* Posts by John Smith 19

10828 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

UK.gov state of the nation report: Infosec's very important, mmmkay

John Smith 19
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Gimp

"The UK government wants to promote cyber security education"

How about starting with the fact the HMG is spying on your behaviour 24/7/365 and will retain that information indefinitely because they can.

Don't type anything that's going over the internet that you wouldn't mind at least a dozen complete strangers reading, again not because you're important or famous, but because there's nothing stopping them if they decide to do so.

That should be a good starting point.

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Solar-powered LoRa IoT node: Nice idea but it won't replace batteries

John Smith 19
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The only way to get those kind of lifetimes is to eliminate the battery.

Sorry but that's the bottom line.

Your widget (LoRA Low power Radio Association?) runs in sunlight and does an orderly power down when illumination levels fall down.

Batteries are a real weakness for this stuff, like wireless alarm nodes that have to keep sending out "I'm allright messages" that burn through batteries.

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Remember that amazing video of the whale leaping out the gym floor and splashing down? Yeah, it was BS

John Smith 19
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Excellent round up on how to calibrate peoples personal BS meter

And this company should have most peoples red lining.

So basically they can do it if you have a whole server farm at your disposal and are ready to wear a helmet that's heavier than the clunker F35 pilots are expected to wear.

Sounds like they are going to need a shedload of either GPU porting or crafting their own custom ASICs to get the design down that far.and/or slashing the resolution and frame rate of course.

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AI brains take a step closer to understanding speech just like humans

John Smith 19
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Go

Good to know neural nets finally getting some love

But this has got a long way to go.

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Say bye-bye to net neutrality next year, gloats FCC commish Pai

John Smith 19
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I've watched Kill Bill, and that doesn't look like Pai Mei.

True.

You can't see him being content with a few fish heads. Not even the fresh ones.

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John Smith 19
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"So modest... Tony Blair..gets that sort of money for a single after-dinner speech...

True, but Blair is a "Statesman"

You have the small profile, you get the small cheque.

You have the big profile, you get the big cheque.

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John Smith 19
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Although the hours are longer, truck drivers and miners make that much.

No I meant $100k just for the 1/2 day a week.

Corporate part time work.

The people you cited do real work.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

A small side question.

In the UK at least one village basically set up its own ISP to get an FO cable in for broadband.

It's not a council thing, it's a residents thing. Basically a private company.

Now I'm not really sure if locals in a town in the US could not set up something similar.

And as a local small business would they be eligible for a council grant to encourage small businesses to set up in their town?

Tough to do. Needs good people working together and determination but otherwise you pay the big telco prices for your access.

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John Smith 19
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" "give him a chance" to change to "Give him the F***ing Boot" "

Interesting factoid about US presidents.

Of those who were assassinated only Kennedy was a Democrat.

The rest were Republicans.

Something the D should keep in mind.

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John Smith 19
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"Just whose side is this guy on?"

His own, obviously.

He's looking for a nice job as a lobbyist or non exec director for some media companies when he retires.

You know, something in the $100k a year for half a days "work" a week.

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90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

John Smith 19
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Mushroom

"There will be a lot of embedded systems with XP front-ends that just can't be upgraded "

The joker in this pack is the patient information systems.

What do they run on?

And if it's XP only (in Administrator logon only of course) WTF are they still being used?

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Stealing, scamming, bluffing: El Reg rides along with pen-testing 'red team hackers'

John Smith 19
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Re: Sounds like a story...Straight from a James Bond movie...

Actually it sounds like the film "Sneakers" made in 1992.

The comms have changed a bit. RFID rather than mag tape badges but...

It seems companies pay as little attention to security and privacy as people on Facebook.

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NASA spunks $127m on SSL-powered robot to refuel satellites in space

John Smith 19
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Go

"should be capable of refueling satellites that haven't been designed for the job."

That makes absolutely no sense.

The only way they can make this work depends on what the current SOP for fueling satellites is. Most of them will be with the toxic NTO//UDMH combo, the others with Xenon for an ion thruster..it the tanks are loaded with self sealing 2 part connectors on the skin of the satellite then it can move into position and dock with the bird. But otherwise this is something that's got to designed in from the start, so you need to get someone to do this.

Running out of station keeping propellant is the cause of comm sats ending life so it's potentially got a lot of market.

Definitely worth a shot.

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Software can be more secure, says NIST, and we think we know how

John Smith 19
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Anyone recall that security bug in an 20 YO image processing library?

Want to bet that was the first time it was found?

I doubt it.

Yes libraries allow you to leverage previous developers work and (depending on how good the fit) give massive gains in productivity.

But designing a good library (sensible named functions. one name doing one job so you can decide what to string together) is damm tricky. OTOH writing crypto is damm tricky too.

The trouble of course is that the ways that work (detailed software structure planning, code walkthroughs, scanning code for further examples of the same code failing) are time consuming and expensive. PHB's would rather "invest" the money in more new shiny features. Bugs? Who cares as long it's keeping place with competitor X.

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In the three years since IETF said pervasive monitoring is an attack, what's changed?

John Smith 19
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Gimp

End to end is the way to go.

The days when the "end" was a dumb terminal incapable of running anything are long past.

Let's be clear. the data fetishists (both government and commercial) have had this coming for a long term.

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Team Trump snubs Big Internet oligarchs

John Smith 19
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" Trump values loyalty above all."

Indeed.

"Mine honour is loyalty" as a souvenir of his forefathers puts it.

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John Smith 19
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No doubt the composition tells people a lot about The D's future plans

But I don't know enough about US business to say what that is.*

*Although I'm betting it'll be another bailout for the Detroit car makers. Ironic as in Europe Ford's rep for car reliability has been rising. Not bad cars as long as they aren't actually designed for the US market, or possibly designed by USians.

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Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

John Smith 19
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Happy

"He obviously does, not a drop in Israel."

Welllllll.

The oil industry has spent a shedload of cash over the years collecting seismic data (roughly 13bits resolution for the IT angle) and every so often a new version of the visualization software comes out with some new algorithms to squeeze just that little extra smidgen of resolution out of the tapes.

For real S&G one day very narrow fingers of the oil bearing strata under the rest of the Middle East are found projecting under Israel, who sets up drilling rigs and then applies to join OPEC

With, as they say, "Hilarious consequences."

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John Smith 19
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"but nothing and nobody else is real. There is no way to prove conclusively otherwise"

True.

A notion first put forward by Bishop Berkley in the 1700's.

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John Smith 19
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Trollface

"They'll just pass this off as anti-Trump Fake news"

Think of it as written shorthand for "Swivel Eyed Loon."

Which is what most rational people think most creationalists are.

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The UK's Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court

John Smith 19
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Gimp

How many clauses did this law have?

Once you see a "wall of words" you should smell a very big rat.

But the articles got the motivation of data fetishists nailed.

"Because they can."

The only motivation such people have ever needed.

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Virgin Galactic and Boom unveil Concorde 2.0 tester to restart supersonic travel

John Smith 19
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Happy

"Are the people who can afford this going to be based in London?"

Sure there are many successful Russian gangsters business men based in London who would love to fly to the States for a day or two.

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John Smith 19
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Mushroom

"starting to look like the Fireflash from Thunderbirds."

You are aware that Fireflash's key claim to fame is it's meant to be the worlds first commercial nuclear powered airliner, right?

There's a reason the engine section detaches.

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John Smith 19
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"number of planes you'd need.." "..so small you'd never get the development costs "

Yeah, that's the joker. Selling enough to cover the costs and make profit.

Although with the huge growth in the pacific rim and China there may be more of those well heeled types around than you realize. .

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John Smith 19
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" A computer capable of deriving the correct settings.." "..much variable data in realtime "

Great story.

Not true.

In fact each of the engines had 13 "computers" or controllers to do the analysis, covering inlets, outlets, after burners etc.

This is the 60's. "Computer" does not have to be digital. AFAIK most of them were analogue. Operational amplifiers and sets of resistors.

But calibrating them....

However you're right the design pushed the SOA a long way. Duncan Sandys had done a first class job of kneecapping the UK military aircraft industry in 1957 so they had limited experience of >M1 flight. It was said at the time Concorde was as challenging to Britain and France as Apollo was to the US, but in reality it was more like the Shuttle.

BTW the French wanted it to be even smaller and shorter range. It took IIRC 2 re-designs before the French grudgingly accepted it had to be at least 100 passengers. Ideally it should have been able to fly from Frankfurt, the other big European transport hub for the US (and that would have given the Schipol as well).

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John Smith 19
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"he SR-71 and it's predecessor the A12 leaked fuel on purpose."

Something I found out only recently, so did Concorde.

Apparently the air frame grew so much in flight their was a pronounced gap between the back wall of the Flight Engineer's console and the rear cockpit bulkhead which you could put your fingers into.

Closed up by the time it came to a halt.

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John Smith 19
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Boffin

" what makes this new supersonic aircraft interesting - it is claimed to be non-afterburning"

Not really.

Concorde's mfg were well aware they were the only civil aircraft with reheat and had they got to a 17th Concorde one of the upgrades was deleting it, due to design improvements they'd identified from flight data.

People also forget Concorde did not fly in 'burner above about M1.2, IE it was just used to punch through the sound barrier. It was "super cruise" before most people ever used the term..

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Beardy Branson's space bird spreads its wings

John Smith 19
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Go

if they had the results since July 2015 they should be getting on with this.

That said I thought they also scrapped the original "laughing gas and tire rubber" hybrid engine due to excess vibrations.

That seemed a key part of the design so replacing it was not going to be trivial.

BTW 15Km lets you put a much bigger nozzle on a rocket engine without fear of flow separation, which can put a few handy secs on the Isp (somewhere between 5 and 20 roughly).

Let's hope the now return to a more steady pace and get to paying passenger time.

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In EU, Veritas: Post-Symantec firm flogs data protection 'safety' to biz

John Smith 19
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Didn't Symantec shell out even omore on Veritas than HP on Autonomy?

Surprising they let it go.

But kind of glad they are out on their own again.

From what' I've seen it's not the capacity of a cloud that's the problem. It's the bandwidth in the pipes, and the bandwidth the cloud supplier will charge you for that makes it tough.

Let's see what happens.

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BAE Systems' autonomous research aircraft flies itself to Scotland

John Smith 19
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IT Angle

Indeed "Autoland" dates from 1968 IIRC?

Due to the strict reliability requirement (1 failure in 1 billion hrs of operation, although I'd guess the landing portion of a flight takes no more than about 10 mins) no actual processor in site. Not even sure if it was all analouge.

Of course that was before WAIS and differential GPS put accuracy in the cm range.

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Local TV presenter shouted 'f*cking hell' to open news bulletin

John Smith 19
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This being Newcastle my first thought was obviously

"Was his name Roger" ?

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What's in Hammond's box? Autumn fallout for Britain's tech SMBs

John Smith 19
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Let's see how much of that money actually goes to SMB's

My guess, not much.

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'Toyota dealer stole my wife's saucy snaps from phone, emailed them to a swingers website'

John Smith 19
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"Oh... and damn... lucky pastor."

He's doing the Lord's work.

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John Smith 19
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Just sayin' ...Cirdan...

You mean you heard it through the Grapevine?

Sorry, just couldn't resist.

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VCs to Trump: You know what would really make America great? Tax breaks for VCs

John Smith 19
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Is anyone thinking "Corporate welfare" ?

Or is that just me?

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Russia accuses hostile foreign powers of plot to undermine its banks

John Smith 19
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What's the key weakeness of Russian banks?

Most of their money comes from gangsters?

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Exclusive: Team Trump's net neutrality guru talks to El Reg

John Smith 19
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Evidence based policy making

Sounds like a good idea.

Till of course the evidence does not say what the people who hired them wants it to.

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Still too much discretion when it comes to that 'terrorism' stuff, repeats David Anderson QC

John Smith 19
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Gimp

"seen by UK courts as overkill, especially where public security is an issue"

Which suggest UK Judges need to understand just how much information is being continually trawled up with no actual sense of due process.

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Soon only Ticketmaster will rip you off: Concert scalper bots face US ban

John Smith 19
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WTF?

"unfair or deceptive act or practice,"

And yet man-in-the-middle "high frequency trading" will still be legal.

What's the difference?

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Imagine every mistake you can make with a new software rollout...

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

"Dated case studies from the 80s and early 90s but still absolutely relevant. "

And yet despite the catalogue of fu**ups to study people keep managing to do it.

Or as the introduction to Peopleware put it

"Somewhere today someone is writing a Purchase Ledger system from scratch, and failing."

Of course 35 years later that statement cannot possibly still be true, can it?

Can it?

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John Smith 19
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"The US is only a week extradition treaty away.."

Au contraire, with a good legal team it can be a decade away.

But Blair's little love gift to Shrub is still in force

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John Smith 19
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FAIL

Oh dear, the Swiss army knife effect.

Yeah it's got umpteen dozen features, if you can remember which one to use and where it's at.

The SAP of courtroom systems?

Although how many times have the UK courts systems started to computerize?

How many times has it failed?

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What you need to know from re:Invent – FPGAs-as-a-service and more

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

"Then again there's the question of who's tapping the cables"

Indeed.

I wouldn't trust the UK govt either, especially given their newly passed Investigatory Powers Act.

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John Smith 19
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FAIL

configure & spin up Linux servers for internal use with strict security & access permissions.

Hahahahahahahahahaha

It's on a cloud.

In the US.

THE PATRIOT Act has not been repealed.

How secure is it going to be?

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NASA preps silicon-photonic modem for space laser internet test

John Smith 19
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This really starts to pay off with a string of them from Earth to Jupiter.

Who knows the next Pluto mission could make an average of 1Mbps, rather than about 1Kbps.

Provided the relays are in place first of course.

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Really weird quantum phenomenon spied lurking near neutron star

John Smith 19
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The abstract says 10^13G field strength. I presume this is Gauss

which is 10 000 Gauss to a Tesla, so 1 giga Tesla.

Given that fusion researchers are quite excited that their magnets can achieve about 20+T continuously that is a very powerful field indeed.

Impressive field. Impressive result.

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Fatal flaws in ten pacemakers make for Denial of Life attacks

John Smith 19
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Holmes

"Security by obscurity is a dangerous design approach"

Indeed

But very cheap.

Although it's quite surprising medical devices are just as stupid about it as the usual IoS webcam and thermostat makers.

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Tobacco giant predicts the end of smoking. Panic ensues

John Smith 19
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"Nicotine is a bitch of a drug to kick and is on par with heroin for addiction, "

I knew a couple who were ex-heroine addicts.

Could not quite smoking.

I knew then this was pretty bad s**t and any bo***ks about it being "non-addictive" was rubbish.

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Qubes goes commercial to keep its secure VM-focused OS dream alive

John Smith 19
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If they stay open source this is not necessarily a bad move.

the idea sounds good but I can't evaluate it.

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What's the first emotion you'd give an AI that might kill you? Yes, fear

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Well for one of those SF books.....

How about JP Hogan's "The Two Faces of Tomorrow."

which actually looks at the idea of what "fear" might do to an AI, and how it could an AI's "creative" approach could have near lethal consequences.

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