Feeds

* Posts by Charles 9

3589 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Multimillionaire Brit games dev wants your cash for Shroud of the Avatar

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: multimillionaire seeks funding?

"I agree, but I have to wonder; do we blame businesses for seeking free cash when they're legally beholden to their shareholders to reduce costs and risk wherever possible, or do we blame the fools handing over their money with no strings attached to already rich companies/entrepreneurs?"

No strings attached? When it comes to games, barring a cheap donation, the most common reward for your contribution is a copy of the finished product. Sorta like a very long pre-order, IOW, so they just get your money a little early and use it to help actually develop the game. Less of a gamble that way, and both sides win. They get an advance on the production and you help to ensure the end product actually appears.

1
2
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: multimillionaire seeks funding?

"Yes, but investors and partners share the risk and also the reward. Any discount in the Kickstarter price over retail really doesn't account for the high risk of nothing ever appearing."

The Kickstarter policy is that you don't get charged until the fundraising period closes, and ONLY if it makes the goal. I should know. I helped to Kickstart the Carmageddon reboot, and I only got charged when the Kickstart period closed (after beating its fundraising goal by a comfortable margin).

2
2

Deja vote: Iran blocks VPN use ahead of elections

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: shock

Wanna bet he's got a puppet protege waiting for that situation?

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: "[s/When/If] the ports open again..."

I was thinking about that, too. I would think, the way they describe it, they basically put any encrypted traffic (or anything resembling it, like unidentifiable gibberish) up against a whitelist, and only approved address/port combinations are let in. By my reckoning, TOR, i2p, even Freenet would be blocked. Getting anything more than small bits of information through that would probably take some serious thinking.

0
0

'Wireless charging' in Galaxy S4 will betray Samsung's best pal

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: May the best technology win

But whether it was a SIGNIFICANT factor can be questioed. Playboy produced their soft porn on Betamax, and there were studios that hedged their bets. Besides, any porn that was only an hour long could take advantage of Betamax's full-quality recording mode. Truth is, though Sony didn't like it, they couldn't control the distribution of porn since they had no say in the tapes once they left the factory. And according to statistics, porn sales and rentals weren't exactly the meat and potatoes of the rental industry. It helped, but the biggest lineups were the mainstream films. The big factors that won the war for VHS were easy availability and bigger spools (feature films could fit a VHS at full speed but had to use half-speed on Betamax). Plus the quality bonus of Betamax was lost on the typical 80's TV (especially in the US where the usual link was through the RF connector). This might have been a strike against V2000 as well--"good enough" won out.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Crikey

I think the point was that the phone could charge while still doing something useful (like being the car's GPS unit) without having to dangle wires all over the place.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: May the best technology win

Technologically, Betamax was superior. Unfortunately, only Sony and Sanyo made the devices then because Sony's licensing terms were too strict. VHS came out ahead because JVC was more open to licensing, so more companies could jump in. Also, the VHS cartridge was larger, enabling it to fit more tape (twice as much if memory serves me right). This enabled feature-length films to fit even when recorded at top (Super Play--SP) quality. In contrast, top quality for Betamax (B-I, IIRC) only allowed for an hour, so feature films had to use the lower-quality half-speed mode.

PS. Rumors that the porn industry helped turn the war remain just that--rumors. Most experts agree licensing and VHS's larger cassette size seized the day.

2
4
Charles 9
Silver badge

:Since I actually know a couple of people who swear they can "feel" wireless networks..."

See if you can challenge their belief. Take them to a room that's secretly a Faraday cage (or just a very VERY dead wireless zone) and see if they can correctly call it.

1
0

Oklahoma woman cuffed with loaded .22 in pork holster

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Here' Some REAL News: The PORK BOMBER

Okay, I get it, but what I was really looking for was a woman showing one can bring a bomb onto a plane or whatever via a dildo. Nothing short of a strip search (like what the jail was doing) would bring it out, and if the woman was sufficiently kinky, you wouldn't even know it in her step. As the only way to find it would be to stomp the US 4th Amendment to the ground (as a strip search without GOOD reason would be considered unreasonable--not to mention trending sexist and therefore discriminatory), this could get the security theater hawks to wring their hands and realize, "You'll lose. What'll it be? The dildo bomb or Big Brother?"

0
0

Pwn2Own: IE10, Firefox, Chrome, Reader, Java hacks land $500k

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Surface Pro

I'd have been more impressed if someone used an IE exploit to pwn and jailbreak a WinRT Surface tablet.

3
1

BRITAIN MUST DECLARE WAR on Cervinaean menace

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: And can I pop in a vote

I believe the boar detractors are referring to the risk of Trichinosis. Wild boar are known for carrying the Trichinella parasites, which are usually passed on by eating raw/undercooked meat. IIRC deer (herbivores) aren't the type to acquire Trichinella while bears and pigs (omnivores) can and do.

0
0

Japanese password protector floods screen with hoax cursors

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Easy to defeat.

Doing that runs the risk of a false negative because convincing-enough fake cursors will start to foll the user and result in mistakes. Put it this way. Since the user has to be able to distinguish the real cursor from the fakes. Anything the user does can be observed by a suitably-trained over-the-shoulder observer. They can observer different motions of the cursors, catch the user's mouse movements out of the corner of the eye, and so on.

1
1
Charles 9
Silver badge

Easy to defeat.

Since they HAVE to know when the actual click takes place, and since click events can be recorded (macro recorders use this function), I suspect screen reader malware will just wait for actual clicks and then attach EXIF data to the pictures that happens to contain the coordinates of the actual mouse cursor at the point of the click. As for the over-the-shoulder observer, a little training should enable someone to distinguish the random motion of the fake cursors from the more-directed motion of the real one.

1
7

Microsoft about-face: Office 2013 license IS transferable now

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: With every move Microsoft makes...

I'm personally drawn towards XFCE rather than those two (I personally it comfortably middle of the road). My plan is to migrate to Xubuntu. But I've come to recognize that, for the most part, it's a matter of taste. Cinnamon (which is GNOME-based) is more lightweight than KDE, but then that means KDE comes with more stuff. Each has its fans and detractors. Given the choice, I would say give each one a spin via a live booter and see which one suits you better.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: With every move Microsoft makes...

Even on Windows, it is improving considerably. As long as your demands aren't too complex, it'll do. Though it does get dicey if you handle MS Office docs on a regular basis.

1
0

DOJ gives T-Mobile - MetroPCS merger the nod

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: "If its not that great, why did they try to buy it?"

Sure there is:

"Because it's not that great ON ITS OWN, but when combined with our existing network, the resulting combined network can become greater than the sum of its parts."

The main reason AT&T wanted T-Mobile was to get more towers they could convert to LTE. Now both companies have to move more slowly due to lack of infrastructure for AT&T and lack of capital at the T-Mobile end.

At least this merger doesn't shake up the current wireless picture too much. The big boys are still on top, but now two of the smaller boys come together to become more of a player.

0
2

Penguins, only YOU can turn desktop disk IO into legacy tech

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Computer Architecture 101, huh?

Well, memory mapping is nothing new in the modern PC. Ever since the Peripheral Control Interconnect came along, we've been memory mapping on the PC. Video memory is mapped; the 64-bit memory architecture specifically provides for a peripheral memory map (because they figured no one would reach 2^63 bytes of actual RAM in the processor's lifetime--we're hanging around 2^36 at this point, so it's probably a safe bet). Mapping a few gigs of flash memory should be easy enough to do; the trick would be to do it smartly, but the flash controller can probably handle the messy details given a well-defined specification.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

It can't be as simple as that. After all, using memory-mapped Flash also means you have to make sure it recognizes it as nonvolatile. Furthermore, the kinds of IO operations you would do as a memory map would be different from those you would as a disk analogue. The way chunks of memory are manipulated would have to be adjusted (you'd want cell-sized blocks ideally). If you use an advanced NVRAM that can be addressed even up to byte precision, then perhaps you'd want to block your IO operations into bus-aligned blocks the CPU can shuffle most easily. We have to realize there's more that needs to be handled behind the scenes than just throw the app into a memory-mapped flash array, and given that things can change from implementation to implementation, we need to allow for a little more time to shake things out.

2
0

Gnome cofounder: Desktop Linux is a CHERNOBYL of FAIL

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Fragmentation

"Fascinating. Every time I have tried commercial software in the last decade, this is what I've been missing. You know for the last 10 years you simply install a Linux onto a normal computer and it runs with full hardware support no drivers to install, no configuration to be done, the base system simply works and you even get a browser."

For many people, the experience has been quite different. At least one piece of hardware wouldn't work, and it's usually a deal-breaker. I can list a few personal examples. A Dell laptop that after installing Xubuntu wouldn't turn on the built-in screen (incompatible nVidia drivers--both free and non-free). A plug-in USB video capture device that was only recognized half the time. A Bluetooth dongle that worked fine in Windows but fell flat in an older Ubuntu.

Getting a Linux distro to work 100% out-of-box usually called for well-recognized hardware and a dash of luck, IME.

1
2
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Fragmentation

Then Open Source will never win.

The masses aren't interested in evolution and constant improvement. They just want the (expletive) thing to work, first time every time. Turnkey simplicity. They want OS's that intervene only when they HAVE to; otherwise, they stay out of the way and let people do their work.

In other words, constant evolution clashes with ease of use, and the masses prefer the latter.

1
1
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Yeah, I feel it to bro.

I suspect if there was a specific rejection code, then it's because the chip played havoc with other hardware. Or perhaps it's so unreliable that it produces silent corruption or other unwanted events. In either event, the Windows 9X drivers simply may not care and when problems occurred, you just saw random hanging or blue screens..

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Yeah, I feel it to bro.

The problem is that all those distros mean different toolchains and underlying software. That makes a unified form of software distribution almost impossible. This makes self-distribution of viable commercial software rather tricky, since the maker has no idea where the final product will be installed.

I can see that problem from a related angle. Steam for Linux only recommends Ubuntu and derivatives. But while Ubuntu and company are well known, there are lots of other distros out there, meaning they likely can't reach those people, and as much as Valve wants better coverage of the Linux world, they can't seem to find a way at this point in time.

1
0

Bank whips out palm-recognition kit - and a severed hand won't work

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Another simple solution.

Simple countermeasure. Make the booth only large enough to fit one person comfortably. Trying to drag an unconscious person into such a booth would probably be impractically crowded and take too much time (and time is the robber's worst enemy--the longer you take the more likely you're spotted). It would also help reduce the odds of the rubber-hose treatment. Even if approached mid-transaction the ATM might auto-lock the booth in that time, meaning the perp would have to perform something very violent to get in--and risk downing the victim before he completes the transaction.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: "blood flowing through"

I suspect you can't use flow because blood flow can vary depending on heart rate.. A flow check might throw a false negative if you happen to use it just after a brisk jog or because you're in a hurry and nervous (both would raise the flow rate).

0
0

IT'S HERE: Seagate ships 'affordable' desktop hybrid drive

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: New file system

Not really. Each have competing needs.

ext, for example, scatters writes around the disc in a pattern because it assumes multiple people will be accessing the system at the same time which makes for a very random assortment of disk accesses.

ZFS was designed for use on large systems. Its logical limits surpass physical limitations, removing the need to worry about them. Meanwhile, its designers understood the problem of silent corruption (where the odds of it happening increase with size), so it sacrifices a little capacity and performance so as to be able to better catch these spontaneous corruptions.

FAT and NTFS, OTOH, assume a low user count and are designed to better allow the compacting of the file system so one can better perform sequential reads. NTFS takes the extra step of preferring its master file table towards the center of the disk to reduce the average seek time.

I'm just listing a couple of their more distinguishing traits. Basically, with different goals you get different filesystem structures, each with their pros and cons.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Educate me?

According to the article the flash acts as a cache, so it's integrated to the drive.

It's something that piques my curiosity, to say the least, since I tend to packrat and accumulate lots of data. However, Seagate and I have rather a bad history together (too many of their drives start going clickety-click on me).

1
1

Health pros: Alcohol is EVIL – raise its price, ban its ads

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: @John Smith 19

"A bottle of wine contains 750 ml of liquid. A unit of alcohol is defined as 10 ml of alcohol. So to get 11 units in a bottle, you're talking about wine that's 14.5% ABV. I submit that if you're drinking "the cheapest wine you can get in a supermarket" and it's 14.5% ABV, your liver and stomach are in a world of trouble.

A more typical strength, particularly for cheap plonk, would be 11%, making for 8 units per bottle. Some wines are significantly lower (and none the worse for that - part of our current problem is that there's a tendency towards making beer and wine stronger - but that's basically for fashion's sake, there's no taste-based reason for it)."

Based on my experiences, I don't think most winos go for honest wine. They go for what might best be called "bum wine," which is in fact cheap fortified wine. They pack a stronger buzz than honest wines (since they climb up into the 18-20% ABV range) and usually cost less. The winos don't care much for the taste; they just want to get drunk as often as possible. As for their livers and stomachs, they're usually beyond caring at this point and are just picking their poison.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Say WHAT, bro?

Oh? Equal numbers of people claim the people saying the New Deal hurt America are THEMSELVES telling myths. Historical evidence suggests that the best way to boost economic activity is to encourage the class of society who have no choice but to spend (because they're starving). The general consensus is that while the New Deal didn't get us out of the depression, it did keep us from falling deeper into it. It kept us busy which in turn kept us from turning on ourselves (like you see in Greece right now because few things drive people to turn on their country like a lack of opportunity).

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Hypocrites.....

1) If the price goes up too much, we'll just make our own guns.

You'd be surprised how true that statement can be. The truly dedicated are capable of fashioning their own guns from scratch using machining tools available to everyone. Plus, some designs were designed to be simple to make, like the Sten.

2) If the price goes up too much, we can go to France to buy guns.

Wherever it's convenient. Smuggling guns is a known black market activity because of the guns that you simply can't get elsewhere because of laws or whatever.

3) My using guns doesn't harm anyone else.

I don't know if you meant to be sarcastic or now (you give no indication), but I can tell you that all three of these can SERIOUSLY be true, whether it be for guns or for alcohol or even for drugs (where #1 appears in the form of hidden pot farms, meth, "bath salts", and other synthetic drugs).

2
4
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: In the UK in the 1960s 2/3 of adults smoked. Today it is 1/3. This applies that idea to alcohol.

What about during the Dark Ages? I heard monks then were normally given an allowance of ale that ran into the liters per day. And it wasn't weak stuff, either, as their bread, cheese, and ale all tended to be very robust.

2
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: In the UK in the 1960s 2/3 of adults smoked. Today it is 1/3. This applies that idea to alcohol.

Thing is, what if you raise the price so high that you encourage what Americans call "moonshining" instead?

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: @Rocket888

Thing is, if you start raising the price of the cheap stuff too high, you might as well be prohibiting it because you're pricing it out of range of low-income blue-collar workers: historically known for drinking. The same thing happens when you try to alter behaviour with punitive excise taxes. You just encourage underground brewing and so on. Alcohol is legal in the US but regulated, so there is still a market for the infamous moonshine.

7
1

Prepare for 'post-crypto world', warns godfather of encryption

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Encryption by size?

To use your analogue, secret recipes are kept by a select few who never tell. To keep their secrets, they come in, take the raw ingredients, and send out the finished product, and no one gets so see them in between the steps. I believe the same is true for the WD-40 oil mix and the original KFC chicken breading recipe.

So if a secret is functional, then it must be kept under the same type of obscurity. I believe that's how modern cryptoprocessors work. Their secret keys are embedded within themselves in a one-way write-only process (think One-Time Programmable logic), and there's no function that retrieves them directly. They're only used when the secret functions come into play, and all you see is something go in one end and the end product come out the other. I believe they call this idea eXecite-Only Memory (XOM). You can probably do similar even if the secret is a piece of data, by wrapping the data in a secret function and using the cryptoprocessor technique again.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Quantum processing is a fantasy and APTs can be shut out.

Four words: Zero-Day Privilege Escalation. There's a reason the term "rooting" exists.

0
0

Belgian boffins find colossal meteorite

Charles 9
Silver badge
FAIL

18kg is Colossal?!

Goodness. I was half-expecting them to have uncovered that part of the continent constituted some (since I can't use the word colossal anymore) brobdingnagian meteorite hidden for millennia (something, say, the size of Australia's Uluru-Kata Tjuta).

0
0

Strategic SIEGE ROBOTS defeated by 'heavily intoxicated' man, 62

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

Sounds a bit too heavy for the average joe to heft. Think perhaps a 10kg hammer would still pack sufficient punch, especially if swung laterally?

0
0

First, servers were DEEP-FRIED... now, boffins bring you WET ones

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: need a plumber

The new substance doesn't conduct electricity. The main reason for the piping was to prevent electrically-conductive water from touching the electricals. Here, you could put the server in a bath of the stuff and it wouldn't care provided you made sure the fluid didn't stagnate and start spot-boiling (but because the liquid has high thermal conductivity, the heat can spread through the fluid pretty readily).

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: So if the PC dies

I saw the show you speak of. Unfortunately, the liquid being demonstrated was Flourinert. In a later show, they had to admit the substance was a CFC and no longer suitable in an now-ozone-aware world.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: El Reg forgets it's own articles???

I think this new fluid trumps mineral oil in that it's NOT an oil and therefore easier to clean off when you have to take a unit out of the bath.

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Same problem as all liquids

I suspect the energy savings come from the fact you don't need fans and their associated motors and heat generation. You also reduce the need for air-conning a server room because you can concentrate the heat exchange.

As for the fluid itself, if it has a high enough thermal conductivity, wouldn't its natural tendency be to diffuse the heat to nearby parts of the liquid, which would in turn diffuse to other parts of the liqud? Air is a poor conductor, so you need to constantly keep airflow to keep absorbing heat, but this liquid is an excellent conductor, so perhaps instead of a constant blast you just maintain a gentle flow (think less hurricane and more soft breeze), which you can build into the design so that if the fluid flows a certain way, it gently washes over the CPU, GPU, and so on and out the other side to be recirculated.

2
0

Air-to-ground rocket men flog top-secret mobe-crypto to Brad in accounts

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Realy?

"Interesting. Those colors actually mean something, just so you guys know if you don't already. The five different classification levels are color coded, Green means UNCLASSIFIED, Blue is CONFIDENTIAL, Red means SECRET, and Orange is TOP SECRET. There are different procedures and handling standards for each level, so its telling if it doesn't turn blue or orange."

That's only FOUR classifications. In the US, that's all there are, as we no longer have a Restricted classification (we merged it into Confidential). Were you forgetting the purple CLASSIFIED color?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Dual boot == information leakage

Wanna bet SOP is that the phones are locked to secure mode during operations? By the time the phone's insecure again, they're probably back at a base. Little good that does you then since you can't predict where they'll go from there.

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Realy?

If the phones are only issued to elite forces, odds are you'd wash out of those forces for having a disability. Used to be red/green blindness was a general reject, then it was a rejection for going airborne (because aircraft make heavy use of red and green lights).

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Dual boot == information leakage

The way I see it, when the phone switches modes, the other one shuts down, so as long as the phone is in secure mode, any tracking malware on the insecure side is not operating. And it better be a persistent malware, too--it has to be able to survive a reboot.

0
0

SimCity 2000

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: @Flawless (@Sisk)

I believe that's because, unlike true abandonware, the rights to the game are still viably held (in this case by EA, which bought out Maxis and all its associated rights in 1997, a few years after SC2000 came out).

1
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Playing it on a 386 SX 40?

You would be right (it supported 640x480x8b--VGA was normally limited to 4b). It was also a Protected Mode game (thus why you needed at least a 386DX or the like to play it), so for its time it was rather cutting edge.

0
0

Canadian cyborg says Google Glass design is cracked

Charles 9
Silver badge

Just for the record. Did they say you were unsuitable because of the mismatched eyes or because your one eye was too myopic (I've read laser correction is not suitable for extreme myopia or for those whose corneas are too thin)?

0
0
Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: Each eye to focus on a different plane?

The eye strain comes from MISMATCHED focus. It's easy enough to duplicate by holding something in front of only one eye (about 10cm away). It soon becomes disorienting because your eyes aren't in sync.

1
0

Keyboard, you're not my type

Charles 9
Silver badge

But WAY too expensive.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2008/04/the-optimus-max/

No one wants a computer where the keyboard is the most expensive piece of hardware. Besides, there is a question about the longevity of the keys. There is something to be said about simplicity, which is why microswitch keyboards last so long.

2
0

German boffins turn ALCOHOL into hydrogen at low temp

Charles 9
Silver badge

Re: The attraction is Methanol is *easy* to handle.

The trouble is that it has carbon in it, which manipulates the carbon cycle. Since most methods of making methanol on the necessary industrial scale aren't carbon-negative and since most processes that convert methanol to energy release CO2 as a byproduct, making it carbon-positive, you hit a bugbear in that using methanol is essentially carbon-positive and bad for the environment. At least pure hydrogen is carbon neutral when you use it (no carbon in it).

0
0