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* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

674 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

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PEAK APPLE: iPad market share hits the skids

Kevin McMurtrie
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Stronger walls

I originally viewed the "walled garden" as a limitation that would eventually be solved. I awaited improved iModels but Apple had other plans. The "walled garden" is extending further and further into the desktop computers with each MacOS release. Portable files and freely available applications are deprecated in the current OS. The next OS appears to push this even harder; further restricting what applications can do if they don't run in Apple's private "sandbox". Apple is taking such drastic measures to lock-in customers that, for the first time 20+ years, I can't see my self buying anything more from them.

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Verizon offers Motorola mobe with 48-HOUR battery life

Kevin McMurtrie
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They never exaggerate

My Samsung S2 is rated for 18 hours of talk time and 20 DAYS of standby time. It's junk and I never use it yet a full charge on a new battery gives it 25 HOURS standby. In one year it damages a battery so badly that it powers off after 9 hours of doing nothing but checking e-mail every 15 minutes.

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Aereo streaming TV now bargaining chip in Time Warner Cable, CBS tiff

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: The worst kind of cable nonsense.

Aereo sells in dense urban areas where your TV signals have been reflected and re-mixed dozens of times off the sides of tall buildings before flying in your condo window. They're not for suburban houses where a rooftop antenna is a trivial hookup for free TV.

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Rotten hackers feast on mouldy Java flaws

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Bad written software = old versions needed = vulnerable systems

The performance tuning is different in each version of Java. For example, String.substring() was changed in Java 7 to perform very differently. That's an extremely heavily used method and the change is not welcome to many. Parsers need to stop using the String class to regain performance! Another resistance to change is that it has usually taken several years for each new Java GC to be free of critical bugs on extremely large applications.

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FCC votes to bring faster internet to US schools

Kevin McMurtrie
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Pirate

My plan for success in the US government

1) Buy hundreds of enterprise grade routers and pocket sales commission

2) Legislate local telcos out of business to eliminate interference

3) Auction off vague but exclusive telco contract for highest bribe, um, I mean commission

4) Create expensive contracting agencies to oversee progress

5) Drain local subsidies of all funds to cover "unforeseen problems" and "regulations"

6) Say it's "almost done" and ask voters for more money

7) Leave town and repeat in another state

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Tablets? Check. Mobes? Check. What's next, Apple? Fondlable CARS

Kevin McMurtrie
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Red

Ah, now I know why Silicon Valley traffic lights are possibly the worst in the world. Only in Santa Clara county will 90% of your time on the road be spent at red lights for intersections with no traffic flowing. It's to give you a few minutes to play with the car tech at every intersection.

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Russian mobile operators say 'nyet!' to Apple, 'da!' to Samsung

Kevin McMurtrie
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Do the prom clothes still fit?

Apple's surge of innovation in phone tech is gone and it no longer justifies the strict rules for sellers and developers. While others are trying to make phones with the smarts of both an iPhone and a desktop computer, Apple is working on making desktop computers dumber like iPhones. Apple is still celebrating the glory of an event long gone while forgetting to tend to the present.

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EU competition inspectors RAID European telcos

Kevin McMurtrie
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Cooperative duopolies wrk grt in US. (Keep post shrt so uplds faster)

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HTTP 2.0 interop tests slated for August

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

Re: Why the Internet clusterfucks

Another month, another research paper promising to save us from TCP. How refreshing it would be to see a research paper instead showing that new tuning algorithms don't work outside a carefully controlled test. Here are your input parameters: Ack packets, data packets. Here are your output parameters: Data packet rate, data packet size, Ack packets. That's all it comes down to. There's absolutely no way for those input parameters to indicate which output parameter is the bottleneck. You can set up a slow guess-and-check feedback loop but the required solution changes too quickly for that. Unless your OS is many years old, TCP already knows all the tricks that work. UDP is also no cure for handshake latency and TCP sessions. To not have a handshake means that hackers can request that extremely large payloads be delivered to forged addresses. QUIC requires an initial handshake and session, just like a long-running TCP connection, for security.

Honestly, the best way to speed up web pages is to block advertisers and web bugs. Google is the problem, not the solution.

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15 MILLION dodgy login attempts spaffed all over Nintendo loyalists

Kevin McMurtrie
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rm /var/log/clubnintendo/2013-06-*

There, fixed that low disk space issue!

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Optical archival system - where to buy from?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Optical archival system - where to buy from?

Data on spinning rust can be safe forever. I still have my files from a 1989 hard disk, and even a few from a 1983 5.25 floppy. Keep feeding the Drobo new drives to replace failing drives. Keep a second copy to protect against Drobo failures and human errors.

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EU sets ball rolling on ominous telly spectrum review

Kevin McMurtrie
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IP

Efficiently sending TV over the Internet is no technical challenge as existing regional distribution boxes could have proxy or multicast hardware put in them. The challenge, especially in the US, is all the greedy fingers that want a cut of the money. Toll trolls can't do anything about over-the-air TV because it's direct and uninterruptible. Cable TV suffers channel outages as the media company owning the wires battles the media company owning the programs for more money. Now imagine every ISP, from mega media corp to mom'n'pop, installing a hierarchy of simple TV proxy boxes. Toll trolls would have a feeding frenzy. You'd end up with such a ludicrous mess of DRM, activation dongles, usage tracking, ad injection, and fees that it would never work.

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Snowden dodges US agents in Moscow, skips out on flight

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

But there's an elephant in the room, crapping on the carpet

There's public backlash against government spying and all I hear politicians saying is how hard they're working to punish the whistleblower. Diane Feinstein's buddy Nancy Pelosi keeps saying that it's all about the economy. How much money does all that illegal spying cost? I'm guessing it's enough money to give every US citizen fast Internet, cleaner energy, and a good education.

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Oracle: We WON grey market software and Solaris support case

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

And so commences the death of Oracle. "It's too hard to get support for it," businesses will say.

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TypeScript 0.9 arrives with new compiler, support for generics

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Just what the world needs …

JavaScript's lack of strong typing and freedom to do anything is what makes a small bit of code so easy and a large bit of code so awful. Editors can't offer any assistance in managing a large codebase because the code can not be statically interpreted. Even the runtime is often unable to perform vital optimizations because it can't prove that they're safe.

What's odd about Microsoft is that they're designing a new language syntax. There's really no need for that. They could recycle C++ or Java syntax but supply it with web-specific runtime libraries rather than the sprawling and insecure ones used for applications.

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New material enables 1,000-meter super-skyscrapers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Climber

It seems like when you're at the point of 30 megagram cables you want the elevator to instead climb a track. The lack of a counter weight would be a lesser disadvantage than the inertial mass of so much cabling.

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Reg hack prepares to live off wondergloop Soylent

Kevin McMurtrie
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Pancake?

What if you cut back the water, blend it until the proteins get sticky, mix in a bit of baking powder, and cook it in a skillet?

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Apple at WWDC: Sleek new iOS, death of the big cats, pint-sized Mac Pro

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Hot Mac Pro?

I was thinking of a HEPA filter attachment for allergy free computing.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

Revenge of the Mac Cube

That new Mac Pro won't be so sleek when it's surrounded by a tangle of data cables, accessory boxes with noisy fans and blinking lights, power cables, power bricks, and everything else. A large silver box with lots of internal slots seems very elegant now, doesn't it? The power button is on the wrong side too. This would be a kick-ass Mac Mini but it's a total failure as a Mac Pro.

Still can't turn off the destructive Auto Save "feature". I see no mention of improving the sluggish old HFS+ filesystem codebase. That's not so Maverick.

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Leaked docs show NSA collects data on all Verizon customers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Megaphone

Record this, NSA : I'd like to see a lot of the government in jail with no retroactive immunity.

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Drobo makes 'reductions' ahead of Connected Data merge

Kevin McMurtrie
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Joke

RAIDing the workforce

Layoffs can't be too bad. Surely they're keeping at least one in five employees redundant.

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Samsung plans new R&D centre in Finland

Kevin McMurtrie
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Happy

One bar of death

Ha! Now employees can experience the overheating, crashing, radio malfunctions, nonsense roaming warnings, and circuit crosstalk gremlins in their phones when the signal is weak.

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Japanese SoftBank's $20bn Sprint gobble clears US security hurdle

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

wha....

In addition to obvious points about Softbank not being Chinese, hackers would want a much faster network.

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IBM puts supercomputer Watson to work in ROBOT CALL CENTRE

Kevin McMurtrie
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Terminator

Can't be any worse

"My new wireless access point was delivered sounding like a box of rocks and bits of broken plastic are falling out the vents. I need a new one shipped with some padding."

"Thank you. Who is your internet service provider?"

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Don't Panic! Google FCC filing reveals mystery media device

Kevin McMurtrie
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And next

H840 revision 2 would shorten nicely to "Hate 42".

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Jailed Romanian hacker repents, invents ATM security scheme

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Erm.

No PIN is needed. Most ATM cards also work as credit cards, and retailers don't need to perform any security checks on credit cards if they're willing to pay high transaction fees.

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Report: AT&T dropping Facebook phone after dismal sales

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Contract

The catch is in the contract worth $2000 - $3000 that's bound to the phone. The telco asks you to keep paying even if the phone they gave you is incapable of functioning. The telco and manufacturer are well defensed against continuous warranty repair claims. They keep your phone for two weeks each time and send it back as "operating as expected" while you keep paying the contract. The other option is legally fighting the contract. Nobody wants to risk that on a Facebook phone. (And why I will never buy from Sprint or Samsung again)

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Self-assembling robot inches towards WORLD DOMINATION

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

IKEA furniture bot

Open box

Plug in

Wait for motion to stop

Rotate interlocks

Unplug

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CURSE you, EINSTEIN! Humanity still chained in relativistic PRISON

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: A similar argument applies to Time Travel - if it were possible, they'd already have visited.

Time travel would be possible with infinite computational power. Traveling back in time would be a matter of examining the state of the universe, reversing its path in a virtual environment, and then entering that environment or overwriting the present with it. Altering the present from the past would be calculating what changes a past event would have and then applying them in the present. Altering the future would be predicting what changes would be needed to arrive there and applying them in the present. You could argue that it's not really time travel but, if done well enough, there'd be no way to know the difference. Extremely narrowly scoped examples can already been seen on the Internet, in history books, the financial market, and in good brain washing. The scope of such hacking will increase over time.

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AT&T debuts 'Digital Life' robo-home and security tech

Kevin McMurtrie
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Black Helicopters

NSA DEBUTS 'DIGITAL LIFE' ROBO-HOME AND SECURITY TECH

There. Fixed the title for you.

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Boffins explain LED inefficiencies

Kevin McMurtrie
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Black Helicopters

Fricken lasers

Manufacturing is driving costs too. An LED's layers are built at very high temperature so a big chip would warp and crack when cooled. This limits production to small sizes on synthetic sapphire. I suspect that one reason that the US DOE is looking specifically at higher intensities is for using LEDs to pump lasers.

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Verizon: 96 PER CENT of state-backed cyber-spying traced to China

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Down

Re: Great firewall of China

Unfortunately, large countries with well maintained networks must also use APNIC allocations. Blocking the constant stream of intrusion attempts from China, Korea, and Taiwan isn't as simple as adding a bunch of /8 CIDRs. Australia, New Zealand, and Japan should tell APNIC to get their crap together and release all of those giant IPv4 blocks with invalid registrations. Electronic intrusions and espionage attempts would drop instantly.

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Java still vulnerable despite recent patches

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

If you can't create tech, criticize it

This is like a new version of the old phrase, "Java != JavaScript." This time it's "Java != browser." There's nothing at all wrong with having Java installed on a system. It's one of maybe a dozen execution environments that are on a typical machine. All of them are safe to have installed yet all of them can destroy your computer if told to. The problem, as usual, is with browser plugins. Plugins are a gateway to a large and complex codebase that hackers will try to exploit. Sun tried to create a Security Manager to constrain untrusted code but, as with Flash, the complexity has gotten out of control.

1) Set all plugins to "on demand" so they don't execute unless you click them.

2) Don't click them unless you know what you're running.

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'Charge memory' boffins: Hungover Li-Ion batts tell fat whoppers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Hi-C

Most effects are seldom noticed because the battery stays within normal tolerances. I've found that the charge history has the biggest impact when running the batteries at high currents. It's not always the classical memory effect, but how material in the battery packs together or crystalizes. For example, a NiCd race car battery that has been partially discharged, idled, and then slowly recharged puts out maybe 1/3 the current of one that was run dead and rapidly recharged immediately before use. SLAs have similar issues with how the sponge lead forms. Finding documentation on this is tough and experimenting on lithium batteries means destroying them (and maybe other things nearby).

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New rules to end cries of 'WTF... a £10 online booking fee?'

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Re: TicketMaster "Ticketfast" Charges

£2.50 sounds like a bargain. US Ticketbastard fees are commonly 50% the ticket price, even for expensive events. Disgust and lack of a box office keeps me away from most concerts.

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Patent shark‘s copyright claim could bite all Unix

Kevin McMurtrie
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Happy

Disbelief

Pics or it didn't happen

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Sprint, Softbank to swear off Huawei kit as condition of merger

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

Instead, use buggy routers not yet known to be buggy

This is another case of the government outlawing a symptom rather than a cause. Rather than mandate quality and security reviews, one they have outlawed one company known to make easily exploitable hardware. With this stupid mentality, the winner will be the least tested manufacturer.

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South Korean TV and banks paralysed in disk-wipe cyber-blitz

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Up

Self-inflicted wound

Korea's networks have always been a mess of infected machines and botnets. My bet is that a few C&C servers for those bots were hacked and provided with self-destruct code; all the dead machines were bots. If so, thumbs up to whoever did it. My firewall logs just got a lot shorter.

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What's most important? Bandwidth over kilo-miles, or milli-watts?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

Delivered

This is great news. Now AT&T can provide slow and overpriced Internet & TV bundles to 400 times as many people.

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Tech fest 'net activists offer free 'Super Wi-Fi': Now go tell the FCC

Kevin McMurtrie
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Meh

The other kind of taking back

What happens when you buy one of these devices and then the whitespace becomes used up? Maps for urban areas show TV frequency usage is nearly complete. Is the device returnable, bricked and useless, or do people hack it to trample licensed frequencies?

I use a rooftop antenna for TV and I'll probably have to buy Internet from a point-to-point wireless service. Comcast and AT&T won't deliver decent service by wires but the regional geography works well for wireless. I worry about what happens when these devices get hacked to use spectrum that isn't available.

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Big Blue touts superfast analogue-digital converter

Kevin McMurtrie
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Noise

Sample aliasing creates a huge amount of noise. A fast 8 bit DAC is more accurate than a slower 14 bit DAC for high frequencies. That 3.1mW power draw, if correct, is amazing.

RF DACs don't need many bits because they're usually receiving very noisy signals. If you took a very snowy analog TV image and converted it to a 256 color PNG, it would look pretty much the same.

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PayPal founder sets up mobile payment service verified by FACEBOOK

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

Fine now

I've always considered PayPal to be unsafe for transactions because it's lacking consumer protections. Partnering with a good solid system like Facebook solves all of that.

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APT1, that scary cyber-Cold War gang: Not even China's best

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

Re: More critical reading is needed

Try reporting hacking incidents and it's clear that the Chinese government is all for it. To start with, the network contacts for Chinanet and many of the Chinese schools have been fake for about a decade.

South Korea and Taiwan are probably involved too. Maybe not directly or intentionally, but they have incredible numbers of bots that are constantly hacking away at every IP address on the Internet. As with China, the network contacts for HiNet (Chunghwa Telecom) and KORNET (KT Corporation) are not functional.

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Mobile TV is BACK: Ericsson launches broadcast video for 4G

Kevin McMurtrie
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pause/rewind/skip

So they've never heard of local buffering? They're probably sending 2Mbps - not a big deal to dump into flash.

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Apple FINALLY fills gaping Java hole that pwned its own devs

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Down

Duh

"But to use the malware removal tool you have to install Java and this is perhaps not the best idea especially since the language has become a prime target for hacking attacks of late, as Sean Sullivan of security software firm F-Secure notes."

Install Java but don't enable the browser applet plugin. Java by itself is no danger.

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Satanic Renault takes hapless French bloke on 200km/h joyride

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Explicit Kill Switch

All cars should have a mechanical handbrake that kills the ABS power when lifted. It's not such a large kill switch to unsafely disable the car but it's enough to stop when the electronics are malfunctioning. (I've been in Cavalier with crap electronics. If the ABS says you can't use the brakes then you really can't use the brakes. The pedal pops up with more force than even the pedal can withstand.)

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Now UK must look out for crappy SPACE weather - engineers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Childcatcher

Peeps

I looked at the PDF briefly (as fast as it could scroll) but didn't see how this relates to humans. Perhaps The Reg could bring out the Playmobil set for those of us with a short attention span?

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Hard Glass Spinner Technology: HGST's new 2.5-incher

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Glass platter

I opened up some of those IBM "Death Star" drives and I recall the platters being incredibly strong and more flexible than aluminum.

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Fujitsu reveals data transfer protocol 30 times faster than TCP

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Down

Yet another bad research paper

I don't think I've ever seen TCP run at 1/30 efficiency except when selective ACK is off and hardware is failing. Making my ADSL2 or WiMAX connection 30x faster would break the known laws of physics for crappy telcos. I could turn down the ADSL S/N ratio until I'm burning away my all FEC bits and I'd only get 1.2x throughput. Maybe they mean that their protocol has 1/30 the latency of TCP on a network that's heavily congested with TCP traffic? If they've come up with a super-polite traffic-avoiding network protocol then they can expect people to tune it to be greedy like TCP.

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