* Posts by Jellied Eel

745 posts • joined 18 Aug 2008

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Amazon exec tells UK peers: No, we don't want to be dominant. Also, we don't fancy being taxed on revenues

Jellied Eel Silver badge

World's most valuable company?

Neither could she offer a breakdown of AWS revenues on a country-by-country basis.

I'm curious to see the transcript for the precise Q&A. Otherwise we're meant to believe that Amazon's 'invested' 9.3bn, yet has no idea about revenues. And thus profits, and any ROI. I'm fairly certain Amazon's treasury team could provide a breakdown, but probably only under extreme duress.

But then that's how these games are played. Load the costs, suck out the revenues and profit? What profit? Along with other tricks, like making sure sales are booked in the lowest tax jurisdiction possible. I think the only way to fix this is internationally, and by taking a long, hard look at how internal costs are valued and allocated, and agreeing that off-shore sales are a contrived method for tax avoidance. Currently she's right though, international tax treaties allow this kind of tax minimisation.

Reg Standards Bureau introduces the Devon fatberg as coastal town menaced by oily blob

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Now I'm curious

This means the Devon fatberg is more accurately described as being the length of 457.14 linguine (unboiled at sea level), or 2.91 Brontosauruses.

So is there a conversion formula for boiled vs raw Brontosaurus by altitude?

I'm also thinking one way to discourage sewer abusers would be to work out how many addresses were served by that pipe. Then carve it up based on rateable value and deliver. Possibly with jumbo-sized portions to fast-food outlets. Downside might be if the fat's then recycled.

Cops: German suspect, 20, 'confessed' to mass hack of local politicians

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: "Hacker Attack"

So far there has been zero mention of how he got his hands on all that data. I can't believe that he actually did all of the actual hacks himself.

Why not? Often it's a case of finding a vulnerability or entry point, then testing that against interesting looking targets. Or if you get into one system, using that to get access to others as a 'trusted' connection. Then there's the media. Hacker releases 'thousands of files' is less impressive if that's an unfiltered dump of a few people's emails and attachments. My guess is it'll turn out to be email related.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Your country needs You!

So

The changes in layout and naming suggest that it wasn’t one person in one marathon session creating these. There is variation in the archive passwords too: 123, abbreviations, variations

Assuming this chap wasn't just a script kiddy, and had some decent skills.. How hard would it be to have a password generator script create these. I assume it also wouldn't be that hard to use website management tools or scripts to do the other activities. Or being the stereotypical kid in the basement, too much free time. But that's something I've wondered about with other incidents where attacks are 'sophisticated' and thus must be state activity. I also suspect the lack of awareness might be due to his legal advice and mitigation.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon shows up at pad 39A, nearly 8 years after the last Shuttle left

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: What's in a name

Crew Dragon carries the soup kettle and field kitchen.. So, tinfoil?

Oregon can't stop people from calling themselves engineers, judge rules in Traffic-Light-Math-Gate

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Great for this Engineer

there's simply no body of solid body of theory on which to base practice engineering. For another, few software practitioners have actually read many, or even any, of the core documents documents that do exist -- Hamming, Knuth, etc.

You want a solid body? I'd recommend McDermid's "Software Engineer's Reference Book". Useful to throw at people who try to use Java on the wrong nuts. As for Knuth, or even Kerningham and Ritchie.. that's why we can't have the nice things. Or simple buffer over flows exist to this day. Not having a grasp of the theory means no real grasp of the application(s).

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans

Jellied Eel Silver badge

It's typical nudge politics (wink wink). Porn sites are already great places to get infected, and some people know this. It's usually a private act, at least on the Parliamentary estate, which will no doubt get exemptions 'for research purposes'. We're regularly told that websites are regularly hacked compromising thousands to millions of peoples details.

So government (and Labours not exactly opposing this) puts 2 and 2 together so if you browse smut, your credit card details and tastes may be revealed to all. The solution won't work, but the government can say they tried and won't be liable for any fall-out.. And what could possibly go wrong if passports identify people who's tastes aren't compatible with their religion?

China's loose Chang'e: Probe lands on far side of the Moon in science first, says state media

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Conspiracy theory........

Or have they used the same place on Earth to film this? ;)

Yes, but they snuck in at night. Hence the new claim.

Another greybeard has left us: Packet pioneer Larry Roberts dies at 81

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: TTL exceeded

So standard response :)

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc760

The internet protocol is specifically limited in scope to provide the

functions necessary to deliver a package of bits (an internet

datagram) from a source to a destination over an interconnected system

of networks. There are no mechanisms to promote data reliability,

flow control, sequencing, or other services commonly found in

host-to-host protocols.

And oddly, also became part of discussions around the 'Interplanetary Internet', or 'Ciscos in Spaaaace!' as I called it before being disinvited. People doing space comms had some really neat, lighweight and reliable protocols used to communicate with spacecraft, satellites and probes to deal with latency, reliability and all the things IP relies on applications or the network to figure out.

TCP is one simple example. It built on IP to add some of the stuff that was missing. So FCS via SYN/ACK, MTU sizes, checksums, etc. Send a packet, wait for the ACK, send next packet.. Which is ok when latency is low, but as it increases, delays from SYN/ACK increase, so throughput decreases. Hence why FTP'ng a file from say, London-NY via a 1Gbps link won't get you close to 1Gbps throughput given the latency. So that's the 'Long Fat Pipe' issue. Transmit it via UDP instead and you'll be able to saturate the link.. But UDP's fire and forget, so if there's any dropped packets, the app needs to know. Somehow. Especially if your file transfer isn't the only traffic on that link, then you may be wanting some kind of congestion avoidance/management.. Which IP doesn't include.

There are other workarounds, like selective ACK'ng, but caution is sometimes needed. A reason why the Internet went global is it's 'open standards', which is great when they're really open and compatible with other vendor's implementations.

There can be other challenges, like a 'simple' MTU size & dealing with fragmentation, especially between layers. So common issue can be fragmentation on '1500' byte packets over Ethernet (especially emulated Ethernet) that has <1500byte payload frame. Which can be an issue on xDSL links given the way they're delivered. In the good'ol days, that could also be an issue for folks with 3Com networks because that used a larger MTU size. Stock answer to new customers saying they couldn't get to website X was ask if they were a 3Com shop, and if yes, reduce MTU.

Then there can be application specific issues. So VoIP on a network with no implicit congestion management/avoidance. Especially if that's by regulation and CoS/QoS is forbidden on the Internet because Net Neutrality. Or video. Mcasting was supposed to do that, but in no way scales to Netflix/YT like levels. Or had features a lot of content owners wanted, like control over subscribers. IPv6 isn't much better, but the Internet copes (thus far) because the solution is often to throw more bandwidth at the problem.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: TTL exceeded

A common bus is ok in _theory_ but in practice once you start running at any rate of speeds, time of flight (1ns per foot roughly) becomes such a critical factor that it's a lot more expensive to implement than simply running more (very cheap) wires.

In my youth, we discovered that when an Amdahl 5990 wouldn't boot. Speeds and time-of-flight are still an issue, ie TCP's LFP problem, or just understanding how intercontinental Ethernet will perform, and why it might be a bad idea.

Same I think is true for other parts of Robert's legacy. So TCP/IP doesn't really scale well. X.25/ATM were a little better and designed for packet (and circuit) switching at higher speeds.. Although high speed then wasn't the Tbps we have today. But as mentioned futher down, it did spawn flow switching, which begat tag switching, which became MPLS. With a 56byte 'packet' to look at and act on. Funny that. Internally, that may have also become a 64byte 'J-Cell', but backplane builders and hardware types knew that to work at Gbps+ speeds efficiently, working on a fixed, small header made switching/forwarding a whole lot easier.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: TTL exceeded

25 years ago the main role of any third line engineer was to correct the lies of the salesmen without losing customers.

These days, that's often grounds for dismissal. Or just correcting the lies after they come waving signed contracts. Best example of the protocol wars was a large contract where our bit was X.25, handing off to another supplier who ran IP. Problems occured, fingers got pointed, but X.25 had non-repudiation features. Sometimes more useful than spewing out a stream of UDP and hoping for the best.

And as for books, I think I still have a copy of BT's pocket guide to their planned 'Open Network Architectutre'. The X-Men lost that one as well...

Jellied Eel Silver badge

TTL exceeded

I think Roberts really was the engineer behind the Internet, and much of modern telecomms... But that's part of the bellhead vs nethead debate that ARPANET spawned. Personally, I think X.25 had a lot of advantages over TCP/IP, but the downside was it's perceived complexity.. So TCP/IP 'won', even though the underlying networks all pretty much rely on some form of packet switching.

Hacker cyber-gang: Give us cyber-cash for cyber-cache of 18,000 stolen Sept 11th insurance docs

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Ok .... Move On, Please. Nothing to See There.

The Pentagon was self-insured. Or insured by different parties. So not covered by this hack. An interesting part of the Pentagon truthers is most don't seem to realise just how frickin huge that building is. But then perspective has always been an issue with truthers.

Otherwise, this just seems to be a peek behind the curtains of the insurance industry. I doubt I'll read any of it, but perhaps it'll be of interest to researchers given the impact 9/11 had.

New Horizons snaps finish buffering: Ultima Thule actually two dust bunnies that got snuggly 4.5 billion years ago

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Hmm

More detailed images have emerged showing 2014 MU69 (aka Ultima Thule) is actually two distinct bodies, held together by the processes that form planets.

Or sinews..

Detailed: How Russian government's Fancy Bear UEFI rootkit sneaks onto Windows PCs

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Wait, what?

There's no excuse in this day an age for anyone in IT in a business to be in the position to be able to run executables or see URLs in emails!

If you can see a bit.ly or similar URL masker in your email, you're doing it wrong. Or your security department is doing it wrong.

Spearfishing relies on persuading users to click on things they shouldn't. Persuading users not to blindy click is a much greater challenge. Especially when they're SES, GS10+ or equivalents that hackers may be looking to spear.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: The real solution

If I were really paranoid, I would suspect that this has been in the wild since maybe 2010 but only used on highly targeted, high value targets. From the description, there's no telling how long it's been out there and there's no real fix except as the article mentioned.

Hey, this is IT security. If you're not paranoid, you're a target! But I think there are several aspects to the story.

UEFI security, or lack thereof. That allowed LoJack to do things arguably it shouldn't have done. But the challenge with security is being able to trust it.

The threat escaped into the wild in 2009 at one of the big 50SoG conventions. I don't know when LoJack was released, but given it's role, suspect people would have been looking at how that worked as well. Again the challenge with security is being able to trust it. Which sometimes means being asked to hand over source code to TLAs or FLAs for certification. Then assuming the have the resources to identify vulnerabilities. Oh, and paranoia.. And not exploit them. Otherwise we're left to independent security researchers finding the problems and publicising them. But black hats would be doing that as well for exploitation.

Then there's the political angle. Kremlin hackers. Really? Or just HVTs. Infection route seems to have been simple spearfishing. We hear about high profile incidents, but not all, so we don't know how widely the net has been cast. Hackers would go after targets for profile/publicity as well as financial gain.. Then there's the state actors. I really doubt it's just the Russians doing this. What we could probably do with is more state level intervention to lean on software developers so they prioritise security. Again a trust issue. There can also be other attribution problems, ie the current 9/11 hack. That's been described by one victim as 'cyber terrorism', when it's clear from the demands that it's simple cyber extortion*.

I guess the good news from watching the presentation is discovering this-

https://github.com/chipsec/chipsec?language=en_US

Tools to peek into your chips. Less good news is if you discover you're infected, the fix is to try and reflash, with assosciated risk of brickage. I like the idea of having a 'secure' backup image on mobos to reflash from, but other parts of the rootkit would need to be removed first to avoid reinfection.

*More bad news. More grist for the truthers.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: The real solution

From previous article:-

Though designed to protect laptops from theft, LoJack implements only minimal security to safeguard its own data.

So 2009, hacker convention pointed out LoJack had an XOR'd config file that could easily be changed to your own malware server and HiJack LoJack. Come 2018, it's pointed out that black hats are exploiting this.

Two things come to mind.. Why so long between vulnerability and detection? And how can we be sure fancy bear isn't just a drop bear in drag. And this shows there are.. problems with UEFI

New Horizons probe reveals Ultima Thule is huge, spinning... chicken drumstick?

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Scratch one conspiracy theory..

Pfft... Delta-V is all relative. Which is also why getting close with probes like this is impressive! And landing something on it would be even more impressive. But some hefty RTGs and an ion drive, it might just work..

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Scratch one conspiracy theory..

.. unless the probe is shot down by the defences guarding the Thule Society's sekret base. Secret societies just ain't what they used to be.. unless modern ones have somehow managed to stay secret.

But I digress. Impressive feat of engineering and astronavigation to find a small rock, a loooong way from home. The naming's a bit suspect though, ie if we find something further out, does it get renamed Penultimate Thule? I also like the idea that the rock could contain cryogenically frozen stuff from the formation of our solar system. Next challenge, figure out how to send samples back. Or a bigger probe with sample extraction and analysis kit onboard.

The Great British Curry: Put down the takeaway, you're cooking tonight

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Cooking Basmati

Pfft.. posh rice! My lazy way is..

Put the kettle on. Minimum enough water for 3 mugs (by volume, not diners)

Pour 1 mug rice per person into a sieve

Shove under the tap to rinse while kettle is boiling

Shake well (as in enough to drain the rice, not wear it)

Chuck into a microwaveable bowl

Add 2 mug water to 1 mug rice (the extra mug(s) of water are for tea/coffee)

Cover with cling & nuke for 10-12mins (YMMV). With practice, should end up with no need to drain any water off. If there's crunchy bits on the bottom, ya cooked it too long.

Then the fancy bits. So instant sag aloo can be 1 tin spinach, 1 tin spuds. Drain spinach by simply using the tin lid as a plunger. Also works on spuds to turn them into mash. Unless you have one of those posh tin openers that cuts around the side instead of the top. Add a lump of butter, some seasonings and nuke that for 2-3mins. My local shops also sell tins & jars of paneer so can use that instead of spuds.

And lazy curry base.. Chop up some onion(s). Chuck into bowl. Add butter and seasoning. Nuke for 5-7mins or till onions are nice & soft*. Mix up some onion gravy powder into a curry-like consistency, combine with onions, add meat (cooked, or nuke long enough to avoid food poisoning) and serve with some chopped corriander on top to help disguise it's origins.

Much less risk of hot oil incidents and fires, unless you leave a metal spoon in the microwave...

* Can cheat by chopping a batch of onions up while bored/sober, then freezing them. Saves tears on cooking and freezing breaks cell walls, so cook softer, faster.

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: The real hangup is an instinct for self-preservation.

Buy my dehydrated water! Perfect for active lifestyles!

But think of jetpacks simply as heavy-lift versions of Amazon's delivery drones. What can possibly go wrong?

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: The real hangup is an instinct for self-preservation.

So given news around drones, I've been looking into miniture jet turbines and turbofans used in some drone and RC craft.. And a few people have turned into jetpacks. So it's possible to strap on enough thrust to get airborne, and steer yourself in the general direction of where you want to go. And ideally be able to avoid collisions, or just melting your shoes with the exhaust. Or melting someone below you's baseball cap.

So having a strap-on pack that could be programmed to fly people between destinations seems a lot more doable* than lifting something car-like.. Plus somewhat less hazardous if they fall out of the sky. Hazards being a big reason why I guess they're not being developed commercially, ie dodging liability issues.

*Possibly not suitable for true Scots, unless they're exhibitionists. Or to avoid upskirting issues, could make a pod, although for marketing reasons, best not to make that coffin shaped..

Dutch boyband hopes to reverse Brexit through the power of music

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Good job it's not a Russian band

I believe all the factual data available so far points to this being a falsehood. Can you quantify this position with actual data?

Like Europop, facts, data and music just ain't what they used to be. Problem is the 'facts' and 'data' are generally propoganda, and reliant on future outcomes that are speculative. So the effects of leaving the EU are predicated on deal or no deal.

We have some visibility of the current deal, and can speculate on the effects of no deal. So there's some.. interesting clauses, like Articles 100+ that cover EU staff, contractors and general hangers-on's immunities from paying tax and NI, and possibly other legal immunities. It also covers more interesting stuff like the ECB and EIB. Partly because thanks to years of QE, both are massive time bombs. A UK outside the EU won't be able to avoid the fallout, but inside, may be expected to contribute to the bail-outs. Again that's somewhat speculative.

What should be clearer is the way the EU's grown, both in cash terms and influence. Some issues are simple, so the 'Tampon tax'. The EU decides what stuff can be VAT exempt or zero rated. Post-EU, the UK can zero rate sanitary products. Or just cut VAT and possibly attract more tourists. Or add 50% VAT to Europop music..

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame

Jellied Eel Silver badge

The very dark side of internal security

We used to do the same thing back in the 1990s, but this wasn't a joke. After someone was caught with some CP on-prem we installed proxy and monitoring software,

We had one of those, but luckily we'd already got the proxy and logging. So police called, offender got fired on the spot and I think 5 years. Raised some interesting questions though, like making sure the logging could be useful as evidence. Plus policies and support for the ISG folks who sometimes had to look at some really nasty stuff. We ended up with a system where HR, ISG and counsel would view evidence and make a decision, and sometimes you could tell by their look that they'd seen something very bad.

It still suprises me that employees still do this though, despite warnings.

An upset tummy and a sphincter-loosening blackout: Lunar spaceflight is all glamour

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Proof! The moon landings were a hoax!

So I found this on the Interwebz, so it must be true!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJppeRWSD94

Some chaps building their own hybrid rocket and launching it. Objective was to hit 50,000+ feet. Note that to do that, they had to seek government permission. And if you skip to the end, you'll see the results.

Note that the parachute 'failed to deploy'. Note that the top sections of the recovered rocket were forced backwards. Obviously this was due to the rocket impacting on the ceiling. The suggestion that it was due to impact with the ground is simply the standad official coverup used in such cases, as at first pass, it's entirely plausible.. But then so is the nosecone containing the parachute impacting a barrier causing the failure to deploy.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: "almost ridiculous"

Sensible chap. Discovering cut corners (faux Apple!) or things that had been missed mid-flight, or on your way down to lithobrake in the Martian surface would not make for a good trip. At least the Moon would be a bit closer for potential rescue missions.

I still think we should be aiming at colonisation rather than just a brief excursion, so sending enough supples and construction material to make a mostly self-sustaining colony. But of course that's a wicked problem, expensive, and would leave colonists vulnerable to budget cuts. But then technology's moved on a lot in 50 years, and unmanned probes & vehicles are busily expanding our knowledge. So landing a human could become essentially a PR stunt, then 'been there, done that!' and nothing happens for another 50 years.

And I also found this-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovD0aLdRUs0

About the Rocketdyne F1 engines that powered Saturn 5. Two things struck me. One being the comment that original engines were assembled by highly skilled engineers, and we don't have those skills any more. I rather hope that isn't true, especially with people working on current space programmes. The other was the simplicity of the design, especially given NASA's redesign got it down to around 40 parts. Seems like that could make for a more afffordable design, which would be pretty crucial for sustainable ferry flights.

50 years ago: NASA blasts off the first humans to experience a lunar close encounter

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Remeber those heady days of the Apollo missions well

To be fair, "the US" doesn't want a wall. The Idiot in Chief and a small faction of his favorite loudmouths want a wall.

I think we just have too many idiots. Yes Wall! No Wall! If people spent their time and energy (and lobbying dollars) doing something more inspiring instead, we may have the moonbases I dreamed of as a kid.

Instead we have people blissfully unaware that a fair chunk of the US already has a wall, or at least fencing, and getting excited about Musk driving a car at 50mph through a sewer tunnel. But one small step for a Boring Company will produce great leaps for mankind! Soon, and for only a few billions more in subsidies, Musk and Bezos may be able to repeat what NASA managed all those years ago.

Or not, and Joss Whedon's vision of an Indo-Chinese space will be realised. US goverment shuts down because the mistakes of Hadrian must never be repeated!

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Something doesn't fly right with this story

Nope. Aleppo province. Our "good" guys. So actually, we can just ask a friendly "first responder" for the appropriate information.

I'm thinking of the January attacks against Hmeimim near Latakia. The BBC described the drones as "The UAVs featured an engine taped to a wooden frame, which carried two "home-made mines", it added." and there were some images later of the 'mines' looking like mortar shells. But RC plans + open source drone code and a modest amount of skill results in something nasty. Of course that later got spun into 'US drones' being used in that attack. Such is politics.

It will be more interesting to see the spec of what was used in the World Cup or some of the latest Israeli toys. They are designed to operate in the middle of an inhabited area which is actually a hell of a design problem.

AFAIK some of the Israeli attacks were countered by Iron Dome. So $400k missile vs <$1,000 drone.. Or often an equivalent of an ancient Congreve rocket. Israel can mitigate some of it's risks via it's attack warning system so people take shelter, and Iron Dome's trajectory tends to be in the general direction of Gaza/Lebanon. But as you say, it's a wicked problem. What goes up, must come down and in a war-time situation, collateral damage may be more acceptable than in SE England. Detection seems the simple bit, ie current counterbattery detection systesm, it's the servicing of the threat that's the challenge.

(And I think that's also a general UK problem, ie a lack of SAM systems)

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Something doesn't fly right with this story

In any case, we simply cannot apply the method which was used in Syria, namely mess with GPS. Also, I believe the origin of the method is Iran which is even less likely to share its toys on it. Trying to give every flying thing the wrong idea about where the ground level is at a major airport.... Forget it.

Well, if the airspace is closed, all friendly aircraft are grounded and the effect can be safely localised, then adding 500ft to GPS 'ground' level could work.. although it may have unintended effects on other GPS users. But probably why the military are assisting as they may have better radar to track drones and mess with them. Sadly, they don't have Pantsirs, which I think got a couple of gun kills on the Syria drones.

But the source of those could be fun.. Especially as they were used to attack Syrian/Russian assets from ISIL controlled areas, and Iran's been busily assisting in wiping them out. And of course the ones used against Israel may well have had Iranian help. Again the genie's out of the bottle, and the knowledge has been open-sourced.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Possible detection

For a device that is operating autonomously more destructive options exist including the HPEM source from Diehl

Yey! Technofetishism!

So.. alternatives could be a police attack drone fitted with a taser. If the <zap> didn't kill it, getting it tangled in the wires might down it. Or the drone (or helicopter) could have other non/less lethal and commercially available choices. Like beanbag rounds, net launchers, sticky-web launchers. Or for a cheap option, that trip-wire detecting favorite, cans of silly string to gum up the target.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Something doesn't fly right with this story

Radio links, GPS, accelerometers and compasses all work just fine in the rain . . .

This. And they worked just fine in Syria.. at least the ones that weren't shot down. But there's a few issues-

A relatively cheap attack has created massive disruption as we head into silly season. Which of course means massive cost, not just for Gatwick, but other airports given aircraft are out of position.

Because of the reporting, other idiots may think "Aha!", and repeat it. So expect large book to be thrown at any perpetrators that can be nabbed. Which may discourage some idiots, but not ones that may be doing this intentionally.

Drones could be autonomous, ie pre-programmed flight plans and no nice radio links to triangulate and locate the operator. Somehow, nutjobs in Syria (and Israel) have this tech, and have used it to do terrorist acts. So there'll be a lot of interest in recovering these 'industrial' drones, and their source. And if we ask nicely, Russia may share data about the drones they've recovered. And how designs and components are being sourced.

And given the genie has left it's bottle and gone for a joy-ride, it's what will happen next. So legislation around drone ownership, usage, possibly requiring transponders etc etc.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: How about a high power laser burst ?

Sticking a shotgun on a model aircraft has the problems that a) it's still firing projectile weapons potentially near civilians, b) it's flying a fixed wing plane at something that can go vertical very easily, c) there's the problem of where the debris goes. (Killing somebody to stop something that isn't actually endangering life is probably a PR no-no),

Guns on model aircraft also suffer a similar challenge as the A-10. Like managing recoil. Which the A-10 has already managed, and there are even scale model RC versions. Sans GAU-8 of course. A shotgun-style weapon would seem the most practical given a spread of projectiles would be more effective. Or a net laucher. But given mass of net, recoil would still be an issue.

(Debris is also the problem with firing a high powered laser at it)

If you leave more than an expanding cloud of vapour, then obviously you need MOAR POWAH! Which is the problem with laser weapons, ie being able to keep it on target until you've transfered enough energy into the target to do it any damage. Plus it'd be cheaper to compensate for damage caused by falling debris than it is for keeping a major airport closed.

Once the drone's been recovered though, boffins can start planning better countermeasures. And we can be pretty certain that governments and airport operators around the world are lookng at their own anti-drone plans and countermeasures.

American bloke hauls US govt into court after border cops 'cuffed him, demanded he unlock his phone at airport'

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Like many laws, a smokescreen for dominance

Using a smartphone and $2500 of currency?

Once the borderoids had established he wasn't carrying the materials or weapons to endanger the aircraft then there is no threat.

But there's still $2500 left on the table. Sorry, we suspect that money is going to be used for nefarious purposes and will seize it until you can prove otherwise. Then the agency gets to keep the cash or goods, and uses or auctions them off later. As we're nudged towards being a cashless society, cash users stand out as easy marks. I guess when border inspections are privatised, the ability to confiscate traveller's cash will help make those services self-funding, or more profitable.

For me, the outrage is not being forced to surrender a non-existent Facepalm login, it's being expected to surrender any presumption of innocence.

Oh Deer! Poacher sentenced to 12 months of regular Bambi screenings in the cooler

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

I remember the wardens saying that the hide was sold to help pay the expenses for the project.

PS: We're coming to England and Australia to make you own guns. Take That.

You'll be on a hiding to nothing. We still produce some of the world's finest sporting guns (AI included?). And perhaps bizarrely, our Firearms Act would have been printed and signed on vellum. Despite efforts of our less noble Lords to force a change to common paper.. But our common MPs refused and carried on the tradition. Not sure if the hides for producing vellum for our Acts come from the Crown's estates though.

(Australia also has a lot of hunting, especially for pest control trying to deal with all the invasive species that got introduced.)

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

While I get the idea of having a gun for self defense, the situation you describe is definitely not one where that would work. My advice is to remove yourself and anyone with you from danger as rapidly as possible and then to call the cops.

Sensible advice. A solid set of doors, exterior lighting and an Akita are probably a safer bet than a firearm. Especially if you post signs saying "Intruders are welcome to feed the dogs". Personally, I don't think firearms are safe in the UK for self-defence. Mainly because our intruders aren't armed, and most of our population has no idea about firearms safety. And thanks to the ban, there aren't many ranges left where people could train. And with our fairly dense population, mag dumping towards someone at your door may not please your neighbors across the street. Same with the idea of concealed carry & dealing with terrorists.. Which are thankfully rare, and having multiple armed people would make 'friendly fire' more likely, and a tougher time for the police specialists to identify friend from foe.

That being said, I'd like to be able to shoot pistols competitively again, but with range closures, I think that ship has sailed.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

Also, where friction often occurs is between farmers who are not pleased with wild animals raiding their crops and the state which claims the ability to dictate who can dispose of which animals.

Thanks, and I think there are similar frictions and regulations in the UK, especially for 'pest' species like rabbits. I think if a neighbour can show damage, then they can require the landowner deals with it. Same may hold true with deer given their territorial nature, but in my bit of the UK, we mostly get muntjacs.. In the town centre graveyard near me! They're dog-sized, and apparently not very tasty so left alone.

I should note for those who are unfamiliar with animal populations in the US in general, and especially deer, we have plenty of wildlife that encroaches into urban areas.

Yup. I watched the Alaskan State Troopers show that had a few encounters wth moose & bears in people's yards. Plus some gorgeous landscapes. The UK's main urban pest are foxes, which will have more fun now our government's proposing we put out food waste in a handy tub. Which won't be fox proof and will add to the mess. At least we don't have bears!

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

You've conveniently forgotten that Britain used to allow private ownership if firearms and HUNTING?

They're still allowed, and hunting is still one of the main reasons for having a firearm. Or pest control. Or just target shooting. It's even possible to get a concealed carry permit for a pistol, but you'd need very very compelling reasons to get that licence. Then there's Northern Ireland, which has a somewhat more relaxed approach & where competitive shooters tend to base from. Main difference is being able to give a good reason for owning a firearm, and it being practical. Want a .600 Nitro express? Show you're a big game hunter and it could be added to your FAC. You'd probably not get one for hunting in the UK because we don't have big game, and zoos get upset if you hunt there. .223 or .308 are common for deer stalkers though.

But that was taken away (with your balls)

Our balls are just fine, and spoons await winners of shooting matches at Bisley. Plus a chair ride. I guess we Brits have an odd relationship with firearms. Or maybe it's just Bisley.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

In the US, there are a variety of laws concerning what can be hunted and when due to the variety of jurisdictions.

On that note (and I agree with your other comments).. What happens on private land? So assuming a large enough chunk of land to support a deer herd, would culling be a matter for the land owner, or would that still be permitted/regulated? I'm assuming a sensible landowner who understands why there are closed & open seasons. At least in the UK, poaching's traditionally been for food rather than trophies though.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

Utter horse puckey, because I've never, ever heard of a hunter surveying the population numbers before taking an animal. EVER.

That's where legal hunting vs poaching comes in. Any decent hunter (ie not Italian) knows that if you blast everything, you'll be left with nothing to hunt*. See the American Passenger Pigeon for more info. Then it comes down to who's land you're on, and who's managing it. So say, Scotland, convince a gnarly game keeper you're safe and competent with a rifle, and he'll take you to the deer he wants culled.

Same is (I think) true for the US, where numbers are factored into the number of permits issued or kills allowed. And the US wildlife officers have a LOT of search & seizure powers to deal with miscreants.

*Liberals are a protected species and can't be hunted.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: 'Murica never ceases...

Rather than just losing hunting privileges, these chaps should have also lost firearm privileges. No need to catch them hunting - find them in possession of a hunting rifle and in the slammer they go again.

AFAIK, if you're convicted of a felony, you lose the right to firearms and it can be another felony if you're then caught with a rifle.

But I don't think these folks were true hunters. I've always beileved (and practiced) that you eat what you kill* and these were just trophy hunters. Probably to sell those on. I also think proper wildlife management is more humane than letting populations get out of control, diseased or just injured from horny bucks fighting.

As for punishment.. At least they weren't dressed up in furry deer costumes and released on open season.

*Had to be discrete about that one in the Army..

Pork pulled: Plug jerked out of beacon of bacon delight

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: 404: Bacon Not Found

That's Hormel, purveyors of the finest bacon substitute. Also in bulk for spam carving competitions.. those crazy Yanks. We Brits do understand the benefits of Spam fitting nicely into most sandwich toasters, and filling the need for food, now, and not involving naked flames.

O little town of Bethlehem, Georgia. How still we see your internet lie... US govt throws another $600m at rural broadband

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: No, they're not

It's just good'ol empire building.

Why(TF) is the USDA doing broadband? There's already a funding mechanism via USO that doles out money (minus overheads) to fund broadband. More agencies, more overheads and more likely it'll be the US rural provision's inefficient and fragmented. Which kinda explains the data accuracy as well. FCC wants it by census area, but that's little use for planning construction.

A more logical and less wasteful approach should be to have the FCC as prime bag man, then doling out the money to munis, who should have far more accurate property maps that can be used to plan works/issue RFPs.

Vitamin Water gets massive publicity for new flavor: Utter BS

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Target audience

Target audience? Splendid idea! Sadly less ethical (or lawful) than branding 'Vitamin Water'. Or could explain why there's pressure to ban high capacity magazines.

But this being the Internet, could you make >$100,000 placing your phone inside a bottle of 'Vitamin Water' and livestreaming it for a year?

Small American town rejects Comcast – while ISP reps take issue with your El Reg vultures

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Good for Charlemont!

Yeeeees, but. The mom and pop ISPs were mostly dialup operations where the major infrastructure was with the telco to connect the user via modem to the ISP's connection point.

I blame the Internet! So the US has had a Universal Service Obligation, a charge added to people's phone bills to subsidise the cost of telephony provision. That allowed some mom and pop providers to collect that subsidy and become service providers. FCC decides who contributes, and USAC collects & disburses the billions.

The Net Neutrality angle is good to consider too.

As the orange one would say, bigly! Problem with USO is times change, and canny operators lobby the FCC for exemptions. So unless the FCC can get the rules changed, USO contributions shrink as consumers shift services away from those that carry a USO charge. Sell VoiP, you should pay USO. Give it away, and you don't.

And the real elephant in the room is content. Basic Internet, ie browsing. email and voice don't require much more than a basic 2Mbps DSL connection. But throw streaming video into the mix and you start wanting 10Mbps+. Yet there's no USO contribution from content providers, even though they're the ones driving up bandwidth requirements, and thus cost.

Hence why content companies have/are spending millions lobbying for net 'neutrality'.. Especially if that means they aren't then expected to pay a percentage of their revenues into a USO fund.. Which USAC can then (mis)manage & fund improved (or even basic) rural broadband.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Simple solution works everywhere

Any provider that wants to offer service simply establishes a presence in the carrier-neutral central office, and immediately has access to all of the town's subscribers.

That might work for access to POTS, ie basic telephony. Problem with delivering Internet services is the distance. Telephone lines & services can work over a couple of kilometers, high speed broadband, much less so.

The problem the US has (along with other countries) is simple geography. Towns may have a minimum lot size, so populations are more spread out and the cost of cabling is higher. Regulations may allow CO access, but often don't for branch exchanges where you'd need to place active kit. Or you'd need to get permits to build street cabs, power those and cable to end points.

Munis could help themselves by local ordinances that mandate duct provision and sharing for new developments, but that doesn't help existing. Adding full or microducting is a marginal additional cost on new roads, but a lot more expensive to do stand-alone, especially if there's costs for traffic management thrown in.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Munis gonna muni..

It's really no different than building roads or sewers. And now that POTS service is being abandoned because it's no longer profitable, Internet is really the communications system of the future.

That's where munis may also have some handy advantages. Rural broadband rollout is basically a civil engineering challenge. The tech side is pretty simple and cheap compared to construction. If the municipality owns the roads, sewers etc, then it has an ability to combine public works on those with provision of ducting for fibre. That could be in/under the road, or verge if wayleaves cover those. And it may have space in muni buildings to install head-end infrastructure. So basically a small incremental cost vs trying to cover the whole civils costs for an ISP.

There may be some additional bonuses, like not ripping up the muni's own infrastructure during hedge trimming or road surfacing as well..

Downside is the muni would need to pay to support the services it's providing, which would increase depending on how complicated they try to make it. Providing an xDSL solution would mean sourcing modems, building out as Ethernet could reduce the need for NIDs and supporting CPE. Done smartly, it could potentially save money by rolling existing, seperate muni Internet costs into a single, self-provided service.

Taylor's gonna spy, spy, spy, spy, spy... fans can't shake cam off, shake cam off

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Who? Read the article!

In what appears to be a nightmare dressed like a daydream,

Sounds like it sums up Ms Swift perfectly! Apparently she may also be doing cats in an attempt to break teh Interwebz..

Google CEO tells US Congress Chocolate Factory will unleash Dragonfly in China

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Sponsored links are not search results. They're ads.

They're still manipulated results. Rather than the best match for a search query, they're the best buy. Manipulating results is Google's core business, along with SEO firms who offer to manipulate Google.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Google it

Bullshit. And even if it did. What business is it of Google to censor the web?

That's why congresscritters and other politicians are taking an interest. Google is a private enterprise, so can set it's own rules. If users break those rules, Google is free to ToS them. But Google's a big beast and gateway for a lot of the world, so has the ability to influence people, not just flog ads.

If it's using it's influence to bias results to the left or right, that's its own choice. It's execs have been pretty open about supporting Democrats. As long as that's within lobbyin/election funding guidelines, that's legal.. Especially if we're aware of any bias.

Where I think it gets murkier is when it gets into censorship, and 'free speech' or First Amendment issues. Some speech is protected, some is not and different countries have different laws regarding what's acceptable that Google must obey, if it operates in those jurisdictions. Hate speech is hate, regardless if it's thrown left or right.

Politically I think the web giants are going to face pressure to comply with electoral rules, so influencers can be identified. So "Trump is an idiot" comes with a tag showing it's sponsored by the DNC. And just did my bit for SEO I guess.

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Instead people come up with these crazy conspiracy theories that Google deliberately made that happen.

But the official line is.. "It's not possible for an individual employee or group of employees to manipulate our search results,"

Orly? So how do those sponsored links get to the top? Someone should have explained to their congresscritter that SEO is a multi-million $$$ business, especially given their campain funds probably get spent in that direction. Or it's just something that's done by people/groups for lolz. Shame Congress didn't ask what the going rate for "idiot' or "useful idiot" would be as adwords.

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