* Posts by DougS

9330 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Facebook, Google and pals may be hit with TV political ads rules

DougS
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The title of most bills from congress is an oxymoron. The PATRIOT Act was far from the first, but it is still the best example.

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FYI Google is shelling out $10k A DAY in court fines for not handing over folks' private email

DougS
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Accessible from Google HQ?

Isn't pretty much everything accessible from Google HQ? Everything their spiders index all over the world is fair game for the Feds, for a start. Then consider what Google could hack into if they were "properly" motivated, by say a $10 million/day fine rather than that puny $10K/day fine.

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Lucky Canada. Google chooses Toronto as site of posthuman urban lab

DougS
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Terminator

"How convenient a city would be without humans"

And thus Skynet became self aware.

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Tezos crypto and $232m initial coin offering risks implosion – reports

DougS
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Damn, a $60 million joke?

I wish I had that kind of a sense of humor!

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GE goes with Apple: Not the Transformation you were looking for, Satya?

DougS
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Continuum

I continue to be amazed that Apple hasn't done anything like this yet. When they surprised everyone with the first 64 bit ARM SoC four years ago, I figured this was coming soon. All they'd have to do is add an app to the iPhone that has the OS X GUI, make the missing API features (iOS is basically a cut down OS X) available to those programs, and have the OS X build tools generate a fat binary with 64 bit x86 and 64 bit ARMv8.

Connect a monitor via Lighting/HDMI adapter, and a keyboard/mouse via bluetooth or a USB breakout that goes with that Lightning/HDMI adapter and you're good to go. Access to thousands of professional programs before long, as I'm sure developers would quickly fall in line to develop fat binaries to gain access to a huge new customer base.

Are they worried it would hurt Mac sales? Personally I think it would make the platform more attractive and might actually increase them, but either way there would be a lot more OS X users. They might need to introduce an iPhone 'Pro' model with more RAM for people who are going to want to run stuff that needs a lot of RAM, but this wouldn't be something for power users more for the occasional user like students and road warriors that don't want to lug a laptop with them. Any of the recent models with 2-3 GB would be fine for them, and the SoC is fast enough and has built in compression support they could use compressed memory pages and double its effective size.

Like I said, I've been expecting it for four years now, and have been wrong for four years. I guess Apple knows something i don't, or they are waiting on something else to fall in place before they release it?

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Let's dig into how open source could KO the Silicon Valley chat silos

DougS
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WhatsApp, or something like it, was inevitable

Telcos charged for SMS per message, or offered plans of X messages per month that could not keep up with chatty millennials. Apple solved the problem for its customers with iMessage, but strangely Google chose not to bundle something similar with Android. I'll bet they're kicking themselves daily they didn't, since WhatsApp ended up filling that void for Android users.

Of course now telcos (at least in the US) compete on data, and all but the most bargain basement plans start with unlimited calls and SMS/MMS. If iMessage and WhatsApp went away tomorrow most people wouldn't care, they'd just go back to texting now that it doesn't cost them anything extra.

Sure, the apps are more secure but the average person doesn't know or care about that.

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Yes, British F-35 engines must be sent to Turkey for overhaul

DougS
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Stealth and RF

Seems to me an easy way around the "if you aren't radio silent the enemy can triangulate your position without radar" problem is to communicate with a satellite. Use beam steering to send messages UP.

Unless something is above you (maybe a network of enemy weather balloons?) they won't be able to receive your transmission and you remain stealthy. It won't work with enemies who have their own satellite network, but foes at that level have much better radars able to see the small radar cross section the F35 presents anyway.

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How DeepMind's AlphaGo Zero learned all by itself to trash world champ AI AlphaGo

DougS
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@JLV

They knew how to beat chess grandmasters from the very first chess program that did a tree search to rate different moves, they just lacked computing power at that point. The first computer to beat a human in a tournament (not grandmaster level I'm sure, but still if a person is going to enter a tournament you figure they are halfway decent) was in the late 60s.

If they had the computing power Google is throwing at Go available to them in the late 60s, that chess playing computer probably could have beat grandmasters. The improvements they made to chess programs since then - aside from the massive increase in computing power available to them - consisted of various improvements to the tree search to prune unproductive paths and do better position evaluation in the endgame. If we had to run it on a 1960s era computer, even with modern techniques a chess program wouldn't be all that much better, and Go would still look impossible.

We haven't got any closer to real AI during all that time, AI researchers have just got better at marketing their work to a credulous public who thinks beating humans in chess or Go gets us closer to that goal. It doesn't, because expert human players don't play those games by evaluating trillions of moves and choosing the best one. We still don't have a clue HOW they do it, in fact.

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DougS
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Re: FFS, it isn't AI ...

Yes, it is the usual story hyping something up as a big advance when it isn't. It still had to be programmed with the rules of Go, and probably (though it isn't clear from the article) some way of "valuing" positions as stronger or weaker.

If they can make an AI that is able to read the rules of a game it has never seen before, understand those rules well enough to play against itself to learn, and then beat a human player with equivalent experience to its training (i.e. played the same number of games) then I'll be impressed.

Until it achieves that, it is nothing that couldn't have been done back in the 70s or 80s if they had access to millions of times more computing power and memory back then.

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CableLabs, Cisco working on LTE-over-DOCSIS

DougS
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Re: So essentially...

AT&T is your telco, who is the cable provider where you live?

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Europol cops lean on phone networks, ISPs to dump CGNAT walls that 'hide' cyber-crooks

DougS
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Re: There's no incentive for IPv6 in the west

Amazon came along too late, they missed the halcyon days when a /8 would have been theirs for the asking. Figures that Microsoft would ignore the internet for long enough they'd need to buy a /8 instead of grabbing one for free back in the 80s like companies with more foresight such as Apple and HP!

The fact that they're able to get addresses they need from those who don't need/use what they have shows that IPv4 has sufficient capacity in the west. So they cost $10/IP, big deal. It isn't as though Microsoft and Amazon have trouble affording that. If the price gets high enough ($100/IP? $1000/IP? I don't know what "high enough" is exactly) then they'll start pushing IPv6. How to push IPv6? AWS and other hosting services could offer cheaper hosting for servers accessible via IPv6 only, for example. If stuff I want is only accessible via IPv6 then that would incentivize me and other end users to want to use IPv6, and ISPs to provide "full" IPv6 connectivity instead of 6to4 and the like.

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DougS
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There's no incentive for IPv6 in the west

We have enough IPv4 addresses, and non-CG NAT leaves plenty of room for expansion as people's homes get more and more IP devices. NAT has some obvious disadvantages, but we've long since worked through them so there's no real benefit to going to IPv6 for the average person.

I could enable IPv6 on my router and PC, but why should I? Is it faster? No. Is it more secure? No. Is it more compatible? No, I'm actually more likely to experience issues in IPv6 than the decades old and well tested IPv4.

I get why Asia and Africa are moving to it, they don't have a choice because we hogged all the IPv4 addresses. That's done and there is a solution for them in the form of IPv6. If I was left with no choice I'd go IPv6, but since I do have a choice why should I and the rest of the US and Europe bother? How would it benefit me, or the internet in general to do so?

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NYC cops say they can't reveal figures on cash seized from people – the database is 'broken'

DougS
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Re: There are only two type of cops...

There are police whistleblowers and good cops. They're also known as former cops after they get run out of the force, or in especially corrupt cities, murdered.

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DougS
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Because dirty cops have stolen millions or billions

Whoever came up with these "civil forfeiture" laws had to have been a dirty cop before, because it has been a huge boon to having mountains of cash sitting around for the taking.

What money isn't stolen ends up buying military style gear the cops have no business owning. My city (population < 100K) owns an armored personnel carrier! Congress ought to pass a law making this illegal nationwide. They won't, of course, because defenders of dirty cops will claim limiting their ability to steal cash and cars and buy surplus Army gear is "weak on crime".

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Hackers can track, spoof locations and listen in on kids' smartwatches

DougS
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Rule 1

NEVER buy electronic gadgets designed for kids. They will never be secure. Not that things intended for adults are secure, but at least there's generally more known about them.

I mean we know security on Apple Watch and Android Wear isn't perfect, but at least there have never been any exploits found that allow using them as a bug or tracker!

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Please replace the sword, says owner of now-hollow stone

DougS
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Anyone know how he got it in there and held it in there?

Was the "stone" made of concrete? If it was a real stone, how do you carve a sword sized slit 3' deep into a stone, and how do you keep the sword from being trivially removed after that's done and the sword is inserted? Was it epoxied in or was there a hole in the bottom of it for a bolt to go through?

I'm assuming it came loose due to rust, hopefully the crowdfunding gets enough for a stainless steel sword this time!

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Linux kernel community tries to castrate GPL copyright troll

DougS
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GPLv3

Does GPLv3 allow this sort of self-serving lawsuit on the behalf of your tiny fraction of code? Maybe someone needs to update the license Linux uses for future submissions so it has the following characteristics:

1) compatible with GPLv2, so it can be used for new code but existing submissions remain GPLv2

2) does not allow this sort of thing - any copyright lawsuits on the code can't benefit the author financially, beyond reasonable legal costs and cost for his time (i.e. no partnering with your brother the lawyer who charges $5000/hr, or claiming your time is worth that much) Everything left over goes to one or more Linux/free software related non-profits.

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DougS
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Re: How long before...

I was thinking the same thing. Sounds like an opportunity for someone to make a name for himself by leading a project to replace netfilter with code untainted by that leech.

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So the 'Year of Linux' never happened. When is it Chrome OS's turn?

DougS
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And what's the advantage of that Chromebook over a similarly low spec Windows laptop? Giving a bunch of data to Google? I guess now that Microsoft is doing the same slurping maybe it doesn't matter that much. But I won't recommend Chromebooks to anyone based on that reason alone.

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IRS tax bods tell Americans to chill out about Equifax

DougS
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Still haven't figured out the profile on people who were affected

I wasn't affected and I checked for my mom and dad as well as they also weren't affected. We all have great credit scores, multiple credit cards, and a mortgage so it isn't like we don't use credit.

The only thing I can think of is that we haven't opened any new credit accounts for a few years - no new credit cards, car loans, mortgage refinances, etc. Maybe that kept us out of that list of 143 million people?

I agree with the IRS guy, I think it is virtually certain someone has stolen my personal information including SSN from somewhere already, and surely that's true of a lot of those affected by the Equifax breach. Most of us won't ever have identity theft issues because there's a limited market for identity theft. If there were tens of millions of cases of identity theft in a year, trying to manage that the current way would quickly become untenable.

At that point, companies would no longer issue credit without further proof I am who I say I am beyond my name, address, and SSN. They'd probably require appearing before a notary who could check my ID - ideally someone at my local bank branch who might even know me. While showing an ID, which can of course be faked, and appearing at my local bank branch doesn't guarantee someone there might know me, requiring personal appearance at all raises the bar and at least keeps foreign fraudsters out of the game. Those in the US who try to play would significantly increase their chances of being caught by showing up somewhere that has a lot of security cameras. Today it is almost impossible to get caught so it is a lot safer of a crime to commit.

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The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

DougS
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Changing the way you talk to suit your gadgets

I see this all the time with people who talk to their phone to do stuff. They have this sort of well enunciated clipped speech pattern, and use short simple sentences. By trial and error, Siri, Google, Alexa and Cortana are teaching humanity a new way of speaking. Step 1) speak slightly louder and more slowly than usual. Step 2) clearly enunciate your words by accentuating the movement of your lips. Step 3) clip the end of your syllables cleanly. Step 4) Use simple sentence construction with only one subject and object, as if you were speaking to a preschooler.

I live in the middle US, where it is considered that people have the least amount of accent in the country. I still find I have to speak differently to get understood - sure, I can talk normally and get understood more often than not, but it'll trip over certain words and you get annoyed and start adopting "machine speak" after you've had to repeat yourself a few times. It is like having to repeat yourself to someone who is hard of hearing.

I don't use voice commands for much - basically the only thing I use it for is if I'm in bed and I think of something I want to remind myself of and don't want to hold a bright screen up to my face and set back my attempts to go to sleep. Perhaps I'd use it more often if I could talk to it the way I talk to a normal person, but they simply aren't there yet. They're 90% of the way there, but that last 10% is going to take another decade, at least. Those who want to hurry this along have compromised by speaking in a manner which maximizes the chance of a machine understanding them. It is like watching a Monty Python sketch about people who have been possessed by machines.

I wonder if people who speak to their gadgets all the time will change their normal speech patterns and talk like that with humans? Maybe the way we'll finally break down "the common language that separates us" in the English speaking world is everyone being forced to homogenize their speech to be understood by their phones and other gadgets?

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Here's a timeless headline: Adobe rushes out emergency Flash fix after hacker exploits bug

DougS
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<Nelson>

Haha!</Nelson>

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Google isn't saying Microsoft security sucks but Chrome for Windows has its own antivirus

DougS
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Re: I will not have anything from google scanning my personal files. period

Why do you feel you can trust Microsoft with that information? The old pre Windows 10 Microsoft, sure, they were only interested in selling you stuff not selling you. Now they're interested in selling you too, just like Google.

That said, if forced to choose I would much rather give my personal information to Microsoft than to Google. One, because Google already has a massive storehouse of data they can cross-correlate it to. Two, because Microsoft's general bumbling and incompetence means they do evil far less efficiently than Google does these days.

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Android ransomware DoubleLocker encrypts data and changes PINs

DougS
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It could be restricted so you're only allowed to use it on a device that's under management. The majority are not, so that would protect most of them. Presumably the transactions for remote reset / remote wipe / etc. require a certificate that gets installed when a device is managed, otherwise you have bigger things to worry about.

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DougS
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Re: It only says it is a Flash update.

So I guess all that is required is you visit a site they've hacked? This could be almost any site given how many major sites don't keep up with patching, let alone the lesser ones. Imagine if someone hacked a site like yahoo.com with this payload?

I agree that presenting itself as a flash update is a smart strategy. Adobe's constant barrage of patches has trained PC users to click 'yes' on anything related to flash, and most people won't know that flash isn't even supported on Android. Much more likely to fool people than previous strategies trying to find those dumb enough to click yes to install a free app with celebrity nudes or whatever.

The big problem is that this could be sort of the "gift that keeps on giving". They hack a few sites, hit some people, then the sites are fixed. Hack another few sites, hit more people, and so on. Since the majority of Android phones won't see a fix for this, it could keep dribbling on and on for a long time. If they ever hit a really major site, look out!

Probably will also see some copycats, since you merely need modify the attack to deposit the bitcoins in YOUR wallet instead of the wallet belonging to whoever created this, and find your own web sites to hack.

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DougS
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This would be easy to fix if they have a switch somewhere in the accessibility menu to allow other programs to set a PIN. Most people don't need accessibility options, so having something like this enabled by default isn't that great. If the only people who could be attacked by this malware were people who had enabled this option, the malware writers wouldn't bother.

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Twitter to be 'aggressive' enforcer of new, stronger rules

DougS
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Re: If they ever shut down Trump's account

Ah, but herein lies the question: how would he do that?

Pretty sure he can get before the worldwide press with about two minutes notice if he wants, so he isn't going to have any problems with that. It isn't like one of us who could only whine to our friends about it.

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DougS
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If they ever shut down Trump's account

Or even deleted one of his tweets, we'd see him throw a hissy fit bigger than any of the others he's thrown. He uses Twitter as a way to communicate directly to his followers - and everyone else, since it makes all the cable news nets whenever he tweets something so those of us who don't even use Twitter let alone follow him find out pretty quickly what he's been saying.

They'd have to be REALLY damn sure before they shut him down, and couldn't do it over something like the golf ball hitting Hillary thing (which, unless he has a golf course with a runway in the fairway, is basically implying that he's a shitty golfer who hits such bad shots he hits someone boarding an airplane!) That's not a threat, just a lame joke.

The risk is, if they maintain an obvious double standard where he's allowed to post the exact same things they shut down other people's accounts for, then they're going to catch a ton of heat. Shut down Trump's account on the other hand, and not only do you get the orange snowflake's outrage, but millions of his followers will turn on them. Dorsey's potentially setting Twitter up to make it a lightning rod for hate either from the left or from the right - or worse, both. That's not a good place for a business that wants to appeal to everyone, not become a darling of the right or the left.

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DougS
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Re: Nope, @realPOTUS is here to stay

There is no "@realPOTUS". Trump tweets from his own account, not the @POTUS account which is the official account of the president.

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WPA2 security in trouble as KRACK Belgian boffins tease key reinstallation bug

DougS
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Re: I've kept wondering why we haven't seen a WPA3 yet

The point is that different people come up with different things. There are multiple encryption algorithms, that have different weaknesses. Why wouldn't different WPA implementations also have different weaknesses? When you learn about a weakness in one (like this one for WPA2) odds are you don't have the same weakness in WPA3. And if some group is working on what will become WPA4, they can take the new information into account and protect it against what affected WPA2.

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DougS
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I've kept wondering why we haven't seen a WPA3 yet

Just because no one had broken WPA2 is no reason not to see a WPA3 and even WPA4 standardized and deployed. Had they done that, if WPA2 is broken you'd simply need to deprecate WPA2 on your router (i.e. only allow it if the client doesn't support anything newer) and it would be a simple fix.

If WPA2 gets broken wide open, we're all screwed because there's no alternative to go to even on those devices that can easily have their firmware updated.

That's the biggest flaw with security standards like WPA, HDCP, and so forth. Once they believe they have it secure, they assume they'll be fine forever and only react after they wake up in the morning and find the barn empty.

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Facebook, Twitter slammed for deleting evidence of Russia's US election mischief

DougS
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Re: Real Reason

That's hardly anything new. There has been a divide between urban and rural areas of the US since long before any of us were born, or our grandfathers were born.

The needs, lives and desired interface with and role for government differ greatly for a city dweller and a farmer.

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DougS
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Re: Real Reason

It is actually the red states that get more in benefits from the government than they pay in. The big blue states like California, New York and Illinois are net contributors to the federal government - they pay more in taxes than they get back.

I'll leave this here, and count down the seconds until someone who doesn't like the message screams "fake news" or claims WalletHub is a liberal site (maybe it is, I just googled to find a site that showed recent rankings and explains the methodology used)

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/

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FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

DougS
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Re: Adblocker time...

When they say "ads are sent over IP" they don't necessarily mean "not over the air". One of the changes with ATSC 3.0 is that it uses IP framing. So "IP content" could be delivered as part of the OTA data stream along with the HEVC streams.

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DougS
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ATSC 3.0 fixes a lot of problems with ATSC 1.0

If all they wanted to do was add support for 4K they could have added that as an extension to ATSC 1.0 and remained backwards compatible, but they changed its physical layer to use OFDM (i.e. like LTE) instead of 8VSB because it has far better multipath rejection (and works while in motion, because some hopeful fools think people want to watch broadcast TV in moving vehicles on their phones)

Multipath rejection is important because it will allow a TV station to broadcast on the same frequency from multiple towers, instead of currently where you need to broadcast on different frequencies and use PSIP to make it look like the same station. Making it compatible with LTE is important because instead of having just one or a handful of giant towers, they could have one big tower and then a lot of little transmitters on LTE towers to cover areas the big tower can't reach due to terrain. That will be far cheaper than running a bunch of translator towers in mountainous areas out west.

Not having an ATSC 3.0 tuner built into TVs is irrelevant, you'll be able to buy a tuner the size of a pack of cards with an HDMI pigtail on one end, and a coax port and USB port (for power) on the other for $50. They ought to quit mandating TVs have tuners at all (if they don't in the US you can't sell them as televisions, they have to be sold as displays) since the ATSC 1.0 tuner will become less and less important and the QAM tuner is mostly useless as more and more cable systems encrypt even their standard definition signals over the next few years.

Rather than hold back progress, if the FCC was concerned they could subsidize purchase of ATSC 3.0 tuners for people below a certain income level via rebates or something. Given how much money the FCC collected in the recent 600 MHz auction, this would cost only a few percent of those billions.

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DougS
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Re: "The more you tighten your grasp, the more systems will slip through your fingers."

How does that make any difference? You still pay the same content companies, the only possible savings is avoiding renting the cable boxes (which you can do already if you buy a Tivo and rent a cable card)

People who think streaming is a panacea are going to be in for a rude awakening in a few years. Already the streaming market is being fragment, with Disney removing all their content from Netflix in a couple years, for example. They'll start their own streaming service. CBS is trying to leverage Star Trek to push theirs, and if they succeed no doubt the other networks will do the same. Before long you'll end up paying more if you want to watch all the same stuff because of all the different subscriptions that will be required. The only people streaming will help is those who don't really care what they watch, they can subscribe to Netflix and just watch something and be happy, and won't care about all the stuff they can't get on it.

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US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

DougS
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Re: Hacking back against forged attacks

That's fine, because Alice can then hack Bob back and they're both trashed. Mutually assured destruction!

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Pulitzer-winning website Politifact hacked to mine crypto-coins in browsers

DougS
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Re: alternative to micropayments?

I suggested this in another thread about this a day or two ago. I think sites could do this and be above board about it, and people would accept it. I'd much rather they waste my CPU time on something that pays them directly, than waste my CPU on annoying flashing autostart video ads. Or would waste my CPU time on annoying flashing autostart video ads if I wasn't running with an adblock.

I run with an adblock because the ads are annoying, but even if there was a "mining blocker" I wouldn't run with that so long as they were respectful and limited themselves to one thread that ran in the background while I was on their site, and would shut itself off when I switched off that tab or otherwise switched focus to something else. Then I'm paying them while I'm reading/posting on their site, and they don't have to worry about advertisers trying to control their content, shady ad networks, and so forth.

This is a win/win as far as I'm concerned. Maybe a viable micropayment system that replaces online ads is the killer app for cryptocoin mining?

Not sure why you got the downvotes on this, if people have an objection I wish they'd state it rather than doing a drive by downvote.

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Beardy Branson chucks cash at His Muskiness' Hyperloop idea

DougS
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Regional transport

Who says the hub would have to be in London? It isn't in the center of the UK, and if Hyperloop even happens, the LAST station to be built will be in London. Because whether it goes above ground or underground, all the permitting and construction would take a decade or two, optimistically. I mean, how long does it take to add a new Tube line from initial plan to opening, let alone if they wanted to add a new rail line?

If they built a hub in the middle of nowhere then it could be opened quickly, and since it would be mostly a transfer station with few people starting or ending their journeys there, it could be compact and easy to walk from one line to another. Having the hub in London means it is the termination of most journeys which adds a bunch of problems (not the least of which is security since anything is more of a terrorist target in London)

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Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11's war on 32-bit

DougS
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Re: Apple fragmentation

Wrong.

The reason 64 bit mode uses more RAM and more storage is because you need to have both 32 and 64 bit libraries present on "disk" and in memory. However, once you drop 32 bit mode, there is almost no difference. Sure, pointers take up twice the space but pointers are a tiny fraction of the overall footprint so it wouldn't make 64 bit code or data requirements go up by even 1%. In fact, ARM64 code is actually slightly smaller than ARM32 code, because of new instructions that were added for stuff like conditional execution.

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DougS
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Re: Twats.

I checked a couple months ago when I found out 32 bit apps wouldn't work, and I found a few. Apps I hadn't used for years, and had no problem deleting (I should probably clean up the rest of the apps I don't use, but I always think "well maybe I might need this someday...")

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DougS
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That's one possible solution, but speakers that require an app to function are fatally flawed, IMHO. What's next, someone going to sell a car that can only be unlocked and started with an app?

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DougS
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Re: Do we have grounds to believe the 8 and X can even run 32-bit code?

Actually, we know for a fact the A11 is incapable of running 32 bit code, and iOS 11 does not support it (i.e. no 32 bit libraries)

Obviously Apple did that by choice, but it hardly came as a surprise to any devs since as you say Apple has been selling 64 bit phones for four years, has not sold any 32 bit phones for two years, and has been requiring all App Store submissions to include a 64 bit build for two years (Pure's latest version must have just missed the deadline)

The people who bought Pure products got screwed by a shitty company, but that shitty company was not Apple. What did Pure plan to do if iOS 11 or the iPhone X had been incompatible with their app in some way? They couldn't keep using an app from 2015 indefinitely even if Apple was still supporting 32 bit apps, eventually something would break. I guess Pure doesn't care, they already got their money.

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More and more websites are mining crypto-coins in your browser to pay their bills, line pockets

DougS
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Re: Hijack the hijack?

You wouldn't want to run a Javascript miner, you'd want to get one written in C for greater efficiency, or better yet runs on a discrete GPU if you have one. It is questionable whether it would pay for the electricity it uses, though if you have electric heat and it is cool enough inside then that's a better way of heating your home than a resistance element.

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DougS
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Maybe this is not a bad thing

Given a choice of paying with my eyeballs and personal information, or paying with a little bit of my CPU time / electricity, I'll choose the latter!

Maybe some web sites should drop advertising, be up front about how readers are paying for their content, and see how it goes. What say you, El Reg? :)

Sure this isn't "green" (though where I live 1/3 of my electricity is generated by wind, so it would be 1/3rd green) but neither are all those flashing ads, autoplay videos and other crap.

This would have the advantage for news/review sites of removing any incentive for bias.

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Crappy upload speeds a thing of the past in fresh broadband 'net spec

DougS
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Going up to 1800 MHz?

That puts rather limits the distance of the subscriber from the fiber node, since the higher frequency the greater the loss.

I'll bet we never see this from a major cable company sold to residential customers. It'll be sold exclusively to businesses because it is cheaper than running fiber all the way to their premises - but they'll still charge the very high prices they charge for gigabit or better symmetric service despite those savings!

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Screw the badgers! Irish High Court dismisses Apple bit barn appeals

DougS
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Re: Creating 150 jobs

Apple said their data center in Iowa would have 550 construction jobs and create 50 permanent jobs. So depending on their relative sizes, the 150 jobs in Ireland could be construction or could be permanent.

And no, I have no idea how the state giving them a $20 million tax break and the local government giving them a $180 million tax break can possibly be justified for 50 permanent jobs. These tax incentives are a race to the bottom, big companies just take advantage of them.

If I wanted to open a little 20 seat diner that created 5 permanent jobs I'd love to get $2 million in state and $18 million in local incentives! It would be the most amazing goddamn 20 seat diner you ever saw and I'd be more than happy to pay those 5 permanent employees whatever Apple is paying their datacenter workforce for a seat at that tax incentive trough! Unfortunately only big companies that don't need the money get those kind of incentive deals.

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DougS
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Re: No Operational Justification for placing a Data Centre anywhere in Ireland

You want the data close to the users, and jurisdictionally it is a good idea anyway. If Apple had all their data housed in the US, and then the EU required that data on EU citizens must reside in the EU, they'd be left scrambling. Might as well prepare for that eventuality (or maybe it is already true, I don't have any reason to know EU data protection laws) so if they're going to build in the EU, why not Ireland?

They already have thousands of employees there, the rather cool climate is a lot better for datacenters than say Spain or Italy, and even though it isn't that great for solar due to the latitude and clouds there's an unlimited supply of wind available.

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DougS
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@Ledswinger - you sure have a high bar for green energy

If Apple was drawing grid power on those cold winter nights, but supplying an equal amount of on-site generated clean power to the grid at other times it is still carbon neutral. You don't need to run entirely off grid to be "green". If some of the waste heat was used to heat homes on days/nights when they need heat, they wouldn't even need to generate as much as they draw to OFFSET as much as they draw.

I don't know anything about the proposal and if it is intended to generate all its own energy or only a portion, but anyone suggesting that its "marketing tripe" if they don't have enough batteries to run without grid connection is utterly clueless.

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DougS
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If there are, Apple got screwed out of whatever they paid on their end since it is 2 1/2 years and counting since the announcement and they still haven't got final approval!

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