* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

1740 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Mushroom

Bamboozled

The author has clearly never lived next to bamboo. Crap, if I left my car parked for three days it would look a pinned butterfly specimen. Yes, it was on pavement.

Bamboo doesn't care. The pandas are our only chance of survival against bamboo.

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Devil

It sells razors

How about a vinyl record player with 5 needles? Each needle should hit defects and dust specks differently. You send the 5 signals to the cloud, use AI to identify and remove clicks (identify the song and replace it with a CD rip), run it through some 1970s audio enhancers, blockchain something-something, subscription-stream the result back to the listener's cellphone, then finally play it into the listener's upcycled hand carved wood shell Bluetooth headset. Wait, 5 disposable needles!

Pokemon No! Good news: You can now ban the virtual pests, er, pets to stop nerds wandering around your property

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Holmes

I don't know why Pokemon appear anywhere unless somebody bids for it. Dollars - Gotta catch em all.

US counterintelligence agent helped Iran lob cyber-bombs at America, say Uncle Sam's lawyers

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Do you have a link to those photos?

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Y2K patches

Encountered some systems where tracks of the hard disk that hadn't been used in many years, like everything needed to boot, had faded away. Remote systems, of course.

After Amazon's Bezos exposes Pecker, National Enquirer pushes back, promises to probe itself

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Mushroom

Are the cameras rolling?

Going to buy popcorn.

OK, Google. Music in 2019 isn't what it was, but Play nice, will ya?

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Out of curiosity ...

I don't put up with it. Anything with DRM better have a cheap rental price because I don't trust it to work a day later.

It's the year 2019 and I still encounter a lot of music and movies that are "out of stock" or unavailable. Publishers have some kind of overwhelming greed causing self-inflicted wounds.

Wells Fargo? Well fscked at the moment: Data center up in smoke, bank website, app down

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Hopefully everybody is still getting their 0.01% annual yield during the outage. That can add up to tens of cents over time.

Website programming? Pffft, so 2011. Python's main squeeze is now data science, apparently

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: If you like Python, learn Go

My experience with Golang is that its crude data structures and lack of exception handling makes it a nightmare for complex tasks. Python is very easy for complex tasks, as long as the codebase doesn't get beyond the practical size limits for dynamically typed languages.

Jammy dodgers: Boffin warns of auto autos congesting cities to avoid parking fees

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

the incentive to implicitly coordinate with each other in order to generate congestion

Toyota owners already do this in the US, though the motive isn't clear. Traffic jams don't save gas if you actually need to get somewhere.

Oh cool, the Bluetooth 5.1 specification is out. Nice. *control-F* master-slave... 2,000 results

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Childcatcher

Security?

Are Bluetooth beacons still designed so that a third party must translate their UUID into coordinates? I've never bought the claim that headphone jacks were removed to free up space and improve sound quality. It had to be something sleazy like forcing people to turn on Bluetooth more often to broaden the tracking power of beacons. Bluetooth beacons, if I remember correctly, were invented as a means for high resolution tracking of people in shopping areas. High-resolution navigation without GPS was a side effect used to sell the idea to phone users.

US watchdog legal fight against Qualcomm and pushy chip deals closes with argument over how awful lawyers are

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Jury Duty

It's educational to be a juror once to realize that the legal system is an expensive and ruthless game of deception where nobody wins. A second time would be torture.

You like JavaScript! You really like it! Scripting lingo tops dev survey of programming languages

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

I like JavaScript*

* Better than server-side templates and round-trips. Overall, JavaScript is pretty crap. It's MEANT for browsers yet interacting with the DOM is so tedious and prone to coding style inconsistencies that a new framework to fix that is invented every month.

FTC gets back to work: Now, where were we? Break up Facebook and fine it $2bn, you say?

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Three companies that need to be broken up...

Agreed about not breaking them up. Facebook has no grip on its product except for inertia. Facebook, GMail, Instagram, Yahoo Mail, Box.com, and all of the other social sharing sites could vanish overnight if IPv6 support improved. Social content sharing is very easy to build for a distributed system that people could host at home on a low-cost device.

Sprint subscribers: What do your updated iPhone and Tonga have in common? Both are cut off from the world

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Sprint?

Maybe the update improved connectivity and enabled some complaints to get through.

Fake broadband ISP support scammers accidentally cough up IP address to Deadpool in card phish gone wrong

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: reporting the account and the IP address to Twitter and the Met Police

There must be 100+ IP addresses committing crimes against any given server on any day. There's nobody who will take up that case. Most hosting networks don't even care so there's nothing to do except to drop the CIDR into a blacklist.

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

No wonder one blocker still works

The specification for declarativeNetRequest looks like an internal implementation of Adblock plus.

This might fix Chromium's biggest flaw in that privacy mode disables plugins, leaving the page to be immediately hijacked by malware delivered through ad networks. Epic fail.

I'd really like to use Firefox but it's loaded with well-known race condition bugs, and I have devices that hit the races on every pageload.

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Multi-tasking

The only Mac Classic preemptive multi-tasking was running off various interrupts. The state of the entire system was always undefined at this time. You could only touch memory and devices that you had previous allocated and locked to a fixed hardware address. You could only call a handful of interrupt-level OS APIs, and most of those could only put your request into a queue for processing later. PowerPC was especially broken at the interrupt level because compiled code used CPU registers for program state.

All other backgrounding was cooperative. There was also a minimal cooperative Thread Manager that would do context swaps for you. You had to provide your own scheduler and communications mechanisms.

Yes, MacOS 7 was very nice to develop for but its API defined its own expiration. I ditched MacOS development when that mess of Objective-C was declared the official API. Swift's lame GC implementation didn't win me back either.

At 900k lines of code, ONOS is getting heavy. Can it go on a diet?

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Diet?

I rarely associate adding big Google and Apache systems with complexity and size reduction. Usually that's phase 1 where you're exploring requirements/architectures and nothing is ready for optimization.

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

That'll hold it

I can't stop looking at the gobs of silicone adhesive squirted into a lunar scientific experiment with a shaky hand.

Oh, SSH, IT please see this: Malicious servers can fsck with your PC's files during scp slurps

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Devil

brb...

Going to create a gift for the hackers and botnets always trying to log into my server.

Q. How exactly do you test car seats? A. With this sweaty 'robutt' that twerks for days and days

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

This is why seats fail

I wear out the bolsters from the routine of squeezing in and out of the car with hardly any room to open the door.

Steamer closets, flying cars, robot boxers, smart-mock-cock ban hypocrisy – yes, it's the worst of CES this year

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Well, scale matters

If only there was some way to use human leg power for transportation.

Google Play Store spews malware onto 9 million 'Droids

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Google ratings

I've never understood Google's app ratings. There can be page after page of 1-star reviews, the app literally doesn't launch, and it will show 3.5 stars.

AT&T (sucks) upgrades folks to 5G (Evolution) that isn't actually 5G

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Trollface

Alternate facts

Show "5G E" whenever you have the fastest tier of LTE so that customers associate the appearance of the normal "LTE" symbol with slow service. The US is Trumpland now. Facts and history are fluid.

I still associate an 'E' with rural private telcos offering roaming over EDGE. Yes, they still exist.

Full frontal vulnerability: Photos can still trick, unlock Android mobes via facial recognition

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Wrong color

Except for the phones with depth scanners, I think most of those "Can't unlock with a photo" attempts didn't work because they're using near-IR cameras. A photo taken with visible light would be unrecognizable to them. A B&W photo taken using the near-IR band should do the trick.

New Horizons probe reveals Ultima Thule is huge, spinning... chicken drumstick?

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: "20 months for the rest of the data to be transmitted back to Earth"

Should try hanging up and calling back. 56K doesn't always work on the first try.

New Zealand health boards write down losses on Oracle implementation

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Devil

Oracle can fix it

They just need a little more funding and more information

Do not adjust your set: Hats off to Apple, you struggle to shift iPhones 'cos you're oddly ethical

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Have to agree....

XKCD has evolved to the point where it can be used as a counter-point too: https://xkcd.com/2055/

Waymo's revolutionary driverless robo-taxi service launches in America... with drivers

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

I don't like it, Jim. A vessel this size cannot be run by one computer.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

And a front passenger filing bug reports?

The Waymo cars need waymo work. They're still prone to cutting people off, doing dangerous things crossing bicycle lanes, changing lanes for no reason, stopping too early before an intersection, refusing to cross intersections, and randomly stopping in the middle of intersections. They're making the texting drivers look good.

How the mighty have fallen: Anglian Water knocks Google off perch as UK's best workplace

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Pint

Make sense

Googlers joke that the key to blissful happiness is drinking the specialty spring waters stocked in the lobbies. Organic Strong Ginger Ale _-7

OM5G... Qualcomm teases next Snapdragon chip for phones: The 855 with a fingerprint Sonic Screwdriver, er, Sensor

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Band bingo

The most significant outcome I see is that it's going to be much harder to find a phone that works well with your home provider plus any countries you travel too. Phones with global LTE coverage already cost a fortune. Now there's going to be all kinds of regional high-band offloading.

You think you're hot bit: Seagate tests 16TB HAMR disk drive

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Amazing advances

1.38 MB was in the awkward position of being more than you could type on a keyboard but not nearly enough to store anything from the analog world. I tried to encode a Jouney cassette tape into an Apple ][ using dithered PWM but it sounded terrible and used an impossible amount of storage. Even today, my digital music archive is littered with CD rips that need to be done over because they used a squealing MP3 codec.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Trollface

So dense

This should really improve HAMR/head and MAMR/gram storage density ratios.

Tesla autopilot saves driver after he fell asleep at wheel on the freeway

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Easy to Spot

A sensible 70 MPH in a 65 MPH zone is a dead-giveaway too. CA driving culture is to travel 45 MPH in the fast lane until cars start honking, get angry, speed up to 90 MPH, resume using your cell phone, swerve around, realize that it's dangerous to drive 90 MPH while using a cellphone, slow down, then resume traveling 45 MPH while using a cell phone in the fast lane.

Thought black holes were donut-shaped? It turns out they're more like deadly fountains

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Well, the accretion disk anyhow

Probably not very spherical if everything hits it with a spin.

It's nearly 2019, and your network can get pwned through an oscilloscope

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Luckily, I can't afford a nice oscilloscope until it's 40+ years old. I'm feeling pretty tech savvy because my current one uses silicon semiconductors. Maybe Ethernet jacks are gone by the year 2058.

It's all a matter of time: Super-chill atomic clock could sniff gravitational waves, dark matter

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

AND...

Hold on...

GPS is messed up by atmospheric distortion and no clock can fix that. You need a signal from a nearby reference point to compensate for it.

What you're talking about with QAM sounds like not needing to waste bandwidth on a self-aligning transmission pattern for phase. (I'm bad at RF...Trellis encoding?) No phase drift would be a small improvement in a lab. In the real world you're back to atmospheric and multi-path distortions making a huge mess plus the usual random noise making your signal miss its points. I don't see any gains at all.

A more interesting use might be checking the drift between a super-accurate Earth clock and astronomical timekeepers.

Apple in another dust-up with its fans: iMacs, MacBooks lack filters, choke on grime – lawsuit

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Errr....

Yeah, the filters part is going to doom this lawsuit. The issue is that Apple is making it unusually difficult and expensive for customers to perform routine cleaning needed to keep the computer working. It's weird because all of this was figured out in the 60 years ago when people smoked at work. Needs airflow : cleaning access. Doesn't need airflow : gasket.

Fee, Fi, bring your own one... Google opens up Project Fi to mobes built by Apple, LG, Samsung

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

T-Mo uses 2 + 4 for primary urban bandwidth and sprinkles 12, 66, and 71 around as needed. Sprint is 25, 26, and 41. Google must not be liking Sprint much if they tell people they should have 2 and 4.

Amazon's self-driving AI robo-car – THE TRUTH (it's a few inches in size)

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

a 4MP camera with 1080p resolution

1080p digital codecs probably hate that.

Not a price cut! Apple perks up soggy iPhone demand with rebate boost

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Analyst reports?

More expensive, faster, and fewer daily use features isn't maintainable. The only thing analysts are getting wrong is how long Apple's customers are willing to put up with that. Even if people somehow find a use for the iPad Pro, there will eventually be a product iteration where things need to improve.

Domain name 'admin' role eyed up as latest victim of Whois system's GDPRmeggdon

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Stop

The cloud will save us

How long until a company offers domains that are 100% secure against prying eyes. Nobody can prove ownership - not even the owner. It sounds like a perfect CloudFlare product.

I'm all for privacy but GDPR jumps the shark in some areas. At some point people need to be responsible for the crap they throw onto the Internet. Pay somebody else to manage your domain if you don't want to be the admin.

Euro consumer groups: We think Android tracking is illegal

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Spyware ecosystem

I'd say that the bigger issue on Android is spyware apps and libraries that are hidden, can not be disabled by normal means, and can not be prevented from running in the background. These usually operate under the excuse of offering weather services, lockscreen themes, app usage feedback, local news, marketing feedback, cloud sync, and various feed updates. Their primary goal is to periodically make a query that reveals GPS, IP address, phone ID, and phone status. Even if GPS is off, the IP address can be correlated with other phone requests where GPS was on.

Check your cellular data usage. Notice how there are 10+ apps on Android using background data for no good reason. Apps that don't even use the Internet, like games and launchers, are using cell data in the background "for marketing feedback."

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

==

I live in a neighborhood of stucco houses (stainless steel Faraday cages with an RF absorbing concrete shell) so my home WiFi and home LTE connection come from two devices on the same table on the same Internet connection.

Oracle sued by app sales rep: I made tens of millions for Larry, then fired for being neither young nor male – claim

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Larry's Leisure Suites aren't cheap!

Don't give Larry any ideas. We're lucky that Trump is only capable of wasteful distractions.

Alphabet gives bipedal robots the Schaft 'cos no one wants to buy its creepy machine maker

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: After the Google acquisition, it completely clammed up

Google hates outside code, outside programing languages, and outside libraries. Most acquisitions are doomed to failure because Google is using an ancient mainframe and mega-OS style of development. Outside projects can have a 10x to 100x increase in coding effort when coming into Google, or might not even be possible due to having execution timing constraints.

Oracle's JEDI mind-meld doesn't work on Uncle Sam's auditors: These are not the govt droids you are looking for

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Am i missing something?

It's the mixed up sci-fi troll meme. Star Wars acronym, Babylon 5 pic, Star Trek caption. Too bad they couldn't get some Dr Who in there. Craig Charles was my favorite Doctor.

Samsung unveils next-generation 8nm Exynos silicon

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Probably not bad if you can click away all of the Samsung pop-up advertisements in each stock app.

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