* Posts by Mark

46 posts • joined 14 Jan 2008

Royal Navy warship almost fires on UFOs

Mark
Black Helicopters

Lewis gets it wrong, again!

Wow, Lewis, you didn't even read what you wrote!

"The guns on the ships are powered by radar,"

Kryten turrets are not powered by radar!

A proper journalist would have done some basic research, and reported which previously unreported, radar powered weapons system was almost used.

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DARPA in useful, easily-achievable project shocker

Mark

Harder then it sounds

It's a bit more complicated then the article suggests, but should be possible.

EPLRS, for example, does most of this. Think of it as a data communications network that also provides you relative position information and has the capability to add a PLGR (Military GPS) or other position location information. When enough stations know where they are, suddenly the whole network can provide absolute position information as well.

The tricky part is to be able to dynamically assign beacon status to emitters not part of the network- For example, a TV tower. First, you have to identify the location of the tower itself. DF gear would make this much easier, but that's generally not included in stock commo equipment. You could play some tricks with signal strength from multiple receivers. Or you could allow operators to manually assign location and approximate signal strength.

Next, you need to be able to calculate location from the beacon. EPLRS uses time to detirmine distance, and I guess if the beacon varies in some manner (As a TV Broadcast would) you could play some tricks and do something similiar- But then you would require contact with your data network to make use of the position data provided by the non-network sources. It's still better then the current solution, as if you currently have direct contact with only 1 or 2 remote stations, you can't calculate position information.

Signal Strength would require contact with the network for initial setup of the beacon, but not afterwards. However, various terrain irregularities could case a "spoofing" effect, under precisely the same conditions as you would need to use it. Trees, buildings, cliffs, etc, could all cause either loss of strength, or create reflections that apparently increase signal strength.

Again, DF gear would seem the best solution (if you have to use non-system transmitters).

Even better might be integrating an EPLRS-style system, military grade GPS, and inertial. As I recall, HTU equiped Avengers (as an example) have all 3 systems, but gunners and slew-to-cue only make use of GPS and inertial, while the TOC receives information from the GPS and EPLRS systems. Scrap the whole nutjob use TV stations as GPS Locations (Like there is really an accurate database of MAC/Location information in a war zone, Lewis?), or just pay it lip service, add an extra ADDSI connector to existing equipment (Or an ADDSI hub device), update some firmware, and win.

Spend the rest of the cash on helicopters.

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Google boffins unveil 'What's Up?' CAPTCHA

Mark
Flame

Amazing how few people read the PDF

Yet still feel the need to comment...

It's not a 50/50 chance. The CAPTCHA used gives you a circular image and a slider bar, and requires you to rotate the image right-side up. 3 images were discussed as perhaps being the best number to use.

The picture displayed is not an example of the CAPTCHA. It's an example of 3 types of images the CAPTCHA might use. A is a poor choice- Machines can correctly orient it. B. is a good choice- Humans can, Machines cannot. C. is a poor choice- Humans can't.

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NYC granny shoots mugger with .357 Magnum

Mark

Standard of Proof

Yes, if he was found innocent of the mugging charges, then he can sue. However, he can be found innocent in criminal court and still be found guilty in civil- The standards of evidence are very different.

In criminal court, "We are pretty sure he did it" means innocent. In civil, it's guilty. "Beyond a reasonable doubt" and "Preponderance of the Evidence", I beleive are the technical terms. Same reason OJ was innocent in criminal court, but guilty in civil.

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Brainscan boffins build blunder-warning hat

Mark

...What?

We now have proof that when people take the advice of experts they trust, they aren't making the decision themselves?

And if the expert turns out to be incompetent, the advice might be bad?

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US reality TV 'star' attacked fiancé with laptop, cat, apples

Mark

@Maty

"you'd need to get a trebuchet into the bedroom first"

Led a bit of a sheltered life, I imagine, if you don't already have one of these in the bedroom.

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Mark
Dead Vulture

Death of Investigative Reporting

"Disappointingly, the New York Post is unable to name either the make of the flying laptop or the variety of apples deployed during the domestic."

Disappointingly, it didn't even occur to The Register that the breed of the cat is also not mentioned.

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Scientology spokesman confirms Xenu story

Mark

Atheist Versus Agnostic

I beleive that the dictionary defination of an atheist is one who denies the existance of a God. I think Sarah might mean agnostic- That is, one who has decided they don't know, or perhaps don't care, if there is or is not a God.

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National Express to 'ban' trainspotting

Mark
Thumb Up

Blousespotting

I intend to make this a regular part of my vocabulary.

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NHS study produces ejector-seat ambulance design

Mark

@Markie Dussard

You should read the article. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Done? Great. I assume you remember the line "The Autocare Concept aims to get the pre-hospital clinician on-scene and ready to treat the patient as soon as possible."?

An ejector seat fails to meet this requirement in just about every way.

1) Time savings are non-existant. It does not take a significant amount of time to open the door and step out.

2) Ejector seats carry inherent risk. Beyond just the fall itself, paramedics often deploy to scenes car crashes or similiar where the likelyhood of sharp/burning/etc debris are likely to be nearby.

The proposed solution significantly decreases the likelyhood that the paramedic will NOT be on-scene and ready to treat the patient- Instead, they will be on scene and ready for treatment AS a patient, with no to marginal increase in on-site arrival.

Many of us have experiance with similiar projects, where the complexity and expense of a project far outweighs the marginal benefits. Those of us who are good at our jobs have learned to recognize such projects, those who are not get featured here because our new Web 2.0 SAAS Meta-cloud PDA Grocery List Application burns through millions of VC funding before it fails.

This project has all the hallmarks of someone designing something cool without ever consultanting the end-user- The paramedics.

- A different Mark (Not the RIAA obsessed one), Lead Application Developer and occasional First Responder

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Google bars Android app makers from their own apps

Mark
Flame

If only this were Microsoft

This article would already have 60+ comments commenting on how horrible Microsoft is, likely with many uses of $ when people mean s, as well as comments as to how poor the Copyright protection is.

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Wikileaks publishes secret donor list

Mark

Exactly what they said?

All donations have bank records. Wikileaks does not accept suitcases full of cash behind the dumpster. Or maybe they do, but I suspect most donators find that a tad inconvenient.

All donations have e-mail confirmations. Yes, e-mail is generally plain text or vomit inducing HTML. Yes, e-mail is unsecure. How would you encrypt it? Wouldn't the sending of an encrypted email from Wikileaks be enough- Do you really need to see the rest to know they have some sort of contact with Wikileaks?

If yer gonna be paranoid, might as well think it out. Encryption wouldn't protect you from the lizard men finding out you leaked their copy of "How to serve man" to Wikileaks.

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DARPA seeks self-aware AI robot mega-tanks

Mark
Go

Backwards stick in the mud thinking

Lets get some real innovation here.

This system should obviously be in control of a new class of nuclear-powered battleships armed with 67-megajoule railguns. These vessels could then be deployed on anti-piracy cruises (Both against Somali pirates and The Pirate Bay), as well as eliminating misconfigured routers sending out bad BGP info and enforcing carbon caps. The optional landing pad for AI Controlled UAVs would allow the hunting down and eliminating of any and all investment bankers, as well as those whose hard drives contain pictures of women with bare ankles.

All data from this vessel should be streamed via unencrypted satellite transmission to a secure location.

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Colonel: US Army has working electropulse grenades

Mark

knocking out their comms...

That would be amazing! Imagine, if you could sneak up to a CP or a TOC, undetected, and lob a pulse grenade into it, knocking them offline until the commo section brings up a replacement radio! If you happened to get a NCS, it would disrupt the entire network, unless one of the radio operators on that network had at some point received the most basic of training, or had a lick of common sense...

So much more effective then doing the same thing with, say, a M-67.

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'Bart Simpson' punts Church of Scientology

Mark

@JonB

It's my normal view on copyright. However, Mark is a fairly common name, and used by more then 1 poster- I think I count 3 posts under the name Mark on this thread alone that I didn't make. I suppose I should correct that.

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Mark

@By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 29th January 2009 15:02 GMT

There's more then one Mark here, but I'm the one who originally posted.

If you used Bart Simpsons likeness to promote your own agenda without permission, yes, you are violating copyright. I'm not sure how anyone can possibly think otherwise. A employee of a company who contributes to the production of intellectual property does not own the entire intellectual property.

If she used the voice, but not the Name or the iconic catchphrases, I think she'd be in the right. Unless, of course, she already sold the rights to that voice.

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Mark

RE:grounds keeper Willie

"Although before the Daily mail readers chip in is it really acceptable to prevent her using a voice that SHE created for whatever she wants?"

You'd have a point there, if that's all she did. You might want to reread the story. She used the Bart Simpson character, not merely the voice. Check out the first line of the telephone call- It's quoted in the story.

I would think she has the right to use the voice itself, unless she has signed away such a right. She has no claim whatsoever to the name or character of "Bart Simpson".

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NASA warns of 'space Katrina' radiation storm

Mark

What if...

We give up some of our civil liberties? Would that allow the government to protect us from radiant energy emitted by the sun?

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2009 - Thomas the Tank's journey to IT Hell

Mark
Flame

Why does this guy sound like a clueless consultant?

High performance SAN's as a throwaway service? Redundant low-cost database servers in located in Asia? Advocating VoIP when you don't know the difference between a D-Link and a 5608? Google Gears?

<scans Bullshit and Vested Interest>

Oh. He is a clueless consultant. I love how he misuses the term quantum.

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101 uses for a former merchant banker

Mark

Biodiesel

Either by farming Kudza or similiar on land unsuitable for food crops, or by other, more direct methods.

How many miles can you get per hedge fund manager?

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Crash survivor Twitters from burning plane (false)

Mark
Coat

Twittering on the plane?

So that's what caused the crash

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Serial commentard bitchslaps Reg hack

Mark

@Paul Murphy

I've already read the BoFH. :-)

Just to be clear, I was attempting to quote the view that comes out of American public education, or at least the one I received. The picture painted of Britain by such an education is that of a country fighting valiantly, but suffering from blockade and air raids. The impression given is prior to official US entry, the British performed incredible feats of bravery, but did so with equipment and food provided by the Lend-Lease act. It's a dull, drab picture full of powdered milk, tinned tongue, and backyards full of home vegetable plots while the people stubbornly hung on by their fingernails against the best the Nazi's could throw at them. The impression is given that Wolf pack tactics would eventually weaken Britain to the point where an invasion would be successful.

Please note- as you may have guessed, I have spent very little time touring World War 2 Era Britain. I'm simply presenting the view that gets converted into "We saved Britain’s Bacon" by those even less educated about this point in history then myself. (I may have only gone to an American public school, but at least I paid attention to it!)

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Mark

And databases never hurt nobody

My dog was killed by a rogue database six months ago. If it wasn't for my constitutionally guaranteed right, nay, duty, to carry an assault rifle, it might've been me. So kindly lay off your liberal apologists claptrap about how databases don't kill people, content kills people.

@The Various Anonymous Cowards. American education teaches us that both WW1 was a trench warfare standoff before we entered it, and that the British Isles were in danger of invasion prior to our official entry into WW2. Furthermore, it also teaches that we were very slowly winning in the Pacific, and it was taking as long as it was because we decided to focus the majority of resources in Europe first. I think you will find there is some basis for thinking US entry into those conflicts contributed significantly to victory. I wouldn't describe it as "saving Europe", as both times we had significant reasons of our own to go, and neither time did we win the war single handedly.

If you really want to take the piss out of us (Is that the proper use of that phrase?), remind us that we wouldn't be a country at all without the French winning the American Revolution for us, and remind us about the British remodeling of the White House in 1814. Or, in fact, the entire war of 1812. American education glosses over these events, so you might need to explain them a bit.

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UK asks to buy next-gen spy planes from US

Mark
Stop

Article seems to be missing a page

Or at least a paragraph- I can't beleive that Lewis Page would write an article on British military aircraft and not mention how many Chinooks the money would buy...

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Judge Dredd smartshell shotguns to hit Iraq in '09

Mark

Interesting write up

I love how you made the points I always think of when I see the XM-25 (Or, indeed, most of the high tech infantry gadgets). The rifle got dumbed down to the level of the average soldier long ago. Most soldiers would be less effective with this weapon without lots of pratice- And at $25 a shot, how many soldier will get to fire hundreds of rounds at the range?

Incidently, that new camo is fairly standard nowadays. Notice the uniform has the same pattern. Back when I used to wear a green suit to work, we were told it was some computer generated patten that would hide you better then the essentially random old pattern. Of course, we were also told it would defeat infrared/nightvision scopes/goggles, which I never quite understood, so repeating old enlisted rumours might not be the most accurate source of information about it.

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Google takes aim at drunken messaging

Mark

Far reaching effects...

I hope this fails, quickly, and hard. Imagine what this could do, if it were to catch on. Not only would we lose most of the comments, we'd lose almost all Friday articles on The Reg, and probably half of the rest!

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Fish snapped snacking at 4,200 fathoms

Mark

@JonB

I... I don't know!

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Mosley asks Europe to change UK privacy laws

Mark

@Anonymous Coward Posted 13:19 GMT

Ok, so the corrupted politician story gets published. The murderer and cat burglar do not, as they have a higher level of privacy protection. Or, at least, the papers have to make a reasonable attempt at contacting those two first, to give them a chance to refute the story.

Presumable, the C(ult)hurch of Scienctology would be offered similiar protection- Or would they be downgraded? If so, under what rules? Catholic Church? Chess Club? CEO of a major company? Trigger happy Welsh cops who taser sheep? Reverand Peter Mullen? What is the rule that takes a Molsey to Paris Hilton level? It seems like a lot of work when perhaps setting liability equal or higher to estimated damages/estimated profit would produce a similiar result- That is, to make it uneconomical to print unconfirmed stories.

Everyone would have to register with this database, and keep current contact information on it. Who runs the database? Who pays for the staff to handle customer support of it? Can't let those without a computer, without computer skills, or even the homeless lack access to update their contact and privacy level.

It could interface with the NHS and National ID Database!

(Although, if it outlaws Paris Hilton stories, maybe it'll be worth it)

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Mark

To those who say he has a point-

Do you mean he has a point, and perhaps privacy is not sufficently protected? Or that his specific idea for changing this a good one?

How might this change how newspapers report other stories- Say, about a corrupt politician? Cat burgler? Murderer?

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FCO owns up to energy waste

Mark

@BigYin

No, of course not. When you are dealing with large organizations, you don't have that luxury. Imagine get 10-30 thousand user to manually run updates. Some of these people are the same people who call the helpdesk and say "My internet isn't working" if they mistype a URL. Generally speaking, they aren't stupid, it's just that their strengths are in different areas. I'm not an expert on EEO Law, why would I expect the HR Department to have an understanding about Vulnerability Management?

The Auto Update service reboots after installing any patches which need it. Absent shift work (One of those items that you have to sit down and think about), I generally set the Auto Update function to install those patches at 3AM. Very few users (again, discounting the night shift, which you identify and give a different policy to during the planning phase) complain about their machines rebooting at 3.30ish in the morning. Other edge cases are handled in a similiar manner.

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Mark

@The BigYin

You disable automatic updates in an enterprise environment? You either have users that are much more attentive and technically minded then I ever have, or you have an office full of security vulnerabilities. I would guess a third possibility is that you have never been responsible for an enterprise deployment, and you're talking about a few home machines. Yes, that seems more likely.

It's utterly and completely trivial to design a scheme that's much better on the energy usage then "leave your computers on all night", and yet better vulnerability management then patching manually. WOL can (but doesn't have to) be part of this, but it's not three magic letters. Having overseen multiple enterprise wide rollouts of this, the biggest issues are enabling AND properly configuring directed broadcasts on each subnet, and changing BIOS settings to support WOL.

The first is primarily an issue because the type of people who build and maintain large networks aren't the type to make global changes on a whim, especially one that allows broadcast traffic to cross subnets. Also, depending on the size of the network and the centralized management options in place, this could mean hours or even days of work for them. Once you can get them to settle down and listen to the proposal (for some reason, they hear "broadcast" and tune out the directed part, as well as the "from specific machines" part), they generally get on board and use this as a point for deploying a centralized management solution, if they don't have one.

The BIOS Settings change is actually the harder one. Often, these setting are turned off in large environments, and depending on the age, make, and model of the hardware, may require upgrades, jumper changes, or other items. I oversaw one deployment where approximately 1000 machines needed a single wire connected. The time needed for this varies drastically based on specific machines in question and how much travel time the tech has, but for 10,000 machines in multiple small offices, 15 minutes per machine is not unreasonable. Travel time, introducing yourself, getting the user to log off, making the change, and moving to the next one. That works out to about 2500 man hours. This item right here is why many organizations choose to implement this feature on new machines.

Or, if you have the hardware to support it, it can be a simple SMS/Altaris/Unicenter SDO/etc job that changes the entire environment in a night.

Other solutions exist- Schedule wake ups, both with and without centralized management components. Intelligently designed power management profiles and patch management schedules. In an environment where no one leaves more than a few minutes early, and no one stays more than a few minutes late, you can get away with some very cheap to implement solutions.

I don't mean to imply that this is by any means hard- Any competent sysadmin type should be able to run the project. But it does require stuff like sitting down and thinking about it, actually knowing what the requirements are, and scheduling resources to be available.

Ditching windows and getting a proper OS would be great. I hate dealing with CALs. The cost of the OS itself often pales in comparison with the CAL price, especially when you start looking to upgrade say, your email server. If only one existed that wouldn't require sending 10,000 users to a training course to use...

(Note that's more a slam on corporate users then whatever OSS solution you prefer. These are the same corporate users that require a training class for PowerPoint. Further, their helpdesk/sysadmins can't even handle the relatively simple deployment of Power Management, how are they going to roll out Ubuntu, much less support it? Not that you'd care, as you're advocating a OS Change for enabling WOL, which is primarily a BIOS and Infrastructure level change...)

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EU bids to dominate future nebulous buzzword

Mark
Thumb Up

Web 3.0

Web 1.0- Forums. Anyone can start a new topic, anyone can reply.

Web 2.0- Blogs. 1 person can start a new topic, anyone can reply.

Web 3.0- ????. 1 Person can start a new topic, 1 person can reply?

Web 1.0- Geocities. Poorly designed webpages with annoying layouts, videos, and music.

Web 2.0- Facebook. Poorly designed webpages with annoying layouts, videos, and music. Much easier to spend money.

Web 3.0- ????. Poorly designed webpages with annoying layouts, videos, and music that automatically takes money out of your account.

Web 1.0- IRC. Real time chat anyone can talk or listen.

Web 2.0- Twitter. "Real time" chat 1 where 1 person can talk, anyone can listen.

Web 3.0- ???? "Real Time" chat where everyone can talk, no one bothers to listen?

Web 1.0- Software. You send a company money once to buy a word processing application.

Web 2.0- SAAS. You send a company money every month to rent a word processing application. If you stop sending money, you lose your documents.

Web 3.0- ????. You send a company every month to write your documents! If you stop sending money, you get sued for copyright infringement.

In Web 3.0, the cloud virtualizes you!

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Grey hat hair hacker suspect charged in Maserati extortion case

Mark

Point of Contact

Is there a point of contact I can use to find out if my information was leaked? Is the company offering assitance to help offset any damages?

If people find out I test drove a Maserati, this could destroy my life...

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Did the width move for you, darling?

Mark

Mental Ad Block

As previously commented, you currently have a row containing a single story, then two rows containing 3 stories. Below this is a row containing 2 "featured?" stories, outlined in grey.

I don't know about you, but over the past 13 or so years, I've developed a habit of mentally filtering "banner" ads. This row of 2, grey outlined stories is sufficently like a banner ad that it takes a special effort to actually read them.

Perhaps this is working as intended, and is designed to get people like me to turn off the mental ad block when reading The Reg. Perhaps it's not, but since I just admited I don't even see the ads you have, you realize that I'm not clicking on them, and therefore a freeloading bum whose opinion you don't care about. Or perhaps you'll agree with me.

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McKinnon supporters plan US embassy demo

Mark

@Mad Hacker Posted Thursday 18th September 2008 16:00 GMT

That's called tresspassing. In certain areas of the US, that'll get you shot. :-) And no, it wouldn't be the gov't doing it.

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iPhone auto-correct puts Euro tongues out of joint

Mark

@dervheid

Funny, that's how us Americans speak Spanish- It's just like English, but slower and louder.

If you type slowly and in all caps, does the iPhone recognize that it's a foreign language?

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Bear prints found on Georgian cyber-attacks

Mark

Perhaps I'm not quite smart enough here...

But speaking as a former grunt myself... This is a tool of zero military value.

Granted, you can use it as a propaganda tool, and prevent the spread of what is happening to the world, perhaps delay international involvement. All that's very well and good.

But it doesn't disrupt any real enemy military communications. Staff pukes might e-mail powerpoint presentations around the world, but real tactical commo happens on completely seperate networks that this just isn't going to touch. Not only will real communication still happen, but with some of the TACLAN technology out there nowadays, there's a pretty good chance that powerpoint will ding in the commanders inbox as well.

But pretending this sort of stuff actually makes any sort of real tactical difference makes geeks feel good, and lets people write stories about "Cyberwarriors" or Chair Force CyberCommands.

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Generic VoIP toolkit comes to the iPhone

Mark
Coat

Revolutionary Technology!

Sweet! With this, you'd be able to use your iPhone as a telephone!

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CERN: LHC to fire first proton-smash ray next month

Mark

Sorry, but...

In fact, the mighty particle accelerator, officially named the Large Hadron Collider, is not designed as a doomsday weapon. [Citation Needed]

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Paris Hilton - the compromised candidate

Mark

Finally

American politics comes up to the level of an El Reg Paris Hilton story

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Dr. Strangevote saves mankind with Luddite voting recipe

Mark
Joke

@Tom Turck

That's because you can safely disenfranchise the democrats- What are they gonna do, post snarky comments on message boards for the next 8 years?

Whereas Republications own things like guns, or work in jobs where a strike could cripple a nation, instead of just not being able to get a Big Mac.

(Tongue in cheek- Mostly. I do often wonder why people who honestly think Gore was cheated are unwilling to risk their "Lives, Liberty, and Sacred Honor", yet still think they are worthy of having a vote.)

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Al Gore's green job bonanza - can we afford it?

Mark

Where to apply?

I'm all set- I'd like a high paying new job, and if it helps save the Earth, so much the better.

I'm just having a hard time finding the "Submit Resume" page... Anyone else see it? All I can find is a bunch of pages about sending e-mail to an Elected Official('s intern) and how to feel self-rightous about it...

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Landmine charity: Ban the killer robots before it's too late!

Mark

Correction

First of all, and most important, HAL never said a thing about 20 seconds to comply. That was ED-209.

2nd, Jesus Puncher? You are seriously taking the the position that it's somehow more morally justified if a Human kills a Human then if a Robot kills a Human?

In both cases, a central command sets ROE's, Rules of Engagment. People who meet certain criteria get shot. People who do not, do not.

One of the main differences? Speaking as a former soldier who has operated under a set of ROE's where the right of self defense was specifically denied, our response was "Better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6"[0]. Yep, we specifically decided, beforehand, that we would not obey this order.

Another is that sensors and subroutines have to be good enough to identify the targets properly, but that's an implementation detail that can be worked out. In either case, the leadership that sets the ROE is ultimately responsible.

You lose the safety check where the individual soldier is called upon to disobey unlawful orders, but since the ROE's for robots would be decided in an Air-Conditioned building in Tampa, Florida, with the word CENTCOM over the door[1], well, no illegal orders would be sent.

0 - Yes, I know, a Court Martial doesn't actually fit this statement, but the sentiment is the same.

1 - Well, that's a likely place for Leftpondians to make that decision. Fill in appropiate locations for your own military leadership.

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Mobo maker builds 'powerless' processor cooling fan

Mark

Looks like Mr. Smith misread the press release

http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=newsdesc&news_no=591

MSI's website and the 3 or 4 other "news" stories I read called it a chipset cooler as well, sitting on the North Bridge.

Don't slam Tony too hard, he's reworded a lot of press releases.

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Sun Java update creaks under weight of bug fixes

Mark
Coat

What's Fixed

Did they catch that bug that, by default, keeps old versions installed and accessible by malware?

Oh, excuse me, that's a feature to enable backwards compatibility, and as such needs to be turned on by default to ensure the Great Unwashed Masses remain vulnerable^W compatible.

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Browser vulns and botnets head threat list

Mark
Black Helicopters

Nice to see them going out on a limb...

They are really putting their necks on the line with this. I mean, to say "They are going to keep doing what works"? Wow. Impressive insight, wouldn't you say? It's great that they also got very specific, I mean, with gems like "Increasingly malicious spyware" and "Increasing sophistication and effectiveness in botnets", you almost have to suspect these guys are using "Insider attacks" against the Black Hats!

Hey, has anyone seen the SANS Insitute and RBN at the same time?

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Forums