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Mr. Pike, Tear Down This ASCII Wall!

andyh-rayleigh Algol 68 (728 comments)

Or even Algol 68

more than 3 years ago
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Chinese 'Apple Peel' Turns iPods Into iPhones

andyh-rayleigh Re:It is a phone (178 comments)

in the UK you can buy an unlocked 64Gb iPhone 4 for £599. The equivalent iPod Touch is £329.

There are more differences between the iPod touch and the iPhone than just the phone components:
GPS, compass, battery capacity. In the previous generation the touch was also missing the cameras and microphone.

OK, that's still less than £270 worth but the difference is closed somewhat.

more than 3 years ago
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Building the LEGO MMO

andyh-rayleigh Censorship? (116 comments)

1) Create a set of objects representing the letters of the alphabet.

2) Produce as many of these as necessary

3) Use to form words bypassing the chat censorship

4) ????

5) Profit!!!

more than 3 years ago
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Man Gets 12-Year Jail Sentence For Planting Child Porn On Enemy's Computer

andyh-rayleigh Re:Why is it a crime (448 comments)

The law concerned is national, but to qualify as child pornography it would have to be "posed" and in a sexual context.
(or an image of, or apparently of, sexual interaction with a child).
But good luck in trying to persuade a magistrate (not a jury!) that an image that the prosecutor claims to meet that description doesn't really.

more than 3 years ago
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Man Gets 12-Year Jail Sentence For Planting Child Porn On Enemy's Computer

andyh-rayleigh Re:Lethal Weapon VII (448 comments)

Actually this has been quite widely publicised in the national press (OK, not the top story, but ...) and broadcast news.
I'd bet also that the local paper has had about a 3-page story starting on the front page.

more than 3 years ago
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Kmart Briefly Offers $149 Android Tablet

andyh-rayleigh Even less - just as bad (245 comments)

The Eken M001 - also an Android tablet can be easily obtained on eBay for just over $100.

But I don't recommend it, either. The hardware ought to be capable of reasonable response - but the software is so slow as to be ~unusable.

about 4 years ago
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After a Decade, Digital Radio Still an Also-Ran In UK

andyh-rayleigh Re:Nonsense (200 comments)

Which is odd, as one of the design goals for DAB was that the receiver should be able to move freely throughout the broadcast area and always get a signal, automatically switching to the strongest available transmitter whenever it changes.

In fact it was designed so that multiple transmitters could broadcast the same signal on the same frequency without multipath problems.
Which is great - except that the regulatory authorities require each transmitter to uniquely identify itself which means they cannot broadcast identical bit streams and thus that mechanism just doesn't work.

more than 4 years ago
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After a Decade, Digital Radio Still an Also-Ran In UK

andyh-rayleigh Re:Or people don't think it's worth it. (200 comments)

"Is government regulation anything to do with this? "

Not really, it is more that the bundle of "intellectual property" licenses you need to build a DAB radio is a significant cost.

At least until very recently it was about £10 a unit ... it must have come down a bit or they couldn't make a £20 set (unless there is some sort of kick-back in operation)

Just think of it as a Philips tax :-(

more than 4 years ago
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Crack the Code In US Cyber Command's Logo

andyh-rayleigh Unwise (380 comments)

Is it wise to put the md5 hash of a mission statement that is likely to be subject to frequent change on a logo which should not?

more than 4 years ago
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Mobile Phones vs. Supercomputers of the Past

andyh-rayleigh Just choose your date of Supercomputer ... (247 comments)

When I started work as a computer programmer the Supercomputer of the time was the CDC6600 which had just taken the crown from the Ferranti Atlas.

When I took early retirement about 7 years ago, I often carried four devices which each needed about the power of the 6600 to function effectively:
    A mobile phone
    An MP3 player
    A PDA (mainly used as an ebook reader)
    A GPS (OK, I didn't carry this all that often)

A composer/researcher was using our University Mainframe (not quite that powerful) to produce music - his jobs typically ran for a whole 8 hour nightshift with an output of some 30 seconds of "music".

more than 4 years ago
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Can We Legislate Past the H.264 Debate?

andyh-rayleigh ... and the same for DAB? (310 comments)

If that approach were to be applied to the "analogue switchoff" in UK radio then it would have to be delayed until Philips relinquished, or at least freed, their bundle of patents that puts about £10 on every DAB radio.

Hmmm, that's a good idea.

more than 4 years ago
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Digital Economy Bill Passed In the UK

andyh-rayleigh Re:can somebody explain (384 comments)

One other section of the Bill enables the "Analogue Radio" switch-off - all the main stations will have to broadcast on DAB only.
So a well known multinational will get some £10 per new radio in patent and other IP licences.

And note that is DAB, not DAB+

more than 4 years ago
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The Times Erects a Paywall, Plays Double Or Quits

andyh-rayleigh I'll miss the Letters page (but little else) (344 comments)

It'll be annoying to lose access to the letters page (and make it even less likely that I'll ever get a letter published there), but I won't be paying 100 quid a year and I'll be "wasting" 5 minutes less each day reading that.

more than 4 years ago
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Call For Scientific Research Code To Be Released

andyh-rayleigh This is news? (505 comments)

Nothing seems to change ...
30 years ago it was a standard joke that most "fundamental particles" were bugs in the Fortran programs of the day.

I wouldn't be surprised to discover that some of the programs inestigated are just the result of 30 years of further modification of the ones we knew ... and that nobody understands them now!

more than 4 years ago
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Analysis of 32 Million Breached Passwords

andyh-rayleigh Re:actual list of passwords? (499 comments)

I wonder what proportion use their telephone number?
Not easy to do a check on the data.

more than 4 years ago
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Analysis of 32 Million Breached Passwords

andyh-rayleigh Re:Limited in Password size and chars (499 comments)

Compare that to the password "PIN" on your credit card. 4 digits, that's all
(perhaps 3 more for the validation code on the back)

Most of the web sites I access are likely to be of much lower value than my credit account.

Andy

more than 4 years ago
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NASA Downgrades Asteroid-Earth Collision Risk

andyh-rayleigh Re:Uh oh... (244 comments)

Well a 1 in 14 million chance typically happens twice a week in the UK national lottery.

more than 4 years ago
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Maori Legend of Man-Eating Birds is True

andyh-rayleigh Perhaps not only in NZ (338 comments)

So - just maybe - the Roc may also have existed???

more than 4 years ago
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In UK, Two Convicted of Refusing To Decrypt Data

andyh-rayleigh Re:Good try, but doesn't work (554 comments)

No, if the cops come visiting they will collect every item that could contain a key - they WILL obtain both the pseudokey and the real one (yes, there are lots of places you could hide a micro-SD card - but finding one well hidden will really set off the alarm bells).
Having both they can decrypt the real to the real original.
PC Plod may not be the brightest chap you've met, but he ain't an idiot either. If you have "protected" something with mechanisms disproportionately strong he will get sufficiently suspicious to get a real expert to examone. (Oh, and he is probably only going to have the budget to have your machines properly examined if he is already pretty sure what information is there ... "fishing expeditions" do not make evidence inadmissible in this country - but they do consume scarce resources and thus are difficult for the police to justify to their (budget-holding) superiors).
A cipher system not only needs a secure key, it needs secure methods of handling it.

Andy

about 5 years ago
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In UK, Two Convicted of Refusing To Decrypt Data

andyh-rayleigh Good try, but doesn't work (554 comments)

This doesn't work for two reasons:
1) The definition of "key" in the law is essentially so general as to mean all the keys needed to translate the encrypted file into the readable original.
2) GCHQ are certainly competent-enough cryptanalysts to be able to break that - essentially the real key can be extracted by testig each file to which you have easy access ... probably can be done in less than 1 day with modest hardware, much faster with the toys that they have at their disposal.

Andy

about 5 years ago

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