* Posts by Paul Hovnanian

702 posts • joined 16 Mar 2008

Page:

Disaster-gawping cam drones to be blasted out of the sky in California

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Precedent exists

... for emergency responders to do damage as required to complete their mission. Park in front of a fire hydrant and they'll break your car windows and run the hoses straight through it.

10
0

Jeep drivers can be HACKED to DEATH: All you need is the car's IP address

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: "If there's a shiny new Jeep Cherokee sitting in your driveway..."

... I'm still jumping in the '79 Landcruiser.

1
0
Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

@AC: "How else are the spooks supposed to track you in your car?"

Follow the clouds of blue smoke and the drops of gear lube on the pavement.

4
1

Microsoft: Hey, you. Done patching Windows this month? WRONG

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: huh?

Twenty years ago, I was fiddling around with "fly through" views of 3D CATIA datasets at Boeing. Targeted at the high end IBM AIX workstations, they ran just fine on my little Dell PC running Slackware/X11 (back in the 1.2 kernel days). And these were being generated by clients running remotely (20 miles away, over leased lines).

Back then, the problem with running full up CATIA on Linux boxes were proprietary I/O drivers patched into the AIX X11 implementations, mainly for the specialized input h/w. Fast forward to today: Most of the high performance graphics stuff is licensed to individual apps (games, CAD systems, etc.). Ask for a license to hook some proprietary GPU API to an open X11 server? Forget about it. Graphics optimization must still be done on a per application basis. It's just buried deeper in Windows than in Linux.

2
0

The US taxman thinks Microsoft owes billions. Prove it, says Microsoft

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: I hope this will be useful

"Companies employ tax advisers to create new tax avoidance schemes to employ as soon as the game is up on the current scheme."

We could just rename the Tax Code as the Tax Advisor Full Employment Program.

We could get some smart people tgether and create a simple tax code with minimal loopholes. But the people tasked with this lawmaking would be the equivalent of having death row prisoners build their own gallows. Few people are willing to work themselves out of a job.

The biggest problem I (and I suspect many other Americans) have with the current tax code aren't the loopholes (deductions, tax incentives, whatever) in the system. It's that corporations can easily exploit them whereas private citizens cannot. I can't tell my boss that, for the purposes of my weekly paycheck, my address (and tax jurisdiction) is Bermuda. I can't buy, sell or lease additional children to take advantage of their income tax deduction.

I want either less corruption or more opportunity to participate in it.

1
0
Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: I hope this will be useful

"I think it is shameful that corporations can evade tax."

It's a question of avoidance vs evasion. Avoidance (structuring your financial dealings to mimimize tax) is legal. Evasion (misrepresenting financial dealings) is not.

So lets see if Microsoft properly reported its dealings between US, Puerto Rico and Bermuda business units.

5
0

What goes up, Musk comedown: Falcon rocket failed to strut its stuff

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: Fascinating that they can pin it down to a strut....

Interesting indeed. From other sources, it appears that the location of the failure was triangulated using audio data. I imagine there are numerous transducers (microphones) located on the boosters. The location of the failure can be found by correlating the data stream from each and calculating the speed of sound through various parts of the structure.

Something similar to the way that the City of Chicago locates gunfire.

7
0

Ashley Madison hack: Site for people who can't be trusted can't be trusted

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

The Impact Team?

T.I.T. or GTFO

0
0

Your gadget batteries endanger planes, says Boeing

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

They do have a point

But still, Boeing complaining about our batteries? Mr Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

8
0

Ant-Man: Big ideas, small payoff

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
Coat

It turns out ...

... making decent superhero movies is no picnic.

Sorry. I'll get my coat. Shaken out well, of course.

7
0

Google robo-car in rear-end smash – but cack-handed human blamed

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
Terminator

Bumper sticker

Google cars need a bumper sticker: Driver is a T-1000. Back off!

3
0

Pluto Pic: Is it a DOG? Is it a HEART? Or is it ... is it ... BIGFOOT?

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

I knew it

Some years ago, I went on the Geenwich Observatory tour. Looking through one of the telescopes in the museum, one could clearly see the Disney cartoon character Pluto. Someone had stuck a transparency of the cartoon in the eyepiece.

1
0

Sixty-five THOUSAND Range Rovers recalled over DOOR software glitch

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

HAL

"I've just picked up a fault in the AE35 unit. It's going to go 100% failure in 72 hours."

1
0

On yer bike: Hammerhead satnav for cyclists – just don't look down

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: Shoes

"system that would fit in your shoes"

Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot ......

I know a few people who could benefit from this.

7
0

Norks execute underperforming terrapin farm manager

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

No Bibles allowed in Nork

Perhaps Kim bought into the alternative explanation: Its turtles all the way down.

1
0

THIS MEANS WAR between USA and Japan! GIANT ROBOT WAR

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Aren't they cute?

Can anyone enter this contest?

2
0

Oi, idiot fanbois. DON'T buy this gun-shaped iPhone case, mmkay?

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Disappointment

And here I was, thinking that it was just a bunch of iPhone fanbois shooting themselves in the head.

1
0

Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
Boffin

"But I'm calling shenanigans on the cloud-computing thing."

A good point. Of course, this was presented at the AWS Summit in Sydney. So they had a marketing point to make.

I wonder how much faster their analysis would be if they had a Beowulf cluster of clouds.

2
0

Palaeoboffins discover 500 MILLION year old ARMOURED WORM

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Did I tell you ...

... about the fish I caught with one of these? It was THIS BIG!

2
0

Linux bids for UAV world domination by enslaving future skybot army

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Forget the desktop

Take the high ground.

2
1

BOFH: Don't go changing on Friday evenings, I don't wanna work that hard

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

In the 80s, I worked for the local electric utility. The line crews referred to work slowdowns over contract issues as 'work to rules'.

1
0
Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: Its a small change!

Reboot it and see if it happens again.

0
0

Abort, abort! Metal-on-metal VIOLENCE as Google's robo-car nearly CRASHES

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
Terminator

Get the popcorn

This is going to be just like the T-800 vs the T-1000 series Terminators.

1
0

BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Time to switch to fiber

We already have workers from the Meth Addicts Local pulling out the old copper.

1
0

Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: Siri drives a 911

Then Siri rats you out to the police. Because you must be speeding.

3
0

Super Cali goes ballistic – Uber says it's bogus (even though its contract is something quite atrocious)

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

What about ...

... workers who prefer to be contractors?

Perhaps this doesn't apply to many Über employees. But I don't want the tax man sticking their nose into negotiations between myself and my clients.

1
0

The insidious danger of the lone wolf control freak sysadmin

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

I've been 'Tim' ....

... on a few occasions.

When management decided to cut funding for an IT system to the bone, I was the only person left who really knew how it worked. So I carried on as the chief cook and bottle washer. It was I who brought up the issue of getting run over by a bus when seeking an assistant as backup.

Finally, they relented and brought in a guy who was (supposedly) fluent in Perl. A lot of our system's glue code consisted of Perl. So, on his first day on the job, I sat him down with my documentation notebook and a read-only account on the server to show him the bits and pieces. I figured I'd let him walk through one function, looking at my notes and the code and get him used to how things were put together. After a few minutes, he asks, "What language is this?" With the following first line staring him right in the face:

#! /usr/bin/perl

Hopeless. But then that was the idea (I found out later). The CIO was actively strangling all in-house IT projects to force management to outsource them to a few firms he had interests in. So I waited until the next round of layoffs and stepped out. A few months later, thanks to my name being plastered throughout all the code comment sections, I was contacted by one of these firms to bring them up to speed on the system with a very lucrative contract. Good times.

Sometimes 'Tims' are created by incompetent or corrupt management.

10
0

Unlucky, Palmer: Facebook's going to BAN Oculus pr0n apps

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Porn not family friendly?

Isn't this how families are started?

6
0

The Martian: Matt Damon sciences the sh*t out of the red planet

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

The last time ...

... Matt Damon was left behind on an exploration mission, things did not go so well.

1
0

INTERNET of BOOBS: Scorching French lass reveals networked bikini

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: Temperature?

"Needs gps with a warning"

That could have saved some mountain climbers a bit of trouble caused by their overexposure.

2
0

Config file wipe blunder caused deadly Airbus A400M crash – claim

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: The investigation should center on...

"This is because the planes were deliberately designed to prevent out-of-control engines powering back up, to avoid them causing other problems."

How far out of control?

As far back as WWII, aircraft were provided with the capability to go over 100% rated power if throttles were pushed past a retaining wire. It was called War Emergency Power and, although the engines were either rebuilt or scrapped once this mode was engaged, the idea was that it was better to let the pilots push the aircraft and scrap a couple of engines rather then lose the plane.

With modern aircraft, allowing pilots to exceed a false maximum torque value would be a non issue once the DFDR data was accessed and raw data confirmed operation within limits.

3
0

Your servers are underwater? Chill OUT, baby – liquid's cool

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: Heat pipes may offer a better solution

This is the best compromise. There are already sime high end gaming machines that I've seen with self contained liquid cooling. It just circulates from the main processor and graphics card to a radiator at the top or back of the case. For racked servers, it would be a simple matter to have an ordering option for a liquid to liquid exchanger. The board components (other than the processor) can be cooled with a small internal fan and heat exchanger to the cooling loop. The air inside the case would be a closed loop, so no dirt and dust.

Racked servers could be connected to a liquid cooling loop with quick disconnects (similar to what is available for garden hoses). So maintenance, including swapping out an entire blade would not involve going elbow deep into a fish tank. Less coolant would be needed, as most of the server/rack volume would be air. And the coolant would be contained within a loop. So less concern with flammable liquids or weight when adapting to existing building structures.

1
1

Airbus confirms software brought down A400M transport plane

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: Is there any reason for the Spandsh to block the black bod data?

Not block. But the Spanish authorities might be having trouble reading it, resulting in delays.

This was a military transport, ordered by Turkey. Odds are that CVR and FDR data is encrypted. So extra steps may need to be taken with Turkey's cooperation to get a 'plaintext' copy.

1
0

What does it take to find the Antikythera Mechanism? Underwater robots, of course!

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: Don't worry at this rate it is not long until it is a collateral to a loan

Check out the shop down the road with the three brass balls.

2
0

NSA eggheads tried to bork Nork nukes with Stuxnet. It failed – report

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
Big Brother

USB Sticks do exist in NORK

They are used to smuggle news and videos in from abroad to be viewed on portable DVD/SD/USB players. I'd guess that the temptation to sneak a USB stick (infected or otherwise) into a nuclear or military facility is mitigated by the penalties that would result.

1
0

The time on Microsoft Azure will be: Different by a second, everywhere

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Years ago, Windows systems had a problem with their clocks based (IIRC) on their tracking local time rather then GMT and applying the proper delta. Is this still the case?

1
1

NASA hands Boeing first commercial crew contract for SPAAAACE

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
Joke

Re: CST-100's schedule looks interesting

They've got to move fast. Their software counters are only good for 248 days.

4
0

Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
Linux

"You think people who disagree with you should be murdered?"

Only over the choice of an operating system or init daemon.

9
0
Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
Angel

Re: Me, give me strength

"the omnipotent God can make anything happen"

So how do we know that the God of Abraham and the Old Testament is not just a concoction created by the FSM to fool Ham and his ilk?

1
0

Maserati Ghibli S: Who cares what Joe Walsh thinks?

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
WTF?

USA Gets Screwed Again

Just one of my pet peeves ....

The car pictured in this article is the UK version. As such, it has the EU standard amber rear turn signals. Why must all USA bound cars be equipped with red rear turn signals? So we can't tell if you are signaling or tapping the brakes. Or your $100K car has an intermittent tail light?

From time to time, US vehicles are equipped with amber signals. And sold as a 'Euro version' (for a few extra dollars). They are a legal option. So what's with the cheap look on BMWs, Porsches, and Maseratis?

2
0

Adult FriendFinder hack EXPOSES MEELLIONS of MEMBERS

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Junk e-mail address

Well, I'm proud of it. But not enough to give it it's own address.

Its got better things to do than correspond with strangers. Like do all of my thinking.

3
0

Massive police 'heavy equipment' robot drags out suspect who hid inside television

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge
Windows

My wife ...

... would like to know if one of these are similarly effective in extracting people from in front of television sets.

2
0

BARMY bio-boffins are growing DINOSAUR SNOUTS on CHICKENS

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

So now ....

... we can no longer say "as rare as hen's teeth".

7
0

Cop in gay porn film advised to put his helmet away

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

"potential for blackmail"

The only potential for blackmail here is the risk of being fired for something his employers object to. So I'd say that management with overly strict moral standards are what create a potential for blackmail. Remove them and the problem is solved.

6
3

Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

I'm sorry Dave ....

10
0
Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

"Is this lock at least as usable as a physical lock if the power (or data connection?) goes?"

As I undersatnd it, this lock replaces the inside lock knob. You still have a key hole available on the outside (for backup). On the inside, this lock can be actuated by physically turning the lock/unlock ring or remotely with a Bluetooth app. So it is exactly as secure or insecure as the pin and tumbler cylinder that you select for the outside.

Security is still a question seeing as how some automobile RFIF locks are somewhat less than secure.

2
0

Security bods gagged using DMCA on eve of wireless key vuln reveal

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Why hasn't the vendor been identified? And possibly the product involved.

I can understand DMCA applying to the necessary reverse engineering and release of proprietary information. That should (rightly) be kept between IOActive and the anonymous vendor until such time it can be established that no fix is forthcoming and the public good can only be served by a release. But I'd like to know (as a potential buyer), if a potential purchase might be defective. And whether I should wait or select an alternative.

The alternative is that I put a hold on all SCADA equipment purchases until such time as the issues become known. And result in harming some completely innocent vendor.

7
0

Boeing 787 software bug can shut down planes' generators IN FLIGHT

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: Something I don't understand

"it is not clear that functions like output regulation, protection and monitoring need to become disabled if the GCU software should crash owing to the overflow of a finite counter."

All of these functions are implemented using digital signal processing techniques. Sampling, filtering and other functions with any kind of time variable will depend on the system clock, timers and event queues. If the clock becomes untrusted, continued operation of the generator can result in a hazardous condition. So a watchdog circuit trips the generator field off, preventing it from producing power and disconnects it from the system. The system design assumes a fault on a single generator channel. So another generator could be switched over to pick up the load. But since this failure mode can affect all channels nearly simultaneously, there is no source left to fall back on.

2
0
Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Re: Something I don't understand

It contains the voltage regulator, generator field and generator main breaker control plus a lot of protection and monitoring functions.

As with practically all modern digital control systems, anything requiring a time delay, interval, scheduling future events, etc. uses a system clock to determine when the next task is to be run. At first glance, this would appear to be a simple implementation. Schedule event at Time = Now + Interval. But there's that nasty limitation of all microprocessors in that time is stored in a register or memory location with a finite upper bound. So when the timer reaches that, it rolls over to zero again (much like a mechanical odometer). So all timing functions must be written to handle this discontinutiy in their logic.

What shocks me about the 787 power system controls (sorry about that), is that the real time controls and event scheduling routines appear not to be based on some stable and tested software libraries. Where such goofs have been caught and fixed early in their development. These are the sorts of goofs that any competent embedded s/w designer should be aware of. But better yet, this level of code is something that an application developer should never have to write from scratch.

This reminds me of an anecdote from my days at Boeing*. I was reviewing the credientials of several candidates for a job which involved the maintenence of a large package of (mainly) Perl code that moved documents around between various systems. One guy submitted a Perl app he had written in his previous job that implemented an FTP session to do just this sort of thing. It was well written, neatly formatted and showed that he had a good understanding of Perl syntax and programming. But it was dozens of pages of an 'expect' like program that called a Unix command-line ftp client. So, during the interview, I asked him if he had ever heard of CPAN. "No", was his reply. "So, you've never seen the Net::FTP module?" "No" again. Net::FTP could do in a dozen lines what he had done in that many pages of code, leaving me to wonder just how 'good' a developer he was.

*Boeing most probably didn't write the GCU code. That's a trail that runs back through several layers of h/w and s/w vendors.

5
0

Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

Paul Hovnanian
Bronze badge

Bad Data?

That's the hypothesis some have put forth on another s/w geek board. The flight crew reached the point in their checklist where they were to open a particular file (PDF? Proprietary format?) and they both crashed simultaneously. The solution was to go back to the gate WiFi hotspot and grab a repaired copy.

So we have data required for a flight. And there's no means to checksum it against a vendor's tested copy on download? No signed certificate to make sure Bad People haven't slipped a corrupt copy onto the server? And then a viewer app that crashes the tablet instead of popping up a "bad data" message? If it was up to me, the iPad would keep the last version of map (assuming adequate storage capacity) and allow reverting to the older one.

3
0

Page:

Forums