* Posts by Dave 126

4340 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Cicada 3301: The web's toughest and most creepy crypto-puzzle is BACK

Dave 126
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Re: recruiting

Crosswords and Intelligence Agencies.

There is that lovely story of a leading WW2-era newspaper crossword compiler being a master at a boarding school. The school was based near an American base in England. The security agencies were concerned because words associated with the secret planning of D-Day were appearing as answers in the crosswords this school master set. The agencies had to consider if this was coincidence, conspiracy, or if boys at the school picked up on words being used by the nearby US servicemen and repeated them in the school, thus subconsciously influencing the crossword compiler.

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Dave 126
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>The premise is genius as marketing you don't recognize as such is extremely valuable.

If that is true, the chances are that the adverts are on the forums that comment on this puzzle, rather than amongst the breadcrumbs of the puzzle itself. Why? Because (I assume) far more people are following the progress of this treasure hunt than are actually participating in it.

There is still the cost/benefit analysis to be done by the marketing team... for the cost of setting up this puzzle (okay, probably far less than creating and airing a TV advert) they want in return either lots of eyeballs, or to market to a specific (self-selecting group). You only want to advertise to a select group if they are a, much more likely than your average punter to buy your product, b, if they are very rich (higher margins), c, you have a way of getting your message under the viewer's radar (as you suggest), or a combination of the above.

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Dave 126
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Re: Its simple

>Its a recruitment drive but not by the alphabet soup government agencies, or by a commecial contractor [...] Its for the latest Evil overlord project.

Let's assume that's true. Can anyone comment on the how the traditional Three Letter Agencies might fare at deciphering this puzzle, if they haven't already? Genuine question.

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

Dave 126
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Hopefully, yeah. My take was always that MS knew that plenty of people were happy with Win7, so felt they could be a little bit experimental with Win8- if the masses didn't like it, they could roll out Win9, just as they did with Win7 after Vista.

With Intel pushing out a Kinect-like 3D sensor reference design to laptop OEMs, ( 'RealSense': http://www.pcworld.com/article/2084810/hands-on-intels-realsense-is-both-productive-and-fun.html Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and NEC ), Win9 would be a chance for MS to introduce free-space gestures to Windows.

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Why 2014 might just be the year of the Google Chromebook

Dave 126
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Re: Dear Google

>I like MY documents on MY hard drive thank you very much.

I assume that you either encrypt your hard drive, or don't have any sensitive data about 3rd parties stored on it. We still get news stories about USB sticks left on trains, or laptops stolen from parked cars. Several years ago my mate was issued a works laptop running a custom Linux distro, purely for logging onto his organisation's VPN; they did not want their data on a hard drive in the wild.

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Dave 126
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Re: I have a chromebook

>I can see a lot of these being sold to older people as it does browsing, email etc which for many of them is everything they want.

I think Big_Ted has hit the nail on the head.

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Undeterred by Snapchat's snafus, upstart Confide punts self-destruct selfies

Dave 126
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>(the determined recipient could, of course, just use a separate video camera to capture messages permanently).

It's not uncommon for people to have a works phone and a personal phone - the latter could be used to photograph the screen of the former. Heck, just use the camera on a tablet or laptop.

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'Leaked' iPhone 6 pics will make cool fanbois WEEP - it's a PHABLET

Dave 126
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Re: highly dubious

Prototyping of the concept would be done in the USA, but the fine-tuning of the production processes is done in China - where the production lines are. Anyway, it's a moot point, cos it isn't an Apple device.

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EE and Voda subscribers to get 2G and 3G INSIDE the Channel Tunnel

Dave 126
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Re: How about on UK train lines?!

It's like the game Eddie Mair plays on P.M on Radio 4 every Friday- he rings Jonathan Dimbleby as he travels by train to wherever Any Questions is held that week, and sees whether the call drops out.

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Spock-style gadget can SMELL my PEE! Weird gizmos of CES 2014

Dave 126
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Re: Glasses free 3D

Glasses-free 3D:

1- The Nintendo 3DS

2- the bloke who attached an electrode to each temple, thus causing his eyes to blink alternately at 30 fps (sadly, this technique was a hoax)

One assumes that glasses-free 3D television would require the the viewer to sit in a specific spot. If the mechanism is tunable, it could potentially track the users head using a Kinect-like device.

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iOS motion control iRing here at last ... but it's NOT made by Apple

Dave 126
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Re: Hmm

>Now what would be really cool would be a DMX controller!

There are quite a few DMX devices that support MIDI triggering, and all the iDevices have Wireless MIDI baked in... so you should be able to hack / patch something together. There are also a few open-source applications that map iDevice sensor output (accelerometer etc) to MIDI.

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Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly

Dave 126
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Re: Dolby Vision

Similar yeah, but taken up a few notches. The Brightside press release makes several mentions of local dimming of the backlighting LEDs. The newer Dolby Vision system includes additional data about how bright to make some pixels, and far brighter LEDs to expand the dynamic range. Their prototype was a cinema projector focused onto a 21" screen.

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Dave 126
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Dolby Vision

I'm more excited about Dolby's recently announced Dolby Vision than I am about higher resolution. Like some of their audio protyocols, it covers the entire process, from camera to screen. Basically, screens that support it will be able to display a huge dynamic range - from deep shadows to very bright highlights - but the protocol also describes the extra data stream.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2014/01/dolby-display-4k/

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I've seen the future of car radio - and DAB isn't in it

Dave 126
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Re: Great, bitrotten cars

Bluetooth... further encodes / decodes what is already received / stored in a compressed format. Unless those two codec formats are the same, you're going to suffer a further loss in quality.

Many people take time in their car as an opportunity to charge their phone, so using audio over microUSB won't require the user to plug in any more cables than they were going to anyway.

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Dave 126
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Re: "music radio [...] bland and uninspiring"?

6 Music is superb, but the excellent programming only highlights that the sound quality is not what it could be.

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Dave 126
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Re: How much!

A few hundred £s a year for this service... compare to the tens of thousands £ extra this car costs over a 'good enough' alternative. Know your market.

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Dave 126
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In the Cotswolds, I enjoy better 3G data coverage than I do DAB. YMMV.

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Dave 126
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Re: Caching will only get you so far

>why not just go for a in car system which offers internet and allows people to access what they like?

That is what Volvo have just done - their car acts as a WiFi hotspot.

However, will what *you* want to listen to be available through a reliable and sensible interface, suitable for using whilst driving?

The only reason you might want to limit the functionality is if you are trying to wrangle a better deal from the mobile service operators: having the car's 3G tied to a music-only service means that it won't cannibalise data tariff sales to the consumer's mobile phone. Therefore, the operators might offer a Europe-roaming car-music-only tariff at a much cheaper rate (on the grounds that it is better to take some money than no money)

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Dave 126
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Re: Caching will only get you so far

Since the music is cached, some interruption of the data whilst switching cell towers will be inaudile to the user. Contrast this to DAB...

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Dave 126
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Re: Very clever but...

The article says the car has DAB, so you still listen to Planet Rock or Test Match Special.

It does strike me that if many hours of Spotify can be cached to the car before the journey, one wouldn't really need the 3G- as I believe one can do with some mobile devices. The problem is, one would then be in DRM territory (and need to extend WiFi to wherever you park your car)

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Dave 126
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I've noticed 3G signal drop-outs on near stationary motorway traffic jams.... it might have just been my phone playing up, or it might have been the large number of nearby handsets saying hello to the base station / sending Google GPS data etc.

Did I read on The Reg that 4G will in time become more efficient at sending / receiving small packets of data than 3G is today?

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Dave 126
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Re: Well....

I've been using a DAB unit in my car (a Pure Highway > Aux in) and it is only on some routes that I can use it, such is DAB reception. For speech content, I tend to just stream from my phone (to Aux in). I tend to just fall back onto FM or an SD Card full of albums.

The price of this BMW system looks expensive now, but then so did all mobile data not so long ago.

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Optical Express 'ruined my life' attack site wins Nominet takedown battle

Dave 126
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Re: I married an eye surgeon

I read the account of a mountaineer in the national press, who said that unbeknownst to him at the time, extreme cold temperatures played havoc with his laser-treated eyes. He discovered this half way up Everest...

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Dave 126
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Re: er ...

It seems you're correct. Wikipedia supports my hazy memories of that Nat Geo article, but I can't access the source it cites. It would appear that the Wikipedians have been confused for the reasons you outlined, i.e the procedure of cutting with a scalpel was developed by Svyatoslav Fyodorov, and then it was some IBM researchers working with lasers (for work on silicon) who discovered the could neatly cut flesh without thermal damage to surrounding areas.

It is also possible that the Soviets adopted the procedure on a greater scale than the Americans, as would be suggested by a 'production-line' -like operating theatre.

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Dave 126
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I remember a 1980's National Geographic article about the USSR (where laser eye surgey was pioneered), showing an operating theatre for laser eye surgery. Eight beds were arranged like spokes in a wheel, so the surgeon could process patients like a production line. Of course, laser surgery doesn't place the same demands on sterilisation of tools etc that conventional surgery does.

It is telling when a Google search for 'laser eye surgery' doesn't return a Wikipedia result on the first page... instead, it returns advertisements for clinics offering their services, and blogs from the Telegraph and Guardian.

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Seagate's LaCie whips out bonkers posh silver-plated storage ball

Dave 126
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Re: Just FYI

Fair dooes, I vaguely remember the external ZIP drives, though mine was an internal unit, all stamped mild steel with a beige plastic face!

T'was a strange time: CDRW drives were still rare, and flash memory was still very expensive even if you wanted to shunt data over slow USB 1.1 (which I couldn't cos NT 4.0 wouldn't play ball). Home internet was still dial-up, so files couldn't be shunted around very easily by that method. And some fruity company released a desktop PC without a floppy drive... Strange thing is, I had a portable MD recorder at the time, a format that could have been a suitable alternative to ZIP disks had Sony not been asleep at the wheel.

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Dave 126
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Re: Photoshopped!

You tease!

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Dave 126
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Re: Phantasm

Looks more like the Orgasmatron from Woody Allen's The Sleeper, to me: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4sZPaKqYvos/TgRE2OM1K-I/AAAAAAAADB0/jG53z6aLf6s/s640/Sleeper_560x330_MSDSLEE_EC030_H-thumb-560xauto-28566.jpg

The above image is Safe For Work, though not all the pictures I saw whilst searching for it were.

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Dave 126
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Re: Dear Seagate

Most people have a disk of some sort in their computer, so that would make this external HDD a *second* disk. True, it would be better if it contained more disks, and itself was duplicated to other devices in different buildings and postcodes...

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Dave 126
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Re: Too tasteful...

The shaking of the hips is a way of increasing airflow over the disk array without using fans!

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Dave 126
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Photoshopped!

There is no reflection of a camera in that image. The techniques for removing the camera's reflection from spherical images are fairly mature though, cos it's a quick and dirty way of generating environment maps without using specialist lenses.

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Dave 126
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Re: Just FYI

That's the first time I've heard of Iomega being held up as a posterchild for design... and we used a lot of ZIP disks in our c2000 design campus.

LaCie's history has been tied to that of Apple's... but Apple's emphasis on design pre-dates that. It was Apple that led Hartmut Esslinger's design agency (clients including Wega and Sony Trinitron) to become Frog Design in 1982. Since then they've designed products for NeXT and SPARCstation. Even the grooves on the original Playstation were an acknowledged and deliberate homage by Sony's internal design studio to Esslinger's Mac design.

Lacie started out as two companies, one started in 1987 and the other in 1989. They tend to bring in 'star' product designers, such as Neil Poulson, Philipe Starck or Porsche Design to make an oblong box less boxy.

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Intel makes gesture recognition push with RealSense launch

Dave 126
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Re: incoming

Intel are not Microsoft.

Intel are looking to make the hardware more common, so it is up to developers to support it and create interfaces, if they feel it is suitable for the task in hand.

Also, it can function as a 3D scanner (though more details about resolution and limitations etc would be welcome)

I would imagine it might be a tad early to write off the whole concept, since software developers have barely got started on it.

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Dave 126
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Re: Push Push Push.

Perhaps these free-space gesture systems work better for some tasks than others. At the very least, even just enough functionality to allow users to put down their mouse periodically might help reduce RSI. (And from what I've read of reviews of the similar-ish LeapMotion device, the converse is true; it can also be tiring to use gestures for extended periods too, but at least it is using different muscles)

Personally, as a (Mechanical) CAD user, I'm waiting with interest to see if anyone develops a natural control 'grammer' for these 3D human input devices. Even on the 2D tasks, I'm impressed by how civilised the UI of some CAD packages are (they let the *user* choose to use keyboard shortcuts, customisable toolbars, 'Ribbon'-like menus or pie menus, in addition to providing the resources needed to let strange peripherals like the SpacePilot work with them).

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Time travellers outsmart the NSA

Dave 126
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Re: Remind me,

Do. The premise is that a penal colony of political dissenters exists in the Precambrian era, since people can only be sent back in time. The narrator is an old hand who doesn't like much change.

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Dave 126
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Remind me,

Hawksbill Station (a.k.a The Anvil of Time) by Robert Silverburg, maybe?

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Pervy TOILET CAMERA disguised as 'flash drive' sparks BOMB SCARE on Boeing 767

Dave 126
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Re: Haven't you seen Fringe ?

The old boy in the BBC documentary turns out to be a gentleman called Dr Sidney Alford. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Alford

Turns out he has a website for anyone needing to make a hole in something in a hurry. Website is probably a good way to bring yourself to some agency's attention:

http://www.explosives.net/Home.aspx

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Dave 126
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Re: Haven't you seen Fringe ?

The BBC had a good documentary about the history of explosives. At one point, a wizened, wiry old boy was demonstrating plastic explosive. He placed a small amount of plastic explosive into a conical container, held a couple of inches above the 'target' ( a two-foot thick steel billet) by three little legs. Upon detonation, it punched a coin-sized hole through the steel billet. It was a powerful demonstration.

He explained that the explosive made the copper liner form a hypersonic jet (upwards of 7 KM per second) that penetrated steel as if it were a liquid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaped_charge#Function

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'BILLION-YEAR DISK' to help FUTURE LIFEFORMS study us

Dave 126
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Re: Eh?

>I remember the laser groove reader. AFAIK it's never gone past laboratory stage.

It made it to market. Yours for around $15,000.

http://www.elpj.com/experience/video.php

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Dave 126
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Re: Legacy

Maybe future races could learn from our mistakes?

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Dave 126
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Re: Excellent

>who will probably need the same amount of time to gain the technology to be able to decipher it.

The article discusses markings that are visible to the naked eye, and to microscopes - on the same material as stores data magnetically. You could leave lots (thousands) of sapphire lenses lying around the vicinity of the data store - not only would they facilitate the building of a microscope, but they would be found and traded as gems are today. Later, curiosity and greed would make sure that future beings would explore the area more carefully, leading them to discover the data store.

However, it is desirable to require a certain level of technology to read the data- we want future archaeologists to decipher these disks. We don't want them being used as fetish objects or clubs by the cave-dwelling man apes that will wander the post-apocalyptic wastelands.

Arthur C Clarke's solution to separate the apes from the men was to place the data store on the moon.

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Dave 126
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Re: All scenarios...

How do you advertise the location of your data store? You could build some structure, obviously artificial, with the data at its heart, or you could have the old 'magnetic anomaly on the moon', a la 2001.

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How to kill trolls and influence Apple people: A patent solution

Dave 126
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Re: Change the incentives of the patent office

>Instead, ask full price to apply for a patent, and give back a small percentage if the patent is accepted.

Perhaps students, or individual innovators ("Garden Shed"), can get a substantial discount? If BigCompany has spent hundreds of man hours developing an innovation, then they won't be put off by a patent application fee of a few hundred or thousand dollars. However, to a student this amount of money is prohibitively expensive.

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BlackBerry sues American Idol host's company for 'blatant' patent infringement

Dave 126
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>so merely claiming that a vertical slip on Blue Tooth keyboard that's not built into any phone but is a separate keyboard attachment violates any Blackberry patents, is questionable, at best.

Which is why they are not claiming that.

What BB are claiming is a similarity between the shape of the keys on this new keyboard and those found on BB devices, as you can see in this image:

http://uk.blackberry.com/content/dam/bbCompany/Desktop/Global/Device/Bold-9790/9790Bold_AdAngle.jpg

At first glance, there would appear to be enough of a similarity for claim to be at least considered by a court.

BB keyboards have enjoyed a good reputation, and it is safe to assume that BB invested time and money building and evaluating many prototypes. It isn't fair if someone else comes along and just copies the fruits if their labour.

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Glassholes, snapt**ts, #blabbergasms, selfies and PRISM: The Reg's review of 2013

Dave 126
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'annoying' and 'near ubiquitous' are not mutually exclusive... often the opposite, in fact!

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How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks 'at speed of light': Spy tech catalog leaks

Dave 126
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>1 - run like Obama did and don't use computers, use messenger

Wasn't it the complete absence of a telephone line etc that marked out a house in Abbotsbad as being a contender for Ozzie's hideout?

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Joke no more: Comedy virty currency Dogecoin gets real in big Xmas heist

Dave 126
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Dogecoin is based on Litecoin, which (in theory) uses a Proof of Work called 'scrypt' that doesn't hand an advantage to GPUs or ASICs because of its high memory demands. However, 'scrypt' wasn't properly implemented, so your GPUs will still give you a speed boost.

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Snowden: 'I am still working for the NSA ... to improve it'

Dave 126
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"Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Yossarian shouted at her in bewildered, furious protest. "How did you know it was Catch-22? Who the hell told you it was Catch-22?"

"The soldiers with the hard white hats and clubs. The girls were crying. 'Did we do anything wrong?' they said. The men said no and pushed them away out the door with the ends of their clubs. 'Then why are you chasing us out?' the girls said. 'Catch 22,' the men said. All they kept saying was 'Catch-22, Catch-22. What does it mean, Catch 22? What is Catch-22?"

"Didn't they show it to you?" Yossarian demanded, stamping about in anger and distress. "Didn't you even make them read it?"

"They don't have to show us Catch-22," the old woman answered. "The law says they don't have to."

"What law says they don't have to?"

"Catch-22".

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British Second World War codebreaker Alan Turing receives Royal pardon

Dave 126
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Re: The man in the high castle

'The Man in the High Castle' by Philip K Dick, an 'alternative history' novel set in the late 20th century, in which the USA co-exists with a Nazi Europe and Japanese Pacific. Easier going than 'V.A.L.I.S', at least!

There are a fair few novels of this type in which the fork in history occurs around or prior to World War 2 (Swastikas sell books), including 'The Plot Against America' by Philip Roth, and 'Making History' by Stephen Fry, concerned in part with Jewishness and homosexuality respectively.

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Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

Dave 126
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>Well I am not sure on how long they have been doing it, but as long as i've owned Samsung/android phone (about 3-4 years) they have had microUSB ports, before that I had multiple phones with MINI usb ports...

The Samsung feature-phone I had in 2008 used a propriety cable, the one I got a couple of years later used microUSB. I did witness a friend with a Nokia candybar try and charge it over miniUSB a couple a few years ago, but it wouldn't work.

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