* Posts by Ogi

178 posts • joined 13 Nov 2009

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I want to remotely disable Londoners' cars, says Met's top cop

Ogi

Re: Because Criminals will follow the rules?

> The engine computer is just a board. Surely you could wrap it in a grounded screen and call it good?

Not really. Your ECU already has that setup, so there is nothing for you to add there. Hence me mentioning that ECUs are already designed to resist EM noise, which is why an "EMF gun" is not really feasible.

However, all the wires leading in and out of the ECU would act like antennas and pick up the EMF as well. In theory, If you pump in enough noise you could cause garbage data signals to be sent to the ECU, which could confuse it and cause some problems.

If you wanted to resist the hypothetical EMF gun, you would have to shield all those wires (up till the sensor endpoints). Considering they spider all over the car, it would be quite a feat to shield all of it. You would literally have to rip the entire car apart, shield every single trunk/wire in the loom, then reassemble it.

Quite frankly, in my mind a carb conversion would be easier, because you only have to do work on the engine itself, run a steel cable to the "go" pedal, and disconnect the ECU.

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Ogi

Re: Because Criminals will follow the rules?

>Shouldn't be that difficult to Tempest screen the engine computer in a typical car, seeing as how it is already surrounded by a lot of metal as it is.

I think it would. Car engines already produce a hell of a lot of electrical noise, so your cars computers are already heavily hardened against EMF radiation. That is why they are usually put in the passenger cabin, for extra shielding from the engine by the firewall. Your tempest screen would have to cover all the glass windows in the cabin, which would render them opaque.

Also, to be able to supply enough noise to defeat the EMF hardening while not causing problems to the car occupants is almost impossible. You really have to pump a shedload of EMF in order to induce the ECU to throw a wobbly. They are deliberately designed to resist EMF interference. And you would have to pump it into the cabin, where you can't really avoid microwaving the meatbags as well. Bad luck if anyone has a pacemaker for starters.

This idea was floated in the US years ago (I imagine after someone saw it in a Fast and Furious movie, where such a device was shown), and was proven to not work that well in reality.

For the effort to shield the ECU, you might as well convert the engine to run on carburettors/points and ditch the electronics anyway.

> That would be a lot less obvious that robbing a bank in 35 year old car.

Although it would add back some class I have to say. Like back when bank jobs were done with modified mk II Jags.

In reality though, I doubt many jobs would be using 4 wheeled vehicles at all. The last few jobs I read about were pretty much exclusive to 2 wheelers. Logically, as bikes are cheap, fast, can go between traffic, on pavements, down narrow passageways, etc.... and some can hold a not indecent amount of loot. 5 blokes on bikes can probably take a decent amount of jewels/shiny and make a getaway, bonus points if they all go in different directions.

Also, bikes are unlikely to ever have remote connected stuff like cars, and even if they do, they are unlikely to have kill switches. Having a bike suddenly lose power or cut out would be far more deadly than in a car, both to the unwitting driver and pedestrians.

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Ogi

Because Criminals will follow the rules?

A criminal by definition does not follow the rules. So if they make all cars have remote kill switches, the criminals will either have cars modified to not have the backdoor, or will start seeking out classic cars for their jobs, which lack all the computer based gimmickry.

However there is something more concerning in the interview. The Police commissioners statement that "we'd have a device that slowed down the car in front." In front of what? The criminals trying to get away? So the police want to start using innocent bystanders as weapons to slow down or stop criminals in a getaway car? Really?

Assuming the criminals are in a car that has been modified to ignore the kill signal, what is to stop them ramming their way past? This sounds like a recipe for disaster. To deliberately create dangerous situations and cause accidents with the general public in order to stop criminals getting away. Mental.

Ignoring the fact that as with anything else computer based and connected to the net, eventually hackers will also get access. So now criminals (presumably ramming their way through cars slowed by the police) can also slow down the public's cars in order to cause blockages for the pursuing police cars, which presumably either give up the chase or themselves start ramming cars out of the way. Sounds like a recipe for a complete mess.

And of course, those who just want to cause chaos by disabling cars on motorways/roads at random. Worst case scenario you get a massive pile up, best case you can cause complete traffic gridlock.

From the sound of the interview, I don't think the commissioner referred to driverless cars in particular. It seems he would like a tool they could fire to disrupt the electrics in any car and shut it down. Backdoor or not. This has already been proven not to work (at least not while leaving the car occupants unharmed).

However with the coming "always connected" cars, I suspect the commissioners bright idea will be possible to implement, and as such they will push very hard for it, thinking it will solve all their problems. I foresee a spike in the prices of "pre-internet-connected era" second hand cars, at least until any car without a kill device is deemed not road legal.

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Google's Allo chat app hits a downside to AI: Bot must hoard private messages to train itself

Ogi

Re: Allo, Allo

Yes... Herr Flik!

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WTF ... makes mobile phone batteries explode?

Ogi

Dense energy storage can be dangerous...

...News at 11.

The more energy you pack in a tighter space, the more likely something will trigger a runaway chain reaction resulting in a fire and/or explosion, and the higher the energy output of the reaction.

Fundamentally batteries rely on a controlled chemical reaction to supply you with energy. if the method of control fails you will have a chain reaction which can get ugly. Lithium is particularly reactive as mentioned in TFA, which is why when these things catch fire it is hard to put them out.

When you reach the kind of density where the energy is locked up in molecular bonds (e.g alcohol) , a spark in the vicinity of the liquid is enough to trigger a chain reaction. LiIon battery tech is not dense enough yet, so unless you physically pierce the battery, or there is a defect/overheating, you are unlikely to suffer these events.

It would be interesting to see if battery technology ever reaches the density of chemical fuels, would it be more or less dangerous than said fuels.

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Airbag bug forces GM to recall 4.3m vehicles – but eh, how about those self-driving cars, huh?

Ogi

Re: Bah!

This! Parent hit the nail on the head. Complexity breeds problems, the mark of a good engineer is to make something as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Problem is any idiot can make a stupidly complex system. It takes smarts to make an elegant simple system that does the same thing. Unfortunately idiots are cheaper to hire, so this is what we get.

Also there is always a push by accountants to save costs everywhere. Before, cars had separate computer systems. One for the engine, one for the alarm system, one for the air bags, and a separate entertainment system. If there were any interconnections, they were specific and targeted to components that required communication.

Now it is usually all handled by one powerful control unit with thousands of wires coming out of it, with generic addressable buses where everything hangs off. and it is possible that a bug somewhere overwrites the stack and instead of sending a signal to the engine it triggers the airbags.

As for me, I am going to stick to my 80s car thank you, although it is getting harder and harder to stay away from new cars due to changes in insurance policies (more and more are refusing classic car insurance unless you have a modern car as well).

Worst thing is, car manufacturers don't seem to care. They are making things more and more complicated, now with "AI" and "Constant connections" it sounds like a dystopian disaster in the making.

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Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell for Linux, Macs. Repeat, Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell

Ogi

Re: "On Linux we’re just another shell"

I don't know, in my mind when I need to do something like that, I graduate from shell to Perl/Python, and do it there.

Yes, Unix shells are old (although still being refined and developed, so today's shell is not your granddaddies), and some people don't like the design, but to be honest. They do what they say on the tin, and they do it damn well.

I can hack something together in bash with curl to do what you want, but chances are that if I had to do something like that, I would branch out into the above mentioned programming languages, do what needs to be done, and pass it back to the shell.

I don't see a need to shove everything and the kitchen sink into the shell. If I wanted that, I would basically just change my login shell from /bin/bash to /usr/bin/ipython, and have at it.

I see no reason for PowerShell on Linux. It would have been worth for me if it allowed you to run windows powershell scripts unaltered on Linux/Unix, like you can with Python/Java, however I don't get the impression that it works like that.

So, really for windows admins that have to admin the odd Linux/Unix machine and don't want the hassle of learning a Unix Shell. One serious niche, but who knows, maybe it will grow.

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VeraCrypt security audit: Four PGP-encoded emails VANISH

Ogi

Re: Gmail...

Yeah, I had to do a double take when I read the article. The fact they use Google services boggles the mind, and that is ignoring the conspiracy theories saying Google is a NSA front.

Google openly admits to reading emails. They can't read GPG encrypted emails (AFAIK) unless you somehow upload your private key to them (web based GPG signing/encrypting service?), but they can give copies of your emails to authorities, or indeed have the power to vanish them (although I suspect that would be more likely to be an error/bug, due to the attention it draws).

Not saying running your own email server is 100% secure, but at least your emails are on your systems, and not under someone else's, where you don't need to get hacked to get interesting goings on.

It isn't even particularly hard. I set up my own after lavabit went down, and been using it ever since.

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UK's 'Sir King Cash' card fraudster ordered to cough up £560,000

Ogi

Of course they would not let the crim keep it, assuming said crim were foolish enough to leave a lump sum in their bank account.

You are assuming the authorities can locate the money. A crim can just say "I blew it all on hookers and gambling", and then what? Issue him with a charge debt on his person for the money? Then it will just be written off as part of their rehabilitation (or the crim will just declare bankruptcy after the sentence anyway).

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Ogi

Re: Define "victims"

> So aren't we really talking about the banks chasing this money, not Joe Public?

No, if you think the banks will take a loss, pay out smaller bonuses to the executives, or otherwise absorb the cost of fraud, I've a bridge to sell you.

No, Joe Public pays. The banks increase interest rates on cards to offset the increased risk generated by the fraud, and the costs of reimbursing customers who were subject to fraud.

So we all pay a bit more in interest to cover these kinds of events. The more often banks get swindled, the higher they will charge for interest rates, making credit more expensive for those who use it.

However, you can avoid paying for this by just not having a credit card at all. At least until the banks start nearing collapse due to not having enough people to squeeze for money to cover their liabilities, at which point Joe Public will pay anyway via increased taxes, due to the inevitable government bailout.

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Ogi

"Benson will have three months to come up with the £554,000 or face a default sentence of five years imprisonment."

So, if he squirrels the money away somewhere and goes to jail for 5 years, he will earn £110,800 for each year in prison.

Now, from what I know, usually the actual sentence is half of what the court says, so 2.5 years, giving him a yearly earning of £221,600. This is assuming no further deductions while in the nick for good behavior or some-such.

This is assuming the money isn't invested giving some sort of return as well, just cash buried in a hole somewhere. For people who otherwise would be on the dole, or in minimum wage zero hours contracts, it might actually seem appealing.

Make a half million, hide it away. Maybe get caught, maybe not, but if you do, few years in prison, then release, and a decision to "start afresh", go abroad and live somewhere cheap, hot and by the sea.

Of course this requires foresight and planning, which few crims do, but still an interesting thought experiment.

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Dear Tesla, stop calling it autopilot – and drivers are not your guinea pigs

Ogi

Re: Also

"But he was also completely bonkers. Mad as a hatter."

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” -- Aristotle

"Power the world with six towers..., no."

Perfectly possible, but would be hugely wasteful of energy. Maybe one day when we have abundant energy, but I suspect even then we would like efficiency, except for a few things where convenience is more important. For now we use the technology to transfer power between sealed sections of UK submarines, and a previous gen of the technology is used in those "wireless charging" mats.

"'Knock down a building with a small clockwork mechanism...', no."

The theory of resonance is quite well understood now, and a powerful enough mechanism could knock down a building if the correct resonant frequency was found.

Building a small compact mechanism that can do it is tricky, but I don't think there has been much study into it. Primarily because if you want to knock down a building, you might as well skip the intricate clockwork mechanism, and brute force it with a seismic bomb.

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Pokemon Go oh no no no, we're not reading your email, says gamemaker

Ogi
Black Helicopters

FBI and NSA, eh?

" FBI and NSA will be coming up with the next Pokemon title. "

I thought the current conspiracy is that the Nintendo Pokemon game is based on technology which was in fact made by a CIA sponsored team, for the purposes of mapping and surveying landscapes without having to send agents (and pay them) to do it themselves. Sort of a "gamification" of intelligence scouting/surveying.

In fact, here you go, tinfoil hat link and all provided: http://www.infowars.com/pokemon-go-linked-to-cia/

I'll let you all decide the merits of their case yourselves.

If true however, I would consider it a stroke of genius for whoever thought to turn it into a game, and get yourself an army of people willing to spend their time and money for virtual trinkets to provide you with this intelligence.

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Bitcoin child abuse image pervs will be hunted down by the IWF

Ogi

"I was under the impression that Bitcoin can't be tracked. "

The Bitcoin blockchain is a public distributed ledger, every single transaction is in full public view. The problem is associating a Bitcoin address with a physical person (you can have as many you want, people even generate a new one per transaction) .

I suspect what they are doing here is monitoring transactions until they hit an exchange (to convert into other currency), at which point they will pressure the exchange for information on their client. Likewise anyone who buys bitcoins which are then used to buy said nasty, they can trace back to the exchange that sold the coins, and likewise ask for details.

This of course, only works if the crims actually exchange the Bitcoins in a jurisdiction that is cooperative, and don't make use of tumblers and other such stuff to hide the trail.

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Wealthy youngsters more likely to be freetards than anyone else – study

Ogi

Re: What's missing is how this changes over time...

Yes, but computer savvy people are not the target market for them. Yes, we can run ad-blockers, we know (or hear about) which torrent sites are good and not scams, we can generally work out whether a movie is a cam rip, or BDrip, we recognize our preferred release groups, and so on. We can even use VPNs, encrypted torrent clients and all that to bypass filters, or traffic shaping, etc...

Coupled with the fact we run "alternative" OSes and configurations, means the "seamless experience" that apparently can be provided by online streaming services are useless to us. Compared to an unencumbered standards compliant file, there is no competition.

Thing is, the average person cannot do this. They go online, probably type "download movie_X free", and go god knows which arse-end-of the internet website where they will click on some fake download button and get infected with something that sends the contents of their computer to Nigeria. Even if they have heard of "Bittorrent", there are plenty of scam bittorrent sites out there as well. For these people, having a single place where they login, put in their payment details, click "watch" and off they go is enough, in fact better for them than the alternative (not everyone has a friendly nerd with a massive home file server full of media nearby). Things like DRM and that whole battle they may not even be aware of until it bites them in the arse, at which point it is too late.

I know where you are coming from, I would not touch any of the paid streaming sites with a barge pole myself, for the reasons you mentioned. However I know I am in a minority in the world, and that I am not their target market.

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Ogi

Re: What's missing is how this changes over time...

Yes, it is a big deal. Before P2P became a big thing the media companies had no competition (home taping just couldn't scale, and you would get degradation with each generational copy), so they could charge as much as they wanted for the worst of service/value for money.

Now they have to compete, and not only that, they have to compete with "free". So they have to provide a better experience, an experience worth paying for over getting it for free. It seems that their primary tools are convenience and instant streaming, both which save time.

There is no need to wonder dodgy ad/virus laden sites, download $x number of copies of "new_movie_X" (and wait for the download to complete) until you find one that is actually decent, and is not a poor cam version with Chinese hard coded subtitles (not to mention cost of local storage of said media, unless you just delete it, but then will have to find a decent copy again).

It does also mean that if they ever go back to their old ways, people will just switch back to P2P, and so a balance is achieved. Some will never pay for content, because the content is more expensive than their time to find it online (i.e. lower income, and people in poorer countries), others make enough money that the time spent digging around P2P is not worth it, and it is better to just pay for an official stream and be done with it.

Where that "Should I buy or download it" cut off point is, will vary with market conditions and how much the companies squeeze the patrons until they switch sides, so we are in an equilibrium for now.

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Astroboffins discover rapid 'electric winds' blowing on Venus

Ogi

Re: Venus did harbor water... but it was boiled away as its surface temp rose to 470 deg

The earth is going in that direction regardless of what we are doing. As the sun ages (on its way to a red giant) it will swell up, increasing surface temperatures on earth until we end up looking like Mercury (and may be eventually absorbed by the sun).

Of course, this is on phenomenal time scales, so we will not notice the gradual temp increase ourselves.

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Meet the 1,000 core chip that can be powered by an AA battery

Ogi

Sounds like a transputer

I remember these: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transputer

Essentially the idea was to link up many processors using an interconnect, in order to provide stupid amounts of parallelism.

It didn't take off at the time because CPU improvements in clock speed and die size was surpassing Inmos'es ability to keep up, so they were always expensive for what they were. Also people by and large were still programming for single core machines, and there was a lack of tools and compilers for it. As such getting programmers for it was expensive too.

However now as we are hitting a slowdown in die shrinking, along with a general improvement in tools/compilers/languages for programming parallel systems, perhaps it is time to revisit transputers. I have been thinking it is since GPGPUs started taking off.

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How's your driving, Elon? Musk tweets that Tesla Model S 'floats'

Ogi

Re: I would like to know

Yeah but high voltages and water do not mix. Either you get a nasty short (and possible fire as a bunch of current gets dumped quickly), or you get accelerated corrosion and failure of the electrics, and possibly some interesting gasses released due to electrolysis.

Especially as electric cars tend to have the battery and motors as low down as possible to keep the centre of gravity near the floor.

In flooded cars the engine/mechanics are relatively unscathed*, it is the soggy interior and electrics that renders the car unusable most of the time. In petrol cars it is water shorting something in the electrics which causes the engine to stall most of the time when driving through water.

I would be more concerned driving an electric car through water than a petrol one, and a diesel one even would concern me even less

(*) assuming you didn't hydrolock the engine

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Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image. Repeat. Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image

Ogi

Re: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish...

You could try Devuan. http://devuan.org/ They made a point of never supporting systemd.

I switched to them when a Debian upgrade on my laptop installed systemd and promptly broke the system (systemd would hang indefinitely at boot) forcing a reinstall.

Reading about systemd and its design philosophy had already put me off, as it reminded me too much of the mistakes Windows did. Sure it makes it easy for clueless "admins" to manage a machine, but kills the power and flexibility of Unix, and you can't delve down easily when debugging a misbehaving machine (the systemd shell is not a real alternative). All reasons why I left Windows for Linux/Unix in the first place.

I started the transition with my test VMs, with no problems at all. Now am transitioning my physical Debian machines across to it as upgrade time rolls round. Then I will move over my web/email hosting servers and that will be it.

I moved my server over to FreeBSD though, ZFS is awesome!

Between those two operating systems, I will never have to touch systemd, so RedHat and their cheerleaders/minions can have Pottering's latest turd for all I care.

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Software snafu let EU citizens get referendum vote, says Electoral Commission

Ogi

Re: damn

"You've got a point. And much as the engineer in me rebels at championing any form of inefficiency:"

Depends on the way you see it. A totally inefficient police state is an efficient free state, no? :-)

History has an excellent example of how efficient the German police state can be (and in general, it took the combined forces of the world to stop them), and I would rather not have that again.

So, a state and its government should be as inefficient and incompetent as can be, otherwise everyone suffers. It is a bit illogical, but when dealing with humans, that is not uncommon.

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Ogi

Re: damn

"Just another police state lacking the redeeming grace of German efficiency."

Quite frankly, if I have to live in a police state, I would rather it be in an inefficient and incompetent one. So +1 vote for the UK there from me.

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'Whites are taking over': Race storm hits heart of Africa's internet body

Ogi

Re: both previous comments are valid but...

"There are people in Africa who were oppressed by the slave trade, but (except for some Liberians) they were oppressed by other Africans."

Not only that, but in the past white folk were slaves to the black men. Specifically the North Africans used to trade in white peoples who were enslaved by conquest, or by raids on coastal villages. Mostly in Southern Europe by the Moors and the Arabs.

Slavery is as old as time, and almost every "skin colour" person has been at the receiving end of it at some point in history. How far back are we going to go with finger pointing and excuses for current problems ?

Hell, some even consider debt the modern form of bondage, hence the term "debt slave".

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Aquaboffins sink lost Greek city theory

Ogi

Re: Pyramids scam scotched

Well, at least the Bosnians have embraced the capitalistic spirit of "A Fool and their money are soon parted". Works in other parts of the world too.

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Bank in the UK? Plans afoot to make YOU liable for bank fraud

Ogi

That "Verified by Visa" crap is the only reason I use a credit card ( Credit cards don't prompt the verified by visa window when online shopping). Really VbV the most useless thing I have ever seen, and works so rarely that it can make a 2 minute online shop last 30+ minutes.

Quite frankly, things are going in such a bad direction with banking, that I have switched to cash only. Apart from the credit card for online purchases, everything else is cash. No need for a card reader, a PIN, some sort of fancy in-phone-contactless-app crap or other tracking system wrapped in a security nightmare that I will be liable for. When I want to buy something I just put down the cash, with no faf.

I also rediscovered the joy of actually going into my branch and dealing with my account with a human being. Usually I can get problems fixed quickly, and my complaints have to be dealt there and then by the manager rather than a ticket logged somewhere in Bangalore after waiting 30+ minutes on the phone. Of course, because everyone does online banking now, the branch is usually really empty as well.

Although I concede that not everyone has a local branch nearby, I would imagine most do. Bank branches are pretty common, along with a pub and post office, even in small towns.

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Daft draft anti-car-hack law could put innocent drivers away for life

Ogi

Re: Bah

I foresee a thriving future industry of ripping out all the stock electrics/computers in a car, and replacing them with open source alternatives that give full control over the car back to the owners, as it should be.

Which of course, is why they are trying to make such modifications illegal.

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Dutch students serve up world's first 'drone café'

Ogi

Re: Rule 34

Well... not a fleshlight, but for the lonely woman (or man, if that is your particular bent):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZCVG7zUaRA (NSFW, depending on how puritan your workplace is)

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Why we should learn to stop worrying and love legacy – Fujitsu's UK head

Ogi

Or the 2000's, with i-this, i-that, i-everything. Although that has somewhat spilled into the 2010's.

No idea if there is a designated letter for the 2010's though...

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London to Dover 'smart' road could help make driverless cars mainstream – expert

Ogi

Re: computer aided burglary.

To be honest, I think that died out when car radios became really quite cheap. For £30 you can buy a brand new mp3/bluetooth/dab/latest_flashy_thing online, which works just fine in your car, and comes with a guarantee. Why would I risk buying something with scratches and wires sticking out, from a dodgy guy down the pub? Even for £10 it really isn't worth it. Not to mention the age old story of the thief then taking note of your car, finding out where you live, and nicking the radio all over again to resell.

Then there was the whole "Radio PIN" thing, and detachable covers, which made it harder to resell. Even if you knew a bent reprogrammer, and after paying them to work their magic you would find you might end up with a fiver profit.

Along the same lines, car alarm systems got better and better, so it rarely was worth the risk just for the radio. If you have to disable the entire alarm system just to get at the car radio, you might as well take the whole car at that point.

And yes, those custom in car entertainment systems are harder to get out of the car, but go on ebay and you will still find a raft of them. Turns out some of them are quite expensive even second hand.

I do think though, that there has been a reduction in car thefts. From what I can see, criminals target bikes round my area far more. Which makes sense, bikes are easier to nick, easier to keep hidden, easier to break for parts in your living room, and some loons will actually spend £2-4000 on a bike, meaning a decent profit for not much effort. Had a neighbour complain that it would cost her £100 for a new bike wheel, because someone nicked hers (she locked the frame and rear wheel only). Never knew that bike wheels have become so expensive.

Every morning in the early hours, outside my building, you can hear saws and hammers as the local youths try to break the bike locks in the bike parking area, yet nobody touches cars any more. Probably because there are very few chop shops around nowadays, and not everyone has the space to break a stolen car for parts without anyone noticing.

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Labour: We want the Snoopers' Charter because of Snowden

Ogi

Re: You can see what they're aiming at

@Tomato42

Indeed, or even Turkey, which has gone all in into authoritarianism, shutting down all media ( and arresting journalists) that are not pro-government. Not a peep from anyone in Europe, in fact Turkey just got 6 billion EUR and a fast-track membership offer.

Interestingly, the justification there is that by being against the current government's policies, they are "supporting terrorism". Funny considering two of those arrested were done so because they exposed Turkey's support for ISIS. So its all a matter of definitions really.

Food for thought, what with all the "anti-terror" laws on the books nowadays, at some point having a non-govt approved opinion may well qualify for application of said laws, especially when the government gets to decide what is terrorism. It happened in Turkey, could it happen here?

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Fail0verflow GitHubs PS4 Linux loader

Ogi

Re: I just... why?

Opera was the only one on the N900 that I found fast and usable, so set it as my default. Not sure if it supports HTML5 (my n900 has ceased turning on unfortunately :( ) but all sites I visited worked well and looked good up until 2015.

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Ogi

Re: I just... why?

> Frankly, if you penguins are wanting to do something unusual, write a proper replacement browser for my N900 and its aging MicroB. Now THAT would be useful!

Just to ask, what is wrong with Firefox or Opera on the N900? Sure out of date by modern phone browsers, but far better than microB. It is even the pre-webkit Opera, which I think was one the best out there.

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Microsoft has made SQL Server for Linux. Repeat, Microsoft has made SQL Server 2016 for Linux

Ogi

Hmm... perhaps we need to do some more testing/research?

Worst case scenario... its raining roast bacon pieces!

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Ogi

Re: Imagine my joy

Aaah "Vigor", back when "obligatory xkcd" was "obligatory userfriendly strip":

http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20000108

One of the first online comics I found, and got me hooked on the medium. Still one of my all time fave comics, and now I feel old, lol.

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Flash is too fat. A glut of supply means growth is slower and slower

Ogi

Re: Flash is the future - in a way

Yeah,

I switched to SSD for my root/boot drive on all my machines. 64GB is enough on my laptop, and the desktop has 32GB SSD, 500GB Disk, and mounts storage from my file server (which is a BSD box, running ZFS with 2x128GB SSD read/write cache and 8 disks for long term storage).

I last benchmarked the file server at 700MB/s, which is much faster than I can really push it (gigabit ethernet). Having a hybrid disk/SSD setup is the way forward I think. I don't notice the slow speed of the disks because I hardly ever read/write more than 128GB at once. As such my working set sits in the SSD caches, and get dumped to the drives over time. Essentially like a tiered storage solution.

The laptop and desktop boot so fast, and are so responsive now, that the SSD was a better investment than a new computer.

The only reason I don't put a disk it on the laptop as well is because of space/power constraints, although in theory I can replace the DVD drive bay with a second disk bay, and put in some spinning rust there.

I looked into replacing the 8 disks in the FS with SSDs and getting rid of the two cache SSD's, but 1TB SSDs are still waay too expensive for a SOHO environment (unless you really need the raw performance). I suspect that by the time 1TB SSDs come to the price of a 1TB hdd, we will probably have 14TB disk drives, and a hybrid system can give you decent performance with better storage.

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Intel shows budget Android phone powering big-screen Linux

Ogi

" Reason one is that only the technically proficient will want to use something like that. The market would possibly sustain one or two models at best but not enough to satisfy the corporate greed involved. " ---

Indeed, parent basically described the old n900, which was a Linux PC with a phone slaved to it. I loved mine, lots of nerds loved theirs (so much they tried to resurrect it with the neo900), but the wider world went "meh", until Apple came along with the iPhone.

What we want, is not what the public wants. The n900 didn't even manage to sustain one model in the market, let alone more. And that was back in 2009, when the competition wasn't as fierce as now, and the "app market" was still not totally captive by Apple/Google.

Maybe with persistence, marketing and refinement it could have been number 3 in the mobile OS options list, but Nokia couldn't financially sustain it, and after Elop got a hold of Nokia, a Linux based phone had no chance of surviving.

Now, I think the best we can hope for is some sort of hybrid like this. Still not sure of the security implications. There are so many apps on my phone, and I don't trust any of them not to be buggy or malicious, that I refrain from logging into sensitive places.

I have actually taken to carrying a second phone, running Cyanogenmod without any apps just for SSH and other sensitive stuff.

At this point I have been pondering starting an OSS project to take AOSP, or Cyanogen mod, and rip out all the stuff down to the bare essentials to run the phone and wifi, then build a GNU Linux distro on top of it. No Apps, no Android compatibility, but as close to a Linux OS as you can get, something akin to my old N900, or if I can't get the phone bits to work, my old N810.

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Eurovision Song Contest uncorks 1975 vote shocker: No 'Nul point'!

Ogi

" inexplicably - the EBU said "Nope."

Replace "inexplicably" with "didn't offer enough cash to the right people. I don't think it is a geographical constraint on who can join Eurovision, just depends on whether enough palms are greased, and whether the expense is worth it for the country that wants to partake.

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Dialog box shut: Now Microchip is set to gobble up Atmel

Ogi

Re: Missing the point of Arduinos

The irony is, when I first tried to get into microcontroller development, I got an Atmel starter kit (late 90's I think it was), with the "Keil" software, which was windows only.

Having got the starter kit, I found there to be virtually no support in the open source world for development and programming of Atmel uC's. All the hobby electronics people were using PIC uC's, and the open source assemblers/simulators were all for the PIC uC's.

So after lots of frustration, I gave up, stuck the atmel in the attic, and bought a Maplin PIC starter kit, which I then started using. The OSS software was clunky, and didn't support most PIC's (the "SDCC" software still only really supports PIC16 last I checked) but it worked, and allowed me to write C for the uC on my Linux workstation.

Fast forward a couple of years, and a lot more investment in PIC based hardware, and just when I got comfy with PICs, and Atmel "Arduino" is now the best dev environment for Linux development of uC's, and have spawned a lot of OSS tools for development. Conversly the PIC OSS scene has stagnated somewhat.

So now have been asking myself, whether to move across to Atmel again, as there is a lot more vibrancy and progress in Atmel OSS. Although who knows what will happen, now that Microchip are buying Atmel. Maybe both families will get some love?

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Was Android moving to OpenJDK really a Google gift to devs?

Ogi

Re: From a developer perspective

Maybe they could have done as Nokia did with the n900, and let the developer use any language they wanted?

the N900 had bindings/libraries for perl/java/python/ruby/C/C++ and possibly others, all the apps looked the same UI wise, and acted the same, just written in whichever language the developer felt was most suitable.

You could even compile standard Linux software without modification on it. Sure it didn't follow the look and feel of proper apps, but the fact you could do it all and have something usable on the phone was impressive to me.

(Used to write apps for the N900/Maemo, never went into Android app dev due to being forced to use one language, and one I was not particularly keen on. Also I felt Android to be a generational leap backward in mobile OSes)

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Launch embiggens Galileo satnav fleet

Ogi

Re: The US military has announced that if ...

Yes, Russia provided tax breaks to devices that supported their own technology (logic being, that any loss from tax revenue is offset by increased licensing revenue of the technology, plus its widespread adoption).

A lot of the location chip designers added it, because having two networks decreases the time to get a fix. I am sure when the EU and Chinese networks become functional, they will add those as well (although ideally you want an odd number, so you can quorum, in case one superpower decides to turn off or diddle the location output).

Essentially it is cheaper for them to make one chip that supports all the networks than to make a 4 custom chips for each network, and it is better for the end user, who can now use multiple networks to get a better/faster fix.

As a result almost all modern phones support GPS+Glonass, in fact a lot of mobiles use it without actually mentioning it (it just gets lumped into "GPS", or "Location" terms). I know my (relatively ancient) note 2 supports both, so I am sure all new phones do as well.

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Glowing dust doughnut circles white dwarf

Ogi

Re: This God geezer, he's been a busy lad

Paaah, a real god just sets the initial parameters of the universe, and lets it evolve to include what he wants in it :-) .

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Space fans eye launch of Lego Saturn V

Ogi

Re: Specialised Lego? James May.

To be fair, James May (and the rest of Top Gear) went a step further, and actually built a real life rocket and launched it. That was my favourite Top Gear Episode.

I still wish they would have another go at it, they came really close. Although, perhaps not based on the space shuttle launcher (which is not the best rocket design, due to the shuttle having to hang off its back rather than on top like other payloads).

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How much do containers thrash VMs in power usage? Thiiiis much

Ogi

And in other news....

An investigation into running a process in a container, vs running it as a user on the system directly, results in even lower power consumption.

It makes sense, because adding layers of abstraction reduces computational efficiency (more CPU cycles go to the system, vs the computation you want). It is the same reason some people forgo the OS and program the hardware directly, or even develop their own hardware (e.g. FPGAs).

The question is, whether the loss in computational efficiency is worth any benefits in management and automatic scaling out of resources. If you lose 20% of a nodes efficiency due to using virtualisation, but then you make it trivial to scale out to multiple nodes, then for some it is worth it (generally, Compute/electric power is cheaper than a persons time to manage it).

What the research does here, is give some numbers to the options, so people can actually work out whether it makes sense for them to go one way or another. It is useful to those who have to sit down and architect some large-scale infrastructure.

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Facebook CTO: Clear legal grounds needed for EU-US data exports

Ogi

Re: Schengen

I don't think the US would change at the behest of anyone external, including the EU. I would suspect more threats/arm-twisting/etc... until the EU concedes or waters down their demands.

Perhaps Facebook knows something we don't, or they are just eternally hopeful that things will somehow go back to how they were.

The cynic in me says they know something, multimillion dollar businesses don't sit and wait on a hope. They sit and wait for the tide to turn in their favour because they have information saying that it will happen.

Whether it actually does happen though, we shall see.

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Microsoft's OneDrive price hike has wrecked its cloud strategy

Ogi

Re: @Krillin reality check

"why would anyone keep a zombie in the garage?."

Well, to protect the NAS from looters of course!

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Ogi

Re: Coincidence?

Well yeah, if a bunch of people open accounts but end up never using the service, it will swing the average right down to something silly, like 5GB.

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Volkswagen: 800,000 of our cars may have cheated in CO2 tests

Ogi

Re: A German lawyer acquaintance with a BlueMotion Passat diesel...

I strongly suspect the German government would bail out VW. They bailed out the banks already , despite it being a bad idea economically, and not really benefiting the average person (in fact it harmed them, but that is a story for another time).

I would imagine that given the choice between printing some more Euro's and bailing out VW, or watching as Germany's biggest employer collapses (along with a lot of now disgruntled voters looking to blame someone for their woes, and more people on benefits), politicians will happily spend other peoples money just so the collapse doesn't happen on their watch.

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Raspberry Pi grows the pie with new deal allowing custom recipes

Ogi

I think Mini-ITX will be around for a long as it provides all the I/O connectors it does, without having everything go through USB.

I tried replacing some of my mini-itx systems with rasbPi's, but it didn't work out (specifically the file server. The early Pi just didn't have the grunt, the newer one does, but the USB kept conking out, giving out I/O errors once in a while, and the wifi card goes AWOL as well).

Media centre didn't work out either, as indexing all my music and videos would cause it to run out of RAM (but I have not tried the newer one, perhaps that will have the power), but for small light services, management of other computers, X terminals/display PC's, really really useful little things.

Not to mention RGB LED controllers (with presence sensing based on bluetooth address, so depending on who enters the room it sets their lighting preferences), and a lot of embedded stuff where a uC would be too fiddly or too restrictive to set up. A lovely little machine really, and a big thanks to the Pi Foundation for making it happen :-)

I personally find the two systems complimentary, and will probably continue to use them both in tamdem going forward :)

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Europe fails to ban web 'fast lanes' – what now for Euro net neutrality?

Ogi

Re: WANTED

Or build community wifi networks, like was done in the 2000's in Eastern Europe and other countries (where broadband was expensive and rare at first). Modern wifi kit is pretty damn fast (a lot faster than the 11/56mbit you'd get from 802.11b/g back then). Sure it might not compete with fibre to the premises, but it should be decent enough for general use. Then just link different local wifi networks with a VPN over standard internet (if people pooled together on the costs, you could get some pretty powerful pipe).

In EE people even made money off community wifi, some became wifi ISPs, and eventually moved into being normal ISPs. How it worked, is you would pay for the hardware (or buy it yourself), you would pay (one-off payment) to be connected to a nearby wifi AP, and then you could use the network unrestricted. After that you could pick an Internet gateway that resides on the network, pay a monthly fee like you normally would for internet, and then just set your default route to what they tell you.

Or build an encrypted overlay over the internet, like the I2P project. So you use the commercial infra, but as it is all encrypted, it is of little use to them for spying. I suspect the response would be to shove all encrypted comms to the lowest priority, but the multitude of businesses, or people working from home, etc... on VPNs would preclude it (I would hope).

If push comes to shove, there are still options, however still worth trying to stop them from their plans.

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