120 posts • joined Wednesday 8th August 2007 14:38 GMT
End customers should know all that they're getting. Having hidden features that some third party can secretly exploit is a security threat to both the customer and to the manufacturer.
If there were a zero-day exploit that made use of such a feature, the results could be devastating for both customers and Intel. People still remember the damage done by the floating point bug. They'd never forget a security vulnerability that was secretly hidden in a processor.
New principle in video?
I don't think there's a new principal at work in the video. I'm not a physicist, but what I think is happening is...
At relatively large distances, the relative strengths of the magnets dominate the resulting net force. However, when you get very close, the relative distances dominate because the force depends on the square of the distance. The gaps between the small magnets allows a closer approach to the central magnet between the small magnets, which is why all the magnets rotate together, as if the outer magnet were enmeshed in a gear wheel. If the small magnets were replaced by a continuous ring, the locking effect would be lost, I think.
A nice demo, but not a patch on a demo of the effects of superconductivity.
Re: Got it.
"Also, why do none of your tablet accessory reviews include the most useful accessory to me, the watertight food bag from Asda?"
You, sir, are the true genius we're looking for. Forget all this maths stuff for recovering data. That's only of trivial importance compared to to the fact that you've just solved the most pressing problem known to bathkind.
Yours truly, from the B Ark.
The NRA will love this
I imagine that the NRA's commercial sponsors will be very happy to promote this as a threat. Nothing sells guns (laws permitting) like fear and guns create a lot of fear, especially with a little professional help.
If it's possible...
... to make working, albeit low quality, guns from plastic, why don't we see these being made in the third world using standard techniques at very low prices?
Is it that anyone sufficiently well organised to make and sell them is subject to political pressure, or is it that more effective second-hand guns made of metal are also very cheap to buy?
What will they do with the overseas assets?
If those overseas assets are never to be imported into the U.S., it would seem that Apple will have to export its expenses to make use of them. How?
Might it make good business sense to abandon the plans to build such a large and expensive "spaceship" in Cupertino and instead move people and R&D overseas?
Of course, might it make much better sense for the U.S. taxpayer for the tax laws to be changed to stop such a large loss of taxes from the big companies? As business becomes more and more global, the world is becoming more and more of a tax haven.
Looks like Viacom's lawyers hit the jackpot with this case.
This suggest that it might make business sense for lawyers to plan to lose, if they know the person paying their bills has enough political capital invested to appeal.
AFAIK, in the UK, unlike the US, plaintiffs are generally liable for both sides' costs incurred after any sufficient offer has been made by the respondent, even if the plaintiffs win. This makes for less legal harassment, which this is starting to resemble.
I bet those lights at the top generate a serious amount of drag at very high speed. It would be unfortunate if they parted company from the car taking part of the roof with them....
Let's think about this...
First, we need some numbers. All numbers in approximate kJ per mole.
Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_enthalpy_of_formation .
The enthalpy of formation of methane (CH4) is -75. Negative means energy released.
The enthalpy of formation of water (H2O) is -286.
The enthalpy of formation of carbon dioxide (CO2) is -394.
Thus completely burning methane yields 891.
By forgoing the combustion of the carbon, we instead get 497.
This makes the energy from natural gas cost 891/497=1.8 times as much.
That assumes zero processing costs and zero handling costs for the mountains of carbon produced.
The latter would be a HUGE fire risk, so would have to be buried deep underground well away from the air, lest an uncontrollable fire break out, as sometimes happens with natural buried deposits of carbon.
Speaking of buried carbon, would it make sense to spend a lot of money burying carbon at the same time as we're spending lots of money mining carbon, in the form of coal, to fuel power stations? Germany does quite a lot of that. Far better, in every way, to replace coal burning with gas burning.
So while this technology undoubtedly has uses, it's neither a green nor an economic proposition for mainstream energy production. But it's great for PR.
Pining for the fjords
Will Manager, perhaps?
No way to stop NK being a serious threat.
NK may not have a missile that can carry an atom bomb, but they could take the bomb by ship to an isolated part of the coast, put it in a hired lorry and drive to the capital. You might have radiation detectors around the capital that would give the government time to take shelter, but it'd probably be too late for the population.
Alternatively, they could raise an awful lot of hard currency by selling a bomb to someone wealthy in the middle east. Those bombs really need to be tracked constantly. This really is the stuff of nightmares.
I bet there's an awful lot going on behind the scenes, including offensive actions by the US and allies. All we can tell is that NK are mad as hell for a reason or just mad. Either way, don't underestimate the damage that they can do.
As for the GPS, thinking aloud, you can't suddenly replace all the commercial receivers on vehicles in service, and I guess any active jamming cancellation for their benefit would require the jamming signal to be predictable in nature and make things worse non-locally.
Re: We need a relay
That's been thought of, of course. They'd have to be big to pick up the very weak signals and they would cost a lot of money to build and to regularly replace. I don't think that will be afforded until there are humans on Mars.
There have been tests of delay-tolerant networking protocols on the ISS. Further info at
Re: The mystery of the mysterious operatives
The don't seem to have the facial hair of religious zealots. A simple explanation is that they're would-be metal thieves who assumed the cables were made of copper. Thieves tend not to be very bright. At this stage, there's no need for conspiracy theories.
I'm not a physicist, but these anomalies intrigue me.
Does this mean that the universe as a whole has an absolute reference frame for motion? Are we seeing special relativity breaking down or are we perhaps seeing an unexpected interaction of the microwaves with space in our part of the universe? Could the acceleration due to dark energy be non-uniform?
Evidently the crime still pays
These announcements and fines probably have more to do with self-justifying PR than actual deterrence.
Changes in technology make these nuisance calls easier and cheaper to make; it should also be easier and cheaper for the victims to register a complaint and help themselves
For example, you should be able to press a couple of buttons on your phone to signal to the telephone system that the current call is a nuisance, and have the rest happen automatically.
The regulators should stop telecoms companies charging extra for transmitting Caller ID to a customer. The companies are professionally being part of the problem instead of part of the solution. With automatic caller ID and the suppression of anonymous calls, we can install equipment that can download and upload lists of problem numbers.
The regulators should try to manage themselves out of a job as much as possible by enabling the victims to better defend themselves. Is that too much to hope for?
Ask a silly question..
If you ask if water is wet, less than 100% would agree, simply because if you ask a sill question, you sometimes deserve a silly answer. So, if you ask if comedy makes you happy, treat the answers with caution.
Also, in any survey, you might also take into account that a lot of people are quite amazingly stupid.
Re: Not the usual suspects!
Being noteworthy is the whole point for many participants. It's PR.
Plus, I imagine, if you're a large and wealthy family, you might be on the lookout for interesting projects for the younger members to get involved in.
Care is needed when judging sea level relative to land that's changing in elevation from time to time in response to earthquakes.
Alexandria has a history of such changes. I think much of the harbour was lost in AD 365 due to a reduction in elevation.
Presumably, these new spacecraft would have to use ion drives for propulsion. When that technology becomes sufficiently reliable, it'll be used by satellites. That will increase their effective lifetime, so they're unlikely to need to be topped up with propellant such as xenon. Plus, there's not a lot of xenon in space that you can mine.
In any gold rush, it's usually those who sell the supplies who make the money. I think this is all about shouting "Gold!" and seeing who's got more money than sense.
I don't think there will be sensible commercialisation of deep space until we have abundant energy from nuclear fusion.
Deduplicating encrypted data is possible
"A little sense here please. How are mega.co.nz going to de-duplicate encrypted content?"
With a little ingenuity. One way is to encrypt each block of data in the file with its own hash. Then you send the hash of the result to the site to see if the site already has it. Since everyone is encrypting the same way, this works. You then end up with a list of hashes/decryption keys, one for each block of plain text. If the list isn't large, you encrypt that list with your private key and upload that to accompany the encrypted data. If the list is large, you break it up into blocks and perform the same process on that file, and so on.
Do you also think that Chinese TVs are also used to monitor what the viewers are doing in their living rooms?
Do you wear a foil hat to stop "them" reading your mind?
"How do we know Convergence (or a party in between) isn't just telling the browser what it wants to hear?"
Because the man-in-the-middle would have to get into the middle of multiple independent lines of secure communication with different security keys. You can choose how many, according to need, and spread them around the world.
People independent of the inventor of the system are contributing to the system, so you don't have to trust the inventor of Convergence blindly, and shouldn't.
This is the sort of "trust no one" system that existing certificate authorities and governments will fight against, for obvious reasons.
Trust needs to be decentralised. SSL authorities must be assumed, like all commercial enterprises, to be willing to sell their grandmothers if the price is right, or their arms are twisted enough.
Firefox users should consider installing a decentralised certificate vetting system called Convergence. See the site at http://convergence.io . It checks that a certificate is the same certificate that other users are seeing.
Does The Register offer bounties for rumours?
After the summer scandal, a lot of people would hesitate (at the very least) to buy or recommend a domestic Linksys/Cisco router. Both brands were damaged.
If you search Google with "linksys scandal" or "cisco scandal", you get references to this event. The internet and customers have long memories that can destroy a brand.
Privacy in the cloud
Don't neglect your privacy when using cloud storage.
Some cloud service providers such as Google and Dropbox hold the keys to your data. That's great if you forget your password and can convince them who you are. However, the cost is that their systems get to rummage through your data for commercial gain.
There are alternative cloud providers such as Wuala that don't hold your keys. Everything gets encrypted automatically before it's sent to the cloud. It works just the same, but it's private.
if you don't look after your privacy, you're part of the problem.
The player in iTunes on the Mac still doesn't support flac or ape and presumably many other formats. So they're still not trying very hard on this aspect of the software. I doubt that many people will switch from their existing competent player. Perhaps Apple should remove the player altogether from iTunes, and link to Quicktime, and then work on upgrading that.
If the instrument inadvertently carried air including methane from Earth, could it have also carried organic matter? I assume everything got zapped to sterilise it before departure, but such matter would remain.
Finding native living microorganisms would be quite fantastic, but that might mean that the planet would be quarantined, with no return trips allowed.
Dark Side of the Moon
"...which will have landed on the dark side of the moon..."
"There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all dark."
You did, of course, mean the far side, which gets as much sun as the near side.
If you need to protect yourself from your cloud service with this, you're clearly using the wrong cloud service.
Some popular services like Dropbox make a point of holding your keys, making it possible for them and their friends to process your data to their commercial advantage. This also allows them to give you (or anyone they're convinced is you) access to your data if you forget or lose your password.
Some services make a point of NOT holding your keys. If you forget or lose them, you're sunk, but only you can ever decrypt and use your data.
Take your pick. Don't use band-aids like this software unless someone is forcing the wrong choice of cloud service upon you..
... and I thought it was a long way down to the chemist's.
Re: Poor choice of materials?
"Why would Apple design the phone out of such easy to damage materials in the first place?"
An iPhone is an up-market product where fashion and built-in depreciation are very important to Apple to keep phones being replaced frequently, especially as it becomes harder to add marketable new features. Most replaced phones still function just as well as they ever did, so decay of the appearance is helpful, especially as it's not covered by a warranty.
Change of culture at Ebuyer
Ebuyer used to say that they don't divulge private customer details to third parties, and I have valued that for years. It was a shock discover that they've done a 180 degree turn.
I discovered this when I got an email from revoo.com asking me for a review of a product I'd bought from Ebuyer. A complaint to Ebuyer produced a reference to their current terms and conditions. A part of the site that still promised privacy at that time appears to be gone now.
There is no way to opt out of this online, though they have assured me that they will respect my wish for privacy in the future. However, their terms and conditions remain, and probably their attitude remains. They never did give me the contact details for their data controller, despite saying they would do so.
Ridiculous scaling for the bandwidth in the graph. The should've changed that by a factor of 10.
This is a big deal
Could the development of this technology be as important as the development of the transistor?
"We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyover and Siri integration, and free turn by turn navigation. "
And how many of these things do I get on my iPod Touch (4th gen) as minor compensation for the poor maps? None at all.
I've also disabled Safari syncing to stop the browser reporting what web pages I've opened, as part of iCloud Tabs. How long before that's exploited maliciously?
So far, iOS 6 seems like a downgrade.
Instead of waiting for ever bigger flash storage to hold the entirety of your ever bigger collection of music, consider buying a small capacity phone/iPod and stream music to it from home, especially if you usually have access to Wifi. Your own private Spotify. It also means that you can avoid lossy compression formats for best sound quality.
"In addition, the improvements in fuel efficiency would lead to longer loiter times over targets."
I'm having a hard time getting my head around this. If the object is to loiter a long time, how can you save fuel by using more efficient supersonic travel? Surely, low speeds will always be more fuel-efficient for loitering. If the concern is to get your plane to its target loiter area quickly, just have lots of cheap drones widely distributed, ready to go from relatively nearby. Which brings me to my second point....
I'm not against technical advances, but there is a bad tendency for the military establishment to pitch ever more expensive weapons to be produced in ever lower numbers because of their cost. There will always be advantages of having large numbers of mass-produced, relatively cheap weapons, even if you lose more of them in battle. This particularly applies to weapons like drones that don't have pilots aboard. Make them cheap and cheerful and give us large numbers of them.
Abuse of browser
I need Java for applications, but I don't need it for browsing the web and therefore, for security, disable it in my browsers. However, Oracle has other ideas and enables Java in your browser again (at least with Firefox and Internet Explorer) when you do an update, without asking for permission. When it comes to security, it can be hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys sometimes.
A while back, Mozilla put in some defences against this kind of abuse, at least with ordinary add-ons, but they clearly did not go far enough. We need the ability to remove all add-ons and plug-ins without having to edit the registry etc, and Mozilla should entirely prevent the activation of add-ons and plug-ins without explicit permission.
It's all very well having batteries that can be charged in a minute but that assumes you have a mains source that can provide extremely high power levels. You're not going to get that in a domestic setting, so that rules out off-peak charging when energy is cheaper. I also doubt that there are many garages that would pay to have super high power cabling routed to their premises, at least initially.
Logitech bought a deservedly-popular system, but they now threatens its survival.
Recent software changes accompanying the Revue disaster mean that the software's indexing system is now fatally inefficient, at least on my system, with no means to disable it, so I've had to stick with the older server software that works. There have been numerous other new faults.
That's nothing that can't be put right by the open-source community that originally created the software, but I suspect Logitech will need to sell the platform to someone else before that happens. The sooner, the better.
This is just the beginning
A gang this organised will, of course, keep records of everyone who has obtained a fake certificate. Once the buyers are well established in good jobs, the blackmail phase can begin. I imagine that intelligence agencies will be quite interested too.
Are they buying adapters too?
If the nano SIM plus adapter can replace the existing larger SIMs, then it may make sense to stop buying the larger devices, irrespective of when the next iPhone will appear.
Look what I just bought
It looks like Emperor Ballmer spent a fortune on new clothes.
There's a bigger problem....
The bigger problem with CO2 storage is human duplicity. The moment you start paying people to store CO2 underground at high cost, they'll pretend to do so and laugh all the way to the bank as the "stored" CO2 makes its way into the atmosphere out of sight.
CDs "come with their own physical backup". Think about that.
Since when is your only copy its own backup, even if it is on a physical medium? CDs may be less prone to needing a backup, but that's a different matter.
- Geek's Guide to Britain INSIDE GCHQ: Welcome to Cheltenham's cottage industry
- 'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test
- Game Theory Is the next-gen console war already One?
- BBC suspends CTO after it wastes £100m on doomed IT system
- Peak Facebook: British users lose their Liking for Zuck's ad empire