48 posts • joined Tuesday 10th May 2011 10:16 GMT
Re: There sure as hell is a need for press regulation
There is an old legal maxim - "hard cases make bad law". Of course this was a tragic case, but if, in order to safeguard the rights of a few (be they transgendered or super-rich), we trample over the rights of the many, then that is a bad law. Have your press regulator if you want, but don't come crying to me in a decade's time when bribery and corruption in government have become rife and the Press are powerless to expose it.
Re: Not all fingerprint readers are the same
The last time I worked with fingerprint readers (admittedly very high-security ones), they would only operate if the finger was attached to a living human body. Given the environment they were used in, the worry was not so much that somebody would make fake silicone fingers, but that they would actually cut people's fingers off in order to gain unauthorised access.
Meanwhile, back in the distant past
I was designing (as it happens, Toshiba) SRAM into battery-powered handheld mobile computers over 30 years ago, and was able to get the standby power consumption of the devices down to a few microamps by doing nothing more than reducing the RAM voltage and turning everything else off. But then, 2KB was a lot of memory back in those days...
Re: A security scanner that requires Java ! WTF?
The irony, the irony!
You beat me to it, there. A security scanner than requires you to install one of today's biggest security risks? Forget it. Better the devil you don't know than the devil you do, in this case. And open-source fanbois, check your facts rather than your navels before you start flaming.
"There's much discussion about "impartiality" this week, and how it can be measured..."
I wonder what the official unit of impartiality at The Register is? The cricket umpire, maybe?
You answered your own question - "miniscule" being the operative word. I've worked at a large computer centre (still a fraction of the size of Amazon of course) and there they had a big room full of batteries to last for the few seconds it took to run up the secondary generators. These only lasted for a minute or so before they were getting really overloaded, but that gave the primary generators time to run up and stabilise. Now scale that up for an Amazon-sized server farm and see what kind of monstrous UPS plant that would need.
Basically, cloud computing is supposed to be sufficiently resilient that you don't need a UPS. Well, that's clearly more the theory than the practice.
Re: Try that with mythology (aka Religion)
"...'science' never claimed to have 'power' in dealing with moral and existential questions..."
Oh dear, your copy of "My First History of Science" seems to have several chapters missing.
So, how many grapes of force will be exerted on the asteroid by landing a probe on it, collecting a sample, and blasting off back to Earth? Wouldn't it be ironic if the orbital perturbation were just enough to change it from Earth-crossing to Earth-colliding.
Pretty well, actually. This kind of image is easy to explain - have you never heard of fisheye lenses?
No precedent for programming language copyright?
Anyone sufficiently long in the tooth to have programmed Intel and Zilog 8-bit microprocessors in assembly language will remember that Zilog were forbidden from using the same instruction mnemonics as Intel because Intel had claimed copyright on theirs. By extension, it should be possible to copyright a programming language, but maybe only as long as the reserved words it used were original inventions and not taken from a pre-existing language.
Extinction Level Events
OK, so if the dinosaurs hadn't been wiped out they might still rule the Earth. But mass extinctions happened quite regularly, so surely the dinosaurs themselves only got a look in because the previous apex species (amphibians?) got eliminated. Perhaps the galaxy is really run by newts and axolotls...
Re: Finally! Some serious scientific research.
The requirement for the liquid to be able to circulate during the maturation process is precisely why some Norwegian aquavits spend part of their time on board ships, travelling to Australia and back before being bottled. No movement, no maturation.
Obviously El Reg's correspondent didn't actually bother checking the story out before posting it. According to an article in the Phoenix New Times, the bill was never transferred to the governor for signing, contrary to the numerous media reports saying it had been. It was amended before it passed the Senate, meaning it was returned to the House where it's apparently been stopped.
Obviously I didn't check my ambiguometer before posting! What I meant was that the possibility that under-monitoring might allow an atrocity is the price of freedom. You can't have freedom and security, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.
Re: What have you missed ...
This is what we call "the price of freedom".
Offshoring jobs to help the unemployed? Such delicious irony...
I suspect that should be "7-8 minutes" and not "78 minutes"!
Somebody once asked me if I thought it would be OK for their children to use the Internet unsupervised. I replied that it would be fine as long as they'd be happy to let them walk naked through a red light district at midnight.
Yet another reason for the nuclear option. The annual death toll from fossil fuels runs into the millions (WHO figures, not enviroloonies). The total death toll in the entire history of the nuclear industry is a fraction of that, even if you take a ridiculously-inflated view of the Chernobyl mortality figures.
And despite this there was some totally stupid program on the TV saying that a small earthquake centuries ago may have caused a storm surge on the River Severn and therefore it was unsafe to site nuclear power stations there. "Friends of the Earth"? You may love the Earth, but you clearly hate the people who live on it.
Of course submarines use GPS, that was why satellite navigation systems were created in the first place. The subs simply deploy an antenna buoy from time to time to get their fix.
As has already been pointed out, the accuracy of intertial navigation systems degrades rapidly after the initial fix. It's fine to rely on it if you are lobbing weapons that devastate areas miles across, but useless for spy drones.
Microsoft, Amazon, Sky. Yes, very small-fry minorities indeed.
Wake the fuck up, everyone, the days of beards, sandals and free love ended long ago.
I believer that the "assumed name" thing is simply the way that takeovers are often done in the US. The purchaser creates a wholly-owned subsidiary company, and then that buys the target company. Eventually, the subsidiary can then be merged back in to the parent company.
My phone is a K810i. I've never upgraded because it does everything I need a phone to do - it's small, light, and it has a decent camera with a xenon flash, not the pathetic LED "flash" that you get these days. Plus the battery still lasts for days at a time even though it's over 5 years old.
I for one don't care what their motives are - over the past months it has become abundantly clear that SSL in its current form is well past its use-by date, so the sooner it gets fixed or replaced the better.
Living in the past...
Most Usenet binary content really is in binary, not text.
The old text-based methods of encoding binary fell out of use years ago - most of it is now yEncoded, which uses virtually all of the 256 possible values of each byte. Therefore it would be trivially easy to filter out. However, once you start filtering out yEncode, people will simply stop using it and go back to Uuencode or Base64 which are pure printable text encodings. But even then, it's trivially easy to spot encoded binary in these forms. So, people will develop encodings that cannot be trivially detected - they'll take up rather more storage space and bandwidth, but that's not exactly expensive these days.
The other thing about binary content is that it's BIG. Yes of course it's split into multiple small messages, but even then they have to be reassembled somehow and so the message subjects contain this information. This makes the typical "infringing content" trivially easy to detect simply by its size. Of course, it would be possible to invent a scheme where the message subjects were assigned at random. You'd still need indexing sites though, which could then be the subject of prosecutions.
It's the example that the electricity generating industry always gives to justify anything, "because everyone goes to put the kettle on during the ad break". Why not simply ban Coronation Street?
A damn sight less than the fossil fuel industry kills each and every year.
According to WHO estimates (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/index.html), air pollution kills around 2 million people a year, and around 300,000 of those deaths can be attributed to pollution caused by electricity generation. Yes folks, Caesium is nasty stuff, but then, so is carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon particulates, aromatic hydrocarbons, mercury, etc. etc.
Nuclear power? Despite Fukushima, it's still a no brainer.
Maybe, but the more pixels you put on a chip, the smaller they are and so the less light-sensitive they are. For astronomical use, you need large pixels.
One thing about the article - the camera itself is NOT stereoscopic in the classical sense of a pair of sensors taking images of the same view at the same time. How could it possibly detect the parallax shift of objects light years away if it did that? The answer is that it will image each area of the sky from the two extremes of the Earth's orbit, thus giving enough separation between the images for depth information to be recovered.
Yes you, boy, at the back of the class!
Oh dear, I've really got my mortarboard in a tizzy this morning...
"You program it in a scaler way" - that would be "scalar".
On a more relevant note, a company that has become all but irrelevant tries to claw its way back by designing things that nobody wants and that simply don't perform.
(Now sits quietly and waits to receive the ceremonial Inverted Thumb of Death from the AMD fanbois)
No moving parts?
Since when did other types of laser have moving parts??? Maybe the author is suffering from Googleitis and, having found articles relating to laser printers vs. LED printers, thought this was in some way related.
Not just pricing
The thing that concerns me about this is not so much the pricing aspect, but that The Book Depository stocks vast numbers of out-of-print items that Amazon won't touch. Once Amazon buys them, I can't really see this no doubt low margin part of their business carrying on in the longer term.
So, on the assumption we haven't been engulfed by bacteria or the world's resources haven't completely run out, in just over a year's time everyone in the world will have an Android device.
That's where we differ - I've been a professional C/C++ programmer for over 30 years, so I do know a thing or two about it.
It's nothing to do with Intel at all. Most processors and their accompanying operating systems since the year dot have adopted the stack+heap paradigm. The problem with C/C++ is that the language places this fragile paradigm at the direct mercy of the programmer.
Built on C++, but at what cost?
The C language and its mutated spawn must rank as one of the worst viruses to hit the world of computing.
Don't get me wrong, C is a highly efficient systems implementation language (SIL), but like all of the SILs it is highly dangerous precisely because of its efficiency. When safely confined in a lab (in this case, Bell Labs) it was a powerful tool for good, but it inevitably escaped and infected the world of commercial computing. C++ was an attempt to attenuate the virus and make something less dangerous for application use, but in order to achieve more or less full backward compatibility it did nothing to address the underlying highly efficient but totally unsafe memory architecture.
Just as a "for instance" to demonstrate how dangerous (and ubiquitous) the C memory architecture is, ever heard the phrase "unchecked buffer vulnerability"? The vast majority of the 300,000+ Google hits are probably its handiwork. Well, of course they are really the handiwork of a programmer, but therein lies the problem. Safe C code is bigger, slower and can take longer to write - how many more disincentives do you want? This is why Intel, Microsoft and others have had to implement mitigation techniques such as data execution protection, address space layout randomization, structured exception handler overwrite protection, mandatory integrity control, etc. etc. etc.
So will we ever see an end to this outbreak? Probably not in the foreseeable future. Abstracting the memory architecture into something inherently safer (à la .NET and others) is one way to go, but ultimately the runtime systems will have been written in C++ and so are vulnerable.
"Thompson is right to prostate himself in front of his customers..."
I sincerely hope not...
Use of Weapons
is without doubt one of the finest SF novels ever written, no matter how you look at it. Who else but Banks could tell half of the story forwards and the other half backwards, with the chapters alternating between the forwards half and backwards half?
If you don't agree, you can go and sit in the chair over in the corner.
Yes, that one with the leather cushion.
It only works inside the corporate network because that's how it's designed to work (for security reasons). Plus it integrates with Exchange Server to automatically manage your presence information. How is it utterly rubbish? I type something, you see it and vice-versa. What more are you expecting from it? Sending files? IT Security will have apoplexies if they catch you doing that.
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