* Posts by adam 40

102 posts • joined 15 Oct 2009

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Vigorous tiny vibrations help our universe swell, say particle boffins

adam 40

Vacuum Energy?

The vacuum energy link to halopedia had me going for a minute or two!

Cheeky buggers.

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UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT

adam 40

It tells us more about Windoze 10...

>> MS have therefore been publishing exploits against XP for several years now.

If there had been so many exploits against XP which were lurking there for years, just think how many more are waiting to be found in Windoze 10...

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adam 40

you forgot the catchall "Money Laundering" as they are asking for Bitcoin.

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adam 40

It doesn't have to be connected to t'internet

Exactly - all NHS computers I've seen recently have USB ports within a patient's reach, it just takes a miscreant to plug in a memory stick and blammo!

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Netgear confirms: Intel's wobbly Puma 6 in fast broadband modems is super-easy to choke out

adam 40

haven't Intel submitted firmware patches for this?

As I understand it, Intel have rolled out firmware updates to the modem manufacturers and these are being rolled out to the ISP's.

I understand Virgin for exmple is going to be distributing firmware "soon" although they might still mean a month or two away.

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We know what you're thinking: Where the hell is all the antimatter?

adam 40

I've heard this assertion before about the glow from annihilation events. So I started looking into what we should be looking for.

Of course you are only going to get this effect between am/m pairs, not m/m or am/am.

Proton/antiproton annihilation results in a pair of gamma rays of around 938MeV. These may be red-shifted if the galaxies are far away, so we could be looking for a spectrum maybe between 90-900MeV.

What about the intensity of this radiation (if it were there) what would we expect? Would all the gas have mixed and annihilated aeons ago, or do you expect to see gas streaming out of the galaxies still? If so, at what rate?

Finally, looking at various observations from gamma ray observatories, these are currently at low resolution and show some radiation that may overlap with the expected spectrum. So I don't think the matter is settled, unless you can come up with specific research sources that can demonstrate the negative result with some certainty.

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adam 40

What's the spectrum of Antihydrogen?

Funny I typed this last night but maybe it was in positrons and annihilated itself. Anyhoo - here goes - again.

How do we know that distant galaxies aren't antimatter. Maybe "where the hell is it" - is all around us?

I still haven't had a decent explanation of why this can't be the case.

We are quite close to being able to measure the spectrum of antihydrogen, although it should be the same as normal hydrogen, if there do turn out to be some subtle differences then we will know what to look for out there.

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Australia' Smart meter leaders lag in securing devices

adam 40

The first smartmeter botnet?

When do we expect to see the first smartmeter-powered botnet emerge?

It can't be long....

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Ewe, get a womb! Docs grow baby lambs in shrink-wrap plastic bags

adam 40

Re: Too posh to push - now too lazy to carry?

@ Mr Smith - an interesting perspective, I will now have to chromecast the whole film.

@ The rest of you with yer thumbs down - your grasp of irony is positively Brevellian ;^)

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adam 40
Paris Hilton

Too posh to push - now too lazy to carry?

What's the betting that mothers in the third trimester now start having C-sections early and popping baby in a bag for no reason other than they won't have to carry to full term?

Just think - far fewer stretch marks, back to work earlier, what's not to like?

After all - "it's their body".

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PACK YOUR BAGS! Boffins spot Earth-size planet most likeliest yet to harbor alien life

adam 40
Pirate

Artificial gravity on your spaceship

it's bad enough keeping acclimatised to 1g, on this trip you'd have to start at 1g and generate up to 3g before you got there, cranking up the g's bit by bit until you're used to it.

Also a few people would have to live in a centrifuge on earth for a few years to see if there were any ill effects. What if you got there and couldn't do anything after discovering "gravity sickness" or summat like that?

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Cops, Feds spaff $100m on Stingray cellphone snooping gear – and there's sod all oversight

adam 40

Hunting Stingrays

If you wanted to go out and hunt stingray-style IMSI catchers, there are a few techniques I can suggest:

a) look at the broadcast data. GSM broadcast data is all "in the clear" for example global paging, neighbour cell lists and the like. A simulated basestation will stick out like a sore thumb especially if you probe the paging by calling an MS attached to the (real) network.

b) suspect failure of TMSI hand-in to the cell - this is designed to fall back to IMSI procedures to reveal the handset's identity.

c) challenge the network - get GPRS attached and make sure the network is authentic - it should firewall you in the same way as the real network. There are usually some subtle properties that are hard to get "just right".

You'll probably want to do all this stuff on a secondhand mobile phone with a PAYG SIM bought with cash in a corner shop with no CCTV . A phone with an aerial socket will be handy - you can attach a yagi antenna for some direction-finding.

Happy hunting!

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How hard will it be to measure Planet Nine?

adam 40

It will need a name

Two suggestions:

Plutwo

and

Myanus

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NASA to fire 1Gbps laser 'Wi-Fi' ... into spaaaaace

adam 40

Shooting data at Hawaii?

Nice that they are using Hawaii as the test bed.

I hope they will be using an "Aloha" protocol....

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User jams up PC. Literally. No, we don't know which flavour

adam 40

Re: If there was jam in the keyboard...

or Apricot.

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Canada's privacy watchdog probes US border phone seizures

adam 40

Re: Take a "throwaway" spare phone, and another, FAIL OVER

Reminds me of another airport security story, I was going out of Stansted to E-pllus's labs in Germany, to do some interoperability testing, and I had seven phones in my pockets, which I emptied into the plastic box for the the Xray machine.

One attendant saw them all after they had gone through and said to the other "is there a limit on the number of phones you can take through?" Before he could answer I looked her straight in the eye and said "don't be silly!" and started putting them back in my pockets.

Good job she didn't take the batteries out - none of the stickers had CE marks on them - tee hee ;^)

So - take three phones - covers off the question above nicely.

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adam 40
Alert

Take a "throwaway" spare phone

... and your real phone in your checked-in baggage, with the battery removed (so - not an iPhone then...). wrapped in aluminium foil if possible. Keep your real SIM card in your loose change taped onto a 2-pound coin.

When challenged reluctantly give over the throwaway phone (it must be a working phone with a SIM).

This will throw them off the scent.

Soon after the twin towers incident airport security got really silly. They started x-raying laptops separate from your briefcase. So I was told to "take the laptop out of the case". When I said I had two laptops, that really confused the security guy, he said "no, take ONE laptop out", he was obviously following his scripted training!

So.... two phones should be enough.

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Judge issues search warrant for anyone who Googled a victim's name

adam 40
Holmes

Re: Wait! What? They have our MAC Addresses?

This applies to:

a) if you are on a public WiFi, surfing

b) you are at home and google has done a driveby of your WiFi hotspot. It has the MAC address of that.

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adam 40

I think we should be told...

what is the name we aren't supposed to google?

if we all started googling it the judge would be busy from now 'till kingdom come.

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Dark matter drought hits older galaxies: Boffins are, rightly, baffled

adam 40

Fractal, innit?

"Normal" matter seems to be distributed fractally all the way through from planets, solar systems, star clusters, galaxies, galaxy clusters, etc.

Why wouldn't the same be true of dark matter? Why would dark matter have to coincide with every galaxy equally?

Seems that we are just observing what's out there.

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More Brits' IDs stolen than ever before

adam 40

Time to trash your own credit score!

Who needs credit anyway - pay upfront with cash, that's my motto.

If you can't pay for it, you can't afford it.

If your credit score is bad, the bank will refuse the bogus application. Job's a good 'un!

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Time crystals really do exist, say physicists*

adam 40

time crystals aren’t real crystals - they don’t melt

Iodine is a real crystal, and it doesn't melt either.

It's just soooo sublime, daarling!!!

Also - at it's a cubic crystal lattice, maybe it's the "time cube" referred to above?

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NASA finds India's missing lunar orbiter with Earth-bound radar

adam 40

Lost property

As it's worth more than 50p I hope NASA will do the right thing and report this lost property to the nearest police station?

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'Password rules are bullsh*t!' Stackoverflow Jeff's rage overflows

adam 40

Re: Rules and Password Timeouts

Ha ha - ten passwords where you can't reuse parts of the password?

Let me see - i recon I could go round the loop and use up 9 passwords in such a way that a tenth password would be impossible.

Then make the IT guys reset the whole thing - social engineering, job done.

In the case above an undetected access would go undetected for 6 whole months - so why not age the password once a week? Or once a day? Surely, 6 months is an intolerable amount of time to let your attacker in unfettered?

One other thing that I haven't seen mentioned above - apologies if I missed it - every login system should tell you when you last logged in as a matter of course. That helps the end user spot intrusions and then they can help the process by changing their password. Most do not do this, notable exceptions being HMRC (wow - they do one thing right!) although they too use the easily hackable SMS method of 2FA.

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adam 40

Rules and Password Timeouts

Somewhere I worked implemented a 6-month timeout on passwords AND bullshit rules AND non-reuse.

So after 6 months of using your nice strong password you were forced to give it up and try and remember another one.

Of course being a programmer, it took me a few minutes to discover I could change it 5 times and back to the original.

So every 6 months I have to spend a half hour or so resetting my password back to where it was in the first place. I book the time to "computer outages". Ho hum.

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Most of 2016's holes had fixes the day we knew about 'em. Did we patch? Did we @£$%

adam 40
Big Brother

Not a Member of the Monoculture

It's well known that infections spread best in monocultures.

Computer viruses, trojans and worms would surely follow that maxim.

Stay out of the monoculture, turn off all updates (and sometimes manually patch the occasional really nasty ones) and you'll be an unattractive target for the scriptkiddie's bot-botnets.

Not to mention the bloatware listed above requiring more and more memory and eventually a hardware upgrade....

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Next Generation Security: No, Dorothy, there is no magic wand

adam 40

proper backup software?

if you're using software to do backups, you're doing it wrong.

Keep it simple with a few shell scripts - and maybe a cron job - that way you are less likely to have a write-only mess.

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NASA's atom-chiller ready to fly to the ISS

adam 40

Large fridge - well 4K anyway

Don't forget even on the dark side you're being blasted by the big bang...

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Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

adam 40

Re: China Export mark ... in some way connected to reality,

I had to take the common mode choke out of my washing machine controller PCB because the windings blew. Saved me 50 quid for a new PCB, and it's worked fine since for 5 years.

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New prison law will let UK mobile networks deploy IMSI catchers

adam 40

It's not "TIMSI" it's "TMSI"....

... although it is pronounced "timsi".

I like the sound of those "femcel"s, are they used by fembots perchance?

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Radioactive leak riddle: Now Team America sniffs Europe's skies for iodine isotope source

adam 40
Angel

Re: You idiots!

True - Observed but infrequent side effects of ingesting Potassium Iodide (KI)

include the following:

• Nausea

• Intestinal Upset

• Rashes

• Inflammation of the Salivary Glands

• Possible allergic reactions

NOTE: Potassium Iodide (KI) cannot protect the body from radioactive

elements other than radioactive iodine...

50g for a fiver off eBay, the protective dose is 100ug a day. So that's 500 doses stashed for when the big one goes up, and I'll watch out for that upset tummy.

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adam 40

You idiots!

Someone has just tested a small "dirty bomb". Probably with a few grams of material.

Now you've told them how far the contamination has spread.

Stock up on iodine tablets now - while you have the chance.

Remember the Windscale leak? Iodine sales were banned in Boots the next day to prevent people self-administering.

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Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg

adam 40
Mushroom

Sooo - the Earth is not a planet....

...by their new definition "has never undergone nuclear fusion".... hmmmm

Mike's Orrery (above) will require some more radical surgery.

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Drop the F-bomb, get your coding typos auto-corrected

adam 40

fk!

In the spirit of U*IX I'd have to abbreviate the "fuck" to "fk".

Otherwise it's all good.

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Uber hires Obama's attorney-general to review its workplaces

adam 40
WTF?

Thought Police

Kalanick released this statement through Uber "We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired."

Now I have a few problems with this....

a) How do they know what the employee is _thinking_?

b) What if they are thinking that, but keep it to themselves, and don't act on it - is that really a sacking offence?

c) What the f***?

If anyone needs sacking, it's the guy who comes up with a corporate policy like that.

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Hard numbers: The mathematical architectures of Artificial Intelligence

adam 40

AI - a moving goalpost

I studied IKBS back in the '80's and the AI techniques back then were considered to be producing or capable of producing AI by the standards of the day.

One by one these techniques became absorbed into mainstream computing, Expert Systems, speech recognition, speech synthesis, image recognition, etc etc.

At the same time, AI seemed to move to loftier heights.

My prediction is that whatever we are discussing right now as "being AI", as the techniques are understood (even the Google Translate feature where the Google scriptkiddies don't know how it works), will then no longer be regarded as AI anymore.

So, to summarise, AI (if it's ever attained) will be some computing device exhibiting intelligent behaviour whose internal workings cannot be understood or explained.

Similarly, once the internal workings of the human brain are fully understood in all their subtleties, we'll be regarded as walking machines, not really intelligent at all.

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UK.gov hiring folk to watch smutty vids? All hail our blind censors...

adam 40

Re: - acist

Thanks - I preferred to flag it up for discussion, than point it at the moderators. At least that was people would have a chance to reflect on it - as you say you can't ponder a blank space!

The use of the word in question isn't yet regarded as racist by a significant proportion of the British population, although it's now recognised as such by the authorities.

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adam 40

Re: - acist

I think you'll find that remark is racist.

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Twin brothers. One went into space. The other didn't. NASA reveals how their bodies differ

adam 40

His moustache fell off!!!

Must be due to the cosmic rays or something.

Glad I don't have to work in space.

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Human memory, or the lack of it, is the biggest security bug on the 'net

adam 40

Re: All websites are fundamentally insecure

Quite.

My "image" in In Real Life.

All the rest is imaginary - it's in your mind, not mine.

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adam 40

All websites are fundamentally insecure

As soon as you realise that all these sites are insecure, as you can just log in with a username and password anytime and from anywhere in the world, then the problem goes away.

Just don't keep any private data on them and use the same password everywhere - job done.

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Google's Chrome is about to get rather in-your-face about HTTPS

adam 40

Browser Facism gone mad

I'm sick of this continual upgrade madness.

Chrome now won't even let me view sites with RC4 TLS, but will let me view plain http - where's the logic in that?

Grrrr...

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Northumbria Uni fined £400K after boffin's bad math gives students a near-killer caffeine high

adam 40
Paris Hilton

They both lost 10kg

How long before this miracle diet pill hits the streets - the one containing 30g of caffeine?

Seriously though, I bet these two get F-all compensation, compared to the 400k fine.

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H0LiCOW! Hubble's constant update paves way for 'new physics'

adam 40

Re: Is "42" the "Adams Constant?"

>> Are you being serious? Your idea would result in a spectrum not peaks. <<

That's exacly what I said above isn't it? The CMB is a spectrum.

10% measurement uncertainty in part of the spectrum is under half a dB.

What I'm talking about is the measurement of a level, let's say my basestation outputs +20dBm and for type approval purposes the spectrum outside the intended range has to be below -30dBm (i.e.50dB below carrier).Good RF measurement kit can measure this, but you will see the level fluctuating, half a dB +/- isn't uncommon, for example my basestation spurious output might show up as -52.7dBm but fluctuate between -53.2dBm and -52.4dBm.

This is exactly the type of measurement you must make of the spectrum to determine if it's come purely from a black-body source as postulated, or is possibly an additive combination of sources.

What you haven't explained is whether this qualitative analysis has taken place? Or are we just looking at the "broad brush" and saying "that'll do?".

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adam 40

Re: Is "42" the "Adams Constant?"

That's interesting you must have been looking over my shoulder by quoting me as saying "beyond the event horizon", that was in fact in my first draft but I saw the folly of it and corrected it before posting.

Spooky.

Anyhow a quick google reveals that "The spectral radiance dEν/dν peaks at 160.23 GHz, in the microwave range of frequencies", yes it "peaks", in fact it's not a single spectral line, but a thermal black body spectrum.

So yes, the CMB itself will extend down into the tens of GHz and up to a terahertz or more.

There is plenty of room for tens of percent of energy to be added into the spectrum here and there without anyone noticing. it's hard enough to get a power reading in the lab off my 100mW 2GHz basestation without a 10% fluctuation on the band edges, with calibrated kit and a conducted connection, let alone waving a microwave horn in the air and measuring at 100x the frequency.

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adam 40
Paris Hilton

Is "42" the "Adams Constant?"

Since I saw the Hubble Deep Field image I have been wondering about the CMB.

What if it could be wholly or partly explained by redshifted light from the many galaxies that undoubtedly exist on or just next to our universe's event horizon?

Even a 20% proportion due to this could explain such a discrepancy.

You saw it here first!

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Oh, the things Vim could teach Silicon Valley's code slingers

adam 40
Facepalm

If it ain't broke....

Exactly!

That's why I run an old ff on an old ubuntu distro - and turn off updates.

And use chrome when I need to.

If people could stop dicking about with this stuff for 10 minutes, life would be a lot easier....

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adam 40

What's wrong with "cp /dev/console filename"?

i

Or on DOS - copy con: filename

Much better than ed!

Ahh yes I still use vim/vi every day - it's hard-wired into my brain now. Never really grokked emacs which seems to use up far more memory.

Apart from a brief (geddit!??) change of editor in the late 80's it's been vim all the way. Even then I used the brief vi macros.

I still remember permies looking over my shoulder asking "How did you do that?" the reply would be "I'm not telling you my contractor secrets!" Control-space being a fave.

<ESC>

ZZ

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Amazon asks for spectrum to try out IoT networking gear

adam 40

Looks like the good old GSM850 band to me....

Nothing to see here, move along please.

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Happy birthday: Jimbo Wales' sweet 16 Wikipedia fails

adam 40
Happy

Uncyclopedia anyone?

The perfect antidote to Wikipedia!

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