50 posts • joined Sunday 10th October 2010 17:01 GMT
Re: Not so fast.
Agile or no, the government tends to have trouble getting past the "big picture" stage. Never mind the details...
Re: Surely this is a joke
Most of the U.S. government is funded on a year-to-year basis, with the fiscal year ending 30 September. Congress is supposed to pass funding bills for the next fiscal year before the end of the current fiscal year. If that doesn't happen, by law, the parts of the government that did not get funded are shut down until new appropriations bills are passed. (Someone, somewhere, thought this was a good idea.)
There are exceptions for functions that are essential to the protection of life and property (the definition of which seems to be left as an exercise for the reader,) so the Weather Service, air traffic controllers, half of the Defense Department, etc are still on the job. Also, things that are funded through user fees or other mechanisms that don't expire at the end of the year are still open. This includes things like the mail, courts, passport processing, Amtrak, the Patent Office, some benefits programs, and the like.
There were a bunch of shutdowns in the 1970s and 1980s as well as a couple in the mid-90s. So this is not without precedent, but it hasn't happened anytime in recent memory.
Re: "Oops. Did hitting that mess something up for you?"
The original Apple ][ and ][+ had a "RESET" key on the top right of the keyboard, right above the Return (i.e. Enter) key. It was very easy to hit it by mistake and lose all your work. Many users would make it harder to hit RESET by putting rubber washers under the keycap or using various other tricks. Eventually, someone at Apple realized that single-key RESET was NOT a good idea, and from the Apple //e onwards the design was changed so you had to press Ctrl+RESET to do a reset.
Bill & Co used to write stuff for the Apple... guess he forgot about this!
Re: Unix time
Except the GPS system already broadcasts the offset between GPS time and UTC time (i.e. the leap second count since the GPS epoch)...
Fast chargers signal their presence by tying the data lines *to each other*, not power. Tying the data lines to the power would produce amusing results. (Well... amusing to a bystander, anyway. Maybe not so amusing to the owner of the device.)
On the other hand, a USB cable with the power lines connected but the data lines open (not connected to anything) will usually result in the device not charging at all.
Re: Yes, But...
Actually, it reminds me of IBM's VM/CMS (dumb OS running on a smart hypervisor.) I've often wondered what mainframe graybeards think about everyone's newfound fondness for virtualization...
The game is using the iTunes/App Store payment functionality, so it uses the credit card already on file with the iTunes account. It doesn't prompt for credit card details. That's what makes this particularly nasty.
Besides passwords, another option is to not associate a credit card with the iTunes account and to fund it with iTunes gift cards instead (conveniently available in your grocery store's checkout line, at least around here.) Better yet, give your kids an allowance and make them pay for the iTunes gift cards with their allowance money. That should make it pretty darn clear that those virtual smurfberries are being bought with cold, hard, real-world cash.
Re: Debt and pension liability
Bezos isn't getting the real estate - it all remains with the Company Formerly Known As The Washington Post Co. (along with the Kaplan University distance learning and test-prep business, which is quite profitable, and a few other odds and ends including some rural cable systems.) Bezos isn't even getting the Post's office building. He's just getting the newspaper business.
All of the other businesses that are part of the deal are connected in some way with the paper - Robinson Terminal is the Post's newsprint warehouse, and I think Comprint prints the Post's regional papers.
Going to be interesting to see how this pans out.
Re: Call me stupid
Something tells me they are a lot more concerned about the cell system potentially causing false radar returns than they are about any temporary disruptions in phone service...
Well supported by everything... except Android.
Seriously. Despite all of Google's supposed advocacy, Android STILL doesn't contain native support for CalDAV and CardDAV... you need third party apps. WTF?
Here in the US, every factory-installed nav system that I've seen will disable input (except for voice commands) when the vehicle is moving. I guess it prevents idiots from poking at the screen at 70mph, but it's also quite annoying if you have a passenger who can work the nav system for you. Aftermarket sat navs and phone apps, of course, don't have this feature.
That's because it's not intended to compete with Raspberry Pi. From the name, price point, form factor, and level of embedded I/O, it's intended to compete with TI's BeagleBoard and its family of followons (HawkBoard, PandaBoard, etc.) Anyone familiar with the BeagleBoard will find the name quite descriptive.
Of course, the Pi has most of the mindshare, so the comparisons are inevitable even though the products really occupy two different niches - dirt cheap educational/hobbyist platform in the case of the Pi, relatively inexpensive open source embedded reference design/eval board in the case of the ZooBoards. And yes, if you've ever seen the prices for "real" embedded processor eval boards with OEM developer support, the ZooBoards are quite cheap.
Yes and no
The Manhattan Project constructed a small number of big, expensive atomic bombs, and the Apollo program constructed a small number of big, expensive moon rockets. But this was enough to get the job done - the US won World War II and beat the Russians to the Moon. Economies of scale were not necessary.
We *have* tried this approach with fusion - we've thrown lots of money and brainpower at it, and have designed and built a small number of big, expensive demonstration reactors that show that it is indeed possible to generate electricity from nuclear fusion. But, in this case, this is NOT enough to do the job. You've got to scale it up. You need to build a Model T, not a Saturn V.
Re: Gesture politics at its worst @N000dles
Better kiss El Reg goodbye then...
$ nslookup www.theregister.co.uk
$ nslookup 220.127.116.11
** server can't find 18.104.22.168.in-addr.arpa.: NXDOMAIN
Seriously... with CDNs, name-based virtual hosts, cloudy virtual machines, load balancers, IPv4 exhaustion, NATs, and all that other stuff, probably 90% of the web doesn't have valid reverse DNS these days.
It's the 21st century equivalent of a nuclear-free-zone ordinance...
You can't sue a machine, but you certainly can sue the manufacturer... could get very interesting.
Re: Question for all...
The Presidental Alert does indeed mean "the nukes are on the way". It's a bit of a relic of the Cold War, and has never actually been used in practice in any of its forms. (Not even on September 11, 2001.)
Re: Yup. Whois should definitely be going the way of the Dodo.
Exactly. Even if the contact info is bogus or private, you can tell a lot from just the registrar id and the domain registration date (mail from young domains is more likely to be spam, certain registrars are more abuse-friendly than others, etc.) It would be very handy to have an automated way to query this information to help with spam filtering or greylisting. But from the sounds of it, ICANN wants to restrict this data to people who cough up money. Yet another nail in the coffin of the small-time email operator...
Re: in transit
As was pointed out in the article, some countries (including the US and Canada) require that everyone go through border control regardless of whether or not you are connecting to another flight, and the airports are designed to funnel all arriving international passengers directly to the border control area. There is no neutral zone.
Shades of IBM
"There's a world market for maybe 85,000 computers." Ha.
Also, where's the love for on-premise clouds? You could get a lot of the same energy benefits from that (or, for smaller organizations, simple virtualization setups) without having to outsource everything to Mountain View.
"Designed by Apple in California" is not new. It's appeared on pretty much every Apple product and package (sometimes quite conspicuously) since the dawn of the Jobs II era. Checking my collection, the phrase appears on the bottom of my Flower Power iMac (2000) but not on my graphite G4 (1999) - possibly because the latter says "Assembled in USA" instead...
Re: Musk obviously has staff to pay his bills and thus never actually sees them ...
EV charging can be used to smooth out demand IF those EVs are being used as urban/suburban commuter cars charging in the driveway overnight and/or the parking lot of the office building during the day. EVs on cross-country road trips are a whole different animal. If you roll into Flagstaff at 3:42pm with a low battery, you don't care what the price of electricity is at 4 in the morning, because it's 3:42pm and you need to charge your car. You'll be paying the 3:42pm price, and putting the demand on the grid.
Seriously, I don't get this obsession with long-range EVs. Here in the States a lot of families already have 2 cars. The way it usually works out is that one of them is newer/bigger and is used for shuttling the kids around, road trips, and the like. The other car is older/smaller and is used for commuting and errands. You could replace that second car with a reasonable commuter EV like a Nissan Leaf and no one would notice the difference. That's a pretty large market and you don't need to build a cross-country network of public charging stations (with all the attendant issues) to address it.
Re: There's good AND bad here...
If you're offering a share of future profits, you're essentially selling shares in your company, and there are lots of rules about that (and for good reason.) Therefore, selling shares or other investments on Kickstarter is verboten. You pays your money, you gets your gift. That's it.
No, I don't get it either. But plenty of people do it anyway, so what do I know?
Re: Amazon's hypervisor-agnostic, Xen-based infrastructure ? WTF?
ESX has import tools too. Does that make VMware hypervisor-agnostic?
Re: Watch out F-35
The Pioneer has been around since 1986 (hard to believe that was 27 years ago) and I think the Israelis had something a few years earlier. While the general public may not have noticed until relatively recently, this stuff has been around for a while.
Re: the lefties at the BBC won't like it
Go far enough to the right and you overflow and wrap around to the left...
Re: Needs DRM
The problem is that it is extremely difficult (I don't like using the word "impossible") to develop a truly open DRM system. A traditional encryption system is built to protect content from a third party eavesdropper. The security of such a system (assuming it is properly designed) is solely dependent on secure key management. You can publish the algorithms/source code/specs all you want and the system remains secure as long as a user's keys remain secure. However, unlike a traditional encryption system, a DRM system is built to protect content from unauthorized use by *the intended recipient*, who by necessity MUST have a copy of the decryption keys. Secure key management is not enough to ensure that usage restrictions are actually enforced. Some level of obfuscation/code signing/etc is necessary to prevent the user from simply modifying his client to save the unencrypted content to disk. These techniques, by their very nature, cannot be implemented in open source or capital-F Free software. Hence the FSF's concern.
The danger with including DRM in open web specifications is that those specifications will inevitably become "open" in name only, and only people in the right club will be able to fully implement them - thereby defeating the entire point of having an open standard in the first place. DRM is probably the only thing that justifiably belongs in proprietary plugins, as it will inevitably be proprietary.
Which raises another question - how long will manufacturers keep supporting, patching, and updating these systems? Any sort of interconnected system like this is going to have its share of bugs and security holes that will need to be fixed. There are laws on the books (at least in the US) regarding repair parts availability that could concievably be extended to include patch support, but those generally only run for ten years. I'm not really looking forward to the prospect of having to junk a perfectly-mechanically-sound 11 year old car due to an unpatched security bug in some safety-critical telematics system.
Hopefully there will be an (offical or unofficial) way to disable all this stuff once it becomes unsupported so we can avoid this situation.
Re: Chromebooks are turds
Those gift cards are out there to let people easily make iTunes purchases with cash, so that kids and other people without bank accounts/credit cards can still give their money to Apple. It's smart business.
Been there, done that
SGI owned Cray from 1996 to 2000, when they sold it for a big loss. In fact, the first versions of what became NUMAlink were called CrayLink. I guess those who do not remember history are indeed doomed to repeat it.
Microsoft can't win
When vendors release tablets that run full desktop Windows, then people complain (as you do) that tablets aren't PCs (they're not), that desktop Windows doesn't work with a touch-oriented device (it doesn't), and therefore the tablets are useless. But when Microsoft releases a tablet that runs a slimmed-down, touch-oriented version of Windows, people complain that it doesn't run full desktop Windows and therefore it's useless.
I have no idea how Microsoft can get itself out of this trap. Apparently, neither does Microsoft...
Re: The days when everyone ran their own servers are long gone
Who says it has to be for paying clients?
Disks are cheap. RAM is cheap. Broadband is something you're paying for anyway, and even here in the United States of Verizon you can get halfway decent uplink speeds if you live in the right place. A DynDNS account costs five bucks a year. Buy a low-spec Dell PowerEdge or build the equivalent from parts from newegg, stuff it full of the aforementioned cheap disks and RAM, install your favorite VM solution and go to town. Run your own cloud backup for your family and friends. Run your own Exchange server and sync your phones without having to sell your soul to Google. Run BES, if you're a masochist. Run FreePBX or Elastix to get unified communications, also without having to sell your soul to Google. Do other stuff that you could never afford to pay for if you had to do it through a third party service provider. Then turn around and use everything you just learned in your day job.
Take away the routable IP address and the Internet becomes a lot less fun, and a lot more like cable TV with five trillion channels and nothing on.
http://www.spi.dod.mil/lipose.htm: "Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) creates a secure end node from trusted media on almost any Intel-based computer (PC or Mac). LPS boots a thin Linux operating system from a CD or USB flash stick without mounting a local hard drive. Administrator privileges are not required; nothing is installed. The LPS family was created to address particular use cases: LPS-Public is a safer, general-purpose solution for using web-based applications. The accredited LPS-Remote Access is only for accessing your organization's private network."
But this is the DoD, where the left hand knows what the right hand is doing, but doesn't care because it's too busy defending itself from the left foot. (The existence of the right foot is classified.)
"The man" wouldn't have this problem if people used (existing!) open standard protocols for video chat. But everybody uses FaceTime, Skype, and other proprietary solutions because the open software is too fiddly, and nobody except nerds uses it anyway. Sort of like the bad old days with Office documents on the Mac...
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss... (Where's the RMS icon?)
"Average Speed for Netflix Streams"?? WTF does that mean?
I just checked, and I get 23 megabits on my Verizon Fios service and I don't have anything close to the top tier on offer. (I checked using an actual real world task, not a speedtest site - downloading the 80mb Linux kernel source tarball from kernel.org.) Netflix's numbers are off by an order of magnitude. I have no idea where these are coming from.
The funny thing is the Internet isn't free from government control. The Internet, at least as far as DNS and addressing is concerned, is run by ICANN. ICANN doesn't derive their authority from the consent of the Internet community, but from a contract with.. the United States Department of Commerce!
Congress was really voting for an Internet free from OTHER government's control. Not entirely surprising.
Re: Dear Matt,
With the exception of the Arduino, everything you just mentioned is an ARM system running Linux, possibly with Android on top. We have plenty of choice when it comes to form factor and packaging... but not quite so much choice when it comes to platforms.
Re: I don't understand that graph
And it wasn't called iOS until June 2010... which is, strangely enough, when that blue line starts to rise. Prior to 2010, employers looking for IOS skills were looking for people who knew Cisco routers, not phones. And prior to 2008, anyone looking for Android developers was probably in the robotics industry, or writing sci-fi.
The graph, as many others have pointed out, is crap.
Actually, $200 for 1.5M sounds like a T1... which is sometimes your only option if you're too far away from civilization.
Re: They do it at their own peril...
Microsoft already does a pretty good job of kicking modded consoles off Xbox Live, but you can still use them to play burned games. If you have a download-only console that's dependent on Xbox Live in order to function and Microsoft kicks you off because you modded it, you've got a doorstop. Yes, there will inevitably be an arms race of workarounds and countermeasures, but sooner or later most people will just decide to pay for the games...
Think about it
A user tries to browse the internet and is suddenly confronted with a message saying that their computer is infected with a virus and to click here to clean the infection... in other words, exactly what they would see on a website trying to infect them with FakeAV malware. Do we really want to train people to believe this stuff and click the links?
Remember "embrace, extend, extinguish?"
We've made it to step 2... the community better hold Google to their promise of opening this stuff up or things will start to suck big time.
Install Service Pack 1. They apparently woke up and dumped the browser-based help in favor of a real help viewer tool (and they brought back the help index too!)
Why it's still eight years away
So how do these systems respond in an upredictable emergency situation? What happens if the car in the lane next to you has a tire blowout and abruptly swerves into your lane, or a car going the other way loses control and spins out across the median into oncoming traffic, or a poorly-secured ladder flies off the back of a plumbing truck and everyone scatters every which way trying to avoid it? (Note that since this stuff can be caused by mechanical failure, it will still be a concern even after Google has taken all the bad drivers off the roads and replaced them with computers.) What happens when there is no safety driver?
Actually, come to think of it, figuring out a way to test this sort of thing would be rather fun...
- Lightning strikes USB bosses: Next-gen jacks will be REVERSIBLE
- OHM MY GOD! Move over graphene, here comes '100% PERFECT' stanene
- Google's new cloud CRUSHES Amazon in RAM battle
- Beijing leans on Microsoft to maintain Windows XP support
- 'Big Data' analysis Think Amazon is CHEAP? Just take a look at these cloudy graphs...