* Posts by swissrobin

52 posts • joined 22 Jun 2013

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Hey hipsters: Tabs are so last year, fat phones are where it's at

swissrobin

Re: Phablets - "Hey look at me!'

I am sure your 'phone is discrete but is it discreet?

Virgin Media blocks 'wankers' from permissible passwords

swissrobin

TalkTalk allow you to set your telephone password on the website (you need to know the bank account number you pay the DD from and the telephone number they provide ADSL on). I wonder if the virgin case being discussed here is the same thing - clearly they have to be able to retireve the password in plain text if the call centre are going to ask you for it.

Handy on the occasion I had to use it, but clearly if you chuck your bank statements and telephone bills in the bin then anybody else could have this information too (not that I care, but those of a tin foil hat persuasion might).

I did wonder at the time whether I should make the password "IWantAMAC", or a ruder equivalent, prior to calling them for a MAC :-)

Tim Cook: 'I'd call what's going on in fondleslabs a speed bump'

swissrobin
Happy

Re: Tim, choose one or more from the definition of "denial"

Very funny

Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd

swissrobin

Re: DOA

The Synology RS814 is a Marvel 1.3GHz CPU and it can sustain full gigabit bandwidth read/write to its drives. So I am not convinced your somewhat arbitrary assertion is correct.

What do we want? CAT VIDEOS! How do we get them? TOR!

swissrobin

They're just sick and fed up of seeing terrorists use encryption to hide their plans!

I don't follow this much, but I don't recall anyone showing that terrorists had used encryption to hide their plans, nor that the NSA has foiled any such plans by decrypting sneaky terrorist plans.

Of course most of my knowledge on how terrorists organize themselves comes from Four Lions, so probably not representative.

"people who are _accused_ of bombing marathons get the right to silence"

Isn't that the point of being accused rather than guilty - your accusers have to prove your guilt and you don't have to help them do it?

Toshiba's CB30-102 13.3in Chromebook – imagine a tablet with a keyboard

swissrobin

Re: One of these things is not like the other

They are like each other. They are just not the same as each other. Nobody said they were.

No such luck: Apple, Samsung say peace talks are off – way off

swissrobin

Re: And the winners are...

If they're not too depressed to notice ....

Google is tech industry and world's most valuable brand as Apple rots

swissrobin

Re: Apple "rots"? The Reg is losing all credibility

Surely it was just taking some liberty to be able to talk about rotten apples ... not exactly side splitting, but hardly constitutes a jihad.

You'll hate Google's experimental Chrome UI, but so will phishers

swissrobin

Re: Bah!

It's nothing to do with HTTP. It's the domain name system specification that controls this part of the URL. That system is hierarchical - so if you own theregister.co.uk then you can simply start to serve up:

www.bankofscotland.co.uk.mumbojumbo.theregister.co.uk

as it's underneath your registered domain.

Earlier in the comments someone suggested the browser should intervene anytime you try to follow a link with nested TLD. I would concur this makes sense; I am slightly concerned that some of of the funkier TLDs might legitimately appear buried in legit URLs (much like Scunthorpe can match a rude word filter), but I guess you could allow the browser to be told about exceptions.

In any case it's clearly a better solution than colour coding/masking out bits of the URL.

P.S. it would also make sense to have some heuristics about url length - if it contains 20 dots, it's probably not something you want to follow, etc.

P.P.S. Also agree that the browsers, if they're going to help, need to intercept dodgy URLs before they submit the request, otherwise it is quite possibly too late (malware delivered by javascript exploit on front page of scam site).

6TB - big? Pah! Seagate plans to put out 8TB and 10TB MONSTERS

swissrobin

I think that RAID arrays are going to become a thing of the past; as drive units get bigger and bigger (and perhaps less reliable, perhaps not) you are going to see people migrate off RAID and onto the fancy data redundancy across disparate drives systems. These will cope better with drive failure and huge drive rebuild times because they are designed to do that. At 10TByte in classic RAID you're looking at 1-2 day rebuild times, ignoring whatever bandwidth is lost to the application.

Also I can see a lot more journalling going on rather than overwriting the same old block repeatedly; sort of treating the HDD like a NAND.

Maybe not though ... I'm no storage guru!

Friends don't let friends use Internet Explorer – advice from US, UK, EU

swissrobin

Re: That's all folks...

"Let me guess, you have several legacy programs that were designed for Windblows 9x/2000 and they barely run on XP, let alone Windoze Vista, 7 8.x and the vendor is no longer around."

If that really is their problem, I would have thought by now they would be running these legacy apps in some sort of sandbox - like a virtual machine or similar container type technology, hosted inside a modern version of whatever OS works best for them?

That could be an excellent product - "XP/IE6 in a wrapper" - probably a violation of the license agreement to migrate the running OS into such a wrapper, but if they choose Windows on the outside, I cannot imagine Microsoft being too bothered by that.

'Catastrophic' server disk-destroying glitch menaced Google cloud

swissrobin

Re: For the LULZ!

Pretty much agree with that.

If this was your disk in your computer and some finger trouble, s/w glitch, or similar made the disk unusable, you would need to reach for your backups.

If you didn't have backups, you would need to reach for your coat.

Doing IT for real is a pain in the backside - which is why I don't do it :-)

NSA's TURBINE robot can pump 'malware into MILLIONS of PCs'

swissrobin

Re: It's time for the next step in computer security

Practicality and security are, unfortunately, not good bed fellows. The fact that you want to read The Register means you're willing to risk your traffic to be redirected, monitored and extra payloads added and executed on your browser (JavaScript via AJAX, JPEGs, etc., are all the stuff of modern web sites but also the Achilles heal of your browser and privacy).

You can have a secure computer only when (a) you only communicate with trusted peers via pre-shared keys or similar and (b) you trust all your peers to do the same; as soon as one peer is compromised, you're all dead in the water. That's not very practical.

Your best bet is to use one-shot computers for as much traffic as you can, but that means you need another device to manage the endless list of credentials required to access your internet footprint. As the one-shot is reset after each use, any infections you pick up in one session will not compromise future sessions (but you'll also lose all your cookies - hence the extra device). You also need to be ruthless about outbound firewalling to prevent any command and control traffic heading back to the bad guys, etc., etc.

Yes, HP will still sue you if you make cartridges for its inkjet printers

swissrobin

Re: I thought a recent court case went the other way

Forget landfill Android ... landfill inkjet printers ... their current pricing model is so daft that you would be forgiven for thinking that it is indeed cheaper to throw away the whole printer and just buy a new one each time the ink runs out (as stated above). The EU, ignoring whether they give a crap about this anti-competitive behaviour, should take some note of the number of printers in HP's "recycling" program.

I wonder if you can build a house out of inkjet printers ...

BlackBerry makes its devilish Android trickery official in OS update

swissrobin

Re: Android being open source

It depends on whether you want to know how, say, the graphics hardware works or how the baseband processor works. Both of these can "see" all your data. Neither of them have source code available for a typical handset that you buy in the shops.

You cannot completely recompile the entire software stack for the phone you actually use (yes, you can make your own Android build, but it will either have no useful graphics capabilities, or you'll be using somebody's binary blob).

Consumer disks trump enterprise platters in cloudy reliability study

swissrobin

Do you know that drive failure rates follow a bathtub curve?

Hear that? It's the sound of BadBIOS wannabe chatting over air gaps

swissrobin

Re: Bandwidth?

I understand that a clean PC won't be able to get a virus by acoustic network. It's obvious that the computers can talk to each other using speakers/microphones.

I must be misunderstanding your "laws of physics" point - can you elaborate?

Vint Cerf: 'Privacy may be an ANOMALY, now over'. And it's no secret I think that

swissrobin

Re: Do not buy stuff from adverts

"So, see an advert, do not buy the stuff being advertised. At some point those smart algorithms are going to figure that one out."

They'll figure out that they need to advertise the competition's products to you ...

CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! Dell's Android PC on a stick to ship with Santa

swissrobin

Re: Power

I think the standard calls for 50mA max on the 5VDC pin, but what's the betting that Dell's monitors will supply much more than this (I am talking about their monitors that have USB ports on them). I suspect the Dell device will need 5W = 1A to operate.

Hey! You! Get outta my cloud says Google with balloon broadband patent

swissrobin

You need to read the claims - the background is interesting but can say absolutely anything (that the patent examiner thinks reasonable). It's only the claims that are being, err, claimed as novel.

There are two "root" claims, 1 and 9, both of which are predicated on something predicting a change in bandwidth demand for a specific future time period.

All their claims are based on one or other of these two and are thus more specific variants of the above - for example, as above, but with a flashing light on the balloon to indicate operational status to passing aircraft.

In other words they are not claiming that balloon data networks are novel, only those that adapt to, or are tasked with servicing, a predicted change in bandwidth demand in a certain location.

For it to be granted (ignoring bureaucratic issues), there must be no prior art teaching this aspect of it and the examiner must consider it a non-obvious combination of existing knowledge.

Of course they could just be filing it as a spoiler to prevent others from fling potentially similar patents.

Schiller: 'Almost everyone' at Apple works on iPhones - not Macs or anything

swissrobin

Re: Before this case is settled hardware within the form will be upgradeable

Agreed. Packaging high density electronics into elegant form factors does not allow for gratuitous interconnects. To make a modular system you will always have redundant stuff - stuff that is there to enable as yet undreamed of modules to work - and that makes your telephone bigger.

If there was wasted space in the handset, the handset would instead be thinner/smaller/have longer battery life.

XBOX One SHOT DEAD by Redmond following delivery blunder

swissrobin

Re: lol

There was a case of a Harry Potter book being given early to a few people (by mistake) and the publisher taking out some injunction preventing them from reading it. Obviously hard to enforce, but they still got it.

So I would guess that it would be possible to gain a similar injunction preventing you from viewing your "early" DVD, though maybe it depends on which country you're in.

Android in FOUR out of 5 new smartphones. How d'ya like dem Apples?

swissrobin

Re: FFS can we please speak English

Apparently harder than you would have liked:

For fuck's sake, it's not difficult is it?

'Burning platform' Elop: I'd SLASH and BURN stuff at Microsoft, TOO

swissrobin

Re: Effect on WP

Osborne as verb = LOL.

Bing might still exist, just be operated by somebody else with a different cost structure such that it could make some money out of it. Even if they renamed it, bing.com could still direct you to their pages. So probably small impact on WP owners.

swissrobin

I can see that ditching Xbox might make sense, strategically. A company like Amazon might be better placed to exploit the Xbox product as a channel to sell you stuff in your home.

Any future strategy for office must still involve a hosted version on the interweb, as well as native code for those that want it, regardless of host operating system. So I assume that runs on Azure (does it?).

So if Bing is somehow core to Azure then they would need to keep it - otherwise I cannot see it as worthwhile; how much better does it have to get before people would start to use it? Probably it is good enough as it is - the reason it doesn't get used is because so much traffic is forced to google, not because Bing is somehow worse at searching than Google. It's just never going to be cost effective to promote Bing to the point of profitability.

I wonder whether MS operating system group could go RedHat - allow the operating system to be installed for nothing and then charge for support; the enterprises are hooked either way and I am sure MS could work pricing out such that it's more or less the same to the average enterprise - it would remove the "MS-tax" from PC (in whatever form factor) sales which might breathe a little life into that dying market. What they lose in one-off O/S sales they might get back in support subscriptions from the enterprise at least. As the PC market declines, this must surely be a diminishing revenue stream anyway?

Of course if you want Exchange or SQL Server, those would still be licensed somehow - i.e. no free version - but again they could be licensed. Then the route is open to hosting SQL Server and Exchange on other operating systems. Net result could easily be a win (regardless of what you think of those products vs competitors).

Just thinking out aloud.

Hypersonic MEGA METEOR pulled from lake, then Russians drop it

swissrobin

Re: Surely they're ALL of this age

Ma = millions of years (M = million, a = year).

Microsoft watches iPads flood into world's offices: Right, remote desktop clients. It's time

swissrobin

Re: logical

Spelling evangelize with a Z is acceptable in British English (as well as obviously US English).

Wikipedia has an interesting piece of it, should you be interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_spelling_differences#Greek-derived_spellings

Apple iMac 27-inch 2013: An extra hundred quid for what exactly?

swissrobin

Re: Ethernet

I think the point about the 30% is that by not providing an optical drive they might be driving people towards online purchase of movies, box sets, etc. Apple would make zero out of a doovde/blurry sale (Amazon, OTOH ...) whilst they make some % of any download from iTunes, which is probably the download place of choice for iMac owners.

Whether or not it's true, I don't know, but that is the point that was being made.

As for leaving out ethernet, it's debatable. For an office environment full of creatives copying around big files you have the think WiFi bandwidth, which is inherently shared between everyone on the same channel whether or not they happen to be in your office/company, is going to be a squeeze.

A cabled Gigabit ethernet connection will have much higher limits.

I would certainly want an ethernet connection for a desktop office machine.

Apple's new non-feline Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, ready to go

swissrobin

Re: Worthwhile Features?

Grr. It's vs its ... apologies.

swissrobin

Re: Worthwhile Features?

Actually much of the wasted power in the CPU goes on static power which can only be mitigated by turning down the voltage. So it turns out to be more effective to run the CPU more-or-less flat out until you've completed present workload, then halt CPU and wind the supply voltage down to minimum that will maintain state whilst waiting for an event that requires servicing. Reverse the sequence to resume processing. I would guess that the mac hardware products have this little trick completely optimized already.

I don't know what App Nap is.

I am a little more skeptical about the VM impact of compressed pages.

There are certain obvious "compressions" which are really de-duplications, but I assume that Mac OS X already does these (i.e. only load the code portion of a shared library once and map it into the process space of each executable that's using it)

To make it work well with dirty pages, you would need a particular type of workload that leant itself to this - the most obvious being that you are using 6 applications but each one is full screen so that when you application switch (alt-tab?) between them the ex-active one's dirty pages will become eligible for compression and the newly-active one will cause it's pages to be decompressed (the latter forcing the former). This might be how people use Macs, in which case fair enough.

Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 3: HOT CURVES – the 'gold grill' of smartphone bling

swissrobin

Re: I bought my last mobile phone two years ago

Without re-reading all of the comments and the article, I think the tone of both is mockery-to-meh on the interested in buying it scale.

So whilst you might not belong here, it's not because of your apparent indifference to this particular product.

Google Nexus 7 2013: Fondledroids, THE 7-inch slab has arrived

swissrobin

Re: Razor thin margins - @Steve Todd

Manufacturers do "bin" parts for temperature and speed grades, but I don't know of any silicon manufacturer that produces parts that are in some way not to spec and then sells them "cheap". So the 1.5GHz Industrial temperature range part will be rarer (and thus more expensive) than the 0-70c 1.0GHz consumer spec part.

I do know that some unscrupulous people manage to get their hands on "failed" parts, package them and sell them as new in counterfeit packaging - SD cards are a classic example of this.

If you have evidence of a silicon manufacturer that sells sub-standard chips cheap, please tell us about it as it would be very interesting to know who and what products it affects?

Headmaster calls cops, tries to dash pupil's uni dreams - over a BLOG

swissrobin

Re: Truth or consequences

Actually, the university is very unlikely to give a flying F word.

Acorn’s would-be ZX Spectrum killer, the Electron, is 30

swissrobin

Re: The electron taught me a real lesson

Surely the real optimization would be to just render a bitmap of the finished crystal to the screen? :-)

Pointless optimizations are my pet hate :-) Leave the code doing the obvious thing until such time as it doesn't run fast enough, then go and optimize it, if you must.

I like all the RISCOS links and chat - I am too old to have had RISCOS whilst I was a school boy - we had a Commodore Pet and a 380Z :-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_pet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_Machines_380Z

So I think I'll get hold of a Pi and give it a whirl :-)

Top 10 Steve Ballmer quotes: '%#&@!!' and so much more

swissrobin

Re: One Smart Thing

"Meh. Being in technology, I actually don't know of that many businesses that use Microsoft."

There may be appetite for non-MS stuff in tech companies, but move into the wider world of non-tech business and you'll find MS most everywhere.

Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA

swissrobin

Re: Bin Laden

Actually, wasn't he just "at home" when they finally "found" him?

swissrobin

Re: But, but...

"or better yet, build your own OS from the ground up with security as the main focus."

For most of us that really means "use pencil and paper"

IBM opens up Power chips, ARM-style, to take on Chipzilla

swissrobin

Re: POWER did rule in the HPC field.

Sure, but that's thanks to the algorithms and engineers that deployed and analysed them. The PowerPC is just another calculator - it's not like it's 10x or 100x faster than another calculator built in the same era. So whether Rolls Royce use a PowerPC or x86 "super" computer to do the number crunching isn't going to change the fact that you can enjoy a quiet flight.

Unless of course you really are saying that the PowerPC is the only CPU that we can do this number crunching on in reasonable time .. . in which case tell me more.

swissrobin

Re: POWER did rule in the HPC field.

In the "proper" computer market I would guess that PowerPC is as good as anything else, but I am struggling to see why anybody would need to do anything dramatically different than what IBM is already doing - i.e. more clocks/more cores/more cache/keep up with memory and peripheral I/O bus developments. From a s/w perspective I would imagine that most things Linux will either "just work" or can be made to work with some effort.

For those old enough to remember, PowerPC was always a shared architecture - like Open but with just two players - IBM and Motorola. Motorola became Freescale along the way but still makes and sells these chips in a wide variety of configurations - some SoC like, some host processor like. They appear not to be innovating there any more, though, with all their new chips being ARM (full range of Cortex stuff) so at least in their (vast!) markets it would appear ARM has won out.

I cannot see the other big embedded SoC vendors bothering about this either (TI, Atmel, NXP, ST).

So, if the plan is to embed PowerPC in new embedded SoC designs, it will most likely fail.

If the plan is to have somebody else produce some sort of super-server-chip out of this, I guess it might happen - looking at the partners that seems more like where it is heading - but don't expect it to have any impact on your life unless you happen to be the poor sucker managing the data centre software :-)

Samsung rolls out first mass-produced 3D NAND flash memory chip

swissrobin

Re: re. photo of V-NAND package

Assuming you're serious ...

That's a development or presentation DIL (dual in line) package. The window allows you to "see" the die.

Back in the 70s chips actually looked like that, of course, but these days chips are packaged in much smaller devices - like the ones at the top of the page - where the gap from contact to contact is approx 0.5mm instead of 2.54mm in the DIL package.

The main use for windowed packages like this in years gone by was to allow you to UV erase EPROM before EEPROM and flash came along (these are electrically erasable, so no need for a UV eraser).

Win XP alive and kicking despite 2014 kill switch (Don't ask about Win 8)

swissrobin

Ignoring the doom and gloom security issues (i.e. no security patches to fix vulnerabilities).

The real reason people will be forced to upgrade is machine failure - nobody is going to produce XP drivers for modern hardware; so one or two GPU/CPU/chipset spins from now you won't be able to install XP and make it work reasonably.

Linux is not really any better in this respect - the difference is you can upgrade for free, provided you like what your distro offers in each subsequent release.

If the applications you have won't run on >XP then you need to put pressure on the vendor (or internal developers) to address this, otherwise you will just end up stranded - your best hope at that point will be <whatever-OS> hosting a VM with XP inside to support legacy applications, with whatever licensing restrictions that might come with.

Qualcomm exec on eight-core mobile chips: They're 'dumb'

swissrobin

"I typically have multiple browser windows open at any one time, totalling dozens of tabs. And of course the browser runs background processes for its plugins eg Flash, Java.

And the OS likes to run multiple processes/threads in the background, to do things from time to time.

Add in a couple of Office apps and a media player, and you can easily load 8 cores at times.!"

8 threads do not require 8 cores. Even 800 threads do not require 8 cores. Unless the sum of the MIPS required for each thread exceeds the bandwidth of one core, they require one core. It is a fallacy to believe that because two threads run on two cores they somehow run "smoother". There are so many shared resources (pretty much everything except the L1 cache) that whether the two threads compete for "the core" or "everything else" makes no real difference to the end user experience. Unless of course the software is so broken that the scheduler is locked out for 10's of milliseconds at a time.

Academic challenges (e.g. compute pi) apart, most tasks interact with the network, the disks, the graphics, the user, .... all of which serialize access and often with latencies much higher than the typical task switch which is probably doable in a microsecond on a 1GHz CPU.

That said, you're going to get 5 blades^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h16 cores whether you like it or not, so really not sure why we're arguing about it here :-)

Crumbs, we're going to lose that public sector bid - Jeeves, send for the lawyers

swissrobin

A lot of the procurement that goes on by tender is for equipment and services, rather than IT development. Sure the IT development stuff is doomed to costing beelions with a reasonable chance of failure, and not just because it's the public sector.

The equipment and service purchases, on the other hand ought to provide the buyer with a good route to selecting the best product at the best price. Unfortunately they are often written up to favour a particular product or supplier, because really that's what the customer wants to buy and the tender process is an irritation that needs to be dealt with along the way.

Rightly or wrongly, if you are not the pre-selected winner, you are going to have cause to complain.

SIM crypto cracked by a single text, mobes stuffed with spyware

swissrobin

Nothing to hide?

The privacy issue is more complex than having nothing to hide.

Say they decide to go for pattern recognition comparing all our correlated communications patterns against those of known criminals or suspected terrorists - perhaps recruiting one of the usual suspects with their crack squad of programmers. The patterns are neural networks or similar and are automatically produced by the computer system - the people operating it have no idea how it works, nor any way to really know whether it's picked you out using the computer equivalent of the sorting hat.

So let's say by pure coincidence you trip the system so they start to review your "file". They discover that one person you communicate with has (unknown to you) a bit of history - maybe they did a bit of time for protesting against globalization when they were young. Or maybe they just happen to be Muslim.

Now they have enough to think you might be in a ring of criminals so they get a court order to take a closer look. Now they're rummaging around in all your affairs. Perhaps they are all legitimate but maybe you don't want them asking questions about your love of transvestite pornography, or your frequent visits to a "friend" in Sheffield ('cos they spot your registration plate on the NPR system on the M1 every Thursday). Etc.

And god forbid they find "something" to actually haul you in for - your life could easily be ruined in the process - not because of the tiny infraction they did find, but more for the legal-but-deviant behaviour they stumbled across along the way.

Personally, I don't relish the thought of having to prove my innocence, which is what it will boil down to. Who here hasn't battled against some insane IT-backed bureaucracy at some point in their life? You are 100% in the right, but you cannot get the people in power to understand why their data is wrong - e.g. the council is convinced you haven't paid your council tax, even though they agree they are in receipt of the money ... etc.

So we must have a right to privacy so that we aren't placed in a position of having to justify our perfectly legal behaviour. If a real human for genuine reasons decides that I present enough of a risk that they should investigate me, no problem with them then deciding to snoop on everything I write. Until then, piss off and leave me in peace.

Or as the other poster put it, if you have nothing to hide, why do you have curtains?

Knocking China with shocking phones and mocking tones

swissrobin

Re: Mostly true

"plus all the parts would have to be shipped from China or other parts of the Far East where they are made, adding delays to the process."

Shipping the parts vs. shipping the finished product - makes no difference - in fact if the working capital is yours, there may be a small advantage in shipping the components into the final sales region vs. shipping the finished product.

In any case there is no real reason why the chips couldn't be made in US/Europe too - as the process technologies change, so new fabs must be built and this provides an opportunity to relocate them to the new regions if it makes economic sense to do so..

Our customers do low volume manufacturing in the UK (measured in 1,000's of units per year, so not troubling Apple :-)) - we got some quotes to do the complete manufacture in Asia - all things added up, it was no cheaper. Your mileage may vary, especially if your volumes are much higher than ours.

Beijing fanboi in coma after iPhone 4 shock treatment

swissrobin

Re: I'm No Fan

"Oh and I am NOT suggesting "buy only apple", I am just suggesting to be careful about what one does buy and use."

It's pretty tough when buying these types of things ... who sells good stuff and who sells rubbish? The people that make and sell this stuff have no qualms about applying CE labelling, the double isolation symbol, etc., with no actual safety testing having ever been done. They copy the enclosure of real parts, so it's hard to tell what's what.

For Apple users, if you buy a product from an Apple outlet it is going to be fine (ignoring the very unlikely chance of them having been duped by their own suppliers).

For the rest of us, if it came with your telephone and you bought it in the UK from one of the carriers, it'll be OK.

If you buy a Belkin product from a reputable outlet, you'll also be OK. I cannot think of another name brand off the top of my head - there might be one.

If you buy a no-name product from a PhoneShop type of place I think you're risking it - they can source product from wherever and they'll go for maximum margin whilst assuming that the safety stuff is all fine.

Anything from eBay, Amazon, a market stall, etc., I would say you're asking for trouble.

The only way to be sure is to buy 2, crack one open and look inside, but unless you've got a reasonable grasp of the safety standards, that won't help.

Is it worth risking your life over £20?

Analyst: Tests showing Intel smartphones beating ARM were rigged

swissrobin

To claim that the power differences highlighted by the original tests are still valid despite the discrepancy in the testing is not convincing; if the benchmark produced higher performance results because it skipped a bunch of instructions then it also did less work and thus should need less total energy to do it; the fact that it ran for less time also means that the static power consumption (which is a substantial part of all power consumption) is also minimized.

So in short, ignore the test results completely, wait for some more balanced benchmark to be available, run that, discover ARM continues to use fewer joules per state change and then carry on :-)

Ubuntu 13.10 to ship with Mir instead of X

swissrobin

Mir and Wayland will, no doubt, both have to support running old X11 apps for ages, so not sure you'll really care which is at the bottom of your graphics stack any more than you're not that bothered whether it's Intel, AMD or Nvidia graphics chip. I exclude games players - you're on your own :-)

Who says Wayland is better ... it might be, it might not be ... having more than one group try to skin the "what comes after X11" cat is a good thing. There may be space for both, or maybe not ... if not, one will win, the other will lose.

In the bigger scheme of things, Android doesn't even use X11, Windows doesn't use X11, I don't think my Chrome book uses X11 (though I don't actually know). Applications of all sorts still exist in some form or other on all these platforms.

Linux won't ever win the desktop wars, united or fragmented. That won't stop me using it in all its glorious variety ...

The API vs protocol argument is bollocks, though, I agree.

Nissan to enter 300 kmh electric car in Le Mans endurance race

swissrobin

Re: It's motor racing

"You don't refill your gas bottles , you simply swap your empty for a full one.

I see a future for petrol stations, where your international standard "power brick" is automatically removed from your vehicle and replaced with a fully charged one."

If that's how it pans out, fine. I don't think it'll be practical to do this, though, because the mass of the battery packs or whatever they are will be huge; it works for diesel/petrol because they have enormous energy density so we can afford to transport the fuel to the fuel station. The cost of delivering the fuel to the fuel station is still substantial (approx 10% of the energy delivered is consumed to deliver it).

A Lithium Ion battery pack has approx 1MJ/kg. Petrol has more like 40MJ/kg. Also (as Boeing found out) you need to wrap these batteries in something flame proof and give them physical security in case of impact. That means you're lucky to get 0.75MJ/kg once packaged.

So it's just not practical to swap out battery packs for a large % of the national fleet, I think. If it were, they would have to be recharged on site, so you need quick cycle times whether the pack is charged in vehicle or in a shed at the fuel station (otherwise you arrive with an empty pack and no charged packs are available for you).

Somebody asked whether the national grid was big enough to deal with 10% of the national fleet being EV.

Assuming 10% is 3 million cars and they use an average of 5l fuel per day (that's 40 miles, say), that gives you:

3 million x 5 x 35 MJ = 525TJ/day.

Averaged over the whole day (assume some local storage on site) that's 6GW.

The UK national grid has a capacity of 80GW and there is always surplus capacity. So I'm pretty sure they could accommodate 6GW all day long and not fail.

At 100% EV, you're obviously looking at doubling the size of the grid - which is a tall order, but not impossible if the delivered electricity is paid for at a fair price.

Cheers,

Robin

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