* Posts by hammarbtyp

887 posts • joined 28 Nov 2007


Bipartisan Kumbaya: President Trump turns Obama's open govt data policy into law

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Does that include easier access to tax returns?

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

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History of science has consistently shown that when you push the boundaries not only do we find the things we were looking for, but lots we didn't realise existed.

The space race purpose was to get to the moon, the rest came as a by-product of that attempt.

I'm sure some will say that the money spent would be better off spent solving world hunger or cancer research. However this ignores that science is inextricably linked, and a discovery in one area could affect another.

The problem is, if we knew what we were going to find, there is no point looking for it. And once we found something, there may be many many ways to apply it. For example the original quantum research, was purely theoretical and many would of said pointless, yet know we are using the quantum realm in electroncs, computing and starting to look at biological processes in a new way

Amazon Mime: We train (badly) an AI love bot using divorce bombshell Bezos' alleged sexts to his new girlfriend

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"after she took aerial shots of his Blue Origin space rockets"

Thought I had heard all the double entendre's, but that's a new one

Wanted – have you seen this MAC address: f8:e0:79:af:57:eb? German cops appeal for logs in bomb probe

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They should contact the US CSI or NCIS. I am sure I saw a weekly documentary where they could take a IP or MAC address and instantly show its location :)

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

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Re: It'll never happen...

Same thing happened to me. Kept getting emails from the states about someones car. Needs Service, etc. For while it was amusing, but then I started getting fault reports and i thought what would I want to do in that situation? So I decided tp contact the provider to indicate a mistake had been made.

1 problem. No contact email address. So instead I put a sarcastic tweet with the companies handle. It worked and they messaged me. Great I thought, getting somewhere. So i told them the issue, they said they would sort it. Finally I thought.

Until yesterday

"Dear Tonya, Car VIN number, model number has low pressure in front left tyre"

So I contacted the company again. The response was. Sorry about that. Can you give us your pin number and we will sort it....<Sound of banging head against wall>

It makes you wonder why you bother

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider

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Re: Kerosene.

Or just Nuke it from orbit...just to make sure

What happens when a Royal Navy warship sees a NATO task force headed straight for it? A crash course in Morse

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Re: Azipods in reverse?

I think that's unlikely since the MS Queen Elizabeth (90,000 tonnes) have them compared to the Queen Elizabeth Class (65,000 tonnes ).

The reasons are more likely a) reduction in draught b) Easier to protect from torpedo attack c) The lack of a need to do close maneuvering such as sailing up and down fjords, so there is no need for the extra complication

(MS Queen Elizabeth has them so that it can dock in small Caribbean islands without the need of tug support and sometimes its useful to maintain station, for example if passengers want to go Jet skiing )

Having swallowed its pride and started again with 10nm chips, Intel teases features in these 2019-ish processors

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Two thoughts

Arm-like big.LITTLE architecture

Interesting because where I stand it appears that Intel have pretty well left the embedded space. If you want to run a fanless x86 processor of any reasonable power you have AMD and that's it. Intel just don't care. Whether such a SoC processor would allow them to get back into the game is questionable.

Integrated GPUs no longer second-class citizens

I may be wrong here, but I'm pretty sure it is largely Intel integrated GPU's that have sucked. AMD with their in-house Radeon expertise have always been better

Keen for much-hyped quantum computing to finally land? Don't expect it for a decade

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Just to add that you also have to balance "risk and cost of not achieving anything" against "potential benefits and possible spin offs"


strong AI, cure to cancer, fusion are strong categories in the latter column, while driverless and flying cars are more in the former camp (although crack AI, and you have driverless cards anyway).

Quantum computing is in the latter camp. Yes we may not achieve the final goal, but in doing so we gain a greater understanding of the quantum world. However if it is managed on a commercial scale, the benefits extend way beyond encryption. remember that most of the progress in the last 30 years has been due to increase in computing power, a curve which using present technologies may well have to stop

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Re: People should focus on the fundamentals first

This seems a common thread in science.

Scientists are single minded, never see the big picture, and are only interested in funding.

this is normally put forward by people who have no specialist knowledge in a particular area, but latch onto the summary of a outlying research paper.

University research tends to be pretty open to new ideas. Proving that quantum computing is not possible would almost as big a break through as proving it is.

I'm pretty sure there are many quantum computing researchers who are aware of the paper and are taken it into account and are more qualified to understand its applicability and ramifications.

Saying that when commercial concerns get involved there is a a tendency to downgrade any information which stops the pork barrel funding, so you need to differentiate between basic research and commercial application

hammarbtyp Silver badge

* strong AI

The original concept of AI i.e a robot brain as or of greater intelligence than person is still a long way off. However in certain limited applications we already have AI. The google search engine for example

* flying cars

Flying cars is easy. Getting a flying car that a non-pilot can fly and not crash into the myriad other flying cars is hard

* driverless cars

They seem to be a long way down that route, with some applications already ongoing. Whether people will accept them on the road is another questions, but expect military applications in the next few years

* cure to cancer

To all cancers, no. To some cancers, yes

* fusion power generation

Yes, unfortunately a long way off. However the problems are engineering and material science not physics

It all goes to show that technology progress is rarely quantum leaps, but slow hard slogs often relying on many different areas.

Estonian ex-foreign sec urges governments: Get cosy with the private sector on cybersecurity

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She pretty well echo's what Bruce Schneier wrote in "Click Here to Kill Everybody"

Waymo's revolutionary driverless robo-taxi service launches in America... with drivers

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Re: The sad truth about self-driving cars

The question is, when this situation occurs, do we want some computer to make the call,

I think the question is whether you want the computer to make the call or Steve, who passed his driving test last week, is driving back after an all night party and is concentrating on trying to tune his radio

The only way to make safe driverless vehicles would be to put them on special lanes, perhaps specifically designed to avoid sharp angles; possibly with a system to keep them on trajectory at all times, like, some manner of metal railing?

I think they are called roads

No, you haven't gone deaf – the Large Hadron Collider has been wound down for more upgrades

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Has the LHC not destroyed the universe yet?

It did, but it was replaced with something equally inexplicable

Space policy boffin: Blighty can't just ctrl-C, ctrl-V plans for Galileo into its Brexit satellite

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Re: Unicorn based politics?

Is that like where Surrey Satellites bid the contract, technically feasible and under cost? Then German OHB win, take 5 years *not* to launch what they promised in three. Then Surrey satellites rescue the spectrum allocation by building tech demonstrators from a standing start in 18 months, while OHB drop a *further* two years and many billions of EU money.

Citation @Justthefacts ?

OHB were technical lead while Surrey were contracted to provide support and test satellite. The test satellite is not the same a the fully functioning system and is just POC


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Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

Seriously though, does the British military not already use GPS for this? Are they anticipating that the yanks are going to cut them off?

That is actually the crux of the matter. Do you base your defense capability on the resources of a foreign power, however friendly they are now.

I remember two situation in recent history where UK military operations were and could of been curtailed by the US. Firstly Suez, where basically the US stopped the war because it went against their national interest and Falklands where it was touch and go, with the US wanting to keep Argentina onside. It was only that the cold war trumped that, that allowed access to some critical resources.

The advantage of Galileo was that the UK military had shared control. They would be in the room where it happened to quote "Hamilton" .Any future Galileo agreement or agreement to use US GPS capabilities would see us as associate partners which could be cut off if necessary (To be honest generally strategically we are closer aligned to Europe interests that US)

But hey, at least we are taking back control......

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

As you say for the majority of people this will make no difference. Standard GPS is fine for most commercial applications, even road pricing

However this pertains to defense applications, for example dropping a GPS guided munition down a bunker. In this case you want a higher degree of accuracy. You also want to stop your enemy piggy backing of the same capability which is why it is encrypted

The UK requested this capability in Galileo to be only available to full members of the Galileo project, not thinking for a second that it would lose access to the club.

HMRC: 30 months to prep Northern Ireland backstop systems, 24 for customs

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Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

"Things could have been very different had a Brexiteer been in charge."

There were brexiters in charge of the foreign office, trade and the department responsible for Brexit, plus half the cabinet, but they still failed. Face facts, it is failing because there is no plan and reality has nasty habit of smacking fantasists up the ass

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Re: So this is what Brexiteers meant by "Quick and simple."

Things could have been very different had a Brexiteer been in charge.

That's like saying the reason why we couldn't fly after jumping of the cliff was because we didn't have enough people who really believed that we can defy gravity

Finally a platform for train puns: IBM Halt station derailed

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Re: I was think more along the lines of ...


My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

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Re: I have

Got a couple of those plus a hitachi H8 processor board which i won in a competition (Lucky me!). just waiting for the correct offer

Premiere Pro bug ate my videos! Bloke sues Adobe after greedy 'clean cache' wipes files

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It exists, but in a superposition of states, being both existing and deleted at the same time.

It is only by examining the files that we can tell there true state

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

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two more to the list

Two more from left field

John Stewart Bell


Beatrix Potter (Yes really)

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Re: Bertrand Russell

It would be pretty symbolic

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Where's Rutherford?

I would throw in Dirac too

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

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Re: Don't forget we had Darwin

That was then.

Now we get a Brexit 50p

Since apparently in our Groupthink country we cannot know trust experts, I expect the next notes to be:-

Nigel Lawson shown pushing back the sea levels with one hand, Canute style

Nigel Farage, beer in one hand striding to the future in a Mao great leap forward pose

Boris Johnson with text written totally in Latin, or maybe just one of his speeches, whichever is least intelligable

and of course Jacob Rees-Mogg on the newly minted 10 shilling note

US Republicans bash UK for tech tax plan

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The cheek of it

How dare they!!

Don't they realise they are dealing with the worlds 7̶t̶h̶,̶8̶t̶h̶,̶ TBD largest economy

Cray's pre-exascale Shasta supercomputer gets energy research boffins hot under collar

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The important question

But does it run Far Cry?

(Keeping Memes alive since 1996)

Woman who hooked up with over 15 spectres has found her forever phantom after whirlwind romance and plane sex

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"At what point does it become your duty to refer the mental health services to a person like this?"

or at least recommend them to Fox and friends as a new presenter

Goodnight Kepler! NASA scientists lay the exoplanet expert to rest as it runs out of fuel

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Re: Fuel? Why no solar panels?

Even with solar panels you still need something to push out to move. True, they could of used Ion engines which would of reduced the action mass required, but even that would run out eventually (Smaller mass x higher speed). Also Ion engines are slow and steady, and probably would not be capable of moving a satellite like kepler at the rates required. Fine if you want to reposition over a period of months, but I'm not sure anyone is wanting to wait that long

Finally Kepler has far exceeded its design lifetime, so the engines have done what they needed to do

BlackBerry KEY2 LE: The first budget Android QWERTY for years

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Re: Close but no cigar

Maybe blackberry should do an updated Psion Series 5

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

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Interesting comments.

They seem to go along the line.

Great phone, if only it had....




any other app i use more than 2 times a day

While i am sure there are niche markets for such a phone, in the end people find while minimalism looks good in the shop window, real life is more complicated than that

Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

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Re: Castration anxiety

This is why God gave us shirt pockets.

Required IT crowd reference

Former General Electric boss explains how he got the internet wrong

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Jeff Immelt never really understood digital strategy

Jeff Immelt never really understood digital strategy , and it highlighted by the problems that traditional HW companies have embracing the cloud etc.

While he is right in that system connectivity and large data analytics are big drivers in the future, companies like GE, Siemens etc have over the years ensured that their systems are mutually incompatible. You only have to look at the plethora of competing industrial protocols that are out there, each with a industry champion. Therefore they make poor industry aggregators. If you compare them with a company like google, who basically whole existence is based around data integration, its not hard to see where the driving force will be.

There is also the question of who owns the data. Its all very well suggesting that a company puts its system data in the cloud. The bigger question is who has access to it and who owns it. This is especially difficult if the hosting service wants to profit from analysis of it. (Something which google has been doing for years, but companies generally value their data more highly than individuals)

There is also a culture clash. Traditional industrial equipment are conservative devices, generally self contained. Digital services are fast moving,agile and interconnected. At some some point there is a clash and trade off, usually with security

The final issue is that GE approach was we will build these services and they will come (field of dreams principle). However they spent little time thinking making it easy for companies wanted to connect to the services, what cost model to use. Again this is industry process thinking. Configuring a industrial system generally involves editing 30 unrelated config files and then not touching anything in the hope it does not break. If Apple had designed a industrial system it would consist of one button which said connect. Guess which approach GE went for. Cloud also means that costs become far less transparent. You can be charged by the MB stored, CPU time, bandwidth or a plethora of other metrics. Again it makes it difficult to monitor and control costs. Fine in the high margin digital world, but industry margins tend to be low margin

Finally the issue was over estimating your size and strength. While GE has a huge captilisation, it like many other nuts and bolt operations are quickly become dwarfed by digital power houses. Also because they tend to have less investment in infrastructure, they can quickly capitilise large projects. GE found quickly it could not afford to setup its own server farm, and now relies on AWS. This shows where the power now lies in the new world order

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

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Inconvenient Truths

1. this could of happened before Brexit

2. The money allocated is pinprick compared with the amount which will have to be spent to get a system running

3. GPS systems are optimized to cover certain areas of the earth. Covering two hemispheres to provide the accuracy required for military will require more satellites and greater coverage

4. No one has explained where the frequencies required are going to come from since this would require international agreement

5. we are looking at a huge investment (which is likely to inflate ) and long project timescales. This from a country that has so far failed to build 1 high speed rail track

6. it is not clear why we need it anyway apart from massaging some huge Tory egos. We struggle to maintain 1 carrier group. The last time we did anything abroad was the Falklands, and that was based on cold war level military readiness. Even then it was a struggle

7. It is likely we will need the money for other things

8. The UK on its own is no longer a world super power, and the sooner we come to terms with this, the better the future will be

9. It will never happen

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

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Re: Hey El Reg Peeps, Paper Author Here

I know, Security's a bitch....

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Hey El Reg Peeps, Paper Author Here

While interesting there is great irony that any attempt to access the webpage with the address given results in the following message

Your connection is not private

Attackers might be trying to steal your information from research.jvroig.com (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). Learn more


Security Researcher protect thyself....

Office 2019 lumbers to the stage once more as Microsoft promises future releases

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Re: Hold on there..

"They were sending a document electronically from Publisher. FFS. Why? That's not what it's for. And an ICT teacher should be able to send it as a fucking PDF if they must use Publisher, anyway."

I raised the question everytime at parents evenig. They promised to send vis PDF next time and never

did. However I think that there is an assumption that publisher documents are like word document and are easily read. However there are very few converters around (I don't think even Google supports it)

To be honest this was the time when virtually anyone could teach ICT since all it involved was showing kids around powerpoint. They were a ex-chemistry teacher and to be honest I was felt they were only doing it to tide them over till retirement.

Yes publisher is OK, and far better than trying to format word documents. I user Serif PagePlus for similar tasks. You can normally pick up a older copy for virtually nothing

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Hold on there..

The only time I've seen publisher used in anger(sic) was my daughters school when the ICT teacher would send out the school newsletter in publisher format.

However because the majority of people did not have publisher installed, it was basically unreadable unless you went through a lot of hoops.

Enigma message crack honours pioneering Polish codebreakers

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Bloody immigrants, coming over here with their war winning cryptography techniques

Flying to Mars will be so rad, dude: Year-long trip may dump 60% lifetime dose of radiation on you

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Actually, counter intuitively you actually want to go when solar flares are at a maximum. solar flares consist of largely protons. Quite small amounts of shielding will stop these. The bigger issues is cosmic rays, these are far higher energy and hard to stop.

However during solar maximums, the heliosphere reduces cosmic ray rates, so you are better off when activity is at its maximum.

First Boeing 777 (aged 24) makes its last flight – to a museum

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Re: Is "designed by computer" better ?.

"Delays like Boeing is experiencing with the new KC-46 tanker always seem a bit weird to me"

It was pretty well obvious to anyone who new the industry. Apart from the usual mission and equipment creep that you get with such programs, the aircraft was poorly suited to the role meaning that major modifications were needed

It is based on a 767, but unlike the equivalent Airbus A330 MRT it did not already have the plumbing and belly fuel tank (The 330 wing is the same as for the Airbus 340, which means it is already stressed for the extra wing loads required to add a new engine, which makes it a great place to hang the wing refueling pods)

In truth the 330 MRT would of been a far better option, but US procurement politics got in the way

Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'

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"1. Place document on fax machine, type in extension number, send. ... Get receipt."

Put document on fax, send

Realize that you put the document in the wrong way

Send again - phone engaged, realise you have sent it to the wrong number

Send again - fax stops halfway

Send again - get receipt

Fax fails to to get received because toner/paper out

Send again - fax sits on receiver in try until cleaner comes and throws it in the bin

Send again - fax gets picked up, but internal mail goes to HR rather than finance

Put in envelope and send it by snail mail

"Yes, I'd pick #1 any day of the week, or night of the weekend for that "

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Re: Dangerous

"Intercepting a FAX is vastly more difficult these days than intercepting an email, or grabbing the entire mail server with access to all emails ever sent and received."

I've rarely see an email left in plain site because no one has looked at the email server for a week

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Time travel optional?

Soliciter - "Can you fax the document"

Me "faxes don't work here"

Soliciter "Why where are you?"

Me "In 2018"

Boffins ask for £338m to fund quantum research. UK.gov: Here's £80m

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Yes if only there was a some way we could combine our research effort with a number of countries with shared economic interests, some sort of union

Probably for the best: Apple makes sure eSIMs won't nuke the operators

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Its all about the data

People have your number, for example. How would people find you in a real-time switching world?

Ahhh, that's cute, someone is still using there phone as a telephone.

The truth is the majority of usage is data, and data doesn't need a number. But data can be very expensive if you are roaming, so most people turn it off. However if you could get a esim for each region or even a esim per provider for areas are patchy and switch between them as needed, then that's pretty useful

Of course not everyone would need this and it would mean you having money tied up in PAYG that you may never use, but if you are buying a £1500 iphone, I'm sort of guessing penny pinching is not high on your priorities

UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

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"Only if you work in a tiny specialisted field.

If you are one of the 99% who's job has nothing to do with the space industry, then who cares?

Effect on the UK economy: insignificantly small and unmeasurable."

Unmeasurable maybe, insignificant definitely not.

Space science is one of those flagships industries which governments spend a lot of money trying to attract. Not only on do they directly employ people in high margin industries and indirectly through suppliers, but spin off industries and expertise gained are immeasurable important, especially in developed economies.

In fact it is so important the government have already committed £100 mill of UK tax funds, just to see if they can justify spending £4-5 bill to keep the industry going.

On the other hand, maybe the British economy will be based in the future on tax havens, zero hour contracts warehouses, strawberry picking. So maybe on that basis your right, it doesn't matter at all

UK.gov tells companies to draft contracts for data flows just in case they screw up Brexit

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Good News/Bad News

At least, there is good news, here: the 2 years long denial period is over and hopefully the UK businesses will be able to organize themselves.

The good news is that the Tsunami warnings are now finally activated, the bad news.....

2-bit punks' weak 40-bit crypto didn't help Tesla keyless fobs one bit

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Basically it looks like they took the encryption designed to protect RFID tags and applied it to protect a 70 grand motor. What could go wrong?

It looks like a combination of brute force and the fact that the key word is fixed and the algorithm itself provides clues as to the key


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