* Posts by Aric Friesen

9 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Jun 2007

Invisible-shed spy beam tech detects hidden artworks

Aric Friesen
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Boffin is acceptable to us Yanks

Boffin was used a lot in the Danger Mouse cartoons I saw in the 80s (and thankfully now own on DVD.) As a Yank I learned a lot over hear about the U.K. through Danger Mouse.

I say keep the word that has been around for a long time, and who's meaning is clear.

Dismantling a Religion: The EFF's Faith-Based Internet

Aric Friesen

Incorrect Conclusions

Ok, someone already beat me to the obvious conclusion, DOCSIS is broken.

But let's go a little further. Ok, assuming the EFF did a piss poor job of writing this report, let's look at your analysis.

It would seem you too may have made a mistake by instead of doing a root cause analysis, you simply followed the EFF down the rabbit hole and then called them stupid for being in a rabbit hole. But look, you're in the rabbit hole too!

There are two real fundamental issues that are causing this (aside from Comcasts "forgery") and both are much higher level than any mistakes in the DOCSIS standard.

1) My cable company promises me unlimited up and download data. It says to a Max of 1Mbps up and 7Mbps down. Now I know I won't always get those speeds, but whatever speeds I get, I'm unlimited.

2) Apparently the cable company sells more bandwidth than it has (much like an airline who over books a flight.)

Now regarding item 1) As long as they give me unlimited up and down, I am wasting money (and not reducing my carbon footprint) unless I use my max throughput 100% of the time. I pay for it, they said I had it, it's mine. Now were they foolish in saying that? Should they be charging me per MB or GB? Possibly. But they don't. So it's in my best interest to use all the bandwidth I purchased for the month. Anytime I'm not using my max, I am paying for bandwidth I don't need, and I am supplying power to my networking devices when they aren't providing a use, which means I'm increasing my carbon footprint needlessly.

For item 2) If an airline overbooks, they might "reset your flight" similar to Comcast resetting your network, but they do at least compensate you for it. I bet if Comcast sent an email to customers saying... we've interrupted your network for a bit, here's a month's free credit to your account people would've felt differently. Can you imagine arriving at an airport with the airline claiming, "no we don't oversell your flights" putting you on a fake (forged if you will) airplane that cannot fly, and walking away claiming they met their end of their contract? That would be pretty mean spirited. And yet, that's what Comcast has done.

CNET insists Google ads are good for you - and fun!!!

Aric Friesen

Is this the same Peter that said this in June of 2005?

Regarding Apple's switch to Intel CPUs...


Peter Glaskowsky, analyst for The Envisioneering Group, in Seaford, N.Y.: "It's a bunch of bull...Firstly, Apple certainly pays much less for IBM and Freescale processors than Intel charges for comparable chips. Probably less than half as much on average. The G5 is a smaller, more efficient chip than the Pentium 4, and IBM has no other customers willing to buy large quantities."


Spot on as always!

UN moves to preserve Bounty mutineers' lingo

Aric Friesen

Friesen? Did someone say my name?

Frisian and Platt Deutsch to me always seemed about the same (of course there are several dialects of Frisian as well.)

Of course in Holland they speak Dutch. I've never been to Holland myself (nor do I know where in Holland Laurent_Z was so he may have been exposed to a regional dialect) but my guess is they don't consider their language either Frisian or Platt Deutsch.

Paramount, Dreamworks go all out for HD DVD

Aric Friesen

Digital downloads may beat them all

As BluRay and HD-DVD fight it out, they are loosing ground to a new media distribution format… Downloading via the internet.

As devices like AppleTV, TiVo, XBOX 360, and PS3 mature and offer full downloads of HD quality movies and permanent storage on a central home media server that can stream movies to any TV in your home, copy to any iPod, Zune, or PSP, and stream to your laptop or cellphone (via Slingbox or similar), purchasing movies on pre-recorded media will be obsolete. (I’m ignoring any DRM lock out issues of course.)

A good quality HD movie may be close to 40~50GB* in size which is currently a problem for both network bandwidth and hard drive space but that won't be a constraint for long. In two years, downloading a 50GB file will probably only take a couple hours on most home internet connections (I think on my current cable modem it would take theoretically about 12 hours, of course, I never get near my theoretical bandwidth.) And if I could download an HD movie in 12 hours, that’s already faster than Amazon.com or DeepDiscountDVD.com can get it to me if I order it, so I’d already do this with current technology if it was available.

If a winner doesn't soon emerge in the next gen DVD media wars downloading HD media will be able to take over very quickly once it becomes more available.

Making the move to the Mac

Aric Friesen

Well written, good work

I look forward to your coverage of Interface Builder, which I think is the most difficult component for a someone to get used to when moving from say Visual Studio or Delphi to XCode.

Behind the Apple vs Universal breakup

Aric Friesen

Your numbers don't quite add up

You first state: Apple has made a huge amount of money from sales of iPods - far more than the labels have made from iTunes

Ok, possibly. But remember for every $150 iPod sold, Apple did have to pay someone to manufacture it. It's not all profit.

Then you say: The iTunes Store has sold over 2.5 billion songs since its inception ... But the labels only make 70c off each track. This revenue pales in comparison to the amount of money Apple generates from sales of [iPods.]

Ok so the record companies have made $1.75 billion in song revenue. Again, you are correct Apple has brought in more money with it's iPods having sold over 100 million at, say an average price of $150 (that's $15 billion dollars) but again, how much of that money went to design and manufacturing? I believe the teardowns usually indicate a 40% markup, not including engineering or distribution. So let's take some off for that, and that's only like $5 billion. And remember, selling a track on iTunes didn't really cost the record company any money in distribution. Oh, you could argue publicity and production costs for the original creation, but they would've had to pay that to make the CD whether they sold the track on iTunes or not.

Then you say: If Universal could negotiate £1 [£ or $?] from every unit Apple plans to sell, it'd make $10m.

Um, $10m is small change compared to the numbers in the billions we have been talking about. Are you sure that's motivation enough?

America wastes gazillions with always-on PCs

Aric Friesen

It would probably be more environmentally sound to have the computers do something useful

It shouldn’t be about turning the computers off, it should be about putting that energy to a good use. Instead of turning them off, they should be folding genetic codes, or doing other useful tasks like participating in worldcommunitygrid.org. Heck considering how long it takes to encode my home movies from miniDV to MPEG 2 for DVDs, maybe they should let employees log in and use the grid of computers for personal use. It could even be sold as a benefit to employees. “You’ll get x number of hours of grid computing time during off hours as an employee of our company.”

In choosing how to use energy more wisely we should consider the energy used in the manufacture of the computer as well. If it is allowed to sit powered down, we are not getting any return on that energy, however, if we leave it powered up doing useful tasks, while we are expending more energy we are getting a better return on the energy we are expending as well as on the energy we already spent building the computer.

It would seem that from an environmental point of view this would be the best choice.

AT&T sued by poor man's Formula 1

Aric Friesen

David Webb Herbie won F1 before NASCAR

You said: "Come on, Herbie won a NASCAR race! ... and driven by a girl!"

Herbie won the Monte Carlo Grand Prix before he won the NASCAR event.

You also seem to have a low opinion of women.

So sad.