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39 posts • joined 11 Oct 2011

Steve Jobs action figure set for shop shelves

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Gimp

What does it matter?

The doll makes great kindling either way.

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'Self-aware' bank account robbing code unleashed by hacker

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Boffin

Mutex?

What am I missing? Isn't using Mutual Exclusion (mutex) functions the same as making a program "self aware"?

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Iran spy drone GPS hijack boasts: Rubbish, say experts

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Boffin

No assumptions, no classified material

Even cheap Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) strap on kits that turn dumb bombs into "smart bombs" contain BOTH an integrated inertial guidance system (an INS) coupled to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver specifically to deal with GPS spoofing & jamming. And that's 20th Century technology. These drones are 21st Century technology.

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Error Message
Boffin

Iranian disinformation

The whole GPS spoofing thing is Iranian disinformation, just as the initial claim of shooting it down was, or the Iranians constantly releasing Photoshoped photos of their weapons tests. GPS Spoofing is irrelevant, even if is can be done. These drones all contain Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) specifically to tell how reliable the GPS is, and they can navigate entirely on INS.

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Error Message
Holmes

Norfolk 'n' Goode: So bad, you're not even wrong.

Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) don't care about wind, etc.

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Error Message
Holmes

What it does

First of all, these systems don't rely entirely on GPS. They also have an Inertial Navigation System (INS) . INS's cannot be jammed, as they rely on nothing external to the aircraft to deduce location. While INS's are subject to what is called "integration drift" which means the uncertainty in it's location (according to the INS) increases with time, even after 24 hours of operation the uncertainty is enough for the drone to navigate back to base using INS. The INS can tell the unit if the GPS is being spoofed even if someone manages to spoof it, as the GPS location will differ from the INS location, and it's programming should give priority to the INS. These drones, if they lose the Command & Control link for a certain period of time, are programmed to return to base, and spoofing the GPS signal would not stop it from navigating its way back to base using the INS. One would presume that by the time it got back to base via INS, it would be out of GPS jamming range anyway. The fact that this drone did not fly back to base, assuming it did lose the C&C link, implies something malfunctioned.

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Software bug fingered as cause of Aussie A330 plunge

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Holmes

Well duh...

"It’s not clear what caused the ADIRU to shift into failure mode, as this is only the third time that it has happened in over 128 million hours of operation – although one of those other incidents was down to the same ADIRU in that aircraft."

Take that specific ADIRU out of the aircraft!!

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Apple wins skirmish in HTC-Google patent war

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WTF?

EU protectionism?

After all, Apple's first victory against Android devices on its bogus patents came from German courts in rulings against Samsung.

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FAIL

And who says bribing the U.S. International Trade Commission does not work?

Apple gets a quick ruling on an insignificant bogus patent that never should have been issued in no time, whereas the Chinese drive the entire US Solar Cell market out of existence through the use of illegal government subsidies, with the U.S. International Trade Commission figuring they "might get around to looking into that" around 2025.

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Benchmarks are $%#&@!!

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Boffin

What I do

I do a lot of numerical simulations, which can benefit from things like whether the machine has a GPU in it, how much RAM (to a point), etc. I find there's only one benchmark worth anything, namely, put one of my own simulations on the test machine, run it, and see if I like the performance in comparison to my existing hardware. Primitive, but what do I care about how well anyone else's stuff runs?

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iPhone users get iJustHadAShag bedpost-notch boast app

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Facepalm

Only if

You hired her though the iHo app.

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Error Message
Holmes

Seconded

That's consistent with the fact that there are only two kinds of "lovers": those who actually have sex, and those who talk about having sex.

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Android malware victims offered free WinPhones by MS

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Linux

Whoring for Microsoft!

And all I got was this lousy phone...

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HP throws WebOS to open source community

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FAIL

Apotheker was a buffoon

HP is still following his basic plan: "The best way to make a million dollars is to start with a billion."

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It's ba-ack. Exploit revives slain browser history bug

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Holmes

Maybe

I always have Firefox set to not cache anything. But IE won't let you do that, and unfortunately occasionally one finds websites that only work with IE (here in the US, usually government sites.).

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Assange: 'iPhone, BlackBerry, Gmail users - you're all screwed'

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Black Helicopters

One question I would have would be...

Will the mobile anti-malware vendors like Lookout start alerting users when they find Carrier IQ spyware and similar crap on the phones? If not, why not?

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James Bond savages the Kardashians

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Holmes

He forgot...

To comment on how talented the Kardashians are. NOT!

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HP douses firebomb printer hack threat

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Alert

NAS devices are a larger risk

Every NAS device I've used was basically a UNIX box, and could have it's firmware completely replaced by another (unsigned or easily forged signature) OS. One example (amongst many) is replacing the D-Link DNS-323's firmware with "Alt F" firmware ( http://code.google.com/p/alt-f/ ).

The point being that NAS devices are, due to their larger processing power and the fact that they are the network storage, larger potential problems for this type of embedded spying.

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Second US Navy robot stealth bomber takes flight

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Terminator

I for one, welcome our stealthy bird of prey masters

When can I be owned by one?

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Microsoft to offer dual upgrade path for Windows 8

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Windows

OK, I'll bite

Why would I want to upgrade my Lenovo laptop running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit to Windows 8? It's now stable. Finally.

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Amazon's Android-friendly Kindle Fire splutters

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Thumb Up

HP TouchPad

Gives the iPad the best run for it's money that I've seen. Of course, the $99 (or $149 for the 32GB version) price is below production cost. And good luck getting your hands on one at those prices now.

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Microsoft seeks patent on employee spy system

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Go

All your souls are belong to us

I, for one, welcome our new Oceania Thought Police overlords.

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Facebook says it's winning against Justin Bieber smut onslaught

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WTF?

What about Facebooks own smut?

You know, the paid advertising?

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Mars, Moon, solar system could be littered with alien artifacts

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Alien

Alien Artifacts are all on Earth

'Cause it's where we dump our trash.

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Error Message
Boffin

Recognition

The problem with these types of academic exercises is that they make a very risky assumption at their very beginning, namely that we'd recognize an "alien" artifact if we came across one. That's like assuming a chimp would recognize a USB flash drive as a storage device for information. The chimp "culture" doesn't even contain the concept of "information", much less have the ability to progress down the road towards recognizing the USB flash drive as being unnatural, a storage device, nor any concept even one iota down the path towards reading one. And that example does not even start along the more complex path that a very logical mode for "alien artifact" propagation would be to have the artifact be biological (maybe even all life on this planet) so that the "artifacts" are self propagating.

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Microsoft moving embedded systems to Windows 8

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Stop

Death by General Protection Fault

Yup! Once Windows is in embedded systems, like medical life support systems in hospital equipment, we'll see things on death certificates for "Cause of Death" like "death by General Protection Fault", "death by Windows Protection Error", etc.

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Enormous orbiting solar raygun power plants touted

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Boffin

Station Keeping

I'd want to see the technical aspects for keeping it in orbit. The residual drag on a 1km square object in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) would be huge.

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Google will ignore your Wi-Fi router ... if you rename it

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Devil

_mapme

Give it to Google to require people to add _nomap to opt out, rather than respect people's privacy by not logging unless their SSID has a _mapme suffix.

Google = Evil

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Spanish firm brings 20MW solar ‘ranch’ online in Arizona

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Boffin

Only 3400 homes?

I'd like to see the business model.

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Apple shovels $400m in stock grants to top execs

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Boffin

Most of the posters here = Idiots

Obviously, most of the posters don't understand how stock options work. If the board grants you 100,000 options with a vesting date that starts today with Apple closing at, say, $400, that means that what is called the "strike price" is $400 per share. That means when you have vested in those shares and you want to exercise them (convert them to actual stock), YOU PAY $40M to Apple. For those options to be of any value to you, the market price needs to be ABOVE $400 per share. So suppose they vest in a year, and at that point the stock is worth $300 per share. Then those options are worthless and you'd ignore them. But suppose at that point the stock is worth $500 per share? Then, if you want to exercise them, you do what is called a "cashless transaction" where Apple takes those 100,000 shares, sells them for $500 per share ($50M), pays for the options ($40M), and gives you the net ($10M). The IRS makes you pay Capital Gains taxes on that net $10M. So no, these guys are not being handed $40M-$60M. They are being handed an incentive to work to increase the value of the stock for the benefit of all shareholders. So in this example, if the stock price goes up from $400 per share, they can make money. If the stock price drops below $400 per share, then they don't.

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Apple trains store bosses to ignore deal with unions

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Childcatcher

Apple treats unions in its Stores the way it treats malware on its products

In both cases, it tries to use a Reality Distortion Field and pretend they don't exist.

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Google's legal boss is fed up with patent warfare

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WTF?

Software patents too lax?

You mean the award of a patent for solving the two-digit year Y2K problem by allocating two more digits, which may or may not be contiguous with the other two, should not have happened?!?!

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German boffins BREAK LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS!

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Boffin

Poor efficiency

The reason thermoelectric generators are not used except is very specialized applications is because even using best metamaterials known, for fundamental thermodynamical reasons, the efficiency is poor and always will be. Typically about 20% of what can be extracted using other (better) Carnot systems. Using magnetic tunnel junctions does not change this.

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Hackers commandeer US government satellites

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Boffin

The real issue

Is the stupidity of using the internet for sensitive Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) functions for military and infrastructure C3 (e.g. power plants). What the US should do is create a network physically separate from the internet for their military C3I, and a another network physically separate from the internet for their infrastructure C3.

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Massive study concludes: 'Global warming is real'

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Boffin

The reason this had traction

Is summed up in the term "Climate Activist". Objective Science is not done by people with agendas beyond uncovering the truth.

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Jobs: 'I'll spend my dying breath destroying Android'

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Gimp

Of course, Jobs over looks the fact that....

Of course, Jobs over looks the fact that just about everything Apple did was, by the definition he applies to others, "stolen". The fact is that Jobs took what others did first, and refined it into his products to produce things that were even better.

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MIT boffin: Salted disks hold SIX TIMES more data

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Boffin

It's a PR scam

The fact that it uses e-beam lithography means it's a scam. As anyone who uses e-beam lithography knows, just to lithograph a square centimeter would take a week or so.

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Future wars will be over water not fuel, warns Intel sage

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WTF?

Wow

"...these kinds of small form factors would mean that people’s information stayed with them instead of with the machine they interacted with."

Sounds like Intel. Predicting flash memory 30 years after the fact.

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Android apps now playable on Windows PCs

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Facepalm

What am I missing?

If I wanted to run Android apps on my PC, why would I not just run them in the emulator that came with my free copy of the Android SDK?

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