477 posts • joined Friday 18th May 2007 09:50 GMT
Re: Prior art
My bank did 2-factor authentication for online banking already back in about 1990 (may have been a few years before even) with a simple and effective scheme that they still use with minor only modifications: you have a userid (a 8-digit string, not your account number, the "something you know"), and a 4-digit one-time code you pick sequentially from a list they send you on paper (the paper is the "something you have", since nobody except an autistic savant can be expected to memorize hundreds of codes).
The designers of the system were quite prescient, I think: It has been quite resistant to phishing. It is harder to convince someone to type a lot of codes into a mail to a fake system administrator claiming to need them.
Re: The big problem is:
> If there are very exergonic nuclear reactions involving common reagents (nickel and hydrogen
> are fairly common), then those reactions must have quite a large reaction barrier -- else they
> would have occurred long ago.
But pure forms of either element are very rare in nature, because they oxidise quickly. A situation mixing pure nickel and hydrogen under heat and pressure would never occur without human activity. So I don't find this counter-argument completely convincing. (That does not mean I believe in cold fusion, either):
"Batteries included" Re: Please pass the Fluke TrueRMS DVOM
The black box can provide more output than input for quite a while if it is full of "D" cells. After the power drops, the inventor will claim the catalyst is depleted and he has to take the E-Cat to factory for replenishing it. Naturally no outsider is allowed to observe the operation...
More Discovery omissions
The Discovery in the film also lacks the huge cooling fins needed by its reactor. The book version has them, and notes they make the Discovery look like a dragonfly from some angles. A.C. Clarke explains in the "Lost worlds of 2001" that they omitted them intentionally from the film, to avoid having viewers spend half the film wondering why the spacecraft needs wings...
Too late to switch again
Of course it is clear that going with Windows Phone was an epic mistake. It was clear to most people even two years ago.
But now the transition is complete, and Lumia phone sales have started to pick up. The latest models have received good reviews (despite, or because of, WP8). If Nokia announced a switch to Android now, it would AGAIN "osborne" its current product line, and re-start an expensive transition period. It would be unable to survive this.
In short, Nokia may or may not survive with Windows Phone. It will certainly not survive by switching horses again.
Re: Surely that's untrue?
>Can't you open most DVD-players with a paperclip and hide the contrabande?
It is not always easy or even possible, especially if you are in panic, expecting the Thought Police to break your door at any moment.
(I would recommend the use of those portable players, where the disk is spinning under a lid that is opened manually).
I ported a version to my Oric-1 around 1983, from a listing printed from a Honeywell mainframe at a computing center where I had a summer job. Spent dozens of nights of typing and then debugging it, and finally made it update the display in place, instead of scrolling like my source version did (it was written for paper terminals). Also had to add some Oric BASIC curiosities like "PULL" just before the code jumped out of a FOR loop, otherwise its BASIC interpreter ran out of stack... Educational.
Before I did the porting, I had seen Apple Trek at my school, which two years earlier obtained an Apple II as their first computer. Part of my motivation was trying to recreate the game for the Oric. But not the same version shown in the article. In the one I saw, the opponents were "Klarnons", not Klingons, no doubt for trademark reasons.
How about oatmeal porridge to pacify digestion?
Oats are considered very good for stomach, and contain fibers. At least around here oat flakes are also among the cheapest foodstuffs available (especially if you buy generic shop brands, not "Quaker Oats" or the local equivalent).
Just how many do you need to register?
Sorry for being a bit serious here, but given the number of plausible top-level domains (even without going into country codes), and the the different ways an organization might spell its name (at least an abbreviation and a full name, and what about "catladies" vs "cat-ladies"?), isn't it actually unreasonable to expect all bases to be covered? At least if you are not McDonalds or similar, with a very valuable brand, and lots of cash to burn.
Re: NOW I feel old...
> I still get flashbacks when I hear the sound of a modem handshaking.
Just yesterday I heard that when visiting a pharmacy in Helsinki (and had a flashback...). I have no idea why they use modems any more, good and affordable ADSL service is available from several operators, not to mention the 3G dongles + data packages you practically get as freebies in cereal packets. Perhaps their payment processor insists on landline modems for security reasons.
NOW I feel old...
Mosaic was the first browser I ever used, on a Solaris workstation, which was my main work platform at the time. Actually I kept using it for several years and was annoyed by all those new web-sites that did not work right in it, because of the damn Netscape-specific extentions. Tables? Who needs them? (some of the last Mosaic versions did implement tables, but they never worked very well, IIRC).
(There should be an icon for old (in Internet time, not necessarily in real time) codgers - oh well, this comes closest)
Re: Use DOSBOX (A completely useless utility then.)
"... under VMware ..."
A good point. In our case, the reason for not using VMWare (or VirtualBox) is start-up costs, when several non-interactive MS-DOS programs (compilers, actually) are started frequently from a script.. DOSBOX is a fairly light-weight program that starts up quickly and contains its own built-in MS-DOS emulation. VMWare is a heavy program and then you would have to boot up a separate MS-DOS or FreeDOS inside it. Certainly, if you have a MS-DOS program that is interactive and is not started frequently, the solution you described could be as good or better. But in our case it would not work too well.
Use DOSBOX (Re: A completely useless utility then.)
"...is still reliant on a 16-bit DOS application. Try running that on a 64-bit machine..."
Where I work, that is done every day. Certain critical legacy tools work only on MS-DOS, but the official company software platform is now 64-bit Windows 7. Solution: use the free "DOSBOX" (www.dosbox.com). OK, it runs much slower because it is only a software emulation, but with today's CPU speeds it does not really matter much: you still get performance comparable to (or even better than) what an ordinary PC achieved around the time those MS-DOS programs were originally released.
I recommend this approach to anyone with legacy MS-DOS program problems. Some work WILL be required to create a proper environment for you problematic program, and you should look carefully at DOSBOX settings to get optimal speed, but when you do it properly, your users will not necessarily even notice they are running the beloved program in a software emulator.
AC: "Or is that just speculation on your part?"
Of course it is, what did you expect??? There is nothing else in this comment thread anyway (or for that matter in most ElReg comment threads...).
Re: What's in it for me?
Isn't an assured place in the history books enough? Later on they will probably even name Martian cities after the first settlers. But if that does not turn you on, don't go.
Re: Prior art?
Not really. In Robinson's Mars trilogy, the first settlers were sent as a classic governement-funded mission, with US and Russia jointly running it, and there was no 24h reality TV involved (although the crew was expected to prepare broadcasts to Earth, just like current NASA etc. astronauts). On the other hand, the book is so old the Big Brother show had not yet been invented.
As one of the few less-credible details in the otherwise rock-hard sci-fi book series, the ship the settlers travel on sounded like a luxury cruise liner, compared to what has actually been planned, there was even space for a garden, and a stowaway traveller...
after the die-off
Wonder how they plan to deal with the backlash if the whole crew dies en route or shortly after arriving? It would be the end of the show at least, will the broadcasters be wanting their money back?
Camera for gesture recognition + internet-connected appliance + typical security-hole-riddled system software = paradise for peeping toms and other spies.
Too bad reducing those other sources of warming will do nothing about the other huge problem caused by CO2: ocean acidification, which is wreaking serious havoc on marine ecosystems. And that is not just about losing pretty coral reefs, but may have serious economic impact on fishing and other seafood industry.
Which is not to say that reducing methane etc. should not be done. I'm all for it. But it is not a substitute.
Re: A few notes
"As for gyroscopic effects on vehicles the obvious solution is a contra-rotating pair. "
It solves the problem when considering the pair as a whole, but wouldn't this put a HUGE stress on the axle connecting the pair?
More magic rings
Some rings used to be powerful in a quite literal sense: Rulers had signet rings to sign their commands. The Pope still has one, broken after his death (or abdication, like just recently). No wonder there are many magic ring stories.
One I know of (and Tolkien himself might also have known) was written by the Finnish 19. century author Zachris Topelius in Swedish, called "Fältskärns berättelser" (?field surgeon's stories? ). It is a long historical story starting from the 30 Years War spanning multiple generations, with a ring that brings power and wealth, and also downfall forming one unifying thread.
I went and printed the PDF link you sent (nothing beats dead trees for reading while in commuter train). Halfway throught it, but it certainly answers most questions people have been later posting to this thread. People, read that PDF before posting nonsense! (I wish I had done so myself).
As you note, the key to the cunning plan is to use a strong magnetic field to make fusion easier. This immediately made me wonder if there were then some less Rube Goldbergian ways to compress the plasma than imploding lithium hoops, which must be a nightmare to manage on a spaceship engine. How about the scheme known to be used in fission bombs: Implode a metal shell with a chemical explosive. This has the advantage that it is known and well-tested technology.
OK, I see what you mean. Still, there are lots of hurdles. The system for feeding the metal liners into the engine is probably quite complex mechanically, more so than just injecting fluids like in traditional rockets or even ion engines. Probably the worst nightmare for the crew would be to find the mechanism has frozen in place after it has been inactive for days during the coasting phase, and the bracing burn needs to be made.
This and other reporting leaves a bit unclear if they have actually managed to magnetically crunch even a single pellet so that it produces fusion energy. Until they do, it is just vaporware.
In fact, making the FDR work as explained would mean they have also cracked the problem of making Earth-bound fusion power plants. Write off ITER...
Sorry, but this smells of too-good-to-be-true.
(I also wonder why they plan to use solar panels. Wouldn't it make more sense to divert some of the energy from the explosions for running the machinery?)
Re: Spooky action != Information
>>quote: "How do we know that it has not been decided?"
>Because the next time you look in the bag, it might be a different colour.
But in the photon case, you are looking at the next incoming photon, not the same. Consider my synchronized near-light-speed machine gun analogy. Suppose it tossed dice before deciding which colour of tracer bullet to shoot in opposite directions? (Perhaps this would be the "linked probability wave function"?)
I'm sure the issue is not that simple, why else would some of the smartest people on the planet grabble with it. I'm just despairing if I will ever properly understand what the big problem is, never mind the solution...
Re: Spooky action != Information
"With the particle-based experiment, the redness/blueness has not been decided yet and won't be decided until someone looks in the bag, "
How do we know that it has not been decided?
This is the one bit I have never understood in these entanglement experiments. Perhaps it is something that is possible to explain without advanced mathematics? Without that, people think of the red/blue bean analogies or similar, like my favorite: two synchronized machine guns shooting tracer bullets of the same colour, but varying the colour between shots, in opposite directions at nearly the speed of light. If one observer sees a red bullet whizzing past, he instantly knows another observer on the opposite side (a light-year away) will also see a red bullet. How is the case of the photons different?
Re: Stupid but true
Agreed - and totally useless when one does NOT use Facebook (yes, Microsoft, such people do exist!). So my Lumia phone has this square tile in the corner with empty sub-squares turning over.... Would like to remove the "People hub" tile, except it is also the main entry point to the address book functionality.
Re: "Sadly it will sell for kiosks/digital signage..."
"Sadly it will sell for kiosks/digital signage to people who think they need windows to display a picture - and who will have a BSOD appear on their billboard on the dailywtf"
In that usage anything seems to fail. I have now and then seen logs of failed Linux reboots on the time table displays at Helsinki railway and bus stations...
But I agree about the ridiculous overkill of using a full-blown PC and OS just to drive a simple information display. A task that could be done with a Commodore 64 -level computer. In fact, I think at some point decades past I recall home computers like that WERE used in Helsinki time table displays, there were failures showing a familiar "READY" and a blinking square cursor or some such...
On the other hand, going for a computer board that would be technically sufficient for the task will not save money compared to a system that is easy to program and commonly available off-the-shelf, even though 99.9% of the available computing power and features would be wasted.
Pay attention: Grammatical error erroneously missing in subheading
The subheading "All your CPU cycles belong to us, say the script kiddies" is wrong, should be "All your CPU cycles ARE belong to us, say the script kiddies".
The original of this flogged-to-death-and-beyond meme was "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US". It even has an entry in Wikipedia...
"The Industar look"
"The photo was taken three years before Instagram was invented. No filters were used; it's just a good camera, and a lot of skill."
The lens used must have contributed to the old-photo look, which helped fool people mistaking its age. The Soviet Industars were clones of old German lens designs. It might not even have been coated, or had only the original single-coating technology.
Re: Groklaw already on the case...
> From what I've seen over the last few years, Groklaw might as well be called the Google fan club - everything Google does gets interpreted in the most positive light,
Then you haven't been following it very long! Groklaw is consistent only in being pro-opensource and against overreaching interpretations of copyright. In the past they have frequently taken IBM', Novells and even Apple' s side (yes, hard to believe now) in various disputes (starting with the SCO affair). And although it is often opinionated, you get both sides of each story, like in their reproducing entire court filings from both sides.
I'm pretty sure that if Google does something really evil like asserting a patent on a popular piece of free software, they will find Groklaw not a fan club at all.
Re: What Nokia did not say
> They either hope that Google will buy them out or that a troll will buy them before it becomes clear that the 'VP8' patents are bogus.
The "VP8" patents are a very, very small part of Nokia's portfolio (which mostly deals with mobile technology nuts and bolts). In fact, what I find extremely puzzling is why is Nokia creating a ruckus at all? There is no way they can win any significant income from that, and shooting down a popular open codec project just creates deep loathing among techies. That will cause more lost sales income that any patent royalties might bring.
It would be easy to suggest conspiracy theories, but knowing Nokia, sheer incompetence is more likely.
Growklaw already on the case...
See http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130324162902177 . Apparently, the fundamental number of patents is not so large, they just get repeated over several countries, and "continuations". I wonder what Google will do, will it dig up prior art (I suspect by now they have created a dedicated search engine for that task :-), or give up on WebM? It is also the case that just because Nokia says there is infringement, does not mean there actually is. But that would take a very expensive court battle to find out, and WebM is probably not that valuable for Google.
Any face in the picture yet?
How long until someone massages the heat map colorisation and rotates it so that we see a human face in it? That should freak out some people!
Re: Shouldn't the rest of the world help save the world?
>the rest of the world would immediately turn to the USA
Why? Might be a better idea to ask the Russians, if they by any change have another Tzar Bomba lying around... They also have a working heavy-duty rocket to launch it with, unlike the USA.
The other way round
> “Present day human-computer interaction still revolves around typing at a keyboard or moving and pointing with a mouse.” said the University of Cambridge's professor Roberto Cipolla. “For a lot of people, that makes computers difficult and frustrating to use. [..]"
For me that is precisely one of the advantages of computers... Voice communication is just too ambiguous.
And the idea of a photo-realistic computer-controlled face image is just too weird. Especially if it looks like some real person. Think of the interesting possibilities of misusing it. A video of me apparently saying stuff I would never agree with, or worse...
Nuke this invention from orbit before it is too late.
The Newtonian Casino
> Any good films/books about ripping off casinos?
"The Newtonian casino": A true story of some very clever students figuring out how to improve their odds in roulette with a hidden microcomputer in the 1970s. It did not work quite as well as planned, but a good yarn.
>"a paper describing the researchers' findings, published in the Journal of Cosmology."
Oh, that one. They publish amazing, too fascinating to be true discoveries in every issue. The scientific equivalent of the late "News of the World".
Re: Elevation changes
Yes. In fact there are plenty of ancient ruins now under water in the Mediterranean. by contrast, here in Finland much of the coast line does not really have to worry about rising sea level, because the ground has been gradually rising since the last ice age, as much as 9mm per year in some locations! In the time of the Pharaohs, a lot of the current Finnish territory was under the water, warm climate or not.
Re: I think he forgot something
Even worse, think about all those people having a workout at the gym. Producing prodigious amounts of CO2 and not even moving anywhere! Ban gyms!
It is even slower than you say
> The catch is that it takes one hundred per cent longer to do so.
Actually, the web site says it is ~100x slower, not the same thing. 100% slower would be only twice as slow.
Heavy but not large
"The point of minimizing nuclear fission in the interim years [...] is to minimize the huge amount of very dangerous waste that we will have to deal with"
Actually, it isn't so huge amount. The tonnage may be scary, but we are talking about very dense material. Digging just a handful of nuclear waste tunnels is all we need, not thousands, so finding optimally stable rock for them should be manageable.
Re: Not wind only
In addition, solar panels can be put on rooftops or walls, which also are seldom used for agriculture.
Not wind only
"And with wind very much the poster child of renewable power - it is cheap, scalable and practical compared to the other methods - that would seem to be the effective end for the dream of a renewables-powered future for humanity."
That is only if you start from the silly assumption that all energy must be generated with one method only. In reality, a variety of energy sources will be used, just like we already do. Just avoid those that foul up the atmosphere and/or will run out in the foreseeable future.
Some invention needed
Wouldn't it be sweet if someone invented a way to broadcast globally so that it cannot be jammed and could be received inocuously: no big antennae, just a pocker-size device. Or maybe with a slightly modified PC or other common elecronic gear that the authorities cannot feasibly ban. A bit like in one of my favourite books, "The First Circle" by Solzhenitzyn, the engineers incarcerated in a special prison, and tasked with creating bugging gear for Stalin, surreptitiously used the provided electronic components to make illegal radios for listening to foreign broadcasts, and dismantled them when not in use.
Coder, drop that editor, this is the patent police
Criminalize patent infringement? Great, combined with the flood of software patents, that would eventually put every software developer behind bars...
I can symphatetise with this guy, but his proposed cure is worse than the disease.
(Sob stories like this is what is used to sell the patent system to the public, but the real benefits are reaped by other people, like big companies and lawyers).
Oh no, in the polarized atmosphere of U.S. politics, this means the patent trolls will now have the special protection of the Tea Party and other right-wing Republicans.
Opposing ridiculous software patents will be equated with pushing socialism, and any critics of the U.S. patent system will be asked to move to North Korea.
Re: I think it was worth a shot
> to get their engineering depts back in a good place
Only if you define "good place" as "the street, looking for a job"...
Actually, startups have been increasing in Finland recently due to talented people having been kicked out of Nokia. That may yet turn out to be a blessing: the tech sector is no longer so dependent on one big company.
Re: "make its phone OS its priority number one (and two and three)"
Unify? Phones are a fundamentally different form factor from desktops. What works in phones, does not work on the desktop in an usable way, and vice versa. (But of course they can share a lot of low-level code underneath; I have understood this is already the case with WP8, and the same way Android and the Linux desktop distributions share the same kernel code).
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