* Posts by Jellied Eel

202 posts • joined 18 Aug 2008

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Labour policy review tells EU where to stuff its geo-blocking ban

Jellied Eel

DIRECTIVE 89/552/EEC - "TELEVISION WITHOUT FRONTIERS"

"What's called (propaganda-friendly term) "geoblocking" really means "freedom of licensing". The EU wants to stop this."

Or they're a bit confused.

http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/audiovisual_and_media/l24101_en.htm

"The Directive aims to ensure the free movement of broadcasting services within the internal market and at the same time to preserve certain public interest objectives, such as cultural diversity, the right of reply, consumer protection and the protection of minors. It is also intended to promote the distribution and production of European audiovisual programmes, for example by ensuring that they are given a majority position in television channels' programme schedules."

Except when this contravenes rights owners rights to maximise rights owner's rights to ignore the internal market and try to maximise revenues per territory. It's one of those strange situations where too many rights might make a wrong. Or smaller EU members may need some protection from the EU's broadcasting giants to try and protect their own customer base. The get-out I guess for content/rights owners is the existing Directive states 'broadcasting services' rather than content.

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Easy ... easy ... Aw CRAP! SpaceX rocket ALMOST lands on ocean hoverbase

Jellied Eel

Re: A very well done

I think this is all kinds of awesome tinged with some doubts.

So the basic launch is kind of old-hat, we've been there, done that. So now rather than landing large, expensive and potentially reusable bits of the launch rocket in the Pacific +/- a few square kilometers.. It's landing in a much more controlled fashion in a way one could almost walk away from. Or <stuff> fab'd in space could end up useable vs dropping it in a reasonably sized ocean and having enough recovery vessels handy before it sinks.

But I'm bothered about the vendor lock-in. If we're to colonise space, we shouldn't be reliant on coffee machines which need Earth-created capsules. This is inefficient and we need to spend more money working out how to grow coffee beans in space if we're ever going to get off this rock. Then again, if people will spend a lot of money on beans that have been shat by civets, think how much they may spend on orbital/lunar/martian beans.

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Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

Jellied Eel

Check for owner's tag before shooting!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvpLAMfYgJ8

This is a public safety announcement.

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+5 ROOTKIT OF VENGEANCE defeats forces of gaming good

Jellied Eel

Re: If professional gamers are really worried about cheating

Some do, ie tournament players play at the event. But to get to the tournament, or become a pro-player you need to get ranking. Which may get boosted by cheating. But then they should be found out if they play in a tournament without their cheat crutches. Or the cheats might have some financial reward, so gold farming, dupes etc. Or they could just be anti-fun, so aimbots or wallhacks in shooters.

So there's a bit of an arms race. Developers create anti-cheat systems like punkbuster or VAC which can already be rootkit-like. Cheaters come up with lower level designs to bypass those, increasing security risks. Not like cheaters who'll happily download random hacks off the Internet are probably too concerned about their security. But to counter this new threat, anti-cheat systems are going to have to become even greater potential security risks.

And to what end? I recently installed some game and discovered it also installed punkbuster for me, and set it to run at startup. All because the game had some online/multiplayer functionality I never intended to use. Or 7 Days to Die just updated. When I click play on that, it gives me an option for a VAC & non-VAC version. So remember which one to click if you want to use the built in cheats in your own sandbox..

So we end up with a situation where we may have to accept installing one rootkit to 'protect' ourselves against another. And we'll have to accept that the good rootkit won't be doing anything privacy or marketing related, and won't be a security risk.

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Drill, baby, drill: HIDDEN glaciers ON MARS hold 150bn cubic metres of precious frozen WATER

Jellied Eel

Re: triple point...

It's one of those fun thought experiments, at least for most of us. For the scientists, it's more work. So terraforming. First create your atmosphere. Grab some nice ice asteroids and drop'em on Mars. That would be quite some environmental impact statement to write, especially if the field geologists haven't finished. It would be an opportunity for pressure groups like Fiends of the Earth to diversify though.

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Jellied Eel

"Why? What sorts of minerals or contamination is in it?"

Until we can analyse it, or figure out Martian kidneys.. who knows? I'm guessing one issue may be isotopic, so more deuterium and oxygen isotopes. Then again, deuterium consumption increases the circadian cycle. If that's by 40mins, that would be convenient, or just spooky.

"I was hoping they would send back a chemical analysis of it so that it could be simulated here on earth and we could have a taste of Martian mineral water."

Pfft.. Rail gun + iceball + orbital bottling plant for the most expensive and exclusive bottled water or ice cubes. One snag with the Martian colony idea is a certain food giant has already bagged the brand.

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BBC waves £230m of feepayers' dosh at tech backbone deal

Jellied Eel

Re: eh?

Not really. It's a wide range and it gives prospective bidders an idea if it's worth bidding. If a quick eyeball of the service requirements comes up with a cost of £250m then it's a quick 'No Bid'. Or usually fending off over-eager sales people who just see the £230m and think of their potential commission..

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Power, internet access knackered in London after exploding kit burps fire into capital's streets

Jellied Eel

Problem is back in the day, there was pretty much just the BT ducts and other utilities. Now the area is a major cable jungle with multiple ducts with mutiple paths for gas/fire to travel. There are power tunnels, sewer tunnels, ducts connecting buildings. There are cable chambers connected to other provider's duct networks. Those *should* have gas stops, but if they don't then gas or fire can travel around easily.

So there'll be a lot of field engineers looking for fibre routes around the location to bypass damaged sections and restore services, then a lot of work to replace any damaged sections once the area's declared safe.

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Jellied Eel

That's one of the things that put me off working in telcomms for a power company. And seeing a report from a field engineer cancelling a request for a TDR team to shoot a fibre fault. He didn't need it, he could see the cable ends in the crater. Oil-filled HV cable had a bad day and made quite a bang.

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Snakes on a backplane: Server-room cabling horrors

Jellied Eel

Re: As long as there is one cable in the universe...

Shame on the network team for not locking switches away in a cabinet with 'BEWARE OF THE SHARK' signs on it. Helps avoid those fault escalations caused by 'helpful' users trying to fix their problems by swapping some cables around. Especially now Ethernet's escaped from the WAN and spanning tree problems can go global in a hurry if you're not careful.

Oh, and the before and after pics in the original article. I'm guessing that site wasn't planning on needing fibre. Fibre from the top, copper from the bottom..

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Jellied Eel

Re: Underfloor can be much worse!!!

Sounds like Telehouse.. The floors wouldn't lay flat, so the walls started closing in..

And for IBM cabling.. Channel Cables. Cable diameter must've been getting on for 2" thick and brick sized connectors on the end. The cable pulling ferrets went on strike when they saw those.

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The internet IS a series of tubes. Kinda: A Reg 101 guide to cabling

Jellied Eel

Re: Errrr

"The difference between SMF and MMF is that with SMF, the light follows a single path through the fibre, while MMF uses multiple paths."

This bit is wrong/misleading. The diference is modes supported, not paths. OMx then defines the modal bandwidth of the multimode fibre which affects the distance, and also future proofing an installation. So OM1 & OM2 don't support 40Gbps or 100Gbps.

"Both SMF and MMF come in two wavelengths, 850nm and 1300nm, with the latter supporting longer distances."

SMF supports many more wavelengths, hence why it's used for DWDM. 850nm isn't generally used AFAIK, but that's more to do with SM v MM. Pretty much all common SFP's @850nm are intended for MM fibre. If you connect those to SM fibre there's a mismatch between expected core size and although it may work, it's generally a bad idea.

"The most widely used connector is the SFP+"

An SFP is a transciever, not a connector. Connectors would be FC, LC, SC, E2000. Important because they're the bits on the end of the fibres and connectors on SFPs or other kit. LC and E2000 probably most useful on an ODF/patch panel given connector size & density, and for E2000, built in dust caps. Patch cables can have different connectors each end.

"If you need to get 10GbE in longer distances, but not quite in the miles range, using MMF cables such as OM3 or OM4 with SFP+ connectors would be a good option."

I'd suggest that's a bad option. Key thing is to come up with a plan and stick to it. So OM4 offers the best speed/distance combo for local connections. If that's within a smallish datacentre, stick with that so you can do 100G if/when you need it over a typical room-sized distance. Get color coded patch cables made up, stick samples on a board somewhere prominent and set your BOFH on anyone who doesn't follow it. This will make future maintenance easier.

For longer distances, ie inter-room, inter-floor or inter-building, use SM fibre. Or make sure you run plenty of spare fibres. OM4 will support 1x100Gbps. If you need more, or want to segment then the ability to add a WDM or DWDM mux gives you more flexibility in the future, and most of that kit is designed to work over SMF.

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‘Digital by default’ agricultural payments halted: Farmers start smirking

Jellied Eel

Re: WHY Shoreditch?

I'd prefer Southampton and Croydon for a bit of joined up government. One of the challenges seems to have been mapping elements. So GIS. So Ordnance Survey and Land Registry. So hopefully one knows where it is, the other who owns it. Then RPA can add attributes to polygons showing what it's used for and how much to pay out. If £177m has been spent, I suspect a certain amount of wheel reinvention occurred. Then again, given how much OS charge for map data, it could be wooden dollars circulating between government pots.

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Blighty's 12-sided quid to feature schoolboy's posterior

Jellied Eel

Re: security chip???

Unfortunate choice of name. The videos on the site seem like a sales pitch to other countries/issuers rather than explaining our new pound, but then the Royal Mint makes a lot of money for other countries. It's one of those fun Treasury/Central bank things. To me it's a humble quid in my pocket, to them it's the cost of that coin and TCO of money. Plus the arms race between Mints and counterfeiters and the cost of replacing coinage or notes if they're too easy to fake.

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UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?

Jellied Eel
Mushroom

Re: I'm sure we're missing something here

Not missing anything. Check out cargo cults. Build space port, space planes will come! Let Norman Foster design it and they won't be able to afford the landing fees though. Let Heathrow Epxress run the connection service and nobody but Branson will be able to afford to get to the space port.

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So who just bought the rights to .blog for $20m? A chap living in Panama

Jellied Eel

Re: Is the TLD important?

"So is it worthy to pay that much for dot blog?"

No, not really. So you have an existing blog. Call it myblog.com. Most people would probably think of it as myblog and not care about the TLD. They have it bookmarked or just type myblog into their search engine of choice. So along comes .blog. They need to convince you that registering myblog.blog is valuable and necessary. You may be unconvinced because you're happy with your existing traffic and anyone else registering myblog.blog who isn't you may be infringing or passing off. Easier if you're running cocacola.blog

If you're thinking of some exciting new blog, then it's still about whether the name exists or infringes. Having a new TLD may not save you from lawyers. Or may not save the .blog operator if the registrant attempts to register a domain that infringes. Why pay large sums of money to protect your IP when you can throw a sueball at anyone who aids passing off? Coca cola may respectfully decline the offer of $100k a year for a protective registration and point out that if they let anyone else use it, it'll be the registrar's nuts in a vice.

Having .blog for a blog could be more fun though, but the registrar probably wants to use that themselves.

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Now Samsung's spying smart TVs insert ADS in YOUR OWN movies

Jellied Eel

Re: meanwhile in other news...

Oversaturation is not just you. YT seems to serve up a limited number of ads in entirely unrelated videos. So after seeing a Twix in a shop, I'm reminded of the f'ng annoying 2-brothers, one factory ad that interrupted my viewing pleasure. It's a demonstration of ad nauseum and probably not the positive feedback they were hoping for.

Other ads are just dumb. So the tech & cookies should let an ad server know what platform I'm browsing from. So why throw me an ad for a console game, not a PC game I could potentially click & buy there and then? Other circles of hell should be reserved for ad flingers who think it's ok to unmute an ad.

All Samsung is doing is taking that kind of idiocy to it's logical conclusion. The display's purpose is to sell you stuff.

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'If someone in Australia says lick my toad, it's not a euphemism'

Jellied Eel

Re: surströmming

"But Swedish surströmming fits the description nicely. Fermented herring from hell."

I quite like that, and potential nosh challenge? Not sure if my idea of surströmming/tunnbröd wraps would sell well outside Sweden though. My Swedish colleagues defeated me with lutfisk. Cod soaked in drain cleaner is just wrong. For a fish supper from hell, could try this with hákarl as a third course? Best eaten outdoors, tables set downwind and large buckets available.

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Jellied Eel

Re: Marmite?

Marmite was discovered after Justus von Liebig dropped a cheese sandwich in a beer vat he was cleaning, and luckily for generations of Brits decided 'that tastes quite nice'. If he'd binned the sandwich, the beer industry would have to dispose of the yeast sludge in an environmentally sound way. This would obviously increase the price of beer, and affect the brewing industry's sustainability and recycling targets.

Marmite is therefore a public good.

However, some disagree with the flavour, notably Vegemite fans and the Danish. Having experienced what the Danes can do to innocent herrings, I'm suprised they objected to recycled beer products. Marmite is still under attack by it's detractors though. The latest tactic by the 'Hate It' brigade is to try and 'ban this filth' via the EU Salt Reduction Framework. If you love it, protect your Marmite!

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Tom Wheeler flings off dressing gown, dons gloves for net neutrality RUMBLE

Jellied Eel

Re: Just curious...

Devil will be in the detail around comments like "It's feared these expensive web toll roads". Would transit from a CDN provider be counted as an expensive toll road, and if so, would that mean CDN heavy networks like say, Level3 would have to offer free (or at cost) peering?

As usual with anything regulatory, once details are published it'll be important to watch who's objecting to what. And equally importantly, who's not objecting to things that seem objectionable. Those would be the areas where they've spotted some advantage.

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Breaking news: BBC FINALLY spots millions of mugshots on cop database

Jellied Eel

Re: Double whammy black eye for the police

"The problem with facial recognition systems is it depends on how old the 'reference' photo is."

This is why you're also not allowed to smile/look happy in passport photos. To give the immigration machines a fighting chance, your photo needs to look like you, tired, pissed off after a long flight and long queue. And then being directed to the 'express' queue where you can gurn for the amusement of the people queuing around you. It would probably be easier, faster and more accurate if they just flashed your photo up on a screen and let your fellow travellers vote on if you were you, or not.

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Hardboiled, fast-paced, mind-bending fun – Dark Intelligence IS sci-fi

Jellied Eel
Mushroom

But..

Does it contain my favorite fisher-drone, Sniper? Time to find out..

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Dark Fibre: Reg man plunges into London's sewers to see how pipe is laid

Jellied Eel

Re: Other pre-existing infrastructure that could be used ...

Bin Done. A few places have installed cable in canal bottoms but it usually needs to be buried to protect against anchors. Which can sometimes cause issues, like an install in Paris that ploughed a bit too deep into the canal bed and it started leaking. But usual challenge is getting wayleaves, negotiating costs for wayleaves and then access to sites to do emergency repairs. So although this kind of thing can reduce install costs, sometimes it can make it tricky to get access to repair or maintain. Hence route diversity is important for anything safety or mission critical.

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Jellied Eel

Re: IP67

Just stay away from the toilet when the OP guys tell you they're going to rod & rope the duct. You'll be fine. And pay close attention to gas seals between their chambers and yours!

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Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

Jellied Eel

Re: Doesn't matter if the "update process is expertly controlled"

I think it does as it assumes the average user/upgrade victim isn't an expert.

I kinda like Win7. Ok, I tolerate it on this box which I play games on. It works for me. It may not work for MS, who may prefer me to 'upgrade' to Win8. Or Win10. (What happened to 9)?

Call me old fashioned but I like stuff to work when I click on it. I don't like the idea of having to reinstall loads of stuff just to get a candycrush interface and touch features on a box who's touch inputs are a good'ol mouse and keyboard. I don't care if the 'upgrade' gives me access to MS's AppStore because I'm puzzled why I couldn't just download an app for that. Every other store seems to let me.

So if I could just click on an Windows 10 upgrade button and it upgraded, and all my stuff still worked, and it worked faster.. I might be tempted. Even if that meant spinning up a Win7 VM in the background, I don't really care. I just want my PC to work much the same as it did before the 'upgrade', and I'm fairly certain most users feel the same way.

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MYSTERY RADIO SIGNAL picked up from BEYOND our GALAXY

Jellied Eel

Decoded

.- .-.. .-.. -.-- --- ..- .-. -... .- ... . .- .-. . -... . .-.. --- -. --. - --- ..- ...

We have confirmed it was not, repeat NOT 'We are the world'. Minsters are reminded of the advice by Pellegrino & Zebrowski prior to attempting any reply:

1. THEIR SURVIVAL WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUR SURVIVAL.

If an alien species has to choose between them and us, they won't choose us. It is difficult to imagine a contrary case; species don't survive by being self-sacrificing.

2. WIMPS DON'T BECOME TOP DOGS.

No species makes it to the top by being passive. The species in charge of any given planet will be highly intelligent, alert, aggressive, and ruthless when necessary.

3. THEY WILL ASSUME THAT THE FIRST TWO LAWS APPLY TO US.

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EU-turn: Greenpeace pressure WON'T mean axing of Chief Scientist

Jellied Eel

Re: too much influence in one person?

"So says Doug Parr, Chief Scientist ... of Greenpeace."

Soon to be Doug Parr, Chief Scientist, EU? Getting inside the system worked well for Bryony Worthington and other ex-NGO types.

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Reg Oz chaps plot deep desert comms upgrade

Jellied Eel

Build or buy/rent..

Sounds like you may want something like this-

User – WiFi router – Riverbed - Satellite modem – Satellite – ground station – Riverbed - Internet

Riverbed appliances I think can act as authentication servers, so if WiFi can authenticate against the local Riverbed/proxy it'll reduce the initial setup delay. And give the Riverbeds a cleaner path to do their optimisation/caching magic. Riverbeds aren't cheap, but it's the usual support cost tradeoff between building your own cache/proxy vs getting one ready made with a GUI and support. It's a standard config I've used in a few jobs via satellite connections.

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FBI fingering Norks for Sony hack: The TRUTH – by the NSA's spyboss

Jellied Eel

The NSA bot is telling elements of truth.

This bit is true

"[Cybercrime] is that times a million. Dillinger or Bonnie and Clyde could not do a thousand robberies in all 50 states in the same day in their pajamas, from Belarus. That’s the challenge we face today,” Comey told attendees."

And law enforcement needs some way to detect and prevent these crimes. Problem is-

"Several times, either because they forgot or they had a technical problem, they connected directly—and we could see them," he said. "They shut it off very quickly before they realized their mistake, but not before we saw it and knew where it was coming from."

So is the NSA saying they were aware of ongoing attacks against Sony, but did nothing? They didn't notify the FBI so they could have a quite word with Sony and explain they had a problem? Seems a rather awkward position the Admiral has put his agency in. Either this is a post-facto detection after some archive trawling, which would indicate Sony wasn't a high value target worth protecting, or it had more timely evidence but chose to do nothing with it.

"Sony is important to me because the entire world is watching" but seemingly it wasn't important enough when they were watching the attacks taking place in September.

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Net Neut: Verizon flips the bird to FCC on peering deal crackdown

Jellied Eel

"Um, why would Netflix agree to ongoing, recurring payments for a peering agreement when they could have simply have incurred a one-time cost by adding some hardware on their side? I believe it is because the missing resources were not on Netflix's side of the connection."

It's traditionally the way the Internet has worked, for better or worse. Peering was between "peers", ie other ISPs with some expectation of mutual benefit and equality. Naturally this begat peering wars, Tier-1 bragging and the Net Neutrality debate. If you're not a peer, you pay something towards the cost of delivering your bits. Netflix doesn't want to pay if it can help it because obviously that becomes an operating cost that eats into it's margins and profits. Situation gets a bit more complex when ISPs like Level 3 and Cogent are involved. But basically it's an issue with the way the money flows, and pretty much a plain cost to your ISP.

User > Netflix

Netflix -> Cogent/L3 <-ISP <-User

So double dipping is really from Netflix's transit providers, as unless the agree to free peering with the ISPs connected to them, the ISPs would also have to buy more transit from Cogent/L3.

"And again, um, isn't that how the Internet works? Users pay for a connection, then go out to external sites and exchange packets. Yes, when the packets consist of a video stream from Netflix the arrangement is pretty one-sided, but then this is >>EXACTLY<< what ISP's expect. My connection is rated for 50 Mb downstream, but only 5Mb up..."

Yes, to an extent. Unless you're a business user or running servers at home, usage patterns have pretty much always been asymmetric since the good'ol days of 1200/75 modems. Difference is the amount of traffic generated by traditional usage, ie email, web, VoIP, gaming and streaming large amounts of HD video content to millions of users. That's not something the Internet was ever really designed to do and just highlighted settlement problems. Which isn't something new and the voice world solved it over 100yrs ago. If originating/terminating traffic balances, costs net out, otherwise one side pays the other to reflect the costs of delivering the other parties traffic.

"Why does a packet from Netflix "cost more" to deliver to me than a packet due to downloading an ISO image from Debian?"

Assuming you're downloading from the same place, it wouldn't. Difference is you're probably not downloading those images every night. Just like I'm not downloading 11GB from Steam every day. Plus if there's congestion, your download can be slowed down and it'll just take a little while longer to complete. If it's video, the ISP probably has no control over the session and if there's congestion, playback stops and user blames their ISP. Or Netflix blames your ISP. Or your ISP blames their transit provider for not increasing capacity. Widespread video streaming massively increases capacity needed during peak busy hours, and if content providers won't contribute towards those costs, the only option is again to charge the user.

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Brit GUN NUT builds WORKING SNIPER RIFLE at home out of scrap metal!

Jellied Eel

I blame the empire!

Because it was large, made things up as it went along and invented the Imperial measurement system to annoy the French. A possible explanation for how various 'calibres' evolved went like this..

Back in the day guns were sized based on projectile weight, so 12-pounder, 17-pounder etc. So weight of shot defined barrel diameter. Then along came muskets and a need to standardise ammunition. So they derived from the gauge system used in shotguns still, ie a 12 gauge has a bore size of 1/12lb of lead formed into a sphere. Some old rifle/pistol calibres then got based on that, or dividing up an ounce of lead.

That kind of fits with tradition, but not sure how plausible it would be. It's a way to standardise calibres or ammunition manufacturing, but by that point in history it have been just as easy to work from measurement or gauges. I still envy our colonial cousin's ability to experiment with wildcat rounds though. Subject to state laws, BATF regs etc etc..

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Thought your household broadband was pants? Small biz has it worse

Jellied Eel

Re: A rock and a ransom strip.

Sometimes lack of decent connectivity can be blamed on business park developers. Namely they don't consider communications services when developing sites. Or they view those as services that should be bought through the Estate/FM company at a hefty premium. Otherwise as many estates are private property, trying to provide services means trying to negotiate wayleaves, often at a high cost. Or show us their shiney new comms/fibre distribution room and look put out when asked why they installed multimode to feed a 20 acre site.

If there were competitive and practical access to ducts, splice chambers etc etc, businesses on industrial or retail parks may get more choice but generally there's no incentive for providers to do that.

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Google+ to offer 'infinite' gender identity options

Jellied Eel

Re: Big Deal

But what if the completion checking sees "other" or "freeform" as incomplete forms and refuse to process my application? And come to think of it, why do these forms often ask me to submit? We're not all submissives you know!

And would it allow me to specify my identiy as

Ambivalent'); DROP TABLE PATIENTS; --

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Gigabit-over-copper VDSL successor G.fast signed off at last

Jellied Eel

As others have pointed out, a large part of the market are things like shopping centres, hotels, apartment blocks etc etc. There, it's about potential to re-use existing cabling, cabling distance, subscriber density, contention and all that good stuff. Plus avoiding OAM costs.

So wiring up Ethernet would mean installing additional ducts, cabling, wiring closets. Costs may vary depending on property type and building regs. So depending on building size, closet may need an Ethernet switch trunked back to one or preferably more main switches. Then each subscriber would need their own VLAN and some way to be able to point that VLAN at their chosen provider.. Unless you're not intending to give them any choice. And then it becomes a question of who'll manage and support that lot, especially if they're trying to manage multiple properties.

Then the ability to slap on a G.fast modem and having it work much the same way as a regular xDSL subscriber starts to look attractive. It's also a way to improve on existing pseudo-FTTH deliveries where the 'F' is really copper and the ASA lets ISPs get away with it. Where properties are dense enough, G.fast can aggregate subscriber connections back to a street cab & fibre conversion can happen there.

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

Jellied Eel

Too cheap to meter

Anyone remember that one? In telecomms, metering, billing and mucking out the suspense account is a painful and expensive exercise so reduced some costs by not bothering. So customers can just pay x a month and provider figures out if the mix of light vs heavy users means x is about right. No reason why energy companies couldn't do the same and offer S/M/L/Cannabis Farm bundles based on XXkWh/month. No need then to pish £12bn+ up the wall on 'smart meters'. After all, our brilliant energy policy from DECC means our energy is cheap & plentiful..

Oh, wait. It's not. Which is why Baroness Vermin talks about 'demand management' and reduction being the solution to our energy market. So the only smart thing about the meters is an ability to disconnect them when demand exceeds supply and customers have been foolish enough not to pay a premium for an uninterruptable supply contract.

If however the lil displays did something more useful than emulating a 1950's meter, and showed a rates feed from competing suppliers.. That may actually be a consumer benefit and could save consumers some money, but that's not the objective here.

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GOOAALLL! Back of the net! 'Millions of dollars' score .football gTLD

Jellied Eel

Re: .football

No, cue letter to NFL asking them for large amounts of money to buy the premium domain, nfl.football

Then followup letter from NFL's lawyers pointing out that if anyone but NFL tries using that domain, donuts would get deep-fried in court. And they'll offer $10/yr for nfl.football and sell miami and dolphins.nfl.football to the club owners for $$$$.

I'm unconvinced many of the new tld owners will ever make their money back given the typical user will just type 'miami dolphins' into their search box and not care about the tld. Or if brand owners will really bother registering their brands given they're protected anyway. Some will no doubt convince themselves, and the Internet has long shown there's money to be made by never underestimating the gullibility of it's users.

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Androids in celluloid – which machine deserves the ULTIMATE MOVIE ROBOT title?

Jellied Eel

No flesh shall be spared

M.A.R.K. 13 from Hardware. An oldy but a goodie. Bad robot, Angry Bob and Lemmy as your cab driver. What more could you want?

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BOFH: An UNHOLY MATCH forged amid the sweet smell of bullsh*t

Jellied Eel

Re: What's a female BOFH?

Bob, until they've survived their probationary period. Or in exceptional circumstances where your own survival is less certain, call them whatever they'd like.

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Antares apocalypse: Orbital points finger at turbopump FAIL

Jellied Eel

Re: Some perspective on this

"When you put these facts together with Orbital's lack of experience in rockets, you have to wonder why NASA awarded them a contract in the first place."

Anyone looked at Orbital's board/investor list? Otherwise elements of this quote spring to mind-

Rockhound: You know we're sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn't it?

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Pitchforks at dawn! UK gov's Verify ID service FAILS to verify ID

Jellied Eel

Re: Experian

You were lucky. They asked me to confirm the value of a loan I hadn't taken out. Some ranting and assistance from the DPR later, it turns out they'd confused me with someone else with the same name. And would I like to pay for one of their services so I could correct their records for them.

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'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster

Jellied Eel

Re: They call this progress?

It's one of those things where I'd love to hear the rationale for the design. Someone made a conscious effort to turn a supercomputer into furniture, as seen here-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray-1#mediaviewer/File:Cray-1-UIUC_CAC.jpg

which spawned lables saying 'Please do not sit on the supercomputer'. Back then, we had upholstery, now we have differentiation by way of designer rack doors. Plus there are still latency advantages from the old-school toroidal designs vs generic 19" rack layouts.

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Jellied Eel

They call this progress?

Cray-1 at least came with seating.

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Dyslexic, dyspraxic? No probs, says GCHQ

Jellied Eel

Re: well I blame the management.

Classic example from the wiki definition of dyspraxia-

"Many dyspraxics benefit from working in a structured environment, as repeating the same routine minimises difficulty with time-management and allows them to commit procedures to long-term memory."

Alternatively, a management that understands the issues could create an environment structured to maximise performance of the individual, and minimises the stress. Which is what GCHQ appear to be doing by recognising they can get exceptionally skilled individuals. They're not alone in doing this, but it does take a bit more effort from management to understand and support them.

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Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

Jellied Eel

Re: some South American country

"Then they ran the new cable sideways (east) to Whats-it-stan."

That sounds like a standard branching unit for a new customer. Ideally you want to get those on board when the system's being designed because post-installation it means getting cable ships, cutting the cable and more cost/risk.

There's some videos on YT and Hibernia Atlantic's website showing how the subsea cable stuff works. Some of it seems crude, ie cutting anchors but done by specialists on some very special ships.

There was a point where industry was complaining about the O&M (maintenance costs) on subsea capacity and trying to squeeze costs. So was challenging sometimes to explain those charges paid to keep the cable ships crewed and ready to deal with faults. Some were in danger of going bust, but the increase in offshore wind farms helped generate new business. But also means they may be busy on other jobs. If you're buying wet capacity, always use protection as finding and fixing faults is really possible inside a day.

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Jellied Eel

Relevant bit is called a branching unit, eg Huawei BU1650 which is basically a switch/splitter that works usually with an amp/repeater to split signals off to drop at a landing station. They can be attached to the cable offshore, otherwise the cables are built through the landing stations in sections with the PFE and SLTs (Submarine Laser Terminals) powering and lighting each section. Adding one could get tricky given the power and optical signals are closely watched and cuts detectable very quickly. Then fire a TDR test from landing stations both ends of the cable to measure how far along the cable the cut is and send the co-ordinates to a cable ship to start looking for the cut.

They use either an ROV to visually follow and inspect the cable so may send a picture back of something unexpected. Alternatively the cable ship hooks up the section where the damage is, or cuts either side and splices a new cable section in. If there's an unexpected cable hanging off it, that would easily be noticed. Old copper cables could allegedly be clamped and monitored with the clamps detaching if they were disturbed.

For fibre, the idea of a parasitic clamp that could monitor a fibre without cutting it is less plausible. You could possibly do it via microbends but they'd require exposing the fibre which is in the middle of the cable surrounded by the cladding, armor wire and chunky copper power core. Which on a long distance cable like a transatlantic or transpacific one would probably be running 30-50kV DC. Exposing that to sea water could allow rapid detachment via the resulting short and steam explosion.

If you're not running the tap cable back to your own landing station, you'd then have to manage the data. That's not hundreds of megabits, it's usually n x 10/40/100Gbps. So an off-shore data logger would need to be a combination of DWDM mux, DPI system and storage, which would need it's own power and communications. Perhaps this is where the Google barges ended up? ULF isn't exactly practical if you're trying to send data transmitted originally at Ghz via ULF at a a few hundred hertz, or a few bits per second. That could involve rather a lot of buffering.

But if all those challenges are overcome, then it would be possible. A while ago I did look into the practicality of creating an off-shore PoP with a mux and router. Operating Juniper or Cisco at those depths would be tricky, not to mention voiding their warranties. They don't include deep-sea divers in their SmartNet contracts either.

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TROUT and EELS in SINISTER PACT to RULE the oceans

Jellied Eel
Terminator

Re: Hope

Indeed. Nothing to see here, move along. Isn't that a new iShiney over there? If you're quick you can buy one. Meatbag,

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LOHAN gets laughing gear round promotional mug

Jellied Eel

Re: Mug??

Mine's the diet version. But looks like the glass issue is resolved. So that would be errm.. nearly 200ml of Whiskey :)

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Jellied Eel
Pint

Re: Mug??

Still fine for café irlandés and if using the official 2 parts whiskey to 4 parts coffee, ideal for getting a drunken buzz on..

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Jellied Eel

Re: Explosives factory

Stretch goal!

Best way to beat bureaucracy is enjoin it in shenanigans. Probably find you could get EU development grants to cover sheds and a few berms.

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

Jellied Eel

Re: Please

"I have no opinion on this person as regards his character, motives,"

Motives? He's got another book coming out soon so needs to get back in the news.

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