46 posts • joined 20 Jan 2012
@Aaron Em: Cheaply-Made Keyboards
The good keyboards were made with double-shot injection molding; the labels on the keys went "all the way through". Legendary-old-school Hewlett-Packard used to use this process on their calculator keys.
These days, manufacturers don't use double-shot molding because it's more expensive, and doesn't make sense. Usually, the crappy rubber-dome-or-whatever contact mechanisms currently made die before the cheap-o labels wear off.
I have a few old-style IBM mechanical keyboards, along with the needed PS/2-->USB converters. 30+ years old, and they still work just fine.
Have You Tried Pressing ...
... Control-L to re-draw the screen?
Re: I do
Yeah. Make everyone in those other offices use GMT when they're designating conference-call dates and times.
Re: The Distributed Camera
Reminds me of the moment in one of the "Ghost in the Shell" series/movies where a policeman cried out, "My (electronic) eyes have been hacked!" Immediately after that, he had a fatal one-car "accident" on a rainy road, when he swerved his car to avoid a faked obstacle which he "saw" with his electronic eyes.
@Will 20: All that data is in your possession...
From TFA: "though since the police gained the right to search one's pockets on request it seems only logical to extend that right into digital pockets too."
That a warrant-less pockets-search is OK does not imply that a wrrant-less cellphone search should be OK.
There's data on one's cellphone which one possibly might carry in one's pockets, but usually do not:
o List of friends and enemies, their phone numbers, when you last spoke, and for how long.
o List of business contacts, their phone numbers, when you last spoke, and for how long.
o Content of SMS messages and emails you sent and received, including confidential business and personal info ("Your VD tests turned up clean..."; "Joe Fookleheimer was caught on CCTV banging an intern in a carpark [vid attached]. Release this before the next board meeting, and you could steal his job.")
o Photos you sent and received, including nude pic your wife/GF sent you.
o Where you have physically been, when you were there, and for how long.
All this sort of info can be leaked to your detriment, or misused against you.
Pre-cellphone era, they'd have to mind-probe you (or blackmail you, or torture you) to get that info, and now the cops/prosecuters want to just vacuum all that up without probable cause or a warrant, easy as pie, and keep it for potential further (mis-)use.
@AC 16 May 08:51 Re: BTO
Man, that was a great band! "Try to Let it Ride".
@Tom 35: If They Stop ...
Sony has been doing this for years. See:
They're not going to stop. They just aren't. Too bad, though. It looks like a nice lappy, but... it's a Sony.
@AC 15 May 16:22GMT: Brumley was spouting semi-crap
o Locally-generated power: can be easily sold to power companies.
o Locally-pumped-from-the-ground fresh water: sketchy. Is clean water so costly there that it really is economical to buy, maintain, and fuel a fleet of stainless-steel-tanked semi trucks to transport clean water to potential buyers, or to build a pipeline and pumps to the nearest major municipality?
o Local sewage treatment facilities: sketchy. Same issue as with water, as noted above.
o Communications: bullshit. Unless you've got data-carrying capability from Point A to Point B, where Point A and Point B are places anybody actually cares sending data to and from, you've got nothing to sell to communications companies. Comm companies aren't going to pay to establish links to/from Robot Town unless there's a significant market there.
Re: Earthquakes Destroy Roads, Trucks *need* Roads
@Tom35: I presume you were being sarcastic, but if you were not,
1. The truck/blimp idea was not my idea, nor was I supporting it.
2. The wireline connectivity requirement holds if the truck/blimp system is intended to reproduce the full bandwidth functionality of standard cellphone towers. Blimp/satellite comms may be possible, but it would be outrageously expensive for the bandwidth required to repro standard cell tower functionality.
@ArmanX and Tom35: if you were being serious about the trucks going into the damaged areas, please have a look at this photo from when the last big tsunami hit Japan:
I don't think trucks -- off-road-style or not -- will make any sort of rapid progress through that sort of landscape.
Earthquakes Destroy Roads, Trucks *need* Roads
o Earthquakes destroy roads, but trucks need roads.
o Earthquakes destroy pole-supported wireline infrastructure, but cell towers (and truck/blimp-based celltower replacements) need functioning wireline connectivity.
o With 3KM-diameter cells (this datum from TFA) Softbank is going to need many truck/blimp units to achieve reasonable coverage.
This whole thing sounds like a pork-barrel / PR exercise, or PHB/committee-based ... something.
Tell Me Another
... "PIN number" ... which is right up there with "ATM machine" and "NIC card" on my personal hated-phrases list.
Fenwick> You can make accurate predictions.
I'd correct that to read: "You can make reasonably accurate predictions only for those cases where the model is at least reasonably correct and the data you plug into that model is at least reasonably correct."
1. Correlation != Causality. (My phone spent half an hour outside Victoria's Secret NOT because I'm interesting in buying a bra-and-panty set, but because my feet were tired and there was a handy bench outside the shop.)
2. An accurate model (and the huge number of data points -- some of them likely un-collectable -- needed to make it work) covering complex human behavior is unwieldy at best, incomprehensible at worst.
3. Model-makers must simplify their complex-human-behavior models to make them humanly-usable.
4. When you simplify a complex-human-behavior model, you lose accuracy.
5. Simplifying a complex-human-behavior model in a way which makes it still mostly-usable and reasonably-accurate is partly science, and partly art. It's tricky and difficult work.
6. Gullible execs continue to buy corporate "magic bullets" and "wonder cures".
7. "Let's keep their credit-card information. We could probably do something with that."
Paragraph 1 says, "...managed to transmit a signal from point to point faster than the speed of light in a vacuum..."
Paragraph 8 contradicts this, saying, "In four-wave mixing, researchers send 200-nanosecond-long "seed" pulses of laser light into a heated cell containing atomic rubidium vapor along with a separate "pump" beam at a different frequency from the seed pulses... "
"a heated cell containing rubidium vapor" doesn't sound like a vacuum to me.
Still, as we cannot yet reasonably-conveniently install and maintain heated, rubidium-vapor-filled garden hoses between Earth and other celestial bodies whose inhabitants with which we wish to communicate, AT&T, BT, et. al. need not worry about any serious competition.
Not a new idea ...
... see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HavsOq3RzQ&feature=related
but as previous posts have indicated, the loopholes have been closed.
I'm curious to know how that 10 GB/S* laser link is supposed to work. Wave action would make staying on target difficult, I think. Are they using a computer-controlled, servo-aimed transceiver mounting platform?
*Per Comcast T&Cs, that's "up to" 10 GB/S.
WD, Seagate, and ... anybody else? Anyone?
Now that the formerly-huge number of hard drive makers has dwindled to just two, we have a near-monopoly situation.
Now -- from a buyer's perspective -- would be a good time for a small, nimble company with clever engineers to pop in at the bottom of the market.
"The Cloud Ate My Documents" - a new excuse/vulnerability
Right now, there's the whole, "We have a search warrant, decrypt your hard drive" vs "I'm sorry, officer, I forgot that password." / "I'm sorry officer, I have no data on that hard drive." tussle.
The person being served might be telling the truth, or might not be telling the truth.
Now, we have a similar issue involving document storage on "the cloud".
Maybe the cloud service truly ate the user's documents, or maybe the user is just making excuses.
I'm sure lawyers will profit from this somehow.
Who ya gonna trust?
If you choose to ignore the many other excellent points raised in oppostion to this scheme, ask yourself: "What happens to my investment in "media rights" if the company concerned goes out of business, makes a "business decision" to shut down their authorization or content servers (as happened with the Microsoft MSN Music Store), or simply makes a unilateral change in the T&Cs of the quote-contract-unquote?"
Who's Gonna Shoot Me? (@AC 6 Apr, 21:55)
AC: [The sad fact is you are more likely to be shoot by someone you know then a "bad guy".]
The groups "someone you know" and "bad guy" sometimes overlap.
I've known some violent bad guys who were sent to, and deserved to be in, prison, but they were not my friends.
Some of the people I consider my friends own guns; some of them do not.
None of the people I consider my friends would shoot at me because they are evil/greedy/angry/crazy/stupid/under-the-influence-of-alcohol-or-drugs. Same for the girlfriend.
It's part of my definitions of "friend" and "girlfriend".
AC: [And in most cases of a random shooting the victim does not have time to react.]
I believe you are correct here.
If ever I am the victim of a random shooting, I might have the chance to react in time. But, if my government prohibits private firearm ownership and carry, then I will have nothing to react with.
Further, other private citizens nearby, if armed, may be able to react in time.
No system is perfect. I choose the somewhat-increased risk of being accidentally shot by a careless moron over the much-greater risk of being the guaranteed-harmless victim of any bad guy with a gun.
Re: Only 32,000 bullets (Let's Do the Math)
Let's do the math.
32,000 rounds divided by 8,000 guns == 4 bullets per gun.
32,000 rounds divided by, say, 40 weeks you go to the firing range each year == 800 rounds per range-week.
Figure two days at the range for each range-week, which gives us 400 rounds per session at the range.
Figure 14 rounds per magazine (typical of 9mm pistols); 400 / 14 is 28.5-ish clips per range session.
32K bullets is just "personal consumption" for one year, for one person to stay reasonably-skilled.
Then, there are the "serious" shooters who will put in far more range time, and burn through far more ammo.
As to being shot... additional guns in general circulation somewhat increases my chances of being carelessly shot by some moron. If only the government and the bad guys have guns, my chances of being shot go up much more. The police are 99.99999% of the time not effectively-near-you when the bad guy(s) use their guns on you. At that point in time, you're helpless.
And somehow, the bad guys _always_ manage to get guns.
Just the glasses
I want the glasses, and just the glasses.
I do not want the advertising and alleged services which Google undoubtedly will bundle with the glasses.
I want the glasses to use with my own wearable PC, programmed by me.
I think the Googlers are making their own, somewhat-simpler version of this:
"It just hurts my eyes," huh?
"Going from 2010 to VS 11 Beta, it just hurts my eyes. Everything looks the same and I have to spend more mental effort organizing where things were on the screen."
These complaints were not raised during the eras of:
* monochrome mainframe, minicomputer, and microcomputer terminals
* monochrome PET displays
* monochrome TRS-80 displays
* monochrome Apple ][ displays
* monochrome IBM PC displays
* monochrome gray-scale workstation (Sun, NeXT, WyCat, etc. etc.) displays
* monochrome gray-scale Macintosh displays
Spoiled kids, in whiny voice: "Mommmm! This is difff-ferrrr-rent! I don't liiiiiike it!"
Disclaimer -- I've not seen or used the software in question.
So... _how_ did they do it?
What parameters did they set that were different than the ones in all of the gazillions of other wave-tank experiments which have been carried out around the world to date?
TFA, here -- http://news.anu.edu.au/?p=14321 -- does not say.
(1) Ignorant / arrogant (typically, but not always, read: inexperienced-and-cheaper-to-hire) programmers "rolling their own" date conversions rather than using tried-and-tested code, and,
(2) Managers who won't spend programmer time on proper code reviews.
Re: I'll consider myself cured, then
I don't not-believe, but neither am I convinced.
I believe the raw data and procedures must be published and successfully replicated, and independantly examined.
Peer review has mutated into the monkeys-ladder-bananas-waterhose indoctrination.
At one time, it was the quote-scientific-un-quote consensus that illnesses were caused by evil spirits.
At another time, it was the quote-scientific-un-quote consensus that illnesses needed to be cured by "bleeding" the patient.
"Effectively communicating" these consensuses to the masses would not make the consensuses "correct", it simply would make them more widely-accepted.
When scientists work on communicating a set of beliefs instead of finding the truth, they are no longer scientists. Instead, they are religious figures, shills, tools, demagogues and politicians.
Re: i work on this basis.....
A "professional" is someone who is good enough at something to earn a living at it, and does a good job (vs "amateur", or vs "dilletante").
Managers have re-defined "professional" to mean, "someone who does whatever we tell them, someone who 'sucks it up' and soldiers proudly onward."
Do not fall into the linguistic / mental trap of accepting management's re-definition of the word.
Re: Does this mean
If "intellectual property" were treated as "property", AND breach of contract on the part of Force India was shown, I'd hope the Air-whatever group could get a "mechanic's lien" (do they have mechanics' liens in the UK?), which would prohibit Force India from using or selling on the "property", AND allowing Air-whatever to use or sell on that "property".
How does it affect your performance review ...
... If you're seen to be actually using these flumpy, humpy, floopy, hoopy lounge areas?
Retail Paper Prices vs Cost of Production
Thanks for the sources, but ... trying to economize and be eco-friendly by using a "lower" grade of paper results in a SIGNIFICANTLY higher end-user cost, even though the "lower" grades of paper cost LESS to produce!
(1 ream == 500 sheets)
18.95 GBP/ream 3.92 x cost for 1 ream 20# copy paper
S307-809 Pad 9"x12" 50 Rough, Tape (top), White
34.00 GPB/ream 7.02 x cost for 1 ream 20# copy paper
HP Copy A4 Paper - 80gsm - Box of 5 Reams (Pack of 5)
No, It's Not So Simple
One must include all energy costs and all related pollution in order to correctly decide whether A is better (cheaper, more environment-friendly) than B.
How much power does it take to "burn clean" a sheet of paper?
How much pollution does vaporizing a sheet's worth of toner create? How toxic is the vaporized toner?
And, why are we still grinding up trees and bleaching the pulp to make paper, when other plants provide more pulp per energy unit input?
Why can I no longer buy lower-cost papers, such as "flimsy" and "pulpwood", which were available during up through the 1970s?
(But, that's a separate topic...)
"So far, the researchers have worked out what the mystery code does, but are still mostly in the dark about the grammar and syntax of the programming language, they said."
WHY would anyone expect to be able to figure out the grammar and syntax of a higher-level language by looking at the compiled code -- let alone try to do so?
SECRET EQ B0,B0 SECRET
DONE EQ B0,B0 SEKRIT
I never seem to use middle-range size/weight laptops....
95% of the time, I use either a big-ass desktop replacement -- physically large, hi-res screen, multi-core CPU, eSATA, ExpressCard slot, serial and parallel ports -- for Wireshark traces, VM instances, and such -- or, I use my 7" EeePC (Celeron 900).
I don't seem to have much use for the "middle ground" covered by regular laptops or Ultrabooks.
Re: Even those that can...
Private Cloud == Potentially-Good
Public Cloud == (for most purposes) Bad
* If it breaks, you and your staff can not (are not allowed to) fix it, but you will probably be held responsible.
* Your data-in-the-cloud are vulnerable to sniffing, copying, and denial-of-service.
- Incompetent/inexperienced/underpaid-and-indifferent cloud-provider IT staff (minimum-wage monkeys who don't get active when they see Joe Backhoe tearing up the street outside their atacenter)
- Corrupt cloud-provider IT staff ("Hey, Mr. Cloud-Provider IT Guy/Gal! We'll give you $10,000.00 if you give us a copy of Company X's data.")
- Corrupt gov't in the place where your data are physically stored
- Armed business or gov't conflict in the place where your data are physically stored
- What are the data-protection laws (or lack thereof) in the island-nation of Vuanatu, where your data may be stored?
- Untested-by-you-and-your-staff backup/restore procedures of public cloud provider
* Costs appear to be MORE, not less than doing it yourself.
- Amazon EBS currently charges $0.10/month/GB, so 1TB == $100.00/mo.
- Current Newegg price for a Seagate Constellation ES ST31000426SS 1TB 7200 RPM SAS 6Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive with FIPS 140-2 Secure Encryption is approximately $290.00 with shipping.
- Three months of 1 TB Amazon EBS storage costs more than the drive itself!
- This ignores your cost of electricity, but ALSO EXCLUDES Amazon's charges of $0.10 per million IOPs, and monthly CPU rental, which varies depending on CPU power and instance size.
* Choosing to use public clouds is one way management says, "We hate / don't trust our IT department. We'd rather spend a pile of money on an external company than spend some money on training our IT staffers in cloud technology." (This same thought applies to outsourcing.)
* Can be *a* way for your company to afford get by if it's capital-constrained ("I can't afford to BUY a BMW, but I can afford to LEASE one.").
In light of the disadvantages listed above, and the likely-financially-shaky condition of your company if public cloud services are the only thing it can afford, you should probably look for a job elsewhere.
Monetizing Free Labor AND Bitching About Poor Labor Quality
THe Foursquare execs have a f***ed-up, overbearing sense of entitlement.
Cry me a river, baby. Cry me a river.
Re: Frontpage, yep!
Aye, but there's mountains o' money to be made by selling caffeinated sugar-water and cool-looking CrAplication generators.
Enlightened Executives and Marketing Maniacs, let the Buzzword Bingo Begin!
Re: DDoS attacks?
Perhaps they were "GlaDOS" (Google Link And Disc Operating System) attacks.
It's too bad that Scroogle is no longer "Still Alive".
Building the CPU board and floppies into the monitor cabinet was not an "original" idea by Amstrad.
NEC, circa 1982:
IBM Datamaster, 17 Feb 1982:
Going back farther...
Tektronix 4051 (ran BASIC, had a built-in DC300a tape storage unit) circa 1976:
HP 9830a (ran BASIC, had a built in cassette storage unit and built-in thermal printer), circa 1972:
I've used those beasts. The HP thermal printouts would fade to purple-black if you didn't keep them well away from heat sources.
Warrants and Probable Cause vs Large-Scale Surveillance
In American law, the resaon we have police requirements such as warrants, probable cause, etc. is to make it HARDER for police to abuse their powers (not impossible, just harder).
The IDEA is that by requiring expenditure of police resources (detectives following suspects, getting warrants, etc.), the police will focus their limited resources on actual criminal cases, vs being easily able to jail politcial opponents of The Powers That Be, or enemies of someone who bribed a cop (you'd have to bribe a cop AND a judge...).
I've been robbed at gunpoint, but I still worry more about crime-by-corrupt-government than by the occasional thug.
Smart Cards are vulnerable if they're Stupidly-Designed or Stupidly-Implemented.
That last bit seems to be a problem with many modern quote-security-un-quote mechanisms.
Was the policy statement a lie-by-omission?
If the company gives employees a written statement saying, "We monitor employee email/webmail", and they do ONLY THAT, then the employees have been fairly warned.
But if management or IT/security boffins then ALSO see employees' banking details by MitM-ing "SSL secured" web sessions to employees' banks, management has lied by omission, and should be prosecuted for relevant computer-crime offenses.
If, instead, the written statement said, "We monitor all employee email and on-line activities", then the employees been fairly warned, and management should be off the hook.
I don't use company computers for personal biz... just because.
trust is trust, fraud is fraud
Her victims presumably knew and trusted her, and she defrauded them.
"Trust, yet verify" -- an excellent idea, but how?
I would not accept stock documents in lieu of cash from anyone. Why? Because I have no way of knowing what "legitimate" stock documents look like.
If I call a broker, and say, "I want to buy 1000 share of Intel stock", how can I verify that after paying the broker, I truly "own" 1000 shares of Intel stock?
Because "a computer says so"? No. Computers can (and many times, have been) been fradulently manipulated.
How do I verify that my brokerage company isn't just keeping the money I paid them to buy stocks with?
How to I verify that my brokerage company isn't raiding my account, and issuing faked account statements?
How do I verify my bank (or, dishonest employees of the bank) have not raided my accounts and issued faked account statements?
Answer: I cannot.
If they're defrauding me, I won't find out about it until I try to pull my money and it's "not there", or I see a headline about "Broker/Bank X Stock/Fraud Scandal".
I guess it's criminally-stupid to put money in a bank, or to buy stock.
Condolences and Contemplations
Condolences - certainly.
Admiration - for him doing what he loved to do.
Contemplation - human fallibility. I wonder if Mr. Appleton got into a "mode" of human behavior I've seen before, in which one's desires overrides one's prudence. Six years ago I saw an airshow fighter jet crash where this mode seemed to be what was happening.
0 - In late afternoon, jet pilot prepares to leave airshow for his home airport. Conditions CAVU.
1 - Jet is towed to base of runway.
2 - Engine (it was a single-engine jet) spools up, then spools down.
3 - Jet is towed to the side of the field.
4 - People (pilot, mechanics, others?) do things to the jet.
5 - Jet is towed back to takeoff position.
6 - Engine spools up, makes pooh-pooh-pooh sounds of unsteady flame.
7 - Pilot runs engine faster, then slower, faster, then slower. Occasional pooh-pooh sounds heard.
8 - Pilot leaves engine at steady speed. No more pooh-pooh sounds.
9 - Pilot runs engine up to (presumably) full power, begins take-off roll.
10 - Pilot has a looooong take-off roll, uses 95% of available runway (other jets used 60~75%), and has an extremely low angle-of-climb.
11 - Pilot clears trees by 50 feet.
12 - Pilot flies away from airport, out of sight.
13 - Pilot flies back towards airport, still just 50 feet over the trees.
14 - Pilot flies past airport.
15 - Jet, obscured by trees, disappears from view.
16 - Silence.
17 - Loud boom, orangey fireball, and dirty black smoke.
18 - Pilot killed, no other injuries (crashed into a house).
That jet pilot was well-qualified. He was the only one authorized at that time by the FAA to train other pilots on that jet (Hawker Hunter MK58).
Yet, he decided the jet was "good to go" when pre-take-off symptoms indicated it well might *not* have been.
Humans create systems which magnify human power; these systems also magnify the consequences of human failure.
"Have you scanned your Club Card?"
Coming from the computer, which should damn well *know* whether I've scanned my club card or not, this is yet another annoyance of these machines.
But the biggest fail of these things is the lag. You scan an item ... you get no beep, and nothing changing on the screen, you wait... when nothing happens, you go back and re-scan it ... then get a beep ... an another beep; you're charged for two of that item, and need the store-clerk/machine-babysitter to make the correction. But it's inconsistent as to when you have a "scan-ahead buffer" and when you don't.
Are they looking up prices on a mainframe computer via a communications link which uses an Earth-Moon-Earth radio bounce?
Backups -- troublesome, but doable. Better buy another tape drive or two. If backups are disc-based, it's easier. Get some batch jobs running, and be ready to mount/dismount the media.
Invoices with no customer details -- a non-issue. The right-to-be-forgotten applies to individuals, not corporations.
I have a hard time believing HMRC requires customer personal information on every Joe and Jaqueline who stops into a convenience store and buys a packet of crisps. You have the cash register tape with the purchase amount and date/time, and that's good enough.
It's *businesses* who buy train-car-loads of stuff, and the info on the invoice you produce for HMRC will have that business' info, which is not subject to this regulation.
...lunatics...paranoid -- your values aren't necessarily other peoples' values.
realistic to implement -- Companies which did NOT rush to hoard up (and sell on) peoples' personal data will be LEAST affected, which is how it should be.
It's like the company who went the "cheap" way and dumped their low-level radioactive waste in a lined holding pond -- which was located on a flood plain. The company took the profits, at the expense of others. Years later, when the government finally figured it out ("You're doing what?! Move that shit!") , the company screams and cries about how many millions of dollars it will cost them to move it to an approved holding facility. Tough noogies. They did the deed, they bear the (current, higher) costs of cleaning that up .
Why should their deliberations be "secret"? ...
... Unless some dirty deals are being done.
Presuming there is a *valid* reason for secrecy, keep it off the god-damn Internet ... duh!
Give them dedicated circuits to the G20 server, hardware-based encryption/decryption, and VT-100s with appropriate keyboards and character ROMs. CKJV-type countries get a Linux dedicated appliances with appropriate fonts and keyboards.
If a diagram can't be expressed as character-based art, it doesn't need to be in the document.
This is just another struggle between the empowered/moneyed alpha-elites.
Asshole "A": the RIAA/MPAA and their paid-off multi-government tools.
Asshole "B": the prime movers of MU who made millions of dollars by hosting un-paid-for intellectual property (I'm not going into the "illegal/immoral" aspects of this).
The apparent citizen-level issue is, "Why should US laws be enforced against non-US citizens who have not stepped foot into the US?"
"Because they did bad things" is an insufficient answer. I'm certain many countries (middle-eastern, China, North Korea, and others) have laws "against" criticising their leaders or their leaders' actions. I'm also certain there's been at least one US citizen who has criticised one or more of those countries' leaders or actions on the web; yet, the US has not handed such persons over to those countries to be tried for their alleged crimes.
The REAL citizen-level issue is that their governments are corrupt.
The US-based multinational corporation International Business Machines provided technology and consulting services to the Third Reich, enabling the Nazis to better track jews, gays, Roms, and other Reich-designated "undesirables".
Yet the US government did not prosecute IBM's officers, nor penalize the corporation.
Clearly, "money talks."
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