* Posts by RodB

60 posts • joined 31 Jul 2011


'It's common for freelancers to farm out work to cheap coders'

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I like LInus even more now, he must be feeling like Joe Bauers in Idiocracy.

Speaking in Tech: Tesla's Elon Musk takes on NYT - ballsy move, man


newspapers are a golden institution

their word, opinion and behaviour can not be challenged!


Nokia tries its luck with a sub-£150 Win Phone 8: The Lumia 620


non western markets

only way it's going to appeal to those markets is with multi sim support....

Indonesian hackers protest hacker's arrest ... by hacking


Story in British English, headline in US English

In British English when we 'protest' something we are speaking in support of it, hence 'protesting one's innocence'. The Reg is a British publication, so your headline ought to say that the hackers are protesting 'at', 'about' or 'against' the arrest in question: at the moment it implies that they are in favour of it.

Chinese go online to protest censorship


The Reg being a UK mag

...they are not going online 'to protest censorship', they are going online 'to protest about censorship'.

Report: US telcos cashing in on data caps and poor competition


Re: hmm

Go learn something about the competitive advantages about the telecom industry and you'll see that competitive "moats" are created from the expense of sticking coax, copper, and fibre in the ground or from the expense of buying wireless spectrum at auctions, or the huge cost of operating customer service centres and billing systems. Buying polictians... please! Get off your soapbox. Until technologies are developed and implemented to enable bittorrent-like service over publicly available wireless spectrum, these "moats" are going to exist.

Are your landlines buried in the stone age?


2003 called

they want their news back

Boffins cook raw numbers, hope to bake PERFECT kilogram


re: mass of 1dm^3 H2O @ STP


The problem is that they are still too many variables:

Which STP? Standard Temperature and Pressure says 0°C (ice cube?), so you could use S(Ambient)TP, but how do you know each molecule is exactly @ 25°C? Same question is you used the NIST option (20°C).

Then how do you make sure you have pure H2O? In fact, how pure should it be? And how do you know you got it right?

Finally, how do you know you filled exactly 1 dm³? How can you tell that this container has one too many drop or one too few?

Using some universal constant (speed of light, planck's constants, number of transitions of a cesium atom, etc) is the best approach but determining which is hard.

The best tablets for Christmas


Everyone's missed the single most important thing...

...about this article. Three instances of "it's" which should have been "its". THREE!

Google's Drive + Gmail: A 10GB Dropbox killer

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I love gmail's ability to add multiple labels to emails, and I like that feature in Google Docs, but I was very disappointed when Google Docs became Google Drive and they replaced multiple labels for a file with a single folder. Fortunately, my old files retain their labels, but I can no longer add or change the labels.

Ten badass brainy computers from science fiction


Hitchhiker Guide to The Galaxy

Quote: "Earth is destroyed five minutes before the calculations can be completed".

I beg to differ. I recall one of the book said the Earth was destroyed five minutes *after* the calculations were completed. Memory says that a lady sipping tea at a café suddenly came to the realization of the meaning of life but the planet got destroyed right after.

Is my memory failing?

Bradley Manning to speak in public for first time in two years


Re: traitor

I see your point. Let me ask you this:

was he a traitor to:

1) the United States of America,

2) its Government

3) the human race

I pick #2, and at the same time makes him a hero for #1 and #3.

Prince William 'day with my chopper' pics reveal more than intended


sensitive plans on the board, like when/where they are planning the next invasion so they can upstart old UK business? Not even hitler himself would have been that paranoid. #poppycock

Sony confesses: we can't beat iPhone... yet


With large expenditure on a phone, that you are lead to believe you cannot easily return if you don't like it, people want to play it safe. There are many Sony Xperia phones.

Benchmarks really don't matter to the modern world - they never mattered to the people who really wanted to use Smartphones: everybody!

The iPhone3G revolutionised the way in which people interact with the handset. It's the interface that matters, 100%. I can switch between Mac OSX and Windows 7 (and below) with no issue. People find themselves drawn to what they trust, and that is simplicity, seemingly the iPhone, or up to date functionality, which is why Samsung are doing so well.

But £400 on a risky Sony purchase come this January? I doubt most people will go for it. You earn credibility over many years. Nokia have sunk due to some bad software decisions, but also a cumbersome O/S that everybody still mentions - Symbian was never suited to 2012. The only place rubbish phones really sell in large numbers is China, due to consumer cost limitations.

I've tried a few Sony Xperia phones and they were generally broken or damaged in the shops, suggesting robust, rugged build quality is not at the top of Sony's mobile phone agenda. I do hope for for something truly amazing to appear, but I think people have been so heavily told "THIS PHONE changes everything!!! Yea, this new one, just out! BUY!"

People now say 'no', due to lessons learned in which phones they've bought every 18 months are actually pretty crap.

Her Majesty's Secret Service opens a Q-Branch apprentice scheme


Re: Sometimes though

I often wonder what grades Galileo would have got in astrology, given his ridiculous thinking that the Earth wasn't the center of the Universe.


Re: Why

Ah, decisions, decisions.

A red head like Anna Chapman, or a Brunette like Alyona Minkovski...

Pirate Bay moves to the cloud to confound copyright cops


cloud of trust

assuming your provider ain't taking snapshots of a live running system (for availability reasons of course...)

WoW cities wiped out by 'exploit'


It must be

Sword of a Thousand Truths!

Beached whale on Suffolk coast - Reader snap


That's whales for you

Whales beach themselves and die, they always have. No connection with sonar. Not everything is down to the unutterable planet-destroying evil of humankind.

Qubes OS bakes in virty system-level security


Re: The question is..

On a one time, throw away, disposable VM of course ;)

Cambodia set to boot out Pirate Bay co-founder


Doubt there's enough cash in the world to outbid the entertainment industry.

Organic food offers basically no health benefit, boffins find


Re: elReg biased?

Where does one buy 'natural' food from?

You can definitely buy outdoor reared farm chickens that have been fed only a natural vegetarian diet, but not certified organic.

For the general consumer they aren't able to tell (read: supermarkets!) using psychic ability which non-organic produce is actually well cared for with best intentions by the farmer, so choosing organic is the 'easy' choice. It's a half-way house between convenience and aiming for the intake of less meddled with produce into your body.

IF consumers were to make more of an effort, instead of pretending they've never had it so bad in terms of time spent during a standard day, they could find their local producers and small shops and discover a whole new range of foods.

However the fact tastebuds are destroyed over time if you don't use them means that for many people they are actually unable to taste the difference between the cheapest crappiest foods and the best most-cared for foods. I can taste the difference blind, which applies to things such as wine too. I'm sure you know people who can't taste any difference, which just goes to show how the processed nonsense of the last 30 years has diminished people's ability to taste.

Suits big business perfectly, keep the cash rolling in for tripe food :)

Firefox, Opera allow crooks to hide an entire phish site in a link



NoScript disables javascript:// and data:// URLs by default since forever.

Samsung fights to stay on US shelves as Apple calls for ban


Now see how the USA plays in business once it leans it sucks at that to, just like war... I swear, the us gets more corrupt every day, cant even play fair in business..

Well I hope samsung raises the cost to apple for the hardware, then it'll be all the smartphone and tablet users paying the bill.

Post-pub nosh deathmatch


my recipe

Here goes:

a) wheel of brie, grossly diced

b) pack of cream cheese (250g)

c) sundried tomatoes, in strips

d) basil, in strips

e) garlic, finely diced

f) puff pastry, rolled flat, thick and large

combine ingredients a-e in a bowl, then dump in middle of pastry and bring the edges together to form a ball. Flip the ball upside-down (so the folds are out of sight) and bake for 30 minutes at 200°C. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Can be eaten either by piercing the shell and spreading the content on melba toasts or by dividing the ball like a pie.

Post-pub nosh deathmatch: Pierogi versus patatas revolconas



Hey, how does one send in suggestions for the next deathmatch? I have a pretty satisfying dish loaded with cheese and pastry.



N64 4 Player

How can this be antique?

Our days kinda went like this.

Golden eye 4 player. 1 shot kills, weapons (cowboy gun cougar, a fancy auto pistol, the crap staple gun called Klobb and Sniper rifle).

And we only played level Stack (sniper fun), Facility (the back corridor loop) and occasionally Archives (for shooting in to glass shattering rooms). When we all finally got violent off screen towards each other.

We then put in Mario kart cart, 4 player koopa beach and the great waterfall short cut debate, go for it and risk all, or shortcut across the tidal path and go for the blue shell atop the big rock. Then when that led to fights we put in 4 player super smash brothers, and then back to golden eye and repeat en mass.......

Occasionally ISS 64 soccer game would go in on wet days.

'$199' Surface tablets: So crazy it might work, or just crazy?


"and although Microsoft has not disclosed its display resolution, it is rumored to be higher than that of the Nexus 7"

1366x768 is only very slightly sharper than 1280x800 and for many people the latter is preferable due to aspect ratio

299 is doable

Wikipedia collapses threatening the very fabric of civilisation



Wikipedia works just fine for me wtf?

Judge rejects Apple's calls for Samsung censure

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Re: Of course...

Apple "worked hard", did you say?

"The files contains a snippet of a deposition by former Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori who said that Apple’s design chief Jonathan Ive told him to create a phone inspired by Sony’s designs. “If Sony were to make an iPhone, what would it be like?” Nishibori then goes on to comment on some designs for an Apple phone that he says were created “based on my own thoughts or my understanding of Sony-like designs.”"

Tony Blair bod's Gmail hack teen gets 6 months


Re: Tricky

Hell yea, lets deport him to Guantanamo!

Foreign intelligence agencies are biggest online threat, ex-Fed warns


Lol i knew the usa couldnt get high up on tech without theft, they always needed foreigners information, from tesla to von braun, why should computer technology be any different. have fun mongrels, you will loose in the end because nobody smart since tesla's era thinks america is a good place.

Gov must act on 'innocent' web-browsing copyright timebomb

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Re: Wouldn't it be better..


Seems no government knows how to do its sole purpose, to govern.

Boffins pull off room-temp quantum computing with home-grown gems


Re: RSA problem solved

I don't think increasing the keylengths would help much, maybe it will slow them down for couple of milisecs but thats about it. We need a on the fly one time pad system using pidgins to distribute them of some sort to stay safe :)

'Scientists' seek to set world social, economic, tech policy at Rio+20


Re: Sigh...

It's not a matter of sexism, but of common sense. No matter how tight a policy you run, you'll never be 100% successful. A handful of women can only produce a handful of descendents every 9 months or so, but a handful of men without their vasectomy and the only limits to how many they can get pregnant is their own stamina.

Of course, you could apply the procedure to both genders to try and be 'fair', though it hardly seems fair to me to go to all the waste of performing another set of, more risky than the former, and completely unnecessary operations on the other half of the population just to try and pretend that everything is equal.

It hardly seems sexist to me unless you think that acknowledging obvious, natural differences between males and females is 'sexist'.

IBM strides along the storage edge


nice... but how do they get to 80%?

> For the V7000 it can shrink data by up to 80 per cent, effectively increasing capacity fivefold.

Ok... tell me something. How are they getting to 80% ? Are they using VMDKs and backup (or are we talking about 100 billion repetition of '01' ... )? Can we get some facts please -- also how much is because of deduplication versus compression ?

Researchers find backdoor in milspec silicon

Black Helicopters

PEA, an interesting description

One poster in slashdot proffers the following explanation, found at http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2879043&cid=40137395:


FPGAs commonly protect user-code with encryption. An encryption engine is included in the silicon to which the user has limited access to crypto=keys with which to encrypt the code that is installed in ROM/Flash.

A number of attacks are known against microcontrollers/FPGAs that secure code with encryption - notably differential power analysis (DPA) which works by connecting a current probe to the chip, and collecting measurememnts of energy consumption as the device performs an authentication operation. By carefully, measuring power traces over thousands of authentication operations, statistical analysis can reveal clues about the internal secret keys; potentially allowing recovery of the key within useful periods of times (minutes to hours).

These secure FPGAs contain a heavily obfuscated hardware crypto-engine, with lots of techniques to obstruct DPA (deliberately unstable clocks, heavy on-chip RC power filtering, random delay stages in the pipeline, multiple "dummy" circuits so that an operation which would normally require fewer transistors than an alternative, has its transistor count increased, etc.). The idea being that these countermeasures reduce the DPA signal and increase the amount of noise, making recovery of useful statistics impractical. In their papers, this group admit that the PA3 FPGAs are completely impervious to DPA, with no statistical clues obtained even after weeks of testing.

This group have developed a new technique which they call PEA which is a much more sensitive technique. It involves extracting the FPGA die, and mapping the circuits on it - e.g. using high-resolution infra-red thermography during device operation to identify "interesting" parts of the die by heat production under certain tasks - e.g. caches, crypto pipelines, etc. Having identified interesting areas of the die, an infra-red microscope with photon counter is focused on the relevant circuit area. As it happens, transistors glow when switched, emitting approx 0.001 photons per switching operation. The signal from the photon counter is therefore analogous to the DPA signal, but with a much, much stronger signal-to-noise ratio, allowing statistical analysis with far fewer tries. The group claim the ability to extract the keys from such a secure FPGA in a few minutes of probing with authentication requests.

The researchers claim to have found the backdoor, by fuzzing the debug/programming interface, and finding an undocumented command that appeared to trigger a cryptographic authentication. By using their PEA technique against this command, they were able to extract the authentication key, and were able to open the backdoor, finding they were able to directly manipulate protected parameters of the chip.


US space programme in shock metric conversion


Re: It's like this.

by the way, the word Centigrade has been deprecated a long time ago (1948 if you don't feel like reading).

Microsoft ejects DVD playback from Windows 8


Re: removing IE would also help

"It is illegal for Microsoft to continue to commingle IE and OS technology"

It shouldn't be illegal in the first place. What's next, will it be illegal for car manufacturers to sell cars with built in radio, Sat Nav, i-phone/ipod connectors, etc?

Lytro light field camera


Re: Only Mac?

The iPod mini was launched two years after the initial iPod, that was Mac-only.

"Notably, Apple began selling Windows-compatible versions of the iPod starting with the second generation."


RIP Ceefax: Digital switchover kills off last teletext service


I'll be sad to see Ceefax go. As an occasional tourist in London from the US. First thing I'd do in the morning at the B&B was turn on Ceefax to check the weather and check the status of the Tube (especially strikes).

Drink diet pop all the time? Look forward to VASCULAR DEATH


Must-watch video on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM about sucrose, fructose, ethanol and the human body (especially the liver). Takes 1h30 to watch but the host is pleasant and the video is very informative.

Kiwis collar Megaupload kingpin, Anonymous exacts revenge


tsk tsk

"Dotcom nee [sic] Schmitz"

Since Kim Dotcom is a male, it should be written "Dotcom né Schmitz" instead of "née" or doubly wrong "nee".

Facebook VERY SLOWLY rolls out Timeline


anyone actually like timeline?

personally I find it a PITA as I am looking to see what's new with friends and any new photos (like the majority of people) still I suppose they have to keep trying to 'innovate'.

Trust management will cash in soon before the next group of teenagers deem it an uncool tool of the older generation and move on to something else....

New ATLAS particle part of 'everyday mass'


From another LHC experiment looking for cheap eastern labour at CERN, also about B mesons and b quarks, for those wondering:

"The cost [...] has been evaluated, taking into account realistic labor prices in different countries. The total cost is X (with a western equivalent value of Y)" [where Y>X]

source: LHCb calorimeters : Technical Design Report

ISBN: 9290831693 http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/494264

Inventor flames Reg, HP in memristor brouhaha


A flywheel?

LHC results may solve riddle of how universe can exist

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That collaboration, and therefore CERN itself are bunch of hypocrites looking for cheap labour.

Actually, management is so much more important than LHCb -- or any other experiment for that matter -- that it is simply outrageous. If you look at the proceedings of CHEP (Computing in High Energy Physics) you can verify for yourself. A bunch of manipulative sociopath to be careful with.

"The cost [...] has been evaluated, taking into account realistic labor prices in different countries. The total cost is X (with a western equivalent value of Y) [where Y>X]

source: LHCb calorimeters : Technical Design Report

ISBN: 9290831693 http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/494264

RIM's BBX has all the logic PlayBook should have had


just an attention grab

Basis has no case... If anything Cisco had a better one with iOS - Basis doesn't even have a product called BBx, the "x" just stands for version of the software (like Firefox 3.x). It's just some free publicity for them.

NBN Co outlines next year of target sites


Libs should jump on board

I am so so so sick of this federal government however their only saving grace is the NBN. I will still vote labour at the election for this reason only...

Why can't the Liberal party just wake up to the reality that Australia needs this NBN and it is just plain silly to wreck it if they get government.


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