Feeds

* Posts by Charles 9

3591 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Microsoft caves on Xbox One DRM and used-game controls

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

New material enables 1,000-meter super-skyscrapers

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

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

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

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

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
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: It woud be OK if...

"A few anti theft apps available to rooted Android phone owners can brick the device if the sim is changed, no signal needed. Avast antitheft has this option if I recall."

But if they work in a radio dead zone, they don't NEED to change the SIM. They just manually install a backup program through ADB or sideload or just manually copy everything of value, then change the SIM and perform a factory wipe on a reboot, before the bricking software can kick in (the feature is part of the Android bootloader itself and doesn't check the SIM at that stage).

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: It woud be OK if...

You'd think anyone nicking a phone wouldn't think to bring a Faraday bag like people use to get nicked clothes out of department stores and the like. If it can't get the kill signal, it can't be killed. And you can't use cell phone reception as a vigilance control. One big blackout or trip to the sticks would kill the phone.

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

Nicked unencrypted PC with 6,000 bank details lands council fat fine

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: What I don't understand...

You assume the laptop isn't going to a dead zone where there's no Internet to speak of: wired or wireless. They still exist, meaning it's a local copy of the data or bust, because the person handling it MUST go there and MUST have access to the data. As for the drive encryption, suppose free solutions are "not on the approved list", it reacts badly to BitLocker, and the budget doesn't allow for a different laptop.

0
0

REVEALED: The gizmo leaker Snowden used to smuggle out NSA files

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Simple solution

Does your ceramic-embedded epoxy block also defeat acid etching and decapping? Is your system sensitive enough to detect a sniffer listening in via, say, an audio Y cable or some kind of inline reader? Just curious to see how thorough your solution is to physical, side-channel, and in-the-middle attacks.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Why not 2?

Because if you can subvert ONE person, how much harder would it be to subvert TWO? One does the deed and the other lies to protect him. Plus as noted, how do you watch a watcher? Especially if you can double the watcher watcher?

0
0

Surprise! Intel smartphone trounces ARM in power trials

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Can you see the LIE

Well, before we well "conspiracy theory," can we get any evidence that these devices were operating at anything other than 3.6V, which is pretty much the standard these days?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: W = V x I

Don't most of these operate around 3.6V?

0
1
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: "secret" benchmark *proves* Intel is superior.

The batteries themselves, yes, but haven't most phone batteries settled on a common voltage of ~3.6V?

0
0

Sony sucker-punches Xbox on price, specs, DRM-free gaming

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Waiting for "Kinect: PRISM"

Or just slap a piece of glass over the eyepiece and duct tape the whole thing? The glass muffles the IR camera while the duct tape covers the visible-light camera.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: For how long?

IIRC this PS3 "compatibility" is being done through an OnLive-like system. As for bait-and-switch, there's still that NFC-on-the-disc patent...

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: regarding the update in the article...

In the PC sphere, most of the servers are user-owned, so as long as there's interest in the game, someone's going to be maintaining a server for that game. You don't see that with console games unless the games are console-hosted.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Pay to Play and no one cares?

Remember, in the console world, they don't allow for user-owned or -rented servers. That's why there's generally no online fees on PCs—the users themselves provide the hosting hardware, not to mention the matchmaking and so on. Those that are left are subscribed (WoW), microtransaction-based (F2Ps), or some combination of the two. Or the servers are sponsored as a means to drive hardware sales and the like.

The console makers don't really trust user-owned servers, seeing them as a possible exploit avenue to penetrate their walled gardens.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: PS4 also has DRM on used games

Plus there's still the matter of that NFC-on-the-disc patent Sony holds. As reported, this can allow no-resale even without an internet connection.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Thank you Sony!

Before I let Sony off the hook about the "no DRM" bit, ask them to explain that patent about NFC-tagged discs. Unless they agree in writing to not implement it in the PS4 (or better, to abandon enforcement of it), there's still the threat they can lock the games down later.

Also, on the matter of resale, what about games that are downloaded from Sony without a disc? And what about the Steam model (which Microsoft is pretty much copying)?

0
0

'Nothing will convince a kid that's never worn glasses to wear them'

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: The same could be said of...

The thing about "buffoon" is that it can actually backfire. If someone is totally clueless about the word, they won't get it. But then again, someone may be such a natural clown that he takes it as a compliment and pulls a prank on you or something.

0
0

My bleak tech reality: You can't trust anyone or anything, anymore

Charles 9
Silver badge

Perhaps, but it's easier for a human to remember ONE big password than 100 of them, so the master password can be as long and complicated as their memory can dare it. Which starts putting a strain on the yottabyte datacenter, which still has two intractable physical limitations: limited time and limited resources. And there are some things even a quantum computer can't readily speed up (such as lattice- or error-correcting-code-based encryption).

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Simple technique to increase cypher strength

"Establish and maintain data custody at all points where the only person(s) with access are those who the creator of said data authorized explicitly. Any hole that a "bad guy" can slip through, a "good guy gone bad" can get through even more easily."

Which goes to a fundamental and probably intractable problem with data security. In order to be useable, SOMEONE has to have access to the data. As long as someone has access to the data, someone can impersonate them. Given enough resources, Mallory can be indistinguishable from Alice no matter the level of security you apply. Even physical security isn't foolproof: stolen devices and rubber hoses come to mind.

0
0

Tech giants' offshore cash-stashing is only ever a delaying tactic

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Companies don't pay taxes, people do.

But as the article notes, hiding the money in shell companies only goes so far. If the cash stays in the company, it gains value That counts as a capital gain, meaning taxes due when you cash out. Same for dividends. Furthermore, aren't business transactions normally subject to sales or value-added taxes, whether the purchase is for resale or for internal use?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: US Tax deferral is fraud....

As the article notes, the main thought is that the money never enters the US directly. Instead, Apple will look for foreign locations to build plants and so on. These plants affect the company as a whole, boosting the market cap without directly taxing the increased market value until cashout time. And even there, there are supposedly a few tricks to evade that: such as borrowing against the gains and dying with the debts. This may have changed, but some assets can be re-based when they're inherited, allowing the heirs to pay off the debts by selling out at a reduced tax burden.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

"Of course, no one ever started a company, practiced a sport or mastered a musical instrument and made lots of money those ways."

All of those involve investment, which means you put in money and likely time to get the return on the investment. The point still stands.

0
0

We're losing the battle with a government seduced by surveillance

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Well said.

So enlighten us. How would the FBI alone take down the entire US population (which BTW outnumbers them by a factor somewhere into the triple digits at least). And while you're at it, go into how the armed forces would be forced to act against their own citizens: potentially against even friends and family?

0
0

YES, Xbox One DOES need internet, DOES restrict game trading

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: I don't see why

IIRC even Sega backpedaled on backwards compatibility. The Power Base IIRC only worked on the original Genesis. The Model 2 Genesis had different hardware that made things quirky and the Model 3 Genesis had no Z80 in it, meaning no 8-bit support. The MasterGear adapter was pretty basic as the Game Gear was merely a souped-up, shrunk-down Master System). Meanwhile, Saturn games couldn't be run on a Dreamcast.

0
0