* Posts by Flocke Kroes

2580 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

NASA names the date for the first commercial crew demo flight

Flocke Kroes
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Re: more of a crumpet man

Watch out or version 2 will be based on 790.

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

Flocke Kroes
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Re: the NHS will be paperless by 2020

The paperless NHS project is amazing. It has been going on for years. When it gets excessively late and over budget it gets cancelled and restarted a year or so later. Total deforestation and the complete destruction of the NHS will not end the stream of paperless NHS projects.

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

Flocke Kroes
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Re: @ toilet duk

Ms James you say? Can you show me you ID card please. That picture does not look like you. Let me take a closer look. Whoops... it fell in the shredder. Sorry - I cannot help you unless you have an ID card.

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Here we go again...

and block chain.

Remember Misco? Staff win protective award at employment tribunal

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Administrators

This bunch of administrators do seem to be a bit lax. Apparently they failed to spend £600,000 and some of that may reach the creditors.

Falcon 9 gets its feet wet as SpaceX notch up two more launch successes

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Re: An optimistic cynics take

The fairings are aluminium honeycomb surrounded by a carbon fibre composite. Inspection of the first fairings to be recovered from the sea showed that sea water had got between the carbon fibres. The design has changed to include some sort of waterproof coating.

Dragon capsules land in the sea and get re-used. One of them has been to the ISS 5 times.

Pencil manufacturers rejoice: Oz government doesn't like e-voting

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Re: NOTA

None Of The Above stood for election in South Basildon and East Thurrock.

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Security is not the issue

I vote a thousand times using randomly generated codes. Either you can turn those codes back into names and addresses - so you do not have a secret ballot or you can't and you cannot remove only my fake votes.

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

Flocke Kroes
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Re: possible terrorist threat this Christmas

FISC: What!?

NSA: Santa Claus is a person of interest and a terrorist. Every year he violates US airspace, causes financial mayhem to our economy, drops packages containing god only knows what and ...

FISC: Yes?

NSA: He's got a list... we want it.

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Gets popcorn

Revealing the existence of a TCN is illegal. Prosecuting a company for failure to to comply with a TCN will reveal the existence of at least one. Presumably this is legal and the court's ruling and sentence will also be a matter of public record and will be required to show up in SEC filings.

Next year phone adverts will include "already fined for not complying with a TCN".

Flocke Kroes
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Re: The BS is strong with this one

This one is easy to understand. The actual deadline is before the next election.

Here's the list of space orgs big and small sparring to send next NASA gear to the Moon

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Parachutes

IIRC the actual problem is with the second source of line cutters.

The parachutes open in stages so they do not get ripped to shreds when the capsule is falling rapidly. At least one of those stages involves cutting a piece of string. There was only one source of line cutters. Demand for these parts was approaching the supply limit so SpaceX found an second source. NASA is part way through deciding if the second source is reliable enough.

Take my advice and stop using Rubik's Cubes to prove your intelligence

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You have clearly only met consultant version 1

Version 1 consultant does not need any time to understand a new customer's business because he has already selected the solution. The solution is the one that the consultant gets the most commission on.

Version 2 consultant does exist and a few of the more competent PHBs are able to hire them. Version 2 spends the morning listening to various employees until he works out which employee actually understands what is going on and how to fix it. He then listens to that employee and puts what he hears into a report for the PHB. The PHB then announces the content of the report as his plan (stop preventing the skilled employees from doing a proper job).

I was lucky enough to meet a version 2 consultant early on and so discovered the technique required to get PHBs to listen: increase your hourly rate.

Forget DeepFakes. This robo-Rembrandt with AI for brains is not bad at knocking off paintings

Flocke Kroes
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Re: So they've made a more complicated scanner

If you read the article a bit more carefully you will notice that they did not use close up scans but ordinary digital photographs. The AI bit was to re-create the missing data, which is important.

Masks worn by actors have a blood red layer under the flesh coloured layer so the mask looks real under different lighting conditions. Painters use a similar trick: light can enter through the light areas and come back out through the darker areas to fool the brain into perceiving motion in the parts of the picture you are not looking at. I know that sounds impossible, but take a look at what can be achieved even without different coloured layers.

The only way to tell if the AI is doing a good job is to see the original and the fake side by side. Digital photos on a monitor are not useful - unless the artist designed for display on a montor.

A rumble in Amazon's jungle: AWS now rents out homegrown 64-bit Arm server processors

Flocke Kroes
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You are kidding about Intel Atom aren't you?

I have tried using Intel's 'low power' chips occasionally (by low power Intel mean low performance not electricity consumption). Every single time I got burned. Intel prefers to have their FABs crank out top end high margin products. They see every cheap CPU (cheap compared to other Intel CPUs) they make is a lost sale of a more expensive CPU. They put bugger all effort into the small side and it shows up as hardware that promptly becomes non-functional and unsupported.

If you are stuck with a few ancient x86 binaries try them on ARM with QEMU. It is often sufficient and has an excellent service life. If that doesn't get the job done, go for a normal mass market Intel or AMD device. Economies of scale get the price of a complete system close to Intel's low power efforts and the service life will be two or three times greater.

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

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Re: Starship/BFR names

I could not find the names of the colony ships that became Hadley's Hope on LV-426/Acheron. As they are nameless my vote goes for Nostromo.

Six critical systems, four months to Brexit – and no completed testing

Flocke Kroes
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Joke

Re: How about scrapping them?

Scrapping food imports sounds a bit draconian to me. Brexits do not have to buy imported food it they do not want to. They have had that choice for years. (Likewise they could have left the EU any time they wanted but they are still here). The rest of us would like a choice.

Between you, me and that dodgy-looking USB: A little bit of paranoia never hurt anyone

Flocke Kroes
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Re: "Who hired this clown?"

Answer honestly. See who still has a job in the evening. If it isn't you, get a job somewhere that values your skills. Everyone will be happier.

Flocke Kroes
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Re: My superiors?

Scribble out a quick note:

I, Swinging Dick take full personal legal and financial responsibility for deleted, corrupted or encrypted data including resulting loss of business, reputation and fines for distribution of personal data caused by use of an unsecured phone on company property.

Ask him to sign it and watch how quickly he remembers that he is late for a meeting.

UK.gov fishes for likes as it prepares to go solo on digital sales tax

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Mein Gott!!

I think they will just pass the tax straight on to UK customers and businesses (who will pass it on to their customers).

Disky business: Seagate hyperscale customers slow to 'digest' inventory

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Maybe we noticed the warranty return rate

Take a look at the figures. If you are returning drives after a few hundred hours consider checking for PEBKAC because the drives are not the problem. Blackblaze buy lots of 4TB Seagates. They do this because with good redundancy and fail over the 3% PA failure rate is more than accounted for in the price. (The average is 2% for Blackblaze's inventory). Judging by the quantities in service the same cannot be said for the 5% PA failure rates of a couple of Western Digital models.

Now Europe wants a four-million-quid AI-powered lie detector at border checkpoints

Flocke Kroes
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I would vote for it if ...

... they use suitable training data. I propose recordings of TV interviews with politicians.

Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship

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Re: America

No need to make it up. When the UK government needs to come up with something really stupid to do all the have to do is copy the most damaging policy the Americans came up with 5 years ago.

This two-year-old X.org give-me-root hole is so trivial to exploit, you can fit it in a single tweet

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Now, if this were a Windows exploit...

All free software has an automatic money back option. Perhaps one day Microsoft will provide such a service to their customers. You are welcome to hold your breath while you wait for it.

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Jaywalking

When someone gets run over they put up a fence to stop other people getting run over in the same place. A few days later the fence has a hole in it and people cross there again. The entire exercise is pointless for many reasons. One data point is not sufficient to identify a dangerous place to cross the road. It does hint at a popular place to cross the road and the possibility that some people are not as good at crossing the road as others. If they used more effective barriers, people not capable of looking both ways before crossing will simply find somewhere else to die.

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Important 'cause...

the car will ALREADY be tracking every person/object in view so it doesn't have an "Oh ****" moment.

Almost... More likely:

the car will ALREADY be tracking every person in view and looking up their purchase history, credit rating and recent search topics so it can select irrelevant adverts to display on the car doors.

Science: Broke brats glued to the web while silk-stocking scions have better things to do

Flocke Kroes
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Re: One stereotype about Generation Z...

Just like every previous generation had plenty of individualistic rebellious teens.

The march of Amazon Business has resellers quaking in their booties

Flocke Kroes
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Re: This is new news?

Before Amazon, RS components had a reputation for seeking 'special relationships' with their suppliers. For example negotiate a low price, buy vast quantities to build a huge stock, wait for the supplier to invest in increased production then halt buying and sell from stock until supplier can be bought for a pittance.

There is nothing new about this business model.

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

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My usual pseudonym: User Name

The bonus is that often someone else has already set up the account for me with the password "password".

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Diagnostic process

In normal circumstances I can find a fault with a binary search but some clients like to help by asking a continuous stream of "Is the printer broken? Is the computer broken? Is it the printer cable? ..." three seconds after I enter the room. Applying chresmomancy may lead me to suspect the problem is a Letter sized document sent to a printer loaded with A4 but that requires typing in my password to check which can be a little tricky if I get too much help.

Microsoft has signed up to the Open Invention Network. We repeat. Microsoft has signed up to the OIN

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Re: Phil Kingston

I am confident what you consider a valid patent and the standard of the patents that are actually awarded are very different. The big problem with the EFF's stupid patent of the month is the thousands of thoroughly deserving patents granted each month that miss their chance of fame.

Flocke Kroes
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Re: AAA

Perhaps it is the other way around. Microsoft buying Github means they will be distributing a very large amount of GPL software. The cannot do that and charge patent royalties on it at the same time (unless they have a similar understanding of the law SCO).

Indiegogo pulls handheld airport pervscanners off crowdfunding platform

Flocke Kroes
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There was an excellent reason for not having airport scanners

They cost a bomb but could not detect them.

The perviness was never a real problem.

UK space comes to an 'understanding' with Australia as Brexit looms

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Tigra 07

I know we are a net contributor. I have never said otherwise. That is still consistent with getting an unfair share of EU pork which used to be true but is being eroded. What I massively object to is Brexits promising the gross ~£350M/week (16% of the NHS budget) when the net amount which could theoretically be available is a rounding error on the NHS budget. The signature benefit of Brexit has been a big lie from the start.

The next crap down on the list is to restrict freedom of travel. That hits both ways. You are contributing towards restrictions on my freedom of travel.

"We all know the stories about the Human Rights Act. The violent drug dealer who cannot be sent home because his daughter – for whom he pays no maintenance – lives here. The robber who cannot be removed because he has a girlfriend. The illegal immigrant who cannot be deported because – and I am not making this up – he had a pet cat."

"This is why I remain of the view that the Human Rights Act needs to go."

Do you really want to be stuck in the same country as cat-gate?

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Rupert Fiennes

Thanks for the link. If you read the report you will notice that the net contribution is calculated as (Money to the EU)-(Money back to the UK government). It misses out money back to the UK private sector (which exceeds money back to the UK government).

It also misses out EU citizens working over here and paying UK taxes. A big thank you to my Dutch NHS GP and all the Polish bus drivers (and their very welcome tobacco tax).

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Tigra 07

The UK contributed to Galileo and as a result negotiated and received a share of the pork for R&D. Part of the contract we insisted on was that only EU members are allowed big lumps of Galileo pork. Until recently, Brits have done an excellent job of getting an unfair share of EU pork so most of the ~£350M/week came back.

Although I firmly believe our government lack the skills to negotiate their way out of a wet paper bag I do not blame them that much for this particular cock-up. Everyone in the UK is now is a lousy position to tender for long term EU projects and our share of the pork has already fallen.

Article 50 has always been particularly clear: any EU member that leaves gets fucked over by all the others on the way out. If any Brexit voter is any happy about this they can go to the bathroom, look in the mirror and rant at one of the people responsible.

Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

Flocke Kroes
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Words mean different things to different people

In the security services, "trusted" means "someone who can betray you".

Astroboffins may have found the first exomoon lurking beyond the Solar System

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More big moons in the solar system

The solar system has four rocky planets, one with a large moon. The moons of the four giant planets are small compared to their primaries but Ganymede, Titan, Callisto and Io are all bigger than Luna also Europa and Triton are bigger than Pluto. There are currently five dwarf planets: Pluto and Eris both have relatively large moons. So far three Trans Neptunian Objects also have large moons (Orcus, Salacia and 2007 OR10)

(The JWs try to tell me Earth is really unusual because of its large moon. I like to show them this pretty picture)

What do Zuck, Sergey, @Jack and Bezos have in common? They don't want encryption broken

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Change

I can change my search engine today.

The next general election is scheduled for May 2022. Although there may be a few different faces I am not expecting any real change in the government.

The ink's not dry on California'a new net neutrality law and the US govt is already suing

Flocke Kroes
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Re: comms companies can't throw you in prison ...

... yet, but when they want such power Pai will grant it to them.

Boffin: Dump hardware number generators for encryption and instead look within

Flocke Kroes
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Just tested it

Version 1: The time drops rapidly for the first nine samples, then remains fairly constant with the last digits showing five or six bits of entropy. Multiple runs show the way the time drops for the first 9 samples is quite consistent. Around 70 unique samples per run.

Version 2: 3 unique samples per run with the most common turning up 75% of the time and the least common usually first.

Version 3: 2 unique samples with the most common turning up 96% of the time.

Version 4: Same as version 3.

Version 5: Only about 30 unique values per run.

Version 1 was not optimised. Version 2 used -O2. Version 3 diverted output to a file instead of pasting output from a window into a file. Version 4 moved the printf to a separate loop from the sample generator. Version 5 was like version 4 but without the -O2.

Conclusion: Use with lots of caution. Make absolutely certain your test code and production code use the same compiler options. Much of the randomness comes from "printf" and what it outputs to.

Trump's axing of cyber czar role has left gaping holes in US defence

Flocke Kroes
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Re: There More than One Way to Skin a Skunk RAT and Address a Virtual Land Grab

To the best of my knowledge, amanfromMars 1 is a travesty generator. I can understand your confusion because some of the other commentards here are even more incoherent.

Amid Trump-China tariff tiff, Cisco kit prices to resellers soar up to 25%

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Re: Meh

If manufacture does return to the US (or Mexico) then a 25% tax on Chinese goods will result in a 15% mark up on local manufacture plus another 9% from reduced economies of scale.

Flocke Kroes
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How about ...

We are going to pay for firewalls and the Mexicans are going to build them!

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Why ...Press F1 to continue... was stupid

This is pre-dates USB by a long time. Hotplug hardware was somewhere between rare and fictional so plugging the keyboard back in could break the keyboard, motherboard or both. As the hardware did not support hotplug there was no reason to have the software handle it. If the hardware survived then the firmware in the keyboard controller could hang so the machine would need a power cycle anyway.

Now imagine you have got your server almost ready to install on site. You remove the keyboard and video card because no-one will be typing on that machine, switch on and the damn thing beeps at you. You read the manual for the motherboard and discover the beep code means the BIOS has not detected the video card and refuses to boot. You put the video card back in and try again: the machine hangs. Attempt three with a monitor shows the infamous "Keyboard not detected. Press F1 to continue". After summoning a horde of demons to hunt down and sandpaper the programmer responsible you dust off a coffee stained keyboard and rip the keycaps off it so the machine will boot (and the customer will not press the wrong button).

Years later, Microsoft came up with: "Mouse not detected. Click here to change."

HP Ink should cough up $1.5m for bricking printers using unofficial cartridges – lawsuit

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Don't get me started

The problem was you started by making a purchase instead of doing a proper search for a device to meet your requirements. I bought an Epson printer 9 years ago because the driver was a included in Debian and there was cheap third party ink available. It still works fine - and 6 sets of ink cartridges are under £15.

Got any ecsta-sea? Boffins get octopuses high on MDMA – for science, duh

Flocke Kroes
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Re: "California two-spot octopus"

Octopuses are Greek, not Roman so the plural would be octopedes (like centipus millipus :-)

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Alternative 2018 floppy disc put-down

Swallow the coffee and put down the cup. USB and internal 3½" floppy drives are still for sale on Amazon. You can even buy a pack of disks - you will only need 4 for the Raspberry Pi Linux kernel!

Revealed: The billionaire baron who’ll ride Elon’s thrusting erection to the Moon and back

Flocke Kroes
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Re: moon landing

The next step up from a trip around the moon is to refuel the BFS-crew in orbit with the BFS-tanker. The BFS-crew could then land on the moon and return to Earth without further refuelling.

<embiggen>If</embiggen> Dearmoon and the first crewed LOP-G mission both launch on their no-earlier-than dates, Dearmoon goes first.

UK.gov isn't ready for no-deal Brexit – and 'secrecy' means businesses won't be either

Flocke Kroes
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Re: No shit, Sherlock?

The problem with getting rid of politicians - no matter what method you use - is that the replacements are even worse. Executing the Westminster civil will require setting up a new working group and hiring staff to investigate the most cost intensive method. Start with a £100M budget and a two year deadline then after five years and £500M the project will be abandoned due to cost and restarted a year later.

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