* Posts by Darren Starr

19 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Nov 2007

E-voting fears run high as election day looms

Darren Starr
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Scantron ?

Take a piece of paper, use a pencil, fill in the bubbles next to photgraphs and names of the candidates and/or parties.

Modern systems should be able to handle checks, dots, etc...

Place a stack of cards in the voting booth and allow print a big sign which says "if you make a mistake, toss the card and start over on a new one. If this is too difficult, ask for assistance".

Allow a maximum of one card to be inserted into the machine per voter... I.E. the booth will have to be manually reset by an adminsitrator between voters.

Now we have resolved the problem. If using this system people still can't get their vote right, then we might be able to agree that they wouldn't get it right even if someone were to specifically interview them and do the work for them.

Best of all, there's a paper trail and there's electronic counting. The electronic counting can run real time as the votes are cast. Then at the end of the day, the cards can be automatically fed.. MULTIPLE TIMES into a counting machine to count, recount, and RE-RECOUNT every vote for final verification. There should be the EXACT SAME NUMBER of votes every count. If there isn't, then someone should be arrested for malicious tampering or stupidity.

When it's ALL OVER, after 10 years of physical storage and safeguarding, the paper can be recycled.

Gates predicts 'significant' US recession

Darren Starr
Gates Horns

Never trust the financial advice of a self made billionair

Be careful, this guy simply can't be trusted when it comes to money, he's lost bunches of it recently. In fact, he lost more last week than I will ever see in my whole life!

Umm... wait... didn't he also make all that money as well?

Apple to 'ditch' Intel for Nvidia in standard MacBooks

Darren Starr
Jobs Horns


So far as I know, Intel isn't release the Core i7 architecture in notebook form for still a little while longer. So to me this sounds a little irresponsible.

The biggest problem in general with 3rd party chipsets has classically been the memory controller. This is because memory management within modern architectures has grown SO advantaced an complex that even when Intel is communicating the architecture internally, the chipset teams have difficulties getting it right. This is why Core i7 with integrated memory controllers is so important. It's also why 3rd party AMD chipsets don't fail too miserably.

I personally don't feel comfortable using a chipset designed outside of Intel for memory access.

I hope that this is a classic case of someone calling a dingy a yact. Maybe they'll continue to use Intel chipsets (at least until i7) and simply include an nVidia GPU.

Intel shakes AMD's chip-fabbing baby

Darren Starr

Intel will sue, but they shouldn't

Intel will sue the pants off AMD and The Foundr for this move. Even if the case is entirely invalid because it will further weaken and possibly destroy AMD in the process. After all, they can bleed AMD dry from the seams by telling AMD customers "Do you really want to keep buying tom AMD, they're so burried in accounting problems and litigation that they just don't have the time or resources for technology anymore?"

The reason they shouldn't is that AMD is the only company that even pretends to give them a run for their money. Crushing AMD now would certainly leave Intel with a monopoly and companies like Via, ST and others will be very quick to sue Intel using AMD as an example. AMD also is the only other alternative source of x86 IP out there. Intel invents lots of cool things, but they also profit from the technologies they "Borrow" from AMD. It's actually possible Intel saves millions and even billions on R&D because of AMD doing the research first.

Intel would be the only soruce of x86 chips and that would mean that x86 would start losing its foothold as companies look for solutions that provide different chip features than Intel. Now they can go to AMD and get things Intel isn't interested in delivering, but it's x86 so it actually helps Intel.

HP jilts Intel SSDs

Darren Starr


Really, an Opteron based blade with samsung SSD instead of simply booting from SAN?

I'm pretty sure I'll stick with Xeon and SAN for these configurations since there just doesn't seem to be a reason to bother.

Do you really want to gamble on buying 50 or more dual processor blades that use a processor that has a high risk of not being able to upgrade the processors at least once before replacing the blades? I just don't trust AMD to be able to continue their semiconductor design division. That and the fact that they're so quick to release something new these days that they seem to be willing to push just about ANYTHING out the door.

AMD will be a terrible loss to the technology world, but hopefully there will be some new x86 upcomers.

US teen cuffed for sending nude phone pics

Darren Starr


As a "responsible" adult who fears the government I damn this girl for her evil evil ways! (Christian enough?)

As a former teenaged guy, I'm a little pissed off only yuppies had cell phones back in those days and there certainly was no MMS.

Stick health warnings on gays, says Stock Exchange chaplain

Darren Starr

He was wrong, but his cover up has a merit

I don't mind when friends and even goofy aquaintances talk openly about their sex lives in front of me. I have been a bouncer for male and female strippers in my youth and happily cooperated when female friends insisted that I squeeze their new boobs. I have both gay and lesbian friends who for some reason feel it necessary to bring me to gay clubs because I blush a lot.

What i do have a problem with is public demonstrations of sexuality. Gay is fine, gay is even more or less normal in modern society, but gay is a sexual preference. If two men want to kiss each other and grab each others asses in public, cool. More power to them. But my experiences with gay rights parades have been aweful.

The gay community, instead of leading peaceful protests and parades demands that people accept public behaviour from them that wouldn't be accepted from anyone anywhere else. Their demonstrations seem to have nothing to do with their rights, but instead appear to be more of a circus where they use the blanket of the public deomstration to cross lines that in most circumstances are considered illegal and would even be considered over the line by hookers.

They yell at the spectators and insult them. They perform physical acts in front of children that minors shouldn't think about for years to come. They present their "protests for gay rights" as a "protest to let us do absolutely anything we want since we're gay".

if any gay rights parade organizers are reading this comment. Please show me that a gay rights parade and be about the real issue. Walk peaceful. Dress as you would any other day of the week. Carry signs, boards and banners that tell us what is important to you really. Place the focus on the issues, take it away from the lude behaviour. insist that only serious demonstrators join and cast out the members who insist on making a mockery of your cause. Gay rights is far too important to make a circus out of.

If you want people such as law makers and legislators to take your cause seriously, keep in mind that you should speak their language. They are typically insignifact little people who make themselves bigger by wearing suits and talking with large words they don't understand. They like to pretend like they're smart and important. If you want these pathetic souls to act on your behalf and change the laws to support your causes, you have to show them the respect they demand (deserved or more likely not). Attempt to appease them and they will be far more sympathetic.

Catholic priests cane YouTube over blasphemous vids

Darren Starr


I feel a little bad for the catholic church. As more people become enlightened, I mean educated, they lose members at a rapid rate. I wonder how long it will be before catholics are selling admission to their churches and cathedrals as the egyptions, greeks and romans do with their old temples.

I would seriously think that the Church has so much more to think about than cookies being mistreated. After all, last I checked, they don't actually control any countries of interest anymore. They have a former nazi in charge of their organization. And treating the catholic church worse than they ever treated pagans in literature has become not only acceptible, but so common that the excitement of laughing at the church has almost worn off already.

The only thing I like about the Catholic church is that they're still making an effort to recruit the same suckers that Scientology, Mormons, and other whacko cults are trying to get. So, as long as they're getting to those weak minded people first, it's at least better than the alternative.

Symbian: Linux unfit for mobile phones

Darren Starr

Have programmed for Symbian... it's not suitable

for anything. It is by far the worst operating system I've ever programmed for (I have not programmed for brew though) and I've programmed a lot of them.

Unline Linux which simply isn't designed, Symbian is the most poorly designed operating system on the planet. From the arcane build system, to the ass backwards executable format, to the botched as hell forced MVC document architecture to the shitty as hell memory hacks for substandard exception handling. Symbian is an excellent example of how to do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING WRONG!!!

I mean, it's almost as if they set out from the very start to try and show the world they can make the worst shit imaginable and still manage to sell it. I wonder if they're all sitting around laughing about all the suckers they've pawned their diarhea on.

His point that Linux doesn't have any real standards as a full platform is entirely valid. Linux is a bunch of different tools and utilities, but didn't Series 60 and UIQ spawn from the same nightmarish hell as this? Maybe if Nokia actually adopts Linux, they can consolidate it a bit. Now they own TrollTech and Qtopia, it should be possible.

Being jitter free is important

Darren Starr

Mountains out of molehills

I was dealing with the 3Gb/s video problem as long ago as 3 years ago. Before Final Cut Studio went HD. What I learned was that the video business likes to make headaches for themselves.

3Gb/s video is extremely stupid since there is no transport format for it. HD-CAM SR which is the transport format for high definition in HIGH END broadcast stores video at a peak of 880MBit/s AVC which is 110Megabytes per second. The decks cost WAY too much and suffer generational loss left and right since you can't read/write the 880Mbit/s stream, instead you have to read the stream as a 3Gb/s signal transmitted as uncompressed RGB frames for full quality. So, to copy from one deck to another 1:1, the video is first decompressed and later recompressed for storage.

In a professional video network, you would instead benefit from using 600MBit/s which fits perfectly over a gigabit ethernet adapter (use two bonded channels to guarantee quality). Then NAS storage become trivial. I used a HP wx8400 workstation loaded up with SAS controllers connected to large amounts for drives using SCSI expanders and communicated with the network over 10Gbe for network communication. This configuration provided me with more than sufficient bandwidth to handle 5 high definition workstations in full 4:4:4 1080p. Off the top of my head, I believe I could have expanded to an additional 20 workstations and up to 5 petabytes by adding another 10Gbe or two channels to the workstation.

On new technology... I've been experimenting at the house with a small 10 terabyte storage system I have to see how OpenFiler SAN scales to FinalCut Studio. So far, I'm under the impression that a single 8-core server with 32GBytes of RAM should be able to handle 20-40 machines alone. Using big iron from Sun or HP would stretch much further.

Symantec nabs PC Tools for added street cred

Darren Starr
Paris Hilton

What again?

Seriously, this is the second time Symantec/Norton has bought PC Tools. The last time was when they bought the old program called PC Tools which was, in my opinion the absolute best file manager ever made for DOS.


Intel papers over remote attack chip flaws ahead of demo

Darren Starr

OS and Browser vendors work around bugs all the time

There is no executable code in a TCP/IP packet. This is pure simple fact. The code becomes executable by exploiting code that processes and propagates the packets. Therefore any of these bugs are obviously patchable within the TCP/IP stack. So forget that angle of attack. The operating system vendors should be made aware of the problem of course though.

There is no executable code in either Java or JavaScript. It has to be interpretted or compiled by the system to be executed. Both Java and JavaScript interpretters/compilers are developed by vendors whom work around operating system security holes all the time. There's just no point in making a deal about this. Just patch the holes and all is good.

Let me also point out that taking advantage of JIT compilers can be used to compromise processors without bugs as well.

So, would someone please tell me how this is an issue?

HD DVD sales still solid despite format's failure

Darren Starr

Why BluRay?

When asked by my friends and family if they should buy a DVD player or wait for recorders to come down in price, I told them, buy a player and get a hard drive recorder if you need something like that.

These days, when asked if BluRay is worth it, I respond... Nope! DVDs are cheaper and the added quality only matters for films which such but have great special effects.

Being in Europe, I tell them to buy an HTPC and lease a VPN connection from a service in the U.S. so they can use Amazon Unbox or an AppleTV for iTMS. They would have to buy something like 400 films and keep the line active for 3 years before they covered the cost of a BluRay player and 10 discs.

Sony bullish on Blu-ray dominance

Darren Starr

BluRay - The Ultimate Pirate Master Format

Chances are, if you think you need better quality than standard definition DVD, then you're probably more than capable of downloading a film from the Internet.

For those of us that are honest and all that, there's Amazon Unbox, AppleTV, etc... High definition is getting better in these formats all the time. In fact, given the nature of the Internet, it will not be long before Internet HD formats are delivered at higher bitrates than BluRay. What's better is, there's no required CODECs, with H.265 being planned now, we'll have the technology as soon as the open source world implements the ideas presented by the committees. This is a year or two.

So, why would I want to spend $500 on a player and $30 a disc when within a year or two, I'll get much higher quality from the Internet?

Oh.. that's right, the not-so-honest of us love Bluray since it's cracked and it's the perfect format to use as a master for creating REALLY high quality downloadable films on bittorrent. That's right, now you can download films in 1080p from illegitimate sources. All brought to us by Sony!

Thank you Sony!

MokaFive pumps virtual PCs through the cloud

Darren Starr
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Shoot this writer please

I mean seriously, I clicked the link for the article because I was looking forward to some good old fashioned Christian teasing. After all, this is the first time in the past 2000 years you could laugh at Christian stupidity without being hung for it.

My big complaint is, MokaFive doesn't actually appear to have anything to do with Christianity and while I believe having a separate article ragging on Christian Linux would be great, other than the fact that MokaFive can run Christian Ubuntu, I can't see any further connection between the two things. MokaFive is just another boring VMM.

Someone please shoot this author and find a funny one to write an article ragging on the Jesus crispies regarding their "Christian Linux" which I'm guessing doesn't run daemons.

AMD to experts: Experts don't know jack

Darren Starr

Where do they get this stuff?

Otellini weaps over the AMD thing? Ummm... Intel was a company with massive financial resources and many divisions that made money, not just processors. In fact, last I heard, during the "dark years" Intel was making money hand over fist on flash technologies. Let's not forget I/O processors and all the other yummy stuff Intel makes. The only reason the stock was impacted is because the "Experts" mentioned in this article were too narrow minded to understand that there's more to Intel than just their products which compete with AMD.

That being said, a lot of the "experts" kept telling me that Intel CPUs were a dead end and that AMD was the way to go. I kept responding... what's more likely

1) Intel is just sitting on their big round butts figuring that they'll catch up to AMD someday?

2) Intel is working on something big and instead of divulging all the technology break throughs their making so AMD can copy them before Intel comes to market, they've decided to take it in the butt for a year or two since they aren't 100% dependant on the CPU division for survival.

The fact is, Intel was never in any danger. They may have lost a small chunk of market share to AMD, but even Intel has to admit that it's a good thing, the money lost on that is made up from 5 less FTC investigations a month.

All that said... my personal opinion isn't that ATI was overpriced for $5.6 billion. If anything it came cheap. It was AMD's lack of ability to capitolize on the purchase. After all, if Intel, the marketting and business superpower can't make graphics tech buyouts work, how the heck does AMD think they could. Intel has bought at least 4 graphics chips companies I can think of and it all came to nothing in the end. If AMD was smart, they'd focus more on running ATI as one company and AMD as another.

AMD sells 8.1 per cent stake to Abu Dhabi firm

Darren Starr

I told you so!

Well, I didn't tell you, but I had tons and tons of people telling me a while back when AMD started heading for the lead that Intel lost their edge and AMD just has better everything etc... Of course IA64 was almost a total waste of precious engineers by Intel, but it sure looked fun. Too bad SGI (one of my favourite old time companies lost their balls on itanium)

Anyway, point being, I was saying for a long time to these nut jobs, Intel has more R&D capitol than nearly any other company out there. They can afford to let AMD take a lead if it means stepping back from the cat and mouse chase game to do something impressive. After all, Intel can easily survive 6 consecutive bad quarters if they need to.

When Intel released Core and announced the coming Core 2, it was the end of AMD leading in technology. Now, AMD is losing the market share they grabbed up during the glory days.

P.S. - I have a personal vendetta against AMD over their early 486 clones. I couldn't afford Intel back then and instead of dumpster diving for tin cans to get an extra $50 off of deposit refunds, I spent all my money on an AMD chip. It was supposed to be really fast. Well, the catch was, I needed to spend $75 more on the motherboard to handle the $50 cheaper AMD chip because they clock doubled 40Mhz and during the "black era" of the PC, when nearly every build your own PC component was of crap quality or worse, VESA local bus cards maxed out at 33Mhz and IDE controllers and VGA cards would crash the systems more than periodically at higher bus clock rates. While AMD might have made a huge jump forward regarding quality since that time, I just still can't trust a company that always races to be first, fastest, etc... give me stable and proven any day.

Holy pancake appears on eBay

Darren Starr

I want my royalties!

I am 100% sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt that that is an exposure of a picture taken of me while I was visiting Port St. Lucie in 1992 with my cousin. I'd recognize my own fat head anywhere, it's really quite unique. What's worse is, I was a minor at the time, and I appear to be naked in the picture. This is obviously a definate case of child pornography!

I'm offended that they sold my nude portait on eBay like this, without ever even asking me to waive rights. I want the full $338 and another $50,000 in punitive damages. I'm really sick and tired of people selling naked pictures of me and claiming I'm the virgin mary. Come on, you know the mental distress this causes me?!?! I mean, so I'm not very well hung, but I would hope that I don't look like a woman that's been dead for 2000 years.

German court rules internet gambling ban an 'impossibility'

Darren Starr
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Tax breaks for non-gamblers

As far as I'm concerned, people gambling away their wellfare checks is fine with me. But I'm thouroughly p---ed that I'm expected to support their habits.

When will I get my money back from them? While I understand that not all gamblers are on welfare or social disability plans, I am willing to speculate that a large percentage (anything over 1% is a large percentage in my mind) of people on welfare or social disability are in fact gamblers.

Why don't I get tax breaks for not gambling. It just seems fair. I don't condone paying for their gambling. It would be like putting myself on welfare and asking for an increase in my welfare checks to cover my drinking and smoking habits.

If these people have enough money to spend on gambling, the welfare service is paying them too much and I'm paying the government too much tax money for them. Hell, I paid over 100,000 euro last year in taxes, I wonder how much of it went into gambling :(