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* Posts by Brian O'Byrne

17 posts • joined 20 Feb 2009

'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet

Brian O'Byrne

Re: Of course, there's one important question...

This is an ESA mission, so NASA rules do not apply.

This link appears to be relevant in terms of the rights granted to the space images:

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/ESA_Multimedia/Copyright_Notice_Images

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Data entry REAR-END SNAFU: Weighty ballsup leads to plane take-off flap

Brian O'Byrne

There is one problem with that approach: the test is very late in the process.

Pilots and crews are busy enough in the final few minutes before takeoff. You are talking about adding another technical check at that busy time.

If there is a problem detected what should they do? You need more procedures and to determine how to correct the weight distribution and the co-operation of the passengers.

The existing procedures should work. They failed in this case because there was a problem at checkin: the children were checked in as adults. Adding another test at that time would be much more cost-effective than adding a test minutes before pushback.

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Google's NEST can't stand the heat, needs patch for use in kitchen

Brian O'Byrne

Re: WTF?

'Moderately useful'? Perhaps. But still a really bad idea.

These things will be connected through local Wi-Fi, which is often insecure in a domestic installation. You could disable these security systems by getting access to the local Wi-Fi link and spoofing a message from Chocolate Factory Central.

Having a physical security system that can be attacked over the internet is just a bad idea.

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HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, say many Americans

Brian O'Byrne

PCMCIA

Also wrongly decoded as the "Personal Computer Miniature Communications Interface Adapter".

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iPhones, tablets... Pah: By 2020, we'll froth over hot new SOFTWEAR

Brian O'Byrne

Re: How many shirts do you own?

You are only making my point for me.

I'm not going to wear an armband over a suit or wear a scarf or hat indoors. I don't look good in earrings and I dead the thought of all those people who now look at their handhelds all the time wearing dark glasses instead.

My computing requirements are completely independent of clothing requirements.

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Brian O'Byrne
FAIL

How many shirts do you own?

... and do you want to own that many wearable computers?

If this wearable technology really is built in to the sort of soft fabrics that people feel comfortable wearing for a day before washing them, then you will need a lot of wearable computers (or a daily cycle for washing your shirts).

And what about the fashion sense? People wear different types of clothes for different occasions. Are you going to have a few work/casual computers for the normal week, a few formal computers for meeting customers, some comfortable old t-shirt computers for the weekend and something hard-wearing for when you are out-and-about?

Sounds like a nightmare, and stupidly expensive.

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Online dole queue tech 'not grounded in reality', say councils

Brian O'Byrne

Public code for public money

So the councils are hiring private contractors to build these bespoke systems. Who owns the rights to the source code after the system is delivered?

Presumably the contract can / should be written such that the code is owned by the council paying the bills. In that case there is no reason the council cannot decide to share that code with anyone they like. That could include the other councils or the public at large.

I can see that people might be wary of allowing updates from just anywhere, not least because it would make maintenance more difficult. That problem can be overcome with a small expert team acting as the gatekeeper to new checkins, as in the 'benevolent dictatorship' model in some of the most popular open source projects.

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Rovio chucks up Angry Birds successor, hopes it will fly

Brian O'Byrne
Stop

Permissions

Can anyone explain why a paid game (not the ad-supported version) needs permissions to read the phone status and identity, get physical location information and access NFC features?

I can understand the first two of those being useful on the ad-supported version, but NFC?

Too many developers are extracting the urine when it comes to permissions requests on their apps, and far to many punters are blithely accepting them.

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Verisign admits 2010 hack attack, mum on what was nicked

Brian O'Byrne

Isn't this a sarbox violation?

If I remember the furore around Enron and the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation that was brought in afterwards, one of the key features was that the senior management was required to make sure they became aware of all risks to business continuity and the bottom line.

If the management was not aware they cannot hide behind that. They are still liable for criminal prosecution if the SEC takes the view that investors were not informed of the risk to the business in a timely manner.

Watch this space. If sarbox has teeth and the regulators are serious about keeping things under control then we can expect sanctions against the directors here.

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Underground tunnel complexes FOUND ON MOON

Brian O'Byrne
Boffin

Lunar habitat

One of the significant problems with a permanent lunar habitat is protection from solar radiation. Do the sub-selenian tunnels offer a ready-made solution?

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GCHQ: The uncensored story of Britain's most secret intelligence agency

Brian O'Byrne

Visit Bletchley

Any code buff should take the time to visit Bletchley Park at least once. Nice gardens, good country home, and more stories of the war, clever people and their inventions, and thousands of people working in amazing levels of secrecy than you can shake a very large stick at.

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Google's Wi-Fi sniff probe reveals 'criminal intent' - PI

Brian O'Byrne

Not listening, recording. Not Speakers Corner, home.

Consider a different analogy. Google is driving past your home with a parabolic microphone and recording your conversation. Is that a breach of privacy? After all, you are broadcasting your private conversation to everyone within listening distance. OK, maybe Google has especially good hearing with its parabolic mic, just like they have particularly good wifi reception with their channel-hopping, large antenna-d wifi radio.

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Stick a fork in floppies - they're done

Brian O'Byrne

All the same media

When we went shopping for floppies at the time we'd always buy the 1.44MB disks. They had to be reformatted for ADFS from DOS but with that detail done they worked just fine at a capacity of 1.6MB. The format was different but the physical media exactly the same.

Having said that we would go for the better quality floppies. The really cheap DOS disks did tend to die quite quickly.

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Brian O'Byrne
Happy

BBC & Acorn floppies

As I remember the BBC & Acorn machines formatted the '1.44MB' disks to 1.6MB under their ADFS. I think it was on the BBC Master Compact computer that my brother and I wrote drivers that used the trick of varying sector and track sizes to fit about 1.8MB on the same disk. How we wondered at the puny skills of Microsoft.

Halogen days indeed.

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Foreign Office changes tourist advice after Israeli inquiry

Brian O'Byrne
Boffin

What passwords have no biometric details?

I don't believe I have ever seen a passport without biometric security details. Doesn't every passport include a photograph? ... and confirmation of the sex of the passport holder?

These are details of the biology of the passport holder that can be measured, hence bio-metric.

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Want Gmail? Best have your mobile handy

Brian O'Byrne
Badgers

So how does this marry with data protection?

You know.. the law that says a company cannot hold data for longer than required to provide the service?

So I can just send Google a DPA notice to provide me with all the data they hold on me, plus the reason they hold it. They send back a list including by life history. I point to the mobile number and say: you don't need that, delete it.

If they fail to delete it, they get prosecuted for data protection violation.

And I know Google have offices here in Eire, so they have to respond to an Irish court.

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NASA 'scope captures ferocious gamma ray burst

Brian O'Byrne
Boffin

Batten down the hatches

18 billion light-years away, and stuff moving at no less than .999999c, so I guess that means we should start feeling the particle flux in about 18,000 years.

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