* Posts by Dave Bell

2030 posts • joined 14 Sep 2007

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

Dave Bell

Re: Sport truck! 0-60 in 5 seconds SA to WA

There's a similar infrastructure problem in the UK. The old-style transport caffs maybe don't have room for solar panels, and electricity supply could need a big upgrade, but they were all over the place. Many have closed. Most of the time, all you see are places similar to a caravan in a lay-by. There were operations of the "Little Chef" sort that have mostly gone. Part of it is the motorway network, and in the years when I was doing long-distance driving, that sometimes felt like the only practical choice to be sure of a break.

It's not as if you can pack sandwiches to recharge a truck. And I know of many petrol stations that have gone.

General use of electric vehicles is going to depend on changes to the infrastructure. When "Top Gear" did a challenge on electric vehicles, it was hard finding places to recharge, and they maybe made a bit too much of a joke out of it. That's something to think about, something that maybe needs a new report. But I hope it has become too boring for "Top Gear"

A lot of what I am seeing suggests this Tesla truck will struggle to cope with the long-distance trucking in America, but it might work a lot better in Europe, and in parts of the USA with high population-density. And there is an American Myth of the open road trucker which feeds into the criticisms.

And have a look at the delivery trucks in cities, not the long-range semi-trailer rigs.

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Dave Bell

Re: Tesla semi?

And that's a big assumption there.

Tesco does deliveries to supermarkets with its own trucks. OK, might be some leasing and other ownership elements, but they're in Tesco markings, They could run a fleet with solar-boost on the trailers. I don't know what they use in urban areas, these could be too big to be practical, and you might not get enough sunlight in England, but there are relatively short-range urban delivery runs.

And that sort of haulage operation could even swap from a long-range diesel to a Tesla for the urban leg. That does point to something Tesla may have missed. Low-speed urban maybe doesn't care so much about streamlining, but how well will this handle a standard trailer?

1
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Amazon to make multiple Lord of the Rings prequel TV series

Dave Bell

The Tolkien Rights are a bit complicated. I don't recall how The Hobbit is fitted in, but Tolkien sold the non-literaray rights for The Lord of The Rings to a Hollywood company, which trades as "Tolkien Enterprises". There are a few bits from the Peter Jackson movie that are lifted from other books, and the family did get some payment from them. The same happened in the BBC radio adaption.

If Amazon hasn't done a deal with the family, a lot of these ideas aren't going to happen. All they have as a source is the various passing references, and the Appendices. The family opinions on the movies are mixed, and I wouldn't like to try to guess whether they are included in this Amazon deal.

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IBM's next turnaround tool is ... a new open-source font?

Dave Bell

The zipfile includes both serif and sans serif versions. It's worth grabbing

I am not sure that I want to be mistaken for IBM, and I am not sure I like it all that much, but it's an alternative to the Microsoft fonts, and that's always something to think about.

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Brit moron tried buying a car bomb on dark web, posted it to his address. Now he's screwed

Dave Bell

Re: No mention of any action against the sender

The explosives should be pretty safe, but the detonators would be the risk. I have seen videos and 2kg of any "commercial" explosive will do a lot of damage.

I learned a lot from Blaster Bates. Don't use explosives to clean your septic tank.

9
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How we fooled Google's AI into thinking a 3D-printed turtle was a gun: MIT bods talk to El Reg

Dave Bell

There's two distinct problems here. A false positive can be handled by using human staff, though the system design and training need to be better. Today it often seems that the human staff at airport security are the big problem, and some people see the AI tech as a solution to that. It isn't a simple answer to the people working on it, but at the more political levels of decision-making, it comes close to Mencken's "simple, plausible, and wrong."

The false negatives are where it gets dangerous. I can't see any way of avoiding those without maintaining the existing human-based monitoring. So the AI-based system is something that maybe can be added in parallel, but it's not something that will save money. It likely will also need continuing professional development, just like a human-based system.

It's abour a hundred years since Mencken wrote his line. And maybe that is an example of a deeper trend. In any field, the simple answers that work get identified soon in its history. Is the marker of a mature field that new, working, simple answers are rare?

I tried looking for a quote on that, It isn't simple.

15
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Landlubber northern council shores up against boat-tipping

Dave Bell

Re: Doncaster?

Distance to the sea needs to take into account the Ouse and Trent. The canal to Goole can take 700 ton vessels. Doncaster is a lot nearer the sea than you might think

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Fresh bit o' Linux to spruce up that ancient Windows Vista box? Why not, we say...

Dave Bell

Re: Um....

Do you have the sigma for that measurement?

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Dave Bell

This is something MS Windows does too, so I am not sure it is bad. But is it documented? That seems to be the common problem.

0
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BOFH: Do I smell burning toes, I mean burning toast?

Dave Bell

Re: Cats=Evil

I would venture that problem cats are the product of problem people.

2
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Whois? No, Whowas: Incoming Euro privacy rules torpedo domain registration system

Dave Bell

We had that very sweeping permission request several times when my mother was still alive, standard for-any-purpose wording with nothing about the reason. Once it was simply to arrange a hospital appointment.

I have a feeling that such official abuse of older laws was why the GDPR has its emphasis on informed consent.

I don't know how the rest of the EU compares, but I am left with a feeling, looking at current politics, that the abusive manipulation will continue, whether we stay in the EU or not. It is government in Britain that is the big problem, in all sorts of ways.

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Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails

Dave Bell

Tension, apprehension, And dissension have begun.

I use Linux Mint, one of the non-gnome versions, and things look as though they could become altogether too interesting. As you have pointed out, Canonical seems able to back away from stuff that doesn't work, and Mint looks pretty good, while some projects are worrying: systemd, and now Gnome? I had to look up Wayland, and it has been around a long time. I don't understand the Jargon, and I can't tell if they have devised a whole new set of jargon or not, but I've not found that a good sign

I just want something that works.

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Release the KRACKen patches: The good, the bad, and the ugly on this WPA2 Wi-Fi drama

Dave Bell

This is getting confusing

So vendors have had about six months notice to produce patched code

Netgear have a new firmware version for my modem/router, and that might mean it is patched against this attack. but they don't even give a date for the new code, and the release notes just mention unspecified security fixes.

There is this, but the list of devices doesn't include my stuff, so I think I am OK, but they are so vague about the new firmware version that I still worry

Note that they caution against using the bridge mode, but I am nore sure how much stuff like video has the wired connection to use that. I just checked and the NOW TV box has wired ethernet, while Amazon Fire sticks are WiFi only. Setting up more ethernet is looking to be a good idea. How about one of those data over powerline things?

When I thought the news was fresh, not with a private warning six months ago, I expected confusion. What I am seeing isn't good enough.

1
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Twitter: Why we silenced Rose McGowan after she slammed alleged sex pest Harvey Weinstein

Dave Bell

Re: Sense of proportion

I have used Twitter, and I don't understand how the quoted warning could lead to the offending tweet being deleted. I can see why Twitter doesn't want to make a public reference to that tweet. What seems to be missing is something like "We have sent you a DM with full details".

They are beta-testing long tweets, and I suppose there might be a length problem in this, but Twitter is getting a reputation for inept handling of offensive material.

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Mozilla extends, and ends, Firefox support for Windows XP and Vista

Dave Bell

Re: Will 52 ESR continue working?

This looks pretty sensible. I've been having fun with Mint, getting a Windows program working through Wine, and when I looked at the (fixed) colour scheme the program had, I began to wonder if I really needed it.

But it worked, on pretty old hardware. The two big takeaway lessons? Use Wine and an add-on called PlayOnLinux. And, it sometime needs too much trial and error, this tool combo allows the use of multiple Wine versions on virtual disks, and the latest Wine version in often not the one to use. PlayOnLinux also can cope with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows.

This isn't the answer for embedded systems, and I can quite understand a preference for long-term-support versions, because all the browsers suffer from mysterious changes that break stuff. These every month moving targets are a damned nuisance.

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Hey, IoT vendors. When a paediatric nurse tells you to fix security, you definitely screwed up

Dave Bell

I wonder a little if the generic IoT label is a good idea here.

Some sort of IP connection should be reliable tech, and save a lot of trouble. Being able to connect to a remote device for making reports is an advantage. But an Internet of Medical Devices is not the same as an Internet of Lightbulbs.

And that is why I think it matters that the lady has had a long nursing career. Useful security depends on knowing the business you're securing, and too often the whole internet is plagued by the bright ideas of geeks who don't know the business they're having ideas about.

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Thomas the Tank Engine lobotomised by fat (remote) controller

Dave Bell

Re: 236 carriages?

I think they use a different term in the USA, but it really depends which audience The Register hacks are writing for. The jargon can soon get complicated.

Even in Britain, with the rather tight loading gauge, 100 tonnes gross per hopper wagon is possible. That is going to be a huge train, with multiple locomotive units linked by a control circuit to get enough track-adhesion to move it. Even with a human driver, reliable control operation is going to be tricky. Having the driver in a control centre in Perth might not be so dramatic a jump.

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Musk: Come ride my Big F**king Rocket to Mars

Dave Bell

This could change a lot.

If this is going to end up as the only SpaceX booster, it changes a huge amount. The sub-orbital hops depend on very high reliability. The price per person suggests an astonishingly low price to LEO. Is it too big a system for the LEO market? At the price, you don't need to use the full payload to undercut everything else in the launch business.

Airliner-class reliability is maybe the biggest change. I don't have solid figures for Concorde, but 4 flights a day for 27 years and 3 major incidents suggests better than 1 in 10,000 as a working figure. For spaceflight that is an incredible target. I have probably under-guessed the total number of Concorde flights.

Can the new Raptor Methane-LOX engine work out as part of a Falcon replacement without the BFR-scale system? A Falcon-level booster using the Raptor might be an option, but it would look like a failure. It might turn out to be a neccessary intermediate. Remember, the Falcon has had several step improvements, such as engine details and super-cooled LOX to increase density.

I think there's a lot of advertising hype here, but the lead times in the whole industry are so long that Elon Musk has to get the basic ideas out in the open well in advance. It's "we're going to do this, start thinking about how you can use this." It might be getting satellite designers to think how they could put multiple big satellites on a booster. Do you have to trade-off between diameter and length to put three Falcon 9 payloads on the BFR? Falcon 9 fairings are already a bigger diameter than the booster: it might not be a good idea to keep doing that.

But will it work? That is the key.

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Shock: Brit capital strips Uber of its taxi licence

Dave Bell

Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

Arguing about what the Police should have been doing is an ancient tradition, you can see elements of it in a couple of Shakespeare's plays. When I was a kid, they still had village bobbies, and beat points, and there was a reason there were Police Boxes with a telephone, that didn't disappear through time and space. No radio, you see.

Not my side of the family, but I still heard a few stories. One of my Great Uncles knew a kid who ended up commanding a squadron in the Battle of Britain. He reckoned the Germans deserved him.

It needs manpower to pick up the gossip, to know the people who might bear watching. These days, they need daytime TV programs reporting on the dodgy to do the watching.

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Dave Bell

Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

As an occasional visitor to London, I have stuck with Taxis, rather than private hire. It could just be good luck that I have never had problems. I've also used Underground, DLR, and buses without problems.

OK, that might just be good luck. Any public transport system can have something go wrong. I have seen a couple of bus breakdowns, not a disaster for me.

Maybe we're both 3-sigma from the mean, in opposite directions.

I do have an IT connection here. The local bus company has a web page, and their timetable pages have a "Live Updates" box displayed. It has to be amended by the IT company that runs their web page, so I can read it on the phone from the bus stop, but their traffic manager can't actually put anything there from his office.

They've been running buses for over 100 years, and I trust them. Computers, not so long.

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Linux 4.14 'getting very core new functionality' says Linus Torvalds

Dave Bell

I have found Linux to be a good alternative to Windows, but there are times when I get a problem, I start looking for an answer, and I get flooded with ten-year-old answers with fixes for hopelessly obsolete versions of kernel and any other program you care to name.

And every year is the Year of Linux.

Multi-OS coding seems to be faltering, Linux versions of software are vanishing or losing formal support. One gripe I have is that people shout, "Use Wine!", and never bother to say anything about which version to use. It does make a difference.

So, yeah, I can see why people ask. Asking here is pretty pointless, but answering questions seems to be a skill that few have. How many people have actually said anything useful?

And is this default point-to-forums strategy really any good? I suppose somebody might have written a web page, somewhere, since the turn of the century, with links to the definitions of the jargon they use. Maybe all that matters in that the new kernel has interesting new ways to break my computer.

I can wait.

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123-Reg customers outraged at automatic .UK domain registration

Dave Bell

Lies, damned lies, and a bit of statistics.

Let's start with the statistics. If it was a properly done survey, it's enough people to get a reasonably accurate percentage. If that's why they chose the defaults they did, the sample size isn't a problem. But it doesn't sound like a random sample, and that's the killer. All the maths depends on the sample being random. There are other aspects, such as the precise wording of the question, that can warp the results, and there are ways of testing for that, but it all depends on random samples.

Oh, and there are ways of deciding if a set of numbers is random, or behaving that way. A good pseudo-random number generator is good because it looks random. But if you used the same seed value, you'd get the same results. Sometimes that can be useful, other times not.

Now the lies. My domain is a ,org,uk and I got the email giving me the offer. It's not a .co.uk and it's not something all that special. If somebody wants the plain ,uk I'm not all that bothered. I set things up in the last century because I suspected something could suffer a mammary orientation challenge, and I felt it was worth having a consistent email address.

So the big lie? You'll never change your ISP

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Gov claws back £645m in BT broadband from subsidy

Dave Bell

Re: DCMS think the final 5% costs the same as the first 95%?

I know that we have fibre to the cabinet. I'm not sure whet length of copper is needed to the cabinet, or the cable run from cabinet to the exchange but I'm getting over 3 megabits over copper all the way to an exchange 1.6km away, straight line distance. Cable length might be twice that.

It might not be enough for a family, but I wonder how many people are sharing what you think is "meaningful broadband"? If you're using labels such as that, instead of definite numbers, I can't help but distrust you.

I am seeing claims that some new, VR-based, services need 10 megabits. We're all talking about superfast connections to the exchange, but I wonder if the networks on the other side of the exchange can cope with that sort of increase. Are they planning for 10 megabits per family, or 10 megabits per person?

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Developer swings DMCA sueball at foul-mouthed streamer PewDiePie

Dave Bell

I think it may be an open question. Streaming the playing of a game, or a walkthrough video, looks to me to be a derivative work. It's not just the game, it's the player's actions to control the game. And the DMCA process can end up in court if there are conflicting claims.

I'm not sure that this is a good answer in this case, but both parties have claims, and I don't have a problem with somebody saying "Don't stream my games again." What bothers me is applying the DMCA to content which has already been streamed.

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Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

Dave Bell

Lightbulbs

Control by voice seems a bit daft, and I really don't believe the colour space claimed, but the"white" colour needed can depend on several local details. Did the decorator use "white" paint or "magnolia"? A slight change might make the TV look better. I know some people don't even bother setting up their computer screen properly.

I can recommend http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/ as a check.

Just getting screen brightness and contrast as near to right as you can makes a huge different, and ambient light is a factor in that. I still have a cache of photographic filters marked up in Mireds.

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Can North Korean nukes hit US mainland? Maybe. But EMP blast threat is 'highly credible'

Dave Bell

The Geneva Conventions class using indiscriminate weapons, or any kind, as a War Crime.

Does that matter?

Apparently not.

The last time things blew up in Korea, both North and South almost lost. Both countries suffered horribly. Each has reason to be scared of the other and its allies.

If China, backing North Korea said they would back a deal, it might be possible to trust them. Would anyone want to trust the current UK or USA?

Oh well, do we even matter any more?

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75 years ago, one Allied radar techie changed the course of WW2

Dave Bell

Re: 22yr olds today

Yes, there have been some big changes.

Can we really blame the kids for them?

Should we judge them by how the group might live up to the examples set by a very few really exceptional people?

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No, the cops can't get a search warrant to just seize all devices in sight – US appeals court

Dave Bell

Can we ignore those people?

With so many places based in the USA, operations such as Google and Facebook and Twitter, lawyers in the UK and the EU as a whole have to pay attention to the US system. We've given the USA privileges under Data Protection laws and, because of those giant corporations, we maybe don't have much choice, but I sometimes feel that the EU isn't really trying. And can we expect a UK, sitting alone, to be able to do any better?

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UK.gov is hiring IT bods with skills in ... Windows Vista?!

Dave Bell

Re: It's a trick

They also go back to Windows XP, and that body of experience might be very useful in updating old apps to work with current Windows.

But there is so much in that doesn't really fit with a short contract, so I am inclined to agree on the sort of trick it is.

4
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Old Firefox add-ons get 'dead man walking' call

Dave Bell

Does any browser team manage to communicate with actual users?

Firefox is only the most obvious. They all come up with changes that are poorly explained to the end user. I use Opera a lot. I set it to open maximised. And suddenly it didn't. There's a long-running series of bug reports, obsolete third-party fixes, and eventually I found something which worked. Except when it doesn't.

It is as if programmers can talk to computers, but struggle to communicate with human beings. Even when there is documentation, it can be confusing and out-of-date. I have seen a technical label change, and if there is a link between old and new, it's one-way.

It's not so terribly hard to see that Damore chap at Google as part of the same problem. Management, the control of programmers, is a part of the general human communication problem, and he didn't seem to think that mattered to a programming company.

I know good programmers who don't have that problem, but C. P. Snow's problem of The Two Cultures hasn't gone away. Though perhaps Flanders and Swann did manage to help with the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Are today's Two Cultures the programmers and the users?

(Use one side of the screen only)

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For fork's sake! Bitcoin Core braces for another cryptocurrency split

Dave Bell

Re: Where does the money come from?

So who has the Mother Mary job in these times of trouble?

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Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork

Dave Bell

Why did Google even hire the guy?

It's emerging that Mr. Damore lied on LinkedIn about having a PhD, but I find myself wondering just what he had that Google thought they needed. What does "Research Intern" at MIT really mean in terms of skills? What of his time as an Intern at Google?

I don't know enough of these things, but I do hear stories about "Interns" being unpaid positions in expensive cities used to stack the hiring deck against the less-privileged. As I recall, the name used to refer to the Junior Doctors in American Hospitals. How much has the label changed.

Google doesn't do just programming and computer engineering, but I can't figure out what skills they were paying for.

4
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Mid-flight jumbo font smartphone text shock sparks kid abuse arrests

Dave Bell

Re: Freedom of speech dies a little each day

Some grey areas here, but with pics on the witness's phone it looks pretty solid. I am a little surprised that the local Police are implying he would have been lost to them once he left the plane; that suggests they wouldn't have had any name or address at all.

It is likely that the pics would have been enough to justify a search of the phone, and that's what blows things open.Compared to other cases that have been reported, this is looking pretty clear. I said, to somebody, a few days ago, "get a pic with your phone". Nothing to do with crime, that time, but it it fixes a moment that shows something you worry about.

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Go fork yourself: Bitcoin has split in two – and yes, it's all forked up

Dave Bell

Re: In related NEWS....

Gravity futures are still trending down.

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UK ministers' Broadband '2.0' report confuses superfast with 10Mbps

Dave Bell

Re: Don't shoot/kill the messenger...

It's different sorts of cable, and that matters a lot.

There's also some pretty horrible wiring, network and power and telephone, in some buildings. The old BT telephone wiring was done decently, though I know of one house that had the line running through an orchard, not even clear of the trees.

The old telephone systems were not even made for data, and I remember some very geeky arguments about the difference between Baud and bits-per-second.

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Dave Bell

Re: Available but not realistic

"Line of sight" on these links may be a little less critical than you think.

For an example, a FiberNinja video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/DGOPESpU64A

Though it's not that long a distance, which would help.

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Dave Bell

Another report by ignorant people.

These people have been hopelessly confused by the advertising use of "fibre", a label defined in a way that would have included my first 300 baud dial-up modem, because the signal was only on copper for a few hundred yards.

They also ignore measures such as bandwidth per person.

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systemd'oh! DNS lib underscore bug bites everyone's favorite init tool, blanks Netflix

Dave Bell

Re: underscore illegal dns character

There has been a recent significant bug fix for systemd but this may be a later version.

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Dave Bell

Re: Alternate

There are other choices, but who do you trust?

If I were suggesting a non-ISP address for DNS, I would try to identify the server in human terms as well. Even on The Register one should assume one is being read by humans.

I infer the suggested fix doesn't care which server is used. In my case I would be working through my ADSL modem/router which provides NAT and DNS for the LAN. In turn, it can either automatically use the ISP server, or an explicitly set server such as the Google one at 8.8.8.8

4
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Judge uses 1st Amendment on Pokemon Go park ban. It's super effective!

Dave Bell

Of course this is still current

There was a Pokemon GO event organised in Chicago this weekend, huge crowds and a lot of technical things went wrong. That was a big formal event, and would fit with the sort of big event this law seemed to be based on. A lot depends on the scale.

If was big enough that one of the problems was the local mobile network was overwhelmed. That seems to be the sort of level where the freedom of speech of the event is messing up the freedom of speech of other people. I know large events in the UK will set up portable base stations for mobile calls.

I suppose the next few weeks will be the test. School holidays.

There have been new Pokemon appearing and changes to both the gameplay and the key locations.

tl:dr The game can still attract crowds which can mess up mobile phone networks, as well as the obvious problems of litter and general safety

4
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Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

Dave Bell

Re: Teledildonics

The first times I saw it, it was in association with multi-player text-based games, and some of those are still running. There were already comments about one-handed typing taking place, and it's still arguable that it's more fun to create personal text, rather than rely on something that looks like just another porn movie. A lot of the VR erotica turns out to depend on motion-capture animations.

But even with just text, and a dial-up modem, these remotely-controlled devices could be added without using excessive bandwidth.

It may have all the problems of the Internet of Things, and it's simple enough that's surprising that it's still so obscure. Some sort of simple motor control may be all that's needed. But add a bit of security, IP67 sealing (a QI charger would be good), and developing a safe and secure control app, and I rather doubt the numbers would work out.

Do you really want hackers to take over the teledildonics? There's likely a kink for that. Rule 34 applies.

2
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Openreach asks UK what it thinks about 10 million 'full fibre' connections

Dave Bell

Re: Why?

I don't see any reason why there has to be a single choice of ratios. If I could trade a bit of download capacity for extra upload bandwidth, I'd be tempted.

The current situation is like expecting everybody to drive an 850cc Mini. It could do a lot, more than you think, but sometimes I needed a Land Rover.

When there is only one product, maybe with a bit of badge engineering, do you really have a market?

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Dave Bell

Any download can saturate a connection while it is running, and one advantage of bittorrent is that is doesn't put all the load on one server. I used if for my last Linux upgrade. That tech has had options to limit download rates for years, and just being able to do that, not saturating the physical connection, would make a big difference. Why not run the download overnight? How many different huge files do you need to download now?

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Dave Bell

I get enough from ADSL for video streaming and gaming, but I am living alone. When my brother visits, we have to be careful. There are some things emerging which would need more bandwidth than ADSL can provide, but whether they are even usable from the UK, because of the effects of ping time, I am not sure.

The current fibre to the cabinet option is expensive, and I just cannot get reliable info on how much more bandwidth I would gain. If Openreach want people to buy into this, they're going to have to reach out and be more open.

0
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Now here's a novel idea: Digitising Victorian-era stamp duty machines

Dave Bell

Not sure if it was stamp duty

Yes, it happened. I'm not sure it was quite the same thing as Stamp Duty, as it was a fixed fee for the document, rather than a percentage of the transaction. So the tax-stamp was already on printed cheques and the money collected as part of the per-cheque bank charges. But you could still write out the whole cheque on any piece of paper and add the stamp.

That was already unusual in my father's day. He was given a cheque like that when he sold a farm trailer, written on a sugar bag that had been re-used to wrap sandwiches. He was a bit worried, he told me, but the people at the local cattle market knew of the guy. and the cheque went through clearing.

I am not sure what the current system would do. A cheque could also be "endorsed": it was an instruction for the bank to pay you. and you could add an instruction to pay somebody else. My father said that some of his cheques went through a chain of several endorsements at the cattle markets such as Melton Mowbray, Uttoxeter, and Bakewell. It meant that people trusted him.

Maybe that's the sort of business dealing that inspired the idea of blockchain currencies. I doubt anyone involved in that has the trust that my father had. It's a hard act to follow.

0
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GSM gateway ban U-turn casts doubt on 7.5-year prosecution in Blighty

Dave Bell

It's at least arguable that there have been technical changes of the lifespan of this law.

Meanwhile, it is hard, from round-trip times, to figure out whether an IP address is in the UK or not. It may be that everything goes via a few nodes, such as Telehouse, in London. Or it may be that everything goes through a few nodes in Cheltenham.

The CPS might be close to honest, but can we trust their political lords and masters.

8 years on bail? nulli vendemus, nulli negabimus aut differemus, rectum aut justiciam

1
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Good luck building a VR PC: Ethereum miners are buying all the GPUs

Dave Bell

Other problems for VR

The graphics hardware, computer and display device, are looking to be a big barrier, but some VR concepts also seem to depend on fast internet connections, not just bandwidth but round-trip-times to servers. I have seen a figure of 40ms quoted before there start to be problems with people sharing an environment, but it hasn't been clear whether that includes the transmission time across the internet.

Maybe it's enough to wait for the 3D world model to download, and then a user can walk around the new building to see what it looks like, but as soon as you have somebody else in view, not in the next office, there will be problems.

You can cope with these problems with a monitor screen as a window on a virtual world. It's the new VR element, the head mounted display feeding each eye and overwhelming the other senses, which make any sluggishness a problem.

40ms? That's barely big enough to cover California. Bandwidth has increased enormously, but the round-trip times have hardly changed since I started using dial-up.

And I have not seen a convincing explanation of why I might be wrong. But it looks from here as if the VR-hype comes from a geographically localised cluster of enthusiasts around San Francisco Bay.

3
3

BOFH: That's right. Turn it off. Turn it on

Dave Bell

Re: Not scary - true

That's a perilous path. A bug fix, making something work as documented, is one thing. But if the fix is done by somebody who hasn't checked the documentation, and changes the name of some menu option on the way, is the sort of thing that turns a BOFH into a mere user.

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Dave Bell

Over the years, I have seen a lot of art that only looks good on a badly adjusted monitor. Most people can't even get brightness and contract right, though you may have trouble getting the full range.

I used to do this with chemical photography, and printing an image has all the same problems. You cannot get anything whiter than the paper. The BOFH obviously knows this. 8 bits on the data, and 6 useful bits from the monitor.

Those high range images do have some use, but most of the detail will get thrown away at the end. And not even Ansel Adams could give 8 stops brightness range. (Different jargon, 1 stop difference is a factor of two, 1 bit.)

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Feelin' safe and snug on Linux while the Windows world burns? Stop that

Dave Bell

It's about control

I run Mint Linux, and v18.2 has just come out. It's based on the most recent Ubuntu LTS version.

There were a couple of big changes, but if I used the update process, I had the choice whether or not to use them. Do I switch the window manager? Do have make the jump from the 4.4 kernel to the 4.8 kernel?

Or I could install from scratch.

I used the update process, and then made the optional switches. It was all under my control.

I like being in control.

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