* Posts by Charles 9

6216 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Happy 30th anniversary, Tengen! Your anti-DRM NES chip fought the law, and the law won

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Cut the reset pin and wire to a switch?

Just get one of the late-model top-loading units. IIRC they removed the CiC from them. There are also the aftermarket players that came about after Ninty's patent protections ran out. Since the NES has been studied top to bottom for such a long time support is quite extensive even by third parties.

1
0

YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Nomen est omen

The same problem exists with nuts. From a culinary perspective, it's an edible seed, but from a botanical perspective, nuts are a specific kind of edible seed that grows on trees and has no outer flesh, among other qualifications. Thus you end up with culinary nuts that aren't botanical nuts, like almonds and pistachios (drupes: they have outer flesh so are really the single large "pit" of a fruit) and peanuts (legumes: it's the "pea" part that is botanically accurate) and cashews (straight seeds of a fruit, not to mention toxic in raw form).

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: They were correct

There's still the matter of Eris, which is supposed to be larger than Pluto.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Purely physical critera

By those qualifications, though, we could end up jumping from eight to TEN planets. Recall the article mentioned Eris, which is larger than Pluto and just as round. Meaning in terms of size and roundness, if Pluto qualifies, so does Eris. About the only question mark with it is geologic activity. The probe has shown Pluto is geologically active, but we don't know the same for Eris.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: not a dwarf, its a PORG

Well, it's a whole lot less offensive than "midget". Given the choice between the two, someone in such a position would probably prefer the term "dwarf," as there's enough etymology behind it to make it more neutral, especially since the term "dwarfism" is already in the medical textbooks, lending it more neutrality via the clinical definition.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Nomen est omen

The thing is, when it comes to science, precision matters. Science MUST be pedantic or mistakes linger. Once upon a time, the Church taught that the Earth was the center of everything; everything had to change then, too, didn't it?

That's why botanists distinctly classify the tomato as a fruit (more specifically, a berry like its cousin nightshade). Now the debate about Pluto continues with the thought of a new reason to classify: geologic activity. I mean, are there other Kuiper Belt Objects with atmospheres and active geology and so on? Is Erin geologically active, for example? Let the debate rage, I say. If textbooks have to be changed, then that's the price of progress. Is it worse to correct a big mistake than to let people live in incorrect ignorance?

7
2

Driverless cars banished to fake Michigan 'town' until they learn to read

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Flat Earth...

"Oh, and you can't get heavier than air objects to fly. And super-sonic speeds, never. As for instant global communications, no way. And you can't get computer controlled cars to go about without killing everyone...."

Well, we know SOME things are physically impossible such as a deterministic infinite loop detector.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Flat Earth...

Well, we could make a flying car right now if we wanted them. We've had working prototypes since the 1990s. The reality check for the flying car is the same one that did in the Concorde: practicality. Not to mention Murphy's Law combined with plain old gravity.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Microworld ghetto

I studied AI some in college once, so I'm curious to see perhaps an example of how trying to simplify things makes it impossible to bring the complications back in later on.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Microworld ghetto

"The problem with microworlds is that systems developed in them tended to work brilliantly in the microworld, but when you tried to graduate those systems to more complex environments their performance tended to fall apart."

I would think BOTH approaches have their merits. After all, isn't it said a bird has to learn to stand before it can learn to fly? Why do Microworlds fail? Is it because the parameters don't take enough things into consideration or is it because the jump between graduations is too great? I mean, OK so you start by making sure the car works on an ideal world, then you start adding imperfections and make sure the car can compensate for those and work up from there. Why do you say this approach doesn't work?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Scotland?

It depends on where in America you drive. It's a big place. Cruising through the plains states will be a cakewalk, yes, but the Google cars are currently road-testing in California, which has plenty of potential for crazy driving. Consider Los Angeles or San Francisco during rush hour.

2
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Finally...

IS the car really paying attention in all directions at once? That's important. Suppose a passing car splashes a puddle and blinds the front camera just as the branch comes down. In a situation such as this, testing for liminality is important.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Feels they should decouple their tests

No virtual test can ever give truly accurate results of something mechanical in the real world. There are simply too many variables. It's like with war; eventually, you just have to put rubber on the road to get reliable results.

6
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Finally...

If the disasters truly were impossible to detect, such as the bridge collapsing while you're on it, then you're screwed either way. Where the big question mark is when something potentially avoidable occurs with scant warning from an unusual direction, say from above (a large tree branch suddenly falls on the road, for example), and options are limited (say there are cars behind and to the side). The test track would be a good place to test the limits of machine perception, but the tests themselves need to be able to put machine perception to the test accordingly. They have the setting; they still need the parameters.

3
0

Crazy Chrysler security hole: USB stick fix incoming for 1.4 million cars

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Muppets

Nice thought. All this over a typo...

PS. I personally preferred Laser Zone to AMC.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

"If they can do this, then why can't Chrysler do an over the air update?"

Because the OTA channel is not secure. There's a risk of an OTA update getting hijacked.

3
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: supply and demand

But Big Auto has Congress's ear. Trying making them enact more regulations usually takes an overwhelming consumer pushback.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Dangerous incompetence

The only people in a real position to force a change are the buyers (government can be bought off). But barring a total disaster, most of them are too clueless to care.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

So then how do you get someone completely computer-illiterate and isolated to update their car when a critical issue comes up? They can't do it themselves and are out of the loop so wouldn't know to go to the dealer.

BTW, that USB port can be a security issue in itself. Even with some kind of signature check, what happens when their private key gets compromised?

4
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Grounds for a gross negligence charge?

Was Toyota slapped with gross negligence for its Prius issues? If not, don't expect Chrysler to get charged here. And like I said before, it's hard to pin executives of a company for company troubles; AFAIK, executives only get nailed on personal matters.

6
1
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Muppets

No, watch how seriously Chrysler dodges the issue. Remember, executives have the ability to pin spacegoats. They can also lobby Congress and employ their international connections to dodge the charge. The only way Chrysler will pay attention is if there is a public backlash so great that people simply stop buying anything from the conglomerate. For example, if police cancel squad car contracts from Chrysler and switch to GM or Ford cars instead, then that means big money going away.

13
1

ZOMBIE Commodore PET lurches out of its 1970s grave – as a FONDLESLAB

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Xperia Play II...

Have you tried those gamepads that include spring-loaded cradles to hold your phone in place? With something like that, phone and controller can be handled like one piece.

0
0

NIST in suspected 'meth lab' blast: US Congress is demanding answers

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: "NIST Police and Fire Departments"

""The place is so large it has its own resident herd of deer..."

The place doesn't necessarily have to be very large: just with plenty of forest which is their natural habitat. The base near where I live also has a resident herd which you can sometime see in the trees past the security fence.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Desperate.

And what was wrong with using phenylephrine, which is sold in the OTC decongestants today?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

1) It's not especially difficult if you exhibit laboratory levels of control and discipline. Most illicit drug manufacturers don't have that level of patience.

2) They turned to pseudoephedrine because actual ephedrine (which they turned to first) became more tightly controlled than a miser's purse: not just because of meth but also due to bad press it got from being used by athletes (combined with some deaths related to the herbal ephedra which contains ephedrine).

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: proper lab protocol...

"He's not blind due to ethanol being an antidote for methanol poisoning. "

I guess you haven't read the Depression-era stories of moonshiners getting blind or even dying due to drinking the "foreshots" that came out of their illicit stills. Moonshining with plant-based sugars mean you usually have to discard the first few ounces of the distillate (the "foreshot") which contain most of the methanol not to mention other toxic byproducts.

1
4
Charles 9
Silver badge

Well, one serious question to ask of this would be, "Was this the result of official work or was someone trying to use the lab to do some meth moonlighting?"

5
0

'Apple lures labels from free streams – and why is no one doing anything about it' shrieks group

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Don't Worry, Be Happy

Advertisement timing is a technique used by both radio and TV to discourage station surfing which can cause station defections. Most people would normally look for something else to peruse when the commercials come on. But if all the stations are airing commercials at the same time, then there are no alternatives and perusers will just sit tight.

If more than one station is airing the same song at the same time, odds are the stations are part of the same conglomerate.

1
0

You can secretly snoop on someone if they butt-dial you – US judges

Charles 9
Silver badge

"The moral of the story: always lock your phone before stashing it, lest you incur a hefty long-distance charge and a business headache."

Trouble is, some instances of butt-dialing come from the fact the butt contact manages to complete the entire sequence of motions from pushing the power button to awaken the phone to the unlocking gesture to dialing. I've personally seen such things as well as butt-answering, so I've prudently chosen a belt clip for my phone which not only keeps the phone out of my pocket but also places a literal air gap between the screen and anything physical (which may still operate the screen if my body's touching the piece).

1
0

The roots go deep: Kill Adobe Flash, kill it everywhere, bod says

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Flash Bang Wallop What a Picture!

Because sandboxes don't offer up much protection, especially when it by necessity has to interact with the system. Look at Java. It was supposed to be in a sandbox until someone wrote a bypass exploit. Flash would be in the same boat.

2
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: User pushback

Like INTRANET control sites. And since they're attached to high-ticket still-being-amortized hardware, you're basically up the creek. You wither put in Flash or find somewhere else to work.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

"And you are right. Mozilla have not announced they are dumpling Flash, merely disabling it by default, which is a good thing."

Actually, Mozilla HAS announced an intention to eventually drop Flash. Project Shumway is intended to produce a replacement.

1
0

Hackers invade systems holding medical files on 4.5 million Cali patients

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: I wonder

Probably because it's cheaper to pay fines and settlements than to overhaul the works.

0
0

Microsoft: Hey, you. Done patching Windows this month? WRONG

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Is this library even mandatory?

Actually, it IS mandatory due to the OpenType specification which allows for Type 1 fonts (which if you'll recall is what the ATM renders).

2
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Adobe crapware again?

"Sure the library is broken, sure it might well be Adobe's shit code, but the decision to run a Font library in kernel mode was all Microsoft."

Well, consider that font handling is a basic OS function (meaning it gets used all the time) AND that graphics drivers are in kernel space for performance reasons, how else are you going to get smooth and speedy font rendering without tons of time-wasting context switching?

2
9

WHOA! Windows 10 to be sold on USB drives – what a time to be alive

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: I hope they let users create bootable CDs or DVDs from the packaged USB drive

And suppose you don't have an optical drive? Some laptops are like this, you know.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: I think in some markets DVDs will be available

I think the USB move is meant to accommodate laptops and other systems with no optical drives.

2
0

Reg reader casts call centre spell with a SECRET WORD

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Lawyer magic word...

"Automatic termination of contract because someone said lawyer? I don't think so. "

He's saying that when a call center schmuck hears threats of lawsuits or lawyers, they're probably instructed to say, "Let me transfer you to the legal department, then," and patch them through. The only thing worse than a threat to sue is to get the threat called by a whole damn legal team.

2
0

600 MEELLION apps open to brute force account guessing

Charles 9
Silver badge
FAIL

Yes, that brick wall is your customer who complains because he's locked out of the service he wants so badly but has such a bad memory that he can't recall his password, even with help from mnemonics. And if you tell them to sod off since they're too stupid, they start trash-talking your app with their friends and so on. You can't win, basically. You basically have to be able to accommodate total idiots who can't remember their own name half the time or you get flooded with bad press.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Login retry limit

It didn't. Because of the HUMAN factor. Humans, like other long-lived mammals, simply can't evolve that quickly.

And yes, "I forgot" happens ALL THE TIME. I can speak of this FIRSTHAND.

0
0

Your security is just dandy, Apple Pay, but here comes Android

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Watch Out for Flat Battery Syndrom

Sure about that? Sure it lasts as long on a full charge as the day you bought it?

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Err what? leave my wallet at home

I see many who have no pockets so can't keep their wallets or refuse for fear of pickpockets.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Convenience?

Also makes you a hot pickpocket target. Plus some of us keep the phone even easier to reach than the wallet for fear of missing a call.

0
0

Run Windows 10 on your existing PC you say, Microsoft? Hmmm.

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Spring cleaning time

"Another solution is to work out which the last binary driver supported your card, and back-level the package to that, or even add the repository for the earlier release and back level, and then freeze those packages. But this later option can sometimes lead to strange booting effects, especially if the KMS support for the cards has changed."

And this is assuming the old drivers CAN be backported. Many old drivers break against new kernels that changed things beyond their understanding, and recall we're transitioning to the v4.x kernel series which already has a few major changes in it vs. v3.x (and pray you don't require a driver that was last used on a v2.x kernel).

0
0

Google robo-car in rear-end smash – but cack-handed human blamed

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: What do the statistics tell us?

"There's your mistake right there. If you're regularly encountering the same problem at the same time of day in the same area, experience would suggest altering your timetable."

And YOUR mistake is assuming people CAN alter their timetables. Many of these people are nine-to-fivers on fixed schedules (courtesy of their bosses) who need to be a point B within a certain amount of time or they'll miss something important that ruins the rest of their schedule.

So let's posit. If you're regularly encountering the same problem at the same time of time at all possible locations (which tends to happen in rush hour--people quickly learn the detours, others follow, and these get jammed, too) and you have no freedom to change your timetable, you only have one option: grin and bear it because you are just plain STUCK.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: But did the google car take action to lessen the impact?

Releasing the brake is not an option if you're already in a queue (IIRC this was the case here; the Google car was third), as trying to take the impact this way simply careens you into the car in front of you, making two accidents in place of one.

3
1
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: What do the statistics tell us?

"But not the same sort of routes yet? Majority of British drivers could drive round the M25 without incident save some annoyance at the junctions near Heathrow, run the length of the A1, or park on the High Streets of the UK. Maybe survive the Champs Elysee. Have the google cars done anything equally challenging ?"

I would think negotiating a major Californian city like San Francisco or Los Angeles at rush hour would provide plenty of challenge. The cars have already crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, which has reversible lanes.

1
1

You Musk be joking: Tesla's zero to 60MPH in 2.8 SECONDS is literally 'ludicrous'

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: "Sir hadn't you better buckle up?" "Ah, buckle this! LUDICROUS SPEED! *GO!*"

Give him a year or two and try again (some of the humor IS a bit low-brow and it took time for me to get it after my first viewing of it aboard an Amtrak train at age ten). Oh, and it may help to let him know that the whole film is meant to be a spoof of the Star Wars-type films: in case he's taking it too seriously.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: it's nearly 3am and I can still use a calculator...

"0.98g is still pretty ludicrous. Basically, it accelerates forwards at the same speed horizontally as if you drove it off a cliff vertically."

But as noted, nothing compared to the fastest dragsters which zoom to over three times that speed in the same amount of time. I think the only thing that exerts more G's is a manned space rocket launch which IIRC isn't as intense as a drag race but lasts longer. Most figure this to be about the limit for the average human and even that requires a degree of training (beyond this and you're getting into the realm of military endurance--fighter pilots and the like--and more significant training).

1
1

FEMALE BLOOD-SUCKERS zero in on human prey by smelling our BREATH

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Dettol and baby oil

I'd have to look, but you can't take the "also kills cats" as a joke, either. After all, chocolate can kill dogs (it's the theobromine that does it). Different animals, different sensitivities.

0
0

Forums