* Posts by Marky

13 posts • joined 7 Apr 2010

Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor


Another microwave story

In the 1970s we heard a story from our IBM engineer. Their computers at North Harbour would all crash at the same time every day to much puzzlement of the engineers.

It turned out that a Royal Navy radar establishment nearby was testing an experimental new radar, guess what, at the same time every day the machines were crashing. The engineer told how the microwaves were affecting the conductivity of the air allowing shorting to take place.

From what I heard, they had to install Faraday cages around the site to prevent the crashes.


Minor correction 3270

The 3270 was not a mainframe, it was the terminal used to access mainframes. Hence the IRMA was a 3270 emulator. Pedant mode off :)

Netgear: Nothing to see here, please disperse. Just another really bad router security hole


Firmware from Netgear? :‑J

I didn't know Netgear did firmware. Neither of my past Netgear routers ever received a firmware update, despite me checking regularly. That must cover 13 years at least. Oh and the latest one when sending out emails always show up with a datestamp of 1/1/1970. What hope is there? :‑J

Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack


Big O - it could have been "Sign of Spring" from Bunces Brewery, makers of Stonehenge Ales. An excellent ale!

Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN


Magnetoplasma propulsion

There is a newer rocket technology developed by NASA and AdAstra which would reduce the orbital transfer time from Earth to Mars down to about 40 days, significantly less than 6 months. It is called VASIMR, Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket. Can't understand why we haven't heard much about employing this sort of propulsion yet.

GP records soon wide open again: Just walk into a ‘safe haven’


As I understand it, the opt out only sets a flag in the individual's record to say not its not to be used, but data is still provided. I'm sure the commercial companies will take a lot of notice of that then.

Top tools for junior Linux admins


A couple more

A very good piece of server monitoring software can be found in Xymon (Hobbit as was). Great for quick glance monitoring state of server farms. Knocks spots off the paid for IBM Tivoli Monitoring.

The other is Webmin which is a great admin tool - you can farm out some administrative tasks easily to people with no special privileges, reducing the danger of people finding ways to circumvent sudo. (Ours was used to allow help desk people to set up printers across platforms without needing to know the quirks of each of the different command lines)

Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet creator Gerry Anderson dies at 83


Four Feather Falls

Sorry can't agree with the statement Four Feather Falls didn't catch on. It was hugely popular amongst all the kids at school. They were all talking about the programme next day. I think what you should have said was it didn't catch on with marketing of toys and other franchises for extracting money from parents.

SpaceX satellite burns up on re-entry after Falcon FAIL


Merlin engines?

Surprised they were able to re-use the "Merlin" name. Originally it was a V12 piston engine built by Rolls-Royce and used in WW2 fighter planes and bombers. Surely they don't work in space ;)

Google swings new mobile unlock patent punch at Apple

IT Angle

Re: Software patents

Agreed - we've been using sliding bolts to lock/unlock for centuries. The distinction as to whether it is software controlled to do the same thing should not give rise to a new patent. And as for Voice control - anyone remember Ali Baba opening his cave door?

All prior art imho.

New ATLAS particle part of 'everyday mass'

Black Helicopters


If I remember my physics correctly, annihilation is actually a misnomer. It is usual for particles in "annihilation" events to decay into different particles. The particle discovered is a Meson not a Hadron, and mesons are made from a quark/artiquark pair. They aren't usually log lived and break down to other particles in short order. The annihilation you are referring to is the breakdown when a hadron meets its anti-hadron, or meson meets its anti-meson, or lepton (eg electron) meets its anti-lepton. Quarks are a bit more gregarious with anti-quarks - probably something to do with the differing colour charge (see quantum chromodynamics) - it makes the pairing of a green quark and antigreen antiquark possible because they aren't the same colour charge.

Regulator reckons telly advert caps are just peachy


Less adverts - thats good!

Most of the time I see at least 18 minutes advertising per hour on the commercial stations. 4.5 minutes each break at quarter hour intervals.

HTC Desire


Smart "Phone"

But what's it like as a phone? Most people seem to overlook the obvious and are just interested in the toys. It has to be good at its primary function. An old HTC supplied by work rarely worked in my

home town because it was so poor in this department, but the older Nokia I had was excellent.

(Same network and Sim card)


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