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* Posts by Vic

3173 posts • joined 7 Dec 2007

LOHAN Kickstarter campaign IS GO!

Vic
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Re: Target too high?

Take out the spaceport fees, kickstarter fees, the cost of the merchandise

Have you let the local Jobsworth know how much cash is going into a different economy as a result of his intransigence?

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Re: :)

> It is

Good show that man!

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Make it live!

I want to get my paws on some of those goodies!

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True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS

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Re: Democratic process

25% can't be a majority

It can in British politics :-(

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Re: Intent

The video become illegal to watch

Under which piece of legislation?

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TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company

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Re: transmutation?

I vote for "transmogrifying" in honour of Calvin & Hobbes.

I thought that was Red Dwarf...

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Whatever else might be said of these claims...

the process of transmutation of oxygen into hydrogen in the last test was more active

...is utter bullshit.

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Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip

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Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

but there is a reason that no one invented the sausage-interface-wand before now.

We tried it in the '70s. We called it a "light pen" back then, but it's functionally little different from a touch interface (aside from bing necessarily single-touch).

It wasn't very successful because it's ultimately not a very nice interface except for a few specialised situations...

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MS is not exactly competing with an iOS device through a version of traditional Windows

They're competing for cash.

Contrary to the beiief of many marketroids, punters do not have infinitely deep pockets. Whilst the overlap between iPhone buyers and W9 buyers might not be as large as for certain other combinations of stuff, there will undoubtedly be some people who are the targets of both marketing campaigns.

Vic.

[ Who isn't the target of either campaign... ]

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Carbon tetrachloride releases still too high, says NASA

Vic
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Re: Carbon Tet ?? banned since the 1950's... I thought...

It certainly wasn't banned universally since the 1950s.

We were still using it as switch cleaner in the late '70s / early '80s.

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What a pain in the mass! Euro craft Rosetta to poke its probe in 10-BILLION-tonne comet

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Re: when giving figures like this

Talking about, e.g., 'tera-dollars' ... sounds freakish

The jokes just write themselves these days...

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I don't see dead people: Twitter to nix some images of deceased folk

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Re: I wish LinkedIn would do this

It keeps asking me if I know Guy Kewney.

Lucky you.

It keeps asking me if I know Darl McBride...

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

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Joke

Kate tended to wear things that were a lot shorter than miniskirts.

<NTNOCN>

People buy my latest hits

Because they like my latex tits

</NTNOCN>

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'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race

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Re: That's nice.

Is there *any* race car that can do any of that?

The Bowler Wildcat might...

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Tech patent hoarder Intellectual Ventures to lose a fifth of its trolls

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Re: Schadenfreud

But it's pronounced schadenfreud.

Not in German, it isn't...

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Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer

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When swapping from right to left hands you generally reverse the buttons so you can still use your forefinger for a primary click - which is now a right click, not a left click.

When I damaged my right hand some years ago, I had to learn to use a rat left-handed.

It was actually easier than I thought it was going to be.

The hardest bit was moving to a rather smaller office some months later, when I would frequently grab my neighbour's mouse bu accident...

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Re: I had a home version Atari trackball

I opted for the less accurate but easier to get from IT mechanical SUN mouse with a ball.

The optical mouse is only more accurate whilst the mousepad remains undented.

And they don't...

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UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones

Vic
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Re: we need the public to become educated in the tools they are using and what can be installed

pins set by default would help those normal people.

I'm not so sure.

If the PIN is non-unique, then all criminals will know that $phone has a 99% probability of having the PIN 1234.

If the PIN is unique to the phone, you've got a world of tech-support difficulty when the user has forgotten the PIN. And that tech support system is likely to be gamed.

Additionally, if a phone is stolen for resale[1] in a mugging, the PIN will be extracted from the owner by duress.

I'm unconvinced that this whole thing will have any beneficial effect. WHich is a shame :-(

Vic.

[1] I'm given to understand that the primary reason for stealing a phone in a mugging is to prevent the victim from calling the Plod. But this might have changed...

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Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA

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Re: LOL pot calling the kettle back.

Anybody here ever bought anything from a targeted ad ?

Not really...

I do, however, get lots of targetted ads for stuff I've just bought

Idiots...

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The NSA don't resell their users

They most certainly do.

The Snowden documents show situations where an evidence trail has been fabricated becasue someone actually got caught through an NSA snoop, with the data then (unlawfully) being passed on to DEA or similar.

It is alleged - and unproven, naturally - that snooped data is also passed onto US businesses to give them a competitive edge.

So the NSA is certainly reselling data - I just don't yet know how much I care about that.

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Re: Pick any Comparision

"He ruined the print media, he ruined television"

You forgot FOOTY.

Even the very worst of us gets things right occasionally... :-)

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Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech

Vic
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Re: So many things to consider.

To the human eye, I believe that "focus 2 meters from here" and "focus on the infinite" is the same thing. It is like fixed focus cameras: "From 1,2 meters to infinite".

Not according to the CAA.

It used to be taught that the "relaxed" position of tyhe eye was to focus at infinity. It is now taught that the natural focus position is 2-3m ahead, and focussing at distance is more tiring.

I can't supply independent verification of this - iut's just what was taught during my PPL course.

Vic.

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Re: Why?

it'd be nice to have it displayed in a manner that doesn't require my phone to be in one of those bloody windscreen suckers.

That's exactly what I was talking about...

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Re: Why?

if it can push oil/water temp, oil pressure, and other measurements that aren't on the dash any more

You can find stuff like that on eBay for £30 delivered...

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The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

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Re: IPv6 like OSI is far more complex than necessary

SIP is fucked, and it's inability to work with NAT is just one part of that.

SIP works with NAT. All my land-line phone lines are doing exactly that.

Vic.

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Re: IPv6 like OSI is far more complex than necessary - part 2

this is, hopefully, NOT a SCI-Fi rant

It is, however, almost entirely unintelligible :-(

VIc.

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Re: IPv6 like OSI is far more complex than necessary

What I do worry about is that if made available, then pretty well everyone would implement it because "we always have NAT" regardless of whether they need it. Ie, too many people couldn't get their heads around not having this crutch to lean on.

So what?

If that's how people want to use the Internet, what does it matter? It'll still work.

If it really does add to the costs of running a service - and, as a small-time VoIP provider, I'm not sure I can really agree with you - then you pass those costs on to the user, with rebates if he takes the solution that makes it cheaper for you. If it makes business sense for people to discard NAT, they will do so. At the moment, it's all cost and no reward.

IPv6 takeup is very, very slow. It would make sense for the community as a whole to work out why this is - and that involves asking the people who have chosen to stay with IPv4, not just telling them why they're wrong...

Vic.

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My recollection is that in fact there were no real issues, or almost none.

Then you were lucky. I had *lots* to fix at several establishments.

Y2K might not have been a worked example in how to run a development project, but the reason it was such a non-event is all the hard work put in by many people trying to turn it into that non-event.

Vic.

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Re: You don't need NAT for IPv6

Any NAT router worth its weight will do at least some firewalling

Look at the routers being distributed by cheapo ISPs.

I'm not arguing whether or not they ought to have decent firewalls fitted. I'm saying that a substantial number do not.

Now you can say that they're not fit for purpose until you're blue in the face - this is what people *have*. Arguing that these people muist change their IT systems to suit your model is not a strong position.

Alternatively, we can just promote the idea of NAT over IPv6 for those who want it and all these issues just go away...

Vic.

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Re: You don't need NAT for IPv6

If it does NAT it is, to all intents and purposes, a firewall.

But it is not a firewall.

It might be implemented by a firewall - that's how I do the NAT between two of my networks - but that doesn't make it a firewall; a firewall does many things besides NAT that may well not be implemented by a NAT box.

And as to latency, which do you think is quicker/less resource intensive

Neither. They're largely the same operation. You will not be able to measure any difference.

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Re: That's not a mandatory part of the standard

Not any more. But it should never have been a part of it at all.

I don't think it ever was - it's simply a suggestion for how to allocate link-local addresses with a high probability of avoiding collision. You need to allocate unique link-local addresses, and this is a simple way of doing so.

IPv6 has numerous difficulties, but this really hasn't ever been one, no matter how many times you hear that the sky is falling from someone writing a "helpful" blog piece...

Vic.

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Re: You don't need NAT for IPv6

home routers already have firewalls

They do? All of them?

Because if any ship without firewalls - *any* - then your assertion and all the inferences you draw from it are entirely wrong.

The point is we need IPv6 to make it easier to do peer to peer things like videos, gaming, telephone

No, we don't. I'm already doing that - sans the gaming, usually, as that's not my thing - on IPv4 with NAT. It's all very well asserting that IPv6 is "needed" for $application, but reality does not bear that out. Feynman had good things to say about what happens when your theory doesn't agree with reality...

Removing NAT removes a level of CPU and memory requirements that saves electricity and latency

Bullshit. You're still processing stuff, just in a slightly different way.

IPv6 brings a raft of other things, multicast is one example

IPv6 brings in a number of things, but multicast is not one of them. I've been doing multicast over IPv4 for years. If you watch TV, the chances are you're watching the product of multicast over IPv4, as that's how substantially all the content providers work[1]. Multicast is entirely orthogonal to IPv6.

Vic.

[1] I'm not even sure if the encoders in use even support IPv6; certainly the ones I worked on don't. AFAIK, there's very little demand for it...

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Re: It's happening, get over it

IPv6 people argue IPv4 with NAT breaks so many things like peer to peer

You hear a lot of that.

For example, I've been assured many times that NAT breaks VoIP. And yet here I am, doing VoIP through NAT. It's stunningly[1] simple...

Vic.

[1] Yes, I did.

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Re: Please refrain from NAT66

IPv6 is asstastic for anyone excepting weathy enterprises and backbone providers that don't have the sorts of concerns faces by the under-1000 seat crowd.

It's not *quite* that bad.

What concerns me more is the sub-15 seat companies and private users who don't have a sysad available - they are left with a fairly steep technical challenge to setting up IPv6. And what will happen is this - they'll plug in the router they get from their (el cheapo) ISP and wonder why the traffic LED flashes so much...

"The business" is generally not ready or willing to invest in replace what works just fine today with a more expensive thing that will hopefully prepare us for the future.

Precisely. I can create a firewall-type device to secure the network, but realistically, by the time I've built it and installed it, it's not going to come in under £300. Any small business owner is going to ask what he gets for that money - and that's not an easy story to tell.

Pretty much everyone who isn't already wedded to IPv6 is really just hoping that the ivory tower types will capitulate, we'll get our IPv6 NAT and nobody will have to actually change how they do things.

Nobody actually *needs* to capitulate anything - NAT will work on IPv6 in exactly the same way as it does on IPv4; it just needs to be built into the router. Unfortunately, if the cheapo modem/router from the ISP doesn't do it - and, being contrary to the spec, I suspect many manufacturers will be loath to build one that does - we're back to that £300 box again - albeit with a different purpose this time.

do we - the majority - accept the dogmatic implementation of IPv6, or do we tell the ivory tower types what to go do with themselves and implement a NATed version, with all the benefits - and downsides - that it entails.

The latter, obviously. Having NAT available doesn't mean you *have* to use it - the MAU is still /64, so those that want to do it per the spec can still do so. But having NAT available means that either solution is available, without breaking anything any more than we're already used to. This would seem to me to be the pragmatic solution - but it *always* causes arguments from those that think NAT should be prevented...

Vic.

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Re: NAT is a kludge

Baking the device's MAC address into the IPv6 address isn't good for privacy.

That's not a mandatory part of the standard - just a suggestion - and it's only for link-local addresses. Those addresses that you use for talking to other devices on the Internet will not contain your MAC address[1]

Vic.

[1] Unless you're monumentally unlucky, or deliberately make it so.

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Re: You don't need NAT for IPv6

You don't need NAT for IPv6. But many people *want* to use it.

NAT introduces a few issues - at least one of which is insurmountable (and, thankfully, quite rare these days) - but it also means that setting up a small network behind a NAT router is trivial. And there are a *vast* number of people with exactly that setup.

Now it's all very well to say that you "just" add a new firewall to hide that lot from IPv6 connectivity - but that's just adding hardware to prevent what is being sold as a benefit; it would be much, much simpler just to change the address space and leave the NAT model in place. Then everyone is happy.

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Re: NAT is a kludge

Yes NAT is a kludge. Rather than killing it, IP6 should have had a fixed version.

IPv6 doesn't need a "fixed" version - just the removal of the objection to NAT on IPv6.

Then NAT can carry on working just as we've been doing on IPv4; it's not a technical limitation, it's a dogmatic one.

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Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors

Vic
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Re: It's all down to the stupid....

regularly run password crackers on your own user database

I once ran John the Ripper against a machine I looked after.

I started the app in one terminal, switched to another, and looked at the log. It had already cracked 22 passwords :-(

I managed to get the IT manager of that organisation to have a mini-rant at his users, but none of them changed their passwords...

Vic.

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Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar

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Re: We should finally invest in defence

C also does things like automatically make sure that if you add a float to an integer, the correct "float to int" adding will be called instead of just seeing the bits of the float as an integer or vice versa.

Sure - but all of this is still run-time checking; it might stop things being mis-interpreted, but the code still malfunctions in some manner. If this is how the code is being checked, there needs to be *loads* of pre-launch testing - and testing is rarely performed in such a manner[1] as to find these bugs.

Formal methods are important in code design and verification - but they're a lot of work, and that means cost.

Vic.

[1] One of the first questions I always ask is "what coverage was achieved in testing?" It's not uncommon for the test team[2] not even to understand the question :-(

[2] It's a common myth that testing is somehow the poor relation of development. In fact, mthe reverse is true - if you want high-integrity code, you need to put your best engineers onto the testing. Any fool can bash out something which is vaguely to spec, but it takes a skilled engineer to determine that it meets spec in every case...

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Re: We should finally invest in defence

Many languages, for example, will make sure that your stackpointer is at the same value it used to be before a function call.

Most of that sort of protection only operates at run-time; it might prevent the buffer overflow, but it will cause an exception from the bowels of the code. How that exception is handled is a problem unto itself - and if unhandled, simply kills the process. So although you can obviate the effects of certain types of bug, you cannot prove that the code will do anything sensible (like not crashing) without a lot more analysis. And that is expensive...

Essentially the current attempts boil down to the idea that you give your compiler hints on how it can check if the code is right. Early starts to this are "const" attributes to variables in C.

Yes - there are many things you can do to improve code reliability. But that's a long way from having properly proven code...

Vic.

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Re: We should finally invest in defence

And we should learn how to prove code.

We've known how to prove code for decades. The trouble is - it's ruinously expensive.

So when a PHB is presented with the choice of a £50 piece of code that isn't proven and a £50,000 piece of code that is, guess which one is chosen?

Thus anyone proving his code goes out of business...

The only solution is to make PHBs responsible for their actions. Yeah, and that'll happen.

Vic.

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Spin doctors crack 'impossible' asteroid hurtling towards Earth

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This is a viable solution, but not for the issue of the object hitting earth.

Well, you say that, but there's some merit in the suggestion.

Time to get the R&D started. We've got less than 900 years. Let's get those lawyers flying...

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Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner: Capital is top target for computer thieves, say police

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Re: Das Kapitol?

"Capital" refers to money... "Capitol" refers to a nation-state's seat of government

"Capital" refer's to a state's seat of government in English[1].

"Capitol" only appears to be used in Merkania.

Vic.

[1] Cookies are not your friend on that site...

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Re: Can I suggest that you move to the North

It is far safer, friendlier and more green and pleasant than the god-forsaken shithole that is London.

Talk about damning with faint praise...

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Re: An alternative viewpoint is...

The sooner we build a big wall along the route of the M25 and seal them all in forever, the better.

Not a wall. A mould...

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Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty

Vic
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Re: A question for our British friends...

This is the only way to have enough runny yoke to stick your soldiers into.

No it isn't!

Stick a lid on the pan. The top of the egg is steamed, leaving you with a just-solidified white and a runny yolk.

Mmmmmm...

Vic.

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Why hackers won't be able to hijack your next flight - the facts

Vic
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Re: "almost always mechanical backup for critical ... components."

multiple incidents, well referenced

I'm genuinely surprised - one of those made it down. It did crash on the runway - but everyone got out OK.

The rest of those incidents were either partial loss of control - which we're all trained to deal with - or they crashed, killing people on board. Sometimes both.

Philippine Airlines Flight 434

Had autopilot to correct roll

Pan Am Flight 845

Still had hydraulic control.

The DHL flight is the unusual one, in that did make the runway in one piece. And that surprises me.

Vic.

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Re: "almost always mechanical backup for critical ... components."

There are multiple incidents, none of which I can remember right now but which are doubtless in Wikipedia, where passenger aircraft have been steered largely or solely by means of adjusting engine thrust (more thrust = go up, differential L/R thrust for L/R steering).

No, I can't remember any such instances either. I suspect there's a reason for that.

Adjusting engine thrust will give you control over your glide angle, and some control over yaw (given multiple functioning engines), but essentially no control over roll or pitch[1]. So you might be able to choose the point at which you strike the runway, but not which part of the plane you do it with. Planes don't land well on the wingtip...

Feel free to post references to prove me wrong, but I doubt you'll find any.

Vic.

[1] Secondary effects give you some control over roll, but not enough to land the thing.

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Re: "almost always mechanical backup for critical ... components."

If the engine dies, it's a royal pain in the arse

I probably should have added, by way of contrast, "if you lose control of the flight surfaces, you're all dead".

Vic.

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Re: "almost always mechanical backup for critical ... components."

I can't help wondering why the vaguely similar functional requirements (apart from environment, where a fllight computer has an easy life vs an engine-mounted FADEC), and the same engineering/regulatory/resilience requirements (DO178 level A in both cases?) lead to such architecturally different technical solutions in flight computer vs FADEC?

Different consequences if they fail.

If the engine dies, it's a royal pain in the arse, but planes can and do land safely without power - it's one of the skills that must be demonstrated on the first attempt during the Skills Test. There are no second chances - cock it up and you fail.

My favourite story of an unpowered descent is the Gimli Glider. That aircraft was used for another 25 years after that incident.

Vic.

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