* Posts by Gel

15 posts • joined 3 Dec 2012

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day


Old electronic test equipment.

Often old but affordable and decent electronic test equipment like spectrum analysers uses old computer technology. IDE drives, floppies, 30 pin RAM, parallel printers etc. You want the equipment to work, you need to maintain the old stuff. It is not possible to upgrade.

Declassified files reveal how pre-WW2 Brits smashed Russian crypto


We are certain that this was not intentional by the Russians? Do not underestimate their knowledge and ability.

Don't try and beat AI, merge with it says chess champ Garry Kasparov


For a while computer + human may be better. But soon computers will be better without humans.

For chess we are probably at the point where a human with computer assistant is no better than a computer on its own and may even be worse. If not it will happen soon.

Web searching died the day they invented SEO



In the early days you could put in a village name and hotel and actually get links to hotel websites.

Now all you get is middle men trying to cream a bit off the top. Those people we could get rid off because you would not need them any more. Worse than ever.

Death notice: Moore's Law. 19 April 1965 – 2 January 2018


My first was 256 bytes of firmware in a CDP1802. It sold quite well. Written in hex without an assembler.

A lot of fudges were required to fit it into that space. The 256 bytes required two 256*4 eproms.

Modern programmers have lost the art of squeezing every last drop out of an MCU. Most are frightened of assembler. Its surprising how competent you become with hex after a while. Assembler makes life a lot easier. Though I think we should look to VHDL for the way forward. This is what bitcoin miners use.

Chip company FTDI accused of bricking counterfeits again


Re: Goodbye FTDI

Me too,

I stopped using FTDI devices in electronic design the last time. Though they are not needed so much now that many MCUs include USB.

Trustworthy x86 laptops? There is a way, says system-level security ace


The ME chip could have RF receive on it.

Then, on command, it could transmit, forming a network connection.

The security services would love it. The ability to hack into any PC, even air gapped PCs?

We could only detect it while it was being hacked by security services. This would make it very hard for security researchers to detect.

UK.gov STILL won't pop a cap on stolen mobile bills


Thief defrauds mobile company, why do you pay?

If the thief defrauds the phone company by pretending to be you, why do you have to pay? Its a crime against the phone company. I assume its a contract provision, but then how can this be fair? How do phone companies get away with this?

If a scammer defrauds me by pretending to be the phone company, how do I get the phone company to pay? They would laugh at me.

European Court of Justice allows digitisation of library books


Re: Poor eyesight

I understand there is a disability copyright exemption,


US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies


The photographer needed to edit the photos in some way, for example change some of the background, rotate and crop the image. Then he would have had artistic input and own the copyright. He would never release the originals.

'POWER from AIR' backscatter tech now juices up Internet of Stuff Wi-Fi gizmos


It was used in WW2 for remotely powered spy microphones. A carbon microphone in the middle of a dipole antenna (hidden in an enemy office) AM modulated a RF carrier, which is detected with a (remote) receiver. The point being you did not have to access the office again to change batteries.

I recollect this from an old magazine article, someone else also recollects this:


Boffins: How to generate crypto-keys using a smartphone – and quantum physics


Bunkum: digital noise will adversely affect the randomeness

Electrical noise from the phone will have a significant effect on the randomness, and this should be easy to detect. An example is to turn the volume up on a silent audio track. That audible noise in theory is random and quantum in nature, but because of the digital noise generated by the phone actually gives a characteristic digital noise sound. It is quite hard to eliminate the digital noise and get truly random quantum noise. That is partly why quantum generators, while simple in principle, are actually quite expensive.

Even when the digital noise is inaudible it still affects randomness and can be detected. There is unavoidable digital noise generated within the image sensor and it is not a good choice for a quantum random number generator. Finding a perfectly steady light source with only quantum noise is also a challenge.

The Reg's desert XP-ocalypse aversion plan revealed


PDF reader: Evince lets you copy and paste protected PDFs.

On phones, off air gps map access. Eg: MOBAC on PC to capture maps and ORUX on the phone.

Jury smacks Qualcomm for UNLAWFUL TECH in iPhone, Galaxy chips


Zero Frequency IF

I think its based on zero frequency IF or direct conversion of RF.

EG http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/tis/info/pdf/9301032.pdf (1993)

If so, it was well known much earlier than the patents. How can a lay jury be expected to judge these things?

Ready for ANOTHER patent war? Apple 'invents' wireless charging


Wireless charging over distance.

I have done charging with solar panels from sun. (still radio waves, albiet higher frequency) (very long range)

I have done charging with crystal sets. (medium range but very low power.)

induction hobs?

microwave cookers?

It is obvious. But it may not be safe at higher charge rates.


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