* Posts by Bitsucker

16 posts • joined 5 Feb 2009

Gadget makes bombs, mines go off 'on average' 20m away


It's all about the mines already in the ground...

Although it probably won't deal with the really old ones that are purely mechanical.

However the problem for many ex war zones are the mines already sown, not those yet to be planted.

Suspended-animation cold sleep achieved in lab


Suspended animation?

In every one of the suspended animation examples listed in the article the subject had a reduced (core?) body temperature. But all of them appeared to be substantially hotter than their surroundings when found. So how can the article say that they had "literally frozen to death"?

Also, it could be questioned whether the subjects really did suffer no ill effects. I believe that surgeons in the old Soviet Union used to perform heart surgery having stopped the patient's heart. Rather than using the high-techery then available in the west, the surgeons cooled the patients down to 5%C by placing ice over their bodies. Western physicians who studied the outcomes of the 'successful' procedures (those where the patient survived) as well as the blood passed through the patients once during surgery & retained, concluded that the brain suffered damage when blood flow was restricted, even at very low temperatures. And all of the examples listed in your article were warmer than 5%C when found.

X-51 hypersonic scramjet test: Flameout at Mach 5?

Black Helicopters

Warheads? Why warheads?

The Waverider weighs about 4000 Kg (dunno how much of that is fuel though). If it's reached Mach 5 so far, that equates to a collision impact energy of up to just over a ton of TNT. That's about as much as a standard Tomahawk cruise missile carries, and 30% more than the Tomahawk warhead used against hardened targets.

If a militarised Waverider could be aimed accurately then just hitting something would probably destroy it, and (as the Youtube video of a F4 being driven into a concrete wall shows) nothing identifiable/incriminating would be left afterwards.

TwitPic-nicking Mail nicked


According to Lord Gnome...

It was always referred to in Private Eye as the 'Sexpress'.

Labour candidate tweets postal votes


The whole thing is a sorry saga...

I (sadly) am a political anorak. The sequence of events appears to be

1) Postal votes allegedly opened and counted. (Under election law when opened in the presence of party agents they have to be kept face down, although agents are entitled to turn over individual votes to verify their authenticity).

2) Kerry McCarthy tweets '1st postal votes counted', presumably to cheer up the Labour party & followers.

3)The tweet is rebroadcast by the Labour Party & at least one prominent union official.

4) Guido Fawkes alerts the Bristol East Returning officer.

5) McCarthy deletes her own tweet, but the original tweet continues to propagate. It remains on the LabourParty tweet account for at least four hours.

6) McCarthy apologises and say that she is a 'penitent sinner'. Later she says that the whole thing was 'just a joke'.

So if the data is false, why did she apologise, delete her tweet & advise anyone who retweeted it that they had also broken the law? If the data is true, why did McCarthy allege that the Returning Officer was relaxed about it, and 'these things happen all the time'?

Gizmodo faces visit from cops over 'found' iPhone

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A finder is obliged to notify the Police - but not to surrender it. I once found a very valuable ring & gave it to my mother to hand in. She took it to the Cop Shop but refused to surrender it, after the counter staff said they intended to 'transfer it across London' (but refused to say where to). Outcome - she retained custody of the ring & 6 weeks later could keep it.

Kent police bring obscenity charge over online chat


But that's what the Police do...

If the Police arrest someone then they'll try to include as many 'crimes' as possible in the charge sheet for at least three reasons:-

a) By throwing everything possible at the 'perp', the CPS may be encouraged to take the case to court. The more charges, the higher profile of the case.

b) Some of the allegations include child porn. The Police pursue those cases with a religious zeal. Anything that might tangentially be associated, if it's not an image can be described as contravening another existing act, in this case the Obscene Pubs Act.

c) Police forces in England (at least) are put into league tables based on how good their crime clear up rate is. Most forces have enthusiastically embraced 'administrative detections', where incidents/acts that would in the past have been dealt with informally are now deconstructed, tabulated into sequences of 'crimes' (committed both by 'perpetrator' & 'victim'), arrests made, cautions issued. Nothing has been done to REDUCE real crime; the only winners are the Police, whose crime detection & clear-up rates are artificially elevated, and 'difficult to solve' crime is ignored in preference of administrative detections, which carry as much weight in the crime stats.

RAF's new military airlifter finally lumbers into the air


Super Tucano?

The RAF already use the Short Tucano prop trainer to train fast jet pilots, as it has similar handling characteristics to the Jet Provost, the previous training aircraft.

Embraer now make the Super Tucano, a relatively cheap multi role aircraft that could be deployed more effectively in places like Afghanistan, where a squadron of fighters overhead allows much more time over target and repeat attacks by the same aircraft if necessary. Even the US has toyed with buying about 100 of them. If we wanted to pay through the nose then I suppose that Britain could make their own versions.


UK air traffic control goes after Wikileaks

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Thanks for the heads up!

Fascinating video. Thought that ATC seemed to keep the show on the road, despite losing a runway. Loved the bit where the Captain of the 777 was advised that he was broadcasting the aircraft evacuation message!

EFF seeks answers from Facebook police

Big Brother

Increasingly intrusive surveillance is here to stay

For a roadmap to the future, check out this Feb 09 Grauniad article on the more intrusive future of surveillance:-


As far as putting personal data on Friendface, several friends have to disclose their websites/Facebook pages to their employers. They have (at least) one 'tame' Facebook identity for disclosure, and another for their real interactions. I believe that the only data that Facebook demands is a unique name & date of birth, both of which can be invented easily. Anyone who puts something online that they'd be afraid of Plod (or worse) getting hold of must be reckless or deranged.

UK jails schizophrenic for refusal to decrypt files


It's not a 13 month sentance!

The defendant was jailed for 13 months, then consigned to a lunatic asylum indefinitely. On what grounds has he been sectioned? The article mentioned no reasons, other than he refused to cooperate with the authorities. That's the kind of thing that used to take place in the Soviet Union.

Grenade because people should be getting angry...

Mandy not swayed by ents mogul on illegal file sharing


I'm not bovvered...

Other readers have referred to the pathological lying record of Peter Mandelson, so I won't (further).

However, when the subject of piracy detection (and the supposed ineffectiveness of Peerguardian2) was recently discussed on a torrent site I use, one of the administrators said the best way was to keep a low profile by using private trackers and avoiding mainstream stuff.

The Times kills off blogger anonymity

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Well done Times!

How does revealing the identity of a blogger advance the causes of journalism or free speech? I wonder if one reason for outing him is because the Times offered nothing remotely similar, and 'if you can't join them, beat them'. Maybe there was a public interest in disclosing that the blogger served in Lancashire, but none in releasing his name.

Woman sues over Vista to XP 'downgrade' charge

Gates Horns

Me too!

I can symphasise with Emma Alvarado - I bought a laptop last May & had to pay an additional £45ish for XP Pro instead of Vista. No regrets for buying what I think is a better operating system, but I'd like to know whether a lawsuit to recover the extra cost would have any chances here?

Bill, because he's probably responsible for this.

NSA offering 'billions' for Skype eavesdrop solution



The article mentions that Skype updates encryption algorithms regularly. In the UK the network operator 3 is selling mobile (cellular) phones with Skype built in. Does anyone know if the encryption on those phones is updated? If not, would Skype calls to those phones be less secure than those between PCs?

Jacqui Smith cracks down on gangs via computers, closets

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Another opportunity to stifle free comment?

It's not that far fetched to envisage people being arrested for wearing clothing with anti-government opinions printed on it - there are numerous examples on the ACLU and Youtube websites of precisely that already happening in the USA. To pick an example from Youtube, a couple were arrested for wearing T-shirts with identical anti-Bush logos - what is to stop the Police here from applying the proposed laws on the grounds that such clothing "prevent identification"?

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