* Posts by Malcolm Weir

335 posts • joined 23 May 2007

Page:

Falcon 9 fireworks display grounds SpaceX

Malcolm Weir

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...

5
1
Malcolm Weir

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).

2
1

Body-worn cameras a 'Pandora's Box' says ex Vic Police chief Nixon

Malcolm Weir

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!".

16
1

Samsung goes to US Supreme Court to wriggle out of paying Apple millions of dollars

Malcolm Weir

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..."

2
0
Malcolm Weir

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.

13
0

Small number of computer-aided rifles could be hacked in contrived scenario

Malcolm Weir

Re: US readers...

FYI... in the UK, "castle homes" means homes that are castles. There are a fair few around...

0
0

Let's all binge on Blake’s 7 and help save the BBC ... from itself

Malcolm Weir

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.

2
0
Malcolm Weir

Re: you

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"?)

5
1
Malcolm Weir

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?

3
0

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crackup verdict: PILOT ERROR

Malcolm Weir

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).

1
0
Malcolm Weir

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).

8
1
Malcolm Weir

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).

12
0

Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Malcolm Weir

Look, you want a service contract, go buy a service contract. Otherwise, how on earth can you demand that a product you bought yesterday be guaranteed to be upgradeable to a product released tomorrow? It's just preposterous.

And your example is simply inaccurate. The hardware (from HP or otherwise) doesn't stop working the way it always has, it just becomes vulnerable to recently discovered issues. After a 1 year warranty (or whatever), why should you get free updates simply because you want them? Sure, many companies do provide them, for whatever reason, but the issue is whether you have a right to such updates for no other reason than your opinion that the thing you bought should have a lifetime of whatever you think it should be!

And the example cited here of Apple being good at this is simply laughable: Apple patches things when they want to, and they have a long track record of being slow to roll patches out. They were also very late to OTA updates, and so on. I have a pal who is still chugging along on his old PowerPC Mac running the software it ran back in 2004. From his standpoint, until it dies, it does exactly the same job it did when he bought it, and any change would cost him time and money, and the fact that you or I might have a reason to change doesn't mean that he would agree with either of us!

0
0
Malcolm Weir

OK, let's argue that. If the vendor had no knowledge of the defect at the time, how do you draw a line between "bugs" and "features"? Remember, while we're talking about something that I suspect most people would agree is a bug, how do you draw a bright line between defects that require fixing, and defects that are of the "it just doesn't work the way I think it should" variety? Some may be easy to categorize, but others...?

And what constitutes an acceptable fix? Could a vendor (e.g.) provide a patch that simply turned off this Stagefright feature? Because it could be argued that nowhere did they explicitly state the expected behavior; rather "you" assumed that it should behave in a given way.

It's tempting to want consequential liability and warranted functionality, but to be honest we've (all) been buying software for decades without it, so you'd have a really tough time trying to insist on it now on a commodity item like a phone.

1
1
Malcolm Weir

Re: filter at the telco level?

Nonsense.

In the UK, telco's filter over-the-air content all the time (and are in fact required to do so). You can request that they turn the filter off, but you have no legal comeback if they filter something you want.

It's just false to assert that an ISP would somehow become liable for anything if they blocked malicious MMS traffic. Particularly since this is exactly analogous to efforts to block what used to be called "phone phreaking": techniques to misuse telco systems to achieve nefarious ends.

4
0
Malcolm Weir

Five years? Why not fifty? Or a hundred?

Seriously.

What you're actually asking for is something like a service contract where, as long as pay the premiums, they undertake to fix any flaws. But I'll bet the take-up ratio of that sort of model would be very low, because the consumer wants a cheap gadget, and the fact that you want the vendors to be liable for some indeterminate amount of work for however long you want them to be liable will have a predictable effect on the price (hint: upwards). So does the average punter want to pay for what you want them to have, or what they are OK with getting?

1
0
Malcolm Weir

Legal remedies available: none.

The thing you bought is as functional now as it was when you bought it

Then, as now, it was vulnerable to some number of attacks, and if those attacks compromise your financial information, then that is a criminal act on the part of the attacker. Your agreement/contract/tacit understanding with the vendor in no way includes liability on the vendor for criminal acts of third parties.

Your theory is as daft as asserting that the people who made your wallet are liable if you get mugged and the mugger steals the cash out of it.

3
4

Thinking of adding an SSD for SUPREME speed? Read this

Malcolm Weir

Simon, you consistently mangle PCIe width and PCIe speed. Obviously, anytime anyone says "x2" or "x4", etc. they are referring to width. For example, the M25 may have four lanes in each direction, but the speed is still 5 mph... Yes, I know you managed a nod to (actual) PCIe speed towards the end (Gen1, etc) but at the end of the day the average Joe won't care if you have a Gen2 x2 or a Gen1 x4.

2
1

Samsung's latest 2TB SSDs have big hats, but where's the cattle?

Malcolm Weir

So one (possibly not entirely credible) report suggests that they, with potentially atypically high write rates, would hit the endurance limit in 5 years.

Oddly enough, that's been the expected lifespan of a magnetic disk for many years.

From which we can conclude that these SSDs can be expected to last as long as a magnetic drive, although the failure modes will obviously be different.

So no problem there.

2
0

Americans in Europe like using Wi-Fi calling, Ericsson discovers

Malcolm Weir

Yup. My mother-in-law uses it to get calls to her cell phone in her bunker of an office: not a hint of a cellular signal, but her mobile number works as expected. It's also great for some small communities that have landline coverage, and therefore internet and WiFi, but not much in the way of cell coverage because the population density is too low for anyone to care.

0
0
Malcolm Weir

Quite, and it's total BS: the implementations I've used (Three in the UK, T-Mobile in the US) solve the problem by NOT handing off: if you lose WiFi, the call drops, and if you place the call on the cell network, it will not hand off to WiFi. You can tell the (T-Mobile) phone which to prefer if both are available, and you can block the use of the cell network.

1
0
Malcolm Weir

Re: How?

Err.. @DougS: actually, it is standardized, part of the IMS 3GPP specs (as the article helpfully notes). And it works really, really, well. I've been happily using it with T-Mobile USA for at least 5 years (the first time in the UK was in late 2010, when I happily connected to a BT hotspot in the Highlands and got cellphone coverage where no-one else could, and without roaming (to call the USA, naturally). Network performance is an issue, and it will refuse to enable itself if the network connection isn't satisfactory, but it works with a Three WiFi dongle, but not with a satellite service.

On American Airlines aircraft in flight, it's used to provide SMS access (for free), although not voice (thank god). MMS doesn't work unless you've bought the generic internet access service (from Gogo Inflight), which is totally acceptable once you've figured out your phones predilection for using MMS instead of simple SMS.

It's supported on T-Mobile's higher end phones, including Android, iOS and Windows. Right out of the box, too: you just select WiFi preferred, Cellular preferred, or never use Cellular. The only snag is that if you are used to wandering around while on the phone, you have to remember not to walk too far away from the hotspot.

Of course, these days it's less essential, since T-Mobile has essentially given up raping for international calling, data services and SMS in a reasonable number of countries (including the UK); (sure, the free data rate is capped at 128Kbps, but it means that e.g. Google Maps "just works", to the extent that it just works anywhere, when I walk out of an airport in Europe, Israel, etc.

1
0

Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers

Malcolm Weir

Re: Simple to check?

"One of the Concordes"? Most of them are.

The Smithsonian annex at Dulles Airport has one of the French ones... but I believe that none of the aircraft were left in a flyable state, i.e. parts were deliberately removed after their final flight (in the case of the BA aircraft, partly because they couldn't keep all seven aircraft in flyable condition anyway). It would therefore prove nothing if you didn't find anything...

Other French Concordes are at the museums at Le Bourget, Orly and Shinsheim in Germany.

So, counting the one at Toulouse and the one at CDG, that's all the French ones (after they scrapped one in 1994, FFS).

0
0

US plans to apply export controls to 0-days put out for comment

Malcolm Weir

Re: The article and comments are misleading

@Don Ames/w1guu

It appears, you're right in some areas, not so right in others. For instance, while the actual text of the Wassenaar Agreement is interesting, it is of only peripheral relevance to US law, which is only concerned with the actual Federal Regulations. So an enabling regulation can be substantially broader than required.

But, yes, the EAR Part 734.7 (and possibly 734.8) have bearing on the matter, but the effect of them is awful: anyone wanting to avoid the export controls *has* to publish everything, including the "proof of concept" attack code, if they want to notify the hypothetical Chinese router manufacturer. This is possibly an even worse situation, because they cannot limit disclosure to the known good guys. So if I discover an attack vector, I *have* to hand it off to the bad guys, too... which is possibly a Bad Idea.

And the fact that the 40+ countries agreed on making intrusion software "dual use" doesn't mean much, because the people at the table deciding these things are typically NOT representative of the broadest constituency. In other words, the Mil/industrial base gets a disproportionately loud voice, and the open source community is disproportionately under-represented.

1
0
Malcolm Weir

Re: We have this sort of ...

@All names Taken: the Scottish thing is not at all contradictory, no matter what how might appear, because the votes were about different things. In the in/out vote, although much of the rhetoric was anti-Westminster-political-parties, the actual question boiled down quite simply and the other ties with the rest of the UK (i.e. the social, cultural, etc ones) won out. In the General Election, no-one cared about anything except the anti-Westminster-party stuff (aka "they're all equally horrible"), so the SNP won big precisely because they are not a traditional part of the London political system, and are not likely to be dominated by Whips calling for a vote for tax cuts for everyone living within the M25!

Interestingly, if Cameron's "Let's leave the EU" thing works, to me that pretty much guarantees that Scotland will leave the UK to rejoin the EU. Yes, Salmond called it a "once in a generation" vote, but a generation of _what_? It's not impossible that he met a generation of rats, because sometimes it's easy to confuse a rodent with a politician!

3
0
Malcolm Weir

I think @theordore is right: as I read it, if I publish something on the web showing an attack vector, that is (or could be) "intrusion software to identify vulnerabilities of computers and network-capable devices".

Therefore I would now need a license to do that.... which I almost certainly wouldn't get, because I can't specify who the intended recipient is, and I certainly couldn't prevent "transfer (in country)" of the information even if I could (i.e. I couldn't prevent Hans in Germany telling Pierre in France).

Of course, if the attack vector involved, say, a foreign-made communications device -- say, a router made in China -- then I could apply for, and if manufacturer cared, I probably would receive a license to tell them the problem. Chances are, though, that the manufacturer wouldn't care, so wouldn't agree to the license terms (i.e. don't tell Pierre), so no license and the vulnerability would continue unpatched.

Even more problematic: if that Chinese router used, say, open source software, I couldn't tell anyone about the vulnerability because the open source process of providing the patch would disclose the existence and nature of the original problem.

And even if the device was US built and I could tell them about the vulnerability, they would have to be very, very careful describing the reason for the patch that resolves it, because they cannot publicly disclose the precise nature of the problem. So you'd get release notes that say things as profound as "Fixed vulnerability. Enjoy!"

12
0

Boeing 787 software bug can shut down planes' generators IN FLIGHT

Malcolm Weir

Re: Two Things

@Wolfetone: no, for the FAA to issue the directive it means that Boeing has identified the issue. The FAA, not being complete idiots, don't wait until something goes wrong before they issue AD's.

Boeing: Hey, if you X, Y, and Z the wings fall off an the plane plummets to the ground

FAA: Well, that hasn't happened yet, so we'll just hold this on file until it does. Thanks all the same.

1
0
Malcolm Weir

@Alan Brown...

Well, quite. And the "Gasp, Horror!" notion that if the GCU's happened during final approach DISASTER would happen...

... although if the GCU's packed up on final, the avionics would still work (battery and RAT deployment), and the chaps flying the thing would take emergency action which would appear, to the untrained eye, exactly the same as the non-emergency action: they'd fly the thing onto the runway which was neatly lined up in front of them (because they are on final).

To be honest, the worst phase of flight for the GCU's to fail would likely be cruise, because the air conditioning would pack up (it's electric in the 787), so the SOP would be to lose altitude to 10,000ft or thereabouts so the passengers can breath once the oxygen generators pack up. Since you're obviously operating on 240 minute ETOPS, then by definition you may be up to 4 hours from a landing field. But one would expect a certain amount of dialog between the crew and the maintenance base during those four hours...

1
0
Malcolm Weir

"And presumably also turning the 787 into a brick with no power for its fly-by-wire systems, lighting, climate control or in-flight movies."

The fly-by-wire systems will be fine, because the RAT will pop out and produce power. The pilots will then, presumably, try to cycle the GCU's one at a time, and all will become well again.

It's a problem, but not a massive one.

9
4

Evil Wi-Fi kills iPhones, iPods in range – 'No iOS Zone' SSL bug revealed

Malcolm Weir

@Henry Wertz 1: Mostly true... but T-Mobile has NOT increased it's per GB charges. Probably doesn't count as a mobile phone company, though, because it does stupid things like provide no-cost international data roaming.

0
0

Comcast 'flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable'

Malcolm Weir

Re: Interesting...

@Mark 85: corporations don't usually bow to public pressure, but they do bow to regulatory roadblocks, which can (and sometimes do) respond to the public.

In this case, added to the public pressure are all the municipalities which regulate cable companies AND the production companies, none of whom liked the idea of a monolithic cable company with 60% of the market deciding which channels were carried, what rates were charged, and what bundles existed (phone, cable and ISP...)

The muttering was that the FCC wasn't/isn't going to let this one slide through. If the FCC imposes too many restrictions, the deal wouldn't make sense, so they would have to lobby to get Congress to overrule the FCC, which costs a lot. So better to drop the deal now than to pay lots of money and still maybe not get the deal they want/need for this to make sense.

Of course, the other part of it is that Comcast and TWC are currently spending LOADS of money to try to persuade Congress to reverse the FCC on the Net Neutrality rules, and perhaps they just figured that weren't going to win both, so better to focus on the one they really care about.

4
0

Samsung's PCIe flash card: Slim, speedy, and just nibbling power

Malcolm Weir

You totally misunderstand the NGFF/M.2 spec. The spec defines multiple form factors, but does not require that any platform support all M.2 form factors.

You also seem to believe that any one is of the opinion that a 1TB (not 1Tb) device _couldn't_ be produced using a 2280 form form factor. Of course it can: Samsung could use their V-NAND stuff, as the article stated. And they will. Just not today.

And the reason for that is because of a thing call "customers". Regardless of your views, must customers for ultralight notebook computers aren't clamoring for larger SSDs (yet), mainly because of cost: although the cost-per-GB is falling, doubling the storage capacity results in at least a 1.5x increase in cost (and if you're on the bleeding edge, usually that's 2.5x or more...).

2
1
Malcolm Weir

No. Just as you can't tell whether a mini PCIe sized storage device is true PCIe or mSATA without reference to the datasheet.

0
1
Malcolm Weir

Is that really the physical limit in this form factor using current technology? I find that hard to believe. Why do we have to wait for 3D V-NAND to see a, (more useful), 1 Tb version?

The 2280 "M.2" size is 22mm x 80mm x 4mm, or 7040 cubic mm. A standard 2.5" SSD is 100mm x 70mm x 7mm, or 49,000 cubic mm. So the storage density of this thing is roughly equivalent to that of a 5-6TB 2.5in SSD (allowing for the different connectors).

So I wouldn't whine too much.

3
1

Need speed? Then PCIe it is – server power without the politics

Malcolm Weir

Re: Simple fix for southbridge bandwidth limitation

" time to make the x86 an SoC.

Yeah... they could call it something exotic,like Atom Z2460 or....

Oh, wait. That was from 2012.

Latest x86 SoC is the Xeon-D. CPU + 10GigE, what's not to like?

1
1

Atmel stoops to an 'all-time low' in Internet of Things battle

Malcolm Weir

Re: Doesn't it need

Possibly... although the actual alarm indication may be Someone Else's problem, but a weekly or monthly comms test may simply mean you need to change the battery every year. You know, like with smoke detectors...

0
1

Hey, Apple! We can land a probe on a comet, but we can't have a 12.9in iPad 'until mid-2015'?

Malcolm Weir

@jof62

DOA? It's landed, it's sending data, and the thing has plenty of work it can do even if the 64 hour battery is all the power it gets.

So by any stretch of the imagination it has "A", and it is not "D", which leaves "O", and that's accurate: it is ON a comet.

0
1

Welcome to the fast-moving world of flash connectors

Malcolm Weir

I find this article technically incoherent. And sometimes dead wrong.

For example, the assertion that mSATA is not electrically compatible with mPCIe is just wrong. They can be. Not every implementation is, but the two sets of signals can co-exist on the same connector, so that seems to suggest (to me) that they are electrically compatible, but not interoperable. Or something.

Also, Fibre Channel is not the same as SCSI FCP. This would be an OK generalization to make, exceot that the earlier bit about iSCSI suggests the author at least understands the difference between a command protocol and the transport protocol, although for the rest of the article he forgets it!

1
2

Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST

Malcolm Weir

Re: Blown up not blew up

That's simply not true. The Range Safety Officer is there to ensure that the vehicle does not deviate from the approved track far enough to risk damage to people or property. In particular, if the vehicle becomes uncontrollable, the RSO will terminate the flight so that it will falls within the range's designated volume (airspace and floorplan).

Following a catastrophic event, the RSO may well try to terminate the flight, but the emphasis here is on the word _following_. The reason terminating a flight that is already exploding is that no-one wants (e.g.) the second stage to ignite and go barreling off to see what it can see [Yeah, I know, massively unlikely, but not impossible].

So this isn't semantics: from the looks of things, Antares blew up. The RSO may have aborted the flight, too, but if you watch the video closely, that would have been while the vehicle was moving backwards...

0
1
Malcolm Weir

Re: Blown up not blew up

In my humble opinion, that did not look like the Range Safety guy hit the big red Flight Termination Button.

Three reasons:

1) terminating a flight so soon is likely to achieve exactly what happened -- the vehicle falls back on the expensive launch infrastructure, causing lots of damage. Waiting another 10 seconds or so would have put the vehicle over water.

2) The time from ignition to explosion was about 6 seconds. That's very little time to identify an anomaly, conclude that the anomaly was sufficiently serious that the flight was no a risk, and abort it.

3) The range safety officer is a NASA guy. If NASA blew the thing up, I reckon Orbital would have said something about it, just to share the misery.

3
1

Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness

Malcolm Weir

Re: Lawyers

While it is true that BGA packages are supplied with the solder attached, it is a blatant falsehood to claim that there's "nothing the user can do" (which in this case, "the user" means "Apple").

The principal thing that Apple could have done is...

WRITE "DON'T USE LEAD-FREE SOLDER" on the Purchase Order contract!

Simples!

Yes, you need to fill in more paperwork, but the major issue becomes that you need to manage some kind of disposal program, and pay for it. Which costs money, which is why (presumably) Apple made the calculated decision to use the technically inferior lead-free solder.

1
3

Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

Malcolm Weir

Would it help to point out that the instruction set in MLF's smartphone[1] was designed by a woman[2]?

[1] Probably

[2] Although she wasn't one at the time

5
1

Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’

Malcolm Weir

Re: UK.gov investing in the future of IT. IT people up in arms...

I was going to just upvote Phil Endecott, but decided that the point was so apt it deserved applause.

The real places where innovation has spawned are those where the smart, industrious, creative, inventive individuals _already are_. For instance, one individual we know as engaged in "graduate study in computer science at Stanford University on a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation"... and there's a reason that the world's most successful CPU manufacturer is based in a swamp in East Anglia!

(When I say "we know", I mean we all know. Google him!).

0
1

Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen

Malcolm Weir

It's not operable without ammunition, which isn't included in the deal, and by the way, your tin foil hat is slipping.

1
0
Malcolm Weir

Re: Golan Heights

This is an ex-Syrian Panzer...

0
0
Malcolm Weir

Re: So you are entering into a $2.5 million dollar deal to buy a tank...

There is a paper trail. It says what you'd expect:

Allen: "How much for the tank?"

Them: "2.5 mil"

Allen: "Done. Where do we send the dosh?"

Them: "Here".

Allen: "Done".

Them: "All your stuff, including the tank, will be shipped to this marshalling yard".

(days go by...)

(Everything but the tank gets delivered).

1
0

IT blokes: would you say that LEWD comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

Malcolm Weir

Re: You'll Get The Respect You Deserve

"Don Jefe",

Based on your comment, I suspect you get little respect, because you sure as stit don't deserve any.

What you've done is turn the tables on the victims: don't want to be raped? Learn self defense and carry a machine pistol! Woot! Simples!

That is pretty vile.

10
2
Malcolm Weir

Re: Another solution

If people would stay in hermetically-sealed boxes, they wouldn't get into touch-related trouble, full stop.

Zoopy obviously sees no value in alcohol as a "social lubricant". Equally obviously, he's wrong: alcohol has value, sometimes a LOT of value in helping to promote interaction between people who might otherwise not have communicated.

So what Zoopy probably meant to convey instead of the simplistic and extremist position given was that (in Zoopy's opinion) the value of having alcohol is outweighed by the poor behavior exhibited by some people who have it. Which is a fine, if trite, observation, even if it is one that most adults seem to reject: some sales people drive company cars poorly, so by Zoopy's thinking, we should discourage the use of company cars...

Focus, Zoopy: the problem is poor behavior.

4
3

Cracking copyright law: How a simian selfie stunt could make a monkey out of Wikipedia

Malcolm Weir

There's a bogus claim that doesn't appear to fit with the facts of the case.

The issues of originality are basically:

(i) specialities of angle of shot, light and shade, exposure and effects achieved with filters, developing techniques and so on; (ii) the creation of the scene to be photographed; (iii) being in the right place at the right time.

Slater didn't set up the shot, the lighting, etc. Slater didn't create the scene to be photographed. And finally Slater wasn't in the right place at the right time: he wasn't actually there at all.

Of course, if he'd set up the shot with a "photo trap" type system, then his absence wouldn't matter, but what even he agrees happened was that he just left the equipment while he wandered off, and the monkey did the rest; critically, he didn't arrange for the monkey to be able to get the camera, he just left the thing alone while he did something else.

Now, had he been smart about this, he'd have ONLY released images that he had post-processed in some way (thereby adding his creativity), but that of course reduces the "authenticity" (and thus the value) of the shot.

The fundamental flaw here is that by promoting the shot as a selfie, he's explicitly admitting that he didn't take the shot. Given he didn't take the shot, it's a desperate stretch to claim that Berne automatically gives him copyright; he wasn't the creator.

Sure, you could argue that he was instrumental in creating the shot, because he set up the camera and collected the results. But under that thinking, you'd have to grant a copyright involvement to the FedEx driver who delivered the camera to you...

Slater doesn’t fulfill every single criterion – but then he doesn’t have to. He has to meet enough. As Tierney explains:

12
3

Container-friendly Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 hits general availability

Malcolm Weir

Yes.

Whether it works (for you, for any value of "you") or not is a slightly larger question.

1
0

Page:

Forums