* Posts by alannorthhants

286 posts • joined 23 Dec 2009

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We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

alannorthhants
Mushroom

Re: Given that they haven't found it...

Just out of curiosity, can you point where the UK or the US are mentioned in the article you have cited? As far as I can see it is the Netherlands and Russia are mentioned, no-one else. Also UK/US do not have any primary radar assets in the region, so I don't know why your rant is being directed at them unless it is just trying to get up-votes from those who believe that the US/UK axis is behind every bad event in the world.

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Web meltdown: BT feels heat from angry punters

alannorthhants

Re: Same today?

Ditto here; trying to connect a VPN to my company's network and am seeing ping times of 70-80ms (normally about 10ms) and packet loss of between 40-50%. Have run traceroute several times and found that the transmission times jump in BT's core network; not only that but there is obviously huge routing instabilities since the traceroute paths are changing on an almost second-by-second basis.

This is not good!

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alannorthhants

Yes, that was the original idea. The problem we have now is that the global internet is now many, many orders of magnitude larger than was originally foreseen (don't forget - the original "internet" only had 20 or so nodes on it) which makes operating it a whole lot harder. For example the original routing protocols have long been pretty much abandoned (except in small networks where they work just fine) and more complex protocols have been developed and deployed. However these protocols can take longer to converge to an answer if there is a massive reconfiguration of the internet (such as a major node failure). Added to this is that no protocol can compensate for stupid network design (e.g. running primary & backup cables through the same duct, having both primary and backup systems on the same power supply, etc).

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Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

alannorthhants
Facepalm

Clearly an idiot

Brian Forde is clearly an idiot who has no idea on how network technology and the internet work. Unfortunately there are plenty of politicians who will jump on his bandwagon solely in order to get a few sound bites and some air time.

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By Jove! NASA's Juno prepares to slip into orbit around Jupiter

alannorthhants

Re: What D.A.M wrote...

Otherwise it would?

No chance; keep in mind that the Hyugens (sp?) probe was crushed after only travelling a couple of hundred kilometers into the atmosphere; it still had maybe a thousand kilometers to go plus a sea of liquid hydrogen plus another sea of metallic hydrogen.

In fact there are some doubts whether Jupiter still has a solid core left. Some of the theories suggest that the solid rocky core may be soluble in metallic hydrogen, which means it would have dissolved long ago.

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alannorthhants

Re: Delimitation

The main factors that decide the shape & size of the solar panels are (a) the maximum power consumption of the spacecraft during its nominal mission, (b) the incident solar flux (i.e. how much sunlight is actually hitting the spacecraft), and (c) the efficiency of the solar cells at the end of the nominal mission (radiation will degrade them). Normally NASA would not use solar arrays that far out, however they have a shortage of Plutonium for RTGs so that had to be ruled out early in the mission design. The spacecraft needs about 350W of power (give or take, I don't have the figures to hand right now), so they sized the overall area of the solar array so that it would give about 410W at the end of the nominal mission (490W at the start) when in orbit around Jupiter

Once you have the required solar array area it is just a case of how you split it up - you could have had two panels but they would have had to have been *huge* at at risk of being damaged during Jupiter insertion. You could have had four panels, but that would make instrument positioning very complicated. Three is a compromise that happens to work in this instance.

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Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right

alannorthhants

Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

The World now consists of Blighty, and some empty spaces on the map filled with mythical creatures

Such as honest politicians?

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Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs

alannorthhants
Unhappy

Re: Logical impossibilities

You can't prove it, therefore you must be lying and hence a terrorist.

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Fly to Africa. Survive helicopter death flight to oil rig. Do no work for three weeks. Repeat

alannorthhants

A long time ago ...

Many, many years ago I worked for a year for a company that makes flight simulators. They had a contract to build a new simulator for the Indian army - I think it was for helicopters, but don't quote me on that. While the simulator was being built the Indian army constructed a nice new building to house the simulator.

This is where it got interesting.

The Indian army got the Indian air force to ship the simulator out in a Hercules, flying it into the army base (which had a runway) that would be the future home of the simulator. This the air force did very happily. When they arrived at the base, they taxied to the end of the runway, opened the boot and shoved the simulator (in its transport cases) out the back, then left PDQ before the screams of outrage started (note: this was in the monsoon season, so it was just a touch damp out there).

Once sanity had been restored and the simulator moved under cover, the company I worked for had to assemble the thing in its nice new building. Everything went well until the time came to mount the cab on the simulator frame, at which point they discovered that the steel covers on the cable ducts sunk into the floor where not strong enough to take the weight of the cab + huge fork-lift that was carrying it.

Queue even more bad language!

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Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

alannorthhants
Trollface

The first thing that will happen ...

... you cannot access your LinkedIn profile unless you are running Windows 10 with telemetry back to MS enabled.

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Java API judge tells Oracle to suck it up, quit whining about the jury

alannorthhants

The java APIs are a ratified standard

Sorry, but you are sadly mistaken here. Sun Microsystems (in the days before Oracle) did submit the APIs for standardisation, but subsequently withdraw them. The only de facto "standard" is the API specification by Sun (and now by Oracle of course).

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Will you get reimbursed if you're a bank fraud victim? Brits think not

alannorthhants

Re: I just say no

It depends on what sort of authentication model the bank is using to protect the online access systems. Ones that use a simple account number (or user name) plus password are pretty prone to attack, however adding the entry of 2 or 3 letters from an addition security word does make them better. Of course if the authentication information is written down (which I suspect a lot of people do) then all bets are off.

The best I've come across is an on-line account number coupled by an access code that is generated by a small device from my bank card; you have to enter the PIN in order to generate the code, and the device is recorded and associated with my account. Therefore someone would have to get my on-line account number (which is different from my main bank account number), my bank card, my device and my PIN (which is never, ever written down - not even my wife knows it).

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Get outta here, officer, you don't need a warrant to track people by their phones – appeals court

alannorthhants

Re: Can you keep a secret??

A far better approach is to leave your phone (switched on) at home. At least any attempt to use the phone location information would give you some plausible deniability.

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$10bn Oracle v Google copyright jury verdict: Google wins, Java APIs in Android are Fair Use

alannorthhants

Re: Phew...

Not Samba. MS tried that with the EC and was handed its backside on a plate. They were forced to write documentation defining the protocols they use for SMB and AD, and to hand said documentation to the Samba developers (their first attempt, throwing the source code over the fence and saying "work it out for yourself, morons" did not go down well).

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alannorthhants

Re: Phew...

... again

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alannorthhants

Re: Google must have paid big bucks...

I disagree, Oracle is more like Typhoid Mary

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alannorthhants

Re: @tekHedd - I haven't downvoted a post in a long time...

Instead of blaming the tool (Java) I think you should try directing your rage at the developer - Cisco. They may be fine at producing routers, switches and the like, but the (non-embedded) software they write is almost universally crap!

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HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

alannorthhants

Re: January 1st?

That's because the Scots REALLY know who to celebrate News Years Day. One day to recover is not enough (and sometimes neither is two).

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Windows 10 free upgrade offer ends on July 29th

alannorthhants

Re: The Last of Us

Tried it on a new machine I had just built. Spent a few days on the disk, then was purged with extreme prejudice and replaced with OpenSUSE Linux. I could not believe how clunky the user interface was!

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Edward Snowden sues Norway to prevent extradition

alannorthhants

Re: The marathon-couch-surfing champion in the Ecuadorian embassy

Bail breaches lasting many years with the breachee publicly taunting the UK courts is something that I suspect will result in a pretty bad loss of the judge's sense of humour.

Ecuador's unwelcome guest is likely to spend several months in the slammer followed by a pretty rapid deportation plus bonus cancelling of all UK visas.

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ExoMars works! 2 Mbit/s link established and camera snapping

alannorthhants

Re: Those bits that are following it

But the craft has to slow down before reaching Mars, at which point those bits may become very important!

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Angry Vodafone customers spark Ofcom probe after phone bill overcharge snafu

alannorthhants
Facepalm

Some times it seems that technology hates you

Wrong. Technology hates you all of the time. It just likes to wait until you are feel complacent before smacking you one.

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ExoMars probe narrowly avoids death, still in peril after rocket snafu

alannorthhants

Re: Atmospheric entry

It is more than enough - that is why landers are all fitted with heat shields.

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Pothole campaigner sprays Surrey street with phallic paintings

alannorthhants
Coat

Sounds like ...

... a bit of a cock up.

Mines the one with the funny bulge in it.

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FBI backs down against Apple: Feds may be able to crack killer's iPhone without iGiant's help

alannorthhants

... despite insisting repeatedly that Apple were the only ones on the planet who could help its investigation, the Feds may use someone else's unlock method instead ...

This can only weaken the Feds case. Apple's legal eagles must be doing cartwheels of joy.

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VMware's GPL violation case rolls into German court

alannorthhants

Re: Hardly surprising

I suspect that the brief was written by US lawyers trying the normal tactics that they like to use in the US courts. It probably has not occurred to them that these may not be looked at favourably in Germany.

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New York judge blocks FBI demand for Apple help to unlock iPhone

alannorthhants

Appealing the judges descision

Very risky approach. At the moment using the AWA to force Apple to unlock its phones has remained at the judge's discretion. Take to the appeals court and loose and you now have a bind precedent that applies to that circuit (and will be taken into account by all other circuits). Take it further to the Supreme Court and loose and that is game over.

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Borked ESET antivirus update says entire web is too risky to browse

alannorthhants

Been causing me headaches all data ...

... in my role as IT Manager, been getting people complaining all today. Thank <deity> that the update has come through and the dust is finally settling - now I can start to get some work done!

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Apple fires legal salvo at FBI for using All Writs law in iPhone brouhaha

alannorthhants

Re: coercion in the US is easy

They tried that once before. Look what it got them!

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IBM Watson offers $5m for an AI to save the world

alannorthhants
Joke

Cyber-amoeba

Sounds like some IT PHBs I've known.

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UK to stop children looking at online porn. How?

alannorthhants
Mushroom

This will be widely ignored ....

I believe that a lot of the porn sites that have ".co.uk" domains are actualy hosted overseas. Unfortunately for this goverment, it's authority stops at our borders, so anything overseas sites will probably ignore this rule. Plan B will be to get the ISPs to do the blocking for them, but the technical complexity of this (plus the simle fact that the porn sites can just change IP addresses, domain names, etc) will probably defeat that; if not then the use of VPNs terminated in overseas servers will do the job. Plan C will probably involve banning VPNs (no chance of that working - business will scream like mad), while Plan D will involve banning the internet, television, video, and all written communications.

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'Hobbit' heads aren't human says bone boffin

alannorthhants

How about some more icons!

Actually it would be good if El Reg allowed some more icons. We see someone saying "what about a <insert-whatever-you-like-here> icon" at least once a week, and sometimes more.

What about it Vulture Master!

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alannorthhants
Joke

Re: Homo Trumpus?

I have to disagree with you. Politicians are the sad rements of a primordial species that bacteria and other unwanted things evolved from.

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Norks stabilise non-threatening space speck ... for about five minutes

alannorthhants

Re: Well, so much for the loitering nuke theory

If the satellite is tumbling then any solar arrays used to generate power are going to be pretty ineffective, meaning that the satellite is going to be pretty much reliant on any on-board stored power (in other words, batteries). Unless the Norks filled the satellite with Duracells they will loose power in the next few days.

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Roll up, roll up to the Malware Museum! Run classic DOS viruses in your web browser

alannorthhants

... or indeed Windows?

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Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

alannorthhants

Re: And who were the other four?

Can't say, but lets remember that Assange has not actually been charged with anything in Sweden (the UK is a different matter now); he is wanted for questioning.

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alannorthhants

What illegal rendition? He was to be legally extradited to Sweden as a consequence of an International Arrest Warrant to face possible (not actual) charges of rape. Everything else is a product of Assange's imagination. The US has clearly stated that they are not interested in him, although that does not really agree with Assange's egomania.

Best thing for the UK is to toss Assange out of the country (after the courts have dealt with him), cancel any visas that he has and then ensure that he is not allowed in again. Let him winge and cry from his home country and see how much notice they take of him.

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Leak – UN says Assange detention 'unlawful'

alannorthhants
Mushroom

A completely meaningless ruling

Firstly - the UN WGAD has not authority or juristriction over the UK, or indeed any other country. All they can do is to winge and moan.

Secondly - they have a strange definition of what constitues "detention". Assange (TM) is free to walk out the door of the embassy at any time that he likes - how many prisoners can say that?

Oh, I get it - the fact that the UK courts want to chat with him about little issues such as jumping bail and contempt of court and that Assange (TM) is too afraid to face the music is just too unfair on him.

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Assange will 'accept arrest' on Friday if found guilty

alannorthhants

Re: Don't like his chances

We do have some business with him. I think the UK courts would like a short and very pointed chat on the subject of skipping bail. I also suspect that Assange's "friends" who put up his bail money would also like a chat, but this one will be in a dark alley and will involve something blunt and heavy.

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BT broadband is down: Former state monopoly goes TITSUP UK-wide

alannorthhants

Up and down in Hampshire

Keep getting drop outs last 5 minutes or so then it's back to normal. Thought it was just me, but now I know better. Not even with BT!

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Why the Sun is setting on the Boeing 747

alannorthhants

Re: Ah the 747-100

Redifon Flight Simulation - now that is a name that takes me back to my childhood!

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US government's $6bn super firewall doesn't even monitor web traffic

alannorthhants

Why are you surprised???

Pork barrel politics has been a core part of the US government since about 15 minutes after the Constitution was signed.

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Rooting your Android phone? Google’s rumbled you again

alannorthhants

I had never even hard of it until now. Certainly not something I would ever consider using!

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Oracle blurts Google's Android secrets in court: You made $22bn using Java, punk

alannorthhants

Re: Wait a minute

But Oracle is trying to claim that all Google's Android profits have come about because of their use of the API's that Oracle claims to have copyrighted.

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Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us

alannorthhants
Mushroom

Just say no ...

I don't have a Facebook account, and there is nothing that Facebook do or say could ever persuade me to get an account.

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Trump's new thought bubble: Make Apple manufacture in the USA

alannorthhants

"...also simultaneously holds out a carrot...

I doubt that will happen - to paraphrase a Texan saying, Trump is all stick and no carrot.

Someone might mention it to him as a Good Idea (tm), but Trump is so convinced that he is the cleverest man on Earth that I also doubt that he'll take any notice (at least not until it is waaaayyyy to late.

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Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

alannorthhants

Re: Anti-Trust suit impending.

This is MS we are talking about - they'll simply buy enough Congress-critters and Senate-weenies to have any anti-trust investigation taken out and shot.

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Test burn on recycled SpaceX rocket shows almost all systems are go

alannorthhants

Don't forget those barges are huge; far bigger than they look on the photos. In fact in terms of landing area they are about the same as an oil rig and a lot more mobile.

Also SpaceX nearly achieved a controlled landing on one the last time around; it only failed because they did not have the control algorithms quite right and the launcher and it ended up with slightly too much lateral velocity which meant it toppled over. Had they tried that landing on a dry pad the result would probably have been the same.

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alannorthhants
Mushroom

They are trying to achieve something that the Shuttle miserably failed at - a truely re-usable launcher. With the shuttle they ended up throwing away the main tank, and after each mission they had to perform a very expensive refurb of the SRBs and of the Shuttle itself. SpaceX are trying to develop the technology that will allow them to avoid most of that and hence drop the cost of a launch significantly!

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TalkTalk outage: Dial M for Major cockup

alannorthhants

Re: "Number Not Recognised"

Why assume a conspiracy when straight-forward incompetence (with precedents) explains everything?

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