* Posts by Martin Gregorie

712 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

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Chrome to label FTP sites insecure

Martin Gregorie

Re: if FTP is insecure

...then SFTP should be fine.

In fact, since some of the graphical FTP clients offer it as an alternative to various flavours of FTP, HTTP, etc, its the obvious replacement. As a bonus, no extra software is needed on servers offering SSH support via the standard sshd server.

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Would you get in a one-man quadcopter air taxi?

Martin Gregorie

Its very unlikely that this would be allowed to land 'anywhere' thats not an airfield. Just for starters, there are no guards on the rotors, which look to be at just the right height to chop unwary adults off at the knee and decapitate dogs and small children.

1
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Scientists produce a map marking water hotspots on the Moon

Martin Gregorie

Re: Mandator reading

It would probably make more sense to read Robert Heinlein's "The Moon Is A Hard Mistress", Asimov's "The Gods Themselves" or Niven's "The patchwork Girl" - all of these give believable scanarios for living permanently on the moon.

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Weird white dwarf pulsar baffles boffins as its pulsating pattern changes over decades

Martin Gregorie

Re: a teaspoon ... would weigh 15 tons.

If you're trying to measure mass, use the right units: newtons.

Tons, whether American, British or metric, are measurements of the force exerted by gravitational attraction at the Earth's surface.

</pedant>

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Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas

Martin Gregorie

Re: Because

Yet more proof, if any was needed, that bean-counters kill basic research.

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

Martin Gregorie

Re: Wasn't this already known?

Was it just fashionable or was the old logic thought to be wrong?

If the new would-be trend setters had even bothered to read old facts they'd have ignored them because, you know: OLD!

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We experienced Windows Mixed Reality. Results: Well, mixed

Martin Gregorie

The acid test...

...for me, anyway, would be the ability to use the VR device while seated in a physical 'cockpit' , which could be for a bicycle, motorbike, racing car, glider, jet, sailing dingy... which is fitted with the appropriate physical seating, harness, controls and instrument panel and have the VR device provide 360 degree external scenery without obscuring any of the controls or the cockpit interior.

If it can do this, and I don't mind at all if it needs special paint, etc. to delimit cockpit/controls/instruments which must not be obscured, then I want one and so will flying and driving schools.

If it can't, then it goes in the MEH! bin because it can't begin to compete with a properly set up conventional simulator with 360 degree screens and scenery projectors, and so will be useless for realistic simulation in driving or flying games and no use for teaching flying, driving or other physical skills.

6
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China claims to have turbine-powered drone carrying 200kg payload

Martin Gregorie

Re: Am I missing something?

Yes, you are. Making something that can reliably go to a programmed spot and crash or explode is relatively easy, though not cheap. Think cruise missiles, V-1s, etc. - none of them are cheap unless you have a full metal military budget to play with.

The only 'relatively cheap' small drone I'm aware of that can go some place, do something useful, come back and land would be the Aerosonde,

http://www.barnardmicrosystems.com/UAV/milestones/atlantic_crossing_1.html,

originally developed as a reusable meteorological drone that cost $10,000 or less. One flew the Atlantic in 1998, but its latest versions look as though they may be a bit bigger and pricier than the 1994 version. These were launched automatically from a car's roofrack and, although they could land automatically in a large flat field, were typically hand flown for landing if the landing area was small and/or had nearby trees etc. to dodge.

Then there was Maynard Hill's 'Spirit of Butts Farm', which weighed 5kg at launch and crossed the Atlantic in 40 hours in 2003, but it was hand-flown for launch and landing. I think he only lost four before one made it across from Newfoundland to Ireland:

http://www.barnardmicrosystems.com/UAV/milestones/atlantic_crossing_2.html

The problem is landing: launch and flight to a GPS target are fairly simple to automate, but anything that can land to deliver a parcel and then fly home again will need much better AI than anything yet invented if it is to reliably find a suitable place to land at or near its destination and do so regardless of weather or obstacles and without hitting anybody, their pets or moving vehicles.

And you still need some way of stopping light-fingered gentry from nicking the stuff it is delivering, or the entire drone for that matter.

6
1

Dell's flagship XPS13 – a 2-in-1 that may fatally frustrate your fingers

Martin Gregorie

Re: Lack of indicator lights and ports

This is also my only real complaint about a Lenovo laptop I bought earlier this year. Equally to the point, this isn't a recent problem: the machine is a T440, so this 'designer' idiocy has been a thing for at least three years.

8
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India's Aadhaar national biometric ID scheme at risk after Supreme Court rules privacy is a right

Martin Gregorie

Re: Is there any kind of valid comparison that has been done to other schemes?

Don't be silly. The British Government has a track record of never, ever looking to see what other countries have done before implementing a major change in the worst possible way. Examples of this are the introduction of decimal currency, metrication and the several failed attempts at introducing a national identifier.

Since the Estonian approach seems to be pretty much best of breed and that the New Zealand seems to work pretty well to is a cast-iron guarantee that the British Government will do something entirely different and/or stupid such as privatising it.

3
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Raising minimum wage will raise something else: An army of robots taking away folks' jobs

Martin Gregorie

Re: Robots don't pay taxes...

So when there are no jobs and all the cash is funnelled to the top, who is going to have any money to pay for stuff and then where will the rich make their income?

Thats an easy question that was answered 280 years ago by Jonathon Swift. in his pamphlet "A modest Proposal". If you haven't read it, its here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1080 and is quite a short and easy read.

6
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'Coke dealer' called us after his stash was stolen – cops

Martin Gregorie

Re: Florida Man

I looked at the graph and skimmed the text in your link, http://uhaweb.hartford.edu/BRBAKER/

Never mind the graph: the text proves the hypothesis: it is rambling, poorly organised and largely incoherent. Its author clearly has no idea of how to use a spell checker, or maybe that such a thing even exists. All in all, its a concrete illustration that the decline in average IQ is a real Thing.

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.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job

Martin Gregorie

Sometimes there's a good reason to have someone with a bit of knowledge on the bridge, especially in the military.

Exactly. Having one morse-fluent bridge officer per watch doesn't sound excessive while still saving money by not training everybody. In any case, what about the ship's radio operators, assuming they still carry them: do they still learn morse as part of their usual training?

Where's El Reg's Naval Correspondent when you need him?

39
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FreeRADIUS fragged by fuzzer – by invitation – and fifteen fails found

Martin Gregorie

Re: C is a [value judgement of choice] language for security

Built in goof alerts, stuff like that.

To a large extent you can help yourself to write safer code:

* always use the 'n' limited library functions instead of the unlimited equivalents, i.e. always use strncpy() instead of strcpy() and snprintf() rather than sprintf().

* where they don't exist, you can build a private library of fixed functions and use those instead.

* its also easy enough to write an awk script that can scan your code and report any unsafe library functions it finds. You could even make it return a failing error code if it finds anything unsafe and include it in your Make recipes.

So, don't wait around for somebody else to do this simple stuff for you: just do it.

8
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Luxembourg passes first EU space mining law. One can possess the Spice

Martin Gregorie

Re: Dodgy Picture

Thats not the only problem with that picture; I don't recall anybody hunting sandworrms with whaling harpoons (and missing a lot) either.

8
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Roland McGrath steps down as glibc maintainer after 30 years

Martin Gregorie

Re: @ allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

Same recollections here.

In the 68xx / 68xxx world there were free compilers, OS extensions and other code described and distributed via notices and articles in the '68Microjournal, mainly for the FLEX and OS/9 operating systems. COTS hardware was mostly Tandy ColorComputer and Dragon machines, but a lot of us used single board or SS-50 bus based kit, either bought as complete boards or, more commonly, self-assembled from kits and debugged with multimeter and logic probe. That was quite easy with 1-2 Mhz clock speeds and and traditional DIL chips, but much more difficult and expensive now everything is tiny surface-mount chips and Ghz clock speeds: check out the cost of a 'scope capable of dealing with these speeds!

When we got modems we also got the Kermit remote access and file transfer system, maintained by Columbia University, but of course floppies distributed by sneakernet and post probably moved more stuff than a 2400baud modem could manage.

7
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Former GDS head Mike Bracken quits Co-op

Martin Gregorie

WTF

Do the people who hire these MBAs and self-styled New Innovation prophets ever check their actual achievements during their last two jobs or do they just uncritically believe the proffered CV's spin?

9
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Ad 'urgently' seeks company to build national e-ID system

Martin Gregorie

Re: Did it disqualify all the usual suspects...?

There's an obvious way to get an excellent, well-tested ID system: buy a copy of the Estonian ID system, which seems to be generally regarded as best-of-breed.

Then don't let ANYBODY 'adapt it to our needs' because, knowing our wonderful GDS and their pals, doing that will immediately convert it into a heap of steaming turds while at least doubling its cost.

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Tesla's driverless car software chief steps down

Martin Gregorie

Re: I think Uber might have a vacancy.

Uber doesn't need a computer science expert.

What it needs is someone who knows what 'ethics' means and has them. It would also help if this person understands how to fix a toxic company without destroying it.

10
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As you head off to space with Li-ion batts, don't forget to inject that liquefied gas into them

Martin Gregorie

As you head off to space with Li-ion batts, don't forget to inject that liquefied gas into them

You beat me to it: have an upvote. I don't like the thought of using CFCs either.

That would be OK if the batteries were only for deep space use, but the vision of eCar batteries containing significant quantities of pressurised CFCs isn't a good one, especially when you realise that any car crash that damages the battery pack would liberate the CFCs.

5
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EPYC leak! No, it's better than celeb noodz: AMD's forthcoming server CPU

Martin Gregorie

What is the security feature of which you speak?

Is this by any chance a case of AMD emulating Intel and providing a trapdoor that can bypass OS security? I think we should be told.

6
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I still haven't found what I'm malloc()ing for: U2 tops poll of music today's devs code to

Martin Gregorie

Re: Depends...

Easy question: Frank Zappa boots streamed off Zappateers, Radio 4 or silence.

2
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Boffins find evidence of strange uranium-producing bacteria lurking underground

Martin Gregorie

Re: Domestos

I think you've misread leach as bleach in the Introduction section of the paper.

The rest of the paper describes extracting Uranium compounds using nitric and hydrochloric acids (HNO3 and HCl) in combination with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in acidic solutions.

Bleach, on the other hand, is quite strongly alkaline and mixing it with acids used to extract the Uranium compounds would merely neutralise the acids, making extraction less effective.

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Emissions cheating detection shines light on black box code

Martin Gregorie

You haven't being attention. CO2 is not the problem for diesels; NOx is.

Now that's out of the way, it seems to me that there's a reasonably simple way to catch both types of cheating.

1) Borrow a car from a dealer chosen at random. Stuff a gas analyser up its tail pipe and drive it at least 62 miles/100 km. with the analyser logging its readings along with gradient and speed

2) put that car and at least one more through the statutory rolling road test cycle.

Now look at the results. Examination of (1) should spot the Chrysler-Fiat style of cheat: if there's a step change after the test cycle length you've got them. Comparing the two traces should spot ECUs using the VW type of cheat because the road test will show higher emission levels at all stages of the drive than the rolling road test does. This approach may well pick up hybrids of the two as well as new and unforeseen ways of cheating.

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Why Uber threw top engineer Levandowski under self-driving bus

Martin Gregorie

Re: fsck Uber

If by "they" you mean the owners of Uber and their money grubbing pals, then you're wrong.

"They" know exactly what they're doing - conning suckers into believing the 'gig' economy, zero hours contracts etc. are smart, 22nd century ways of making a good living, when in reality they're a way to make their hapless employees pick up the tab for medical, pension, holiday and other work-related expenses while "they" can trouser all that lovely money.

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Police anti-ransomware warning is hotlinked to 'ransomware.pdf'

Martin Gregorie

Re: Mmmm

..and make sure that mail preview windows are DISABLED - because they open attachments automatically.

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Britain shouldn't turn its back on EU drone regs, warns aerospace boffin

Martin Gregorie

No. You need an observer who is watching it with unaided eyesight standing with you. This has a lot to do with the very restricted field of view of most/all First Person View camera systems.

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Flying robots are great... until they meet flying humans, anyway

Martin Gregorie

Re: Also, what about emergency aircraft?

Currently no drones are permitted to operate further from their operator, or the observer if the pilot is using FPV equipment, than he can see to control it without visual aids or to exceed 400ft AGL. This is no different from any model aircraft and will always be the case. In this situation, normal VFR rules apply: also known as 'keeping a porper lookout" and/or "see and be seen".

This also keeps drones away from piloted aircraft since none of us are below 400 ft except when landing or taking off (ridge running by gliders and HGs excepted).

For drones to go further afield they'll need to carry some sort of aerial traffic avoidance system as well as a reliable method of avoiding collision with people, ground vehicles, cables, houses, trees etc. Something like FLARM would appear to be ideal for avoiding drone-drone collisions but AFAICT there's nothing yet on the horizon for dealing with the other collision risks I mentioned.

FLARM systems are currently carried by most gliders in the UK and Europe. They also being used by increasing numbers of GA aircraft and helicopters. FLARM systems are small, light and relatively cheap: if the HG people don't use them yet, they should probably think about doing so too.

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Do we need Windows patch legislation?

Martin Gregorie

RE: Do we need Windows patch legislation?

In comparing Linux with Windows, there's one thing you've fotrgotten: the Linux API is far more stable than the Windows API has ever been. This is clearly a matter of design philosophy: Linux has always valued having a stable, well-designed API, so that applications will continue to run despite upgrades while MS has clearly regarded using an incompatible API in each new Windows version as a marketing tool.

I'm running C code that I last compiled in 2005 and that 'just ran' until last March despite both hardware replacements and the six monthly cycle of Fedora upgrades. In March I moved from 32bit PAE kernels to X86-64 kernels and this did require my C code to be recompiled, but that was only to be expected.

If I was buying high-value kit such as an MRI scanner, mass spectrograph or radio telescope I'd require the control software on this kit to show the same level of OS upgrade resilience that I've experienced over the last 10 years, i.e. the control software MUST have the same EOL as the hardware it controls regardless of OS upgrades, etc. I could also reasonably expect a copy of the source code to be provided under an NDA or at least to be put in escrow as protection against its vendor's failure.

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RF pulses from dust collisions could be killing satellites

Martin Gregorie

See also a recent news item from the Cassini project about why and how they use a high frequency radio receiver to detect and measure microparticular impacts during Saturnian ring plane crossings.

Sorry: no URL. I heard the report on BBC Radio 4 this morning.

6
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You only need 60 bytes to hose Linux's rpcbind

Martin Gregorie

Re: Anyone actually use that ...

rpcbind is disabled by default for Fedora 25, but running "rpcinfo -s" locally or "rpcinfo -s hostname" remotely both start it. So, remember to run "sudo systemctl stop rpcbind" to stop it again if you don't need it running.

However, you'll find that running "sudo systemctl stop rpcbind" outputs this: "Warning: Stopping rpcbind.service, but it can still be activated by: rpcbind.socket" so it follows that stopping rpcbind may not do all that much good. I've just found out that running nmap from another host on your LAN can start it, i.e. any process that tries to open port 111 for any reason has the side effect of starting rpcbind if its not already running.

If, like me, your router doesn't accept any inbound connections then you should be safe, though you may still want to block port 111 on your hosts' firewalls.

3
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Alaska dentist 'pulled out patient's tooth while riding a hoverboard'

Martin Gregorie

Re: One more thing...

And finally, the most heinous of crimes that a dentist can commit with their clothes on; having the latest editions of pristine magazines in the waiting room!

...FTFY

5
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US military makes first drop of Mother-of-All-Bombs on Daesh-bags

Martin Gregorie

Re: Gather Dust?

Theres one huge difference between the MOAB and bunker busters like Tallboy, Grand Slam or the GBU-28:

- the MOAB has a thin alloy skin so it doesn't interfere with the blast wave. This means that it must be exploded above ground - drop it onto anything hard and it will splatter rather than penetrate.

- Tallboy is the archetypical bunker buster, or penetrating bomb. It weighed 5,400kg, but only 2,400kg, or just over 50%, of that was Torpex explosive. Most of the rest was a thick high tensile steel case, strong enough to be dropped through the few metres of reinforced concrete forming the roof of a U-boat or E-boat pen. Its tail boom and fins were light alloy and were only there to make sure it arrived nose first and spun up to stop it tumbling. One is known to have penetrated 18m into a hill to explode in the railway tunnel underneath.

Grand Slam was a bigger, 10,000 kg version of Tallboy

The Americans have the GBU-28, a laser-guided, 2,268kg bunker buster

THOSE are what you need to destroy caves and tunnels, not airblast bombs: I wonder why they didn't use one or two GBU-28s on the tunnel complex. Earthquakes and wrecked tunnels not spectacular enough for Proper Shock & Awe?.

3
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Boeing-backed US upstart reckons it'll be building electric airliners

Martin Gregorie

Re: A long way to go to catch up with Siemens

Yep, so it can tow an LS8-neo, fitted with 15m wings by the look of it, to 3000m in 78 secs. That's great, and fast too, but as it has a max flight time of around 15 mins, how many gliders can it tow to, say, a more typical 800m before it needs a recharge and how long is that going to take?

In any case, assuming its recharged from the mains, by the time you take into account transmission losses, the proportion of the electricity generated by fossil fuel and the generator's thermal efficiency, just how much greener is it than fitting a plain old Lycoming flat six and burning avgas?

Don't get me wrong, its nice engineering but I have severe doubts about its practicality as a tow plane compared with, say, a Robin GR-300 fitted with normal towing equipment (4-blade 'climb' prop and silencer) or whether the electric drive is much quieter, given that much of the noise comes from the prop.

1
1

Lenovo's 2017 X1 Carbon is a mixed bag

Martin Gregorie

Re: Intermittent Freezes

I recently picked up a nice T440 off eBay (has the 1600x900 screen, 8GB RAM and 500GB hard disk). My first action was to nuke Windows and install Fedora 25 with XFCE. This setup is excellent - no unexpected pauses and about as fast as I'd hoped it would be, so I think your and Simon's long pauses are probably Windows-related. BTW, the SD card slot on this machine is full-size and full depth.

Parenthetically, I got the T440 to replace a ten year old R61i (CoreDuo, 1GB Ram upgraded to 3GB, 120GB hard disk, which was dieing) after I'd tried and failed to get it to accept a 500GB replacement HDD, but as the biggest disk it was designed for was 200GB and you can't now get new HDDs smaller than 320GB I thought it was stuffed. Then I had second thoughts, swapped in a 128BG Sandisk SSD and installed the same OS (Fedora 25 Workstation / XFCE).

So a comparison of the two is interesting. The R61i now boots somewhat faster than the T440, but the latter is quicker once its up, logged in and working on the task du jour. It think this is mainly down to the way Linux uses RAM. On the T440 I find that typically 7GB is used for caching and, as the entire contents of /usr are about that size, the difference in speed between HDD and SSD isn't noticeable during normal operation. OTOH, the R61i, which is running with an identical package set, only has 2GB of RAM available for caching, so will gain from the SSD speed during normal operation because it will be pulling a lot more stuff off the SSD than the T440 does off its HDD.

3
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US Customs sued for information about border phone searches

Martin Gregorie

Re: Do you have a mobile device?

There's a simple solution: get something non-smart. In my case its a Samsung B2100 - cost £55 IIRC, does everything I need a phone to do and is obviously far too dumb to interest Homes operatives. IMO this makes it the perfect phone to take to the US of A or any other place with an over-intrusive border garrison.

3
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Microsoft loves Linux so much, its OneDrive web app runs like a dog on Windows OS rivals

Martin Gregorie

What kind of linux user would actually ever want to use onedrive?

One who is sent a link to a OneDrive spreadsheet or WP document they need to read?

Here's an example from real life: one of my friends has recently gotten a new PC. As he and his wife are not even sligtly power users, the new box almost certainly runs Windows 10 and would seem to have come with OneDrive preinstalled instead of whatever all-in-one wp+spreadsheet package M$ used to include in consumer-grade Windows packages: I used to get bog-standard Excel XLS spreadsheet attachments from him. This time he just sent me a link to a OneDrive xlsx format spreadsheet, which I was able to download and save (using Fedora 25 running PaleMoon) and then to open it with LibreOffice 5.

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1
Martin Gregorie

Re: How many Onedrive users run Linux?

When somebody e-mails you a link to an Excel XLSX spreadsheet that turns out to be on Onedrive rather than attaching a spreadsheet file, you suddenly find out if it can be downloaded or not.

As it happened, the sheet was displayed and saved in my user directory with no trouble. I'm running Pale Moon on Fedora 25, so I was pleased when the speadsheet was downloaded reasonably fast, displayed correctly and saved as an XLSX file without issues, and even more pleased to find that oocalc (Libre Office 5) could read and save it as a proper non-proprietary spreadsheet format (.ods).

6
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This AI stuff is all talk! Bots invent their own language to natter away behind humans' backs

Martin Gregorie

Re: je ne comprend pas

"Stop it! You'll hurt your throat! - Frank Zappa

0
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Martin Gregorie

Frederik Pohl's "Slave Ship" shows how this can be done with just a simple yes|no signal stream, the example being how to direct a small dog to do something using only a clicker. Silence meant 'wrong choice' and a click meant 'correct choice'. Its an old book, but well worth reading.

2
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Europe will fine Twitter, Facebook, Google etc unless they rip up T&Cs

Martin Gregorie

Re: Good

Yes. About time the social networks and advertisers were reminded that the world doesn't owe them a free lunch and that "what's yours is not [automatically] mine" regardless of what their self-regarding T&Cs may say.

Offer a subscription model which guarantees that my personal data will not be resold and I'll take one out if I think the service offers value for money to me.

I'll even accept adverts provided they are static, don't obscure the content I'm paying for and are guaranteed not to contain or link to malware and the provider accepts liability for adverts or content that fails this last test.

20
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60 slow-mo A-bomb test videos explode onto YouTube

Martin Gregorie

Re: Mesmerising

If you want to kmow more of the background and technologies developed by the early atomic scientists, I can thoroughly recommend Rhchard Rhodes book "The Making Of The Atomic Bomb".

Its really a history of atomic physics from 1873 to 1945 and covers all the major personalities involved, what they did as well as the politics and the technology involved. It starts with the discovery of subatomic particles and ends just after the bombing of Japan, so if you want to know the background to Hiroshima, then this is the book to read.

His next book, "Dark Star", extends this coverage to the development of the hydrogen bomb and to other bomb projects and their participants: everybody has heard of the Mantattan Project and Russian efforts, but did you know that both the Germans and the Japanese were working on atomic bombs during WW2?

2
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Raw TRAPPIST-1 data lands tomorrow for crowdsourced hijinks

Martin Gregorie

More watery details

I'd really like to know more about the expected behavior of water on a tidally locked planet in the so-called Goldilocks zone. For instance, if the planet is in the outer half of the zone, is there really a sea or collection of lakes at the centre of the sunlit hemisphere, or has all the water been transported as vapour in the atmosphere to the dark side cold trap where it froze out and accumulated as ice?

If that happened, then you could find a bone-dry desert in the middle of the sun side, maybe a wet ring, possibly with some alien lifeforms, nearer the twilight zone round the edge of the sun side, and much of the water doing a Martian polar thing in the middle of the dark side.

7
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RadioShack bankruptcy savior to file for, you guessed it, bankruptcy

Martin Gregorie

Re: Solder Repellant

That matches my experience: generally shoddy merchandise, uninterested staff and unreasonably high prices. Shoddy, as in the sheet metal nibblers I bought that failed in less than 30 minutes of use and getting used to 10-20% of transistors being DOA. When I lived in Wiilsden, and later in Clapham, it was well worth a trip half across London to Edgeware Road and the electronic sales jungle there instead of walking 1-200 yds to the local Tandy.

3
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Did your in-flight entertainment widget suck? It's Panasonic's fault, claims software biz

Martin Gregorie

Re: Panasonic has blocked other third party products

I bought a Panasonic TZ-70 last September, along with a spare pair of Hahnel batteries for it. For most of its life its been running on a Hahnel battery, thanks to the disapearance of the second Hahnel and the original Panasonic en route to India[1]. I can't comment about chargers because the camera didn't come with one and AFAIK one isn't available as an optional accessory or I'd have bought it. Having to swap spare batteries into the camera to charge them is a pain: I'd much rather have an external charger.

[1] I think this happened during transit passenger bording checks in Dubai because that was the only place that the camera stuffsack was out of my site for long enough to anybody to find the stuffsack in my carry-on stuff, find the batteries and rifle through my spare SD cards, which were in an alloy SD card wallet. I know somebody had been through the camera stuff there because the SD cards (individually marked) were no longer in the same order different order that I put them in.

1
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RAF pilot awaits sentence for digicam-induced airliner dive

Martin Gregorie

Re: Airbus design flaw

There shouldn't be any flat surface on which to lay something in front of the control stick.

Have you flown a sidestick aircraft? What I hear from those who have is that a sidestick is quite twitchy because it moves less distance for the same rate of roll or pitch that a traditional control column or column or yoke does. As a result, its necessary to have your forearm on a flat surface in order to make small, precise control inputs.

I can't see how you'd design a forearm rest that you couldn't put a camera on, though I can see how it could be attached to the cockpit wall so it would not move with the seat. I personally wouldn't have a camera in my cockpit thats not secured to a mounting point or at least on a lanyard or neckstrap so it can't easily be dropped where it becomes unreachable and/or jam the controls, but ymmv.

4
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Who will banish spy-cam drones from US skies? The FAA doesn't want to do it. EPIC disagrees

Martin Gregorie

Re: It's the act, not the platform

Exactly. You don't expect the DVLA (Vehicle licensing authority in the USA) to prosecute car drivers for other misbehavior, such as shagging in their car or following somebody around and photographing them - that is for the police to prosecute if the driver is breaking a privacy or public behavior law.

Same goes for aircraft of all types: the CAA and FDA are responsible for licensing and aircraft safety issues, not for prosecuting other types of misbehavior. For example, in the UK if you fly an 8 kg drone within 50m of a spectator that would be a matter for the CAA because doing it breaks ANO rules, but using the same drone with a telephoto lens to photograph the same person inside his house from 100m away is a privacy issue that would be handled by the police, not the CAA, because at that distance you're outside the ANO limits for flying close to people or buildings.

2
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Dyson backs Britain plc with $2.5bn AI and robotics investment

Martin Gregorie

Errm, surely you mean...

But the EU's energy labelling regulations decree that voltage

I think you mean wattage. The voltage is set by the electricity generators and reduced by them when demand is high, so specifying it is meaningless for a mains powered device.

Also, as any fule kno, power = watts * time, so limiting the input wattage is also pretty futile because limiting it just makes the run time longer. The only realistic standard for, say, a vacuum cleaner would be to set a limit on the number of kilowatt hours used to clean a specified area of a standard floor covering. But try implementing that sort of standard for all mains powered domestic appliances and bureaucracy will think all its Xmases have come at once, so lets not go there.

7
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Cloudbleed: Big web brands 'leaked crypto keys, personal secrets' thanks to Cloudflare bug

Martin Gregorie

In any case...

... why should anybody be publishing malformed HTML? Haven't they heard of HTMLtidy?

This also applies to web authoring tool vendors, who should be using fully comprehensive, properly maintained regression test suites and making sure that the comparison outputs contain valid HTML.

2
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Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off

Martin Gregorie

Re: As I said before...

The publisher outputs two ad streams: one for silent, static ads and no popups and the other is anything goes. Your ad blocker could be set to 'block', 'static ads only' or 'full-fat' for those who think ads are the best part of a website. The silent ad stream would be only for plain text, limited HTML, and PNG/JPG images that get a pass from a scanning program[1] *before* the ad publisher distributes them. Its up to the publisher to do that right: if they don't then switching the adblocker mode to 'block' will fix things.

[1] to filter out malware and URLs linked to malware - obviously - as well as ensuring that no disallowed file type or content gets into the silent, static stream ad stream.

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