* Posts by Rupert Fiennes

201 posts • joined 9 Apr 2007

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Tech to solve post-Brexit customs woes doesn't exist yet, peers say

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Majority of trade already outside of EU

- Like I said, better get back to your fox-hunting. You don't understand international trade and, worse, you don't seem to care about those whose livelihoods depend upon it

Ah, the ad hominem attacks. Well, we shall see soon enough whether it's all a big nothingburger or the End Of The World. But someone trying to insult someone else in an online forum and failing is forever :-)

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: Yesterdays news

Regarding 2: the huge majority of EU migrants here are not claiming benefits per se here, although I'm sure a lot are claiming tax credits etc. As you say, rejigging the social security system back to it's original post WW2 "5 years of contributions or you get nothing" state may be worthy, but it's not going to happen quickly. If you want to reduce EU mass immigration of lower paid workers, you would need to do a Lichenstein and invoke Article 112. I doubt that would work either, the EFTA court would probably strike it down anyway.

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: Majority of trade already outside of EU

- Except we lose all the free trade deals by leaving the EU, but do go on.

The EU *doesn't have* free trade deals with the majority of the world. The US? China? India? Nope, none of the above.

- A lot of the Brexit folks also seem to be saying "we don't want to change everything, just leave the EU and have nothing change - why is that so hard?" which suggests that this hasn't really been thought through to me.

I think you'll find "we don't want anything to change" describes Remain, not Leave :-)

- And that lorry park they're building to replace Operation Stack, that's just for fun is it?

Saves us shutting down the M20 next time :-)

- But 44% of the UK's imports - including food and raw materials to make those exports - comes from the EU. Bit difficult to make things when nobody will ship you the raw materials.

The EU runs a large trade surplus with the UK. Stopping UK bound exports would cause an instant and very severe EU recession. Why should the EU want to do this? Surely they're not that stupid? We certainly would be if we blocked them. Which we don't need to do.

Re your point about German car manufacturers: I was pointing out how sensitive the EU is to disruption to their exports. Building car factories (or moving offices and people) is something that takes years: if BMW wanted to move a factory because it thought Brexit would cause chaos, it would have started in 2016. It still might of course, but there's no sign as yet. So why the desperate cries of "we're doomed"? Pound shop John Laurie's are ten a penny it seems :-)

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Rupert Fiennes

Majority of trade already outside of EU

..so it's hardly a big deal to scale up said processes. A lot of what passes for "we're doomed" talk seems to actually be "we don't want to change anything". And as for Operation Stack and the like, they seem to happen with depressing regularity now whenever the French go on strike or have a hissy fit.

There's nothing in any treaty that says we have to turn away imports we need. The EU can certainly turn away our exports, but as they run a big deficit in goods with us, that might be a little unwise: we are perfectly entitled to retaliate. Donald Trump got the world's fastest climbdown after threatening EU car exports, and since for example BMW sends 20% of it's exports to the UK, it wouldn't take much to expose the posturing.

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DNSSEC in a click: Cloudflare tries to crack uptake inertia

Rupert Fiennes

Ah, key rollovers

I've watched an attempted live key rollover a couple of years back. It failed, and the expert doing it didn't know why. Good luck everyone :-)

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

Rupert Fiennes

Heart of Gold?

..was powered by an Infinite Improbability Drive. I'm not sure this bodes well!

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Git it girl! Academy tries to tempt women into coding with free course

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Schools need to step up to the plate

As I think everyone here will know, you really don't need lots of expensive kit to teach IT: business cast offs work fine. What you do need is someone (no, not necessarily with a Comp Sci degree) who can show children just how useful IT generally can be. I suspect that the greatest blocker on getting said people into schools is the teaching unions and the attendant wage blockers.

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Rupert Fiennes

Sure about that?

I'm sure outsourcing plumbing is extremely hard now a shortage of plumbers cannot now be answered by "recruit some more Eastern Europeans". However, both law and medicine can be outsourced...

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The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

Rupert Fiennes

SE gone - so am I :-(

I bought an SE 18 months ago. I figure it will become unusable in 2-2.5 years. At that point, I figure it's time to go Android: I don't want a massive phone, I'm fed up with having a Lightning port instead of a USB, and I have no interest in something costing a minimum of a grand. I think Apple is running out of road...

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Brit armed forces still don't have enough techies, thunder MPs

Rupert Fiennes

Surely you mean FLOT? FEBA hasn't been used for years :-)

As you say, most of what is called cyber can be done from an office. What the Yanks call "reach back" is a thing. Provided you have the secure links to make it so, which is where high capacity satcom and "trunk" communications links come in, as well as less pathetic data rates at the Combat Net Radio fighty end...

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A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes

Rupert Fiennes

Re: beautiful models in velvet lined cases

Newtonian fluids, of course :-)

Mind you, he did have a pointed beard!

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Rupert Fiennes

Upsetting non-techies can be hard

My old Fluid Dynamics lecturer used to tell the story of his time testing aircraft models at the Royal Aircraft Establishment as an example of how geometric similarity (all dimensions exactly scaled down in models) and physical similarity (model should produce the same aerodynamic results as the real thing) were very different.

He used to be presented with beautiful models in velvet lined cases by master machinists, whom he would then profusely thank...and promptly get out the sandpaper to roughen up all the leading edges: the flow behaviour was otherwise unrepresentative. On the occasion of one of the machinists seeing the model in the wind tunnel, he was quite upset!

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Tesla's chief accounting officer drives off after just a month on the job

Rupert Fiennes

Worrying

It's like the old days when they couldn't find a permanent CFO for love or money. The assumption is that the situation is so serious that finance people start worrying that working there might cause them professional grief if they tell any whoppers to investors or auditors....

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What's AI good for? Industrial or consumer tech? Meh. Airliners? AHA, says UK.gov

Rupert Fiennes

Small point

Be aware the temperature at the turbine blades, being post combustion, is well north of 1000C. Ice formation there is unlikely. Perhaps you meant fan blades?

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Lyon for speed, San Francisco for money, Amsterdam for fun: the best cities to be a techie

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Another dumb "top X" list

Is this a bad time to mention I worked at (not for) Uber? Probably :-)

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: Dallas?

About 6 years ago, my former employers moved a group of engineers from the Bay Area to Dallas. They took 15% pay cuts, but said they came out well ahead overall. Of course, this is a while back, but it's instructive.

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: Another dumb "top X" list

My boss works in AMS, and he and everyone else I know there commutes via car. One data point only of course, but it's instructive.

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Rupert Fiennes

Another dumb "top X" list

Electric car charging points, "quality of living"...all cobblers. There's only two factors that count:-

1) Are there a large number of similar jobs available

2) Can you make a large amount of money after costs

Everything else is bunkum. I know El Reg has got to fill the pages sometime, but replaying this click magnet is a bit pointless...

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‘Very fine people’ rename New York as ‘Jewtropolis’ on Snapchat, Zillow

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Trump bashing inaccurate here

The clue is in the headline :-)

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Rupert Fiennes

Trump bashing inaccurate here

I think you'll find it was Jesse Jackson who called NYC "Hymietown". He's a Democrat you know...

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UK getting ready to go it alone on Galileo

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Gaileo was willy waving

If there's one thing that both Tornado and particularly Eurofighter have proved is that European programs are a big failure. The overhead of these collaborative programs is such that they take multiples of the cost and time a single country led scheme would require. Plus, the French will never join: ever. It's noticeable that the only really successful Euro fighters are single country developments (the Gripen and the Rafale).

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: Gaileo was willy waving

Well, it's nearly thirty years since we were told the EU was going to "handle" Bosnia. EU deployable forces now are a fraction of what was available then, and in the end they still required the US to take the decisions and supply the forces. The EU talks a lot about how it's planning on becoming a superpower, but experience shows it utterly lacks the will to do so: there has been no sign of them either spending or developing the backbone required. It's long past time to ignore these fantasies.

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: Gaileo was willy waving

There is *no way* we are going to utilise either the British or French deterrents as counterforce forces. We have a fraction of the missiles required to even make a small impact on say China, let alone Russia. Those nukes are city busters only, doomsday weapons.

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: Gaileo was willy waving

"Now do you see why they wanted Galileo?"

They wanted to pretend they were actually able to mount independent operations without spending much money? As I pointed out, actually having that capability means serious spending over a medium to large period of time. There's no sign of that happening outside the likes of Eastern Europe.

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Rupert Fiennes

Gaileo was willy waving

Given GPS was available to us as US allies, it was hard to see why we needed to duplicate it: no European military could conduct a major military operation without US support, even ourselves and the French, and if you wanted to re-establish that capability, a "new GPS" would not be what you would start with: you would fill out military logistic support organisations, start running large military exercises again to rebuild the "corporate knowledge", and increase ammunition and spare part holdings to increase readiness. You can understand why Baidu and GLONASS were built, but not Galileo.

If we really feel the need to loft loads of military satellites, I suggest communication birds look far more useful.

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Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

Rupert Fiennes

Never trust the back of an envelope

While working for a large carrier in Paris, I met with the electricians to ask as to their progress in wiring out our MDF with the requisite PDU diversity. I was assured that all the commando plugs were on the same phase and that I could power up the two Cisco 12000 GSR's that I had racked previously. I asked for some evidence of this, and was presented with an envelope on which the wiring diagram was scribbled!

Being suspicious of this, I asked for someone to connect a multimeter across two sockets to verify they were on the same phase. Funnily enough, the electricians were rather surprised to see 400V of potential difference, and I congratulated myself at having saved the company around half a million dollars, eg the cost of one populated GSR. One million if I had been dumb enough to connect both at the same time.

Great story for the "what's the most you've ever saved your previous employer" interview question :-)

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Click this link and you can get The Register banned in China

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Tibet

This book may be of interest to you

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Japanese-Agent-Tibet-Travel-Disguise/dp/0906026245

It was noticeable that the writer stayed with a family on the Tibetan border who cordially hated both his own country and the Chinese, on the basis that whomever ran the area at any one time tended to demand the right to sleep with his wife. As you say, Tibet was not a well run country pre-1950. That being said, post 1950 has been a lot worse :-(

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Rupert Fiennes

Communist leaders and their sensitivities

Xi's not the only one: Xiaoping (as in Deng Xiaoping) can mean little glass bottle in China, and a form of protest around 1989 was to smash bottles and leave them in the street, something that caught out some Western exchange students who got pissed one night and decided to play a game of "lets see who can throw the empty bottles into that fountain". Gorbachev effectively means hunchback in Russian, and Chernenko apparently means little black man in Ukrainian.

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Amazon meets the incredible SHRINKING UK taxman

Rupert Fiennes

My experience says different

A former employer gave me options, and then Restricted Stock Units. When I cashed them in, the taxman took half of the proceeds. Meanwhile, the UK corporation tax rate is 19%. It may annoy the "we hate capitalists" brigade, but from the point of tax revenue I would suggest Amazon are doing us all a favour....

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Be The Packet. Take each hop it makes. Your network will repay you

Rupert Fiennes

Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

CDN's are giving honest DNS replies: it's just that the reply they give you varies according to either your source IP address or other factors.

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Lily Cole: You'd hate me more if Impossible.com were a success

Rupert Fiennes

Re: how the hell are they losing THAT much money

Well, lets face it, when you include all the non-wage costs, that's not unreasonable. But since I'm fairly sure I've heard Lily bashing "fat cat bosses", I feel perfectly comfortable that the tables are turned. Bash away :-)

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Beardy Branson: Wacky hyperloop tube maglev cheaper than railways

Rupert Fiennes

Reasons for high speed rail costs

The reason high speed rail is so expensive is that the speed requires very straight and level tracks, with the consequent requirement to tunnel and bridge far more of the route than existing railways. Hyperloop would be worse, so I find it hard to believe it's going to be cheaper.

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UK's Royal Navy accepts missile-blasting missile as Gulf clouds gather

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Anti-missile missile at home?

Well, CAMM is supposed to be a "intercept to the radar horizon for low level aircraft" type of missile, while S400 is much bigger and more expensive. Comparing Patriot or Aster30 to S400 is more reasonable.

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

Actually, Aster has been tested using this target.

https://www.naval-technology.com/news/newsfrench-navy-frigate-successfully-intercepts-supersonic-sea-skimming-missile/

Of course, I would like us to conduct several tests as well, but....

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

Actually, there is a target drone that's designed to simulate the likes of Sunburn and Brahmos

https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/gqm163-ssst-a-tricky-coyote-to-match-wits-with-defenses-03155/

It's just rather expensive, so not used that often. We should also bear in mind that Sea Ceptor is derived from Asraam, which as an air to air missile is designed to intercept supersonic targets anyway...no comment on the difficulty of doing so a few metres above sea level!

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My Tibetan digital detox lasted one morning, how about yours?

Rupert Fiennes

Possibly the wrong metaphor

My Tibetan experience is a bit out of date, but even in the late 90's there was internet access there. Admittedly, you would have been very silly to avail yourself of it, but if you don't mind the Chinese "services" trawling your inbox, I'm sure there's 3/4G and wifi all over the place.

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Another day, another meeting, another £191bn down the pan

Rupert Fiennes

Sports Direct had a point :-)

...when their CEO made a habit of lying down on the floor and going to sleep if he thought the meeting boring and/or useless :-)

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RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics

Rupert Fiennes

Not a surprise :-(

I very much identified with the "world of dreams" comment about the old catalogue :-(

However, this is a mail order business, no one can afford retail space and staff unless you have a significant margin. I might nip off to my local one and grab some transistors for old times sake though...

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Vatican sets up dedicated exorcism training course

Rupert Fiennes

Not necessary one hopes

I thought no one still ran Windows Vista?

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Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs

Rupert Fiennes

Military high jumpers...

..Should be called "Orvilles", since they can't fly, but could with the assistance of some RDX :-)

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Smut site fingered as 'source' of a million US net neutrality comments

Rupert Fiennes

Oh, *now* it's party political?

When the Democrats, then in charge of the executive branch, used their majority on the FCC to implement net neutrality, it wasn't political?

Grandly declaring political decisions not political when you agree with them is a bit..political :-)

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National Audit Office report blasts UK.gov's 'muddled' STEM strategy

Rupert Fiennes

Re: It's really very simple

Why? The university makes far more money from it's English courses.

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Rupert Fiennes

It's really very simple

A bunch of people who look down on anyone doing techie things they don't understand have been persuaded that we need more "techie" things, just like others have been persuaded we need more high speed railways.

We then get "initiatives" run by social studies graduates which are supposed to "fill" the supposedly voracious demand for said techies. Meanwhile, the government roundly ignores the actual wage and jobs data, in the same way as it disincentives the supply of relevant technical education by allowing Arts courses to charge the same for tuition as engineering courses (English 2 hours lectures per week, engineering 30 or so).

Oh well!

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Of course Uber allegedly had a tool to remotely destroy evidence

Rupert Fiennes

Sounds great

Personally, I think that tool sounds great. If they could open source it, would make a lot of desktop and security ppl's jobs quite a bit easier...

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Your connection is not Brexit... we mean private: UK Tory party lets security cert expire

Rupert Fiennes

Err, no

A truck that's just gone over a cliff may be strong, but it's certainly not stable. Unless your truck doubles as a plane :-)

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Net boffins brew poison for BGP hijacks

Rupert Fiennes

RIS and route views take feeds from multiple providers, so blackholing them would prove difficult

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Rupert Fiennes

Some issues with this

@DougS: as a general rule, most providers ignore v4 advertisements smaller than /24, so advertising a /25 wouldn't help much.

Deaggregating doesn't seem much like a scaleable solution either. The whole "our crappy routers are about to run out of route memory if someone adds another 5K routes" is less of an issue these days (if you ignore the Cisco 6509 Sup720 issue from a couple of years back), but there is scope to produce an awful lot of churn as various automated mitigation systems automatically announce new prefixes willy nilly.

The issue is not that BGP is somehow out of date as a protocol, but more that there's no way of signalling trust to peers. SBGP was designed to fix this by allowing people to whether as AS was cryptographically allowed to advertise an IP block, but has never taken off: it's a bit of an all or nothing issue, and the idea of relying on the network to check whether the network is allowed is a tad circular.

Perhaps the ability to signal trust via BGP on a per AS and prefix basis might help: using communities obviously. AS's that have never existed before or prefixes that were previously advertised elsewhere could be assigned lower trust levels, allowing their advertisements to be damped.

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Brazil says it has bagged Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean for £84m

Rupert Fiennes

Few corrections Gareth

Few corrections :-)

1) The Queen Elizabeth's *are* designed to function as LPH's, with accommodation and "assault pathways" for troops. Given their size, they will be a lot better at it than Ocean, since they can carry more helicopters and launch more simultaneously than it can. The ability to carry 4 LCVP small landing craft doesn't help much, and if you're using helicopters you don't want to be close enough to land things via landing craft anyway: the idea is that you are over the horizon.

2) The Albions can carry 4 LCU large landing craft each, but the three Bay class landing ships can also carry 1 LCU each.

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Russia could chop vital undersea web cables, warns Brit military chief

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Not news.

Good reading :-)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Red_Line

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: Stay calm and lay more cable...

Unless someone "arranges" a fire when a truck on the shuttle service suddenly explodes. Never happened before...oh wait, yes it has. Twice :-(

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