Worth remembering that the warheads themselves are getting on a bit, too: I understand the average age of a US nuke warhead is itself more than 25 years... so managing something made in the 1980s with a system build in the 1970s doesn't sound so bad.
373 posts • joined 23 May 2007
Re: GEt a bigger "Gun"?
Unfortunately, Washington's anti-SLAPP law was _too_ good, and was struck down as unconstitutional last year. As far as I can tell, they haven't enacted a "fixed" version, so the state of play as of today is that Washington has no anti-SLAPP law. This is probably a fact well known to Landis + Gyr and the other contractors...
Excellent! I'm sure you've seen Section 38 of the contract between Landis + Gyr and the city, signed by a senior VP of L+G named William Weidenbach, which explicitly discusses Washington State's Public Records Act, and explains how the city isn't going to protect L+G's information for them...
That is, in essence, what the point of the records request was: so that an independent eye could review the system.
It's much worse than the article suggests:
The suit is directed at Mocek asks for damages because he posted material *that was released by the city*, which they allege contain trade secrets of the contractors. The notion is that the city released documents before they could be vetted by the contractors... and therefore the contractors will suffer harm (potentially, fair enough). But the complaint should, surely, be addressed to the city (who released the docs) not Mocek, who received them?
So (and this is based solely on the contractors lawsuit): the Mocek asked the city for documents; the city asked the contractors for redacted versions; the city provided Mocek those documents and (allegedly) accidentally some unredacted related docs; Mocek posted them; the contractors sued Mocek demanding that he not post any of the documents the city had given him; and would like a restraining order preventing the city from releasing the unredacted docs. Oh, and the contractors would like damages from Mocek for, apparently, posting the documents they prepared in response to his freedom of information request.
The contractors make great play, as the article notes, the risk if CyberBadGuys get the information... but again, that's addressed to the wrong people: it's not Mocek's responsibility to maintain the cybersecurity of the city's power system, that's the responsibility of the city. So if this was a rational (rather than SLAPP) lawsuit, surely it should be the city suing Mocek...
Finally, the contractors want to a complete list of everyone who has accessed the docs, which can be found at https://www.muckrock.com/foi/seattle-69/smart-meter-security-audit-plans-schedules-proposals-contracts-discussion-results-seattle-10378/, which is well worth a visit!
Don't speak nonsense: fees represent approximately 0.000001% of the reason why SF rents are higher than somewhere rather more than an hour away from the city. The real reason is supply and demand, in nice capitalist thinking. If your thesis were even remotely true, then you could explain why sales tax is lower in San Francisco than in San Mateo and Alameda counties (over 1% lower than the latter, as it happens). And while you need a permit in SF for a door opener, you also need one in the adjacent Daly City, so there goes that particular "fees lead to high rent" argument!
Is it really a battery...?
If it is just to handle motor start (which is the obvious high-power phase of a drive) then why use a chemical battery, as opposed to, say, a supercapacitor.
Then you need a "health" feedback signal from the supercap to the drive controller so that the drive knows not to schedule too many head seeks in a row (i.e. if the supercap voltage is less than X, delay seek until it's greater than Y).
[ Surely it's not just me who has used one of those cables with two type A connectors to start a portable drive, then unplug the "power only" connector to put the mouse back in? ]
Re: Hmm. How about Saturn V
Your basic space shuttle could throw about 24,000lbs into low earth orbit.
A "Coming soon" Space-X Falcon 9 is good for a little more than twice that, say 51,000lbs.
The first SLS systems should put about 70,000lbs up there.
The evolved SLS almost doubles that, to 130,000lbs (if it happens).
Saturn V: 140,000lbs.
[ To be fair, Saturn V was the product of the race to the moon, and the smarter way to accomplish what Apollo did these days would be to assemble the Lunar and Command/Service modules in orbit, possibly even with a reentry module, so you don't need the same amount of lift. ]
@Steve Davies 3: Depends whether you mean "now" or "then". One of the "now" factors is that Amazon has agreed to let some or many of the large publishers set the price; previously, Amazon did. This came about when Hachette took the lead-dog role in refusing to deal with Amazon.
The publisher's argument is the old record company argument: we Do Stuff so we need to take a large cut, and the punters will pay.
While there are many reasons to be suspicious of Amazon, if you're complaining about ebook pricing, look first to the publishers, because they are the ones that have spent years manipulating the market (e.g. by territorial boundaries, often accompanied with the questionable "for copyright reasons this edition is not for sale in the US & Canada" statement)!
Please try to keep up, Simon. The World+Dog has now realized that, while the specific order in the San Bernadino case applies to one device, the myriad of orders that will follow (using whatever language is accepted) if that order is approved will apply to large numbers of devices.
Therefore, as you'd know if you'd been paying attention, the "just one iPhone" argument has been discredited by the people who made it (when they noted that they had "about 12" more they'd like hacked) and that's not counting the state and local law enforcement types who have their own piles of phones that they'd love to unlock.
So it's clear that, if granted, that this would start a cottage industry in unlocking phones, which in turn means that the chances of the code escaping or it being misused are non-trivial (a point Apple has made).
P.s. it would be convenient for me if a cop car parked on the street in front of my house all day and all night. Surely if Apple's efforts are "reasonable", then having that cop outside 24/7 is just as reasonable, and indeed nothing more than their job.
The author's rather feeble effort to trivialize the First Amendment issues disgusted me... until it dawned on me that the Kieren McCarthy probably wrote that piece under duress from the US Department of Justice.
OK, so maybe not... but if Apple can be compelled to spend 10 man months or more using highly skilled individuals to create software (which, Kieren, is speech, as a matter of law, regardless of what you think), why can't some hack be compelled to spend 10 minutes or so banging out that article, and then attaching the by-line?
The cops are full of BS. Their argument is no different from arguing that cars should be limited to the speed of a galloping horse, so the cops can catch them. And it ignores the reality that unbreakable encoding has existed since the beginning of time: what does "Tora! Tora! Tora!" mean, anyway? (coding != ciphering, of course).
Yes, we understand it's convenient for cops to be able to mine all sorts of things for evidence, and we understand they've been able to achieve great things with the fruits of those mining expeditions, but fundamentally the cops (and Kieren) are arguing that everyone should be implanted with a GPS tracker / camera / recorder, because it would be jolly useful to have that evidence.
Had you perhaps missing the fact that iPhones are made in China? Sure, Apple could move the production... eventually.
Re: Ah, but that would involve *logic*
No, it's apparently a cyber unicorn, which could cause untold harm because everyone knows that unicorns pose a threat to the national security (because of the horn, obvs; that would never get past the TSA, so must be a terror weapon).
Re: Brain Encryption
@David Kelly 2: the First Amendment implication is trivially obvious: I have the right to speak *in whatever form I want*. I can speak in Navajo, should I choose. Or in an apparent stream of random noise.
Sure, nothing in the First Amendment protects my speech from the government trying to overhear it (that is the purview of the Fourth Amendment, which you forgot, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated").
But the government MAY NOT compel me to either speak in a way that is easy for them to listen to OR (as actually is relevant here) compel someone else to create tools to help them.
Just a footnote about H-1B workers: it may be that a reason that contributes to why an individual with an H-1B doesn't get the chop is that, by definition, they have a limited shelf life: when the visa expires, they're gone. So bean counters may have included H-1B workers in the calculations, but left them off the mass firing because they'll be gone in a few anyway, and doing it this way avoids paying severance / having them on staff for 90 days.
Re: Contempt of Court
No, Apple's non-compliance will (obviously) take the form of appeals from the (tiny, insignificant, junior, rubber-stamping) "Magistrate Judge" to other judges, likely ending up with an appeal to SCOTUS, who may or may not grant cert.
If they lose at that point, then they'll almost certainly comply. But with such loud complaints and public announcements of "future" features to prevent this that they'll come out OK, and the government will lose.
I find interesting that the DOJ's efforts spend a lot of time on the ownership of the phone, as if anyone cared once the search warrant was issued. Since this is s settled point (i.e. they have the phone and the warrant) the fact that the DOJ harps on about seems to me to suggest that they may be aware of the slipperiness of their footing.
I think that's true, but largely only by comparison with other got-rich-quick types (like Wall Street wizards).
However, while I am deeply distrustful of Facebook, I was genuinely touched to see that San Francisco General Hospital, which is where the indigent and everyone in the city goes who can't afford health care (and whose AIDS wards were the final stop for so many in the 1990's)... is now called the "Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital".
Yeah, that beats a new concert hall, or wing at a museum any day.
I am frankly flabbergasted that there is anyone on the fence here.
What the FBI has demanded is disgusting and evil.
Of course it is right that Apple should be prepared to help, and indeed they have been. The vile and evil conduct is in the demand that Apple must help.
Think about it: this is, on it's face, an order compelling a corporation to work for the government, even though the corporation doesn't wish to do so. If the government prevails, why would they not return at some stage requiring Apple to install, say, eavesdropping software on every phone and prohibiting them from disclosing that fact? They can wrap that up with "safeguards" like a requirement for a subsequent order to activate the software, which I'm sure the FISA court would be happy to provide...
Re: "Level of extremism"?
Well, quite. In 2006, Benjamin Netanyahu attended a commemoration of a clear act of terrorism... the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946 and the death of 91 people and one terrorist. Yesterday he claimed there could be no justification for terror. This illustrates both the hypocrisy of politicians (bombing hotels is OK if you're fighting for The Right Cause(tm), but not otherwise), but also the fungible nature of "terrorism" vs "freedom" or "independence" fighters.
Of course SuperDraco motors are restartable... wikipedia can be your friend!
Notice how the FBI and Homeland Security are concerned about... UNAUTHORIZED VIDEO COVERAGE!!!
Yep, the idea that some punter may get to see something except through the anointed TV channel is as big a threat to US security as bombs-n-shit. I mean, the ads on the blessed TV outlet cost MILLIONS, and for someone who paid that much money to not get their money's would be a crisis!
I have to wonder, given your obvious loathing of MS, why you don't insist all your customers/users simply disable the "install updates automatically" option and instead pick one of the two other options?
Mind you, I think every system I use (Linux, Mac, Windows, Andoid, etc) has some kind of "update available" mechanism, so I wonder what you're using...
So, err, you're saying that all your users are being encouraged to, err, upgrade.
Just not to a Microsoft product.
So I think the comment ("everyone... will upgrade eventually") is entirely accurate, no?
Mind you, if you think Microsoft is an abusive relationship, what the hell is Apple? The only truly honest assessment I've seen notes that the principle difference between Microsoft and Apple is that Apple is *better* at the process of abusing you. You're still abused.
Re: Its the wrong way to get off this planet
c.f. the Pascal-B test in the Operation Plumbbob test series. And the Project Orion.
The latter was theoretically safe (assuming you were on the vehicle; for those on the ground, the pollution would have been several times worse than even a Volkswagen diesel!)
And you know the vehicle's operational envelope how, exactly?
It doesn't matter if the thing was spinning like a catherine wheel, as long as it can correct for the actual motion vectors and convert them into the result you saw (and don't give a fuck about, which suggests you don't understand what you saw!)
Of course, it's possible that the landing was on the hairy edge of the thing's ability to correct for, and just lucked out. But unless you know what those limits are, your comment is specious.
Re: The good news is...
... but the bad news is that they can't use the decrypts in criminal prosecutions because they don't want you to know they can decrypt criminal conversations...
Mr D... you are sadly mistaken if you think us N'Americans have adopted chip-and-pin. The whole "remembering the pin" thing is apparently too complex for the average user, so all those chip-enabled cards actually implement "chip and signature", presumably so that thieves are not inconvenienced by the change, only those who try to create fake cards.
It's clear that the development of the "cheat device" was not the work of rogue engineers; as @sysconfig notes, the people who did it sent letters, etc. So the that shifts the theory onto much firmer ground: who approved which features should be in embedded in which release? And now you have a potential conversation that goes a bit like this:
Engineer (manager): "We've been working on the (configuration of the) emissions control system, and have got much peppier performance/better mileage/cuter boothbabes".
Business unit executive: "Will it pass the emissions tests?"
Engineer (manager): "Yup".
Granted, there's a certain amount of "Thomas a Beckett" going on ("Who will rid me of this turbulent emissions control regime?"), but I don't find it entirely implausible that some manager-of-engineering instructing a minion to leave the "emission test detection" code enabled and NOT reporting that up the chain of command, because he likely would have been engaged in a CYA over the fact that the bloody motor wasn't performing to plan.
Re: If it's anything like Virgin's Dreamliner
@AC... you're making the common mistake of assuming that the aircraft type has much to do with the aircraft interior. Airlines decide how many seats to stick in an aircraft, and often use different layouts (and spacing) within a fleet. So all your anecdote amounts to is "avoid Virgin's 787".
And sometimes the advice depends on your ticket type, too: if you're flying AA business class, choose a 777-300 ('77W') over a 777-200, because the 77W BC seats are great, but if you're flying coach and *don't* have some way of getting the "premium economy" seats, always pick the 777-200 (9 across in back) over the 777-300 (10 across).
Re: Tail fin
It is undeniable that *some* 787's are assembled with pre-painted tails, and others are not. Google "Everett 787 line" images and it's obvious... but it's also obvious that this video is fairly generic: much of the same footage has been used for other customers ("Scoot", as noted above)... but the videos become specific once the aircraft gets to the paintshop. And there's your real clue: if the aircraft shown been painted in BA colors hadn't actually had a pre-painted tail, why did they mask the tail in the paint bay?
So the bottom line is that this video is a hodgepodge of stock footage, (possibly) CGI-modded stock footage, and actual footage of the aircraft under discussion!
Re: Black Cab App?
@AC... those are the advantages of good cab booking apps, of which Uber has one, but the only one. There are other models that use the same sort of app, but do not "employ" the drivers; for example, locally there's a thing called Flywheel that uses an assortment of regular cabs to provide the same virtues that you extend to Uber: predictable wait times, preloaded destination addresses, etc.
Flywheel, IIRC, charges a fixed fee on top of the metered charge, but (critically) doesn't mess around with "surge pricing", which is where Uber rapes and pillages.
Re: King Cnut reference misleading.
@Lars, that's fine as far as it goes, and I think the majority of Brits do consider themselves "european", in the "Anglo-European" sense. The issue is whether Anglo-Europeans want to have anything to do with the Franco-Europeans, or the Germano-Europeans, or the Scandinavian-Europeans, or ineed the South-of-Dover-Europeans in general.
Re: Repeated Typo!
@Neil Barns @Fraggle A variant of this is the German model, where a representative of the workforce has a seat on the board. This strikes me as less problematic than the "workers as shareholders" concept (and I worked for The Partnership, aka JLP aka John Lewis), because it shouldn't matter whether you have one or a million shareholders and whether they are engaged or not (with the business, as employees are, as some pension funds are, and as investment orgs are usually not)).
Of course, the issue then becomes one of defining the workforce, but that again seems fairly simple to address: for every hour they work, they get one vote in issues involving the representative. Full time staff would end up with about 175 votes per month, part timers less. And it doesn't matter if they are salaried (as full or part time) or "outside contractors": 1 hour, 1 vote.
Re: Only VW?
@John Hawkins... I think that allegation is utter bosh. Possibly the last word of that sentence was mis-spelled.
Re: I smell another lawsuit
Alternatively, you could argue that Apple copied Google Wallet...
Google Wallet: September 2011
Apple Pay: September 2014
Perhaps, @Leedos@, you are unaware that Apple's history of innovation is a history of *MARKET* innovation, not technical innovation?
Re: Goodbye Applepay
Huh? All the high-end ones, without exception. Samsung Notes, Galaxys, LG G4s, Sony Xperias...
So you think wrong.
Meanwhile, cash also works fine. But sometimes alternatives have value, too.
Re: It's really simple
I'd observe that the much publicized spat between the publishers and Amazon was really a contest between an organization that understood the digital market (i.e. Amazon) and organizations that didn't (Hachette et al). We saw/see the same thing with the music publishers, the video producers, etc.
Yes, Amazon was trying it on. But the solution that they've adopted is counter-productive (as the data seems to show). A better solution would be to do what the physical retailers have done for years, which is come up with complex special arrangements (e.g. flat fee plus percentage, limited edition works, and so on ) so the retailer (WH Smiths, Amazon, whoever) can tinker with the formula without passing (all) of the risk upwards, but also with passing some of the profit that way.
Re: The question nobody is asking...
@Drybones re your "new design" comment: you appear to have missed the point that Falcon is a long skinny white-and-black painted cylinder with the engines at one end, just like the 1960's Redstone rocket, which puts yet another amusing spin on things.
Or alternatively perhaps you've missed the fact that you can have an all-new design for, say, a car and still put, say, the steering wheels at the front...
Re: Ha, ha, ha
@Bleu, it would appear that if there is a fool around, it may be you. Your assertion that SpaceX "runs off massive state subsidies" is unsupportable (i.e. totally false).
It is true, of course, that SpaceX enjoys subsidies: you can easily find a $20M subsidy from the state of Texas, but that's hardly "massive", and it's worth noting that anyone who offers to bring a certain level of investment and employment to the state could get the same deal, which is to say that the "subsidy" has nothing to do with what the business does, just where and who it employs. And in the whole scheme of things, $20M is peanuts.
What you omitted to mention was that, err, Soyuz enjoys a level of state-sponsored subsidy that makes every single US operator look like an amateur. Yes, Soyuz is cheap, but that's because it was paid for by the USSR and still operates under Russian military control.
Oh, and while we're at it, you're also dead wrong about the X Prize and Scaled Composites. The "cross subsidies" that you're probably alluding too were not subsidies, but the use of privately funded developments to sell capabilities to other customers, including the USAF (which, by the way, wanted to rent time on White Knight, not SpaceShip1).
What a self-serving load of bovine excrement!
The question "why would I trust you, you didn't have a camera on?" is at the very core of 21st century policing: why _should_ we trust the police?
Yeah, it would be spiffy nice if we did (at least, nice for them), but since it is almost axiomatic (worldwide) that the police will close ranks around an accused cop, it seems entirely reasonable to insist that they provide the structure to justify trust, rather than simply demand special credibility based solely on their natty headgear.
And when a cop wrings her hands and worries that the poor widdle coppers might be unjustly accused, one wonders what freakin' planet she's been living on! The rest of us have to deal with (the risk of) unjust accusations, so in actuality the appropriate response must be "welcome to the club, boys in blue!".
Re: A mere sideshow
It's not a bad debt, it's a deferred liability (deferred during the appeals process). The liability is real, and Samsung will have already taken appropriate action (not least because having to pay that much money tends to reduce profits noticeably, and reducing profits reduces taxes).
However, that's the accounting bit, which is largely irrelevant to this point: Samsung has posted (was required to post) what is known as a "supersedeas bond" with the court. A redacted docket entry approving the amount of such a bond is here: https://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/candce/5:2012cv00630/251113/2096. While the amounts Samsung is on the hook for are redacted, you can see that on the counter claims that Apple lost, and for which Samsung was awarded $158K in damages, Apple's supersedeas bond was agreed at $200K, or more than 125% of the award. Yep... bonds tend to be in excess of 100% of the award, which means that Samsung may have already posted a bond of $1.25B to cover the appeal of the initial $1B award!
(This is from the second trial, which is not the subject of the SCOTUS appeal. But the rules and the courtroom are the same).
The point of the bond is to prevent the use the appeal process to "run out the clock"... "Ooops, sorry, yes we owe you huge sums of money, but somehow we've lost it all and are no bankrupt with no assets other than this elegant ballpoint pen..."
I think it may well be a delaying strategy: as it appears that at least one of the (frankly ridiculous) design patents is close to being ruled invalid by the USPTO, if SCOTUS takes a few months to decide whether to hear the case, then its probable that by the time Samsung has to go back to the district court to pay the damages, the award for that particular patent will be null and void (as will the patent). THAT gives Samsung yet another bite at the apple (as it were) to argue that the jury award as a whole should be reheard.
It's also possible that SCOTUS might be interested in the mechanism by which damages were calculated: right now, the calculation is made on the revenue of the infringing product, with no attempt to determine the value of the infringing invention/design. So if the Samsung device had 100 times the functionality of the Apple thing (which it doesn't, but hypothetically...), the court still operates on the basis that the Samsung thing was successful because it looked like the Apple one.
Re: US readers...
FYI... in the UK, "castle homes" means homes that are castles. There are a fair few around...
Think of it like the NHS vs BUPA (etc): if you want to watch when they think you want to watch, go with the "free" (i.e. license fee funded) NHS-like option. If you want to watch on your schedule, go with the paid BUPA-like one. Note that the latter will be cheaper than it would be if former didn't exist, because the former provides a great base to build on.
Right... because commercial organizations don't have pointless management jobs, making fat salaries, and awarding themselves 6 figure bonuses...
... usually, because the salaries are obese, and the bonuses need 7 figures.
(Have you heard of, say, "banks"?)
Re: Let's all binge on Blake’s 7 and help save the BBC ... from itself
This is a totally daft assertion. The local town hall/library/municipal park/etc are generally property paid for by you, but that doesn't mean you can hold a dinner party there whenever you like.
To get slightly legalistic, you have a beneficial interest in the BBC content, but your ownership/interest is shared by many others, and the custodians actually have a duty to all the owners, not just you. That duty may actually result in charging a fee for access according to your schedule (and no fee if access is provided to all owners, i.e. the thing is broadcast), because those access fees should offset the need for the broadcast license fees. Since the presumption is that "everyone" pays the latter, the custodians are actually doing exactly the right thing: charge them that specifically want some of the back catalogue for the special access, and use the revenue to reduce (or not increase) the TV license fee for "everyone". Success! Joy!
By the way, did you expect to get DVDs of BBC programmes at just the physical DVD production and distribution cost? No?
Scaled is (now) a division of Northrop Grumman. The acquisition was announced the week before the accident to which you refer, but completed a month later. Therefore the legal entity that you suggest should have had the plug pulled did, in fact, change dramatically immediately after the incident (although for unrelated reasons).
Re: Motive ?
Nope, you're missing the point: if the pilot(s) believe that the handle moves the feather boom, and the safety catch prevents inadvertent activation of the handle, then unlocking the safety catch would have nothing to do with the transonic pressures: don't touch the handle, and the tail booms will remain where they're supposed to be. Granted, the experienced supersonic (not just jet) pilot would avoid (say) putting his hand on the handle, for the reasons you mention, but the key issue is that, in reality, the safety catch locks the booms in place, not the handle (if you see what I mean).
Re: Motive ?
Having actually been inside the vehicle, and seen the simulator procedures (i.e. "flown" in the simulator), the critical issue is probably that there are two parts of the feather boom controls: the lock, and then the honking great handle that actually moves the tail into the father position. So it's very very reasonable to believe that a pilot could have believed that unlocking the boom early was benign, and the tail would remain where it was supposed to be until the handle was pulled; in other words, that the lock was philosophically more like a cover over a control rather than an actual part of the mechanical mechanism. That is clearly a design flaw, although perhaps an understandable one if the original thinking about the lock mechanism was primarily to prevent boom deployment while attached to the ferry aircraft (WhiteKnight2, etc).