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* Posts by FutureShock999

263 posts • joined 12 Nov 2011

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Hackers' Paradise: The rise of soft options and the demise of hard choices

FutureShock999

He can't out-old man ME...

Yes, Mr. Watkinson, I ALSO have a third-edition copy of Ted Nelson's "Computer Lib" to give cool diagrams on MMUs, and I did grow up programming in Fortran on time-shared mainframes in my high-school, then eventually moved on to 6502-powered PCs (my first was an Ohio Scientific C1P, with THE first copy of MS Basic in ROM AFAIK, copywritten 1977 by Gates). I also programmed a variety of single-board computers, like the COSMAC Elf along the way. I grew up reading "Soul of a New Machine", and that made me want a career in computing. So, similar vintage to yourself.

And I think your article is twaddle. I remember breaking security on my university mainframe FOR FUN when forced (against my will, but required to) take a COBOL class, and getting caught because I bragged about it. 45 minutes with the Dean of Students before I managed to get off with a slap on the wrist - because I had thankfully ALSO told my teaching assistant so it was deemed "an experiment" rather than hacking. I remember my first time with a DEC-20 at RPI university...and breaking passwords on that in 20 minutes to admin accounts. I remember my roommate at one point in GREAT detail describing the Man-In-The-Middle attack being used to break VMS networks he was working with. Security was NOT golden back in the golden days, it was utter rubbish! The only thing that made it SEEM more secure was that there was two to three orders of magnitude fewer hackers, because there were fewer high-value targets, and fewer trained people. Back then, there were very few criminal GANGS responsible for it - underwriting teams of coders/hackers, auctioning off automated attacks for Bitcoins on the Tor network. It was all individuals, or very small teams...working in private. Now hacking is a full-blown criminal enterprise, with outsized rewards, safety via huge distances and extradition laws, and often the threat of physical violence.

So of course we feel less safe these days...the level of intrusion investment being deployed against modern systems is at least two to three times the magnitude of the "golden days". And THAT has a whole lot more to do with the relative "insecurity" of today's systems (which all do have MMUs that are insanely well-engineered, btw) than any mythical hardware/software deficiencies.

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FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'

FutureShock999

Re: All phones look the same

They will probably have an SD-capable, dual-SIM version in China, and possibly India. You can usually buy them off the web from places like Merimobile.

But really, how much CONFIDENTIAL data do you really keep on your phone - the most likely to be stolen device that you own? Or is it that you think your movie/music/porn collection is so top-secret that it can't be stored in a cloud, for fear of the NSA? Only if you are a paedo...

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Dolby Atmos is coming home and it sounds amazing

FutureShock999

Re: 3D for the ears? Really?

I think the benefit of Atmos is that it CAN be of use in smaller spaces, as it allows the processor to intelligently model the room and it's dimensions in computing the channel split assignments. I have heard very convincing 5.1 in smaller spaces, even on cheap Logitech 5.1 gaming sound systems (not as good as my lounge set-up that cost a mint, but pretty good for the space).

I have recently bought a new Arcam, and am so happy with it that I cannot bring myself to replace it anytime soon - mainly because it's performance on music was critical in my decision to spend that much. I am fairly certain that until a musically oriented company like Arcam or Rotel brings out an Atmos-enabled receiver they will probably not be very good for dual-use movie/music set-ups (Denon / Marantz might be acceptable in their higher-end units, we will see).

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Fiat Panda Cross: 'Interesting-looking' Multipla spawn hits UK

FutureShock999

Re: Had a Fiat once ...

Sure, they are 24 out of 26...but that is not the whole story. The larger story is that EVERY motor maker (bar the Chinese at present) is VASTLY more reliable than they were 20 and even 10 years ago. So a 24th scoring maker now is way up on where the mid-level was 20 years ago, and probably pretty close to where the mid-point was even 10 years ago...while having a lot more features and toys. The fact that they are not quite as good as the best today doesn't mean an automatic horror story, as was usually the case in previous decades. And I say that as someone who is a Land Rover devotee...which no sane person would be if we just went by JD Powers scores.

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

FutureShock999

Re: not all speaker designers are clueless

You beat me to it - Vandersteen made/makes all of their speakers to be time aligned across the multiple drivers. Having said that, I am still not sure that their drivers can match an electrostatic's for linearity. But it is important to remember that at least Vandersteen did emphasise their time cohesiveness...

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FutureShock999

Re: A perplexing article

Your last sentence says why you are wrong - "a particular speaker in a particular room".

The main benefit of "finagling the signal" is that it can be dynamically adapted - in near real-time or as part of a set-up procedure - to the acoustics of ANY room. Which you simply cannot do by "tweaking the layout and mechanics" in the vast majority of cases. Or at least not as well outside of an acoustically damped room.

Where the author is perhaps mistaken however is in assuming that such correction needs be in the speaker. Today's home theatre amps are incorporating dynamic room set-up DSPs of ever-increasing complexity and power, and as they use a calibrated microphone to measure room acoustics and dynamics, they obviously incorporate some level of speaker correction.

So it will be an interesting contest to see where the industry goes - self-powered and correcting speakers, or traditional designs with some level of correction incorporated in the preamp or receiver.

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FutureShock999

I loved your line "gross ignorance of the author".

You do realise he has decades of experience in engineering speakers and audio equipment, and is the author of many of the reference textbooks used in the field? As well as being a guiding light behind some truly great speaker designs over the years, such as those electrostatics bearing the QUAD label?

And you might check out his 750 page reference book on digital audio...which I am sure will truly prove his "gross ignorance": http://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Digital-Audio-John-Watkinson/dp/0240515870

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Higgs boson even MORE likely to actually be Higgs boson - boffins

FutureShock999

Re: One small fermionic decay for a boson

It was obviously for the mention of evolution...we get the stray American in here, and anything that claims to "have proven evolution" must get a down vote, especially if they hail from south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

It is one of the reasons I relocated across the Pond...how America expects to keep a lead in science when they care so much about the literal interpretation of their sky fairy stories is beyond me...

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Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026

FutureShock999

Re: Lost Science or the Register has lost the meaning of the category

Given Elon's track record...and I've been watching this space for half a century...what he does is NOT SCIENCE.

It is magic, by Arthur C. Clark's definition.

His latest capsule has "3D metal printed rocket engines". And flys with touchscreens, not banks and banks of switches and knobs. No, really. What he is producing is nearly a generation ahead of competitors...in short, magic.

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Massive news in the micro-world: a hexaquark particle

FutureShock999
Facepalm

It is AMAZING how few commenters here recognise your "breakfast cereal" quote, or the context, or why it relates spectacularly well with the original article's sense of humour. I loved it.

Really poor showing of a lack of reading Douglas Adam's works from some of the commentards here...

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Four-pronged ARM-based Mac rumor channels Rasputin

FutureShock999

Re: ARM vs. x86

"Why are there still no RISC systems that thoroughly outperform x86 on a core for core basis?"

There are a number of reasons. The first one is that Intel has a huge investment in fabrication plants ("fabs" in industry parlance), and usually manages to be a generation ahead of the ARM builders in implementation technology - lithography, insulation, and/or feature size. They just have a better _chip_, regardless of the architecture. Samsung and TMSC are catching up, but for a long time Intel has a huge advantage simply in construction - and this gave them faster clock rates, lower voltages, etc.

The second reason is that convoluted x86 architecture makes no claims to be elegant or simple. But it IS well known what the asymmetries are, and Intel's compilers are heavily optimised to work with them where possible. So having finely tuned compilers has greatly helped even-out the architectural differences.

Thirdly, Intel simply invests a whole lot more into developing their x86 follow-ons than ARM has. Such is the result of market dominance. Intel really does have a number of very smart designers, and as even you stated, it may be a turd, but it is a WELL-POLISHED turd. Things like branch-prediction, out-of-order execution, superpipelining...Intel has these down to a very fine art, with a degree of circuitry dedicated to this that ARM historically lacks.

Lastly, for ARM to focus on execution speed, it would need to add lots of transistors on-die to do these things (Out-of-order, prediction, superpiplining) to the degree that Intel does - and THAT would negate a good portion of ARM's power consumption advantage. There is no free lunch - having a better instruction set doesn't make up for lacking the degree of dedicated silicon that Intel uses to speed up execution. The day that ARM begins to catch Intel in single-core execution speed will also be the day that ARM begins to catch Intel in power usage...

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128-bit crypto scheme allegedly cracked in two hours

FutureShock999

Re: All of this is why...

And of course, if you left it to experts, and chose a publicly reviewed cryptosystem, then for many years you could have been using RC4 encryption and been quite happy (as even Skype was when using it). Um, of course...RC4 wasn't REALLY secure, was it???

That is the problem with all of the public-reviewed systems. There is an underlying assumption that there are enough eyeballs and experts actually putting in the months necessary to break it in all kinds of ways. But as the recent HTPS breakage shows, there sometimes just are not enough eyeballs probing it to find the errors...

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IBM accidentally invents new class of polymers

FutureShock999

Re: Which assumes there are survivors

Fantastic book. Loved the part when he talks about interviewing new candidates to work in the propulsion chem labs, and how he always made sure to make something explode during their interview to see how the candidate would react...had to filter out the jumpy ones!

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Giant pop can FOUND ON MOON

FutureShock999

What is...

I just need to know: what IS a pocari, and at what temperature does it begin to sweat?

I had visions of something like milking sheds, but instead of cows with their udders attached to vacuum lines, pocari's are standing under heat lamps, over drip-collecting trays...

'Tis true, the Japanese will go for anything!

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Russia to suspend US GPS stations in tit-for-tat spat

FutureShock999

Re: Where have you been Murphy?!

Awww, how CUTE! An American that has never left his home country beside trips to Cancun for Spring Break.

If you had any real knowledge of world affairs - which you can get by travel and living abroad, I will quickly add - then you would know that Germany is the most economically and militarily strongest country in the EU. And you would also know that Germany gets a HUGE amount of its energy imported as Russian-sourced natural gas. As do many countries in Europe. Some - like the UK - are able to access local supplies and the North Sea gas wells, and so COULD say FU to Mr. Putin. But the fact is, most cannot, and are dependent upon Russian energy, and will be for some time.

Worse yet, even when there are other supplies available (it is a world market, after all), the cost is much higher than Russian energy, which is close and has nice pipelines to Europe. So...the people at the very top would HATE to have their corporations actually pay more for energy, as it would hurt profits. And of course, many people would have trouble heating their homes, as much of Europe IS colder than the US average temperatures. So the plain fact is that unless someone can show the EU how Crimea or even Ukraine as a whole is more important than say, saving the EU economic recovery, and the thousands of EU lives that are likely to be lost due to a cold winter without enough home heating...then frankly it is a smart play to simply not get involved.

I do feel sorry for those living in the Ukraine. My housekeeper just returned there to be closer to her son and his family, and I have spent hours talking to her about the situation they face there.

But the simple fact is, it was STUPID to try and expand NATO the the very edge of former Soviet land. It was STUPID to think that the Russian Navy would give up it's only warm-water port, located in Crimea. It was stupid to think that they would not demand some buffer around their space, as we do as well. It was cowboy American thinking that drove NATO to think that treating Russia as a defeated foe rather than a neighbour was a good idea. Now you reap what you have sown - a huge nationalist reaction from Russia, headed by a crazed, militant nationalist that could well be another Hitler given half a chance.

I am counting on the Chinese to bail the West out before he gets too far....they need us to buy shit to prop up their economy, and they hold too much US debt. If it hits the fan, they will subtly - or not so subtly - apply pressure from the East to reign him in, probably in exchange for selling out some Japanese and Philippinean fishing grounds and drilling rights to China.

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Scientists warn of FOUR-FOOT sea level rise from GLACIER melt

FutureShock999

Re: Hard to cope with?

The water tables didn't STAY risen during that flooding. This would be a permanent change, and would never dry out.

The interesting point that Don Jefe made however is not the telephone poles - it is the impact on coastal buildings. Basically, we would have to abandon every major human city near the coast and move the entire population inland to find stable ground. Good-bye London, Paris, NYC, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney, LA, San Fran, errrr,....jeeze, most of the biggies were all built by coastal resources and transportation. I think Zurich, Geneva, San Paulo, Mexico City, etc. are probably safe.

So basically we will have to re-locate nearly every major human city over the next few centuries, while avoiding the nuclear contamination from those settling ponds that become flooded, and dealing with the loss of a hell of a lot of arable farmland. And taking in millions of desperate third-worlders that can contribute nothing to the solution, but the UN will insist that we take them in to avoid a mass outbreak of death and disease.

Yep, we're fucked.

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LA air traffic meltdown: System simply 'RAN OUT OF MEMORY'

FutureShock999

Re: altitude overflow?

Fairly sure that flight plans for the Grand Canyon tourist flights would be filed with negative altitude above sea level....

Pretty sure those are all VFR anyway however...

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Google CAN be told to delete sensitive data from its search results, rules top EU court

FutureShock999
Mushroom

I cannot believe the poor arguments that are being made in this thread. Honestly cannot believe them.

Firstly, recognise that in MOST of us cannot afford to hire lawyers to get a request to have this stuff taken down. Nor do we have that much stuff about us to be worth hiding. Most of the time we can address that at the actual source of the material a lot more cost effectively, and Google WILL delete the index in short order (I KNOW this, as my ex-wife has a conviction or two, and Google _used_ to have links to the electronic court records...which disappeared).

NO - this law is for the top few percenters to allow themselves to abuse the law (and many of the rest of us) and have us all conveniently forget about their transgressions. Next time a person runs for local MP - how WILL you find out what they really have been doing prior to entering politics? How many convictions they might have had, and for what? Did they fiddle their expenses in their previous positions? Or before dealing with a company, how WILL you legitimately look into their background and history before placing a large order - and know for sure all the dodgy stuff and customer complaints wasn't just taken down by order?

This is REPUTATION MANAGEMENT FOR THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS. Get that...it won't protect the rest of us in any meaningful way, but WILL enable THEM to ensure that we remain ill-informed of their past misdeeds and transgressions. And this is all being done under the name of "data privacy", which is frankly a hoax, because that is best addressed at the source.

This is a low, low day in the history of a free and uncensored web...and my heart bleeds a bit for humanity.

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FutureShock999

Re: But surely

Really? Do you know how long it will take to get an order to remove it? A LOT longer, most probably, than Google's natural re-indexing takes.

This is not about hiding innocent mistakes of data releases...re-indexing takes care of that far faster in most cases. This ruling is for politicians, con men, et al to hide their pasts from the rest of us.

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FutureShock999
Holmes

Re: But surely

Methinks you are terribly ill-informed as to how web indexing works, if you think Google "elect to build their systems in such a fashion that they are unable to distinguish (sensitive information) rom insensitive information".

Do you think that sensitive information has flags, indicators, or meta-data that scream "DO NOT INDEX ME - I AM SENSITIVE!!!"?

Don't be a twat, of course it doesn't, and more to the point the same data structures and even context may be sensitive in one case, and non-sensitive in another. THIS IS OBVIOUS to anyone that knows web indexing 101. It would require artificial intelligence of a VERY high order (think HAL 9000 without the psychosis) to be able to discriminate sensitive versus non-sensitive information on the web, in any reliable manner.

Prissy little idiot you are, and hiding behind AC...

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Watch a bank-raiding ZeuS bot command post get owned in 60 seconds

FutureShock999

Re: RC4? Really?

You may call them amateurs, but they are in a similar position to Skype, which at one point was ALSO revealed to be using RC4 to secure communications...and crackable.

There are times when using a symmetric cypher makes things easier. But more to the point, it is quite possible that the crew that released this code intentionally went public with a crackable RC4 implementation...and kept a better, more secure one, for their own use.

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Report: Climate change has already hit USA - and time is RUNNING OUT

FutureShock999

Re: Tragedy of the commons (1)

I want to upvote this a million times. Or have your babies. OK, not possible. But well said nonetheless...

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FutureShock999

Bullshit. Pure bullshit.

IF there was any real finagling of the numbers, then some smart dissenters in the committee would come up with the "real facts" and get several million dollars from the petrochemical companies for exposing the lies of the other scientists.

CONSISTENTLY - that simply does not happen. Scientists HIRED by the petrochemical companies do their OWN studies and find quibbles. But scientists pulled from academia that work on these panels simply do not step forward and say "Hey guys, it's all a lie, and let me tell you about it." And collect a huge payday.

And that TO ME is the single most telling piece of the climate change debate...

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Qualcomm unveils MU-MIMO silicon

FutureShock999

Two thoughts -

1) I look at stuff like this, and realise that we are an intelligent race when we actually want to be. 2 to 3 times the network capacity over existing kit? Bloody brilliant.

2) The guys that name this stuff are obviously still all watching Dragonball-Z to come up with names like this. "Hey, Gohan is going to fight Mumimo to stop him from destroying the city". I mean...really?

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Ancient telly, check. Sonos sound system, check. OMG WOAH

FutureShock999

I am really, really struggling to understand why the author bought the Play 3s to start with. The sound quality of Sonos really isn't _that_ great, for the money. It makes a ton of sense only if you want whole-house audio, with speakers in every room, that is fairly unobtrusive. (to put the SQ issue in perspective, I just bought a 6 year old pair of Epos M12s from a man who replaced them with Sonos - and as he said, it was a huge step down in quality).

So if you can afford to buy a ton of Sonos and put it in every room - and you are not technical enough to use AirPlay to build something similar yourself - then it is OK. But ONLY if you can afford enough Sonos speakers to really make it worth it! So if you are in an income bracket where you can do that, the Playbar shouldn't even be a second thought - it works, it fits your system approach, take it to the checkout.

But as the author states, he can't afford it. So what good are the Play 3s? They are a whole-house audio solution that is lacking the funding for expansion to the whole-house.

For £400 to 500 or so, the author could have gotten a pretty nice AV receiver, and a decent sat/sub package in a bundle deal from any high street audio store (Richer Sounds or similar). That would have included a centre channel speaker. And full multi-channel decoding, and video switching capability.

IMHO, sell the Play 3s to someone that needs whole-house audio, and go buy a good system for your AV needs...

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India's outsourcers look east with eyes on Asian tigers

FutureShock999

India was able to outsource for the UK and the US because they have enough people that speak English to engage with their customers (even if the quality of that engagement at a project level can be suspect at times).

But how many Indians are competent at the various Chinese dialects? Mandarin? Cantonese? How do they expect to gather business requirements, write specs and conduct UAT meetings? It's not as if a few months with Rosetta DVDs will produce an army of competent Chinese BAs and Project Managers...Chinese is hard.

That is the same problem the Indian outsourcers have faced in Germany, France, et al in Europe. Their grip of English only opens doors in some accounts - but some businesses there require that the outsourcer have teams (or at least team leaders) that speak the business's native language. Even in multinationals.

I can see that the Indian IT bosses are merely developing strategies to go where the money is. But I think the barriers are larger than they can overcome themselves. I suspect they will have to buy up smaller Chinese firms to both get around Chinese protectionism, and to get the on-shore language skills they need. I reckon that if they don't, in 10 years time it will be Chinese IT firms buying up TCS and the rest...

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Every little helps: Dirty MOLE BANDITS clean out Tesco ATM from BELOW

FutureShock999

If the perps are covered in soil, BUT don't get caught - was it in fact a clean get-away?

These are the imponderables that keep me up all night...sadly.

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Reality check: Java 8 finally catches a multi-core break

FutureShock999

Re: Just a question: "utilize"?

I am not a grammar nazi or an English teacher, but have been told I write well. So as a practical matter, I prefer "use" to talk about a transitional relationship - i.e., "I used the shovel for 5 minutes to dig a hole." I would prefer "utilise" to say that something is more permanently incorporated in a function, i.e., "this new car utilises a huge V8 to get 600hp and fantastic acceleration". It is clear that the car is going to have that V8 under the hood for quite some time. Or, you could more topically say that "this class utilises this subclass to provide transparent multi-threading". Unless you re-write the class, it will always have that utilisation.

Not saying that in practical conversation you can't say "this class uses this subclass". It works, they are synonyms. But I like to differentiate, and I have seen similar uses from other authors.

Just don't get me started on "utilise versus utilize". Please.

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Seattle pops a cap in Uber and Lyft: Rideshare bizs get 150-driver limit

FutureShock999

Re: @ Dave ..The same-old same-old

A very adult comment...which shows the entire debate very well.

The real threat to Uber is one of the last use cases you mentioned - no real passenger protection. Nearly anyone can become an Uber driver, and accept fares - very little background checking, just have a license. And with such a large pool of drivers they don't actually personally know any of them...unlike most taxi companies, where they at least come into the garage to pick up their cabs.

I know Uber has a driver rating system, but that really won't stop a true psycho from getting a job for a short bit, doing a few good fares, and then doing something unsociable. That has always been the issue with gypsy cabs, and using Uber isn't much safer than taking a ride from any of the transient cabbies that hang around the Arrivals exit at JFK. You are getting in a mobile, lockable metal box with a stranger - that really was the whole idea behind licensing taxis and drivers in the first place.

This is predictable, and it will happen. I just hope that the victim(s) are OK and that we learn from it when it does happen.

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Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

FutureShock999

Re: Them's fightin' words

Most Americans abroad sport Irish passports anyway....

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Rotten to the core: Apple’s 10 greatest FAILS

FutureShock999

Re: Internal Contradictions

It was an amazing piece of thermal engineering to manage the hot air flow within the cube to make it that small. Really amazingly well done, and how they were able to make it so small. Most generic PC makers simply bolt on more shrieking 80cm fans into the case and make it larger to aide airflow...the G4 was quiet and small. Great engineering.

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FutureShock999

Re: Concentrating on things

Your one presumption is that Apple could BUILD more Macs - a problem Microsoft didn't have, as they allow others to build the hardware for them. But in point of fact, once Apple began doing things like integrating the screens into their designs, and higher and higher resolution screens compared to the competition, they were always going to face parts availability limitations. You can see that currently with their struggle to obtain enough new parts to simultaneously launch iPhones in all major markets (they cannot as it turns out).

And then their is the manufacturing problem - for a very long time, Apple produced their own hardware, in their own factories. Sure, they could scale them, but never to the degree that Dell+Gateway+IBM+everywhiteboxmaker could. And they didn't want to farm it out at the time, in part because at that time the ability to buy high-quality assembled machines from Asia wasn't nearly as advanced as it is now. And any capital invested in manufacturing and physical plant would actually be a drag on their share pricing and net valuation on the stock market.

So there are a HOST of reasons why Apple thought it best to sell smaller numbers of more profitable machines...and you can see that as many of these have been offset by the rise of higher-quality Asian subcontracted assembly, Apple's pricing has fallen more and more in line with other PC manufacturers. Never will totally compete with the bottom end of the market, but pricing for an Apple MBP and a Sony Viao laptop are not light-years apart...

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Sonos - wireless streaming recommendations?

FutureShock999

I looked at Sonos..but it is proprietary, and their speakers are good, not great.

What seems to work for me is simply AirPlay, but with some caveats.

I store all of my best music (Apple Lossless encoded) on a Mac Mini, that is connected by HDMI to my Arcam receiver and 5 Epos speakers. I run iTunes as the main playback mechanism in my lounge via this, and it doubles to play video off my NAS (the NAS also backs up the Mac Mini to guard my music collection - and the NAS backs up to Glacier). I then have an Airport connected to a Creek integrated amp and more Epos 12.2 speakers in the kitchen, and a Denon Picollo AirPlay receiver in the bedroom connected to a pair of Monitor Audio Vectras.

I control it all via my Android phone, using "Remote for iTunes" app from the Play store, or using my iPad. I can even remote login to the Mac Mini from my MacBook and control it.

Because it is AirPlay, and Spotify knows about AirPlay, my gf (who is a Spotify lover) can connect to most of the speakers with AirPlay from her MacBook - but not the Arcam in the lounge, as that isn't an AirPlay receiver (yet).

Quality is pretty good, latency is manageable, and because AirPlay is a standard I can buy more extension speakers of whatever quality I want/can afford to expand. My gf is in love with the B&O AirPlay portable speaker, so we may need one before summer for the garden. Or something much cheaper as my bank details dictate.

N.B. - I bought a used set of Epos 12.2s for the kitchen off eBay, because I love the ones in the lounge. The seller had just gone to Sonos, and as he put it, it was a downgrade...

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MtGox boss vows to keep going despite $429 MILLION Bitcoin 'theft'

FutureShock999

And some didn't

I know a couple that speculated on BitCoin several years ago. They just bought a house nearly entirely in cash. In LONDON. Just from their BitCoin investment cash-out.

OTOH, I nearly plowed thousands into Mt. Gox over the last few weeks in an effort to arbitrage the exchange differentials. Thankfully I decided to hold out...

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Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

FutureShock999

Re: How about a financial disaster

I beg to differ. Japan's nuclear program has OVERWHELMINGLY been a massive financial benefit to Japan, even after taking out the cost of accidents. The simple fact is, Japan could never have become the industrial powerhouse it has over the past 5 decades without their plethora of nuclear plants. They are too limited in coal, oil, natural gas, etc. to have powered their industrial plants in any other financially viable way. Show me a variation of Japan's history without their web of nuclear plants, and I will show you a Japan without Toyota, Honda, Nippon Steel, etc. I will show you a smaller, dimmer Tokyo. I will show you...well, a very different past and present.

Simply put, the energy from those nuclear plants enabled decades of industrial growth in Japan, at a price for energy they could afford. So the financial cost of Fukishima must be balanced against those decades of growth and prosperity created by the entire network of atomic power plants - and that can only be measured in the TRILLIONS of dollars. Maybe tens of trillions over 5 decades. In terms of cost versus benefits, it is a clear win for nuclear power, at least in the case of Japan (and France, and Germany, and...you get the idea).

It is always tempting to go look at outdated design work and say "Gee, they should have known better". But they didn't - in the same way an Airbus A380 is a bit better than a DC-9, we've learned a lot over 4 decades of technology and science. Those plants were slated for replacement several years ago, but politics and environmentalist actions delayed their replacement - leaving 40+ year old plants soldiering on with known deficiencies - and lacking the safety features of modern plants. That should not be a signal to stop building plants - that should be a signal to redouble our efforts to build new ones, to replace the many that are near their end of life and/or are of such old designs that a newer plant would be MUCH safer.

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HTC One grabs BEST SMARTPHONE gong

FutureShock999

Re: More metal kit that blocks and thus drops more calls.

Otterbox Commuter case...looks great, adds grip, seals ports from water. Because the One is so thin to begin with, even the massive Otterbox still results in a phone+case that is manageable in size.

I have the dual-SIM version (imported from China), and one SIM is O2, the other Voda. The Voda drops connections, has iffy voice quality, etc. The O2 is MUCH better, at least where I live and travel in London. So it may be down more to the network than the phone....

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Judge: Odds of bankrupt Lightsquared sorting itself out are 'zero'

FutureShock999

WTF???

"It may have been close to the GPS band, but in their defence the GPS manufacturers were apparently a little lazy, and didn't keep within their band - hence the interference.

Feel sorry for this guys - fighting against goliaths, to provide something nice for the country."

I wish I could downvote you a million times over. As it happens, I personally KNOW one or two of the senior executives involved in LightSquared, and "providing something nice for the country" was never part of it... They are men after their presumed millions, built by corrupting the political process to get around inconvenient (to them) laws and regulations that existed to protect the rest of us. And I mean that..an airliner that loses a firm GPS fix is an accident waiting to happen...for us. They are the part of the 1% that thinks they can piss on the rest of us, and get richer doing so.

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You... (Sigh). You store our financials in a 'Clowds4U' account?

FutureShock999

Re: IT can be a pain in the arse too

"A Mac is just a pretty PC using a closed form of UNIX/LINUX as an OS. I don't believe that a professional IT department knows nothing about them. Macs are no different to any other PCs in function (only in the minds of the self-appointed 'elite' that use them) and there is nothing that can be done on them which can't be done on any other form of PC just as effectively and usually cheaper."

I write this as someone who bought his first "PC" in 1981, an Ohio Scientific 6502 that I programmed in assembler and MS's first 8k ROM BASIC. I have used pretty much all PC types known to Western civilisation, except BeOS. I built my own MS-DOS/WIn PCs for 15 years from scratch. I now use both Macs and PCs, AND my gf is a graphic/user experience designer. We probably have about 4 Macs, 3 Windows, and 2 Linux machines in our flat at any one time.

There is a fair portion of graphic design, multimedia production, and user experience software that either only runs on a Mac, or runs so much _better_ on a Mac that using it on a PC is a PITA. Also to the point, the "office standard" PC selection is usually terribly speced for graphics design - low resolution screens and poor graphics cards especially. Getting a PC that is equivalent to a MacBook Pro usually costs about what a MacBook Pro costs. Whereas, all Macs, including the Mac Mini, operate reasonably well for graphics and multi-media design, due in part to Mac OS having better primitives and being designed for the past 20 years to support those applications better than Windows.

You CAN take a multimedia PC, such as a Sony Viao Studio series, and get a configuration of applications that do 80-95% of what you can do on a MacBook Pro. But knowing how to do THAT requires almost as much skill as learning how to support Macs, in my experience....

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Europe MPs: Time to change our data-sharing policy with US firms

FutureShock999
Holmes

You astound me...

It's like you have read the product description for Synology's NAS drives and Cloud Station software or something...

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Report: Prez Obama kicks Healthcare.gov contractor to curb for web disaster

FutureShock999

Re: Obviously doomed from beginning - Mark Logic XML db

Oh...but don't you know, XML databases are one of those "new Web technologies" that simply must be applied to all problems to prove that the development staff are up to date and hip. The next alternative was probably Hadoop, so they could call it a "Big Data" solution.

You are entirely correct - the only proper solution to such an important application, at an enterprise level of transaction processing, was a well-designed and well-normalised relational database with huge parallel abilities. Oracle (despite the cost) would have been an obvious choice, but other RDBMS packages would be nearly as capable - in some cases, such as HP's NonStop SQL, perhaps more so and even more suited.

We sometimes forget that Web-technologies evolved to do things that prior technologies didn't do very well - like enable massive social interactions, or end-user customisation and extendability. But that doesn't mean that they are the appropriate choice to replace legacy technology for what it was specifically DESIGNED to do, such as massive transaction processing in a well-delineated environment.

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Keeping warm in winter the el Reg way: Setting a NAS box ON FIRE

FutureShock999

Re: And this beats Glacier...how?

I don't think you know how Glacier really works...every byte is heavily encrypted at backup. Your access is encrypted as well. You have your own private keys. And you can even pre-encrypt the data if you are terribly paranoid. Not to say that the NSA can't get past it...but it is unlikely they can get past it in any meaningful way due to volume.

The only serious downside mentioned is that of the speed of the restore, which is critical for SMBs, but not so much for private individuals storing their video, picture, and music collections. But I would expect SMBs with proper IT to have a device like this AND an offisite backup as well...either cloud-based or physical. With Synology OS as a core, you could run their Glacier backup on this hardened box directly...belt and braces, as it were.

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FutureShock999

And this beats Glacier...how?

All you have done is hardened the disks. That still doesn't prevent theft of the entire enclosure. So while one of these looks perfect for protecting up to 4Tb of critical data that you don't want to back up to a public cloud even while encrypted...I am struggling to find why this beats having a nice Glacier back-up running on a standard Synology NAS...

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Steelie Neelie: EU biz can use YOUR private data WITHOUT PERMISSION

FutureShock999

Time to stop OUTLAW in El Reg...

This is the second piece in a few weeks that has been slanted obviously in favour of Pinsent Masons' clients. It REALLY is time for El Reg to stop giving OUTLAW any page space, given that they are not fair and unbiased reporters of the legal scene. It is paid propaganda, masquerading as unbiased coverage.

El Reg - please stop carrying them, it only harms your own image...

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SaaS superstars' cynical sales schemes make them dinosaurs-in-waiting

FutureShock999

Re: SaaS contracts

I also work with selling services around SaaS vendors, and the above is spot on with nearly all of them that I have worked with. While some of the major ones have complicated licensing options (thinking SFDC and others), their salespeople can usually explain the whys and whats pretty quickly.

But the REAL fail of the Gartner analyst is to think that a pricing model will drive a company out of business, in favour of another company that has the same cost structures and sales channels (which is what he is implying). Does he not THINK that such a problem could not be dealt with very quickly, by simply adjustment to the pricing sheets and terms&conditions? It would be the fix of a few months (legal approval, finance approval, etc.) for any SaaS company to change their terms of license and pricing models substantially. And that is far easier than having a new software company gain marketshare and credibility...

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Fat-walleted execs? Nope, it's a corporate tax swerve that REALLY ticks Brits off

FutureShock999

You re-published an Out-law article...

of which half is dedicated to one of Pinsent Masons' tax solicitors talking up their own "government has no remit to investigate corporate tax" POVs!!! And then kindly note that Pinsent Masons underwrites Out-law.

What utter tripe El Reg. You have just become a mouthpiece for the 1%...

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On the matter of shooting down Amazon delivery drones with shotguns

FutureShock999

Brits forgetting their past?

How can a Brit forget the best way to take down an incoming aircraft at low levels?

A barrage balloon. Or many of them. Pretty sure they would do a number on a drone. Just not as much fun...

If you want to ensure you snare a drone, circle your balloons around an address (doesn't have to be your own!), place your order, then watch the fun...

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Drone expert: Amazon's hypetastic delivery scheme a pie in the sky

FutureShock999

Re: Bears with Arms

There would be informal competitions, with video posted to YouTube...

Having said that, I have just ordered a laser sight for my Beretta 12 guage... ;-)

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BOFH: It's DANGEROUS to go alone. Take THIS

FutureShock999

No, your ears have gone, it happens with age....sorry. ;-)

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