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* Posts by Charles 9

3696 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

US feds: 'Let's make streaming copyrighted content a FELONY'

Charles 9
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Re: Sad

"Nah, there's no profit for the owners of the private prison industry in that."

They don't need it. Many are already approaching capacity and are getting denied fresh meat by the courts on 8th Amendment grounds. Look at California.

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Xerox copier flaw changes numbers in scanned docs

Charles 9
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Re: @ Sir Barry: Not quite

"Where Xerox owns 100% of the problem however is that there is insufficient warning about possible problems."

Doesn't the copier throw a warning when you use lower-quality modes to the tune of, "Are you SURE you want to do this? The end result may be inaccurate."? If so, this is a case of "Warnings are for wimps" resulting in human-induced error.

The lower-quality settings likely exist to prevent a big job getting balked partway due to an "Out of Memory" error (office copier—it's conceivable). Though I will say at this point that perhaps Xerox's JBIG2 compression system needs better tuning to help it distinguish between 6's, 8's, B's, etc.

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Charles 9
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Excuse me, but how do we know the copier wasn't being tasked with anything complicated, such as storing hundreds of pages in its (limited) memory, performing re-collations, enlargements, lightening/darkening, etc., all of which require keeping the pages in memory for processing and re-arranging.

In other words, what we call a "photocopier" is a whole other beast from 20 years ago, and in the process of "copying" we expect it to jump lots of hoops. That adds necessary complexity to the machine.

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Google patents swish, swosh, swoosh pattern unlock app swipe

Charles 9
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Re: @Phil W - multiple PINs?

Most people I know can recall a handful of frequently-used telephone numbers in case they have to use a friend's phone or the pay phone, and in America that's three EXTRA numbers to remember per. I'd find it odd they can recall longer telephone numbers but not one shorter PIN.

BTW, I'm not thinking of home use as an example, but rather business use, where different access codes were used to identify different employees. I think something like that could be considered prior art.

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Charles 9
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THAT would probably be considered too obvious (like different codes for different users—substitute "apps" for "users"). Alternate "draw to unlock" patterns I can see as not as obvious.

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Charles 9
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Re: THIS IS NOT PATENTABLE

Anyway, cut Google a little slack here. They're not the kind to sick the patent lawyers on people unless they're being blatant or they fired first. Look what they did with the On2 patent pool: let people use the codec freely and mainly kept the patents as a stick to stave off attacks by MPEG-LA.

I suspect Google got this as a defensive measure: to make sure someone like Apple couldn't put one over on them. Perhaps might use it as a bargaining chip to get some other UI techniques loosened.

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Bad timing: New HTML5 trickery lets hackers silently spy on browsers

Charles 9
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Re: This is 2013

"It's about choice."

The trouble with choice is that it goes BOTH ways. The provider will demand a price for entry, and if you don't like it and it's the only provider, do the letters SOL ring a bell?

As for VMs, haven't there been VM sniffers, breakout exploits, and Ring -1 malware popping up from time to time? Any of those can mean they break through the VM onto your actual machine, where they can wreak havoc from there.

As for not allowing JavaScript or the like, so you never do any shopping or anything else that requires stateful interaction (a shopping cart is a stateful interaction, as in it keep track of stuff)? The only way to do that without cookies or JS is to keep the session in the URL, which if you'll recall mean it's open for hijacking.

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Charles 9
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Re: Inevitable?

A VM isn't going to do squat for concealing your Internet-facing IP (the VM still has to go through the ISP), and if the Feds can trace an Onion route, tracing through another proxy will be a cakewalk to them.

As for removing JaveScript, so much of the Internet now uses stateful interaction. So unless you want the world to know what you're doing (because the only way to keep state that doesn't involve JavaScript and/or cookies is to encode it in the URL like in the OLD days), we're stuck with it.

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Seagate's shingle bathers stalked by HGST's helium HAMR-head sharks

Charles 9
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Potentially. That's why most of us peg SMR as a temporary or niche solution. SMR is quite all right for low-write-frequency applications. For example, an external hard drive that uses SMR and is used as a backup device wouldn't see much penalty from the rewriting since writing tasks would be performed in a bulk fashion.

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They don't recognise us as HUMAN: Disability groups want CAPTCHAs killed

Charles 9
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Re: Honeypots

How about a field that's visible but covered up by another element, say an identical real form that's misidentified in the source?

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Charles 9
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Until they start spamming again using stolen bank/credit account details.

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Charles 9
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Re: I'm all for choice...

"I have no better solution than Audio. What I can't understand is why Google's Audio captcha doesn't work based on personal experience and complaints from the community mentioned in the article..."

Because Google ALSO keeps a voice recognition system. Modern Android phones can use it in their searches. They probably first tune the system so that their voice recognizer balks at it and go from there.

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Charles 9
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White with a touch of yellow in it. While the light from the sun trends yellow, our atmosphere tends to deflect longer wavelengths of light (thus why we see a blue sky: shorter wavelengths are passing through). Trouble is that it's such a high intensity that we're kind of experiencing a sensory overload. Plus there are a ton of other factors that can affect the outcome, such as whether or not the paper is truly white, is the image being seen through something like a camera, etc.

The sun doesn't define white; our eyes do, through the distinct range of electromagnetic frequencies they are able to perceive. White for us is an even spread of EM radiation, of at least moderate intensity, throughout the visible light segment of the spectrum. We can define it that way by means of something like a spectrophotometer, which can measure the levels of light throughout the spectrum, regard of how our eyes perceive it.

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Charles 9
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Re: I use CAPTCHAS

But going to pictures means you inconvenience the blind, which means you create accessibility problems. Pictures are the bane of screenreaders, and anything you do to make it more accessible to a screenreader instantly makes it easier for a bot to read (because both improve when you make things machine-readable).

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Charles 9
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Re: Although I hate using catchas....

That doesn't solve the cheap labour angle because they're actually HUMAN, meaning anything a genuine user can solve, THEY can solve. Basically, cheap labour end-runs around the CAPTCHA because they're not the type of spammers the thing's intended to block. In fact, cheap labour may be an unsovleable problem in general because you're trying to tell between two humans: one of which is willing to mimic the other well enough to pass any kind of test to tell them apart.

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Lost phone? Google's got an app for that, coming this month

Charles 9
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If they shoot you, you've got bigger problems. As for the non-savvy, faraday bags are becoming more common and the thieves savvier. Soon it'll be standard equipment for a phone nicker: if for nothing else than to keep it from realizing it's been stolen and start doing things the thieves won't want: like send GPS coordinates to the police or start emitting loud high-pitched sounds, etc.

And before you say "pop out the battery", recall that some phones like the HTC One can't have their batteries removed. What I'm saying is that this is likely the wrong approach to the problem. It would be better to take an approach that doesn't rely on owner intervention to activate.

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Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch: Cloak lifted on secret details

Charles 9
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Not to mention that would mean Sony got a smartwatch to market all the way back in *2007*. I don't think the smart*phone* was a market item back then.

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Upstart's 'FLASH KILLER' chips pack a terabyte per tiny layer

Charles 9
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Not to mention more realistic. What kind of system can take an integrated circuit 20cm to a side?

I'm suspecting 200mm^2 is closer to the mark (and more believable, a little smaller than the size of a full-size SD card), though I could still be wrong.

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Charles 9
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Offsite backup?

As for the cloud providers, more capacity means they can service more customers, and with the additional revenues get additional backhaul to handle the extra load. It would look no different on the client end.

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Charles 9
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"Hmmm, doesn't that sort of storage density torpedo a boat-load of "Ze CLOUD" business plans?"

Not really. Anything we can use locally, the cloud can use, too, only at larger capacities.

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Child porn hidden in legit hacked websites: 100s redirected to sick images

Charles 9
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It's nothing out of the ordinary. Even the article mentions the barter nature of the business. It's a closed circle where you have to have it to trade it.

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Charles 9
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Re: Solution is Easy

Wasn't the point of article being that the stuff was also being smuggled into perfectly legitimate websites, making IP filtering useless (because the same IP points to both legit and KP content)? Who knows? Maybe El Reg's been secretly hacked and stashing KP (theoretical example, everyone).

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Charles 9
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"If this isn't stopped soon, the child porn industry may never recover!"

Actually, last I checked, the KP market was strictly mutual barter. While the posted images may be useless as barter, producers would probably just stake out some fresh material. After all, we don't know how old is this stuff, do we?

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Upgraded 3D printed rifle shoots 14 times before breaking

Charles 9
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Re: We stand to have access restricted to 3D by spooked bureaucrats.

Except the REALLY important people know to use radio jamming to block remote assassinations and concrete barriers to block car attacks. The only way to be sure is to get up close, which means getting someone past the cordon.

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Charles 9
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Re: inevitable

Plus there's the fact that these guns, unlike things like the Glock, are ALMOST COMPLETELY nonmetallic, meaning they can pass a metal detector. The only thing stopping an assassin at this point is the lack of nonmetallic ammo, but if someone starts regularly making a .22LR ceramic round in a carbon fiber casing, then even the Secret Service would have to watch their backs for a gun that can work at 20 yards (at least far enough to clear a security gap and still hit—make the round poison-tipped and it needn't be instantly fatal) and can pass a metal detector.

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Charles 9
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Re: Why go to all this trouble...

Now try getting one past a metal detector. 3D printed guns are almost there; they just need a nonmetallic bullet (say ceramic in a carbon fiber casing). Then metal detectors are this side of useless for ground events. Airplanes have their own problems but I can see ways around them, too (Dildo bomb, anyone?).

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Charles 9
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Re: We stand to have access restricted to 3D by spooked bureaucrats.

But consider this:

A single man is able to produce a firearm from a man-portable machine (so unlike CNC it can be built out of the view of cameras, say inside a vehicle or in the woods) that can fit in a pocket and, at least by itself, can pass a metal detector.

The only problem right now is the ammunition, but what if he uses a hard-plastic slug contained in a carbon fiber casing? Completely nonmetallic. Now NO ONE is safe.

About the only other thing I can think of that can work at distance, fit in a pocket, AND get past a metal detector is a ceramic dirk or shuriken, but knife throwing is an art compared to shooting a gun.

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The hammer falls: Feds propose drastic controls on Apple's iTunes Store

Charles 9
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Re: "fail to see the reason why I'd want an electronic book"

Now try getting enough books to last you a few months through the luggage weight AND size limits along with all the OTHER things you'll be needing for the trip.

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Charles 9
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Re: Dream list by dreamers

"This is basically what Amazon's plan is, except they can't afford to price very much below cost since they barely break even, and aren't as widely hated as Apple is."

Which means what Apple SHOULD have done was go direct to the authorities and accuse Amazon of dumping. Why didn't Apple accuse Amazon of dumping to keep out competition?

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Jimbo Wales: ISP smut blocking systems simply 'ridiculous'

Charles 9
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Re: money would be better spent...

" money would be better spent...stopping the illegal images being made in the first place."

Except that would basically be impossible because anything a human can conceive, a human can work around. As long as we have humans, we'll have deviants.

Besides, many of these pedophiles operate in countries or areas where the reach of the law is lax or nonexistent or in countries where custom or sex laws work to their favor.

So, if the source is savvy enough to keep away from your reach, how do you propose to stop their production?

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Charles 9
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Re: misguided strategy

...many of which will emerge on encrypted channels hosted in countries that don't respect the laws of the Western World. So unless the Western World wants to ban any and all encryption (and to do that would take something on the level of the Great Firewall of China, only MORE pervasive), this is an exercise in futility. There's already an attitude of distrust of government. Something like this would only throw fuel on the fire and re-stoke all the "1984" rumours.

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HALF of air passengers leave phones on ... yet STILL no DEATH PLUNGE

Charles 9
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Re: I'm all in favour of them being switched off

Oh? I'd much rather they be distracted by e-books (no room for physical books) or a muted session of Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, or whatever (tray tables too small and slippery to use real playing cards). Left without distractions, they may decide to vent their anxiety on ME.

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Charles 9
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Re: And this is why I hate people...

Many planes in operation (especially long haulers like the 747) were built before or just after cell phones were invented: in an age when they couldn't have conceived of that kind of interference testing.

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Charles 9
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Re: Mythbusters ...

Except being in the "loop" in California and with the assistance of Discovery Networks and Beyond Productions, they can and do enlist the proper experts in their field, and in the case of the cell phone interference myth did contact pilots, airport authorities, and electronic manufacturers for their input. While their result may not be exactly authoritative, it's better than anything we've seen to date involving consumer electronics to date unless you can cite something better that accounts for the rapid churn of consumer electronics and the wide age range of aircraft in operation.

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Charles 9
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Re: Only a matter of time

"A workable idea or complete cobblers ?"

Somewhat cobblers because there are so many frequencies in use, not just in the US but worldwide (think foreign visitors). A dummy station would have to operate at all those frequencies, and some of them could actually interfere with the in-flight electronics unless thoroughly tested, which could itself present problems.

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Charles 9
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Re: full undivided attention of everyone on the plane is required

"Yes. There is just one issue with this, the airplane is full of electronics. Now many even have LCD screens that make a lot of radio noise on there own, in the power range of 0.1mW and up to 0.5mW at low frequencies. They are all turned on during takeoff and landing."

THOSE were tested by the FAA and FCC prior to them being allowed on aircraft. All of them have had their radiation checked to make sure they don't interfere with aircraft electronics, and each new one installed has to be tested for the same thing.

Technically, for ANY electronic device (and even devices not designed to transmit WILL transmit, see Title 47 CFR Part 15) to be useable on an aircraft, it has to be subject to the same stress tests. However, cell phones and other consumer electronics have such high churn that as soon as a device is tested, its successor is on the market, which will now need to be tested itself, ad nauseum. And all carriers flying in the US MUST submit to them in order to operate in the US. And the FAA has the power to make demands of these carriers (that's how Airworthiness Directives work). See the problem?

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Charles 9
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Re: Not just radio signal safety

For some people, important hard-to-replace things may be carried out of instinct, such as (as noted) passports and other forms of ID as well as medical supplies (prescription pills, insulin, etc.) and other things that may be difficult to resupply if lost and/or may be needed immediately upon landing.

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Charles 9
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Murply's Law

"Safety critical equipment is heavily tested for `radiated immunity' as they term it."

But do they test for every conceivable form of radio transmission? You know, making sure they don't miss that one perfect combination of device, frequency, and power that carries down the fly-by-wire system and makes a flight surface slide just enough to cause loss of control but not show up on the black boxes?

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Gmail, Outlook.com and e-voting 'pwned' on stage in crypto-dodge hack

Charles 9
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Re: " change your password without re-typing the old one"

Odd. Perhaps it's just Outlook, but the last time I tried to change a Microsoft account password, it wouldn't let me until I responded to the automated e-mail sent to another e-mail account.

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Wii U sales plunge: Nintendo hopes Mario and Zelda will shift some kit

Charles 9
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Re: They can still turn this around...

"The scars... they still have not healed... damn the world for not appreciating Yu Suzuki's masterpiece!"

I think Shenmue was mainly the victim of bad timing. It was so ambitious it fell victim to the decline of the Dreamcast and once that was done, Sega was through with the console business. Not only that, they become very leery about questionable projects like Shenmue, which while critically acclaimed just wasn't pushing out the right numbers.

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Charles 9
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Goes to show even Nintendo can have a bad day. Reminds me of their N64 days when they tried going out on a limb and got left hanging as a result. Similarly, Nintendo thought their tablet controller would get some traction, but this looks like another rare misfire. It'll be curious to see what happens going forward as Nintendo starts to wind the original Wii down.

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Galaxy S4 FIREBALL ATE MY HOUSE, claims Hong Kong man

Charles 9
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Re: I hope he gets his payout.

That's a "hard" problem with battery engineering. It mainly has to do with the highly reactive nature of metallic lithium. Basically, you can't even expose metallic lithium to the AIR safely unless you're certain it's very, VERY dry (I'm sure we can recall just HOW reactive this stuff is to water, even in vapor form).

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Charles 9
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Re: Could end in tears...

But then they did a corollary experiment. Instead of the third rail, they used an electric fence and found that it can be close enough to the business end to allow a shock. So basically peeing at point blank COULD do it, especially since urine usually has salts dissolved in it which act as electrolytes (making it more conductive).

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Move over, Freeview, just like you promised: You're hogging the 4G bed

Charles 9
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Re: 1800MHz

"1800MHz is just 1800Mhz. When did it become Band III?"

When it was defined as such by the 3GPP. These bands are defined as part of e-UTRA. Wikipedia can provide more information (it's an informational article with plenty of references, so it should be reliable enough).

According to e-UTRA, Band III has an uplink range of 1710 MHz to 1785 MHz and a downlink range of 1805 MHz to 1880 MHz. It's approximate center (and therefore its common nomenclature) is in fact 1800MHz and is recognized as the old Digital Cellular System frequency.

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Charles 9
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"800MHz also has the broadest handset support, as it's expected to be used widely across Europe. GSM Arena lists 51 handsets usable on the new networks, while 48 will work on EE's existing 4G network and 44 run all the way up to 2.6GHz."

It's been my understanding that the most frequently used LTE frequency was 1800MHz (Band III). Study a list of LTE operations and most continents use Band III. Africa, Europe, and the Middle East have settled on it, and Asia keeps the option open. The only holdout are the Americas, mainly because there it's an active military frequency.

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AMD's newest chip: Another step toward 'transformation'

Charles 9
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Re: AMD is focused on all viable revenue streams

I agree. It certainly looks like a classic case of diversification. As the PC market is reaching saturation, AMD have been smart to look at other ways to leverage its experience. That's why they bought ATI: so they'd have a GPU for use in their CPU/GPU combinations. It seems AMD correctly saw ahead because we're seeing plenty of GPU-equipped SoC's. Expanding into ARM? Savvy bet hedging.

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Lingering fingerprint fingering fingered in iOS 7 for NEW iPHONE

Charles 9
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Re: Samaritan mode, anyone?

I just take a Big Brother approach to lending the phone. I'm always within a foot of the person. If they don't want me to overhear the conversation, they don't get to use the phone. I do the dialing and don't pass the phone until I hear ringing. And as soon as the call ends, I politely but firmly request the phone back. To date I haven't had any problems. My home screen has no personal data on it (just apps and a time/weather widget), and I don't allow enough time or opportunity to peek. As for someone trying to run off with the phone, well that's why I keep within a foot of the person.

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FSF passes collection plate for free Android clone Replicant

Charles 9
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Re: Radio stack?

Makes me wonder what would happen if somehow nVidia got ANOTHER federal contract (of equal importance to their DoD contract—perhaps a NASA contract) that REQUIRES open-sourcing, placing nVidia in a contractual clash.

(Doubt it would happen. nVidia would probably be automatically excluded from any such contract due to their DoD contract—it's hard to trump a defense contract in terms of priority.)

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Charles 9
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Joke

Re: Pushing Water Uphill @AC 10:17

"Conserve Air — Breathe Less"

(Seen on an actual sign from the Star Wars spoof Spaceballs.)

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