* Posts by Peter2

1060 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Why you'll never make really big money as an AI dev

Peter2
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Having programmed primitive AI's I still believe that I am not in any real danger of seeing a truly intelligent AI in my lifetime.

The definitions most people use to describe AI as being intelligent seem to be "It did something I programmed it to do, but didn't expect it to do" which could be applied to either chess programs 25 years ago or an overly complex macro in Excel.

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Microsoft finally allows hosted desktops on multi-tenant hardware

Peter2
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Re: Conesuming need

Microsoft also wants Windows to be offered however customers might conceivably consider consuming it."

Good. Rename Win7 to "WinClassic for Business". Price it at about £1 per user, per month. Include ongoing security patches for about fifty years and otherwise just leave it alone. You'll get plenty of people buying it.

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Burglary, robbery, kidnapping and a shoot-out over… a domain name?!

Peter2
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I don't think the domain name as property is so much of an issue compared to turning up at somebodies house with a lethal weapon and making threats to "do this or die".

In any case, Kidnap appears to be defined as "to seize and detain or carry away by unlawful force or fraud and often with a demand for ransom"

He was detained by unlawful force and actions were demanded in exchange for his release. I'd say that meets the definition, presumably it was thought that this charge was provable and serious enough that other more difficult to prove charges were surplus to requirements.

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Segway hoverboard hijack hack could make hipsters eat pavement

Peter2
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If you can gain control, couldn't you just turn 30 degrees left or right and ignore user input? That'd give a roughly 50% chance of dumping the rider into traffic, assuming that it's on the pavement.

Selling something that inadequately secured ought to be a criminal offense.

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Let's harden Internet crypto so quantum computers can't crack it

Peter2
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Re: Possible deadly flaw - compromised software

One more reason to use open source software then?

Honestly, I think that most if not all encryption programs are probably compromised anyway, as the heads of GHCQ have seemed pretty unconcerned when questioned by parliment about terrorists moving to using encryption. That leaves the options being that:-

1) Encryption is compromised in some form at the moment.

2) The head of GHCQ was both incompetent and poorly breifed.

Which is more likely depends on your point of view. Personally, I feel that the chances of encryption products being secure against government level effort are (imo) likely to be mathematically indistinguishable from zero because the GCHQ staff are highly motivated, quite knowledgable and working on problems full time with numbers of high caliber staff that (for instance) Open SSL can only dream of with their one staff member and ten volunteers.

The heartbleed bug should have once and forever removed any illusion about open source encryption being absolutely perfect.

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Man facing $17.5m HPE fraud case has contempt sentence cut by Court of Appeal

Peter2
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Re: confused

generally UK courts (or judges are pretty relaxed about faults in the prosecution evidence. Certainly illegally obtained evidence is quite often used in prosecutions with nary a mention.

That's because they aren't "faults" with evidence in the UK. Evidence is evidence. If anybody has material relevant to the matter then it may be produced in court either either by the defense or prosecution with no regard to the legality of how it happened to arrive before the courts.

Using it in court is however an admission of guilt of any crime committed obtaining the information and you might be sued seperately for those offenses.

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User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

Peter2
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Re: One week at Bigger Blue.

"There are some shops that require support staff to be in trousers/shirt/tie/nice shoes because it is what looks professional."

I'm working in a company like that at the moment. Doesn't bother me a bit, personally. Assuming you get anything but the cheapest most painful clothes they are perfectly comfortable to work in, although white shirts and fixing printers where the users have smashed open the toner cartridges putting them in doesn't mix particularly well.

What sort of psu fan did he get his tie caught in btw? Just wondering as having worn a tie day to day for about 15 years any of the equipment fans I have run into in my career have been turning the wrong way to suck ties into as they blow air out of the case, and have guards that would prevent a tie going into them in any case.

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Electric driverless cars could make petrol and diesel motors 'socially unacceptable'

Peter2
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Re: For inner cities

Its quite easy to imagine a sort of automated electric taxi service, because usage will be high enough and dead time low enough.

Cities have their own set of problems when you think about it.

Firstly, you'd need time out to charge the battery, which is in fact a huge array of 18650 batteries, identical to that used on laptop's. In laptops lithium batteries tend to last for about a thousand charge cycles as a rule of thumb before you have to replace the battery because it won't hold a charge.

Secondly, if it doesn't require a meatbag in the drivers seat then it's going to (in practice) be run 24x7 to take advantage of not requiring rest breaks, food, time with family etc resulting in fewer cars doing more mileage. What's that going to do to the battery?

(assuming 1k charges until dead)

@ 1 charge per day = ~ 3 years life.

@ 2 charges per day = ~ a year and a half life.

@ 3 charges per day = 9 months life.

And a thousand charges on a laptop you get what, optimistically 10% of the rated capacity of the battery? If the full charge at new is ~300miles then I'd imagine a 10% capacity (ie 30 mile range) would be a problem for an electric car so they'd require replacement at shorter intervals than my thousand charge rule of thumb. Regardless, I think the electric car companies are going to be making "this is for home use only" rules for the battery rentals if anybody did start using them in any real way and the battery rentals cost a couple of hundred quid a month for home users as it is (more than I pay for fuel doing the uk average mileage!) before adding the cost of the electricity to charge it with.

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Dial S for SQLi: Now skiddies can order web attacks via text message

Peter2
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Re: Katyusha

Strictly an area denial weapon since the rockets were unguided

Yes and no. There are two possible routes towards hitting a target. The first is the western method, which is to spend a large amount on a small number of highly accurate weapons, which culminated in the laser guided bomb in the 1990's which should in theory land within a meter of the aim point.

The Russians took a different view, which was that "quantity becomes quality at some point" and just threw so many (cheap) unguided rockets at an area that by law of odds your certain to hit both the target, and most other things in the same grid square of the map. The WW2 Wehrmacht would probably bitterly agree that this is acceptably effective, and if Wikipedia's article on the latest Katyusha type vehicle is to be believed the "9A52-4 Tornado" throws 69 * 72 = 4968 cluster bombs per rocket * 6 rockets = 29808 cluster bombs per single vehicle salvo per launch in the general direction of the enemy.

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AI vans are real – but they'll make us suck at driving, warn boffins

Peter2
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In 30 years people won't own cars. There's no such need, how many hours per week do you really use it?

Do you, by any chance happen to live in a city with busses going every possible direction that you could ask for, that appear roughly every 5 minutes?

Some of us in that wide open space sometimes called "the countryside" that has a one bus every two hours service with public transport, and the bus only goes on one route by the longest and most torturous route possible to get the greatest number of passengers. Personally, driving saves me just shy of 3 hours a day compared to public transport on my trip to work.

If I'm not driving in 30 years then I feel that it's likely to be because:-

1) I've retired

2) I'm working remotely.

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Peter2
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Re: Complete or not at all...

one fatality per 100,000,000 miles. At what date do the autonomous vehicle manufacturers reckon on being able to beat that?

Immediately, assuming that:-

1) Two autonomous vehicles crash into each other, rather than one manned and one autonomous vehicle crashing.

2) nobody is in the autonomous vehicles. ;)

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Peter2
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Re: That's only too true

Or the manual driver in an automatic and watch him make an emergency stop every time he tried to change gear!

As a manual driver who's driven an automatic (hire car) I resent this.

I only did that once before I discovered that the easiest way of driving an automatic (at least for a manual trained driver) is using only one foot for both controls. ;)

It's not that different otherwise. Apart from the fuel consumption.

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The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab

Peter2
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The device is a disaster. It's won the Microsoft internal political battle that everything should be developed for touchscreens and thus has antagonised the substantial majority of Microsoft customers who are actually using a desktop and want a sane interface for their day to day work.

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Hackers able to turbo-charge DJI drones way beyond what's legal

Peter2
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Re: Conspiracy or cockup?

I expect the number is going to be quite limited.

Personally I would imagine that were you caught breaking a no fly zone with a bit of equipment that has deliberately been modified to allow you to break that no fly zone then your going to end up in trouble. A lot of trouble.

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Judge used personal email to send out details of sensitive case

Peter2
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Re: Elephant in the room ...

The judge is the court in family cases. No jury involved.

And look, he emailed the draft and final judgements instead of having his clerk print them and posting them snail mail by second class post two weeks later. This is not a case of there being a miscarriage of justice. Nobody is even alleging that.

Frankly, I think that most people with contact with a court would rather that the judge be able to email judgements quickly, preferably in a more regular noreply@ email address that's not monitored by anybody to prevent any accusation of wrongdoing.

If one party wants to communicate behind the other parties back then you quietly have a word with the judge, and don't leave records of it. You wouldn't do it in writing, and definitely not by email.

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Former GCHQ boss backs end-to-end encryption

Peter2
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Re: No longer in post -> Can speak truthfully

The ones still in the job act as if their families would be murdered in their beds if they simply spoke honestly.

Anybody in the civil service is (by the civil service rules) required to be strictly impartial on political issues. If they pointed out that politicians are either clueless or lying gits then they'd be fired quite quickly.

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Google blows $800k on bots to flood the UK with 30,000 'articles' a month

Peter2
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Re: wonderful

But it is inherent that publishing *any* story has to have involved some feelings and views.

Which people are generally happy with.

However when somebody has an agenda and then twists all news reporting to fit within this agenda, then this becomes propaganda and not news. Being caught doing this is why trust in journalists has dropped below that of politicians and used car salesmen.

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Feelin' safe and snug on Linux while the Windows world burns? Stop that

Peter2
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Re: Crickbait

I usually blame the user, since it's ultimately the user's responsibility not to click unknown links, open unexpected attachments and generally act like a bellend.

Personally, in this case I blame the admin. Windows comes with tools bundled (free of charge FFS!) to disable scripting, file downloads, you name it. You can even make windows only run anything vaguely executable on a whitelist by either path or via hash which makes it much more tolerant of users well, using it.

On a separate note, most of the exceedingly loud "*nix is better than everything else" people haven't worked in IT, aren't working in IT and aren't likely to in any capacity above 1st line support.

You can tell because they fail to understand basics like "The business requires $software-A. This runs on $OS-B." End result, company deploys $OS-B to run $software-A. Instead of accepting this, they advocate designing and creating a new bit of software to run on their preferred OS instead of actually doing what the management who own the company have decided to do, presumably thinking that IT has more control over the company than the CEO does and doesn't need to worry about timescales or budgets.

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Boffins' five eyes surprise: Bees correct colour for ambient light

Peter2
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"never take photos towards the sun"

Taking pictures toward the sun is such a well-established pictorial technique that it has it's own name: contre jour.

When your deliberately trying to get a particular effect, ie totally hidden features of person and backlit by the sun, yes.

When the ignorant are trying to get the cheap crappy camera on a smartphone to try and get a decent photograph of facial features in their selfie in spite of the utterly appalling lighting caused by user ignorance of photography fundementals, no.

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Peter2
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Decent cameras would make a huge improvement in picture quality. Almost as much as people knowing the basics of photography, in fact. (like never take photos towards the sun, always away from it etc)

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Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender

Peter2
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Re: @Christian Berger, re: stupid bills.

My favourite instance of this is a government department.

They sent us a letter stating that we had made a one pence overpayment, and please find enclosed cheque coin (handwritten amendment). There was a one pence piece taped to the bottom of the letter in lieu of the cheque.

Clearly somebody decided that they couldn't be assed with the hassle of getting a cheque made out, approved and signed for one penny, and so had disposed of some shrapnel in their pocket to get tick off the job.

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Happy 4th of July: Norks tests another missile

Peter2
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China isin't really propping them up.

Ok, China was providing food and coal. they stopped doing both IIRC some while ago after the NK chaps assassinated the alternate leader for NK that China was keeping alive as a threat to the Kim boy. Now what do you expect them to do, invade?

Nobody wants to invade a country armed with nukes with an unstable leader in charge. "don't do anything to make him press the button" is the rule of the day, while doing everything short of that to signal displeasure.

Short of shelling the border (with food parcels and consumer goods with nice notes about "we don't want to fight you, please have these instead of nuking us- signed rest of the world" there isn't really a huge amount that can be done about NK that I can see.

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Dead serious: How to haunt people after you've gone... using your smartphone

Peter2
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Surely, as IT pros, our first tweet from beyond the grave should be something like:

Or mentioning the connection goes via hell, and the firewall there is ancient and keeps crashing due to the heat and nobody wants to go down there to have a look?

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

Peter2
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Re: Cost is the smaller concern

"For the NHS cost is the biggest concern and will become increasingly so."

When working in NHS county level IM&T the biggest concern was avoiding generating "clinical risk" (ie bodies) as a result of IT failures.

Just saying.

Seriously, most IT professionals really don't care which OS systems run on as long as the required software runs on that OS. SystmOne & EMIS are web based now anyway so they should be good enough for a wide swathe of healthcare applications.

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HMS Windows XP: Britain's newest warship running Swiss Cheese OS

Peter2
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Re: @Ben1892

I had a tour around a nuclear power station some years ago, and was able to gaze into the control room from the gallery. Nuclear power stations run on bespoke code written some time in the 1960's and not modernised much since. They just stuck a new console with a modern monitor in a retro style case at the end of the desk for the modern trendy stuff.

An approach which should have been followed with the QE class carriers, given that they have a design life of 50 years and might last longer than that if the government in around 2060 decides to do a relatively cheap life extension program to allow them to spend more on vote buying schemes instead of a relatively expensive replacement program.

By the time they certify all of the programs for WinX then that'll probably be out of support irrespective of the "WinX will be supported forever" thing from Microsoft. Unless you think that WinX is still going to be in support in 50 years aka 2067. Put into perspective, VAX-11/VMS was released 40 years ago, five years before a little company called Microsoft was formed.

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Australian govt promises to push Five Eyes nations to break encryption

Peter2
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Re: Conservative = tech-illiterate ?

At the same time the urge to observe everyone and everything seems to be very strong with his group.

If I was feeling snippy, I'd point out that these programs really got underway while liberals were in government in most countries. But look, breaking it down into political groups just leads to both groups throwing buns at each other pointing out which is more repressive and worse than the other and that doesn't get anybody anywhere.

The problem is authoritarianism versus liberalism, and pretty much all politicians are massively authoritarian or else they wouldn't be trying to persuade people to elect them as their rulers for a few years.

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Men charged with theft of free newspapers

Peter2
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Seven years is the maximum sentence awardable by a judge for theft. This particular offense is probably going to result in a small fine and an admonishment not to be seen in front of the courts again, if that.

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Ex-NASA bod on Gwyneth Paltrow site's 'healing' stickers: 'Wow. What a load of BS'

Peter2
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Re: @andy 103: @45RPM

The problem, as mentioned elsewhere, is when kids get a thorough education in bullshit and not in actual fact.

Close. Very close.

The problem is essentially that kids get a through education in "argumentum ad verecundiam", that of the argument from authority. "Trust me, I know because I'm the teacher." or "the book says so, and the book is right". Teaching via this methods encourages charlatans to come out with people saying "this has SCIENCE in it. BELEIVE my claims or be ANTI SCIENCE", despite this approach actually being religion, not science. Science merely asks that you observe and record carefully, and tell other people the results in a coherent manner to ensure that they can confirm the same result so they can test your claim out if they think it's wrong. Nothing more.

Secondly, ever longer periods of education leads the people leaving the education system to think that they are all knowing, in a classic Dunning-Kruger effect rather than realising that for the most part they are merely being trained to a point that employers have some confidence it's worth paying them while providing further training and paying for somebody else to be providing the training.

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Waymo: We've got a hot smoking gun in Uber 'tech theft' brouhaha

Peter2
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Re: Okay...

The problem from Ubers point of view is that if Uber is only being "disruptive" by claiming that laws don't apply to it and playing very fast and loose and encouraging everybody else to do the same. That culture is why you visibly have problems like discrimination, sexism and a lawsuit from Google about stealing trade secrets, and those things are probably the tip of a larger iceberg.

Get somebody in who follows the law (and forces everybody else to) and the company is toast, and everybody there knows it.

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Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

Peter2
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Bootnote

Your correspondent knows a thing or two about long-range target shooting out to 1,000yds with a .308" Win Target Rifle, as defined by the NRA of the UK. Extreme long-range shooting with larger cartridges isn't something I've done much of, so if you think I'm wrong above, weigh into the comments section and show your working.

1,000 yards? Mere middling range. The Lee Metford rifle of 1888 was equipped with volley sights out to 3500 yards and they hit people at that range. (admittedly by telling an entire regiment "10 rounds volley fire at the target 3,500 yards in front of you, FIRE!")

Not quite single shot sniping, but shooting at this range isn't really, is it? ;)

By the way, nice shooting if you can actually hit anything at a thousand yards. That's a long shot.

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IBM will soon become sole gatekeepers to the realm of tape – report

Peter2
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Re: Magnetic Drives?

I'm curious if you honestly feel like the future of backup destinations is in magnetic tape media. Although SSD prices are still higher, the prices are dropping very quickly

Honestly, I think the future of offline offsite backups is in tape and I think HDD's are toast except possibly as online onsite single backup copies to save the hassle of getting last nights tape. SSD's aren't going to be affordable enough for offline offsite backups for a LONG time.

The catalogue price for a single LTO6 tape is £30 for 3.25TB uncompressed capacity. All you need to is ask, and you can get about 20% off of that if you have an account manager and are buying any sensible number, but anyway.

SSD storage costs are not in that ballpark. To get to 3250GB you'd need an awful lot of individual drives. Basically your looking at about £1000 worth of SSD's for the same level of storage and most companies doing tape run a month series of tapes.

Yeah, the price of flash is falling and that's a lazy comparison of looking at a last generation tape (LTO6 is last gen, LTO7 is available with double the storage) versus multiplying the space of the cheapest consumer SSD's which you wouldn't do, but the prices are roughly indicative. Even if the price fell by a factor of ten, tape vendors would still be saying "SSD's are triple the price!"

And that ignores that there is a tape roadmap out to LTO10, with a native capacity of 48TB per tape which the tape vendors will be marching along while the SSD price falls which is probably going to widen the gap to continue making tape viable.

So for offsite offline backups, there is little competition. Online backups are another matter, but for the cost versus risk factor it's not worth not doing offline storage of company endingly critical data.

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Peter2
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The exact size of the HDD doesn't really matter. My premise was that a company could go down a "no further R&D, ruthlessly reduce production costs" route and significantly impact the market, potentially keeping HDD's alive more or less indefinitely and potentially even wipe out tape for off site archiving.

I don't honestly think it's likely since tape does have a lot of compelling advantages but it's far from being impossible that radical action could keep HDD's in more or less mainstream use for a lot longer.

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Peter2
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Another, and perhaps more optimistic, conclusion is this: "Spectra believes that a probable long-term scenario is one in which flash technology and tape will coexist, and become the prevailing storage technologies for online and archive needs, respectively."

I think that's reasonably probable.

Though if an HDD manufacturer axed R&D and spending on new production equipment and just kept churning out 1TB drives on their existing equipment and got the price down to something like £20 per terabyte drive then that'd screw SSD's on storage and also be in a position to screw the rationale for tape- at that price if somebody created a briefcase full of HDD's connectable via USB3 you'd get the same storage as LTO7 at a similar cost without needing an expensive tape drive.

Difficult to foresee, the future is.

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'No decision' on Raytheon GPS landing system aboard Brit aircraft carriers

Peter2
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I really don't get why both the MOD & industry don't just turn around and say the actual situation.

"Yep, this is the first 70,000 ton ship we've built and it's got a lot of automation and systems never used before. All of them have to be tested and certified as working together before the acceptance trials are completed, and any problems found are fixed according to the original contract. It'll probably be available by ($actualdate + 2 months) but it might slip further backwards slightly if we discover any real problems. However, given the ships lifetime is 50 years and we haven't got any aircraft yet, it doesn't really matter too much if it's done a couple of months later than originally expected."

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Homeland Security: Putin’s hackers tried to crack electoral networks in 21 US states

Peter2
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Re: POSTAL VOTES

More than likely the DNCC “hack” was really a leak, which has been long suspected. That explains the effort put into hacking local election databases, by somebody, possibly Russia.

Wikileaks has always said that it was a leak by Bernie Saunders supporters who were pissed off at how corrupt Clinton was.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4034038/Ex-British-ambassador-WikiLeaks-operative-claims-Russia-did-NOT-provide-Clinton-emails-handed-D-C-park-intermediary-disgusted-Democratic-insiders.html

It depends who you think stands to gain by lying about it. Wikileaks doesn't have much to gain by lying about the source in my view. However...

1) The Democrats however would look incompetent if they admitted that the data was leaked from their own staff.

2) They'd lose the ability to play the "Trump is a Russian agent taking instructions from the Kremlin, and he's only in office because the KGB put him there!" line.

3) The Democrats would be embroiled in a political scandal about lying and using propaganda to cover up their own incompetence.

Ergo, wikileaks is probably telling the truth as there is no released evidence to prove Russian hacking, and they basically have nothing to gain by lying about it whereas the Democrats have much to gain by lying, and much to lose by admitting it was an inside job.

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IBM's contractor crackdown continues: Survivors refusing pay cut have hours reduced

Peter2
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Re: Why contract these days?

Add in the UK governments obsession with "equalising" tax payments for those who have permanent jobs

Which is a direct response to many companies severely taking the piss by making practically every employee a "contractor" to avoid having to pay holidays, sickness, pensions and in some cases, the minimum wage.

Presumably it was thought that reducing the benefits to doing this would reduce the attraction for doing it for companies. Personally I consider that the companies taking the piss were the problem here, not the Government responding to it.

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Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist

Peter2
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Martin Baker have a nice section on their website detailing some of these successful uses of their products, scroll down past the first bit for the stories of people who have submitted some of those heartfelt "thank you" letters.

http://martin-baker.com/ejection-tie-club/

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Peter2
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As someone who was never afraid to do IT's job for them, especially if it had the potential to demonstrate how totally useless they were

Was that an ITIL servicedesk where the people had 5 minutes to resolve any problem that came in, with bonuses for fixing things remotely, by any chance? I blame manglement.

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Labour says it will vote against DUP's proposed TV Licence reforms

Peter2
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As for the comment, with nuclear power we are powering our life on a mortgage, to be paid off over a million years ... the utilities companies do not even factor decommissioning of power plants into their prices correctly, let alone waste management. These are undeniable facts, once you know these facts, nuclear power is silly.

And once you know that natural nuclear reactions have taken place 2 billion years ago at Oklo creating a nuclear waste problem that mother nature dealt with perfectly safely by geological disposal then arguments against geological disposal in sensible and suitable locations looks increasingly silly.

Thorium is the future of nuclear anyway, not uranium.

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Peter2
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Environmental sustainability isn't a cult though. If you genuinely see it as such, it's probably because you're too far gone to the consumerism cult.

Um. So if you think that chopping down trees on the other side of the planet, machining them down into pellets and then shipping them all the way across the sodding planet to burn in our green and environmentally friendly biomass (ex coal) plants is not:-

1) Green in any way shape or form.

2) Environmentally sustainable.

3) Likely to reduce CO2 emissions.

4) something which should qualify for renewable subsidies (which lest we forget were sold to the public as being required to reduce CO2 emissions to save the planet from downing when the ice caps melt!)

Then your a flat earth nut?

This sort of thing is a perfect example of why you shouldn't let activists anywhere near making decisions because you end up with a patently absurd situation which for some reason is defended by environmental supremacist zealots righteously convinced of their own superiority and unwilling to admit that making decisions on feelings rather than analysis demonstrably results in poor outcomes that run contrary to their own objectives. The people responsible for this sort of absurdity have more knowledge of slogans than sense, imo.

So yeah, if standing in opposition to this lunacy makes me part of a consumerism cult, then sign me up. If other sane people join then at least i'll be in sane company.

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Peter2
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Some actually decent stuff there. Some properly demented stuff too, so I'm told ( I haven't read the full thing ).

That would pretty much describe every parties manifesto, to be fair. Like Horoscope's, they are designed to have enough that everybody can identify with. Also like Horoscope's they tend to get ignored as soon as they are finished with (ie, in power).

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Lockheed, USAF hold breath as F-35 pilots report hypoxia

Peter2
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Re: O2 many issues

They might be. If and when they move from press releases and the drawing board into production (and testing) then we'll find out. Until then, they are essentially marketing vapourware.

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Peter2
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Re: given extra training to recognise the symptoms of hypoxia,

There's a difference between it being covered on the pilots original training "yeah, this could possibly happen if your plane is damaged so FYI..." along with a hundred other eventualities and "yeah, this plane is occasionally known to suffocate it's pilots. We think we might have figured out why and if that's the problem then we might have fixed it, but let's teach you how to deal with your own aircraft trying to kill you as you might need to know. But don't worry, you can have total confidence in our equipment! But seriously, don't forget to check your handheld backup oxygen container."

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Germany puts halt on European unitary patent

Peter2
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Re: Article 20 of the German Constitution strictly forbids ...

That's not an obstacle at all. This is what an obstacle looks like. (English Bill of Rights (1689)

"no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm."

Now, it appears to me that we are more ignoring the letter of that than the spirit, so I don't see how the German's can reasonably and consistently claim that a rather milder creative interpretation of their constitution is a massive breach of their rights.

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Donald Trumped: Comey says Prez is a liar – and admits he's a leaker

Peter2
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Re: @Kiwi Two things..

Consensual recordings are never an issue, but the UK has an interesting take on covert recording in that it is not explicitly illegal. However, you're not allowed to use those recordings in any legal process, and I think it's not legal to share them either

Not really. Admissibility depends on a lot of things, and quite honestly evidence is evidence and likely to be admissible by a court if directly relevant.

The situation is more:-

USA: You can prove your innocent, but the material is inadmissible in court so your found guilty.

UK: You can prove your innocent, the material is illegal but admissible in court so your found not guilty, but then get sued separately by the loser for a breach of the data protection act etc.

That said, if you had a recording but waited for the date of the court trial to produce it then you'd probably find it was found inadmissible, but that's only a problem when it's sprung on the opposition at the last moment as it can prejudice their right to a fair trial as they didn't know about that evidence so they could amend their story appropriately. (Lying under oath is obviously fair and accepted if they didn't know you could prove that they were lying beforehand, and that's fair)

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Tech can do a lot, Prime Minister, but it can't save the NHS

Peter2
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Yep. Yes Minister was a documentary, rather than a comedy.

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Peter2
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If the owning partners are creaming off too much of the profit then you would expect market competition in the form of new practices being established nearby.

Buying or building somewhere to put the practice is a somewhat substantial cost for a salaried GP wanting to start their own company, representing a formidable barrier to entry.

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Peter2
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Re: Much of the NHS problems, are a result of other issues

It's a funny thing, but any of the big hotel chains can provide rooms for fifty quid a night and still make a profit. While there are further costs ensuing from care requirements (as opposed to medical issues better to be treated in hospital) why on earth does it cost so much more to get sheltered accommodation than a hotel room?

I think that £50 per room is something of a loss leader, which is why the rooms have a "pay to watch a film, billed to you when leaving" thing going and then charge extra for using their indoor pool, or having dinner or breakfast.

They'd probably cry foul if you booked every room in the hotel, disconnected the pay to use TV's, provided meals from a cheaper provider etc. If I'm wrong though, let's book out hotel floors for 12 month periods for sheltered accommodation.

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Peter2
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That's politics for you. GP's were told to reduce waiting lists down to X by the politicians, and they did it.

By not letting anybody book appointments for more than X weeks in advance. Not what was intended? Perhaps, but the figures look good and the politicians in power at the time could claim to have slashed waiting lists.

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Peter2
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Mmmm.

One minor thing though, GP's aren't part of the NHS.

I'm probably going to get downvoted out of existence by people who don't know this, but a GP practice is actually a private for profit business owned by the partners of the practice. They get money by charging the NHS for services rendered and providing those services more efficiently than the NHS charge rate under the terms of the "Standard General Medical Services Contract", which is available to download here:-

Standard General Medical Services Contract

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standard-general-medical-services-contract

So the recruitment problem belongs to that particular practice either not wanting to pay GP's enough to work there, or that they are doing precisely that: offering positions for salaried employees rather than allowing GP's to buy into the partnership and get a percentage of the practice's profits.

Regardless, as it's a private for profit business the government has no control over them.

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