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Comment: Neither should internet (Score 1) 306

by DrYak (#47773007) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

Civilized countries don't allow you to do that

Hence the complaint of some users.
If you don't weight the container when buying goods (glass bottle isn't counted as milk),
why should ISP do it on their network (they count in the overhead by the particular technology that they happen to use between your modem and their servers, instead of only counting the bandwidth to/from the internet (the things that they themselves need to pay and for what they need the money) )

Comment: RGB on Scart (Score 1) 133

Megadrive (the Genesis in EU and Japan) supported RGB out-of-the box (all the signals are there on the DIN / miniDIN cable), no need to mod the console, just buy the appropriate cable (SCART in EU, or the Japanese equivalent).

(I have no first-hand experience, but I might guess that the situation is similar with Super Famicom vs US' SNES)

That the US market had a crappier output possibility, combined with a worst Video standard (nicknamed Never The Same Color :-P ) doesn't change the fact that everybody else around the world had better quality, including the developers back in japan.

(Dithered pattern on anything but NTSC over composite appear as separate pixels).

(The situation is completely different from the first home computer doing "composite synthesis" and achieving more colours on the screen than supported in the GFX hardware. i.e.: a normally 320x200 4-colours or 640x200 monochrome CGA card in a PC outputing 160x200 16 colours on a composite monitor.
That *indeed* was using composite output artifact. But usually that is software that has a distinct separate "composite" video mode. And it only works on NTSC).

Comment: Wrong generation label (Score 3, Interesting) 47

by DrYak (#47772651) Attached to: Fake NVIDIA Graphics Cards Show Up In Germany

Yup, historically, there have always been official card, where the manufacturer try to pass an older chip as a "low-entry" of the newer generation.
(like the GeForce 4MX, which was basically a variant in the GeForce2 familly and thus lacked the programmable shaders of the GeForce 4 Ti familly, but got quite successful due to brand-name recognition)

Comment: Overhead (Score 5, Insightful) 306

by DrYak (#47770321) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

Imagine if you went to buy milk and bought a gallon but were charged for 1.25 gallons because of spillage in the bottling plant.

Or to be more similar: you got charged 1.25, because they determine the price by weighting it and thus are also weighting the glass milk bottles and the hard plastic crate carrying them.
And when you ask them why you don't get the same amount of gallons that you measure in your kitchen and on their bill, they just answer "No, everything is okay, our bill is 100% right.". Without ever mentioning that you need to take that overhead into account. Without you having any way to check it or control the milkbottle+crate weighting process neither.

Comment: Fail-safe (Score 1) 490

by DrYak (#47758755) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

If I'm ultimately responsible for the vehicle, I'll stay in control of the vehicle. Because if there's a 10 second lag between when the computer throws up its hands and says "I have no idea" and when the user is actually aware enough and in control, that is the window where Really Bad Things will happen.

Have a look at how collision avoidance systems that are on the streets nowadays currently work:
- the car will sound an alarm signalling probable impending collision and asking the user to intervene.
- the car will also autonomously start to slow down and eventually brake and stop never the less.

The system is designed in such a way that, although human override is possible, the car will also try to autonomously to follow the best course of actions, unless overridden. You could take the control and do something, or you could also let the car follow its normal program (in traffic jams typically).

Same should be applied to fully autonomous cars one day:
in case of "I have no idea" situation, the user should be able to take over control, but lacking any intervention, the car should also react in a sane way ("I have no idea what to do, and instead I'm gona park on the side of the road and wait safely there until further instructions").

Comment: Hostile environment. (Score 1) 490

by DrYak (#47758649) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

Can a human wirelessly communicate with a car 5 miles ahead to know of a road condition and adjust it's speed in tandem with all the other cars in between to mitigate any and all danger in advance?

Do not assume that source of wireless coordination is always 100% trusty.
The wireless coordination information might be hostile origin. i.e.: some idiot with a hacked emitter that systematically ask all the other cars to slow down and move aside to let him go through. In theory such a function has practical uses (ambulances, for example), in practice such function WILL GET abused (idiot wanting to arrive faster, or a criminal trying to run away through heavy traffic).

Can a human react in sub-millisecond time to avoid obstacles thrown in their way.

Yup, that's what I consider as the main reason why we should have robotic drive.
Except for the occasional false positive, the current collision-avoidance systems that are already street-legal nowadays and that are already travelling in some cars around us are already much better than humans in reacting in case of emergency.

The only drawbacks currently are false positive[1].

But even in that situation, most of the false positive are safe.
It just causes the cars to slow down or stop when that should not be needed.


Example on our car:
- auto-cruise control which chooses the wrong taget: with our car, a large truck that is almost as large as the lane can be mis-targeted and our car slows down to yeild, even if the truck is actually in a different lane and we're not actually on a collision course with it if we stay in the middle of our current lane.
- mis-identified target: the current logic inside the car is: "if there's an object on the way and the car is on a trajectory intersecting it, then hit the breaks (unless overriden by the driver)". The car has no concepts of *what* the object is, and might break on useless occasion. Nearby automatic RFID-based tool booth are non-stop drive through: you don't need top stop, just drive through at a slow steady pace. The RFID transponder will beep in advance to alert you that the transaction with the booth was successful and the barrier will open shortly, you know that barrier will open shortly/is opening shortly and you don't need to brake. But the car only sees an object that is still currently inside your lane (it's not able to notice that the object is moving vertically and that by the time you reach it will be safely away) and will auto-brake unless you keep your feet on the gas pedal.
- very simplified hit-box: the car's hitbox is exactly that: a box. the car will panick and hit the brakes if you try to park under a low hanging balcony. You see that there's enough room under the balcony for the car's engine compartment to go there, but the car will react as if it was a solid wall and break if your foot is on the brake instead of the gaz pedal (which will be the case during slow manoeuvres).

Comment: containers! (Score 1) 786

by DrYak (#47752717) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

It is popular but totally wrong meme that systemd just pile on features. Its scope have been quite narrow for years. Yes, it have gained new features, but almost all new systemd features are related to the original scope of stateless booting and light weight containers.

And indeed containers ARE a big deal.
Compartmentalization and Virtualization used to be either full fledged emulators (VMWare, and the like) or ultra simplistic mecanism like chroot (which alows some minor way to restrict some file access but weren't really meant for that purpose in the beginning).

LXC had brought actual container (chroot on steroid, isolating not only file-system but everything else).
Now SystemD is helping even further.
At the beginning, LXC more or less meant installing a full distro under a different chroot. With all the problems of installing a full distro (needing to configure it, needing to launch a tons of things while booting it, very slow start of containers). Systemd simplifies this a lot: the system can auto-configure it-self and boot without needed any saved configuration or whatever. Just autogenerating all the needed on the fly. Also faster boot time, because the systemd's umbrella, besides the PID1 deamon (= the replacement of the old school "/sbin/init") also develops tons of other small lightweight clients and daemon the implement the bare strict minimum to be able to start a container without taking into account all the corner case that a full featured alternative might need.

The end result is that we're nearing an era when you could just tick a "run-in-a-jail" check box next to a software that you either don't trust (skype) or a public service that you need to isolate (webserver) and systemd will auto-magically take care of everything needed.

Comment: You won't beleive what this Facebook PR said ! (Score 1) 61

by DrYak (#47752535) Attached to: Facebook Cleans Up News Feed By Reducing Click-Bait Headlines

At first I was laughing, but the end of this video just blew my mind !

Now cue-in hordes of facebook users who will inevitably start to complain that facebook changed again their interface, and now it sucks, and that's it, they are going to deleter their account. Definitely. I swear it.
Like at each of the other 5 big changes over the last year.

Comment: Non-replaceable component (Score 4, Informative) 131

by DrYak (#47735629) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

So which phones would that be where the batteries cannot be replaced?

Apple's iPhone are designed with battery that should not be replaced by the end-user. The only official policy is that you should bring a phone with a dead or dying battery to the shop for replacement, whereupon the salesperson will try to persuade you to buy a new phone because replacing the old battery is almost as expensive as the newest shiny toy.
You can try to replace them, but it's non trivial, you need to actually disassemble the phone, which might void your warranty.

Compare with any other brand sold in Europe:
You just to :
- buy a replacement (either the original part from any phone shop, or by a 3rd party like mugen)
- power off the phone
- open the battery lid (just pushing a button)/swap the batteries/close the lid
- power on
- don't forget to throw the battery in the appropriate recycling bin instead of putting it into trash.
That's it.

(Please note: air-mailing lithium batteries has a special regulation. Some postal service just refuse to handle them "on security ground", even if they are standard conformant, the proper paperwork is filled, and (like everyphone battery, unlike some modelling batteries) the protecting electronics are actually embed inside the battery itself. That's plain stupid. And it might block your possibility to return the battery for RMA)

Comment: Windows applications, etc. (Score 2) 61

by DrYak (#47735561) Attached to: Virtual Machine Brings X86 Linux Apps To ARMv7 Devices

- For the closed-source windows application that you are running on your open-source wine. (This kind of emulator can bring executing Windows x86 software on your ARM chromebook. Except TFA's emulator is much faster a this than qemu-user-mode).
- For some shitty closed source stuff that you are forced to use (weird proprietary SSL VPN, Microsoft Skype, Adobe Flash, etc.)

Comment: Been done already (Score 4, Informative) 61

by DrYak (#47735555) Attached to: Virtual Machine Brings X86 Linux Apps To ARMv7 Devices

qemu-user-mode + wine has been done for some time already. It more or less works for Windows x86 executables on ARM Linux.
(In fact, the first user-mode emulators where designed to help run x86 code back when Apple used PPC).

The novelty of TFA's emulator is its claimed performance.
That's the interesting stuff. Doing translation (like some emulators running on x86 host do) is going to take a lot less CPU than emulating a complete CPU in software (as qemu currently does on ARM host). Which means longer battery life, which is a big advantage in some markets (tablets and smartphone).

Comment: Putting it in practice = Difficult (Score 1) 87

by DrYak (#47735521) Attached to: Researchers Hack Gmail With 92 Percent Success Rate

This is hard to make working for several reasons.

First, as mentioned by others, not all OSes allow popup windows. WebOS for example, instead pops-up alerts in the lower status bar. The user is the only one who can switch around windows (cards, in webOS). The only exception is, when one application spawn another one, there is a distinct animation making a new card appear.

The second reason, is variability. Your example would require a single task system. In real life, even phone OSes are moving toward even more multi-tasking. The 23752 bytes you mention will be lost in a sea of other memory change. Maybe the malicious application, between probes, would register an increase of memory consumption of about 67849 bytes, because not only paypal's page was opened, but also between the memory check the user received an message and the messaging application started automatically downloading the attached picture. (And that's just taking into acount application with direct memory management. Now, if you add in the mix languages that use deffered garbage collection, memory consumption gets even weirder).

Third reason is also availablity. You example require the paypal page to always have the exact same size down to the byte in order to be easily recognisable. Saddly, in real life, developers are constantly tuning their code. It might be 23752 today, it could be 34756 tomorrow. And that's just the size it-self. You've probably noticed, but nowadays every single company feels compelled to re-invent their interface, Facebook is far from having the monopolly on completely changing its interface whenever somebody sneezes. That means that the bogus paypal page displayed by the attacked software might look like an older version instead of looking like all other current instances. (Now, that's not a guarantee that the user will notice that something is fishy. Less attentive users will probably dismiss it as "Meh, another of these almost-weekly UI re-invention"). Still, these kind of change will make it terribly difficult to use the free memory tracking that you propose.

Last reason: banks. Some banks ask the user to confirm the transaction out-of-band (mine does make confirm credit-card transaction). A user thinking to buy an In-App extra 10$ with paypal would be surprised to receive an SMS asking confirmation for a credit-card transaction of 10'000$.

You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.