Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Going further... (Score 1) 250

This is exactly why someone needs to standardize, as soon as possible, a consumer device for metering your IP. The device should be small (pocket sized), possibly battery operated, has a liquid crystal display, and simply shows the IO flow of IP packets into and out of your home, with totals. The device should be under $10.00 or $20.00 USD. To use the device, you would simply place it in-line between your ISP modem, and your home router. Every month, you would simply read its value from the LCD just like the electric, water, and gas meters outside your homes. It should not slow down your internet traffic, or interfere with it in any way. The reading should be retained through a power loss of the device, such as change-out of an old battery. The device should not be hackable in any way since it should probably just read the IP header content size info and accumulate that.

Home routers, in theory, could possibly perform the function, however there would be wildly varying methods of reading and displaying the data. All older router firmwares would need to be updated, and the metering method used would need standardization.

If enough of these devices get out there, and soon enough, then consumers should be able to push back on this issue. After a while, perhaps, the Time Warners, AT&Ts, and Comcasts of the world will force one version of the meter readers to be "standardized" across the industry. This would be a very lucrative deal for the developer of the meter.

Comment Oh gee, not this myth again... (Score 1) 303

The Windows registry is just a database that sits on the file system. Parts of the database are maintained in memory for extremely fast access. The database also handles locking when multiple applications need to have access, or write to the same piece of data at the same time. The registry was made to replace the need to keep the following from happening...
(My application needs and INT value that describes something.)
1. opening a file.
2. locking a byte range.
3. seeking to the byte range on the disk.
4. parsing the byte range.
5. performing ASCII/UNICODE to numeric INT/DWORD/LONG conversions where required.
6. re-writing the byte range (when required).
7. unlocking/closing.
Since there are no numeric conversions, this also takes care of keeping values small, and taking up less disk space and speeding things up as well. The registry also has ACLs for the data.

If you've ever watched access to the windows registry via applications through hooking programs like regmon, then you will note just how much you need that speed and accuracy.
There's nothing "special" or evil about the windows registry. It's just a miniature database "data" file system on top of a larger file system.

It's global, but your applications don't have to use it if you don't want to. For your applications to have Windows logo certs, you would need to apply certain registrations of software install information in the Windows registry, but that is about it. You don't need to store any of your applications' data in the registry. You can just store things in text files if you want. Slow poke.

This myth about what the Windows registry is just lame and probably comes from being absent minded about other technologies and ways of doing things.

Comment Who saves your data? (Score 1, Interesting) 228

At 3KHz, with compression, you can now record every conversation, from birth to death, of a connection. Think about who wants that data. I would guess that from the moment you aquire your first cell phone contract, the providers are saving all your conversations. What's the point of a wire tap when that data is available upon request? In our post 9/11 world, I would be amazed if it doesn't already work that way.

Comment Prefer the term "Cosmetic Computing" myself... (Score 1) 331

Apple devices seem like they should be sold in the cosmetic section of a department store. They are devices made to appeal to the eyes and be aesthetically pleasing. However beauty, being in the eye of the beholder, is not the same, nor should be the same for everyone. No one company should be able to dictate that every device should "look like this", or "behave in this fashion". And cosmetics are by nature made to beautify, or "cover up" something perhaps undesirable underneath. Beware any single vendor solutions that lock you into their "way of doing things". The best solution will not be found by ceasing to search, an no one vendor has a lock-in on "truth", no matter how god-like Steve believes he is.

Comment A products market ... (Score 2, Insightful) 1027

To all those creating, producing, and selling ...

          "The market for a product is the group of those who are willing to pay money for it, not those who will steal it, or can't pay for it."

If you are trying to come up with a method to extort money from those who try to steal your product then you are wasting your time, and probably the time of those who actually buy your product.

True criminals will never pay you. Teens without incomes can't pay you. The poor can't pay you.

What's left is an insignificant sprinkling of people who will never increase your bottom line. Everyone else will hate you, and provide negative feelings to their peers about your company and product. Extortion is wrong and serves nobody, especially your true customers.

Comment Recognition of change ... (Score 1) 578

A physicist I'm not, nor mathematician, but 'TIME is CHANGE' in my book.

The following is speculation ...
Not quite. To us, time is the recognition of change, or that -a- change occurred. The brain machine is wired such that sensory information generates impulses, which after these impulses have travelled through the matrix, and if the new impulses are "different" than the previous (compared against the previous physical re-wiring), a new physical re-wiring occurs. The "comparison" is done by "negative" feedback, in much the same way a "negative feedback" operational amplifier configuration works. This process is "recursive", such that the "changes of previous change" are compared in an exactly the same way. Ultimately the brain "weights" those "comparison re-wirings" such that the "most important" differences have the largest feedback weight. And this is the important part. The whole recursive feedback process solely exists to keep the machine at a stable equilibrium with its sensory input, hence the environment of the machine. Memories are just the meta-level artifact of this process. Machine self awareness spontaneously occurs at the negative feedback "node" of input sensory impulses reacting with all previous weighted comparisons re-wirings. The "feeling" of being "within", and as "separate from", yet a "part of" the external physical world occurs at the "comparison impulse frequency", and -is- the actual re-wiring process, per unit-impulse-time.
As for "the arrow of time", we are asking why does change happen at all, and especially in only one direction, and not the other. Well it seems that would be the case because that is the way the universe is already "loaded up". Certainly most particle interactions "could" mathematically happen the other way around, but the existing physical state values for velocity vectors already exists. You might as well ask "Why are the values already loaded?" Or, alternatively "Why does the physical universe already have state?"
This last question leads inevitably to the concept of a universe without end because anything that has state(s) cannot "lose it (them)". The word "state" here is used fluidly, instead of iteratively. A substance of a "infinitely continuous and un-sub dividable" nature, is probably what the universe is made of. And this "substance" is probably not "static". It is likely the "substance" fluctuates with "wildly and unfathomable" properties, yet provides "wells" of quantitative meta-zones that define "location and size" for our purposes. If you consider for example that the equation "y=mx+b" defines a line, yet is completely continuous, then it becomes odd that we expect our measuring instruments to ever tell us the exact nature of the universe beyond the "minimum" scale for the quantum environment. There may very well be a "boundary", or "interface level" scale by which we can never penetrate, beyond which lies an even deeper physical manifestation. Think of it this way. Legos are building blocks by which you can build things at their "interface level". That is our "minimum scale". However we know that Legos are actually made of a smaller substance yet. It may be that things going on at the deeper level can cause our interfaces to "break" occasionally, which leads to things like radioactivity or spontaneous creation via vacuum fluctuation. In this way, the universe is probably infinitely sub-divided into zones of higher and conversely ever deeper scale. All the observable features of the universe that we know about appear to us at "our scale" because we simply exist at a nearer "relative scale" to be able to experience those features.

Comment Violation of conservation of energy... (Score 2) 365

So the idea here is apparently that the energy itself can be transmitted instantly, but you can't actually transmit information this way. Just energy

... which would immediately violate the principle of the conservation of energy.

The problem here is that energy == matter (via e=mc^2) and the system of matter/energy together in space-time yields information. Beckenstein shows that the total information in a volume of space is described by the area of the volume which encloses it. See "Bekenstein Bound"
    So in order for this new theory to work, the energy that is instantly transfered to another point in space-time must not be useful until we know what we can do with it through the classical channel. Otherwise you violate the conservation of energy.

Consider for example a mass at height in a gravitational field. To hold the mass stationary at height without any means of support other than using some of the mass itself for the creation of thrust, you would neccessarily run out of mass eventually (time). But if this theory were true, you'd have a loophole where you could take the energy expended for thrust and send it instantaneously back to the point in space above the mass where it could thusly be re-utilized. You would then have your first anti-gravity machine, which can't exist. A mass at height can be used to create energy in free-fall, and which is only equal to the potential difference in height. See

Btw, this is why theoretical wormholes can only exist along gravitationally equal field vectors. If a wormhole were to connect two different locations in space that don't exist with the same gravitational potential, you could generate an almost infinite amount of energy. Consider two ends of a wormhole, one end at 1000 meters height above the earth, the other at the ground. Throw a very large mass in at the ground hole. The mass then appears at 1000 meters, and starts falling. You could then make energy from it indefinitely. (What's that video game? Portal?) I would assume, in such a scenario, that the two ends of the wormhole would neccessarily begin to edge closer and closer to each other until they "evaporate" from existance altogether. This might be similar to black hole evaporation.

My question is, what actually is the total amount of energy required to actually hold any object at height, indefinitely, in a gravitational field?

Comment 32 bit what? (Score 1) 849

... or 32bit for FLAC

Or 32bit for FLAC, what? What the? Past 18 bits-per-channel, all you are recording is noise. There's no such thing as 32 bit audio, and there never will be. Unless you are adding extra channel information into a single channels stream, I have no idea how anything past 24 bits exists. Please explain, or provide a link how FLAC manages to reconstruct information back from randomness. I'd love to see that algorithm.

Comment Microsoft ruined PC gaming... (Score 4, Insightful) 201

It's Microsoft's fault. They have now, single handedly, broken their own market. No longer do we need to upgrade our PCs, or our PC graphics cards, or even our OS. No, now all we need to do is get on the bandwagon and buy an XBox console, which has a lifespan of about 5 years.

So instead of spending $2,000+ on a PC with a $400+ graphics card (every two years) and a new OS every 5 years, now we just spend $400 and buy a bunch of games at $50 to $60 dollars a pop.

Hmm, I wonder how that worked out business wise? Let's dwell on that...

1. Major PC vendors markets: Dell, HP, Sony, Lenovo, Gateway, etc? Destroyed. Now they end up selling a bunch of low-end netbooks and cheap $500 PCs, enough for browsing the web, watching videos, listening to music, etc.
2. High end $400+ video graphic cards market from nVidia and AMT/ATI. Destroyed. Nope, who needs a video card that a game doesn't use. After all, all games are now made for consoles, and the consoles are all over 4 years old!
3. 64 bit multi-core computing for home? Destroyed. After all, who needs multi-core computing except for the business and science/eng/tech sectors? A 32 bit (aka 4G RAM) computer works just fine for the internet, office, and financial management of home users. Ok, some may need to edit photo's and movies, I'll grant that.

The problem is that the Microsoft business manager bean counters just didn't think the problem through. The PC gaming market was pushing the technology envelope forward, for better or worse. And all other vendors and software markets (aka the Windows eco system) benefited from those gains. Later they realized, uh oh!, we are shooting ourselves in the foot, and tried to keep it going with "Games for Windows". Little did they realize, by that time, it was all over.

I may never buy another PC, or graphics card again. Someone please explain why I should? Does the amortization of costs actually benefit us over the long run? Stuck with 4 to 5 year old console technology that does not push the envelope? Unlike some slashdotters, from a game, I want a total and absolute simulated environmenal realism. I don't just want to "play a game". I can muck around with Monopoly if I just wanted to "play a game". No I want to be emersed, as if I have been taken to another world. Games must be worth my time, not just something to fidget around with while I'm bored. I want photo-realism, possibly ray traced real time graphics, with true weather and environmental sounds. That's the goal I "was" chasing. That "was" the goal I was helping by buying the latest and greatest tech. But now, Microsoft has just killed that goal for me.

Side note: It seems all vendors of all types now from cell phones, to PC hardware and software, are all hell bent on getting every living being on the planet on some kind of subscription service. To that I say "One Time Cost" is better than the "Recurring Cost" model.

Comment Ok, you start... (Score 2, Interesting) 703

Please give us your plans for "fixing" the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
How about the North Korean-everyone else issue?
Problems in Iraq-Afghanistan?

Space is more about "engineered" solutions. Not so much about politics and religious dogma, which have no solutions. When science and engineering are at the helm, specifically defined problems within broad questions like "How do we do that?" or "How do we get there?" usually get solved.

Comment Where is the Original Cosmos series??? (Score 3, Interesting) 183

Does anyone have any idea of how to get a hold of the very original Cosmos television series that aired on P.B.S. back in the early 80's ?

The Cosmos series was bought, remastered, and remade in the late 90's by Ted Turner, and that is the series that I own (the DVD set), however it is not what I watched as a child. I liked the original better. The original had much better ambient music, and in the transitions between scenes, worked much better I thought (more powerfully evoking). The remastered version may be more up to date scientifically, but the music has been replaced with mostly classical that doesn't fit the emotion, and is hacked up quite a bit.

I know the story is that Carl had a large disagreement with the way the original series was produced by KCET out of Los Angeles. Later the series was remade with the help of his wife, but some of the original music could not be relicensed (or was not even licensed correctly the first time) when the series was sold to Turner.

I have most of the episodes of the original 80's version on cassette, that I have now digitized. But the sound isn't that great since it was recorded by simply placing a microphone in front of the TV. There are other tape "abnormalities" as well, like the side A to side B change over.

I know there must be some remaining VHS or Beta tapes around of the original series somewhere, since they were sold as sets to schools and universities back in the 80's. I'd love to have a copy of those! Digital of course.

Comment Oh please no... (Score 1) 150

... the website has to include a meta-tag indicating that the site should be displayed in Chrome Frame instead of IE ...

The very last thing I want as a system administrator are hundreds of thousands of sites (if not millions, or more) requiring the user to have Google Chrome, or the Chrome Frame plugin, before the site can be used. Web sites should be designed using web standards, and not require specific browsers for use. Talk about pot calling kettle black! Plugins should be handlers for the primary browsers functions, not over reaching take over my browser leaches.

Comment Not any more... (Score 1) 259

Having a company be able to SEE any user's password should be a crime. Standard practice is that NOBODY, not even sysadmins can see it. They can change it but not see it.

It is now a bit naive to think that things work like this in the industry. Years ago, this was indeed the forward thinking, "engineered" best practice, and though not directly, why systems like Kerberos were originally created.

Sadly however, with the advent of the web, SSL, LDAP, and hundreds of other possible databases to need access, most PHB types quickly bought into "identity management" schemes being pawned by multiple vendors. These schemes end up "managing" your kept password(s) into "secret stores", usually in an LDAP back end. The "secret stores" should be hashed, but you can likely de-hash them using master stores hash. This basically amounts to nothing more than Microsofts old PWL files on Win9x. Its just a temporary patch for a long term problem, but many industry PHBs throw their hands up because even after a decade and a half of Kerberos, very few products have been Kerberized.

Password management is hard. There are few easy solutions.

Slashdot Top Deals

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.