* Posts by Alister

3423 posts • joined 19 May 2010

O2 brings forth a Friday fail for some unlucky UK customers

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Re: Emergency

Perhaps they sent her an SMS?

'Sharing of user data is routine, yet far from transparent' is not what you want to hear about medical apps. But 2019 is gonna 2019

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Re: One silver lining is that most of the programs encrypted this data while in transit

I see you work in PR for Facebook then... :)

Brit Police Federation cops to ransomware attack on HQ systems

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poking a stick into a hornet's nest?

You'd have to be very brave or very foolish to pursue the ransom...

'It's full of beer!' Miracle fridge reveals itself to pals tuckered out from cleaning flooded cabin

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Indiana Jones had it right

All you need to survive a nuclear explosion or natural disaster is your towel fridge.

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You have free beer and cider on tap?

This goes some way to explain the prevalence of typos in headlines and articles.

My Lambda Custom Runtimes bring all the .NET Core to the yard, and they're like... where is this headline going?

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I have no idea what it's referencing.

It's a reference to the song Milkshake, by Kelis

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Great headline...

Want to cruise your auto auto around but don't fancy killing people? Nvidia has an answer

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Re: A real product please.

I didn't


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A simulation can't possibly replicate all the myriad situations that car drivers face daily, and therefore they are no substitute for comprehensive real life testing.

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes

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Re: MCAS is being misportrayed

In the OG models, they mainly run a display. The pilot notes it's wrong/disagrees with the copilot's display, and ignores it, logging a maintenance ticket. That does not make the evening news.

Yep, fair point. It would be interesting to find out how many times that happens, and how reliable the AOA sensors normally are.

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Re: AOA sensors

I thought it had already been established - at least for LionAir - that the reason that the MCAS kept triggering was that the AOA sensor was providing erroneous data?

Such that even after the plane had pitched nose down below the horizon, the MCAS was still seeing a high AOA and responded by adding more nose-down trim.

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That would have cost them much more money though, and a full re-certification process.

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Re: MCAS is being misportrayed


Yes, absolutely correct. But in Boeing's corporate world, the costs of doing it properly were deemed greater than doing it quickly. Guess which won.

Also note that no model of 737 has more than two AOA sensors, so already the rule-of-three is broken.

A point raised by someone on PPrune is however interesting:

There are literally thousands of conventional 737s of various types still flying around every day, using the same AOA sensors as those fitted to the MAX, so why do we not hear about many failures? It would suggest that in general, the AOA sensors are pretty reliable.

But then that begs the question, what is different about the MAX that caused the AOA sensors on two separate airframes to fail in such quick succession?

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Re: Why did it require two?

Why did it require TWO crashes to begin to realize that there's something wrong?

Because Boeing and the FAA collectively stuck the fingers in their ears and denied that there was anything wrong. Until the preliminary report from the LionAir crash, they didn't even own up to the fact that MCAS was installed.

Lest we forget, it's only a week ago that the FAA was still expressing "complete confidence" in the 737MAX, and that was AFTER the second crash.

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Re: Lifts the veil on aviation ...

Was this wheeze from Boeing an attempt to avoid that extra cost (thus making the plane more attractive to airlines) ?

It was a way for Boeing to claim that the new 737 MAX handled in a similar way to the old 737NG and 737/800, thus allowing them to bypass new type certification for the aircraft, which would have delayed the roll out and cost more.

All new planes require that pilots have to be trained in their handling and control, so that is a normal, accepted cost to the airlines.

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Re: Simply Ghastly...

The stick shaker is still included - and may in fact have been a contributory factor in the Ethiopian incident, as it could have added another distraction for the pilots at a critical period.

Croydon school rolling in toilet roll after Brexit gift deemed unfit for the Queen's Anus Horribilis

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Re: Grow your own

We don't have anything like enough land-mass for sufficient forestry to provide for all the timber and paper needs of the UK. Whilst Germany and the UK are similar in size by land area, Germany is much more heavily forested.

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Re: HM The Queen?


Well played sir.

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Re: re: I wonder why they would pretend to think....

For the soft border, we just need lots of puppies, retriever puppies, preferably.

NASA: We need commercial rockets! SLS: Oh no you don't!

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** Never allow Americans to name things, they're crap at it.

To be fair, that's quite a recent problem, they used to be quite good at it.

Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavour. Even SkyLab wasn't bad...

From MySpace to MyFreeDiskSpace: 12 years of music – 50m songs – blackholed amid mystery server move

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Thumb Up

Re: BOFH at work?

BOFH: Sure thing. I'll just free up some space. Done.

You forgot the "clickety tap tap tappity click" bit...


What made a super high-tech home in Victorian England? Hydroelectric witchery, for starters

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Re: Archimedes

Well there you go, I'd never come across those before.

Everyday is a school day.

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Re: Archimedes

I noticed that too, I wonder if perhaps the Archimedes screw raises water to provide a head to run a turbine or waterwheel to generate the electricity. I can't see that turning an Archimedes screw with water pressure would be very successful.

College student with 'visions of writing super-cool scripts' almost wipes out faculty's entire system

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Re: Oh so true

Nope, just something small that does one thing right.

You wouldn't like to tell Lennart Poettering that, would you?

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Re: Drive mirroring.

accidentally mirror the new drive onto the existing data

<holds up hand>

Yep, I've done that, and spent way longer than I should have trying to work out where the data had gone, too.

Thankfully, I'd done a full backup first, so wasn't a complete idiot.

We can do this the easy way or the Huawei, US tells Germany with threat to snip intel over 5G fears

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Re: These arguments

were I European I'd rather be spied on by the Americans than the Chinese

As a European, I'd much rather be spied on by the Chinese, they are less likely to try and sell my soul and my info to the highest bidder.

America has been Europe's best friend for the last hundred years. We've jumped into 2 major wars and kept the peace since WW2, and spent trillions on Europe's defense.

We've jumped into 2 major wars and caused many more minor ones since WW2, and spent trillions undermining Europe's defence.

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Re: Trumpian Diploonacy

You don't seem to have considered the possibility that for most Europeans (and I include British people in that for the moment) the risk that there is a "possibility" that China can snoop on their network traffic, is considered to be far less worrying than the risk that the USA can snoop on their network traffic.

European countries don't necessarily want to "go after" Huawei, especially not until there is some actual evidence of them doing something - you know, like the evidence we have that Cisco snoop on networks for the USA.

What do WLinux and Benedict Cumberbatch have in common? They're both fond of Pengwin

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"Shoving the ow into Windows"

I Larfed

How many Reg columnists does it take to turn off a lightbulb?

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Re: CorelDraw

I'm not sure but I think it may have been Paint Shop Pro, which was a Shareware product that if I recall correctly they brought out?

Yes, and promptly ruined...

PSP7 was I think the last version before Corel started to fiddle with it.

What today links Gmail, Google Drive, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram – apart from being run by monopolistic personal data harvesters?

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I felt a great disturbance in the Cloud, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

Brit rocket wranglers get Reaction they wanted after rattling SABRE

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It's been a long time coming, I'm sure they were trying to get this built back in the 90s.

Good to see them finally getting both the funding and recognition they deserve.

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming

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Re: Panic

@Paul Smith

given that the FAA has access to the actual Flight Recorder and that they have issued a Continued Airworthiness Notification (PDF) to the International Community (CANIC) related to the Boeing 737-8 and Boeing 737-9 (737 MAX) fleet, it would be safe to say that the flight recorder did not show trim against the limits or faulty AoA data.

You are again making assumptions that are not valid. The FAA do not have access to the Flight Data Recorder, it is currently with the NTSB, and the FAA released their CANIC before the Ethiopian FDR had even been recovered.

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Re: Automatic trim adjustment does not push down the nose aggressively

the pitch axis (a sudden pitch downward in climb out is what happened in both crashes) seems to be what the software system was designed to compensate for in the MAX versions of the 737.

The MCAS is designed to induce a pitch down to counteract the fact that the engine nacelles are lower, longer, and further forward on the 737 MAX and therefore can cause a pitch up in certain conditions.

The MCAS rotates the whole stabiliser to achieve this, and can therefore induce sufficient downward moment that the elevators cannot compensate for it even with full upward deflection.

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Re: The reason that the Max series need MCAS

@Phil O'Sophical

As currently configured, the MCAS doesn't compare the inputs from both Angle of Attack sensors, it only works off the one which the currently running Flight Control Computer is using.

I would hope that part of the forthcoming update would address that and include a comparison, but it's still not ideal. In most aviation control loops, a vote of three is the minimum used to identify a faulty sensor.

Airlines in Asia, Africa ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after second death crash in four-ish months

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Re: Southwest's position (last November)

There is a deleted comment which read:

"They are just now installing AoA sensors on their craft? What a bunch of lazy/cheap gits...."

And that was what I was responding to.

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UK CAA now suspended flights of the 737-MAX

As well as Australia, Asia and Africa.

Wonder what the American FAA will do now?

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Re: Background

Because that would be, and I put it mildly, a Fucking Stupid Design.

Agreed. Unfortunately, as the 737 MAX is not counted as a new aircraft, but merely a modification of an existing airframe, it relies on "grandfather" rights and did not have to go through a CoA renewal.

EDIT: Link to Airworthiness Directive released after LionAir incident https://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/2018-23-51_FR_Correction.pdf/AD_US-2018-23-51_1 (PDF)

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Re: Background

One other thing, most aircraft systems rely on multiple parallel data paths. A single failed sensor should not have caused anything more than a red indicator somewhere. If that was really the immediate cause of the Lion Air crash, then something else must have gone badly awry.

One of the problems with Boeing's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is that it only uses two AoA sensors, and loss of only one of them will trigger the system to keep adding nose-down trim to try and bring up the airspeed.

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Re: Southwest's position (last November)

I think you are misunderstanding, Southwest's aircraft have always had AoA sensors, but what they are installing are in-cockpit displays for the readings from the sensors, so that pilots can see if there is a discrepancy between them.

UK Ministry of Fun seeks deputy director for IT as it edges away from Cabinet Office shared services

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someone with strong technical knowledge, excellent negotiation skills, experience managing IT operations in a complex multi-vendor environment, and “significant track record of owning end-to-end in-house technology service delivery”.

Who is this mythical beast?

Just like asking for developers with 20 years experience of programming in Kotlin or Go, or datacentre technicians with 10 years of experience working with Server 2016.

Biker sues Google Fiber: I broke my leg, borked my ankle in trench dug to lay ad giant's pipe

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Re: Bork

Balk, meaning to obstruct, (and spelt balk) is not the same word as bork meaning broke, which is an internet thing.

No guns or lockpicks needed to nick modern cars if they're fitted with hackable 'smart' alarms

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Re: Land Rover Defenders

I've also experienced trying to swap a fuel tank with an original replacement part, and finding it didn't fit because it was literally an INCH too long.

Ah, the joys of Britpart :)

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Re: Land Rover Defenders


Not sure who you are aiming your comments at, but I've owned and driven Series 2A, Series 3, early (pre Defender) One-Ten, later Ninety, Range Rover P38, Discovery 1 and Discovery 2.

I don't have a prejudice, but I'm well aware that more modern Land Rovers have a very poor reputation for electrical reliability, and there have been various quality issues (TDV6 engine for example).

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Re: Land Rover Defenders

That's because you'll probably find all the other tools you need to make it go in the back :)

No other tools required, both the door locks and ignition switch can be operated with a screwdriver.

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Land Rover Defenders

Not one of those vehicles on the photo is a Land Rover Defender.

And all you need to get into one of those and drive away is a small screwdriver.

Champagne corks undocked as SpaceX brings the Crew Dragon back to Earth

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Like its freighter counterpart, the Crew Dragon can bring supplies back from the ISS (although not quite so much – its priority is cargo of the talking variety, of course).


What happens when security devices are insecure? Choose the nuclear option

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Re: Bartender

Publican or landlord.

What if the person doesn't own the pub?

Barman or barmaid are so last century...

Dear Britain's mast-fearing Nimbys: Do you want your phone to work or not?

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Mobile phones are not designed to be all-purpose work-anywhere devices

So why are they being positioned as such? The industry, and to a certain extent government, are trying to suggest that nobody needs land lines or phone boxes anymore, it's all mobile.

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They do have the advantage that a 999 call will connect to any network regardless of your contract operator or phone locked down settings. If it can get a signal it can make the call.

You seem to be missing the point I'm making.

EE (and other operators) seem to be complaining about having to provide 95% coverage for the UK.

But there are still parts of the UK without even basic GSM signal availability, never mind 3G or 4G.

You can't make an emergency call if there is no signal, and it is the out-of-the-way places where this is most required that the networks don't want to cover.

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* Or do you really need 100 Mb/s all over the Cairngorms?

Yes, the whole point (or one of the major points) for replacing airwave with mobile was to allow the emergency services to use mobile data in preference to voice.

However, as others have said, there isn't even basic GSM coverage in quite large parts of the British Isles, so ambulances, police cars etc will have no contact with their base, and their base will have no contact with the vehicles.

Which is a bit of a drawback for an emergency service.

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