* Posts by Spamfast

53 posts • joined 23 Jun 2010

Page:

Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

Spamfast
Facepalm

Bandwidth

I use Firefox with NoScript, CookieCuller & Adblock Plus on my own computers. At work I'm forced to use IE or Chrome without such filters and I'm constantly aghast at the time web pages take to load because of all the extra fetches and the crap distractions all around the content once they do.

I've posted before about the pointlessness of trying to circumvert ad-blockers. If someone has chosen to block adverts then either live with it or just block them completely and let them go elsewhere.

4
0

CMD.EXE gets first makeover in 20 years in new Windows 10 build

Spamfast

Re: True Command Lines

Green on black on a nice Falco glass TTY was the best. Some even had three RS-232 ports so you could switch between sessions on three different System V servers or stream S-records through to your Pentica Mime 600 in-circuit emulator with a suitable escape sequence. Once I'd discovered Emacs I was in heaven! :-)

I'll hobble over to the coat rack ...

4
0

Ofcom: Blighty has devolved into a nation of unwashed binge-streaming mole people

Spamfast
Coat

Re: Eastenders

I set the VCR to record Eastenders while I'm in the house and then play it back once I've left.

*with Flanagan & Allen style hat on* "Maybe it's because I'm a whinging cockney, ehem, Londoner."

I'm get my coat ...

1
0

ICO fines Morrisons for emailing customers who didn't want to be emailed

Spamfast

Re: "We sent out an information message"

Most of the junk mail I get is un-addressed which apparently gets around my MPS registration. It is almost all delivered by the postman doing normal deliveries - indeed much of it proudly displays a 'delivered by Royal Mail' logo.

I simply take it with me in the morning and put it into a Royal Mail post box for them to recycle.

I am hoping, perhaps naively, that if enough of us do this it will become uneconomical for Royal Mail and we'd save a lot of resources.

1
0

Need the toilet? Wanna watch a video ad about erectile dysfunction?

Spamfast
FAIL

Re: Bog Design

Dyson Airblades are good. Imitations of them (like in our office) I have found to be wank.

Dyson Airblades are rubbish. They are very, very loud and high pitched - I'm surprised they pass noise regulations - and they don't allow you to rub your hands together which is the most efficient way of spreading the water so that it evaporates more quickly.

Dyson had one good idea back when. Everything since is over-priced crap for social climbers.

0
0
Spamfast
Facepalm

Re: Actually its the Gubberment.

Cobblers, twonk.

It was Mary Wherry the daughter of a Lib Dem MP not Labour. And it wasn't while she was doing DIY - it was shoddy work by the contractor that exposed live wiring to a metal surface.

Show some respect and check your facts before spouting.

(Oh, and despite your "health and safety gone mad" subtext, you can do more or less what you like in your own home, provided you're not creating a risk to others. You're just not allowed to sell it to someone else or claim on the insurance if it all falls to bits unless you've had it certified by an appropriate professional.)

2
1
Spamfast
Trollface

Re: Won't Work In The US?

Worried about people looking at your bits? Get over yourself.

1
0
Spamfast
WTF?

Yerwot?

I thought you were from this side of the puddle, Mr Dabbs?

What's all this talk of the "washroom"? I don't generally go to said facility to wash. Washing is a consequence of the main activity, except for certain hygiene-challenged blokes. (Worth remembering when you spot one - don't shake his hand and avoid the finger buffet if he's been there first.)

Anyway, in east-of-the-Atlantic anglophone lands we say "toilet" or "WC" (*) if we're being polite. Or earthier more specific terms in non-squeamish company.

I grant you "washroom" is slightly better than the ridiculous American usage "bathroom". ("Excuse me. Where is the bathroom in this restaurant?" Huh?)

But really, come on. Do you also tell your mates you're off to "powder your nose" after the sixth pint of Old Horizontal?

(*) Yes, I know that "at one's toilet" originally meant washing as well but it could at least include bodily evacuation.

2
0

Booze stats confirm boring Britain is drying

Spamfast
Pint

Re: Possible reasons

Alcohol prices in pubs etc are very high (massive tax) so disincentive to drink much on a night out.

The duty on alcohol in pubs is the same as in supermarkets. For a pint of 5% beer that's around 54 pence. (See https://www.gov.uk/tax-on-shopping/alcohol-tobacco.)

The price of that pint in most pubs is going to be between three pounds eighty to five pounds, depending upon the type of beer and the location of the pub.

Wetherspoon's often charge two pounds and supermarkets charge around a pound. Both are still passing on that 54 pence to the Treasury. Both are making a profit still.

Don't blame the duty for the decline of the British pub. It's entirely the fault of the pub management companies forcing their tenants & managers to buy at inflated prices and to pass that on to the customers.

3
0

Exploding femtocells: No need for a full recall, says Vodafone

Spamfast
Facepalm

Schmucks

Subscribe to a network service.

Find out that the service is sub-standard.

Pay the network service provider for a gadget to alleviate the deficiency.

Assuming it works, pay the network service provider to route calls over a channel that you're paying someone else to provide.

Hope that the gadget doesn't burn your house down.

Why?

2
0

FM now stands for 'fleeting mortality' in Norway

Spamfast

Re: Ker-ching!

>>>All audio and video frames are stamped with a field called PTS - the Presentation Time Stamp. This denotes the point at which the frame is required to be played out. The transport stream contains elements called PCR - the Program Clock Reference. This syncs the System Time Clock (STC) on the decoder to the time on the encoder. All compliant decoders will thus be running synchronised STCs, and so will output audio and video frames at the same time.

Yes, I know what's in an MPEG transport stream, thanks. And no it does not sync the STC on the decoder to that of the encoder at the head-end. The STC in the decoder will always lag behind the encoder due to the propagation delays (only really significant for satellite DVB-S) and also the encoding/modulation & demodulation/decoding delays (significant for all DVB).

The PCRs are there to synchronise elementary streams within a single transport stream on a single set-top box not to some external absolute time reference.

Absolute time is handled by a UTC value in the TDT but this is not used for determining when to output elementary streams. It's only for clock and EPG display etc.

>>> None of that matters, as this is not an open-loop system; the frames are presented at the time specified in the PTS, not whenever the box feels like it.

It is an open loop system. A closed loop system requires feedback. There is no communication from the STB to the head-end. Essentialy all audio, video and timing data flows in one direction, even within the STB. (The STC might well be a digital PLL kept locked to the PCRs but that's purely for reducing AV timing jitter.)

>>>Are you trying to tell me that's a significant delay? You're going to find it hard to measure that, let alone perceive it.

I'm telling you exactly that.

It's hardly surprising. Decompressing compressed audio and video and syncing different streams requires buffering. As does applying FEC. Or combining the sub-channel bitstreams - which is another form of syncing. Or converting to HDMI format or PAL signals. All this buffering introduces a delay.

This delay will inevitably be different for different implementations. At least 100 milliseconds different in the case of my kit, I would say.

This is one of the reasons why STBs can take so long to 'change channels'. All those buffers have to be flushed and refilled before the new picture and sound can be output. If the delays were imperceptible then channel changes could appear instantaneous on every STB. On a good STB with a really fast DSP channel changes are fast - on a cheap one they're slow, more evidence that the delay is variable between STB models.

>>>That's because, in larger rooms, the speed of sound becomes significant; the difference in path length between the operator and each set of speakers can cause differences in when the sound actually reaches the ears.

Erm - the delay compensation on the digital audio input from the TV isn't for between the front and back speakers on the sound system, it's between the speakers on the TV and the front speakers & woofer on the sound system. Nothing to do with room acoustics - that's a separate function.

Anyway, sound travels at around 340m/s in air at standard temperature and pressure. The distance between the STB & radio in my living room and the ones in one of the bedrooms is around 15 metres. If I have the analog FM radio in the bedroom on at the same time as the one in the living room the propagation delay of around 50ms is too short to be noticeable by the human ear - I perceive no 'echo effect'.

They delays between the audio from the DVB STBs in the two rooms is very noticeable and so must be at least 80 milliseconds, probably more like 200 ms from what I can tell.

Anyway, if I stand in the doorway I can see both screens. The video on one clearly lags behind that on the other. You're not going to claim that's because of the distance difference are you?

And yes, that's with both on standard def or both on high def. Although you seem to be implying that that shouldn't matter - when in fact it shows an even greater difference with HD on one and SD on the other.

>>>They [my STBS] might well be a common chipset and be based on the same reference software ...

You're not supporting your case. If they were using the same chipset & software and they are still out of sync - which they most definitely are - then even the same kit can have different delays!

Anyway, this is rather off topic for the article in question, so I'll bid you adieu.

0
0
Spamfast

Re: Ker-ching!

DVB-T receivers should *not* have different delays. Each frame (both audio and video) is stamped as to when it should be played; this guarantees both uniform playout and lip-sync. Decoders based on some of the early ST chipsets had a nasty hardware bug that meant there could be a small variation in playout time, and a much nastier software bug that meant the lipsync was permanently out. I fixed that whilst at ST, and then at several manufacturers after I'd left...

I'm not talking about the audio & video on a single decoder being out of sync.

Explain to me how the decoder 'knows' when to play a particular video frame and the audio that goes with it? All its timing information comes from the same transport stream it's decoding. It has no external absolute time reference.

There is an inevitable delay in demodulating all the carriers from the COFDM transmission to get the individual bitstreams, reassembling these into an MPEG transport stream, applying the forward error correction, splitting out the individual elementary streams for the audio and video, buffering these to be synced together, decompressing the audio & video and converting it to the required HDMI bitstream format or the values to write to the DACs for the analog SCART connection.

The HDMI connection itself introduces a delay which is different from that of the analog path through a SCART connector. For HDMI the TV has to demux the audio and video, buffer it so it can be synced and then sent to the audio DACs and frame buffer. The delay between the analog audio going into the SCART connector and coming out of the speakers is limited by the slew rates of the transistors and the capacitance in the amplifiers but is generally in the sub-microsecond domain - far lower than any current technology digital path.

Different DSP implementations in different receivers or in different HDMI TVs are going to have different decoding delays. I'm not aware of any specification that says this has to exactly N milliseconds from receiving the signal at the antenna to setting the voltage level of the speaker coil. (If you know better ...)

Why does home theatre kit often have an adjustable delay between its own amplifier output and that sent to the HDMI output, and sometimes one on the TOSLINK audio input too to compensate for the differences between its digital audio processing delay and the TV's?

I have three different models of DVB-T receivers in my lounge and bedrooms. Each has a slightly different delay which is extremely irritating on the audio. I have to turn the sound off on all but one if I'm moving from room to room while watching the same channel. And the delays are significant enough to be noticeable on the lip-sync if I'm watching the video from one receiver with the audio from another.

The same audio effect occurs with different models of DAB radio.

0
0
Spamfast
FAIL

Re: Ker-ching!

My DAB portable radio that has rechargeable C cells that charge in situ. I plug it in every 3 weeks or so.

I'm impressed, if rather sceptical. Manufacturer and model? How many hours per day? How much for a set of batteries?

Not too much trouble in a world where people carry power banks to keep their phones working.

So I need to carry an extra battery pack for my portable radio? That's a step forward.

Early DAB sets were battery hungry, but the later ones are much better. Far FAR better than IP internet radios that use WiFi.

Unless & until SoCs & the like get a lot more efficient, any kind of digital receiver will not last as long as an FM one on the same amount of stored energy.

An FM radio will run for weeks on a couple of cheap AA NiMH rechargeables, which are less environmentally demanding to manufacture than Li-ion. Also, has anyone calculated how much more power will be required when all the FM radios in, say, the UK are replaced with DAB/DAB+ ones and what that means for CO2 emissions and other environmental impacts? (Not forgetting that we have to pay for electricity as well.)

And I can have the FM radio in the kitchen on and my other half the one in the living room and they are in sync. Like DVB TV receivers, every DAB radio introduces a slightly different decoding delay giving you that lovely echo effect that adds so much fun to the experience.

DAB is technology looking for an audience. The FM band is not really required for anything else and has enough room for the number of channels that the vast majority of the public wants. The only reason to switch is to provide revenue for governments, manufacturers and politicians.

2
0
Spamfast
Happy

Re: Ker-ching!

I don't know about you but in those circumstances I would want a VHF transceiver and a big stack of AA batteries.

:-) Well, yes, me too, ideally.

But it would be nice to have a bit of entertainment while I'm waiting that'll last more than a few hours.

0
0
Spamfast
Facepalm

Ker-ching!

Never mind the dubious claims that DAB is better quality - it can be but only if the broadcast authorities don't try to squeeze too many channels into the bandwidth - or that it's easier to deploy - which I also find hard to believe.

I'm thinking about when I'm snowed-in in the middle of nowhere waiting for the snow ploughs to get through with a battery-powered radio. Which would I prefer - FM that'll last a week on one set of batteries ... or DAB that'll last a few hours?

Idiot politicians no doubt being surreptitiously rewarded by the big business that is going to make a mint out of Joe Q. Public.

39
0

Amazon files patent for 'Death Star' flying warehouse

Spamfast
Happy

Re: Reloading

African or European?

Are you suggesting that they're planning to deliver migratory coconuts?

3
0
Spamfast
WTF?

Re: PARIS option?

but it's not beyond the realms of fantasy

So you're saying it's within the realms of fantasy i.e. unreal?

(I'll get my coat.)

0
1
Spamfast

Re: Nothing new here...

Err - you know that gliders are unpowered, right?

Err ... no they are not. A glider (aka sailplane) has a human being controlling the systems. Human beings like any other control system require energy to function.

0
7
Spamfast

Re: Lies and statistics

About the same time as the Hindenberg, the US navy was experimenting with airships (google "Akron class") that carried 60 crew, 8 machine guns, plus five aircraft weighing about a tonne each. And, presumably, it must've also carried fuel, arms and ammo for the aircraft. It's not huge, but it's considerably bigger than any truck I've ever seen.

Erm ... so five tonnes of aircraft, six tonnes of Americans, say a tonne of guns and ten tonnes of supplies? That's twenty-two tonnes. The smallest standard shipping container of the type that can be loaded onto an articulated lorry (truck) can carry over twenty-eight tonnes. (See https://www.hapag-lloyd.com/downloads/press_and_media/publications/Brochure_Container_Specification_en.pdf.)

So your example airship can carry at most one trucks-worth of drones & goods. How many trucks already go to any large sporting event anyway to provide all the foam fingers and hotdogs? One more truck parked outside with a roof platform for drone take-off & landing isn't going to add to the congestion much is it?

And unless you are going to use hydrogen for lift (not out of the question *) the airship leaks irreplaceable helium into the atmosphere from where it escapes to space.

As others have pointed out - this is a terribly inefficient delivery platform. At best, it would be an advertising gimmick.

* Contrary to popular belief, hydrogen is not really that dangerous as lifting fluid. Recent evidence suggests for example that the Hindenburg's outer cover caught fire having been inadequately fire- and spark/lightning-proofed. When the hydrogen did catch it moved upwards as it burned. The casualties died from falling and burning wreckage, not hydrogen. Modern materials could mitigate the risks to an acceptable level. And we're not likely to run out of hydrogen any time soon whereas we have a finite - and rapidly diminishing - supply of helium unless and until we can harvest it from elsewhere in the solar system.

4
0

What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

Spamfast
IT Angle

Re: Focus Focus Focus

Alternatively, anything they bloody want - so long as they pay for them instead of taking it out of our taxes. If they can't recoup the purchase and operating costs from the punters it's not a sustainable business model. In the brave new post-socialist capitalism is king world, it's the only way.

0
0

Building IoT London: Still working on your pitch?

Spamfast

We already have an IoT. Computers are things. Phones are things. SCADA & PLCs running enrichment plants are things. Even educated Bluetooth headsets are things. (I'm sure there's a song here - let's do it.)

I can't help thinking there's a "D" and an "I" missing.

1
0

We suck? No, James Dyson. It is you who suck – Bosch and Siemens

Spamfast
FAIL

Re: A Lot of People..

I may be wrong but I think Warner Howard Airforce dryers have been around since before 2006 when the Dyson appeared. Very, very powerful airflow and as someone pointed out they allow you to rub your hands together to help the process along. Very loud too but not as eardrum piercing as the Airblade. Think the first one I came across was in Borowski on Prager Straße in Dresden ages ago - early 2000s maybe. The Airblade is an ergonomic disaster and simply doesn't do the job.

Question: Why does my fan need to be Internet-connected? £200 for a desk fan? £500 for a column fan? Bog off!

0
0

Pull the plug! PowerPoint may kill my conference audience

Spamfast
Pirate

Re: SureSignal

See my previous comment.

I know ... we don't even have to go to the bother of selling him an extra gadget. Why not mooch off his or his coffee shop's WiFi signal instead of providing a decent signal and we can still charge him for the call.

Prima!

1
0
Spamfast
Pirate

Re: SureSignal

Do Vodafone still make you pay for a SureSignal? Even if not it's a breathtaking scam.

I know ... why don't we not bother providing coverage but instead make the customer pay for the back-haul and then charge him for the calls we're routing over the Internet connection he's already paying for?

Snow to Eskimos.

4
0

Robot cars probably won't happen, sniffs US transport chief

Spamfast
Stop

Fully autonomous?

To the best of my knowledge, there is not one passenger train service in the world at city street level or cross-country that does not still require a driver. All such a system would have to control is the speed of the vehicle and in a much more predicable environment than public roads.

There are driver-less metro trains such as the Docklands Light Railway in London but they are always elevated or in some other way physically secured to avoid the risk of unexpected obstacles like pedestrians, animals and other vehicles. In addition, most driver-less trains are centrally controlled rather than each train being independently autonomous.

If we don't have adaptable & safe enough properly autonomous tech for trains, we sure don't have it for cars, trucks & buses except at low speed in tightly restricted environments such as the shuttle pods at some airport car parks.

That leaves systems that are more akin to lane-keeping, collision avoiding cruise control. And the down side of these is that the driver still has to maintain constant vigilance. It's been shown that refocusing on controlling the car while performing other activity such as reading, phoning etc takes the average human on the order of five seconds. You'd be in an impact before you were able to decide what to do and make a maneuver on any motorway or free-way in Europe or North America. (Except the M25 on a Friday afternoon maybe!)

I'm sure the tech will come one day but I don't see it any time soon.

4
0

Medicos could be world's best security bypassers, study finds

Spamfast

There is a fundamental cultural problem with medicos (at least in the UK) in that they don't believe that their patients' medical data belongs to the patients despite the fact that the patients are paying the taxes and medical insurance that funds its collection. They therefore don't consider it worthy of protection. If you need proof, try reading "Guiding Principles for Data Linkage" from the Scottish government. Similar garbage is available from other UK healthcare organizations, the recent "care.data" debarcle being a case in point. So of course they don't understand that login credentials are important.

0
0

Oz 'gifted education' program pitching WiFi, vax scare stories

Spamfast

Where's my sabot?

While these folk are clearly frootloops, I am tired of the assumption that our kids can't be educated unless they have laptops and Internet access in all lessons. My significant other teaches in a UK state secondary school (11 to 16 year olds) where they issue every student with a laptop. When the IT infrastructure collapses as it does on a regular basis at least half of her colleagues throw the towel in. Sad considering there is a growing body of evidence that removing such distractions from classrooms and lecture halls actually improves learning.

4
0

Toyota not shybot about whybot it will trybot the iBot

Spamfast

The aspect of this tech that impressed me most was the ability for the user to interact eye-to-eye with others.

7
0

Oz uni in right royal 'indigenous' lingo rumpus

Spamfast
Pirate

... to be taken into consideration

Oh what fun. Revisionism, "political correctness gone mad" (to be read as "I'm not bigoted but ..."), re-revisionism, rumour, urban myth, actual gratuitous political correctness and much, much more.

Let me add something only tangentially relevant simply because I like it. There's a sign in my local boozerama:-

Britain has history. Australia has previous.

I think the general consensus is heaven help the locals - whoever and wherever they are. (As can be seen at any Mediterranean holiday resort popular with British or German tourists. Been there, am one!)

0
0

Furious English villagers force council climbdown over Satan's stone booty

Spamfast

Re: Spot the problem. "c) move the claims lawyer to the rock and burn them there! :)"

>Chain him to the rock and leave him there.

If chained to a rock, we have to include having a regenerating liver daily ripped out and eaten by an eagle don't we? (Although dignifying the pond life with the same punishment as Prometheus is probably setting the wrong precedent. Maybe chained to a rock at the bottom of the sea with two hundred colleagues as per the classic is more like it after all.)

0
0

Flying blind: F-35's radar software fails in the air

Spamfast

Failure is not an option

It doesn't matter how many cock-ups, overruns, over-costs, and reductions in capability a government defence contract delivers (*) it will always be heralded as a great success and the future of warfare.

The politicians, senior defence department/ministry civil servants and military personnel who are involved in the commission have too much to lose to do anything else. First they would lose face and second they would lose some of their kick-backs, sorry, non-exec directorships, fact-finding trips, etc.

(*) Multi-billion pound aircraft carriers with no fixed-wing aircraft, anyone? Upgradable? Of course - just double the current price.

22
0

Good news! US broadband speeds are up. Bad news – they're still rubbish

Spamfast
Trollface

At least half of the US population don't think that evolution is correct, believe that the Earth is less than ten thousand years old and insist that the entire contents of their particular version of the Bible are the literal truth despite self-contradictions and hideous doctrines. I'm surprised they even notice how fast their magic speaky strings are going. ;-) Happy New Year!

13
1

After Death Star II blew: Dissecting the tech of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

Spamfast

Re: Millennium Falcon outdated???

My favourite long-standing technology is the telephone local loop - that pair of wires between your house and the local telephone exchange - such an elegant system. DC from the exchange for power to the phone, make-break of the circuit to do the call initiation, dialling and termination and baseband AC signal travelling in both directions over the same pair for the voice, using simple analogue echo cancellation to stop you deafening yourself. DTMF added later for faster dialling but still backwards compatible. Brilliant.

You can plug a rotary-dial phone from the 1930s into a modern line and it'll work fine. (Although if you get one from the wrong country, it might dial a different number from the one shown on the dial.)

All hail Strowger! (But Bell can sod off - having friends in the patent office doesn't mean you invented it first.)

(Oh, and I'm using a communications protocol that was invented circa 1974 to deliver this message!)

3
0
Spamfast

Re: Technological development

>Excuse me, but what advanced civilisations are you using as the basis for this statement?

Just what I was thinking. How can the author use phrases such as "seems highly unlikely" when he has a statistical sample of exactly one real technological society from which to draw his estimations of probability about a fictional one?

3
0

NZ unfurls proposed new flag

Spamfast
Pirate

Kudos to the style boutiques

So they've spent NZ$26 million already. Nice little bonuses for some politician's friends no doubt.

I wonder if they've calculated the one-off cost of having to prematurely replace all the flags for every flagpole, naval vessel and government building, ditch any amount of printed material and pay another set of graphic designers and printers to tool up for the replacements along with web designers and no doubt other costs I've not thought of?

To make an informed decision the electorate should be given an estimate first. And of course gathering that information will cost too.

As others have commented, it's just a rag for idiots to wave at sports events or when the scum, sorry, cream of other nations visit. Frak!

Anyway, as a true believer and a fully paid up minister the only flag I revere is this one.

http://www.venganza.org/images/wallpapers/jollyfish2.jpg

1
0

Post-pub schnellnosh neckfiller: Currywurst

Spamfast
Thumb Up

While this recipe looks nice (with a caveat that the sauce looks too thick) you can achieve a perfectly good result by boiling a Bockwurst or two and then serving with Curry Gewürz Ketchup, although in my opinion it has to be Hela brand and has to the the 'sharf' variety. Curry powder may be sprinkled on top for added zest. Fried onions & chips are optional.

We always try to have Currywurst at least once when we visit Germany. My favourite take-away was at the top end of Holstenstraße by the St Nikolai Kirche in Kiel which we'd visit every time we were in town but it shut a few years ago much to our dismay.

Another classic from around that part of the world is take-away Danish Rødpølse hotdogs with remoulade, tomato ketchup & crispy-fried onion. It has to be bought in Denmark. Don't be fooled by German vendors' attempts - they never match up. (My other half says it's because the authentic Danish sausages aren't allowed in Germany but she may just be biased.) The best we've found so far are from Klostertorvets Pølsevogn in Nykøbing, Mors in Jutland. We often have one, go shopping and then have another they're so good.

2
0

'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'

Spamfast
FAIL

Another arms race

So, someone simply builds an ad-blocker that mimics the behaviour the web site is expecting to see - at the end of the day, it's just looking for further transfers in a defined pattern, based upon what a HTML/CSS/Javascript renderer would do. But the ad-blocker lets the client choose not to have to see/hear the content that is being exchanged. (AdBlock's 'element hiding' does this already at the DOM level - it just gets taken to the next level.)

It's really inefficient as the content provider and client still have to pay their respective pipe supplier for the bandwidth to transfer the media that goes straight to /dev/null.

Then the provider makes the content rely on more subtle interactions between the data flows or weaves the ads into the content ("product placement" anybody?) ... so the blocker develops more sophisticated suppression that can analyse within individual streams.

And so on and so on. More and more bandwidth, more and more CPU cycles, more and more juice wasted.

What a farce.

7
0

America's crackdown on open-source Wi-Fi router firmware – THE TRUTH

Spamfast
FAIL

Huh?

I can go to RS or Farnell (is Radio Shack still going in the States?) and assemble the parts to build a radio transmitter to generate all sorts of frequencies and powers. Should I therefore be disbarred from buying components?

There is a control - if I start spraying EM where I shouldn't I'm subject to criminal proceedings in the same way as if I spray paint a set of traffic lights with an aerosol.

Legislation should encourage people not to indulge in anti-social acts. Trying to have it prevent people from having the capability so to do ends in bureaucratic meltdown at best or a police state at worst.

0
0

Want your kids to learn coding? Train the darn teachers first

Spamfast

Re: Our local schools...

Same here but double. (Knowledge gained from my significant other who is in the trade.) Monday was bank holiday, fair enough. Tuesday was 'inset' day aka teacher training (mostly pep talks from management about how well the school's doing) - kids forced to stay at home, Wednesday teacher IT training day (the system having been 'upgraded' to some new malfunctioning fleece-the-taxpayer-ware during the holidays for no clearly defined reason) - kids to stay at home again. On Thursday only the new intake of kids were allowed in - which isn't a bad idea from the new ones' point of view but nonetheless it means that the school term officially started on the 1st but the vast majority of kids weren't allowed in till the 4th which makes the bleating about parents taking their kids out of school during term time ring a little hollow.

1
0
Spamfast

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

There's nothing wrong with teaching a bit of coding - same as we should be teaching a bit of everything else to the young 'uns so they can get an idea of what they might like to do later. And it'd be good if the teachers knew something about it. (Although English teachers even in my day and even more so now, I'm reliably told, don't know diddly about English grammar either.)

But right now what the UK is lacking isn't the kids who can make a pretty picture appear on the display with some scripting language. Good luck to those who have the imagination to exploit that ability but they are a tiny minority and aren't going to make any significant impact on the UK economy.

What's missing is engineers - software, electronics and mechanical - who can design the bloody display in the first place, i.e. those that have enough breadth of knowledge of their own and the adjoining disciplines to be effective designers & implementers.

I despair of the candidates I have to interview who claim to be embedded software engineers but who, often with years of employment on their CVs in defence or mobile comms (adieu Ericsson UK R&D!), have no clue how basic TCP/IP protocols work, let alone transducers, SPI buses, phase locked loops, interrupt controllers. Hell, often they can't even do bitwise logical operations by hand.

I speak to senior (in both career & chronological terms!) electronic & mechanical engineering colleagues and they express the same frustration in their own fields.

Meh! I'll be retired and then dead soon enough.

6
0

Ireland loses entire airport amid new postcode chaos

Spamfast

Re: Not based on location? How weird

"How about this instead. Door number, street name, town, county :-)"

Damn right.

Postcodes always struck me as a way for the mail carrier to outsource the sorting work to the customers. Why should I have to write out some random string of characters if I've put the correct house, street and town suitably disambiguated using village/county/province/state and/or country if necessary?

We don't have to remember IP addresses. We get the /computers/ to do that for us - they're good at that sort of stuff.

1
0

Giant FLYING SPACE ROCKS could KILL US ALL, warns Brian May

Spamfast

Oops. $1.3 million, sorry.

And yes, I'd not thought of that. Must read the fine print before donating next time. :-)

0
0
Spamfast

While I agree that impactor warning is a good thing, the event in question is being supported by a an organization called the B612 Foundation. This so-called "non-profit" raised $1.3 dollars in 2013 to support building telescopes to search for such things - and promptly paid its chairman Ed Lu and chief operating officer Danica Remy $240,000 and $204,279 annual salaries. Hmm. Not sure those two are fully committed to the cause!

0
0

Belgium trolls France with bonkers new commemorative coin

Spamfast

Re: ... as well as ...

some 19p and 66p coins to commemorate the 50th anniversary next year (we'll probably never win it again)

"We"? I was two at the time and I'm pretty sure I didn't contribute. (If Alf had asked me, mind ...)

Were you even alive?

0
0
Spamfast

Re: Water-loo Taking the P*ss

Well this year we're rubbing the German's noses in it again with new £2 coins celebrating the first world war and a 50p coin for the Battle of Britain.

Just the one German? And he's got more than one nose? (Check your punctuation.)

Actually, probably not even one. The ones I've met - Germans that is, not noses - seem pretty indifferent. We're the ones who seem to have retained the chip on the shoulder.

0
0

What's broken in this week's build of Windows 10? Installing it, for one

Spamfast

"Slow ring signups get cleaner, but later, code."

Erm ... no. They get earlier code, or they get code later. They don't get later (i.e. newer) code.

I'll get me coat ...

11
0

Oxford chaps solve problem in 1982 Sinclair Spectrum manual

Spamfast
WTF?

Started a computer revolution?!

(from the soundtrack) "In 1982 the Sinclair ZX Spectrum was launched, a computer which gave a generation of school children their first introduction to computer programming and started a computer revolution in the UK and beyond."

Hogwash. The computer revolution was well under way already - think TRS-80, Apple ][, Acorn Atom, etc. not to mention all the earlier hobbyist kit from which they were derived. It would have continued whether or not the Spectrum was launched what with the BBC Micro, Commodore VIC/64, Amstrad CPC & PCW (ah! CP/M) and all the other many and varied options until the PC swept them away.

The Spectrum's only selling point was that it was inexpensive - 48 KB model for £175 at launch. But the price tag came only by seriously compromising functionality - no usable I/O except a rather dodgy edge connector directly onto the memory & I/O buses that positively promoted unreliability when you started trying to use peripheral modules, no hardware polyphony, no thought-through provision for different types of local or or networked mass storage, no proper layered OS/language/application separation, a slow BASIC interpreter that didn't support named procedures with parameters or local variable, a weird way of entering keywords to minimise key presses on that awful keyboard, no chance of touch-typing, no support for other programming languages and not even a built-in assembler.

(Anyone remember the Beeb manuals? It shipped with a nice think ring-bound "BBC Microcomputer System User Guide" with a complete BASIC and OS API reference as well as excellent tutorials including for the built-in assembler and you could get the awesome "BBC Advanced User Guide" with circuit diagrams and even more detail about the firmware. Sinclair Spectrum manual? Pah!)

3
0

BT slams ‘ludicrous’ Openreach report as Vodafone smirks

Spamfast

Re: Free market?

"(*)That [V90] required BT to install modems in telephone exchanges so that one of the D/A conversions could be skipped."

Utter tripe. V90 only requires that the analogue local loop at the subscriber end is converted to and from 8kHz 8-bit digital at the local exchange as it always is with digital exchanges. If the other end, e.g. at an ISP, is digital it can then control the DAC/ADC in the subscriber's exchange directly allowing it to provide anything up to just under 64kbps using a bit of fancy digital signal processing. BT didn't have to do anything to help other than putting the digital exchanges in and supporting ISDN. (The reason why V.90's top rate is only 56kbps is because in some digital systems in other countries, the telco nicks one out of eight bytes to handle signalling instead of doing it out of band.)

2
0

What happens in Europe, doesn't stay in Europe: US giants accused of breaking EU privacy pact

Spamfast
Thumb Up

Re: shocking

"Your winnings, sir."

Apposite quote.

"In Casablanca I am master of my fate!" comes to mind too.

0
0

CERN team uses GPUs to discover if antimatter falls up, not down

Spamfast

Re: Einstein's answer:

Unlike the other fundamental forces (electromagnetism, weak & strong or electro-weak & strong if you prefer) gravity has the peculiar property that it is, so far as we know, only ever an attractive force not a repulsive one. If mass and energy are equivalent (E=mc^2 and all that) then antimatter has positive mass and therefore will be subject to positive gravity. Any other result would tear a big hole in the standard model, at least as far as my admittedly out of date understanding goes.

4
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017