331 posts • joined 8 May 2007
Security camera not enough?
Let's say you have the perfect mug-shot of the suspect (which you're not likely to gain from a typical relatively-low-res security camera). Now what?
You have tens of thousands of people in the vicinity that might match the general description, so now you have to find pictures of all of them to compare your grainy pic to. Or you have to walk the streets asking people "Have you seen this woman?".
Much easier to go through the phone records, find the likely suspect, and then compare her face to the one in the photograph.
Re: I name this ship White Elephant.....
So, why would we invest in anti-sub and surface combat destroyers?
Because you just might need them again within the decades-long lead time involved in floating a new class of warship?
Because it just makes sense to have at least a little versatility in your expensive weapon systems?
And why wouldn't we invest in more air based weaponry?
Because surface-to-air should only be a measure of last resort.
When enemy aircraft can launch sea-skimming missiles at you from well over the horizon, what you really need to be doing is sending your own aircraft to meet them, and do as far away from your big, slow, sitting-duck boats as you can.
The Royal Navy learned exactly the wrong lesson from the Falklands conflict. Back then Argentinian aircraft nearly devastated the UK's task force while it was "parked" just off-shore, due to woefully insufficient air cover.
But what TPTB seem to have decided is that what they needed back then were more AA ships, when what they really needed were more Sea Harriers (and carriers to fly them off of, of course).
It seems to me that too many people (marketers?) think that "bleeding edge" means "We're one step ahead of leading edge" when it actually means "We tried to be too clever and cut ourselves."
You most definitely don't try to sell "bleeding edge" to your customers. You refine it to mere "leading edge" while it's still in your own laboratory/engineering works.
when small businesses are facing extortionate patent threats, politics must be set aside
Yeah, right. Whatever they may say about "small businesses driving the economy", the politicians only care about Big Businesses aka Big Contributors.
A properly-designed landfill is perfectly safe, and it's not like we're ever going to run out of holes to dump things in. For example, every mine-pit we dig up now is a potential land-fill site later. It's like a special case of recycling, come to think of it. ;-)
There are two potential problems with recycling, that may only apply in certain cases (The upsides are obvious.)
1) Sometimes it's much cheaper to extract more virgin material than to recycle old. Or it may be cheaper in simple monetary terms, but require lots of energy, which may cause environmental damage down the line (e.g. greenhouse gasses) meaning what you save now you pay for later.
2) Maybe the intention isn't to actually get the public to recycle, but to set them up as the scapegoat when (possibly artificial) shortages occur. "See, we told you to recycle, but you didn't. Now we have a scarcity, so you must pay more. No, it's not us being incompetent/greedy, it's you being too lazy to recycle."
People should have to pass an exam before the "Reply To All" button becomes active.
What concerns me is that, sooner or later, everything ends up competing with Apple because Apple keeps expanding into new markets.
Does anyone even remember when all they did was make computers?
From the beginning the Ts&Cs of using the iTunes AppStore was that you were not allowed to sell a product that duplicated any functionality that the iPhone already had. I don't know if this is retroactive - If Apple adds a new feature, do they pull any existing products that have provided that feature for ages? The whole Crap Map App Flap suggests that they do.
If they keep this sort of thing up, they'll soon own the entire ecosystem, and every penny you earn providing services or software for Apple platforms will depend entirely on the largesse of Apple.
Which it mostly already does, I guess.
Re: Who are you calling a cult?
"Now it's a mainstream religion"
You say that like it's supposed to be a good thing...
Re: "I must have touched a nerve"
Jesus Christ riding a velociraptor. Why was I stupid enough to stick my head into the hornets' nest that is an Apple thread?
I was commenting on a logical fallacy. I did not pick sides in this, the most virulent and retarded religious war in the long and shameful history of these things, yet still I am getting downvotes.
Besides, everyone knows that the Atari ST was the pinnacle of computer development, and all this MS-DOS / Windows / OS2 / OSX / iOS / Android fighting is just so much hot air.
And ed is the standard Unix editor, so suck it, vi and emacs.
"I must have touched a nerve"
IOW, "I mocked and insulted them five ways to Sunday, but it must all be true, because it made them angry."
Oldest troll-line in the book. Anyone who falls for it needs to be smacked upside the head with an encyclopaedia of logical fallacies.
Re: could be worse
I've had my petrol tank filled despite a local power failure.
Poor bastard pump attendant had to hand-crank every drop from the storage tank several metres below the ground, but eventually I had a full tank.
Re: Remember it's a low probability event *until* it's actually happening
Sure, these things are necessary.
No, they're never going to get done.
Politicians are only concerned with building new infrastructure (when they get off their asses to do anything at all, that is.) That's what makes for good publicity and better chances of getting elected.
Reinforcing existing infrastructure is nowhere near as glamorous as building new, and if you're lucky you can hold it together just long enough for it to fall apart on your successor's watch. (Remember, even if it breaks three days after he takes office, it's still entirely his fault.)
And most frustratingly, in order to get things fixed, you need to raise public awareness. But if you do manage to stave off disaster, the ungrateful electorate will claim that there never was a threat in the first place, and that it was all a "hoax". (Prime example: Y2K IT fixes.)
BTW, how do you intend to create a non-satellite GPS that doesn’t cost umpteen trillions to implement and billions every year to run?
It also allows other competent people to look at what commodity chips the hardware manufacturer has put onto the breadboard and produce a knock-off for virtually no investment.
nVidia and ATI keep the very proprietary bits of their drivers in their firmware
As has already been pointed out, a sufficiently motivated and well-funded commercial rival can always disassemble the blobs and get at these "crown jewels" anyway, for all the good that does them. You see, ATI, nVidia, et al are not using just all off-the-shelf parts to make their stuff, and it's extremely difficult to reverse-engineer a billion-gate custom chip whether or not you have the firmware at hand. So they have very little to fear from open-source firmware, it's mainly paranoia and the bean-counters holding them back.
Re: @ Stuart Van Onselen
But never assume that a joke is "obvious" to everyone else, because there are always overly-literal wankers (such as myself) who will take it seriously. And it's even more likely that someone will misunderstand when there are so many similar posts made in absolute seriousness in this very thread.
And another one misses the point by a light year.
It's not that OSS is inherently better, it's that anyone can see how good/bad it is, and then try to improve it, as opposed to relying entirely on Microsoft / Apple / the firmware blob-makers.
Also: I'm not sure if you're making a separate point, or if you're actually suggesting that Shuttleworth is wants all firmware to be written in Linux. He explicitly states that he things declarative software is the best option. That's obviously not any type of OS, it's more like a static reference book.
I don't know of too many knowledgeable people who consider Linux to be "the answer to everything". While Linux can actually be stripped down quite nicely for low-end devices, of course things like ultra-compact RTS OSs are vital for many embedded applications, and only the terminally ignorant would claim otherwise.
Things like cell-phone baseband stacks will not be over-writeable, ever, because of legal implications and inter-operability concerns. That still doesn't stop security experts finding holes in them and letting the manufacturer know that it needs to patch them before it begins the next round of certification testing.
The same thing applies to any safety-critical systems.
And your comment about firmware specialists being needed to understand the intricacies of particular hardware components is certainly true, but it has no bearing on the issue of the suitability of open-source because, as I mentioned, the idea is not that the writing of firmware be left entirely in the hands of "amateurs".
You're missing the point. The suggestion is not that hardware manufacturers absolve themselves of the responsibility to write their own firmware by calling in the "amateurs". They're free to do that, of course, if they want to see their sales plummet.
The idea is that after writing their own craptastic drivers that they then publish the code. This lets competent people look for security holes, and allows the amateurs to fix or re-write the code. This presents the users with the option of loading alternative firmware, and it allows the hardware vendors the option of absorbing new code into the "official" release.
You're so right! Publishers should be honourable and self-censor by avoiding any reseller that might object to their work. And they must never, ever do anything that might offend anyone's sexual sensibilities, because that's just crass opportunism, nothing more.
To hell with capitalism, to hell with freedom of expression, all hail the self-righteous, moralistic prudes.
Re: What about Apple's rights?
Of course Apple has the right not to publish the book.
It's just that in doing so they make themselves look like a bunch of ignorant, short-sighted, prudish idiots. Again.
And it is our right to mock them mercilessly for it.
Actually, my first sentence could be contentious. Follow that line of thinking too far, and you end up with the bullshit of "This pharmacist's religion allows him to refuse to supply birth-control to those slutty, slutty women who insist on having sex even though The Good Lord says they should save it for marriage."
And I wish to the god I don't believe in that that was only a hypothetical example. :-(
Re: It's bad procedure to take off using your backup systems
I thought it did. At the very least, taking two readings a few milliseconds apart should give you the speed.
BTW, when that B2 crashed because of condensation in the pitot tube, could that have been prevented by a proper cover? There, of course, the problem was fly-by-wire, plus the fact that they were taking off. No time to recover when the computers went crazy.
Please can we stop with the "people in the 1400s thought that the earth was flat" trope? You'd have been hard-pressed to find an educated person back then who wouldn't laugh at you for suggesting a flat-Earth model.
And if you were asking uneducated peasants for help in generating your dataset, then you deserved to encounter the difficulties of updating your anachronistic thinking machine.
My understanding is that there is no "cure for cancer" because cancer is not a single disease. There are thousands of different forms, all with very different treatments. And there are no "cures" in the sense of "take these pills and call me in the morning", but instead a variety of approaches with varying probabilities of sending cancer into remission, and these probabilities vary from person to person.
So what may have happened is that Watson came up with some slightly-improved versions of existing treatments; or it made some interesting observations into the mechanisms of cancer that are not in themselves treatments, but were handed on to other researchers who might be able to use them to create new treatments somewhere down the line.
So, Watson did not find a magic bullet, not because they didn't run it for long enough, but because there is no magic bullet and never will be. But it probably made some useful, incremental discoveries nonetheless.
It's not that simple.
1) AFAIK, the blueprints for Apollo are not public domain. Some are available, some aren't. Others have been lost forever.
2) Even with the blueprints, you'd need the original engineers if you want to re-create something so complex. That's part of the reason that NASA was working on a whole new launch system rather than just making a copy of Apollo with some improvements
3) Even once you have a complete and perfect design, you still need the industrial base to create the parts. And since practically every nut and bolt will need to be a custom piece, you'll need a lot of new factories to build everything.
4) Space is nasty and dangerous. Accidents will happen. Stuff will break. Lessons will be learned.
In short, this was still a major achievement by the Chinese. Calling this set-back a capitalised-FAIL is hyperbole.
Re: Dear Article Author
people who adopt the point-and-spray method for taking down targets
Not anymore, I believe. They've actually deleted the full-auto mode on the M16, leaving just the semi-auto and 3-round burst modes. And they've trained their soldiers accordingly, so that they're now more deadly with 3-round bursts than they used to be with full-auto (not hard, because full-auto just wasted bullets, as you noted.)
And what about spread-spectrum radars that vary their frequency rapidly, in a pseudo-random basis? How will they cancel that out?
Of course, the problem with visible light is orders of magnitude harder. There you have an infinite range of frequencies simultaneously impinging on your device, coming from every angle at once.
Re: Ummmm...ECM, anyone?
"Move along, move along, nothing to see here"
I see what you did there...
Re: One word
Ok, now I get it.
And when you have to train the trainers, each trainee-trainee would have one VM which in turn holds one VM per simulated student, which in turn holds several VMs representing all the machines in a simulated client's physical network, and some of these machines will have VMs in them, just as a client would have VMs...
"We must go deeper"
Actually, one letter.
At least by then the Samsung lawyers will have had lots of practice at swatting them back.
Still, sueballs suck donkey-balls, and retard innovation, regardless of lawyerly competence. The process is inevitable drawn-out and generates FUD faster than an elephant with diarrhoea generates poop.
Bashing the liberal arts
Now that's an interesting observation, and it's made me think a bit:
If you think that science degrees are all about rote learning, then you're clearly ignorant of the courses in question. But of course, that's because you never did them.
And by the same token, having never done a psych, history or language course, I'm not really in a position to pass meaningful critique on your efforts, either.
Natural aptitude also comes into it. Even if there was some "objective" measure of the effort needed for a particular course, it would still depend on the individual student. I'd probably have to work much harder than you if I wanted to do a history course, and you'd probably suffer horrendously doing mathematics at university level.
But one measure I did use at 'varsity (way back last millennium) was "membership of the Student Representative Council" (which I detested, for reasons too long-winded to go into here.) None of them were STEM students. You may argue that politics is a natural extra-curricular activity for many classes of liberal arts student, I argued that "real" students didn't have the time to muck about sticking their noses into everyone else's affairs! (Tongue firmly in cheek, there.)
Re: Social work
The (admittedly very sarky) article is talking about the amount of effort put into getting the degree, not the amount of work done in the relevant job, so your first observation is irrelevant.
And while I've always acknowledged that engineering students work a hell of a lot harder than IT students, your second claim needs some backing up. I did maths, physics and chemistry in addition to my CS degree, and while I found the former three tougher, the latter was hardly a cake-walk. Calling it "soft science" is just laughable.
And finally, the methodology employed by these "researchers" is disingenous, bordering on the outright dishonest. If that's typical of what's produced in the "soft-sciences", well, 'nuff said.
Re: So bloody predictable.....
I must concede, you are right. These anti-MS rants are boring and predictable. Problem is, MS keeps giving people new reasons to rant!
And aside from aimlessly ranting, some people are actually giving specific arguments as to why this is a bad thing. It's not like everyone's simply screaming "it's from MS, so it must be bad" over and over again.
So how about coming up with actualy arguments as to why the complaints are unjustified, as opposed to just decrying their unoriginality?
For example, you still haven't addressed the issue of Windows being unavoidable in certain circumstances, and thus switching to Linux is not a universal panacea.
Re: No ISO?
Yes, it was a typo. And if you read again, you'll see that, as I usually get around 50KB/s, it would take me 20 hours. And if both I and my housemate want to update our machines on our shared line, that's 40 hours. And as I only have a 3GB/m cap, I'm screwed. And yes, this is a "last-decade" connection, but that's also all I can get in my country (which is not the US/UK/SK). And 99% of users are not single-PC-only users in the US/UK/SK.
I'm sorry, but your feigned lack of comprehension skills has just landed you firmly in the shill/troll camp, as far as I'm concerned.
Re: So bloody predictable.....
Good point! After all, none of us need to use Windows for our jobs, none of use ever play PC games, and there are absolutely no PC-only programs that anyone ever uses.
BTW, didn't you say you weren't going to visit the forums again?
Re: No ISO?
You know, I constantly see USAsians acting as if the USA was the whole world. But it's most unusual to see a Brit with the same parochial attitude.
There are a lot of places, and an overwhelming majority of the world's PC users, who are not in the US, UK or South Korea, and who have to get by with vastly slower download rates and teensy monthly caps. For example, I couldn't download even a single install of the update within my cap, and the best download speed I've ever had at home was 200MB/s, and a quarter that is more common.
I really can't understand why you're so determined to claim this is not a big deal, when clearly
1) It is a big deal
2) It could so easily be alleviated by Microsoft not being such big dicks.
Re: Don't fret
Please look up "Fallacy of the Golden Mean".
Simply aserting that the best position is in the middle of two extremes does not make it so.
this is not a feasible or practical solution for the internet as a whole
I don't know about that: Just look how quickly DNSSec and IPv6 have been implemented.
Oh, wait, I think I see your point...
(I remember attending seminars on IPv6 when I was at 'varsity, way back in the previous millennium, and it's still years away from being ubiquitous.)
The point of a scramjet is that it's a jet. It uses atmospheric oxygen instead of stored oxidiser that it would have had to carry with it, thus making for a much lighter vehicle with greater range/payload.
Yes, it does need to be accelerated to a ludicrous speed before it works, but here's one (non-military) scenario where it can really help:
Three-stage orbital rocket:
First stage: Traditional rocket. Fuel and oxidiser stored in rocket. Gets whole vehicle up to scramjet speeds.
Second stage: Scramjet. Only needs fuel, saves weight on oxidiser.
Third stage: Ok, we're out of the atmosphere now, so we have to go back to rockets. But we have still saved the weight of the oxidiser in the second stage, and that effectively allows an equivalent increase in the payload.
I'm guessing it's because it's a professional tribunal, not a court of law. Thus, they can do whatever the rules of the appropriate professional body allow.
These doctors aren't facing jail-time, at worst they're going to be un-doctored.
Don't stop me if I've made this asinine suggestion before, but...
They should appeal to the Bürgermeister of Berlin for a major contribution. Because without Bletchley Park, there might not be a Berlin for him to be mayor of!
Bletchley Park/Ultra probably didn't win WWII for the Allies, but it did shorten it. And if the war had dragged on a few months longer, Little Boy might well have hit Berlin instead of Hiroshima.
Germany had been the prime target for The Bomb right from the inception of the Manhattan Project, and the only thing that saved it was that the Third Reich collapsed before the bomb was ready. Unfortunately for the Japanese, their leaders were a bit too stubborn to read the writing on the wall in time.
Re: The world
No, recently an asteroid passed Earth within the orbit of our geosynchrous satellites. That's a lot closer than the moon.
Re: Sold out?
Artificial scarcity makes anything look more enticing.
But I'm guessing it's the fact that these first customers represent an intial burst of capital but exactly zero recurring revenue that inspired the cap on sales.
Re: open source Paparazzi project
No, no, no, no, no! You're looking at it all wrong. Don't think of it as a problem, think of it as an opportunity ... for a whole new market!
Fully-automated home-defence micro-AA guns! Maybe even lasers! (Shark optional.)
Not much of a fix...
As others have already pointed out, the real problem is that a simple QR code can reconfigure Glass in the first place.
So now you have to acknowledge that you want to access a QR code before it is scanned. How will you be able to know when you can or cannot trust a given code?
Ok, so they probably will have something like the "permissions" on App Store: "This QR Code wants access to your firmware, friends list, bank details, and sexual history. Proceed?" Once (if) Glass goes mainstream, it's going to end up in the hands (or on the temples) of the same class of user who just clicks on "Ok" whenever any dialogue box pops up.
This is going to be fun...
Re: Getting Diagnosed
I'm not in the US. :-)
I had a 24-hour EEG test run. I spent an entire day with a bunch of electrodes stuck to my head, and then an expert combed through the results. This was two years ago, so maybe the technology has improved, allowing positive tests rather than just eliminating all the other possibilities.
Certainly I don't know of too many possible causes for grand mal seizures other than epilepsy, but the other expressions of epilepsy can be harder to spot, as mine fly under the radar for 38 years.
Re: Getting Diagnosed
Petit Mal - Type of epileptic seizure, lesser-cousin of the more well-known grand mal seizure. I used to think these two were the only types of epilepsy, and congratulated myself because I knew of one more type than most people. (I don’t know if arrogance is a symptom of Aspergers, or if it’s just me. If Sheldon Cooper is a 10, I’m a 6 or 7).
Turns out there are dozens of different types of epilepsy. I have one of those, on top of my mild Aspergers. My epilepsy manifests as violent temper-tantrums, which are easy to ascribe to me being a stroppy, undisciplined man-child, rather than to an electrical storm inside my brain.
It's a dangerous combination: The Aspergers cause me to be easily frustrated, which in turn causes stress that can trigger the seizures. From the outside it just looks like I couldn't handle not having my way, and threw a shit-fit.
Now I take anti-epileptic drugs that have improved my quality of life 10,000%. I no longer have the tantrums, which makes my life easier; it makes the people around me less scared of me, whichobviously improves my interactions with them, which makes my life easier still; I no longer get in trouble at work for scaring away customers (I had to go through a disciplinary, back before I was diagnosed); and the meds greatly alleviated the depression that had dogged me since childhood. (Depression, both unipolar and bipolar, are linked with epilepsy in some way, such that one can be confused for the other, and drugs for one can have the side-effect of alleviating the other.)
Moral of my story: If you think there is something "wrong" with you, your child, or a loved one, get a professional diagnosis as soon as possible. Do not, like I did, wait till you're 38 and your life is already a mess. Proper therapy (drugs and/or psychiatric) can make all the difference.
Re: So how would one request you to cease speaking on a topic?
I had an interesting variant of that problem. As a student I was a high-achiever, so as long as I got good marks I was excused as just being "high-strung" and "eccentric" instead of "a troublesome brat".
It might have been better if someone had paid more attention, because then they might have spotted the Apergers, or even the epilepsy that was the root cause of the violent temper-tantrums. Or not. 30 years ago, in a backwards country like South Africa, I doubt anyone would have spotted it anyway.
Today it seems schools have swung the other way, by over-diagnosing and prescribing Ritalin at the drop of a hat. But if you can achieve a proper balance, the correct administration of medication, coupled with cognitive and/or occupational therapy, can improve the lives of so many children.
Re: Good article
Lucky you. In my job it has always been nigh-on impossible to avoid users and managers completely. Fortunately my case is quite mild(1) so I very rarely tell people to their faces just how bloody stupid they are. (And that's just one way that an Aspie can screw up a social interaction.)
But I have to admit, IT is the best you can hope for if you have high-functioning autism, because you can get to spent the majority of your time working with hardware and software not "wetware".
(1) Mixed blessing, that mildness. I am very high-functioning, which makes my life easier. But that very mildness makes it difficult to spot, so I went 38 years without a diagnosis(2), when early diagnosis would have improved my life significantly.
(2) As mentioned up-thread, a proper medical diagnosis is vital. Without it, you may only be suffering from "Assburgers", which is a condition where a self-diagnosis of Aspergers is used as an excuse for otherwise-unacceptable behaviour.
(3) Can I petition the Forum Management Gods to allow superscripts in postings. Footnotes are more fun with them! (Or is there a way and I'm just missing it? <sup>1</sup> doesn't work, as you can see.)
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