1402 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009
Re: Spotting a clone
If your fake is the tiny form-factor, DESTROY AND THROW IT AWAY IMMEDIATELY.
Or better, carefully pull it apart and post photos, then throw it.
I'm serious, those really are incredibly dangerous!
Every single one of the UK smaller-than-a-normal plug fakes I've seen have such tiny clearances that they will connect the USB shell (and thus phone chassis) to the mains merely by slightly wiggling the cable in the wrong direction.
Smart TVs are doomed
This is yet another example of why putting "smarts" inside the TV is a bad idea.
Now the smart for a TV costs $35 - $70 and does everything any of the Smart TVs do. Next year, it'll be $20-$50 and they'll do far more than the Smart TVs can.
TVs are expensive, they have to last you many years.
The "Smart" bit is really cheap, you can buy a new one every year!
Of course, being commentards you knew that from the moment the first Smart TV was marketed.
Those Business T5 pods are fundamentally broken-by-design.
One, very simple change would have made them brilliant: External power supply.
- eg Third rail, 'scalextrix' slot, overhead line or lines etc. After all, it's a point-to-point railway!
But no, they decided that something that's going to spend its entire existence continually trundling back-and-forth for about 17 hours a day should be battery-powered, and thus have a flat battery by around 10am and be near-useless for the rest of the day, and wear out the battery within a year or two.
So higher operating costs, lower availability and greater emissions due to waste during the charging cycle! Fools.
They never have enough time to properly recharge during the day, so unless you go at a time when nobody flies, you end up waiting for ages for a podule with enough charge - and having to share it anyway because otherwise you'll miss your flight.
Compare to the free Miami downtown "Metromover", which uses a "slot-car" power supply.
I don't use the T5 Business parking anymore - the 'normal' one is cheaper and it takes just as long to get into T5 from the M25, even though I have to wait for the shuttle bus.
Re: all I'm hoping for...
Of course they have, it's the only way to stop it happening.
Consider the game theory:
If Company X overcharges and the others don't, X gets both more revenue and lower running costs than the others. Thus all of them charge each other the most they can possibly get away with.
If Company Y decides to stop overcharging the others, it simply reduces its revenue. Its costs stay high.
If companies A, B and C agree not to overcharge each other, they will gain when collisions occur that involve parties insured by those in the 'peering' agreement, but lose out if either party isn't.
But they don't get to choose who their insured crash into.
So the only way it can happen is with agreement between all insurance companies - because it only takes one git to ruin the whole thing.
Although to be honest, I'd have thought it was already covered by "fraud", because you have a legal duty to minimise losses and I'm really not seeing how "selling the details on to ambulance chasers" and the various other schemes is doing that.
Can you point this thing sideways to turn %generic-piece-of-desk% with %any-old-pen% into a 2D tablet?
If not, then the Leap Motion guys had better get onto doing that because that, quite genuinely, is the killer app for the underlying technology.
Who will turn the filter off?
The question gets shown to the first browser to try to acces a web page after the moment of switch-on.
In most "at-risk" households, that's pretty likely to be one of the kids being babysat by The Internet.
Yes, banning drawings is utterly insane.
It has also happened - it is genuinely illegal in the UK to merely possess drawings of certain kinds of ill-defined "objectionable material". Thank Nu Labour for that one.
Hence El Reg needing to be pretty quick in removing links to things that could be construed that way.
Stop it, these are totally different things.
This is like trying to prevent murder by requiring you to "opt-in" to eating burgers.
Perhaps they are trying to damage the Labour party by sending Jacqui Smith mad by preventing her husband from seeing porn?
That makes at least as much sense.
Re: bad EPG data from Sky
The Sony box still has an unforgivable error.
It should not be possible for any data, valid or invalid, to actually crash the box.
The box should have simply said "Whoops, the EPG data is corrupt." After that, showing either a blank EPG or the last-known-valid EPG data would be reasonable.
What does your browser do when you go to a malformed webpage?
Mine recovers from many errors (if the intent remains obvious), and shows a page saying what the error is and exactly where it happened if the intent has been lost.
@dajames Re: Bring them on....
I agree that brute-force cracking AES-128 is likely to remain too expensive to bother attacking an individual Smart Meter for at least a decade.
However, you're assuming there are no other points of attack.
There's only two ways to implement the security on smart meters:
1) Every meter has its own, individual key. This requires either a large backend database of SN:Key or an algorithm to generate a key from the meter serial number.
- So a miscreant attacks the database or keygen algorithm. This is a high-value target because once cracked, the miscreant has all the meters. The database is as secure as the weakest organisation with access to it.
2) Every meter has the same key (or there are a small number of keys). This key will be written down somewhere.
- So a miscreant only needs to find a copy of the key.
Both methods leave the system open to attack without even touching the meter - and assume that the implementation is perfect, which is highly unlikely.
You're right that if cracking these meters only gave you "free energy", it probably wouldn't be much of a target because there are easier (if more dangerous) ways to do this already - just bypass the meter. Yep, it's live working but you don't die too often.
However, cracking these meters gives you control over whether power is delivered at all. What would happen if a "terrorist group" decided to cut off a significant number of properties at the same time?
Google for "Dryer fire"
(Obvious icon is obvious)
Re: Seems unlikely they would be used for cut-off...
Thanks for the link. They really do mean "Black you out after X kWh"
So just like the old pre-pay coin meters, except able to be 'activated' remotely (thus wrongly from time to time). Brilliant.
How long before somebody dies because of this?
- I'm serious. There are a lot of pieces of equipment that could kill if shut off at the wrong moment. The most obvious are the ventilators used by some paraplegics, but there are many other, less obvious ones.
Re: Seems unlikely they would be used for cut-off...
How the heck does 'load limiting' work? (without the loads themselves co-operating)
As an electrical engineer, all the methods I can think of would either damage or completely destroy many types of connected equipment, or are simply "blackout after X kWh" - normally called "demand management" in the newspeak of "Let's black out the whole nation."
Re: I'm No Fan
It's irrelevant whether or not it's got the letters "CE" on it.
The act of importing a device for sale into the EU that does not meet the CE requirements is illegal, and the importer is the one held liable.
Most of the "China-tat" chargers are bloody dangerous.
Tim Cook seems not to understand the market
CEO Tim Cook reportedly expressed dismay that 80 per cent of all iPhones are sold through carrier stores, rather than Apple Retail Stores, and suggested that he'd like to see that figure drop to 50 per cent.
Straw poll: Hands up who didn't get their phone from their carrier?
The idea of buying the phone direct is an alien concept to most people in Europe, and I don't think the US is much different. Most places where you buy phone and service separately are poor, and can't afford iPhones.
Fool. He's chasing a higher per-unit margin by throwing away the market.
- I only know two people who bought their phones from a store of any kind rather than from the carrier.
One of them only did so because the phone they'd originally got via the carrier got nicked!
If true, it's proof they've lost the plot
Everybody knows that adding more people to a late engineering or software project makes it later.
The best camera is the one you have with you
If your Hasselblad or Nikon D600 is sat at home, you're not going to capture the photo of %MAJOR_EVENT%.
For example, the reason we got so many videos of the Russian meteor is because so many drivers have cameras in their cars, and almost everyone has a smartphone with a camera.
I don't think many people had time to run for their DSLR or broadcast-quality TV camera.
Perhaps an unattended fire in the cabin?
If somebody left their phone in there and it caught fire, the alarm goes off and if there are crew on board, an attendant comes by within moments to investigate and (if necessary/appropriate) attack the fire.
But if nobody noticed the alarm, there'll be time for a very small fire to become a large one.
Fire was always the biggest event on board ship, and a ship's bridge is never unmanned. A plane's cockpit however?
Re: @AC18:12GMT - @h3 - See what happens when you're an exchange/hotmail user ?
In the US of A found on planet Earth (Sol 3), software is patented more than anything else. Along with business processes and plenty of "bloody obvious to someone with a vague idea of the Art".
Your USA sounds much better than the one that actually exists. Shame.
Re: "Cloud and Enterprise Engineering"
My thoughts entirely.
He couldn't be more obvious without hanging a giant poster down the side of the Shard! (Perhaps that's what those loonies are doing?)
The departments read as "back office, phones & games consoles, consumer applications, cloud".
Not a lot of room for Enterprise there.
Indeed, it's musical chairs up there
However, sooner or later the whole room falls down.
We saw a partial collapse a few years back in the banking crisis - unfortunately, the ones playing with the chairs don't appear to have learnt from it, so the next collapse will be worse...
Indeed, I thought all the icons had vanished entirely for a good few seconds before realising they'd moved to the right.
Really don't like the separate button to add an icon - please put it back under the text box!
"We patented the method whereby your university buildings were constructed. Pay up or knock them down."
That's appears to be what they're trying here.
It certainly is trolling, because Apple don't make LEDs.
They buy them.
From people like Philips, Cree etc... Who are already paying the royalties...
This is reasonably likely to get a one-line response along the lines of "We buy them from X. Talk to them. BTW, our legal costs were Y, pay up!"
I'm very, very glad "he" got caught.
My first thought is "Good riddance to the freeloading bastard".
Did you really mean to say "Removing WHOIS would let
me my friend get away with copyright infringement on a commercial basis", because that's what it sounded like.
Wouldn't have worked anyway, because it's a tennis club, so it's got a real, physical location given on the website. (Incidentally, Getty embed a watermark into all images to ensure they can be easily identified. This survives physical printing, so forget 'print-screen' copy.)
If you're foolish enough to use a Getty image or any other clearly in-copyright, all-rights-reserved image without a licence - whether as a 'placeholder' or not - you deserve everything you get.
Just don't do it - if you want a placeholder, search one of the many free-for-commercial-use sites or take your own photo. Nobody forced
you him to use a Getty image.
Getty are simply a group of photographers who'd like to get paid for their work!
If you genuinely think photographers should just give away all of their work for free, then your acquaintance should be giving away his website design service as well.
Let me guess - he doesn't agree with that?
Amusingly, the hardware reliability is where the EV wins
Or at least, where it should win.
I expect this Nissan will be going down the route of high-torque, (switched-reluctance or multipole) motors either right in the wheelhubs or on short shafts (to reduce unsprung weight).
Essentially, the complete drivetrain made of either four or eight moving parts. (Ignoring the suspension itself as you need that on all vehicles.)
Done that way, if a motor goes down you lose 1/4 of drive power and some stability, but swapping it out may only take about twice as long as changing the tyre. While that would lose a short race, it could win an endurance race!
Unfortunately none of the EVs (aside from bicycles) currently on the market seem to be playing to the strengths of electric motors, keeping all the gearboxes, differentials, clutches etc that an IC needs but are simply unnecessary for an electric motor.
Re: Nice idea but doesnt work
All consumer rechargeable lithium batteries have a built-in "fuel gauge" chip to ensure they aren't overcharged.
It's not much of a leap to add enough Flash to store the entire history of the battery charge/discharge cycles!
The only ones you'll buy that don't are the hobbyist Li-Po cells for electric R/C aircraft and the like, where they basically will catch fire sooner or later.
Re: "We are sorry for ANY impact"
The phrase "Sorry for any..." feels like "Nya nya, we don't really give a toss" to me, and I doubt I'm the only one who feels like that.
Abuse monopoly much?
I suspect this was probably dropped on legal advice.
The EU would have loved getting its hands on a few billion Microsoft dollars, and even the USA would have had trouble justifying not prosecuting.
Unless you're shooting large format, you're talking utter rubbish!
Film has a grain size, you can see the actual 'pixels' with a hand lens. They aren't square, but they are there.
Even medium-format is only about 50MPixels.
35mm is 4 to 16MPixels depending on the emulsion (faster = lower resolution)
Re: Film Isn't Dead
But it is niche!
How big are the markets for floppy disks and new pressings of vinyl?
The large markets for film are gone.
Consumers do not want it, and professional photographers and cinematographers barely use it anymore.
Only enthusiasts and artists (arguably a subset of the former) want it now.
That kind of market simply cannot support a large enterprise. It can only support a small number of small businesses.
"Renting less than a mortgage"
How exactly does the landlord pay the mortgage if the rent is less than the mortgage payments?
The rent must be significantly higher as the landlord is hoping to make a profit on the enterprise.
If thats not through the rental income being much higher than the outgoings, they are betting on house prices going up and selling the property after a few years - which kicks the tenant out as the new owner must up the rent to cover their new, more expensive mortgage.
The general rule is that the rental income should be around double the mortgage payments, so that "voids" don't result in a loss and the landlord can afford the necessary maintenance, repairs and replacement items.
Renting can only be cheaper if multiple tenants pay for the same property - flats or multiple-occupancy houses - or the landlord owns the house outright thus has no mortgage.
Birmingham commuter belt wouldn't be bad
The commuter belt is where the shops end up, because while people are willing to do a daily point-to-point train commute for work, they won't be bringing the weekly shop home on that train.
So the effect is to boost the local economy.
The downside is that house prices go up as locals now compete with bankers who can buy a house with their monthly bonus...
That inequality of income actually the problem. The bigger the gap, the worse everything is.
Re: Not gloopy
Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6...
What are those in real money? Nobody else uses those monikers for the compounds.
'E' numbers are more widely used and less confused with others, even better is the common name of the compound.
The FD&C "Yellow 5" is also known as Food Yellow 4, E102...
Or better, Tartrazine. It is associated with hyperactivity and at higher doses, random heart attacks.
Re: Flogging a dead horse
A dead horse can still kick you in the balls.
RAII and the appropriate smart pointers make it damn near impossible to forget to deallocate - the data is gone the moment the last reference drops out of scope.
RAII predictable, while garbage collection is anathema to predictable timing. If repeatable performance doesn't matter for your project that's fine, but not everybody is doing that kind of stuff.
TBH I find it hard to come up with a valid reason to prefer GC over RAII - why would you want the object to get erased some random period after you don't want it anymore? Why not kill it now?
Aside from all that, you still get memory leaks in garbage-collected languages, it's just a case of holding onto references you don't actually need anymore, or otherwise confusing the GC into thinking you might still want it.
You can shoot yourself in the foot in any language.
Who said it was natural?
Maybe somebody out there is building something big!
Large numbers of grains of sand sounds like a reasonable place to grab a large amount og material. Drop a few Von Neumann machines in there and let them get on with it, come back a few thousand years later when it's built.
After the device is built, consuming much of the material near the orbit where they dropped the initial probes, the remaining debris would probably show up like this.
They'd want to harvest from a distant orbit because the escape energy is lower, and they'd aim for the bit originally relatively dense (near the middle of the dust cloud) to get lots of material.
Worth considering, right?
Nope, it's first-past-the-post which does that.
A "first past the post" system forces this:
- It rapidly becomes clear that voting for anyone other than the top two from last time is pointless.
- In an A, C, Z election, Voting for "Option C" that meets your views better than A, tends to cause option Z (opposed to your views) to win by moving votes from option A to C.
Thus it gravitates to a two-party system with "safe seats" in many votes, and the politicians can trivially ignore most of the electorate.
So why did the UK idiot electorate believe the big two parties when they campaigned against changing the voting system?
Re: Sorry mmeier, each class of physical UI requires a different GUI.
mmeier: "Never considered SDI/MDI a huge enough difference."
Thanks, coupled with 'just hide elements' between touch and non-touch, you've now proven that you genuinely know nothing at all regarding GUI design and don't "get" why it matters either.
That's ok, many programmers are the same as designing a UI is a very specific skillset (some might say mindset).
But please, do your users a favour, and never, ever design the GUI for anything. Get somebody who specialises in that, though they need some domain knowledge to be any good.
Sorry mmeier, each class of physical UI requires a different GUI.
Something that's great on a 21" desktop with a mouse & keyboard is awful and probably unusable on a 7" touchscreen. Something great for your 7" touchscreen is hideously ugly and annoying on your 21" desktop.
Would you want an onscreen keyboard always covering half the screen on your desktop when you have a perfectly good real one?
That's just the most obvious example, there are many others!
Which version of Office is that, mmeier?
Because in Office 2007 and 2010, Excel and Outlook still behave totally differently to the rest.
Excel remains MDI while Word, PowerPoint etc are now one-window-one-document (which is better on multi-monitor).
Excel's copy-paste behaviour is completely and utterly different to everything else that has any kind of copy/paste.
Outlook 2007 wasn't ribbon'ed, 2010 is but still has the appearance of multi-window while actually being something slightly different and strange - try starting to attach a file, then stopping and trying to do something else while the "Open" dialog is still open. You're stuck - and some users end up rebooting the whole machine because if that one.
Consistency within MS Office has never existed before, why would I believe you now?
Re: Linux is everywhere
vxWorks is the RTOS used by over 300 control boxes in the Grand Mosque lighting control system, plus 11 WinXPE boxes as well. There's more vxWorks licences there than Windows ones in an average SME!
I suspect (but don't know for certain) that the lifts run on it as well.
If you want deterministic and short response times on low-power hardware, you're going to want an RTOS because the alternative is bare-metal.
However, more modern hardware is becoming so much more powerful and cheap, that in the last five years or so a lot of stuff that would previously have been RTOS or even bare-metal is now Linux.
Linux is everywhere
Linux is the kernel, so yes, my set-top box runs Linux, Android phones run Linux.
There's also a lot of stuff running on Linux that you'd never think of - the new Disney ships run on Linux, the Sheik Zayed Al Nayan mosque runs on VXWorks, the world's tallest building runs on Linux and Windows XP.
A lot of BMS and industrial controllers run on the Linux kernel - it's either that or VXWorks for the most part, and most ARM/MIPs computer-on-module suppliers offer Linux as a standard BSP.
Because it's not necessary for all the chip functions to be licensed to all purchasers.
For an example, look at the Raspberry Pi. The GPU accelerated H264 codec is licensed to all purchasers of an RPi (included in the price), but the MPEG2 and VC-1 are not - even though the GPU does these equally well!
It's well known that when you buy a chip, you may still need to buy additional licenses if you want to use all of its functions.
An inventor would have produced a prototype, even if they did no more.
The problem NPEs haven't, instead they have bought the patent rights from somebody else and in many cases never produced anything vaguely related or even in the same field of expertise.
So perhaps a tighter definition would be that any patent assignee must produce a product (or prototype product) they have created or directly commissioned in order to commence any court action.
Re: Why indeed
What is outrageous is repeatedly submitting something almost if not entirely identical until it passes by accident or through boredom.
Which has happened - and not just in the EU. Teresa's going for the 3rd or 4th attempt on the snoopers charter, essentially unchanged from the first time it got shot down.
At what point does it become taking the piss?
So, rather useless and actually completely obsolete before even launched.
We aim for 1/40th sec and usually get 1/30th. Have done for decades.
We also have wireless and battery-less light switches for the last couple of years - fancy a sticky-back light switch?
Re: "ARM's TrustZone" - abuse of ENGLISH!
What they've done is offer a way a device manufacturer can ensure that no application running on the ARM core of the same device can read back the output of the framebuffer. Quite how this can usefully stop an application popping it back into normal mode to read the framebuffer is unknown, given that users want nice transitions between 'play video' and 'not play video' and quite like having GUI elements like Play, Pause, Quit etc.
But this feature isn't for the users. It's for devices that are genuinely frightened of the user.
However, any given implementation of this feature may be flawed, and the output of the physical IC remains (and always must remain) available - both LVDS and LCD-RGB will forever remain unencrypted (so getting the image is easy if you pop the lid) and both HDMI and DisplayPort are crackable, if not cracked already.
Fundamentally, the reason DRM as a concept cannot possibly work is because Bob, Eve and Mallory are all the same person.
For the same reason, the overall effect is to only annoy legitimate users and damage reputations, because it prevents the legitimate user from watching the content they've paid for - both when it works and when it breaks down.
In this case, if any issue (eg minor bug in playback app) causes the 'secure' GPU to get stuck in takeover mode, your device is a brick.
Well done Motorola, you just re-invented it except worse!
This way you need multiple spares because they only last two weeks or two days.
So when somebody steals the spares, you're stuffed.
Re: "unified search results from your apps, files, SkyDrive, actions you can take, and the web"
More to the point, didn't they hear what happened when somebody else did that?
The most annoying annoying thing about any search function is when it returns too many results, so anything that gives you more results is only going to be more annoying.
Stand by for "Word" to become the most-clicked term on Bing...
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