* Posts by Claus P. Nielsen

74 posts • joined 22 Jun 2007


Former top brass call for first-strike nuke option

Claus P. Nielsen

No need to bash americans

This report was written by a bunch of generals from several different NATO countries.

The conclusions have probably less to do with the nationality of the respective generals than it has to do with the fact that they are retired generals form the cold-war era.

Not ALL old dogs can be taught new tricks.

Showdown over encryption password in child porn case

Claus P. Nielsen
Black Helicopters

Re: Plan

I've had a similar idea for a while now.

I would like to expand on the plan a little though.

1: make a small piece of SW, that generates random garbage files (of user specified sizes)

2: Distribute this SW to anyone interested.

3: Routinely fill unused areas of your Harddrive with files generated using this SW.

4: Hide any (encrypted) files you have among these (you could have a whole series of files named myfile1, myfile2, etc. and then let the actual file be number 11 in all cases so you can find it again easily).

5: Transmit these nonsense files to other users who you also send encrypted files to (or to people you don't send encrypted files to - you can always add a note saying that the file is garbage - even if it is actually not).

This would enable you to always claim that any encrypted file found on your harddisk is just a garbage file "See - I have a program that generate such files".

It would also mean that anybody trying to break encryption on your mail would have the added problem of determining whether the message was indeed a message or simply garbage.

Potentially this could bring Internet snooping operations to a halt if enough people started doing it. Breaking the encryption on total garbage takes infinity time and ressources :-)

I don't know whether this would make the world a better place though. There is probably a way around this method too.

AT&T to crush copyrighted network packets

Claus P. Nielsen
Black Helicopters

AT&T Biting the hand that feeds it?

As some of the above comments have stated, AT&T must have a not so obvious financial interrest hidden somewhere in this.

Unless every other ISP are ordered to implement the same restrictions, AT&T would loose customers in droves immediately after implementing such a policy. Customers will see no benefit from this and the mere risk of loosing packets from false positives should scare away any sensible customers (if I were a competitor, I would surely find a way to inject a few rumours into the mill so the not so sensible users are scared away too).

So either AT&T are just showing a nice front towards their friends in the Ass.'s or they think that they have a better filtering technology than their competitors and are betting that they can get legislators to make this type of filtering mandatory (legislation would take care of the risk of loosing common carrier status).

It seems like a really long shot to bet on filtering technology to be that good, but they may think that the experience they have had with spam filters have made them experts at filtering.

In the end, all will depend on legislation though. Any unilateral move by AT&T would bury them.

Why there will never be another GSM

Claus P. Nielsen

Software radios are a pipe dream

Intel tries to sell the idea constantly, but has had very little success so far.

The basic problem is that SW radios require that the underlying hardware is roughly an order of magnitude faster than what is required to implement the same radio directly in hardware.

But then somebody thinks up a way to use this faster hardware to get even more performance.

Buttom line is that SW radio is always implementing yesterdays technology, so in order for SW radio to succeed commercially the market must change so that either there is no longer a driver towards higher throughput (and/or smaller energy use) OR that it gets too expensive to implement all the different codexes/frequency ranges in HW.

If you like conspiracy theories you may indeed wonder whether someone is pushing OFCOM in the direction it is taking in order for SW radios to become commercially viable.

Google spanks memory, disk and networking vendors

Claus P. Nielsen

Multiple heads for multiple speeds

I think the "spin the heads in stead of the platters" idea has some merit on paper, but in practical applications it is extremely difficult because the forces on the bearing will vary unless the rotating head is very well ballanced (so moving the head in and out would effectively require adding a counterweight moving in a similar pattern to ballance the load on the bearing).

To compensate for the potential problems in getting the head to "fly" at lower speeds (is this really such a big problem? The speed already varies depending on the distance form the axis), more heads with different profiles could be used - or the shape of the head could be adjustable with speed.

On a sideissue I have recently wondered whether it would be possible to implement RAID 0 on a multiplatter Harddisk (with each platter working as a seperate disk)? it doesn't have any relation to the discussion at hand, but neither does Paris.

Bikini-clad pin-ups cover old school jailbreak

Claus P. Nielsen

Exactly how slow is the legal process in New Jersey really?

"For the record, 32-year-old Blunt was "awaiting trial on charges of robbery and weapons offenses", while alleged gang member Espinosa was "awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to manslaughter in a 2005 drive-by shooting". ®"

So none of these guys were longtime inmates who could have been working on these rocks for years like in "Shankshaw redemption".

Points to some pretty shoddy workmanship on the prison buildings.

Also makes you wonder why the rest of the inmates haven't dug their way out of there a long time ago.

But perhaps they have - only they used cleverly designed animated dolls to cover their tracks whereas these newcommers only had time to order the cheap dolls for their beds.

Auction watchdog says eBay is illegal in France

Claus P. Nielsen

Re: Blimey & I Like Ebay

Arguing that people can just stop using a particular service (like Ebay) if they don't like the way it operates is essentially arguing for deregulation.

Personally I like to live in a society, where I can more or less trust a shop or broker - or where the government will help me when I can't.

You guys may be intelligent enough to not be "taken" by crooked merchants, but a lot of people are not, so the government try to protect them to a certain degree.

But besides this, there is also the issue of businesses operating on equal terms.

If every other auction house in France has to operate under these rules and Ebay doesn't, then that gives Ebay an unfair advantage, so the French government really only has the option of either enforcing the law against Ebay or abandoning the law alltogether.

Commuters shouting into their mobiles? Just jam 'em

Claus P. Nielsen

Re: Various anonymous cowards

I think the title "anonymous coward" is really precise in this case.

So confronted with a person that annoys you by shouting, you annoy them right back by shouting (which is really what these jammers are doing - only electronically and in the GSM band).

The much more socially responsible way of simply asking someone to keep it down would involve courage, which is indeed what you miss.

Claus P. Nielsen

True poetic justice...

... would be for anyone owning and using one of these jammers to have a heart attack while doing so.

Spending the last minutes of your life wondering whether you would have survived if somebody nearby had been able to call an ambulance on their mobile phone must be very rewarding...

Telling lies to a computer is still lying, rules High Court

Claus P. Nielsen

But why is the law different for copyright infringement?

As mentioned above, when buying music and SW, there are any number of discount for OEM's, students, etc.

Misrepresentation to get into any of these schemes would (possibly) not be considered fraud if the logic in the ruling were applied.

If copyright law states otherwise, then the question remains - is there equality under the law?

Claus P. Nielsen

So fraud is not fraud as long as there is no loss?

Interesting argument.

So I should lie and cheat all I can to get that discount - as long as it is still within the profit margin of the seller.

Makes for a very interesting argument when the product is something like downloaded songs...

I wonder if the ruling holds up in an appeal court?

Top US engineer in piss-off-everybody car fuel solution

Claus P. Nielsen

Re: Water is the solution here

Any "way to massively increase the efficiency of electrolysis" would indeed have to be impressive to make the entire process (including the subsequent burning of Hydrogen and Oxygen into water) more effective than simply using the same electricity to fuel an electric motor.

So the water is NOT a carrier of energy in that scenario - the batteries that provide the electricity are. The water is simply adding to the weight of the car.

Hydrogen fusion powered cars are not really realistic yet - and they would probably run on deuterium or tritium anyway. Mixing them up in an argument about the energy density of burning hydrogen is highly misleading - at least as long as you are making your argument to very small children or certain world leaders who don't know any better.

Buzzword bingo for Microsoft's Oslo

Claus P. Nielsen

I thought the term was "Bullshit Bingo"

So the concept is that every participant get a "plate" with a variation of buzzwords, that they cross out during a presentation.

If any of the participants get a full plate they should then loudly yell "Bullshit" to get their prize!

Lords debate airline liquids ban

Claus P. Nielsen

The waste of ressources is what really worries me

Ressources spend on checking harmless liquids must come from somewhere.

My guess is that they are taken from other areas that actually matter.

So I feel LESS secure with these restrictions in place than I would feel if the same ressources were used on something else.

I would specifically love if the money were to be spend on salaries for competent and dedicated security personnel.

US demands air passengers ask its permission to fly

Claus P. Nielsen
Dead Vulture

US trade embargo against itself

As I read the article, this would mean that nobody could travel in or out or over the USA without planning this 72 hours ahead of time.

If that is really true, then the negative impact for a lot of US companies doing business abroad would be huge.

Who would hire a contrtactor who could not put an expert on a plane within 24hours to help fix a really critical problem?

I realise that this goes both ways (so US companies would not risk hiring foreign companies for critical stuff either), but if it's the US versus the rest of the world, then the rest of the world is still the largest.

Telly vision: future display technologies

Claus P. Nielsen

Burn-in is the major OLED lifetime problem

No matter what OLED technology is being used, the pixels that are on most of the time will get degraded faster than others, so the "Cartoon network" logo will get burned into the corner of the screen over time.

How fast this happens is the question.

Screen-savers are comming back!

Girls prefer pink: official

Claus P. Nielsen

The "explanations" are also pure speculation (as is often the case).

"Blue sky and water is good so men like blue"and "red berries are good, so women like red"?

I could just as easily have argued "Red meat is good so men like red" and "blue sky and water is good, so women like blue"

The pink skintone is the only one that doesn't sound like total bullshit, but I don't think there were that many pink people "on the African savannah millennia ago".

So do women like pink in africa?

Google: Kill all the patent trolls

Claus P. Nielsen

Technology for free

It is not the universal goal of all enterprises to compete. The goal is to make a living and sometimes that is easier when you don't compete. Cartels have existed since the dawn of time, so I don't think a conspiracy needs to be of implausible proportions if the result is that all the companys taking part in it get new technologies for free!

For something like semiconductors, there are a lot of patentable ideas involved in going from one pitch to the next smaller pitch. Even if a potential new inventor has enough patents to start this production, finding investors to fund a production plant will take time and the very fact that an existing big player could go in and start a production in the meanwhile (possibly by using the same ideas in the expectation that the patents will be invalidated later) could make any potential investor pull out.

To run with the 20% inprovement in jet liners idea mentioned above, let us suppose that this 20% improvement is only possible when you use a technology patented by another company?

If this company is already producing jet liners based on this technology, then they effectively have a lockdown on all further patents on derived technologies since their original patent can be used to prevent others from marketing products with their patents.

This is posible as it is today.

But if the "don't have a product, don't have a patent" idea win through, the situation would be that the original patent owner would be able to pick up the technology for free since the new supporting patent would be invalidated by the inventor not having a product on the market.

Claus P. Nielsen

Even if you can make it, you may not be able to produce it

I fully agree that impossible inventions like infinity engines and regressive file compression schemes (look - now I can make ANY file just 1 bit long!) should never have been granted patents.

But stating that you need to be actively making a product based on an invention or that somebody should be licencing it in order for you to keep your patent will not solve this.

In a lot of fields, production costs are prohibitive for a small inventor. Large corporations could choose never to license patents from small patent holders and thereby make the patents invalid by default.

Getting rid of ridiculous patents, patents of ideas without clear instructions on how to implement, and patents covered by prior art is a much more worthwile approach.

Adobe embroiled in War of the Fed-Ex Kinko Button

Claus P. Nielsen

Security nightmare

This type of buttons popping up in the program updates makes document security much harder.

Imagine an employee accidentally hitting the wrong printer button when printing out a confidential document. The IT department of the company may not even know this button is there so they can block the service.

Adobe may trust FedEx all they like, but for them to push this trust onwards to all customers is arrogant.

Two year old's IQ on a par with Hawking

Claus P. Nielsen

Youngest now, but not youngest ever

Quote from Mensa UK's information on this story:

"Georgia, from Aldershot, joined the High IQ Society following an assessment by eminent child psychologist Professor Joan Freeman. Mensa can only test people over the age of ten and a half, so Georgia was accepted as a 'prior evidence' application when her IQ score showed she was within the top two per cent of the population.

The intelligent tot just missed out on being the youngest ever member of British Mensa, by six days. Ben Woods was 1035 days young when he joined in the 1990s - Georgia had reached the ripe old age of 1041 days when her membership was confirmed!"

It is interresting how by writing "Their youngest member", you can lead everyone to (jump to) the assumption that this is actually the jungest member ever.

Spanish police arrest moby virus writer

Claus P. Nielsen

Commwarrior spreads by MMS as well ...

Sending an MMS per contact in the internal phonebook could quickly add up the cost if 115000 users were indeed infected.

And the administrative cost of all these users trying to reclaim the cost of all these MMS' that they didn't remember sending, could easily pass the 1 Million Euro mark all by itself.

Unmanned aircraft rubbish, says senior US pilot

Claus P. Nielsen

What about lag?

The idea of remotely controlled fighter aircraft has always struck me as ridiculous.

Signal lag will always be a problem no matter how close by the pilots are.

Satelite lag would make such a plane a sitting duck - no matter how many G-forces it can pull in a turn. Remember that the missiles used against it will be able to pull just as many G-forces.

The pilot could maybe be in a command plane in the near proximity, but then that command plane would be the obvious target.

Even then, the hardening needed to make the control signals safe against jamming (or takeover) would add further lag, that could very well be the differentiating factor in a dogfight.

So for a robot fighter aircraft to become effective, it must be able to fight on its own without a human pilot controlling the detailed moves beyond "attack target X".

Blogosphere is the net spawn of Satan: official

Claus P. Nielsen

Mobe or Mobo

I think 2 of the above comments show why "mobe" is out of the dictionary and should stay there.

It took me a while of reading theregister to realise that a "mobe" meant "motherboard" and not "mobile phone".

If you really want to bring back a motherboard abbreviation, you could try "mobo"



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