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Comment Signal (Score 1) 112

Accurate GPS is good.

But I'd really much prefer a GPS that can work indoors, in cities with tall buildings, near hills and mountains etc.

That seems to have much more uses than getting something from a handful of inches down to fractions of an inch.

My car and phone sometimes get confused about precisely where I am and which turn-off I've taken. And in Belgium (where there are a LOT of underground roads), it barely works at all - by the time it locks on, I've had to go down another tunnel. In Central London, it can lose accuracy just at critical points. But everywhere else it's okay.

Improve the reception and time-to-first-fix. Then worry about sub-meter accuracy. Nobody really uses it for that level of accuracy anyway.

Comment Re:BT (Score 2) 67

And why can you not list with BT what your DID's can be, and what your internal numbers are? So when your DID is linked to crank calls, they can shut you down or notify you? In fact, the link is ALREADY there. BT know exactly what number you're claiming to be when you ring out, and which one you actually rang from.

But why should I have to deal with people able to fake YOUR DID (and thus your company's reputation) or a random or invalid DID, without any traceability?

Why should I only have that DID number as the ID I can block on? Why should someone be able to send me text from a number that doesn't exist? Or even, in some cases, from a NAME that doesn't exist (and which, thus, you cannot respond to or block), as I've seen on UK mobile phone networks?

I run a school telephony network, I understand DID usage. What I don't get is why that's not restricted (i.e. CANNOT BE FAKED), so that only YOUR numbers can advertise your DID. Wouldn't this stop me making crank calls to your customers and claiming to come from your 0800 number? Because there is ZERO protection for that at the moment, and never has been.

And that's all moot if you can't block that number. Number blocking has always been a pay-for service with BT historically, unless you wanted to block all numbers (then why have a phone?). It wasn't cheap either.

And try and report a crank call. Unless it's criminal, BT will NOT go through their records and find the originating lines. They will ask to intercept your line and see if they can't capture a repeat call live, rather than look in their history. Only when the police are involved will they discover the ACTUAL source of messages or phone calls. The user is helpless here.

(P.S. I once had a bank send 400 fax calls an hour to my parent's residential phone - that had no fax. We reported it to BT. There was no CallerID. Now they KNOW who sent those calls. They have records they could investigate, but they WILL NOT. Until you make a criminal complaint. What they did was - when we could finally get through to them - intercept the line for over an hour, meaning we were without service, and waited for the next fax - but by this time they'd died down.

It turned out to be a bank internal system on auto-send without retry-protection with a mistyped phone number. But it took DAYS to resolve. DAYS of the phone ringing uncontrollably throughout working hours all day long. You can say "You could have put a fax machine on it", but this was my parent's line, we had no fax machine, and this is BT's job to do something about. They couldn't because they do not access originator information, the CallerID was withheld, and they cannot block a number without it, unless there's a criminal complaint. And this wasn't last century.)

DID spoofing is fine. My employer does it. But there's NOTHING to say who can or can't spoof, or what they can spoof, or anything protecting users from malicious spoofing.

I should not be able to get a text message from "801" or "Insurance" (literally, not a contact name, but the originating name of the text), or a phone call from a number that I've blocked (even if they later try to call with number withheld, so employee at company who gets pissed off and wants to spam me can't just use the same line after dialling the number to withhold the CallerID), or a phone call from several thousand spoofed or unregistered numbers over extended periods of time (this should trigger so many alerts, that BT just shut the line down like an ISP would shut down an email spammer).

None of what I'm suggesting stops your employer advertising their main switchboard number for all outgoing calls.

Comment Re:"because he was already right the first time".. (Score 2) 139

Science is much more interesting to a scientist when you're proven wrong. And no scientists minds that. Not really.

And doubting your own science is exactly how you reject those millions of private hypotheses that couldn't have led to anything as they were wrong, and drove you to work out why the maths still pointed that way, and didn't lead you down the garden path of easy assumptions.

For scientists "being wrong" is merely a pathway to "being right". But sometimes they overshoot and it takes 100 years to prove them right. If it took me 100 years to prove you right, that's 99 years of everyone else thinking you could still be wrong.

Comment BT (Score 5, Insightful) 67

30 years too late, could have been done at ANY point, but they are no longer making money from such calls so they promote a service AGAINST them to increase their product value.

Fuck off.

We got rid of landlines because of this shit.

Mobiles all have caller blocking.

Everything past that is your fucking responsibility anyway, to trace these "withheld numbers" and shut them down. But you have ZERO interest in doing so.

Why is it even possible to fake Caller-ID anyway? You are charging a provider to make the call, you know exactly who it's come from. Even if I can't SEE the number, I should be able to block the fucker with one button. And should have always been able to. And you should spot the pattern in who gets blocked and chuck them off your service.

You didn't care when it mattered. Now it doesn't matter. Nobody really "needs" a landline any more. Nobody even needs a mobile number. They certainly no longer need to have one they advertise. You can buy front-numbers that just forward to your phone for a pittance. And that's exactly the problem you introduced and refused to combat. And that's exactly why nobody gets my mobile phone number, or my landline.

And yet, somehow, I still get occasional junk calls. There's only a few sources of such information. My providers and/or the numbering authorities. Who should be combating this shit all the time for me anyway.

The day my phone rings with too much spam, I enable the "reject calls from unknown callers" options on my phone, or people will only get my WhatsApp or Skype and unless you're on my contact list, then fuck you.

What stopped you doing this sort of thing even before CallerID existed? Nothing.

Comment The problem with American sports (Score 2, Insightful) 139

That everything is so very precise with regards to timing and distance. 5 yards back. 0.4 seconds. It's a load of crap.

The game is over when the person in charge decides it's over and provides a signal that ends the game at that point and/or when the last point has been scored. Not when some arbitrary timer expires, and really annoyingly, not when the ball thrown before that arbitrary time is given any time it needs to land in the basket after that (because, if you are going to have a hard time limit, have a hard time limit!).

It's what bores me about a lot of sport - arbitrary rules that make no sense and rely on all kinds of unnecessary technology to play, rather than just being a sport. Even down to "did the ball cross this line" or whatever. If the judge says it did, it did. If he's sure, by all means check. But when you're into millimetre analysis, it's just boring and no longer a sport but one long replay.

Same thing with Formula One. If you need 0.00001th of a second to determine the winner, it's too close and too boring. Similarly, "batting averages" - it's nonsense to state these to so many decimal places.

Sport turned into commercial gain by the ever-shrinking boundary of error isn't actually fun, to play or to spectate.

Comment Re:Be Skeptical (Score 1) 446

Black holes warp space to the point that countless billions of planets can fit into a fairly normal "size" black hole.

Therefore the concept of "measuring" a black hole can be a nonsense. Inside it is billions of large things. Outside it, it might be a fraction of a light year across. And yet all that matter is crushed under its gravity and becomes nearly a point mass.

When your measuring system is reliant on getting a ruler and putting it somewhere, it all becomes a nonsense under space-time itself warping to the point of galaxies of objects fitting on the head of a pin, which from a distance just looks like a black hole in the middle of a galaxy.

Actual scale here is variable, indeterminate, dependent on the observer, and - in a lot of cases - unknown.

Comment Sigh (Score 1) 573

Use a tool like an idiot, and it won't work as you expect.

I regularly do things like 100 mile drives into the middle of nowhere, then just turn on the sat nav knowing that it will get me back. My girlfriend and I find it a nice way to discover new places, new pubs, new routes, new towns, new countryside.

What bugs me more than anything is short, temporary roadworks, restrictions, road closures, etc. that are never announced on RDS-TMC or similar traffic services and so you have to manually re-route. The one bit of a journey that pisses me off is when I *can't* let the satnav do its job.

Otherwise, I have never got lost, drove hundreds of km's out of my way "by accident" (moron!), driven through a ford I didn't know was coming up or into a low bridge that was too low for my vehicle (morons!), or anything else along those lines. Hell, it's been years since I typed in a postcode that the computer couldn't recognise first time.

Seriously, people, just get a life and check the overview map before you accept route. There are millions of places which share names with things that aren't what you intended. Check which one you meant first rather than blindly pressing OK.

And then your satnav-led journeys will be pretty much uneventful.

Oh, and I use a GBP20 Copilot app on an Android phone. It's not like I spent a fortune, and I don't even have to pay for map updates.

Comment Re:poison the data (Score 2) 260

Just VM it and stop pissing about.

Then you can run your Windows-only app, have a built-in firewall in the hypervisor that can do whatever you need, you can use your original hardware, you can run other systems that are more privacy-respecting for your day-to-day activities, your licences almost certainly already cover such use, and everything from 8 Pro upwards allows you to use Hyper-V to do just this.

Comment Re:Dumb question, forgive me (Score 2) 446

Nope, sound waves don't either.

Think of a giant rubber sheet with a ball bearing in every square inch. Squish the sheet and the balls in that part get closer together. Stretch it and they get further apart. Do both to the same sheet and you have a wave and the distance between them is half a wavelength. Repeat it regularly and you have a full, repeating wave of a certain wavelength.

The ball bearings are sound-carrying particles in audio terms, and mass-bearing particles in gravity terms.

Neither of them has "positive" or "negative" anything. They just further apart or closer together to each other.

That we sometimes represent them as a line on a graph that goes below zero (closer than without the presence of sound / gravity) or above it (further apart than without the presence of sound / gravity) is a matter of interpretation, nothing to do with anything "negative" at all.

Comment Re:Be Skeptical (Score 5, Informative) 446

Any science you can explain in a few sentences to a layman will be so full of holes as to be nothing more than hearsay and astrology.

A big event, that would have created ripples that would arrive here roughly at the time of the experiment, happened. As we listened, at that time, we saw inconsistencies representative of just such a gravitational wave hitting the experiment. It's tiny, but above background noise and experimental error (it's mentioned elsewhere that this basically means 6-sigma certainty), and coincides with a particular event that we were able to "observe" (not literally) in other ways.

The source of the wave barely matters. We detected gravitational fluxes that would otherwise be unexplained. That we are able to correlate them to one single event, that's just of the type of rare event that we predict might be able to cause such signals "loud" enough to be "heard" by us, and match up the timing means that it's the most likely explanation too.

But more importantly - 100-year-old mathematics predicts some absolutely insane, bonkers things that - when we are finally able to look for them - turn out to be true. That's all science cares about.
You can't just make up shit and then - in 100 years - several people invent an instrument that correlates perfectly to the shit you made up, several times, to the satisfaction of major scientific institutions unless - basically - you were absolutely spot-on correct all along.

That's pretty much what happened. The Einstein field equations are fucking bonkers to understand, let alone try and solve the implications of them. And I'm a mathematician. But they predict stuff like this that we then find. When it came from barely matters. A simplification of the definition of "size" in a mass-media article doesn't matter at all (tell people black holes have no size, and they look at you like you're an idiot).

So, no, it's not as bad as you make out.

Comment Re:Wow what a surprise... (Score 4, Informative) 96

Not really.

If someone gets hold of your wallet enough to try passcodes, it's game over anyway.

It's like saying that credit cards are insecure because they only have 10,000 possible 4-digit PINs. Well, yes. But the general idea is to stop them getting the card in the first place, and to use other security measures to protect the card.

The stupid idea of having such emphemeral wallets that are vulnerable to these kinds of attacks was ridiculous before it started. That's not "normal" Bitcoin.

For normal Bitcoin, you make a wallet file on your machine, encrypt the wallet file with a strong passphrase, perform transactions, then store it in a safe place. You only get it back out on a secure machine where you're required to enter the passphrase again to do anything useful with it.

If someone is on the machine that you perform BitCoin transactions on, to the point that they can read your wallet file and try to enter passphrases, that's game over anyway. They could just as easily just sniff your keyboard for the passphrase.

Again - stupid security "attack" that wouldn't happen in real life unless you were a complete dope anyway, is taken as "bad news" for an unrelated technology which people like you jump on the bandwagon of disparaging without checking facts.

Hint: Word .doc passwords aren't secure either. Or old (pre-AES) ZIP file passwords. You can easily check just as many of those in the same time as this "attack" on something like EC2. The idea is that you don't let people get a file full of expensive information in the first place, or rely on such naff security if that's what you want to do. And that's exactly what BitCoin does too.

The wallet decryption is only valid if someone can copy your wallet. And that's, quite literally, like someone taking your wallet in real life. The problem is already there. That they might be able to use it to cost you money is entirely logical from that point onwards.

Comment Excess (Score 1) 290

"that Morocco may eventually start exporting the clean energy to the European market."


If Morocco is just across from Spain, why would Spain pay for the energy (i.e. cost of production, plus payoff of initial outlay, plus transportation, plus the company profits) rather than just build their own?

It's not like the two are on hugely different latitudes which greatly affect the amount of solar available, and the transportation losses, especially under 50km of ocean at best, must be quite substantial.

And... they're at the same longitude, so they have the same solar peaks and thus power-demand peaks, so it's not like they can supply power during the night when Spain's solar would be dead, or similar. And Europe is only a couple of timezones wide, so considering Spain is probably the least-cost option when it comes to transportation etc.

Not sure I understand that at all. Maybe they'd exchange a bit of power, for emergencies and peak-demand and backup and switchover and things, but are Morocco really ever going to be able to sell their excess to any country far enough way that they couldn't generate it themselves, or to a nearby country that could just do the same and probably have the same kind of excess power at the same times of day?

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