449 posts • joined Friday 15th June 2007 18:33 GMT
Breaking news for the last decade
As Hansen recently discovered, this is an ancient attack. It was actually a common side effect of buggy dialup modems in the 90s. These modems would switch protocols, re-calibrate, and corrupt data constantly so that the connection degraded to very tiny packets coming in very slowly. It was just fast enough to evade socket timeouts but so slow that the server would eventually become overwhelmed serving many broken modems concurrently.
Death by slow requests was more troublesome when enterprise servers had 64MB of RAM and no firewall. There are workarounds today.
Designing hardware with a buzz
I can think of a workaround for every single problem I can find with this design but it ends up being a lot of workarounds. It's not so simple and robust in the end. The web site looks fishy to me. All that talk of IOPS and bandwidth without mentioning density reminds me of cars and trucks that quote crankshaft torque without the RPM.
Mine's the bicycle with over 300 foot-pounds of crank torque (if I pull really hard on the handlebars).
Making you to go outside to make a call and leave the phone on a windowsill to receive an incoming ring isn't a matter of poor coverage. It's the telco's commitment to saving the environment. It's more proof that going green does save businesses money.
Standard destruction of a good idea
Producers will scream "Pirates!" and demand DRM. Cable companies will threaten to block bandwidth-sucking competition, so no Hi-Def. Marking will come up with numbers showing that customers are too stupid to get their own H.264/AAC player, so video will sputter and stumble through Flash. Advertisers will remind execs that ads are practically free money money money, and then there are ads.
Now you have a product nobody at all will pay for. Hulu investors will wonder why a sure-fire business plain crashed and burned.
That much money could buy a ton of motherboard RAM. I don't know about Windows, but UNIX based systems eventually run out of interesting things to swap-in if given enough RAM. Until the price comes down, it sounds like there's a narrow market between what onboard RAM and a disk RAID can do.
Two wheel steering style?
Anybody who rides on two wheels knows that you have to turn left before right, or right before left. The first little turn in the opposite direction initiates the proper leaning angle for the real turn. How can a halfway vehicle do this? I doubt you can start the leaning manually. If it's up to the computer, it will have to delay turns slightly so it can predict and initiate a lean for you. Steering delay would ruin all the fun of driving and, honestly, this expensive little car better be lots of fun if anyone is to buy it.
The electrical and mechanical specifications seem expensive from a technical point of view and clumsy from a consumer point of view. 5Gbps USB will have to kick butt in real world tests to overcome its costs and existing distrust of USB performance. If not, computer makers may keep their cheap USB 2 chips and go with a completely new port for speed.
There's distrust of Firewire too. Early 1394a chipsets were prone to lock-ups at full bandwidth and burnouts when on and off devices were mixed. Consumers might want a new name for a new port.
And a bottle of snake oil
Unless you took still images of a picture of a painting, I don't see the "consistently fine performance." A 75% rating is generous for a product that's ugly, takes bad pictures, and has false specifications all over the front of the box. I would have returned it for a refund.
Burning CPU cycles
How about Energy Star project timelines? When server apps are up to millions of lines of code, it's common to see a system gain 100% to 1000% more throughput after old architectural problems are fixed. That's a lot more power saved than you'll get from fine tuning a server's power supply. From a business point of view, the power and hardware savings from code optimization usually don't compare well to the same effort spent on building new services. Power is cheap, today's servers are losing value, and tomorrow's servers will be faster.
Can't fix C hacking
If the code was written properly, there'd already be bounds checking on the memcpy() count parameter. The real problem is that C can't associate sizes with pointers by itself. There's nothing to stop coders from using memcpy_s() with the wrong destination size, be it accidentally or intentionally. It will still crash the same way it did before.
This buggy crap is going to infuriate Mr. Jobs. Expect Apple to release a beautiful, streamlined, user-friendly root kit in the near future. Fans will hail it as incredible progress in a world dominated by Windoze. Power users will laugh at it's single-threaded design and 450MB payload that doesn't scale past infections of a few thousand computers. Antivirus corporations will sell MacOS protection against this new virus with with fine print saying, "Using Windows XP and Boot Camp".
Quicker and cheaper
Bare carbon fiber resin is too ugly for any product. Making it look nice involves extra work and the application of non-structural materials. It looks like Apple's patent is to complete the shell in a single step and reduce non-structural materials to almost nothing.
A three hour tour
I look forward to the first headlines of dot-coms going out of business because their datacenters are held hostage by pirates, beached on a remote island after a storm, or have insufficient positive elevation.
What ever happened to sonar glasses? A long time ago, some company was talking about building ultrasonic doppler sensors into glasses so the blind could sense approaching obstacles. It could probably use LEDs to send out focused IR pulses. What about a camera that translates images into tactile stimulus for a finger? I don't see how that tech would cost more than $150 today.
The biggest advantage of progressive video comes when it's time to edit. Interlaced video is almost never handled correctly in software, unless you're buying software that costs more than the camera. Like converting an old GIF to JPEG, deinterlacing is damage on top of damage. Progressive scan looks better to start with and looks MUCH better after editing.
"The original Bluetooth connection remains in place and manages the faster connection for the duration of the transfer, then shuts it down"
It sounds like an old file transfer protocol that suffers from high latency, terrible compatibility, race conditions, and excessive network resource consumption. If only I could recall the name of that file transfer protocol, I could warn people of the shortcomings in initiating a secondary channel.
Fumes from a bad argument
Filters DON'T work. The cost of attacking a spam filter is absolutely zero because spammers are using stolen resources. A bigger spam filter is more wasted energy.
Want to help the spam problem? Jail the spammers and blacklist crime-friendly networks. Credit card companies should refuse theft compensation to customers stupid enough to have given their personal data to illegal online stores (controlled drugs, counterfeits, etc.). It's not a perfect solution but it's better.
Why is it surprising that the Government won't trust web companies? The thought of trusting Google to anything of great importance is insane. Free services are engineered to be cheap and scalable, not 100% reliable. Nobody notices if 5% of 15000 garbage search results are missing. When free web-email vanishes, you get what you pay for. When a worm runs its way through a free social site, you get what you pay for. When hackers raid customer databases, you get what you pay for. When a video of somebody getting kicked in the crotch won't show, you pick a video of a fiery car crash.
The big question is, why can't the government manage their own servers? Fire McLaughlin and get a team to build it.
Transatlantic dotcom translation
Nice try on importing some new slang, but Tech has never been Gangsta. It's shocking that "amanfromMars" is making more sense.
I believe a proper translation of this article would boil down to, "Google is childish and wasteful." We all know that, and it's only once sentence long, so Ted probably worried that some fluff was needed to get published.
The registrars are not getting in trouble for their customers' spamming. They're getting in trouble because the domains are registered with false identities. That's what violates ICANN rules and enables easy criminal use. XinNet has an incredible number of customers named "asdf asdf."
There are no IP addresses. Spammers set up web, mail, and DNS hosting on bot networks. The one piece needed to tie that dynamic swarm of machines together as a web site is a domain name. XinNet, eNom, and GoDaddy resellers are commonly used because they'll rapidly create a domain without verifying ownership. That means the bots can generate domain names too, and the whole process is nearly untraceable to the actual criminals.
If there's one thing that user reviews are good for, it's finding bugs in tech gadgets. New tech gadgets too often get glowing reviews by professional testers who did little more than regurgitate the marketing booklet. It's the real users who find the bugs. How many pros found the Seagate firmware bug, or the Late 2008 MBP weak hinge, or noticed that the Kenmore He2 clothes washer sometimes stops balancing or aborts with a random temperature sensor error? None. I wish I'd seen customer reviews for the clothes washer sooner.
Even without a breach
There doesn't need to be a breach for your personal information to be stolen. Any crook pretending to be a hiring HR department can buy personal info in bulk. I registered during the dot-bomb era and suddenly started getting tons of job offers through Monster - that turned out to be fraud schemes. Having resumes allowed the sales pitches to be exactly tailored. Most failed scrutiny over the phone. One was good enough to sucker me into a posh corporate office. The job position was exactly what I and several other applicants were looking for. Guards stood at the exit as we were told of a project that needed secrecy and new hires. And it needed thousands of dollars in training fees - fees that we could collect back by training others. I cursed and stormed out of the room. Everything was different on the way out. Rooms were dark and the receptionist was gone. It was all staged by squatters in a vacated office.
I edited my account to show fake contacts after that.
Browser filter and Brain filter
I use my browser's filter for anything that makes noise, blinks, scrolls, eats CPU time, hurts page load times, or is by an evil corporation. That's not all ads but it's nearly all of them. My brain ignores the rest.
Honestly, I never look at random product ads on the web. Scams have flooded web marketing for so long that I've tuned it out. I look for products at online stores and on reputable review sites when I need them. Sometimes I'll click on product links related to an article I'm reading. Google tries to do this but I've blocked their servers because of repeated performance problems and tracking coverage so complete that it rivals client-side spyware.
Make it thinner and add more spaces for devices. It would also be handy to have slots in the pad so devices don't accidentally slide away. With slots in the pad, efficient mechanical electrical connections could replace the wasteful and hazardous EM coupling.
Hey, I think I'm on to something. I'm going to patent my new invention and call it a "Power Strip." Prepare to see this new device in hardware stores all over the world.
Wiping the hard drive works great if the hard drive is fully functioning. I'm usually throwing them out because they aren't.
The sharp end of a slate bar stabbed through the hard drive works great and keeps your face clear of the platters. Yes, many are glass now. Not window glass, but non-crystalline solid.
So this is just a 1TB network drive? If it had RAID, you could put it in a safe place and use it for backups. If it had a command line, it could be a personal web server. If it was bigger, it could be used by multiple people. If it had AV support, it could be a DVR and multimedia center. What feature makes this of any use at all?
Are these the reporters who have also spent the last 25 years speculating on which day Apple would go out of business?
The Apple strategy is to come out with a brilliant flagship product that puts all others to shame without question. Other brilliant products follow for the "halo effect." Everyone stands in line to buy new Apple products as they laugh at how bad competitors are. Apple promotes and promotes and promotes these products even as competitors make large gains. Years pass and the Apple product line becomes embarrassing old relics headed for the landfill. Then Apple releases another brilliant new product...
While customers are growing frustrated with current product flaws, I don't think anyone is throwing them away yet. If Apple was to release a new product now, the market might not be as large as they'd hope. Worse yet, releasing updated products now might be seen as admitting that some of their recent products are defective rather than obsolete.
BTW - The Reg's Steve icons are starting to look fat.
Where's my DVR?
I celebrated the death of the crappy VHS tape a long time ago. Then I celebrated the death of NTSC composite video. Now I'm shopping for a high definition DVR and can find nothing but TiVo rentals and bulky desktop computers pretending to be DVRs. What the hell?
UDP is a Do-it-Yourself version of packet management. If the BitTorrent clients are tuned very well, UDP could actually improve efficiency. BitTorrent doesn't need to concern itself with latency/efficiency tradeoffs and tricks that TCP has. It can go for full efficiency and maintain a smooth, orderly stream.
If BitTorrent is not tuned correctly for UDP, it will flood connections in a way that makes the BitTorrent clients themselves the first to stop working. Bandwidth junkies would switch from a broken UDP implementation back to TCP in a hurry. This is probably exactly what will happen. Getting maximum UDP throughput on all types of networks is no small project.
There is always one problem with batteries and cars - exploding. Batteries have the full chemical reaction ready to go all the time. Crush a battery and all of it's power can be released at once. Leaking fuel releases energy only as quickly as it can mix with air. Hydrogen creates an impressive fireball and gasoline melts bridges, but there's still a lot of slow heat dissipation into the air and there's always an option to smother the fire. Imagine that same energy being constrained to a small battery pack. There'd be a crater to fix after a bad crash.
I suspect that we'll continue using fuels for a very long time. Probably something more friendly to fuel cells than gasoline, but definitely an oxygen consuming fuel.
Awaiting "fix the hardware February"
Will 15% bribe me to buy a premium laptop that can't hold its lid on anything but an office table? Or maybe an iPhone that's crippled by poor AT&T service? So close, but no.
Star Trek: The Fast and the Furious
The trailers show the ship being put together with antiquated arc welders and Kirk's fingers providing better traction than four skidding car tires. Then the ships smash together over and over like a child playing with toys. Did Vin Diesel turn down the role of Kirk?
The other end is broken too
At the other end of things, I noticed that Hotmail is not accepting abuse complaints for spam again. Why? Because the spam complaint contains spam, of course. Back into my blacklist they go. You'd think MS would want to know if spammers were using MS Hotmail's servers to sell cracked MS products.
Google is definitely the most respected advertiser among guinea pigs. Yahoo doesn't stand a chance.
Wait... Was this experiment performed on the Gulfstreams parked at Moffett? Parking validated! Now where's the Brin/Page icon?
What do you want to kill today?
Investors calling for Jerry's head on a platter might have a tough time getting past the locals. Microsoft would have given $47 billion to investors, raided the customer databases, fired everybody, and stripped the office bare. Employee severance would have early vesting worth $6K to $25K. Having that happen in Silicon Valley during a recession means you abandon your home and leave. You can't get a new job here in a recession before the $3K/month rent or $5K/month house drains your bank account.
Aim lower. Use insulated penetrating points. Put a mini Marx generator in a single-point dart so the other electric pole is capacitive coupling out the wires. Use three penetrating points with one being the output of a low impedance transformer to destroy foils and conductive fibers.
A distant, unfamiliar place
Cloud computing sounds great. You provision your own hardware for the baseline load and send the spikes into the cloud. Problem is, Amazon and Google don't feel like home. Businesses customize their network, their load balancers, their storage system, their OS, their DB, and their software utilities. Moving into the "cloud" means spending a lot of effort eliminating your dependencies on an environment that has been maturing for years. Assuming you get all of that done, you're faced with the same problem all over again with your data. Your data is over there; it's not available in the 2ms you've come to expect on your datacenter LAN. Do you now maintain one codebase for the generic cloud and one for your own tuned systems? The solutions to all of these cloud problems, plus the rates for renting space in the cloud, can make improving the performance of your local systems the easy alternative.
Cloud computing could fail because a generic environment isn't what businesses can use. Virtualization needs to be taken to the extreme - to the level of the entire datacenter.
I went to Adobe's online store to look at purchasing some upgrades. I was greeted with a 100% Flash web page having a MacOS 9 look & feel. It was slow, mouse scrolling didn't work, and... nevermind. I don't feel like buying anymore.
Who will suck more?
New "fiber" services in the US usually go along these lines:
Telco - 7Mbps, one dynamic IP address, 5 free webmail accounts, free Yahoo or Google account, PPoE, incoming traffic prohibited, filesharing prohibited, 1.5GB/mo bandwidth cap, bundled premium content SDTV, bundled phone and long-distance, bundled DRM music service, no QoS, web content may be monitored or altered for advertising, $195/month.
Local Government - Hiring more consultants to cope with project delays and budget overruns.