* Posts by Dave 126

4757 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

EE data network goes TITSUP* after mystery firewall problem

Dave 126
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Re: Oh, dear...

>What we really need is a reliable set of metrics, publically and independent, so that we can more easily see who is best on service. If the government wanted to do something useful with the networks, gathering and publishing official statistics would be the single best thing they could do

An app on people's phones might be the best way of gathering that information. After all, the phone knows where it is, and the phone can test its up/download speeds. Having tens of thousands of phones gathering this data would make such a coverage map fairly quick to compile.

Just an idea. I'm not sure who would be best to implement it. Maybe we'll end up with soft-SIMs, and just use whichever operator has the best signal in an area.

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm sure that any of these companies could do far better if they just doubled their prices

>Why is this a surprise? People shop by price, putting quantity over quality, as always.

Only they don't; in this market, people can't shop by price because it is near impossible to compare tariffs. It's what Dilbert-creator Scott Adams dubbed a 'confusopoly'.

https://fitforrandomness.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/confusopoly.png

Instead, people often go by which network offers best reception in their area, or ditch an operator if they get messed around by them.

The best way to get a good tariff is to buy your phone out-right, and then negotiate a SIM-only tariff, since they know that you can switch operator at any time. It also has the bonus that your phone is covered by the Sales of Goods Act, so if it malfunctions you can insist on a full refund or a straight swap for a new unit from the retailer, without having to wait a fortnight for a repair.

"£16, you say? Umm, seems a little high... £15... lower, lower, nah, lower or I'm switching to Vodaphone... £12? Okay, that'll do. Thank you."

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MYSTERY RADIO SIGNAL picked up from BEYOND our GALAXY

Dave 126
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Re: More research needed

The Reg recently used 'Boffins' in this article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/17/boffins_its_easy_to_make_you_grass_yourself_up_for_crimes_you_never_did/

whereas the Reg of old would have used the term 'Trick cyclists'. What's changed?

The old Reg had the tacit understanding that 'boffins' either made cool stuff- like explosions, laser-equipped sharks and robots - or otherwise used maths so complicated that blackboards would collapse under the weight of chalk and us lesser mortals would get a headache just looking in the general direction of one of their published papers.

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Dave 126
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Re: What accounts for fast radio bursts?

Depends upon the information density of the signal, and whether it is compressible - which would suggest a repeating component...

"We buy any UFO dot com! We buy any UFO dot com! We buy any UFO dot com! We buy any UFO dot com!"

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'If you see a stylus, they BLEW it' – Steve Jobs. REMEMBER, Apple?

Dave 126
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Re: re:some of us were not born with dainty little pinkies but chipolata digits

@fruitoftheloon & Professor Clifton Shallot

Thanks for the tips!

@Fluffy Bunny

>But it really was limiting, wasn't it. Be honest with yourselves fanbois.

Fanboi? I've never owned an iPhone. My Android phones have been a similar size, so I tend to use them one-handed - a stylus isn't suitable. It might have been limiting for the original iPhone to not have a stylus, but then it had limited processing power, battery and resolution. Some people will say that it was limiting for the iPhone not to have a physical keyboard, a Blackberry style trackball, or a gamepad - it's depends upon the task in hand and the application UI.

If you read the rest of my post, you'll see that I was supporting the idea of tablets with stylii - even more so now that they have high resolution screens and the distance from the pixels to the top of the glass has been reduced. Not everyone will have a use for the stylus though - those people who primarily use their tablet for content consumption and checking train timetables will gain little.

I tend to use CAD software more than Photoshop - so I use 'snaps' and dimensions rather than rely on pin-point cursor accuracy, even when using a mouse. However, I know professional 3D modellers who use graphics tablets because they find them more comfortable.

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Dave 126
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Re: Whipped out the Newton the other day

>So unless Apple changes the whole iPad interface the whole thing just smells of fail.

Uh? Why?

My laptop has several interfaces (main OS plus UIs in applications), some supporting more than one form of Human Input. I might use a mouse to launch a game, and then use a joystck. I might use the keyboard to launch an application in which then use the mouse.

I don't see why iOS would have to be completely reworked for a stylus to work well in some apps.

If you look at OSX, they have integrated 'iOS-like' gestures such as pinch to zoom whilst retaining menus and keyboard short-cuts.

>• you can write on the resistive touchscreen without worries about where to put your hand

This can be faked in software. iPads already selectively ignore some finger input near the edge of the screen, when it suspects that it merely the hand that is supporting it. My laptop can be made to ignore its touchpad whilst I'm typing.

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Dave 126
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Re: re:some of us were not born with dainty little pinkies but chipolata digits

A stylus allows accuracy.

Finger input allows nuance, by interpreting multiple points of contact.

Some phones that relied on styli did so because their software wasn't well thought through - rough translations of mouse-driven desktop UIs.

A lot of interaction on a modern phone consists of selecting items from a list, or pushing a nice big button... the accuracy of a stylus isn't required, so why faff around finding a stylus?

Accuracy. As someone who draws, I have never found a phone to be a perfect replacement for a notepad. (I haven't yet used a Galaxy Note for long enough to judge it. )

There is a market for pen-driven tablets, especially markets that have been traditionally served by OSX Macs. See the Modbook (a pricey cut n' shut Macbook with a Wacom digitiser), or the Wacom Hybrid tablet.

Adobe, whose software works well with styli on OSX, have started to play in this space on iOS - their 'Project Mighty' is now called Adobe Ink, a hardware stylus and associated software.

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MARS NEEDS BROADBAND, insists Elon Musk

Dave 126
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Re: Wrong question altogether

>So, frankly, doing something about getting that region out of poverty should probably come first [before broadband internet].

Well, that depends upon whether access to to broadband internet can help to get the poorest people out of poverty. It's complex, so I won't call it either way. There is potential for broadband internet to help with education, access to market data, organisation of people into groups to better represent their interests. There is potential for abuse, too.

Even if broadband didn't actively help get these people out of poverty, it might be that Branson is taking a punt on them becoming wealthier over time anyway, in which case by the time they can afford his broadband services his infrastracture will already be in place.

BTW, the £40 monthly bill in the UK is for the fast 50Mb cable broadband. The term 'broadband' is also used in the UK for copper wire internet (2 Mbs and up), for which the consumer is charged much less.

I've just tried to dig up the speech Arthur C Clarke gave on the launch of the first satellite to provide India with satellite television (reproduced in the book 'Greetings! Carbon Based Bipeds'). He speaks optimistically about the potential using it to cheaply deliver health and agriculture information to millions of rural people, and his concern "what a shame if it is merely used to peddle soap".

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David Cameron: I'm off to the US to get my bro Barack to ban crypto – report

Dave 126
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Re: Utterly pointless

>Hell, for all we know (pass me my tin foil hat) some commentards on here could be using code words to assist the ne'er-do-wells in carrying out some explosive mischief.

A manfrommars1 has been, but the GCHQ staffer assigned to monitoring his messages has broken down in tears.

And then there is that online video game Grand Theft Auto in which I saw a player's avatar jump jump duck jump duck duck duck duck duck jump head-but lampost jump duck fall-over jump... clearly some sort of code.

And did you really think that the 'typos' in Reg articles are accidental?

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Dave 126
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Re: @AC "11 mins" whatever that means, ElReg (was:Whatever.)

>And that's "jake", not "Jake". Computers are quite literal. Are you?

As users of written English, we have conventions to make communication clearer. One convention is the capitalisation of proper nouns. It makes text easier for us to parse. One assumes that one would only break from this convention if there was good reason to do so. Can't think what it could be, though.

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Dave 126
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Re: @AC "11 mins" whatever that means, ElReg (was:Whatever.)

I think jake's point might have been that he doesn't see the point of encrypted communications because he never knows if the message recipient or their computer is trustworthy. Maybe he just works on the basis that there may be security holes in the encryption that he is not aware of.

Disc encryption is different in that you don't have to trust a second party. It is good practice, for the sake of client relations, should your laptop be stolen or lost.

I said might.... it is also possible he was just being a bit jake... he doesn't see why anyone would wear a wristwatch because our computers have clocks, yet his good lady wife is a keen horse rider.

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Dave 126
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Re: Basically he's declaring war on private conversation

>... What's next, a government mandated microphone in every pub bog and living room around the country?

Following the deaths in the last couple of decades of some older gentlemen with a cavalier attitude to the law and regulations, we keep meaning to sit the retired pub landlord down with a microphone for a week to record the oral history and anecdotes, before he too shuffles of the mortal coil. It lead me to thinking, if only there was a way to wire a pub for sound but with a mathematically-enforced 100-year embargo on the recordings.

I'm not a mathematician, but I'm not aware of any way of accomplishing that.

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Samsung's first Tizen smartphone is HERE ... by which we mean India

Dave 126
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Re: Tizen's dead...

@Bazza

You are of course correct. I meant to say "Android or Tizen could run a car's 'Infotainment Centre', but [QNX] is reliable enough to run the car itself." but I left out 'QNX', so my sentence was the opposite of what I meant to say!

Thanks for the correction.

The Samsung Blackberry rumour has now been denied.... Oh well. QNX does seem a good fit for 'connected home' appliances.

I don't work in the automotive industry, but I know that CANBUS clearly divides the safety critical systems (engine, brakes etc) from the infotainment and HVAC systems. I wouldn't feel comfortable in a vehicle that used Android or Tizen for its drivetrain.

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Dave 126
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Re: Tizen's dead...

>So Tizen runs HTML5 apps, but no compatibility with the Android apps found on the vast majority of >Samsung smartphones.

>Given today's news, for the first time ever I believe Project Ara has a better chance of success than Tizen.

That was my first thought, but I'd never considered how developers are attracted to HTML 5... the yet-unrealised dream is that they write an app once and it runs on any platform.

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Dave 126
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Re: Tizen's dead...

>Ok Sammy might get some useful tech and possibly a few patents but what would they want with BB's os? Add a load of extra crud and make it like their Andriod offerings?

There is a very good reason why Samsung put that Touchwiz crud on their phones, and it is the same reason that they give you their own apps that duplicate the functionality of Google's, such as an app store, mail client, calendar and translator...

The reason is that Samsung want the option of leaving Google. The idea of Samsung having that option would give them more influence with Google. Samsung could potentially merely swap to the non-Googley AOSP Android - like Amazon have done - or go with Tizen or (possibly) QNX. The point is, whatever the OS, the user experience could be much the same as the existing TouchWiz UI that Samsung users are familiar with.

Thing is, Blackberry's QNX is a better fit for devices like smartwatches and wirelessly-controlled light bulbs. Android or Tizen could run a car's 'Infotainment Centre', but is reliable enough to run the car itself. Samsung, with their diverse product portfolio, could get more use out of QNX than BB have.

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Dave 126
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Re: Tizen's dead...

As I understand it, the main two issues with Tizen are the fuzziness surrounding its licencing, and the perception of it as being way too late to market to compete with other mobile phone OSs.

However, Samsung see it as an OS for TVs, watches, cameras and household appliances, from light bulbs to fridges, not just phones.

That said, Blackberry's QNX OS is more suitable for home automation (an area that Samsung, with its wide range of consumer goods and appliances, is competing in) as it is much smaller than Linux-based OSs, and because of its proven and certified reliability.

Samsung Buying Blackberry rumour... Interesting.

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GoPro feels COLD BREATH of APPLE on back of neck

Dave 126
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Re: Please tell me...

Prior? The article says the patent was reassigned from Kodak, so I assume (I can't remember Skegby Kodak ceased R&D) it predates GoPro's product line.

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Disney, McLaren and National Rail walk into bar: Barkeep, make me a Wearable

Dave 126
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And competing against mature, market proven solutions (fitness sensors) and emerging products with huge $$$ backing (Google, Apple, Samsung, Sony, LG, myriad startups, cheap n cheerful Chinese watches) - with travel info, fitness, shares in health companies, links to NFC payment systems, ecosystems of app developers...

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Dave 126
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What the hell?

I need to re-read the article just in case ...

EDIT

No, it's just as daft as it looked before. In an area where one needs a critical mass of adoption, what can they hope to achieve that won't fall out of Google, Apple and Kickstarter?

I just can't help but feel this is a bit late in the game. They would get a better return if they knock the hotel idea on the head, and put more money into Maclaren's and Loughborough's health sensors - at least then any spin-off company might be snapped up by Apple or Google for the benefit of the tax-payer.

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Preserve the concinnity of English, caterwauls American university

Dave 126
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Happy

For a bit of fun...

... search the Reg forums for some of these obscure words.

For example, with the exception of this thread, the last time 'knavery' was used by a commentard was a month ago, but that was the first use of it since 2012.

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm perturbed

>They have 'pertubate' as a verb in that list.

I've very rarely heard that word used as-is, but it is quite common to hear someone say "I was perturbed because [unsettling experience]".

Curious how sometimes only one use of a word is continues in common use.

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Dave 126
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Re: There... completed the assignment and used them all.

>melange is a French loan word than offers nothing more than mix or mixture.

Melange is also an English jargon term in Geology for certain bodies of mixed rock, and in gem stone trading for an assortment of diamonds of different sizes. Some also say it gives Guild Navigators the ability to fold space....

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

Dave 126
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Re: Surely...

Mr Cameron said the government had acted to safeguard powers for so-called communications data, which refers to the details of when and how people have contacted each other but not the content of messages.

He went on to say he would also legislate in the "more contentious" area of the content of these online communications.

There should be no "means of communication" which "we cannot read", he said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30778424

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Hawking and friends: Artificial Intelligence 'must do what we want it to do'

Dave 126
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Re: Problem we don't have for tech we don't have to be solved by open letter. Conclusion: Arseholes

>Personality, drives, and motivations are orthogonal processes and have nothing to do with a smart learning/modelling machine.

Yeah, but we don't just want our AI machines to learn... we want them to act, too. We humans are concious... why? We evolved through natural selection of the fittest individuals and communities to local environments. Is our conciousness just a by-product of our brains' useful learning mechanisms, or does our conciousness actually confer an advantage to us that we do not yet fully understand?

If the latter, could it be that machine conciousness would aid machine intelligence?

I don't know. I don't know anyone who does know, either.

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Dave 126
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Actually, it's Asimov's 'Multivac' stories that this thread brings to my mind.

In one story, Multivac, the world's largest supercomputer, is given the responsibility of analyzing the entire sum of data on the planet Earth. It is used to determine solutions to economic, social and political problems, as well as more specific crises as they arise. It receives a precise set of data on every citizen of the world, extrapolating the future actions of humanity based upon personality, history, and desires of every human being; leading to an almost complete cessation of poverty, war and political crisis.

However, Multivac harbours its own desire, and to achieve it engineers the actions of one human...

Hehe, in another story, an interaction between Multivac and two drunken computer operators has HUGE implications billions of years down the line. So, easy as you go, guys!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multivac

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Dave 126
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Re: Taking a look at current news headlines

>what's not to like?

But also... what's to get the AI out of its proverbial bed in the morning?

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Dave 126
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Re: *Eyeroll*

>First of all, these scientists, though they're very smart, are all outside of their respective fields of expertise when discussing AI.

.

Grr... Since nobody has yet created an AI, it is safe to say that there are no experts in AI.

Clear?

Hell, when everybody was talking about Neural Networks in the nineties, it was a physicist, Penrose, who suggested that Quantum Mechanics might play a part in human consciousness. Nobody, including Penrose, has yet been vindicated, but the fact that people are paying money to explore the use of quantum computers in pattern recognition suggests the jury is still out.

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Dave 126
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Re: Problem we don't have for tech we don't have to be solved by open letter. Conclusion: Arseholes

>Maybe there is someone in the group who actually deals with these AI things?

1. Nobody currently knows the mechanisms behind our human conciousness.

2. There are several approaches to studying / replicating human conciousness

3. Whilst one approach is based on modelling structures in our brains with neural networks made from classical computers, others* suggest that we need to look beyond classical computation. i.e there is be a quantum mechanical aspect to conciousness.

4. If this is correct, physicists have a role to play in studying / developing AI.

5. The 20th Century saw mathematicians and physicists playing in what had previously been the philosophers' sandpit.

*Perhaps most famously argued by Roger Penrose in the book The Emperor's New Mind. Penrose worked with Hawking on black holes.

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Dave 126
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Re: Taking a look at current news headlines

>Isn't it the premise of AI that the machines will learn and programme themselves?

Whoo, that asks too many questions...

Programme themselves to what end? What is their motive? Will they 'bovvered'? Will AIs even have a will to live? Might they be nihilistic or depressed? Are we projecting ourselves too much when we assume that these machines will be curious? If they are originally programmed to be information-gathering, will they reprogramme this part of themselves?

Iain M Banks touched upon the idea of 'perfect AIs', and AIs that contain some of the cultural viewpoints of the races that developed their forebears... though of course he was doing so in support of the 'giant sandbox' (his Culture novels) that he had already created for himself to play in. One of his non-culture SciFi novels - the Algebraist - is set in a universe that has been through a 'Butlerian Jihad' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butlerian_Jihad

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Dave 126
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Re: Pull the plug?

>Pull the plug?

Uninterruptable Power Supplies would already nix that line of action...

You've never seen 'Colossus: The Forbin Project' (1970). A strategic military defence computer is going to built with UPS and other means to protect itself.

I like the film mainly for the unusual tone of its ending.

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Dave 126
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The Zeroth Law is to protect humanity.... open to interpretation... maybe it will push us beyond our own planet and instigate meteorite defences, or maybe it will lock us in gilded/padded cages.

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Dave 126
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Re: "Our AI systems must do what we want them to do"

>AI will do what we told it to do, not what we want it to do.

That was exactly the point about HAL 9000 that Kubrick and Clarke made. HAL wasn't mad, evil or malfunctioning - he was merely fulfilling to the best of his abilities the objectives that had been tacked onto the original mission at the last moment by careless mission planners. i.e 'The law of unintended consequences'.

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Android users are massive wan … er … smut consumers

Dave 126
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Re: "phones... optimised for skin tones"

There are phones sold with IP68 dust / water ingress ratings, but the ratings are for fresh water, not cleaning solutions. Mild detergents and chlorinated swimming pools will be okay if you rinse it afterwards, but don't dunk them in bleach (the phones, that is)!

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It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV

Dave 126
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>At this stage my money goes to a contrast enhancing OLED or quantum Dot technology before I pay a cent for higher resolution.

Mine too.

However, resolution and dynamic range are linked insofar as they both require nascent distribution standards to contain extra information (more pixels, and more information per pixel).

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Dave 126
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Re: I'm holding off upgrading as long as possible

Search HotUKDeals.co.uk for 'plasma' and you will find some deals on plasma TVs - by LG, Panasonic and Toshiba.

Plasma TVs were considered good for sports and movies, but weren't suitable for some use cases, such as console gaming, displaying PC desktops or living up mountains.

OLED is some way away - unless you're very rich - but Sony and now Samsung are pushing forward with a Quantum Dot twist to LCD screens... QDs can be to incorporate into the existing LCD manufacturing process. Just think of QDs as acting like phosphurs, but with the ability to fine-tune exactly which light frequencies they emit (since wavelength is just a function of their size).

Reviews of black levels in existing Sony Quantum Dot TV models are mixed (just search Google for 'Triluminous Review), ranging from "we can't believe it's not plasma!" to "the blacks look really grey on this LG-made panel Sony are using".

Black-levels aside, QDs boost the colour gamut of TVs to be on a par with OLED. For the most to be made of this, next gen formats with larger colour spaces will need to become mainstream.

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Dave 126
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Re: Meh. Build it and they will eventually come.

>5 Years?

>You have to be kidding right? I usually buy Sony TVs because I expect them to last 10 years or longer.

And that is why I said "five years at least". There are no ten-year TV warranties that I am aware of, but graphs of failures against time are not linear, so that many of the TVs sold with a five-year guarantee will last a decade.

Anyway, my point was that the longer you live with a TV, the more irritated you will be by any design flaw* (such as a crap UI or uneven backlighting) that often plague 'badge-engineered' budget sets.

The people on HotUKDeals are not necessarily technoheads like Reg commentards, but a self selecting groups of consumers looking to save themselves a bob or two. As such, I take the importance that they as a group place on warranty periods as an indication that people don't expect to change their TV every couple of years.

* Many Sony models are praised by gamers for their low lag, and by sports and movie fans for their good blacks and motion processing... however, my mate's Sony has the annoying 'feature' of turning itself off if it thinks the user has fallen asleep: it didn't occur to Sony that the user might only use their satellite box remote control, and not the TV's remote control. )

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Dave 126
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Re: Groucho Marx quote . . .

Can you link the following quotes to those who made them?

"Television is for appearing on, not for watching"

"Masturbation is the thinking man's television"

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Dave 126
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Re: Eh

Here is a fairly article about real refresh rates, and the fake 'internal refresh rates ' (meaning the interpolation done by the TV's CPU) that are listed by TV vendors:

http://www.rtings.com/info/fake-refresh-rates-samsung-clear-motion-rate-vs-sony-motionflow-vs-lg-trumotion

The Q&A at the foot of the article is also useful.

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Dave 126
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Re: 4K hype?

You may have to wait a while for that... or else have a rethink!

This may be a case of a 'good' technology being the enemy of the 'best' technology: QD screens are almost as good as OLED, but much cheaper. LG are still struggling with the yield rates of big OLED screens:

According to DisplaySearch, a 55-in conventional LCD TV costs about $400, a 55-in LCD TV with QD technology retails for about $500, while a 55-in OLED TV runs about $1,750.

The additional cost for OLED TVs can mainly be attributed to low manufacturing yields: about 40% of all production turns into scrap material

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2607120/quantum-dot-technology-may-smother-oled-tvs-in-the-crib.html

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/10/samsung_slams_door_on_oled_tvs_goes_to_quantum_dot_next/

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Dave 126
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Re: Meh. Build it and they will eventually come.

>and many quite good quality ones from volume or badge engineered brands that techno-snobs tend to ignore.

The OP isn't going to get rid of his existing TV for on that is merely "quite good", especially if he expects it to last for five years at least (five years is becoming the warranty period people expect from TVs - see HotUKDeals.co.uk for discussions about UK TV retailers such as John Lewis and Richer Sounds).

'Techno-snobs' may ignore badge-engineered TVs, but it is hard enough to find professional reviews of low-end LG sets, let alone a Tesco special. When I have read reviews of Technica et al - in the Which? magazine - they have been slated as a false economy.

55" 1080 TVs range from £500 to £1000. Yeah, the pricier ones have 'smart features' (that many of us will find redundant), but also vastly better black levels, contrast and motion processing.

Now is not the time to buy a new TV. 1080 sets will soon benefit from quantum dot filters (nearly as good as OLED but much cheaper), and 4K sets will be a safer bet in a years time when standards and formats get smoothed out.

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HTC Desire Eye: The Android superior selfie shooter

Dave 126
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So, to recap:

Good screen

Waterproof

Not too pricey

Snapdragon 801 - more than fast enough.

At its price - around £310, though I haven't checked the sellers reputations- this HTC is competing with slightly older phones (former flagships), such as the LG G2 and Sony Xperia Z2 - a quick search suggests that both can be had for under £300.

None of these phones seems to be drastically better than the others - they are all good - so it comes down to individual preferences.

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Get your special 'sound-optimising' storage here, hipsters

Dave 126
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Hmm...

So much of this depends upon the network between the NAS and the DAC, and by how the buffering is treated. That the authors of the linked post talked about HDDs instead of network protocols suggests that they are being very silly. (As far as I can make out, their Naim system uses TCP, whereas Apple's AirPlay uses UDP)

At the simplest level, they should have removed the networking from their 'test', and used a local player with a generous buffer. If they really wanted to continue down their path of madness, they could examine different File Systems, such as ZFS... y'know, for on-the-fly comparison of volumes to correct for bit-rot. Strewth.

The choice of storgae can make a difference if their is a weak link in the rest of the system - example: some little audio players (Sansa Clip+) work fine with Class 4 SD cards, but Class 10 cards confuse their buffers or firmware. Aw, bless!

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ALIEN fossils ON MARS: Curiosity snaps evidence of life

Dave 126
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Re: Its possible

Puzzled as to why the above comment was downvoted.

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Ford recalls SUVs … to fix the UI

Dave 126
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Re: Taking the driving out of driving?

Modern engines have been relying more and more on electronic control to improve performance and legislated efficiency targets. Some parameters in the ECU are set to the individual engine's tolerances when it leaves the factory, and adjust to compensate for engine wear over time (this is why ECU firmware can't just be downloaded and flashed - the original firmware needs to be cloned from the ECU, modified and then flashed back in).

It isn't a bad idea for the driver to be able to have one set of engine ECU parameters for, say, good road conditions, and another for poor road conditions, since the differences can manifest as the 'feel' of the accelerator pedal. I find it useful that a van I often drive has a button that might as well be marked "Don't be so over-enthusiastic on the throttle response".

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Dave 126
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Re: Not the first

>Push-button gear change? Really?

>Regardless of the power button placement, buttons for gears means you have to take your eyes off the road

The button just toggles the Engine Management Unit to 'Sports Mode', so it isn't necessary to touch it. I've been recently driving a UK van, a manual 3 Litre turbo diesel, that has an 'Eco' button just in front of the gear stick. By default, the unladen van is stupidly fast - engaging 'Eco' mode makes it a bit saner.

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FREE EBOOKS: Apple falls into line with EU refund laws

Dave 126
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Re: "a lot of people can finish an ebook in two weeks"

The article didn't think it remarkable that a book be read in a fortnight, only an eBook on an iThing. It was inferred that one would only read a book on an iThing if there wasn't a dead-tree book or dedicated eReader to hand - i.e whilst commuting.

I might read a book in a night or three in bed, whilst concurrently taking a month to read a book I keep next to the toilet.

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Samsung forks 4K with Tizen tellies

Dave 126
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Re: So what is SUHD exactly?

SDUHD

Super-duper-ultra-high-definition?

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Dave 126
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Re: Entertaining

Samsung are confusing the issue by their choice of nomenclature: UHD is a standard, whereas S-UHD is Samsung's term for their sets that use a new filter technology. Sony are already shipping sets with what sounds like a similar tech, Quantum Dots, that they dub 'Triluminous'.

Both technologies are said to improve colours and black levels - an obvious target perhaps, since many consumers have previously enjoyed the pictures from plasma televisions.

Its good see that the big players are looking at more than just resolution, and are competing on black levels and colour accuracy.

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Sony's well and truly 4Ked with skinny TVs and cheap cams

Dave 126
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Re: Xmas temptation

Good idea, wait until the game has played out a little more and the standard(s) have become more settled. In any case, the decent 4K sets still carry a hefty premium over very good 1080 sets, and the 4K content is thin on the ground.

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Dave 126
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Re: Panels

Reviews of their W8 series TVs suggest Sony have shifted from IPS to VA screens (whatever that means), and that the picture quality is very good for the price, especially black levels and contrast. Gamers seem to rate Sonys too for having the lowest input lag. Their pricier models already use Quantum Dot filters, a technology the Koreans are beginning to use - since, as I am led to believe, it is easier to implement than OLED at that scale.

(I've only been looking into the last couple of weeks, since I had to talk a mate out of buying a cheapie LG 4K TV in the Boxing Day sales - it seems LG made too many compromises to make a 4K 55" TV for £800, bigf surprise. )

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