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Comment: Re:Two questions (Score 1) 227

by Athanasius (#47647361) Attached to: About Half of Kids' Learning Ability Is In Their DNA

Also, what do they mean by "math ability". Testing 12 year olds, so not all that advanced, right? I'm sure there are adults that read excellently but wouldn't have a clue about something like Tensor Calculus (he says picking something he's only vaguely heard of and *knows* he'd be no good at given experience with UK 1st year University Physics Degree course in the early 90s).

Comment: AT&T, $40 micro-SIM with 500MB data (Score 1) 146

by Athanasius (#47341985) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: SIM-Card Solutions In North America?

I bought an AT&T micro-SIM for my Samsung Galaxy S3 for $40 in May this year. That came with 500MB of data, there are other plans as well. If I'd loaded it up with enough there was some advantage if I was planning on spending more time in the USA within the year.

I simply walked into an AT&T store in Hollywood, asked, and got great service.

The only issue was when in some small towns that only had service from some other provider (I think it was Page AZ which only had CellularOne).

Comment: Re:Immortal now. (Score 3, Informative) 141

by Athanasius (#43953617) Attached to: Iain Banks Dies of Cancer At 59

Apparently supportive comments, such as this one, on the blog someone set up for him, (already 'slashdotted' even before this post came up on my RSS feed, so check google cache... but when I did it didn't have the latest post), were a great source of joy for him in his final months.

RIP indeed, it's times like this one might wish there was an afterlife. As it is right now my thoughts are mostly for his family and close friends.

Comment: Re:Xbox One? Oh my! (Score 2) 381

by Athanasius (#43832595) Attached to: Microsoft Files Dispute Against Current Owner of

You're not wrong, all registered from up to and including The puzzling thing is that is owned by Microsoft, but was registered on "Sun, Sep 11, 2005", some time after the release of the Xbox 360 (wikipedia says "The Xbox 360 was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005" so some months before). Maybe it was defensive, if belated.

Comment: Re:Sorry, little retro rockets won't work for that (Score 4, Informative) 520

by Athanasius (#43061369) Attached to: Neil deGrasse Tyson On How To Stop a Meteor Hitting the Earth

They don't need to be thrusting directly at the asteroid. Think 3 or more at angles, so they cancel each others' sideways thrust and the overall thrust misses the asteroid, whilst providing net 'away' thrust. Yes, this reduces efficiency.

Comment: Re:any signal can be found and killed (Score 1) 417

by Athanasius (#37366960) Attached to: North Korea Forced US Reconnaissance Plane To Land

Perhaps their mission involved pinpointing items of interest. This might be performed through a combination of range/bearing from current location, and that current location. If you want accuracy GPS is likely the way to go.

I'm TOTALLY speculating here, I've no idea what they were up to or the tech. they'd have been using.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 3, Informative) 161

by Athanasius (#35281332) Attached to: Financial Malware Hijacks Online Banking Sessions

This is why although my bank has a security token thing (it's actually a small Chip & PIN terminal requiring you have the card and know the PIN) it only ever requires this be used when you set up a new payee and the first time you send money to that payee. So outside of a bank customer setting up a new payee anyway and the returned codes being intercepted to set up a different payee quickly enough the best a trojan can do is see your account statements, transfer money between your own accounts and pay money to people you already expect to pay. Yes, this means they can fuck with you, but they can't usefully (to them) steal your money.

Oh, and now I think about it they couldn't usefully do the MITM either, as the input is partially based on the receiving account number or somesuch. So unless they bad guys have an account that matches sufficiently closely the authorisation codes are going to be useless to them.

They have big fat warnings up about how the thing will never be asked for simply for logging in (not that I expect that would stop some stupid people falling to a MITM attack).

Comment: Re:Price per gigabyte isn't really the issue (Score 1) 681

by Athanasius (#34002658) Attached to: Are Consumer Hard Drives Headed Into History?


TRIM is not really needed. In fact, it can be a liability performance-wise since it isn't a NCQ-capable command. All you really need to do is partition a fresh drive a bit smaller than its rated capacity and you get 95% of the benefit of TRIM without having to deal with it. If you have 120G SSD then create a 110G partition. Congratulations, you now have 95% of what TRIM would get you. It's funny how the rabble keeps screaming the TRIM mantra but it isn't that spectacular a feature.

So the SSD firmware knows about partitioning schemes and will make use of the 'unused' space as virtual blocks for the space you are using ?

Comment: Re:It's not a question of switching... (Score 1) 681

by Athanasius (#34002638) Attached to: Are Consumer Hard Drives Headed Into History?

The ssd is already a good value for the function of the boot drive - the place where you host the OS, applications and games. There is no need to approach terabyte territory to hold all this stuff.

Have you seen the size of modern game installs ? My Steam install (where most of my games are these days) is 99.2GiB (with individual games like Borderlands over 7GiB, and that's without DLC), and a current WoW install is ~25 GiB (I've still not fully patched up and the new streaming patcher says 1GiB to go with 23.4GiB already used... and it took over 35GiB to apply the 4.0.1 patch).

I'll agree that you don't need 'near terabyte' for games currently unless you buy every new release going. However most SSDs I found on a quick check at were around 120GB for something not stupidly priced, and even those are still around £1.20/GB. A 160GB 7200rpm HDD from there is around 17.5p/GB. 120GB is not enough for me. Before upgrade to Win7 and a 1TB disk I was using a 120GB partition and I had to keep backing up games to my server so I could install new ones.

Until low enough cost/GB SSDs reach around the 500GB level of capacity I don't think they're a replacement for anything beyond a casual gamer.

Comment: Re:2012, the year of IPv6 support? (Score 1) 282

by Athanasius (#33944186) Attached to: NRO Warns They Are On Final IPv4 Address Blocks
Is this allowed by the agreements between such block holders and their respective RIR ? I realise ISPs effectively do this all the time with static IP/network customers, but on the other hand that wouldn't be a portable IP range. In fact I can see network engineers saying "no way!" due to the inevitable increase in router table sizes from all the extra subnetting. I believe one goal of IPv6 was to try and have fewer global routeing entries.

Comment: Re:Someone help me out here (Score 1) 282

by Athanasius (#33944168) Attached to: NRO Warns They Are On Final IPv4 Address Blocks

ISP A Natting all their customers to and ISP B Natting all their customers to, nobody from ISP A will be able to talk to ISB B unless they create an explicit bridge between themselves.

Errr, how do you figure that ?

ISP A client on gets NAT'd to, let's say
ISP B client on gets NAT'd to, let's say

Where's the problem ? Each NAT'd client is only going to see the already-NAT'd IP of the other.

But I agree NAT should not be considered a solution to this at all. It's a horrible hack to get around not being able to just give every ISP customer a big-enough IPv4 sub-net of their own. The MAC-based IPv6 addresses (or if you prefer the 'private' addresses, but they won't buy a home user much given they're still identified by a /64) and relying on Router Advertisements makes this a non-issue for IPv6 (it's effectively like just using DHCP on IPv4 from your DSL/Cable router is now).

Comment: Re:Anyone know the policy on updates? (Score 1) 431

by Athanasius (#33787266) Attached to: <em>World of Warcraft: Cataclysm</em> To Launch Dec. 7th

Yes, you need to purchase each expansion up to and including the one you want to play. Buy WotLK now and get up to 80 so you're at least vaguely in place to start on Cataclysm when it's released. You even have time to get some semi-decent gear before the launch.

Yes, you can also still play all the vanilla content and all the TBC content. Some things may have been retuned a bit, and of course you may have no luck finding a raid for TBC content, but it's all still there (yes, this will change somewhat with respect to vanilla once Cataclysm launches, given how all the old world is changing... but you'll still be able to play the new versions of it with only a vanilla account).

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955