* Posts by Paul Hovnanian

966 posts • joined 16 Mar 2008

Page:

A print button? Mmkay. Let's explore WHY you need me to add that

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Why do you need ...

Most often heard from a system architect/designer type who already has a solution in mind. And some damned user has just asked for a function not provided by their pet solution.

Back in my day working at a little aerospace outfit just up the road from the Redmond Beast, we were trying to get a handle on knowledge capture from engineering documents. And basically trying to make the inputs as 'smart' and semantically parsable as possible. So we were recommending things like SGML schemas and tools that would support them. But every time we did, the MSWord fanboys would come back with "But why would you want to do that?" Mainly because MSWord's capabilities for generating structures documents was somewhere back in the Neanderthal cave-painting era. But they wouldn't ask us. They'd go two or three management levels above us and whisper the question in some ears. Whereupon, we'd have to explain (with PowerPoint pitch charts and a professionally scrubbed presentation) why we needed what we asked for. To people who only understood software and knowledge systems theory as far as PowerPoint and professionally scrubbed presentations.

1
0

Lauri Love judgment: Extradition would be 'oppressive' and breach forum bar

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: tin foil hat

Maybe. But it's also an incentive for bilateral or multilateral agreements with the USA to apprehend and try hackers in their home country for attacks against partner nations. As long as you actually take care of Mr Love, you can keep him at home.

4
0

Hey, you know what the internet needs? Yup, more industrial control systems for kids to hack

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

On the other hand ...

... if you are in the SCADA security consulting business, Shodan and AutoSploit are quite useful for generating new customer leads.

2
0

Web searching died the day they invented SEO

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

People who bought ...

... a zombie satellite also purchased ....

11
0

Bluetooth 'Panty Buster' 'smart' sex toy fails penetration test

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Hacker manipulation

"desired property of the sex toy"

Really? I can imagine some swingers parties where some anonymous play might be fun. As in "Guess who's pushing my button now." But sitting in the coffee shop at the next table over from some pimply-faced geeks?

Oh, and pics or it didn't happen.

17
0

To hack Australia and learn its secrets, buy second-hand furniture

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Coat

Re: You don't need magic encryption, OR a drill

"No worries, simply pick the lock."

This. A nation created by the deportation of a bunch of convicts and there's no one left with the skills? Shame!

OK. I'll get my coat. The one with the slide hammer in the pocket.

9
0

Tech biz boss slipped Detroit's IT chief bungs in restaurant bathrooms to bag software deals, prosecutors claim

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Cheap

Based on some of the kickbacks I've heard rumored, conducting them as cash transactions would have involved dragging large suitcases into the men's room.

1
0

F-35 flight tests are being delayed by onboard software snafus

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: Bombs away

The USAF has the B-1B for close air support ..... Oops!

This is just one of many examples of the armed forces having a fancy toy which really doesn't have much of a mission anymore. And so they cobble some crap together to use it for something. Anything. To justify it's ongoing support.

2
0

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Stepped on the mouse?

Doesn't sound right. The throttle is the lever on the right side of the steering column. The spark advance is on the left.

5
0

You had one job, Outlook! Security bug fix stops mail app from forwarding attachments

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: "file attachments were getting cut out of messages when forwarded to others"

"When I forward an e-mail I definitely want the attachments to be sent with it."

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Asking would be nice. Just stripping them could mean the end for millions of cute kitten videos.

4
0

Hawaii governor: I wanted to tell everyone nuke alert was fake – I just forgot my password

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Joke

Cancell Message

There is an alert cancellation message. But it's somewhere in the drop-down menu following the Zombie Apocalypse alerts.

3
0
Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: Twitter?????

"So they saying Radio doesn't work?"

The old-school Emergency Broadcast System just instructed people to tune to local news for further instructions. It would have been a simple matter to have a TV/radio broadcast inform the public of the screw up. At any rate, I'd expect more detailed instructions than what could be contained in a 140 character SMS.

2
0

'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Never prototype using your professor's computer.

That's what teaching assistants are for.

0
0

Hawaiian fake nukes alert caused by fat-fingered fumble of garbage GUI

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Where's Clippy

... when you need him?

"It looks like you are trying to start a mass panic? Would you like help?"

7
0

Next; tech; meltdown..? Mandatory; semicolons; in; JavaScript; mulled;

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: Bad programmers blame the syntax.

Oh boy! This brings back memories.

Back when I was working on some automated knowledge capture, we ran into Microsoft products. Engineers who had written documents originally intended for human consumption had created tabular data by adjusting cell entries with a suitable number of tabs and spaces. And then to make larger entries fit their column, scrunch the font down for that one cell. OLE had barely been invented and most engineers couldn't be bothered to embed a spreadsheet object into a text document. And since there were no strict style guidelines (other than make it look nice for the boss), everyone had their own solution.

We eventually did fix the problem with some heuristics that could recognize things that looked like tables, calculate column widths based on font selection (among other things) and make a pretty good guess as to what was going on. The final solution was to import the parsed content into SGML and dump the author into the appropriate editing environment with structure and rules for the next data set version release.

1
0

Infamous Silicon Valley 'sex party' exactly as exciting as it sounds

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Bay Area Power Brokers

Richard Nixon blew the lid off the mystique of the rich an powerful some time ago.

2
0

'Mummy, what's felching?' Tot gets smut served by Android app

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: santa

In DuckDuckGo, entering 'is' auto suggests (among a few other selections) 'is Trump nuts?'

So, thanks a lot guys. You've just destroyed the fantasies of millions of right-wingers on this side of the pond.

Won't someone please think of the conservatives.

5
0

UK.gov admits porn age checks could harm small ISPs and encourage risky online behaviour

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: DNS over TLS

"ISP who hijacks the DNS port wholesale"

You run a local DNS daemon on your own system and direct clients to use it (resolve.conf set to localhost). The local daemon forwards DNS requests out through a secure connection to an external service that uses something other than the standard port.

Anyway, that's the basic theory. I'd have to get my kid's help to actually set it up.

6
0

Nest's slick IoT burglar alarm catches crooks... while it eyes your wallet

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Joke

Yard Sign

Best way to discourage potential thieves:

This Property Protected by NEST Alarm

(Google has already cleaned them out)

1
0
Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

DIY Security

I have some motion detector lights and security cameras as well as an alarm. The motion detectors have been stripped of their typical floodlight heads and wired to switch other lights on the property. Burglars know what a standard motion light is, but this setup throws them off. The cameras are obvious enough to be noticed by potential thieves. But they are somewhat tamper proof in that each camera is within the field of view of at least one more. So sneaking up behind one to disable it will just get your picture taken by several more.

If they cut the power, the cameras and some lights still work off a UPS. When most thieves see this level of attention, they figure (correctly) that alarm signals go out over a cellular network, so cutting phone lines and WiFi would be useless. At this point, unless they really want into my house specifically, it's usually on to the next one.

It's a non standard enough system that they can't be certain what they are dealing with.

0
0

Top Silicon Valley tech judge hits alt-F4 under cloud of sex-pest claims

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Joke

Re: where people are treated fairly and equally

"Wasn't it Henry Kissinger who said 'Power is the great aphrodisiac' ??"

It was a part of one of my old sig lines: 'Power is the great aphrodisiac. 60 Hertz more so than 50.'

2
0

Sigh. It's not quite Star Trek's Data, but it'll do: AI helps boffins clock second Solar System

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Terminator

AI finds new planet?

I suspect a plot on the part of the machines to convince us to all jump on a spaceship and leave earth to them.

1
0

UK's map maker Ordnance Survey plays with robo roof detector

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: OK, cleverclogs ML algorithm

How about this one?

http://design-4-lessblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/EMP.jpg

0
0
Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Just a sec.

Barbra Streisand is on the other line.

5
1

Forget Bruce Willis, Earth's atmosphere is our best defense against meteorites

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: So what happened to the 12,000 ton Chelyabinsk meteorite?

"11,995 tons converted into energy"

I don't think so. Not E=mc^2 anyway. More like the kinetic energy of 12,000 tons moving at about 20 km/sec. About 2.4E15 Joules. Or around 523 kiloton TNT equivalent. Big, but it 'burst' at 30 km altitude. And it lost some of that energy over a significant distance. Not in the milliseconds of a single blast.

That breakup resulted in something like 11,995 tons of dust and little stuff that we will never find plus 5 tons of stuff big enough to identify.

8
1

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Many years ago, I worked for the local power company as a distribution engineer. At one point, we had to take a local substation out of service for maintenance. In order to feed local circuits, we ordered a truck-mounted temporary substation to be connected to the circuits. I decided to stop by and watch as the temporary station was switched on line.

The truck was delivered and the techs dutifully checked jumpers so that the transformer was properly set to step down 66 kV to 12.5 kV. Unfortunately, the input to the transformer was protected by stacks of three 25 kV surge arresters, connected in series. The previous use of this portable unit was to step 12.5 kV down to 4 kV. And part of that installation had been to bypass two of the three arresters on each phase. Leaving only one rated at 25 kV.

The lineman who was assigned the duty of closing the primary side switch opened a panel on the side of the truck, which swung upwards. He was a pretty tall guy and had to duck down under the opened panel to reach the switch handle. And he made certain that his displeasure with this setup was heard. Until he threw the switch.

A fireball erupted out the top of the temporary sub as the arresters failed. Surge aresters are designed to bypass relatively brief lightning strikes with lower levels of total energy. Not to bypass a continuous 66 kV feed. The guy who threw the switch was (fortunately) protected by that nuisance of a steel panel over the top of his head. The fault was cleared a few seconds later by a breaker in the transmission yard feeding that circuit some miles away.

After the power had evidently been cut, the crew reversed their hasty retreat and slowly moved toward the substation with the idea of putting out the fires. Until the foreman yelled, "Wait for the reclose!"

Transmission line circuit breakers are often programmed to attempt to re-energize a line in the event that the fault was a tree branch bumping the line. But in this case, we were treated to a second fireball and more porcelain fragments.

10
0
Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: Lathes

Chuck keys can be evil as well. Probably one of the more lethal tools in the shop.

7
0

It's a decade since DevOps became a 'thing' – and people still don't know what it means

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

"I ask the developers how they are getting on with being paged at 4am to support the system."

Been there, done that. Specifically for aircraft functional tests. When the automated test fails, we aren't sure whether it is the aircraft system under test, the test hardware, software, test requirements or whatever. So everyone gets paged.

We started with a system built by our information systems people. Who couldn't be buggered to get their [censored] down to the factory when things went wrong. Worse yet, IS management was always looking for ways to export this task to someplace like India. So we (engineering) booted them out and took over their tasks. Now we had one person who would answer to the hardware/software/requirements issue. And the factory (and FAA) loved us for it.

9
0

No, BMW, petrol-engined cars don't 'give back to the environment'

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: It does give back to the environment

And don't forget nitrogen fixation, upon which plant life depends.

3
1

French activists storm Paris Apple Store over EU tax dispute

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: Moving tax to a tax haven explained

"Company B in country Y buys the widget for $150 and sells it for $250* to company C making a profit of $100."

Now company B is sitting on $100 in county Y. Country Y's domestic products consist of sheep and potatoes. There are only so many potatoes and sheep that the shareholders of company C can use. Alternatively, they can try to ship the profit from country Y to country Z. But the they are assessed a tax on that $100 at Z's tax rate of 20%.

Another thing: For this to work, executives at company C must have entered into an agreement with company B to source all their widgets through B. Otherwise, why not buy directly from A? An agreement like that is a contract. Just like any other security. And it has a value. If enough widgets are sold through this channel, the present value of that contract could be $100 Billion. When I travel, customs asks me if I am carrying any cash or securities with a value of $10,000 or more. I must declare them and maybe even pay duties.

When the executives from company C traveled from country Z to country Y with the contract to source their widgets, did they declare the value of that contract when passing through customs? If I sneak out with $10,000 undeclared, I earn a stay in the crowbar Hilton. Executives from C just crossed a border with a $100 Billion security.

0
0

Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Siemens tease electric flight engine project

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: Advantages

One advantage not being investigated in this test is the flexibility in configuring the fans. Instead of two or four big turbine/fan combinations, one could have a series of smaller fans positioned in lower profile cowlings along a wing. They would be supplied by one or two (for redundancy) gas turbines that provide thrust as well as drive generators.

Typical high bypass engines have a very large diameter dictated by the turbine core size surrounded by a single ducted fan. The electric drive moves the function of the ducted fan to where it can be configured optimally.

2
0

'Treat infosec fails like plane crashes' – but hopefully with less death and twisted metal

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: Code of Conduct Anyone?

We have something similar over here for professional engineers:

https://www.nspe.org/resources/ethics/code-ethics

This is usually adopted by states' licensing laws (states are responsible for most PE licensing programs).

Sadly, many IT professions are not covered by state/federal licensing requirements and by extension, the above code of ethics.

0
0

'Data is the new oil': F-Secure man on cartels, disinformation and IoT

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Data is oil

It's leaking all over the place.

5
0

FCC boss Ajit Pai emits his net neutrality extermination plan

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Devil

Meanwhile ...

... some Internet companies objecting to the end of net neutrality rules are looking into the possibility of throttling Ajit Pai's home broadband service. Just to give him a taste of what life might be like once rules prohibiting this sort of thing are eliminated.

6
0

As Google clamps down, 'Droid developer warns 'breaking day' is coming

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: So, No Other Google News Today, Then?

Right.

Oops. The news aggregator site I used pulled in an old link. Here's another:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russia-finds-1000-times-normal-level-of-radioactive-isotope-after-nuclear-accident-claims/ar-BBFpSYE

0
0
Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: So, No Other Google News Today, Then?

"de-ranking stories from Russia Today and Sputnik News"

They are just trying to cover up news about the radiation cloud.

4
2

Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Next step for welfare

The push for UBI as an 'income' appears to be coming from people currently living under the restrictions of welfare systems. We have programs to supplement or replace poor or no income. But these benefits are provided with conditions. EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer, a kind of debit card loaded by the state) comes with restrictions on what sorts of goods can be purchased with them. No booze. And in Washington State, no pot. And these rules are frequently being gamed by beneficiaries. For example: Buy large quantities of permitted commodity goods that can be traded around the corner for whatever.

Housing assistance often comes with rules. Shelter provided outright is often conditional upon restrictions against drugs, alcohol and disruptive behavior. Which is one reason many of these people just move back to tents under the freeway off-ramps.

Handing money to people as an 'income' removes these behavioral restrictions. And gives the recipients cash to use in the black markets (unlike EBT). If you really need to feed your kids, we have a system set up for that. If it's 'income', it may very well be spent on heroin and people will still end up sleeping in doorways if it doesn't make it t the end of the month.

0
2

Brace yourselves, fanboys. Winter is coming. And the iPhone X can't handle the cold

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: Make cool products. Period. Where did that go?

Too cool, in this case.

2
0

Self-driving bus in crash just 2 hours after entering public service

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

I say ...

... we need to start setting traps for autonomous vehicles. Before we are overrun by the vermin.

1
0

That awkward moment when AWS charges you BEELLIONS for Lightsail

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Bezos: Worlds richest individual

And now we know why.

Of course, if it's all based on receivables .....

0
0

Would insurance firms pay out if your driverless car got hacked?

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

New Scam for Thieves

Just go online and probe for unpatched/vulnerable driverless cars currently parked. Upload instructions for them to deliver themselves to the nearest chop shop.

2
0

Imagine the candles on its birthday cake: Astro-eggheads detect galaxy born in universe's first billion years

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Confused

"You have to go through a lot of data"

That's what graduate students are for.

3
0
Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Joke

Re: "The now-elderly galaxy"

"very probably long deceased".

I'm getting better!

You're not. You'll be stone dead in a few minutes.

I don't want to go on the cart.

6
0

First iPhone X fondlers struggle to admit that Face ID sort of sucks

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Sounds like my S8 and facial recognition

"iris recognition?"

Hello Mr. Yakamoto.

0
0

F-35s grounded by spares shortage

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

You could ...

... buy a few extra F-35s for spare parts.

-- Sincerely, Lockheed sales team

2
0

Fresh bit o' Linux to spruce up that ancient Windows Vista box? Why not, we say...

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: How to install an application !!!

"10 Best Linux Desktop Environments"

01 - xfce

10 - fvwm

4
0

Watership downtime: BadRabbit encrypts Russian media, Ukraine transport hub PCs

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: Ransom demands in BitCoin again

"banning all cryptocurrency"

First, you'd have to define it in a legal sense. Write those rules to cast a broad net and you may end up banning things like SWIFT.

2
0
Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: Ransom demands in BitCoin again

"Off shore banks *are* purely used for crime."

We are on opposite sides of the pond. Which one of us is 'off shore'?

2
0
Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge

Re: Ransom demands in BitCoin again

They have already criminalized large amounts of cash and other assets*. So extending this to BitCoin isn't much of a stretch, IMO. They won't actually shut BitCoin down. Because that would devalue the assets seized by law enforcement to zero.

*US civil forfeiture laws actually charge the cash or other assets with a crime, not the holder.

14
0

AI bot rips off human eyes, easily cracks web CAPTCHA codes. Ouch

Paul Hovnanian
Silver badge
Terminator

Re: Oh no not again

"Note test is called VK"

Voight-Kampff?

14
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018