* Posts by toejam

17 posts • joined 2 Feb 2016

Even Windows 10 can't save the PC market as chip shortages, Brexit uncertainties bite

toejam

Re: Windows 10 can't save the PC market

Having a single code base for every platform was actually a good idea. In the good ole days, PC, mobile, embedded, and gaming all used their own forks of NT. They just executed that vision very poorly. Too many older Windows phones never received an upgrade, which pushed angry users to other platforms. Windows 8 had too much mobile emphasis. Too many bodies were thrown at unification while too few were thrown at new features.

toejam

Or even a consumer version of Win10 LTSB with a Win7 style Explorer, Start Menu, and window theme. I like most of the changes under the hood of Win10. I just hate the new UI, telemetry, and upgrade system/schedule.

Mozilla security policy cracks down on creepy web trackers, holds supercookies over fire

toejam

Re: About time

Why wait that long? Extensions such as "Cookie AutoDelete" can purge cookies as soon as a tab is closed.

What can I say about this 5G elixir? Try it on steaks! Cleans nylons! It's made for the home! The office! On fruits!

toejam

Re: US voters get what they vote for

Well, 5G *could* make the airwaves a little more efficient. The new 5G-NR protocol supposedly has lower latency and offers the choice of either FDD and TDD duplex schemes from the start (TDD came a little late to LTE). Given the asymmetrical nature of cellular traffic these days, I imagine that carriers and regulators may push to retire FDD channel allocations for TDD allocations.

Also, it'll bring some harmonization to the 3.5 and 3.8 GHz bands, which are currently a smorgasbord of differing standards from Ubiquiti, Cambium, and others.

Speaking of those bands, if the FCC wanted to spur a bit of competition, it would keep part of the 3.x GHz band for smaller operators, placing limits on the size of operators and making the areas smaller. Too bad that the FCC appears to be doing exactly the opposite, throwing smaller WISPs to the wolves...

Guys, geez... finally 5Gs: AT&T grows super-fast mobile net city rollout

toejam

5G needs many more base stations than the current 4G tech?

Not necessarily. While the new 5G-NR standard includes a bunch of new channels above 3 GHz that have shorter range, it also includes a subset of channels below 3 GHz that are currently used by 4G-LTE today. Range for those lower channels should be similar, allowing carriers to reuse their existing base station topology.

It's time for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 to die (die, die)

toejam

Re: TLS ? Our customers still demand ssl3 support

I've run into this issue a few times with ancient B2B devices. Luckily, there are SSL proxy devices on the market that can sit in front of a problem client or server that can step up from or down to depreciated crypto versions (or no encryption at all).

If I can take a Commodore 64 running a web server and protect it with TLSv1.2 and PFS, you should be able to do the same with your servers.

Look how modern we are! UK network Three to kill off 3G-only phones

toejam

Re: Forward thinking?

Many carriers want to reallocate their 3G bands for 5G services. Since 5G NR is supposed to use a new air interface and is not part of the LTE family, carriers will have to roll it out parallel to their existing LTE infrastructure.

The problem that I see is that most early LTE phones lack native VoLTE support. They use 2G/3G for voice. So when those older networks all go dark, not only will all of the 3G-only phones go silent, but so will a good number of 4G phones unless the carrier includes a VoIP app that can work over LTE data.

Here in the States where "branded" carrier-specific models are the norm, this will be made more difficult in that carriers generally refuse to support VoIP/WiFi-Calling on anything other than their own phones. They've baked their custom VoIP dialers into the firmware. So if you purchased a carrier agnostic model or brought your unlocked phone over from another carrier, you'll have to ditch the phone or find a third party VoIP service that works with downloadable app.

Merger-hungry AT&T sued for price gouging by Texas ISP

toejam

Vertical integration

There is something to be said about prohibiting vertical integration within the media sector. This is how we're going to end up with giant media fiefdoms. A single company will own everything from the studio to the cable box under your TV. If your local television/internet provider doesn't have a studio of its own to use as a reciprocity tool, you're out of luck. And if the megacorp that provides your access gets into a spat with a rival megacorp, forget about subscribing to their media portal. With Net Neutrality gone, you'll be lucky to get a 360p feed.

FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

toejam

Re: OTA TV

> The new (since ATSC switchover) definition of "fringe area" is apparently "50 km from city center".

Who would have guessed that switching from mostly VHF frequencies to mostly UHF frequencies would have had an impact on signal range?

My grandparents used to be able to pick up six analog VHF stations from over 125Km away. After the switch, it dropped to only two VHF-Hi stations (11 & 13), and only intermittently. Not a single UHF station made it that far.

toejam

Re: Who pays to use YOUR internet connection?

> My television is never getting connected to the internet.

I don't connect mine either. It seems as if most television manufacturers stop producing firmware updates after two or three years. I have no faith that they will remain secure. I have almost no faith that they were ever secure in the first place.

What scares me about ATSC3 is that there will be a large push to have televisions connected to the internet for authentication, interaction, and personalized advertisements. Yet I've heard almost nothing about data privacy, data retention, encryption, and firmware quality.

I dread the day that I have to run antivirus software on my TV or have to jailbreak it to run privacy and ad blocking add-ons.

toejam

Re: Is anything ever obsolete?

> I have a theory that one reason DVD took so long to get going was that left-pondians didn't have the advantage of an RGB connection via SCART.

Y-C component (S-Video) input was fairly common on North American televisions by the mid-90s. While not as good as RGB signaling over SCART, it was good enough for the televisions of the era when viewing DVD movies. I'd argue that cost was the initial barrier to adoption of DVD.

Where S-Video was noticeably inferior was with game consoles and home computers. The colorspace and chroma bandwidth limitations were more of a hindrance with true RGB/I sources.

Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

toejam

Re: On the other hand...

Same here. I use Ghostery, NoScript, and uBlock with Firefox and I didn't see any banner.

But I found that for many sites that block content with a banner, instead of fussing with the element blocker in uBlock, I can simply click on the Menu -> View -> Page Style -> No Style option and it goes away. If the page looks too weird without the styling, I just enable reader view.

iRobot just banked a fat profit. And it knows how to make more: Sharing maps of your homes

toejam

Re: Seriously....

The problem with those privacy statements is that they fail to clarify as to which customers they're discussing. Third parties buying up their data are customers, too.

I always get a kick when Facebook users refer to themselves as customers, when in reality they're more like the product...

Intel to Qualcomm and Microsoft: Nice x86 emulation you've got there, shame if it got sued into oblivion

toejam

@Simon Harris - "How the ISA was cleverly designed..."

Intel's heart was in the right place when they made many of their ISA and chip decisions. They just didn't execute them very well.

Imagine if segments on the 808x were page (256B) aligned instead of paragraph (16B) aligned. And had they released a 80186 core in a 8086 package. And had they released a 80286SX that made the MMU an optional external chip (like the MC68451 and '851). It would have made life prior to the 80836 cheaper, faster, and a whole lot less miserable (no need for EMS or XMS).

For all their past mistakes, the 80386 did resolve most issues. Flat memory, 32 bit registers, more orthogonal instruction set, V86 mode, paging, real/prot mode switching, etc...

It just sucks that neither Microsoft nor Digital Research released a proper 32-bit successor to DOS at the time. Imagine a lightweight text-mode version of Windows 95 back in '86. Instead, you had to muck with DOS extenders or go down the expensive path of a GUI-based OS, like OS/2 or Win 2.x/3.x. Yuk.

toejam

Digital Equipment Corp did it once...

My DEC Alpha workstations running NT4 all included a bit of kit called FX!32 that translated x86 binaries through a JITC translator into native Alpha code. It stored the results in a cache file so that subsequent executions didn't have to retranslate the same code. Translated programs ran at about 80% of the speed of native apps. It was such an important service that Microsoft included it in NT5/W2K. That is, until the Alpha was killed right around RC1.

This was back in '99, two years after the release of MMX. I don't recall if it converted MMX instructions. And it appears as if patents on MMX and SSE might be the sticking point.

Still, Qualcomm might be able to force Intel to license them based off of F/RAND rules if they can convince a judge that Intel's ISA meets the criteria of being an industry standard that requires licensing. Or they might withhold licensing future patents from Intel until they get a cross-license deal in return. I guess that's all up to the IP lawyers now.

What's 5G? Who knows, but Qualcomm's designed a modem for it

toejam

Re: fool around with 28 GHz

I don't believe that it can be turned into a viable mobile network. At best, it could be used to supplement microwave point-to-point backhaul links where there is clear line-of-sight.

Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

toejam

Upgrading my Vista laptop to Windows 10 would be a fantastic idea. Trouble is, nobody ever released WDDM video drivers for my laptop's chipset, so I am forced to use XDDM video drivers instead. Since support for XDDM drivers was dropped in Windows 8, I'd only have generic SVGA video support if I bumped to 10. Yuck.

I have a newer laptop running Windows 7, but I keep my old laptop around for traveling. It wouldn't be a huge loss to me if it was damaged or stolen.

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