43 posts • joined Wednesday 8th July 2009 13:52 GMT
Still new things in retro-computing
Not only do I still have my original Beeb from 1983 but I also have a second one, and a Master. I've also built an Econet, and built my own expansion boards (additional user ports; NVRAM) for it. I'm doing more with my Beeb, today, that I ever did BITD!
Re: What's in a name?
Binary incompatibility does not demonstrate "not unix".
Try running an AIX binary on Solaris (both Unix). Or a SCO Unix binary on Solaris 86 (both Unix).
The point of "cattle vs pet" isn't to stop you having your unique and precious snowflake; it's to have you _define_ your unique snowflake in such a way that if it breaks (hard disk failure; hardware failure; whatever) then it's quicker to rebuild than to repair. SMEs benefit from this. An environment with 1000 OS instances definitely benefits.
Must be _really_ old EPIRBs 'cos the ones in the early 90s would automatically activate in water. At least the ones we had onboard our ships did.
Re: Let me get this straight... @Neill Mitchell
See "WIMP": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WIMP_%28computing%29
I'm not selling it; it's free! Just a small handling and postage fee to cover my expenses of shipping it to you...
Re: Map errors
I see errors in google maps all the time. Interestingly the main maps.google.com site gets it right, but the app on my phone gets it wrong. It's placing shops a mile away from where they should be.
Doesn't work for large corporate environments where all traffic goes via a cluster of proxies; each request _could_ come from a different IP address.
Wouldn't solve the problem in the case of a cafe WiFi or a hotel where all the traffic might be NAT'd to a single IP address.
IP-binding of information has never worked too well; even in the early days of the web, all AOL-users would be proxied.
It depends on the type of pre-paid card. Some of them are treated as "real" cards for billing/pay-down and reporting purposes. Someone with a poor credit rating can use these to gain a history of "paid on time" and thus improve their score.
Phone NFC credit cards - too much work
Choice 1: take phone out of pocket, unlock phone, start up relevant app, enter whatever PIN/authentication that app needs, wave phone over NFC reader.
Choice 2: take out credit card, wave card over NFC reader.
In the US many NFC enabled cards (eg PayPass) don't even need PIN or signing for low value transactions (between $20 or $50 depending on card and outlet). Using the phone strikes me as a lot less convenient.
Re: Cricket bats versus baseball bats
The rules of cricket say "the ball" has to cross the boundary, not part of it. Thus the whole PM needs to cross. If the ball splits in half then the umpire must signal a dead ball. If the PM splits in half then the PM is declared DOA at the hospital.
I think the storm was an excuse; it was the leap second that did it!
Re: Our cable already did
When Verizon FIOS turned off their analogue channels in my area they offered a free converter box to customers. I took one for my basement TV (my main TV was already using digital via TiVo). This box will remain free as long as I keep FIOS TV service at this location. The result is that I now get all the "basic" FIOS SD channels for free on this second TV!
Re: Facebook has a real name culture
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter—
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover—
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
- TS Elliot "The Naming Of Cats"
Isn't this sort of thing more commonly known as "spam"? So Amazon are now spamming Kindle owners directly on their Kindle...
There will be well understood concepts around "aiding a police officer, or other officers of the law in the performance of their duties as police officers or officers of the law"; it's very unlikely that this situation came anywhere close to meeting the criteria. This person was not covered by the law you quoted.
"Civil Arrest" is equally problematical; you open yourself up to charges of unlawful imprisonment if you get it wrong!
If you wanna do a cop's job then become a cop, not a vigilante. At least, then, you'll have a better idea of the law and how to apply it!
Coincidentally I loaded "speaktoit" on my Droid3 over the weekend. And, wow, it killed phone performance. Everything was slower. Once I removed the app then speed was restored.
I wasn't very impressed with its behaviour, either; giving it one-word answers typically failed to cause a reaction ("yes"), so I had to say it twice which resulted in "yes yes". Dunno if that's an underlying speech recog issue with Android or just "speaktoit" being dumb.
Money For Nothing... sometimes on airplay the word "faggot" is distorted so you can't hear it. There's also a version of the song without that verse at all which gets played a lot.
Current viruses may attack the CPU by loading a new microcode layer, but this is cleared on reset. I guess the next generation of viruses will physically rewire your CPU for you! Why am I envisioning some Neuromancer scenario where ICE wipes your CPU block clean?
I have a Verizon Droid 3. A "world phone" on a CDMA network. Guess what; it also has a (Vodaphone) SIM. It roamed quite happily when I was in England 2 weeks ago. Expensive, like all international roaming, but it worked!
Windows Mobile 5.x and 6.x had great multitasking. Indeed, in the 6.x series the "[X]" button just did the equivalent to minimising your app, which confused a few people.
Chain loading? Or Hypervisor?
Could we have a minimal signed boot loader that'll then chain-load unsigned code? Or maybe a signed hypervisor that'll then run the OS as a full-machine VM.
In fact I can see MS doing this; hyper-v being the loader and then allowing other OS's to run underneath it. Of course you'll need a Windows VM to manage hyper-v, and it'll let MS claim they have the worlds most popular hypervisor, but...
'Duck Tape' is a specific brand of tape and they do more than just duct tape; I've seen clear packing tape with the 'Duck Tape' branding. "Duct tape" is the correct term for the generic item in question.
"Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together."
I need more sleep
I misread (multiple times) the article header as "sextradition".
Depended on the floppy, actually
Different disks had different capacities depending.
The BBC Micro used 256byte sectors and started with SSSD40T (single sided single density - 10 sectors per track - 40Ttrack, so 100K), later became DSSD80T (400K). With the WD1770 we then got double-density disks which were sometimes 16 sectors per track (640K, eg Solidisk, Acorn) or 18 sectors per track (720K, eg Opus).
The IBM PC and clones typically used 512byte sectors and went to "quad density". The 5.25" floppies maxed out at 1200Kb - commonly called 1.2M (80 tracks, 15 sectors per track, 512 bytes per sector, double sided). 3.5" floppies were 1440Kb - commonly 1.4M or 1.44M (80 tracks, 18 sectors per track, 512bytes per sector, double sided).
So the capacity of the floppy depended on the type of floppy (density), number of tracks and whether the drive was single or double sided.
That'll hurt in comparison shopping
I've been a Sprint customer for almost 4 years. Was looking at getting a new phone, but maybe now Verizon will work out cheaper! (*sigh* good networks and CDMA, or crap networks and GSM. Lovely choice...)
Other technical uses of pod
Escape pod, cargo pod, transporter pod (eg Space 1999), OMS Pod (Space Shuttle), POD (perl Plain Old Documentation).
Also been used to describe a workstation environment ("work pod").
If memory serves, Psion 3a datacables had a "pod" in the middle of them.
There's so much prior art that it probably took 873 pages to sufficiently define the usage Apple want to lock down so that existing usage from decades ago isn't relevant!
But what if I'm underground?
What if I (in New York) am on the New York subway; there's no signal there. Does that mean I can't launch my app? I regularly fire up an ebook reader or a game of solitaire or similar so I can pass the 1/2hr or so until I reach my destination without being bored.
Having a anti-piracy API require live-data access just doesn't work. It should create a cryptographically signed key which can be stored on the device and is specific to the device. Then the app can verify the key at startup regardless of data access.
There are 3 problems; (i) software problem reporting too high a signal, (ii) blocking of signal, (iii) death grip.
Issue 1 has been claimed to have fixed.
Issue 2 is the one that many/all phones suffer from. If you know where the antenna is located on a phone then you can surround it with hands and watch the signal drop.
Issue 3 is the current outstanding Apple unique problem and is the result of human touch altering the antenna characteristics. However #2 and #3 have similar looking results, and so Jobs is able to spread FUD and muddy the waters.
I was having this conversation with my co-worker on Friday; I picked up his iPhone 4 and held it the way I would hold it when having a conversation. My little finger naturally rested on the gap and caused a 1 bar reduction (from4 bars to 3 bars). That's because I hold cellphones with it resting in the palm of my hand. In contrast my coworker holds the phone with the tips of his fingers and it was nowhere near the gap.
Different people hold phones in different ways; neither is natural or unnatural. It's just different.
And if it is really free then this may count as a taxable benefit...
Easy to replicate
Just do a reinstall of your machine (eg from the original CD image for home users; in a corporate environment from your slipstreamed SP3 Pro disk) and then run Windows Update. IE8 will now be one of the downloads available...
Now if they allowed 25Gb of data I'm pretty sure some enterprising young person would write a FUSE daemon that'd let you mount this on Linux machines. Add in encryption and you have a great near-line backup store for many small virtual servers.
Re: Decoding CSS is illegal?
Decoding CSS is not illegal; _unlicensed_ decoding of CSS is illegal. DVD players are licensed. To get a license you need to agree to various things (eg region protection).
DVD Rippers are unlicensed and so circumvent the protections and so fall foul of the DMCA.
Brute force password attacks are possibly the biggest issue facing Linux (any Unix-like) machines. My own servers show many many attempts at password guessing by bots (the usernames they attempt are mostly generic account names or common people's names).
FTP servers are a typical method for this brute force attack, but any password authentication system could be used.
Passwords are a poor way of securing servers, but they're so convenient!
Math is hard, let's go drinking
"GM has said that the EPA methodology uses kilowatt hours per 100 miles travelled to define the efficiency of plug-ins, and that GM expects the Volt to consume as little as 25kWh per 100 miles in city driving."
Petrol has an energy density of around 32MJ/liter (wikipedia), which is 8.45MJ/gallon (US gallon=3.78liter), which is only 2.3kWh (1 megajoule ~= 277 watt hours) of energy. So that sounds like it actually does less than 10mpg when running on the internal generator.
Umm... is my math wrong?
Windows Mobile is designed to allow any third party to write apps for the phone. No jailbreaking or security circumvention needed. The network doesn't collapse.
There are plenty of hacks for Windows Mobile devices to replace the Radio ROM with others. This hasn't caused the wireless networks to collapse.
If the iPhone is dependent purely on user-modifiable software to provide network protection then there's a massive design flaw.
All Apple need to do is ring-fence the BPP so that user executable code can't touch it and has to go through open APIs, and then allow third party software to be loaded. No jailbreaking, no hacking, no problem.
Your Sony Reader may have come with 100 books, but are they 100 books you want to read? I bought a Bookeen Cybook 3 in Jan 2008 and it came with a bundle of books as well... not read any of them.
Fortunately Baen have 100s of free books that I do read :-)
However, for me, the big problem is the pricing of new books. I'm not paying as much for a DRM'd ebook as it costs for the dead tree edition. Well, I won't pay for DRM at all 'cos if the Cybook dies then I'm SOL. But even without DRM the prices should be lower. I still like seeing the dead tree on my shelves; I'd willingly pay a $2 surcharge to get dead-tree PLUS DRM-free ebook.
Sales tax is based on the final selling price. If you buy something for $400 and have a $200 mail-in rebate then the selling price is $400, and that's what you're taxed on. If it's $400 with a $200 instant rebate then the selling price is $200, and that's what you're taxed on. If it's discounted to $1 with a 2 year contract (no rebate) then that $1 is the amount you're taxed on.
Sprint tend to do combined mail-in and discount combinations, just to make life complicated!
- Xmas Round-up Ten top tech toys to interface with a techie’s Christmas stocking
- It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources
- Google embiggens its fat vid pipe Chromecast with TEN new supported apps
- Pic NASA Mars tank Curiosity rolls on old WET PATCH, sighs, sniffs for life signs
- Microsoft: Don't listen to 4chan ... especially the bit about bricking Xbox Ones