* Posts by Matt Bryant

9511 posts • joined 21 May 2007

Why Agile is like flossing and regular sex

Matt Bryant
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Re: AC

"....If you start a project not knowing what you're making then often you end up with a sprawling mess of unfinished features...." Totally agree on the management of the project being key, but sometimes they collude with salesgrunts to create what we used to call "A Never-Ending Story". If the salesgrunt can bill for coders by the hour, he will often make a lot more money on one of those dithering, prototyping, Scrum-style projects, especially as he will save on having to pay up front for the consultants skilled to do the right requirements analysis. Project managers and coders, especially contractors not wanting to have the pain of looking for a new contract the minute they finish the current work, may often go along as it is financially better for them too. For the salesgrunts, the longer the project drags out and the more rehashing of requirements happen, the more commission he stands to make, and the bigger the pat on his back will be from his senior management when he books the larger revenue.

I have worked for a consulting company where we had direction from management to "seek out opportunities to maximize revenue by expanding project scope" with the unspoken directive that revenue was more important than delivering what the customer actually needed. In Scrum it is the Product Owner (aka Customer Representative) that is the key to making sure the customer does not get taken for a ride, but it also the position that seems to most often get assigned to a junior with little experience and no authority.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Bill M Re: The Way Good Software Is Done?

"....Whilst the Scrum framework can be applied to Agile methodology they are not one and the same....." Unfortunately, my experience is that is exactly how coders seem to see it, that "Scrum" = "Agile" and anything else is unimportant. Worse, they often seem to think Scrum removes the need for any other process, especially proper requirements gathering, roadmaps, or just basic planning.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Charlie Clark Re: Just one side

".....I think this applies whatever methodology you follow and is true of most projects....." No, no, no. Agile just panders to the coders' desires to "just get coding, we'll make it fit later". If you employ someone with a clue you will get both good requirements plus a contractual financial penalty for the galloping goalposts that agile encourages. Nothing like the threat of added costs to focus the customer's minds on getting the requirements done correctly. If you are going into development with poor requirements then you are (a) going to waste a lot of time continually prototyping and rehashing, and (b) probably not spending enough money on the analysts/consultants you hired to gather the requirements in the first place.

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Matt Bryant
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Doh!

"....agile software development has wheedled its way into most every developer's mind as The Way Good Software Is Done...." Great! The problem is most developers haven't a clue how to do any of the other parts of the project process that actually are required to ensure success. I have lost count of the number of times I've heard coders exalting "We'll go scrum, that means no project manager", followed shortly after by the project grinding to a dead-end, over-budget and having not met the customer's needs. And the number of times I've seen developers gather business requirements successfully can be counted on one hand! It's quite amusing watching customers desperately trying to adjust their requirements to suit the prototype a scrum has delivered, just so there is something of value to show for the money spent.

Sure, do the development phase as agile, but make sure the preceding phases are done properly, and that someone knows how to close the project after development too. Waterfall (with feedback) is still superior for that reason and that is why it is still preferred by businesses.

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The very latest on the DNC email conspiracy. Which conspiracy? All of them, of course!

Matt Bryant
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Re: captain_solo

You don't mean... Melania Trump!!!

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Alleged hacker Lauri Love will learn his fate in September, says judge

Matt Bryant
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WTF?

So, a "medical" history in which he admits he is just completely unable to act in a sociably-acceptable manner? Great, let him plead insanity and lock him in a padded room for the rest of his life, either here or in the US. Part of the whole criminal justice system is that the punishment for crimes should deter others, something May forgot when she let McKinnon off the hook. The reason why McKinnon escaped Scott free was he couldn't be subsequently tried in the UK because the evidence was in the US and wasn't transferable. Ben Cooper knows that, especially the witness Hector Montsegur, that's why Cooper is pulling the same tired "suicidal assbergers" shit again.

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Intel and pals chuck money at another Fibre Channel killer

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Re: AC

"....A better question is will external arrays of any kind exist 5 years down the road?..." Not all storage scenarios require ultimate speed, some require large amounts of space at low cost (such as archives). Arrays still offer simplest and most cost-effective and space-effective provisioning of storage - local storage has advantages in speed but leads to inefficient distribution of storage (lots of wasted space in each server as opposed to little wasted in a centralised array). Whilst scalable architecture where server nodes are compute and storage nodes (AKA the Intel dream), they do not offer the simplicity of scale advantages of monolithic arrays. I predict arrays are going to be around for a while yet.

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Matt Bryant
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Wrong focus?

OK, so NVMe (or "envy me" as the marketeers seem to like calling it) gives you a much faster interface than SAS to your SSD. Great! So, if all I want is to attach lots of flash to a server then it looks like a good way to stack lots of JBOF shelves onto a server. Fine, I can rip out all my old SAS JBODs and replace them with NVMeF JBOFs. Problem is I hardly see any SAS JBODs or JBOFs, I mostly see flash in big arrays where the bottleneck is usually the array header, and the value is the centralised consolidation, management, HA, easy presentation and backup offered by the array's software. I suspect the real winners will be the vendors that get the best NVMe features into their arrays, not the JBOF shelf vendors.

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Crashed and alone in a remote location: When paid help is no help

Matt Bryant
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Failed CPU crashing server, not uncommon.

IIRC, this was an issue for the different UNIX flavours of the period, they could swap a failed CPU out as long as that wasn't the monarch CPU running some of the kernel strings. TBH, it was a great way to scare manglement and get budget for a second system and clustering software, to point out that in a 4-way server a CPU failure was 25% likely to be the monarch, a crash and a total loss of service. "25%" sounded scary, I just used to omit the small likelyhood of a CPU failure into the maths.

As for no "SSDs" - ahem - yes, there were solid state devices available. In 2001 I was using Texas Memory Systems' Ramsan solid state boxes to boost Oracle databases.

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Hardball hacker thrown in the cooler for 46 months for guessing rival team's password

Matt Bryant
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Re: Stevie Re: 4 Matt Bryant

"Don't know what indymedia is....." Why am I not surprised. Maybe I should have said "Daily Mirror reader"?

"....Actually, according to the congressional records, some of the banking industry giants were complaining, mightily afeared that a crash was around the corner....." Yet still the Dummicrats did nothing. So, you're admitting they ignored Bush, ignored the Fed, and ignored the bankers - whose advice did the Dummicrats need to actually open their eyes? What, did Sonny and Cher have to get back together and sing it in a song? Seriously, please do tell me who you think had to warn Congress of the subprime problem for them to actually take notice?

"....When your personal insurance scheme is guaranteed to crash the system your personal wealth is built around, you are stupid...." Just about all the banks, pensions and insurance companies I have ever heard of, in the US and Europe, had investments that included CDS polluted with subprime mortgages. Most still trade and swap debts. I'm betting even you have some form of bank account, savings or pension, which means you indirectly invested in them too, so you just called yourself stupid - something we can finally agree on!

"....Turns out while people were watching the Florida vote recounting shenanigans, Cheyney (sic) was busy filling the presiden's (sic) staff roster with his own people...." Blah, blah, blah, nothing to do with how Bush was pointing out the problem to Congress years before 2008. Please try and stay at least within sight of the topic. I get it, a lot of you Lefties have a hardon for mindlessly hating Cheney, but the reality is you can't just use his name and apportion blame for everything to him. Cheney alone was not the majority of members of Congress, the Dummicrats were; Cheney was not Barney Frank running interference for Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac; and Cheney was not in control of Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac when they were spending taxpayers dollars to vacuum up bad mortgage debts in pursuit of Dummicrat housing policies. And if Bush "doesn't register on the old Stevie IQ detector", what does that say about the Dummicrats that ignored Bush's warnings? Are you sure you IQ detector can register IQs greater than double figures as your "musings" make me think you haven't had any experience of anyone with a triple-digit IQ?

".....Still no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq....." Ssscccchhhwwwiiiiinngg! Once again, having dealt himself a losing hand, one of our more "liberal" posters tries to segway off into a topic they feel a lot safer on. And, once again, they fall fowl of the same old problem - baaaahlieving what they have been spoonfed and not doing any research of their own. Start here to fill in at least one of the glaring gaps in your knowledge. Please note the testimony of Major Jarrod Lampier, who was told his discovery of 2400 chemical rockets hidden in a former Iraqi Republican Guards base was "nothing of significance"! Don't tell me, your "WMD detector" is as selective (or just as broken) as your "IQ detector"?

"....Without prejudice...." Whilst prejudice is obviously one of your issues, it is your overwhelming ignorance of the matters at hand that should be giving you the greatest pause for thought. Oh, there's another problem - you and original thought, an unlikely combination given the evidence in your posts.

Look, I know there are a number of you whacktivist, Occupy/Anonyputz types that think all computer crime "against The Man" should receive rapturous applause rather than jail time, but you really need to understand you are a tiny minority, you have no clue when it comes to the working of the law, let alone government or business, and the reality just doesn't change if you mope and whine about it being unfair. TBH, grow up.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Stevie Re: Adam 1 clearly this much more evil than

"..... that were then fraudulently represented as solid investment vehicles...." Yeah, another Indymedia "reader"? Believe me, with the amounts involved and the large number of bloodthirsty lawyers in New York, if there was a grain of truth in that statement then it would have been proven in court many years ago.

"....Then said banks colluded to work an insurance scam under the blanket term Credit Default Swap...." Nice conspiracy theory, do you have any verifiable proof of that libelous statement (ahem, El Reg mod, you may want to check Stevie's claim before leaving it on your forum thread)?

".....what they did was unethical...." Ooh, "unethical"! What's next, you're going to accuse them of being "unfair"? Ethics, as with the price, is set by the market. No-one was complaining when those funds were making a profit, including the millions of people that were happy when the funds were increasing in value, and definitely not the people that got houses and mortgages they should not have had.

"..... and downright stupid...." No, more of risky than stupid. The stupid people were the ones that put politics before economic advice, namely the Democrats that blocked reforms. The markets operate inside the rules set by the politicians, and the Democrat politicians just loved the idea of giving mortgages to people that simply couldn't afford them (of course, that has nothing to do with trying to influence how they might vote....).

"....But if you want me to believe that "President" Bush (does anyone believe he was the one running the country rather than the old guy with the oversized safe in his office?) had a grasp of the financial situation his ship of state was sailing, I'm going to need to be administered some very strong drugs....' Actually, I'd just suggest some actual factual reading to

fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Maybe you were too busy taking said drugs to actually do any research?

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Adam 1 Re: clearly this much more evil than

"...dodgy loans in CDS and on-selling them to pension funds as AAA."

1. The "dodgy loans" were largely from gubbermint-approved bodies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (or maybe that should be "Dummicrats-approved" seeing as Prez Bush warned the Dummicrats-controlled houses of the dangers of the sub-prime mortgages).

2. It was completely legal at the time, despite what you may have read on Indymedia, whereas hacking email and making unauthorised access using someone else's password are both crimes.

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WikiLeaks fights The Man by, er, publishing ordinary people's personal information

Matt Bryant
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Re: AC Re: Missing the point

"....If enough Sanders supporters hold their noses as they pull the lever, the whole thing could tip over to Trump." We had a pool party the other week and some of the younger kids were playing this game called "would you rather", where you offered two obnoxious choices and had to say which you would rather suffer. Typical offerings were "would you rather eat a poo sandwich or swim for a day in sewage?" - bit like the Trumpet vs HRC choice, TBH.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: AC Re: Feel the Bern!

"Has to be one under 30...." I thought all Bernie supporters were under 30?

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Matt Bryant
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Feel the Bern!

I suspect a bitter Bernie supporter thought this was a good idea.

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Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

Matt Bryant
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Re: Richard 12 Re: TVU Scientists - just too "ethical"?

"....you have spent the entire UK contribution to the EU at least five times before I lost count...." Or, another conclusion could be that the ERC funding, whilst nice and useful, is not the sole nor even the largest contributor to UK science funds.

"....your own future probably does not exist any more as EU data protection rules currently require that all data is stored in the EU....." Firstly, not all UK research data (let alone UK commercial data) contains EU-related information, so that market is not going to disappear. Secondly, there is this big thing called "The Rest Of The World" which resides outside the EU. The UK actually does more trade with TROTW than the EU and a lot of scientific research with institutes outside the EU. All in all, I expect to be kept quite busy, thanks. Of the current projects I am working on, not one is affected by the Brexit.

"......when we don't even have a professional negotiation team any more?" Says who? Apart from the fact that UK civil servants negotiate with TROTW countries regularly, you seem to have missed the fact that EU negotiations were conducted by politicians and civil servants from EU member states, including the UK. Please try using a source other than Remain propaganda.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: TVU Re: Scientists - just too "ethical"?

"...the real damage that will be done... because Europeam Research Council funds...." Possibly. Firstly, the ERC's budget is 13bn Euros for 2014 to 2020, which is about 2.1bn-per-year. That comes out of the EU pot - remove the UK funding into that general pot, which is what will happen with Brexit, and that pot is going to be a lot smaller, threatening ERC funding after 2020. Then, add in the fact the UK will also not be paying into the general EU pot for future Euro tantrums (like the next Greek bailout and the looming Italian banking disaster), which means the ERC funding could be cut in the next EU kerfuffle before we even get to 2020. So, all those EU countries you mentioned are facing a definite future funding cut with Brexit, plus a likely further cut due to the precarious economic state of the EU.

Secondly, given that the UK has historically received about 8% of ERC funds, that means if the UK lost all future ERC funding it would be about 160m Euros per year lost. Meanwhile, the funds the UK would have paid into the ERC pot can go to funding British science directly, being added to the 3bn quid per year (already larger than the ERC annual budget) handed out by the RCUK. Please note, the ERC funding did not guarantee even one Euro being spent in the UK, whereas the RCUK spends it all in the UK.

But, the real kicker that everyone is glossing over in their wailing is that the ERC also gives grants to non-EU institutions, which means UK scientists can still apply outside the EU.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Lotaresco Lotaresco Scientists - just too "ethical"?

"Logic doesn't appear to be your thing. Your claim was that scientists don't build mainframes. You were wrong. I cite examples of scientists building mainframes. You cherry-pick your reply and make the (irrelevant) comment about MIT and Michigan and EU grants. Your comment was *not* that EU scientists don't build mainframes it was that scientists don't build mainframes....." It was you that stated scientists are "practical" and built their own kit, to which I responded by showing that they didn't always, and especially not when it comes to IT. Your three examples are not the norm, therefore you did not prove your point, I proved mine. You may have a problem following that logic but I'm sure the rest of the readers will not. It would seem your "science" is along the lines of simply repeating what you believe loudly and long enough in the hope it will overturn logic and evidence.

"......Geologists? They operate drilling rigs......" I've worked with geologists (including a very interesting project for a 3D mapping tool for underwater exploration - lots of COTS image-processing servers and storage, no drilling rigs though) and they would be most upset by your denigrating them as just "operating drilling rigs". By the sounds of it, it is you that knows very little about what other scientists outside your field actually do. Indeed, you're merely reinforcing the whole "ivory tower" line with your blinkered ranting.

"....You OTOH are coming over as someone with a massive chip on his shoulder." LOL, it is more that you seem to arrogantly believe only you have the right to comment on scientific research budgets - yeah, you did pause between rants to remember that's what the article is about, right? Apparently not.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Lotaresco Re: Lotaresco Scientists - just too "ethical"?

"....There are the hypercubes built at MIT and the university of Michigan....." Looks like your field is not in geography - Michigan is not in the EU and would not be receiving EU grants.

"......The dedicated VR system built at the University of Loughborough. The cellular processor arrays built by the University of Manchester...." So, out of all the hundreds, if not thousands, of institutions that might receive grants from the EU, you managed two, Loughborough and Manchester. It would seem statistical analysis was also not part of your speciality.

".....scientists built mainframes, subsystems, processors...." No. A small subset of scientists in engineering disciplines build prototypes of next generation IT gear. The vast majority of IT in commercial and educational institutions is designed and built from COTS kit and installed by technicians, and the people ordering and that kit and services are part of the administration and usually not scientists.

"....a bit of a sign that you haven't had any direct experience...." I never claimed to be a lab assistant, I simply explained how I have had plenty of dealings with those spending the research funds the article mentions. Or do you want to pretend all scientists in all fields have to extract a nucleus from a cell before they get a grant? Really? What, scientists doing research in geology, climate science, mathematics, polymers, they all do exactly what you do? Yeah, right! Try again. The one thing the majority of researchers will have in common is a requirement for IT, and they will usually not be specifying it themselves but going to the administration for it. I suppose next you'll try and claim they all build the buildings their labs and offices are in?

".......15th....." Apart from the fact that I'm waaaaay beyond that number, you yourself admitted you left science to enter the IT/engineering field and are part of the non-scientific administrations that actually make the decisions on how the majority of research funds are spent! LMAO!

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Chris 239 Re: Shock

".....the remain camp obviously did not rig the vote....." Hmmm, a very debatable point. For a start, they tried to stack the vote by allowing non-UK citizens from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus (all in the EU) that lived in the UK to vote, along with the population of Gibraltar (gee, I wonder which way all those were likely to vote?). They also did so little to register ex-pats living outside the EU it seemed like a blatant attempt to deny them the vote, saying if they hadn't been UK residents for 15 years then they were not allowed to vote. That meant you had pensioners living in Spain that had lived and paid taxes in the UK for sixty-plus years refused the right to vote, yet someone from Ireland that had moved to the UK only months before could! And then, after non-UK EU citizens resident in the UK had been told they would not be allowed to vote (much to Remain's annoyance), there was the strange "glitch" that meant many of them received polling cards anyway because some councils simply copied their names off the electoral rolls and straight into the polling lists.

You could probably take a million off the Remain vote figure for the above, but, as you say, it doesn't matter because Leave won.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Lotaresco Re: Scientists - just too "ethical"?

"....The majority of scientists are extremely practical people because practicality goes with the subject.....we have to make and service our own equipment....." I'm sure they are practical people, indeed I have worked with many that have overcome the limitations of their institutions' IT departments by simply learning how to manage their own IT gear (including one young gent with two degrees who "learnt" Linux in a fortnight!). But I don't recall many of them building their own mainframes. I have also met many senior scientists and lecturers that considered any such efforts beneath them, including one prof who refused to even use a PC and had one of his students type up all his reports, papers and even email! Despite your experience, I would suggest not all scientists are cut from the same cloth.

"....could you remove the nucleus from a cell....." I do remember something about the theory of doing so from back in secondary school biology. Of course, if I want basic lab work done I'd hire a lab assistant. But when you guys need someone to design out datacenter halls and populate them with the software, systems, networking and storage required to help you map out the human genome, calculate the number of asteroids in the Kuiper belt, or just keep the records on all those criminals you mentioned, I'm much more likely to get the call than you, thanks. And if they need someone to actually talk to the business side of the institutions and explain how they can share resources, re-use investment and break projects down into smaller commitments to get under budgeting thresholds then I've already been there, whilst you were presumably busy with your nuclei and millingrams of toxin.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: AC Re: Scientists - just too "ethical"?

"I don't think you really understand how scientific research is conducted...." Oh, I do understand how research is conducted, but I also know that has SFA to do with how funding decisions are made. Behind every team of boffins earnestly peering into their Petri dishes is a bureaucracy that actually controls who gets what in terms of money, staff and facilities. When someone in Cambridge decides they want to do a project with their scientist buddies in Helsinki, Berlin and Prague, they have to get approval from someone else to spend the money. Even at universities there will be a committee that signs off on research grants, and they will not all be scientists, they will largely be administrators. I have built new research sites up from green fields to finished labs and datacenter halls, I have seen how the money gets passed out, and the people making the final decisions often don't even have science degrees.

".....Science is not a business...." Er, yes it is! It is big business, whether it is run as university research or by big conglomerates like GlaxoSmithKline. Universities have long since switched themselves over to be being businesses rather than just recipients of government largesse. I'm not surprised you might have missed that seeing as organisations like RCUK (assigning 3bn quid of research funding every year in the UK) are there in the background to take away as much of the funding red-tape as possible, allowing the scientists to get on with their research.

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Matt Bryant
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Devil

Scientists - just too "ethical"?

A lot of the scaremongering expressed in this thread revolves around the idea bitter EUers will use the uncertainty of Brexit to chop British scientists out of long-term projects. They probably will, they may not, but I've always been taught to quit moaning about the issue and start looking for a solution. I'm guessing that the ivory-tower-dwelling scientific community are simply too detached from the nasty, devious World that consultants live in not to be prepared for this, but it looks like time to introduce you to incremental selling.

If a project looks to be a long-term commitment and requires a big funding commitment, it's not unusual for businesses to baulk at the idea of paying for it up front. You may find there are budget thresholds above which more committees and decision-makers have to be involved, usually leading to even more delays. The way around this is to break the project down into smaller, incremental projects and sell it on the basis that you can stop or transfer the work after the first stage. The reality is, once funds have been sunk into that first stage, it will be harder for the business to resist signing off on the next small budget for stage 2, and so on (this is especially true with government organisations which are fearful of news articles painting them as "wasteful"). And every stage completed gives you the twin arguments of success and experience.

So, if some lEUser is denying you budget or participation because you are looking at a five-year project, simply see what you can get done in the two years likely between the Article 50 declaration and the end of negotiations, try and break it down into smaller lumps, then go ask for commitment to those smaller projects. You'll be asking for a smaller lump then the EU competitors, who will have priced for the full project, and if you have segmented the work correctly you can claim it will be easy to switch future tasks to an EU-based team. No matter how many scientists are involved in the decision-making, at some point there will be an unscientific bean-counter, and to him your lower cost will resonate. Of course, once the work is started, it has momentum and you can start banking the learned knowledge that makes it harder to transfer the work to another team, and the same bean-counter will be looking at the small increment in budget for stage 2....

/Come to the Dark Side, we have cookies!

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Sirius Lee - downvoters need a reality check.

"....Or it was an excuse not to have to live in Glasgow...." All the downvoters need to stop and admit something - if they had to draw up a list of the ten cities in Europe they would most like to live and work in, I'm pretty sure places like Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, even Rejkjavik, would appear much, much, much more frequently than Glasgow (and that's making the generous presumption it would appear at all!).

Yes, I have worked in Glasgow and, no, it would not appear on my list. Barcelona, from personal experience, would probably be my number one choice.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: aimanidiot Re: Boo fucking hoo

"....EU fund....." Did your friend ever stop to think that post-Brexit and the removal of the UK's contribution the EU fund might be a chunk smaller, threatening any EU-based projects anyway? And that's before you have to look at the reduction in funding highly likely when the Italian banks collapse.

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Matt Bryant
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Reality check.

"....the University of Glasgow was having a hard time attracting a “top physicist”...." I'm guessing the locale was actually more of a deterrent. Of course, the unmentioned good news is that this means more chance an actual local physicist will get the job rather than some EUer.

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An anniversary to remember: The world's only air-to-air nuke was fired on 19 July, 1957

Matt Bryant
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Mushroom

The British "Genie"

Britain had her own '50s air-launched nuke missile programs, including the wonderfully code-named "Green Cheese" missile, a nuke-tipped anti-ship missile. In true British fashion, the designers and employers (the Royal Navy) didn't do much exchanging of notes and the missile turned out to be too heavy for the Gannet aircraft it was meant for! Then someone pointed out the even bigger problem that the "Green Cheese" missile's seeker head had to have a clear view of the target at launch, something it couldn't do from inside the bomb-bay of the Gannet. Luckily, the Blackburn Buccaneer turned up with its rotating bomb-bay doors, which meant "Green Cheese" could progress. It's final development was code-named "Cockburn Cheese" (to which the typical sailor's response was "I hope it does more than that to the Russians!"), which suffered the usual fate of most British developments of the day, having its funding cut. Instead, the RN and RAF ended up with "dumb" nuke bombs, the boringly named WE.177 series.

Talking of fallout radiation, another charmingly-named British weapon from the 50's was the "Blue Bunny / Blue Peacock" series of nuclear landmines. The idea was, in the event of a likely Soviet attack, to quickly plant a chain of the devices at prepared sites across the expected attack routes of Soviet armies storming across the North German Plain. The explosions would not just devastate any Soviet forces caught in the blasts but also create a broad "firewall" of radiated land the Soviets would be unlikely to want to launch a second wave over. How the Germans felt about the idea is not recorded! "Blue Peacock" was noted for the unusual method in which the bomb mechanism was kept from freezing - when armed, a live chicken was entombed in the bomb casing with enough food and water to keep for a week, the body heat from the chicken keeping the circuits at an operating temperature!

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Doug S Re: 300 meter blast radius

"What stops you from spacing the bombers further apart than that to prevent a bomb from taking out more than one bomber?" The Soviets had three problems with that idea.

Firstly, their bombers were very vulnerable to interceptors when flying alone or widely-spaced. Their most common bomber was still the Tu-4 copy of the WW2-era B-29 Superfortress and their best the Tu-16 (roughly equivalent to the B-52 but without the electronics). The Soviet fighters simply didn't have the range or performance to act as escorts (their long-range interceptor, the Yak-25 couldn't dogfight, and their best dogfighter, the MiG-15, didn't have the range). And in 1958 the Red Chinese suffered a very nasty shock during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, when American Sidewinder AAMs were used for the first time. For the Soviets, this meant every USAF interceptor in the late '50s had a very good chance of shooting down singleton Soviet bombers outside the range of their defensive cannon. The only recourse was to fly in big swarms and hope cross-fire would keep the interceptors at bay.

The second reason was the Soviets simply didn't have the advanced navigation tools and training of the US's SAC bomber crews, often getting lost when sent out alone on Artic exercises. The Soviet answer was to have a few highly-trained lead bombers and then have the rest stay in visual range of their lead bomber, making them vulnerable to weapons like Genie if intercepted over the Artic ice.

The third reason they didn't fly widely spaced was because the Soviet high command worried that individual crews could not be trusted not to defect!

/"Hamster Huey And The Big Kablooie" icon, natch.

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If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

Matt Bryant
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Re: LDS Re: Dirty ground

"....grounding issue...." Yeah, it is surprising how often someone decides it's a good idea to save $5 per rack by not buying the Earthing kit from the rack vendor. We had a partner who kept causing delays on a project because one of their servers kept having RAM and HBA failures. Because it had only been happening for six months or so, their admin insisted it was zinc whiskers coming off the tiles in the old datacenter flooring - cue two extensive vacuum-cleanings of all the racks and underfloor space, plus all the old floor tiles being replaced (not cheap!). Nothing changed, to the point where my employer threatened to sue them if they couldn't solve the problem. A quick chat with the vendor who had switched out the components told me it wasn't zinc whiskers but static damage, which the admin ignored because it didn't fit his pet theory. So what else had changed in around six months before?

A new set of vending machines had been installed in a corridor behind the DC. The carpet tiles in that corridor created static. Prior to the new machines, the staff had to go out of the building to get food, using an anti-static station when coming back into the DC. The new vending machines were accessible by cutting through the DC, the staff stocking up on snacks and static, then traipsing back through the DC and often touching the un-Earthed racks on the way through.... One box of Earthing kits and an additional Earthing station later and problem solved.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: DainB Re: Start with the basics...

"....cabling....." I'd suggest that's because cabling is usually done on the lowest bid because manglement don't realise that there is a vast difference in quality between cable manufacturers, let alone cable layers. The other contributor to such issues can be no rack cabling standards in use.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: AC

"Cat5e"? You were spoilt, lad! In my day, we had to get up an hour before went to bed, drink a cup of hot gravel, then go work 28 hours-a-day wi' IBM Token Ring. Ah, the horrors you young uns never saw.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Dave 126 Re: Pournelle's law, well one of them anyway...

From the days filling out service forms (when online forms didn't exist), we had a box where we had to enter our reason for replacing an item, regardless of how obvious the problem, and one of my colleagues gained fame for actually using the following phrase repeatedly and it not getting spotted by management - "Field Unit Checked, Known Error Detected".

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Matt Bryant
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Re: CAPS LOCK Re: Pournelle's law, well one of them anyway...

"....always suspect the cables." But also be careful to test them as they are installed (usually curled up and held by Velcro because the SCSI cable is like 15 feet long when the server is only six inches from the drive). I had an engineer who insisted one pair of SCSI cables were good and refused to replace them, because he took them out of the rack and laid them out straight to test them. I suspected they had been curled too tightly, beyond minimum curvature of the cable, and straightening them was making the damaged wires inside the cable contact and pass his test, but the minute they went back in the rack and were wrapped up the break opened. He said that was unlikely, but when he wrapped them up and tested them they both failed. Lesson learned - test as you mean to use isn't just for software.

/Beer, 'cos that what cabling war stories are meant for!

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If managing PCs is still hard, good luck patching 100,000 internet things

Matt Bryant
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Go

thingatechtures

Please continue to use.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Roland6 Re: Oil Rigs

So you're suggesting dumb sensors all feeding into a local smart hub that then feeds the cloud? Seems a good idea to me. It also sounds like the preferred Intel option and one that would fit nicely with ARM.

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Missile bods MBDA win Brit military laser cannon contract

Matt Bryant
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Re: Doug S Fair weather models

As an eye-opener to just how appalling the weather conditions the Royal Navy endured in the Atlantic in WW2, a friend reminded me of the scheme to make a carrier out of sawdust and ice, which required working conditions of -15 degrees C!

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Matt Bryant
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Pirate

Re: Doug S Re: Fair weather models

"Is the UK anticipating fighting future wars in an arctic blizzard?...." On several occasions the Royal Navy has fought in truly appalling weather, notably during the Artic Convoys to Russia in WW2 (including the sinking of the Scharnhorst in a full snowstorm during the Battle of the North Cape), and the more recent Falklands War. Personally, I'm quite pleased to see the Fish Heads planning for something to be used in other than bright skies and calm seas.

/Most definitely not a sailor's life for me!

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It's neat having speedy, flashy boxen but they need connecting, too

Matt Bryant
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A foot in both camps?

Seeing as Intel are also (IIRC) on the Infiniband Trade Association board and make IB products, it would seem they have either a viewpoint that makes them think their new tech will beat IB, or at least be more competitive than at first take.

I suppose one key advantage Intel may be able to offer is to be able to switch cores in and out of use for the interconnect. The article mentions the case when all the nodes have finished processing and are then readying to transmit the data to the central control node. In the Infiniband case, everything gets pushed out through a bus to the cards where ASICs package it up and send it on its way. In the new Intel offering, the data could still be in RAM and the cores that have finished processing can now be switched to crunching the packaging problem, probably faster as a group than ASICs on even a set of cards. I suppose it all depends on how clever Intel are with the drivers.

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Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister

Matt Bryant
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Re: jbrias Re: I guess you guys haven't heard

".....the F-35 is a lemon....." Well, the RAF joke about it being the Bannana Fighter because it's only really suitable for fighting Third World Bannana Republics. But, if you think about it, that was all it was really intended for.

"....It was supposed to be all things to all services. Instead, it doesn't do anything particularly well...." Actually, no. It was always intended to operate mainly in the ground-attack role (at least in the F-35A version), with cover from real air-superiority fighters (like the F-22 and Typhoon) and under the care of NATO's AWACS umbrella. If you look back to when it was conceived, the expected US future wars were NATO/UN peacekeeping (Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) or fighting the Russians, Chinese or Norks. For the latter two there are hard runways in Japan and Korea for F-22s to provide cover, so the F-35s will likely be bomb-trucking. Wars like Afghanistan = more bomb-trucking, but with no air opposition. Russia would probably be the sternest test, but again with cover from F-22s and Typhoons.

The USN's F-35Cs will probably see combat doing more bomb-trucking, after several waves of sub-launched cruise missiles will have destroyed any opponents air defences. Opponents like Iran will be attacked first by land-based USAF aircraft (after lots of cruise missiles have wiped out air def radars and knocked out enemy runways).

Even the RN's F-35Bs have limited opposition - more bomb-trucking in support of NATO/UN against guerrilla forces, as the Harriers did in Kosovo and Iraq; patrolling the Iceland Gap for sub-hunting "Badger" bombers in a war with Russia; or going down South for more bomb-trucking in a Falklands 2 scenario, because the bankrupt Argentineans don't actually have any fast fighters flying (the Air Force grounded all their Mirages, Daggers and A-4s for lack of spares, and the Navy's Super Etendards make the F-35B look good, and the four RAF Typhoons based at Stanley would probably clean up anything before it got within range of the carrier's F-35Bs anyway).

The F-35 was never intended to be an air-superiority fighter to supplant the F-22 or Typhoon. It is and always will be a secondary interceptor at most, and the rest of the time a bomb-truck (albeit a very expensive one).

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Matt Bryant
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Boffin

Re: Crazy Operations Guy

"....straight-deck carriers...." Angled decks came into being with the advent of fast jet catapult launches, when the biggest launch danger was falling into the sea and being then run over by your own carrier. They add considerably to the weight of the ship. Since the new carriers were never intended to launch conventional fast jets the removal of an angled deck was both practical, logical and a big cost-saving.

Buying existing US carrier designs would have been a smart option except for the fact they don't provide any UK jobs and therefore don't buy votes - sorry, I meant to say "not preserve essential UK skills". The non-nuke-powering does have two rarely mentioned advantages - firstly, it means the carriers can use normal docks in the UK; secondly, it means we are welcome at some harbours in the rest of the World (such as in New Zealand) that will not allow the nuke-powered USN carriers to dock.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Archtech Re: sub-launched nuclear armed cruise missiles

".....12.7% of Russians are below the poverty line, compared to 14% in the UK....." Your comparison has a few issues. Firstly, the poverty line in a country is a nominal figure based on average food prices and family income. Therefore, as a country develops, the poverty line moves up. The poverty line is thus a much lower in Russia as the average UK monthly income is seven times that of Russia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage). The UK's "poverty" line is roughly four times the average wage in Russia!

You also compare overall economic figures without looking at per capita figures. Russia's population is roughly three times that of the UK. And when talking about deficits, you really should have discussed the ability to borrow - the UK can borrow well as we have a good economic history and are trusted by international banks, whereas Russia's ability to borrow is hampered by historical defaults and economic sanctions.

"....Russian Su-37, today's "gold standard" in jet fighters....." LOL! The Su-37 was a technology demonstrator development of the old Su-27, which used thrust-vectoring tech (copied from the West), and never entered production. Your claim of per-unit figures is therefore most obviously pulled from your backside! Sukhoi haven't had much luck selling a next gen "gold standard", their latest attempt being the forward-swept Su-47 (again, tech copied from the West), also which never went into production. Did you mean the Su-35, which is just an update of the Su-27 from the '80s? IIRC, when subjected to open competition in the Brazillian fighter selection trials, the Su-35 didn't even make it through to the final three shootout. Despite the Russians offering to buy 100 Embraer airliners if the Brazillians bought Sukhois, the Brazillian Air Force's first choice was the F/A-18 (much to socialist Presdent Rousseff's annoyance). The eventual winner was the SAAB Gripen, not your supposed "gold standard" Sukhoi.

Finally, and most tellingly, it is common to find Russians that have moved to the West for the greater economic opportunities. Chelsea is packed out with Russian oligarchs! The chances of finding any UK entrepreneur or millionaire that has done the reverse is on parity with snowballs in Hell.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Danny 14

"....and should have been nuclear...." Yeah, but the design contract started under Labour, and they have far too many CND luvvies in their ranks to allow a nuke design.

"....Pity that BAE (sic) couldn't do that....." BAe Systems not only bought the Vickers subsidiary that made the nuke Vanguard class Trident subs, they have managed all the work on their Rolls-Royce PWR2 reactors, and are involved in the PWR3 design for the next-gen class that will replace the Vanguards. So I'd say the new carriers not being nuke-powered has nothing to do with BAe's capabilities.

/Yeeaaarrrggggghh, obviously.

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Using Comcast biz phones? Hope you liked your afternoon off

Matt Bryant
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Facepalm

I suspect the billing platform.

For it to hit so many areas rules out a single point of failure like one backbone switch, and the fact it hit just one class of customer really does make it look like someone did something silly to the backend database. I'm betting someone applied a bad billing rule to the small business customers' accounts, realised if half way through the update and quickly cancelled it, but then realised they would have to go back through all the accounts database to find all those effected.

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IBM scraps loyal staffer gifts in favour of... a congratulatory social page

Matt Bryant
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Meh

Not just IBM.

One big multinational I worked for realised they were wasting money on a five, ten and fifteen year reward scheme because it was rare for anyone to make it to five years. People treated you like an "old-timer" if you got past two years! Consequently they scrapped the rewards and instigated a scheme where you got an automated email "from the CEO" every year on your employment anniversary - not even a paper letter or card, just a robo email!

At another, our scheming department manager said he would give everyone a choice - a cake for their team to share or individual lunch out with him (which meant forty-plus free lunches a year for greedypants) - he was rather upset when everyone, to a man, chose the cake option!

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Friends with benefits: A taxing problem for Ireland in a post-Brexit world

Matt Bryant
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Re: AC Re: Errr, "Britain’s only land border is with Ireland"???

"Did I miss something? Ireland is an island, and you need to take a ferry or plane to get to it from the UK." Northern Ireland is part of the UK and has a LAN border with the Republic of Ireland.

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Tech firms reel from Leave's Brexit win

Matt Bryant
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FAIL

Re: AC AC Brexit will never actually happen

"....Your reasoning is analogous to saying that "people could travel perfectly well between London and Birmingham before the railway was introduced, so train travel makes no difference"....." Your original post was the equivalent to suggesting that removing the train service between Birmingham and London would not only stop all youth traveling between the two cities, but somehow render them incapable of traveling anywhere else.

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Bomb-disposal robot violently disposes of Dallas cop-killer gunman

Matt Bryant
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Re: AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

"......so we will send in a robot with a bomb and detonate it (to kill him), thereby risking the detonation of the bomb we are afraid of. This makes no sense whatsoever." Only because your knowledge of explosives seems to only extend to Saturday morning cartoons. Most such devices have two stages - an initiator, AKA a detonator, and a main charge. The initiator provides a very intense, high-pressure pressure wave to trigger the main charge. The initiator usually has to be at least in contact with if not embedded into the main charge, otherwise the main charge will not explode. In looking for an example that might tie with your limited knowledge, you may have seen pics of mining charges where detonators are pushed into plastic explosives - the same detonator triggered only inches away from the plastic would not trigger the plastic (plastic explosive is so stable you can burn it on a camp fire). The type of explosives that make up main charges are usually chosen because their stability makes for safe handling, otherwise you (allegedly) end up like Abu Hamza al-Masri. When the cops used their small explosive they knew it was very unlikely to be close enough to the main charge of any bomb to cause it to explode. The same pressure wave that would not be triggering any explosives was still of sufficient force to disorient, disable or kill the perp, even through body armour (one of the nasty effects of the pressure waves caused by bombing in WW2 was people could survive the initial blast but have their lungs shredded by the pressure wave, leaving them to drown in their own blood).

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Matt Bryant
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FAIL

Re: Allan George Dyer Re: I suppose it really doesn't matter what killed him

".....who take revenge......" You obviously know nothing about US law, I suggest you go,do a lot more reading. The killer had refused to negotiate, refused to surrender, and stated he wanted to kill cops. The DoJ policy on lethal force states the following: ".....law enforcement officer ....may use deadly force only when necessary, that is, when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person....." The cops didn't know exactly what the killer had in his bolthole, but they knew he was armed with functioning firearms, claimed to have a bomb, and had shown every intent on killing. As such the cops were under no obligation to risk their own lives by going in and seeing exactly what weapons he had, and definitely legally obliged to minimise the risk to others the killer presented should he escape. Legally they had to try and kill him with minimal threat to the public and themselves, which a controlled explosion did. Killing him was completely legal.

The ironic bit is the killer would have known exactly the legality of the situation. As a reservist he had been deployed to Afghanistan and would have been told the legality of when and when not to kill as part of the rules of engagement. He knew that, when he rebuffed efforts to negotiate, he was committing suicide by cop, he probably just hoped he could go out shooting and take a few more cops with him. IMHO, I'm quite happy the bomb robbed him of the chance of further killing.

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Matt Bryant
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FAIL

Re: Fink-Nottle

"....surely these bots could be easily equipped with some sort of incapacitating knock-out gas...." WTF? So, the cops have him cornered, they have the chance to finish the confrontation with lethal force (which, after the suspect has used lethal force against the public, let alone officers, and still is a lethal threat, by law they are justified to do), and you want them to sit around on their hands, possibly giving the killer the chance to escape, and also ignoring that the officers were needed in the search for any accomplices, all on the off-chance someone would just happen along with a remotely-triggered canister of some super knockout gas?!?!? Seriously, get a clue. The cops used what they had at hand to safely end the threat to not just them but the public as well.

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Matt Bryant
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Facepalm

Re: AC Re: @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

".....gas....." He claimed to have a bomb. Despite what you've seen in the movies, magic "knockout gas" that instantly disables people does not exist, and there was a good chance he could have activated any device before gas affected him (and no guarantee someone who came prepared with body armour might not also have packed a gas mask).

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