* Posts by Paul Hovnanian

760 posts • joined 16 Mar 2008

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Lights out for Space Vehicle Number 23: UK smacked when US sat threw GPS out of whack

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: 'precision docking of oil tankers, as well as navigation'

I hope that the designers of high reliability, mission critical GPS receivers use more than the mathematical minimum number of sats (four, I believe) to establish position.

My little handheld unit can usually get eight or nine good GPS sats, plus half a dozen GLONASS on the average day.

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'Here are 400,000 smut sites. Block them' says Pakistani telco regulator

Paul Hovnanian
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Only 400,000 sites?

So that's just the stuff with camels then.

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Research: By 2017, a third of home Wi-Fi routers will power passers-by

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Non-starter, at least here in the US

"there's just your neighbors"

And the homeless people camping out on your street.

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Five reasons why the Google tax deal is imploding

Paul Hovnanian
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Facepalm

'Google argues it has “no fixed base” in the UK, despite employing thousands of staffers in London alone.'

That could change pretty quickly. Be careful what you wish for.

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Sainsbury's Bank web pages stuck on crappy 20th century crypto

Paul Hovnanian
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Stuck?

So who or what is getting them stuck? Internal IT/CIO personnel problems? The old farts can be handed a retirement package in short order. Users? Put a message on the home page to the effect that IE6 will no longer be supported. And we mean it this time.

Or are they getting push back from various state security services? Who haven't figured out how to crack the good stuff yet.

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Government in-sourcing: It was never going to be that easy

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: The Answer is...

"then you contract out delivery in the pieces that make sense"

In some industries, it works. My TV set was designed by a group of engineers somewhere in California. The design was shipped off to China. And a pretty good product was built.

But this works better with consumer products. Particularly the kind where once a part goes bad or an early version is buggy, its easier to scrap the unit and buy the latest model. That's more difficult to do with products/systems that you need to keep running and upgraded. With manufacturing (or coding) outside the design loop, it is often easier to let everything slide until it becomes really bad and then start over from scratch.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Yeah, right

"And as for buying in talent from large consultancies... Really?"

Good point. In my experience, once a process has been outsourced, the consultancies and vendors (the smart ones) keep an eye on their customer. If they see someone with talent, they grab them quickly. The employees that move in the other direction are typically ones that the vendor can afford to lose. Or they are looking to get on board with a fat, juicy customer with a great retirement plan for their last few years.

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Apple's Tim Cook rocks up at Vatican - one week after Schmidt

Paul Hovnanian
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Hey!

Those aren't Beats headphones the pope is wearing in that photo.

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

Paul Hovnanian
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Military/Presidential Airplane

Perhaps the next Air Force One (after they use up the two 747-8s that they are about to buy) will be a converted military transport aircraft. Just finish the interior to suit POTUS. You can even keep the ramp in the back and drive the limo right out of the garage when you arrive.

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Microsoft legal eagle explains why the Irish Warrant Fight covers your back

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: We need end to end encryption, and fast

"Define 'end to end encryption'."

It's defined and agreed upon by the people sitting at the two ends. Everyone in the middle just sees a binary blob go by. And that's all they need to see.

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Eighteen year old server trumped by functional 486 fleet!

Paul Hovnanian
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FAIL

But please ....

... be sure to reboot your Boeing 787 once every 248 days.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Windows NT uptime was 15 years, three months, 13 days

It was a DNS server. Thank goodness for DNS caching.

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200 experts line up to tell governments to get stuffed over encryption

Paul Hovnanian
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"Given that the UK authorities, at least, can demand keys from suspects why bother with SBDC"

"Because you can't dragnet;"

You also can't monitor a subject without their knowledge. Back in the 'old days', when Google, Microsoft and others managed encryption keys on our behalf, security services could ask them for the key with a warning not to tip the suspect off. Now, with end-to-end public key encryption, the only one in possession of the decrypt key is the subject. Asking for the key might get previous messages decrypted. But at that point, the game is up. The subject will change keys and/or communications methods. If the messages to date are not sufficient to secure a conviction, the surveillance has been blown.

Not that this is all bad. The police work has to be done in advance to be relatively certain that you've got the right person.

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Bloke sues dad who shot down his drone – and why it may decide who owns the skies

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: A suitably modified Kärcher?

"Number two just stopped working after two uses. Never was able to figure it out. I suspect the pressure detection switch mechanism failed. The motor just wouldn't run."

I've had one for over a decade. Still runs fine. It does display an annoying tendency for the motor starting cap connection to vibrate loose from time to time. Simple fix: Open the case and push the cap. spade terminal back on (a little crimp helps with continued retention).

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Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

Paul Hovnanian
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Corporate vs SOHO users?

"Redmond isn't dumb; if the entire office suddenly tried to download and install that much data, the screams would be heard all the way to Seattle."

Really? There are that many corporate users? And larger enterprises can't set up rolling updates with their WSUS services to keep the sh*t from hitting the fan all at once?

I think its more likely that corporate IT departments, with their thumb on their own update servers are waiting for the SOHO users to get through the early adopter grief and major version teething problems before they throw the switch on this one.

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Dutch govt says no to backdoors, slides $540k into OpenSSL without breaking eye contact

Paul Hovnanian
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On the other hand ...

... the Dutch are perfectly fine with half back doors.

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If you want a USB thumb drive wiped, try asking an arts student for help

Paul Hovnanian
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To be fair ...

... most if the Arts' students data remaining on the thumb drive was pretty random to begin with.

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Curiosity Rover eyes Mars' creeping dunes

Paul Hovnanian
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Almost as exciting ....

... as watching grass grow.

On the other hand, if Curiosity spots that, it would be worth a photo.

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Is ATM security threatened by Windows XP support cutoff? Well, yes, but …

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: @bladeforce -- Who the hell...

"winning the lottery. Twice. In the same Day! With different numbers!!"

But banks are used to winning the lottery every day. Thanks to the Federal Reserve (or the national bank of your choice) forcing truckloads of free money on them in the form of quantitative easing.

Maybe they are waiting for the ATM fairy to appear, wave her wand over their configuration mess and make it all better.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Who the hell...

"A lot of industrial control systems run on Windows. Windows XP, in fact."

This.

And I've seen some HMI software look for IE6 before starting. Not that the HMI actually uses IE6, but it was written by a Microsoft shop with Microsoft tools. And those tools appear to have been written to keep people from porting the code away from Windows. And stick customers with upgrade fees triggered by MS upgrades. Small shops (without IT departments) just kept their systems on XP/IE6 and now they are stuck. Any maintenance will require an old system for development or rip out the PLCs, take the ladder logic diagrams and start over. With their luck, using a development platform locked to IE10.

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Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

Paul Hovnanian
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Windows

Back when I was surplused from an IT job, I was given the requisite 60 day notice, an opportunity to put my documentation in order and train my replacement.

And they still buggered things up.

With some people, you buy them books and more books. And all they do is chew on the covers.

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Patent litigation in Europe will look very different in 5 years' time – expert

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: ...new wave of technology relevant to wearables ...

It's getting so a person just can't risk wearing pants anymore.

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Google takedown requests mushroom as copyright holders play whack-a-mole

Paul Hovnanian
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Whack-a-mole

Lawsuits from PETA in 3...2...1...

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Apple – it's true: iPad Pro slabs freeze when plugged in to charge

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Hmmm requires a bard reboot to fix it...

I think that I shall never see;

A thing a flakey as IT.

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Tech firms fight anti-encryption demands after Paris murders

Paul Hovnanian
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Big Brother

It seems ...

.... no encryption was used by the Paris terrorists, according to this. Just plain old SMS. This ant-encryption crap isn't about fighting terrorism. It's about governments keeping track of their own citizens' activities.

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Pope instructs followers to put the iPhone away during dinner

Paul Hovnanian
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Devil

Re: Put the iPhone away?

"He goes for exclusivity and chooses a Windows Phone."

You forgot the obligatory icon.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Put the iPhone away?

So it's out then? The Pope is a stinkin' Android fan.

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Ouch! Subaru telescope catches astroid prang

Paul Hovnanian
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Video available ...

... on the Russian dash-cam sites.

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Aircraft laser strikes hit new record with 20 incidents in one night

Paul Hovnanian
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Retro reflectors

If most of these clowns thought it was somebody aiming something back at them, they might stop.

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TPP: 'Scary' US-Pacific trade deal published – you're going to freak out when you read it

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Provision against source code requirements

"The author of the article said that interpretation is nonsense, but doesn't explain why."

Because that's the way most garbage legislation or used cars are sold. Be dismissive. Pay no attention to the concerns of the customer*. Change the subject.

I don't know if this particular clause is good, bad or indifferent for FOSS/GPL. People far wiser than me (the EFF, for example) have smart lawyers who can read this stuff and figure it out in the context of existing law and the overall agreement. But the questions need to be asked and the tires kicked.

*The public, in the case of the TPP, is not the customer. This is an agreement between the major stakeholders like governments and IP owners. We are just going to be stuck going along for the ride, breathing exhaust in the back seat of this jalopy (obligatory bad car analogy).

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Jingo

"Which country allows trade unions to exist?"

The theory is that The Party will look out for the needs of the workers in China. In the US, the government keeps its hands off, but allows trade unions to negotiate on behalf of labor. In practice, things don't work quite that way on either side of the big pond.

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Linus Torvalds targeted by honeytraps, claims Eric S. Raymond

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Re ESR shooting you over the internet

"does it have a standard API?"

Yes. But the language support leaves something to be desired.

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Spanish town trumpets 'Clitoris Festival' thanks to Google snafu

Paul Hovnanian
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Facepalm

Re: Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd

Sort of like this goof.

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Star Trek to go boldly back onto telly, then beam down in streams

Paul Hovnanian
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Joke

"The term reboot is just a PR hack to tie into computer jargon."

Maybe it's a service pack.

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Northrop wins $55bn contract for next-gen bomber – as America says bye-bye to B-52

Paul Hovnanian
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Why not dust of the blueprints for a few more of these.

But seriously, the applications for a fast, high altitude, long range bomber will be seriously constrained by the relative low cost of better SAMs, radar, etc. Add to that the lower cost of cruise missiles that can be dumped out of a 747 or military cargo plane at a suitable stand off range. There really isn't much use for a dedicated bomber anymore.

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Mystery object re-entering atmosphere may be Apollo booster

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: WT1109F

"WT...F"

I suppose that is as the acronym implies. I'm going to start worrying when they designate a class of space objects as "TNM" (That's No Moon).

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: WTF1109

At least it's nice to know we are numbering our WTFs now.

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Crash this beauty? James Bond's concept DB10 Aston debuts in Spectre

Paul Hovnanian
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Bond keeps wrecking cars ...

... and we'll assign him a Toyota HiLux

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Fully working U-Boat Enigma machine sells for $365,000

Paul Hovnanian
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$365,000

for an M4. $269,000 for an M3. That's about $90,000 per rotor.

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Laid-off IT workers: You want free on-demand service for what now?

Paul Hovnanian
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"Visual F# and Visual C# are not even vaguely similar"

But it's indistinguishable from Visual G♭

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Paul Hovnanian
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Call an employee?

After leaving SunTrust in Georgia, I just moved onto a houseboat and tied up in a nearby bayou. No phone, no e-mail. But I'd be more than happy to help out if you just sent one of your people out to speak to me.

Watch out for the 'gators in the swamp. They seem to have a taste for H1-B workers.

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Experts ponder improbable size of Cleopatra's asp

Paul Hovnanian
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Huge asp?

Cleopatra Kardashian?

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Windows 10 out, users happy, PCs upgraded, my work here is done – says Microsoft OS chief

Paul Hovnanian
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Snapping more family pics

Thank goodness for iPhoto.

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Internet daddy Vint Cerf blasts FCC's plan to ban Wi-Fi router code mods

Paul Hovnanian
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"Absolutely ludicrous. What's to keep me from cobbling together a crystal transmitter device that broadcasts on whatever frequency I want it to?"

On licensed bands, the FCC vans. They'll hunt you down and issue a citation.

But they did create these ISM bands with exactly people like you in mind. Within limits (out-of-band radiation, etc.) you are free to do what you want. Induction heating, ground penetrating radar, RC toy control, etc. Its all good. I suspect that the initial R&D on weather radar used an ISM band for exactly this reason (the S in ISM). And that's OK, right up to the point where you want to put the radar into 'production' use. Then, it would have been better to assign a nearby licensed frequency for its operation. Where the FCC has the authority to slap down violators and hasn't already let a few million non licensed devices out onto the market.

Within licensed bands, the FCC has the names and addreses of all the users. And they can reassign frequencies without much problem. But once they let a block go as ISM, it's really difficult to pull it back. There are tub skids of 5 GHz WiFi hubs lacking firmware lockdown available at the local PC recycler. Enough to keep the firmware hackers supplied for years.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Licensed?

Nope.

The controversy, as I understand it, is that the frequencies in question all lie within an ISM band. And the stated reason for this lockdown is that after market software is allowing routers to encroach upon the frequencies used by Terminal Doppler Weather Radar in the USA within an ISM band.

One of the defining characteristics of the ISM bands is that they require no licenses and equipment operating within these bands must tolerate interference from other equipment in the same band. It serves the FAA right for having an outfit design a critical system such as this who were not smart enough to understand radio frequency interference issues and select a dedicated, licensed frequency for operation. They jumped right in the middle of RF controlled toys and garage door openers. Serves them right. Go fix your radar.

While WiFi may represent the greatest number of potentially interfering installations in and around TDWR frequencies, it is not the only one. Quite a few transceiver systems are available in this band with SDR radio* capabilities, allowing the user to programatically select whatever frequency they want. No license required.

*An example of RAS Syndrome.

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So how does an SQL background help you survive 2.5 years as a hostage?

Paul Hovnanian
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Joke

Poor guy

Stuck on a 2.5 year MongoDB project.

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Man goes to collect stolen-car court docs found in stolen car in stolen car

Paul Hovnanian
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Facepalm

Re: "a Nissan Infiniti"

So then a Volkswagen Bugatti is right out?

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Google spews out Alphabet. Alphabet gobbles Google

Paul Hovnanian
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Devil

Cap and Trade

Cap and trade evil.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Corporate Shuffling

Possibly to isolate liability of certain business units. Google Cars get in a wreck and it sure would be nice to have the search/advertising/Android biz in different silos.

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Search engine can find the VPN that NUCLEAR PLANT boss DIDN'T KNOW was there - report

Paul Hovnanian
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Windows

Re: "risk is probability times consequence"

"Time to open a box of airgaps."

How long will it be before the desktop hosting the HMI will refuse to run until it has checked in with the mother ship in Redmond?

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