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* Posts by Voland's right hand

914 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

Frenchman eyes ocean domination with floating, mobile Bond villain lair

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You do not need one - the VIP cabin is below the water line. Just seal the door and open the viewports to the elements.

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Hungarian eggheads unleash not-at-all-scary DRONE SWARM

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Re: Bird Brains

You are late with your welcome by 20 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-700_Granit

See the guidance mode section.

While the welcome to these particular drone overlords would have been very warm indeed, it would have been very short too. On the order of fractions of a second to the tune of Pink FLoyd's, 'Two Suns in the Sunset' .Thankfully, it has never been fired in anger.

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China in the grip of a 'NUCLEAR WINTER': Smog threat to crops

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Re: They advantage of an autocratic country

Quote: "Sorry for you, Ken"

If you feel sorry now, how would you feel once the manufacturing will go _BACK_ to his (and ours) countries? Ultimately, the only reason for the ultracheap Chinese tat is not the labour. Labour is not such a big part of most modern manufacturing. It is the enviromental compliance. It makes anything between 10 times the difference (paper, paints, other chemicals and plastics) and 2-3 times the difference (electronics, classic heavy manufacturing) in price. This is without taking into account the cost of energy where clean vs dirty adds 1.5 or so times on top of that (particulate and sulfur control only).

The moment Chinese put real enviromental controls in place all of that manufacturing is coming to a town near you, like it or not.

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Microsoft asks pals to help KILL UK gov's Open Document Format dream

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Kettle, met pot, pot meet kettle

A fundamental requirement for a specification to be open is to have more than one interoperable implementation.

Both of these are guilty as charged here. There is _NO_ interoperable implementation capable of catering for the minimal set of features required in a templated structured document. These do not ineroperate between themselves either - I will believe them to be interoperable on the day when libreoffice will successfully read-in a DOCX index and bilbiography and vice versa. That is still a decade ahead as it was a decade ago.

In any case, on pot-kettle/kettle-pot. With the practical demise of KDE and Koffice there is no second implementation for ODF anyway so it fails to be an open standard. Same as MSFT. None of them is and none of them will be until there is one.

Lesson for both of them. If you want to establish a standard _BUILD_ a second interoperable implementation. Slap a GPL2 (if not 3) on it for good measure so it is usable as a reference implementation but cannot be commercialized in a way which is adverse to you. And be done with it. Yes, I know, this trivial idea is a bit too difficult for people who have drank too much of Redmond water supply.

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Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission

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Re: It is rather sad

You are overestimating the level of science suriving in the Byzantium. What survived there was engineering, not science. On that one it was considerably more advanced than the rest of Europe - for example their construction technology is something Europe reached in the industrial age (if not later).

I am writing this on hols while right in the middle of the ruins a "small" Byzantian 5th century fort. Used to be an insignificant admin center in one of their provinces. Small == the size of 11th century London (if not bigger) with 16 century or so equivalent construction technology and 19th century equivalent sanitation evident throughout the ruins. So on that count they were 1000 years ahead of the rest of Europe. There a reason for even such minor cities showing such impressive walls - the hordes of Slavic tribes, Bulgarians, Hunns and other invaders from the East. Europe was anything but "trader friendly" and "culutral exchange friendly" from ~4th century all the way until the Italian cities started to reestablish trade during the Renessaince.

Back on the subject - the fundamental sciences however - mathematics, phylosophy, etc all festered and putrified in the Byzantium. Byzantium did not burn books and put scholars on a stake. It had more subtle Byzantean methods (but no less effective).

Do some historians like it or not the only reason we have the fundamental (not engineering) part of the Hellenic heritage are Arabs. They have also added advancements of their own. There is a reason why ALGEBRA is an arabic word you know. Geeks kept drawing diagrams, they never got to the point of abstract equations. In fact, in greece if a mathematical proof was not acceptable if it did not have a visual depiction.

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French youth faces court for illegal drone flight

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Re: A real shame.

Not likely. This is Napoleonic law we are talking about here. Creative sentencing as practiced by some judges in common law countries is not on the books (pun intended). The criminal code specifies exactly what the offence is, exactly what the minimum and maximum terms are and the accompanying rulebook specifies exactly how you move from the lower to the upper sentencing bound.

Though that difference is now being blurred. Various acts of Parliament (or Congress in the USA) which instigate mandatory sentencing guidelines have removed the traditional common law judge discretion. They are eroding the key (if not only) value of common law - the ability of the judge to say "this is an idiocy, I am establishing a precedent and I will judge it as follows". So as an end result we get the worst of both worlds - the strict rulebook of the Napoleonic law and the natural bias to serve the "powers that be" of common law in one nice shrink wrap package.

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Mac Pro fanbois can rack 'em and stack 'em like real sysadmins

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Re: Pah!

This is plain clueless. These guys have never done DIY server conversions.

The MAC cools bottom to top, so all you need to do is flip it on it side and lock in a set of "chucks" - the same way you chuck a car wheel when working on it. This also solves the datacenter cooling problem as this is a bog standard cold/hot isle compatible install. If you stay with the same 6 in 6 target you can also provide a very nice common switch (for clustering), wiring harness, etc for the entire rig.

Considering the stupidly cheap "special" price on the GPUs in the Mac Pro it may even make sense financally for a small CPU/GPU compute install.

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Google's SECRET contracts: Android lock-in REVEALED!

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The point is

Google has good competition lawyers.

If they did try to force the issue here it would have been a competition matter - they have market dominance in search. So they quite deliberately do not. It may sound interesting to layman. To someone who has some idea of competition law - not so much (it is the obvious thing to do).

Well done, google, have a cookie...

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Re: Goose and Gander

In that case that android phone is of very little use. Unless you want to develop all of your own apps in which case you do what? Oh, sign ot the Android SDK terms and conditions.

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Voland's right hand
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Interesting

This puts the old spat between Google and Cyanogen into a new light. When Google went after Cyanogen a while back it looked strange and wierd. Looking at this, however there is an explanation now - Cyanogen in those days was providing all google apps, but none of the placement and bundling restrictions.

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The perfect fantasy flick for the online Valentine you've never met: Her

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Simulation one

This looks pretty weak compared to S1M0N3. Probably will not make my Lovefilm list once it is out on snail mail service.

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Dr Hurricane unleashes FUSION POWER at Livermore nuke lab

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Turbulence will be the least of Fusion problems

The biggest problem of fusion are high energy neutrons. Successful fusion reaction spits out >14MeV neutrons. These can neither be slowed down, nor shielded effectively by anything sane. They also will play merry "radiation corrosion" hell with the reaction construction. It destroys everything in its way. The only way of getting something useful out of them is to have a combined fusion-fission reactor or fusion-reactor/fission-breeder. That has even more interesting non-proliferation aspects - we will be producing Plutonium at a rate which will make any nuclear arms expert have a heart attack.

In any case, it will not be a clean energy source. It will be as dirty as current generation of nuclear plants if not more.

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Fibre Channel Industry Association extends roadmap to 128G bps

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Is it me being thick or this makes no sense

The bandwidth of QPI and PCIe3 is 256GBit. HT3 is slightly higher than that, but only slightly. The growth there has slowed down quite a bit nowdays. It is now crawling up by a few percents up on average (QPI7 to QPI8, etc). No more quantum leaps in that area.

Looking at these numbers there is no way for a present or near future compute system to consume it and do anything useful with it. 128GBit is an overkill. End of the day, you use storage to do something useful with it, not just to pass it from left pocket to right pocket. Being able to work on 128GBit worth of packets can be be useful - move them from on interface to another and tweak a few headers. Voila, here is your NAT or firewall. 128GBit to storage? Not so much.

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So cool it 2.4 gigahertz: BATTERY-FREE comms for international band

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Re: "produces between 120 and 140 microjoules"

One more possible application - outdoor systems that need to survive extreme heat or cold. It is not necessary for them to operate at those temperatures, just surviving an arctic winter is often more important. Last time I heard Li cells (all forms of them) were not particularly keen on -40C. Or +60C for extended periods of time for that matter.

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Incantations used to summon Magic Quadrants revealed

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So in other words - do all of their work for them

One of the key parts of market analysis is to find the differentiators between companies so you can compare them "where it matters". This is what independent analysis is all about and this is what you look for when you read an analyst report instead of a marketing vendor blurb.

It is quite interesting to find out that Gartner is now so openly lazy that they cannot be bothered to do their job, so they are asking the vendors to do 99% of it for them and serve it to them on a plate.

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Bitcoin value plunges as Mt.Gox halts withdrawals and Russia says 'nyet'

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Re: Interesting

Well, Russia here is a slightly special case. Its constitution has inherited the USSR age provision for "only our currency is legal tender". Effectively, you are not allowed to conduct any transaction in any other currency on their territory.

That was the norm in USSR and the rest of the soviet block before the fall ofthe wall. We all know the result - everyone used to use Dollars and Euros anyway.

Do the Russian powers that be like it or not, it is a small world and in order for a country to participate in the world markets it needs to be able to transact in any currency. One of the reasons why the ruble cannot reach a freely convertible status after all these years is exactly that - this line in the Russian constitution. You cannot have a convertible currency if you forbid any other currencies into which you want to convert to exist on your territory.

In any case - this is a bit different from the anti-Bitcoin drive by other governments. Other governments try to deal just with uncontrolled currencies. Russia is trying to forbid anything but ruble on its territory out of principle.

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UK claims 'significant lead' in drones after Taranis test flight

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Small soldiers

My kids watched Small Soldiers yesterday (yet again). One thing that stuck to my mind was the CEO at the end: "This would have made a hell of a commercial".

So yeah, a hell of a commercial all right... A few zeroes at the end of the price tag too.

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Larry Ellison: Technology has 'negatively impacted' children

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Re: Sounds like he's having an "In MY day" moment.

It's not get off my lawn. It's get off my island (larry actually owns one of the hawaii islands).

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Re: He is indeed a massive arse.

Quote: To school kids these days, learning means copying and pasting from Wikipedia.

Whe we grew up the teachers could use memorizing or doing some trivial library research as a study method. We gladly believed whatever the books fed us too.

No more. We now have to skip it and teach the kids the next steps straight away: how to stop believing such material including Wikipedia, how to read between the lines, how to do comparative analysis of articles, how to sieve out propaganda through comparative analysis. As there is no more effort required in obtaining the data, we have to replace this with the effort of analyzing the data. Otherwise the kids will do exactly that - cut-n-paste Wikipedia and leave their brains fester and putrify.

We now have to start with the presumption that written word is false. The childhood of old, that sweet age when you believed the material you used to study now has to be over day one. So from that perspective, the effect of the information age is even more vicious.

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California high school hackers expelled for grade tampering, test thievery

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Re: They tried to cheat

Frankly, before we get to the students, this reads as a litany of failures of the school IT supplier.

They failed to do stuff that is being done as standard practice even in the relatively underfunded British state education system. For crying out loud, even primary schools around these parts can keep the teacher's system's fully separated from student's ones. In fact, I beleive doing so is a contractual requirement to the IT suppliers.

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Nvidia slips love letter to open source driver devs

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Re: Nof if they can get the current stuff to work properly

Never had that problem with Debian. The installer always worked correctly (they have wrapped it quite a bit though).

I always use the binary driver, despite (or actually in a different sense of the word) because of all the flames.

Noveau and in the AMD case the free Radeon module do not handle correctly power management.

So if you use either, you can (and if it is fanless or laptop probably will) fry your GPU).

Examples - with noveau my fanless test Nvidia Quadro draws 20W (measured by difference in draw at "the wall") and is hovering close to its thermal limit. Same card with a correctly configured binary driver in idle is sub-5W and sub-50C. In the AMD case, either one of my laptops can and will exceed 80C if pushed despite the radeon module having dynclkcs=1. Same hardware, binary drivers, temp raises to 71-72 at max throttle and stays there.

So if this code drop does not contain the power management and the clock governors, well... not good enough. Thank you, I will come again later when it does.

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THUNDERING GAS destroys disks during data centre incident

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Utter BS

Most modern disks will get damaged if you significantly change the air composition and/or air density (they all have air vents). The head design relies on aerodynamics to maintain the correct distance from the platter. Air density affects that quite a bit.

Just ask any Colorado resident - the stats for disk reliability around that parts are way off compared to stats in normal places around sea level. Some models which fare perfectly fine elsewhere regularly fail in 60 days or less.

So the fact that someone releasing fire extinguishing gas (which is quite dense by the way) has changed the MTBF of drives does not surprise me in the slightest. SAS is likely to fare worse too as it spins at higher revs and is engineered to lower tolerances.

Vibrations from "whistling", yeah some other time, b*ll*cks... The "storage engineers" that were asked need to get a clue what is a modern disk, how it is designed and operates.

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Dead Kim Jong-il's OS makeover takes a page from Dead Steve Jobs

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Re: Not like they're going to respect western IP anyway

It is not like there is a significant contribution to the code anyway.

It has been skinned to look like Mac which is trivial. Several Linux GUIs can do that and in fact used to do that in pre-OSX days. The only reason they do not do it today is in order to avoid a subpoena from Cupertino. However, if you want to do it yourself, you can get to the required look-n-feel in one afternoon (or less).

The "look" says nothing about the code. The code may or may not be modified. My guess is that the only modifications are likely to be in the mandatory security agency data collection part. I do not think we need that code anyway, the NKs can keep their branch separate. We use a "different" (and more reliable) technology to achieve the same level of reporting to the comrades in Комитет Государственной Безопасности. Couhg... Cough...

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EVE Online erects mashed-up memorial to biggest space fight in history

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Re: False sense of achievement maxed out...

Actually, no. There is achievement here - by the game design team.

While I am not an EVE player, I tend to follow how rules change in major online games out of "scientific interest". If memory serves me right initially in EVE, the Titan class of warship was predominantly a logistics choice. It could warp in, create a gate and allow you to warp in your fleet. The necessity to protect your "gate builders" used to force a rather conservative strategy onto major fleet engagements making long term players and alliances accumulate massive amounts of inactive assets.

That is bad for a game (even as addictive as EVE). Sooner or later people get bored.

So the developer tweaked the rules. However, IMHO, they overtweaked them too much in the opposite direction to a point where a conflict between major powers is guaranteed to degenerate into a mutual self-assured destruction with no winner (also bad for the game in the long term).

In EVE today Titans can go into battle and can carry a nearly impossible to deflect weapon (one that can fire only once every 10 minutes). This has changed the doctrine and strategy and stats quite clearly show it. The losses of Titans vs other capital ships in this engagement is vastly disproportionate 7:1. One can think of this as "nuclear" vs "pre-nuclear" conflict. Both sides now have a doomsday device and are lobbing it at each other at the maximum rate they can.

In any case, the ones who win here are the games developers - several major powers with a large number of assets which were dormant for a while now need to rebuild. That means a lot more time clocked on EVE as well as money flowing into EVE's coffers.

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Lenovo reveals convertible Chromebook

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Re: Yoga chromebook

We are yet to see a locked Chromebook (it will come one day, let's have no doubts about it - do no evil, some other time). All of them so far have developer mode.

While I do not have a pending laptop replacement problem, this one is tempting me. It would make a stellar Debian typewriter. On the other side, I already have a Samsung Arm based one (Samsung chromebook with Debian and set to boot to Debian by default).

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Cameron: UK public is fine with domestic spying

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Re: Look you have all taken this the wrong way.

My dad (and granuncle who worked for the "company" in his country) used to say the same.

However, there is a minor and insignificant difference between then and now. Then, they wanted to spy on YOU. YES YOU. YOU were selected as a target for whatever reason.

What is going on today is spying on everyone. Indiscriminately. At a level which puts Stazi, Securitate or Шесто управление to shame.

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And the winner of the most reliable disk drive award is ...

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Re: Misuse of Drives

No it is not. As someone who has been (ab)using desktop drives in a 24/7 configuration both at home and in business for 17y now, I can say that most of them are perfectly fine if:

1. You cool them properly

2. Your case does not rattle them to death - suspension mounts, etc are recommended.

1 is what makes the difference between enterprise and consumer. Most enterprise are more resistant. 2 is really common across both types.

I have some MAIDs which have started their life as RAIDs (I usually retire disks from RAID into media MAIDs after 3 years) that are 7 old now, alive and kicking (Hitatchi DST and Maxtor all of them by the way). Notable exemption - the damn "duff cirrus logic" maxtor batch about 10 years ago. That was a total disaster regardless of Enterprise vs Consumer.

Ever since I started putting proper cooling on my hard drive cages I have had only one drive degrade (not even fail). It was surprise, surprise a WD EADS. 24x7 abuse of Samsung, Maxtor (exempting the duff cyrrus logic), Seagate, Hitachi - never had a problem with any of them (provided that they were cooled properly). Granted - as I do not do "IT proper" any more, my sample sizes are no longer big enough to yield proper statistical results. However, for whatever its worth it - those 30£ spent on a Silverstone cooled drive cage (or Icy dock) are money well spent.

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Crippling server 'leccy bill risks sinking OpenBSD Foundation

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Re: Apple and BSD

While BSDs may look similar to the user and offer similar APIs, they are not that similar on code level. Ever tried to port a driver from NetBSD to FreeBSD?

In any case each and every linux distribution uses the following bits of code from OpenBSD foundation: openssh, a number of foundation internet services - telnet, tftp, etc, the internet services control subsystem - inetd. 20k is pocket change for RedHat or Ubuntu. As they use this code extensively, they probably should shell out a few quid.

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Google Glass driver told she CAN wear techno-specs while on the road

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Re: What bollocks

This is bad... the police won't know it is on until they stop someone, and then they will just turn it off. Police will get charged and just worn't stop anyone..

Subpoena to mobile phone company, did Glass have a data context active at the time of stopping. Yes it did. Did the driver turn it off. Yes he/she did - when a phone battery is embedded there is no way to "abruptly" take it off the network. It will actually perform sign-off so this has to be deliberate action by the user.

So, right my dear, here is your driving ban, 6 points on the licence and a year in chokey for "perverting the course of justice".

By the way, this is being done regularly for any case where there is a reasonable suspicion that the phone may have been a cause of an accident today. Mobile networks handle thousands of these requests a week nowdays. There are police forces that do it "by default" for every accident just in case.

Alternatively - subpoena to Google. They are obliged to cooperate in this case. If they have to provide police with full information with regards to anything where a glasshole has been involved they may end up actually rethinking the product... (yeah, I know - two teaspoons of wishful thinking).

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Let Google's tentacles fondle your mobile's web downloads and Chrome will put the data on a diet

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Re: It's a nice idea, but...

Quote: "Who cares for almost everyone..."

Quite clearly you have yet to be hit by someone stealing your identity or spear-fish you.

Are you confident in Google's controls on the data it collects from you?

Are you confident in whom it will be sold to?

Are you confident that Google will not be hacked and the data will not be lifted out of it along with those credit card details and personal data (sufficient for a credit application) you have registred on Google play?

Are you confident that you can distinguish between a genuine offer and a perfectly designed scam that has been fully personalized to you based on an analysis of your lifestyle, habits and your personal date?

Dunno about you, I am not...

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Top patent troll sues US regulators for interfering with its business

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Re: Free Speech?

It may be free to use, but it will also get you a default judgement in court against you for no show.

In fact the easiest way to deal with patent trolls which will exterminate them once and for all is to exempt the patent law cases from the default no-show clause. If you are suing someone for infringing and he does not show you still have to defend your case and _ONLY_ if you win you get the fees and damages assigned to you by default.

This will terminate 99% of trolling outright.

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Oh those crazy Frenchies! Parisian cabbies smash up Uber-booked rival ride

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Re: circumventing the heavily regulated systems

Which particular standard of service are you referring to?

London cabbies clocking extra 5 miles on any route around LHR by giving you the "scenic route" around Terminal 5 instead of driving you directly where they are supposed to? Add to that the vehicle being the shttiest possible ride quality on the planet? Prague cabbies having a special "foreigners tariff" hacked into their systems and clocking it when they hear foreign speach (immortalized in half of their comedies)? Sofia cabbies trying to exchange 1 £ for 1 lev (when the exchange rate is 2.4) and throwing toddler tantrums if you hire them for any route less than 2 miles out of the airport? Israeli cabbies not knowing the names of major towns (3rd and 4th in size after Tel Aviv and Jerusalem) - we had that one a few times. Canary island cabbies giving you a ride which you will never forget (after you finish shaking from seeing the bumper of the car in front of you at 30cm while at 130km/h)? Madrid cabbies doing the scenic route around the city center at any possible occasion? Athens cabbies charging you extra for the aircon? Shall I continue? I would not even mention cabbies in Bangalore, Moscow and a few other places. The regulated taxi industry cannot be described in a way that will pass by the moderator. It should have a good shakeup.

If I can take a private hire company instead I always do or just book a car rental. It is usually 2x cheaper, 10x more comfortable, you are not fleeced as much as the traffic can bare (and cheated on top) and is subject to the same regs. The difference is that they are enforced by the insurance companies, not the regulator. The only thing which needs to happen to Uber is that all of its vehicles get a full Taxi insurance same as the private hire guys. That will deal with it.

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Iceotope sounds like a kids' superhero – but it's a UK server-cooler maker that just bagged £6.1m

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Time to by SAN stock

This is a lovely concept. However - it is compute only. Hard disks really dislike oil getting inside their spinning bits through the breather holes. In fact, some have so low design tolerances that they cannot even take running at 3000 m above sea level because the air is rarified. Granted, this is supposed to change once we have sealed cartridges full of He, however we are not there yet.

So you either need an all-solid state drive setup or external arrays with good oldfashioned spinning rust which is still air cooled.

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Samsung Nexus S beats Galaxy S III – at detecting GAMMA RAYS

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So how long it will survive around a gamma source

So how long before Android coredumps next to a gamma source? The same thing you see on the sensor is also happening on your RAM and flash :)

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Top Microsoft bod: ARM servers right now smell like Intel's (doomed) Itanic

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It is "outside mobile"

Quote "outside your mobile" - it is actually used more outside the mobile. It is nearly everywhere around us. Arm MCs are now so cheap that nobody bothers with the "smaller, more embdded and more efficient" varieties as they are more expensive. Your hard disk is ARM, your car ECU if it is made in the last 5 years is probably arm too (it used to be PPC). Your fridge MC, your washing machine, your dishwasher controller - you name it. The bloody thing is everywhere. The only place where it is still not dominant is home routers and wifi APs - that is the sole MIPS holdout.

It is a proven architecture provided that you are happy to move your workload around as _SOURCE_. That is what Microsoft does not like here - you cannot move a binary workload efficiently from Arm to Arm. You either need an optimised runtime per hardware version (as in Android) or you need to recompile it. While the basic instruction may be the same (or may be not - Razzie being an example of a violation - its fpu aspects), all offloads and all accelerations are very hardware specific. Just look at the various /proc files and the irq list on an arm device on linux and weep (I do it regularly when my Debianized chromebook pisses me off and I need to debug something on it).

As far as arm 32 vs 64 the difference is not that staggering - it is an evolutionary step - same as amd64 vs i386. Considering that 64 is already going into high volume devices I would not expect that to be an issue with regards to arm acceptance and overall architecture stability anyway.

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Cygnus cargo truck on its way, and funding to 2024: Space Station is back in the game

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Re: Wot?

B52? I always thought that the Pegasus was launched off a Lockheed L1011.

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Re: Well done Orbital Sciences!

You are a bit too quick to cheer up here. The rocket uses a finite engine supply that is no loger manufactured - refurbished and retrofitted with modern US electronics russian 1960-es (yes, 60-es) rocket engines. If memory serves me right these were preserved in a warehouse somewhere in the middle of nowhere as a result of sheer luck (someone lost the order for their scrapping many years ago).

You can still see the original russian markings on the engine on the pic: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ad/Aerojet_AJ26_Rocket_Engine_Arrives_at_Stennis.jpg (HK is NK in cyrillic, rest is model code and serial number).

I have yet to see Orbital sciences answer the fairly obvious question - what are they going to do after the supply runs out.

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Optical Express 'ruined my life' attack site wins Nominet takedown battle

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The whole industry is ripe for investigation

It passes my personal "byer beware" - use of professional criminal spammers to do advertising mailshots by at least some of the players.

By the way - I am not talking some lousy amateurs like Wallace. Real, proper professionals which register one-shot domains to fire off a mailshot, then dispose of it. The domains have valid certs, mail has dkim signatures, the mailshots are fired from proper valid servers in real hosting (and disposed off after that). The lists and mails have correct geographies too as they have been sourced from real companies (I know who sold my addresses by the way). So no address based block can nail them. In fact, the mailshots are so well done that no antispam system I am aware of can nail the f***...

I have a couple of mail addresses which I had to abandon over the years due to them getting on these mailing lists. I could have /dev/null-ed them. Instead, I train my spam filters on it (the bayes is now selecting these with good enough confidence) and automatically report anything that hits them into every single anti-spam with a reporting function that I know.

I also keep an eye on what goes into that bucket to see who gets in there.

Laser eye surgery is not the most common entrant, it is however present and persistent - not a one-off (a mail or two a month). It is probably on par with the more dubious solar panel schemes and double glazing. Nowhere near various "fraud of the year" "experience" tours, but not that far off either.

All in all - if an industry needs criminals to advertise their services it is ripe for the fraud squad.

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US BACKDOORED our satellites, claim UAE

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Re: My question:

Yes, the Sopwith Camel.

The Tiger Moth and the Gypsy Moth are currently being investigated on suspicion of being backdoored.

Any other questions?

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Coca Cola slurps millions of MAC addresses

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Re: Thirsty!

Quote: Yes but it is still one of a number of sugary drinks that has no real food value..

This offtopic anyway, but I will bite:

There is Coke and Coke. Same as there is Fanta and Fanta, Tonic and Tonic and so on. The contents differ largely by region. The primary difference is sugar vs glucose/fructose srup. The former is something humanity has lived with for thousands of years (in one form or another). The appearance of the latter on the market correlates with the beginning of the obesity pandemic. In fact, according to a lot of scientists (despite the best efforts of the food industry and various farmer associations) it is the primary cause of the obesity pandemic.

For example - Schweppes Tonic water in Western Europe is sugar based, as you go towards Eastern Europe and Middle East it is replaced by the glucose/fructose mix. Even the "iconic" Coca Cola drink differs by region becoming more obesity-friendly as you move outwards from the developed part of the world. By the way, when we travel my kids are OK to drink the sugary versions of Tonic, Bitter Lemon, etc and spit out the glucose/fructose crap straight away. They think it tastes disgusting.

In any case, as far as Coke reserving MACs - it may not necessarily be Ethernet. In fact it is less likely to be Ethernet as there it means that coke will be doing quite a bit of the engineering (unlikely). My guess will be bluetooth or wifi and some harebrained marketing idea like locating your closest coke machine in a mall :)

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Google BLASTS BACK at Apple, Microsoft, Sony in Android patent WAR

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Re: is Sony the height of absurdity

At that point Sony was not yet shipping all of their high end stereos including car units running android and Sony phones were still Sony-Ericsson - not directly managed by Sony. I do not see them doing it today.

As far as what is in a normal world and what not, calling the world today normal is probably an oxymoron...

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Snowden: I'll swap you my anti-NSA knowhow for asylum ... Brazil says: Não

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Re: Can't really blame him for trying.

The man from mars account has been hijacked. A post that actually makes sense on first read? You are not amanfromMars 1, you are an impostor.

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James Bond's 'shaken not stirred': Down to trembling boozer's hands, claim boffins

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Re: I'm waiting for a character update ....

After a short mental calculation - they have a point. 92 units a week is about a bottle and a half of wine (or corresponding amount of concentrate) every day. That is alcoholism level consumption by any standard.

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Legal bruiser Reback joins Google battle in Europe

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That distribution looks all right to me

I have long stopped using any of the "competition" listed on that slide. While this may be specific to the goods I search for, their search result used to yield 90%+ duds (stuff that is no longer in stock or at same price) and/or false positives. Compared to that, Google usually hits the >50% range.

On top of that they used link spam to fill the first 2-3 pages of any search result term (regardless of how irrelevant).

They definitely will not be missed, even if all of them go under.

By the way, this does not mean that Google should not be subjected to antitrust controls - that is a given and mandated by Eu law after you gain "significant market power". Google has had that for a while now and has managed to get away with it for too long.

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Munich signs off on Open Source project

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Re: And then

When you have a budget the size of the city of Munich and you ask Accenture/KPMG/Whoever to jump the answer is immediately "How High".

They all have their own IT shops so they will solve that problem if needed to keep the contract. They will probably re-sell the know-how against IBM in other tenders after that too.

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Congratulations

When they started it was brave to the point of recklessness (for a large business environment with a number of windows-only legacy apps).

In this day and age it is not particularly difficult. In fact, there are lots of places where linux has displaced windows. For example are quite as likely to find xfce4 on a trading desk as windows nowdays - it is stable, requires little or no support, it is easier to comply with the farious mandates on it being patched up-to-date. Key apps are bespoke anyway and written in house so no difference in terms of app investment either.

Trading aside (as it has always been a special case), bespoke apps for anything above an SME are either written in java or in-browser as web apps and operate versus a specific backend environment like SAP. So they can run on Linux with no problem. In fact, they probably run better on Linux. This leaves only documents. While import/export from libreoffice leaves a lot to be desired (it has gone worse lately), if you stick to its native formats it is fit for most purposes. It is probably easier to use compared to MS Office as well (give the idiotic ribbon UI to someone who has been using legacy for 10+ years and watch the fireworks).

Someone starting such a project today will have a much easier time - it should be doable in a few months, not years.

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'Disruptive, irritating' in-flight cellphone call ban mulled by US Senate

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Re: So are they going to outlaw the screaming kids on the plane?

Paraphrasing the old adage: "Behind every great man is a great woman" - behind every screaming kid kicking the seat in front of it is an idiot parent. This "parent" (quotes intended) is usually of the kind that makes you start considering that the right to parenting should be subject to a license.

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Cassini spots MEGA-METHANE SEAS on the north pole of Titan

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Re: we'd use far more energy getting there and back

Not necessarily. Even if it travels 10 years on solar sail or a couple of years on ion drive so what?

Provided that you find a way to mine it and lift it off the surface it may indeed be economically feasible in theory.

In practice, if we have the technology to mine it, lift it off the surface, accelerate to escape velocity and solar sail it to Earth we are least likely to need it for something like patio heaters.

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Grace Hopper gave us COBOL, 'debugging' and inspiration. So Google gave her a Doodle

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+1

The article however misses one of her most important quotes and motos:

You manage things, you lead people. We went overboard on management and forgot about leadership.

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