* Posts by Phil Bennett

78 posts • joined 3 Apr 2007

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Autonomous vehicle claims are just a load of hot air… and here's why

Phil Bennett

Autopilot fun

I've been known to sail on the Solent, and not being anywhere near there I rent a boat. One of them had an autopilot system that had been disabled apparently on the orders of the insurance company, because too many people were setting the same course, so rather than having the whole sea to play in all the boats were in a narrow corridor and the crew weren't keeping proper watch.

I predict flocking behaviour will be an interesting failure mode for fully autonomous cars...

21
1

IBM claims its machine learning library is 46x faster than TensorFlow

Phil Bennett

Accuracy?

I've got a new ML library called WeightedCoinToss that takes the training data, works out the odds of a click, and returns an appropriately weighted random value.

It's incredibly quick to train, and even faster in production.

Without some measure of the accuracy of predictions, saying one ML library is faster than another is a bit useless.

0
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Does Parliament or Google decide when your criminal past is forgotten?

Phil Bennett

Difficult case, this.

On one side, I can see the arguments in favour of keeping records around of fraudsters activity for a long period of time to prevent them getting up to the same mischief again. On the other hand, it's a bit unfair to make someone continue to suffer after their punishment is in theory over.

Possibly some kind of financial version of the sex offenders register?

It's equally difficult to root for Google, the omnihoover of personal information, or someone engaging Carter-Fuck...

5
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PPI-pusher makes 75 MEEELLION nuisance calls, lands £350k fine

Phil Bennett

Company merry-go-round

A friend of mine had office space in a building which also hosted a scummy marketing company. It was a group of people (I think about 10) who folded their company at the first sign of trouble, usually 12-18 months in, then the next person in the group set up a new company doing the same thing. Even if one of them was banned from being a company director, that only lasts a certain length of time (7 years?) so they were always clear again by the time their turn came back round.

Directors have to be personally liable for criminal acts, and that has to actually be enforced. The current situation is untenable - this company made enough calls to contact everyone in the UK, making the world a worse place, and nothing will be done about it. Again.

2
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Skynet it ain't: Deep learning will not evolve into true AI, says boffin

Phil Bennett

Re: Deep learning?

You could argue that the existence of a Planck length is weak evidence that we're in a simulation - why would nature need to quantise everything, including distance and time, unless it was doing the equivalent of computing at a certain precision? Why isn't everything analog?

The second point is that the people within the simulation can't see the outside universe, so what we think of as very small or very large might be a small fraction of the scales available to the outside. If their Planck length is ridiculously smaller, like 20 orders of magnitude, then running us as a simulation becomes much much easier.

The third point is that the simulation doesn't have to run at or above real time - we're looking at simulating brains (I think from memory mouse brains?) but it'll run at 1% real time because we simply don't have enough compute available at the moment.

The fourth is that you don't know the bounds of the simulation - it's almost certainly the size of the inner solar system now we've got permanent satellites lurking around other planets and the sun, but it would be pretty trivial to intercept e.g. Voyager and produce plausible radio waves from the edge. There would essentially be a screen around the simulation beyond which everything was roughly approximated - think the draw distance in computer games.

I don't personally believe we're in a simulation, if only because surely no ethics board would allow the creation of an entire civilisation of sentient beings capable of misery.

0
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Nvidia: Using cheap GeForce, Titan GPUs in servers? Haha, nope!

Phil Bennett

This isn't a DC...

It's just two very large (cluster) computers.

Defining exactly what constitutes one computer isn't massively easy (think IBM mainframes on one extreme, pi clusters on another, and high power workstation for rendering 3D for another). Can't do it by number of GPUs, otherwise SLI is dead. Can't do it by CPU count, because multiprocessor stuff is common in workstations. Could possibly do it by motherboard count if you're willing to abandon blade and VM users I suppose.

I'm seeing this more as a cash grab on VDI users to be honest - they don't need anything like the horsepower of the Tesla's but benefit a lot from a bit of 3D acceleration.

3
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Walk with me... through a billion files. Slow down – admire the subset

Phil Bennett

Object storage? Alternatives?

This article reads a lot like an advert, but being charitable and assuming it's just a regurgitated press release, how does QFS compare to other modern large scale storage architectures?

While there are tasks that are slow on traditional file systems, like the slightly artificial example given, the feature that is most requested and causes most hassle is search within file, and you shouldn't be using the filesystem for that - you should have something external like elasticsearch. Once you have external management software, keep the smarts there and let the filesystem store files. If you need something using the metadata and it's going to take ages to run, you've not correctly designed your infrastructure.

11
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Want a new HDMI cable? No? Bad luck. You'll need one for HDMI 2.1

Phil Bennett

So when do we get proper 8k?

This is a standard to support 8k, which is nice given 4k is, well, here in force, but it only supports it with subsampled chroma, so it will be useless for anything with fine detail (like computer monitors).

When do they plan to support the full monty? 2020?

0
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No humans allowed: How would a machine-centric data centre look?

Phil Bennett

No humans allowed

I assumed this would be about a datacentre structured for zero maintenance, so no aisles.

We've more or less got to the point where it isn't worth unracking and repairing troublesome hardware at the kind of scale the behemoths are operating. I see the future datacentre as modular units designed around heat flow - e.g. you might have a bottom tier of machines with low tolerance to heat up to a top floor capable for running past 100 degrees (and that top floor could be much, much higher than the current top of rack). Machines would be loaded in by autonomous forklifts. Once in, machines wouldn't be touched - if they fail, turn off power and ignore. Upgrades would be for compute per watt, and you'd build a new datacentre with the new machines, keeping the old datacentre alive until the spot price for compute dropped below the cost of supply.

0
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Oracle promises SLAs that halve Amazon's cloud costs

Phil Bennett

...for now

One of the major worries around moving work to other people's computers is lock in - it's bloody difficult to replatform a deployed application and you need to retune everything.

You would have to be certifiably insane to tie yourself to Oracle with their reputation unless you were already so committed to their DB that leaving was unthinkable.

3
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Red Hat banishes Btrfs from RHEL

Phil Bennett

People are still using btrfs?

After the RAID5/6 issue which still isn't fixed a *year* later(!), people are still trusting their data to btrfs?

For small storage, there are loads of options (and boot from ZFSoL is still new enough to be a concern, if not a blocker)

For huge storage, you probably aren't using ZFS - you're looking at cluster filesystems (gluster, ceph, hdfs etc)

For medium scale storage, ZFS is hard to beat. Work out a way to get ZFS on Linux compliant (even if that is to reverse engineer it) and move on.

6
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Sweet Christmas: Micron more than triples SSD capacity with 9200

Phil Bennett

Hey look, another large ssd announcement with no guide price

How about a roundup of all the announced drives including guide prices? At the moment it seems to be press release -> article without any useful journo input.

I'm not even asking you to bite the hand that feeds IT, just stop sucking the fingers in public.

3
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Toshiba fires off trifecta of SSDs with 30TB range-topping whopper

Phil Bennett

Come on, El Reg

The one thing everyone wants to know, even if it's bullshit list prices, is how much this is going to cost. I realise it's easier just rephrasing a press release but please pretend to be actual journalists while doing so.

2
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Sun of a b... Rising solar temp wrecks chances of finding ET in our system

Phil Bennett

I thought the point of Europa was that there could be liquid water under the ice? I mean, yes, this rules out waiting around for the sun to warm up to the point where ice melts, but who cares? If there is liquid water down there we need to check if there is anything living. If so, fantastic! If not, we've got a new source of water in the outer solar system. If we're still going when the next step change in solar radiation happens, we will deal with it then without going to a temporary refuge.

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When can real-world laws invade augmented reality fantasies? A trial in Milwaukee will decide

Phil Bennett

Re: a Mortal Threat...to augmented reality games

These days, people at concerts tend to be staring at their phone screens (while taking horrible quality videos of the gig).

Actually, I wonder if that counts as AR and we can make Apple/Samsung/Google liable to pay for the toilets etc...

4
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While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars

Phil Bennett

Video calls?

"hold up their phones and have a regular video call where they can see their actual friends?"

Do people actually use video calling? I've only ever used it to speak to far-flung friends and family there is no chance I can see in person in the near future - I don't think I've ever had an actually mobile video call. Hell, hasn't voice calling fallen off a cliff?

Virtual spaces sounds like an amazing utopian idea, it's just a shame you have to let real people in who spoil it all. Perhaps someone like Greg Gopman can pop up and suggest a terrible solution that can be hyped for a couple of weeks.

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EU 'net neutrality' may stop ISPs from blocking child abuse material

Phil Bennett

Easy to solve

"Terminal equipment-based restrictions put in place by the end-user are not targeted by the Regulation."

So just have an option on the router to turn on blocking for the local network. Slightly annoying that the bandwidth is still wasted shipping adverts etc to your local network, but doesn't require adblock on every device.

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'Daddy, what's a Blu-ray disc?'

Phil Bennett

Re: quality..

Quote: "http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/why-ultra-hd-4k-tvs-are-still-stupid/

Paying for a gaming video card that can do 4k , is an extra dimension of pointlessness . Unless you are playing the game in a CINEMA"

You did read the article you linked to, right? Where they explained patiently that *viewing distance matters*?

I haven't yet updated to a 4k capable PC, so I've got no skin in this game, but I tend to be playing about 50cm from the screen rather than a more normal TV viewing distance of 2+ metres.

My next PC will have a 4k display because extra resolution is incredibly useful for work (my current PC has 3 monitors, a single large 4k screen will replace them all). Will gaming look any better? Probably, but I'll be using VR goggles instead (viewing distance: 5cm) :)

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Toshiba flashes 100TB QLC flash drive, may go on sale within months. Really

Phil Bennett

Really low endurance or mistake?

The QLC drive would have a 3PB to 6PB workload over its lifetime, with the disk having 900TB (written).

This is a 100TB drive so 9 full writes in its entire life, and just 30-60 reads? That's a far cry from Facebook's desired 150 writes.

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Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

Phil Bennett

Re: Slow it down, speed it up

Exactly. Ask people involved in HFT about speeding up connections - shorter network paths (both number of hops and even physical length of cables), faster routing, preferred traffic.

For more normal bandwidth uses, enhanced caching (local CDN servers), no DPI on trusted sites, no IWP filtering, no court ordered block filters, etc. All of these things can speed up your connection in the same way a bypass speeds up road traffic. The cars are going the same speed, but the traffic is faster.

Interpreting that tweet as implying ISPS can selectively accelerate individual packets is just being an arsehole.

4
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This is how the EU's supreme court is stripping EU citizens of copyright protections

Phil Bennett

Lack of control

If I publish a link to a site that contains something freely distributable, then the naughty server admin changes the content of the site to something that infringes copyright, should I really be criminalised?

A link isn't the content. You can deal with copyright content by attacking the source (whackamole might make this difficult).

A link with the description "get the latest Hollywood blockbuster here" might be an incitement, abetment, or whatever, but the link itself isn't illegal, its the combination of content and description (I'm not sure of it would still be an infringement if the link didn't go to copyrighted content, in the same way selling harmless substances as drugs is still illegal).

It should come back to everyone's favourite argument "significant non infringing uses", which is why TPB gets prosecution while www.google.com/#q=torrents does not.

3
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Illegal drugs and dodgy pics? Nah. Half the dark web is perfectly legal

Phil Bennett

Authorised employees or..?

"employees of banks advertising services, including laundering money, to interested bidders"

So Panama online then?

10
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Not Bitcoin, but close: Red Hat and Microsoft bite into blockchain tech

Phil Bennett

Escrow / vetting services

The banks will be interested in being trusted brokers (for a fee, naturally). After all, its all very well transferring money to an anonymous swiss bank, but even better if you can guarantee that the Swiss bank account belongs to a person of impeccable credentials (which we have recently determined means 'can afford a lawyer in Panama')

2
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Elon Musk takes wraps off planet-saving Model 3 vapourmobile

Phil Bennett

Re: Tesla a greencar, really ?

You've included all steps of the electrical power generation process but assume your diesel magically appears fully formed in the tank of your car? Curious choice.

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Flying Scotsman attacked by drone

Phil Bennett

New threat to grouse about?

If only trains had to consider the possibility of a several kilo flying object hitting a moving train, then we wouldn't be grousing over potential drone impacts, we'd just flip drone operators the bird.

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Investigatory Powers Bill lands in Parliament amid howls over breadth of spying powers

Phil Bennett

ISP level protection

In the wake of 3 starting to offer network-level ad protection, could an ISP simply route all traffic (except BBC iPlayer :)) through a different company located in a civilised nation? Then the ICR available would be 'user X connected to the VPN', no more detail available, and the ISP would avoid spending extra money on compliance with this ridiculous law.

9
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De-anonymising data should be a criminal offence, says MPs report

Phil Bennett

Honest, guv?

Could this be a pre-emtive strike against people pointing out that the big database of Internet Connection Records are totally possible to link to people?

8
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Open APIs for UK banking: It's happening, people

Phil Bennett

"Informed consent"

such access should be only be facilitated where bank account holders have given their "informed consent"

Would this be the usual "give your consent or don't have access to banking and all banks are signed up so good luck if you're unhappy, chum"?

1
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Terror in the Chernobyl dead zone: Life - of a wild kind - burgeons

Phil Bennett

Despite me being pro-nuclear...

This article is a bit pants.

The quotes you've pulled from the hippie article say that there are serious morphological effects, that the HEALTHY population is likely due to immigration, that there will continue to be an effect for decades and that levels of some incorporated radionuclides will remain dangerous for mammals.

The other study is looking simply at population, and confirms it has risen (i.e. that the radioactivity isn't at a level where it's killing everything faster than humans in the area would).

A vast population of unholy mutated deer, thirsty for blood and glowing in the dark would not contradict either study despite being suboptimal for humanity.

Was Chernobyl not as bad as it was painted? Yes, absolutely. Is it a nature preserve I'd love to live in? Absolutely not. We don't need more extremely biased articles from either side, we need sensible planning - remember the disasters, plan for them (and any others you can imagine), and get new plants built to provide lovely low carbon energy.

31
1

Green your data centre – without ending up in the Job Centre

Phil Bennett

Power density

The other constraint you tend to operate under is power density, so "a blade-based server with single-power supplies and fan units shared between server modules" might sound good overall (reducing total power usage) but because the rack can't power / cool stuff at that density it costs you more in hosting charges.

The UPS in power supplies thing seems fairly ridiculous - yes, there is a cost to running the power through a large scale UPS, but there is also a cost for running it through a small UPS, and in general big converters are more efficient than small ones.

Has there been any progress on DC power distribution? At one point that looked like the future, enabling you to have very efficient power supplies running entire racks rather than multiple PSUs per server.

1
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The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

Phil Bennett

How is the small companies exemption different from the VAT rules?

"There's also a more minor point that can and should be made, which is that companies doing less than £250m in business are apparently going to be let off this"

While not a tax person, surely if this was a reason for an EU challenge the UK VAT rules would have been struck down years ago? They've got a threshold value for turnover and no-one is challenging them as state aid...

3
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NO WARRANTS NEEDED for metadata access, argues Oz A-G

Phil Bennett

Really?

"Many information-gathering powers that are exercised by agencies under Commonwealth, State and Territory laws do not rise to that level of intrusiveness and may be exercised without a warrant. Examples of such powers are powers to obtain banking, financial and healthcare records. "

I'm not an Aussie, but can you really have your healthcare records read through by the police without a warrant? That's definitely more intrusive than metadata and should be a priority to fix.

4
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Samsung’s SUPER-speedy SSD is a real power-sipper

Phil Bennett

Surely about the same power usage as the previous gen?

From the article:

"more than 50 per cent of improvement in performance per watt over that of the XP941 SSD"

"50 per cent faster for sequential reading and writing. "

Looking at both sentences, does that mean this drive uses about the same total power as the previous gen, albeit with higher performance?

0
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Huawei prez: A one-speed internet is bad for everyone

Phil Bennett

Missing the point?

“When you try to send a letter in China it can take several weeks. But FedEx style services can deliver a package in 24 hours parts of the country."

The problem is that "parts of the country", whichever end of the chain they're on, can get 24 hour service, while others can't.

A bit like being able to get 100Mbs+ service offered by the big names in the areas where competition exists, and pigeon post where there isn't a choice...

0
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Cloud buyers: Why it makes sense to think local

Phil Bennett

Storage costs.

“A basic Azure account gives you 20 storage accounts and each one can have 200TB of storage. The on-prem equivalent would costs you millions."

According to http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/documentation/articles/storage-whatis-account/, you only get 5 accounts. Still, that is a whole lot of storage. Wonder how cheap it is in the cloud? Local replication only as that is the cheapest option:

200TB * 5 accounts = 1000TB = £0.045*1*1024 + £0.042*49*1024 + £0.039*450*1024 + £0.036*500*1024 = £38,556.67 per month for storage, plus a fee per read or write, plus data transfer fees if you're going out of the cloud.

As a slightly silly comparison, for the same money you could buy 1080TB of new storage ($64357 / $59.54 per TB in backblaze storage pod 3.0s) each month, and then it is yours forever (after month 2, you have local redundancy). Even with the power and cooling costs, you're not going to save money putting bulk data into the cloud.

The advantages of the cloud are correctly sizing instances to loads, rapid scaling, ease of management, and reliability. As long as it is easier and cheaper to spin up a new instance than it is to provision a new VM, and reliability is comparable, cloud makes sense. Mass storage doesn't, so far, seem sensible (even ignoring the vendor lock in potential of having all your data held by a 3rd party).

2
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Robo-termites will stack boxes IN SPAAACE

Phil Bennett

Missed musical opportunity

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=mHTnJNGvQcA#t=76

Sorcerer's Apprentice is definitely the background music you want.

It is potentially a good line of research into controlling self-assembling structures though, which would be very useful if applied to nano tech.

0
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Security breach at Opscode as attackers download databases

Phil Bennett
Coat

Missed opportunity

"Chef doesn't use salt" surely?

1
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'Smart ring' revealed by upstart Chinese mobe-maker

Phil Bennett
Thumb Up

Re: RFID?

I really like the ring-authentication method, but RFID is a bit of a weakness. How about having a decoder ring style rotatable section, so you enter a password when you put it on? You could use heat or friction or something to detect the ring being removed, and then you've got a really useful mobile authentication device.

Add some ultra low power Bluetooth (or other low power networking) to communicate with your gizmos, and never remember a password again. Kind of like an RSA token with a physical pin.

1
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Forget tax bills, here's how Google is really taking us all for a ride

Phil Bennett
Stop

Not for me

I'm not a big fan of anything that lets the market create difficult-to-compare plans - mobile phone plans are already a pain in the arse. The current system mostly works - if you want better, ad-free email, you can pay for it.

If the idea is simply to create an easy micropayment mechanism, then fine - a cheap, easy to use and integrate, ubiquitous Paypal alternative would be fantastic. I'd prefer it not be linked to my ISP though, as the other reason people (including me) use services like Gmail is to avoid roadblocks transferring ISPs. If your email address, Steam library, and Netflix account are tied to your ISP, changing supplier becomes a major hassle.

1
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'No discernible increase in piracy' from DRM-free e-books

Phil Bennett
Thumb Down

Re: No surprise here - It is DRM that increases piracy

I agree that there are costs to the publisher to make ebooks available; I might, given enough evidence, believe that the cost of paper, print, binding and shipping is negligible / approximately the same as the VAT so the price should be the same from the publishers point of view, but look at it from a customer point of view instead.

I get the same content to read, but not the property rights with the ebook. I can't lend it to a friend; I can't sell it on when I'm done with it. I can't pick up a completely unknown book second hand and go "you know what, for a couple of quid I'll take a chance" because there isn't a second hand market.

I'm not getting the same standard of product, so the price should reflect that. Alternately, create a market for 2nd hand ebooks - if you're using the honour system (no DRM) then allow resale, if you're using DRM allow transfer of ownership. At the moment, the publishers are screwing us both ways.

2
0

Ten external battery packs

Phil Bennett
FAIL

Replaceable batteries

Rather than get a tiny capacity charger like the Proporta 830mAh which claims to be able to provide 23% power to an S3, why not just get a 2nd battery? Its smaller, cheaper, lighter and more 4 times the capacity they claim.

I see the point of the bigger beasts (5,000mAh upwards) for long trips, but most of these are tiny compared to modern smartphone batteries.

7
3

Boffins create super-muscular 'Hulk' mice: Humans next

Phil Bennett

Doesn't look that useful for adults

"Researchers examined the properties of the muscles in both adult and newborn mice and discovered that the alterations caused by loss of Grb10 function had mainly occurred during prenatal development."

So no muscles-in-a-pill from this research (or restoration of muscles for people with degenerative diseases, sadly).

0
1

Forget 'climate convert' Muller: Here's the real warming blockbuster

Phil Bennett
Unhappy

Seems like good science

Hopefully will be followed up and replicated.

What I don't understand if people saying things like "Soon the climate hoax will be exposed", or "None of this will matter to the True Believers" - they're still showing warming effects.

The big problem with global warming is that it is inherently slow - you don't walk out of the door one morning and find that the trees are on fire, you get get steadily nastier weather, which you get used to a little at a time, and doing anything about it is incredibly difficult and depending how you go about it, extremely disruptive.

We need a bit more science like this to understand exactly where we stand, and a lot more science directed at reducing emissions, finding alternate energy sources (e.g. thorium reactors, fusion, big tidal and solar projects) and increasing efficiency. There is something badly wrong with a society that takes 20 years to approve spending €5 billion (albeit now approaching €16billion) across the entire world for ITER, and yet finds £12 billion from the UK alone for a couple of weeks of running around in lycra.

3
1

Olympus MEG4.0 smart glasses will photoshop the REAL WORLD

Phil Bennett
FAIL

Not that impressive...

320x240 display with a 1 hr battery life isn't very impressive, especially compared to commercially available stuff like the ST1080, which is full HD and has a 4 hr life. True, it doesn't have GPS, but you're going to be hooking this thing up to a smartphone anyway. Build head tracking in, make it more transparent (10% isn't going to cut it when you're walking around) and do all the processing on the phone to save power.

1
0

Mozilla shoots down Thunderbird, hatches new release model

Phil Bennett

Overlap...

As one of a (small?) overlap between Gmail and Thunderbird, I find this annoying:

Thunderbird may claim more than 20 million users, but Gmail alone boasts 425 million active users worldwide

Yes, true. And hotmail has how many users? And myspace has how many users? Can we get past some kind of signup metric, because it isn't exactly useful, especially for legacy services, to looking at active user numbers?

4
0

Google orders spontaneous support for Parliamentary motion

Phil Bennett
FAIL

Astroturf?

I thought astroturfing was paying people to support you who otherwise wouldn't (fake grass roots) rather than sending out an alert email to people who have expressed an interest in an issue.

As long as there isn't anything inappropriate going on (eg Google are paying Consumer Focus for support) then I'm not seeing anything requiring sarcastic quotes around 'independent' - if they add you to the email list, are you no longer 'independent'?

Google are not a particularly nice company, and I disagree with a lot of their data-hoovering practices, but this isn't exactly sinister machinations in a smoke-filled back room.

6
1

Row on between publishers, researchers over data mining techniques

Phil Bennett
Thumb Down

Wondering why copyright holders are reviled?

"opposing views had been submitted on other planned reforms to copyright, including allowing education bodies to copy protected works into new formats for student learning"

AKA We like screwing money out of schools - they aren''t spending their own money so ridiculous fees are easier to extract

"There was also dispute over whether copyrighted works could be used in quotation and in reporting current events without infringement"

AKA We'd like to stop anyone posting negative articles about our stuff

Rights holders, though, argued that introducing any "general measure" to prevent contractual override of copyright exceptions "would constitute an unduly excessive restriction of freedom to contract"

AKA We'd like to avoid following those laws designed to stop unfair practices - "Slave owners argued that introducing a general measure preventing contractual override of human rights would constitute an unduly excessive restriction of freedom to contract"

Rights holders also campaigned for a planned 'private copying' exception to be limited to physical products only, and specifically prevent individuals copying digital content into cloud storage services for private use.

AKA feel free to allow stuff that no-one will be doing by the time this comes into force, we want to carry on screwing our customers in the future.

1
0

FunnyJunk lawyer doubles down on Oatmeal Operation Bear Love

Phil Bennett
Thumb Down

Really, el reg?

As many people pointed out on the previous article, eg replies to http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/06/12/inman_dmca_dumb/#c_143920 , the DMCA isn't applicable to sites outside the US.

Despite that, and the inherent ridiculousness of Charles Carreon's behaviour, you seem to be supporting him in this article. Seriously, the man is suing two charities (who will no doubt have to spend money defending against this asshat) because a random person on the internet has said they're going to donate them money, and your response is "Carreon's no dummy"?

44
0

Orange 3G data network goes titsup

Phil Bennett
Thumb Up

Down in Lancs earlier, but back up now

N/T

0
0

SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?

Phil Bennett
FAIL

Content vs Techies

The issue isn't that technology companies are being obstructive, it is that the content industries are asking for ridiculously disproportionate things, and indeed have already had successes (see the DMCA and copyright term extension). If the postal service was just setting up, the content industries would be campaigning to have every parcel sent in clear bags and require the postal service to inspect each one to ensure no contraband got through, and ban anyone caught sending a CD in the post from sending mail in the future.

To prevent the "you only ever say we can't do things" response, how about this as a suggestion:

A Spotify-like service that allowed all content companies to offer their wares and had the same rates for paying all companies (big or small, otherwise the independents won't join), that had all content available, at different qualities for different devices, and customers can download anything you like for use on offline devices. The stick is that the downloads are traceable to your account (through some kind of watermarking). If the customer's stuff ends up on the wider web (probably repeatedly, or with added promotion, or something to avoid catching the innocently careless), you've got their details and can sue them directly. Of course, the devil is in the details - can you watermark files without it being easy to strip watermarks out, how much would people pay, exactly how you'd split the money, etc) but it'd be a start...

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