* Posts by Charles 9

10822 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

Charles 9
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Re: OS Downloads

"Very few people have Unlimited Mobile data so what do you want Apple to do? Satisfy the majority or the minority?"

How about be smart enough to tell the difference?

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Charles 9
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Re: Ditch iTunes

I find many have trouble with playing thing your way, especially with large collections and nonstandard formats.

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Charles 9
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Re: Headphone Jack Please

But those docks generate too much heat, meaning they're murder on the batteries. That's why I removed the Qi receivers from my phones and gone back to the plug.

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Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas

Charles 9
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Re: Tim Worstal's article

But what if this time the rich simply bring out the Terminators or whatever, kill all the proles, turn over the work to machines, and close off their walled gardens to hash it out amongst themselves?

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Hi Amazon, Google, Apple we might tax you on revenue rather than profit – love, Europe

Charles 9
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Bet you they just declare themselves sovereign first, like in the Sprawl.

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Charles 9
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Re: Witholding tax

You forget that not everyone wants to play ball. Ireland and Luxembourg are tiny countries with small populations and low operating expenses. They WANT to cheat, can AFFORD to do so due to their low operating expenses, AND since they're sovereign, they can block any attempt to be forced to play fair.

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Charles 9
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Re: Just change the current tax laws.

Nope, because the size of the country determines your baseline operating costs, which in turn affects the necessary tax revenues to keep running. The reason Ireland and Luxembourg can afford to charge to little tax is because they're tiny (especially Luxembourg, a tiny little speck pinched between Germany, France, and Belgium), yet they're still sovereign. Quite simply, geography is getting in the way.

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Charles 9
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Re: Just change the current tax laws.

And if they DON'T HAVE such a subsidiary, which is basically what they're doing with the tax dodging?

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Whoosh, there it is: Toshiba bods say 14TB helium-filled disk is coming soon

Charles 9
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Re: Helium is tricksy stuff if I recall correctly.

Shingled drives aren't as big an issue if they're intended for WIRE usage (Write Infrequently, Read Extensively). Then the wear-and-tear in the write phase is minimized. HAMR still isn't ready yet, and you have to wonder about the longevity of that heating element.

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Charles 9
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Re: Helium?

The catch is that hydrogen normally exists as a gas in diatomic form (H2), whereas helium is a noble gas and can exist monatomically.

Anyway, part of the delay in rolling out helium drives has been time spent developing and mass-producing a VERY gas-tight enclosure for them.

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Charles 9
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Re: Helium?

I hope you're joking.

Hard drives cannot run in vacuum because their operation relies on the Bernoulli Effect: a cushioning phenomenon that occurs with gases even at tiny gaps (like the infinitesimal gaps between hard drive platters and hard drive heads). Thing is, the Bernoulli Effect relies on there being a gas to work. Vacuum is the lack of gas, see?

The idea here is that helium, in contrast to say nitrogen, is a lot better gas to work with aerodynamically (it's not only atomic number 2, but as a noble gas, it exists atomically in contrast to nitrogen which normally exists as a gas in diatomic molecules--paired up--doubling its molecular weight). Catch is, helium is SO small you need special handling to keep it from getting away (as it's small enough to pass through gaps in otherwise-solid materials).

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Mo' money mo' mobile payments... Security risks? Whatever!

Charles 9
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Re: Bringing in biometrics, things get even riskier

"I think a lot of security professionals are aware of the potential problems of Biometrics, there have been a number of well publicised failures."

But there's another well-known failure that's also on the security sector's minds: the common and well-known failure of human memory, which is why passwords are so derided (and no, xkcd doesn't provide a solution. Was it "correcthorsebatterystaple" or "donkeyenginepaperclipwrong"? Oh, and repeat the exercise 10 times or so.). So how are you going to provide a solution that's guaranteed to be there, even in the event of very bad memories?

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How alien civilizations deal with climate is a measure of how smart they are. Just sayin'...

Charles 9
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Re: The Kardashev scale

Spider Jerusalem once commented on the Kardashev Scale in Transmetropolitan and noted his society is so self-absorbed it wasn't even a zero civilization.

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Wonder why Congress doesn't clamp down on its gung-ho spies? Well, wonder no more

Charles 9
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Re: Waste, fraud and abuse

Both kinds of courage go hand in hand. NO ONE in my recollection WANTS a ticket to Leavenworth or whatever, not to mention the stigma such a stint (or even the threat of it) would do for everyone around him/her.

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Charles 9
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Re: Remember people "Cynicism is the easiest political view to adopt"

And if they counter with a bunch of threats of felony charges (to which Congress is NOT immune)?

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Charles 9
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Re: My "representatives"* are Pelosi & Feinstein

You can't do black and white because you then get into the thorny issue of who draws the line. That's why we frown on such things as absolute law. Plus the world is infinite shades of gray, and an edge case can still have tragic consequences.

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Charles 9
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Re: Constant war turns public opinion against democracy

The problem is that, in a pure democracy, one can vote one's rights away. As in, Hitler was elected. Furthermore, there's the perennial problem of stupid, which can have knock-on effects to the non-stupid, especially versus an evil but charismatic politician.

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Charles 9
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Re: Constant war turns public opinion against democracy

IOW, it goes to the primal fear: the fear of not seeing tomorrow. Because it's so primal (tied to the survival instinct, one of the strongest in any beast), it overrides everything else. Who cares about freedom if I die because of it?

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Facebook claims a third more users in the US than people who exist

Charles 9
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Re: In the nearby future

"(Google+ and Twitter are a lot better to use)"

How can it be a lot easier to use when it practically no longer exists? Or have I missed the announcement that Google decided to drop the idea of dropping Google+?

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Secure microkernel in a KVM switch offers spy-grade app virtualization

Charles 9
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Re: Proof of correctness proves what, exactly?

"If one may refer to a door rather than a gate (gates should be for electronics, not software), then a door is only useful if what surrounds the door is harder to get through than the door. Otherwise it's just for decoration rather than any functional reason."

That's part of the formal specification. EVERYTHING has to go through the kernel. IOW, no tricks like DMA access. If everything is required to go through the formally-proven code in order to function, then it really is a gatekeeper (and I will call them gates because you associated gates with walls--big walls like once crossed England and still exist in China--where there was basically only one way in or out).

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Charles 9
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Re: Proof of correctness proves what, exactly?

But the point becomes, how do you ensure that the object code is as formally secure as the source code since you now have a case of trusting the compiler and the old "Trusting Trust" problem. Not to mention, what about hardware-based exploits?

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Charles 9
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Re: What I don't understand is why that needs an OS kernel?

The Sega/Mega CD had its own processors and an internal BIOS for handling the CD drive itself. The CD add-on for the TurboGrafx/PC Engine operated on similar principles, as do all CD-based consoles of the fifth generation. You could say these BIOS's were very rudimentary OS's in themselves but nothing like the more generalized internal OS's you see in the sixth generation and beyond.

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Charles 9
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Re: Proof of correctness proves what, exactly?

You assume the kernel is a link in a chain, whereas you should see it as a gate where all activity goes through it. That alters the structure since weak links still have to pass through the strong gate first.

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Ice-cold Kaspersky shows the industry how to handle patent trolls

Charles 9
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Re: Yes a win.

Because sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Especially for companies running on the razor's edge so can't afford the time, money, and/or energy or a court battle.

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Charles 9
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Re: In two minds...

Because as faulty as the current system is, any alternative is likely to be more faulty, making status quo the least evil option.

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Asterisk RTP bug worse than first thought: Think intercepted streams

Charles 9
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Re: Alternatives?

Not if the other end DOESN'T support SRTP (part of the problem stated in the article) and you MUST talk to that other end.

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Charles 9
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Re: You should not be using RTP outside your own LAN in the first place

But where does the RTP go from there? It's not like RTP regularly stays on a LAN. It's normally meant to go out to the greater Internet, and that's where they can get you.

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Charles 9
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Re: Ha ha ha

(Incoming ballistic trajectory)

They'd have a point. The attack is OUTSIDE the LAN, on the greater Internet. It's not like they're using RTP to get INTO the LAN, which is why they're against having any kind of knowable structure available, not realizing the ISP can always route past the router onto your LAN in any event, as your connection rides on theirs.

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Charles 9
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Re: I have only offered voip over VPN, but my colleges overseas

But it isn't going to help much if web facing services are the ONLY way through and major money is on the line.

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Google, propaganda, and the new New Man

Charles 9
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Re: Lying is always bad propaganda, because it deceives and misleads the people

Point is, who cares if you're lying. You can either tell it often enough that people believe you, or you can instill enough fear in people that they don't challenge you. Either way, whether you lie or not becomes irrelevant. Truth is relative, and in such a world, facts are fungible.

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Charles 9
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Re: Lying is always bad propaganda, because it deceives and misleads the people

"Lying is always bad propaganda, because it deceives and misleads the people"

Only thing is, what did they say about telling a lie often enough?

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Stealth, lightweight Android breaks cover

Charles 9
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Re: Got myself a MI Max...

Unless you can remove the battery and install an SD card, it's a non-starter. Battery is a fire risk unless you can remove it, and the SD card is necessary for low-priority media stuff I don't want to encrypt.

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Facebook fails in bid for streaming sports rights

Charles 9
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Re: A very difficult choice

But OTOH if they raise prices too high, people don't buy, so the ad buyers can put pressure on the media outlet to cut rates. It's one thing to pay $3B for exclusive media rights. It's another to find ad buyers willing to pay through the nose for ads when they're under pressure to keep their own prices down.

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Retail serfs to vanish, all thanks to automation

Charles 9
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"Why should freight be carried from New York to Chicago by railroads when we could employ enormously more men, for example, to carry it all on their backs?"

The same reason nonliving cars replaced horses: the little matter called upkeep.

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Charles 9
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Re: I find it...

Because 9 times out of 10, what's the purpose of a purpose? Indeed, of ANY enterprise? To make money for the owner(s). Otherwise, why do it at all? It's simple human condition, really, and it would be hard to envision any way to change that behavior: not even using the law (since being monied, they could just decide to up and move away).

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Charles 9
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Not as difficult as you think. Most houses they just need to get to the doorstep. As for the rest, things can adapt. Blocks can perhaps have a dedicated person/robot (either way specialized for that location) to do the last bits from a common receiving area.

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Charles 9
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Re: Spanner in the works?

Who gives a damn? You get the picture anyway: 1, 2, or 3 items. It's just like how "Where you at?" has become a tagline; as you say, it's about communication, and since humans are involved, things change. For exmaple, is it "jail" or "gaol"?

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China: Cute Hyperloop Elon, now watch how it's really done

Charles 9
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Re: Something I think people have missed:

Thing is, you can't discount a sudden, catastrophic breach. What then?

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'First ever' SHA-1 hash collision calculated. All it took were five clever brains... and 6,610 years of processor time

Charles 9
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Argentina eyes up laser death cannon testbed warship

Charles 9
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Re: interesting name leads to interesting subject

"Human Resources - aka cheap labor"

The US is already over-provisioned there, and the problem's only gonna get worse. The US needs fewer people, not more.

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Bitcoin Foundation wants US Department of Justice investigated

Charles 9
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Re: Bit Coin

I don't think the US is treating Bitcoin as a currency per se. They just consider it a tradable good or commodity, much like a foreign currency. They know it's there, they know people sometimes handle it, but it's not the norm within the US, so at some point you have to get it back to dollars, and once that happens, it's back in their control and they can go from there.

So they're not so much legalizing it as simply lumping it together with all the other foreign currencies out there. It's not legal tender in the US (only the dollar; that's specified by law), but you can pass it around like scrip if it's your bag.

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Charles 9
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Re: Because the law doesn't yet recognise it as a legal form of tender?

"If the mafia decide to only trade in "mafia bucks", does it make their trade exempt from tax?"

Where would their mafia bucks come from, then? And how do they turn around and use it to acquire real-world goods? At SOME point, you're going to have to go back to government-backed currency to interact with the real world, and THAT'S when they get you.

That's why countries like the US aren't all that concerned about Bitcoin. Since Bitcoin is not the official US currency, at some point if you want to do things like shop at Walmart (which can ONLY really work with dollars), you're going to have to convert back to dollars, which under US laws is a taxable event.

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Charles 9
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Re: Because the law doesn't yet recognise it as a legal form of tender?

As legal tender, no, only the Dollar and Cent, especially when it comes to debts (which is the main reason for the Legal Tender Act--to ensure a means of settling debts). Now, if a private enterprise wishes to accept other forms of currency as part of its business (say a currency exchange), then that's up to it, though there may be international agreements in place concerning how they go about their business. And since they're still handling dollars, the US government's going to want to check them out now and then as well.

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That virtually impossible classic compsci P vs NP problem is virtually impossible, say boffins

Charles 9
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Re: They have failed...

The problem isn't starting from scratch, as there are relatively simple ways to do it and ensure you get a result.

The NP-complete problem is to start with a partial board and determine whether or not it's possible to complete that board. It's the existing pieces that complicate the matter since now you have the possibility of no solution and the problem specifically asks yes/no to that. This makes it impossible to use a programmatic approach since the initial layout is random. This puts it in the realm of Traveling Salesman in that the only solution is brute force, which reaches infeasible levels quickly due to its factorial complexity.

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Charles 9
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IOW, it can't be solved deterministically, which is one way to class an NP problem (NP stands for Nondeterministic Polynomial).

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Charles 9
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I've also heard that any NP-complete problem can be refactored to represent any OTHER NP-complete problem (like, say, Traveling Salesman), which is one reason why you only need to solve ONE to solve ALL.

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Crypto-busters reverse nearly 320 MEELLION hashed passwords

Charles 9
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Re: That's lovely, but

Oh, what's to stop someone else stealing your identity after you die? Remember ghost votes?

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Chinese smartphone cable-maker chucks sueball at Apple

Charles 9
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Re: A chip hidden in a charging cable?

Cables are MADE to fail. They're designed to fail first to save the more expensive stuff. Sounds to me like exactly what we need here. Not complicated lock-in cables but dead simple sacrificial lambs.

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Charles 9
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Re: A chip hidden in a charging cable?

Just require that all chargers contain an easily-accessible-and-changeable fuse. They do that with Christmas light sets.

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Charles 9
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Re: A chip hidden in a charging cable?

A USB cable is more than a charging cable as well. In fact, it's a data cable FIRST, a charging cable SECOND. And it doesn't need sophisticated stuff in the cable to do its thing. In fact, its philosophy has been that the complicated bits should be at the socket ends; make the cable simple and easy to replace and let the ends do the hard work (that's one reason the latches in the Micro USB spec are on the cable where they were in the socket in Mini USB--lot easier to switch out a cable than to reinstall a socket). In response to your overcharging issue, the sockets in the devices should carry the ability to sense out-of-bound electricals and shut the socket off as needed to protect itself. Is it really that hard to do that without resorting to the complexity of a chip in the cable?

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