15 posts • joined 6 Jun 2007
Re: In the news
"Do you think Microsoft is in on this?"
"Nine companies are currently part of PRISM. Microsoft was the first firm to sign up on Sept 11, 2007"
".....the PRISM project, a system described as being the largest single source of information for NSA analytic reports. PRISM apparently gives the NSA access to email, chat logs, any stored data, VoIP traffic, files transfers, social networking data, and the ominously named "Special Projects"
Could this be one of those "Special Projects?
NSA: "Yeah, we read about this in our trade publication "1984". A Television device but where the state can watch its "citizens" at all hours..... Why do you think the Kinect can swivel around? Our trade publication pointed out a drawback where the subject was able to find a corner of his living room to hide in. This eliminates that oversight"
Obviously some XKCD is in order
got me good
I, like you, have just been trolled by ElReg's headline.
Water in Glass
Water in a glass..... what could be simpler?
Control is always a Slippery Slope
I think many people forget that anything that can be use to limit the use of technology is immediately on a slippery slope. The commentors who state that any DRM-crippled product will fail in competition against open products are using too much common sense and not enough consideration for the state of current legal structures.
Sure there is some concern for rights-holders when trying to implement other restrictive control systems like SOPA or DMCA but what really makes the lawmakers salivate are the potentials they see down the line.
Consider this earlier story on ElReg http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/30/3d_printed_assault_rifle/
The governments of the world need SOMETHING in place that can be twisted to other ends. Since their involvement is usually late, it has to take the shape of heavy-handed legislation. There WILL be laws that force DRM on printers. These laws will not work to stop the manufacture of DRM-free printers but they will have a chilling effect.
AMD's 15 minutes on top
AMD did have its moment in the sun but couldn't hold it. With the Athlon XP processors, gamers were free to overclock the hell out of them and they were happy. Their chips were inexpensive so system builders were happy. I could also swear to you that Windows ran snappier compared to Intel's P4s due to different cache configurations. Intel wasn't fazed since it had brainwashed the world with "Intel inside" for a decade so people still considered AMD chips cheap knockoffs but the teenagers (read: gamers) who were asked by their family for "cheap but good" PCs steered the hoi-polloi towards AMD.
This gave AMD the economic breathing room to put more money into R&D and what we got was the Opteron and the x86 multicore-on-the-desktop "revolution" that is still playing out (though now to Intel's tune).
I remember how AMD was patting itself on the back as it was telling anyone who would listen how its Athlon (MP/XP) architecture was built from the ground-up to be multi-core while Intel's early entries were sort of slapped together extensions of the Pentium with no integrated memory controller and so on.
In the server space, Opterons gave people the alternative they were looking for when Intel tried to shove Itanic down everyone's throat thinking "What are they gonna do? Not buy Intel?". Too bad AMD ended up blundering the 3-core Opteron while Intel had already realized its mistakes, changed its course, was already throwing out 4-core chips. What was AMD doing? Eyeing ATI for an acquisition hoping to get some sort of performance synergy in gaming and design workstations by controlling the CPU and GPU. Still waiting for it.......
Can't say AMD was always crap. Just rested on its laurels and made bad business decisions...... and maybe some bad technical decisions too..
BUT If it wasn't for them, you'd all be speaking IA64 now!!!!!!!
I've been sick, so thoughts not as coherent and concise as they should be
Virtualization as a kludge against progress
I am one of those IT "generalists" that the article speaks of and it's true that I can only look on and salivate at the prospect of getting my hands on those high-priced delicious toys that the corporate guys get to play with.
To give you some background, I am an IT consultant and work for a small (~6 employee) company in New York City which serves small to mid-range businesses. We've virtualized our internal environment easily enough (with VMware ESX server) for the benefits of lower electrical bills and not having to deal with outdated servers which chugg along and spawn headache after headache but never do you the courtesy of actually dying so you could replace them.
But I'm rambling. I wanted to comment on a unique(?) reason for virtualizing a server or environment which might have been overlooked in all the back and forth on the subject. We have a client who since time immemorial has been running a Windows 2000 Server with Oracle on it. There are all sorts of scripts and web-based front-ends that have been piled on through the ages. There is some other outsourced DB Admin that manages the Oracle database. Other suppliers and wholesale cusomers interact with the system and their IT teams that poke and prod at the DB and its related patina of apps, add-ons and services.
Noone wants to touch this mess. Noone dare utter the word "Upgrade".
There is enough finger-pointing and bickering when there is a crash or when the server grinds to a crawl. Dread hangs in the air in anticipation of the day when the whole mess coughs up a lung and packs it in. The old stuff wont work with new Oracle. The old Oracle wont work with new Windows Server version. And even if it did, who would be stupid enough to take on the task of rebuilding this mess?
Before half the fools in the NYC area jump out of their seats offering their services, keep in mind noone wants to actually PAY for the time and effort such a task would entail.
So when the server finally took a crap and started running like its disks were filled with molassas, and the DB tinkerers all yelled in a chorus that they "Need More Power!" but dared not migrate to newer versions of anything, there was only one thing left to do!!!!
"VMware Converter" to the rescue!!! It took the heaping pile of decade-old spaghetti and moved it into a Virtial Machine running on ESX Server. Now it has 100x more CPU horsepower and tons more RAM to throw at the hideously inefficient klunky database mess. Noone had to change thir ways and everything keeps chugging along without any pesky "progress" to get in the way!
At least they're out of OUR hair.
PS we also threw their 2003 AD\Exchange Server and their BlackBerry Enterprise server onto there as VMs. Can't run Echange and BB server on the same OS so now they have 1 physical server instead of 3 but that's a pretty common story i guess...
@ James Halliday and anybody on the fence
"I killed my Shures (2 and 4s) on a regular basis by damaging the cable"
Surely you're joking!
I've had Shure e2's for about 2 years now, same pair and they're still pumping away nicely!
I'm very surprised by your comment that the cord breaks because they use such a thick quality cord that i am confident I could strangle someone with them and not have to worry about breakage.
For any of you still on the fence and looking for a pair of in-ear canal-phones, Shures are the way to go.
They were making canal-phones for musicians and live music engineers before anyone knew what a "noise-isolating headphone" was. They are Personal "Studio Monitors" and were made for Musicians!
a) For hearing the subtleties of the music at a very LOUD live concert
b) For hearing instructions and communications at a very LOUD live concert
c) For protecting their most valuable asset (their ears) at a ........
d) For hearing the adjusted levels of your bandmates' riffs while standing next to a very LOUD acoustic drumset which can almost deafen you even without amplification.
So before most of these other manufacturers even existed, Shure was making professional studio audio equipment including the noise-isolating headphones.
I use the Shure e2 which i bought 2 years ago for $100 USD.
But if price is no limitation, there are the E5's which have TWO drivers in each ear-bud and you can go to an ear-doctor to get a mold made of your ear-canal and a silicone plug will be made unique to your ears!!! imagine having a 2-way speaker in your ear.......
oh if I only had the $$$$
You think you're done??? Take that thing out of the box.....
Take that thing out of the box and finish your damn review!!!!
One of the 1st things I thought of when I started reading this glowing review was "Wow, this sounds like the perfect product for my cramped New York apartment ("a flat" for you britfags). But then that thought was overtaken by the realization that just hearing "some crap somewhere out there behind you" might not be enough!
The obvious question is "Can this thing actually Position sounds where they are supposed to be?". Or does it figure your monkey-brain is too daft to discern points on a 360 degree soundstage anyway so if it sounds "somewhere out there" that's good enough...
This is very useful in First Person Shooter games since placing an approaching enemy's footsteps to the right of you or to the rear left can make the difference between virtual life and death.
So take that Demo unit out of the box (or more likely out of your house) and get a'reviewin'. Tell us the things that matter about this product, not just your oohs and aaahs.
That's what your kids are going to grow up being if they don't get their hands on some porn that'll show them all those things that you were always so ashamed to discuss with them.
I remember when I was 13 and stumbled accross a dirty magazine showing people having sex, that's how I learned about it cus my parents never bothered to have "The Talk" with me and for that I'm glad. I don't want to even imagine what kind of bullshit they would have come up with!
If kids don't get their early taste of porn when they're becoming sexually aware themselves, the might get their 1st taste at the end of some Pedo's rod in his van.
So Save the Children, give them Porn!!!!
BTW, in this respect I'm glad it'll be harder for us in the USA to implement the kind of filtering foreshadowed in this article. Your little island of Britania can be filtered at the cables that connect you to the rest of the world. The US on the other hand is pretty much the hub of the internet and most of the "filth" attempting to be blocked originates here anyway. Not to say we're Immune (Or retarded in legal system sometimes).
The article in the Reg Headline of the 15 year old accused of child pornography for taking pics of HERSELF is case in point.
Congrats to El Reg, don't be so modest
Time and again I see mentions of stories that The Register broke months before a recent piece of news made it, er... , news.
I personally love seeing my favorite IT news source bobbing, weaving and throwing punches before the other news sites even know there's a fight to be had.
So I ask ye merry Vultures to take example from the recent liberties you have allowed us in the comments (I refer to the Icons we now have at our disposal) and create a new one for yourselves.
I propose a "Pat Ourselves on the Back" icon that would mark paragraphs containing unadulterated pride in having trounced the competition and in winning the love and respect of the readership.
This icon would shout boldly to the world "If you're looking for modesty, sod off! Here's a pint for me and the mates!!!"
When I read the article, the first thing that popped int my head was the Screaming Fist mission from William Gibson's Neuromancer. "Microlights" used to covertly penetrate Russia's air defences in order to test a new virus against their nets.
As for how the special forces evacuate the area after their mission is complete (or has failed disasterously) is obvious. They comandeer a Gunship Helicopter and haul ass to Finland where they are torn to pieces by said country's air defences with only one survivor.
LCD 3D display sans glasses
In my days at the PC Magazine Labs, I saw a demonstration of an LCD display that achieved a really nice 3D effect by putting two LCDs layered one on top of the other. The foremost layer was transparent and showed the foreground of the 3D image while the hindmost showed the background. I don't know if the product ever got off the ground but I thought it was noteworthy.
As for the "blinder" glasses, they were a novelty at best. The effects were really trippy and you'd go looking for all the nicest 3D renderings to see how much cooler they'd look but using the goggles in an actual game was too distracting, tiring and downright confusing.
While an RPG was whizzing towards you, instead of dodging it, you'd be mesmorized by how trippy it looked as it careened for your face.
Not an advantage at all
What about the cheaters?
Nowhere in these excerpts have I seen any mention of how the oline gambling establishments would combat the cheating techniques that are used online. It is a simple matter to join a game with two or more accounts and see more cards than a player should or use bots to fleece the other players.
In a brick&mortar casino, signaling (playing with a partner) is hard to get away with and bots won't be as much of a problem until an Arnold-looking cyborg walks in and demands a seat at the table.
(Card counting computers would be useless online since no physical deck is used or shuffled"
Obviously those testifying are more concerned with keeping the cookie-jar open than protecting the players from "fraudulent activity". Much less from themselves.
I'll have tag on my toe before I believe these copmanies are trying desperately to find ways to prevent compulsive gamblers from giving them their money.
Oh how I miss that URL... It had a certain symmetry.
Call me sentimental but I'd like to see that one brought back