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* Posts by nyelvmark

588 posts • joined 28 Nov 2009

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New RAM shunts data into flash in power cuts

nyelvmark
Thumb Down

Did you know that...

Yes, I did. Did you read my question? In what way is a "super-capacitor" (a device which temporarily stores electrical energy) significantly different from a "battery" in THIS context (keeping volatile storage alive long enough after a power cut to allow all of its content to be copied to non-volatile storage)? Is it that one stores more energy than the other? That would depend on how large the battery is, and how large the capacitor is, innit? Or is it about how long it stores the energy? Ditto. So what's the advantage? Size? Weight? Speed? Price? Awesomeness? Or just marketing?

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nyelvmark
Meh

No battery

... but a "super-capacitor pack". Is that really different?

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Jobs: 'I'll spend my dying breath destroying Android'

nyelvmark
Unhappy

Jobs found his forté

...when all those Apple II clones threatened to destroy Apple. He discovered that Apple's legal department could make more money than the rest of the business, by securing damages from clone-makers.

But the Apple II was entirely made from off-the-shelf components. Only the circuit-board and the boot program (in ROM) were defensible as IP. As Apples became more sophisticated, it became possible to make a functionally-identical device which didn't directly copy anything.

Apple's now very large legal department therefore began to focus on "look and feel" litigation. This was also fairly successful, although they were unable to prevent Microsoft beating the pants off them with Windows, which was about as obvious a copy of the Mac OS as you could imagine.

Jobs' obsession that lawyers pwn engineers seems to have been with him until his death. I hope he was wrong. But then, I'm an engineer. Maybe lawyers and marketeers like Jobs do more to enhance the human experience than we do. I hope not.

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Quote of the Week: 'Phone bills shouldn't cost more than the rent'

nyelvmark
Meh

...like the Ferrari that you keep in the garage and only take out for the big race...

I think this supposed cyberwarfare capability is more like the Ferrari that you keep on your driveway and polish frequently, making sure that everyone knows that you have it. It doesn't actually NEED to have an engine, innit?

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Boffins whip up SELF-WIRING chip

nyelvmark
Boffin

Self-modifying code.

So, if

x = rand(); isn't good enough, you can try:

srand(rand()); x = rand();

Unfortunately, computers continue to be deterministic. If you'd like a computer program with a non-deterministic output, I'd be happy to write one for you (I will need a non-deterministic input, but that's easy enough to simulate by simply measuring the time between user inputs).

"Self-modiying code'" is as valid a technique as recursive code. Neither are widely used, because they reduce readability (and thus make debugging tough), and performance gains are minimal in most use-cases.

HTH.

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nyelvmark
Thumb Up

This is very exciting.

I can think of many applications of programmable analogue circuitry which could make a lot of money. If you're looking for long-term investment, I would look closely at this.

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Zuckerberg's HTML5 Trojan horse play

nyelvmark
Trollface

Just wait...

...for the Facebook OS (based on PalmOS and codenamed FacePalm) to be launched next year, followed by the dedicated Facebook computer codenamed "The Face Base" which is predicted to be the "must have" product for 2014.

After all, once you have Facebook, what else do you need?*

*I assert copyright on the above slogan.

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World's stealthiest rootkit gets a makeover

nyelvmark
Coat

... its use of low-level instructions made it hard...

The solution is obvious. We must make low-level code illegal immediately, and arrest anyone suspected of being capable of creating it. The only secure future is through Java.

The days of these hackers with their disassembly programs is numbered. One day soon, all of the world's fundamental algorithms will have been coded in Java, and we will be able to start the cleanup.

First up against the wall will be the assembly-language coders, followed quickly by anyone who has ever produced a working program in a terrorism-capable language such as C, ALGOL, FORTRAN, COBOL or the like.

For C++, a subtle test will be needed: coders will be asked to write a program which reads each element of a string array and prints it. Any hacker who manages this task without creating a class with an iterator method will swiftly follow their subversive co-conspirators.

It's only common sense. I mean, we don't let nuclear physicists run around and do anything they want to, innit?

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Skype lets hackers track your BitTorrent downloads

nyelvmark
Happy

...home WIFI access open for the good of the community...

...and also for plausible deniability?

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War boffin: Killer cyber attacks won't happen

nyelvmark
Go

You're right

Imagine if the Russians were able to take over a car factory full of robots. They could organise the robots into an army and attack parliament. Then the robots could occupy parliament, declare themselves the government and start making cold, callous laws that fail to take human dignity into account.

It is possible that this has already happened.

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Microsoft's saucy compiler exposes privates to devs

nyelvmark
Happy

A BASIC interpreter written in BASIC?

The mind boggles.

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Google Analytics goes with the flow

nyelvmark
Go

I suggest...

...that you instruct your firewall not to send or accept anything using an insecure protocol, such as http, ftp, smtp, or pop.

To be even more secure, uninstall all applications that use the internet.

To be even more secure, disconnect your computer, attach 1kg of explosive to it and blow it up.

To be even more secure, murder every member of your family and anyone else that might know something about you.

To be completely secure, kill yourself so that nobody can torture your secrets out of you.

I hope this helps.

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nyelvmark
Stop

Cool, but...

... it doesn't answer the question that many small European website operaters want to know.

Under an EU law which came into force in the spring, my website is illegal because it uses Google analytics but doesn't give the user an opt-out option before it places the necessary cookies on their computer.

Is Google interested in this problem? Obviously, nobody wants to put an opt-in dialog on their website, because a significant number of visitors will see it as a "DANGER! HACKERS! RADIATION! GENETICALLY MODIFIED! KEEP CLEAR!" deterrent, but everyone desperately wants to know how many people are reading / interacting with their website.

I'd be pleased to hear that Google, Yahoo and other major players in this industry are working with the EU to try and find a compromise.

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Apple slips, moneymen pounce

nyelvmark
Stop

I don't understand.

As far as I know, Apple don't pay dividends on their shares, so I guess that "earnings per share" means the amount by which 1 Apple share has appreciated since last quarter.

Am I right? It would fit with my perception of Apple, which is that they are as good an investment as their next product - which is a pretty risky outlook.

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4chan founder bashes Facebook, Google+ on identity

nyelvmark
Boffin

The mistake he's making here is assuming an invariant set of personality attributes offline.

No he isn't, he's saying exactly the same thing you are. And you're both right. Go read it again: when he says "it's more like a diamond", he's referring to your real persona, not your farcebook one.

And thanks for telling us that "persona" is the technical term for, er, "persona". I'm sure there were people who were wondering whether the technical term was "avatar".

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nyelvmark
Facepalm

you now do *have* to use Facebook if you want to interact with the internet in any meaningful way

I suspect that I may disagree with your definition of "meaningful".

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nyelvmark
Boffin

the original social networking site - "Friends Reunited"

Last I heard, Usenet (which actually predates the internet) still exists, despite 10 years of Google trying to "preserve it for eternity" ( = close it down) as "Google Groups". Of course, nobody ever called it "Social Networking", for the same reason that nobody called Fat Boy a "thermonuclear weapon of mass destruction". Doesn't mean it wasn't one.

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nyelvmark
Thumb Down

jesus tits

The only part of this post worth reading.

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nyelvmark
Stop

...and one for the furry community.

I'm torn between asking what that means and wondering whether I want to know.

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nyelvmark
Go

@gribbler

Yeah - I get the impression Ramases was hoping somebody might post a link to such a thing. Sadly the closest I can get is:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/guide/episodes/s01e05-an-elephant-makes-love-to-a-pig

As you will discover, the original title was less euphemistic.

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nyelvmark
Stop

@jake

I'm wondering at the reasoning process which makes moot "spritual leader" of anonymous. If I understand the reasoning, then the Boeing corporation must have been the "spiritual leader" of the 9/11 attackers, since they used Boeing's vehicles.

Am I right?

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Hackers expose Citibank CEO's privates

nyelvmark
Happy

Affiliation with Anonymous: Only €199.99 !!!!

Just go to this site, enter your name, address, date of birth and credit card info and we will send you FREE (of p&p) an official Anonymous affiliation certificate!!!

http:// <removed>

(Validated Facebook account required)

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Duck and cover: ROSAT is the next re-entry

nyelvmark
Boffin

Dangerous

>>This latest fall is given a 1:2,000 chance that some fragment may hit someone on Earth

>>(which puts it at somewhat more dangerous than the 1:3,200 chance estimated for UARS

>>on its re-entry).

But to calculate the chance of it hitting YOU you need to divide by the number of people on Earth. Or all those living between 53N and 53S anyway - if you're worried, head for Norway.

There's demonstrably more chance of being eaten by a grue.

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LibreOffice plans ports to iOS, Android, cloud

nyelvmark
Trollface

The French government has also thrown its support behind the LibreOffice project

Lol - I wonder why?

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MIT boffin: Salted disks hold SIX TIMES more data

nyelvmark

If only...

..they could increase the size of hard drives as fast as they can increase the size of bloatware, we'd be getting somewhere.

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ICANN rescues time zone database

nyelvmark
Meh

Well, as pub landlords always say, "If you want to call time by your watch, buy a pub".

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Sixth of Britain's cellphones have traces of poo on them

nyelvmark

cow-orkers

That joke is hardly hot-off-the-press. Google it.

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nyelvmark
Unhappy

all public toilets seem to require pulling a handle to exit.

But consider the alternative - outside there's a rather confused person who's breaking his neck for a piss but can't work out why simply staggering into the door doesn't work. Not only do you risk braining him with the door as you shoulder-charge it to open it without sullying your freshly-scrubbed hands, there's also the risk that he might piss all over you in shock.

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nyelvmark
Boffin

Hmm. Why no mention of quantities? E-coli is a bit like like radiation - there's never none, except where there are no animals. I'm pretty sure that if you took samples from church roofs or gravestones you would find minute quantities of E-coli. The question is, how much did they find on the phones and is there any significance to that, health-wise?

The silence of the article on this may give us a clue.

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Silicon Valley's social tech formula doesn't add up

nyelvmark
Happy

It occurs to me...

...that there's a potentially lucrative business in selling friends.

SIGN UP NOW and gain 1000 friends!!!! Only 1.99 !!!!

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It's official: Microsoft, Skype marriage consummated

nyelvmark
Unhappy

Skype is dead.

It was already dead before Microsoft bought it. It works with a neutral net (where your ISP isn't interested in the data you're sending/receiving), but it doesn't work where your ISP is also a TELCO (as is inevitably the case with mobile phones), because Skype is encroaching on their core business (telephone calls) and they can block it, so they do.

The question is whether MS can re-invent it as a product that plays nicely with the commercial interests that dominate internet distribution. MS evidently think so, or they wouldn't have paid 8.5 billion.

I look forward to finding out who is right, but my bet is on the TELCOs. Collectively, they're a lot bigger than MS.

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nyelvmark
Trollface

@Daniel B.

My laptop totes a webcam as well... and it has never been used.

Are you sure?

It's surprising how many common uncertainties can be resolved with a bit of masking tape.

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Apple, tech titans lead US brands to world domination

nyelvmark
Boffin

...may be a thoroughly meaningless data point...

Indeed. How does the "Eurobrand2011 survey " arrive at its conclusions? Where (cynicism mode: on) does it get its funding? And how much importance should we ascribe to the conclusions of this survey (of whom?)?

>>the Institute didn't provide a clear definition of "brand value".

Enough said.

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Drone nerve centre malware was Mafia Wars' infostealer

nyelvmark
Facepalm

the ability of the RPA pilots to safely fly these aircraft remained secure

Duh, yeah. Like, they're not in the aircraft, are they?

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Astronomy crowd spots PLANET KILLER!

nyelvmark
Boffin

Some rounding errors in there.

The announcement claims 0.1879 AU, which as we all know is 200781713603.78571428571428571429 linguine.

About.

However, a perusal of the official ElReg style guide turns up:

>For greater than 1lg, the following should be used:

>Double-decker bus = 65.85lg

>Brontosaurus = 15 double-decker buses laid bumper-to-bumper

Which means the closest approach to the Earth should correctly be stated as 194414634.32949476086730988691773 brontosauruses laid nose-to-tail.

About.

Incidentally, it's curious the the London bus should measure precisely one fifteenth of a brontosaurus. I wonder whether this is by design. And if so, the design of the bus or the design of the brontosaurus?

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nyelvmark
Happy

Am I a bad person for thinking this?

No, but it should be Chuck Norris, not Bruce Willis. The asteroid would change course when it heard he was coming.

Second choice: Vladimir Putin.

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Solar car teams bask in Darwin sunshine

nyelvmark
WTF?

Where's the LOHAN connection? Or even the Lohan connection?

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An ode to rent-a-nerds and cable monkeys

nyelvmark
Thumb Up

Nice writing, Trevor.

Hopefully, I'm permitted to say that. As long as I don't say "and it makes a bloody change", eh, moderator?

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OccupySF BOFH runs protest network on pedal power

nyelvmark

“We’d love to get an Apple, because a lot of the software we’re used to is on the Mac,”

Lol - middle-class anarchists.

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Dennis Ritchie: The C man who booted Unix

nyelvmark
Boffin

Chris Gray 1

Surely that needs to be --dmr; to avoid temporal paradoxes?

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Google loses battle for goggle.com

nyelvmark
Meh

100 million

I suspect that's the problem. Google have decided to buy goggle.com, but the current owner is asking a stupid price like 100 million. You can hire a lot a lot of lawyers for 100 million, and I doubt that the "survey" business makes even 1 million a year, so Google are haggling.

I remember when a certain sci/tech online magazine not a million miles from here was in negotiation with the owner of the corresponding .com domain...

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Opera brings fondleslab-style reading to bog-standard web

nyelvmark
Boffin

Tables aren't cool.

HTML tables are intended to contain tables: content presented in row/column form. Using them for layout is a hack, and always was, because it breaks the principle that the content should be separate from the style. This allows, for example, blind users to use software that reads HTML pages aloud. HTML today can, and should, be written without using tables for layout. All the styling should be in CSS, which can be ignored by the rendering software, according to its purpose.

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Royal Navy halts Highlands GPS jamming

nyelvmark
Meh

@jake

Don't worry - fishing boats powered by Java are coming. If you try to move your boat closer to the shore for better fishing, you will get an error message:

"The function 'MoveCloserTo Shore()' is deprecated. Please use 'MoveFurtherFromShore()' "

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nyelvmark
Headmaster

M'aide M'aide

Well, if you're such good friends with the coastguard that you can address them in the intimate voice, then they're probably already looking for you, non?

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Boffins fear killer gamma death blasts from space

nyelvmark
Meh

I've got to laugh...

at people who are so stupid that they worry about such things.

Not me - I bought an insurance policy which is guaranteed to pay out in the case of planetary destruction.

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nyelvmark
Boffin

So we need some sort of shield? Made of what?

I reckon quantum steel would do it. It has the same strength and density as steel, but is much easier to handle, because it only has mass if you actually try to weigh it.

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Homeland Security bungles 'pre-crime' tech test docs

nyelvmark
Facepalm

...only a few years early...

Facepalm says it all.

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Google breaks South African embargo on Dalai Lama

nyelvmark
Unhappy

reincarnation.google.com

We're sorry...

Your current karma rating does not qualify you for reincarnation.

Click here to learn how to boost your karma rating with Google Adwords.

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Can general relativity explain the OPERA neutrino result?

nyelvmark

There's a bit of a difference between science-bashing and scientist-bashing.

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Facebook scammers exploit Steve Jobs' death

nyelvmark
WTF?

unscrupulous marketing firms

Is there another kind?

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