Re: Think about it...
and the extra points exercise would also ensure the decrypting algorithm would not be on the prize list for shooting it down.
585 posts • joined 24 Jan 2013
and the extra points exercise would also ensure the decrypting algorithm would not be on the prize list for shooting it down.
I could be totally wrong, but I imagine the ability to heavily encrypt signals would be rolled out to a more elite squadron, one that is secret and deployed strategically, like on the eve of a full scale invasion.
I just can't see the point of giving your enemies years and years worth of experience in trying to counter your best. No, just send the dumb tin cans along for now, and leave the strategic advantage for a time when it's needed.
Unless the signals were directed laser like, then an intelligence gathering outfit would find it almost impossible to not listen in, whilst going about their normal business, of listening to everything.
I think the phrase that should have come to mind was, "pick up", as in, millions of people around the world, pick up Radio 4. Not millions intercept Radio 4.
We get the folk who are mad on airships and lock them in a room with the current world champions in Origami.
They don't get to leave until they have devised a kevlar airship that can be folded into the outer shell structure of a large passenger plane.
Then we get the materials folk to design a spray-on skin that will set like carbon-fibre, yet instantly shatter into dust when an electrical current at exactly 726.23Mhz is passed through it.
Add some airbag type, super fast inflation system and a big red button in the cockpit.
You'll still head earthwards at an alarming rate, and you're not exactly going to bounce when you get there, but the huge reduction in terminal velocity coupled with the cushioning effect of the airship on impact might be just enough to save the drinks trolley.
Yeah, Captcha was just a vehicle to badly explain my point.
The way i would see it working is someone would create a Facebook page and populate it with the usual guff, just to make it realistic. Then when they want to pass on information they would do so by posting seemingly innocuous photographs of themselves in various poses, clothes, pointing and with everyday items in their hands, etc, but all of it is a pre-agreed code.
Admittedly it's pretty cumbersome and limited in scope, as trying to pass on the structural layout of ARM's latest chip design would be nigh impossible, but telling someone where to meet and when would be quite easy.
,.how some people still hold onto the idea that our spooks have capacity issues that limit their ability to monitor everything. (Think Bletchly in 1940's and then factor Moore and more besides)
Thus by standing in a forest you are somehow out of sight. Sure the agencies haven't the ability to make sense of everything immediately, and hence need to narrow the criteria before looking deeper, but if you suddenly become of interest, they'll pull every online keystroke you ever made out of their repositories.
No doubt future advances would see bots racing through the historic records compiling full profiles of everything that ever breathed, if they haven't already done so.
The problem with standard encryption is that the task can be offloaded to a computer quite easily.
Pictorial representation of what you're trying to say, no matter how obvious, is hugely problematic.
So with an agreed code, I could be stood facing right, with a ransom note in my hand and an AK47 pointing at my head, and only my mates would understand I'm regretting taking that cheap holiday.
So, the thing to do is be subtle about your coded exchanges, and thankfully subtly is a trait most terrorist nut jobs lack, almost by definition.
I'm sure the logic goes something like this:-
We investigate only those flagged as dangerous or potentially so.
Potential dangers include using encryption.
When we finally get everyone using encryption, we can legitimately investigate everyone.
Sure it would be great to fire the most sophisticated and technically brilliant probe at the stars and sit back, but odds are it will not survive the journey. No, send the cheapest crap we can get away with to map the treacherous route out, in fact send several. Then send the really expensive kit after them. The lead probes can then report back and thus give the important bit of kit the opportunity to navigate around obstacles.
As a bonus, any lead probes that make it through to the final destination could easily be commandeered by the main probe to scavenge their fuel, or re-purpose to explore further, or even be ordered to "halt" at an optimum point along the way, where they could then act as relay stations for Earth transmissions.
It's very exciting and something we're almost duty bound to carry out, as and when our capabilities make it an obvious no brainer.
Yes TeeCee, yes TC. You hit pay dirt with that one.
I tended to force my luck by presenting my very own northern glass in southern pubs, for an extra inch of beer. I was a poor student after all.
Worked every time, although times have changed so much, it is more likely they'd take the glass and put it to be washed, before grabbing a hideous flower vase...which is a whole new point of ire I have with the trade.
I recall an anecdote from one of my friends recounting the time they were working in a northern bar.
A customer, most likely from the saarrff, ordered a pint and bleated at the barman "That's not a pint"
The barman took the beer glass back and examined it, declaring "Yes, you're right" and promptly poured some off into the drip tray and handed it back.
It took some explaining to the customer, that northern glasses have a pint mark on the side allowing for an inch or so of head.
How disappointing it was to hear that the industry refused to adopt this very sensible and fair glass as a national standard.
"identify those most at risk of crime, locations most likely to see crimes committed, patterns of suspicious activity that may merit investigation and to target their resources most effectively against the greatest threats."
So expect the police to be driving right past your mugging to quickly get to the perceived threat of school children dropping litter outside a councillors home after the home-time bell is sounded.
Drowning the next generation of sociopaths at birth would leave this country without an effective government in the future?
It's the deathclaws that I'd be worrying about, radroaches are nothing but an irksome food supplement.
The very idea that an armada of off-shored companies could rake in a significant proportion of a county's GDP by using current taxtics is no different than when, as a nation, we ravaged the resources of those less capable of resisting us.
We often look back with embarrassment at our nations exploits around the world, yet while current practice flies under a corporate flag we generally just ignore it, until that is, we're the nation less capable of offering resistance.
And, just why are we incapable of resisting this drain on our resources, well, think, "good for the goose" and you might come to the realisation that we are just as embroiled in this dirty business and can't legislate against those disrupting our economy without adversely affecting the interests of our very own armada anchored teasingly just out of reach of HMRC, yet captained from the city of London.
"Hello, please come in and take a seat Mr Google"
"Thank you, Mr HMRC"
"Now, I would like for you to have a quick read of this"
"mm, yes, yes, err, yes"
"Do you notice anything about it?"
"Well, err, I can't say that I do"
"I shall enlighten you. It is a comprehensive list of all the people who we are not allowed to chase for tax and your name isn't included"
"Why ever not?"
"Well, you're not British, you're family isn't mentioned in the Magna Carta and you have not been invited onto the gravy train"
"Well can we buy a ticket?"
"Err, no! You see, you are now too high a profile. The media have got their teeth into you and frankly, it's distressing the hell out of all those on the list"
"Why should they care?"
"Obviously, if we can't come to a satisfactory solution to this and are forced into closing all these archaic loopholes, then thousands of honest law abiding citizens would end up having to pay a fair amount of tax."
"I see your dilemma"
"Yes indeed. That is why we have called you in. You see, those mentioned on the list are willing to redirect a small fraction of their annual tax avoidance into your revenue stream on condition you pay that back in tax and thus stop the media from digging any further"
"Well, on that basis, I think we can make a deal"
"Great, just sign here. Ahem, In blood if you don't mind"
"Our master will not have it any other way"
"What! David Cameron insists on blood?"
"Mr Cameron? The Master? No, he's just a loyal servant of Mammon"
Perhaps a further visit to establish the roaming pattern of these lizards would provide proof that it's more Darwin and less clever.
If the blue lizards tend to roam over blue rocks then they will undoubtedly become more prevalent to their red cousins in the same area.
I've always found it irksome to hear how a species has managed to develop a certain characteristic to better survive, when in actual truth, the only choice they made was to have sex with something not dead.
Wouldn't it be great if two extra people were sat at these government brain storming sessions.
One being the IT developer and the other representing the taxpayer.
"I suggest we add another day to the working week and call it Freeday" says treasury buffoon, Tarquin Smifff.
"That'll cost £528 Billion in extra development" pipes up the IT Dev.
"And, that's not going to happen" storms the taxpayers alliance, as he deftly removes the lime jelly head from Tarquin's torso using only the power of wishful thinking.
So, do I wait a few months for the current chip players to drop their prices to make the whole deal look slightly unpalatable, or wait until China ramps up a glut. making a bucket of Cornish sand more expensive than a bucket of Chinese nand?
I'm looking forward to the day I can replace my 3KW electric heater with the equivalent BTU output in DRAM for about the same price.
When you turn a computer on, you are then dropped unceremoniously onto a learning curve.
The ideal is to find yourself at a place on that curve were everything you want to do is at or below that point, or no less than a simple cognitive step up.
Windows has been around for a long time, and whether purposefully or unwittingly, we have been moving up that curve, usually in small baby step increments.
The trouble with Linux, for many Windows aficionados, is that the learning curve they have been merrily scrambling up all those years is as much a hindrance than of benefit and finding yourself relegated to noobie at the bottom of a seemingly unscalable cliff face is more than their ego can suffer.
It is all down to mindset, think learning a foreign language, not jumping into a different car expecting all the controls to be in exactly the same place.
And hence we have people with absolutely no idea about Linux wanting to jump straight in at the top of the learning curve to perform operations that took them years to achieve in a Windows environment, and complaining bitterly that the OS is a mess as their brain, larger than a planet, has been stifled by "unintelligible" geek waffle.
You might as well complain that German isn't a proper language, for the simple reason you failed it at O level.
All that aside, as a simple user, Linux is very, very easy to get started with, it's just those who are expecting to automatically transfer their incredible Windows skills into a Linux environment who are going to be utterly disappointed.
If you could travel back in time to the point you first used Photoshop and then set a stopwatch to record every fumble and lucky strike you made on your way to getting proficient with it, I'd argue that all those hours then put into learning how to use GIMP would have you at least as proficient.
It is a different interface, because it has to be, otherwise Adobe's lawyers would be smashing the door down.
I suppose the best analogy would be starting to learn a foreign language and then throwing a hissy fit because all the words are different to the ones you are used to and after ten minutes you give up.
Totally overlooking the fact it took you decades to reach your current proficiency in your mother tongue.
GIMP is no more complicated than Photoshop, and a price comparison rates GIMP as infinitely better than PS.
Even Luddites, had to agree, that learning how these new fangled machines worked, would help to better destroy them, rather than ignorantly scratching at the paintwork for hours.
I find the best way is to give those new to Linux, as close an approximation to what they're used to.
In practice that invariably means Linux Mint with a Mate interface.
I then load in all the free software to replace item for item what they used to run and sit and hold their hand for an hour or so, while they get acclimatised.
Those who have a high degree of proficiency with, let's say, Photoshop, will quickly gain an equal proficiency in GIMP, and those who have nothing but a casual acquaintance with PS will similarly learn how to crop and do those basic exercises in no greater a time.
Only someone who is heavily invested in MS will refuse to accept the sense that is Linux and bleat constantly that an error ridden, expensive, invasive OS is better than free, solid and dependable.
Surely the only reason more feathers have not been flying in the MS world is down to nearly every PC slurped off the shelf has MS pre-installed.
If Linux was delivered in the exact same way to the consumer then no issues would exists, but ah, MS has no intention of letting the consumer PC market off the leash, as it stipulates in very large letters that PC shifters will be executed for offering anything that isn't MS.
And just like Esme's experience, the IT woes of my friends ended the very day i threw my hands in the air and installed Linux on their machines. Sometimes a big thanks comes back, but mainly, the phone not ringing off the hook with computer problems is all the thanks I need.
If your product ticks one of those boxes then expect sales to go exponential.
So for VR i think part of the answer is interactive porn, where no longer are you at the mercy of whoever is holding the camera, as you can pan around the scene and focus on the angles that get you hotter and botherederer. That and finally removing your troops out of the firing line by letting them kick ass from a comfortable AC barracks.
Lets hope these two "advances" don't get confusingly intertwined in some nightmare snuff scene where Mr Garrison gets his wish to fuck 'em all to death.
Then again, watching daesh going out in a spectacular bang would be compulsive viewing.
@ Martin Summers
First comment was extolling another round of terrorist atrocities aimed at America.
Subsequent comments suggested a certain scythe wielding skeleton with a pronounced Tourettes disorder visited the commentard. And justifiably so.
"Full steam ahead it is Captain Williams"
"Ooh sailor, we'll be frying tonight"
To totally misquote the maestro Kenneth Williams.
I read about a guy who ran his moped on monkey spunk, but I seem to remember it was a little sluggish and the local zoo wasn't being very cooperative, so he traded it in for a better model that ran on leopards fanny batter.
Although come to think about it, it was a Viz cartoon strip and might not have been totally accurate.
Anyway, I assume after reading that most deplorable AC comment above, I couldn't be any more offensive if I tried.
If I lived in West Virginia, I would be able to get my power from a community run distributor, who would buy what is needed at the most competitive prices wholesale and make it available to me at cost plus admin. As per this article, I might be getting a similar deal on my internet in the near future too.
Back in blighty, this common sense, community owned philosophy was crushed decades ago and of the remaining examples of state run services, ALL of them are fighting for their very existence as government policy attempts to eradicate them.
Is it not enough to satisfy a communities need at cost? Why has everything from water and food through to telephony and power got to generate a massive profit for a select few, while further impoverishing millions.
The more I read about how utilities are provided to communities in America, the more I seethe when I look at how Britain has implemented just the worst aspects of capitalism while totally ignoring the obvious benefits of state run utilities for the citizens it is supposed to be working for.
It would be interesting to compare our two nations attitudes to community owned services and perhaps recognise which of us cares less for its citizens in the face of rampant capitalism.
Have you looked in the last place you left it?
Seems like the exchequer asked the question "We want to increase tax receipts in our moribund economy"
and the computer obliged with a PR managed escalation in fun tax.
The safe level for alcohol consumption is at or about ground level.
I see the government are avoiding setting academically proven safe levels for:- idiocy; arrogance; expense claims; selfishness; thoughtlessness...
When it comes to indisputable facts, like the height of Everest, Wikipedia excels more often than not. It is only the subjective material, like Ronald Reagan, where as many opinions exist as there are people on the planet. For some, just stating the facts is not enough, they want comment, and they want it to agree with their own opinion and hence the last word ping pong turns a useful resource into a mire of controversy as self interested parties attempt to write their version into the history books.
I have no answers to this calamity, but I still think it important that knowledge is freely accessible, and as long as you realise many inclusions must be double checked, you won't go too far wrong.
Perhaps, in attempting to describe subjects beyond the most solid of facts, Wikipedia has overstepped it's remit and should leave such highly subjective material to the biographers, bloggers, tweeters and pokers of this world to wrangle over in a more suitable environment, like the pub, just not mine, thank you.
Ha, ha ha, yes nothing funnier than playing the idiot when you get a tech call from "Microsoft's" subcontinent division. The fun I had doing everything the guy told me to do and truthfully conveying the results, he was getting really frustrated that none of his nobble the computer tactics were working and spent almost half an hour trying to get me to install his "useful and totally necessary" program.
It was me in the end, who got bored and started dropping ever less subtle hints about how Windows is not the only OS, but no, he had no idea other operating systems existed and continued to punch through his script despite me telling him I was running a Linux distro. It must have been at that point that I realised why some people have no other recourse than to turn to crime, because he honestly hadn't got a clue.
So, the bad boys of IT are now the good guys and the world's police are criminals hiding behind some rabid legislation and only ISIS can offer a secure home for your emails, but that'll get you imprisoned, so some hacking group might jump in and save the day, but the worlds police are after them as well, and the journalists that would normally be reporting on these horrors to the masses are too busy intercepting your conversations for lurid and salacious headlines to bother.
Please tell me there's another planet out there near Pluto where everyone is looking on and laughing their lungs up at "Earth, The Final Daze"
Self cleaning glass has seemingly been available for many years, as I distinctly remember the news about a coating that basically Teflon's your windows.
I must also assume it is bloody expensive and only practical for luxury liner's portholes and other hard to reach places, as I have never heard of it since.
Until I looked for:- Windows coating cleaning
Unless we're talking stationary orbit, then that hasn't got an hope in hell of working.
However, positioned within a few miles, on the ground, covertly, sitting and waiting to do its duty?
Welcome to the all American motor home, complete with SAM launchers, or the oil tanker that drives in circles in anticipation of, just the one delivery. Hell, welcome to America's international loft converters!
Those old, rusting, forty foot containers, that litter the world could easily be hiding Uncle Sam's insurance policy.
How about an El Chapo inspired tunnel right under the enemies silo?
Frankly non of these ideas are any less thought out than laser drones, and equally rely on the suspension of reason.
and you don't need to wait too long for an excellent example of how physicists tie themselves in ever more complicated knots while ignoring the bleeding obvious:- BBC's Horizon program about the secrets of the Solar system spent at least half an hour coming up with ever more exotic theories about how Jupiter formed after the Sun ignited. I can't tell you what happened in the second half, because I couldn't suffer any more of it.
Well, Jupiter is an impossibility, it can't exist, as the forces emanating from our Sun would have blown all the necessary components that make up Jupiter and the other gas giants into oblivion and so something weird happened to make Jupiter form really quickly after the Sun came into being....and so the program went on... completely overlooking the most obvious fact, that the Sun was at one stage in its life nothing more than a gas giant itself and likely to have a clutch of sisters, which we might call Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, all quite capable of retaining their composure as their elder sibling went nuclear. But no, we have to stick with the idea that the Sun was the only entity around and everything else came after and hence back flips and somersaults ensue as large brains try to shoehorn ever more fantastical theories into accepted knowledge so as to keep the original hypothesis current.
Perhaps the program goes on to explore the very hypothesis I just made, as the format tends to be a grain of truth orbited by controversy and utter bollocks, to keep the target audience riveted to their high chairs, and I threw my toys out too early to find out.
If it wasn't such an house of cards, you wouldn't be having to attack me personally in order that such blithering nonsense could be maintained for another generation to wrangle over.
Get over yourself, if you lack the imagination to see my gibberish is no less relevant, then might I suggest you get out of theoretical physics and into, I don't know, perhaps religious fundamentalism, where imagination would be a significant handicap.
Exactly my point. We live in a multidimensional universe, yet many of our physicists are obsessed with trying to explain it using just a handful of them. Thus we get such drivel as dark matter and cats hairs instead of consideration for dimensions that we might just be getting a peek at.
Hopefully, one day physics will rid itself of the need to vehemently shout down anything that isn't propagated by an arrogant elite.
"Right or wrong, their theories are steps towards understanding the workings of our universe."
or another hurdle to overcome before we set off in a more considered direction.
Having stuff disappear off into another dimension is only a problem for those who cannot let go of some tenets of physics, that are similarly stifling debate and alternative reasoning.
So what if an asteroid spinning wildly out of the Crab nebula cannot point back at the miscreant that nudged it, as it no longer exists in our concept of universe?
Just because our physics doesn't work at the extremes, doesn't make them irrelevant, or more to the point, desperately needing some fairy tale cods wallop to keep them pertinent.
For all practical purpose our physics hits the mark, for strange events involving transitions into another dimension they don't, but why should they.
It would be like demanding all vehicles had to be fitted with an altimeter, because some vehicles fly.
One day, when we are able to fully comprehend the many dimensions that make up our universe, we will look back and snigger at the multitude of convoluted theories that did the rounds. Isn't it enough to just hold your hands up and say, "we haven't got a clue", but we have some ideas on what to do about it.
So, information is "lost" in a black hole, like water is lost when it goes down the sink. It's all relative to the onlooker, the water still exists, even though I can't see it.
Perhaps OFWAT could advise the universe on its billing and then we could account for every atom that gets flushed out, just by checking our intergalactic utility bill.
Not even naked!
Far less clad gentlemen can be seen at your local swimming pool.
And we have got to remember, those in the medical profession do not find the human form so mysterious and beguiling that they must fervently cover it up for modesty's sake.
Personally, I believe anything that makes it more difficult for the ulta-religious to mix amongst us normal people is a God send, as I little doubt, many of those expressing deep concern about the images had to break off from abusing someone else to voice their opinions.
You know the plot.
"So basically the guy has admitted to everyone he watches pr0n, I wonder if his bosses requested his browsing history at work be checked?"
Says MeDixStiff...Mmm...I'm guessing you're having a laugh?
Surely it would be far cheaper if we all just cc'd GCHQ in our emails.
A white list experience, will probably be the future for many users. With only accredited, script free sites getting onto the list, or perhaps, a heavily censured portal.
And, in the very way terrorists have impacted on our freedom, so too, will the hackers and net abusers drive legislation to seriously limit how we use the internet.
In my mind, the real internet terrorists are the ones forever pushing the boundaries of the interactive experience, adding ever more potential attack vectors to formats that where once just plain text or a compressed image. It's almost as though they are vying for such anarchy, so that a "white knight" can legitimately step in, and ultimately return thought control, back into the hands of the state.