* Posts by Dr_Cynic

12 posts • joined 29 Aug 2012

Connected and self-driving cars are being sent to Coventry

Dr_Cynic

The ring road itself is fine (apart possibly for junction 2) if people take notice of the signs and use it how it is designed.

As for all the silly shared space junctions inside the ring road that is a different matter.

They are also in the process of 'upgrading' a load of the traffic lights at busy junctions outside the ring road, though if anything their 'smart system' appears to have made the congestion worse at the one I pass through every day.

Yes, British F-35 engines must be sent to Turkey for overhaul

Dr_Cynic

The speed of sound in air is NOT dependent on pressure, only on temperature and composition of the air.

UK research network Janet under ongoing and persistent DDoS attack

Dr_Cynic

Changing my nameservers from the default university ones to use google's temporarily makes most sites accessible. though there are still a few which don't seem to be working.

NOxious Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal: Chief falls on sword

Dr_Cynic

I suspect all the car manufacturers are to some extent 'cheating' on the tests.

It certainly wasn't news to me that they have special modes for testing, I think I picked that up from some car forums a few years ago, though it is possible it might have been via some of my drinking mates who have dealings with the car industry.

Hi-res audio folk to introduce new rules and weed out impure noises

Dr_Cynic

Most off the shelf mass market hi-fi may not be able to reproduce higher frequencies, however it is quite easy to source tweeters that have a good frequency response up to 40 KHz which I have tested and used in the lab (admittedly not for the purposes of reproducing music).

Similarly whilst many PA power amplifiers 'boast' that they filter everything above 22 KMz it Yamaha at least make ones that are reasonably flat up to 40 Khz and have useful output almost up to 100 KHz.

Whilst you may not be able to 'hear' above ~20 KHz it is still possible for many people to percieve something well above this. My boss can tell when our air-coupled ultrasonic transducers are operating even from a distance, and they are typically operating above 160 KHz. with a high-enough burst reppetition rate I can 'hear' if they are working when close up.

There is a clear difference between my £400 hi-fi and my friend's £40,000 system, but I have better things to spend my money on. Also I have some CDs that on his system are terrible to listen to becasue of the quality of the recording, which sound fine on my system.

Samsung to boot out Shin after Galaxy S5 tanks – report

Dr_Cynic

Past Peak demand?

Couldn't possibly also be to do with the fact that most people who want a smartphone already have them, and for many there is no great incentive to upgrade as the previous models already had sufficient features and specifications for the form factor.

More cores/faster processors may look good on paper, but in practice what is more important in a mobile device is battery life.

Cameras have reached the limit of resolution that makes sense due to the limitations of the compact lenses (yes I know you could use all that excess processor power to compensate in software for the limitations of the lens if it is well characterised, but wouldn't you do better just to have a proper lens on a real camera).

Most users want something that fits easily in their pocket and are only using them to browse the web, check emails and play the odd game, for which they are fine.

Personally I'm still using an S2, and the only reason I am considering replacing it is because the usb port is a bit loose so the charger keeps poping out if you aren't careful, otherwise I would just buy a new battery and probably keep it for another 3 years.

Android update process gives malware a leg-up to evil: Indiana U

Dr_Cynic

theoretical non-event

Theoretically this might be weakness but there's 2 things stop it being a major problem.

1) the long lamented fact that manufacturers tend not to bother pushing out more than 1 os update if any to old devivces.

2) on the rare occasions that Updates to android have been available for my phone, all apps have had to be reinstalled anyway.

So in effect the only real risk is the standard one that the average user just accepts the permissions requested witout reading/understanding the implications.

Through-wall tracking of humans using Wi-Fi: Now more accurate, low power

Dr_Cynic

Re: Yep!

And lots of modern buildings use foil coated plasterboard in their construction , which will also somewhat restrict the ability to 'see' through walls.

Windows 7 'security' patch knocks out PCs, knackers antivirus tools

Dr_Cynic

Was messing up my laptop, windows event viewer was showing various dlls as having invalid hashs and was trying to do a chkdisk on every boot(but finding no problems. Kaspersky refused to start claiming corrupt database which an update fixed.

Checking another machine this morning , which also now keeps wanting to run chkdsk, but in this case kaspersky keeps claiming it's not activated, point it at the key file it is happy till next reboot at which point it has forgotten again. Looks like I will have to remove the update from that machine on Monday.

Researchers find not all EC2 instances are created equal

Dr_Cynic

Flaw in their logic

Unless , in addition to detecting the processor type, the researchers also ran benchmarking tests on the different instances their conclusions are based on probably flawed assumptions.

It is unlikely generally that any individual instance has exclusive access to a cpu, the total demand on the service will be spread around, higher specified systems will have more individual instances than the older lower spec kit.

There may be a slight advantage to being on the 'better' systems but I doubt it justifies the cost of actively searching them out , you are probably better just picking the geographically closest centre.

Sony snoozes over substandard PS Plus service

Dr_Cynic

The main problem I see is the lousy download speed which at best is less than 1/4 what I typically achieve from elsewhere, which is increasingly a problem with the ever larger offerings.

Mars rover harangues empty landscape with loudhailer

Dr_Cynic

Re: Amazing..

There is sufficient atmosphere for sound propagation. There has even been a significant amount of work investigating the use of ultrasonic anemometers to measure wind velocity on Mars initially to go on the previous NASA lander, and still being considered for the next European lander (if it ever gets off the ground as it has already been postponed numerous times).

The attenuation is higher, both due to the thin atmosphere and the absorption in carbon dioxide is higher. The acoustic velocity only depends on temperature and gas composition, pressure has no effect on velocity.

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