Feeds

* Posts by Charles 9

3463 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Throwing arms let humans rise above poo-flinging apes to play CRICKET

Charles 9
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Cricket vs Baseball

I've actually never felt any animosity towards either sport. I like both of them, and I'm an American. Each has its intricacies and I fault neither sport for them, and they've both gradually evolved to keep with the times. Whether it's a thrilling nine-inning pitcher's duel or an exciting T20 showdown that comes down to the last ball, if it's your game, you'll enjoy the day. I say pick one, sit back and revel in the marvel of top-class players in action.

2
0

The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Is this low framerate why...

It's both. The water spray defeats the motion estimation used to compress the video and as a result you get the quality loss that you describe.

The big reason consumers can't get the full value of high-definition video is that each medium has to keep to a bandwidth budget: a fundamental limitation of the delivery systems. In the case of the DVD, it couldn't deliver a stream faster than 8Mbit/sec (due to the fact the original DVD drives topped out at 9Mbit/sec: 8Mbit allowed a margin for mechanical error). BluRay streams are limited to 54Mbit/sec (to stay within the 72Mbit/sec transfer limit of BD 2X). HDTV broadcast channels in the US are limited to 19Mbit/sec due to the frequency allotment set by the FCC (a 6MHz band), and so on.

2
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: interlacing

There's a BIG problem with interlacing today that becomes apparent with high degrees of motion: tearing. Basically, if the motion is too, when the interlaced picture is reconstituted, we can actually perceive the different fields.

It's for this reason some networks in the US broadcast sports (infamous for high amounts of motion) in 720p instead of 1080i.

0
0

Snowden dodges US agents in Moscow, skips out on flight

Charles 9
Silver badge

"If the US have been acting legally and have nothing to hide, why all the fuss? After all, as they are so fond of telling everyone, if you've done nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide."

Well, one BIG justification is, to use poker parlance, "telling" the enemy (the terrorist). It's hard to fool or bluuf your opponent when they can see your cards. That's the main reason for black and secret projects: knowledge of its very existence gives the game away. Let's use a historic example: the Manhattan Project was black until at least the Trinity Test. Would the Germans, Japanese, Soviets, etc. have strategized differently if they knew America was actively developing an atomic bomb? Probably. Will rogue agents alter their communications strategies if they suspect America has a massive data store and is working on a quantum computer to crack historic encrypted data? I would think so.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: It's just a matter of time

He did. That's why he was in Hong Kong, which is technically part of China, a country that would not respect an extradition request from the US (anything from the US would be considered politically motivated to China: grounds for a refusal). Snowden's big fear instead is extraordinary rendition: the CIA simply plucking him out of wherever he's hiding, laws be damned. That's another reason he's in Chinese territory and working through countries like Russia: attempting to perform extraordinary rendition in either country is likely to open a huge can of political worms.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: What they are fundamentally doing...

Oh? How do they tell the difference between a citizen and a non-citizen when identities on the Internet are so mercurial?

4
0

New material enables 1,000-meter super-skyscrapers

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Bad idea

"My only criticism of the WTC (and most skyscrapers) is their lack of integral firefighting facilities such as sprinklers and substantial roof-level/service floor water-tankage.. Very few jurisdictions require them despite most firefighting systems being unable to go higher than about 20 floors (sprinklers would NOT have helped in 9/11)"

I think the main problem with that is that the WTC towers aren't on a whole very stiff; they were designed to sway in the breeze. Now, water is on the whole a decently dense substance. Dense enough that water tanker trucks need to be careful as they drive as the water's inertia can impart surprise forces on the truck: especially if it sloshes around inside, moving from side to side. So imagine a tank of the stuff the size of a swimming pool being stored about 1,000 feet up a rather flexible structure. I imagine that's going to make it somewhat top-heavy: not a good thing from an engineering viewpoint.

As for being designed to take an aircraft impact, did that include a direct but oblique (thinking angled downward) impact directly on one of the corners (which were load-bearing IIRC)?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Bad idea

Funny, the Olympic had in industrious career, four of the six space shuttles are now museum pieces, many other zeppelins kept going and we never had a problem with helium airships, 9/11 was a deliberate act (something no engineer can ever fully account), Apollo 13 got back to Earth safely and the project still got us to the moon around 6 times: several times WITH BAGGAGE. Sure, there have been missteps along the way, but that's why the adage: "No guts, no glory." Diving into the unknown has its risks, but man the rewards can be sweet. Unless you saying it was wrong for us to discover fire and leave the caves.

As for buildings, consider how much people flock to cities. They want to congregate. How do you achieve that on limited land space (that's why Manhattan is a poster child for this—they hit the problem early because they're on an ISLAND). The alternative is sprawl like Los Angeles with all the problems that come with a sprawl. Going up allows for denser cities which means lower travel times and less frustration and so on. And just how often do ALL the elevators in a skyscraper fail, except in a disaster (and in a disaster, location doesn't really matter much)?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: How about buoyant elevators?

Have these pipes you mentioned possible been build over a kilometer long and at diameters over 2 meters? Furthermore, the pressures of a vertical pipe are very uneven (concentrating at the bottom). Then there's the matter of opernings? How watertight can you make the seals between the pipe, car, and door, so that you don't have a massive failure when the doors open on the ground floor? The ground floor opening has to be able to hold back the weight of the ENTIRE column of water—repeatedly, reliably, rapidly, and non-permanently.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Any rope is the problem

"Not according to http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/question730.htm -- modern failsafe brakes engage the rails in the shaft. An untethered car could use the same system with little modification."

That assumes a power failure or similar problem with the car. But there's another point of failure that hasn't been fully accommodated yet: a break in the rail, particularly one simultaneous with a disaster. Especially for a cable-free design, there needs to be a way for the car to be able to support itself in the event of a single- or possible dual-rail failure (a cable-free setup would probably need four rails for safety and redundancy), because in the system you describe, the safety brake might have nothing to engage: slipping off or jumping the broken rail. That's one reason cables and counterweights are still in use: they are the failsafe against a rail failure. And since they rely on physics, it's a bulky by physically simple design. If an elevator car broke free of the guide rails, the setup would still mean the motor could retard or perhaps direct the movement of the car to a controlled point for extraction.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Extra lift.

Mine elevators typically work in pairs. As one car goes down from the top, its partner (at the bottom) goes up in sync. The weight of the partner car going up helps to offset the weight of the car going down, reducing the load on the shaft motor. Many times, the partner car also carries an ore load (most car setups have two or three levels for passengers, then an ore carrier on top), further offsetting the descending weight.

3
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: A note on elevator safety

Plus, I believe the survivor was (1) a WOMAN, and (2) the attendant for that elevator (this was before self-service cars were the norm). It happened on a foggy night during World War II, and the cables and safeties all failed because a B-25 (blinded by said fog) managed to fly smack into the building and completely sever the shaft from above, disabling all the safeties. Current theories about how the woman, Betty Lou Oliver, survive range from the mass of cable UNDER the car acting like a spring to the tight fit in the shaft producing a cushion of air under the car that pushed back with increasing pressure as the car fell..

4
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Any rope is the problem

What about failsafes? The Otis system used the presence of the rope itself to hold back safety bars, more modern systems rely on a governor to engage brake shoes on the rope or motor, and hydraulic elevators use the hydraulic system itself to limit the rate of descent. How would you ensure the safety of untethered elevator cars in the event of a catastrophic failure?

3
0

Using encryption? That means the US spooks have you on file

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: That's fine

"We have had enough of their nonsense. That's fine if they want to keep everything because effective immediately, we are encrypting EVERYTHING, and we considder government documents to be suspect and subject to publication."

Then what happens when the government fires up their black-project ("it doesn't even exist") quantum computer and start cracking all the communications they've been keeping backlogged in Utah en masse (since post-quantum encryption wasn't and still isn't the norm)? Then they wouldn't care if you encrypted everything; they'll be able to read most of it ANYWAY.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Did anyone notice this was all marked secret and released by an it pro?

But that poses a challenge: how do you keep the keeper from becoming a releaser? Who admins the admin, IOW? Because your environment could easily become DTA and you can't even trust the admins. How do you allow an admin to do his/her job while preventing him or her from stealing the data?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Yeah!, now they'll get those terrorists sending 'spam'

Whatever happened to code messages using plain old innocuous conversations such as wrapping a plot as a plan to visit their mum and asking how the rest of the family's doing? I mean, if they planned this out properly beforehand, how will the spooks be able to tell the difference between a terrorist plot and a birthday party?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Storage

Don't think tapes. Think digitized recordings using efficient voice codes. And IIRC the NSA is building the biggest server farm in existence in Utah

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/

(Think exascale machines and a storage capacity of yottabytes).

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: reverse steganography

So start with some cheap-but-huge image, then start encrypting a bunch of innocuous documents against it and come up with a ton of encrypted trash. Should make for a busy day.

0
0

Apple: If you find us guilty in ebook price-fix trial, EVERYONE suffers

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Twisted Economics

A reserve price must be set before the auction opens. If you're holding multiple auctions SIMULTANEOUSLY, you can't arbitrarily reset the reserve prices of the other auctions because one auction fetched a high price.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Only five years?

We'd have to study it in more detail, but the sentiment in general sounds right. Might need to be codified into the law that MFN-type agreements amount to price fixing and cartel behaviour.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Amazon cornered the market all right...

Now, if you're a newcomer to the market, and you have no way to loss-lead, how do you undercut Amazon, who is loss-leading up the wazoo? There's a reason excessive loss-leading is frowned upon by market cops as "dumping". If taken to court, Amazon could be found guilty of dumping so as to force out competition like Apple. Just saying two wrongs aren't making a right here. Amazon is bad enough for dumping, but Apple took the low road in trying to combat the dumping.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: So

They could also theoretically have the case heard before the entire Court of Appeal rather than just the usual three-judge panel. As for SCOTUS, they MIGHT take up the issue if it raises a fundamental question on what constitutes a fair interstate trade agreement (something directly in the federal government's jurisdiction).

0
0

Cuba bound? Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Too close for comfort?

I think the big thing is that by this move Snowden's been recognized by BOTH China and Russia as a political refugee. American relations with BOTH countries are not exactly cordial, so this puts America in a vice. They KNOW about Snowden, and by moving him to a KNOWN Anti-American country, they're basically telling the US to not even think about Extraordinary Rendition. Either one can make things extremely uncomfortable for the US should Snowden "slip in the shower".

4
0

US DoJ: Happy b-day, Ed Snowden! You're (not?) charged with capital crimes

Charles 9
Silver badge

What if he takes up the offer to go to Iceland? Iceland has ties to the EU so therefore could be safe from extradition there (because he's a political refugee, facing execution for espionage, or both—it'll depend on Iceland's extradition agreements).

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Snowden joins Pirate Bay in Iceland

Tell that to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Neither were soldiers, either, but both were executed for espionage: slipping atomic secrets to the Soviets. And AFAIK, neither of their disclosures DIRECTLY resulted in the death of an American, since such an action would've brought about World War III rather than just a lengthy cold war. The NSA can construe that disclosing the kind of information he did is a direct threat to national security and likely will lead to the ending of various international anti-terrorism operations and, who knows, maybe the death of American agents. I'd like to see how Snowden's level of disclosure is any less threatening than that of the Rosenbergs.

3
1
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Snowden joins Pirate Bay in Iceland

What he needs is a country that refuses to extradite to the US. Since he now faces capital punishment, anywhere in Europe should suffice, since the terms of their extradition treaties specifically prohibit extraditions for crimes with potential death penalties.

1
1

PC makers REALLY need Windows 8.1 to walk on water - but guess what?

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Computer hardware manufacters continue to blame MS for the lack of hardware innovation

"If you want to sell more hardware, invent something so great that it makes existing desktops and laptops obsolete."

It's a very hard thing to make "good enough" seem obsolete. It would require a computing paradigm shift: a shift on what's considered absolutely essential.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: XP to Win 8 upgrade don't make sense for a lot of people

What happens when you run into a system where the OS is EOL but it's platform-locked due to professional or custom software that can't make the jump?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Major economic downturn, computer sales slide 12% shocker.

"Unless you paid an arm and a leg for the fastest CPU available at the time, there's probably an upgrade path for the CPU."

Timing plays a role, too. Consider that many of us built our machines towards the end of the LGA755 CPU cycle. Core 2's were no slouches, neither was DDR2 memory. But then Intel comes out with the Core i's. To compete with AMD, these had internalized memory controllers...but for DDR*3*. So Intel basically imposed a dead end for anyone who needed a good machine around the cusp. Now, my machine still handles itself decently, but because it's an LGA755 system and the RAM's maxed out, unless I just get another video card (where the returns are starting to diminish because newer cards expect newer versions of PCI Express—mine's still on V1, V3 is 4x as fast), if the CPU or RAM need to be upgraded, the motherboard must be changed out which means BOTH have to be changed out.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: My solution - elephant in the room is Windows.

"Linux has an image problem and the OEM's are locked into Windows. The solution is to fix both of those problems with a new brand and to call Microsoft's bluff."

What Microsoft has over their heads is no bluff. The threat is the end of preferred status meaning the cost-per-copy SPIKES across the board. The only company that would dare such a move would be one whose number of Windows purchases is rapidly progressing towards zero, and that isn't happening yet because, like it or not, Windows 7 is still useful enough for most people (particularly the less-than-literate). Then you have the professional customers who are platform-locked because of their professional software.

0
1

Microsoft caves on Xbox One DRM and used-game controls

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: disks, how quaint

There IS a reason: mass production costs. Mass-producing ROM chips or Flash media is STILL at least an order of magnitude more expensive than pressing a BD disc (which last I checked is down to around $1 each). Multiply that a million times over and you start to see the issue.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Until a firmware update

Can YOU buy a "midrange" PC with eight cores and a higher-end GPU with 8GB of memory for £400? Last I checked, something of that spec would be considerably more expensive in a PC, and that's not counting the OS (which still matters at this time due to the dominance of Windows games).

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: RE: Charles 9

1) That's one reason the phones have sigh high price tags. Flash still not that cheap. A 64GB SDXC still runs about $60 for one of decent quality: standard or micro.

2) $20 per (Flash) vs. $1 per (Optical Disc), multipled a million times over or so. BIG difference.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: 'Sony money

No, PROPER proper physics are strictly in the PC games like GTR. Neither console can properly simulate physics to such a degree, so BOTH have to simulate things here and there. Plus car manufacturers don't like street cars to show proper physics since it can sting them in the showroom (thus why GTR's mostly racing cars).

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Crazy DRM

"Is this to suggest that we are willing to part with rights for a price?"

Let's say the RIGHT price. If a game is cheap enough (say we got it for less than $15), would we care so much that we can't resell it? It's not like we put in so much for it in the first place.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: I Understand Why.. but am disappointed

Then what went wrong with World of Goo? They actually have the evidence of rampant piracy (IIRC they recorded 9x the number of IPs as actual purchases—IIRC not even dynamic IPs—the ones on DSL and cable modems wouldn't rotate that frequently—would produce THAT many IPs in the timeframe they used to measure).

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: It's all about "trust", and the damage is already done

Sony's trust is stunted as well. Ask them about their NFC-on-a-disc patent. Also ask if we can resell DOWNLOADED games.

1
1
Charles 9
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Nope. Flash drive tech is still not mature enough. You can press a 50GB BD disc for about a buck each. A 64GB SDXC card CAN'T be mass-programmed (technological differences). Now multiply by several million copies.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: 'Sony money

Not to mention their exploits outside gaming? Remember the CD Rootkit fiacso?

2
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Crazy DRM

"This is a point, how did we ever come to accept Steam? My Steam account has about 250 games on it, or so and i don't care that technically they could all vanish tomorrow."

Might it have to do with the numerous SALES Valve holds on their library? Many of us got our games in bundles or at deep discount, so it's not like many of us plunked $60 or the equivalent per game. Plus Valve uses the system to hold sampling periods and other neat "try it first" concepts. And now, Valve has an increasing number of Free-to-Play games that don't require up-front investment (one of their flagship titles, Team Fortress 2, was converted to Free-to-Play two years ago).

2
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Well, halfway there

Ever considered just duct taping a piece of glass over the thing? The duct tape blocks the visual lens while the glass inhibits the IR part.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

I'm wondering if the tide turned when the subject made it to major broadcast TV (in this case, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon). It may not sound like much, but late night TV's popular for a reason, and this was on one of America's major networks. Which means Sony's ability to play passed-on games just got a HUGE FREE plug. At that point, Microsoft HAD to backpedal because the controversy was now known BEYOND the gaming community.

0
0

Microsoft breaks bug-bounty virginity in $100,000 contest

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Ah I see you have a virus installed

But both AMD and nVidia develop proprietary drivers for Linux as well. The Linux community may bitch and moan about the lack of OS on it, but to them the code's part of the secret sauce: they won't slip trade secrets for fear the other will exploit them. Once you slot in the manufacturer drivers, though, the system cranks. And with less OS overhead, things DO tend to run smoother. I'm planning a migration myself but need to tie up some Windows-only loose ends first.

0
0

Boffins light way to photonic computing with 1PB DVD tech

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: High capacity optical discs = snore

Forget discs? What about crystalline storage? Hadn't they had working prototypes of the like back in the 90's (http://news.stanford.edu/pr/94/940804Arc4171.html). What happened to it?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: I look forward to payin £20 per disk for this sort of technolgy

You do know that, unless you use an archive-quality medium, those discs will fade over time. Found that out the hard way as a collection of recorded DVD have slowly begun to deteriorate (thankfully they're low-priority backups these days so I could tolerate the loss of the data within).

2
0

We want to put a KILL SWITCH into your PHONE, say Feds

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Can the government ever win?

There's still a "grace" period between when you get nicked and when the phone's locked out. The same thing happens for credit cards. The savvy thieves know to do what they have to do during the grace period and then abandon the device (or in the case of the phone, maybe find a way to alter the IMEI or otherwise keep the phone from being locked out and either use it themselves or fence it).

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: iOS7 killtech is at the OS level, not IMEI

Would this OS-level instruction survive a wipe or factory reset?

0
0

Samsung plans LTE Advanced version of Galaxy S4

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: 1Gbps downloads (up to)

Have you considered that (1) the S4 actually has a 1080p display, and (2) you can buy a dongle that lets you route the phone's display to an HDTV? Plus there are places where it's easier to go wireless than wired.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

For me, it was the other way around. I'm leery of any phone where I can't open it up, and that was the deal-breaker for me and the HTC One. When it comes to aesthetics, I could care less. Function over form for me, and the S4's bigger screen. I can always pick a bigger battery or add in a Qi charging plate. Options remain pretty wide open for me.

As for TouchWiz, while I found the "Life Companion" thing rather tacky, the nice thing was that I could at least change it to something more utilitarian like a basic clock display. I rather like the simple swipe-to-unlock mechanic that's seemingly exclusive to TouchWiz, though. Plus I'm willing to hack a little which had enabled Google Wallet and kept the Samsung baggage to a minimum.

As for HTC making a comeback, we'll just have to see. I don't expect Samsung to be sitting pretty, either. Will HTC be able to fire back when (not if) Samsung proceeds to develop a Galaxy S5?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: One question... Why?

Thing is, the technique needed to do voice over LTE is going to depend on the LTE data aspect no matter what. THAT part of LTE is already in place. Once a standard is settled, the implementation's mostly down to software, something Android can send down the pipe relatively easily.

0
1