* Posts by richard?

40 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Mar 2012

Good news: Boffins have finally built room-temperature superconductors. Bad news: You'll need a laser, a diamond anvil, and a lot of pressure


For practical purposes this brings it into the water cooling range, which is a lot cheaper and more feasible than liquefied gases.

I guess the toxicity checks would come later - at the moment having crazy pressure and lasers firing is the bigger safety point!

Stripe is absolutely logging your mouse movements on websites' payment pages – for your own good, says CEO


Re: Prevent fraud ?

So you don't understand machine learning, and can't be bothered to Google it, but want someone to summarise the state of the art?

This technique has been used for ages in reCaptcha - which is (or was) used by ... Amazon.

Internet's safe-keepers forced to postpone crucial DNSSEC root key signing ceremony – no, not a hacker attack, but because they can't open a safe


Re: Yep.

Obvious quote - "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"

Thermic lancing it would undoubtably work quickly, and almost certainly destroy the contents so kind of pointless.

As they said in the article, the safe contains "sensitive equipment" - not much point in beating up the safe if it destroys the hardware token in the process.

AMD, boffins clash over chip data-leak claims: New side-channel holes in decades of cores, CPU maker disagrees


It says unprivileged code, including Javascript, so no pre-pwnage required.

Chips that pass in the night: How risky is RISC-V to Arm, Intel and the others? Very


Power ISA?

I can't believe an entire article on open source RISC architecture doesn't mention Power ISA, or doesn't running the top two supercomputers and having a fair number of chips you can actually buy count?

Fed up of playing Whac-A-Mole with network of SoftBank-owned patent holders, Intel hits court


Re: pot

Intel produce products - I'm sure there are some cases where they've gone after competitors for patent infringement, probably some of them unfair or anti-competitive, but at least they're using the patents they have in things people buy.

That's fundamentally different to a firm which has never produced anything, has no intention of ever producing anything or setting up a reasonable licensing scheme (e.g. like ARM does), and doesn't even benefit the original patent author.

Haskell, Erlang, and Frank walk into a bar – and begin new project to work in Unison


Re: Making a hash of it...?

I guess the chances of a hash collision are so much smaller than the collisions we already have with a combination of name + types that it isn't a priority to worry about.

The second point is probably an advantage - no unexpected changes, the references must be _deliberately_ updated; it also allows parallel testing and stuff in a real environment, and you since you can uniquely identify a function you can easily see if the old one is being used.

The '$4.4m a year' bug: Chipotle online orders swallowed by JavaScript credit-card form blunder


Wow, could you have put more incorrect statements into one comment?

It is a problem with their website if they are losing orders. The customer may not always be right, but losing an order through a technical problem is always wrong.

Credit cards do frequently have four digit years, and if the site asks for "year" it is perfectly reasonable to put in four digits.

Autofill programs may fail, but it is the dev's problem since that's the platform they're working on. And it's a perfectly testable scenario, so no excuses it's just poor coding.

If you've ever looked at any research on loss of capture through UX issues you would know that the percentages lost can be staggering, even at payment stage. You do not want to give people time to get pissed off, think about if they really want it, or look at the total price again.

Chinese dev jailed and fined for posting DJI's private keys on Github


Re: Set up to fail

I agree they should protect the keys...

But I have no sympathy for someone who thought it was OK to publish any of their company's stuff on GitHub without asking and receiving clear permission.

His employment contract will certainly have had the usual clauses about company ownership of his work, confidentiality etc. Even without the keys he broke his contract and trade secret laws, it's just unfortunate the keys made it a lot worse which is on the company.

Is your smart device a bit thick? It's about to get a lot worse


The "other wrist" thing in the end comment is actually a point. If you put the watch on so the text is the right way up, the buttons are probably not usable or may act in the wrong direction.

iWatch has a right/left setting to flip the screen, but surprisingly it looks like Google Wear doesn't support this you need a separate app!

Another day, another meeting, another £191bn down the pan


I think you should have taken Friday off and skipped straight to the weekend bit - seriously, yet another post on pointless meetings on an IT site?

Really not one of your better efforts; maybe there's a decent story in hacks running out of ideas and regurgitating cliches?

Good luck, have fun: Thanks Xeon SP, now SPEC benchmarks blurt out hundreds of results


Uninformed rant

Did you decide to write this as a rant, and then ignore all the evidence?

On the link you provided you can filter the data pretty much any way you want, or download it in CSV format to the spreadsheet / database or your choice. The link is even right at the top of the page and craftily labelled Search... obviously they were trying to hide it.

I get the bit about price, but a. that changes all the time and b. recommended prices are for idiots and c. if you have specific requirements, you normally narrow down the search to a bunch of options, then look for prices

Yes, Assange, we'll still nick you for skipping bail, rules court


If he leaves publicly, there is basically zero chance of some sort of clandestine rendition that bypasses the courts. And if the US does get him legally, then fine, that's the point of having laws and courts, and the recent Laurie Love case showed it.

So what exactly is the US going to do?

Look on the bright side, Pebble fans. At least your gizmo will work long enough for you to get beach body ready


Re: Spec.

The trouble is that if the company goes bust, maybe because of these requirements, nobody wins - and it's already far to easy to just claim bankruptcy to avoid responsibilities.

Mandatory escrow of all supporting code and IP rights would make more sense - any company buying the rights would have to think twice about shutting stuff down if the code then became public. Half of these platforms already have most of the "support" run by some community which could take ownership.

Maybe add in joint ownership / first rights to any relevant hardware, IP addresses, domains etc as well, so there's a viable transition period.

Intel's latest diversity report shows numbers at a standstill


The numbers here are useless - what really matters is the breakdown relative to turnover, not total staff. Assuming you have a fair recruiting policy, your new recruits should be diverse, but it will take a long time (potentially a working lifetime) for this to work through the organisation.

Buy a Surface, get spam from Microsoft


Buy a Surface, get spam from Microsoft

I've bought a Surface, it's great - except MS are spamming me with a "Your Surface" email with nonsense about how I should use it, almost every day.

It has no unsubscribe option, it's plain marketing spam from my viewpoint. It even says "forward to a friend" - no, that is not ever ever going to happen!

Any ideas how to unsubscribe? Nothing in my MS account (I already have "don't send me junk" selected), nothing in my MS profile already removed any subscriptions.

Ditto OneNote but I guess that's another forum... seriously, one new device two new spam subscriptions from MS.

I've tried posting on the MS forums but just got unhelpful "Oh MS would never do that" from a fanboi.

Next big thing after containers? Amazon CTO talks up serverless computing


So exactly like mainframe computing 30 years ago...

OK, you had to put your code on a tape and send it by post, but "run this code with this much memory and this much disk space" is old stuff.

Being able to do it on demand for very small units of work is cool though.

It's 2016 and idiots still use '123456' as their password


Nothing wrong with insecure passwords

- on insecure irrelevant sites

I use the same password on any number of forums and support sites where I really don't want to spend the time remembering them and a breach would be completely uninteresting to me.

Half the sites probably run old or homegrown forum software and dump the password straight into the DB in plaintext anyway.

I combine this with a disposable email address in case of a spam overload, but so far they're all so irrelevant that nobody has even bothered to hack them and the address is pristine !

Linux kernel dev who asked Linus Torvalds to stop verbal abuse quits over verbal abuse


Re: At some point I might resign from my job

But your job is paid - the only thing she received for the Linux work was kudos and publicity.

So when she quit, she followed the same pattern. Much as Torvalds does himself - don't say much, but if necessary say it in a way to get maximum exposure.

Australian boffins say Quantum Pentiums are on the horizon


"been able to build cubits “using standard lithographic techniques.”"

The last time I checked lithography is down to about 14nm - reversing the trend, a 40cm cubit would have been the process size about a hundred years ago ;-)

French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'


Expensive tinfoil!

That amount seems way too high - surely one roll of tinfoil per day would be enough ;-)

Legal bible Groklaw pulls plug in wake of Lavabit shutdown, NSA firestorm


Re: I don't understand this at all.

I was thinking the same thing.

For confidential email, why would anyone trust their email provider and not use encrypted email?

Of course, it is virtually impossible to hide the source and destination in email, since that's needed for delivery and having a two way conversation, but even that is fixed by encrypted online form - just use it from a web cafe, and provide a unique private ID to have a secure two-way discussion.

Of course she would need to ensure the encrypted data is only opened on her own PC in her own secure environment.

The blog owner can still be subpoenaed for information but that's just normal law exactly as it should be; I'd imagine PJ would be able to handle it, and have lots of support if it happened.

Boffin's claim: I have found how to get girls into tech


Re: Doesn't it miss the point somewhat?

But the point is also that a team of end-spectrum nerds is frequently not the most productive. Deep technical skills good, ability to apply to real world problems or timelines not so much.

Unless you're a pure technology company, having an IT person who can work with reality is pretty important, and the gender balance in many non-IT functions is equal or at least not so imbalanced.

The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype


Easy for hardware

Also increasing the frame rate vs resolution would be easy to implement in TV hardware - sets already show far more than 25/30 fps, and I happily send 60 fps over HDMI from my PC.

The biggest cost for these new formats is the increased resolution; if they forget that I'd love to get an improved experience on my perfectly adequate current HD TV.

You'd never get the telly makers to go for it, but imagine if one of the big broadcasters picked it up and sold it as an upgrade requiring no new hardware or just a new STB not a new TV.

Boffins read memory bits with light


You wouldn't need to illuminate individual bits, and it would be slow - one row would be fine, with the columns read off the conducting strips in parallel.

Snappers binned, mobe-armed hacks drafted at Chicago paper

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Real photos in line with the text...

Could actually be good if the photos are taken by the reporter, at the time, and line up with what is written. How many articles have some stock photo, or the same as all the other articles, and give me a strong suspicion they were paraphrased from someone else's work...

Some of the best articles on this site have photos by the hacks, usually accompanied with something like "it's a crap photo because the light in the pub was poor and I've only an iPhone 4" but at least you know it's real :-)

Adobe price hike: Your money or your files, frappuccino sippers


Agree that locking you out of existing files would be an unacceptable form of ransom, but a simple and fair option would be to provide a read-only mode that allows saving to other formats once your subscription expires.

Apple takes aim at accessory makers, files iPad stand patent


Not "laptop"

... as two iPads weigh the same a better name for this would be "seesaw".

Dutch army digs in on spare spectrum rest of Europe could use


So if they go over the border on a mission, they can be jammed with a keyfob? That's up there with the Met comms kit not working on the Tube.

Kobo Glo illuminated e-reader review



One obvious differentiator is the resolution - 758x1024 rather than 600x800 - and it isn't commented on at all !

As an owner of a 600x800 E-Ink reader (Sony, fwiw) and a retina iPad, I find it hard to go back to the reader even with the much better battery life and more appropriate size because the text is so jagged.

So reviewer - is the higher resolution any better?

Chips in spaaaaace: old tech is in


Actually an alpha emitter would be completely useless to mimic cosmic radiation etc. Regular alpha particles don't even pass through skin, so unless you took the lid off your chip and attached the Americium directly to the silicon it wouldn't have any effect.

I'm assuming levering the lid off a chip would cause some problems anyway, but maybe the teardown sites could give it a go :-)

EU proposed emergency alert system won't work on iPhone


No better "expert" available??

Why are all the quotes from an "expert" with a clear commercial reason to trash the idea?

Surely you could have found someone to comment directly on the Dutch or US experience?

Judge: Your boss has no right to your emails held by a third party


Re: Is it just me?

I think the point is that anything you put on the company network / email belongs to the company as per contract and reasonable sense. This seems to be a case where they're trying to get hold of a copy from externally because they deleted their own copy.

Perhaps they could argue that the copy is theirs due to intellectual property rights, same as a photocopy would be, but in that case I'd think he could just delete the mails as it isn't his responsibility to keep them.

Boffins foul VM sandboxes with CPU-sniffing hack


Doesn't work with SMP??

"none were shown to work in symmetric multi-processing (SMP) settings."

Surely cloud providers don't host VMs on single processor boxes, so making this attack unlikely to work in th real world.

New I-hate-my-neighbour stickers to protect Brits' packages


I don't get the Children's Panel bit - surely they just print "CONFIDENTIAL" on the outside, and then the postie doesn't deliver it elsewhere?

Same thing for tax details and other dodgy post - equivalent of putting the sticker on the delivery itself.

Carbonite disputes ASA censure of cloud storage ads


Re: Crashplan FTW

Bullshit implies they claimed something untrue. They claim unlimited backup, and throttling the upload speed doesn't make this untrue although you could argue it makes it less useful.

As I said originally, for most home users who have a lots of unchanging data such as video and photos, I don't think it would cause a problem or invalidate the point of their offering.

If you need to store more that 200GB and have a large amount of change then it would - take your pick.


Re: Crashplan FTW

To be fair to Carbonite, they are offering a simple home service and they don't claim unlimited bandwidth. Once the backup is up-to-date it doesn't take much transfer to keep it that way, so the restriction is probably not an issue for the vast majority of users.

I've used it for a few years, because although I could do something more complex, faster etc, if whatever takes out my machine also takes out me then Carbonite is simple enough for my partner to understand to get our stuff back. I've also restored some fairly large video files without issue.

Dual-screen, detachable and Windows 8 star at Computex

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Dual screen laptop

Actually the dual screen feature has possibilities for 1:1 client presentations; they see the presentation, you see the notes, in a natural facing each other setup rather than with a screen projected somewhere behind you and a noisy projecter.

Why embossed credit cards are here to stay


Please, use a different colour!

I see no reason to remove the embossed numbers, but could they at least use a contrasting colour on them, not silver or gold that means you have to tilt the card backwards and forwards to read the number???

Don't be alarmed - but 545,000 NHS patient files are going online


Patient control

I don't understand why we can't have a system where the patient controls the access.

* Patient carries a smartcard - if they go to a hospital or are found lying in the street, smartcard gives access. Put in some sort of emergency override if necessary.

* Patient registers with doctor/provider - uses smartcard to give access either permanently to that practice, or for a period in case of private one-off things.

* Patient has access to web portal to add/remove these bits, and see who has been accessing their data.

This is kind of similar to the way lots of organisations already work with 2 factor authentication and access to service accounts. Because the data is stored centrally it's a lot more robust in case of card loss, but you could add an option to load it onto the smartcard to help with network outages.