105 posts • joined Wednesday 6th June 2007 23:42 GMT
Re: Funny thing...
This is why the proposed federal law that would require e-tailers to collect tax everywhere would also require each tax jurisdiction to sign up to standard categories. If any jurisdictions did not, the retailers would not need to collect their tax. So the category problem, at least, should be solvable.
You still need an address-to-tax-rate database unless this works cleanly by zip code (which I think it does not) and, of course keep up to date with rate changes, so it's still not free.
But, it's also wrong that Amazon gets to put the physical bookstores out of business by not collecting tax, so they really should pay the tax if a workable scheme can be worked out.
No -- apparently they've added a "Camera Shake reduction" feature that looks for blur caused by camera motion, as opposed to unsharp mask (or one of the other often-better layer-based sharpening techniques, especially when used with masking layers to only sharpen part of the image) which are just for generic sharpening. There's apparently yet another new "Smart Sharpen" feature but it's not clear if this is useful or not.
Of course, none of this masks the inconvenient detail for Adobe that most edits can be done in programs like Lightroom nowadays (including good sharpening), which means I can't be the only person who now only uses Photoshop a handful of times per year, at least for anything other than merge-to-panorama. And this means that upgrading and the full subscription price of $240/year with no option to skip versions is a pretty bad deal. Even if Adobe is sneakily trying to get people to sign up to a 1-year promotion for $120 for the first year, you're then locked in to $240 for every subsequent year. :(
Re: Future Digital
> You mean photographers can actually concentrate on making great shots and not spend 90% of their
> time faffing about with camera settings?
> Please elaborate how that prevents people from taking great photos luddite...
To be fair, if you use a medium format camera (or DSLR on a tripod) and need to spend a few minutes getting the shot set up exactly, there's more chance you'll take time to look through the viewfinder long enough to check the composition and sometimes pack up the camera after deciding the photo is not worth taking. Or notice the tree sticking out of someone's head, or change the composition to something better than any of the 15 DSLR shots. Pus it saves time fixing up the shot on your computer later.
Although I agree that you can go to extremes with a view camera and spend all of your time on settings.
Having said that, being able to verify shots taken on the camera screen is invaluable, and I probably haven't shot film for nearly 10 years and now come back with my hundreds of DSLR shots like everyone else :).
NY Times also struggling this morning
The NY Times was also down for a while this morning and struggling afterwards. Apparently some suspicion of a DNS screw-up from some external commenters. Perhaps related, or the NY Times is depending on Microsoft hosting?
You might want to check out a book Bob wrote called The Pentium Chronicles.
Bob Colwell joined as one of the original architects of the P6 (the first OOO Pentium Pro/Pentium II and all that followed), which was indeed a home run for Intel and really was the chip that led to generic servers using x86 and not RISC chips today. Based on the book and also the opportunity to hear him talk to a small group a few years ago, he was also involved in defending this team from the legacy P5 Pentium (at 1/2 the performance) and Itanium at this time too.
The fact that Bob's team also worked on Willamette later on (before he left) does not reduce the success and impact of P6 on the industry.
Blocking outgoing port 25 (was: Re: Standard Terms and Conditions)
Comcast Xfinity does the same. The workaround is to configure your mail client and any internal/external mail servers to submit over the "submission" port instead (465 if using SSL, or 587 if not). For example, see http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/internet/email-port-25-no-longer-supported/.
Changing the setup to 465/587 is pretty easy (or automated) for the mail client, but was kind of a pain to get my external postfix server reconfigured to allow :(. Definitely doable though, and easier than a second line. Likewise for any internal mail server(s) needed to allow command-line mail from cron jobs to get delivered.
Actually, X is arguably more of a protocol than an API, in that it traditionally at least specified things like "server must report any and all mouse movement events to the client, all the time" which turned out to be a bad thing when people wanted to implement Low Bandwidth X and avoid wasting bandwidth and latency on event updates the client almost always does not need. While LBX could try to ignore these updates, the basic API did not know if something higher up in the client (than XDrawLines) wanted the event updates, which made this type of optimization hard.
At least in X11, both the API (libX11.so or libgnome.so or whatever) and the protocol over the wire are both specified.
Now, without going away from X, there would have been nothing to prevent the server allowing newer clients to connect over "X12" and have this based on a newer and simpler API, with the over-the-wire part hidden from the client. If you support over-the-network clients or really anything where the client might be using an older version of the API library than the server, you're still going to need some "protocol" to specify how they interact though, even if this is versioned to support changes.
Re: Two Different Issues
Re: "Mr Cook should be very wary (said by Walter Koenig for comedic effect), as those changes might be retroactive."
Should be safe on any retroactive concern at least, because the constitution forbids ex post facto laws.
Re: Aww poor Lehmans
The company as-was no longer exists.
instead, this is presumable the administrators winding up the company (receiver in UK terms) trying to collect as much remaining cash as they can so that all of the other out-of-pocket creditors get a little bit more of their money back, even if this is still less than 100%. As such, not "poor Lehmans" but "poor bondholders who lent money to Lehmans that they will only get a small fraction of get back".
It will also lead to yet more blatant product placement in programs. For example various Fox shows with people in cars saying "this feature is nice and that feature is nice" and obviously advertising the car rather than concentrating on the story. Also a CSI from about two weeks ago which spent a lot of time plugging a Shazam copycat music recognition app which they were presumably paid for marketing.
This may actually be more annoying than adverts to fast forward through :(
Re: The music is just an advert
Probably once you're a successful act signing your second contract, you can demand better terms. And you can negotiate with other labels until one of them offers good enough terms to accept. Didn't Madonna go to a different label, for example, presumably because the deal was better?
Unknown acts, on the other hand, are not in a strong position to get anything other than a default contract.
Re: Nanny state...
If this works the same way as a system like OnStar or the stuff in BMWs and similar cars, then after a crash the car will call the service centre, and a human person will come on the phone saying "do you need assistance". So no sending of ambulances unless they are needed. Also no reliance on buttons liable to fail.
Re: Phony Economics
Maybe in your case you found a case where the same plan would somehow cost $50 for an unlocked phone and $110/month for the locked one. Is T-Mobile different in this regard?
But for iPhones at least, there seems to be no way to pay less than about $60/month for voice+data, and the price per month is *the same* on both AT&T and Verizon with or without an unlocked iPhone. Including presumably with one of these unlocked-by-AT&T iPhones. Yes, they should charge you less for the unlocked phone but they don't. As such, paying $400 or so extra for an unlocked phone makes no sense.
Are you sure the $50 and $110 plans were giving you the same quantity of minutes and data?
Re: Free option
Not sure which level of developer they will require, but the link implies $99/year. This is still far below "App Store and Apple taking 30%", but not free.
It seems to me there are two key questions in all of this:
1. Which of the settings will be used for new Macs that ship with Mountain Lion? If it's "Store or Signed Developer" then for most people this probably makes sense to disable malware, and I would probably recommended this to those non-technical Mac owning friends/relatives who do not know what "compiler" means. But if the default is ever "App Store only" then there's a problem.
2. Whether, if someone runs with one of the restricted settings but then control-clicks (or whatever) to enable a specific app, is that app then authorized permanently without overrides each time? If so, this may not be much different from the "This app is downloaded from the internet; are you sure you want to run?" popup that you get now, although with a different UI. If an override is needed each time then that's a problem for those of us who do compile stuff.
PS: looks like the setting is per-user, so you can lock down some family members but not others.
Re: why are we typing in channel numbers
Some TV systems have hundreds of channels. If I'm watching channel 2 and I want to go to channel 619 (say) then it's much faster to type the three numbers than to scroll through hundreds of channels I don't want.
Granted there are UI options such as lists of favourite/recent channels, but sometimes typing the channel is faster.
Given the experience of the existing AppleTV though, any new Apple remote may be very minimal so you may end up happy.
Last time I looked at this, AT&T would give you UVerse internet without TV if you really wanted and asked, but you need to pay for the install in that case. They don't volunteer this info though because they are *really* trying to sell the TV service.
Personally I stayed with faster DSL instead because it's cheaper and fast enough for me right now, and I was not willing to give up DirecTV. It is probably true that the cost works out badly if you have UVerse internet on it's own, plus separate satellite for TV - certainly it did for me.
If the teacher of the class still gets to say "this is the official textbook we will be following for this class, which you must buy", then it's not clear how that fact that there are also cheaper textbooks on an iPad will help the the situation.
And if a teacher in Texas names an official textbook then the education boardmay still require this be an approved "Certified" book with political interference on content.
Certainly if the cost of textbooks can be reduced that would be good. Although I suspect a plan to restrict second hand sales, directly or via the book becoming an interactive app. I would hope this also does not end up with "your textbook is only available on iPad and not on other tablets or (gasp) paper, so you have to buy an iPad...".
Re: Bogus patents ...
I have not looked at the patents (obviously), but I strongly suspect you'll find the patents don't just cover recording TV to a hard disk. Instead, they probably cover things like the 30+ minute "go back" buffer when watching live TV, the fact that you can press record part way through a program and have it record from the beginning (if in the aforementioned buffer), the recommendation stuff and up/downvoting, season passes, etc.
And certainly, the fact that some clone DVRs have left out some of these features in the past may be related to patent avoidance. So, by all means continue plain video capture on your PC, but there's more to a good PVR (or Tivo) than this.
Maybe a pedantic comment, but there are 3 other countries under .co.uk whose people aren't English (Wales, Scotland, N Ireland). I assume you meant British?
I do agree that abuse about "boffin" is out of place on The Reg though.
Re: AUTOEXEC.BAT questions
Re: "Who wants to explain to me what happens when one of those five wants to modify their autoexec? It's no longer a duplicate, so presumably we need some copy-on-write mechanism"
Yes, you need copy on write. And this is what systems like ZFS do today (ZFS always does copy-on-write for everything so it's easy). You need copy-on-write anyway if you want to support things like snapshots in the filesystem.
@ various people worrying about data errors on one copy of data:
This is a valid concern; ZFS at least had some options to say "no dedup on these critical directories" or "keep at least N copies, then dedup after that".
You make your own laptops?
Simple for a desktop, not so much for a laptop...
Plus even home-made desktops generally start with a motherboard which already contains BIOS, etc.
Re: Federal tax?
The proposal in congress is not for a federal sales tax.
Instead it's just a quid-pro-quo for the states: whether to have a state sales tax is still up to the states, but *if* at least 10 states get their act together and sign up to consistent sales tax rules (no variation in what's covered, some predictable way to map an address to sales tax rate (e.g. zip code), etc.), then in return, retailers shipping to those states have to collect the tax.
Apparently such a uniform set of rules has existed since 2002. But the assumption has been that states cannot enforce this on their own because the Constitution does not allow the states to impose duties/tariffs on interstate trade (only Congress can regulate this). A new federal law would fix this.
Presumably if this gets in place, the one man shops can sign up to an address-to-tax-rate lookup service since only the rate would vary.
Presumably a GPS receiver in a Lightsquared phone, if it needed to, could time-slice it's reception to only turn on the GPS receiver when the phone's radio is not transmitting and vice versa. The radios already get turned on/off for power saving, so this should be possible. This is not the case, however, for an existing GPS receiver that does not know about Lightsquared.
Re: Stop trying to swim up stream....
1. Triangulation requires more than one transmitter, not just one. Probably you can make this work with reception from more than one base station, but this adds complexity and requires more than one base station in range.
2. The question is what happens to existing GPS receivers, not whether it's possible to build a different receiver in future that is immune. Specifically all of the people with SatNav in cars or phones - "buying a new receiver" is not good if it means "major car repair expense", for example.
IMHO LightSquared would be well advised to make sure they do not break existing kit, otherwise they and/or the FCC may find themselves defending their argument that they are not responsible in court. Regardless of the fact that they may legally be in the right (and I am not a fan of these type of lawsuits) this is not a good outcome. Deploying a system that breaks existing GPS receivers, if that's what happens, would be worst.
Actually I would not be surprised if this letter is Lightsquared's way of saying that they would be OK with using different spectrum to not break GPS, but they are hoping to get different spectrum and/or some money from the GPS makers and/or FCC out of any change.
Re: Sad Sad Sad
Droplets are apparently a form of automation script that end users can create and save on disk. They are called Droplets because, once created, you drag file(s)/image(s) onto the droplet at which point the actions are applied to the image.
The Droplet files on disk apparently contain machine code, so Windows Droplets don't work on MacOS and vice versa. It also means various end users may have their own PPC Droplets on disk from earlier versions of Photoshop which Adobe has no control over. All the release note says is that you use the same mechanism as you would have used to convert a Windows Droplet to MacOS to convert PowerPC to x86, assuming you're running >=CS5.
It's true that older versions are out of luck, but this is not totally unusual.
"The 12.0.1 update (of CS5?) creates droplets using native code for Intel processors, and can update previously created droplets to use native code for Intel processors.
Solution 1: Update Photoshop CS5 with the latest updates. Then drag your old droplets onto the Photoshop application icon. An updated version of the droplet is created in the same folder as the old one, with (CS5).app at the end of the name."
If you have CS4 or older, you're out of luck.
Re Bluetooth versus USB
USB is all very well, but sometimes you have a device with no USB port. For example (ahem) my phone. Faced with the choice of special-ordering a custom USB interface cable for $$ or pairing the device over Bluetooth, Bluetooth becomes a more attractive option.
Re: Canon and/or scanners etc
Nikon are just as bad or worse for scanners. Nikon never released an Intel Mac version of "Nikon Scan", which means you can't run this in Rosetta as a plug-in under an x86 version of Photoshop. And the old standalone version in Rosetta stopped working completely in Snow Leopard to be greeted by "no plan to fix". Instead they just recommend you get Vuescan or similar 3rd party product.
I can confirm Vuescan seems to work, and has the advantage of batch scanning and auto-crop when processing batches. I have had one problem with the auto-exposure being off, but I'm not sure if this is the scanner or Vuescan...
PS: Generally the camera stores seem to be recommending the film attachment on something like the Epson V700 nowadays, for scanning film as well as it being a flatbed scanner as well.
Aperture is a completely different product than Photoshop. Instead, it competes with Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom/Aperture are for managing catalogs of large numbers of photos with limited edits, but often editing multiple photos at once. Photoshop then gets relegated to only the difficult edits to single images.
Now personally I use Lightroom instead of Aperture, plus Photoshop, but even Lightroom has "export to Flickr" now. And this is a reasonable and useful feature if you like to publish photo sets on Flickr.
Re: "Another nifty Tri-Gate trick is that you can have multiple fins in the same transistor"
Actually this as much a disadvantage as an advantage.
For planar transistors you can (and people do) vary the width to get different drive currents, but for a FinFET the width (of the fin) is assumed fixed. So the only way to get the equivalent of variable width is to use multiple fins in parallel to get the equivalent of integer widths (1,2,3,...). But even here you lose the option of non-integer widths such as 2.4.
Re: Hmmm 20 free views you say?
Right now most articles require a username/password, even though they are free. You're correct that cookies are used.
So presumably in future you could get around the limit if you created multiple accounts, but not if they successfully link the accounts to something hard to fake such as a real postal address. Most people will probably not want to be bothered by creating multiple accounts though, especially heavy users.
And as for iPads, there may be an appleID or similar involved.
Some people already built a replica of the Manchester Baby for the 50th anniversary in 1998, so that's already done. It's apparently in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry - see http://www.cs.manchester.ac.uk/Digital60/Baby/.
Incidentally, for anyone in Silicon Valley, the Computer History Museum just opened a "first 2000 years of computing" exhibit which, along with abacuses, mechanical calculators, and newer computers, has a video of the Baby, Colossus, and the Leo amongst other computers. And things like ENIAC as well, for example.
It also has a coiled-wire delay line used by an early Ferranti computer which might be a better alternative to mercury.
Re: It can't work no matter how much crypto they use, can it ?
Probably in that case the metadata is going to show a focus distance of a few feet ahead of the camera, not infinity as you would expect for a UFO in the sky, which may be a giveaway.
This is even if you could make your high resolution/color depth screen projection beat the camera's ability to detect, which seems unlikely in practice even though you might think it possible in theory.
Detect multiple locations?
Perhaps I'm missing something , but surely if the card is used in multiple ATMs several miles apart within 10 minutes (such as both New York and San Francisco) this would be a good clue to the fraud system that this is impossible.
Some type of "impossible to have gotten from the last ATM since last transaction" check.
Prices even in the US....
I'm sure the first Mac Pro was $2499 for the base version and $2999 (if I remember) for the top of the range CPU. This time, on the other hand, the range is from $2499-$3499-$4999, which seems pretty steep.
And as for extra disk drives, asking for $550 for an extra 2GB drive seems pretty excessive, to put it mildly.
Re: not worthless
This biggest problem is not whether you can get companies to upgrade (you probably can) but instead whether ISPs can get home users to upgrade (no so easy). And if consumers don't upgrade then web sites can't ever go IPV6-only.
I.e. all of the non-tech-literate people running old versions of Windows, or with old Linksys/Netgear home routers that only do IPV4 and can't easily be upgraded -- this is the nightmare for ISPs and it means most/all public web servers still need an IPV4 address.
No doubt an optimist could make this transparent, given DHCP, a router that does IPV6, and an up to date OS as well. But in reality there are likely to be lots of transition issues.
The main issue with IPV6 is that nobody has come up with any must-have service that only works with IPV6, that would make existing IPV4 users want to upgrade. Or a price difference with IPV6 being cheaper. As such there is a distinct lack of motivation for existing users to change.
Re: So the point Flash is ...?
I'm not going to buy Dreamweaver because of the price (and not needing it). But just because HTML5 can do video does not mean it's a Flash replacement.
Now, if Adobe is pushing Flash for pure video then this seems dubious, except possibly for minor details such as resolution negotiation. Probably, though, they are aiming at people who either (a) want to use some of Flash's non-video features or (b) already have Dreamweaver.
None of this means I don't use FlashBlock, but Flash != video only.
Re: no more openstorage
Re: "Oracle is stupid if they don't recognize the potential that OpenSolaris has as a storage platform".
Oracle seems to understand the potential of Solaris and ZFS for storage quite well - they are just much keener that you should buy a storage box from Oracle rather than Oracle providing "openstorage" for free, and then white box makers or other hardware providers selling the boxes without paying Oracle.
If you're a clone maker who wants to pay Oracle, that might be a different story. Although maybe not (see also what Steve Jobs thought of Apple and clone boxes).
To be fair, Sun's "Fishworks" group never provided their storage additions on top of OpenSolaris as open source either, for the same reason.
Re: and also...
RE: "When you buy something online, we, er, sort of need to know where to send the goods you've ordered, and to be able to track your order if you contact us with questions"
But many shopping sites have the option to manage without this. Instead, for tracking, you can log onto the site with order number and email address (unlikely for someone to guess) for tracking. Based on the order number having been emailed to you. In terms of storing a shipping address in an "account" , obviously you can just store this in a database indexed by order ID. No need for accounts.
sure, you probably only want this to give access to that single order, not all of your orders. And you may want to only allow tracking or questions, not cancellation. And also, people be willing to sign up for an account for a few commonly used sites like Amazon, but not all sites.
Essentially, I'm arguing that for an obscure site you only go to once, the combination of (email,ordernumber) corresponds to a form of (username,password). At least assuming you don't have access to the user's email or have such a tiny number of orders that the order numbers are just 1-10.
@ Paul Stockwell
RE: "Perhaps I am a bit slow here but Google seems to do very well out of paid for links and advertising and surely the times online can do the same?"
Google doesn't employ reporters in faraway countries such as Afghanistan to collect news. They just aggregate links to stories written by people who do. (And newspapers have complained about this, of course).
As for the Times's move, I have to agree that 1 pound/day and 2 pounds/week seem too high to succeed. I would have to hope there's either a lower monthly/longer rate, or that it would have been a better tactical idea to start at a lower price of 25-40p/day, and then maybe ratchet this up in future if/when some subscribers are already on board.
I would not be at all surprised if the prices when this really launches are different. Maybe.
Security on internet facing software
It certainly seems that the current approach to browser fixes is not remotely keeping up with the exploits. Perhaps more emphasis on the following is needed:
1. On Solaris or Linux, I can do "ssh captiveuser@localhost" and then run Firefox as that user so that even if it gets hacked, all it can do is access files of the captiveuser account, which only contains the browser profile. Possibly also in a chroot/zone. So on MacOS and Windows, maybe there needs to be more emphasis on "run sandboxed to avoid damage if exploited" at least as much as "try to avoid all the bugs up front".
The recent browsers with "run plugins in a child process" represent a start in this direction, but only a start.
So it seems there's merit in trying to split things back to "basic script interpreter which can just alter window/form contents" and anything else claiming to be an app-in-a-web-page such as gmail would need special approval from the user to be enabled. This at least might limit some of the damage. I.e. a more built-in but also split-level "NoScript".
Obviously these things don't stop all of the attacks because there are many other causes including fonts, but it seems that "limit the damage" is needed at least as much as "hoping this security bug is the last".
Re: nocar @lukedog
They don't say the immobilizer kicks in while the cars are running. It presumably just prevents the car starting again but still lets it run if already running.
In fact the linked Wired article explicitly says "The system will not stop a running vehicle".
Re: puzzled and confused
If you look at the 3.5.8 release notes and then the list of security bugs listed, and then go to the page for each issue (MFSA 2010-03 for example), then they say "Fixed in 3.6" as well as "Fixed in 3.5.8".
So it appears 3.6 is OK for these bugs at least.
Re: Will Lively Live
The web site you link to says "The Lively Kernel is no longer an active project at Sun Microsystems. [....] The project has found a new home and new life at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Pottsdam".
I think that's your answer.