* Posts by Suricou Raven

1582 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign

Suricou Raven

I work with children. It's very common to hear them now talk about the 'hashtag key.' I think most of them had never had reason to think of the symbol until twitter repurposed it.

US Marshals seek buyer for Silk Road's Bitcoin

Suricou Raven

Doing it wrong.

Selling them all off at once means few people could afford to participate, resulting in them getting a below-optimal price.

A better approach would be to break them into many auctions of maybe a hundred coins each.

Suricou Raven

Re: Um, what?

With ease. Simply delete the wallet file.

Yes. Facebook will KNOW you've been browsing for smut

Suricou Raven


How do we go about feeding it bad data? Some sort of browser plugin?

I don't trust them to respect an opt-out.

Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant cancelled

Suricou Raven

Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

Methane doesn't last long in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide hangs around until a plant gets rid of it. CO2 is actually a very weak greenhouse gas, it just makes up for that by sheer quantity and persistence.

Panasas: Avoid lengthy RAID re-builds - use our dodgy-file tart-up tech

Suricou Raven

HE6 drives?

Have you seen the price of those things?

For some enterprise users, money seems to be no object.

Frikkin' laser beams on its head: Formlabs announces Form 1+

Suricou Raven

Re: It's nice, but one missing feature.

Well, I'm sold. But I'll hold off until the price falls - I'm having quite enough fun with my cheap-but-effective K8200. The print quality isn't the best, but it'll do.

Suricou Raven

Re: erm it's all well and good but...

No, but the FDM printers can. Working with exotic materials is rather fiddly, but people have managed to get them printing sugar paste. Load one up with cake mix and put a hot air gun on the end and it should be doable.

Suricou Raven

It's nice, but one missing feature.

Where are the cheap chinese knock-off refills?

A thing like this is a long-term investment. That means I'd want to see many manufacturers competing to provide the resin. This isn't just to drive down prices, but also an assurance that even of the manufacturer goes bankrupt in a few years or shuts down production of resin in order to drive people to a newer successor product there will still be a supply of refills.

The Force of tax breaks brings Star Wars filming to Blighty

Suricou Raven

Filmed in the UK for the tax breaks,

But mostly filmed in front of a green screen.

Google's URL-hiding 'origin chip' is 'backburnered'

Suricou Raven

Re: As if it'll work.

On further thought, it would actually work for case 1. Still leaves the problem of 2. though. And case 1 only works by exploiting user ignorance.

Suricou Raven

As if it'll work.

1. http://facebook.com:view.php@scummydomain.net/sucker.html.

2. Homoglyph attacks in IDN remain an unresolved issue anyway.

Cheap, backwards-compatible PCIe 4.0 on track for 2015 2016

Suricou Raven

Can we expect dirty patent fights?

Will this be one of those standards like DLNA where every member tries to include features that can only be implemented using patents they own?

UK govt preps World War 2 energy rationing to keep the lights on

Suricou Raven

Chuck it down an ocean trench or throw it down a deep hole and seal it off. The volume of waste is small enough that 'hide and forget' is a viable approach.

Suricou Raven

Re: Let's get Fracking

Old is also strategically problematic. Oil comes from the middle east (they hate us) and Russia (They hate us). Gas comes from Russia (they hate us). Not a good thing to depend for energy upon countries which are slightly hostile now, and may be at open war in ten or fifty years.

Massive news in the micro-world: a hexaquark particle

Suricou Raven


10e-23 seconds? Cool fodder for the theorists to play with, though.

DOCX disaster recovery: How I rescued my wife from XM-HELL

Suricou Raven

Re: Unusual error

That thing has nothing to do with XML at all. It just extracts truncated ZIP files. When it comes to actually making some sense of the half-a-document you get from it, you're on your own! In many cases, even recovering nothing but the textual content of a document is still valuable.

Suricou Raven

Unusual error

By far the most common corruption I've found is in the form of truncation - people yanking out their USB sticks before the file is fully written. The ZIP container stores the index at the end of the file, so you can't even open it unless it's all there. After finding every so-called document and zip recovery utility quite useless, I just wrote my own one. It'll let you recover at least partial contents of the zip, hopefully including the document.xml from which raw, unformatted text can be easily extracted.

Then I just pass it back to the user and tell them to fix the layout and unmount properly next time.

https://birds-are-nice.me/programming/zipfilerecover.shtml - if anyone ever needs it.

UK govt 'tearing up road laws' for Google's self-driving cars: The truth

Suricou Raven

Chaos ahead

No matter what happens with the regulatory side, what about civil law? It's going to take a decade to work out the liabilities.

Kim Dotcom: You give me proof of govt corruption in my case, I give you millions

Suricou Raven

Re: UKIP ranter I expect

"What you have forgotten is that Hollywood studios generally do pay the people who do the work."

When they have to. They invented 'hollywood accounting.'

There's a reason you always see films reported as 'Grossed $X on a budget of $Y.' Because on paper, almost every film loses money. If there's no profit there's no corporation tax, and you can get away with lower royalty payments.

Avatar? Harry Potter? Star Wars (New, not sure about old)? All lost money, officially.

Redmond is patching Windows 8 but NOT Windows 7, say security bods

Suricou Raven

But wouldn't any software developed to use these functions then be unable to run on Windows 7? Perhaps that is Microsoft's real motivation. It will increase the amount of 'Windows 8 only' software developed.

China puts Windows 8 on TV, screams: 'SECURITY, GET IT OUT OF HERE!'

Suricou Raven

Re: Software piracy?

You assume it's commercial. They'd probably be quite willing to spend tax money on developing the software and giving it away free within China if doing to brought economic benefits greater than the development cost.

Queen's Speech: Computer Misuse Act to be amended, tougher sentences planned

Suricou Raven

I sense ambiguously worded laws on the way!

Former Microsoftie becomes US ambassador, opts to swear in on KINDLE

Suricou Raven

I expect to soon read an article somewhere saying that by not sweating on the bible is spitting on American values and another demonstration of liberal hate for Christ.

How Bitcoin could become a super-sized Wayback Machine

Suricou Raven

I read the paper. They haven't.

Suricou Raven


This sounds a lot like Freenet, except with an ugly cryptocurrency thing bolted on.

No spinning rust here: Supermicro's cold data fridge is FROZEN

Suricou Raven

Re: No iron in hard disks


Congressman pitches bill to disarm FCC in net neutrality warfare

Suricou Raven

Degraded service, for a start, as it creates a perverse incentive. If ISP's 'regular' traffic is delivered too well, there's no reason any service provider would pay up for prioritisation. So it removes any incentive for the ISP to upgrade their infrastructure.

Think of it as the 'regular' and 'premium' sandwiches at a shop. There's a higher margin on the premium sandwiches, so the shop would rather sell those - but if the regulars are too tasty, who would pay extra for a premium? So the shop has to make sure the regular sandwiches are tasty, but not *too* tasty, so that anyone who can afford it will pay for the premium instead.

In broader terms, it also creates a barrier to entry that prevents innovation. The big sites and services that we have today could afford to pay up for priority class, but startups could not, placing them at a disadvantage.

Congress divorces NIST and NSA

Suricou Raven

We can trust some algorithms. The ones the NSA recormends to the US DoD and other important government agencies.

If the NSA could break them, then the NSA would know that China is probably well on the way to breaking them, and if the NSA knew that then they wouldn't be advising the rest of the US government to use them - especially the military side.

Of course, civilian implimentations of those algorithms may still contain deliberate insecurity and back doors.

CERN: Build terabit networks or the Higgs gets it!

Suricou Raven

“operate, in a high-radiation, high magnetic field environment, at bandwidths exceeding 100Gbit/s and without losing a single frame”

Sometimes, you've just got to put up with the fiber trailing across the room.

Privacy International probes GCHQ's mouse fetish

Suricou Raven

It's not that complicated.

GCHQ wanted to send a message. Their way to do that was to make their destruction as expensive and inconvenient as possible. They ordered the over-destruction simply to raise the bill for replacing it all and cause as much disruption to business as possible while new equipment was obtained.

Senate decides patent reform is just too much work, waves white flag

Suricou Raven

You want to reform?

How about requiring the patent office actually examine those patents, rather than just rubber-stamping them all 'approved' after a ten-second skim-read?

Amazon Prime hot air drone service goes a-recruiting

Suricou Raven

Re: I can't see this being useful for consumers

I can imagine something of a niche in medicine. There are certain very rare fluids which hospitals rarely need, but if they do need must be available immediately. Antivenoms, for one. So incorporate drones into stock management. A patient comes into A&E with a snake bite, doctors identify the snake as the rare pin-striped bugle-snake, but they have no antivenom - so the stock system determines that another hospital nearby has some. Thirty minutes away by car, but five minutes as the drone flies.

Suricou Raven

Re: The thing with drones...

Drones don't have the range for rural use, though.

Son of ACTA pours fuel on IP trade fire

Suricou Raven

Of course it's dodgy.

If it wasn't full of objectionable things, it wouldn't be negotiated in secrecy. If it is being hidden, then there must be something to hide.

Bitcoin blockchain allegedly infected by ancient 'Stoned' virus

Suricou Raven

This is not good.

Just coincidence, and the million monkeys effect - but it is possible to put data into the blockchain, if you've enough processing power or a whole lot of luck. That means this could be done deliberately, and is the type of prank many people might like.

The good news is that the blockchain is separate from private keys, so even if your AV wipes the file your coins will stll be safe. You'll just have to download it all again.

Autodesk to release 'open' 3D printer

Suricou Raven

Re: Smooth models

Stereolithographic printers do indeed have those advantages. Smoother, higher detail, better able to handle overhangs.

They do have two disadvantages, though. The printers are more expensive ($5000 is actually amazingly cheap) and they require feeding with a quite exotic chemical concoction - a goo which is not only expensive to make, but has a shelf life. Extrusion printers, the more common type, just need PLA or ABS plastic - cheap as dirt.

Mozilla agrees to add DRM support to Firefox – under protest

Suricou Raven

Except that, for the reasons mentioned in my previous post, they won't trust the DRM. The music industry took years to learn that they could make do with 'good enough' DRM - it doesn't have to be designed to defeat the combined efforts of all the world's bored programmers, hardware hackers and rival company engineers. This is a lesson the movie industry has yet to learn, and a super-locked-down DRM scheme can't be run as a sandboxed plugin. There would be no way it could be sure the hardware, OS, drivers and sandbox were all free of tampering.

Suricou Raven

Sandbox? How does that work?

A DRM plugin needs low-level access in order to function. It needs to be able to get driver IDs so it can be sure the sound drivers aren't actually a loopback recorder, it needs to be able to check hardware IDs to determine which computer it is on, it needs low-level OS and graphics API calls to prevent the use of screen recorders or just printscreen on documents. A DRM program running in a sandbox cannot even be remotely effective.

Not that they are very effective even without that limitation.

Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements

Suricou Raven

Re: Analogue, and it not being digital... and why 192k could be useful, not audible

I was under the impression that 48KHz can be a little better because it gives you more room for filter design. Real-world low-pass filters are never a sharp cutoff, ao that extra 4KHz translates to an extra 2KHz space to work with in the filter design.

Boeing shows off 7-4-heaven SPACEPLANE-for-tourists concept

Suricou Raven

Re: Less than 12 parsecs?

About 1 ISS.

Get BENT: Flexy supercapacitor breaks records

Suricou Raven

The clothing is a bad idea. As soon as you tear the fabric in any way, it'd catch fire.

It's still good tech, though. Fold it up and stick it in a protective box and you've potentially got a replacement for the common battery. Supercaps are purely electrical devices, not electrochemical, which means they don't gradually lose capacity over a couple of years - plus they'll work from sub-freezing to near-boiling temperatures.

Hey, operators... 'member our edge-of-SPAAACE interwebs balloons? Help! - Google

Suricou Raven

Re: Noble idea runs smack into geopolitics

That, and that his transmission system was horrifically inefficient. Lighting up those bulbs in a field was impressive - but he needed an entire power station to run the transmitter.

Copyright minister: Those missing TWO copyright exceptions? We're still on track

Suricou Raven

Re: So let me get this straight...

Actually, it's worse than that. The DVD and Blu-ray are DRMed: Under the EUCD, members are required to criminalise the distribution (Though not possession) of tools for breaking DRM schemes, and the distribution of previously-DRMed material with the DRM stripped.

That means that you are required to pay a levy for the right to make a personal use copy, but you still can't exercise your right unless someone is willing to commit a criminal offense by giving you a DRM circumvention tool. Fortunately such things are easily found online, where that law is rarely respected.

Suricou Raven

Re: So who gets the money?

You're wrong, and it is truly crazy.

Vinyl-fetish hipsters might just have a point

Suricou Raven

Re: But, but...

They tried. There was an attempt (I forget the name) in the 'home taping is killing music' era - an inaudible signal embedded into the recording which would act as a 'do not record' flag to cassette decks, so if you tried to record your vinyl onto tape for a friend it would either record silence or stop the motor. It failed dismally: Cassette deck manufacturers had no incentive to respect the signal, detection was expensive without digital technology, and the signal was not so inaudible as intended.

SEC to investors: When dealing in Bitcoin, don't get suckered

Suricou Raven

Re: a bit like moving to the frontier

You can make a fortune if you're first there, but only the insanely reckless would gamble on something so risky as going first.

The ULTIMATE space geek accessory: Apollo 15's joystick up for sale

Suricou Raven

So many pins.

Why does a joystick need so many pins?

(Conspiracy people, start speculating about the secret experiment concealed inside)

Mozilla asks FCC to unleash the nuclear option on net neutrality

Suricou Raven

I know what is going to happen.

1. Obama will come out in support of net neutrality, though can't actually act on it very much.

2. In response to this, many republicans and conservative organisations will start opposing net neutrality.

Expect their arguments to focus on the evils of big government and regulation in general while extolling the virtues of the free market, paired with some overblown rhetoric trying to argue that net neutrality is a threat to internet freedom and the first stage in a government takeover aimed at eventually banning christianity as 'hate speech.'

Stephen Hawking: The creation of true AI could be the 'greatest event in human history'

Suricou Raven

Re: AI is already here . Dumb enough

If people can understand how it works, it isn't called AI any more. Successfully applied AI just turns into engineering.

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