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* Posts by Dave 126

4072 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Apple patents technology to STALK YOU in your own HOME

Dave 126
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Some top tips, there, Mr Jones. I wonder if one can integrate into it some modules that can use an array of microphones to triangulate a persons position within the home? Not only would that achieve what Apple are trying to do with Bluetooth, but it could be integrated into baby/toddler monitors and burglar alarms...

Hmm, I wonder of household pico-cells can be set up to sound an alarm if an phone with an unfamiliar EMEI enters the house under certain conditions? (or just make a note of it for the police)

This home automation stuff is in it's infancy, but I'm glad the components are cheap enough now for home-brew efforts. I mean, we've had central locking in cars for decades, yet not in our homes...

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Dave 126
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Re: I have these all over - they are called PIR (Passive Infra-Red) sensors

This patent application describes a mesh network that can triangulate the position of a person within a home by detecting Bluetooth/WiFi from a personal device, as well as relaying sensor/control packets on to relevant nodes. There is prior art for this kind of thing, but your use of stand-alone PIR switches is not it, sorry.

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Dave 126
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Re: Will it have Couch Potato mode?

Some Sony TVs already turn themselves off - you don't need home automation for that to happen! Some models detect motion in the room (though evidently we've been a bit too 'relaxed' on occasion, since it thinks we're either dead, asleep or absent), others go to sleep when buttons haven't been pushed for a while.

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Dave 126
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There is definitely a market for home automation and the like, but currently costs are high.

For example, Sonos home audio systems carry a very high price tag, yet many readers here could 'roll their own' at a fraction of the cost using Homeplugs and Tri-path amplifiers (okay, the end result might not be as 'polished', but the BOM is similar).

You don't have to suffer from full-blown OCD to sometimes have a nagging feeling "Did I turn the iron off before I left the house?" as you're on your way to work. A system that could provide such confirmation through one's smartphone would be welcome. The devil will be in the ease of use in the application.

Sensors are cheap, processing power is cheap. Using an array of microphones could allow the movement of people in a house to be tracked.... turning on lights is one application, burglar detection another.... or even "There hasn't been a sound from Granny's house for 10 hours, let's give her a ring and see if she's okay".

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Samsung: Get ready to BEND OVER – foldable fondleslabs 'by 2016'...

Dave 126
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Re: "rather terrible advert"

C'mon, this isn't even the worse Samsung presentation. See:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57576010-71/samsung-sorry-about-that-sexist-show/

Although regarding Farting Hippo's point, this one might not make your nadgers want to hide.

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Dave 126
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>To be able to roll up or fold up, your mobile device requires foldable and bendable batteries, processors, memory and other bits, not just flexible screens.

Er... You might need flexible components to roll it up, but to fold it up you only need a flexible screen. See: a hardback book. However, for a 5" tall phone of conventional form, the folding approach would give a roughly 7" diagonal squarish screen, whereas the roll-up approach could give a roughly 10" 'widescreen' (or ratio of your choice).

As a culture, we've largely settled on books over scrolls, other than for projector screens (not the most robust of structures)

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Secrets of Apple's mysterious Arizona sapphire factory: Our expert whispers all

Dave 126
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Re: woot Arizona

I wonder.... are solar furnaces practical in Arizona? Are solar furnaces even suitable for manufacturing smelted materials on an industrial basis?

I really don't know. Any thoughts?

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Dave 126
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>To obtain the maximum economies of scale, the sapphire glass needs to also be sold at reasonable prices to possible competitors. This is something that I just don't see Apple doing.

That's the point; the factory that eventually produces the sapphire / sapphire parts won't be owned by Apple, but by their partner; "it's almost vertical integration but not quite".

There are companies that aren't in competition with Apple who might buy the sapphire. Plausibly products such as lightbulbs or kitchenware might one day make use of sapphire in their construction, just as examples.

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RIIIGHT. Sysadmins: Have you ever even MET an overly suave IT guy?

Dave 126
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Re: Scruffy = status in sysadmin world;

Scott Adams made the same observation in a Dilbert four-panel cartoon, showing the dress of four office inhabitants. (I couldn't find a link to it, sorry).

The poorly dressed guy: "I am a worthless peon, treat me like earwax"

The smartly dressed guy with slicked hair: "Be nice to me, I'll be your boss one day."

The bearded guy wearing sandals, shorts and a tie-dye t-shirt: "I am the only one who knows how the IT system works; treat me like God"

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Forget 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' - how does its rival from EA stack up?

Dave 126
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This review of BF4 suggests that bugs are just a part of the Battlefield games:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/11/battlefield-4-the-brutal-broken-beautiful-pinnacle-of-first-person-shooters/2/

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Dave 126
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Re: top-spec PC

Here you go, Tom's cahrt of average frame rates for Battlefield 4 across a range of popular graphics cards:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-r9-290-review-benchmark,review-32818-6.html

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New US Apple factory will make INVINCIBLE sapphire glass for SHINY iThings

Dave 126
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Re: Ditch the aluminium

I think 'frank ly' might have been referring to Aluminium Oxynitride.

Another way to make aluminium work as a display of sorts (though not transparent) is to drill lots of tiny holes in it:

http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/29/apple-patents-invisible-button/

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Late with your ransom payment? Never mind, CryptoLocker crooks will, er, give you a break

Dave 126
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It is a measure of my ignorance that I have never understood why a system designed to simply display and print documents allows code to be run on your machine. Oh well.

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Amazon lashes Nvidia's GRID GPU to its cloud: But can it run Crysis?

Dave 126
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Re: What's it for?

Exactly: Why build your own render farm at great expense if it's sitting idle most of the time?

Renders often come towards the end of the job as the deadline approaches... having them done in half an hour instead of overnight can save a lot of stress.

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Dave 126
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Re: What's it for?

It would be fast enough for 3D visualisation; it's not a game, you're not looking for a competitive advantage of few milliseconds. The powerful graphics are so that large assemblies of hundreds or thousands of parts can be accurately viewed, not to shunt frames out a rate of 60 per second.

The advantages are that you can rent the software by the hour, you are not limited by the RAM of your client machine so large assemblies can be viewed smoothly, and when you are ready to render (or simulate) you can throw more CPU/GPUs at it nearly instantly. Also, engineers in different locations can work collaboratively on the same model.

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The 10 most INHUMAN bosses you'll encounter: A Reg reader's guide

Dave 126
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1980s video games taught me to equate 'Boss' with 'Big Baddie", to be shot, bombed, round-house kicked or shurikened as appropriate.

Luckily, I have come to realise that isn't always true.

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No, it's NOT Half-Life 3 – it's Valve's lean, mean STEAM MACHINE

Dave 126
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Re: I initially read that...

If you can assemble your own system, it doesn't matter what the reference design look, it's the combination of the controller and UI design that is important.

I think a nice big passive cooler mounted in a chassis resembling a valve amplifier would look good on some people's AV cabinets...

http://www.2dayblog.com/images/2012/april/550x-nofan-cooler.jpg (95 W TDP)

That'll cool any sensible CPU for gaming, a shame there doesn't appear to be similar passive solutions for GPUs.

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Can't stand the heat? Harden up if you want COLD, DELICIOUS BEER

Dave 126
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Re: Total, complete & utter bullshit.

> Total, complete & utter bullshit.

>Don't believe me? Try it for yourself. I did, when I was about six years old. I've demonstrated my results many times in the ensuing nearly five decades.

jake, you didn't prove the Mpemba effect doesn't happen, you only proved that the Mpemba effect doesn't happen in the circumstances you tested.

Variables include respective temperatures of the two (or more) liquid water samples, their size, the shape and size of the containers, the temperature of the freezer, the texture of the test containers (nucleation sites), any difference between the two samples in terms of dissolved solids or gases. It is possible to have observed what you observed, yet still consider the Mpemba effect to be plausible in other circumstances.

There is also ambiguity in the definition of the term, as well; whether it refers to when the water starts to freeze, or to when it is frozen completely.

EDIT: Link added http://phys.org/news188801988.html

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IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE! Google's secretive Omega tech just like LIVING thing

Dave 126
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Re: Biological signals in Omega clouds?

Add Arthur C Clarke, Alfred Bester and William Gibson to the list... and I have a fellow commentard to thank for bringing Murray Leinster's 1946 story "A Logic Named Joe" to my attention.

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iPad 4 is so OVER: 5 times as many fanbois now using iPad Air - survey

Dave 126
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Re: Not so surprising

I was thinking the same, though I don't know enough about the Apple App Store. Does downloading an app count as using it? Even if not, isn't it human nature to run an app once its first installed?

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Funds flung at 9-inch fan-built Raspberry Pi monitor

Dave 126
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I was tempted a while back to get a 7-9" USB-driven (ideally resistive or capacitive touchscreen) for my laptop - it seemed a handy place to put tool palettes and the like. However, at around £80 they didn't seem good value for me (laptop rarely leaves my desk) against a second 15" monitor for around £25.

From the linked article ""The LCD will require a 12V supply : bugger, I was hoping it came to under 500mA @ 5V.

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iPad Air not very hot: Apple fanbois SHUN London fondleslab launch

Dave 126
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Re: Eh?

I was just saying that computers don't "go obsolete very quickly" these days. Specialist users (gamers, editors, animators, scientists, traders) will always gain benefit from more power (and thus easy upgrades), but average users can do all they need on modestly specced machines, and on most software they won't even notice much of a difference.

They won't, until Microsoft decide that Word needs the return of Clippy, but this time raytraced in real-time and composited against a 4K video live stream.

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Dave 126
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Re: Basically it's the best tablet available for most people

The 64bit processor will have more relevance in a couple of years time, but it makes sense for Apple to introduce it now so that by then most of their iDevice range will be using it, making software development easier.

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Dave 126
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Re: Eh?

> because someone seems to have started making machines that cannot be user serviced, or upgraded at all, so they go obselete very quickly

Obsolete? Really? Through the nineties and into the early 2000s it was sensible to buy a new desktop for around £1000, because the software and new uses would mean that more CPU, RAM and HDD was always desirable, not to mention having to add stuff like soundcards, CD-ROMs and scanner cards (IRQs, joy). In the mid 2000s, there just wasn't that much that more power would do for the general user, since by then a £500 (or cheaper) machine could happily do all the email, DTP, image editing, web-browsing and DVD playback that a general user would need.

My laptop was bought several years ago, and still performs excellently for CAD and the like. It could always be faster on a render or whatever (and an SSD wouldn't hurt it), but it is very far from being obsolete.

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Indestructible, badass rootkit BadBIOS: Is this tech world's Loch Ness Monster? VOTE NOW

Dave 126
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>I think the next claim for this terrible infections capabilities will be encoding data and sending it by flashing the screen

There has been work done in that sort of area:

In a separate study conducted in the US, the LED lights that adorn most communications hardware, such as modems and routers, have also been used to snoop on electronic communications.

Joe Loughry of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and David Umphress at Auburn University, in the US, found that the technique allowed plain text to be captured from up to 30 metres away. In a real life scenario, this information might include sensitive information such as passwords.

- http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2029-monitors-flicker-reveals-data-on-screen.html#.UnZa0fnwlBM

Two more possible vectors, one CRT/LCD, one CRT only:

'Monitor's flicker reveals data on screen'

- http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2029-monitors-flicker-reveals-data-on-screen.html#.UnZa0fnwlBM

"Back in 1985, Wim Van Eck proved it was possible to tune into the radio emissions produced by electromagentic coils in a CRT display and then reconstruct the image. The practice became known as Van Eck Phreaking, and NATO spent a fortune making its systems invulnerable to it. "

- http://www.newscientist.com/blog/technology/2007/04/seeing-through-walls.html

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Dave 126
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Re: Difficult to see this one happening

>The recipient PC needs some system (executing code) to convert sounds it receives into commands - which implies it has already been pwned. What then is the point of the sonic link ?

Purely hypothetically, the idea is that the initial USB infection across the air gap only has to happen once; after which data (albeit limited) can be passed back and forth more regularly by the sonic method.

I'm too ignorant to speculate on the technical validity of the claim, I'm just suggesting a possible end-use were it to be true.

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Dave 126
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Re: Question:

>[this is how] Osama's computer was set up

With that wording, "set up" can either be taken as meaning 'installed normally' (i.e "I bought a new computer and I set it up on my desk"), or as meaning 'manipulated / interfered with' (i.e "It wasn't me officer, honest, someone has set me up!")

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Dave 126
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Re: "Raaah Lovely..." -- wait, did I hear something?

> But what's interesting to consider - is there a way that a computer program could induce EM noise into either the mains or the environment,

That thought occurred to the researcher in the article... he says he unplugged the power cables from the laptops, leaving them to run on their own batteries during testing.

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Google and Samsung bare teeth in battle for LANDFILL ANDROID™

Dave 126
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Re: Phone Dialler

>I know 10x more Sony Android phone owners than I do people that own the Windows phone disaster...

>> I've never seen a single Sony Android, though I don't look closely at every phone I see.

Well, that's anecdotal evidence for you... the good people in my local beer garden have between them three Sony Android phones (an Xperia Z, T, and P) and three WinPho 8 phones... and that's not including the bloke who has a HTC HD2 running WinMobile 6.x that his sister gave him. But hey, that's just a sample pool of several dozen regular drinkers.

Amongst the younger pub users, it does seem to be mainly Samsung Galaxies and iPhones.

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Dave 126
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Re: That'll be an up-vote for you

>google even allow you to do it and sell it via the play store.

If a manufacturer forks Android, Google will prevent them from using the Play Store, Gmail Client, Google Maps and any other app that requires the (closed source) Google Play Services library (which they promote to app developers as offering advanced functionality and better hooks into the hardware)... This is maybe why Samsung phones ship with Samsung apps that appear to duplicate the functionality of Google's offerings (i.e there is a Samsung App store, Samsung Translate, Samsung Mail, Calender, S Voice dictation etc.); Samsung have been hedging their bets.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why Android?

@Mr Roberts

You can easily experience what a desktop UI feels like on a mobile phone by using a remote desktop app and controlling your desktop machine from your phone. It's doable, but you wouldn't want to make a habit of it. Early versions of Windows Mobile, aka WinCE (for good reason) also tried to bring something that look like desktop Windows to small screens.

Microsoft with Win8 and Canonical with Ubuntu are trying to develop UIs that can be used across screen sizes... Apple aren't bothering, save for bringing some iOS-style multitouch gestures to OSX (note to MS; OSX incorporated gestures in addition to existing menus, 'corners' and keyboard shortcuts. Not genius, just common sense.)

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Dave 126
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Re: Sony forcasts 42m Android Xperias sales in 2013.

Yep, when there doesn't appear to much to choose between Sony's, Samsung's and HTC's flagship offerings, go with the waterproof phone. Let's hope that it becomes a standard feature on phones in future.

There is a waterproof version of the Galaxy S4, (S4 Active) but it isn't available as part of a UK contract AFAIK, at least on EE.

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Here's what YOU WON'T be able to do with your PlayStation 4

Dave 126
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Thinking of the PS3-owning households I know, they are not going to be bothered by any of the points in the article, other than perhaps wanting to use a couple of their old Dualshock 3 controllers alongside the new ones for some 4-player splitscreen gaming.

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Dave 126
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Re: Sheeple

Mandatory downvote for using the word 'sheeple', regardless of the topic.

It's a word that betrays a shitty attitude that says "I know better than than the great unwashed, my opinions are are a result of my superior powers of perception. It is obvious that the poor proles are merely following the herd and are incapable of weighing their own requirements against what is being offered to them by company X, because otherwise they would have the very same opinion as I do. Aren't I a smart and independent-thinking kinda guy?"

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Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

Dave 126
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Re: What's wrong with this picture....

The purpose of ink jet printers is to be sold at £25 to encourage users to buy ink at a greater cost per gram than cocaine. They might try 3rd party cartridges, but sometimes don't work very well, depending on the model of printer and the make of cartridge. Even the kosher cartidges drey up, as you say, and by the time you've got the IPA and lint free cloth out of the drawer things have got messy.

B&W laser printers are pretty cheap these days, and if a photograph is worth printing, then it is usually worth getting it printed at any large supermarket / high street.

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Dave 126
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I don't do much printing at home - normally I email documents - so hadn't used the household's Brother WiFi printer until last week. Okay, I thought, it should just show up in my Printers and Devices, right? No. Okay, I'm unlikely to find its original CD, so I'll just download the drivers... what a mess the Brother website is.

The option Brother wanted me to download is 145 MB... "But I just want to print and leave the house!". Though less than clear, I did find a smaller driver download, but the process could have been so much easier.

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Google barge erection hypegasm latest - What's in the box?

Dave 126
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Re: Showroom?

There has also been the aborted Nexus Q, the recent Chromecast dongle and the incoming Nexus watch.

But yeah, its more than just a showroom... a venue for PR events, corporate hospitality, Google X Prize events etc.

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Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy? Get weird, go ALTERNATIVE

Dave 126
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Re: OS/2? Netware?

When I was in my early teens I tried to install OS/2 Warp, and gave up.

When I was in my late twenties, an ATM in South America decided to reset itself whilst my credit card was insde it... upon rebooting, I took a picture of its OS/2 splash screen. I had to stay in town an extra day to retrieve my card from the bank who operated the machine. My thanks to the Peruvian Transport Police.

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Dave 126
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Re: The only weird thing is this article.

>And ZevenOS, really? 'Get weird' with just another Ubuntu remix (as if there weren't enough already)?

Read the article again; the reference to ZevenOS was contained within brackets, i.e it was only mentioned as a passing remark, a footnote to the article.

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Lenovo stands up rinky-dinky new Yoga tablet

Dave 126
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Re: Idiot

AC was probably using the brand as shorthand for the OS's perception amongst both consumers and developers. You can tell he didn't mean for it to be taken literally because he placed quotation marks around it.

The Android logo has been used prominently on some hardware packaging in the past (if only to indicate that it was a 'smartphone' and not a feature phone, or that the device was more than just a portable media player), when it wasn't as well known amongst consumers as it is today. Using a logo in that way is what people usually take to be 'branding', being as it is akin to marking symbols on the rear end of cattle with a hot branding iron.

That said, wasn't there a recent Reg article about a survey that found they general public had a greater awareness of Samsung than they did Android?

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Dave 126
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Re: they really have nothing

@Dave K

>Show me an Apple product with a design like that.

Here you go!

http://images.apple.com/keyboard/images/hero_1.jpg

They do look very similar, albeit from just one specific angle. The placement of a power button at the end of a cylinder probably didn't originate with Apple though... some older Sony VAIO laptops had a similar design (though the power button was green). Like this Lenovo Yoga, the VAIOs used a cylinder since it was a part of a hinge mechanism (whereas the cylinder shape on the Apple wireless keyboard comes from the shape of the AA batteries it contains):

http://www.pocketables.com/images/2008/09/22/sony_vaiotz.jpg

However, Mr Bough is incorrect to say that Lenovo have nothing beyond copying Apple... The original Lenovo Yoga looks to be a good design, simpler and more sensible than some other laptop/tablet hybrid designs. That is not their only interesting laptop... the beastly Lenovo W700ds mmobile workstation with two screens is unlike anything Apple have ever made:

http://www.pclaunches.com/entry_images/1208/23/lenovo_thinkpad-W700ds-thumb-450x353.jpg

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Moto sets out plans for crafty snap-together PODULAR PHONES

Dave 126
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Re: BAD idea

C'mon Mr Campbell

There are people with restricted use of their hands through arthritis, just as there are people have less motor control of their hands for a variety of reasons, some with less strength in their fingers.

Even if your phone never slips from your fingers, you might trip and fall down... in which case you would want to be able to call for help even if you've fallen on your phone in your pocket. (I do hope you don't fall over!)

Other people have young children who might drop a phone onto the ground.

Personal experience does have a place in product design, but taking the experience of others into account can often result in the better product.

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Dave 126
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Re: BAD idea

The video shows the pins have a cut-away... after assembling your phone LEGO-style, you turn a screw in the base that locks them in.

Still, all those pins and that mechanisms is going to add to the total weight.

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Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

Dave 126
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Re: Crazy theory...

>Psion Wavefinder

Hehe, back from when DACs were so pricey it seemed a good idea to use the one on your PC's soundcard, IIRC.

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Dave 126
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There's no shortage of pirate stations in London... in fact it's hard to find a slot in the spectrum to use an FM transmitter in your car to relay your own choice of audio to a stereo that lacks an aux input.

That's another area where perceived progress was actually regression: Many tape-based car stereos had aux-inputs marked 'CD'... when CD playing head-units became the norm, the aux-input became rarer.

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Dave 126
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Re: simple solution

>surely is just to make all future radio sets (particularly those in cars) have to support dab as well as fm. Then when you want to switch in a few years it won't matter because everyone will have dab capacity.

Why would I buy a new radio in the next few years? There are lots of FM radio sets that have worked for a very long time, and will continue to do so for many years. It be a shame to throw out a Roberts or a Sony after decades of faithful service!

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Dave 126
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@Capt J

I love Radio 6 Music, and I won't deny that FM stations are limited. That was taken into account in my argument, and I did state that DAB has more stations that FM.

Basically, the cons outweigh the pros.

Today you can walk into any supermarket and walk out with a £3.99 device that will let you hear the news, some comedy and some music, and continue to do so for many many hours on a single battery... making it £25 for a device that only lasts a few hours is just silly. Really, it's like the difference between a CREE LED and a Xenon flash-light in terms of battery life. One of the genuinely useful technological advances in the last decade is that when you pull a torch out of your glovebox today, there is a very good chance the damned thing is ready for use.

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Dave 126
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FM Radio:

- inexpensive sets,

-very good battery life (weeks of occasional listing on two AA batteries)

-audio is in sync between sets in different rooms (not true of DAB sets)

-speech remains largely comprehensible when reception is poor.

-sets turn on instantly

DAB:

-Expensive sets (of which I would need two at home plus one in the car and one for the jacket pocket)

-terrible battery life,

- only a slightly wider selection of content than FM

-Audio quality rapidly becomes intolerable when reception is poor.

-audio quality not fantastic, even in ideal reception (poor codec)

Internet:

-Thousands of stations and podcasts, plus streaming services from Spotify et al.

-Many people already own the required hardware

-Sound quality can be very good.

If I wanted the things DAB offers, I'd be better off using the internet. I already possess the hardware, and there is literally a whole world of content available. Leave FM alone - there is a place for easy, cheap, low power listening. DAB shares the disadvantages of internet-enabled devices (expense and poor battery life) but offers only a shadow of their advantages.

I'm not sure what is difficult to grasp here.

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Z30: The classiest BlackBerry mobe ever ... and possibly the last

Dave 126
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Re: It's a shame more people don't give BB10 a second look

>Finally, as far as I can tell, it's unbrickable, perhaps a legacy of supporting non-technical corporates for so long?

Being based on QNX - a Real Time OS with a long history of being used where reliability is paramount, such as industrial machine control - probably has something to do with it.

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Ohh! The PRECIOUS! Give it to uss. We WANTS it: Shiny iThings coming in 2014

Dave 126
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Re: 13 inch maxi-pad

>13 inch maxi-pad... Surely that's a very limited market.

It is, and so you'll £1200 for the privilege:

http://uk.shop.wacom.eu/products/cintiq

...but you do get a market-leading digitiser for your money.

I think Apple could be serving their traditional core of users (graphic designers and digital artists) by teaming up with Wacom, but then there is always a Modbook Pro, starting at $2900 - again with a Wacom digitiser.

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