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How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

stoatwblr Re:What about long-term data integrity? (427 comments)

The real killer issue is cell size. Smaller cells have shorter lifespans and are slower

For this reason Samsung backed off from 20nm substantially when they perfected 3d technology. The result is 10 year warranties on the 850pro family and there's no reason to disbelieve them on it.

13 hours ago
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Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

stoatwblr Re:He definitely did know and understand the risk. (143 comments)

"This is nothing but yet another one of his charades and PR stunts. "

Indeed - but no matter what, there are laws and due process to be followed.

The New Zealand police have a long history of bypassing laws when it suits them, despite what the New Zealand public is led to believe. (It's worth checking out http://laudafinem.com/ - which is blocked for people from within New Zealand, with no supporting legal paperwork)

  That's probably why they and the FBI thought they could get away with it.

yesterday
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Intel Announces Major Reorg To Combine Mobile and PC Divisions

stoatwblr Re:Dumping (75 comments)

"That said, taking action against a private company, selling at a loss out of its own pocket, would likely play differently than taking action against a company being supported by the state to sell at a loss. "

The USA has done it on many occasions. Farming tariff barriers spring to mind immediately (USA farmers are extremely inefficient and are very good at lobbying their politicians for protection+subsidies instead of getting their shit together).

about a week ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

stoatwblr Re:Live and learn (223 comments)

"It''ll have to approach slowly, maneuvering to find a level place and touch down very gently to prevent a bounce"

This is a classic application for ion thrusters. The problem is that the exhaust for anything pointing "downwards" (chemical or ion) will contaminate the ground you want to sample, making the whole mission pointless.

This is why the landing thruster was a cold gas (nitrogen) device pointing upwards (away from the comet). It was intended to hold the thing on the ground whilst the harpoons fired and the legscrews locked it down. After that failed, the odds of Philae staying where it first arrived were greatly diminished but given a choice of "not bothering" or "may as well try anyway" I know which option I'd have taken.

For the naysayers: If you think you can do better then by all means come up with the funding to do it.

about two weeks ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

stoatwblr Re:Spoiled (223 comments)

Which parts? I can think of 3 items on each (including the cameras) which were made in Europe.

about two weeks ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

stoatwblr Re:Huh (223 comments)

"The design likely wasn't locked down until 5 years before launch or so."

Which was around 2000-2001 - and space-rated semiconductors tend to lag terrestrial development by about a decade, more so for stuff which doesn't have the advantage of the earth's magnetosphere for protection.

We were still launching rad-hardened P90s in 2006. Many sub 200nm circuit elements would end up being destroyed (not just disturbed) by an errant cosmic ray (most often a near-light-speed proton or neutron, not a photon), which limits what's available, given that shielding from such things is virtually impossible in the allowable mass budgets.

about two weeks ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

stoatwblr Re:Huh (223 comments)

With the best will in the world, by August 2015 the probe would be completely baked even in its current location.

Solar cells were a life-extension measure. The probe was designed to get all the essential science done in the lifetime of the batteries and the hope was to keep going for a few months after that.

At least the Iron Chicken didn't steal its legs for nesting material.

about two weeks ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

stoatwblr Re:Huh (223 comments)

"To be honest, the trajectory calculations aren't that difficult"

First order calculations aren't hard. It's the myriad perturbations to both comet and probe trajectories caused by gravitational influences of various bodies which adds to the fun.

Space science is easy. Space ENGINEERING is bloody hard, and the environment is harsh on a scale which even people who work on these things have trouble comprehending (Disclosure: I work for a space lab with one of the best-regarded instrument engineering facilities in the world and we do have devices on the orbiter)

There are a number of ways the lander could have been built - all of which would probably have added more launch mass/operational complexity and reduced the science payload. This won't be the last comet lander and as a first one, it's informed a lot more than it's frustrated. As long as we're tied to making things as lightweight as possible there will always be compromises, especially when each probe is a one-off handbuilt design (even the "mass produced" birds are heavily customised)

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

stoatwblr Re:Cheap flash drives? (178 comments)

"Companies in China or any asian design shop out east will buy lots and I mean lots of rejected Flash chips or bare dies from a Fab that has failed some method of testing. "

This kind of thing could be eliminated if the fabs implemented a policy of "into the grinder"

"of course that will never happen" - except that some fabs already do.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

stoatwblr Re:Counterfeit (178 comments)

Makers went away from the jumpers and allowed the drive to be reprogarmmed to report smaller capacities directly. This is covered in the latest versions of hdparm.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

stoatwblr Re:"From China"?!? (178 comments)

"Quality control is a huge huge problem in china"

vs the level of Quality Control on USA-made products? (Hint, I live in the EU and see more problems with USA produced devices than chinese ones.)

Fake products aren't a new thing. 20 years ago a friend of mine was very lucky to discover that the fully certified blades he'd imported from the USA for his Huey helicoptor had in fact been end-of-lifed and pulled/refurbed from a junkyard with fake paperwork. The guys writing them off had even blasted a few shotgun holes in the things, but that's nothing some bondo and paint can't cover up, is it?

(lucky, as in the blades were in use on the machine and he noticed something odd so he took them off and checked them, instead of having them fail in flight. Many places which write off rotary wings now shred the things as a direct result of this kind of incident.)

Chinese manufacturers are very diligent about doing what they're told. If you tell them not to cut corners, they won't. The issue is that there are as many unscrupulous businessmen outside the PRC willing to commission/buy dodgy kit as there are businessmen in the PRC willing to produce/sell it to them.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

stoatwblr Re:don't worry about it (178 comments)

" if that argument wouldn't keep a fence out of prison why should Amazon get to use it to profit from fake goods?"

If you're in the EU and get a fake via Amazon, you can be assured that trading standards officers will be all over it like a badly fitting shirt.

Ironically it's easier to get refunds on fakes from ebay than from Amazon, because ebay's policies on reporting counterfeits is much more weighted in the consumer's favour.

about two weeks ago
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An Applied Investigation Into Graphics Card Coil Whine

stoatwblr Re:Anybody familiar with the manufacturing side? (111 comments)

"I guess it depends on how bad the noise is"

Noise is relative.

We're putting systems on desktops with near-silent PSU, chassis and CPU fans along with SSDs for booting, but can't quite justify the spend required to put 4Tb (local scratch space for scientific computing) on SSD (you can only do so much inside a $2k/system budget.)

As a result we've had a couple of people complain about "electrical arcing noise" from their computers, which turned out to be headseek noise when they're grinding on large datasets. In previous generations of equipment that noise was drowned out by other sources (including the fans on older equipment in the same room, or even the AC blowers), but because we've managed to eliminate case drumming the noise manifests as a faint ticking.

about two weeks ago
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An Applied Investigation Into Graphics Card Coil Whine

stoatwblr Re:Anybody familiar with the manufacturing side? (111 comments)

"but the seemingly obvious solution is just to pot the magnetics in an adequately thermally conductive epoxy or other encapsulant."

As another poster noted, this can make things worse, especially if the epoxy is rigid.

Some of the best methods involve potting _part_ of the coil (wax drops) or using rubber o-rings to absorb the motion/sound. The issue then becomes that those parts have to pass thermal energy in order to avoid melting.

Acoustic noise control in switchmode circuitry is an engineering discipline all of its own, however I'm willing to bet than in the next 5-6 years it will be as normal to see acoustic issues processed as part of board production engineering as RFI issues are now.

about two weeks ago
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Cameron Says People Radicalized By Free Speech; UK ISPs Agree To Censor Button

stoatwblr Re:derpa derpa derp. (316 comments)

"When you name your movement after a bunch of guys who didn't want to pay taxes,"

History lesson: The Boston Tea Party was almost entirely composed of smugglers who'd been making out like bandits due to high import taxes on tea and had suddenly had their livelihoods demolished by that tax being reduced to nearly zero.

The "taxed tea" they dumped into the harbour was substantially cheaper than the smuggled stuff they'd been selling up to that point.

When you realise that, you start possibly realising the real intent of the Tea Party.

A modern analogy would be recreational drugs being legalised & made available via dispensaries at low prices and a bunch of narco-gangs going around destroying legally imported supplies of the items in question in order to keep the price up.

about two weeks ago
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Google "Evicted" the Berlin Wall From Property It Bought

stoatwblr Re:Good grief... (59 comments)

A properly tuned 1950s (or even a 1930s) engine has similar emissions to a current engine. The issue is that they don't stay in tune for very long because all the controls are mechanical and the emissions only stay low over a narrow speed/power band.

All the extra gubbins on auto engines are because they have to operate at a stupidly wide range of power and speed settings. A properly-specified constant-speed, constant-power engine (ie, driving a generator) can dispense with a lot of that stuff and still be more efficient/emit lower pollution levels.

Even with all the extra stuff on a modern engine, they emit a LOT of VOCs whilst warming up - they're intentionally run rich for the first few minutes to light the catalytic converter, resulting in far higher VOC outputs than a non-catalyst-fitted engine. As at least half the automotive fleet in urban environments is only used for short runs which don't give the cat a chance to start up properly, this aggravates pollution issues in many areas.

FWIW: IC engines are _only_ fully efficient (about 35%) at near full load/wide open throttle. At normal operational speeds/loads they're closer to 2-3% efficiency and all that anti-pollution stuff has its own parasitic penalties. We vastly overspecify car engines for day-to-day usage in order to have more power on demand and pay a heavy penalty for doing so.

Pet idea: A stirling motor driving a generator to feed the batteries in an electric vehicle. Electric motors can be run at considerable "overload" for short periods - the issue is getting rid of heat before they melt/burnout.

Toyota's working on 10hp "power units" (essentially a single-cylinder motor-generator) which can be multiply-installed and individually started up as required to provide power in their hybrid range. This is a good way of increasing efficiency and reducing pollution.

On topic: The Berlin wall _was_ an ugly edifice with no redeeming values. Having said that it's worth remembering why it was there and why similar walls have been erected since then in the middle east.

about two weeks ago
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Website Peeps Into 73,000 Unsecured Security Cameras Via Default Passwords

stoatwblr Re:People buy stuff without understanding is... (321 comments)

" You don't need to know how to configure your toaster."

Actually, you do, but you picked that up so long ago that you didn't think about it.

Using your stove analogy, anyone using mine (gas) needs to know to push the button which fires the igniter and I've seen plenty of people without experience of gas appliances stand there wondering why it isn't working.

about three weeks ago
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Website Peeps Into 73,000 Unsecured Security Cameras Via Default Passwords

stoatwblr Re:People buy stuff without understanding is... (321 comments)

"I'm sure a lot of people said that very thing when cars were new."

My wife actually said it yesterday - she's from one of those countries where there's no driving license requirement.

And this is despite her past comments about how bad drivers are in in that country (imagine being a passenger in a taxi driven by someone with less than a week behind the wheel. Been there, done that, screamed in horror as he pulled a sharp turn in front of an oncoming 18 wheeler....)

about three weeks ago
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Website Peeps Into 73,000 Unsecured Security Cameras Via Default Passwords

stoatwblr Re:People buy stuff without understanding is... (321 comments)

"People want their computers to be like their cars.
They don't want to know what is happening under the hood. They just want to drive it."

Even if you don't know what's happening under the hood, you still know you have to add fuel, not run red lights and keep right (or left), etc etc.

Driving licenses are supposed to be there to ensure you know the basic road rules and won't be a menace. I've spent time in countries which don't require a test to get one and unsurprisingly they have death/injury rates 10-50 times higher than countries which do. In countries where cars have recently become affordable those rates are higher still.

I'd argue that setting up a webcam is promoting yourself from "driver" to "technical/DIY/mechanic" status and as such you'd better understand what you're doing or there WILL be painful consequences.

about three weeks ago
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Website Peeps Into 73,000 Unsecured Security Cameras Via Default Passwords

stoatwblr Re:Ethics (321 comments)

"voyeurism laws that apply to staring into someones window for an extended period"

Such laws usually require that the observation position be either

1: Not in a public space
2: Concealed

Or that the observer is using a visual aid (binoculars, telescope, telephoto camera)

This depends on the jurisdiction of course but an "expectation of privacy" does not give anyone carte blanche to wander around naked inside their house when one wall is a picture window facing the street with the curtains open (I've seen prosecutions for exactly this behaviour and judges heavily slammed defences based on "if it's indoors, it's private")

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Spamhaus subjected to BGP routing attack on 21st March

stoatwblr stoatwblr writes  |  about a year and a half ago

stoatwblr (2650359) writes "At the same time Spamhaus website was being DDoS attacked, AS34109 (C3rob/Cyberbunker) were propagating BGP routes for Spamhaus' namservers, according to the blog at https://greenhost.nl/2013/03/21/spam-not-spam-tracking-hijacked-spamhaus-ip/

It's surprising this hasn't been more widely reported, to say the least.

C3rob have posted a number of ranting followups to the blog."

Link to Original Source

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