3404 posts • joined 18 Jul 2007
Re: Concerning IPTV
"Which kind of throws out the idea of everyone sharing a single multicast stream doesn't it?"
No it doesn't. Live TV is multicast. If you view a PPV movie, or a recording, or your timeshift out of your RAM buffer then it goes to unicast.
"And as for a client side buffer enabling pause/rewind, how does that work if you rewind to the beginning of the programme you tuned into half way through?"
The box goes "oh he's rewinding back in time so we'll stream from a different url". Or it goes "oh he's rewinding back in time so we'll stop here and throw a popup asking if he wants to timeshift -15, -30 or -60 minutes and THEN stream from a different url"
"While UDP multicast may be the most efficient use of bandwidth, using it will require bringing in many restrictions in what the public already expect from a streaming video service."
No it wouldn't. The end user would be sublimely unaware of all of this. They'd just have this cool box which allows them to rewind live TV even if they've only switched to the channel this second. They'd have this cool box which lets them "record" 10 channels at once. They'd have a cool box which did this even when it was unplugged from the wall because the "recordings" are actually timeslives in the cloud mapped onto a honking big storage device recording *everything* and figuring out which bits to save. They'd have this cool box which is about the size of a paperback book because it doesn't need to pack in any HDD, tuners or any of that nonsense.
Catch my drift? I'm not saying IPTV is perfect or all of this is easy. But it's doable and in some ways is actually easier than it would be through other means. It needs the infrastructure in the ISP, particularly for time shifting but the fact is that it offers huge potentials.
Re: Concerning IPTV
"A single UDP stream would prevent many of the useful tricks iPlayer currently does, like changing resolution on the fly, buffering without losing any of the programme and live pause / rewind."
Live pause & rewind can be handled with a buffer. Stream to an HDD or even into RAM. The RAM option might be more limited but there is no reason that an IPTV solution requires client side storage of streams - timeshifted streams could be stored on a server and accessible on demand. Same for recordings - what you think of as a recording is just a start/end time and a channel id which is resolved to the stream on the server when you play it.
As for how to deal with load, that's an issue for the ISP / provider to sort out. There is already fairly sophisticated protocols for DVB-IPTV which answer these sort of issues including load management.
Re: Concerning IPTV
"Yes, multicasting would be great; it works in theory. In practise, are all the ISPs going to invest in the kit and the upgrades to their networks to make sure it all behaves well? And then decide that they'll provide a basic TV service out of the goodness of their little capitalist hearts?"
Well if they're offering IPTV then I assume they would. Or if there were a consortium of broadcasters who supported the platform then they'd pay for the kit to go into the ISP's intranet just as they pay for the kit that goes into masts.
Live streaming TV doesn't require every single computer has a single connection to the server. This could be accomplished using UDP multicasting - everyone watching a particular channel subscribes to an IP address and they're sent the same packets. It would require the ISP to have some box which does the multicasting but it's far more efficient than everyone having their own streams.
Anyway for DVB, HEVC is approximately twice as efficient as encoding video as AVC. There are 4x as many pixels but they're also 1/4 the size and things like macro blocks are variable size. So it is possible that HEVC might deliver a subjectively better image at a similar bitrate as AVC.
So potentially it wouldn't imply any more bandwidth from existing broadcasts, although it would mean switching hardware and that is obviously the main sticking point. I don't see much market for UHD in terrestrial broadcasting but a more efficient codec has obvious benefits.
Re: Which WinPhones will get 8.1?
The claim was all WP8 devices would get 8.1. But my wife's Lumia 520 hasn't gotten an update for it yet. The 520 is somewhat gimped by its memory so I wouldn't be surprised that if/when 8.1 arrives it is missing certain functionality.
Re: Bad AV
What I find incredible about AV software is how bad the UI is in most of it. If an AV company can't even write a decent UI, then what does that say for the state of the code you can't see?
Re: Point of Issue
I think there is plenty of blame to go around. C/C++ for having some inherently dangerous constructs and doing very little to discourage their use "for legacy reasons". AV companies for writing sloppy spaghetti like code, a lot of which is bound to be very low level and very fragile. OS manufacturers for still needing AV software even in a day and age when a lot of checking could be pushed into the cloud and mitigated by virtualization and other tricks to prevent malicious code doing bad things. And users for doing dumb things that require AV software in the first place.
Re: PDF on Windows?
Firefox uses a JS based PDF viewer:
It renders into a canvas (with a text layer on top). It means it's okay for previews but not so good for printing.
Re: Quantity not quality
"Or early BBC HD on Freesat to BBC1 HD and BBC2 HD now on Freesat."
A TV channel occupies a frequency with a bunch of other channels which together form something called a mux. The mux is a transport stream with audio, video, and data of all these channels mixed together. The channels in the mux all share from a fixed bandwidth and software / hardware attempts to compress each channel in real time to make best use of this space. Programmes in the channels might be hinted and channels might be weighted for quality.
Channels can move from one mux to another as space is freed up. Channels on Sky / Freesat are constantly moving around. The BBC tends to keep its channels in the same mux but it still moves them. Until a few years back space was very constrained but new Astra satellites have been launched to supply more capacity.
The BBC is also known to have switched hardware encoder because they were dissatisfied with the performance of their encoding at the bitrate.
So anyway, even assuming there was a difference (and you'd have to have stream captures from then and now to say for sure), there are other reasons that quality has changed. Personally I think the quality of Freesat on BBC channels is generally excellent.
I only watch Freeview when I'm in a hotel or something but in SD it's always falling to bits under heavy load. In part that's due to using MPEG-2 and in part due more channels squashed into less muxes. Freeview HD implements DVB-T2 which is more space efficient and HD channels use AVC. So picture quality has the potential to improve substantially over what it was.
ODF is not open source
ODF is an open standard, not open source. Any word processor / spreadsheet / presentation can implement it which includes MS Office. In fact, if Microsoft pull their socks up and robustly implement it, I can't think of a reason *why* any government would want to switch.
LibreOffice / OpenOffice + derivatives really aren't adequate replacements for MS Office. They're okay for the basics but stray beyond that and they start to show a lot of rough edges. This is particularly prominent in Impress & Calc which can be very fiddly and unforgiving to use. But all components are affected. LibreOffice needs to spend at least one, and probably two major iterations where the primary focus is on usability and performance.
Until that time I don't think Microsoft has anything to worry about.
This must be about the 4th or 5th android killer by now.
Re: Whenever you hear Oracle whine about Android
The use of GPL in a commercial product obliges the company to supply the source upon request. These days most companies would normally throw the tarballs up on a web server and let people click the link to get them.
Note of course that a Linux dist isn't just GPL, but dozens of open source licences with disparate obligations. So potentially RH could withhold parts of a dist (e.g. BSD licenced stuff) if they felt like it though it would cause bad feeling in the open source community if they did.
They could also dual licence something really important that they developed themselves to stop the likes of Oracle leeching off it but Canonical got burned by such practices so that might be a non runner.
What they have done is stop releasing discrete patch files for their fixes & changes. Instead they concatenate everything into one large patch. Presumably this is to frustrate Oracle's support efforts.
Whenever you hear Oracle whine about Android
Just remember they're ripping off Red Hat Linux lock stock and barrel. "Ah", some apologist might say, "the licence allows them to". It sure does. It doesn't make them look any less hypocritical.
I do wonder who in their right minds would pay them for support though. If you want to pay for support why not pay it to the company which actually develops the distribution (or the package maintainer itself) instead of the barnacles hitching a ride.
Re: Not wanting to defend plod, but
"So you either log connections to the same standard or you don't offer an open hotspot. Even if you do provide a hotspot which logs everything (e.g. FON) the police have demonstrated time and again that technology confuses them."
I very much doubt that you as a householder would be on the hook if someone did something malicious on it.
Any complaint would come through BT and BT would know from the logs that it was someone piggybacking from your public wifi spot. They'd also know who that person was according to the login details.
So while plod might come around to ask if you saw someone doing a four fingered shuffle in your garden, you yourself would not be under suspicion of any crime.
And it goes without saying
That a porn studio will be first to pioneer this system
"Otherwise, consider *why* I'm using Pirate Bay for my media needs. Hint: it isn't price, it's availability."
And midget porn
This is why net neutrality is so important
Without net neutrality, ISPs will start throttling services and holding them to ransom which essentially means people pay more to use them. Aside from that people find themselves involuntarily segregated into service packages where one ISP works well with one set of services and another ISP works well with another set of services.
The only reason I see to break net neutrality is if the ISP actually paid Netflix or some other service to install servers on their backbone to minimize latency.
In other words, the ISPs should not be allowed to throttle or impede access to service outside of their network but they should be able to add proxies or servers inside their network to improve service..
Probably not so much the form factor
I think 8" would work better if the device came with a stylus and a keyboard attachment so the desktop could be used on the go. It wouldn't hurt either to throw in more storage and better CPU performance.
As it is these devices are destined to run in metro for the most part and that's where the problem is. Metro is quite a mature and usable touch GUI and the apps it ships with are very usable these days. However, the app store is a joke - the situation with 3rd party apps has improved but it doesn't bear favourable comparison to Android or the iPad. If I had money in my pocket to buy a 8" tablet, I'd probably drop it on a Galaxy Tab.
It's probably why Microsoft and vendors are looking to larger sizes where Android and iPad begin to look distinctly clunky and where a Windows tablet / hybrid makes more sense.
Dalvik and the NDK
Most apps are pure Dalvik. They neither know nor care if the host OS is 32-bit or higher since Dalvik imposes the app constraints in much the same way as a JVM does.
Apps that use the NDK (and some like games need to) on the other hand definitely know what the architecture is and are probably rolling their eyes about yet another target appearing. The problem at present is that every architecture .so needs to be built and bundled together in a single APK (bloating it out), or separate apks for each architecture (an administration and testing nightmare). Neither is optimal and unsurprisingly devs won't support a new architecture until it gains traction. And a new architecture won't gain traction unless the apps support it.
Google could help a lot here (and ARM and Intel) by supporting LLVM targets. Let someone compile their NDK app against a LLVM bitcode target. Let the device compile that target into native code during installation. Or even Google could do it when the apk is uploaded to their store. The point being that then devs don't care what the architecture is because their app will work on anything and new 64-bit cpus integrate seamlessly into the ecosystem.
Re: Buy a Miix 2 instead
The Miix 2 11" has the choice of i3 or i5 processor and comes with 2 or 4GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB SSD. For much less than the Surface 3. And it includes the keyboard so it's cheaper again.
Buy a Miix 2 instead
They're similar spec, they're cheaper and they come with a keyboard.
You said Your View referring to "my" View. The correct answer was My View as in "your" View.
Re: Boffins disagreeing with each other?
Scientists disagree all the time. As if that's a bad thing.
Re: Price of Electricity
I'd say petrol costs are vastly more concerning. It only takes a whiff of regional instability (e.g. what's happening in Iraq right now) for the price to be hiked up. And over the long term the price always goes up.
I think it's crazy for electric cars to have so many batteries in them. It would be better for a hybrid that can do an average commute but can kick over to something else if the battery runs down - hydrogen, ethanol and diesel are all potentially renewable.
Or even an aluminium / air battery which can't be recharged but does provide a large range so someone won't be stranded if they exceed their conventional range.
Understandable I guess
If you give people the choice of sexes for the main protagonist then the developers have to record hundreds of hours of the identical dialogue for both sexes. In every supported language (English, Spanish, French, German etc.). And motion capture too. And two sets of cutscenes if it's fmv. And get the engine to cope regardless of models used. It probably is a logistical headache.
But Ubisoft could choose a female protagonist more often than it does. The AC series has had one spinoff with a female lead (for the PS Vita) but otherwise it's just some lunk doing pretty much the same thing from one historical setting to the next.
Re: Why do we need "contactless" payments AT ALL?
"What's wrong with swiping a card?"
If I board a bus, it's easy to swipe an NFC card on and off. If I'm waiting for a train and want to buy a mars bar then it's faster if I can swipe through a small purchase without entering a PIN.
It probably offers nothing for larger purchases where it makes no difference if I put the card in a slot or wave it around before typing a PIN. I suppose someone in Visa / Mastercard might have decided that one method of payment is less likely to result in someone losing their card or having it skimmed though.
I think most people would. An NFC can be embedded in a bit of plastic and works just as well. Why whip out a phone for all the thieves to see?
You're driving up a country lane. 50m ahead you see a car coming the other way. One of you has to pull into the side to allow the other to pass. Usually it's obvious who has to do it and it can be resolved easily by humans.
How is a self drive car going to do that? How does it know that it must pull over? How does it signal its intention to the other driver? How does understand when other driver signals back? What happens if the car has to reverse to pull in?
Or is it going to be completely brain dead and drive right up to the other car and then halt because it is an obstacle? How is it going to extricate from that?
And that's just one very simple example of a problem that happens every single day that is almost intractible for a computer. There are thousands more like it - faulty traffic lights, police directing traffic (corollary: telling a police officer from a loony directing traffic), traffic calming islands, diversions, oil spills, lorries unloading goods, floods, potholes, buses stopping to change drivers, broken down cars, carparks / long tunnels with no gps, a lorry on fire, cones & roadworks, emergency vehicles w sirens etc.
I think the tech would be very useful for motorways and as an advanced safety system but completely self drive vehicles on public roads is so far off I don't see happening any time soon. There will have to be a conscious, sober driver behind the wheel ready to take over and extricate the car from a situation it can't solve itself.
These are very big cars
I would think that most people who have need to drive through London or use on street parking would prefer something a bit smaller. It's also not hard to imagine the London Mayor deciding that people rich enough to afford a Model S are rich enough to pay for a congestion charge.
And in other news
Freedom comes with risks sometimes. I'd rather a device which lets me choose what software I want to install on my device than one that doesn't. Sure, that means morons will install "sexy girl screensaver" which wants to dial phone numbers, or whatever.
For me it means I can choose to use a different browser, dialler, bittorrent client, emulator or anything else that is regularly or outright banned from Apple's store.
Re: blackberry playbook anyone?
"Is that a touch-enabled version of Eclipse?"
Some Windows tablets come with a keyboard dock (as do some Android tablets). The remainder can connect via USB or bluetooth to keyboard / mice.
Re: blackberry playbook anyone?
I agree with the firesale sentiment for RT. But "pro" tablets are, as you say, full Windows devices and that is NOT A BAD THING. Some people's needs extend beyond hammering out 2 line responses to emails or watching videos. e.g. I develop software for a living and it would be rather nice to be take a tablet (and keyboard) and fire up Eclipse for that purpose. Another person might need to review a long document and print it to some random printer.
That's where a Windows based tablet would be useful although Microsoft's tablets are expensive examples. There are cheaper devices, even of similar spec.
Re: Probably only suitable for a thumbnail anyway
"People jump through hoops to avoid paying a dollar for a game on Android..."
I see this as not dissimilar to those arguments we see from time to time that X game was pirated 1,000,000 times ergo 1,000,000 lost sales. It may be that some of those pirate copies were potential sales but certainly not all of them or anywhere close. And in the case of someone shopping a lo-res watermarked picture of themselves isn't even getting a comparable product so I think the argument is even less valid.
Probably only suitable for a thumbnail anyway
I really doubt that anyone who went to the trouble of photoshopping a lores, watermarked print was likely to have paid out for the full print anyway.
Re: Use case
They might be great if you are in an airport hotel and need to get to the terminal. In this scenario one can envisage hitting a button by the kerb and a vehicles arrives in a dedicated lane to take you somewhere else in the same circuit.
But If you think you will see cars that will take you from one arbitrary point to another on public roads, you are going to be sorely disappointed. This is pure hype. It won't happen any time soon. Not in the US and not anywhere else. And even when it does, these vehicles will require a steering wheel and a person behind the wheel who is capable of driving at short notice. Why? Because the car will be too stupid to deal with a million and 1 intractable situations that it would encounter while driving and will need a human to sort it out.
There is no doubt self drive, or rather advanced driver assistance has a great potential for safety. Imagine if the car would maintain a safe braking distance between cars, or if it could hit the brakes in the fractions of a second that a human takes to react, or if it could handle steer out of skids. And so on. But being safe doesn't mean much if a car slams on the brakes because a plastic bag blew past, or a leaf got stuck on its sensor, or if it drives through a massive pothole, or goes up a street which is closed.
It is trivial to think of every day scenarios that a self drive car simply couldn't cope with. It would either halt (causing a delay to itself or vehicles behind) or it would do something dumb like nudge forward when another car has right of way.
It's all very well to say they are safe but cars must also make good progress and that requires more than just a bunch of sensors - it requires a brain behind it which can deal with problems it sees. The issue is that many of these problems are intractable.
So at the very least self drive cars require a manual override and a conscious, sober, qualified driver because the car will get confused, particular in city / urban environments.
I expect the only time there will be fully automatic self drive car is in closed loops, e.g. perhaps an airport could dedicate a lane for automatic cars to ferry people between terminals. I suspect that even in that scenario the car would still have a emergency stop button and there would still be someone somewhere whose job it is to extricate vehicles which have gotten stuck, confused or whatever and are blocking all the ones behind.
They have to get with the times
These days the far right is screaming to kill the muslims.
Re: Smart phones where *you* decide which Apps are on them.
There are phones which ship with Cyanogenmod like the Oppo and OnePlus so it's possible to do. Some phones can also be root but it's definitely not for the squeamish.
Cyanogenmod has a nice feature called Privacy Guard to be able to kill certain permissions whether the app says it needs them or not. There is no excuse the base Android doesn't provide this.
Re: What is the risk of this bug really?
"So what? IE8 is the default browser on a new install of Windows 7; thus its support ends with Win7."
And this new install of Windows 7 would instantly put up a wall of updates that it urges the user to install. In the case of Windows 7 (or Vista) that would already have a viable fix - upgrade to a later version of IE. You would have to be an extremely unfortunate person to ignore these warnings, use the default IE and happen upon a site which exploits you.
As I said, IE8 has low single digit % usage figures including Windows 7. This is not rich pickings for attackers. And I assume most people would have the sense to take heed of the warnings.
It is XP users who are affected since there is no update for IE8 and none forthcoming. My opinion is they've had ample warning of the end of life of XP (and associated products including IE) and there are numerous upgrade options. If people choose to stick with XP then at least they should use another browser.
What is the risk of this bug really?
I bet the % of users on XP using IE8 to browse the web are low single digits. Very few attackers are going to bother shaping an exploit for such a low reward.
XP is end of lifed. Microsoft should advise users to upgrade, or use a different browser.
Re: Microsoft really have no clue
"Clearly there is - I want one, and lots of other senior IT guys I know do too. And these are ideal for business. Unlike Apple and Android products."
Lots of windows PCs are ideal for business and cost less money. Including tablets.
And Surface 3 tablets are arguably a pain in the arse for business, if you find yourself on a train, plane, airport terminal, hotel bed or anywhere else where you discover how stupid that kickstand is.
"They run Windows though which has a lot more included functionality than OS-X - particularly in the corporate world. Apple's laptops don't even support touch yet either."
Read what I said. They're more expensive than other Windows tablets. e.g. Lenovo are releasing a 11.6" i3/i5 powered tablet for considerably less than their equivalent Surface 3 and that includes the keyboard (which the tablet stands up in). You can have a better Windows tablet for less money than a Surface 3. So why would someone want a Surface 3?
Microsoft really have no clue
There is a market for Windows tablets / hybrids but not at this price point. Not only are their tablets more expensive than other Windows tablets, they're also more expensive than Apple notebooks. And the keyboard costs a ludicrous $130 more.
And the kickstand sucks. It sucks if you want to use it on your knees. It sucks if you want to use it on a cliptray, or on those narrow lecture theatre desks. They should have gone with a stiff hinge.
There are far more interesting Windows tablet / hybrids coming out. E.g. has a Lenovo Miix 2 11.6" launching shortly which looks far better specced, practical and cheaper than Microsoft's offering.
It would be a different matter if we were talking about content you bought and owned and where there is a reasonable expectation to be able to play content on any device, transfer it etc.
But Netflix is streaming subscription service. Streaming and rental services should be able to employ any DRM and support any platform they see fit in order to protect it from casual ripping.
I'm sure these services hate Silverlight and would prefer if they could support browsers in Linux, but until a viable alternative appears such as EME in HTML they won't because they can't.
Amazon Prime uses it too.
I bet they only use it is for DRM streaming. Once browsers get proper support for encrypted media extensions you can bet they'll dump Silverlight as fast as is practicable.
Re: A shame
"It's still early days for Steam OS and Valve have been clear about it. Games are going to be developed with Steam OS support from the start. At some point I'm expecting to have a box that boots into SteamOS and runs Windows in a VM."
I don't believe that. A very small fraction of games might support SteamOS, but the market will never be there to sustain more. Look how many games get ported to the Mac. I really don't see SteamOS challenging the Mac let alone Windows in any forseeable point in the future.
I suppose Linux benefits from whatever games it can get but to me it seems more likely that SteamOS is just a forerunner for some kind of cloud gaming service.
I'd love a small PC capable of gaming but it sounds like they're a little away from producing something which works without a flaw. These Brix devices are the closest things yet but it worries me that they should have so many issues. Perhaps when the drivers & firmware settle down it will be a compelling format. I also hold out hope that an AMD A10 powered device could also be used in a similar fashion.
As for SteamOS, it seems like a largely pointless exercise at this time. It's not hard to boot to an app in Windows, including Steam and all the games are there on Windows instead of a tiny fraction on SteamOS. It would be easy to throw other apps like Netflix, XBMC etc. in there too.
60,000ft over 11 miles up in the sky. I wonder if the software was projecting a cone from this fast moving aircraft in order to do route calculations and the cone was intercepting pretty much everything else in the LA area causing it to melt down.
Nintendo was asking for this
They blatantly ignored cisgender females who want to establish relationships with birth male pre op transexuals but without the hetronormative hegemonic displays of "love" that phallocentric society demands. Floating love hearts in a game are practically akin to penetrative rape. How DARE they!!!
Back in reality, this crappy game would have come and gone without anybody noticing or caring before this silly protest.
Re: Vinyl vs CD
Sampling an LP at 44Hz and doing a blind test would be a good way to put paid to the drivel that LPs are somehow better. If the LP were better then the sample should be measurably worse to someone who is randomly played clips of one or the other without knowing which is which. I expect that there would be no difference in results
Any difference between LP and CD versions are solely to do with the master track and any processing that went on during the reproduction of it.
There is no "warmth" to a record, or "depth", or any of the other audiophile descriptive nonsense that gets attached to a record. None whatsoever. Any difference in perception probably has more to do with the ritual associated with getting the record out, putting it on the turntable, cleaning the dust off, putting the needle on and endless tinkering trying to get the thing to play without pops, hissing or other imperfections.
If I played an LP and digitally sampled it 44Hz sample rate, then I doubt there would be many people on earth who could tell the difference between the original and the sample outputs in a blind test where other biases are removed.
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