* Posts by David Pearce

177 posts • joined 8 Aug 2007


Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

David Pearce

Re: dabshite

DAB cannot still be in patent coverage, DAB+ must be about to run out

The problem is that DAB is based on renting bandwidth in a multiplex from a middleman compared with owning you own transmitter

You wait ages for a mid-air collision spoofing attack and along come two at once: More boffins take a crack at hoodwinking TCAS

David Pearce

Public and private keys

Boeing/Airbus etc sign their TCAS message with their private keys and the other aircraft has a list of the various public keys. This is an authentication problem, not encryption

EU aviation wonks give all-electric training aeroplane the green light – but noob pilots only have 50 mins before they have to land it

David Pearce

Good point about the quadcopters. This is done to avoid the complex and fragile universal joint, that makes real helicopters so expensive to maintain and has killed so many pilots. The accident rate of helicopters compared with small fixed wing aircraft is about ten times worse

David Pearce

Twin engines?

If battery capacity ever gets useful, the light weight, small size and low maintenance of the electric motor compared with a 6L Lycoming makes twin engines far more practical. Smaller props would then solve the biggest problem of a Cessna 172, you cannot see ahead, especially when climbing

David Pearce

Reserve power?

Only 50 minutes and it would be a very bad idea to be airborne with less than 30 minutes power in reserve in case you have to circle or fly to another airfield

Railway cables overpowered errant drone's compass and flung it back to terra firma

David Pearce

Third rail

Third rail systems are DC and have traction return currents appearing everywhere that they shouldn't. They must have alarming effects on magnetic compasses nearby

Xiaomi Mi 9 owners furious after dodgy Vodafone software patch bricked their mobes

David Pearce

Worse than that

Its two years from the model launch, not when you bought it. It is very easy to end up buying a phone that is already approaching end of updates

Uber, Lyft struck by sue-ball, no, sue-meteorite in California after insisting their apps' drivers aren't employees

David Pearce

Re: AB5 hurts more than just UBER...

Wrong, your plumber who comes to fix your tap is not your employee because he does not work for you most of the time and is free to do other work

The ride hailing and food delivery companies forbid working for a rival, provide uniforms and logos. That is a contracted employee.

Grab your Bitcoin while you can because Purse.io is shutting up shop in June and you could lose the lot

David Pearce


In the last 12 months a Bitcoins value has been on a roller coaster ride of more than 2:1 in value in USD. This makes it a gambling tool rather than a currency

The anonymity has also been found to be weak, reducing its (main) use for crime.

Apollo 13 set off into space 50 years ago today. An ignored change order ensured it did not make it to the Moon...

David Pearce

Re: "So why do we need a change control tracking system again?"

It was the norm. Overlooking the change in DC supply and the affected components is a remarkably obvious error. Experienced engineers know that breaking DC power is a minefield.

I heard that the shuttle booster O rings was a consequence of US pork barrel contracts forcing the boosters to be built in sections for transport. Building in sections has to be significantly heavier than a simple tube

Samsung's Galaxy S7 line has had a good run with four years of security updates – but you'll want to trade yours in now

David Pearce

I am forced to use a smartphone application for banking authentication in Malaysia, so using an unmaintained phone would be reckless

Firefox to burn FTP out of its browser, starting slowly in version 77 due in April

David Pearce

Use a real FTP client

Filezilla is my go-to opensource FTP client


Actively maintained and still generating a stream of bug fixes to cope with all of those "not quite right" servers

I can see why pulling an afterthought FTP function from a browser is a good idea.

It supports FTPS and SFTP as well

Watch this space: Chinese mobe flinger OPPO flexes first shot at the wearables market

David Pearce

My experience with Oppo phones was rare security updates and they stopped completely very quickly. A pity as it was a very good smartphone

Nokia said to be considering sale or merger as profits tank

David Pearce

Nokia branded phones are made by HMD, nothing to do with the 5G maker

What's the German word for stalling technology rollouts over health fears? Cos that plus 5G equals Switzerland

David Pearce

What happens with all of these cars with 70 GHz collision radar?

Artful prankster creates Google Maps traffic jams by walking a cartful of old phones around Berlin

David Pearce

The effect of these applications has been to make all legal routes equally jammed. My journey always gives the fasted route as the wrong way down a section of one way street because that is what the motorcyclists do and how Google "learns" restricted junctions. They don't bother to actually check road signs from the road

David Pearce

That would explain why motorcycle food delivery riders make real traffic jams vanish

David Pearce

The opposite problem

I am frequently getting stuck in gridlock jams, that don't show on the map because motorcycle food delivery riders are racing through the jam, each with a smartphone and fooling the algorithm.

Samsung leads 5G early birds after shipping 6.7m phones to snatch over half of the market

David Pearce

I will wait for the dust to settle on frequency assignments before I buy a 5G set.

In Malaysia 5G will be 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, 26 GHz and 28 GHz

The 2x GHz will be of little use as the range will be pathetic - physics

That is a challenging range of frequencies to tune, without even adding existing bands

Den Automation raised millions to 'reinvent' the light switch. Now it's lights out for startup

David Pearce

My home Internet connection has zero throughput glitches nearly every day for a few minutes, so there is is no way it is suitable for controlling lighting.

I have never seen a home Internet contract with a SLA.

Satellite operators' shares plummet as FCC plumps for public 5G spectrum auctions

David Pearce

The K bands are used for services like satellite TV, where losing 10 minutes a day in heavy rain is not the end of the world

Services like distributing terrestrial TV to islands still use C band. There is no terrestrial alternative in many countries in SE Asia.

David Pearce

There goes international roaming

I cannot see governments in the tropics allowing C band 5G, C band VSAT is the only satellite technology that works when it rains heavily.

I remember when you had to have a special USA cellphone because of their 800MHz band AMPS

FBI extends voting security push, LA court hacker goes down, and more D-Link failures

David Pearce

The DIR-615 was the standard router supplied by Telekom Malaysia for many years.

While the router is theoretically the customers problem and many have upgraded, there must be an enormous number still in use

World's oldest human was a 122-year-old French smoker after all

David Pearce

Jeanne Calments age has never been approached by anybody else verifiable since her death and that is very suspicious. The number of centenarians is soaring, but only 1 in 1000 of them reach 110 and only two people are alive over 115

UK.gov: Huge mobile masts coming to a grassy hill near you soon

David Pearce

The health effects camp will fail to understand that a taller mast reduces signal at ground level near the mast and also reduces the signal from your own phone as it does not have to go at full blast to reach a mast in the next road but behind a house.

American ISPs fined $75,000 for fuzzing airport's weather radar by stealing spectrum

David Pearce

Re: If I recall ...

The ~5.6GHz section of the 5 GHz block was excluded from the ISM band in most countries because it was used for weather radar first. It has gradually been released to WiFi use as the radars move out.

Unfortunately WiFi scanners detect 5.6GHz as unused spectrum free from interference and go for it without reading the rules

Psst. Hey. Hey you. We have to whisper this in case the cool kidz hear, but... it's OK to pull your data back from the cloud

David Pearce

Massive savings to be made running PostgreSQL on RedHat locally and you are still paying to have somebody to shout at if things go wrong

Just add water: Efficient Energy’s HFC-free chillers arrive in the UK

David Pearce

Water is awkward if you turn off the cooling in winter and the pipes freeze up

I used to use an ammonia cycle cooling chamber (they go down to -28C) and it stopped working when it reached 32C outside

Meet the Great Duke of... DLL: Microsoft shines light on Astaroth, a devilishly sneaky strain of fileless malware

David Pearce

And banks still insist on using Javascript for Internet banking. What could possibly go wrong?

Flight Simulator 2020: Exciting new ride or a doomed tailspin in a crowded market?

David Pearce

Any modern PC should be capable of running a single screen flight simulator smoothly, Flightgear runs nicely on an I3 class, FSX used to run well on PCs with a graphics card much slower than most built in graphics are now and only a GB or so RAM back then.

JavaScript tells all, which turns out not to be so great for privacy: Side-channel leaks can be exploited to follow you around the interweb

David Pearce

Several airline booking websites don't work with Firefox, but do with Chrome because of Java abuse. I guess that these must be magnets for card detail thieves

What's up at Microsoft this week? Windows 10 builds of course, Skype screen sharing... zzzzz... New Flight Simulator?!

David Pearce

Landing a Camel on the Nimitz is possible in Flightgear


Lyft, Uber drivers boost app surge prices by turning off, tuning out – and cashing in

David Pearce

In Singapore drivers for the regional player Grab, have taken to using GPS spoofing to allow a driver actually far from the pickup to take the job and using a hacked version of the driver app, that allows the driver to cancel a pickup that they don't want without penalty

What's that? Uber isn't actually worth $82bn? Reverse-gear IPO shows the gig (economy) is up

David Pearce

Re: I'm not sure I see how they get to profitability

Many countries don't have pavements, so you have to walk in the road.

This may be illegal in your jurisdiction

David Pearce

Uber have already lost out to local boys Grab in Malaysia and Singapore.

This is a business with low barriers to entry if Grab actually want to charge high enough fares to make a profit.

The A in AMD stands for 'Aaaaannnyway...' Q2 is gonna be good, chip biz vows, after dismal Q1

David Pearce

My I5 is a 2320, pretty ancient.

Intel Hyper threading seems to far more affected by the bugs than AMDs method and Intel seem to have lost speed advantage.

I am guessing that Ryzen 3 will be fairly expensive and likely peak in price at the year end as Win7 dies.

I always prefer desktops, the second memory lane makes a huge difference. Laptops only seem to ever have one ram module fitted.

David Pearce

I am replacing a aging Windows 7 desktop this year before EOL and was planning to get a Ryzen 2700x, but thanks to too early release of info about the 7nm process I am in a dilema. Wait for Ryzen, get a 2700x when the price drops. Neither means buy now.

I currently have a I5 and it has become glacial in the last year thanks to all the patches against the various Intel cache security bugs, no way I want another Intel CPU

Ok Google, please ignore this free tax filing code so we can keep on screwing America

David Pearce

The Malaysian tax assessment system has to be about the most efficient and well run service provided by the government. We have a parallel religious taxation system to make life much more complicated and I still got this years refund in a few days straight into my bank account.

So even developing countries can do this efficiently for free.

And in current affairs... Apple recalls three-prong AC adapters after some shocking behavior

David Pearce

A lot more countries use the UK style 3 pin plug than that list. It is standard in Malaysia for a start.

Down is the new up at Intel: PC processor sales rise while data center chips fall (So much for that data-centric push)

David Pearce

There is a repeating cycle of personal vs cloud computing or whatever marketing calls it this week. Right now cloud seems to have peaked. this time round

Double trouble for Lyft after share price drop sparks class action lawsuits claiming hype

David Pearce

Re: I have a question

You should see the howls from the drivers in Malaysia because they are being forced to get a commercial taxi driving license and insurance.

Are they employees or not will be the next row.

David Pearce

Uber lost out in SE Asia to local boys Grab. The problem with crazy values for companies like this is that if they try to take a large profit, someone else can spring up fairly quickly and easily.

UK comms watchdog mulls 5G tweaks: Operators want moooooar power

David Pearce

Is this the base station or the phone? 25dBm is 300mW, 28dBm about 600mW

These are typical mobile power levels.

Dear Britain's mast-fearing Nimbys: Do you want your phone to work or not?

David Pearce

Stupid NIMBYS don't understand that the RF field ar ground level from a 12m pole is much higher than from a 25m mast

SPOILER alert, literally: Intel CPUs afflicted with simple data-spewing spec-exec vulnerability

David Pearce

It would really help if banking web applications, the most critical thing most of us use, did not run Javascript and call third party site code

Sniff the love: Subaru's SUVs overwhelmed by scent of hair shampoo, recalls 2.2 million cars

David Pearce

Re: Not necessarily

Unfortunately they don't teach the need for a wetting current at university these days. Most cars use some sort of micro switch with plunger for this sort of application

A quick sample from Omron shows something like 1mA at 5V as a minimum ie 4k7, a surprisingly low value for the average fresh engineer.

How's this for sci-fi: A cosmic river of 4,000 stars dazzles lifeforms as it flows through a galaxy. And that galaxy is the Milky Way

David Pearce

Re: Continents and Stars

The centre of our galaxy is in Sagittarius, a little south of the celestial equator, so too close to the horizon from the UK to be well seen.

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut

David Pearce

I often feel like the main dealers know less about a modern car than I used to know from reading a Haynes.

These days if the computer diagnostics doesn't identify the problem you have had it, even with a totally non-electrical fault.

Ever used VFEmail? No? Well, chances are you never will now: Hackers wipe servers, backups in 'catastrophic' attack

David Pearce

Re: Um

The verdict was not a big surprise though

London's Met police confess: We made just one successful collar in latest facial recog trial

David Pearce

The number of casino high rollers is probably not so overwhelmingly larger than card counters as the public to wanted criminals ratio.

Casinos also have much better control of camera position and lighting.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020