Practise thinking evil
I am sure GCHQ will provide Google with a base stations all over the world.
2601 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007
The space plane launched from the big double plane is useless for satellites, but plan was that the big double plane could also carry a two-stage rocket. That rocket would take about 200kg of payload to LEO. The idea is sane, but I have very little idea how much progress Virgin have made with it.
The turnip-brained idea was that IPMI could share the only ethernet connector on the motherboard with the internet connection to save money and reduce the number of cables. Add to that the fact that you are dependent on the vendor for security updates and you can see the disaster train accelerating hard towards the cliff. It could have been worse... Imagine what would happen if firmware upgrades required a digital signature from the vendor.
It will never catch on because current fashion in user interface design is to remove every choice on the grounds that they confuse the users. By 2084, computers will show a continuous stream of targeted ads and have no controls at all - not even an off switch.
The state would hire a qualified prosecutor. The clerk of the court has a legal qualification, but he cannot help as the magistrate is in charge and he does not require any proper qualifications at all. Much as I dislike the idea of my taxes going to pay for legal aid for some phone fondling driver, I would really hate to be in front of a magistrate with no barrister even though I do not even own a mobile phone.
I am sufficiently tall that I have to scrunch down to see the road ahead. Even then, a quarter of the windscreen gives me an excellent view of the bonnet. The GPS talks to me, so I have no reason to look at it while driving. The reason why I want it under the windscreen is so it gets a good signal from the satellites. The GPS does not talk to me about signal strength. For that, I would have to look at it. What wonderful laws we have.
The Juno space probe to Jupiter is solar powered because of a shortage of nuclear waste.
One person's life time's lifetime supply of long term nuclear waste if using 100% nuclear power fits in a dinner plate.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could reprocess nuclear waste into fuel. (The terrorist threat in the link is a bit silly as there is a much bigger target in northern France that would cause the UK plenty of problems and calling Tony Blair pro-nuclear would have made me laugh out loud, but I am too busy paying for his windmills).
It would also be handy if we could build proper storage facilities.
There are plans to use the high neutron flux from fusion reactors to convert long term nuclear waste into short term nuclear waste that can be used to generate power. I am sure if such plans get close to construction the windmill lobby will make it illegal.
Dinorwig does an excellent job of running kettles when the adverts come on. According to the wind lobby, if the wind isn't blowing in the UK, it is blowing somewhere else in Europe. According to weather records there are 3 to 5 days each winter when the whole of Europe has no wind. Pumped storage on that scale is insane (even more insane when it is unused 97% of the time). Take a look at the maps in sustainable energy without hot air. The book gives you the equations to calculate how much energy is used for different tasks, so you can pick places where economies can be made. It also gives you ways to calculate costs of energy production - including land (or sea) use. You can make your own energy policy and see how much of Scotland and Wales has to become pumped storage for wind powered UK. I like the big blotches in Libya for solar powered UK (have fun paying for a power cord - or putting even bigger blotches here).
They have been invalid for as long as they have existed, but plenty of EU patents offices will issue invalid software patents if you call them 'computer implemented inventions'. They are an expensive nuisance to defend against as some judges do not recognise unpatentable subjects even when the patents have the marker phrase 'computer implemented invention' all over them.
The plan was to take patent disputes away from the regional courts and have European patent court staffed with clerks and judges who were all patent professionals who would never find a patent invalid, no matter how obvious, old or mathematical. By the looks of it, the new plan is to keep disputes in regional courts. I am surprised that appeals are not automatic, as they fund holiday homes for patent lawyers.
Whenever I hear the word 'protection' in the same phrase as 'patent' I think of one of Edison's thugs with a baseball bat giving we the chance to pay for some 'protection', or something might 'happen' to my business. The only way it could get more silly would be if trolls got their own tax exemption... too late, already happened.
LGA 115 sockets only have enough contacts for 20 PCIe lanes (16 graphics, 4 everything else). That keeps the price down, and it is enough for a hefty chunk of the market. There are two obvious explanations for the lack of say LGA1600 with 30 PCIe lanes. Pick one:
A) Economies of scale: Dividing the market into two (LGA1150/LGA2011) reduced economies of scale. Dividing into three would reduce those economies still further, and increase prices for all except for people who want (fictional)LGA1600 but do not want to pay for LGA2011.
B) Segmentation. Although there are people who need a little over 20 lanes, the lack of an intermediate product forces those customers to pay for 40 lanes and a bunch of other features they will never use.
... is supposed to be illegal.
With a two tier system, Netflix can either become Ne..t...fli........x.... or pay over all its profits until it becomes Telcoflix. Each profitable internet company in turn will be eaten by the Telcos. Whenever they get the full set of companies in one field, watch the prices soar and the service become intermittent and user hostile.
The Register's link was broken, but after a few web searches I found the article.
The little picture in the Register's article compares 3.28 hours of streaming with 17.28 hours of DVD (50% mail delivered, 50% consumer delivered). That 50/50 split was a guess because the authors did not have any better numbers. The full sized oranges to oranges picture with separate columns for mail and consumer delivery is here.
By the study's numbers, streaming is only more environmentally friendly when consumer transport is included. Mail delivery is about as environmentally (un)friendly as streaming. If you use consumer delivery, you can divide the big pink rectangle if you watch a rental more than once, or if you rent more than one film per journey (I think the study assumes pick up and drop off in the same round trip journey of 17km). You can also squash or remove the pink box if you went to town for other reasons and bought more than one DVD while you were there. The idea of buying a boxed set of six for a TV series has been conveniently forgotten.
The next biggest box is consumer equipment power. Old DVD players use the same amount of power when idle and when playing, and these make up a significant fraction of the 2011 US population. If I buy a second hand DVD player and leave it on continuously, then for every Joule it uses, 0.99 Joules are not used for central heating (the house is too hot for about 4 days per year). The same would be true of a streaming box, but in the study, streaming boxes use about half the energy of DVD players.
This leaves streaming with a great big green box for network transport energy that make it tower over the tiny grey and yellow boxes. Much of the big green box would be there anyway for an internet connection whether you use streaming or not. (The invisible brown sliver for mail delivery would still be there because the post lady delivers letters too.) The only box that survives is the grey box for the embodied energy (manufacturing costs) of the consumer devices. This is about the same for streaming and DVD.
The real conclusion should be: don't waste time worrying about the tiny speck of energy used by video. Concentrate of the things that matter: transport, central heating/cooling, and washing. Little things like switching to an efficient fridge and fluorescent lighting save you money, but even if everybody does those little things, then end result is a little change in the total amount of power used.
According to the subtitles, the Apple Lisa was the first (1983) personal computer with a GUI.
They were sued by Xerox for copying the look and feel of the Xerox Star (1981). Xerox lost - because you cannot own look and feel. Later Apple sued Microsoft for copying look at feel, and lost (Microsoft referred to the Xerox vs Apple decision). Thirtyish years later, we can see how things have changed: a rectangle with rounded corners, four rows of icons, glass to the edge of the device and the colour black.
Fly over to Shenzen and tell people you are desperate for a thousand of a certain type of chip. The locals can find some obsolete kit with a part the right shape, unsolder those parts, clean them up, grind off the serial numbers and print on the right ones all ready for next day delivery.
It is a bit of a challenge to do anything with an inverter, but a USB keyboard or track pad chip is far too easy. Instead of the chip you were expecting, an over-funded bunch of spies can order a die stack with a USB hub, the keyboard controller, a USB flash controller and a flash chip. Even if the target OS does not automatically install any malware called 'AUTOEXEC.BAT', it probably 'trusts' that the file system does not have maliciously selected meta-data in unexpected locations. You can buy off-the-shelf rooting dongles that use such tricks to copy a victim's hard disk. Destroying the keyboard controller and track controller is - for most people - a bit paranoid, but not actually insane.
The strange thing is why did GCHQ send a couple of bored flunkies over to watch a Guardian employee destroy bits of one random computer. GCHQ and the NSA have demonstrated they can flout any inconvenient law with impunity. What does it matter if the whole world knows they are a bunch of criminals when the only courts they might ever be summoned to will preside in secret, not see any real evidence and rubber stamp them 'not guilty'. John le Carré came up with and excellent explanation for why spies' actions often make no sense:
If you have to choose between conspiracy or cock-up, my instinct is to go for the cock-up every time.
Betelgeuse will go bang any time in the next million years. About 620 years later, neutrino detectors will warn us something is going on. For about a month, Betelgeuse will be as bright as the full moon. 100,000 years later, 21ˢᵗ century space ships will be grounded because of the high proton radiation.
IK Pegasi is only 150 light years away, but by the time it goes bang it will be too far away to cause fear an panic on Earth.
For a 'practical' supernova, we are looking for a star within 30 light years when it goes bang. There could be some we haven't noticed yet, but you might have to wait anything up to 250 million years for supernova research to be practical for Earthlings. Humans would only be affected if someone makes a few to inhabit the future equivalent of Jurassic Park.
I bought early when it was exclusively at Amazon and PCWorld. I should have brought a camera. It was clearly the salesman's first Chromebook sale. You should have seen his face when his computer told him he could not sell me Microsoft Office, Expensive Antivirus and whatever else would get him a decent commission. Sales through Amazon made some sense, but I could not see why PCWorld wanted the product at all. Perhaps they wanted to create a sales team dedicated to selling anything else.
I wanted an ssh client/X server that was so cheap I would not care much if it got stolen. Wiping off Chrome and installing Debian did the job.
Here is a handy trick Apple used to play, but cannot do now that their unit sales are a smaller proportion of the market. Revenue is a massively important figure, but not the only one.
I do not have handy figures for market share by revenue, but I will take your word for it that Apple are not falling behind by that metric. If you want to draw a distinction between smart phones used as smart phones and smart phones used as feature phones then fine, but see what happens if you don't. Apple's share of the money from smart phone (any usage) sales is increasing (or at least not falling) despite their falling market share by unit (any usage) sales. For that to happen, (iPhone price)/(Otherphone price) must be increasing. I agree that one of the reasons developers like iPhone is because iPhone users are better at spending money than Android users. Imagine what happens when iPhone users discover they can have the same smartness from a cheaper source. Some of them will stick with Apple as a status symbol, but plenty will go elsewhere. Apple considered this such a threat to their revenue stream that the sued Samsung and Googorola all over the world.
We disagree about whether Apple is seeking a smart phone tax or "simply that other phones not use it's patented (and non essential) features". Lets take a look at those features. I know it is not (just) a rectangle with rounded corners. There is also glass to the edge of the device, four rows of icons and the colour black. By all means, link to some court filings describing features Apple invented and prove Apple is not seeking a smart phone tax.
Apple have money and brains. They are perfectly capable of using those asserts to remain a dominant force for decades. They can also use those brains to move the money sideways to their own pockets without paying dividends to their investors. I see the new giant HQ, the global thermonuclear litigation and the PR cost of maintaining the reality distortion field as evidence of the latter, but they should be able to do both at once.
Apple's only 'win' was in the US, where they have a judgement for some chump change that could vanish under appeal. Apple have gone to courts all over the world. Their best results have been a draw. Down right losses were more common like the smacking they got from judge Birss.
Google have sold Motorola to Lenovo. Even if Apple successfully fake evidence in every court around the world, the best they are going to get is some injunctions preventing Lenovo distributing some old Motorola phones. This is not a route to Google's money.
Despite Apple's relentless accusations of copying, their market share is falling. Their strength is with customers who want a quality phone that costs more than anyone else's. They cannot go directly into any other market because it would damage their reputation for quality or price. In the mean time, the falling price of smart phones has vastly increased the number of people who can buy one.
Component manufacturers no longer need Apple as the economies of scale are elsewhere. One of the few things Apple's litigation has achieved is a poisoning of their relations with Samsung to the point where Apple had to find a new source for displays, which led to issues with supply and quality.
On the other side of the business, Apple's distributors are stuck with piles of unsold iPhones. Apple decided how many phones each distributor had to buy to get any at all. Those numbers gave them the bargaining power with component suppliers to get components at near cost. Next time, the distributors will say "no", and the suppliers won't want any more small contracts with thin margins with Apple.
We have reached the point where there are more active mobile phones than people. The growing market is with the poor, and with second phones. Either way, growth requires cheap phones. If Apple is successful with their Android tax, that market fades away, and the carriers lose money. Apple got a very one-sided deal with the carriers that left money pouring into Apple through their App store. If the carriers get a better offer from anyone else, Apple could crumple as fast as Nokia. If there is anything that frightens Apple, it will be failed negotiations with the carriers.
Apple may be able to buy component suppliers, but buying their own network would cost time and all their money. Even if they build their own network, they still need carrier relations to connect it to the existing networks. That is why Google's balloon network is not flying.
Nokia used to have the highest market share - double the second place player (Apple) and four times the third place player (Samsung). Elop set fire to that achievement with his burning platforms memo. He dissed the existing products (a classic Ratner), and promised that the next generation would be spectacular (a real Osbourne).
That move alone would have only gutted Nokia. The thorough nuking was done later by Ballmer when he purchased Skype. Purchasing Skype coincided with a sudden increase in the rate at which Nokia lost market share. The carriers lothe Skype. They hated Skype on Android because it took away call revenues. They only good thing the carriers saw in Skype was its financial problems could easily have caused it to implode. Then Microsoft stepped in with the money to keep Skype going indefinitely.
Skype carries 34% of international calls. The only way Microsoft could get the carriers to take their phones would be to leak a memo saying that Skype will be discontinued because it is a burning platform and Skype 2 will be really great when it is ready in 2016.
I was expecting a CGI mock-up of a fictional product that would never fly. Then I suspected a full size model suspended behind a tow-truck, but thirteen seconds in, the whole shadow of the vehicle is visible at once, with no shadow of a cable or tow-truck. They either made a high quality fake or they have a working prototype. Either way, the video far exceeded my expectations. Here is a different video:
Neither video has any sound. I bet it is so loud that you would never hear any complaints from the neighbours.
If I activate the microphone on your phone, and send the data back over the internet, the carrier could charge you for sending the recording. I would be guilty of wire tapping and theft. I am sure GCHQ have covered the arses over wire tapping, but what about theft?
You can be reasonably confident that an MP3 player can decode bit rates up to 320kb/s. A few decoders can handle higher bit rates. See the --freeformat option in the man page for LAME. Selling music encoded with a higher bit rate risks complaints from customers when they find they cannot play their purchases. On the other hand, CD quality converted to FLAC is somewhere between 700 to 1000kb/s and storage is cheap these days.
Pick your favourite Linux distribution, and type:
I found affs there, so the kernel still understands Amiga Fast Filing System.
The other thing to look for is in:
I found floppy.ko, but I do not have the hardware handy to test it. Back in the day, I used to format a floppies with 5x2kB sectors, a 1kB sector and a ½kB sector on each track (1840kB) to cut down on the space wasted by sector headers and inter-sector gaps just like on 'modern' 4kB/sector hard disks.
If you do not use loyalty cards you must be hiding your participation in a terrorist organisation - just like those dangerous hackers who enable privacy features in the browsers. Failure to carry a mobile phone is sufficient evidence for being arrested for suspicion of terrorism:
Remember, being suspected of terrorism means you can be imprisoned for 28 days without charge:
It would have been nice if it were called and Armteron or Phonoron or anything but Opteron so I have a big warning about what is going to happen next. Modern motherboards have UEFI firmware so the drivers are written in byte code which will run on any CPU with the appropriate byte code interpreter ... installed in the firmware. In theory, you can pull out an X86, plug in an Itanium, boot from CD and install any OS ... digitally signed by Microsoft. I have no idea if this ever works in practice, but I bet plenty of motherboards do not come with a byte code interpreter compiled for Itanium, none have one for ARM installed and that will change at the speed of a sloth on ketamine.
The entire purpose of UEFI is to prevent a computer's owner from being able to install his choice of firmware so he has to put up with the manufacturer's choice of operating systems, bugs, spyware and now CPU architecture.
Samsung has Tizen ready now in case they ever want to part company with Google. Nokia/Microsoft have Meego if they want an OS with better reviews than the iPhone. Most of the other manufacturers have been working with (and sometime distributed) Maemo/Moblin. If they want something more Androidish, they can license CyanogenMod. There are plenty of other choices like Jolla's Sailfish, Firefox OS and Ubuntu Touch.
The big selling point of free software is that if one maintainer goes in a direction people do not like then there will be a fork of three that goes in a better direction.
PS: Why is Android landfill? Nokia/Microsoft sell phones at the bottom end of the market at a substantial loss. If anything deserves the name, it should be landfill Surface.
1) A crap product bundled with every laptop and PC.
2) Wait for the competition to die.
3) Argue in court for a decade.
4) Pay a small fraction of the fine for illegally using a monopoly with one product to get a monopoly with another.
Anyone would think they do not have a monopoly any more.
World wide market share figures (here) look much worse Windows Phone than the selection presented in the article.
The only thing that did not make sense to me was the motorcyclist who stopped and made a phone call. How could he hear anything and why did he stop?
The obvious way to make that junction safer is to wire the horn to the brake pedal so drivers have a hand free to make phone calls.
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo took charge in October 2005 and was replaced by Elop in September 2010. During that time share prices rose the fell. Highest to lowest is a fall of about 75%, but over the full tenure, Kallasvuo and Elop are about equally bad.
Elop did a Ratner and Kallasvuo didn't. Elop did an Osbourne and Kallasvuo didn't. Elop destroyed carrier relations which were top of the industry with Kallasvuo. Elop destroyed customer loyalty which was second only to Apple under Kallasvuo. Elop made a loss selling smartphones, which was a first for Nokia. Nokia had a top level credit rating until Elop's burning platform memo sent the credit rating to junk. Nokia had strong sales with Symbian, until Elop cancelled its future. The N9 was later than it should have been, but it could be manufactured in Nokia's (idle) factories, did not require a license fee and was wildly popular in the small markets it was restricted to.
I really do not understand why Elop keeps sticking to his revisionist history. He did what he set out to do: turned the biggest threat to Windows Phone into a Microsoft subsidiary. He turned a world leading company (twice the market share of its nearest rival) into a tenth place has-been in under 4 years. No one has done a more successful job of trashing a fortune 500 company with a single memo. I think Elop should put this unique achievement front and centre on his CV.
Elop wrote his burning platform memo in February 2011. The phone that was rushed to market in November 2011 ran Windows Phone 7. Nokia did not have a Windows Phone 8 phone until September 2012. Nokia had definitely destroyed its customer base by late 2012. The customers who had bought early had the choice of being stuck with all of '7s problems, or buying a new phone. Lumias could not be upgraded.
The really stupid thing was Nokia released the N9 (in a few small markets without the enormous advertising campaign that Lumia got) in September 2011. It outsold Lumia and got reviews with comments like "better than iPhone" and "it's worth crossing the border to get one".
Elop's real spectacular achievement was he did all that damage to Nokia without going to prison.
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