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Comment: Re:Better article (Score 1) 99

by Em Adespoton (#48909545) Attached to: NVIDIA GTX 970 Specifications Corrected, Memory Pools Explained

Yeah; in this case, the initial mistake at publishing appears to be an honest mistake. As the specs lined up and the tech marketing guys were told that nothing changed on that hardware, they kept the same ROP specs they''d already been using in their marketing materials.

I have to admit that back when I was publishing specs like these, I made that mistake myself a few times.

However, it's what happened next that's a bit odd: I find it difficult to believe that it took 4 months for it to come to the attention of the company -- and it came from an external source. There's usually some engineer that spends a lot of time reading slashdot and looking up the specs of the products he's worked on -- and they'd likely flag it up. I'd expect 2-month turn-around until the company management realized the mistake.

The next bit that often happens is asking engineering "Is the change significant in any way?" to which the answer is "no." So marketing is either not even told of the mistake, or told that it's there, but not worth updating the documentation or issuing any sort of an update.

I find it really odd that they didn't even bother to change it on the website and queue it up for the next round of distribution.

What this really makes me wonder though, is how often this happens with products held to this standard, and nobody notices....

Comment: Re:Then there was War Plan Red (Score 2) 242

I think you've only captured half of the Canadian mindset here.

If asked politely, Canadians would agree and maybe even fly the stars and stripes... ...and then go back to life as normal and ignore anything the Americans attempted to do.

Invading wouldn't be all that messy; the invaders would be welcomed with open arms, and then firmly sent back home with care packages and requests to say hello to common friends and family members. A guide might also be provided, if the invaders had any navigational issues. Depending on how the politeness lasted, they may end up back in the US, or wandering around the arctic circle.

Comment: Re:$30/mo is a terrible price (Score 1) 40

Just assign yourself a number in Google Hangouts, and you get this for free, barring wifi connection costs. Voicemail is stored in the cloud, with the option to text message you VTT transcripts as soon as you connect any of your Hangouts-enabled devices to the internet.

Comment: Re:$30/mo is a terrible price (Score 1) 40

Where I live, the entire metropolitan area is covered with wifi hotspots put up by the local cable/telco companies. I actually have an iPod with Hangouts on it that acts as my in-town phone; this is the first device that Google Talk tries to reach when there's an incoming call.

Since you're not really supposed to be on a phone while in transit, I find this system works amazingly well (and doesn't require half of what Cablevision is requiring). I have a device that is significantly thinner than all phones, allows me to make calls anywhere with wifi, and will receive calls if I'm on wifi. Google Talk/Hangouts becomes my answering service, and even notifies me of missed calls when I next connect to wifi.

While some people might be in jobs that require real-time inbound communications, my guess is that most people aren't.

So, for the price of my at-home internet connection, I get a service that roams anywhere locally for no added cost, anywhere in the world with Wifi access, can be implemented across any device that can use Hangouts (mobile devices and desktop/laptop computers etc.) and is otherwise free.

And I've been doing this since a while before Google bought the service -- my phone number has stayed the same, even though I've had to use a number of different SIP providers over the years (all free) to route my voice calls in/out of this service.

This is something that is already solved, with nowhere near as many restrictions as this offering carries.

Comment: Re:Bott's dots (Score 1) 76

by Em Adespoton (#48907685) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

This isn't impossible... it just is something that hasn't been a focus by companies since the Cold War.

Actually, it has: this is precisely the same domain being tackled by the smart card industry (think cell phones, satellite TV, ATMs). Some in those industries have gone for the quick buck, but the security analysis and implementation guidelines have been continuously worked out since the 90's (including the voltage input and line emissions broadcast issues).

So really, the only issue is for the engineers to 1) read the right supporting material and 2) give the right pitch to their business units. Of course, it would also help if someone else wasn't competing against them with a strap-on security mindset.

Comment: Re:Cryptography is lost (Score 1) 144

So much for using egg scrambling as analogue to hash functions.

Aside from the fact that scrambling != boiling, I think it's still a good analogy; just look at MD4 or other hash functions whose key folding component has been reversed. You can't guarantee that the result is the same as the original state, but it does become the same as a POSSIBLE original state. Same likely goes for the proteins in the egg.

Comment: Re:Terrible names (Score 2) 334

by Em Adespoton (#48907303) Attached to: Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

No, I think it has more to do with Heisenberg.

In other words, you can know that the function to perform some task exists*, or you can know where to find the control that should make it work** -- but knowing either one will cause the other to fail.

Really, Quantum is the reason I hate "modern" UI -- the spatial UI makes sense with human psychology; this contextual stuff means that we change the function of the software just by observing it, and that means we can never memorize it all and just move on.

* while you spend hours looking for it

** only to find that the control actually does something markedly different, even though the tooltip and icon indicate it should do exactly what you want

Comment: Re:Bott's dots (Score 1) 76

by Em Adespoton (#48907145) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

The problem of trust and reputation that such a system has a weakness for is very similar to reputation/trust systems used for protecting computers these days. The idea is that if you have enough data points, you can ignore the anomalies, or flag them up as anomalous (as in: "car data from car 3 up in your lane doesn't match the curve -- pay extra attention to sensor data from that car" being broadcast out to all the other cars in the area).

Now if this was supposed to be some sort of trusted message passing relay, I'd see cause for concern -- but I imagine communication being more like a Tor network with a signed UDID chain for each vehicle. Sure, you could mess with the data being passed through (or generated by) one car, but all that does is flag up that car as a potential issue (also meaning it is likely to get pulled over by the cops).

and as an aside, where I'm from, Bott's Dots aren't applied to the road's surface, there's a groove etched out into which the dot is sunk -- so plowing etc. don't dislodge the dots, but they're still visible, and you get the benefits of both grooved pavement and reflective dots :)

Comment: Re:What power? (Score 1) 368

by Em Adespoton (#48906213) Attached to: Behind the MOOC Harassment Charges That Stunned MIT

I think your comment just exemplified your reasoning, being extremely one-sided. All I said is that the answer to "where does that power come from" could be seen in the article. I said nothing about the abysmal quality of the article itself.

So maybe my personal bias is even less obvious than where the power comes from?

Critical thinking please people, even when the information available is somewhat limited and mangled.

+ - This Battery Has Lasted 175 Years and No One Knows How->

Submitted by sarahnaomi
sarahnaomi (3948215) writes "There sits, in the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford University, a bell that has been ringing, nonstop, for at least 175 years. It's powered by a single battery that was installed in 1840. Researchers would love to know what the battery is made of, but they are afraid that opening the bell would ruin an experiment to see how long it will last.

The bell’s clapper oscillates back and forth constantly and quickly, meaning the Oxford Electric Bell, as it’s called, has rung roughly 10 billion times, according to the university. It's made of what's called a "dry pile," which is one of the first electric batteries. Dry piles were invented by a guy named Giuseppe Zamboni (no relation to the ice resurfacing company) in the early 1800s. They use alternating discs of silver, zinc, sulfur, and other materials to generate low currents of electricity."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:This is ridiculous.... (Score 3, Insightful) 76

by Em Adespoton (#48881231) Attached to: The Camera That Changed the Universe

I get the quantum mechanics principle, the mere act of observing changes the observed, that you can't measure the momentum or the position without affecting the other. But, just put a telescope in the orbit and it changed the universe? ... come on guys, there should be some limits even on hyperbole.

I change the universe all the time. Of course, most of it will never be affected by those changes, but changes they are.

Comment: Re:Like the destructive scanning (Score 1) 162

by Em Adespoton (#48880533) Attached to: Researchers Moot "Teleportation" Via Destructive 3D Printing

I wonder if anyone's tried combining some sort of sintering process with an electron microscope... it would be neat to be able to build up a complete molecular model of an object and then be able to reproduce it, layer by layer. It'd take forever, but you could replicate some pretty useful things really accurately. And once you've destructively scanned the item once, you can replicate it as much as the materials you have on hand allow. Great for making backups of mechanical parts, just in case someone stops making that specific part. Not so good if you don't get the printing accurate, as you'd have a part with stress lines most likely.

"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.