* Posts by 142

206 posts • joined 26 Oct 2010

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REVEALED: Titsup flight plan mainframe borks UK air traffic control

142

Re: Failure rates

I guess so, unless it's the same symptoms as a known software issue, which appears to be the case here. According to the article anyway.

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Chum's house burnt down? Facebook mulls 'DISLIKE' button for that

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Re: The lack of negative feedback tapped the universal narcissist in us all

That's a very good point.

What's interesting is how other social networks, especially (relatively) more anonymous ones (like Twitter, say) display almost the exact opposite.

As you point out, you can say something stupid on Facebook (on private posts), and you usually only get praise from the people who agree.

In real life, you get praise from people who agree, and someone will call you out for being a muppet. Usually it stops at one person, with everyone else just saying "yeah, he has a point, man, you were being a muppet".

What seems to happen on other networks, like twitter, or reddit, is that every one who disagrees chimes in with their own retort individually, so rather than getting slapped down once, you get pummelled twenty or thirty times.

I wonder how a balance closer to a real life discussion could be achieved.

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Re: Fundamental factor of Facebook

Yeah, I'm glad they realise they have the balance right already - they're not going to ever introduce like/dislikes as a voting method (on personal posts).

Doing so would completely change the tone of FB into something much darker and more combative - probably closer to the defaults on Reddit.

On El Reg, the votes work, as it's focused on an argument or debate. It's very hard to take things personally, but on FB "dislikes" on photos, etc, could feel very personal.

I reckon it would kill the service pretty quick - people would move to other social networks with a more welcoming feel.

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UK flights CRIPPLED by system outage that shut ALL London airspace

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@ arnaut

A similar thing happened, at a massive scale, at the Dublin Amazon AWS data centre a few years back http://www.siliconrepublic.com/enterprise/item/23084-mystery-surrounds-outage-at

They blamed a lightning strike initially but it appears to have been poorly configured failover gear.

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Randall Munroe: The root nerd talks to The Register

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Re: Monetization!

Well there's only one Randall to pay, but scores of Reg staff...

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Google Chrome on Windows 'completely unusable', gripe users

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Re: Heading to Firefox territory...

Which raise as question. Firefox lead the field in its early days, then chrome took over when it came out of left-field.

So who's the new boy on the market these days?

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Re: How Widespread?

MacBook pro - i7, OSX mavericks, shit-loads of RAM and Chrome is bloody awful recently

Memory leaks everywhere, page rendering bugs (have to resize the window occasionally to display a new page)

I wouldn't be the first time in comouting history that more resources have made a program run worse...

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The gender imbalance in IT is real, ongoing and ridiculous

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@ TheOtherHobbes

Interesting arguments I hadn't considered.

> Perhaps a lot of women are savvy enough to realise there are better opportunities elsewhere.

I'm not sure I agree, but it's certainly food for thought.

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Re: Not just IT

Exactly. It depends on the role not the industry. There are a ton of women in the music industry for example. But none are sound engineers at a high level. In my ten years or more in the industry, I haven't met one in woman in a professional sound engineering context. Managers, musicians, songwriters, stage managers. Yes. TONS. But none in a senior engineering role.

Music tech colleges generally have an 80:20 split between guys and girls on entry. Almost invariably, they end up focusing on the other areas I outlined - less on the tech.

My own thinking is that there needs to be a fundamental change at school level.

We need to somehow stop the situation where girls willingly accept help from boys to solve tech problems for them.

Teaching sound engineering, and having studied IT in college, I've witnessed countless situations where the girls never learnt how to problem solve tech for themselves. You'd never see a guy allowing another guy to do everything for them. And absolutely never a girl help a guy. This showed itself right from day 1.

Yet, it was far more democratic when it was book learning, as opposed to practical. They'd form balanced study groups and all help eachother.

So, I'm not sure whether it's the case of:

A/ the guys being overly enthusiastic "knights in shining armour", or

B/ guys subconsciously don't believe that girls are fundamentally capable of solving these sort of practical logic problems or

C/ if it's the case of girls finding it easier to get through life playing the "damsel in distress" card, or

D/ the girls have been conditioned to believe they can't figure out this kind of thing.

E/ another reason?

Either way, I found it so frustrating to witness intelligent girls simply not learning because of this.

I'd be very interested to hear a female perspective on this!

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Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers

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Re: ...called going outside and getting a life

Instead of commenting on online articles?

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Poll trolls' GCHQ script sock puppets manipulate muppets

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Re: Iran.

> I've not seen anything resembling that on stories about the UK, so either the GCHQ is extremely subtle, or they've got better things to do than propagandize on Reddit & Yahoo.

I've noticed the same. I wonder is there a third option: propaganda is harder to notice when it's close to home?

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Oculus Rift tech-specs 'MANY MONTHS away' from hitting the shelves

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Re: Spec creep?

From watching their keynotes at the dev conference a couple of months back, they seem to be of the opinion that they can't launch to mainstream consumers whilst nausea is a problem, as one bad experience will put people off for life.

I got the impression they know how to prevent it completely, but logistically it's difficult (at the moment it needs a room wallpapered with QR codes).

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CBS goes OTT, releases EVERY EPISODE of Star Trek EVER MADE

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It's mostly due to legacy rights issues, such as licenses for songs on the shows, films etc. Royalty agreements with the screenwriters, etc.

They can all be worked out, but it's expensive, and takes time.

The BBC faces the a similar problem with putting its archive on iplayer. It may be public funded, but they didn't buy unlimited streaming rights from their writers, or from the music publishers.

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Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores

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Thumb Up

Re: I guess it's for the best

> On a side note, I'm informed that the latest Beats models are actually pretty good.

Hmmm. I must check them out. It wouldn't surprise me too much. Beats seem to have good acoustic designers, even if they've traditionally designed for a certain market/sound. They're a damn sight better at it than Bose!

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Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug

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Thumb Up

Percentage...

It should probably be noted that the amount of money he's given is gargantuan in comparison to current funding.

The National Post has determined it's more than the governments Canada, France and China combined.

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It's not you, it's Three. Mobe network goes titsup across UK

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Re: Three in London is very sporadic and low quality when its actually working.

For 3G at least, this was due to the part of the spectrum they've been allocated. They were much more sensitive to line of sight than other networks as a result. I can't speak for their 4G service, though.

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NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'

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Re: how about adding a layer of...

The reason they keep the wheels to a bare minimum is weight. Adding mass to them would limit the amount of science instruments that can be included.

It's not like they don't test the wheels extensively.

The surface they encountered at this location had never been seen before -> hard, eroded, jagged spikes of rock. Really, really nasty stuff. Wind sculpted into 3 to 4 inch shark teeth, hidden in the dust. It's akin to driving over a car park spike strip.

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

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Re: CDDA < FLAC

:-( Yeah, legend indeed. I'd have loved to have had the chance to send a mix his way.

Yeah, the reason I ask is that it seems bizarre to me that there would be any audible difference between the masters the mastering engineer made, and what was on CD, given that that would be the delivery format from the mastering engineer to the label in most cases. What leaves the mastering studio ends up on the CD with bit-perfect accuracy.

So if you were noticing a difference, I wonder were you getting the *mix masters*, from the mix engineer, before it got sent to mastering?

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Re: CDDA < FLAC

What specifically do you mean by "studio master", at the start of the third paragraph?

Who is the last person to have engineered it?

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> But if you can't tell the difference already, what "breakthrough" could possibly improve the experience?

Well there a lot of things you might want to do spacially, or spectrally, with the sound to spread it across different speakers, etc.

The problem is, once you encode audio with a perceptual codec like MP3, the resulting audio makes sense to the human ear in a very specific set of circumstances: that it's played in stereo through a standard listening system.

Outside of this, it breaks down.

The reason is straightforward: MP3 primarily removes parts of Sound A because Sound B has played before, or simultaneously, making some parts of Sound A inaudible ("masked").

Now, if you go changing the sound, dividing it between speakers, extracting elements, etc, the Sound B is played back differently and hits the ear differently, meaning different parts of Sound A get masked, and the parts the MP3 cut out of Sound A become obvious (it sounds akin to an MP3 with a 64kbps bitrate, or crap YouTube vid, with all the swirling noise and distortion).

Similarly, if you need to digitally analyse the sound for some reason, the loss of data is very significant, as it was encoded to sound good for a person, but the signal doesn't make sense in its own right - the removal of all those chunks of audio looks like weird noise added to the signal.

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Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds

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an exceptional coincidence?

> an exceptional coincidence?

Watch this documentary - or at least from the 46 minute point.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00vv0w8/horizon-20102011-6-asteroids-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly

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Twitter: La la la, we haven't heard of NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES

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Re: Polaroids FTW

"keeps nude pictures of themself anywhere"

You're assuming they deliberately kept the pics. They could have taken them for a laugh one evening with their partner, and then deleted them immediately, but they auto-synced to iCloud before they were deleted.

If they're not tech savvy, they may not have realised the significance of their iCloud/photo stream setup. I've seen very tech-savvy people make mistakes with similar things like dropbox.

Edit: Also. Cloud storage providers will often recover deleted files for you if you ask them. Even if they're gone from the trash folder in your cloud drive. I know Box do, and it's an infuriating risk when I'm trying to keep data secure on their service.

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IBM: OK, Watson, you've won Jeopardy. Now, CURE CANCER

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> Until Watson learns to filter out fabricated data, badly designed experiments, or incorrectly computed statistics

Actually, I think it might be well capable of this naturally. Given the depth of information it will have, it should be able to judge when a conclusion is an outlier when viewed in the grand scheme things, or when there's a logically fallacy. Certainly, it should be far better at it than a human.

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Dropbox cuts cloud storage prices $10 per terabyte, matching Google and Microsoft

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Re: factual errors in the article -> please check your story

Depends on the country, it's £7.99 here in the UK, $10 in the US, and I presume €10 in Ireland (given it's quoting you in euro in English).

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Pedals and wheel in that Google robo-car or it's off the road – Cali DMV

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Pint

Nail on the head. That's exactly what'll happen.

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Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar

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Alien

Re: Could that even be pumped to Utah?

> Could that even be pumped to Utah?

Ha! Good question. I just did some digging for figures:

No... No it could not.

Total _Global_ IP traffic per year: 1.1 zettabytes in 2016, according to Cisco.

(http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/VNI_Hyperconnectivity_WP.html)

So that's either a millennium too much storage, or the NSA are actually the Men In Black.

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Facepalm

Yottabyte, my arse!

I have given up disbelieving anything said about the NSA, but a Yottabyte? Seriously? Did nobody at Wired do a sanity check before going to print?

That's multi-trillion dollars in storage cost alone, and will be for the foreseeable future. The entire US Black Budget is only* ~$50 Billion.

*"only"... heh...

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Yosemite Siri? Apple might plonk chatty assistant on your desktop - report

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Re: Or like original Star Trek?

The patent's not for using speech recognition to give the computer orders, etc.

It's specifically for invoking it with a gestures:

The claim is that it's "A method for invoking a digital assistant service, comprising: at a user device comprising one or more processors and memory: detecting an input gesture from a user according to a predetermined motion pattern on a touch-sensitive surface of the user device; and in response to detecting the input gesture, activating a digital assistant on the user device. "

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

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Re: This is what happens ....

More like this is what happens when imbeciles design user interfaces.

I was driving a rental car recently, and the song title display used the same text field as the other announcements, like directions, seatbelt warnings, etc.

And it was just displayed one or two words at a time - nothing to indicate they were partial titles!

It caused confusion repeatedly. Such as when something like Ellie Golding's "Lights" would come on the radio at night...

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Apple OS X Yosemite 4 TIMES more popular than Mavericks

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Stop

Re: I want no cloud

Jim, you're incorrect. Syncing or registering is completely optional

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London officials won't take Uber to court – because cabbies are suing the drivers anyway

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Facepalm

Re: Insurance?

@YetAnotherLocksmith

.......what in the name of...?

You're adding 2 + 2 together and getting Z.

They're just licensed mini-cab drivers, operating independently. Fully professional, fully legal - has been for years and years. The only thing that's up for debate is their billing procedure.

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NSA man says agency can track you through POWER LINES

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Re: remove everything from 20Hz to 100Hz

Nope! The harmonics go way way up through the spectrum. You'd need to get rid of every frequency that's a multiple of 50Hz+/-5%. Up to about 5k. That encompasses virtually the entire speech frequency range.

Not even professional tools can totally remove mains interference without severe artefacts.

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New MH370 search zone picked using just seven satellite 'handshakes'

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Not as unlikely as a catastrophic fire though..

Intuitively, Ac, I would agree with you. A catastrophic fire or air pressure failure disorienting and then killing the crew as they set up for an emergency landing feels most plausible.

However. Amazingly, planes and emergency protocols so reliable nowadays that based on the numbers, it's actually far more likely that it was a rogue pilot, suicidal pilot, or attempted hijacking.

This is why the rogue pilot theory refuses to die.

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USB charger is prime suspect in death of Australian woman

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Re: Possibly not a dangerous charger

I wonder if it is more likely a 220v 50Hz signal causing the coils in the earphones to superheat and melt/burn out. I've seen loudspeakers catch fire when subjected to these sort of low frequency overloads.

I guess, this could happen if the charger malfunctioned connected the positive mains signal direct to the USB ground, which would be then move the ground of the headphones from 0v dc to 220 ac. *shudders* so many horrible failure mechanisms when you start throwing mains voltage around headphones.

Almost makes me never want to wear headphones for work again.

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Google's URL-hiding 'origin chip' is 'backburnered'

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Facepalm

Re: Good Idea, Poor Implementation?

This is such an obvious and ideal solution that it astounds me they haven't used it. I just can't see a single disadvantage.

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Rap chap tapped for $3 BEELLION: Apple buys Dr Dre's Beats

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Re: Studio headphones

"When mixing one has to hear the music not the headphones "

Not everything in the studio involves mixing, or indeed needs flat monitors. For writing / production - hyped speakers can be great. Vibe is far more important than accuracy. I know on the big A-list hip-hop recordings in Record Plant in LA, the sound is always played back at max volume through the giant far fields, which are eq'd to hype the bass. They are anything but flat!

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TrueCrypt considered HARMFUL – downloads, website meddled to warn: 'It's not secure'

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Re: If you were the NSA...

>You can hate them all you want but they do their job in the shadows very well.

Yeah, that's a fair statement. So who was it - assuming it's a hack? Patriot Hackers? Seems like a slightly odd target.

Thoughts?

Some obscure Anonymous fringe perhaps? They're not averse to taking down things for fun on occasion, especially things that claim to be secure.

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UK.gov! frets! over! Yahoo! exodus! to! RIPA-free! Dublin!

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Re: Speaking as a Yahoo employee...

Yes. There would certainly be a lack of top level recent graduates with a couple years of experience at the moment.

When the dotcom bubble crashed in the early 2000s college applications for IT courses in Ireland went to almost zero. This is possibly true in other parts of the world, but it was exceptionally true in Ireland as every top level technically minded school kid was told to do civil engineering (as "house prices are bound to keep rising 15% per year, and we're going to need hundreds of thousands more of them each year! that's going to be an amazing job to have when young billy will be graduating in 2010" - Idiot guidance counsellors...)

I watched this happen to one flagship university IT degree I'm familiar with - it had a drop in applications of 95% between 2000 and the middle of the decade because of this. They had to resort to offering places in the newspaper to anyone who wanted one...

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NSA spies recorded an entire COUNTRY'S phone calls for a MONTH: Report

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Re: @Tom7

Following on to that, obviously you're not going to be doing CSI esque analysis of the audio after it's been degraded that much, but perhaps they view the speech part of the recordings as worth having even without detailed background noise. Important targets could be stored at a higher quality.

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Re: @Tom7

Depending on the algorithm used, you can get intelligible speech at a data rate of 1kilo*bit* per second. Examples here: http://www.nine-9s.com/prod_speech_codec_comparisons.htm

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American Idol host's keyboard firm smacks back against BlackBerry in patent spat

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re:The Sony P910 had an external keyboard...

That's not the issue blackberry have. Read the earlier article on this topic. It's to do with how the keys themselves are designed for usability and to avoid typing mistakes. They're very genuine grievances.

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

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Re: ...they can be persuaded to switch to a Mac

You can't update-and-keep data from early versions of OSX like tiger to 10.9 without buying and installing intermediate OSs first.

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Facebook debunks Princeton's STUDY OF DOOM in epic comeback

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Alert

Re: Time will tell

> (I'd only observe that most things with a meteoric rise usually end in a meteoric fall.)

Indeed.

Except, seemingly, FB's archenemy: Google.

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UK IT supplier placed on ASA naughty step over 'misleading' HDD ad

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Black Helicopters

Re: sounds like you work for them?

I suspect you're right. There sure are some very bizarre votes being given to this article's comments, yours being a case in point!

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DOOMSDAY still just MINUTES AWAY: As it has been since 1947

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Re: Only 5 minutes before the hour?

"what has happened since the break up of the USSR "

Well, for one, you've got pakistan and india pointing nukes at each-other. Pakistan has supposedly been developing *battlefield* nuclear weapons. Not strategic ICBMs, not tactical missiles, but battlefield nuclear artillery, that would be under the command of junior officers.

There are reports Russia has doing clandestine experiments on warheads of this scale recently, too.

There's debate as to whether the use of such weapons would trigger the dominoes falling towards full scale armageddon.

(There are valid arguments on both sides:

https://www.aspi.org.au/publications/strategic-insights-62-non-strategic-nuclear-weapons-the-next-step-in-multilateral-arms-control

http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/6723/size-doesnt-matter)

Then on the full scale NATO-Russia(-China) strategic level, there are also major concerns that have grown since the end of the cold war. The most major of which is how the of balance of power is shifting, as China becomes more powerful, and Russia's nuclear detection/command system ages. It's important that all three powers' respective strengths and weaknesses cancel each-other out, so that Mutual Assured Destruction remains mutually assured. If it accidentally evolves to the point that one of the sides believes that it is no longer true (or believes that one of the other sides believes that) then all bets are off.

Then there's dangers like this... http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/soviet-doomsday-device-might-still-be-operational/

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Audiophiles: These Wi-Fi speakers have a stereo drift of less than 25μs – good enough for you?

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Re: Stereo sound

"What if you have people putting multiple speakers on top of each other?" Well yes, this is a scenario I hadn't considered.

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Re: Less than 25us? Why?

""Ok. 400ms is an utter disaster."

It actually isn't. By my calculations, it's a little over 5 inches, which is about what would"

To clarify, I used 400**ms** deliberately, as I thought that was what the article said.

400ms is nigh on 400feet. My experience with Apple's Airplay encoding has been delays in this sort of region.

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Re: Less than 25us? Why?

"Nope, he said "300, 400 microsecond", not milliseconds. That's (at worst) 0.0004s drift."

Ah. I wonder was the article edited? I would have sworn it said ms there when I replied.

But yes, 400us is absolutely nothing in this context!

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Meh

Re: Less than 25us? Why?

They never cease to amaze me with their awe-inspiring lack of critical thinking.

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Facepalm

Less than 25us? Why?

Ok. 400ms is an utter disaster. That is worse than the sort of delay you get an outdoor concert.

But *microseconds* between separate speakers? It's pointless in even a professional scenario (unless they're in a mathematical array, like a line array). Sound travels just over half a centimetre in 25us! No one sets their speaker positions, (and I won't even mention the LISTENING position) to that level of accuracy. And he's talking about multiroom accuracy: you could have 10ms+ delays for that and it wouldn't be audible.

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