* Posts by Pet Peeve

512 posts • joined 22 Nov 2009

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CERN outlines plan for new 100km circumference supercollider

Pet Peeve

Plenty of room down there

"To all available evidence, we have got all the particles down pat"

No! We have the standard model particle zoo caught and stuck on the wall. What we don't have are supersymmetric particles, which are likely going to need something bigger than the LHC eventually (only a few -ino particles are predicted to come into the range even the enhanced LHC can see), and besides that, we want to BREAK the dang standard model if at all possible, because it has to break at least a little to unify to gravity.

The proposed accellerator is likely too small, but as big as political realities allow even for discussion right now. It may also be that it has to be this big - too big a step up and you don't have anything energetic enough to run through it. CERN is a wonderful set of accellerators, some half a century old, that gradually speed up incoming particles for injection into the LHC.

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iFrame attack injects code via PNGs

Pet Peeve

Re: disable javascript in your browser! @Pet Peeve

@bluegreen: are you a doctor IRL too?

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Pet Peeve

Re: disable javascript in your browser!

The only designerism related to jquery that I would consider harmful are css overrides, used because they can't be bothered to get their css right in the first place. Hint: if you have css overrides in your onload function, you are DOING IT WRONG.

jquery is a unequivocally great thing - I'm a little less thrilled with plugin-itis that creeps into pages these days, but in most cases I would rather have an amateur webdesigner use libraries than try to write it in code, which is always asking for trouble.

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Pet Peeve

Re: Capital iZation...

@Graham - Ha! I have to apologize to Warm Braw - I thought he was complaining about the camelcased method names in the javascript snippet, and not the word "iFrame" in the article text. I have to agree that spelling it as "iFrame" is bad, wrong, and probably because of a little too much Apple on the brain (not that there's anything wrong with Apple itself).

It's "iframe", not "iFrame". Don't do that.

I reversed the downvote, sorry Braw!

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Pet Peeve

Re: disable javascript in your browser!

Oh, what a pile of crap. Jquery is used by experts just as much as amateurs (if not more - javascript is not exactly friendly to start with) - a lot of things you do every day in javascript are extremely annoying otherwise.

Lots of clueless snark on this story today.

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Pet Peeve

Re: disable javascript in your browser!

Turning off third-party javascript (with noScript or scriptNo) does indeed work, though it can sometimes be a royal pain in the posterior to figure out what each site considers the minimum necessary for proper rendering the first time you visit.

So, if the png is being sent from an ad site, this will indeed stop it dead. If it's a user uploaded image on the cdn subsite, which you've authorized in noScript, then you could still get nailed by this.

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Pet Peeve

Re: So the user doesn't notice anything happening

I don't understand why the embedded tag data in a png would be evaluated as javascript by a browser - how is this happening?

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Pet Peeve

Re: Capital iZation...

Dude. It's called "camel case", and it's existed as a naming convention since the 80s at least. Nothing to do with apple, please find another thing to be angry about.

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Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly

Pet Peeve

Re: yawn

"Predominantly" is hipster bullshit. The question is, is there enough good stuff to watch?

I don't know what you're watching, but I have to say the last few years has had some of the best TV I've ever seen in my 51 years of watching.

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Pet Peeve

Re: Shaky picture but with more detail

They already did this. You can get HD sets now with a 240hz refresh rate, and the 4k sets are starting out at 120hz.

You may be particularly sensitive to upscaling artifacts, and not really the refresh rate. Even 60hz 1080i is better than persistence of vision (30 fps, where POV is about 16-18fps), and any modern set showing a progressive picture is going to make it really hard to see flickering.

Edit: Turns out the eye's flicker rate is different than the POV rate. Flicker rate is about 48fps, so it is quite possible you are sensitive to flicker on a 60hz set displaying an interleaved picture. 120hz should sort that out for you.

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Pet Peeve

Re: nope

4K is the current projection standard for theaters. What they're saying is that you're getting a theater-quality transfer, though I don't actually believe that - I imagine that digital theater projectors run on a much higher bandwidth than a blu-ray player can pump out through HDMI.

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Pet Peeve

Re: 3D

A 4k TV can send an HD picture to each eye, plus the ones I've seen have a really bright screen with great contrast.

Personally I can't stand 3D and avoid it as much as possible, but if you like it, it will look better on a 4k tv than an HD one. Funny though, the sets I saw didn't even mention 3D on the info card.

I'm sure they support it, but since it's practically a negative marketing feature nowadays, the manufacturers are pretending it doesn't exist.

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Pet Peeve

They'll probably look great. I can tell the difference between a blu-ray and a DVD picture at a glance, but DVDs still look quite good on a modern set, and they'll look as good or better on a 4k tv. It's all about the upscaling, and digital anything upscales very well.

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Pet Peeve

Re: WGAF

Go and see one of these in the store and tell me you still don't want one.

Over the Christmas holiday I ran into a samsung 84 inch 4k tv (with an eye-watering price of $39,997). There was a moving cityscape playing, and it reminded me of "Gallifrey Falls No More" (spoiler alert!). It was scary how much detail there was.

It's silly to buy one now while there's almost no 4k content (though it does upscale HD stuff really, really well) and they're not ramped up for mass sales yet, but those same crazy prices were true of the orginal 1080p sets, and they came down to earth in a year or so.

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Ross Ulbricht: 'Oi! Give me back my $34m in Silk Road Bitcoin booty'

Pet Peeve

Re: strange...

The strange thing here is the bitcoins are a string of numbers, and if I understand correctly they are worth nothing until converted to the destination currency. Is this right?

Total nonsense! You could say the same thing of any commodity. The only thing "unique" about bitcoins is that they have zero inherent value, unlike gold which at least you can make jewelry out of, or a dollar bill which you can burn for fuel or put on the wall as artwork.

The interesting thing about bitcoin is that a bunch of people have decided that because some computers have spent a lot of time searching for chains of hashes with special attributes, that some bitstreams derived from those hashes have value. It's like saying that you can buy a new car with the 49th mersenne prime. OK, maybe a bad example because there's a prize for each new Mersenne Prime found, but having found the prime, you can't plunk it onto the counter at Best Buy and pick up a new TV.

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RSA comes out swinging at claims it took NSA's $10m to backdoor crypto

Pet Peeve

Re: Come on people

@AC, post your ENT results or shut the hell up, dumbass.

Even IF your radio-based randomizer has decent entropy (hint: it very likely doesn't, or has bouts of non-randomness when someone with a cellphone walks past your house), it still only solves one of the problems that RNGs are used for, picking session keys/nonces. For other applications, it would be worse than useless.

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Pet Peeve

NSA *HAS* strengthened encryption

I certainly get the skepticism here, but there has been at least one notable case where the NSA has meddled with a standard to improve it.

When DES was being developed, a part of the algorithm involved some lookup tables that were used to transform input to output as part of the encryption process. Shortly before the final version of the standard, NSA published a new set of tables and requested them to be adopted for the standard.

Years later, crypto researchers analyzed what the NSA did, and found that the original tables had some serious weaknesses that badly hurt DES. The new tables fixed the problem.

Now, I think this is a totally different situation. The problem with dual EC is not that it's weak as such (though it was actually the slowest performing of any of the randomizers in the standard by an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE), but that it is possible to create a relationship between the parameters of the curve that in effect creates a "master key" shortcut to decrypting the data, and there's no way to tell if that relationship exists. Guess who picked the curve for dual EC?

RSA had no good reason, short of money, to use this algorithm by default. It's quite possible they didn't know about the weakness (it took 3 years for mere mortals to figure out). But the fact remains, Dual EC was the worst choice of the three in the standard, by far, so why make it the default?

I've heard that some versions of Internet Explorer use it by default too, but I don't know if that's true. Dirty business.

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Feminist Software Foundation gets grumpy with GitHub … or does it?

Pet Peeve

It's a satire, Mr. Coward. And also, one with bait well designed to catch a certain family of asshats and twatwaffles, which I'm guessing you're one of.

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Apple iWatch due in October 2014, to wirelessly charge from one metre away – report

Pet Peeve

Magnetic Resonance

It's a Tesla thing, isn't it? If it's what I'm thinking, you need a stupidly high voltage to make it work.

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Pet Peeve

Why NOT wear a watch?

- They're jewelry, one of the few types that men can wear and not look douchey

- Looking a watch is more socially acceptable than pulling out a phone

- It's FASTER to just look at your wrist to check the time

- A mechanical watch is cool as hell, especially self-winders

I certainly have no problem with my smartphone, but I wear a watch almost always.

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Sceptic-bait E-Cat COLD FUSION generator goes on sale for $US1.5m

Pet Peeve

Yeah, the same argument works for people selling ASIC bitcoin miners - if they work and they had them, they'd make more money mining than in selling the devices.

I still haven't decided if this is delusion or fraud, but one thing it's almost certainly not, is net-positive fusion.

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Pet Peeve

Re: I can see how this works...

OK, that was funny as hell Bren, but seriously, bets on one of these units ever being sold? It's just a claim so he can keep his marks on the hook to fund him.

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Microsoft, HURTING after NSA backdooring, vows to now harden its pipe

Pet Peeve
Flame

Re: The US claimed Snowden's revelations damaged its ability to fight terrorism

In the first few days of the Snowden business, I really WAS pissed at what he did (or at least what was first released), because the early stuff was mostly legal, and there's no question that disclosing it hurt intelligence gathering.

Now I find I'm not anymore. The wholesale slurping of incoming or intra-cloud communications, so they don't have to ask for a FISA warrant, puts the NSA solidly behind the 8-ball. They are bad guys, using flat-out-illegal methods because following the law was inconvenient for them. Merely making this possible puts us all at risk from boneheaded mistakes, and the US intelligence apparatus is all ABOUT bonehead mistakes.

Google has it right, FUCK THESE GUYS. If they want data, they can bloody well ask for it legally. Another good thing about this case, it finally got the movement started to use perfect forward security in SSL. I was disgusted to find out how often this simple-to-configure option wasn't used. If PFS was used at lavabit, there would have been no point in demanding their SSL key - recorded sessions would be useless.

Install the Calomel browser addon and scream at noncompliant site operators until they all pass the "128 bit PFS and better only" test. And yell at your congresscritter to put the final stake in the heart of National Security Letters, too.

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Hello! Still here! Surface 2! Way better than iPad! says slightly desperate Microsoft

Pet Peeve

@Trevor Pott

"I think companies that refuse to name their competition or competitor's products aren't worth any respect at all."

That, by long-standing advertising convention, is exactly backwards. You only mention the competition when you're in a secondary position, i.e. you're trying to eat some of their lunch because you can't find your own lunch in the market.

Market leaders, either actual or self-perceived, do not do competitors service by naming them, ever.

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3D printing: 'Third industrial revolution' or a load of old cobblers?

Pet Peeve

Re: Yes, a "solution looking for a problem"

Circuit board prototyping may be a killer app for 3d printing. The process now is either messy and crappy (if you do it yourself) or stupidly expensive (if you use a prototyping service).

I do some fiddling with atmel chips (none of this arduino business for me), and I would LOVE to be able to whip out a board on a printer to try stuff out. If it could do two-sided boards, I'd buy one right now.

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Autopilot guides Texan plane home from a dizzying 30,000m

Pet Peeve

@Waldo Kitty

It was not at top speed when it pulled out of the dive - I saw '347 mph' flip by on one of the displays shortly before.

I get the the atmosphere was thinner at the time (I think it was at 50,000 feet when it pulled out of the dive), but still, it had to have pulled some gees leveling out so quickly. Very cool stuff, can't wait to see it work with Vulture.

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Pet Peeve

How the heck did the glider not rip itself to pieces pulling out of that dive? It was going something like 350 mph, and just pulled up like it was no big thing.

They should have let the autopilot land the plane - you could see the loss of control right away, without seeing "manual" on the inset.

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India's Martian MOM lays another perfect orbital egg

Pet Peeve

Re: "pinch tiny parts of Earth's energy"

Make the YEAR a bit longer, you mean.

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LOHAN sees bright red over Vulture 2 paintjob

Pet Peeve

It would probably take a ton more sanding to get that texture out, though I am surprised the primer didn't smooth things out more.

That said, I think I like the slight texture - it makes it look more like the old cardboard rockets I used to fly as a kid. And the colors came out really nice too.

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Host Minecraft on Shard Gaming? Grab your data RIGHT NOW before it goes completely titsup

Pet Peeve

what are they trading?

What the heck does "unexpected trading circumstances" mean in this context?

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Mixed bag of motors lifts India's budget Mars shot

Pet Peeve

Re: Fuels...

Kerosene is RP-1, right? RP-1/LOX is what got the Apollo first stage off the ground, not exactly new technology.

Hypergolic fuels are popular because they make for smoother starts, a "hard start" in a big rocket engine sometimes leading to what Clark called "spontaneous catastrophic self-disassembly". RP-1/LOX isn't hypergolic, so restarts are more difficult (you need a seperate ignition system).

If I remember the reasoning, RP-1 has the advantage of being dense, so it's great for a first stage where restarts aren't necessary and you want to burn it fast (The Saturn V first stage burned something like 16 tons of propellant a second!). So, great for getting you off the ground, but not so great for the clever orbital maneuvers the Indian spacecraft is pulling off.

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Pet Peeve

Re: And for a lighter look at hypergolic compounds..

Derek's hilarious blog entries about dangerous compounds pointed me at John Clark's amazing book "Ignition!" on liquid fuels. Look for a pdf online, it's out of print. After reading it, stories mentioning fuels and oxidizers make a lot more sense! UDMH and Nitrogen Tetroxide is a good choice.

Some Flourine compounds (though I doubt FOOF, you couldn't even get it in a tank probably) were tried as oxidizers, but they had a bad habit of dissolving tankage, rocket motors, and rocket scientists. Plus you wouldn't want to be downwind of the exhaust if they did work.

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Chinese Bitcoin exchange DISAPPEARS, along with £2.5 MEEELLION

Pet Peeve

Once again, Bitcoin is the Eve Online of currency.

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Foxconn-rebrander Apple to rebrand hardware from other Taiwanese firms, too

Pet Peeve

Stop the linkbait

It's getting to the point where the only thing I want to read on the Reg are Lester's balloon shenanigans and the very occasional BOFH.

Come up with a new schtick guys, this one is just dumb.

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Google's new Glass: Now with audio connection INSIDE the SKULL

Pet Peeve

Re: I laugh out loud

Ouch! Point taken.

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Pet Peeve

In the US, you see people at the grocery store wearing freaking pajamas and yoga pants. Admittedly the latter can have its charms (if the wearer does), but "style" and "class" are not much of a factor in public anymore.

Sometimes that's a shame (you wish people would at least wash and comb their hair), but on the other hand, the days are over where someone would look at your feet and infer your social standing from how nice your shoes are.

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Pet Peeve

Re: I laugh out loud

Every time I see some anonymous coward calling someone "numpty", I think "what a twatwaffle" and ignore anything they say.

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Pet Peeve

There's a couple problems with them looking like ordinary sunglasses. First, the whole idea of the display being up high is so that you can maintain eye contact, and it's immediately apparent when in real life someone isn't paying attention to you (their eyes go up and to the right). The other problem is that you then won't KNOW that someone is wearing them. The second brings up some SFnal social ideas, let me expand on that a bit.

I think there should be some signal that a person is connected. How many times have we seen some apparently-crazy person talking to themselves, when it was just a bluetooth headset in the ear opposite us (making the person merely douchey rather than insane)? A standard bit of design language (say, a curved bit of metal over both eyebrows, like the non-display parts of the Glass headset) would tell you that this person may not be talking to you. This replaces the now-missing social signal of the person holding their hand to their ear.

It also offers another possibility - as a warning that everything you do around this person is being recorded. With current cams (and I know the UK is hog-wild for them), they really only can be used AGAINST you. With a device that's always recording, quickly sending the result to a network store on write-once media, you would have a permanent first-person view of everything you do. If someone assaults you (or claims you assaulted them), you have perfect evidence to defend yourself. If you are witness to a crime, you can come forward as a witness, and give the officer a first-person replay of the event exactly as it happened, instead of how you THINK it happened. If you're suspected of a crime, your record will show exactly where you were at the time.

Of course, someone else can wear your glasses. Solution? Be standing in front of a mirror when you put them on, establishing it's you, and then the glasses themselves will confirm they weren't removed since the last time you authenticated yourself. Kind of cool, huh?

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Pet Peeve

Exactly what is so terrible looking about them? They're certainly more attractive than a bluetooth headset.

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Leaping SpaceX GRASSHOPPER ROCKET jumps 2,500ft, lands safely

Pet Peeve

Sometimes you just gotta say "awesome" and stop there.

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Digital 'activists' scramble to build Silk Road 2.0, but drug kingpins are spooked

Pet Peeve

Re: Small flaw

This "even to each other" thing has to be overstated, right? Yeah, the buyer has limited knowledge of the seller, but the seller has to SEND YOU STUFF. Maybe you used a PO box, but even that is a huge lead to someone trying to track you down.

It seems to me that buyers would make great extortion targets.

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Microsoft watches iPads flood into world's offices: Right, remote desktop clients. It's time

Pet Peeve

I haven't had a problem with the mac RDP client, especially since it uses PC config files without changes. Better multi-screen support is the only thing I'd really like to see.

An RDP client for iOS though? NICE.

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Snowden's email provider gave crypto keys to FBI – on paper printouts

Pet Peeve

Re: Rand Paul

Hey Mr. Habel, stop being a trolling dick.

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The Vulture 2: What paintjob should we put on our soaraway spaceplane?

Pet Peeve

I stand by my previous comment that it be painted bright silver to further enhance the 50s rocket look. If you really want to go two-tone, the SPB colors are a good choice instead.

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Our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane: Intimate snaps

Pet Peeve

Paint job

This thing needs a nice coat of shiny silver paint. It's not job done until someone calls in a UFO sighting.

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Pet Peeve

Re: Airframe comparison

...This isn't funny, Lester...

Oh yes it is. Free tip - when trolling someone, you're supposed to make them upset, not make them laugh.

A point-by point refutation of your post would have to list practically every word with WRONG attached, but since you're "merely" trolling, it's certainly not worth the effort. Go away.

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Pet Peeve

Re: Airframe comparison

Lester, don't engage the trolls. They don't care about your opinion and you only look silly when you join them under the bridge.

I don't think the roughness of the aeroshell will be a problem - back when I flew model rockets as a kid, they were made of cardboard, and the flew just as well painted as unpainted. This looks a little rougher than cardboard, but as others have said, that may actually be a positive, based on some recent research in fluid dynamics.

The thing that really gets me about the design is that you've created something that would be extremely difficult, if even possible, to duplicate via normal manufacturing. All of those braces in the plastic that so beaufifully spiral around the interior would be maddening to make with injection molding. That's pretty dang cool, but it probably means that we won't see DIY Vulture2 models in the hobby shop, which is a shame.

I'm sure I'm not the only one excited to hear about the onboard telemetry this thing will have. I assume the intent is to have it navigate back to the launch point - or will you be able to set a destination in flight? At the height of launch, if the autopilot works, you should be able to cover a lot of ground from the launch point. I'm looking forward to following Dave's realtime tracker again.

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Our LOHAN rocket ship team exits Spain with a bang

Pet Peeve

oops

Oh, um, that's what a Cesaroni is? I thought it was the igniter.

What kind of burn time and thrust, say compared to a hobbyist engine? Is it going to add a couple thousand feet to the top altitude, or be more significant?

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Pet Peeve

Speaking of the engine, what are you actually igniting? I don't think we ever talked about what kind of rocket engine was in use. A typical hobbyist engine like an estes D, or something built for the purpose?

The craft looks beautiful. You could sell kits for it I think.

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Live now: LOHAN igniter test flight

Pet Peeve

Grats on it practically landing in the trunk of your car! Test results?

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