1401 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009
However, they did lie
It doesnt really matter how important a detail it is, but whether through incompetence or malice, they have given two governmental legal inquiries contradictory answers.
Worse, in both cases they gave an answer likely to be accepted by the questioner as reducing their liability, which implies the truth is probably neither of them.
Re: The start screen can't be managed
I did not know that.
Weird how the more I learn about TIFKAM, the crazier it gets.
So it genuinely isn't as bad as I first thought - it's much worse!
Well done, you missed the point
It was never just about the icon - though removing it was fundamentally stupid.
It's the "MS needs the entire screen" attitude, first seen in Office 2007.
No, starting an application does not require the full screen, except when the screen is very small or far away - phone/tablet and TV.
Neither of those apply in a desktop situation.
Who's taking the fall for you this time, Ballmer?
Re: Printing in kale
Pass me a 14B.
Re: political will
Smart meters do more than that.
They allow different billing rates at different times.
- So a miscreant can raise (or lower) your bill, by moving those times around. Perhaps make the Economy period from 1:00am to 1:05am?
Many allow customers to be remotely disconnected.
- Cutting a significant proportion of a single substation's load instantaneously could easily destroy the remaining customers' equipment due to overvoltage, and may even damage the substation. This has occasionally happened when a JCB has an accident, covered by the excavation insurance. Who pays for your new TV if it's killed by smart meter hacking?
- Imagine what would happen if 10% of a region's demand were suddenly cut off without warning? What if it was more than that?
Given that all potential miscreants will be provided with their very own example of the equipment to play with...
Re: Xbox modding / rechipping, Gamer Profile hacking...
Are you absolutely sure that's going to be possible?
Because how is "I rent game for a week and return it, then you rent game" any different to "I buy game play for a week then give it to you"?
Activations as described would kill the rental market as well, because you can't prevent resale without preventing rental, unless there are specific "rental" versions with a different DRM management system that would make them expensive and buggy, and limited to specific games.
Re: Much ado about nothing...
That's not a folder (or directory in old language). It's useful, but doesn't serve the same function - it's got more in common with KDE plasma widgets.
I've got something like hundred items in the Start Menu on my Win7 machine. (It's relatively hard to work out)
- More than half are actually the 'uninstaller' or 'configuration' that I will probably only ever run once. They're still there though, and they'd still be be there in the Start Screen, given the same prominence as the actual application they relate to.
So, tell me, how many screenfuls worth of scrolling is that under TIFKAM? Ten to twenty? That's not "a little"! Zooming out doesn't help unless I recognise the icons because the text becomes unreadable. (It's hard enough to read normally)
If I start rearranging things to move those "only ever run once" off to the end, I'll lose any sense of "this is the config tool for that". If two happen to have similar name and icons...
It's just two 'menufuls' of folders on Win7's Start Menu, and the stuff I've used 'a lot' turns up at the beginning without user interaction. If I want I can rearrange it to squash it even smaller, while stil maintaining a sense of "This relates to that" because folders can contain folders. That is a good UI.
The TIFKAM Start Screen is a reasonable UI for a tablet or a phone where somebody's probably only going to have ten to twenty "apps" and will only install anything from a unified interface that provides both installer and uninstaller (like Synaptic or an app store).
It doesn't work for a Windows desktop, where a lot of applications aren't well behaved and many (eg Office!) have multiple components.
Re: Much ado about nothing...
What's missing from the TIFKAM Start Screen?
For a start, Folders.
Without folders it rapidly becomes impossible to find anything you need but don't use often.
Even the search bar may not help because it relies on you knowing what something is called and not what it does or is related to.
- for example the IBM Rational ClearCase Client is called "Remote Client"
Brilliant. So I type "IBM", "Rational" or "ClearCase" and I won't get it. If I type "Client" it'll appear, along with a stack of other programs and I have to recognise the icon or figure it out because it's not Git Client, Mail Client etc.
Or I could just look in the "IBM Rational ClearCase" folder that's created by default, and suddenly the name makes sense!
I could even put that into a Source Control folder along with the others I use more often if I wanted.
Most people have a small number of applications they use every day, but many also have a large number they need once or twice a month (or less)!
A GUI is supposed to be less typing and offer hints that a command line can't.
Essentially, what you're saying is that TIFKAM is just a pretty command line launcher with none of the power.
They should devise a less clever tax code.
The cleverness is the problem. If its simple, and fully described on one side of A4, any possible dodges becomes obvious to all.
That then means any avoidance techniques will be well- known and therefore clearly intended.
Re: 4TB too big for me
I have the 500GB version, it's nowhere near big enough.
I would much rather have a bigger one - because then I could go to town on "auto-record anything looking vaguely interesting" without worrying that it would run out of space and be unable to record something I really, really want.
The high capacity is so I can delete stuff at leisure.
I often go away for long periods, and find it really annoying when I come back to find Episode 3 of %great_new_series% is coming up, and I've missed the opener.
With a bigger drive I could have more stuff recording on the off-chance it's good, to be deleted when I find its awful.
Re: Can somebody explain...
Pop quiz - how do we know that fast temperature oscillations did not occur in the past?
The correct answer is that we do not know, because all the proxy models we have for changes in the non-historical past are very low resolution.
That means we simply cannot see whether short-period oscillations occurred or not, although we do know that one did occur in medieval Europe - but not how extensive that was, although it seems fairly reasonable to assume that anything affecting all of Europe affected the rest of the world.
To date, we have no evidence that the current period is not another short-period oscillation.
We also know that we're in an ice age and that's not the 'usual' state of the planet - however, our society really needs the planet to stay in an ice age, and we're not sure what actually causes ice ages...
@The Craw - WTF?
You just said "scientists do not benefit financially from biasing their results in favor of that theory", followed immediately by "many scientists are paid by companies that have trillions of dollars at risk"
The amount of doublethink involved in that post is truly astounding!
Fossil fuel companies have thousands of scientists. How do you think they find the stuff in the first place, let alone extract it and convert it into useful chemicals?
The money argument is perfectly valid, as scientists are people too - thankfully it cuts both directions.
- BTW, Nobel prizes don't pay the bills. For a start, they are usually awarded more than a decade after the work was published. While the prize money is pretty large, no bank is going to lend you the money to do research on the basis that you'll pay them back with the Nobel prize money...
Re: Making the numbers look good.....
65 to 10 then.
So 87% "for" and 13% "against".
The rest are irrelevant as it would appear the paper had no evidence for the opinion, and thus is no different to asking the man on the clapham omnibus, yet will give a very high weighting to specific individuals who often put those words in their papers.
Although only 75 papers expressing a quantified opinion is an incredibly tiny number to be basing so much policy on...
Re: The most interesting point...
"Then how many of these 8547 Authors have definitive proof that AGW is real?"
Zero. Science doesn't work like that.
Science works by trying to prove something wrong and failing.
It's coming up with a hypothesis, and saying "if this is true, then that must happen. Does it?"
If it happens, try again. If it doesn't happen, reject the hypothesis.
For example, Newton's theory of universal gravitation predicted the Moon's orbit. Great. Now predict Mercury's orbit - even better, it's wrong! Wow, we need to find a better theory of gravity! (Einstein)
Re: so.what do we do....
I also know that several papers have an abstract saying things like "Due to AGW" or "May contribute to AGW", when the content of paper itself has no bearing on the matter whatsoever.
In those cases, the line in the abstract is merely the authors' opinion, with no basis in the evidence and work of the paper itself.
This isn't a meta-study, it's simply an opinion poll - and one where each paper got a vote, not each scientist. One could argue that's the right way around, but only if the papers are actually chosen by the evidence/conclusions rather than because the abstract contained certain words.
It's also irrelevant. The problem most rational people have with AGW is not whether or not it's occurring, but the insane schemes being dreamt up and firced upon us to "fix" it - most of which don't work, can't work, make it worse, kill people and/or destroy the rest of the environment purely in the name of CO2 reduction.
Re: Also in this continent
"I would rather have my money safely
resting in the bank underwritten by taxpayers, thank you very much"
Fixed it for you...
Re: Over complex
Indeed, I'd just drive the head sideways as that's much less complex. Stick card in sideways mag-stripe first, head is driven along the stripe, chip'n'pin contacts click into place when the head hits the end of the track. Job done.
The hard part of this (both his design and the much simpler variants) is ensuring the mechanism can't jam if the card is inserted 'wrong', because most people will try to stick it in the way they're used to, and there are cards like the "Mint" ones that are odd shapes.
Re: On the subject of ATMs
I gather they're supposed to be usable by those in wheelchairs and dwarfs, as those are more common than elves and giants.
Can't use your card in the UK.
There are lots of places that only use the mag stripe, one of them is quite large and called something like "Unsecured States of America", where they don't even ask for a signature a lot of the time.
Give it a year, you'll start to see them.
SSDs don't give the kinds of warnings you're used to, they go immediately from "tickety-boo" to "ex-data" without any real indication of upcoming problems.
Many have a five-year rating under 'common usage', so you're still early in the bell curve.
Re: A better method
That's the massive stumbling block that all the "limit reproduction" schemes fall into.
One method I've heard is this one:
"Everybody has the right to parent 3/4 of a child. Thus, each couple has a 1.5 child birthright and can either sell the spare half or buy a half from another couple. Anybody not wanting to be a parent can sell their full 3/4."
I think it was Kim Stanley Robinson.
That turns the problem into one of a free market for parenthood. It might even work!
No, it's facilitating ID theft
If a miscreant gets hold of that email - easy to trivial - then they now have a handy and complete package to go on an ID fraud spree.
After all, it's the full package of ID information a company like Apple consider good enough to identify you. So it's also enough for anybody else to claim to be you.
Re: Make the stamp, sign the book.
Yes, you're right - that line makes it considerably more likely that the correspondent was a victim of a phishing scam.
Re: Easy workaround
4) Don't want to be yet another victim of identity theft by handing the full package off to anybody who happens to be listening or gets the forwarded email.
4.5) Would like to deal only with companies complying with EU data protection laws.
- I cannot work out how this request can possibly comply, as its neither "reasonable" not "secure", both of which are necessary under EU law.
1W per machine, plus 50W for a standard monitor.
That king of machine has the advantage of being dead easy to mass-wipe as well.
Worse than that - CSCS card exams.
I kid you not, one of the questions in that mulyiple-guess test has these two as possible answers:
X) Try to kill it.
Y) Everybody needs to bring a cat onto site.
These are tests it is almost impossible to fail, yet anybody needing to enter a building site is required to waste an afternoon doing a "test" that takes anybody vaguely computer literate and not utterly insane around ten minutes.
On the other hand, he does have a point when it comes to "wordy" essay-based exams. I couldn't physically write a legible multi-page essay, but could easily type one.
However, if you're going to offer this then it absolutely cannot be BYOD. It can only be "use school computer", because that is the only way it is possible for the invigilators to offer a level playing field to the candidates, giving all of them access to the same information abd software.
Re: card readers
Intercepting a cheque is beyond trivial, and if you pay it into an account in your name, the money takes a week or more to "clear", and even then can still be taken away from you if the cheque is later declared fraudulent.
That's why those "cheques cashed" services charge a hefty percentage, to cover that risk.
If "the man" wants to screw you over, a cheque's the best way to do it! That's why so few EU shops accept them!
Incidentally, in the EU we now have "faster payments", which transfer cleared money between bank accounts in under 2 hours, usually in seconds. It did take a Government action to force that though, as the three-day clearing is a nice little earner for the banks!
Re: Rule of Thumb
The thing about a bad webmail experience, is that users just leave.
They might set up a rule to auto-forward to the new account, but they might not.
Either way, people really aren't very attached to a specific email address anymore. They just quietly leave, and tell their good friends where they've moved to.
"Faster and cleaner"?
What planet are you on? Do you live in their datacentre?
The old Hotmail interface loaded quickly and ran smoothly - except for the adverts, which I blocked anyway so didn't care.
The new Outlook interface generally hasn't even loaded by the time I've finished checking my Gmail mail, and I've lost count of the number of times it's sat doing the "dots spinning along" for a minute or two before giving up and saying its dead.
How much of that is shoddy web interface and how much is shoddy MS servers in Europe doesn't matter to me, but my experience is that Outlook.com is slow and horrible.
On top of that it is incredibly irritating that scrolling to the bottom of an email, then clicking the next/last button puts me at the bottom of the other email.
Seriously - WTF? I've not seen any other webmail behave like that, so it's clearly not a difficult problem to solve and I can't think of a single reason why the current Outlook.com behaviour could be desirable.
Rubbish. There is quite literally no such thing.
Paid-for support contract, yes. But that is not a licence, it's a contract, and like all contracts, you can end up in court if you break it - no different to refusing to pay the rent on your premises.
Secondly, by definition the licence to use all FOSS software costs precisely zero money, no more and no less. If it isn't, then it is not FOSS, it's something else.
And a supplier requiring you to take out a support contract to use their software is not offering a FOSS solution either. Recommending that you buy a support package, yes, that's common.
This can't even identify a business or household either.
All it takes is for a connection to 'bounce' into and back out of one of them for the existing DHCP/ARP log and the purported IP connections logs to be completely and utterly useless.
How could that happen? Botnet, internal corporate network, distributed VOIP (torrents, Skype!)... All of which already exist and are in common usage, and except for the botnets for perfectly law-abiding reasons as well as the presumed 'black hats'.
There is no possible way to know if a given connection 'in/out' is in any way related to another 'in/out' connection from the logs - short of DPI with man-in-the-middle attacks and logging all the transmitted data. (How many petabytes per day?) Even that would only require encryption done 'mid-bounce' to make it utterly useless.
So truly, this is worse than useless in every possible way - not only does it require a loss of privacy on the part of every UK resident, even if it worked (which it can't), it could only serve to make the haystack several orders of magnitude bigger for the security services.
So much for the EU
I thought privacy laws were supposed to be harmonised, just like voltage and electrical safety.
Or are some EU states more harmonised than others?
'Cos they buy a lot of switches, and don't like being stuck with "can only buy Cisco", but want "Can buy anything with compatible hardware and put our spin of SwitchOS on it"
- Heck, I like the idea. A couple of our suppliers make custom, industry-specific switches with industry-specific features.
Like a display on the front showing selectable details of important protocols passing through the switch, where "important" is user-definable - what matters to Facebook doesn't matter (much) to you and vice-versa.
Even in a big data centre, having a display on a switch is handy - even if merely to locate and confirm exactly which switch is having the hissy fit without relying on stuck-on labels.
Re: So, what happens if you decide to stop renting?
So no different to borrowing from the bank to fund the purchase of essential tools, except now you're stuck paying that forever instead of paying the loan off completely in six months to a year?
Why would any sane small business choose to do that?
It can fit in with the capital/running budget madness that is a large corporate entity by moving the bill under the Finance radar, but that's it.
Re: The risk it to kill the paying hobbyst market
Whaddya mean, "risk"?
This is a near one-shot kill to the hobbyist market!
Very few partners will happily allow someone to spend that much every month on hobby software, compared to "It's your birthday so I got you the newest Photoshop" every four/five years.
Smaller outfits will be concerned as well.
Given the other attacks on photographers (commercial k copyright grabs), I suspect many one-man-band professionals will also be reexamining whether they actually need any new versions of Photoshop or can get by with the old one they currently have, or something else entirely. Margins are tight.
Re: What a huge fraud! Adobe worse than Electronic Arts (SimCity fraud)...
Yup. Cash flow is what kills small businesses.
This is why they usually need to borrow from a bank to fund their startup and expansion costs, like purchasing important tools.
You don't hire a lathe if your business is turning widgets. You hire the tools that you don't use often, and you buy the tools you use every day - probably on credit, but you still buy them so that next year, the monthly payments have gone and your cashflow is therefore improved, leaving cash for other expansion.
There are exceptions - the really, really high capital cost things like premises are usually rented.
Re: Maintenance costs slain by electric motors?
Diesel-Electric drive on ships has been in common use for a long time - at least 20 years.
Pretty much every new-build cruise ship is that way - the exceptions are the gas turbine vessels, which have - you guessed it - gas turbines to generate instead of fuel-oil diesels.
Also, the manoeuvring thrusters have been electric for much, much longer.
Side-by-side is the solution to the DLL problem, and it works very well when used properly.
Given that you cannot guarantee binary* compatibility of all versions of a DLL with all versions of all programs that use it, you have two choices:
1) Install a copy of the DLL with every single application.
This uses lots of disk space (how many copies of the same release of MSVCP90.dll do you need?), and perhaps more importantly the user cannot (easily) update the DLLs to fix bugs.
The advantage is that the application will always use the exact same version it originally shipped with. One hopes that's also the version it was tested with!
2) Have a central repository of DLLs that maintains a list of all versions installed and ensures the most up to date binary compatible version is loaded by each program.
This saves disk space and means DLL updates can easily be applied - and rolled back.
The downside is that every program needs a correct manifest stating which version is binary compatible - and a bad application/installer can of course screw that up or forget it altogether!
3) Install the newest version of the DLL into a central repository and don't bother checking anything.
This will blow up in your face. Microsoft did finally learn that.
4) Compile everything from source so it all uses the same version of the DLL.
Not an option for proprietary software!
* Or source compatibility either.
Re: Swiss cheese internet anyone...?
How about just blocking all forms of webmail?
Ok, it doesn't stop idiots from using remote access from home machines to compromise your servers, but there usually isn't a business case for allowing any webmail on corporate networks and there are business reasons for blocking it (IP theft etc)
(Unless your corporate email is provided by one of these webmail services, in which case, $deity help you!)
Re: Sad, Really.
Hah! Domestic solar PV is completely irrelevant to the generating companies, the output from those isn't even a rounding error and that's unlikely to change in the next fifty years.
It does however mess with the supply/billing companies, because they have to pay out to the rich landlords who have them installed. Of course, they do it by cranking up everybody else's bills (yes, FITs are a near-pure 'steal from the poor' scheme).
At least in the UK, the larger-scale wind and PV installs cause massive headaches and expense for the distribution infrastructure as they both must buy all its output whenever available even though it's more expensive, rather than requesting it when needed at varying spot price (possibly negative) like everything else, and have to build out transmission to "the middle of nowhere" in order to do so.
National Grid are really pissed off at the Government, it comes through quite clearly in their publications.
It's for their "APU"s, which are CPU with on-chip (possibly on die?) GPU.
So their GPU is already using the same physical memory bus and memory hardware as the CPU.
This isn't for discrete GPUs.
Looking at the list of partners, seeing ARM is very, very interesting - GPGPU in a Cortex A* is already very cool, and this would not only add go-faster stripes but severely reduce the CPU needed.
Anybody for 2-big.2-little.loads-of-titchy?
Re: Ah... Serial ports
I use serial-controlled devices regularly. It's part of my day job.
Most of them are 9600 baud, many are in fact an 8-bit PIC/Arduino class microcontroller. So yes, we really are talking single-digit MIPs and 100's KB RAM - less than your Microvax.
Nearly all of these serial links are intended for integration of disparate systems from different manufacturers.
Add encryption and both ends need to handle it.
If the link doesn't work, it needs "sniffing" to test it because one or both ends won't have any form of UI.
Unless the transmission itself is encrypted, then username/password is utterly useless because a trivial replay attack will crack it!
And in many cases, one end isn't made anymore.
The security belongs on the Internet connection device.
In most cases, it is simply not practical (or useful) on the serial link itself!
Re: Ah... Serial ports
You can't put useful security on the serial port itself, there isn't the CPU (or the bandwidth) in most devices.
Aside from that, even if you did it could not even begin to protect against man-in-the-middle or replay attacks without making the port itself useless for its intended purpose - namely simple interconnect between disparate systems.
Your TV probably has a serial port - it's for remote control like on/off and channel select when used in places like the Heathrow baggage area.
As long as that network stays private, the risk is easily mitigated. The trouble arises when the network is not private!
The security has to be in the serial-to-internet link, that's the only effective location.
Re: I know many systems using it.
What if the evil hacker just doesn't care about side effects?
If they just squirt some fairly random data at it until it responds, what happens?
A lot of these have a very simple command set, so the odds of a random data stream doing something are pretty good. In some cases even the bootloader or test modes might be exposed, so random data could even "brick" the kit by accident!
Many of the rest have normal terminals, complete with headers saying what they are - so a black hat could simply look up the manual for the equipment to find valid commands.
On top of that, most serial devices respond with things like "NACK" or "?" if they don't understand a request, and as many don't have much CPU, simply flooding the serial port can affect their ability to do whatever job they are doing.
Aside from that, a miscreant could easily prevent legitimate use of the device.
Either way results in a denial of service to a piece of physical plant, which could be quite dangerous.
Re: 119 MB is lightweight?
@ Liam - So I am. Whoops.
Re: 119 MB is lightweight?
Nope, 119MB of HDD after installing for the desktop complete with the default applications - so a full browser, office-type pack etc.
All of them are absolutely minuscule compared to Windows 7 and small compared to WinXP - our XP-Embedded image is much bigger than that without any applications at all.
It takes some time
If there are a million user IDs stolen, and it takes the black-hat 1sec for their systems to try each one on all the sites they want to attack, it'll take them about 11.5 days to try them all.
So if you're in the second half, you might have a 5-day window. (Scale as appropriate)
If you're in the first few thousand tried you're stuffed, but everyone else may have a chance.
Re: Work Use
Netbooks were crippled by the tiny screen resolution. Whoever it was that decided netbooks should have a max. of 600 vertical pixels was either an idiot or deliberately trying to kill the form factor.
Had they gone the same resolution as tablets (1080p), they would be considerably more popular - certainly all our engineers would have them!
That said, I actually use tablets for work pretty often as they make great remotes for our equipment.
(Such as a building... You remember the Star Trek segments where somebody wanders down the corridor with a PADD controlling the starship? We do that today with Win7/8 tablets for ships and buildings.)
Incorrect, MS' patents have never gone to court
The closest they ever came was Barnes & Nobel, when a discovery phase began, but MS almost immediately settled by buying a stake in B&N.
If that isn't a "smoking gun" I don't know what is - if you actually have a case, you don't literally buy out the opposition!
Re: PC Audio
True, the processing needed is completely irrelevant these days.
However, the onboard DACs and line/headphone amps tend to be really rubbish, built as cheap as possible with noisy PSUs.
This doesn't matter though, as almost all of them have a digital audio output to feed into something with a decent set of DACs and amps - be it HDMI, SPDIF or optical.
Pretty much every discrete graphics card with an HDMI port has this capability, and the Realtek, nForce audio etc chipsets not only all have the digital output to connect it, but will "sound" exactly as good as anything else playing the same audio file.
Nobody needs a discrete sound card for good PC audio playback anymore - just a decent amp and speakers with digital audio input.
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