* Posts by Cuddles

397 posts • joined 3 Nov 2011

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Unlimited mobile data in America – where's the catch? There's always a catch

Cuddles
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Maths check needed.

"If you're Octomom, the price goes down to $20 per line."

No it doesn't. As a family tends towards an infinite size, the price per line will asymptotically approach $20, but a mere 8 children is nowhere near that.

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Radicalisation? UK.gov gets itself in cluster-muddle over 'terrorism'

Cuddles
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Seems backwards

"This is necessary because of “young people’s lack of ability or awareness of the need to critically challenge their beliefs”"

It's fairly well established that young people are much better at challenging established beliefs than old people. This is why we have such tropes as the young rebel without a cause, the old being stuck in their ways, and scientific advances only happening once the older generation of scientists have died off. Obviously these are generalisations and there are plenty of exceptions all around, but the idea that it's specifically young people who have a problem with challenging their own beliefs can't possibly have come from anyone with the slightest connection to the real world.

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IoT manufacturer caught fixing security holes

Cuddles
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Re: Household insurance

"Judging by the design of the electronic catch side of the lock non would be passed by insurance companies."

Thanks for the summary copy and paste from Locks Online. I don't know the technical details of most "smart" locks, but there doesn't seem to be any reason they couldn't easily pass the standard. It simply comes down to making sure the bolt and surroundings are big and strong enough, and that's completely independent of whether a lock is smart or not. The existence of specific crap smart locks doesn't say anything useful any more than the existence of crap non-smart locks does.

The actual issue with smart locks, which none of that quote addresses, is what the definition of a key actually is; ie. if a lock meets the standard in every other way, does using a phone app to operate it instead of a physical key matter? Given that the standard was originally written in the '60s and last updated in 2007, it's certainly not a question that will be explicitly addressed. So any answer isn't likely to come until the matter is taken to court when insurers start refusing to pay out to people who use them.

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Huawei's pricey new Honor goes upmarket. Bold move when prices are sliding

Cuddles
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Compare and contrast

"pricey new Honor goes upmarket", "aiming at a pretty difficult midrange. That’s a £100, or 40 per cent, price hike over its predecessor."

"see our hands-on report here" - "high-spec cheapie", "aimed firmly at the price-conscious millennial"

Stupid Chinese manufacturers and their pricey cheapies.

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Top facial recognition algo joins the dots and sees pretend people

Cuddles
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Worse or just different?

Humans are very well known as seeing patterns where none exist, with faces being one of the most common things for us to see - in bits of cloth, toast, the Moon, blurry photos, and so on. So the question is not whether this algorithm has a huge problem because it can be fooled by images that don't actually contain faces, but rather whether the algorithm is worse overall than a human that would be fooled by different images that don't actually contain faces. It may be obvious to a human that this random pattern of dots isn't a face, but it may be equally obvious to the algorithm that Jesus doesn't appear on toast.

As for spoofing security systems, that may be the stated goal but it doesn't even seem to be related problem. The Viola-Jones algorithm is not a facial recognition algorithm as stated in the article, it is a face detection algorithm, as is clearly stated in the first link the article provides. It uses a few very simple filters to determine if there is something present that looks a bit like a face. While it is surprisingly good at doing so given its simplicity, it's not possible even in principle for it to distinguish between different faces - either it says there's a face present or not, and that's it. Spoofing a security system would require looking at the actual facial recognition algorithms used in them, and this research isn't likely to help with that at all.

Finally, on this point:

"These images only worked if fed directly to the algorithm; if they were printed out and scanned into the algorithm, they failed."

The images in question were never printed. This should be obvious from the the statement noting ways the physical world changes them - printing and scanning does not brighten the centre of an image. The physical test was to display the images on a tablet with a webcam pointed at it. Sadly, it appears to be the paper that is misleading here; the abstract claims that

"we show that it is possible to construct images that fool facial detection even when they are printed and then photographed"

but in fact they do no such thing. The only references to printing in the body of the paper are either hypothetical or a reference to other works. The only thing this paper address is the "simulated physical world" using tablet and webcam. There is not even any attempt to address the similarities or differences between this method and printing. Since this is just a pre-print, hopefully this will be caught by peer review before actual publication. It seems likely it's not being deliberately misleading, but simply that the scope of the final paper didn't quite match what was originally intended when the abstract was written.

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Tesla touts battery that turns a Model S into 'third fastest ever' car

Cuddles
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Re: I'll wait until...

""accommodates probably 99% of trips"

And, of course, you can afford to buy a second car for that other 1%."

If you can afford a Tesla in the first place, yes you can. That's pretty much the whole point and is exactly what Musk is quoted as saying here - these are expensive toys for rich people, and while they're pretty damn impressive they're certainly not intended to be useful for everyone in all situations. If you can afford one, you can also afford to deal with its problems. If you can't afford one, its problems are not your problems.

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NIST spins atomic gyroscope to allow navigation without GPS

Cuddles
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""While falling under gravity" implies that it's a one-shot measurement."

No it doesn't, it implies that it would be a pulsed measurement rather than a strictly continuous one, but that's not at all the same thing.

"And the kit to do this is huge."

No it isn't. 300 cm^3, plus a bit more for some supporting structure. This is a tabletop experiment, not some building-sized dedicated construction.

"This is not a portable device, even in theory."

Yes it is. In it's current form it would only be portable by a relatively large vehicle, but if you actually read the paper you'll notice that the entire point of this research is to develop smaller, more portable systems. The first paragraph of the paper:

"Over the last few decades, light-pulse atom interferometers (LPAIs) have proven their outstanding sensitivity and stability for inertial measurements.1 These sensors are now making their way out of the laboratory into field demonstrations. Transportable LPAIs have realized accelerometry in a zero-g plane flight,2 precision gravimetry,3–5 gravity gradiometry,6 and measurements of the Earth's rotation.7 However, applications such as inertial navigation will need systems that are smaller, lighter, and require lower power than the mobile systems demonstrated so far. This will require new techniques optimized for use in a compact volume."

In summary, every single word of your whole post is utterly wrong, and this could easily have been avoided by simply taking a few seconds to actually read the thing under discussion instead of inventing some nonsensical fantasy inside your own head.

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Stop lights, sunsets, junctions are tough work for Google's robo-cars

Cuddles
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Re: Roundabouts...

"The bit that got me was the 4 way junction without lights that really confused it, where drivers have to decide with other drivers who goes first. Sounds just like a roundabout in the UK which we have everywhere..."

The trick is that the US rarely has roundabouts so they're talking literally about a junction that has 4 rounds going in with absolutely no hint at who might have right of way. If you look at the link in the article given as an example, you can see that there are actually two lanes in every direction, plus two tram lines crossing over and four zebra crossings surrounding the whole thing. Roundabouts exist specifically to solve this sort of problem, but for some reason America usually prefers to set up a massive clusterfuck instead.

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'NSA' hack okshun woz writ by Inglish speeker trieing to hyde

Cuddles
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Threat?

"It continues that the Russians have taken the unprecedented action of dumping the contents publicly in a veiled threat to the NSA after the Democratic National Committee breach, which the US blames on Moscow."

"Stop claiming we hacked you or we'll hack you some more. Also, here's some stuff we hacked from you."

Apparently the threat is rather too veiled for me to understand. Demonstrating to the world that you've already done the thing you're threatening to do isn't generally how threats work, and doing the exact thing you're being accused of is not generally the best way get accusations to stop.

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Chocolate Factory exudes Nougat as Android 7 begins rollout

Cuddles
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Better sources needed

"Google guarantees Android updates for two years and the Nexus 7 passed that in July. The Nexus 5 ought to be good until October, but sources tell The Reg that it doesn't have the hardware chops to run the new operating system."

Those same sources should probably have told El Reg that the Nexus 5 is already well over two years old, having released in October 2013, and so certainly shouldn't be expected to still fall under a two year guarantee by next October. It hasn't even been available to buy for nearly 18 months. Two years is still a pretty shit support period, but let's not pretend Google are breaking the terms of their guarantee.

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The calm before the storm: AMD's Zen bears down on Intel CPUs

Cuddles
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Is that it?

"Summit Ridge is able to keep up with high-end Intel desktop offerings from earlier this year"

So AMD's new chip will be about as good as Intel's year-old ones, on an architecture that will be three years old by that point? By which time Kaby Lake will already be out (unlikely to be a big step, but surely with at least some improvement), and then Cannonlake will come soon after to completely blow it out the water. It's all very well saying that Intel need some competition, but this really isn't what competition looks like.

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Funny story, this. UK.gov's 'open banking app revolution'. Security experts not a fan of it

Cuddles
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Transparency

"The new rules from the Competition and Markets Authority are designed to promote transparency"

To be fair, if transparency is one of the main goals this is actually a great idea. You can't get much more transparent than letting the whole world have access to everyone's financial information via insecure phone apps.

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Hot iron: Knights Landing hits 100 gigaflops in plasma physics benchmark

Cuddles
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"The researchers explain that they chose a particular plasma simulation, “particle in cell” because it's a well-studied problem on many-core architectures."

No they don't. Particle-in-cell isn't a problem at all, let alone a well studied one, it's a category of solver type. Just look at the very first line of the abstract:

"particle-in-cell laser-plasma simulation is an important area of computational physics"

There's a huge difference between a specific well-studied problem and a broad technique that is used to investigate both well-studied and never-before-studied problems.

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Amazon launches its own plane line. Sort of

Cuddles
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Vertical?

"Amazon yesterday unveiled its first “Prime Air” branded plane...

Amazon is already increasing its vertical integration at pace."

I'm disappointed this wasn't about delivery via rockets.

@ Peter2

"Amazon setting up chains of small physical shops on high streets makes very little sense."

You should probably let Amazon know that, since they've already started.

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Your 'intimate personal massager' – cough – is spying on you

Cuddles
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Re: Security research. Yeah, that's what it was

"Top states searching for 'porn' are Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky. Not exactly known for their liberal social views."

This kind of statistic gets thrown around a lot, but I don't think it says what most people think it says. If you know anything at all about porn, you are never going to simply search for "porn" on Google; you're most likely going to just go straight to your preferred site, or at the very least search for something a bit more specific according to your preferences. So in fact, having the most searches for "porn" is exactly what you'd expect if those states really did live up to their reputations - the residents look at so little porn that they don't even know how to find it other than just blindly searching the word itself.

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BlackBerry DTEK 50: How badly do you want a secure Android?

Cuddles
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Power button

"the biggest annoyance (YMMV) is the placement of the power button up on the left hand side. Where you’d expect the power button to be, you find the multifunction key. My brain is so accustomed to the power button being on the side"

I'm confused. The position of the power button was annoying because you're used to finding it on the side of the phone, but instead it was on the side of the phone? It all looks entirely standard from the pictures - power button on one side, multifunction on the other. Is the problem simply that they didn't blindly copy the exact button placement of Apple or Samsung? It seems every phone is either complained about for copying one of those two too closely, or for not copying them closely enough.

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Jeep hackers: How we swerved past Chrysler's car security patches

Cuddles
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Intrusion detection

"All these issues could be stopped if only car manufacturers built a basic intrusion detection system into their cars"

Is it even possible to buy a car without an alarm these days? As keeps being noted in regard to stories like these, physical access means game over. Trying to make things harder for someone who already has full physical access (and in this case not just a quick in and out, but a full 9 hours to play around inside your car) is much less useful than either preventing that access, or at the very least letting you know that it's happened.

By far the best security advice for car manufacturers would be to simply put the OBD port somewhere visible. If you can see there isn't a dodgy device plugged in to it, there's essentially no risk. Someone could still have disabled your brakes or something, but as others have noted they could also have just cut the brake lines. As long as all they can do is damage it in place rather than remotely change its behaviour while you're driving, it's no different from any physical sabotage.

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Intel's smartwatches are so hot right now – too hot: Basis Peak recalled for skin burns, blistering

Cuddles
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Lasers!

"Perhaps it was the laser-based heart-rate sensor causing all the trouble: Basis claimed the Peak took highly accurate readings, firing its optical sensor 32 times a second, so maybe that pushed the wrist-sized gizmo over the edge."

Seems unlikely, since it should be a very simple software fix to just reduce the rate it fires at until the overheating stops. Their inability to do anything about the problem without taking out multiple core functions suggests something rather more fundamental.

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US Air Force declares F-35 'combat-ready'

Cuddles
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Coat

Re: Perhaps

"If only we had installed cats and traps on our carriers, we could have much more cheaply developed a carrier version of the Eurofighter..."

At the very least they'd have significantly fewer mice on them.

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Black Hats control Jeep's steering, kill brakes

Cuddles
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Re: Why? @chris miller

"I think that even cars with self drive capability still take the steering wheel position as the main control input and only self steer if you are not holding the wheel."

Generally the exact opposite - they will only work if you are holding the steering wheel and deactivate if you let go.

"The main problem with having no security is the likelihood of theft."

Not really. The vast majority of hacks require physical access to the inside of the car. Potentially they could open up more ways to get around anti-theft systems, but there isn't a car on the planet that's theft-proof if you already have full access to every part of it.

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UK govt to launch a tech creche for military-focused startups

Cuddles
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Catapult?

Aren't these "innovation hubs" generally called catapults these days? Seems a shame to miss out on that name given the context.

On a side note, the Satellite Catapult just up the road remains the most disappointingly misleading name I've ever seen.

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Cats, dogs starve as web-connected chow chute PetNet plays dead

Cuddles
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Re: And it's not like it's either hard OR expensive. . . .

" . . to add an offline function."

Of course, the whole problem here was caused by the accidental addition of an offline function...

"Let me guess: Manglement pooh-poohed it, as they couldn't offer "pet-feeding as a service" if you could set the timer and let it run by itself."

The really sad part is that there are numerous feeders that already do exactly that, and are available for far less than $150. As with so many IoT things, this isn't so much a solution in search of a problem as it is screwing up the solution we already had.

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Airbus doesn't just make aircraft – now it designs drone killers

Cuddles
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Re: It's not a Drone

Both drones and UAVs can be either autonomous or remote controlled - the terms are used interchangeably in general usage, and really the only fixed part of the definition of either is that they don't have a pilot inside them. In any case, even an autonomous drone can be affected by a system like this; obviously it won't get knocked out of the sky due to loss of control, but but it would still affect its ability to stream live video and things like that.

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Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door

Cuddles
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"Door was operated by a person. Door was stopped by a safety. Door was probably operated because he signalled by hitting the damn button.

What happened to LOTO or personal responsibility for your own safety?"

It may depend on why you assume this sequence of events happened.

A) Ford randomly wanders around the set hitting buttons because he's bored;

B) Ford is practising a scene that involves him hitting the button, understanding that nothing will happen because the set is turned off for practice.

In the former scenario, I'd certainly assign at least some blame to Ford since pressing random buttons in an industrial setting is generally a bad idea. In the latter, Ford would appear to be entirely blameless. No doubt other scenarios could be constructed in which all, some or none of the blame is assigned to various different parties. The details haven't been made public, but a court appears to have decided that it was, in fact, the fault of the company managing the set and not Ford's. Unless you have access to information not in the article, blaming Ford seems a little odd.

As for the more general question of what happened to personal responsibility for your own safety, there's a reason health and safety laws exist in the first place. You might as well complain that it's child labourer's own fault when they get their arms chopped off in a mill. As a society we've decided that actually not all accidents are entirely the fault of the person involved in them, and that employers have the responsibility to minimise risk to their employees (and anyone else on site) as much as is practical.

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It's 2016 and your passwords can still be sniffed from wireless keyboards

Cuddles
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Re: There is a reason why I use wired KB's

"Bluetooth range is pretty short. Unless you live in an apartment with paper thin walls, I don't think people could get close enough to your keyboard to steal keystrokes."

What does Bluetooth range have to do with anything? As the article explicitly states, no Bluetooth keyboards were found to have a problem, it's wireless keyboards using various other radio connections that are the problem, and they could have pretty much any arbitrary range depending on what transmitter they happen to use - up to 100m away according to this report.

"As for the mouse, what exactly are they going to learn by stealing your mouse movements and clicks?"

Who knows? Good security generally means you're not leaking information at all, rather than simply hoping the information you are leaking isn't useful to anyone. There are endless examples of people not bothering to secure seemingly innocuous information only for someone else to prove it wasn't that innocuous after all. A recent related example would be using the accelerometer in a phone, often not secured because it can't do anything harmful, to reconstruct keystrokes from a keyboard on the same desk.

Obviously there are limits and wrapping everything in tin foil is overkill for most people. However, deliberately broadcasting all your information in plain text for anyone to see is generally considered something to be avoided even by those who aren't especially paranoid.

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Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

Cuddles
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"Russians" or "The Russians"

There's a rather big difference between saying someone in Russia probably did it, and that it was an attack carried out by the Russian government. The evidence seems to support the former (although it's far from conclusive), but there doesn't seem to be anything at all to support the latter. This may surprise some people, but Putin doesn't actually have personal control over every single criminal in the country. Plus it's worth bearing in mind that this is much too early to try pushing a political scandal to affect the election; if you want voters to actually remember an issue it needs to be a couple of weeks before the date, not months earlier before the candidates are even official. Whatever flaws Putin and his cronies may have, political naivety is not one of them.

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Florida Man cleared of money laundering after selling Bitcoins to Agent Ponzi

Cuddles
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Laundering?

My understanding is that laundering money means taking money that has been acquired by illegal means and undertaking some shenanigans to make it appear legitimate. Telling someone you're going to use some money to do something illegal isn't the same thing at all. Regardless of the status of bitcoin, the charges here don't appear to have anything to do with the actual facts of the case.

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Mobile broadband now cheaper than wired, for 95 per cent of humanity

Cuddles
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Re: "digital divides persist across economic and gender lines"

"Can someone please tell me what gender has to do with the speed of copper or fiber ?"

Absolutely nothing, which is why the report doesn't say anything of the sort. The line you quote simply refers to the fact that more men have access to the internet than women (or at least more use it, which amounts to the same thing), not that being male magically makes it faster if you do have it. It's no different from the economic part, which you don't seem to have questioned - being rich doesn't make any difference to the speed of copper or fibre, but it does affect whether you have access to it in the first place.

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Cuddles
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"Sounds weird. In sweden, assuming you use a lot of data, mobile internet is ridiculously expensive compared with wired."

Indeed. As far as I can tell the problem comes with their use of "comparable". The prices are based on comparing a mobile data plan with a 1GB cap and a landline data plan with a 1GB cap. The former is a fairly common limit, the latter is virtually non-existent (BT's lowest cap is 12GB, for example). A comparison of price per bit transferred or price per unit bandwidth would look very different. It seems rather like saying plane travel is expensive compared to a car based on a trip to the local shops, while ignoring the facts that the price per mile of a transatlantic flight looks a lot better and that the car is simply not capable of such a journey at all.

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After Monday's landing, SpaceX wants to do it in triplicate

Cuddles
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Price

"Okay, so by landing and re-using a booster, they are saving how much money? a few hundred million dollars?"

An Ariane 5 launch costs up to around €130 million, with the cost of a single satellite as low as $60 million. Falcon 9 missions taking a Dragon capsule to the ISS currently cost $133 million, and the standard price for a satellite launch is currently $62 million. Falcon is cheaper, and has already brought prices down due to the competition, but there aren't hundreds of millions there to save, only tens at the very best and not even many of those.

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Hacker shows Reg how one leaked home address can lead to ruin

Cuddles
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Re: People don't listen

It's not that people don't listen, it's that they don't care. Humans are social animals, and tools like Facebook allow them to socialise with people they might otherwise be cut off from - if a family member moves to a different country, or even just within the same country, you can continue to interact with them where previously you might share a letter once a year at best. That's the trouble with all the whining about how stupid people are to use such tools; they amount to telling people they should become hermits and never interact with anyone if they can't do it face to face. It's certainly possible to share too much, and there are types of information that can make it very easy for others to commit fraud, but that means you should teach people about the actual risks, not tell them to just stop being sociable.

As for the risk, as others have noted this very article clearly demonstrates just how tiny they really are. For all the supposed cleverness, this guy managed to find a bunch of publicly available information. Births, marriages and deaths are publicly registered. Land ownership is publicly registered. Businesses are publicly registered. Finding out a person's family and company details is not some horrific invasion of privacy only made possible by the internet, it's something everyone is able to access with a couple of calls to the local council. All the internet does is potentially make it a bit quicker and cheaper. If someone has a reason to target you, that's not going to change anything, and if they don't then as others have pointed out, there are over 7 billion other people in the world and many of them are much more tempting targets.

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5G: Mother of all pipes, or actually useful?

Cuddles
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4G would be nice

Shouldn't we have 4G first before people start worrying about 5G? LTE was a cludge that was retroactively called 4G because no-one was willing to put the work in to actually meet the original standard. And of course LTE Advanced, which in theory should meet the standard but so far still doesn't in practice, has even been advertised as 4G+ despite being one of the first offerings of actual 4G at best. Of course, Wiki gives a good idea of the reason for all this:

"New mobile generations have appeared about every ten years"

Obviously it's more important to get something, anything, out the door with a new label on it than it is to have that something be useful or the label to actually mean anything. The fact that the "trend" consists of a grand total of two data points (the arrivals of GSM and then 3G) doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone. It's a trend, therefore 4G must have happened in 2011 and 5G must come by 2020 no matter what.

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Samsung deals out microSD-crushing faster fingernail flash cards

Cuddles
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Universal

Here used to mean "Not actually compatible with anything else on the planet and, in fact, the exact opposite of any conceivable meaning of the word universal.".

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Tesla whacks guardrail in Montana, driver blames autopilot

Cuddles
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"But just sitting and staring, for hours on end, without losing focus? It's just not going to happen"

That's why you're supposed to stop for a rest every hour or two. Those signs everywhere saying "Tiredness kills, take a break" aren't just there for amusement. If people ignore that and keep driving until they fall asleep, it's entirely their own fault whether or not they have cruise control.

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China prototypes pre-exascale super trio with its own non-US chips

Cuddles
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Re: Foot, Point, shoot.

"So China did exactly what China always does and learnt how to build the chips it needs itself."

Well, not really. Of the three supers mentioned in the article, one is ARM, one is AMD, and the other is Sunway which are supposedly based on DEC Alpha, although obviously there's not too much detail known about them. And of course, most non-Intel chips are already built in China or nearby countries anyway. So sure, banning export of Intel chips certainly didn't help the US in any way, but China are still almost exclusively using US and UK designed chips that are manufactured in the same factories as most other chips in the world. Intel got somewhat screwed, but the chip industry as a whole will hardly notice the difference.

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A journey down the UK's '3D Tongue' into its mini industrial revolution

Cuddles
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Ugh

"While other "big hope" concepts such as genetic engineering, nanotech and quantum physics have yet to make much of an impact"

A significant portion of the world's food is now genetically engineered, and most modern technology is entirely reliant on nanotechnology and quantum physics - anything involving any kind of transistors or electronics requires both. Meanwhile 3D printing has had a useful but so far relatively minor impact on industrial prototyping.

3D printing is certainly more than just the gimicky hobbyist scene that's all most people are aware of, but lets not pretend it's somehow more impactful than sciences and technologies which have fundamentally changed the entire face of modern civilisation.

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Cuddles
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Easy solution

Pretty much all video games, regardless of rating, have a notice saying "Online interactions not rated". Presumably websites can simply use the same disclaimer.

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AMD promises code fix for power-hungry Radeon RX 480 GPU

Cuddles
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Re: Just a small bump in the road...

"I used to work in a computer shop, and nvidia cards outnumbered ati/amd 2:1 for RMAs."

Of course, Nvidia cards outnumber AMD by a lot more than 2:1 in sales, so that actually suggests their engineering is significantly better.

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Remember those stupid hoverboards? 500,000+ recalled in the US after they started exploding

Cuddles
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Re: Huh?

"42 cases of burns etc.

16 cases of severe property damage.

Somewhere between 42 and 58 total incidents.

That wasn't too hard to work out, was it?"

Evidently it was. What it actually says is that there were 42 reported incidents of overheating, 16 of which caused either burns or severe property damage.

@ledswinger

"From 500k devices? Sounds pretty good odds to me."

From 267k devices; that was just the incidents for Swagway .There were 99 in total between all manufacturers, although Swagway appear to be the only ones that have actually injured anyone.

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Theft of twenty-somethings' IDs surges

Cuddles
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Re: For context, how much has the rate increased for those over 30?

"Without a comparison figure these increases tell us absolutely nothing other than fraud is increasing. I would be surprised if the rate of older people being defrauded over the phone or via email wasn't increasing at a similar rate."

Beat me to it. Rather sad to see people whining about stupid millennials when the actual data shows they have both the smallest percentage increase and the smallest absolute amount of fraud. Also rather sad to see El Reg going way beyond the usual misleading clickbait headlines and into the realm of deliberate lying.

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Encryption, wiretaps and the Feds: THE TRUTH

Cuddles
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Re: Logic?

"If encrypted communication is used by criminals and terrorists in performing their evil deeds, then surely they should be spending more time spying on people who use encryption."

Sure, but that doesn't contradict anything the article said. Not bothering to intercept encrypted communications because you won't be able to do anything with them doesn't mean you give up and ignore a person of interest entirely, it simply means that you focus your efforts in areas that have potential to actually get results.

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Google off the hook for feeding kids bad cookies

Cuddles
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Re: Monetising kids?

"Their behaviour is sickening, and the failure of the law to recognise this is just as bad."

Why, because no-one else has ever made money from children before? There are entire industries dedicated solely to making money off children - toys, games, sweets, various food and drink, TV, films, and so on. And all of them rely very heavily on advertising in places that children will see in ways that will appeal to them. Not only are Google far from the worst offender in this respect, they're not even doing it deliberately - they just treat any visitor the same way and try to match adverts with what they've previously shown an interest in. If this is such sickening behaviour, there are a hell of a lot of other companies you should be demonising before Google even merits a mention.

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You can be my wingman any time! RaspBerry Pi AI waxes Air Force top gun's tail in dogfights

Cuddles
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Re: "forces to be deployed without human loss of life"

"While that is generally a good thing, if it makes politicians more trigger-happy it is probable not."

This is a sentiment I see a lot, but it doesn't really make a lot of sense given an awareness of history and human nature in general. Numerous weapons have been touted as bringing about an end to warfare because, the machinegun being a particularly well known example, but every time they've been immediately deployed as enthusiastically as ever. The only thing that comes close to being an exception is nuclear weapons, but even those were used a couple of times and there remains a very realistic possibility that they will be again in the future. Importantly, when it comes to politicians being trigger happy, even the existence of nuclear-armed superpowers able to wipe out all human civilisation at the push of a button wasn't enough to stop them repeatedly going to war both with each other and anyone else they could find lying around the place.

If knowing more people will die doesn't make politicians less likely to go to war, how likely is it that the reverse will happen if they think less people will die. Since the end of WW2, the USA has started a new war (or military intervention of some sort) an average of every 3 years. How much more eager to start wars could better planes make them?

On which note, it's important to bear in mind that this is only about fighter planes anyway. The vast majority of combat losses are not fighter pilots, or indeed aircraft crew of any sort. Many ground support roles are already done by drones, but even replacing all pilots with AI wouldn't make any difference to the losses that would occur once boots are on the ground. And given the degree of air superiority the US, and the West in general, currently enjoys in all the wars they get involved in, having slightly better planes wouldn't make any significant difference at all. The only opponents this would make any real difference against would be Russia and China, and fighter pilot losses are hardly the important factor that will tip politicians into wanting to start those ones.

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Magnetic, heat scanners to catch Tour de France electric motor cheats

Cuddles
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Re: I would watch The Tour Doped France

"Why not have a special event for all the cheaters?"

It's called the Tour de France.

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Cloudian clobbers car drivers with targeted ads

Cuddles
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Personalised to who?

Have these guys ever actually looked at the traffic around Tokyo? Which of the hundreds of cars passing at any given time are they going to personalise adverts for?

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Virgin Media goes TITSUP* in South London due to painful piles

Cuddles
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Re: You may want to aim a bit higher than the CEO, if you want it stopped.

"Sir R.C.N. Branson,"

Not much point in that, Virgin Media has nothing to do with Branson and Virgin Group. If you want to aim at the top, you want Michael Fries of Liberty Global.

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Just a quarter of Brits trust businesses with our personal data

Cuddles
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Actions vs. words

53%, 36% and 22% of people trust various different types of organisation with their personal details. 99.9% of people hand over those details anyway, in many cases without there actually being any need to do so.

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Astroboffins' discovery gives search for early life a left hand. Or right

Cuddles
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Re: I know, obvious is not scientific proof,

"Typically dominate? But by what amount? I have a problem with people saying its a mystery why all life is made of left handed amino acids. Its not - if the first replicating molecule was left handed then everything that follows will be left handed. Its 50-50 so not 'astronomical' at all."

No, it's not 50-50. That would only be the case if left and right chirality were equally common, which is exactly what "left-handed forms typically dominate" says isn't the case. And it's not simply down to what "the first" self-replicating molecule was like, because there's no reason to assume there was just one. All life (that we know of) descends from a common ancestor, but that simply means that only one primordial replicator was successful enough to have ancestors survive to today. There could have been numerous originating events, with most families dying out some time between then and now (although realistically they must have died out before the fossil record becomes reliable). Availability of resources is a major factor in how successful life is, so it's not just a simple probability of what the first self-replicator is like, but also how much of the "food" in the environment it's able to use. Even if a right-handed self-replicator happens to occur, if the majority of molecules around it are left-handed and therefore useless to it it has a much lower ability to survive and replicate.

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Crysis creeps: Our ransomware locks network drives and PCs. Bargain

Cuddles
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"seemingly innocent installers"

Exactly how innocent can a random installer in an unsolicited email look?

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Dyfed-Powys Police fined for publicising pervs' particulars

Cuddles
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"could identify"

"names and addresses of eight registered offenders, along with the phone numbers and email addresses"

I can't help feeling that goes a little beyond "could". Short of mailing out copies of their birth certificates it would be difficult to be much more explicit in identifying them.

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