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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

petermgreen Re: hahaaa.... (182 comments)

Yes distance learning institutions exist and some of them even have a good reputation but they have remained an exception, not revolutionised education.

2 days ago
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SanDisk Releases 512GB SD Card

petermgreen Re:1024-fold (207 comments)

Well "incorrectly" is a loaded term. Si prefixes are base-10 but the byte is not an SI unit. The IEC issued a standard saying that binary versions of the prefixes should be indicated with an extra i but only long after the use of those binary prefixes without the i was well established in the computer software industry.

3 days ago
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Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

petermgreen Re:Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous did fine (211 comments)

Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous did fine on KickStarter back when they were still using it. Eventually both stopped using KickStarter and started using their own methods.

Well kickstarter campaigns are limited length, so it's natural that after a successful campaign a group would switch to their own methods of taking preorders.

3 days ago
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L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

petermgreen Re:Seconded! (79 comments)

The problem with that theory is what is known of as "impulse interference". When some large and sudden electrical event (distant lightening strikes, switching of large loads, that sort of thing) happens it can create electromagnetic radiation that is very limited in the time domain but very widespread in the frequency domain.

With an analog transmission you get a very brief flicker but stuff almost immediately returns to normal. With compressed and error-corrected digital transmissions either nothing happens at all or the error correction is overwhelmed and the system loses sync. Once it loses sync it takes substantial time for it to get back into sync during which you typically get a frozen picture and no sound.

3 days ago
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L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

petermgreen Re:Of course they don't need the full spectrum (79 comments)

That's the frustrating thing about digital broadcasts. With analog you have a gradual variation in quality and can tweak your antenna to get it as good as you can. With digital if your reception is on the edge you get a perfect picture/sound most of the time but occasionally (how occasional depends on how marginal the reception is and what interference sources you have arround) multi-second breakups when impulse interference causes the error correction to fail and the whole system has to re-sync.

A perfect picture most of the time with periodic multi-second breakups is much worse than a fuzzy picture with periodic interference flashes.

3 days ago
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Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

petermgreen Re:In other words nobody is born smart (268 comments)

Or alternatively that there is a gentic link but no one gene has a significant impact with instead lots of genes having a small impact each and the impact of each individual gene is too small to distinguish from chance.

4 days ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

petermgreen Re:Government doesn't get it. (184 comments)

Governements control people and entities made up of groups of pople by exerting punishments on them.

There are various ways a government can attempt to punish a corporation beyond their borders. For example they can order those within their borders to make efforts to block access to the corporations services. They can order those within their borders not to do buisness with the foriegn corporation (It's kinda hard to sell services to a market if you can't get paid easilly by people in that market) . They can arrest any officers of the company that enter their territory.

about a week ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

petermgreen Re:Sorry guys, but you are full of shit (524 comments)

"supposedly"

Yes the technology can do fairly high speeds.
Yes the technology can work over fairly long lines

No it CAN'T do both at the same time. Replacing ADSL2 with VDSL2 without changing anythign else is likely to result in only a marginal imrpovement for most people. Those with the worst service now are likely to see no improvement at all.

The only way to significantly increase speeds over copper lines is to significantly reduce their length by replacing parts of the copper network with fiber. This leaves a couple of difficult questions for telcos

1: how to decide how far to go. Do they go to the cabinets located every few streets? do they go to the distribution points located up every pole?
2: is the cost of building all that active outdoor infrastructure really worth it or does it make more sense to go stright to fiber to the home (which is more expensive but also far more future proof)

about a week ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

petermgreen Re:Sorry guys, but you are full of shit (524 comments)

If you control the end devices then you can MITM without the users really noticing it. If you don't control the end devices then the users will either get security warnings or have to install your certificate. Either way they will become aware of your MITM setup, will get annoyed and may start asking awkward questions.

If you have sufficient organisational power you may be able to force the users to suck it up but it will certainly be a hinderance.

about a week ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

petermgreen Re:We really need (524 comments)

Just to let you know the services virgin media advertise as "fiber optic" aren't fiber to the home, they are fiber to the cabinet and then cable TV coax from cabinet to home.

I left them because of their crappy upload speeds, afaict the max upload you can get on a new virgin media cable service is 5mbps whereas openreach fiber to the cabinet service offers 20mbps upload.

about a week ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

petermgreen Re:Seriously? (524 comments)

It's not really about ISPs it's about end user communications providers who may or may not be vertically integrated with ISPs.

They have massive but old networks which are creaking at the seams with current traffic levels. Giving everyone 100 mbps symetric unmetered (heck may as well do gigabit while you are at it) would mean pretty much rebuilding those networks from scratch. Rebuilding a large network from scratch is always going to be expensive.

New upstarts can sometimes make a difference but a combination of regulatory hurdles and the natural economics of the situation mean they are unlikely to have much impact outside of small areas.

about a week ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

petermgreen Re:Seriously? (524 comments)

Compression algotihms and the hardware to run them on have improved massively in the last 20 years.

about a week ago
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Why Google Is Pushing For a Web Free of SHA-1

petermgreen Re:Why would CAs need to replace existing SHA-1 ce (108 comments)

Is it not enough for CA's to _stop_ issuing new certificates under SHA-1, as only new certificates would be the potential source of collision attacks?

Unfortunately SSL certificates have become a lowest bidder shithole market. In this environment ensuring that no CA continues to issue SHA-1 certs is impractical.

Rejecting certs based on issue date doesn't directly solve the problem either because the "legit" and "fake" certs in the collision attack can have different issue and expiry dates. What it does do is strongly discourage CAs from issuing SHA-1 certs which has two positive affects

1: it reduces (but does not eliminate) the risk that the attacker will find a cert issuing service that is vulnerable to SHA-1 collision attacks.
2: it prepares for the eventual complete dropping of SHA-1 support.

Is there any security gain whatsoever in upgrading any individual site from SHA-1 to SHA-2?

Not directly. It is very unlikely that the legitimate certificate for a given site and the fake one obtained by an attacker will have any cryptographic relationship to each other.

about a week ago
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Why Google Is Pushing For a Web Free of SHA-1

petermgreen Re:SHA-3 (108 comments)

I thought chrome moved away from using the windows SSL support some time ago to allow it to support SNI on XP.

about a week ago
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How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

petermgreen Re:TI calculators are not outdated, just overprice (359 comments)

I used casios all through school, colllage and universify and I don't think I ever killed one. Here in the UK they seem to be the dominant brand the TI dominance seems to be an american thing.

about two weeks ago
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How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

petermgreen Re:TI calculators are not outdated, just overprice (359 comments)

But this begs the question why anyone needs a graphics calculator in the first place.

I much preffered them because of the large display that lets you check what you are entering without having to do everything twice and lets you see the last few calculations you did so you dont' lose your place.

Even the maths students at my uni were told they really shouldn't bother....

What calculators did they allow in exams?

My approach was that i'll use the best calculator that they will let me have in the exams. If they won't let you take a graphic calculator into exams then using one while practicing seems like setting yourself up to fail. If they do let you use a graphic calculator in exams may as well get one and use it so that you take maximum advantage come exam time.

about two weeks ago
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How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

petermgreen Re:TI calculators are not outdated, just overprice (359 comments)

Has your daughter tried anything more modern?

I remember using calculators like that in the early stages of being at school. They were a PITA to use because you couldn't see what you had typed and couldn't back up so the only way to check for mistakes was to run the whole calculation twice but at the time I didn't know anything better.

Then I got a casio "power graphic" which had a big display that could display everything you were doing. I found the big multiline text display far more important than the graphing features (which I found a fun toy but little more)

In exams where graphic calculators aren't allowed i've used casio "s-vpam" calculators. They are better than the old style calculators but nowhere near as nice to use as the graphic calculators.

Pretty much all the scientific and graphic calculators i've used have been casio across multiple schools and collages. I guess the TI fascisination is an american thing.

about two weeks ago
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Research Shows RISC vs. CISC Doesn't Matter

petermgreen Re:It's a question that WAS relevant (161 comments)

A spill is a write to memory, there is nothing special about the instructions used that indicates to the processor it is only temporary. That means at the very least the processor needs to check the cache policy of the target location before it eliminates it.

AIUI much of the performance gains from going to x86-64 were attributed to the extra registers AMD added. These gains were even significant enough that someone put the effort into designing an ABI that uses 32-bit pointers but runs the CPU in 64-bit mode.

about two weeks ago
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Research Shows RISC vs. CISC Doesn't Matter

petermgreen Re:It's a question that WAS relevant (161 comments)

The downside of having few registers in the ISA is it means the compiler may have to choose instruction ordering based on register availability or worse still "spill" registers to memory to fit the code to the available registers.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

petermgreen Re:AT&T DSL/Uverse Data Limits (355 comments)

x3 for the encoding

The only way you'd get that kind of expansion is using quoted-printable in a case where it's totally inappropriate. If your mail client is doing that you really need to file a bug.

about three weeks ago

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