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Comment Re: It's OK - Android is open! (Score 2) 110

Even those of us whose phones are not directly affected are indirectly at risk. Surely we can join a class action against the people responsible for polluting the phonosphere with pathetically insecure software. If the manufacturer wishes to end support for a phone - he should be required to open source ALL the code, and release ALL hardware documentation. Or face fines that would obliterate the company instantly in each and every country where phones could conceivably work.

And if a company dies, the IP of all its products go to the official receiver - who should put them in the public domain.

Everyone with a phone should be entitled to join a class action against any manufacturer who does not provide a way to fix security problems - so long as the phone is capable of operation: ie until physical death of said phone.

Separately, there ought to be a law preventing sale of undocumented hardware to the general public. If you don't know what it is you own, how do you know it is safe to own it? If the manufacturer prevents you from knowing, surely he takes responsibility for its safety, and should be required to place a bond with the government covering the maximum possible risk (of being sued by all phone owners, everywhere, repeatedly, with the highest legal costs that lawyers can imagine).

Comment Re:This wasn't an engineering decision... (Score 3, Informative) 569

Basically, this is a tradeoff between global warming (fuel efficiency, but high NOx) and peoples lives, but with black smoke.

Of course, here in Europe, we have Urea injection (AdBlu) which solves the problem on a test bench, but adds urea to the pollutants in any real life situation. Since Urea injection was introduced, everyone in London is complaining of "hay fever". I don't see a lot of hay in London, but there are plenty of Euro4 and Euro5 trucks (AdBlu), since they have taxed the older ones off the road.

Since a 40 ton truck can go from burning 5 litres of diesel per minute, to none, and back again in about 20 seconds (gear change while pulling from the lights) there is no way that the amount of urea will be correct. And you may have 16 or 24 gears to go through between 0 and 56MPH (speed limit for trucks). Burning slower and cooler gives longer engine life too.

It presumably also adds massively to bribes for European commissioners from the AdBlu monopoly.

Comment Re:Why x86? (Score 1) 87

The 8080 owed very little to the 8008 (yes I have written assembler for both). They were completely unrelated to the 8086, but are distantly related to the 8085.

The 8086 was a very poor attempt at a PDP11 clone - deliberately bad enough to avoid patent suits.

You are confused by the 8088 (after all, that is what it was there for). The 8088 was an 8086 with an 8 bit external bus to keep the pin count and peripheral cost down. Assembler for the 8086 was far more painful, and it has only got worse with the advent of Pentium, etc. No one writes assembler for 8086 derivatives now (except the minimum needed to initialise the machine). It is far too painful.

ARM stood for "Acorn Risc Machine" and was designed by Acorn, who made the BBC micro - kind of like Apple had designed their own CPU after the success of the Apple ][. People write ARM assembler in the same way that people get gored by bulls in Spain.

Comment Re:oops (Score 1) 440

I designed a standard floppy disk, and an ST506 interface for the Apple [] (and many other machines).

Here in the UK, it was only hot enough to need a fan about 6 days a year, and we normally went to the beach those days.

80 column cards were a must. Printers were a nightmare

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923