* Posts by Suricou Raven

1537 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Radio wave gun zaps drones out of the sky – and it's perfectly legal*

Suricou Raven

Re: Strap a phone to it...

Could the accelerometer from a mobile phone be used to make a 'good-enough' inertial guidance system? It doesn't have to be very accurate , just enough to continue the flight path beyond jamming range.

You can hack a PC just by looking at it, say 3M and HP

Suricou Raven

I thought of an entirely software-based alternative.

Wingdings and practice.

Laser razor binned from Kickstarter resurfaces on Indiegogo

Suricou Raven

Re: They stole my idea for a laser-based lawn mower - just moved it to the chin/legs/etc.

I tried a laser lawnmower. I think I may have scared my retina with a reflection, but didn't cut the grass effectively. There's a problem: Even dead plants have a fair amount of water in them, and it won't cut until you've evaporated the water out, which takes too long for just slice-and-cut to work.

Playboy drops the butt-naked ladies

Suricou Raven

Re: In Japan it's pretty much

Japan's approach to censorship was to avoid ambiguity by specifying in law exactly what was and was not permissible - a notable contrast to the US definition of obscenity, which was simply a reference to typical community standards. Legally it looks like a better solution because it avoid long legal battles over just what is obscene. A strange side effect though: When you tell porn producers exactly what they are not allowed to show, they get quite creative in finding new things that the authors of the law never imagined.

Throw this in together with a culture that never got the Disney legacy condemning animation as a genre only fit for children, and... Japan. The law may say that genitals must be pixelated, but it doesn't say anything about tentacles!

For a time Playboy Japan carefully airbrushed out any sign of pubic hair, because it was on the 'thou shalt not show' list.

Researcher messes up Wi-Fi with an rPi and bargain buy radio stick

Suricou Raven

Re: It's easy to jam 2.4Ghz

The magnetron is the kazoo of radio transmitters. You do not try to tune it delicately for a precise output - you calibrate it for more-or-less what you want and make do with the very broad spectrum it puts out, hopefully centered roughly where you want. They also operate at very high power, and depend upon the screening of the microwave oven to hold the field where it belongs - so the slightest imperfection in containment turns it into a wide-spectrum 2.4GHz jammer.

You call THAT safe? Top EU legal bod says data sent to US is anything but

Suricou Raven

Re: Fascinating

It's not unheard of for such situations to occur in the US - the way they split power between different levels means that one part of their government is often actively trying to oppose another. Sometimes it leads to such oddities as classifying pizza as a fruit, occasionally to something more serious.

BAN the ROBOT WHORES, says robot whore expert: 'These AREN'T BARBIES'

Suricou Raven

A sex-bot does not need to express emotions as we know them. A sex-bot needs to be able to mimic emotion sufficiently well to convince a user who is already trying to convince themself. That's not such a hard goal.

The tricky part is going to be programming it to carry out the two-minute conversation that counts as foreplay and accurately interpret commands from an operator who might be uncomfortable stating outright their desires.

Suricou Raven

Re: Hollywood has already introduced us to sex robots..

It was Barbarella, yes. I'd have preferred if she could have lasted a bit longer though, as I quite liked the music.

Suricou Raven

Re: Sexism?

If they became semi-commonplace - say, about the same as the more exotic sex toys today - it's not hard to imagine a community of sexbot hackers online exchanging printable upgrade designs and new programming. People mod their PCs for cosmetic reasons, so think what you could do with a sex-bot. However exotic your tastes?

Fan of Avatar? Then you'll want to get your stock Cherry 2000 model, download a new voice pack and behavioral profile, print yourself a new facial plate. The skin is going to be harder, but you should be able to order roboskin intended for animal displays, and the eye lenses along with them. Might be a bit of a hack job, but doable.

Just think of what the furries alone would do! And then go bang your head against a wall until that image departs your mind.

Suricou Raven

I think he was referring more to the scenario of 'Rise of the Marching Morons' or the movie 'Idiocracy.'

Intelligent, rational people use birth control, and breed only when they are emotionally ready, have a stable long-term relationship and have sufficient long-term career prospects that they are confident they can properly care for their offspring.

Religious nutters think contraception is a crime against their God, screw like rabbits and accept every child as a blessing confident that God will make it all work out somehow. Given enough time that would lead to natural selection - genetic in the very long term, but cultural in the short term, as most individuals take on the cultural and religious views of their parents. So within a few generations you find that simple reproductive advantage shifts the population in favor of those views which discourage of prohibit contraception.

Suricou Raven

There's a term for objectifying human beings: "Employment."

US librarians defy cops, Feds – and switch on their Tor exit node

Suricou Raven

Re: Terminator: Librarians Rising

They are making powerful enemies, though.

Chipzilla has its knockers … and now they’re cool in this venting sports bra

Suricou Raven


A processor?

You could make that thing on two op-amps and a flip-flop.

The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined

Suricou Raven

Raspberry pi for a netball scoring system?

That's ridiculous overkill. You could make that on an arduino. Or a PIC chip. Or a few 4000 series logic chips.

Does Linux need a new file system? Ex-Google engineer thinks so

Suricou Raven

Re: Advantages for the Average Joe

COW lets linux do the 'previous versions' thing that Windows can do, but better. It makes rolling back system changes or documents trivial.

Embracing the life-changing qualities of USB power packs and battery extenders

Suricou Raven

Re: I hate USB3 -radiates like crazy in the same bands as lots of other stuff

Actually grounding the ground at both ends isn't always a good idea. It can do weird things when long cables are grounded at both ends, or when the who-knows-how-it-is-wired UPS is involved.

It's a hazard well-known to electronics engineers: The non-obvious ground connection that burns out the input stage on your £600 oscilloscope. It's why they keep an isolation transformer on a little altar next to the workbench and offer up a prayer to it before getting out the probes.

Would YOU make 400 people homeless for an extra $16m? Decision time in Silicon Valley

Suricou Raven

There comes a point when money ceases to be a tool of resource acquisition and becomes a means of keeping score.

Germany says no steamy ebooks until die Kinder have gone to bed

Suricou Raven

Re: So it's OK to invade Poland...

You don't have to keep all that loathing for yourself. Russia is suitable for insulting too.

Putin has invented a whole new form of warfare: Implausible deniability.

A close shave: How to destroy your hard drives without burning down the data centre

Suricou Raven

Not sulfuric acid.

Tried that already, while attempting to copper-plate platters. The ultra-thin coating on the surface, whatever it is, serves as very effective acid-proofing.

Suricou Raven

Re: Irradiate the drives

A big sticker reading 'EXPLOSIVE CHARGE OXYGEN DETONATED' and an obvious plug in the equaliser port should at least buy a couple of days while they call in the bomb squad.

Suricou Raven

They do lose their field when heated, but not at 200°C. The temperature is material dependent, and you'll have to go a lot higher than that.

Suricou Raven

Re: Remove platters

If you're careful you can operate on a drive without a cleanroom. I wouldn't trust the drive after, but it can be done. I've done it - replaced the cover of a drive with a plastic panel so the insides could be seen. It was intended as a working demonstration drive for an IT class.

IWF shares 'hash list' with web giants to flush out child sex abuse images online

Suricou Raven

Ok, pedos:

You all know what a password-protected zip is, right?

Seriously, anyone with child abuse imagery would have to be a moron of legendary scale to upload the pics to Facebook.

Power Bar: EE was warned of safety risk BEFORE user was burned in explosion

Suricou Raven

Re: Safety?

Exploding li-ion cells are usually due to an internal short. An external fuse wouldn't help. Poor charging practice (over-charging, charging too fast, neglect of temperature monitoring or a mechanical mounting that compresses the cells) causes damage to the insulator inside. Once it shorts even a little the heat produced quickly causes additional damage that quickly leads to thermal runaway and boom.

Suricou Raven

Re: Am I missing something?

There are two things that I am never going to buy off eBay: Fire extinguishers and condoms.

Suricou Raven

Humans are terrible at assessing risk. They overestimate risks that involve something spectacular, or that are the work of an active agent, or are so rare as to be highly reported. Exploding batteries are both spectacular and highly reported. They underestimate risks of events for which there is no responsible agent or that happen so often as to be no longer worth reporting upon, like traffic accidents.

My favorate example: In each period of a little over a month, the US loses as many citizens to traffic accidents as it lose in the 9/11 terrorist attack. Yet the country has not declared a 'war on roads,' or spent trillions on road safety investments. Road deaths are boring, no-one cares about them, but people live in fear of terrorist attack - even though they are many times more likely to be hit by a car than bombed by a terrorist.

Suricou Raven

Re: A battery charging a battery

That used to work. Then manufacturers started struggling to meet consumer demands for ever-thinner phones. When you need to make them no more than a few mm thick or they won't sell, anything that adds thickness must be cut. That includes removable batteries - which require the thickness of plastic each side of the cell and an extra removable back cover on the phone. Consumers may like replacable batteries, but not enough to accept an extra 2mm thickness.

Gay emojis? GAY EMOJIS?! Not here in Russia, comrade

Suricou Raven

Citation needed?

There's a book called The Gay Swastika that made that assertion, but in terms of historical credibility it's on about the same level as The Da Vinci Code.

Oh, Obama's responded to the petition to pardon Snowden. What'll it be?

Suricou Raven

Re: 2016

The democrats want to lock him up for decades after a trial. The republicans want to declare him a traitor and execute him right away.

Speed freak: Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB PCIe SSD

Suricou Raven

Re: Give me a PCIe card

Try looking at the Samsung SM951. It's not quite up to the same performance as the Intel 750, as it's an ACHI device (With promises of an NVMe in the pipeline), but it's still bloody fast. 512GB capacity, and a whole lot cheaper than the HyperX or 750.

If you wait a few months you might be able to get the promised NVMe version of the SM951.

Suricou Raven

You can provide reliability at a higher level. The btrfs filesystem does almost exactly as you describe: Everything it stores, it stores with checksum. If data it corrupted the check will not match and it will detect the error. If you've set it to provide protection too, it'll have another copy it can use for recovery.

Rampaging fox terrorises rural sports club, victim sustains ‘tweaked groin’

Suricou Raven

Re: Oh FFS... A better headline would be 'Humans reach new lows in cowardice'

They have pretty vicious teeth. I can't see a fox managing to bite an adult human fatally, but I can easily envision a trip to A&E for some stitches and a bit of a scar.

Is that a FAT PIPE or are you just pleased to stream me? TERABIT fibre tested

Suricou Raven

Re: I'm not a telco engineer but...

Bits-per-hertz is actually a simper way of saying exactly the same thing, yes. You're quite right. The bits-per-second-per-hertz unit is stated that way because it relates the number back to the situation in which it would be applied in the real world.

Humongous headsets and virtual insanity

Suricou Raven

What about purely non-fun uses?

A VR headset can be a good way to shove a great deal of information into a person's perception without needing a bulky multi-monitor setup and in a quite small physical footprint. Just need to get high enough resolution in the panels, and that's a solvable problem. You've potentially got a good interface for those who have to coordinate very-high-information systems. Air traffic control, military command, network operations, real-time social network moderation, industrial control.

Assange™ celebrates third year in Ecuadorian embassy broom closet

Suricou Raven

Re: What is Ecuador getting from this?

Maybe it is a sense of international justice. Or it might be publicity - standing up for a popular individual on the run from the oppressive US makes them look good to a lot of people. Or perhaps he is a bargaining chip for future use - if they ever need a low-level concession during some negotiations with the UK, the US or Sweden, they can offer him up in return.

Suricou Raven

Re: What prison sentence would he be looking at if found guilty?

Time served only counts if in custody, and it doesn't matter: Assange believes the charges are part of a conspiracy, lead by the US, to discredit and imprison him for his role in disseminating classified information. I do not know if this is true, but it does sound plausible and the timing is certainly suspicious. He is concerned that if he went to Sweden for 'questioning' he would arrive to find a string of trumped-up charges sufficient to imprison him for decades, or else a convenient extradition request to the US where he could be disappeared into a secret prison for the rest of his life. He is avoiding trial because he does not believe it would be a fair trial.

OK, forget DNS for a sec. Why not shift IP addresses and protocols away from Uncle Sam?

Suricou Raven


The purpose of those names is to be easily readable and learnable to humans. This means some names are going to be more valuable than others, possibly very highly valuable. It also means some are going to be trademarks. This in turn means you need the legal system involved, and so a degree of centralization and administration to allow judgments to be enforced.

Jurassic World: All the meaty ingredients for a summer blockbuster

Suricou Raven

Re: To quote from Mock the Week...

They don't need insurance. Everyone remembers what happened to the last lawyer to try to close the park.

Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

Suricou Raven

There was an Outer Limits episode that addressed the slavery thing. Aliens came to enslave a group of humans, and one of the humans went so far as to point out that this was silly: Any civilization that can build starships has no need of human slaves.

The alien explained it very simply: Their culture considers the use of mechanical labor 'demeaning.' Presumably slaves serve for them as a form of status symbol: Anyone can afford a robot, but having slaves to tend to their needs is the mark of true wealth.

The weapons pact threatening IT security research

Suricou Raven

Age has an advantage too, though sheer experience. Those who have been working in a field for a decade know all the odd little quirks and the backwards-compatibility features that might lead to a vulnerability.

Suricou Raven

Not even effective.

I like the intent of prohibiting export of censorship tools, but what's the point? This is now super-sophisticated code: Any halfway-advanced country could just develop their own. Hell, I could knock up a program for searching for forbidden terms in HTTP requests and sending TCP RST packets like the GFWC does - it wouldn't be as sophisticated or as scaleable as theirs, but it'd work.

Your servers are underwater? Chill OUT, baby – liquid's cool

Suricou Raven

No drying. That sort of coolant doesn't evaporate. You have to let it drip off, and you'll never get the thin slime off completely.

Suricou Raven

Re: hard drives?

The He6 has a niche then.

Intel adopts 40Gb per SECOND USB-C plug for Thunderbolt 3.0

Suricou Raven

Re: Price

Thunderbolt is the new Firewire. It's superior to USB3 in most ways, but it's also insanely expensive - and who cares, when USB is 'good enough?' There is no consumer application that might require more bandwidth than USB3 can provide, so thunderbolt is stuck in the same niche as Firewire once occupied: High-end AV gear and super-fast external drives.

What sort of tit builds non-bird bird boxes? Vodafone

Suricou Raven

Re: improving cell coverage

Churches have long doubled as antenna towers. They are usually the tallest building for some distance around, and are already built and connected to power and phone lines. It's cheaper to rent a cupboard at the top of the tower than to construct and cable a purpose-built mast.

The rare metals debate: Only trace elements of sanity found

Suricou Raven

Re: Future mineral reserve creation

Rubbish mines have another advantage: Accessibility. You don't need to dig deep shafts to reach any deposits, landfills are right there on the surface.

I don't know how 'rich' landfills are though. Maybe once in the distant past things were more worth reclaiming - but the waste of today, even the electronic waste, looks pretty poor. Everything is plastic, and the electronics have gone down in volume a lot - you no longer find stacks of circuit boards in most appliances, just one tiny controller. Not much money to be had in that, even if you invented a magical low-cost separation machine.

Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

Suricou Raven

Re: mental illness...

If one person believes something crazy, it's a delusion. If a hundred people believe, it's a cult. If a million believe, it's a religion.

Suricou Raven

Re: Evidence.

Don't forget the ice layers and magnetic rocks.

Suricou Raven

Appropriately enough, the term 'Garden of Eden state' defines any state in a state machine for which there is no entry transition. Such a state cannot be reached during operation, but may be used as a starting state.

Suricou Raven

Re: mental illness...

I care, because they vote, and their inaccurate information leads them to inaccurate conclusions.

"Resource conservation? Recycling? What's the point of that, God is going to end the world soon."

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