, which was why they were used in World War 2 in tanks.

"Don't mess around with my body. Period." Well, don't put the bloody thing on. It's not like it's going to be permanently grafted under your skin. It's just a stick-on throat mic (the "tattoo" is actually temporary, like the kiddy "tattoos").

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Charles 9
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Re: How good are throat microphones?

Well, Panzer commanders used them to great effect in WW2. Allowed them to be heard over the noise of their tanks. The thing about throat mics is that even though your mouth shapes the soundforms, the whole waveform echoes through your skull and back down your throat.

A similar technique, IIRC, is used in the artificial larynx, used by people who have lost their natural larynx through disease or injury.

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Forget invisible kittens, now TANKS draped in INVISIBILITY CLOAK

Charles 9
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Re: El Reg, you got played

Besides, last I checked, radar tech is starting to move to multistatic installations, which can work more passively (meaning destroying the transmitter doesn't necessarily degrade the efficiency of the receivers) and actually turns current stealth tech against itself (because they normally work by deflecting radio waves--such craft would stick out like a sore thumb in a multistatic radar reading because they'll be blocking expected signals).

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Acer suffers terrible let-down after unexpected withdrawal of Wang

Charles 9
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Re: They should cut the bad quality and/or unsupported lines

I know people keep ribbing about netbooks, but I rather like the Aspire One I have, especially now with a triple-capacity battery on it. It's computing on the quick when I need it while not being too big to lug around all over the place the way a full-sized notebook would. I may switch over the OS in future, but for now, it's a case of something that isn't really broken--finicky at times (the resolution, mostly) but not broken.

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Charles 9
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According to my research, Acer trades on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, and this is their specific limit. Most trading markets have what are called "curbs" meant to prevent runaway activity (and note, the curbs usually apply in BOTH directions). These are applied across the board so are applicable to ALL stocks in a given market. It's not meant as a protection so much as a brake or a circuit breaker. If a stock really is behaving that bad, it will just continue to trade down in the next session, but if it's the victim of a fluke event or something they can remedy, the curb provides a little breathing room to let cooler heads prevail.

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Alleged Peeping Tom claims First Amendment right to upskirt

Charles 9
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Re: "up-Skirt" a general term?

For the record, a covert upskirt photo in a flat public setting almost always means a shoe camera (as in a camera fitted into a shoe looking out a hole in the top of the shoe) positioned between the subject's legs and probably in video mode to (1) prevent any clicking sounds and (2) improve the chance of a good shot.

This is generally regarded as voyeurism (as in attempting to gain an indecent view beyond barriers--such as doors, privacy windows, and in this case a dress--meant to safeguard privacy and not protected by the first amendment. Sounds to me like the voyeur is challenging basically on these grounds:

1. The restriction on laws prohibiting the freedom of speech states no exceptions.

2. So where does Congress get the authority (for that matter, where does Congress get the authority to prohibit "Fire in a Crowded Theater")?

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Charles 9
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Put it this way. If no nudity at all means you're fully clothed, and full nudity means complete exposure, then partial nudity means something that would be necessary for what we call "decency" is missing...but NOT ALL of it. A woman wearing only a bikini bottom, for example, is partially nude.

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Charles 9
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Re: Plead guilty, case closed.

The thing is the amount of exposure is at the person's discretion. If a woman feels bold enough to wear a bikini, then she doesn't care too much about showing leg. On the other hand, a woman in a full-length skirt or other very covering attire is basically setting the limits on what she wants seen. The choice of clothing suggests a person's attitude about exposure; should we not respect that?

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Charles 9
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Interesting angle, invoking rights clash. If this is pursued, it will be up to the judge to draw the line since although the photographer has rights, so does the subject. And unless engaged in mundane activity, precedent establishes that art with a human subject (photography is considered art in this case) requires consent on both sides: an artistic subject can request the work not be published.

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"Yes, this is the kind of thing we spend our time on these days.....never mind all those other minor "things" going on in the world....Hunger, poverty, environmental disasters both natural and man made...."

Because most of these are not within the purview of courts. These kinds of things usually require legislatures. Good luck getting legislatures to take the long view.

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'Only NUCLEAR power can SAVE HUMANITY', say Global Warming high priests

Charles 9
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Re: Nuclear energy is expensive

Chernobyl no problem, 56 dead people? You gotta be kidding.

Ask the people of Buffalo Creek, West Virginia and Stava, Italy. Two towns who lost well over 56 people each due to tailings dam failures. Tailings dams are a pretty-much-standard feature of coal mines.

"On the i5 next to LA right on the coast, there is a nuclear power plan that has been shut down by the government.

How come?"

You must be referring to the San Onofre Plant, which was shut down due to shoddy maintenance (a human factor). Thankfully, the American standards on inspections and so on are pretty tight. They CAUGHT the shoddy maintenance before serious problems emerged (also, the initial shutdown came as per protocol after a leak was detected--as per design). Nuclear is risky, yes, but good oversight is helping to MITIGATE the risk. We can further mitigate the risk by using better reactor designs that take such risks into consideration.

"Nuclear energy still has to be developed quite a bit."

So do wind and solar. Neither are ready for prime time. At least with nuclear, we have deployable designs that CAN fulfil current and near-future energy needs.

"There are new concepts like the TWR and others but they are far away."

Only due to regulatory foot-dragging. What's needed is political pressure to let the new designs go ahead.

"Fusion energy could be a great source of energy, once it does work. There are new scientific findings that may help plasma physics finding ways to control the fusion process much better and make sure the fusion process does not break down*. Maybe fusion one day is a great solution. Fission still is an unsolved problem."

It's more solved than fusion. We have viable reactors already in active use and plenty of new designs in the works. That's a whole lot more developed than ITER, and even if that works out (it's only .5GWT, your average fission plant runs several GWT), it'll be plenty of years before they're rolled out commercially. We need an answer RIGHT BLANKING NOW. And the answer needs to keep us going for about a half-century or so (and according to estimates, global electricity usage in 50 years will approach a YOTTAwatt). Got any other immediate options besides fission reactors?

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Charles 9
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Re: Mistake to use nuclear power

"Being chemically distinct from uranium and other fission byproducts, even contaminated plutonium has more potential for being made "weapons grade" than uranium does. Just because "breeder" reactors are a better plutonium source doesn't make plutonium from other reactors useless for weapons."

But a point of diminishing returns kicks in due to the costs involved getting the plutonium out of the toxic waste. Otherwise, Thorium wouldn't be considered safe, either, as one of ITS byproducts is Uranium-233, which CAN be weaponized.

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Charles 9
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Re: Let's include the insurance cost!

First, last I checked, most nuclear plants ARE insured. Second, since NO private company is willing to underwrite said insurance, government had to step in. It's easy enough to say you need private insurance, but what happens when none are to be found...at any price?

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Charles 9
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Re: Mistake to use nuclear power

So you're saying a Thorium reactor produces plutonium?

Anyway, while most uranium reactors do produce plutonium as a byproduct, most of it is too contaminated to be of use. The plutonium in weapons comes from purpose-built "breeder" reactors.

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Charles 9
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Re: controllable?

Except Generation IV reactors are built with fail-safety in mind. Many designs are containerized, meaning anything that goes wrong stays in the container and can be replaced (it also means a simpler concept of "changing out" reactors after specific duty cycles of a few decades).

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Charles 9
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Re: Marketing Change?

The same thing happened to the tomato as well (because it's related to nightshade). Thing was, poor Italians had little choice, so necessity taught them that, hey, you can eat tomatoes, and the rest was history. That's what's needed for nuclear to be pushed forward again: a whole lot of NECESSITY.

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Watch out spooks: STANDARDS GROUPS are COMING AFTER YOU

Charles 9
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Re: Plenty of standards...

But you can't use a physical analogue in a virtual setting. For one thing, the adversary need only copy the ciphertext to lock it in a particular state of protection (which, according to your analogy, they'd then be able to whittle down). You basically only have one shot to get your communique through versus a resourceful and patient adversary, which means your message has to be able to withstand BOTH immediate AND prolonged assaults.

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Charles 9
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Re: Plenty of standards...

But how do ANY of these work against a state-level adversary who can get an inside track on the transport layer? They can learn almost as much from the routing itself as they can from the message: encrypted or not.

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Charles 9
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Re: The problem with email encryption

But what happens if Mallory or Gene have the inside track on one of the domains along the way. They can pick out the traffic BETWEEN encryptions that way.

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Charles 9
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But then you run into a security-vs-ease-of-use divide. Creating a turnkey solution that is nonetheless very secure has been hounding security researchers since before your average forum site required its own password. And that doesn't alleviate the issue of trust in the case of the security elements being subverted during the production stage. If we're really in DTA mode, how can a universal standard be established that everyone can use yet is not subject to corruption?

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Lavabit, secure email? Hardly, says infosec wizard Moxie Marlinspike

Charles 9
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Re: Trust and Security

"You have to trust, but that needn't be a single entity. Security can be spread across multiple entities such that they *all* have to defect before your secret is known."

The thing about going against a STATE is that they could have the resources to subvert ALL of them. And even if one or more of them are foreign and outside that state's control, what about THE OTHER states? How can you establish any kind of trust when your environment has basically become DTA?

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Charles 9
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Re: Trust and Security

The problem arises when one of the parties is a "stranger" to the other. With no prior experience, there is ABSOLUTELY no way to prove Bob is Bob to Alice because there can't be a chain of trust without an anchor. That means Mallory or Gene can pretend to be Bob and Alice has no way of knowing the difference.

Well, that's part of the problem with the Internet. It makes it very easy to talk to strangers, and in fact a lot of e-commerce takes place between what we could qualify as strangers.

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Charles 9
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Re: Secure email

But then what do you do when the recipient has to be anonymous? How do you send an email with a blank envelope?

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While the BBC drools over Twitter, look what UK's up to: Hospital superbug breakthrough

Charles 9
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Re: More science less Twitter

Maybe that's because El Reg covered the phage research previously.

"Bacteria-chomping phages could kill off HOSPITAL SUPERBUGS"

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Mobe-makers' BLOATWARE is Android's Achilles heel

Charles 9
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Re: Bloatware

Probably more data than code. Odds are it's mostly an offline comparison database. It grows because more devices keep getting added.

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iPad Air BARES ALL, reveals she's a high maintenance lady

Charles 9
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For the phone, most would point to USB battery bricks, which can hold more charge than any phone can and has the additional advantage of being hot-pluggable.

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Charles 9
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Re: Regardless of the facts...

I don't know. At least you can replace the battery on these things. Plus they have memory card slots.

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Want to go to billionaire Sun kingpin's beach? Hope you're a strong swimmer

Charles 9
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Re: Undermine his claim

Two problems.

One, most land grants also grant anything UNDER the ground, which means tunnels need rights of way from the property owner. Mining leases have the same issue: they need permission from the property owner.

Two, we're on the coast. That typically means a low water table. When you gotta keep water out, tunneling becomes that much tricker, which is why many underwater tunnels were built above ground, then towed to the site and SUNK into place.

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Charles 9
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Re: Stupid question

"So how do these property owners (and their guests and visitors) get to their properties? Does California have wayleaves and easements?"

They do, but since the Hidalgo Treaty is FEDERAL, California is being trumped.

That being said, if this road is the ONLY access for these other property owners, they now have a valid beef. Their rights must be respected, too, so they can invoke the First Amendment right to petition the feds for this grievance. Probably what could happen is that these property owners could file a new lawsuit, this time in a Federal court, demanding access. This could provide the rights clash needed for the federal system to justify invoking eminent domain themselves.

Let's see what happens.

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Charles 9
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Re: Time for some eminent domain!

But then the question arises. Given the age of the original deed (remember, the original grant came from Mexico), could they argue that the BEACH was originally private, too, protected by the federal treaty, and therefore trumps California's claim to a public beach under prior claims (again because of the 14th Amendment trumping California law)?

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Charles 9
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Re: Federal shoud trump both

I believe that law only applied to interior waterways (thus the term "navigable", which typically only applies to lakes and rivers; this was intended to prevent them being closed off. The open seas don't have that problem.

Besides, the Hidalgo Treaty can possibly trump that act for two reasons. (1) It's a federally-ratified treaty, which under the Constitution gives it equal standing to any Act, (2) The treaty came after the aforesaid act. Judicial precedence could point to that and say the treaty acts as an amendment to the prior law.

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Charles 9
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Re: Well, if it's no longer a public road...

Given the state of the road in the picture, it's likely just a dirt path, plus we're talking SoCal: not exactly known for snow. If he has a proper off-road vehicle, he could drive up and down it with little regard for maintenance. Indeed, he may WISH to let the road fall into disrepair as a disincentive for other people or the state (or in this case, the US as it's a FEDERAL treaty blocking it) to try to obtain it through other means.

For further inquiry: Is the state beach enveloped by the private property in such a way that one MUST go through that property to reach it? Or could the state develop some other means to reach the beach, perhaps through an adjacent landowner who is more accommodating?

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Charles 9
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They can't. The treaty was ratified by Congress after the Mexican-American War and thus, under the Constitution, has the force of Federal law. Under the 14th Amendment, unless the law specifically exempts it (this one doesn't), federal law trumps state law.

It would require one of two things: agreement between it and Mexico to allow for an exception to the treaty or an overriding federal concern (such as breaching another federal Act or treaty) overruling it.

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FIERY DEATH awaits all who stroke mobes mid-flight? Nope, says FAA

Charles 9
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Re: Always wondered how many *actual* incidents started this BS

But recall that most planes and ship have hulls...METAL hulls. These hulls can act as electromagnetic shields to protect against EMI.

But they're worth sod all against interference from INSIDE, and that's been the issue with the planes, especially the OLDER ones built before cell phones and the like existed, let alone were commonplace. As noted, placing a GSM phone against a running loudspeaker as it receives a call DOES produce noticeable clicks and like, a clear sign of some RFI, and there has been a number of anecdotal stories about instrument wackiness being distinctly dependent on the function of a passenger's phone.

As noted, until recently, the FAA wanted to act with an overabundance of caution, but it ended up taking much too much flak for it, thus the about-face.

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Charles 9
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Re: Electronics can interfere with radio comms

That's one reason CALLS still aren't allowed. It's the GSM frequencies at issue. Meanwhile, most of the WiFi comms are well out of range in the 2.4GHz or 5GHz range. In addition, especially after 9/11, the cockpit partition should be metal, which should shunt any signals from the cabin. Plus the situation could be eased further with the installation of a picocell to steer calls (or at least phones) to a particular set of frequencies.

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Charles 9
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Re: Europe?

Yes, they loosened up some years ahead of the Americans.

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Charles 9
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Re: What's the new relaxed rules then?

The basic rules have become: "You know what, there aren't really any rules anymore." Basically, apart from cell calls (which have logistics issues outside of interference), you're free to use your devices whenever you want. Just remember your priorities and pay attention to the flight attendants. Their word is still "law" on the plane, but at least they won't pester you about turning off your devices unless they're annoying others or they need your attention for something.

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Charles 9
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I think the problem's not as bad as people make it out. The thing with being that high up is that you're going to get LOTS of signals...and not all of them in different frequencies. The tower frequencies IINM are carefully juggled for ground use, such that two towers that cross each others' ranges don't use the same frequencies. Thing is, when you're in the air, you'll get towers from so far away that you'll inevitably run into a bunch on the same frequency, meaning crosstalk. Odds are the GSM spectrum that high up is so jumbled from all the crosstalk as to be unusable.

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Charles 9
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Re: @Henry Wertz 1

I don't recall the hotspots having picocells in them as well, though I will admit it's not outside the realm of possibility. The trick would be relaying the calls, as satellite (which IINM is used for the WiFi) has a very long round trip.

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We'll build Elon Musk's Hyperloop ... if you lob us ONE-MEELLION dollars

Charles 9
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There is something to be said about SPEED, though. Getting from A to B faster than a train but with less hassle than a plane would a boon much as the automobile ("horseless carriage") gained fans when it started appearing at the turn of the last century.

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Charles 9
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Don't think so. HST (hyperspatial tube), maybe.

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Charles 9
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Re: Fast horizontal elevator?

Except you can pretty much say the same thing about a TRAIN, and the ride's longer.

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Charles 9
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Having read that, it's worth noting that many of the initial technologies have been scaled back to more realistic levels.

1. IIRC they won't be using magnetic levitation. Instead they'll use air cushions.

2. It will be only a partial vacuum, not a complete one that would be difficult to maintain. To reduce air resistance, the cars will have vacuums at the front to draw in air and use as part of the air cushion system which can also be propelled at a backward angle to assist in propulsion.

3. Most of those high estimates are because they're tunneling. The hyperloop hopes to avoid this by using above-ground tubes. As for right of way costs, they also plan to utilize existing rights of way by running most of the tubes above and along the Interstates (which ALREADY have state rights of way).

I'm not saying it will or won't happen. I'm actually neutral on the Hyperloop; it's ambitious, yes, but since the scaling down of expectations things are looking more possible then it once was.

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Blighty's telcos set to CHOKE off another fistful of piracy gateways

Charles 9
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Re: Torrentz

If they contain the content ENABLERS, they're as guilty as hosting the content. It's like taking a key impression and passing it along to someone to burgle a place while supposedly keeping you one step removed: thing is, you can still be nailed as an enabler.

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Charles 9
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Re: Obvs

Most prepaid credit cards I know require you to register them before you can use them for purchases and before you say gift cards, most of THEM are blocked by e-tailers BECAUSE they can be used unregistered (they do that to get off the hook for potential money laundering).

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WD slips bullet between teeth, gets ready to hand $706 MEELLION to Seagate

Charles 9
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Re: Quality drop

In my personal experience, I've learned to avoid Seagates. Many times, I have drives that are extremely slow to wake or suddenly reseek in mid-transfer. I currently keep a number of USB external hard drives. Two of them are showing signs of starting to fail (one them basically goes kaboom the moment it hits a certain part of the drive--once that happens it stops responding until I reset it). BOTH are Seagates. That has NEVER happened to me with a Maxtor or a WD.

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