* Posts by Mage

6245 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Become a blockchain-secured space farmer with your hard drive

Mage
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Joke

AirBnB

Gig economy for your spare HDD space and Broadband capacity?

Regular readers know what I think of the "gig economy". Summary: exploitation of ordinary people to make money for privileged folk.

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Mage
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In theory vs practice

In theory a nice idea.

But can we do this reliably and securely?

The data needs to be redundantly stored. I can't see how it can scale to any sensible number of users and providers without central servers at least doing indexing of some kind.

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More brilliant Internet of Things gadgetry: A £1,300 mousetrap

Mage
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Re: Cats

UK domestic cats eat about 5,000 species, so they may not pay much attention to mice.

A plastic trap with peanut butter is extremely effective (the cheese thing seems to be US Tom & Jerry?).

A terrier or ferret is alleged to be better for outside rodents, I've not tried that.

Certainly an off the shelf $10 module will detect a trap being sprung. I've found that peanut butter works within a day of spotting a mouse. The rats are a little more suspicious. A large drop door cage with bird mix "glued" on the trigger plate using peanut butter works best for rats, especially in the garden. Accidentally caught birds can just be released. Though dealing with a large, scared and angry live rat in a cage may be a problem for some people.

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BBC admits iPlayer downloads are broken

Mage
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Devil

Re: Just ditch the BBC.

Amazon prime

Much more evil to content producers than Sky or BBC.

Subscription services MUST be bad value, because you pay the same even if you take a break watching and the people selling them make a LOT of profit. That's why Adobe has switched to sub. Cheaper subscription services are only cheap because they are in customer acquisition/growth mode. I expect Netflix to double in price in Ireland and does Spotify actually make money?

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Different judge, different verdict? Diageo's £54m SAP legal slap could have gone another way

Mage
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Unhappy

Appeal

Can it be appealed?

I wrote a server service that provided web access to data stored on Sage Accounts. It was not using any Sage feature / api other than the data access. 2003.

Are users to be charged extra to access the data they put into a package, or do they need to create a separate database and export that data to SAP, Sage, etc.?

It seems restrictive and greedy.

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Fitbit hit on Pebble kit cost just 20 million quid? Oh s**t!

Mage
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Unhappy

Sad though

Though Orwell was writing about contemporary 1948 in "1984", many main stream SF authors saw a dystopian future were the world was ruled by a few mega-corps.

We have seen "consolidation" in food (all the companies making up Heinz-Kraft and Unilever and Nestlé), Chips (NXP and others eaten by Qualcomm, Altera and others by Intel, Softbank eating many, not juast ARM, Analog Devices & Linear Technology, Texas & Nat. Semi. Microchip & Atmel, and more), Hard Drives, OSes (we are down to 2 main and one niche desktop, 2 main and several niche servers, two mobile). Car & Truck makers, Aircraft makers. Credit card companies, Energy companies, Tobacco companies, Alcoholic Drinks Companies. Bananas etc.

Media Giants.

TV sports Rights..

Big six paperback publishers (eBooks though are healty apart from Amazon's KDP Select & Prime distortion.

Ebay, Amazon, PayPal, Wikipedia, Facebook, Google almost monopolies in different areas. It seems the Internet has a positive feedback where instead of the envisaged diversity you get one operator per kind of thing.

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Pack your bags! NASA spots SEVEN nearby Earth-sized alien worlds

Mage
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Orbits

They do have interesting resonant orbits.

The "goldilocks" zone might be too close to star, so planet(s) might be tidally locked or periodically hit by solar flares. Both mitigate against life.

The Talmud suggests there are 18,000 planets with life. Given number of stars in the Milky Way, that might be a serious under-estimate.

We are only at the beginning of this kind of search. The James Webb telescope will allow search for biological or industrial activity via better spectroscopic analysis.

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Facebook scales back AI flagship after chatbots hit 70% f-AI-lure rate

Mage
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Social Problems

The "social problem" is that Facebook exists.

The solution to a high percentage of Internet scams, bullying, exploitation of personal information, fake news etc is simply to turn off Facebook. It provides nothing for the public that isn't available more privately (or publicly), for free, just as easy to use, elsewhere.

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Mage
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Alien

TenCent's Success

The "west" has it wrong. TenCent's success is nothing to do with chatbots. Or even chat exactly. It's more complicated than that and has many Chinese aspects.

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Oracle crushes Apiary's hope in slightly awkward email to customers

Mage
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Re: Reading between the lines...

"If you are with Apiary, I'd suggest looking for work _outside Oracle_ now, "

Might apply to customers using Apiary too?

I certainly prefer MariaDB to OracleDB (easier to calculate licence costs) and the shenanigans over Java (free vs pay $$$ parts) are scary.

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Highway to HBLL: The missing link between DRAM and L3 found

Mage
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Or

What about a smaller CPU (less transistors, like ARM) and then a really big L1 cache?

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Neuromorphic progress: And we for one welcome our new single artificial synapse overlords

Mage
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Re: Nonsense

Chimp, not chip. Though chips only have vocabulary and never language, try asking a Russian, Chinese or German of what they think of your English story "translated" by Google.

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Mage
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Alert

Nonsense

The way in which the synapse cell stores information by subtly changing the write-mode voltage is similar to how real neural pathways are strengthened and weakened during the learning process in the brain

A real synapse is only one aspect of a biological brain. We don't actually know how brains work, or where intelligence comes from, or why a rook can be as "smart" as a chimp. Or why some birds have more ability at vocabulary than a chip (no non-human has language as understood by experts in language, a vocabulary and communication is not language.).

This is interesting, as is the EU funded "human brain" project. But it has very little to do with real biology or real intelligence.

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Mage
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Re: Thinking Machines

Resistance is Finite!

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Zuckerberg thinks he's cyber-Jesus – and publishes a 6,000-word world-saving manifesto

Mage
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They are delusional

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39051972

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Mage
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Re: Invented Social Networking?

He didn't. There are few earlier ones, starting maybe 1998.

He's certainly been the most successful. But successful != good.

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Mage
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The Anti-christ?

"Today we are close to taking our next step." That's today. It's happening right now and, let's be honest, most of it is happening on Facebook. All those pictures and updates – that is where the real work of humanity is occurring right now.

That's so delusional.

Facebook steals privacy, enables, bullying, causes depression. Email, Skype and phone are better for families scattered apart to stay in touch. You need email and phone to register with facebook.

Crimes against humanity.

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Clone it? Sure. Beat it? Maybe. Why not build your own AWS?

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Are they really doing things we couldn't – and don't – do ourselves?

No.

Nor are IBM, Oracle, Google, Microsoft or any cloud service.

Ultimately they are doing it to make a profit.

Sometimes it makes sense to use them, other times it makes sense to do it in house.

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Mage
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Re: Baffling

AWS guarantees are not worth the paper they are written on.

Where is the trustworthy 3rd party audit of any claims?

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Suffering ceepie-geepies! Do we need a new processor architecture?

Mage
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Re: "graph with 18.7 million vertices and 115.8 million edges."

view background gives

https://www.graphcore.ai/hubfs/images/alexnet_label.jpg?t=1487676776004

However it's not "real", just artistic.

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Mage
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Re: FPGA

"Some state-of-the-art FPGA by the big vendors can already do this, "

AFAIK almost all can. Years ago.

The bigger issue is doing it in a useful fashion. You can do a SDR where so as to avoid wasting internal resources, the filters, noise blankers, demodulation type etc are different designs loaded from external Flash at "run" time as a result of signal conditions or operator selection, using a separate CPU even to control the JTAG.

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Mage
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Adaptation

It has always been possible to reconfigure FPGAs on the fly in PCs so as to adapt calculation algorithms during data processing.

I agree.

However I'm not convinced how useful it is compared to a program running on a CPU. An FPGA is designed by humans. It's not simple (I've done it). It's essentially like designing a PCB full of digital ICs. I'd expect that most adaptation is either an alternate pre-defined design, or different parameters (to get round lack of on-board RAM). An FPGA has some dedicated multipliers and loads of RAM based cells, implementing logic functions using a look up table. You can inefficiently implement an actual CPU core, or get ones with dedicated actual CPUs built in, but otherwise an FPGA is just a table defined TTL logic board in an expensive power hungry chip to avoid ASIC NRE. It can only "run" a program in sense of GPU, CPU or "Graph" processor by first having the design of one of those implemented in it.

You could at "run" time switch a soft defined CPU from say an x86 to an ARM, or 6502 to Z80. But I'm not sure why you would!

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Mage
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Re: Inspirations

Maxwell was very close and Einstein credited him and others. Einstein was brilliant, but it wasn't "out of nowhere". The time was right.

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Mage
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Boffin

FPGA

Not a CPU/Processor type

FPGAs can be specifically designed, but FPGA design is fixed once expressed as hardware and thereby inflexible, Graphcore says, which adds that they are also difficult to program, power-hungry and have relatively low performance.

FPGA is primarily an implementation method for prototypes or low volume production, where power consumption and die size (per chip production cost less important than ASIC NRE costs).

In theory an FPGA "could" be reconfigured at run time, rather than as a field upgrade. That's not a processor type either. Does anyone have any example of such a product in production?

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EE unveils sky domination plans with drones, balloons

Mage
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Re: How long before they enhance the incident...?

Satellite backhaul. Expensive, low capacity and high latency. But quite useful for emergencies. Though hooking up a two way sat link to an emergency mobile, 45 ft (telescopic plus tilt) mobile phone base is over 15 year old tech I think.

Nothing new here.

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Mage
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Yet-to-be-patented technology

There should be NOTHING patentable about this.

The ideas and even deployment are over 100 years old.

You can buy gear off the shelf.

Balloons have been used for radio over 100 years and useless in bad weather, tethered or not.

Kites are worse! Also been used since radio was invented.

Sat links and mobile towers with any comms type desired are off the shelf.

This is PR nonsense.

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$350m! shaved! off! sale! price! as! Verizon! swallows! Yahoo!

Mage
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Re: Verizon must see something I don't...

Yahoo Groups are still a thing.

The senior people of each live group (and Google's) ought to migrate to proper forum sw, phpBB isn't bad for free and most groups are low enough traffic for cheap linux hosting.

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Apple to Europe: It's our job to design Ireland's tax system, not yours

Mage
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Re: "will skedaddle to the next corporate hideaway"

Indeed, Apple paid less than 0.5% tax. Not the regular Irish 12.5% which EU doesn't object too. "State Aid" is the polite name for the generous deal.

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Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

Mage
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Childcatcher

Re: Dangerous precedent

Google et al won't do anything a Government wants, without (a) Legislation, (b) Enforcement. They pretty much do what they want to do.

Nothing to see here really.

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Mage
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Devil

It's nonsense anyway

a) Google returns higher up, sites that use their services (analytics, APIs, adverts, cloud etc) to make more money.

b) Google thinks you are more interested now in using them as a bookmark service (deliberately accentuating places you visited before) rather than wanting a genuine search for places you never have seen.

So obviously the screen shot is from someone always looking for warez, those are the regular sites used and/or they run Adsense etc.

They seemed to stop being a neutral genuine search service years ago?

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European Space Agency slaps CC licences on its pics and vids

Mage
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CC

Hipster.

Why not do it properly and make them Public Domain.

Or put (c) ESA <any desired relaxation of Berne rights>

No-one needs the confusing and complicated CC licences. Ordinary copyright with an addendum or Public Domain is fine.

However, very friendly of them to make the imagery available.

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Is your child a hacker? Liverpudlian parents get warning signs checklist

Mage
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2 out of 16 aint bad

That's a really sad list. Arguably only maybe two items might apply.

Someone has been watching too much TV.

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Beeps, roots and leaves: Car-controlling Android apps create theft risk

Mage
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Unhappy

Re: Yet again the issue is CHOICE

"Well, you do have the option to choose not to buy it."

Actually no, not if you want a decent new car or TV.

Though at least with a TV you can avoid connecting it to the Internet, or set up cunning firewall rules if you do. You are lucky if you know what is embedded & connecting to a new car at all!

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Ditching your call centre for an app? Be careful not to get SAP-slapped

Mage
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PwC

You want a long spoon. Ask BT Italy.

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Mage
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Re: This behaviour

You can buy 3rd party supported Open Source. Or out source your open source needs to an expert support company. How do you think Red Hat makes money?

Open source doesn't need to equal DIY or in house programmers, in house support or homebrew, though sometimes that is a better idea than bought in expertise.

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Mage
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Flame

Re: This behaviour

However shareholders etc, may begin to question the vast rip-off of Oracle, Adobe, Microsoft, SAP, IBM licensing.

Maybe also Sage, Intuit and CA Associates too.

HPE.

Lots of rental for poor support, lack of use flexibility, incompatible upgrades, bugs, poor UX and bloat.

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NZ firm tucks into $27m on the back of VR 'hologram' promise

Mage
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Re: Holo-, Hologram

Along with LCD TVs called LED TVs, or even Stereo-viewing known to Victorians called 3D or Holo.

Or Hi-Fi systems that are not.

"Digital" earphones.

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In colossal shock, Uber alleged to be wretched hive of sexism, craven managerial ass-covering

Mage
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Big Brother

Misleading and toxic

They are not a spare time ride sharing operation. They are an exploitive and misleading taxi booking app with exploited employee drivers. So no surprise how toxic this misleading company is internally.

They are also gathering all customer use (identify, time, route etc) and driver information, which might be illegal. They are part owned by Google.

What is all the personal information used for?

It's not even properly secured.

Women are obviously smarter than men, as they are not prepared to support such a toxic company, 25% -> 6%.

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Connected car in the second-hand lot? Don't buy it if you're not hack-savvy

Mage
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Big Brother

Re: “identity management for devices is best served when it's centralised.”

Till hackers download the entire central database.

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Watson can't cure cancer ... or all the stuff that breaks IT projects

Mage
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Windows

Stupid

This was akin to buying fake snake oil, apart from the lack of governance.

IBM was Hollerith originally and made a machine to sort census data in the 19th C.

Watson is simply the 21st C equivalent for "big data". Someone has to put all the relevant data in first. It's only AI because in the last 40 years we have re-defined AI first as "Expert Systems" and now as "Machine Learning".

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BlackBerry sued by hundreds of staffers 'fooled' into quitting

Mage
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Re: Transition from Maker to Troll

"it's not as if the EU doesn't have a huge number of regulations and staff to see they are complied with."

Odd: Because Nokia has real patents. They actually invented stuff.

Not odd: Because Nokia has very deep pockets.

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Mage
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Re: HR managed involved was led out of the building in handcuffs

I hope it's true.

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Mage
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USPTO

More patents that should not have been approved.

RIM/Blackberry never invented any of those.

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Smash up your kid's Bluetooth-connected Cayla 'surveillance' doll, Germany urges parents

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Regulation is required

We have the regulation.

Governments are not interested in inspections and enforcement. Because it would cost money and upset large corporations, wholesalers, donors etc.

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Mage
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Big Brother

Re: Horse stable door bolted

"it's not as if the EU doesn't have a huge number of regulations and staff to see they are complied with."

Actually, no. CE marks are not issued by the EU. It's also the responsibility of individual governments to inspect what is on sale to the consumer. In many cases the "regulator" or department is "captured" by big business (Comreg, Ofcom, Irish Finance Regulator and Anglo Irish Bank and many more).

The issue is not the EU, but deliberate obstruction by Governments, who often make fake claims about what the EU is demanding (which in any case is decided in the first place by the Member States.). UKIP and fellow travellers are making UK LESS consumer and privacy friendly.

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Mage
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Big Brother

Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft.

Mattel has an evil "parenting" gadget like Echo.

Google TV certainly breaks this law. People are better NEVER connecting Smart TV to Internet, but using PS4 or some media box for Netflix etc. Most Smart TV makers seem to have abandoned their own GUI for Google's Android TV, which apart from being spyware, is a rubbish UX for TVs.

1984 was really about 1948 politics. However Orwell would be amazed that every democracy has allowed the Corporate "Big Brother" spying on their citizens via Browser stats, web cookies, clear pixels, javascript etc on the Internet as well as evil IoT personal data monetising products, Facebook (a dictator's wet dream), Echo, Spot, Siri, Chrome Browser, Chrome OS/Chrome Book, Android wearables, Android on phones, iOS, Windows 10, Android TV and etc.

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Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

Mage
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Windows

re 20GB

My first PC had 100K floppies, I added a CP/M card, 80 column card, 1M dual 8" floppy and finally 5M byte HDD.

I've not bought an Apple since.

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Mage
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Happy

Re: Not the compact cassette.

A Psion organiser with a USB read/writable mini-disc able to play music, video or hold data.

Plus a laptop with a 4:3 screen (1920 x 1440) able to run at 48, 50, 60, 75 fps (instead of stupid 60fps only and only 1080 lines). CD/DVD/BD bay, parallel & serial ports, firewire port, Analogue TV out (able to do 240, 405, 440, 525, 625 and 819 lines) as well as USB 2/3, HDMI and VGA. Optical audio I/O too. SD card reader, SIM reader. IR sensor and emitter to clone remote controls. 433MHz / 385MHz SDR to sense or operate doorbells, weather stations, IR remote extenders etc.

OS to be 2017 "Classic Edition XP Pro".

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Google yanks workers from ISP outfit, it's THE FIBER COUNTDOWN

Mage
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Really?

Google Fiber has been instrumental making the web faster and better for everyone

Do Google-ish employees really believe what they say?

No doubt faster for people that got Google fiber and had no other fibre option.

But "better" and "everyone"?

I wonder what data Google's tame ISP stores and forwards on their users?

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Global IPv4 address drought: Seriously, we're done now. We're done

Mage
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Re: The bad decision that keeps on biting back

Websites were 1990s. Internet is about 10 years older in use, and designed earlier still.

The address size wasn't an issue for CPU word size or CPU address size.

A basic problem is that no internet resource using IP6 can turn off IP4 till everyone is using IP6 as there is zero interoperability.

At present "clients" have to use IP4 too, even if using IP6 because too much of the internet isn't accessible on IP6 only.

It's a mess.

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