* Posts by Suricou Raven

1551 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

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."

Suricou Raven

Re: Observable and repeatable

The YEC would simply explain that the grand canyon wasn't formed by a little water and a lot of time, but by a lot of water in a little time - it was carved out by the Flood, a deluge of biblical proportions that scoured the earth into what we see today.

You could do much better by finding some limestone still forming and measuring the very, very slow rate at which it accumulates, and calculating how long it took your slab to form.

Suricou Raven

Re: Understand modern theology!

Most YECs are from fundamentalists churches. Most of them believe the Pope is a heretic, though they will keep quiet about that when political expedience suggests an alliance with the Catholic church for mutual political gain.

Suricou Raven

Re: Evidence.

The really impressive trick was walking a few thousand light years in the direction of each extra-galactic object and dropping all those photons pointing towards Earth, ready to be observed by future astronomers.

Suricou Raven

Re: Evidence.

The standard YEC excuse is to reject the dating. They do not deny the existence of fossils - they claim the fossils were formed during the great flood, as (literal) mountains of sediment rapidly buried organisms. They go on to explain that the 'scientists' who see the fossils as millions of years old have their judgment clouded by their rejection of Christ - they cannot accept a young age, because to do so would by to admit their own fallibility and lend support to the bible that they hate.

It's almost a half-decent argument - and if it was being used to condemn one form of dating, it would actually sort-of work. Scientists make mistakes. The problem for YECs is that their chronology is in contradiction with carbon dating, potassium dating, polonium halo dates, light-lag distance dates and minimum dates, lunar helium-3 accumulation rates, extrapolated tectonic movement rates, genetic drift common-ancestor dating calculations, common-ancestor ERVs, stellar evolutionary models, observed supernova expansion clouds, archaeological dating, historical records and dendrochronology. I could accept that scientists in one field might make an error rather than admit that everything they know is wrong, but for scientists in so many different and entirely unrelated fields to all make the same mistake is utterly ridiculous.

Sex disease surge in US state partly blamed on hook-up apps

Suricou Raven

Where does it say that? Heterosexual transmission overlook homosexual a long time ago, and far outpaces it now.

Perhaps it means 'within the US.' That sounds more plausible.

If you think gays have no other options, your sexual imagination is very limited. Oral sex works perfectly well regardless of gender.

Suricou Raven

I too am very surprised at this - and if this story is picked up by wider news sites, I expect the apps to gain in popularity.

Suricou Raven

Trying to stop STIs by telling people to stop having sex is like trying to stop obesity by telling people to eat less. It would be good advice if they followed it - and very few will.

EU net neutrality could kneecap the Tories' opt-out pr0n filter plans

Suricou Raven

Re: What has Network Neutrality got to do with this

I expect they track every site you visit regardless, at the behest of GCHQ.

Suricou Raven

If a filter blocks 99% of all porn, that means the average length of a search is 100 attempts to get around it - which doesn't take very long.

Suricou Raven

Re: @PeterGriffin

Probably because he made a sensational claim without citing a source.

Wi-Fi was MEANT to be this way: Antennas and standards, 802.11 style

Suricou Raven

Physics says no: An antenna needs to be specifically sized for the intended frequency. You could use an approach like that for near-field coupling (Like those hearing-aid loops), but the frequency would have to be very low and so you're not going to move much data with that idea.

Mobiles at school could be MAKING YOUR KID MORE DUMBER

Suricou Raven

Re: They actually allow phones to be switched on during class?

It's not hard to hide a phone under a desk, or to quickly slip it beneath a book when the teacher is heading their way.

Virtual reality pr0n on the Rift? 'Why not?' says Oculus founder

Suricou Raven

I see another market open.

Third-party accessories!


HTTP/2 is now utterly officially official

Suricou Raven

Re: It should be dead anyhow

It has a few useful features:

- Server pushing. That means lower loading times on complex websites, as are fairly common these days. Rather than the browser and server playing tennis, the server can send the required resources in anticipation of the browser's need.

- Multiplexing of responses. Doesn't matter really for static content, but very useful for dynamically generated.

BARMY bio-boffins are growing DINOSAUR SNOUTS on CHICKENS

Suricou Raven

Or a cassowary. Those things are basically dinosaurs by most definitions. They haven't evolved far off the ancestral type. The only reason they don't kill people is an inability to aim higher than knee-height - against an animal of their own size, they are quite capable of slicing a target open with a kick from their sharp-clawed feet.

Suricou Raven

Re: So now ....

A different group of scientists did just the teeth years ago. This is the first lot to get the whole beak.

Suricou Raven

Re: It tastes just like chicken

There is no need to prove it wasn't: A world in which it is true is indistinguishable from a world in which it is false, and so the question can have no defined answer. Not only can it not be proven or disproven by practical means, it cannot be answered by any means.

All-Russian 'Elbrus' PCs and servers go on sale

Suricou Raven

Re: A decent market

Don't think it's a commie thing: America has had that in law since the Buy American Act of 1933, later strengthened in specific areas by laws such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 and the Surface Transportation Assistance Act 1982.

They specify that the government needs to make all purchases from American companies by preference, even if they are more expensive. Only if no American company can be found to supply the required item can they consider importing from another country. It's a blatant form of protectionism.

Hey! Want a FREE TOASTER that makes BITCOIN? What? You DO?

Suricou Raven

Re: Erm....

I'd use the chip from an old Yellowjacket or similar. About 2GH/s on 2.5W, as it runs straight off USB, and really cheap now if you buy second-hand, as everyone is dumping them in favor or more efficient modern chips.

Suricou Raven

Re: Free Leccy

Revise plan: Off-grid solar gives free power in excess. You need to have enough capacity to run on a cloudy day in winter, which means you have an excess in summer and when the weather is better. BC mining can be turned on and off with ease, so it might make some level of maybe-sense to use it as a 'dump load' - a place to productively dispose of excess power when the batteries are full and the sun is shining. Truly 'free' power, because it would only go to waste otherwise.

Suricou Raven

Re: Losing money for the consumer

Could be a good deal. Get your toaster dirt cheap, then open it up and cut the power lines to the miner and communications chips.

Suricou Raven

"Finding the winning hash when mining on your own is purely probabilistic, so if you have a miner capable of 350GH/s, your chance of finding the winning hash for any block is 1 in 1,000,000."

A problem reduced by mining pools, which are essential for all but the largest miners now. It's basically the same as a lottery pool: Everyone agrees to donate their hashing capacity into a common pot, and split the winnings according to the ratio of their contributions. Your expected payout is almost the same (Less around a 1% fee for the pool manager), but it comes in small and regular payments rather than a once-in-a-blue-moon jackpot when you manage to score a valid block.

Suricou Raven

Re: Where does the electricity go?

I remember reading about another company (Probably on the Reg) trying to make a model out of combined heat and compute service: Get a cloudy rack in your office building to warm the place up. It's exactly as efficient as an electric heater (ie, 100%, by conservation). They manage all the software stuff and pay you a monthly fee. They don't pay for the power, so from the customer's expensive it's just a rather bulky electric space-heater that sends a bank deposit each month.

OMFG – Emojis are killing off traditional 'net slang

Suricou Raven

Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

They have space in Unicode now - that's what makes them interoperable. Mostly. There's a lag between a manufacturer (Usually Apple) introducing some new symbols and the unicode standardisation process.

Telco heavyweights pass packets in NFV demo

Suricou Raven

I can see some applications for this, and I'm not sure I like them.

This would make it much easier to offer services on a per-customer basis: You can just tag traffic at the customer's modem or using a simple one-off IP address lookup when it enters your network, and then easily shunt it around through whatever optional extras they have asked/paid for.

It'll be especially handy for those new porn filters the government has been firmly nudging towards - you can use tags to send only the traffic for the filtered customers through the proxy, rather than having to use some hideously ugly load-balancer mess to try to keep up with the flows using only the IP address. That makes it more affordable to offer fine-grained control.

Or you could use it to supply some 'value added' services, like transparent HTTP-inspecting antivirus.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – blisteringly big banter, brawls and brio

Suricou Raven

Release date?

When does it come out on 720p torrent?

Windows 10 Device Guard: Microsoft's effort to keep malware off PCs

Suricou Raven

Re: My first thought

4) Terms of acceptability.

'Leaked' EU digi wish list: Junkets for Eurocrats, sops to copyright and telcos

Suricou Raven

Re: VAT?

VAT is not sales tax. They both look the same from the end-purchaser's perspective, but the accounting behind them in the supply chain is different.

Suricou Raven

They actually saved money - that's why they did it - because the new physical limit means they don't need to license Sky's expensive enryption and DRM system.

AssangeTM ♥s dictator Kim Jong-un say Sony Pictures' lawyers

Suricou Raven

My favorites include the things relating to Dr Oz - he who has recently faced professional condemnation for pushing quackery in order to improve his audience appeal. Sony's strategy documents shed more light on this - they don't have 'smoking gun' instructing him to lie, but they do record that he was directed to promote more stories about 'health products' because they tend to get higher ratings, and warned that he was running too many weight-loss segments that made his audience feel fat and less likely to watch more.

Google has tested its speedy QUIC internet protocol on YOU – and the early results are in

Suricou Raven

Oh, joy.

Another session of firewall-and-filter configuring.

Go for a spin on Record Store Day: Lifting the lid on vinyl, CD and tape

Suricou Raven

Digitise vinyl? It's easier to just download it off a torrent site.

The Internet of things is great until it blows up your house

Suricou Raven

Re: ... IoT devices generally have no real world advantage over their dumb counterparts ...

I've been thinking the same. I came up with some very niche luxuries, but nothing life-changing.

- Preemptive heating: Check the weather forecast and act accordingly.

- The 'house is empty' button. Press to turn off all lights, sound systems, games consoles and TVs, and reduce heating. Checks with the front door too - if the door doesn't confirm proper closure within one minute, texts you to remind you to close it.

Suricou Raven

You can simplify it further - just put the label in a human-readable format, then the iron needs no extra hardware. The operator just has to glance at the label and turn a dial.

Nvidia's GTX 900 cards lock out open-source Linux devs yet again

Suricou Raven

Perhaps there is another problem with the business model.

Nvidia sells cards that can be swapped between performance level with a firmware trick. Market segmentation at work: They deliberately cripple their low-cost products in order to prevent them from competing with the much-higher-margin high-performance parts. I understand the business case, but it still has the whiff of something slimy about it - especially when Nvidia have to go to the further measure of deliberately building in anti-tamper measures with the express purpose of stopping their customers from using their purchases to their full potential.

Still, it's not just Nvidia - it's really a very common practice throughout the industry. I've seen plenty of RAID cards that won't enable write caching unless you install a crypto-authenticated £300 battery, and the console gaming industry would be quite different if manufacturers couldn't use such measures to shift the effective cost from console to games. Goes all the way back to the old mainframes, which I am vaguely aware sometimes shiped with features disabled until the vendor was paid extra to remove the limiters. I expect AMD does the same.

This open-source personal crypto-key vault wants two things: To make the web safer ... and your donations

Suricou Raven


Seems a bit overkill for this. You don't need high-performance for this - you're limited by that serial link anyway. You could do this with a USB-serial converter, a PIC chip, and a crude hardware RNG. Cost about five quid, mass-produced.

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