Long live the 727!
354 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009
Long live the 727!
What sysadmin, when presented with a VM system, hasn't tried to boot up a second level system (and then a third level system, and a fourth level system, etc.). And, what sysadmin hasn't gotten confused at which VM level they're on and issue the CP SHUTDOWN command? I know I certainly have. Luckily, it was a "Personal" mainframe I was on, so I only shot myself in the foot. Does anyone remember those IBM P/370 machines? (Ok, so it's been a couple of decades ago. Still, they were pretty darned neat.). I lusted after one of the P/390s, but never could acquire one.
If it ain't broke, then why fix it?
Well, except for adding more cowbell. You always need more cowbell.
One of the things to remember about the Atlas is that it was constructed from a stainless steel envelope so thin that, if pressurization was lost, it would collapse. Would anyone in their right mind want to climb on top of one of those?
Any idea why it's being launched from Vandenberg? Vandenberg is usually used for polar orbits. They really can't take advantage of the Earth's rotation from there, since that would require launching the rocket towards the east, which is over populated areas, which is a no-no. Thus, the only objects launched from there tend to be reconnaissance satellites which need to be in a polar orbit. American interplanetary craft tend to be launched from the Kennedy Space Center, to take advantage of the Earth's rotation, to get into a transfer orbit, from which they're injected into a Hohmann Transfer Orbit to the other planet.
P.S. I'll get my coat; It's the one with a rocket in the pocket.
With only 1.5 breeding pairs left, the genetic diversity is exceptionally low. Thus, even if they are successfully able to breed the two remaining females, the off-spring will be extremely close genetically. That doesn't bode well for the future (e.g., "inbreeding"). :-(
Now, where did I stash those Nike-Hercules missiles, with the W31 nuclear warhead on top? I seem to remember having a couple of dozen of them at one time.
I seem to remember a couple of rather spectacular failures with the Ariane, including some seriously botched flight control code, which resulted in a subterranean orbit for the first Ariane 5.
It used to be, for a new rocket, it was impossible to get affordable flight insurance. This caused a lot of new rockets to be launched with ballast, just to prove the launch vehicle. Of course, there were some amateur satellite makers who would take an uninsured chance for a free launch on such a rocket (and, a few of them had satellites dropped into the Atlantic, too).
So, the sender edits the image, and tweaks the value of one pixel off in the corner, and now the hash is completely different, which completely defeats the system. That's how hashes work. This has to be one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard of. Oh, wait, maybe not the dumbest, if some guy is wanting a bunch of nudes sent to him.
Ok, so where's the picture of the obligatory geek who's cooled one with Liquid Nitrogen? Or, Liquid Helium for bonus points?
P.S. Hey, don't use all of the Liquid Nitrogen for cooling the chip; I need a bit of it for cooling my beer.
P.P.S. Sorry, I'm an American. We like our beer cold, as opposed to other parts of the world.
I rather doubt you're going to get down to .02K with Nitrogen. That's firmly in the realm of Liquid Helium, and probably some of the exotic cooling methods, too, such as laser cooling:
P.S. I don't know how they get the shark with the laser beam attached to its head in there.
Windows 7? That'll never be a success. I'm going to hold out for the one that runs Windows XP.
So, not what you'd call a "hot babe"?
Don't forget that pumpkin pie spice is a mixed spice, typically consisting of Cinnamon and Nutmeg, perhaps with a few other spices thrown in (Ginger, Cloves).
Then, remember that Nutmeg is a hallucinogen!
I had a buddy who ate a small spice can of Nutmeg one weekend. He said he was seeing pink elephants floating around the room for the next week.
Do you really want your kids snorting the stuff?!?
"NASA’s administrator Robert Lightfoot said the agency “has been directed to develop a plan for an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system, returning humans to the Moon ..." "
What this project needs is a good code-name. Since it appears that they may be planning a base near the Moon's polar regions, to take advantage of the water which may be there, I'll propose the code-name: Party at the Pole.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the lunar map in the pocket.
I recommend Apple users start practicing the saying "Fire in the Hole!", because it won't be long before the things start blowing up, probably while wedged in the back pants pocket of teenage girls' pants.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with a bottle of beer in the pocket. But, I'm not about to waste good beer putting out someone's flaming pants!
"Bain has applied to the Chinese government for regulatory approval of the deal."
Why the Chinese government? Isn't Toshiba a Japanese company? Did I miss something?
He could have erased the information from the machine with an axe. I'm told that Thermite also works quite well.
I once crushed a Mercury-based thermometer in my mouth, too. However, it happened in a doctor's office. The doctor rammed the thermometer in my mouth just as I sneezed. Glass and bits of Mercury went all over the place (my mouth, the table, the office, him, etc.).
Metallic Mercury isn't all that toxic. Heck, drinking a bit of it used to be a folk-remedy for an upset stomach! Now, other Mercury compounds, such as Dimethyl Mercury, can be exceedingly toxic.
Anyway, it doesn't seem to have hurt me. Or, maybe that explains why I'm a cryptographer now?
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the pocket full of Mercury-based thermometers. Have to have something to snack on, don't I?
Which is why Kinder eggs are banned in the USA. :-(
They're available in Canada, though, but don't even think about trying to smuggle them across the border.
P.S. You can bring beer across the border, but make sure you declare it. Otherwise, the Customs guys can confiscate it and stick you with a huge fine. Oh, and if you do want to try smuggling it, make sure it's premium beer. ;-)
Ah, but what y'all don't realize is that, if you stick the right kind of gaffer tape over the built-in web-cam, it causes it to function like an x-ray camera, and allows it to form images of people under their clothes.
Of course, it has to be the right kind of gaffer tape, such as this stuff I'm selling for one hundred dollars per piece. ;-)
Anon Y. Mous
"Yes but that was when they could all fit on a single 3.5" floppy disk..."
Do you think they could double that number if I slipped them a 2.88MB diskette? I think I still have a stack of them....somewhere.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the 2.88MB diskettes in the pocket.
"or people who REALLY want to keep information secret - it is possible to use multiple encryption programs in series "
That's why I double encrypt everything with ROT-13 when I want to make sure it stays secret. ;-)
P.S. I'm waiting for an intelligent genius to develop an encryption routine which, when the data is decrypted with one key, produces the secret text, but, when decrypted with an alternate key, produces a grocery list.
My Senator is Rand Paul, who scored a 100% rating for the latest session of Congress (93% cumulative) on the "Freedom Index" for the latest session of Congress. :-)
That's better than Senator Feinstein, who scored a 10% for the latest session of Congress (Cumulative 11%), and is tied with Senator Kamala Harris. :-(
P.S. My Representative, Thomas Massie, is one of the highest scoring legislators, at 98% cumulative (100% for the latest session).
According to a long-time auto mechanic friend, most (all) automobiles with in-tank fuel pumps (which are a majority of them now?) depend upon the fuel cooling the pump. Thus, you get much longer fuel pump life if you refill the fuel tank when you're down to about a quarter of a tank, rather than allowing it to get lower.
Oh, and remember that gasoline is MUCH more flammable than jet fuel.
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the spare can of gasoline in the pocket.
At one point, the US electric grid was divided into 10 regions. But, it's been a decade or two since I was involved with emergency planning/management, and I believe that some of those regions have been merged. Still, even with 10 regions, almost all of those regions were large enough to cause significant issues due to an EMP event.
Plus, look at how much damage an errant tree limb can cause, even within a single region:
As for the special steel used for transformer cores, quite a bit of that is "Cold Rolled Grain Oriented" Silicon steel:
"Why not just put it into a s. korean shipping container - or a chinese one - or a vietmanese one etc"
Shipping containers are monitored for gamma/x-ray emissions prior to entering the country:
Given that a fission warhead, based on Plutonium-239 has a fairly high spontaneous fission rate (both from the Pu-239 itself, and from higher order enrichment products), and that the criticality of a bomb core is awfully close to 1.00 to begin with (such that it just needs a slight bit of compression to push the criticality above 1.00), it's going to be sitting there fissioning like crazy (so much so that the core of a fission weapon feels noticeably warm to the touch). And, all of those spontaneous fissions, and the secondary fissions they induce, are going to be spewing gamma rays like crazy. Thus, all one has to do is to look for gamma rays of the energy of those fissions. And, as hot as those gammas are, they're going to be awfully difficult to shield.
"He points out that the Starfish Prime tests in 1962 used a 1.4 megaton device and caused limited damage. The much smaller device attributed to the North Koreans, even supposing that it and the missile delivery system work, would cause less damage."
The problem is that bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to EMP weapons. The issue is that a 1.4 megaton device is a fission-fusion type weapon, and the small fission type primary very well may cause ionization of the atmosphere, such that the gamma rays released by the fusion secondary are "shorted out", minimizing the EMP effect of the larger device. Thus, you may get almost as much bang for the buck by using a thin cased fission weapon, as you would with a two or three stage thermonuclear fusion design.
"Hence, small pure fission weapons with thin cases are far more efficient at causing EMP than most megaton bombs."
Now, take that approach, and use somewhere between three to five fission bombs, strategically spread across the continent and timed to go off within a few milliseconds of each other, and bad things happen.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the Aluminum foil beanie in the pocket.
Why am I reminded of that musical jingle:
"Beans, beans, the musical fruit..."
P.S. Oh, dear, I've went off on a tangent, haven't I? But, surely, you expected a comment about flatulence, didn't you? Never mind. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the pocket full of beans.
I seem to remember that a Coke (TM) machine even predates the coffee pot:
P.S. Hmm, maybe a beer machine should have been even earlier?
Why did I just have the mental picture form of a US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II, with it's GAU-8 Avenger 30 mm gatling gun cannon loaded with rat-shot?
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the pockets full of tickets to a show like that.
We already have the Drone Slayer in Kentucky:
It looks like Russian drones, though, are the preferred military drones:
P.S. Can Skynet be far behind?
Some inks are delible (as opposed to the more common indelible inks). Thus, the process of steaming an envelope open very well may cause the ink to run and smear. Will it be enough to make it unreadable? I don't know; I've never tried it. The trick, of course, may be finding a suitable delible ink, given that most ball-point pens are indelible. However, some fountain pen inks are delible (Yes, one of my hobbies is using a fountain pen; Used one all though high school and college. And, it's getting darned hard to find good ones any more, but they are still available, if you look hard enough. Oh, and don't knock over the ink well. That makes one h*ll of a mess, even with delible inks. That's why desks used to have a depression, so as a safe place to sit the ink well. But, when's the last time anyone saw a desk with an ink well depression in it?).
As for the recording the return addresses, as mentioned by another poster, I don't know of any post office which does verification on return addresses (well, unless the letter is refused and returned). So, I could put my return address as Donald Trump, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, etc., and almost no one would notice.
As for ripping the envelope open, and replacing it, remember that one of the spy techniques used in the past was to place a microdot under the stamp. Thus, the contents of the letter were totally useless. But, the recipient would steam the stamp off and remove the microdot with the secret information on it. Ok, so photographic methods have mostly disappeared by now. But, couldn't a similar technique be done with a laser printer with sufficiently high resolution? Who wants to try it? (Oh, note that the information being printed doesn't have to be Latin-alphabet text. It can be something like a QR code, or some type of dot matrix encoding. And, even if someone did find this, would they have a clue as to how to decode it?).
Also, don't forget that it was common practice, in decades past, to write a normal letter, and then to go back and write a secret message in invisible ink (One of the more common "invisible inks" was lemon juice.). How many people even look for invisible ink any more?
There are probably LOTS more techniques I haven't mentioned. Just remember "Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.".
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with a copy of "Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War 1941-1945" by Leo Marks, in the pocket. Oh, that's a thoroughly enjoyable book, for anyone with an interest in the SOE, or the history of WWII, or cryptography...
A proper breakfast really should include Canadian Bacon. The only problem, though, is that if you go to Canada, and try to order Canadian Bacon, all you'll get will be strange stares. :-(
P.S. Hey, yeah, beer for breakfast.
They could always draft some old ham radio operators. Quite a few of us still know Morse Code.
Then, again, would you really want a bunch of grumpy old men (and women) sailing around on boats with nuclear weapons on board?
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned hitting a frozen chicken. Oh, wait, wrong kind of vehicle. ;-)
The problem with American deer is that they dream of being actors/actresses. And, they frequently mistake headlights for spotlights. So, when they see those beams approaching them on the road, they absolutely must stop and do their rendition of a tap-dance. I think it goes two steps to the right, a hop to the left, and then spin around. Of course, by that time, there's usually an almighty PLOP, and a US$3000 bill for the owner of the car. :-(
I had a buddy who encountered one of these tap-dancing deer at speed late one night. Luckily, his wife had moved from the passenger seat to the back seat, because, when the PLOP occurred, there was also a mighty shattering of glass, and he looked over to see the bloody remains of the deer smeared all over his passenger seat. It seems that they're just about the right height to fly over the hood (bonnet), smash into the windshield (windscreen), and are heavy enough to penetrate it.
Now y'all know why most of the rednecks have pickup trucks with huge bush-bars on the front. ;-)
Dave (who happens to own a pickup truck...
And, what makes you think that SB would have sold them an exclusive copy of the purloined tools? Maybe they'd sell them a copy, and then, next month, they'd sell the Russians a copy, and the Chinese a copy, and the Norks a copy, and....
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the non-exclusive copy of the SB tools in the pocket.
Most companies track items via serial numbers (I know, because it's the time of the year when I have to do the annual equipment audit, which means I have to go around checking all of my equipment, and verifying that the serial numbers match what's in the database. Can you say "Mostly a waste of time"?). So, anyone who even had half a clue (or even a quarter of a clue) should have known that turning in a laptop with a different serial number would, eventually, ring all sorts of alarm bells. :-(
P.S. Is it Beer-o-clock yet?
Sadly, over here, they often put I/T departments in the basement. It does make it a bit more challenging to push the boss out the window, but, where there's a will... ;-)
Darn, y'all beat me to the catapult takeoff idea. Oh, well, great minds think alike, and all that.
As for the 3-4 gs, I've personally experienced a sustained 3.5Gs (courtesy of a NASA centrifuge), and, while not what I'd call comfortable, it wasn't exactly painful (It did make me want to toss my cookies when I turned my head, although I was able to suppress the urge, just barely.). Still, that was back while I was still rather young and in good physical shape. I'm not sure an octogenarian, or someone with heart problems, would fare nearly as well.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the "Astronaut Training Guide" in the pocket.
Down south of the border, someone would claim that it was the Russians.
I remember attending a talk that Cole Palen (RIP), of Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome fame, gave 30 years ago, or so. He stated that one of the reasons that the Fokker Dr.1 was so successful was that it was aerodynamically unstable. It required constant input from the pilot to keep it flying straight and level. Absent that continuous input, it would tend to spiral out of control. But, as a result, it was also very adept at turning quickly, much more so than some of the Allied fighters of the time.
Also, as of that time, there had been several reproductions of Fokker Dr.1s built, but all of them had lengthened the fuselage, in order to increase aerodynamic stability. From the article, it appears that this reproduction may be original with respect to the length. If that's the case, then I wish the pilot well.
Plus, the Germans had mastered the art of the interrupter for the machine guns, so that they could fire through the propeller arc, without shredding the propeller. That allowed the guns to be mounted so that the pilot could sight down them directly, rather than having them offset, as the Allies were required to do.
As for the Lycoming four cylinder engine, that's quite a deviation from the original design, which used an Oberursel Ur.II 9 cylinder rotary engine. The rotary engines contributed, somewhat, to the handling problems of the original planes, since the heavy mass of the engine, spinning as it did, created a rather tremendous gyroscopic effect. As such, planes with rotary engines tended to turn and dive in one direction much better than the other direction, and exceptional pilots tended to recognize this, and make predictions on which way an opposing pilot would turn while in a dog-fight.
Of course, rotary engines presented a BUNCH of rather serious problems. One was that they were two stroke engines, with the oil being mixed in with the gasoline. The throttle was typically set in a fixed position, and power was controlled by controlling how many cylinders fired on each revolution of the engine. In order to avoid fouling the spark-plugs, Castor Oil was frequently used. Unfortunately, the exhaust stream of these engines tended to direct a lot of the exhaust gases, which contained a fair amount of the unburned Castor Oil, back into the pilot's face. Consuming Castor Oil has a certain effect on the human digestive system. Not all emergency landings were due to mechanical problems with the plane!
Even with the lubrication system, the lifetime of a typical rotary engine was approximately 25 hours between rebuilds. OUCH!
Maybe that Lycoming 4 cylinder engine isn't such a bad idea.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the roll of toilet tissue in the pocket.
<sigh> This makes me feel old...
There was a version of a pong circuit which was published in, I think, Popular Electronics magazine a little over 40 years ago (I seem to remember a rather dark cover with a green image.). I remember saving up my lunch money to buy a copy. I never built the device, but it was interesting to study the schematic.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the punched cards in the pocket.
Ah, you forgot about the 2.88MB floppy disks.
I happen to have an IBM PS/2-model 9595 sitting here under the desk with one of those drives in it. ;-)
Ah, yes, the model 9595; those had that little 8 character LED "Information Panel" display on the front of the case. It only took a tiny bit of programming to write an OS/2 device driver to turn that into a time-of-day clock. For years, that was the only thing that I ran on that 9595 (I called it my "600 Watt clock".).
Hmm, why was there suddenly a price spike for old IBM PS/2-model 9595 machines? ;-)
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the copy of Warp in it.
I may (or may not; you'll have to decide) have some knowledge of secure buildings/systems.
Some installations do not allow outside repair personnel into restricted areas. Any failing equipment must be removed from the restricted area, which usually requires "sanitizing" the equipment. Any equipment reinstalled in the restricted area must be examined and approved for information leakage purposes. This gets around the issue of the "copier repair" person having access to the restricted area, or from removing the hard disk from the copier that contains copies of all of the images ever scanned (Look it up if you don't believe me!).
As for the scanner, remember that most Silicon photosensors are highly sensitive to infrared, well, unless a rather expensive infrared filter has been installed on them. So, just mount an infrared laser on the drone and have it sit 250 feet away from the building and pump out infrared all day (Or, mount the laser on a fixed item, such as another building, or a television/cell-phone tower, or...). Yeah, the window will absorb/reflect some of the infrared, but probably not too much for near infrared. How many high security installations regularly do an infrared scan of their buildings? (Darn. Just gave away a new job opportunity!).
If y'all want to do some research in the library, go look up how early black epoxy encapsulated transistors were sensitive to infrared light, so much so that removing the cover from a piece of equipment, and holding a light over it would dramatically change the bias conditions on the circuits being examined. The problem, as it turned out, was that that "black" epoxy was only black for optical wavelengths of light; For infrared light, it was almost completely transparent. That's been fixed now. Mostly.
That still leaves LEDs exposed, and LEDs can make great photosensors, at least if the circuit that they're wired into makes for reading from the port pin that the LED is connected to (And, when is the last time any of you examined the circuit connections for the machine you're using, with LEDs on it? Heck, when they're connected to an IC, can you even guess whether that pin on an IC is an output, an input, or some programmable combination of I/O?).
Of course, rather than going to all of the trouble to fit a laser on a drone, it'd probably be easier to just drop a pr*n magazine outside the building, with the commands/data encoded steganographically in some of the images. (Darn! I'm giving away all of my good ideas today.).
As for getting hired in as a janitor, the other option is to get hired in as a security guard. Not too long after the introduction of the PC, one of the security guards at the place I worked at was caught loading up the trunk of his car with the company's PCs. Whoopsie.
Then, again, it's sometimes easier just to call the network administrator and tell them that you forgot your password. :-(
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the punched card deck in the pocket that's labeled "Top Secret".
Oh, sort of like the messages, intended for the French Underground/Resistance, transmitted in the clear by the BBC, just prior to the D-Day landings, during World War II?
Everything old is new again?
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with a pocket full of message slips, with phrases such as "John has a brown cow.", "Becky has a large garden."
Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill, 728,000 game cartridges:
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the "Missile Command" cartridge in the pocket.
Well, the obvious problem is that people are using the wrong encryption algorithm. What needs to happen is that everyone needs to start using ROT13 to encrypt their data. Then, there will be perfect security, yet the government will be able to break it when needed. For really secure data, people can even resort to doubly encrypting their data with ROT13.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the Jefferson Disks in the pocket.
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