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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

PhunkySchtuff Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (818 comments)

...Even these manumatics with paddle shifters or whatever feel terrible when you say... approach a curve and want to preemptively downshift for engine braking and pulling out of the curve. They simply don't know your intent, and don't seem to have the wherewithal to do it smoothly.

I'm not a race car driver, but I am someone who likes their car to be responsive, and M/T is still the only option for me AFAIC.

Sam

I'm not sure what you've driven, but in my car (with a DSG and paddle shifters) coming into a corner and downshifting is as smooth, if not smoother, than in a manual.

In a manual, I would have to heel-toe to rev-match on the downshift, and this is tricky to get spot-on, so there'd be a jerk as the lower gear engaged and the engine was brought up to speed by the car. I'd have to take one hand off the wheel to shift and slide my foot over to in-between the accelerator and brake pedals.

In a DSG, the ECU knows how fast the engine needs to be turning for the road speed in the lower gear. When I hit the paddle, the ECU blips the throttle and gets the engine to exactly the right rpm for my forward speed and then engages the gear. This happens in around half a second, quicker than I could do it myself and I get to leave both hands on the wheel so I'm in full control of the car.

I was a die-hard manual fan until I had a car with DSG and paddle shifters. Now, I get the best of both worlds. I can drive as an auto in city traffic and I'm not rowing on the gear shifter and then with the press of a paddle, I can take control of the gear shifts when I'm on a twisty road, or want to accelerate quickly.
The one thing I miss is launching a manual car - in a manual, when you get it right, an AWD launch with just the right RPMs and just the right amount of slipping the clutch is simply sublime. Even with launch control on a DSG it doesn't quite get there.

about a week ago
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

PhunkySchtuff Two types of "faking" it (818 comments)

There are two types of faking it that are currently used, as outlined in the summary.

Noise pipes, that take engine noise through a hollow pipe into the interior of the car are quite different to playing a synthetic soundtrack through the car's speakers. Modern cars have significantly more noise insulation than older vehicles, so cutting through some of this insulation so that the real engine noise can reach the cabin isn't necessarily cheating. You need an engine that sounds good to begin with here and you're hearing the actual sounds that the engine is making.

Having an engine that makes unpleasant sounds, or is too quiet, and supplementing this with a soundtrack played through the car's speakers - well, it may sound really good inside the car, but outside the car, you're not going to be hearing much of note...

about a week ago
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Oracle Releases Massive Security Update

PhunkySchtuff Re:No secure download (79 comments)

Whilst a non https download can totally include drive-by malware, what's even worse is Oracle insistence on bundling the Ask toolbar with the PC version of the JRE, with it selected by default in the installer .

about a week ago
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Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

PhunkySchtuff Re:Any actual examples? (598 comments)

Whilst I'll be one of the first to step up and say that I've been bitten by bugs in Apple software, some (most?) that Apple know about and stubbornly refuse to fix (their Radar system is broken. You submit a bug, it's closed as a duplicate and they helpfully give you the Radar ID for the dupe - which you have no way of accessing) - you can not complain about bugs, even show-stopping-my-computer-won't-boot bugs in developer preview software. A Developer Preview, by it's very definition, has known bugs, otherwise it'd be GM or Release.

Now, a bug that have annoyed me in 10.9 - Apple broke subscriptions to IMAP public folders in Mail - well, they didn't break subscribing to a public folder, they removed the functionality that allows you to unsubscribe from them. I had a heap of users with small SSDs in their laptops suddenly trying to sync around 1 TB of email from folders they didn't want nor need. This worked perfectly in 10.8, was broken and logged as a bug in the 10.9 betas and as of 10.10 is still broken. Every time a bug is logged, it's closed as a dupe and a useless bug ID provided for the duplicate bug that no-one except for the original submitter can see.

about three weeks ago
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Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

PhunkySchtuff Re: Nosedive (598 comments)

From the link he posted:
sudo nvram boot-args="debug=0x10"

about three weeks ago
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Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

PhunkySchtuff Re:Forced upgrade path, Re: Nosedive (598 comments)

you can't run a version of Safari on 10.6.x that will actually load content on sites like Youtube).

That's because you are using a version of Safari that hasn't been updated for about 6 years. ...Fortunately, you have several alternatives:

1. Update OS X to Yosemite. It's FREE (as in beer).

Yeah, FREE (as in beer) and UNAVAILABLE (as in roast dodo).
The "forced upgrade policy" means that a generation of
Macintoshes is arbitrarily decared too old for the installer to put a newer OS onto it.
My MacPro, four Xeon cores and 20GB of RAM, with six drive bays,
doesn't have a MacOS upgrade path beyond 10.6.8, won't load any Safari
browser version that came with 10.7+, and most prebuilt browsers
of other pedigree are just as OS-intolerant (TenFourFox being the notable exception).

Apple's OS and app install process discriminates on the basis of last-time-we-got-paid-for-hardware.

Despite your Mac Pro dating from before 2008 or so, it's still a relatively powerful machine - and Xeons are absolutely 64-bit CPUs. It's annoying that Apple didn't update the 32-bit firmware on that machine at some stage of it's lifespan which would have enabled it to run everything up to, and including, Yosemite.

about three weeks ago
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What Isn't There an App For?

PhunkySchtuff Re:aggregate all my communication channels (421 comments)

I would like just one communications app - a decent PHONE app. One that doesn't use a high-pass filter to cut off half of what my deep voice is saying, making people ask me to speak up even though I'm already making people around me look at me because I speak so loud. One that has voicemail on the phone itself, not as a dial-in service, so you can save voicemails for later use. One that has built-in access to public phone books and yellow pages. One that will let you choose whether to roam or not from within the phone app, not going through settings. One that lets you punch the numbers as fast as you can. One I can disable the ringer on without having to (a) unlock my phone, (b) open a different app to (c) turn all sound off.

Cell phones of the 90s were better at making phone calls than today's "smart" phones are. They're smart at everything except being a phone.

So, what you're saying is that you want an iPhone?
I don't know about the settings on the high-pass filter - I have a reasonably deep voice and I haven't had anyone comment that they can't hear me.
Visual Voicemail on the phone is in the phone app - it shows you a list of all your voicemails with their name (if in your address book) or their number and the time of the call. You can play, replay, delete and undelete from within the phone app. There doesn't seem to be a limit on the number of voicemails you can keep. You can also easily change your greeting from within the voicemail part of the phone app.
There's no integrated access to yellow pages or anything like that. Also no access to roaming settings from within the phone app. With a sensible mobile network setup, you leave international roaming off and don't worry about any other roaming as it's not an issue.
I've never had any noticeable delay in keying in numbers manually, it will register the numbers as fast as I can hit the buttons on the screen.
And as for disabling the ringer, all iPhones have a mute switch on the side of the phone that turns the ringer on and off from a physical switch.

about three weeks ago
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Red Hat Engineer Improves Math Performance of Glibc

PhunkySchtuff Re:C versus Assembly Language (226 comments)

It may, but it's pretty rare that it's worth it and it also increases the cost of maintaining. Though a function in glibc, might be an exception.

There's nothing rare about it. SIMD vectorization is useful in tons of applications.

Yes, and modern compilers are quite good at generating code that takes advantage of extended instruction sets.

about a month ago
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Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

PhunkySchtuff Re:Tails - The amnesic, incognito, live system (212 comments)

And, even without Tempora, the old story of "a boat anchor severed the fibre cable" is usually sufficient explanation for downtime when a tap is made...

about 4 months ago
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Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

PhunkySchtuff Tails - The amnesic, incognito, live system (212 comments)

Just putting this out there for fellow Aussies. Fire this up in a VM and you're good to go.
https://tails.boum.org/

Tails is a live operating system, that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity, and helps you to:

use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship;
all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network;
leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly;
use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging.

Yes, I know it's not perfect and possibly contains bugs, but against the proposed Aus Govt surveillance, it's a very quick and easy workaround.

about 4 months ago
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Apple Kills Aperture, Says New Photos App Will Replace It

PhunkySchtuff Re:In addition... (214 comments)

Aperture won't currently run in Yosemite. Aperture will be updated to run under Yosemite but that's the last update it's going to get.
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2...

about 7 months ago
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3D-Printed Material Can Carry 160,000 Times Its Own Weight

PhunkySchtuff Re:Watch the movie. Not only about carrying weight (60 comments)

Printing with light, AKA Stereolithography has been around for a long time. The news here is that they're printing feature sizes that are smaller than the wavelength of the light they are using. This involves using metamaterials with a negative index of refraction (among other things)

about 7 months ago
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A Seriously High Speed Video Camera (Video)

PhunkySchtuff Re:Like you could tell the difference between 60fp (62 comments)

Can't tell if serious or trolling.

These cameras are used for slowing things down. You shoot at, say, 600 frames per second and then you can slow it down by 20 times to 30 fps. Watching the video at 30 fps then shows a very smooth slow-motion view of what's happening 20 times faster. One of the examples he gave was in process manufacturing - if you have an assembly line that's jamming at a point, and you can't see why as it's all happening too quickly, shoot it at a high frame rate, slow it down and go over it frame by frame if you need to. Either that or make videos of stuff breaking, getting shot or having water splashed on it and put it on youtube. People love seeing that stuff in slow motion.

about 7 months ago
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Group Demonstrates 3,000 Km Electric Car Battery

PhunkySchtuff Re:Hm.... (363 comments)

I'm going to guess that you're joking here. Cars already need to be regularly filled up with fluids of all sorts and people seem to be able remember to do that, granted with the help of a small gauge in the instrument cluster.

about 8 months ago
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Standards Group Adds Adaptive-Sync To DisplayPort

PhunkySchtuff Re:I didn't realise they didn't already did that. (82 comments)

What's "purely digital" about a LCD? For a start, there's nothing in this article talking about VGA. I'm talking about DisplayPort (as is the linked article) which has a signal path from the GPU to the monitor (and if you want to be pedantic about it, the DisplayPort interface on the rear of the monitor) that is purely digital. However, if you really want to take it to it's illogical extreme, even the digital signalling used by DisplayPort is, at it's heart, analogue voltages travelling down a bunch of copper wires.

Either way, the signal path, the communications channel, that still has things like a vertical blanking interval and runs between the GPU and the electronics in the monitor is purely digital.

about 9 months ago
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Standards Group Adds Adaptive-Sync To DisplayPort

PhunkySchtuff Re:I didn't realise they didn't already did that. (82 comments)

Yeah, I always found it strange that even a purely digital flat panel monitor still "emulates" a vertical refresh interval signal...

about 9 months ago
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Standards Group Adds Adaptive-Sync To DisplayPort

PhunkySchtuff Re:I didn't realise they didn't already did that. (82 comments)

I haven't RTFA, but from what I understand of it, it's not syncing the output from the graphics card to the vertical blanking interval on the monitor, it's the other way around. It's running the monitor at a variable frame rate so that if you're running at (say) 60Hz refresh and the next frame takes 1/60th second + a tiny bit, the monitor can hold off painting the new frame until the data is there to paint it, rather than waiting for 2/60th second before displaying an updated frame. Or, if the next frame is ready early, and the monitor can do so, it can paint the new frame early - so the monitor isn't running at 60Hz, it's running in sync with the output of the graphics card.

about 9 months ago
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NSA Allegedly Exploited Heartbleed

PhunkySchtuff Re:Do it enough times (149 comments)

Private key grabbed. Game over.
One successful attempt took >2.5M requests over a day. Second successful attempt was something like 100k requests.

http://blog.cloudflare.com/the...

It's all in the luck of the draw. When you don't have any logging of this, you've got no idea how long people have been poking at this and literally no idea what anyone has made off with.

about 10 months ago
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Dyn.com Ends Free Dynamic DNS

PhunkySchtuff Re:Viable Replacement? (242 comments)

Yes, I thought that was the case, but I still got all sorts of junk subdomains registered... Maybe there was a problem with the way my domains were registered, I don't know. Either way, I moved them away...

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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What are the implications of finding the Higgs Boson?

PhunkySchtuff PhunkySchtuff writes  |  more than 2 years ago

PhunkySchtuff writes "OK, so we're all hearing the news that they've found the Higgs boson.
What are some of the more practical implications that are likely to come out of this discovery?
I realise it's hard to predict this stuff — who would have thought that shining a bright light on a rod of ruby crystal would have lead to digital music on CDs and being able to measure the distance to the moon to an accuracy of centimetres?
If the Higgs boson is the particle that gives other particles mass, would our being able to manipulate the Higgs lead to being able to do things with mass such as we can do with electromagnetism? Will we be able to shield or block the Higgs from interacting with other particles, leading to a reduction in mass (and therefore weight?) Are there other things that this discovery will lead to in the short to medium term?"
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An open letter to Apple - Bring back the clones

PhunkySchtuff PhunkySchtuff writes  |  more than 2 years ago

PhunkySchtuff writes "Dear Apple, Please either do something with the Mac Pro range, or set it free. My proposal below will address not only this shortcoming but fix your problems with servers as well. Yes, hear me out for a minute, I know this burned you really really badly last time in the early 90's when Apple products were outrageously more expensive than the industry average and the clone makers brought in low quality, cheap hardware and tarnished things, but please, please, please look at licensing Mac OS X to certified clone makers. "But that's crazy talk" "Clones will be the death of the Apple experience" "Clones cheapen the experience" "Why would someone buy a Mac if a clone is cheaper?" "Why would Apple give up their famous margins on selling hardware?" A clone program could not only be successful, but would restore a lot of faith in the brand from the high-end of the professional and enterprise market if there is one VERY IMPORTANT restriction on clones... All Clones MUST HAVE A XEON PROCESSOR. That immediately rules out all the bottom-feeding, white-box making clone makers who just want to make the cheapest computer and damn the quality. Xeons are freakin' expensive chips, and the hardware to support them isn't cheap either. This would allow certified clone makers to make high-end machines that can dual-boot, yet not compete in Apple's core consumer markets which is dominated by portables. Try stuffing a Xeon in a laptop? No thanks, the only nuts I like dry-roasted are almonds. Go and look at a high-end HP workstation, something like a current generation Z800 — it's a Mac Pro in all but it's ability to run OS X. That would also solve the problem of a severe lack of enterprise-ready servers, that once again would not compete whatsoever with the Mac mini Server. It would be a win all around — Apple could (almost) charge whatever they like for an OS X licence. This would not lead to any more hacintoshes than already exist — people making a cheap-arse hacintosh will not be spending the coin to use a Xeon, it's going to be on a cheaper consumer-level platform. Professionals would have a machine that they could expand, would be updated on a regular basis with modern hardware specs and would not have to hassle the consumer-focussed Genius Bar for support on. Please Apple, if you love it, set it free."
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Recommendations for a laptop with a keypad that doesn't suck

PhunkySchtuff PhunkySchtuff writes  |  more than 2 years ago

PhunkySchtuff writes "I'm seeking the collective's recommendations on a laptop with a numeric keypad that doesn't suck.

For practicality reasons, an external USB keypad is less convenient than a built-in one. A keypad is required for entry of lots of numbers, and using the alpha keys with the Fn key to turn them into a keypad is not acceptable.
Looking at the larger manufacturers, it seems that none of their business grade laptops (e.g. Lenovo's T-Series or similar quality levels) have numeric keypads. Looking at their laptops that do have keypads, invariably they are cheap, plastic and flimsy. Looking at Lenovo's offering with a Keypad, whilst it's a 15" screen, the vertical resolution is just 768 pixels, and the build quality of it leaves a lot to be desired.

I need to find something that is built to the quality of a "real" ThinkPad, or even a MacBook Pro, but has a full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad and there doesn't seem to be anything like that on the market at the moment. This is a mystery to me as to why it would be the case as I'd imagine it's business users who need to use a keypad more than the average user, yet it is the consumer grade laptops that have keypads."
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Why does the US cling to imperial measurements?

PhunkySchtuff PhunkySchtuff writes  |  more than 3 years ago

PhunkySchtuff writes "As one of only three countries on Earth that hasn't converted to a metric system of units and measurements, there is a huge amount of resistance within the US to change the status quo. Whilst the cost of switching would be huge, there is also a massive hidden cost in not switching when dealing with the rest of the world (except for Liberia & Burma, the only other two countries that don't use the metric system)

With one of the largest organisations in the US, the military, using metric units extensively, why does the general public in the US still cling to their customary system of units?"
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End of the Road for Apple's Xserve

PhunkySchtuff PhunkySchtuff writes  |  more than 4 years ago

PhunkySchtuff writes "Apple announced recently that they are killing the Xserve.
In their Transition Guide, they mention the replacement options of the Mac Pro or the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server as replacement options. Neither are anything like a direct replacement — the Mac Pro is considerably larger and uses more power (largely due to the more powerful graphics card as a standard configuration) and the Mac mini is a small and energy efficient workgroup server that can't handle anywhere near the same workload.

In the past few years, Apple have been making inroads into larger enterprise businesses, largely thanks to the success of the iPhone and the ever-growing range of software available (for instance, Autodesk have recently committed themselves to the Mac platform) and now there's no longer going to be a real enterprise server offering."

Link to Original Source
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Recommendations for Firewall/VPN Appliances

PhunkySchtuff PhunkySchtuff writes  |  more than 4 years ago

PhunkySchtuff writes "I have been using SnapGear Firewall/VPN appliances from Secure Computing for many years now and have found them to be very good. They are linux based, are highly configurable yet have a straightforward and easy to use GUI and they play well with Linux and Macs.

As the link above points out, Secure Computing were purchased by McAfee a while back and as of July 2010, they will be discontinued. It's always very frustrating when something like this happens — small innovative company with a great product is purchased by a massive corporate, promises are made to continue their wonderful support and then most of their product lines end up End of Life'd while the one thing that the company was purchased for is rolled into another product line.

I'm putting it to the Slashdot crowd to recommend a suitable alternative and the requirements are: The product needs to be open, it needs to have good after-sales support. It needs to be easy to configure and this is very important as these units generally get configured once when they go in and then they often don't need to be touched for months or years and it's easy to forget the intricacies of a complex GUI. They need to have PPTP and IPSec VPN support for ad-hoc client connections as well as site to site connections, and once again this needs to be easy to configure."

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