* Posts by Suricou Raven

1524 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Google's Schmidt predicts end to global censorship in a DECADE

Suricou Raven

That depends on him.

Google could make censorship a lot harder if they wished to, but that would incur further ire of many governments, and thus reduce potential profits in those countries.

Lavabit founder: Feds ORDERED email providers to stay open

Suricou Raven

Re: For Starters: USENET

Skip the unique identifier. Just decrypt every message posted - the ones not for you will result in a hash fail.

That way an observer can't even extract metadata. All they can tell is how many each person is sending, but not who to nor how many they receive.

3D printing: 'Third industrial revolution' or a load of old cobblers?

Suricou Raven

Re: Right now I can see only specialist application

I'm thinking of the attachments for hoover hoses.

Suricou Raven

Re: Yes, a "solution looking for a problem"

Printers. High-speed optical networking. Making those holographic anti-counterfeiting things on bank cards.

Google, Microsoft to drop child sex abuse from basic web search

Suricou Raven

I am unable to view pages two and three.

The content filter at my workplace blocks them.

Suricou Raven


Directly, no. The concern is what it could eventually lead to. Slippery slope is more then a fallacy - it's a real effect. A warning on google and a little content filtering is all very well, but once google have demonstrated they are willing to block information relating to *one* crime, there will be calls for them to block more.

Also, even if it does no harm, it isn't going to do any good either - which means it is nothing but security theater. A very publicly but utterly ineffective display to reassure the people that Something Is Being Done.

Murdoch stands between your kids and filth with BSkyB network-level SHIELD

Suricou Raven

Re: Ironic

More accurately, he is obeying the threat of a law. Cameron et al have made it apparent that they are prepared to pass a law, and can probably do it too, if the ISPs don't voluntarily filter first. From the ISPs perspective, better to install a filter to their own specification right now than have to install one written to government (ie, technologically-ignorant MP) specification in a year or two.

Microsoft, Cisco: RC4 encryption considered harmful, avoid at all costs

Suricou Raven

Re: Love to be a fly on the wall at NSA.

Not really. RC4 is still the default on a great many browsers, webservers, etc. Even if the decree goes out 'Abandon RC4!' today, it'll be a decade before it filters down. Software endures: Witness XP.

Suricou Raven

2048b is really a minimum for RSA. It's secure for now, but if you want your communications to remain secure in the future 4096b is advisable. Any more is just silly.

Brit ISPs ordered to add more movie-streaming websites to block list

Suricou Raven

They are very big for the 'casual pirates,' especially those who just want music.

POWER SOURCE that might END humanity's PROBLEMS: A step forward

Suricou Raven

Re: Science

Good point. Put aside the cold war, and it was a time of great optimism. Medical science was promising ever longer and healthier lives. Agricultural technology looked to bring a new age of plenty. Mass-manufacturing let everyone live like a king - even the poorest in society could realistically dream of soon owning a car. And there, just over the horizon, what did ever-advancing technology promise? Colonies on the moon and mars. Space travel. Mankind was going to colonise the universe - a vast space, waiting for settlement. A clear manifest destiny: Space, there for the filling.

And what did we get? The manned space program fizzled out, mass-production turns out to screw up the environment, cars trash the climate, and longer lives just meant more people with arthritis and dementia. The stars look further away today than they ever have.

Microsoft FAILS to encrypt data centre links despite NSA snooping

Suricou Raven

Re: PPTP or L2TP

This is datacenter-to-datacenter. Multi-gigabit traffic flows. Encryption isn't a matter of ticking a box, you need to install very expensive appliances at each end. Small change for microsoft, though.

Are you experienced? The Doctor Who assistants that SUFFERED the most

Suricou Raven

I want closure!

What happened to Ace? The series needs to address this.

Mandatory HTTP 2.0 encryption proposal sparks hot debate

Suricou Raven

Re: Caching

The browser can cache as per usual.

I'm not sure how much web proxies can cache these days anyway. Almost all text and HTML is dynamic.

Suricou Raven

Re: TLS needs to be fixed first

Issuing false certificates, if used in a non-targeted manner, would be trivial to detect.

Suricou Raven

Re: I must admit to having wondered

Because Back In The Day people were still using the 386 processor. Encryption costs cycles. Today every desktop is at least a dual core and even most embedded devices can comfortably handle the extra load.

How to relieve Microsoft's Surface RT piles problem

Suricou Raven

Not retarded. Strategic.

MS has a problem: The market isn't growing much any more (at least in the developed world), and it's growing increasingly hard to get people to upgrade software. Just look at the problem they had getting people off of XP - and 7 is set to show the same endurance. It's 'good enough.' No expansion and no upgrades means no money for Microsoft, unless they can fundamentally alter their business model to be less of a 'boxed software' supplier and more of a service supplier. Apple pioneered the model, and MS wants in.

Surface, Metro, the new API, the Windows app store, Windows Phone - these are all parts of the MS plan to do just that. Expand control over the devices their software runs on, and use this control as a means to extract money as a service provider. Just like Apple.

People will hate it, of course. And it'll lose a huge amount of money, at first. But Microsoft can afford to throw money at it for years - it's not waste, it's investment, supporting the unprofitable new ecosystem until it matures into something self-sustaining - and from there, matures further into their next cash-cow.


Suricou Raven

Re: bibles

China not only allows bibles: They have a state-run Christian church.

They do persecute some smaller, independent churches, but not on religious grounds. They just don't like any organisation that tries to badmouth the government, religious or no.

PUNISHMENT gluttons: The Dr Who monsters that come back for more

Suricou Raven

Re: The Master

He was good in the first reappearance. Cartoonish, yes - but also menacing. This was someone who may sing and dance, but through it projected someone ambitious enough to rule, uncaring enough to hurt anyone, sadistic enough to enjoy it - and capable enough to pull it off. His silly exterior concealed a cruel and powerful villain.

The second appearance though, when he started shooting lightning out his fingers? Yeah. Crap.

MPAA, RIAA: Kids need to learn 3 Rs – reading, writing and NO RIPPING

Suricou Raven

Re: Sponsored curriculum

Check the other cereals though - they are all just as bad, with very few exceptions.

Suricou Raven

Actually, Europe decided to establish a duration of seventy years for music. This was justified as 'harmonising' the various copyright terms of member states into one EU-wide term. The UK went along with it, but weren't responsible.

Suricou Raven

An effective new approach?

There have been two major approaches to industry-led copyright education campaigns in the past.

- Guilt. Tell the children that artists deserve to be paid for their work, and downloading is no different from stealing.

- Fear. Tell them of the harsh legal penalties they may suffer if caught.

The problem is that neither work too well. Guilt is undermined by seeing the vast wealth that successful celebrities flaunt at every chance - hard to feel sympathy when downloading music by some rapper who wears more bling than I could afford in a year. Fear doesn't work because a quick look around shows that the number of casual pirates suffering these consequences is negligable.

So this is a third approach.

- Hope. The possibility that, one day, copyright law could make *you* rich. So obey it now, and reap the rewards when you too are a successful artist.

People like hope. That's why lotteries are so successful. There are still weaknesses. Eventually the kids will work out that being an artist is much like being a professional footballer: For every mega-star there are thousands upon thousands of also-runs who need to take a real job to make ends meet, and their chances of being in the former class are rather slim even for the most talented. Which, realistically, few of them are. But even so, that hope can be a powerful thing.

Falkland Islands almost BLITZED from space by plunging European ion-rocket craft

Suricou Raven

Re: When does recycling get to space ?

While we're shooting down ideas, here's mine:

Expanding foam.

1. Launch giant can of expanding foam into either low orbit or eccentric orbit, with the periapsis just skimming the atmosphere. Have to be formulated to work in vacuum, of course.

2. Deploy foam. Now you have an absolutely huge *blob* of foam in orbit. Low density. High volume.

3. Lots of tiny bits of junk - screws, paint flakes, etc - and some of the larger bits like tools collide during the few years the Blob is in service. Thus they either get embedded, or smashed into an eccentric orbit too.

4. With such a huge cross-sectional area, the blob will eventually (months to a decade or more, depending on orbit) be slowed down by friction and reenter along with the payload of collected debris, to burn up harmlessly. As will any small pieces that break off during collisions.

Suricou Raven

Re: Two Questions

On airless bodies, that's easy: A low orbit becomes a suborbital trajectory at the point when the orbital path intersects the surface.

It's vaguer with an atmosphere though, as a low enough orbit will inevitably lose enough velocity to aerobrakeing to turn into an intersect.

Microsoft won't run Skype in China - a new JV partner awaits

Suricou Raven

Trust no-one.

If you want secure communications, the only way you're getting it is encryption - and of a form where only the recipient has the key. There are a lot of programs that try to make this easy. I don't know any that do video-chat, but I'm sure they exist.

Calling all PSYCHICS and ball-gazers: Can YOU predict a Microsoft strategy?

Suricou Raven

Return on Micro$oft.

During the 90s through early 2000's, Microsoft became infamous for their very aggressive approach to business and the use of all manner of agreements and technical tricks of dubious legality to hurt any perceived competitors. This was when they were commonly nicknamed 'Micro$oft,' and built a sizeable portion of the company based upon a combination of bundling software with windows and deliberate incompatibilities.

Then they relented a bit and - to some extent - begun to embrace open standards and interoperability.

Right now, that decision is coming back to bite them - and if they are sensible, they may well return to the tricks of the bad old days. The tricks that made them strong, an unassailable force of a company. They still hold dominant position on office suites and desktop OS, and will do what it takes to protect that dominance.

So my prediction for the coming years: More underhanded trickery, behind-the-scenes dealing, proprietary technologies, refusal to support properly any standard they don't own in some way and lots of technologies claimed to be for 'security' that just happen to consider anything non-Microsoft a danger, like Secure Boot. Classic Microsoft - a return to the tactics of the past.

Martian MOM LAYS another EGG in SPACE - but it's not big enough

Suricou Raven

Looks familiar.

I run that route in Kerbal Space Program.

Oooh! My NAUGHTY SKIRT keeps riding up! Hello, INTERNET EXPLORER

Suricou Raven

It's not as bad as it was.

The looming issue is audio and video codecs. Microsoft will only support codecs they hold the patents on, not wanting to lend aid to their competitors. While other browsers (Safari excluded) are unable to support the codecs Microsoft does hold patents on, either because they can't afford the license of because the license terms are not compatible with the open-source model.

Right now, if you want to use the new HTML5 video (Which is in every possible way an improvement over the horrors of flash) you need to have two different versions encoded and uploaded, at least: The IE one (mp3 and h264 in an mp4 container) and the everyone-else one (Webm with vorbis, usually). It gets a lot worse if you want to deal with device profiles too - you can mange without, but only by sacrificing either file size or compatibility.

Suricou Raven

Re: Use the proper terminology

Anime: An English word derived from a Japanese word derived from a French word derived from an English word derived from another English word derived from a Latin word.

At this point, I'm surprised there are still two syllables left in common with the starting point.

New wonder slab slurps Wi-Fi, converts it into juice for gadgets, boast boffins

Suricou Raven

Crystal radios have an antenna that can double as a washing line.

Planet hopper: The Earthly destinations of Doctor Who

Suricou Raven

Re: How Much Does It Matter

Planet, no... but there is one episode of the revived series which uses a small amount of footage shot on the moon.

You've been arrested for computer crime: Here's what happens next

Suricou Raven

So 1. Is the traditional bathtime photo or beach photo in swimsuit, that lurks in photo albums for a decade ready for parents to show it to the boy/girlfriend?

WAIT! What's that sound? It's Intel stomping into the 'Internet of Things'

Suricou Raven

Re: Stop......+1

ARM chips are overkill for a washing machine. That's more a job for something like a PIC.

Tim Cook stands firmly behind pro-LGBT, anti-discrimination law

Suricou Raven

Re: is it 'cause I is black

Obama is in the region where white people consider him black, but black people consider him white.

Suricou Raven

Re: What about women, Stan?

Checked. It does. Just as for race. ENDA just adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list.

It's got a religious exemption, of course - churches aren't affected.

Suricou Raven

And religion.

Don't forget religion - I'm not sure about the federal level, but most states certainly prohibit employment or public accommodation discrimination on grounds of religion. This is important, because it means whenever a religious group starts complaining about gays being given 'special rights' or claiming that their own freedoms are being infringed by being forced to 'endorse sin,' you are perfectly justified in accusing them of hypocrisy.

Bucket? Check. Toilet plunger? Check. El Reg's 50 years of Doctor Who

Suricou Raven

The Eye has been depicted many ways in series old and new. He's even managed to break a piece off (a crystal) somehow, and on another occasion entered it. The fan interpretation is that the Eye isn't simply a physical object, but more of a region of space-time. Like the tardis, it may be bigger on the inside, and being trans-dimensional pieces that appear disconnected in 3-space may still be a part of it.

It's also speculated the Eye in the tardis, the big one on Gallifrey and the ones in all other tardisses are actually one and the same - a many-dimensional structure which just intersects our space at those locations.

Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)

Suricou Raven

In 1000 years, political television and opinion columns will have lasted longer in cultural impact than the dull stories of facts. They will remember the 20th century as the time when the mighty and rightous armies of America slew the evil empire of the Nazis, and fought an epic battle with the communist masters of deception and their European puppets, the Un.

Suricou Raven

Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing

You walk down a path. You see a snail, slowly crawling across the concrete. Lost. Unaware of where it is going. So you pick it up and place it down on the far side.

You are passing a planetary system on a routine survey when you find some strange creatures erecting monuments. Odd things. The monuments are meaningless, but they seem important to the creatures, so you spend a few days out from your travel to help them.

Adobe users' purloined passwords were pathetic

Suricou Raven

The reference.

Has no-one made the obvious reference yet?

Go on. Someone. You know you want to.

BitTorrent seeks patent on distributed storage technology

Suricou Raven

Pirates would get this.

This bears close similarity to the error correction used by PAR/PAR2 files, which have been a standard practice on Usenet for years.

Cyber-terrorists? Pah! Superhero protesters were a bigger threat to London Olympics

Suricou Raven

"212 million cyber attacks"

Are they counting every ICMP ECHO separately?

HP 100TB Memristor drives by 2018 – if you're lucky, admits tech titan

Suricou Raven

Would they even sell it?

Which is best:

- One 1000TB mram, one 1000TB hot mirror mram, one storage controller appliance.

- One thousand 1TB 2.5" drives, another hundred in hot spares and redundant devices, a much more sophisticated storage controller appliance with half a terabyte of DDR or flash caching?

If HP get the tech working, they'd have to either price it insanely high or limit device capacities to avoid outcompeting themselves. The only good point for them is that HP don't manufacture the physical drives themselves, just resell them.

Toshiba unveils SSD: Claims hard-as-nails kit has the write stuff

Suricou Raven

No price?

I get the impression this is one of those 'if you have to ask, you can't afford it' things.

Want to keep the users happy? Don't call them users for a start

Suricou Raven

1. Never trust the user.

2. Never let the user realise you don't trust them.

Open-source hardware hacking effort 'smacked down' by USB overlords

Suricou Raven


USB 1.1 came out in 1996. US patent term is 20 years. So any essential patents must expire by 2016. Give it a couple more years, and that problem will be solved. So long as you don't need USB2.0. Patent terms have so far avoided the state of perpetual extension that became of copyright.

There's still the possibility that a troll might have a post-1996 patent which they claim is still essential to USB. Such a claim could be disproven by pointing to USB as prior art, but the legal costs in fighting even this trivial-to-win case are going to be far more than most open-source projects can afford. Also, you'd have to be very careful about not including any post-1996 revisions that might include patented technology.

Please, PLEASE, Skype... Don't kill our apps and headsets, plead devs

Suricou Raven

Re: 1 out of 3 aint bad.

I've seen 'skype phones' that function not just as USB audio devices, but also have a keypad for calling phone numbers, and will automatically answer an incoming skype call when lifted. I imagine the API is for those.

Reply-all email lightning storm STRIKES TWICE at Cisco

Suricou Raven


There's an old story of the 'email laser' said to have occured at IBM, back in the early days of email.

Employee A went on holiday, setting an email rule to forward all email to his co-worker, Employee B.

Employee B, however, was also away - and set an email rule to reply to all incoming email with an out-of-office message.

As the rule was enforced by the email server, there was no network delay - the rate of back-and-forthing was limited only by the email server's own processor speed. The problem was noticed when it ran out of disk space.

Google fires fresh salvo in war on FILTH: Chrome Supervised Users

Suricou Raven

Well, this should hold the kids away from their image boards. For about ten minutes. At the most. That's optimistic.

Unsupervised Brit kids are meeting STRANGERS from the INTERNET

Suricou Raven

Re: Data appears to be mixed up.

Publishers have to aim carefully on age ratings. Too low and the game can be 'uncool' and less desireable, but too high and the difficulty of getting it can cut into the sales. Worst of all, get it into the top rankings and many retailers will just refuse to stock it, which is the commercial kiss of death. It's practically impossible to make money off an AO-rated game in the US just because no matter how much people want to play it, many won't have anywhere local that dares sell it.

The rating systems can be silly. The US ESRB system in particular is very accepting of violence but very strict about sexual content. Look at the big fuss about GTA:SA and the 'Hot Coffee' hack. The game glorified violence and gang culture, provided an incentive to gun down innocent people, made a mockery of law enforcement and encouraged dangerous driving. Murder, mayhem, theft and guns-a-plenty - all that and it got an M rating. But as soon as it was revealed that there was a little sexual mini-game left on the disc that could only be accessed by patching the executable, and didn't even feature any nudity, it was instantly re-rated as AO.

Running down people on the road in your stolen car? No problem! Crudely animated clothed sex that can only be reached by hacking? Think of the children!

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018