191 posts • joined Tuesday 3rd February 2009 13:30 GMT
Re: Booking hotels and hostels in China, Japan, S Korea. etc
Most countries in Europe have laws requiring hotels and hostels to record the identity of their guests, using either a passport or internationally recognised ID document. The UK, Germany, Spain & France are definitely included, it may even be an EU wide law in exchange for the opening of borders.
At no stage do they actually hold on to the document though, it is simply handed over to the clerk who confirms your identity and records the number and type of document, then hands it back with the room key.
As I understand it, the records can be accessed by police or border control services when required, usually for the purposes of tracing missing persons.
Sure beats the biometric registration that the US insists on for foreigners, with all 10 fingers and photograph.
I'm sure that will *never* end up misused ...
Re: Ah yes, Hunting for Slags...
Oh aye, oop north has always been famous for its ores.
Nowadays of course it's mostly slags you're finding.
Re: Have a gorilla...
No thanks ... I'm trying to give them up!
Re: It's whether the degree is *hard* or *soft*
The point of my post was to explain the difference in approach between the rigorous logical heavy rote learning approach of the traditional CS teacher when I was at uni, with the practical approach adopted by the cross-discipline lecturers. In their experience, if you took too long making your systems talk together, your samples had a tendency to go wrong or die and you would have to start from scratch again - biology can be like that. So they taught how to quickly get a solid understanding of what one side emits and the other side expects, and the best way to interface between them. CS on the other hand taught a specific range of historical protocols as if they were handed down on the mount, and expected you to adapt your experiments to work around them. The rapidity in which almost all of them were replaced in the following years has answered that debate.
And what I found in my career is that their experiences are far more relevant when it comes to troubleshooting and implementation. For Development? Not so much, mostly because as a developer you generally have the time to do it right. When you put something live, or if the main app breaks, that free time goes out the window, and the focus is on effectively making it work.
That being said, there are three very different disciplines being discussed here - design, adaptation & development and implementation. A really good designer will almost always benefit from cross-discipline work - good design needs experience and the broader the background, the more likely the exposure to a similar problem in a different setting.
Adapting that design into a good bit of development is a different skillset, one which needs a detailed knowledge of platform and program. Here your CS rigor is probably more useful, as is knowing when *not* to reinvent the wheel.
Implementing though ... in every company I have worked with, there have only been a handful of really good implementation guys, because its a bloody hard job. They have to know their system well, and they have to know the quick and dirty workarounds for bending it to fit the environment. They also have to know when to kick the problem back upstairs for more work, which is a tricky balance to achieve.
And quite frankly, in my years I've only once had to remember any specifics of multiplexing as opposed to generalities - its something handled either by the dedicated networks team on big scales, or by the nice black box attached to the wall on small scales. But you're right - I hated most of the network papers. Which makes it all the more interesting that I got a heck of a lot out of the advanced one. Which was down to the lecturers. Which was my original point.
Re: It's whether the degree is *hard* or *soft*
My best set of lecturers when I did my Comp Sci degree had no formal training in IT at all - two were masters in botany and one was a biologist. They taught an advanced networking course.
What made them exceptional was the real world training they had in connecting disparate systems, and making them talk to each other. Which meant they were really good at explaining what you needed to do and why to adapt a protocol in a language that all of us could follow. Unlike all the formally trained lecturers who went into the minutiae of particular protocols, out of which the only thing I can recall from a year long paper is a Romanian accent saying 'Multiplexing!'.
Re: You'd be surprised
To be fair to the KGB, I suspect that the west did regularly plan unprovoked first strike tactics during the cold war.
And then filed them under the *completely insane* category, and put them to one side.
I mean, I would expect the US military to have plans to invade most of the countries of the world filed away somewhere. They are a military after all - it is their job to plan for this stuff, along with modern civil war scenarios, and what to do when Canada finally has enough and invades again.
If the President turns around and says "We need to invade Afghanistan", you need to be able to quickly say "sure, here's what needs to be done and who we need to talk to" while frantically cleaning off the dust.
The problem of course comes in when the policy making types start thinking that the existence of these plans mean that such a decision is likely to be successful, or if the plans are removed from context and handed to the Great Leader with a note saying "see what
wikileaks our great spies found ... we must strike first!"
Re: Why no mention of Sergei Korolev?
Knew I'd find a copy of it somewhere
Re: Why no mention of Sergei Korolev?
There was a fantastic Equinox documentary called "Russian Rockets, the Engines that came in from the Cold" back in 2001 on the NK-33 engine, which up until the fall of the Soviet Union was unknown in the west. And then the impoverished rocket scientists came knocking on various doors in the west to try and sell their engine, which was promising a seemingly impossible thrust-to-weight ratio of almost double anything the west could produce.
The best part of the documentary is the expressions of astonishment on the face of the western engineers when they saw one demonstrated, and the absolute disbelief when the scientists said they had over a hundred of them in a warehouse back home. It turned out that while the rocket the engine was originally for was cancelled by the Kremlin, and the program was supposedly shut down, Korolev and his team just carried on refining the techniques and produced what turns out to be the finest LOX/Kerosene engine ever made.
Re: With a little help from my freinds
Ahh, but Mr President, our Germans are better than their Germans
Re: I'm Aways Surprised...
But no doubt he ticked Yes, so he couldn't be deported for lying on his visa application.
Seriously, that part of the form is nothing to do with detecting unwanted people
(Oh ze clever Americanz ... ze complicated security qvestion getz me every time!)
and everything to do with providing a simple way of deporting people without having to go through the potential hassle of the courts. Proven to have lied on the form? Bang, entry visa revoked, you're on a plane.
An excerpt for those unfamiliar with John Clarke's turn of phrase ... I give you Chlorine trifluoride
It is, of course, extremely toxic, but that's the least of the problem. It is hypergolic with every known fuel, and so rapidly hypergolic that no ignition delay has ever been measured. It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water — with which it reacts explosively. It can be kept in some of the ordinary structural metals — steel, copper, aluminum, etc. — because of the formation of a thin film of insoluble metal fluoride which protects the bulk of the metal, just as the invisible coat of oxide on aluminum keeps it from burning up in the atmosphere. If, however, this coat is melted or scrubbed off, and has no chance to reform, the operator is confronted with the problem of coping with a metal-fluorine fire. For dealing with this situation, I have always recommended a good pair of running shoes.
Superfast Virgin fiber
Allegedly 100Mbit. On a Wednesday morning, sure, I get around 55-60Mbit.
11pm on a Sunday night? Consistently more like 5Mbit. And don't get me started on what happens if it rains, when the latency shoots up through the roof. Best speed measured during peak hours is 22MBit, worst just over 2Mbit. Methinks there might be some severe contention going on somewhere.
And that is in West Hampstead, a fairly affluent part of London.
Re: Cable location
That particular cable goes Alex > Cairo > Suez, presumably to avoid being run through the unstable parts of the Nile delta as much as possible, and to avoid the high traffic area near Port Fuad. The area just north of Alex is pretty quiet in terms of commercial shipping, as opposed to the other side of the delta which hosts the Suez Canal.
Re: "does my 2 yo really need to see my one shot sniper kill?"
Preschooler, not quite, but I recall a previous employer showing me a phone video of his 5yr old kicking ass and taking names in CS Source.
And trash talking. That was the hilarious bit, where he ran up and knifed someone sniping on the grounds that they were "dirty campers".
Re: Is the author a gas trader?
Agreed. I also liked the implication that the tanker arriving was some form of urgent relief, and not as in reality a regularly scheduled service planned (and paid for) several months ago.
Large LNG Tankers aren't exactly something for which you can phone up Crazy Ahmed's Gas Emporium down in Qatar and ask for another shipment for delivery on Friday.
Re: Why not tether to the truck?
Because the balloon is providing the affected area with a cell site, while the base station truck is connected to surviving infrastructure and can talk to multiple balloon sites. These two locations are able to be up to 5km apart, and the microwave system means not having to run 5km of ethernet cable over badly disrupted ground. The power to the balloon comes from a small generator or battery bank which the balloon tether plugs into.
Seriously, did you consider actually reading the article?
May have required the next version of the game
But I still remember the astonishment when this little feat came out for SimCity 3000.
Especially the horrific underlying nature of life in such a city.
Re: Time for the military to stop using Windows.
> apt-get install Nuclear_Launch_Codes
>sudo apt-get install Nuclear_Launch_Codes
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
B17 B29 B36 B52 B70 FB111 B1B
Couldn't find package Nuclear_Launch_Codes
google : Nuclear Launch Repository Location
Re: Indeed, it's a great idea
Well to be fair it is increasingly common for large industrial projects (and datacentres are just one of them) to replace explicit outdoor radiation with a more indirect route, generally involving free heating of the swimming facility next door. If they need greater radiation, they make it an outdoor pool.
Likewise there are many places that dump waste heat into centrally heating adjacent buildings - one small datacentre I know of heats the school next door.
You often may not be able to divert more than 2/3 of the energy this way, but it tends to be a mutually beneficial system - one side gets cheap heating, the other a tax writeoff.
Re: previous ice age?
We are currently in an interglacial period of the *current* ice age, i.e. an age during which part of the planet is covered in ice. When the planet emerges from it, there will be no permanent polar icecaps and sea levels will be many tens of metres higher than they are currently. Since we are adapted to the current climate and sea levels, in terms of agriculture and settlement patterns, this will mean considerable disruption for any Earth-based human civilizations which might have made it that far.
Erm, interglacial means the period between two glacial events. When it is warmer. Inter meaning between, Glacial meaning ... cold. So when we emerge from the interglacial period, we will by definition be in a *glacial* period. Which is highly unlikely to involve higher sea levels and a lack of permanent ice caps.
You are dead right on the whole disruption to civilization though, as the equatorial regions will get hotter, the poles colder, and the temperate belts will narrow reducing the amount of prime arable land.
Re: Geothermal for cooling?
Well, the Pawsey setup is in Bentley, which is a good 15km from the coast and up what passes locally for a hill. Not exactly a cheap location to pipe salt water back and forth to, especially when you have an aquifer 100m away.
Perth also has the advantage that it is convenient to the main Telstra PITC site up at Lansdale, so they have decent cable & satellite links. Manapouri may have power, but the South Island of NZ is rather a backwater in terms of comms links. Also, the output from Manapouri is dedicated to the aluminium smelter in Bluff, and I think you'd find getting more hydro generation approved would be ... challenging.
The problem with Heuristics analysis
is that if you get it really right ... you don't get to sell regular updates to the software.
I know of several different AV providers who went out of business for that reason back in the day. The technology was quietly bought up by Symantec and allegedly merged in with Nortons.
To be fair, the change to 64bit windows would have killed their product anyway without some significant rewrites, but it worked brilliantly for 7-8 years without an update.
Re: "impartial and accurate information to audiences around the world"
BBC, CNN have been eliminated from 'free view' on cable although Deutsch Wella, Australian Broadcasting and a French news channel continue. I guess they are 'politically reliable'.
Well, I don't know about "Politically Reliable", but certainly Deutsche Welle provided a much better news service than the BBC or CNN when I regularly followed it back in NZ. Since moving to the UK I tend to use Al-Jazeera a lot more as well - it may have an obvious pro-Qatar slant, but it tends to be pretty unbiased about everything else. The BBC world service used to be much better than the UK BBC but since they merged the news desks it tends to be a bit more lightweight on world affairs.
Hmm, in fact I'd have thought that CNN at least would be the very definition of "Politically Reliable", assuming your politics are those of the US government.
Re: Well isn't that a surprise?
At least I know it won't be a problem on this side of the ditch - going by temperatures in my last few flats there's seldom any insulation present!
Although yes, the concrete and multilayered brick construction is a bit of a pain.
Re: @dgharmon - IBM's arrogance was that they could make standards ..
It is also fairly common to have a lower quality product when the production lines are getting up to speed, especially for things like graphics cards.
The ones that pass QA get sold as the top end product. The ones that fail QA - but still work - get sold as the varying grades of cheaper product.
The ones that fail QA and don't work get sold for OEM built in cards :p
Re: @peladon - that's not the point.
The perception that manufacture and distribution is a significant fraction of the cost of a standard published book ( which has been repeatedly disproved) is one issue.
The front loading of book creation costs is the far bigger one, and one which few have a good answer for.
How do you ensure an author or "content creator" is paid enough up front to be able to take the time to write the book, while redistributing the costs over the whole lifecycle of the book.
And how do you do that, when (as has been conclusively proven) the current market for media is heavily weighted to new and shiny. In other words, for most products the vast percentage of sales happen in the first few weeks or months the product is out. Once that finishes, there will continue to be sales but the Long Tail is not going to keep a midlist author fed in a hurry, let alone the minnows. It might barely even recoup the advance after several years, and I doubt the beancounters or short term interest laden shareholders will be happy having that kind of debt on the books.
I really feel for the book publishers here - they've really done their best to avoid falling into the traps of the music and film industries by making enemies of their customers. And instead they've been strung up by their suppliers. Amazon selling cheap books is not your friend. It is exactly the same as Tesco and the local suppliers. They are the dominant player in the market, so they can dictate supplier prices, not the seller.
And it is trivially easy for them to extort a very low supply price, and sell at a good profit, while offloading blame for any quality or marketing issues back to the suppliers.
To be fair, I haven't seen a horse write a book yet, but going by the slushpiles I've seen, they may not be as bad as some humans.
Obtain large mug (chip not required).
One teabag. Gumboot brand.
Couple of tablespoons sugar.
Fill with water to near top.
Generous dollop of real whole milk, none of this skim rubbish.
Leave to cool a while.
Re: I thought 2012
It was. Turns out 2013 is the year of the Countersuit, soon to be followed by the years of the Appeal.
The process is unlikely to finish until Judgement day.
Re: What's the point of either standard, given ubiquitous WLAN?
Simple. Concrete walls & floors.
I have tried all kinds of wireless and wired connections in a range of flats in the UK. Most fall foul of the fundamental issue that they tend to be long & thin layouts, with thick concrete or brick walls between rooms which severely affect wireless signals. And often it is exceptionally difficult to run a wired cable between rooms - the landlords tend to get grumpy about concrete saws or drilling, and one even refused to allow cables tacked around the door frames.
Compared with back home where we build in timber, and running cables is trivial, I can completely understand the desire for PLT. Ring mains on the other hand still depress me - half the wiring in this country is practically stone age.
It is also a particular problem for properties looked after by bodies like English Heritage or the National Trust, who are explicitly forbidden from modifying the buildings if they can help it. Assuming the building has an electrical system in the first place, PLT technology has been extremely useful to them.
Re: A lot of talent there...
You might very well think that ... I couldn't possibly comment!
Re: Businesses have to prove their identity to customers too
I get a recurring issue with this if my credit card bill isn't paid for a month.
Lloyds has a collections service based out of a call center in India. They phone you up on the number you have registered with your account, and advise there is a serious problem with your account.
They then ask you to confirm your name, address & DOB before they tell you what kind of problem you have.
I said no ... you called me. What kind of problem is it, and I'll consider answering your questions. "we can't tell you until you confirm your identity". You just specifically asked for me on my own number!
I first asked how I knew they were from the bank. They said because that's who they worked for. I asked them to prove it. I asked for a number to call them back via and they don't have one (being overseas based). They couldn't tell me any of my account details due to "UK privacy laws" and advised me to urgently contact a branch.
The branch looked confused, and said nothing was wrong with my account and to play along next time to see what happens.
Next time round I found a slightly less inept person and went back and forth trading details so I knew they at least had access to my account. Turns out my credit card was overdue by £1.68.
Reasons to love UK customer service #31434 /sigh.
On the other hand the Lloyds Credit Card Fraud guys are fantastic. They have numbers you can verify and call them back on, they will happily provide details from your recent transactions to prove who they are, and they are very very good at picking up on abnormal transactions. They also have an extremely short call queue, which speaks well for their ability to deal with problems fast.
Re: @Tom 7 - I'm not sure which London you think you've been visiting
I've noticed a lot more black dirt in my comb since winter came on and the humidity stopped keeping the dust down. There's a lot more particulates out there than just what comes out of cars.
>Um... I left and went elsewhere. It's not so hard.
Well, it will be interesting to see what happens to the brits scattered through the EU if Cameron goes ahead with playing silly buggers with Brussels and repatriates some of his immigration rules.
Would be amusing if all those retirees on the Costa del Sol suddenly got deported back home with a requirement to apply for visas etc again?
Re: You honestly think
>I'd be very impressed if an individual rifleman could tag a target at 800m with an iron sighted M-16! I think the M-4 is rated at 400m or less, isn't it? Certainly I've never known Americans to train at 500m+ with them. The L85A1 used to be rated to 400m (w/ SUSAT) for individual fire
Yep, the ranges I quoted were max ranges, from memory the M-16A2 with decent sights is really only effective out to 500-600m, while the M4 (which is just the carbine version under a new name) tends to top out at 2/3 that so around 350-450m.
The updated L85A2 from memory is one of the longest effective ranged assault rifles, along with the german G-36 - most of the other major assault rifles like the FA-MAS or Steyr Aug are 300-400m tops.
You're dead right that the changes in conflicts have moved to a requirement of putting lotsa lead in the right direction, ironic that the low impact guerrilla style wars everyone is getting involved in now have one side using a lot of hunting weapons, which tend to have a significant range improvement, if at the cost of ROF.
Says it all really that someone else mentioned using Javelins as a fall back long range weapon, at £60k a pop.
That, and I like Vic's idea of throwing the Desert Eagle, though I suspect it makes for a better club at close range.
Re: You honestly think
Yep, the range issue turned out to be quite a problem for the yanks in Afghanistan as the shiny M4 replacement for the venerable M16s also dropped max range from 800m to 600m. Unfortunately the rifle fire coming in from the other side tended to outrange it significantly.
On the other hand, the various AK designs tend to be accurate out to only 350-400m so the M4 is pretty good in its weight class.
Still better than a pistol, expensive toy or not - your Desert Eagle has an effective range of around 50m
Certainly noticed problems in London
But it only affected 3G & GPRS traffic - wifi traffic worked fine.
Re: Virgin media FTW
Yes, they very much do cap/shape traffic.
And since they so kindly doubled everyone's data, they now shape all connections, instead of leaving the premium ones alone.
So now my flat went from a reliable 45-48Mb to a significantly variable 3-88Mb generally sitting around the 15Mb point. On an allegedly 100Mb link. Frankly, we did better at 50, and if there was anyone better I'd change.
Not only is it an innate avoidance response but I expect it also acts as a training mechanism over time for identifying what is happening around them - adult sharks (along with many other predatory fish) use electroreception heavily to locate and capture prey once they have been drawn to the right general area.
Re: That's 100A per phase...
And after a sparky got impatient and yanked the leftover cable through the distribution box, my previous company learned that (1) you get one hell of a bang when you cross the phases on a 200amp supply and (2) it turns out that mid-70s vintage 200amp ceramic fuses are extremely hard to get hold of now in the UK - our maintenence guy was scouring second hand electrical suppliers for some time.
They do however generally power an office building fairly well, until the fuse goes.
Re: Researchers, what would you do without them?
That's pure awesome right there. Sure, easy enough to live in a cold desert like Antarctica, but colour me impressed at the temperature regulation ability to cope with cold swimming environments and a hot living space.
Maybe Madagascar isn't so far fetched after all. Keep these guys away from engineering manuals!
(Cue reference to the Japanese one that scaled a 13ft wall to go swimming in Tokyo Bay)
Re: Human after all!
Well briefly, Minister, I am the Permanent Under Secretary of State, known as the Permanent Secretary. Woolley here is your Principal Private Secretary. I too have a Principal Private Secretary and he is the Principal Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary. Directly responsible to me are ten Deputy Secretaries, 87 Under Secretaries and 219 Assistant Secretaries. Directly responsible to the Principal Private Secretaries are plain Private Secretaries, and the Prime Minister will be appointing two Parliamentary Under-Secretaries and you will be appointing your own Parliamentary Private Secretary.
Hacker: Can they all type?
Sir Humphrey: None of us can type. Mrs Mackay types: she's the secretary.
Re: Targeting Vodafone?
The reason why this shouldn't be quietly forgotten is because the heart of the Vodafone dispute was that Vodafone should be facing investigation to determine whether its Luxembourg subsidiary in the Mannesmann takeover involved “wholly artificial arrangements intended to escape the national tax normally payable”.
Vodafone had argued your exact point above in their appeal to the Supreme Court and had it rejected.
This meant that the case was due to be ruled upon by the House of Lords to formally lay down the law one way or another for businesses in the UK. And the sudden and surprising settlement by Dave Hartnett in HMRC meant this didn't happen.
This combines with the fact that George Osbourne was promoting Vodafone as a UK business in India within days of the settlement, an unusually close coincidence, as was the fact that Andy Halford, Vodafone's CFO had been an advisor to the government. And the person who HMRC agreed the deal with was a former HMRC official who had worked closely with Dave Hartnett.
You are correct - companies do not pay tax as such. They do however collect various taxes on behalf of the relevant authorities, and are expected to remit them in a timely manner.
Re: Which qualifications are worthwhile?
Agreed, the only actual qualification required by most people I spoke with in London over the last couple of years was ITIL. ITIL Foundation V3 is basically a formal qualification that you have some basic common sense. Lots of places claim to want it, almost noone actually uses it, but the principles are easily transferable so it is (barely) worth the 3 day course.
Most Microsoft certs and Cisco certs are worthless to you at this stage - its a lot of money for something that is being done by commodity labour from India. MCP and A+ are basic "I know how to turn it on and what the bits in a box are" qualifications.
You're looking at entry level roles, so combine ITIL with your existing degree and talk to companies directly.
Helpdesk and IT support generally is a soul crushing repetitive job that provides a decent amount of satisfaction to a certain kind of person. If that isn't you, look at other options. I'd follow the advice of the guys below and look at IT roles related to the medical market. Testing for example - good testers are always in demand. Or look at Analyst work - a business analyst runs interference between customer and company, a technical analyst between developer and company. Both are required to interpret a customers needs into what a supplier will produce, and you can probably transfer a lot of your accumulated medical knowledge into such a role.
Given HMRC already let them off a £6bn tax bill for using tax havens in return for a one off payment of £800k, I'm not terribly confident in our lords and masters managing to squeeze any more money out of anyone ...
Re: Not sure I understand this...
Yep, and if you try and bodge something up with one of the overseas models that supports more than one network, you'll have the cell providers AND Ofcom come down on you like a ton of bricks for running an unlicenced radio device. Or so a customer at a previous role found.
Turns out that Windsor is more of a mobile blackspot than the highlands. I guess the locals don't like seeing transmitters anywhere.
Femtocells are one network, with pre-registered phones only. No walk in connections, no roaming. And as stated above, veeery picky about their internet connection. Be wary.
Re: Airships vs Helicopters
Yep, the CH53 needs 44 hours of maintenance per hour of flying time, while Ospreys and Chinooks are around 10:1.
If an airship can get down to half that, and they scale up to carry a decent payload, then there is a definite market.
The other thing is I can see them being incredibly useful for is disaster relief. Flooding, tsunami wreckage, anything large scale and requiring rough field capability. Especially since a lot of disaster relief gear is bulky but relatively lightweight - foodstuffs, shelters etc. Water, not so much, but win some lose some.
Also, things like mobile medical facilities - a decent surgical suite is relatively light, and if backed up by helicopters for medivac to offfshore units for severe cases - drop the airship down into a clearing, anchor it in place, and easy to move on once the need is finished.
I think the military transport role is pretty much a white elephant, but things like long term surveillance, maritime patrol or S&R are all viable use cases if they can solve the payload issue, as they play to an airships strengths.
Re: Old idea?
Gadzooks Batman, they've reprinted the whole collection!
To the Amazonmobile!
Clearly he uses an Ion engine!
Iron man calling his attacks
Actually in the earlier movies and previous versions of the suit Stark does indeed have to state what he wants the suit to do. "Flares" "transfer all power to chest" etc.
I suspect the repulsor blasts are controlled by those things called "triggers" which we've known about for some time now. Put the hands in a certain position and flex a finger and boom.
However going by the footage from Iron Man 3, he's now onto version 6 or so of the suit. That means he's had plenty of time to refine the AI and biomechanical interfaces to be more efficient and intuitive for him to use. Unlikely to be easily used by someone else, but that's half the point.
Sure, the Arc Reactor is still a magic power supply in a box, but we've seen plenty of those in SF.
I think that is part of the reason Iron Man has always been relatively popular along with Batman - Superman, the Hulk, Thor, they are all blessed with varying levels of Magic Powers, while at the end of the day Batman & Iron Man are just rich intelligent people with good R&D and an exercise program.
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