* Posts by Ben

15 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Nov 2007

Apple is Fisher-Price of sound quality, says Neil Young



"Most audiologists say the only real way you can tell there's a difference between one format and another is by giving the listener a double-blind test, where neither the subject nor the administrator knows which is which."

Not quite - a double-blind test is the only way you can *prove* there's a (distinguishable) difference.

Assuming that you haven't been deafened by your ipod already, most can distinguish between 128kbps and lossless on any decent pair of headphones (ie. not supplied with your player). Of course, if you have tinnitus caused by tin-can speakers I can only feel sorry...

RIAA ordered to shell out $100k for P2P witch hunt


@ Frank

Anybody who takes on hourly paid staff to perform an unknown job is the one who is taking the risk. The hired help are taking no risk at all.

You forget that there's a very real risk the hired help won't get paid at all. Kudos to the lawyers who don't get scared off by the deep pockets of the RIAA.

New banking code cracks down on out-of-date software


@Anonymous Coward

"Why - don't you think there are any viruses for Linux? 'Cause there are.


So... you can list them all on 1 page?

Try searching for Linux viruses 'in the wild':


Last one found was in 2004.

Microsoft gives XP an extra two years to live (kinda)


RE: Support? Linux?

"Just the same way that community "supports" all the WiFi cards supported on Windows?"

Tell me, which WiFi cards are supported by Windows XP out of the box? Certainly not any WPA cards...

"Or support the way each Linux Distro is slightly different and all popular programs "just work"?"

You've got a short memory span if you can't remember all the compatibility head-aches when 98, XP and Vista were introduced.

Creative climbs down over home brew Vista drivers

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@Anonymous Coward

"Aureal had a doomed product.

To go into why I'd need to talk about sopme years of bus development and such, but basically graphics cards improvements neutralised the entire A3D way of producing sound, and indeed the in-dev Aureal cards at the time they were brought out were using a system close in concept to EAX"

Rubbish. A3D was developed for NASA simulators and was so good, that there was a time that using Aureal cards on Counterstrike was considered a hack (as you could "see" around corners and through thin walls). A decade on, even the latest EAX is poor by comparison.

Just shows how lazy Creative have been on top.

'Bullying' Aussie high school stops fingerprinting kids

Dead Vulture

Hook, line and sinker

"It is very difficult to break / lose / have stolen your finger print."


China promises censor-free Olympic media


Censorship hypocrites

"Live feeds will be a 12 sec delay and every time the cam catches some thing naughty they will change cams."

They do that all the time in the US and UK. Apparently, it's also not censorship here but "protecting the public".

"Ok, take out the stopwatch and lift a "FREE TIBET" sign facing any camera during the Olympics; watch how fast "nonexistant censorship" cracks down!"

Try asking John Kerry about voter suppression in the 2004 elections: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCBcOQkUNjI .

Apparently, according to US policing standards, anyone with a "Free Tibet" sign is clearly "disrupting a public event" and can justifiably be tasered if they don't leave without making a scene, and further charged with "resisting arrest".

The level of hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

Creative threatens developer over home-brewed Vista drivers

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RE: Classic strategy

"Funnily enough, I am currently reading a book called "The Undercover Economist" that explains that behaviour by companies. It goes something like this: intentionally cripple your cheaper/older products so that people have a reason to buy the more expensive ones, in this case by providing sub-standard drivers for Vista."

I still recall with animosity the time when Creative bought its rival Aureal and promptly killed all the drivers for those products. It's like they expected me to buy a Creative product to replace my now driverless Aureal card (which was far superior).

History repeats, just this time Creative is fighting itself.

Mac is the first to fall in Pwn2Own hack contest



"That's not what he said. He was talking about the number of KNOWN vulnerabilities. In this case there certainly is a correlation between the number of people using code and the number of discovered bugs.

"If there weren't, then beta testing could be done by one guy on his own just as effectively as 200 people testing simultaneously."

That's exactly the faulty argument I was trying to highlight.

1. Users don't find vulnerabilities - developers do. It doesn't matter if you've got a customer base of 1M+ if all they do is restart the program every time it crashes.

2. One beta tester with one fuzzer can crash an application just as fast as 200 testers. Finding crashes is just a *small* part of Beta testing (that should've been fixed in Alpha testing q-: ). The real reason for large-scale beta testing is to see how idiot-proof the software is from a usability/functionality PoV.


@Anonymous Coward

"...Windows tends to have more out there because it's used the most by the masses..."

Oh p-l-e-a-s-e... not that argument again. If you think the unwashed masses somehow dirty the Windows code you're beyond hope.

The number of bugs per line of code has no correlation whatsoever to how many times the compiled code is copied/sold. This is in contrast to the direct correlation between bugs/LoC and eyes/LoC.

Net think tank: Phorm is illegal


RE: Whinging

"For Fucks sake grow up, if you don't like the idea, opt out. Simple."

That's the whole point. I shouldn't have to opt out.

It's like telling me if I don't like the local fight club I should opt out.

Hogging the Trough: The EFF Strikes Back


Missed points

So many...

EFF: Comcast are *spoofing* packets. Suppose if the postal service, during busy times, rather than delivering your letters with some delay sent "I don't want to talk with you" letters in your name instead.

ISPs: If they sell "up to 8Mbps" services, they can hardly fault customers that use "up to 8Mbps". If the electricity company sold unmetered electricity at "up to 10KW" that's exactly what people would use.

Docsis modems: If traditional TCP traffic management doesn't work, how come the modem buffer doesn't overflow as the PC tries to send 100Mbps to it (through the ethernet link)? Answer: it does, and the dropped/delayed packets cause TCP to throttle back the connection.

Court date for challenge to 'new' patent rules


@Keith T

> So if you implement your "set of instructions" on a programmable electronic device, it can't be patented. [...] That makes no sense, except to software freeloaders -- people who expect programmers to work for free.

Suppose I patent a method for buying goods or services with one click (it interfaces with a database to retrieve previously entered payment information). Now I want to charge every one who writes software that has the same effect $10 per end-user transaction. Now who's the freeloader?

And don't say you can't patent that because, in the US, Amazon did. And it held up in court. Twice. What's more, they didn't use it to get royalties but to stop a rival from writing anything of the sort.

If you think software patents are a good thing you clearly haven't seen the results thus far.

Confused BBC tech chief: Only 600 Linux users visit our website

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@Kieron McCann

> Linux is the greatest [...] - er so why isn't everyone using it then?

Here's but a few reasons:

Nobody ever got fired for buying <del>IBM</del> Microsoft.

Marketing expenditure. When was the last time you saw a *nix desktop advertisement on tv/paper/online?

*nix cannot offer volume discounts. Windows can - as long as you sell as many copies as you sell PCs...

Student taser victim spared electric chair

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Re: We may get tased for being conspiracy theorists...

> ...but at least we don't ask our government to pretty please tell us which video games we're allowed to play as adults.

IANAL but...

That's utter rubbish. In the UK, as long as the material is not a recording of a criminal act (such as a recording of pedophilia) it is not an offense to possess or play.

Only if the BBFC refuses classification, does it becomes an offense to *sell* or provide *rentals*. You're free to play whatever sick game you want as long as nobody makes any money supplying it to you.

> As far as I'm concerned, the relatively consistent freedom of speech and thought we enjoy here - despite being severely tested - is fairly intact at a basic level

As long as America holds people without trial or judicial oversight there is no freedom of speech. Together with the dragnet monitoring of calls, you've given up the Constitution that you claim to hold so dear.

Furthermore, causing pain to extract what you want is called torture. Tasering somebody in handcuffs to shut them up is exactly that. In public no less. You should be ashamed.

At least China doesn't pretend.