* Posts by Ben Hodson

17 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Oct 2008

That EVIL TEXT that will CRASH your iPhone: We pop the hood

Ben Hodson

Is it possible that people have stumbled across a badly implemented back door ?

NSA send a specially formatted text which causes the device to take on certain behaviour ?

Mortgage data splashed all over the net. Thanks HSBC Finance

Ben Hodson

The problem is that the penalties for these kind of screw ups are too lenient.

Make the penalty fit the crime. All senior board members of companies that disclose customer date should be compelled to post naked pictures of themselves and wives/husbands. There - now they realise how it feels to have personal information exposed.

Likewise, MDs or hospital cleaning firms should have too eat their lunch from the floor of randomly chosen toilets that their company cleans.

MDs of chemical companies should have to bathe in the factory effluent on random occasions.

Tell me these measures wouldn't be more effective.

Vodafone: Can't make calls on our network? Use Wi-Fi

Ben Hodson

Vodafone need to do something to improve 'coverage'. But is using WiFi the right way to do it ?

In Marlborough I can stand 50m from the Vodafone shop and have no coverage at all.

Elite: Dangerous 'billionaire' gamers are being 'antisocial', moan players

Ben Hodson

As the link to frontier above implied it is only about 50 players that will be allowed to keep the loot.

That is 50 rich people in an entire universe - it will make not one drop of difference to the game.

There are already players like me who are flying around in legitimately earnt pythons with big guns with cash in the bank. There is no practical difference between me and the 50 'lottery winners'

The stamping and shouting is all down to players all wanting free money. Not even worth listening to them.

Don't put that duffel bag full of cash in the hotel room safe

Ben Hodson

My fave, a couple of guys followed delivery vans. When they noticed high value boxes delivered (Dell, HP etc). They simply waited 5 minutes and rocked up to the good in dept. and said that the delivery had been made in error and that their delivery was on the next lorry in about 20 minutes.

A signature and receipt and they took the boxes away - simple !

I still reckon that a tool box, overalls and confidence will get you past 90% of security.

We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

Ben Hodson

Really interesting article. I spent 15 years designing DSP algorithms for audio processing so I have a bias towards the techy side of audio. The article certainly appealed to that.

But where all the technology stops is the ear. At that point it becomes bio-mechanics.

Just like it is impossible to define the perfect red wine, it is impossible to define the perfect sound. My "perfect sound" will be different to yours.

Sonar and radar are all about accuracy, music should be all about emotion and pleasure. It is very easy to get sucked in by the technology and forget the purpose.

My favourite music features all sorts of imperfectly reproduced dirac pulses caused by the scratches on my late fathers albums that I first heard as a child.

Cambridge Assessment exams CHAOS: Computing students' work may be BINNED

Ben Hodson

There is nothing wrong in copying good well written code to complete a programming task. It is why we have libraries and templates. Reusing code is an important skill.

BUT - telling good code from bad code is a pre-requisite for code reuse.

Grading programming expertise is hard to do by single exam as you need time to take a problem and code a solution that compiles/runs. But you CAN measure someone's ability to break a problem down to a solvable position. A far more important skill than knowing where the ";"s go.

So give them a problem in an exam and get a solution design out of them. Write a parser for calculating reverse polish notation, design a set of objects for a given task etc.

Mozilla agrees to add DRM support to Firefox – under protest

Ben Hodson

The more 'difficult' you make it to watch content 'legally', the more people that will watch it illegally.

I used to travel to the USA regularly and had a laptop with a region unlocked DVD drive. I used to rent US dvds and watch them on business trips.

I bought a new laptop with a region locked DVD and suddenly couldn't do this anymore. The result was that I downloaded a film for the first time. This was before netflix etc but still the same regional restrictions apply.

Go on, buy Bitcoin. But DON'T say we didn't WARN YOU

Ben Hodson

It strikes me that you only really need to answer the following:

1) Does the internet need a non-national e-currency that is devoid of transaction charges, bank fees and allows easy micropayments ?

2) Do you think that BitCoin will be the VHS or the BetaMax ?

If your answers are yes/VHS then it is massively undervalued given the limit on the number of bitcoins that will ever be released. If you answer is anything else then there a lot of people that will end up with a worthless computer file.

Personally I LOVE the idea of a currency that is out of direct control of "the Man", I think the internet needs it and VHS/Betamax - I dont know !

Seven snazzy smartphones for seven sorts of shoppers

Ben Hodson

Pixels != noise

More pixels does not mean less noise, quite often the exact opposite is true. One small high pixel count sensors the pixel noise is far higher. This is why full frame sensors in DSLRs produce far less noise than the same tech when shrunk down to crop sensors.

HP Spectre XT 13in Ivy Bridge Ultrabook review

Ben Hodson

I bought a dell laptop in 2005 that had a 1600x1200 15" screen. WHY do modern laptops all have such a low res ? Is there a genuine reason for it ?

Seriously my mobile phone has almost the same resolution as the laptop reviewed here (HTC One-X at 720 x 1280)

I want a non-glossy (cos I use it in the real world), screen with at least 1600x900, but ideally a 16:10 screen.

Trial finds eight ways to defeat Google, PayPal and other SSOs

Ben Hodson

Has everyone forgotton one of the main rules for security - "Dont use the same password everywhere". Single sign on is just nother name for that !

It's a bad idea, bad !

Spider venom to be tested for pesticide potential

Ben Hodson

Why not spend the money that would be used to develop this to pay people to be infertile at $200 per year.

Less people, less need for intensive farming, less need for yields, less need for damaging bio controls.

Can anyone actually think of a major world problem that wouldn't be solved/easier to solve if the worlds population was 10% of where it currently is ?

LOHAN flashes fantastical flying truss

Ben Hodson

Or each balloon has a string to each end and one to a point say 2/5s along the truss. That way the launch area is kept clear and the beam has an autolevelling moment.

O2 to axe iPhone prices?

Ben Hodson

There's a chance that .....

It might even allow true turn-by-turn GPS navigation - or even cut and paste.

I love everything about the iphone but these two issues simply rule it out for me as a phone.

Mobile phones to get universal charger

Ben Hodson

Splashpower anyone ?

I remember a system called splashpower.

A simple inductive pad (like a mousemat) that you could put devices onto - phones, bluetooth headsets, mp3 players. All would then charge, no connectors, no multiple chargers.

Why couldn't a system like this have been specified, it would have given it the critical mass needed to become a de-facto standard across all small personal electronics devices.

iPhone squares up to Android

Ben Hodson
Thumb Down

How about turn-by-turn GPS

Turn by Turn GPS is the single thing that stops us considering the iPhone for our company (I could just about live without cut and paste !). My next phone will probably be the HTC Touch HD for this very reason.