1105 posts • joined Wednesday 21st May 2008 17:09 GMT
Why is this news?
Why is this news? Who cares if the "threshold" for "action" is 10K, 100K, or 100M, when the "action" is nothing more than the White House clearing its throat and practicing being "on-message" for the subject? It's not like there's any "hope" that any "change" will come of those petitions.
Of course, most of the petitions are misguided anyway - they ask for changes in the laws of the land. Sorry kiddies, you must have been sleeping during your US Government classes - the Legislative Branch is across the Mall that-a-way, this is the Executive Branch, we don't make the law, we just enforce it (well, enforce the bits we want to enforce, that is. Don't wave that pesky Constitution thingy in our faces, it burns us, my preciousssss).
So who cares that a meaningless Web site now requires more meaningless signatures on a meaningless petition before a meaningless policy statement is issued. If the administration wants to "save money" on that web site (yes, like bumping the signatures will even be anything more than a rounding error), in the immortal words of Gordan Ramsey, "SHUT IT DOWN!"
(and by the way: my disgust for this is totally non-partisan. I am sure were the Republicans in the White House they would be no more, and no less, attention to the site than the Democrats do. The only petition they have any hope of enacting would be a "Petition to just drop the facade and become a totalitarian state already").
Yes, first the rice..
First the rice.
Then the EL wire and blue LEDs everywhere.
Then cut down the fan until it's little bitty blades on a BIG hub.
Then put some card stock around the fan so it makes more noise.
Then put a subwoofer in it.
Then the spoiler.
Add some Bondo for "ground effect".
Then paint it neon yellow.
Then add "Type-R" stickers. Lots of them.
It *starts* with rice, but it ends up in tears.
I'm surprised you don't have what we have here
Here in the US, we have 2 things that it seems (from the article) they don't have Down Under:
1) A nationwide radio system dedicated to emergency alerts - the National Weather System radio network on 162.xxx MHz, which has transmitters just about everywhere, with automated alerts delivered to zones as large as a state or as small as part of a city. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_Area_Message_Encoding, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOAA_Weather_Radio_All_Hazards)
2) A system of broadcasting SMS-like alerts to all cell phones in a given area, no matter what the origination point of the phone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Mobile_Alert_System).
Broadcast systems like this work very well in sparsely populated areas, so I am surprised Australia and New Zealand haven't adopted them.
Trust can be diluted
The problem with the current SSL cert system is that trust can be diluted.
Consider: what if there were only a couple of cert signers? Bad in that certs are going to be hellishly expensive, but good in that at least you only have a couple of entities that can screw you, so they can be watched like hawks (granted, if one of them DOES screw you, you are well and truly screwed).
But with the current model of tens of cert vendors, some of whom I've never heard of unless I go cruising through the depths of my system, any one of which is as "trusted" as any other, we see this current system.
I agree with the previous poster that any tool using SSL should, upon encountering a new cert, display a message to the user about the cert, and the chain of trust, and allow options of "trust once, trust always, trust never, research" - where "research" does some searches on that cert for any indications of trouble. Moreover, the user should be given the chance to say "not only do I not trust THIS cert, I now no longer trust the cert that signed it." - all the way up to the root if desired. If the user, who normally doesn't see any messages about https://www.example.com, is suddenly presented with a dialog, it may (*may* - we are talking about [l]users here) make them pause for those all-too-critical few seconds.
And why is it that a cert is only signed by ONE authority? Why not follow more of a web of trust model like PGP/GPG, wherein a cert can be signed by more than one entity? If I see a cert for "shadysite.com", and it is only signed by a single CA I've never heard of, I can be less trusting than it I see a cert signed by 5 different CAs, several of which I have a higher degree of trust. Even better: let people vouch for (OR AGAINST!) a cert by posting a signing statement (a file signed by the person's private key and the cert's public key, saying "I trust this entity" or "I DO NOT trust this entity"). Would I trust J. Random Person's signing? NO. But I would trust technically competent people I know, or at least know of (e.g. if RMS vouches for a cert, I can feel a pretty high degree of trust the cert's owners aren't looking to violate my rights. If Consumer Reports vouches for a cert, I can feel pretty good about it. If Steve Ballmer vouches for a cert....) That sort of "vouching" would be invaluable for most of us geeks that support non-technical family - I can set Granny Fanny's computer such that if I have vouched for a key, accept without question.
Trust shouldn't be about trusting any single entity without question, as the current SSL system does. It should be a Bayesian calculation - the product of a set of trust probabilities, yielding a figure of merit for the entity.
Re: It's but one more facet of the British stiff upper lip
It's "call Ralph on the porcelain phone" , not "technicolor phone".
You are thinking of doing "the technicolor yawn".
* make an offering to Ralph at the porcelain altar.
* experience a personal protein spill
Does this make anybody else think of PacMan?
Oh joy. Now you will see the kiddies setting themselves up as Inky, Pinky, Blinky, Clyde, and PacMan, and playing for "real" on the streets.
We need a new icon
ATTENTION REGISTER PEOPLE:
We need a new icon: "World's smallest fiddle, and it's playing just for you."
Re: Mobile phones are nothing new
"For example I can never work out why the photon torpedoes are so dumb, often missing the target the size of a starship"
Because Gene Rodenberry was modeling Star Trek after naval warfare circa WW1, with battleships firing broadsides at each other, and maybe lobbing stupid and slow torpedoes at each other.
It took the first Battlestar Galactica series to "modernize" space warfare to WWII, with carriers harassing each other via their fighters. (I'd put Star Wars at early WWII, before the importance of the carrier was really known.)
Nobody that I'm aware of has done a movie with "modern" battle styles.
"A Logic Named Joe" - The Internet, in all its glory, in 1946.
The CommLocks in Space: 1999? A great deal closer to the smartphone (in function if not form)
Google does advertising on their email? Only if you use the web interface. Use IMAP or POP3 to get your gmail.
"Vision", or hallucination?
An open letter to the core Gnome Developers:
You speak of software design as being guided by a "vision". On the surface, this sounds like a good thing: many people have done wondrous things guided by a vision (c.f. Martin Luther King).
But there is a difference between a "vision" and a hallucination. If you cannot persuade people to share what you see, it may be a hallucination. If you take what you see as fact, not potential - it is a hallucination.
You've done this before: the "let's make Nautilus do everything from system configuration to printer management" and the "spatial navigation is The One True Way What Everybody Should Use" debacles spring to mind. Again, when you share your "vision" and everybody says "You are crazy, we don't want that" you may be hallucinating.
So take a deep breath (and some Haldol), wait until the walls stop melting and you no longer taste your source code, and then look around with clear eyes.
Re: Normal IT pricing applies.....
"It'll be $1 in the U.S., but one Pound in Britain and one Euro in Europe."
That pattern is why I think we should all adopt the LOLcatism of "moneys".
It's one moneys to send somebody a spam on Faecesbook.
The new iThing is 400 moneys.
Re: New unit please!
"what kind of spuds, though? Irish, Chinese, Chilean?"
Given that Boeing is in Washington, likely they got the spuds from their neighbors in Idaho.
Re: Why Oh Why Oh
Errrr, "voice" recognition?
I cannot wait to see what errors "voice" recognition might make....
"OK, I'll call you MPPPRRRBBBBTTTT!"
I want to register
I want to register
.'); DROP TABLE
Think of the children
Don't worry, kids know tech: "Hmmm. Google says Santa's over Santa Barbara, Bing says he's over Dallas... I may be 5, but I know who I don't trust."
Then there's Apple, who will have Santa over Tel Aviv. Or maybe Riyadh.
Re: How about Windows in English?
But think of all the wear and tear on your "u" key you are saving!
Re: Tut tut...
I don't know about that - I submitted that question to Wolfram Alpha, and it swears it's working on it, but it's still stuck at "INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER." Oh well, it'll get there eventually....
Reg Commentors, I am disappoint.
Where are all the jokes about which web server should be in the package?
Not *one* reference to the joke:
*nix like Teepee
Seriously? Not one?
Son, I am disappoint.
Re: Ping Time
The fastest probes we've built are going roughly .004%c. Assuming we could do 10 times better if we put our minds, backs, and bank accounts to it today, that's about 2500 years to get there.
Re: "Protest the funerals"?
Actually, YES, they literally are protesting the funeral itself - they believe that everybody they protest died due to God being pissed, and therefor the deceased are not deserving of a "proper" funeral.
Re: What I wish would happen to WBC
For doctors: yes, they should not refuse to care for any life threatening illness.
Like, say, colon cancer or prostate cancer.. Can't be too careful, Mr. Phelps, you need a screening, the sooner the better - Nurse, fetch the colonscopy camera and my gloves.... What, you were screened the last time you were in here? Well, y'know, it can develop rapidly, best to check again. Yesterday? well, it could be very rapidly developing....
Also, I need to check for hernia while I'm "in the neighborhood" - cough please. And have you been screened for testicular cancer?
Re: USB Dongle SDR?
First: Google "EME" and "moonbounce" - there are amateur radio operators doing that all the time. It's difficult: you have to have a significant antenna system on both the transmitting and receiving end (think of the largest TV aerial you've seen, one of the 10 foot long ones, then stack 4 in an array), the transmitting end is usually running the maximum allowed power (in the US, 1000 watts), and the receiving end has a very sensitive receiver (far more so than one of those USB dongles will have). The signals sent are designed to be easy to pick up - far easier than FM broadcast, let alone TV - and even then, are often undetectable.
Even with a very large antenna, a very low noise preamp, and the best SDR, there's simply not enough information in the signals reflected off the Moon to allow you to pull out one specific broadcast station from all the others on the same frequency. *IF* you had an enormous number of antenna and receivers all over the world, and you could then use spatial diversity, you *might* be able to get enough information, based upon different paths from the stations to the Moon to all your different antenna, to pull it out - but then again, you'd likely have an antenna right next to whatever station you wanted to listen to, and could listen to it directly.
With respect to a hypothetical listener Out There, the worst thing that has happened has been the transition to digital. Analog signals have enough information in them to work out what is going on - AM is trivial (The signal "looks like" the original audio), FM almost so, and even TV could be worked out reasonably well (the color aspect would be a bit hard to work out a priori, but the horizontal scan rate and vertical scan rates are obvious in the spectrum of the signal - getting black and white would be pretty easy).
But with digital: there's not enough information in the signal to work out the theory behind MPEG. You could infer the gross framing structure, you might be able to work out the part of the signal the provides EPG data, but the audio and video streams would be a total mystery. And that assumes no encryption, and also that you can see the signal - digital signals are designed to be very much like noise, with none of the spectral redundancy that makes AM, FM, PAL and NTSC easy to work out.
What I wish would happen to WBC
What I wish would happen to WBC is both consistent with Free Speech, and with the Bible which they ever-so-love to thump.
Every business should say "Sorry, we reserve the right to refuse to serve anybody, and we refuse to serve you. You are not welcome on our property, you are trespassing, you have been formally notified of the same, if you remain I will call the cops and have you arrested for trespass on private property, if you want to sue here's my lawyer, and I'll file counter-charges of barratry and request the Bar association disbar your attorney. BEGONE."
Perfectly legal. Doesn't violate their rights of freedom of speech. Has precedent in the Bible. Let's see how long they can go without any support from society - no groceries, no health care, no service on their vehicles or homes, nothing.
Re: I remember spreading the legs of a BC107 .....
"432 mhz might have been 144mhz with those early RF four wire FETs."
Actually, I doubt it was either 432mhz or 144mhz - those old parts weren't stable enough to hold an oscillation at a half hertz. It was likely 432MHz or 144MHz.
(Yes, pedantic, but "m" is the abbreviation for milli, and M is the abbreviation for Mega, and it's Hz, not hz, as it is a proper name.)
Re: This is what I don't understand...
And so we have more police - and so we can create a bigger dogpile, with more chances for the poor stupid person to get hurt, and this is different how?
The police still need some option to respond to a lawbreaker other than "STOP! or I shall say STOP again."
So what is that option?
This is what I don't understand...
OK, let's look at the generic scenario that seems to play out over and over, because there is something I just don't understand:
Stupid person goes somewhere and does stupid, antisocial things.
Normal person: "Please stop doing that."
Stupid person: "FU!" [continues doing stupid antisocial thing]
Normal person: "Stop that or I call the cops!"
Stupid person: "FU!" [continues doing stupid antisocial thing]
Cop: "Stop doing that antisocial thing or I will have to arrest you."
Stupid person: "FU!" [continues doing stupid antisocial thing]
Cop: "OK, you are under arrest."
Stupid person: "FU!" [resists arrest]
Cop: "YOU ARE UNDER ARREST. STOP RESISTING."
Stupid person: "FU!" [resists arrest]
Alternate path 1:
[Cop and many other cops dogpile on stupid person, who continues to resist. Stupid person picks up the inevitable bruises and possible injures.]
Typical Internet Poster: "WAAAA! Stupid person got hurt! Those meany cops didn't have to dogpile him - they should have done something else."
Alternate path 2:
[Cop tases stupid person and completes arrest.]
Typical Internet Poster: "WAAAA! Stupid person got hurt! That meany cop didn't have to taze him - he should have done something else."
Alternate path 3:
[Cop shoots stupid person and completes arrest.]
Typical Internet Poster: "WAAAA! Stupid person got hurt! That meany cop didn't have to shot him - he should have done something else."
Alternate path 4:
[Cop sprays stupid person and completes arrest.]
Typical Internet Poster: "WAAAA! Stupid person got hurt! That meany cop didn't have to spray him - he should have done something else."
Alternate path 5:
[Cop shrugs and says "Sorry, that's all I'm allowed to do" and walks off.]
[Stupid person continues antisocial behavior.]
Typical Internet Poster: "WAAAA! The cops aren't doing anything!"
So, all you armchair quarterbacks who think you can do better - what is Alternative path 6, that prevents stupid people from continuing their antisocial ways while simultaneously meeting with your approval?
I hate exchange - no procmail
At home, I have a proper email setup up, with procmail dutifully sorting the various mailing lists I follow into folders, so that when I am pressed for time, I can check just the critical items and dump the rest.
At work, I am forced to use Exchange, so instead of that all-too-valuable presort happening on the server where it belongs, it has to happen on my workstation. I can always tell when we've had a power outage that took down my workstation, even when out of office, due to all the messages piling up in my inbox.
Re: Rebuilding a Speccy...
With modern components behind it, you could likely put the entire thing in a single FPGA, with the only signal lines coming out being the cassette interface line, the video, and the keyboard scan - and in today's designs, those would all be 3.3V rather than 5V, reducing the RF even more.
Back in the day...
Back in the days of the ZX81 here in the US, the requirements for computers were the less rigorous Part 15A, intended for office work (since nobody would have a computer in the home where Part 15B ruled).
There was one computer of which I am aware that would stand any chance in the modern regulatory environment, and that would be the old Atari 400 and Atari 800 - all the guts were in a potmetal shell weighing more than the entire ZX81. It would be fun to try one of them out in an RF chamber.
Then there was the good old TRS-80 Model 1 - a machine so RF noisy that several games did sound effects by instructing you to tune an AM radio between stations and place near (within 2m) of the machine. A machine so noisy it "passed" TEMPEST because it put out SO MUCH hash you couldn't recover what was on the screen.
484M? in what time frame?
The article says Brits consumed 484MB of data - it's unclear if that is just in December or for the whole year.
But even if that is just in December - that seems rather small. I burn through about 300MB a month on my phone here in the US - more if I am traveling. Granted, I am likely not at the median of usage (having a grandfathered unlimited data plan) but if all it takes is 484MB to be "the champ", then mobile data consumption must be pretty slim.
The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center (which is very near to me in both senses of the expression) has a whole section on the V1 and V2 bombs, including a map of V1 strikes against England. To me, this is just a part of history - the first room of the whole Hall of Space section of the museum, leading from the first rockets to the modern space program.
I had a coworker from our Stevenage facility in town, and took him there. He spent a great deal of time in that room, looking at the V1, the V2, and the map, and it drove home to me that while this was history to me, it was History to him - personally relevant.
Re: The obvious way to film this
Then you add Julian Assange in the sequel.
Then, a 4 way reality show - a real "Big Brother" with the lot of them + Han Reiser, in one cell.
Re: Reproduce the McAfee experience....
... Whereupon the player with flash a "Your player may be at risk" message constantly.
And so, Dr. Hawking dictates an email
Dr. Stephen Hawking
Subject: RFQ: modifications to my wheelchair
Do you follow every random URL you encounter?
This is no different than following every random URL (e.g. http://littlelamb.example.org) you see on the http://street.example.com, If http://you.follow.example.uk every http://url.example.hk you are http://going.to.have.a.bad.time.example.local.
It's just a bit easier.
OK, raising the money is easy:
Kickstarter: Send Beiber and one other annoying "reality" personality to the Moon:
$100 level: We put your name on the scroll we send with them
$500 level: You get to suggest who to send (for each $500 you get one vote).
$10000 level: You get to personally help "verify" the return rockets....
All well and good
It's all well and good, until the thing decides to start pulling more G's than the pilot can take and he passes out, hitting the off switch in the process.
Word of advice: don't fit this to a Hughes 500 Defender - or at least make sure the AI knows when it's outclassed.
(the one with the Wolf in Sheep's clothing patch).
Re: Still capable but lazy :)
It's the difference between what I call "smart lazy" and "dumb lazy".
"Smart lazy" minimizes total work, potentially at the expense of increased work in the short term.
"Dumb lazy" minimizes immediate work, but often created more work in the long run.
A smart lazy person will get up early to swing by the garage and get that tire with a slow leak fixed, thus eliminating the need to keep filling it. Dumb lazy won't fix the tire, preferring to quickly air it up every day.
Re: Dances with wolves pffft hardly.
It's "Ferngully/Pokeherhaunches: Dances with Smurfs"
No need for lots of base stations - leaky coax
Providing RF comms underground doesn't have to have lots of base stations. Google "leaky coax".
You run a length of coaxial cable down the line. At intervals on the coax the shield is removed, allowing signals in and out. Voila - service all along the length of the cable.