* Posts by Stoneshop

1693 posts • joined 8 Oct 2009

City of birth? Why password questions are a terrible idea

Stoneshop
Silver badge
WTF?

Only problem here is what happens after a given time, and you switch providers? (i.e. SIM Card + Number?)

I've switched providers, and thus SIM cards, at least half a dozen times, but still have the number I chose 15+ years ago.

2
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Even Worse

I had the same with my mother's maiden name

I have an inkling their code would also barf if your mother's father was Johann Gambolputty-de-von-Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crass-cren-bon-fried-digger-dangle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelter-wasser-kurstlich-himble-eisen-bahnwagen-guten-abend-bitte-ein-nürnburger-bratwürstel-gespurten-mitz-weimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-schönendanker-kalbsfleisch-mittleraucher-von-Hautkopft von Ulm

(beer, to lubricate your throat in case you have to read it on the telephone)

2
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: Even worse

What is your favorite color?

Ultraviolent, infradead, burnthombre, loathsomelilac, gangreen...

Or maybe BlueNoyelAuuuuuuuugh!

2
0

Are we looking at the first domain name meme? Neigh

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: And there's always...

youcanleadittowaterbutyoucantmakeitdrink.horse

0
0

Back to the Future: the internet of things as imagined in 1985

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: Been there, done that..

I'm gradually putting Intranet of Thingies into my house, but most of what it's doing is enhancing existing infrastructure, and monitoring. If I walk into my workshop I just want to hit a switch to turn on the lights (because maybe there's sufficient ambient to see by, so they don't need to come on automatically), but motion detectors switch them off if I forget, or have walked out with my hands full. The garage door opens and closes with buttons on the wall, but it also closes if I hit a central switch indicating I'm leaving.

It's built with gear that's been around for 25 years now, probably will be for at least another 25 given its ubiquitous use in building control, and tends to be understood by a competent electrician who's familiar with the stuff. It's not open as such, but it's been sufficiently reverse-engineered that I can plonk a RasPi in and write my own control and monitor programs. And there are dozens of vendors, which means that one manufacturer dropping the product line or going titsup is hardly going to be a problem.

And in my case none of this is going to be accessible from outside the house, let alone from Inner Elbonia.

2
0

Why MakerBot failed – but 3D printing is far from dead

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: prediction....

Good enough? Maybe. But it also needs to get much, much faster if it's to compete (c.f. 'challenge') existing ways of production.

What I see it being used for is making prototypes and one-offs/small runs. Or stuff like a fastener clip for the chrome trim strip on your classic car; stuff that you simply can't get anymore, and where it doesn't matter that it takes a couple of days to print all of them, plus a few spare, plus a bunch for your fellow classic car owners.

0
0

Too much Appley WRISTJOBBERY could be BAD for your HealthKit

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Go

I keep reading

HeathKit

1
0

Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Pint

Re: So what goes in the map box now?

Couple of sandwiches and a banana.

0
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: no IOS zone?

That suggestion might make some sense if it had been one plane only that was affected. HINT: it wasn't.

3
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
FAIL

If, as per the pilot's remark, ALL of AA's 737 fleet suffered the same problem, there's little need for Toni and Bill to have been on the same plane.

0
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Malice?

Could it have been a passenger running a mobile hotspot with No iOS Zone?

“The pilot came on and said that his first mate’s iPad powered down unexpectedly, and his had too, and that the entire 737 fleet on American had experienced the same behavior,”

That's one hell of a No iOS Zone created if it affected planes all over the US, or there's some magical synchronicity happening between people running that software.

2
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Now an intelligent design

Given that it affected only part of AA's fleet, it's apparently a problem triggered by the app choking on data specific to that type of plane in combination with the date. So please explain how it could have been caused by the choice of hardware.

3
1

Smile! Brit transport plods turn bodycams on travelling public

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Coincidentally

Triggered by a spate of violence against Dutch train personnel there's talk of equipping them with bodycams. Not much detail yet, but there's a suggestion that they should be live-viewable from a control room in case of an altercation.

The State Secretary for Transport has commented she will entertain the idea if other measures currently being implemented, such as access gates in railway stations, fail to be sufficiently effective.

0
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
Devil

Re: A Definition of a Train

... leaving at a time when you can't and arriving when you don't need to be there.

3
1

App makers, you're STILL doing security wrong

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Holmes

home addresses of papal customers

That would be Piazza San Petro for a start, although I doubt they can be called "customers"

0
0

Surgery-bot can be hacked to HACK YOU TO PIECES

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Simple

The first (and second, third etc, until either there are none left or they start being Enlightened) of the legislators that have passed one of those No Encryption Because Terrorism bills will be subjected to invasive surgery, remotely controlled over an open link.

4
0

Who was downloading smut in the office while eating ice cream?

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: swapping stuff

Way, way back I had just gone from being a poor student to being a poor underpaid AV service technician, with a "company" (harhar) that initially didn't even have its own tools and test gear; I was asked to bring in mine to help start things. At some point however I did manage to get the owner to buy me some necessary stuff, and my own kit went home again.

Roughly a year after I had come in, the "company" (harhar) was left without its manager as well as its customers, and by the look of it whatever inventory there was was set to end up in boxes to be forgotten in a dark corner of some attic, if not thrown out in the skip.

The Belzer pliers and wire cutters that I swapped for my no-name ones still serve me well. I consider them compensation for having to bring my own tools those early months.

Actually, I should also have taken the Weller, as well as the 'scope.

1
0

'Aaron's Law' back on the table to bring sanity to US hacking laws

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Eh?

Oh look I have a terminal open - must be hacking, natch.

I was sitting on a train, working remotely through a couple of SSH sessions (one of them IRC), when two teenagers walked past, catching a brief glimpse of my green on black terminals. "Oh look, a hacker".

1
0

Australia mulls dumping the .com from .com.au – so you can bake URLs like chocolate.gate.au

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Chris must need more cigars

ziemlich.schl.au

0
0

The data centre design that lets you cool down – and save electrons

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: Really?

Ever come across kit by a small company called Cisco? They do not appear to have received your memo...

I think they actually did.

Almost all systems have their connections at the back. It therefore makes sense to mount patch panels as well as top-of-cabinet switches with their business end towards the back of those racks.

Larger kit such as a Catalyst 6500 is usually mounted in a cabinet of its own, with several tens of U of patch panel filling the rest of the rack. You mount the patch panels to match the Cat, and the Cat to match the airflow through the cabinet.

0
0

Go for a spin on Record Store Day: Lifting the lid on vinyl, CD and tape

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: Legality of torrent downloading vs ripping old vinyl?

Mainly because there wasn't such a thing as a USB turntable, so I had to convert phono output to input for Audacity using stuff I had laying around.

Which is just a matter of hooking up your PC soundcard to the Tape Record output on your amp.

5
0

Data centre doesn't like your face? That's a good thing

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Although you should have a torch to hand to see into the darker recesses of your cabinets,

In my trouser pocket: flashlight (currently one powered by a 18650 Li-Ion, should get one that runs on penlites because you then can get spares at any corner shop); in my backpack a Petzl Tikka headlamp. There have been several cases where you'd otherwise had to have three hands.

0
0

Wi-Fi hotspots can put iPhones into ETERNAL super slow-mo

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: I don't really have much sympathy for people who fall for such tricks

Back in the 80s there were stories about some minicomputers (DEC? I can't remember) which had a similar trick. Due to a shortage of small memory boards, some low-end systems were shipped with larger boards which had a chip-select line cut, it was cheaper than losing the sale. If you knew which line, you could reconnect it. Hardly standard practiuce, though.

With at least one of the VAX series a processor upgrade was basically sticking a new front panel badge on and moving a jumper; there was another one that required new microcode, built with fewer NOPs.

2
0

Are you sure there are servers in this cold, dark basement?

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Flame

Re: first job

One day I happened to be in the computer room that housed a similar-sized pile of systems: a VAXcluster, some standalone VAXes, MicroVAXes and a pair of PDP11's, all with their disks and tapes, when the aircon failed. The first thing I noticed was the computer room sound changing, with a low rumble now being absent. About three seconds later I realised that "FSCK! The aircon's gone out!", followed by a dash out the door to the sysadmin pen. Then back to the console room with four sysadmins in tow. The head honcho decided that "this, this and that machine HAVE to stay up, that comms rack too, shut down the rest, then power down all the disks except those, those and that other one. You (pointing to two colleagues) round up all the fans from the offices and bring them here. Keep the computer room doors open. GO!"

We managed to shut the lot down before any of the overtemp safeties triggered.

Given the multitude of RA81's and 82's present I expected at least a dozen casualties there, but over the next two weeks we only had three failed HDAs (70-18491-01), and one microprocessor module a couple of weeks later.

4
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
Coat

"Pauli says there were no lights down in the basement, "

No stairs, and a cupboard in a locked lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the leopard".

20
0

Dot-com intimidation forces Indiana to undo hated anti-gay law

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Devil

or wearing clothes of mixed fibres...

Blasphemy (SFW, the rest of that site, not so much)

3
0

Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Go

Re: so when is witches' turn?

Just weigh her. If she weighs the same as a duck ...

3
0

SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: disinformation

Large commercial and industrial premises are given all three phases

Apparently I live in a large commercial or industrial premise.

(Actually, it used to be a pretty small industrial premise, but we kept the 3-phase feed, now capped at 35A per phase, because of electric cooking and my MIG welder)

0
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Distribution architecture vulnerability

To be fair, in the UK that generally applies to houses built since electricity was discovered.

That would be around 2750BC, when the Egyptians dscovered electric eels? Or would that be 600BC, when some Greek guy described that rubbing amber ('electron' in their lingo) generated static electricity? Or, maybe as late as the 17th century, when scientists started experimenting with the stuff?

1
2
Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: I wonder....

If you could fry the electronics in these things without losing the supply

Yes.

and without directly interfering with the meter?

Probably. My first try would be to run a Tesla coil near it.

0
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: Really?

You can measure AC current by simply running the wire whose current you want to measure through a toroidal coil, then measuring the coil's output; no galvanical connection required. It's how Amp Clamps work, and I've recently installed a set of power monitors in my main fuse box that also work like that.

For voltage you do need some galvanical connection.

2
0

Snakes on a backplane: Server-room cabling horrors

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Windows

Re: 'The more computers you have, the more cables you need'

until i found a vampire tap on a 10base-5 cable (no no no, run away!)

Perfectly sensible (the setup as well as running away).

Now, when you see a vampire tap on a 10base2 run ... No, this was not an AUI transceiver with a BNC connector instead of the vampire tap assembly like you could get from Cabletron and such. This was a small length of RG8/U (not even the prescribed 2.5 meters) with N connectors plus N-to-BNC adapters in the middle of an 10b2 string..

1
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: 'The more computers you have, the more cables you need'

And IBM Type 1 was real man's cable, unlike this weedy UTP stuff.

I'll see your Type 1 and raise you a DEC Massbus.

(insert cobwebs.ico, for more reasons than one)

0
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: Underfloor can be much worse!!!

The site that I was the resident engineer for had, through some design error, a raised floor that was about 80cm (5.7 linguini) high. One could quite easily crawl from one end of the room to the other, and pop up a tile to get out again. It did have the historical cable strata, but these weren't much of an obstacle in that respect.

0
0

UN inflicts 10,000 flat pack IKEA shelters on Iraq - WITHOUT TOOLS

Stoneshop
Silver badge

"On top of the shade net is solar panel laminated on a thin plastic film, taking away the bulky panels used traditionally."

You can leave it off (it won't be of any use in Britain anyway) and donate it to the UNHCR as spare.

0
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: Nice one IKEA

PRÖTÄCT

0
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
Go

First picture on the instruction leaflet

The ubiquitous IKEA cartoon character running away from falling bombs, a storm and a sword-wielding IS warrior.

5
0

Standard General bids to save RadioShack from oblivion

Stoneshop
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Next (No retailers left!)

The next "online" thing will be food.

Bollocks. The customer base for food is way larger than for electronics parts, and people DO drop into a supermarket after work for dinner ingredients instead of thinking a week ahead about what they're going to eat. Where they can select a cauliflower that's just the right size, pomegranates with just the right ripeness and maybe a bottle of juice that's marked down because it's close to its "best by" date, but you're going to consume it tonight anyway.

Oh wait, you're living in the US where cooking for dinner involves deep freezers and microwaves. Yeah, I can see that being an online matter.

1
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: Next

RS seems to do OK, but is there a retail option?

The cinch with electronic parts retail is the selection of stuff you would need to carry beyond resistors, caps, generic semiconductors, inductors, transformers, switches, etcetera to even start to compete with mailorder. Because when for some project there's just one item I can only get online, I'll order the entire lot in one go.

1
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Radio Shack was useful at one time (And still is)

YOU go buy it from the "lowest" price vendor online, YOU can be the guinea pig for that stall in Shenzen that takes 10 weeks to ship the knockoff parts.

You can also buy genuine stuff online, for prices that DON'T include having to pay store rent and spotty-faced nitwit salesdroid salaries, and often not even shipping if you buy an Arduino and a half, maybe two.

Lowest available price is not the only factor when you NEED something after 5PM on a weekend.

After 5PM on a weekend, stores tend to be closed. So if you NEED something then, you're shit out of luck. AND you have mismanaged your junkpileparts cupboard.

0
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Next

I would have been pushed to get the bits from Maplin as when I tried to get an 8W bridge rectifier for my daughter's shower unit, which they said was in stock, my daughter who went to pick the ordered part up was given a bag with an 8 pin CMOS IC in it.

You order by part number, not by description.

0
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Next (No retailers left!)

Because there is something very satisfying about having it in your hand now when you need it instead of it being backordered.

If something is backordered at webshop[0], I just hit webshop[1..n] until I find one that has the item in stock (and doesn't take three weeks to deliver from Bumfuck, Arizona by stage coach). If something is backordered at brickandmortarshop[0] (and you're lucky if there's a brickandmortarshop[1] in town that can fill the gaps, provided there's one anyway) you've wasted time and money.

And if there's stuff I might conceivably need Right Sodding Now I make sure my local stock can satisfy that.

0
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: Next (No retailers left!)

What's the advantage of a bricks and mortar store when you have to travel there (takes time and money too) during opening hours while they may be out of stock on the item you want? No way to check whether someone is walking out with the last item as you're parking the car. Or it's a rare item that needs to be ordered from their central warehouse anyway.

If I order online it takes maybe 24 hrs for the item to arrive at my door, and I get confirmation it's been sent.

2
2
Stoneshop
Silver badge
FAIL

Math fail

Arduino at RS: Only about 8x the going eBay prices

EUR.22 for a genuine Uno against just under EUR.4 for a clone. Yes, a substantial difference, but not the 8x you state.

1
0
Stoneshop
Silver badge
FAIL

" “We’ve gone from selling a Bentley to selling a Ford to selling a used Vespa.”

Without adjusting the pricing.

10
0

Dutch companies try warming homes with cloud servers

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Flame

Re: Use the same electricity twice.

One place I lived had electrical heating only; the central heating was b0rked and as the place was to be torn down, getting it fixed wasn't worth it. When the landlord (whose bill the electricity was on) remarked on the number of computers I had running I replied "Well, I could switch them off and switch on the space heater, but this way I can do something useful as well as heat my room." This apparently made sufficient sense to him as he was silent on the subject thereafter.

1
0

HUGE Aussie asteroid impact sent TREMORS towards the EARTH'S CORE

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Chicxulub

"That is not an asteroid impact crater, THIS is an asteroid impact crater"

27
0

Scientists splice mammoth genes into unsuspecting elephant

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: I'm thinking that a mammoth is itself

the exploding mammoth population

Exploding mammoths, exploding whales, exploding penguins on top of your television, before you know it there'll be no wildlife left

0
0

Mature mainframe madness prints Mandlebrot fractal in TWELVE MINUTES

Stoneshop
Silver badge

Re: Dot Matrix?

There was a Hewlett-Packard drum printer (back from when HP was still a respected name making well-engineered stuff) that had only 44 rings of characters on its drum, and a matching set of hammers, apparently to save on driver electronics and hammer banks. Printing a full line was achieved by shuffling the paper left and right by way of an excenter crank. This somewhat Rube Goldberg-ish contraption needed three drum rotations per line. The line buffer was implemented using shift registers, one per bit.

(insert cobwebs.ico)

1
0

'Hi, I'm from Microsoft and I am GOING TO KILL YOU'

Stoneshop
Silver badge
Joke

Re: This has been a modest winner:

Jesus saves! (by clicking on the floppy disk icon in the toolbar)

0
0

Forums