* Posts by Paul Hovnanian

788 posts • joined 16 Mar 2008

Page:

Why Agile is like flossing and regular sex

Paul Hovnanian

Forget Agile

Could someone please explain this "regular sex" thing?

1
0

Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

Paul Hovnanian

Re: I can see where this is going.

"Yes you are subject to IR35. Arrange to pay all that money to us or go to jail."

And thank you for entering that identifying information. We'll be in touch*.

*Smart people will of course be using Starbucks' anonymous WiFi to access this site.

0
0
Paul Hovnanian
Big Brother

Re: For contractors, it's a big world

You lucky [expletive deleted]. On this side of the pond, there is no distance far enough to escape the reach of the IRS.

9
0

Cats, dogs starve as web-connected chow chute PetNet plays dead

Paul Hovnanian

Never mind the pets

What will happen when the cloud fails to remind me that I've left a kid in a hot car?

Some people shouldn't be allowed to raise hamsters, let alone cats, dogs or kids.

21
2

Microsoft to rip up P2P Skype, killing native Mac, Linux apps

Paul Hovnanian

"better when routed and processed through a server"

Better for whom? Prying eyes will have an easier time obtaining a buffer copy from a server. And then strong-arm one or both end node users for the encryption key.

Even better(?), if the protocol has been designed to negotiate session keys between the server and each user, you have a single point where authorities can go to get those keys. Never mind that having a restricted set of mid-points to watch makes traffic analysis a cinch.

0
0
Paul Hovnanian
Devil

Re: Of dubious jurisdiction

"Technologically inept twits"

Could we please have an acronym for that?

1
0
Paul Hovnanian
Big Brother

Re: Of dubious jurisdiction

"will allow Microsoft to offer Skype in various jurisdictions"

And although our beloved NSA would never arm-twist Microsoft into back-dooring their products, now that these other countries have mandated it, our spies will just say, "May as well take a peek now that the door was left ajar."

0
0

Cats understand the laws of physics, researchers claim

Paul Hovnanian
Boffin

The only thing proven

That I can see is cats like boxes

0
0

Starbucks bans XXX Wi-Fi

Paul Hovnanian

Re: I don't Understand Western Puritan Culture....

"why men are so weak to not stand up to feminist hypocrisy"

I don't know. I'm not sure if it's true Puritanism* or emasculated men. I suspect it may be more of the latter. But I reserve my best humor for venues where guys (and women) are free to laugh at it. I suspect that most of the guys in my neighborhood fear the occasional boob joke because the wife and her friends will give them the icy stare if caught.

*Actually, the best example of true Puritains and humor I can think of comes from a movie, 'Witness' starring Harrison Ford. Where he has to hide out in an Amish community and he pitches in with the farm chores to help out. When he is given a cow to milk and he just stares at it, the old farmer says, "Never had your hands on a teat before?" Ford replies, "Not one this big" and the old guy really cracks up laughing. So I suspect that the 'no humor' Puritans are just the hen-pecked ones that don't dare getting caught laughing.

0
0
Paul Hovnanian

Re: I don't Understand Western Puritan Culture....

We had a bikini barista coffee stand open in my town a few years back. It was on a gas station lot, on an intersection that doesn't get much pedestrian traffic.

Suddenly, protests rose up about the children being exposed to scantily clad women. And local mothers made it a practice to walk their kids and strollers in front of the station as background for the inevitable news coverage. After some time, the political pressure resulted in the stand being closed and removed. And the daily pedestrian traffic promptly disappeared.

If I had been in a more mischievous mood, I would have written an editorial comment in the local paper pointing out to the correlation between increased pedestrian traffic and the presence of bikini barista stands. The obvious conclusion being that if one wants to promote walking, one should install more such businesses. But I don't think the Puritan mindset includes a sense of humor.

7
0

Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right

Paul Hovnanian
FAIL

Age verification?

How?

"Are you at least 18?" Lie. "In what year were you born?" So kids can't do math(s)?

This will end up with schemes that collect data that kiddies are not expected to have access to. Like a credit card number. I don't know how many web sites I've turned my back on that promised to use such data only for age/identity verification.

2
0

Sliced your submarine cable? Fill in this paperwork

Paul Hovnanian
Pirate

Jurisdiction Issues

Submarine cables run through an environment where there is no clear regulatory jurisdiction. Dig up a terrestrial buried cable and the government entity that granted the original permit for it can track incidents. We have 'One Call' locating services that utilities support to mark their facilities and report compliance and damage. But under water, local and state governments' authority runs out just off shore. So someone needs to accumulate statistics to see if there are problems or not. If cables are being damaged, imposing more regulation on dredging operations or dropping anchors without checking the charts is going to need justification.

1
0

Computer says: Stop using MacWrite II, human!

Paul Hovnanian

Re: War with the idiots of IT

We never found out if the author's RevRDist fix actually eliminated MacWrite II, or if it just made the inevitable morning reload by the users invisible to himself?

The beginning of my career predates Macs. We had a dozen DOS PCs, shared by about 200 engineers. To be used for special analytical tasks. Memos were still written longhand and turned over to the typing pool (who used dedicated DEC document editing systems). A few of us got our hands on PC Write, which ran off the floppy disks. And we'd edit, spell check, cut and paste. And then hand the dot matrix output over to the stenos (who actually appreciated that as input over the chicken-scratch that passed for some engineers handwriting).

The complaint that we got, passed through the IT department, was that some of the engineers were upset that we were working faster than they could by hand. And that wasn't 'fair'.

1
0

Lost containers tell no tales. Time to worry

Paul Hovnanian

This is a non problem

It was fixed by systemd.

Right?

2
1

USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

Paul Hovnanian

Please turn it on

What could possibly go wrong?

0
0

Shakes on a plane: How dangerous is turbulence?

Paul Hovnanian
Facepalm

Re: Explainer?

They say, "the level of turbulence required to bend a wing spar is something even most pilots will not experience in a lifetime of travelling". And then they go on to tell the story about the 707 tail that was torn off near Mt Fuji.

Well, at least the wings stayed on.

0
0

Oculus backtracks on open software promise

Paul Hovnanian

Backtracked

Oculus: "I have altered the deal. Pray I don't alter it further."

7
0

Samsung's little black box will hot-wire your car to the internet. Eek!

Paul Hovnanian

Work-around

So your insurance company offers you a discount for installing one of these. Fine. But you don't want it messing with your vehicle's other functions. I predict that someone will cobble together an OBD-II/CAN 'condom'. An interfacing intelligent plug that sits between your vehicle's data bus and the insurance company dongle. And filters/blocks unwanted data from passing in either direction.

Some performance data can be derived from sensors internal to the dongle. Such as acceleration and braking from internal accelerators. There's not much one can do about that (other than stop driving like a jerk). But blocking the 'unlock the trunk' or 'shut down the engine' commands should be doable.

4
0

Apple man found dead at Cupertino HQ, gun discovered nearby

Paul Hovnanian

Advice, too late

Don't invest your entire retirement plan in one technology company.

0
1

F-35's dodgy software in the spotlight again

Paul Hovnanian

Re: Hacking opertunities

ALIS: "I've just picked up a fault in the AE-35 unit. It's going to go 100% failure within 72 hours."

2
0
Paul Hovnanian

Re: And how does ALIS apply to countries other than the US

You will have to build your own system. And name it Portia. So when you are speaking to your American counterparts, they will just mutter to themselves, "Porsche? What's he talking about?"

0
0
Paul Hovnanian

Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS)

I wonder if they will still write up problems in this new system the way they did back in the 'old days':

Pilot's report: "Engine #3 is leaking oil."

Mechanic's response: "Oil leakage is normal."

Pilot's report: "Engines #1, 2 and 4 lack normal oil leakage."

32
0

'Impossible' EmDrive flying saucer thruster may herald new theory of inertia

Paul Hovnanian
Boffin

Re: I think _I_ can explain it (and it's not that hard)

"If you're equating the energy of a photon to an 'effective mass' via an e=mc^2 equivalence, then you'd have a situation in which X-ray photons have a larger effective mass than light photons and hence should be deflected more by gravity."

But the higher (effective) mass particle requires more force to accelerate (deflect) the same amount as a lighter particle. So the higher m (for either a real particle or photon) cancels out of the equation.

Same reason a feather and a hammer fall at the same rate (on the moon).

1
0
Paul Hovnanian

Re: I think _I_ can explain it (and it's not that hard)

"actually, m!=0 for a photon"

Right. For a photon, momentum is equal to Planck's constant divided by the photon's wavelength.

Which gives rise to an interesting idea: If this microwave powered EM drive produces thrust based upon such a low momentum (long wavelength), what could be achieved with shorter wavelengths, i.e lasers? I'm sure the relative efficiencies between microwave production (magnetrons or traveling wave tubes) compared to light emitting devices is a factor. But we are getting much better at making efficient LEDs.

4
0

EC cooking up rules change for aggressive tax avoiders

Paul Hovnanian

Local subsidiaries

It's not Apple. It's Apple-UK. Or Apple-Belgium. And sure, we'll divulge exactly where OUR money is. But once we pay the parent company their dividends, franchise, licensing and management fees, we no longer know where that money sits.

0
0

US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

Paul Hovnanian
Coat

This must be ...

... where the rubber meets the road.

Sorry about that. I'll just get my trench coat.

2
0

Reddit's warrant canary shuffles off this mortal coil

Paul Hovnanian

It's not dead

Just pining for the fjords.

7
0

Go DevOps before your bosses force you to. It'll be easier that way

Paul Hovnanian

Doing DevOps before DevOps was a thing

The definition of DevOps that I've come to understand is nothing more than a close coordination between the operations people (the people responsible for getting things done) with the developers (the people responsible for building the tools to do what Ops needs).

Back in one of my past lives, I worked with a group responsible for controlling engineering documents and getting them to the shop floor. It didn't matter whether we ran around with clipboards and paper or used the latest buzzword technology. We went from the aforementioned paper distribution system to a web based one. Back when the web browser of choice was Mosaic. We controlled the process specifications and built our tools in house (on NCSA httpd and eventually Apache). Because as both the developer and the operator, if anything broke in the middle of the night, it was our process AND our tools that had to be kept running.

Sadly, this didn't fit with the philosophy of our IT department. Whose reputation rested on managing huge applications development contracts. This required that operations gave them a spec, waited patiently for a product to appear from the vendor and then ops just had to put up with whatever creaky crap IT had actually negotiated for.

2
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

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.

0
1

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

Paul Hovnanian

Only 400,000 sites?

So that's just the stuff with camels then.

0
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

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

"there's just your neighbors"

And the homeless people camping out on your street.

0
3

Five reasons why the Google tax deal is imploding

Paul Hovnanian
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.

1
2

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

Paul Hovnanian

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.

0
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

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.

0
0
Paul Hovnanian

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.

0
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

Hey!

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

0
0

Boeing just about gives up on the 747

Paul Hovnanian

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.

2
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

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.

16
0

Eighteen year old server trumped by functional 486 fleet!

Paul Hovnanian
FAIL

But please ....

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

3
0
Paul Hovnanian

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

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

0
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

"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.

0
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

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).

2
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

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.

0
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

On the other hand ...

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

1
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

To be fair ...

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

14
1

Curiosity Rover eyes Mars' creeping dunes

Paul Hovnanian

Almost as exciting ....

... as watching grass grow.

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

1
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

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.

2
0
Paul Hovnanian

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.

0
0

Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

Paul Hovnanian
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.

6
0

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

Paul Hovnanian

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

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

2
0

Page:

Forums