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Comment: Re:I can see it coming . . . (Score 2) 176

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#48593299) Attached to: Hollywood's Secret War With Google

Hollywood in comparison to the top tier US tech companies is tiny in terms of revenue and profit. If the techs got together and purchased the studios, they could make it go away.

Sony actually did this, remember? They were a tech company that bought a studio and we all thought "Great, now that sensible tech companies have started buying control over content we won't have to put up with this shit much longer."

Only, it turned out that the content part of Sony won and instead of tech whipping content into shape, it was the other way around.

So be careful what you wish for... Being able to control the narrative (which is what control over content allows you to do) will always have a pretty powerful allure, even if it doesn't make you nearly as much money as the boring stuff. This is incidentally why politcians flock to those with power of the daily discourse, even if they're not even close to the richest people around.

Comment: Re:Is SONY breaking the law with this (Score 1) 189

Which jurisdiction or period in time are you referring to? I can't think of a single example where this is true.

Look up the reign of Caligula (short as it was). One reason he was so popular among the common people was that he treated everybody equally (badly), and wasn't above throwing hordes of rich people to the lions. (When he ordered the first five rows of the Colosseum thrown into the arena, those were the ring side seats, filled with the rich and famous, which went down very well with the common man).

Comment: Re:Just wondering... (Score 1) 416

Eh... No. Yes many experiments were sadistic but they yielded information that is still used today. One example is how to treat different kinds of bullet wounds*, another how to treat people exposed to cold water** and/or how to increase survival chances if exposed to the same. There are others. (* the Nazis simply shot people, added different kinds of contamination and then tried to treat the wounds) (** they forced people into ice baths using different kinds of protection for different lengths of time and then tried to keep them alive)

I'd like to see citations to those results actually being used. Those results weren't made public until long after the war, and since war (esp. the air war in the case of cold water immersion) made these matters pressing, the allies studied these issues as well. They got the same results through using human volounteers (cold immersion) and animal models (shooting pigs and goats), so those Nazi results weren't actually "used" other than as a comparison after the fact. (The rocket research though, there the Nazis had a real advantage, and those results were most certainly built on.)

Comment: Re: Standard FBI followup (Score 1) 388

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#48551415) Attached to: Man Caught Trying To Sell Plans For New Aircraft Carrier

That's not nearly an accurate description of events. The helicopter crew is clearly aware of the rules of engagement that prevents them from opening fire on the van. They comment on those rules just moments before the vans shows up. But when the van comes on the scene they really, really want to fire on it, so they flat out lie to their chain of command to receive permission to do so.

It's clear to anyone that's listened to the actual CVR...

Comment: Re:cable?? Bit extravagant, aren't we? (Score 3, Informative) 70

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#48523433) Attached to: UK Completes 250km of Undersea Broadband Rollouts

There's this thing called RADIO, invented by a rather clever chap called MARCONI. It allows untethered communication between two points. It doesn't, therefore, rely on cables. It's also potentially much faster than any cable-based system and not prone to submarines colliding with it. Which happens a LOT up Scapa way.

Uhh. While it is true that radio has an edge when it comes to propagation delay compared to fibre, it's not enough to bother any but the staunchest algorithmic trader. When it comes to bandwidth it's not even close, the fibre wins by so much it's not even funny, and that's comparing to microwave, i.e. line of sight radio links, which are difficult to span large stretches of water with, being line of sight. Also since sea water is conductive you have a dickens of a time to deal with all the reflections and other potential signal degradation.

If you want to communicate via radio and it's not line of sight, then the only viable option if you're going to have any kind of bandwidth is satellite. That's both slower and suffers from a much longer delay. Any other radio is going to be much lower frequency (to follow the earth's curvature), and hence severely bandwidth limited.

P.S. Submarines will not cut cables laying on the bottom of the ocean if that's not specifically in their orders to do so. They a) don't spend much time dragging along the ocean floor, and b) have much better charts than you and I (since they also cover military cables and installations) so, that's be the very least of your worries.

+ - Comcast Forgets To Delete Revealing Note From Blog Post

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier today, Comcast published a blog post to criticize the newly announced coalition opposing its merger with Time Warner Cable and to cheer about the FCC’s decision to restart the “shot clock” on that deal. But someone at Kabletown is probably getting a stern talking-to right now, after an accidental nugget of honesty made its way into that post. Comcast posted to their corporate blog today about the merger review process, reminding everyone why they think it will be so awesome and pointing to the pro-merger comments that have come in to the FCC. But they also left something else in. Near the end, the blog post reads, “Comcast and Time Warner Cable do not currently compete for customers anywhere in America. That means that if the proposed transaction goes through, consumers will not lose a choice of cable companies. Consumers will not lose a choice of broadband providers. And not a single market will see a reduction in competition. Those are simply the facts.” The first version of the blog post, which was also sent out in an e-mail blast, then continues: “We are still working with a vendor to analyze the FCC spreadsheet but in case it shows that there are any consumers in census blocks that may lose a broadband choice, want to make sure these sentences are more nuanced.” After that strange little note, the blog post carries on in praise of competition, saying, “There is a reason we want to provide our customers with better service, faster speeds, and a diverse choice of programming: we don’t want to lose them.”"

Comment: Re:Rollout in 2030 (Score 1) 216

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#48508893) Attached to: How the Rollout of 5G Will Change Everything

There is a joke on this, and let's protect the culprit: how do you tell the difference between an Ericsson engineer and a Xxx one? The E/// engineer couldn't tell a lie if you put a gun to his head. The Xxxx engineer couldn't tell the truth.

As a former Ericsson telecoms engineer you don't know how right you are! It wasn't even only the truth, it was often the whole truth whether the customer wanted it or not, every time they asked! :-)

And there's such a thing as too much honesty. I remember our local CEO who used to say that "Well, you know, by listening to you lot you'd think that we couldn't find our behinds using a map and both hands, but we actually have more l a 50% market share, and providers are throwing out other manufacturers equipment for ours, so we have to be doing something right at least. It can't be all crap" :-)

P.S. Your "generations" explanation of {2,3,4}G is right on. Not that marketing crap we got today.

Comment: Re:He still plead guilty to something ... (Score 1) 219

I'm not sure I understand your scenario, but if it's about a suspect turning a "crown witness", we don't have that either. I.e. there are no "prisoners dilemma" type situations. If you want to bear witness against your co-conspirators that probably won't hurt you when it comes to the sentencing phase, quite the contrary, but it's for the court to decide. The prosecutor can't promise to not prosecute. That promise has no legal standing. If you're stupid enough to implicate yourself on the stand, then there are no "get out of jail" cards.

Now, of course, in cases like the Aaron Schwarz case, that wasn't the issue, there were no other potential defendants, and AFAIK those situations are more uncommon in the US. Most cases involve a single defendant plea bargaining. How to address that in a situation with multiple defendants in the US if you want to keep the possibility of "crown witness" is a good question that I haven't put much thought into. If you have an adversarial process couldn't you just address that through the defence and courts i.e. "Your honor, it is quite clear to the defence that this witness is in fact guilty of taking part in this crime and he should be charged accordingly", i.e. make the promise the prosecutor makes to not prosecute null and void?Shouldn't that also make such testimony more reliable, as the potential pay off is no longer a "get out of jail free" card, but the possibility of a more modest reduction of your sentence?

You could argue that that would lead to fewer convictions, but then again, so will any change that takes power away from the prosecution and transfers it to the defendant. If we're more interested in justice than efficiency, then of course we'll successfully prosecute less people, I don't see a way around that.

Comment: Re:He still plead guilty to something ... (Score 3, Informative) 219

That systems exists in a lot of European courts. It is very bad because in that situation the defendant almost never has a reason to cooperate. At best they plead no contest. Since you never get a full confession you have no check on whether people did the crime.

But in the current US system you get confessions in about 10% of the cases where we know that people were actually innocent (the innocence project tracks this).

We don't have plea bargains in Sweden and on balance I can't say I look forward to having them. If they were ever introduced I think they should be capped at (say) max 10% or 15% or some such. I.e. none of that "I'm seeking 99 years in prison, but I'll settle for six months" as is currently not uncommon with US prosecutors. By stopping the prosecutor from lowering the sought penalty more than a reasonable percentage, you could balance the system to where it would be both worth to cooperate, but also not possible for the prosecutor to extort the defendant by skewing the risk/reward calculation to the extent that is common today.

P.S. And of course, in Sweden, if the state prosecutes you, they pay for your defence (i.e. the lawyer of your choice, reimbursed at a proper rate), and prosecutors are appointed, not elected. Last place I want a bloody politician...

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 438

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#48467821) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Yes, I'm not saying that RAID has no place. I use software based mirroring for my "big" drive that has stuff that's annoying to lose, but not critical. And then "offsite" (well in my basement...) backup for the stuff that has to be there in addition to mirroring.

But making a list of the filenames, that's a novel idea that sounds about right. Have to do that. (And remember to include it in the offsite backup. :-) )

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 438

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#48465173) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

But it doesn't allow you to recover data in the much more common event that someone mistakenly erased it. As you'll restore about nine files due to mistakes for about every one you'll restore due to disks failing, that's what backup is supposed to protect you from.

Also, RAID ignores two other major failure modes, and that's faulty hardware/bus, and filesystem software bugs that hurts/destroys your entire filesystem. RAID won't help you from that either. In fact, since such bugs are relatively more common in professional RAID controllers, you're slightly more at risk from those when you run RAID, than without. (As any pro and they'll tell you a story about when the entire RAID-array failed horribly.)

So, no. While RAID can be an important part of any availability strategy, it's not "backup" for any useful definition of that word.

Comment: Re:Cost nothing to run? (Score 1) 488

Oh, it was tried long before that. ABB tried similar technology in the 2000 time frame.

While it sounded great in theory it didn't bear out in practical tests and the technology was shelved.

P.S. No-one in a commercial setting tests developed technology for 5-10 years any more. That kind of money down the drain for no return on investment hasn't been generally available in industry for several decades (and when it was, it was mostly the defence industry that could afford such extravagances).

+ - What Does The NSA Think Of Cryptographers? ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "A recently declassified NSA house magazine, CryptoLog, reveals some interesting attitudes between the redactions. What is the NSA take on cryptography?
The article of interest is a report of a trip to the 1992 EuroCrypt conference by an NSA cryptographer whose name is redacted.We all get a little bored having to sit though presentations that are off topic, boring or even down right silly but we generally don't write our opinions down. In this case the criticisms are cutting and they reveal a lot about the attitude of the NSA cryptographers. You need to keep in mind as you read that this is intended for the NSA crypto community and as such the writer would have felt at home with what was being written.
Take for example:
Three of the last four sessions were of no value whatever, and indeed there was almost nothing at Eurocrypt to interest us (this is good news!). The scholarship was actually extremely good; it’s just that the directions which external cryptologic researchers have taken are remarkably far from our own lines of interest.
It seems that back in 1992 academic cryptographers were working on things that the NSA didn't consider of any importance. Could things be the same now?
The gulf between the two camps couldn't be better expressed than:
The conference again offered an interesting view into the thought processes of the world’s leading “cryptologists.” It is indeed remarkable how far the Agency has strayed from the True Path.
The ironic comment is clearly suggesting that the NSA is on the "true path" whatever that might be.
Clearly the gap between the NSA and the academic crypto community is probably as wide today with the different approaches to the problem being driven by what each wants to achieve. It is worth reading the rest of the article."

Link to Original Source

+ - Linux on a Motorola 68000 solderless breadboard

Submitted by lars_stefan_axelsson
lars_stefan_axelsson (236283) writes "When I was an undergrad in the eighties, "building" a computer meant that you got a bunch of chips and a soldering iron and went to work. The art is still alive today, but instead of a running BASIC interpreter as the ultimate proof of success, today the crowning achievement is getting Linux to run:

"What does it take to build a little 68000-based protoboard computer, and get it running Linux? In my case, about three weeks of spare time, plenty of coffee, and a strong dose of stubborness. After banging my head against the wall with problems ranging from the inductance of pushbutton switches to memory leaks in the C standard library, it finally works! "


Brain damage is all in your head. -- Karl Lehenbauer