Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Steve, 1999

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  • Steve Barnes, in reply to andin,

    Sir are you suggesting I listen to music stoned!

    This ltttle Dancette sounds brilliant Man.
    ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4813 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Unfortunately Im a snob. “Stereo” never got 5.1 reached a peak in consumer minds a while ago now. You want a time line…later dude. Your speakers and their placement plays more of a roll than most people give it credit. u want good sound you are a slave to it. Dancette I love the look the sound yeah you know.
    buts its about the music

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1212 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to andin,

    Your speakers and their placement plays more of a roll than most people give it credit.

    True but there is also a lot of bollocks talked about speaker position, sound image for instance. Very few recordings benefit from accurate imaging and to try to achieve such in a home environment is almost always a compromise that can be detrimental to the overall enjoyment of a piece, the exception being orchestral music that, I personally, would not wave a baton at but each to their own.
    As to the speakers themselves, well that can be a minefield in itself.
    I built a set of these, Kef Concertos for the school studio when I were about 14, they wus sweet.(you could buy a kit that consisted of the drivers, crossovers and baffle and build the box yourself)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4813 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    True but there is also a lot of bollocks talked about speaker position, sound image for instance.

    But its SPL for me and I can get technical, hows yer tolerance

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1212 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to andin,

    I can get technical, hows yer tolerance

    +/- 2.5%

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4813 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    For my passwords I use serial numbers and model numbers of things I'm a bit fanboi about (I won't say what kind of things, as that would narrow the attack space) - easily memorable to me, because I'm a geek, but to anyone else they're just strings of random letters and digits. Also, while they may be more likely than random strings to turn up in the total corpus of written English, they're unlikely to be in any dictionary used in a dictionary attack. All in all, I feel they pack a good punch for their length.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Biobbs,

    Attachment

    I'd never thought of using song lyrics for passwords... like that, I have about 20000 songs in my collection so probably won't run out soon.

    It also amazed me how fast all the dozens of different micro-computer brands people had available in the early 80s collapsed into just two market dominants in so few years. My first experience with desk-top computers was when the lab I was in as a grad student chose these (see attachment) as their computer of choice for cutting-edge science, despite every other lab in the uni having Apple IIs at the time (our Prof was British to His Bootstraps and wasn't going to tolerate any of that American rubbish in his lab, eee laddie?). They were actually great little machines - easy to use, easy to program, easy to set up A to D converters on for logging instruments - better educational machines than the Apples, in fact. OK, 64 kB of memory was a bit of a problem, but it was still a revelation having these right on the desk compared to having to book time on the uni mainframe. I might be the only person on this forum who used one them?

    Since then everywhere I've worked has been PC-oriented so there's never been any point in me trying to use anything else. When it came to doing anything grunty like running large experimental systems or modelling work, you always got so much more bang for your bucks with PC vs Apple-Mac in the 80s and 90s. Nowadays there's not much to choose between them. Of course we always had our VAX gurus, and the Unix and Linux folks as well.

    VAX bods are the strangest people in the whole wide world. I swear, they are clear evidence for space aliens secretly living amongst us. But we always loved them dearly:-)

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Greville Whittle, in reply to Biobbs,

    My high school had BBC Micro's in the computer lab until 1990. They were heaps of fun, but the work was boring, mostly essays on computing and our teacher was the "read the first and last paragraph only" type. We confirmed it on more than one occasion by writing what was expected for the first and last paragraph, but filling the middle with stories about drinking etc and still got 100%.

    I still have a soft spot for the beeb and have a port of Chucky's Egg somewhere.

    I've used a number of different systems through my computing life: BBC Micro, a Dick Smith computer, a plethora or PC's and Macs. Most of the computers I've used have been second hand and a bit behind the times. In fact the first computer I bought new is my current desktop, a 2006 iMac that's showing it's age for games*, but is still trucking along for everything else.

    *While I have some Mac Games, I use BootCamp and have a XP partition for most games**.
    **And after saying goodbye to WoW, I've found I cannot run any of the new MMORPGs or games that look good to me. The newest game I'm playing is Fallout3

    Hamiltron • Since Oct 2008 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The hifi industry still hasn't caught up to the (IMO) massive opportunity that AirPlay and iTunes represents. Why are there not AirPlay-enabled powered speaker boxes everywhere already? Sonos killers if they got it sorted - instead Sonos saw the threat and has responded in advance. Apple HiFi or whatever it was called was probably Apple seeing this but then fell back to their famous focus and decided not to push it.

    Oh and Apple's design isn't the story behind their commercial success anymore - it's their supply chain and ruthless efficiency. Even with Ives' gorgeousness Apple were never going to be the largest company in the world. The fact that they can now get great industrial design delivered rapidly to your hands in unthinkable volume at a close-to-competitive price is behind that. And that's why Cook deserves CEO.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Meant to add - they also create a permanent supply chain to the consumer via their hardware. A series of devices that make it painfully easy to continue to buy content for them is effectively a micro supply chain to every customer.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    a micro supply chain to every customer

    So true, and iCloud completes the lock-in.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16614 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    partly this is because that they are larger than mostly any individual PC platform manufacturer - even though they look (or have looked) like a small player they can do economies of scale that others can't - they're also not afraid to pioneer new hardware where their competitors in the PC space are hamstrung with compatibility with Microsoft and each other - the amount of historical legacy cruft in a modern PC is mind boggling (says he who once spent 3 years cloning an x86) - have you any idea how many gates go into your intel CPU to support dos? or your video card, in just the wrong place? or all those security holes M$ has had to patch due to dos or Win3 compatability?

    Apple on the other hand have discarded their base hardware design twice and their OS once (twice if you count iOS I guess) in that time discarding their own cruft ruthlessly so they can sell a simpler (and in the end cheaper to manufacture) product

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2129 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    even though they look (or have looked) like a small player they can do economies of scale that others can't

    And they've been so strategic with it, where others use it just to cut a few cents (again, thanks to Cook). When the Nano was designed, they locked in $1.5billion (IIRC) in one particular type of flash memory for it - not only as an (accurate) forecast of demand but also as a way to lock their competitors out of the market.
    Their margin these days is amazing because they've worked it from both ends - designing products "we want ourselves" that can demand a premium (which these days is probably about right compared to the earlier premium) but also running an insanely efficient back-end.

    Although I can't see Cook calling Vic Gundotra (as head of mobile apps at Google) on a Sunday morning claiming a huge problem that needed fixing like Jobs did. The problem? The shade of yellow on the second "o" in Google on the Google app icon wasn't quite right :|

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    As I said elsewhere their margin is what the whole rest of the world is envious of - I think it's a difficult place to be - everyone wants to be the high margin leader in a market - but that costs in R&D, and potentially large failures and depends on you continually being one step ahead of the pack, and never making a misstep - the jump into smart phones was brilliant timing, and they pulled it off - now thanks to Android it's all becoming commodity, tablets are moving that way even faster, that high gross margin will be being sucked away even as we speak,right now there will be people at Apple casting around for that next big thing .... the patent fights you see growing up around android as just the last gasp of that high margin - as is trying to lock people into their cloud

    Google's an interesting competitor for them - they're doing what the linux crowd do, giving it away, at least the stuff that Apple competes against, because they make their money elsewhere - it's hard to compete against something that costs nothing and does most of what your product does - the cheap Chinese tablets are still perceived as 'cheap' but they'll get better fast, they can move even faster than Apple can

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2129 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    "Why isn’t there an entry-level DAC that’s iPod-ready – i.e., an iPod dock with a third-party DAC? That would be good

    Onkyo had been working on this in Japan, but they have still yet to progress from the digital media transport. http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/5625

    Since Nov 2006 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    If you choose a five word password from a 40,000 word vocabulary you get ~10^23 total passwords. To get the same security from an ascii password you’d have to have to remember 12 random characters.

    That makes no sense to me. If you choose a 5 word password from a 40,000 vocab you have less than 40,000 passwords, not 10^23.

    If you use dictionary words or names or anything else common as your password you really need to keep your username secret. Brute force attacks which have only 10K or so possibilities will fall over real quick, unless the system is otherwise secured (limited number of attempts etc).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6165 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    The fact that they can now get great industrial design delivered rapidly to your hands in unthinkable volume at a close-to-competitive price is behind that.

    They'd be more competitive if it wasn't for some questionable pricing:

    Macbook Pro 17" ( = ex-VAT price in NZ $)
    Hong Kong: HK$ 19,288 = NZ2944.00
    Singapore: S$ 3,398.00 = NZ$3175.00
    Thailand: ฿ 81,900.00 = NZ$3045
    Australia: AU2899.00 = NZ$3316
    NZ: NZ$ 4,199.00 = NZ$3651

    I know from experience that the SG and HK prices are very negotiable in store too. I suspect the Thai one is as well given that some malls have 4 or 5 Mac dealers.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3206 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Oh and Apple’s design isn’t the story behind their commercial success anymore – it’s their supply chain and ruthless efficiency. Even with Ives’ gorgeousness Apple were never going to be the largest company in the world. The fact that they can now get great industrial design delivered rapidly to your hands in unthinkable volume at a close-to-competitive price is behind that. And that’s why Cook deserves CEO.

    This.

    I hadn't realised till this week that it was Cook who reinvented Apple's supply chain, after Jobs killed all existing Mac desktop models in favor of the iMac and the pro line. Apple achieved the best inventory performance in the industry quite quickly -- they made what they sold and sold what they made. That's the part of the story that usually gets left out.

    I'd love to know how the decision to get into chip design with the A4 was made. And interestingly, while Apple and Samsung are locked in patent war mode, it's Samsung that produces Apple's chip design.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Kyle, Lucy: there is this assumption that the attacker knows a significant portion of users have simple consistently capitalised phrases in English as their passphrase. I don't think that's anywhere near true now, and I doubt it will be any time soon. I suppose I've outed MYSELF in this thread, if anyone is trying to brute force one of my accounts; but then I've gone for something a bit more challenging than a string of space-separated lower case words.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2948 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Noting, of course, that the ARM processor core on which the A4 is based is licensed from Advanced Risc Machines -- the company formed after the makers of the BBC Acorn landed a deal with Apple to produce a version of the Risc chip they'd made based on fresh ideas from Berkley.

    That was for the Newton, another product Jobs killed. It's interesting that the Newton OS paradigm was dumped, but Apple went back to ARM when it wanted to go mobile again.

    That was easy because since it was formed, ARM has been in the business of licensing the intellectual property of its designs to other companies. The company has "shipped" 15 billion ARM processor cores without actually making any of them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    That makes no sense to me. If you choose a 5 word password from a 40,000 vocab you have less than 40,000 passwords, not 10^23.

    I don’t pretend to know anything about any of this, but isn’t the point that with a password made of 5 random common words put together, both the words and their order of appearance in the password can vary; so the number of possible combinations isn’t less than the total word pool, but much, much more?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3443 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s interesting that the Newton OS paradigm was dumped

    I think we could make a case that iOS is a spiritual descendant from a UI POV. It's a long time since I had quality time with a Newton, mind.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2948 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Lilith __,

    Yes, I think Kyle is mathematically wrong, even given his assumptions. If someone wants to work it out, the formula is here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2948 posts Report Reply

  • Biobbs, in reply to Greville Whittle,

    I still have a soft spot for the beeb and have a port of Chucky's Egg somewhere

    I so loved Chucky's Egg! I wasted a lot of my life on that game- I'd've probably finished uni 6 months earlier if it wasn't for Chucky's Egg. And Frac. And that one where you have to run around the castle and avoid the baddies and the big spider.

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Here I get to point out that Apple didn't initially choose the ARM for the Newton, they had their own internal CPU project (a CRISP variant) for the Newton that was canned at the last minute - leaving, as always, a whole lot of pissed off engineers who'd just spent a few years of their lives on it

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2129 posts Report Reply

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