* Posts by Anomalous Cowlard

25 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Apr 2011

Sony’s sorry saga snowballs

Anomalous Cowlard

Executive summary

Sh*te (tm) has hit the fan(s).

Intel PC hegemony facing ARMy attack

Anomalous Cowlard

Would be nice ...

... having an alternate architecture available (as in readily available, reasonably priced laptops, desktops, servers). Also, the ARM model of licensing the designs to umpteen chipmakers would seem like an healthier one than the current Intel hegemony.

Google sprays customers with cash in AdWords cockup

Anomalous Cowlard


We-the-punters bear the cost of commercial propaganda, that is, messages designed to push us into buying something, not to disseminate facts. Besides, marketing considerations result in all sorts of schemes designed to extract the maximum amount of money from us instead of delivering the best product or service, and, to add insult to injury, these characters sport a total disregard of privacy.

If I got to decide I would institute a policy where advertising as we know it would be banned. Instead, sellers/manufactures/providers would, upon request supply factual information of their products and services. Any non-provable statement or a provable statement that could proved false would result in draconian punishment, those violating the no-push (explicit request) provision would be treated even harsher.

Nokia touted Meego to rivals, but nobody wanted to know

Anomalous Cowlard


... going with Maemo/Meego would have been following Apple's lead here: take an established platform and whip up a UI layer on top of it like Apple did with BSD. Failing that, gang up with Google for a similar outcome where the option of going your own way would have existed if for no other end but to keep the partnership equal. But no, instead, insist on being locked-in on a the newest incarnation of an unproven platform with a solid track record of fail.

Oracle subpoenas Apache in search of Google smoking gun

Anomalous Cowlard


Dear Corporations,

How about building products to freely shared standards and competing with the merits of the products instead insisting in lock-in, control-freakery and screwing the competition and/or the customer at every turn.


IE is tough on Flash cookies but ignores homegrown threat

Anomalous Cowlard

Uh ...

... should finally get around to setting up a script to run the browser under another uid (Linux) where the home directory is wiped between sessions. Not only would this get rid of all tracking information, it would also render exploits less harmful. Some bother in this (as in logging in for each session) but the surveilance society by corporations where my data is sold and combined for who-knows-for-what purposes bothers me more. I suppose this could be refined to keep some bits and pieces instead of routinely binning everything. With dynamic IPs and maybe a script to change the MAC of the wi-fi box/router providing NAT to force an IP change every once in a while there should be little to collect and data mine.

Parliamentary committee suspends intellectual property rights inquiry

Anomalous Cowlard

One thing

... I would like to see as a part of a reform would be that the copyright as such would not be transferable but would remain with the originator who could give licenses to distributors putting some competition to the latter game instead of the current "permanently hand your work to a monopoly distributor for a pittance" regime.

Powerline networking pops up in Parliament

Anomalous Cowlard

Kind of half useless

... at least the pair I tried: these needed to be connected to the same phase to work. Anything larger than a small apartment is likely to have the sockets distributed between different phases. In a small apartment wi-fi would usually work great anyway and be more convenient and probably as speedy.

Freeman Dyson: Shale gas is 'cheap and effective'

Anomalous Cowlard

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas

Natural gas is mostly (80-100%) methane which produces less CO2 when burned / unit of heat produced than coal (or other hydrocarbons). However, methane in itself is 50x or so more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Some will leak and/or escape unburned which narrows the cap. Still, burning some that can be sourced locally is much better than having to depend of Gazprom / Middle East.

Seagate's terabyte platters make it the densest of the lot

Anomalous Cowlard

Sounds like

/dev/drum ?

Panasonic pledges big job cuts

Anomalous Cowlard

+1 : fine kit

I have been kind of impressed with the apparent quality of the firmware; that something with FW pretty much "just works" is more of an exception than the norm, sadly.

PlayStation Network credit cards protected by encryption

Anomalous Cowlard

One time credit card numbers

... should r-e-a-l-l-y be a standard feature of any cc offering; NETELLER can do this without any obvious trouble, a regular bank/cc company should be able to offer these as well. The way it works is that you get a new number for every transaction through a web-interface. The number only works for that one charge. Since cc information includes the expiration date (next month) the numbers themselves can even be recycled if need be.

Windows phones send user location to Microsoft

Anomalous Cowlard


>And, like them, grossly overpaid compared to the contribution to society

Which has a negative sign (IMO).

Five amazing computers for under £100

Anomalous Cowlard

More tinker toys

The 7" mini-laptop w. VIA-ARM VT8500 / 128M RAM / 2G Flash / USB 2.0 x3 / 100M Ethernet / wi-fi / SD slot for about US$ 100 (shipped) from Chinese / Hong Kong Ebay sellers is also a nice piece to tinker with. Comes with Win CE, but has MMU and hence can be used to run proper Linux (the bootloader can handle booting from the SD). Another inexpensive gadget with network interfaces (1000M Ethernet + 802.11n) and USB 2.0 is the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH which can do OpenWRT. I might tinker these into local NAS w. remote replication (rsync) at a friends place; with external USB disks speed might not be exactly stellar, but probably enough for a backup at the same time it would be easy enough to run a FTP server to share an odd file. Some dynamic DNS service should suffice for the boxes to find each other and the world to find the FTP box with the dynamic IPs from regular ADSL / cable modem service.

Amazon cloud still on fritz after 36 hours

Anomalous Cowlard

Reliable service is one thing

... but how about the ability of moving one's business elsewhere if that or other aspects are not satisfactory. I somehow very much doubt that the standards allowing this to happen have been devised/implemented (or ever will be) as this is a) very difficult and b) losing lock-in would mean actually having to compete.

Google opens peephole on mystery data center practices

Anomalous Cowlard

When a "cloud" service has all your data ...

... and loses it, how do your prove it ever even existed?

Microsoft lobby will turn Google into Microsoft

Anomalous Cowlard

>Is this what we want?


Eight... spatial soundbars

Anomalous Cowlard


... the flat-tv speakers sound pretty tinny. A pair of decent stereo speakers is a huge improvement. Unfortunately with this comes the inconvenience (& the modern plague of umpteen remotes (*)) of controlling the amp separately as one wants to share them for music too. Most TVs have an RCA output where changing the TV input automatically results the related audio to be connected to that output; works with stereo sound only, of course. A subwoofer adds to the music as well as movie soundtracks as well as games, even the relatively modest/inexpensive AudioPro B1.35 was a revelation for me. That with a basic stereo amp and a pair of old KEF C20s has been very nice for sound quality, yet fits a normal apartment without sweat; so far having to place / route wires to all the speakers (and the price of having decent ones, not to mention the potential headaches from wire formats/codecs/incompatibilties) has easily been enough of an deterrent getting a surround kit.

(*) Universal remotes help, but then the very concept of having to control and coordinate even a separate DVB box is too much for many people; I suppose we technically oriented people sometimes take some of understanding (resulting from sweat/toil/time motivated by a genuine interest in gadgets/technology) granted :)

Google to sell subscriptions to Chrome OS notebooks?

Anomalous Cowlard


Accepting the lease contract would seem to mean signing away your privacy to the maximum extent Google can get away with; them owning the hardware will, no doubt, mean they can get away with more as the punter might be in breach not only of contract but law ("unauthorised use") trying to find out what they are actually doing with one's data.

Japanese gov makes Fukushima evac zone compulsory

Anomalous Cowlard


... against what might still happen I suppose: the reactor(s) are hardly in a normal, safe state; the cooling is still jury-rigged, the shape of the fuel rods / cores essentially unknown, except that there must have been damage to the cladding as I-131 and Cs-137 is out in generous amounts, "unknown" applies to the integrity of containment structures and/or the RPVs of units 2 and 3.

Still, that it has not gotten worse than this is encouraging: with each passing day the decay heat drops and with that the change of sudden, (more) substantial leak(s) is diminishing. Assuming that all goes reasonably well, the most substantial impact - realistically - is that plans for building more nuclear power have been derailed for the foreseeable future as well as - paradoxically - implementing a long term solution to the nuclear waste problem (instead of letting it pile up in temporary storage) such as reprocessing and getting rid of plutonium as mox-fuel, not to mention research into breeder reactors or even improving current designs.

Microsoft inks Nokia deal with phones set to fly in 2012

Anomalous Cowlard


From Microsoft's point of view, sure: if it works out = win, if it does not, at least they got rid of competition = win. The first might be win^2, as it includes the second and not only means that they have Nokia by the balls but also that this can be exploited to much profit.

Calling all readers: Want some new icons?

Anomalous Cowlard



Anomalous Cowlard

How about

Bonsai Kitten

Le Pétomane

"We are not amused"



The Boss (pointy haired)

Exploit-wielding boffins go on free online shopping binge

Anomalous Cowlard


The very idea of trying to set something like this straight with Paypal gives me a headache.

Pandora's mobile app transmits 'mass quantities' of user data

Anomalous Cowlard

"Contract", no doubt

The authorisation is in all likelyhood buried in a click-trough "contract" designed not to be read let alone understood, probably containing a provision for the company involved to add anything they might have forgot at the time of writing by simply adding that later without needing to ask or even tell the punter. The latter, of course, cannot even refer to the "contract" as it was, but must take the other party's word as to what it contained should there be a dispute.