* Posts by Paul Hovnanian

1085 posts • joined 16 Mar 2008

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Deliveroo to bike food to hungry fanbois queuing to buy iPhones

Paul Hovnanian
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Homeless guy

Fell asleep in the doorway of an Apple store. Hipsters queued up behind him, figuring he was first in line for a new Apple product release.

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'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

Paul Hovnanian
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As an old guy ...

"female and older men" excluded from these ads. I guess you young guys will all have to work together while I get a job alongside all the women.

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Automated Weather Source didn't see this cloud coming: Amazon snatches up AWS.com

Paul Hovnanian
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Now redirects to ...

https://www.earthnetworks.com/

Weather or not this was a hostile takeover, it appears that the whether service is still in business. And Amazon is making the transition go smoothly. I hope they were paid well for their domain.

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A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Bad managers are like knotweed

"I'd be interested if anyone has a notion to explain this ...."

I'd suggest reading a couple of books on management written by one of your fellow Brits, C. Northcote Parkinson.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Not me, but ...

... I used to work at an electrical utility. Our division, way out in the boondocks, included a substation manager who was a real pack-rat. Meanwhile, we had an old station which was built in the 1950s as a temporary installation. Transformers and breakers were sitting on wood cribbing, which, 30 years later, was rotting away. And transformers weighing several tons each were threatening to tip over.

It turns out that this guy had enough spares to build a new station. So he sent the crews out over the course of a few months to pour concrete slabs, move in the 'new' equipment and switch the service over. All pretty much out of the petty cash budget. He got called on the carpet for that little stunt by corporate. And they sent out some people to clean out his parts stash. It turns out that he deprived some VPs of the coke and hookers that go with new equipment purchases and construction contracts.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: HMSO

"How does one automate a PHB anyway?"

Like this?

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Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

Paul Hovnanian
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Drilled by an astronaut?

While in space? I sort of doubt it. I'll bet sound carries pretty well throughout the ISS. And given the mission planning involved with practically everything, "Who's running a power drill now?" would warrant some investigation.

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Article 13 pits Big Tech and bots against European creatives

Paul Hovnanian
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Oi

Ave you got a loicense to post dat?

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Y'know what? VoIP can also be free from pesky regulation – US judges

Paul Hovnanian
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If you can call me ...

... on my POTS line, you must be using a regulated telecommunications service. I don't care if it's a cell phone or VoIP. If its a phone call, it should be regulated as such.

On the other hand, free up the telecoms to use whatever technology serves a particular area the best. VoIP/fiber*, copper or cellular. The regulatory requirements need to be supported. Operation during power outages for primary residential phone lines for example. My FiOS network interface and VoIP telephone circuit has a battery backup.

The only difference between some of my neighbors' POTS service and mine is that their phone call comes in to a box at the street corner on IP over a fiber link and then switches to a copper loop for the last few hundred yards. My IP/fiber comes into my house and then is converted in exactly the same way to copper, but only for twenty feet or so to the same old telephone set.

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Paul Hovnanian
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"If the web counts as an information service"

Because web sites provide information that they have generated. Telecommunications services move my information from point A to B. Pretty clear distinction.

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Pluto is more alive than Mars, huff physicists who are still not over dwarf planet's demotion

Paul Hovnanian
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Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus

The rest are just rocky debris.

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AI biz borks US election spending data by using underpaid Amazon Mechanical Turks

Paul Hovnanian
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Mechanical Turk workers

"about a quarter of whom typically are located outside the US, at an estimated average cost of $2.44 an hour"

That's 170 Rubles at current exchange rates.

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Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: A certain movie and an Artillery piece...

"Does anybody remember its name, by any chance?"

1941

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Paul Hovnanian
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Devil

"human blood"

But some software demands the judicious application of goat's blood. Don't forget the pentagram and candles.

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Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

Paul Hovnanian
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"It must frustrate the North American and European governments that their voting public won’t also allow them to do this."

As if the three-letter-agencies give a hoot about the law or voting public. The only time this becomes an issue is if they need to build a court case based on the collected evidence. At this point, a court issued search warrant and possible serial 14 month jail terms for non compliance should be enough.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Pirate

Actual motive

"prevent uploading of illicit content"

Our intelligence services acting as rent-a-cops for Disney and the MPAA. Society will not suffer greatly if someone makes illegal copies of Mickey Mouse.

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Space station springs a leak while astronauts are asleep (but don't panic)

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Then they're hurt or killed

Wait - I thought that was Australia?

I thought it was California.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Boffin

Pedantic Alert

"It’s capable of retaining its stickiness in temperatures ranging from −269 to +400 Celsius"

It's actually not the Kapton tape that is sticky. It's the adhesive (which shall toil on in anonymity).

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Quit that job and earn $185k... cleaning up San Francisco's notoriously crappy sidewalks

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: That's some seriously hard of thinking

"A good proportion of the homeless, it turns out, happen to have mental health issues"

This is true. And it's a major part of the reason why they can't be expected to look out for themselves. We ended civil commitment programs in the 1960s. We closed the institutions and tried setting up outpatient facilities. The end result of trusting people with mental health problems to look out after themselves was that they'd just walk out the front door looking for a drink or a fix and never come back.

"that's the only thing that gets them through the abuse, the beatings, the cold nights, the discomfort, and the perpetual hopelessness of their situation."

We have people with at least as hopeless situations as these. They waded across the Rio Grande with nothing but the clothes on their back. Many of them are picking up odd jobs in front of the local hardware store. Others are picking fruit in the orchards. In ten years, they will have a pickup truck, a lawnmower and a landscaping business. Their children may very well go to college.

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Paul Hovnanian
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This is a high-tech center

Poo-cleaning AI robots when?

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: That's some seriously hard of thinking

"Homeless shelters, affordable housing, help with giving up drugs"

They don't want to give up drugs. Shelters don't work because they often have rules. Like 'No drugs'. And in dormitory-like shelters, the people who most want to avoid heroin addicts are other heroin addicts. They steal from each other and get into bum fights.

Tiny housing works to a point if it's what's known as 'wet housing'. But most neighborhoods don't want that nearby.

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Paul Hovnanian
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"Swift experience"

And Agile as well (so as not to step in it).

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Everyone screams patch ASAP – but it takes most organizations a month to update their networks

Paul Hovnanian
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Is it a patch?

Or are you trying to shove Windows 10 onto my machine?

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'Oh sh..' – the moment an infosec bod realized he was tracking a cop car's movements by its leaky cellular gateway

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Stingray list?

"One assumes that the admin port on Stingrays is a bit more secure"

Not really. Many of these units are loaned to local police departments by the Feds or larger state police forces. With equipment moving back and forth, managing actual unique and secure passwords would be problematic. Never mind switching to non default TCP/IP ports.

And it appears that the location data is available without needing to log in. Just port scan the appropriate IP blocks, find an Internet-facing cellular gateway and the login page has the latitude/longitude.

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Microsoft's Chinese chatbot inspired by images to write poetry

Paul Hovnanian
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There once was a man from Nantucket

.... etc, etc.

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Surprise, surprise. Here comes Big Cable to slay another rule that helps small ISPs compete

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: So I lay the cable

"allow my competitors to use it"

Allow my competitors to purchase bandwidth on it, to be precise. At the same price as my own Internet service division. So I'd better see to it that the services I provide are competitive with those of the companies who share the cable. Rather than sitting on my a*s, rent-seeking based on regulatory manipulation of the market.

If the cable infrastructure is that valuable, then the wholesale rental of capacity to other ISPs should bring in healthy profits. If not, then perhaps other ISPs can create more value once they can reach customers.

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Pleasant programming playground paves popular Python path

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Excellent

Python is actually a good platform for teaching coding. Thanks to it's varied interpretation of whitespace, it messes up attempts by students to cut and paste from Stackoverflow without having the code blow up on them in mysterious ways.

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Top tip? Sprinkle bugs into your code to throw off robo-vuln scanners

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: I see now

Microsoft actually tried this. And failed miserably when the result was an O/S with no bugs.

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Ever seen printer malware in action? Install this HP Ink patch – or you may find out

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Home network

"but its not connected to wife"

Damned autocorrect!

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SMS 2FA gave us sweet FA security, says Reddit: Hackers stole database backup of user account info, posts, messages

Paul Hovnanian
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SMS-based authentication ...

... has been as much about getting another one of your identifying numbers* in marketers databases as actual security.

*Ask for a Social Security Number as a link between multiple databases and most people will balk. Ask for a phone number (when everyone lives through their phone) and 'No problem'.

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The End for Fin7: Feds cuff suspected super-crooks after $$$m stolen from 15m+ credit cards

Paul Hovnanian
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Coat

I say ...

... let them go free. They were spending less on my credit card than my wife was.

Mine's the one with the keys to the dog house in the pocket.

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UK spies broke law for 15 years, but what can you do? shrugs judge

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: So that's the big deal

"I'm sure 'bad guys' already just assume they're being snooped"

The smart ones do. The stupid ones, not so much. Which results in a bias in removing bad guys from the streets in favor of leaving the smarter ones in business.

The problem is that the case based on an illegal search that turns up a dead body in the trunk (boot) getting thrown out penalizes society in terms of not punishing the murderer and then the officer conducting that search. We have to live with a criminal among us, while the police only take a hit in their arrest statistics.

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Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep

Paul Hovnanian
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Devil

"nobody abbreviates pound as #"

Rarely. But I still read it that way. Which makes the recent social movement, #MeToo sound a bit strange.

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Scam alert: No, hackers don't have webcam vids of you enjoying p0rno. Don't give them any $$s

Paul Hovnanian
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Devil

Re: Got one just a couple weeks ago ...

Disclaimer: I don't mess with Bitcoin.

Question: Is there a way to send a negative amount to one of these 'wallets'?

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No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Walkie-talkies?

Using a phone while driving. In jurisdictions with laws against this. People put the phone on speaker and then hold it down where they think the police can't see it. Cabin noise and crappy speakers conspire to move the phone closer to one's mouth/ears and there you are.

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Every step you take: We track you for your own safety, you know?

Paul Hovnanian
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"Sometimes you wonder at the routing algorithm"

I asked a truck driver about this very issue some time ago. His answer: While you might expect Amazon, UPS and FedEx to invest in state of the art routing/planning AI, many of the routes are driven by contractors. And routing is part of their responsibility. Some of these are pretty small outfits, possibly owning only a few trucks. And the dispatcher does his planning (if any) with a plastic map and grease pencil. Or not at all. Drivers might be handed a daily list in alphabetical (by customer name) order.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: flightradar24.com

"Very few of the planes going over or near our house seem to have the required transponders."

There is a feature in Flightradar24 (and other tracking services) that allow aircraft operators to declare their data 'private'. And keep it from being displayed by the web sites. As a matter of FAA regulation, if I understand correctly. You agree to honor the block or you get no data at all.

On the other hand, the USA appears to be well behind the rest of the developed world in mandating tracking technology. I have my own ADS-B receiver, so I can see transponders directly. I am surprised (and shocked) by how many aircraft operate with the bare minimum of required transponder data. Specifically, no GPS fields in their broadcast.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Good old days

"Loss aversion"

The other side of this: I used to work for the local electric utility. One day, the shop supervisor was ordering some new hand tools for the line crews. I was puzzled by the quantity that he had ordered. He stated that we needed enough for everyone to have one for their home toolbox before we could be sure to have any stay on the line trucks.

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Chrome sends old Macs on permanent Safari: Browser bricks itself

Paul Hovnanian
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Paris Hilton

Still works

Mac OS X 10.4.11 with Safari 4.1.3 on an iBook G4 reporting in.

I never bought into the Chrome Kool-Aide. Although I doubt it would ever have run on this processor anyway.

Paris, because pretty old hardware by now.

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Azure North Europe downed by the curse of the Irish – sunshine

Paul Hovnanian
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Thumb Up

Freedom Units

Heh.

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How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Format of choice for immediate offline reading, easy sharing or simple portability

"All my clients use paper,"

I've seen the same thing. I deal with one outfit that requires my signature on some forms. The office e-mails me the PDF, I print it, sign it and scan the signed copy. A PDF of the signed copy goes back. Now for the fun part. That form has to go from the local office to corporate via fax. And sometimes the local office demands the wet-signed* copy. So I have to follow the e-mail up with snail-mail and wait to see what the delay will be. There is no way to predict what the people on the receiving end will demand.

*A few times, I've been requested to sign with blue ink. So as to verify that they have the same piece of paper that I scribbled on, I suppose.

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Microsoft: Blobs can be WORMs in the new, regs-compliant Azure

Paul Hovnanian
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But ...

... what about my right to be forgotten?

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Um, excuse me. Do you have clearance to patch that MRI scanner?

Paul Hovnanian
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Equipment Life Cycle

There needs to be some regulation of the vendor and/or customer maintenance and upgrade process in the certification of such equipment. Something akin to the way the FAA certifies both the aircraft design plus the operator, operator's maintenance process and manufacturer as a condition for the safe operation of a commercial airplane.

Manufacturers will have to commit to an ongoing maintenance and upgrade process, including security updates. Or their customers risk losing certification to use that equipment immediately. Customers and vendors will have to make purchase contracts and pricing decisions based upon this support. And manufacturers will be motivated to rely on maintainable hardware and software platforms as a strategy to keep support costs down.

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Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Where did you get that $20 padlock?

"Put a little tension on the hasp and tap either side of the body"

A problem with most 'snap-shut' type padlocks. The bolt is spring-loaded so as to allow the shackle to depress it when closing. Anything that can jostle the bolt back and forth (smacking it or a thin metal shim) can get it back open.

Better padlocks have the equivalent of deadbolts and key retention. You need the key to positively rotate the bolt into the locked position. And you can't take the key out unless the shackle is closed.

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: tamper-proof screws aren't

"However the head profile is sort of sloped so there is no 'undo' edge."

Commonly used on bathroom stall partitions. It's a strange world we live in when our valuables are secured behind common Phillips head screws. But you just try to steal our toilet door .....

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EU-US Privacy Shield not up to snuff, data tap should be turned off – MEPs

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Perhaps it's a silly question. . .

"in return for EU companies being allowed to export data to those US companies"

How much of this data leakage is company-to-company and how much is it individual EU citizens signing up for a US service? You sign up on a US server, read the EULA (several dozen pages wherein the jurisdiction of US law and playing fast and loose with personal data are mentioned). Who made the decision to export your personal data in these cases?

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First A380 flown in anger to be broken up for parts

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Model is broken

Hub and spoke is broken because of monopolistic practices more than anything else. The computing analogy fails because my packets don't make a sweet deal with the local router to bump yours off the system (With the end of net neutrality, this may change.)

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Paul Hovnanian
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Re: This underlines one more thing

"New ETOPS rules, originating (who would have guessed) from the USA led to a lot of new competition that the A380 had not been designed to deal with."

ETOPS was on the drawing board since the 767. Increases in ETOPS range were inevitable, plugging the 'holes' that twin engine aircraft couldn't operate through. Airbus had plenty of time to see that coming. Likewise, engine capabilities have improved as time goes by. Fuel consumption and reliability numbers are things that a competent designer could easily extrapolate.

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US regains supercomputer crown from Chinese, for now

Paul Hovnanian
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Depertment of Energy

Needs this to figure out how to produce enough power to run it.

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WannaCry reverse-engineer Marcus Hutchins hit with fresh charges

Paul Hovnanian
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Re: Who do you trust?

"If I was on the jury"

If you were in the jury pool, one side or the other would do their utmost to have you rejected. You appear to know something about technology and that would hinder some attorney's ability to submit garbage into evidence and have it accepted unquestioned.

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