* Posts by Voland's right hand

3888 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

Agile consultant behind UK's disastrous Common Platform Programme steps down

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Agile and government do not mix

Using agile to deliver a government deliverable cannot work.

Procurement, finance, contract selection and deselection, etc are as waterfall as waterfall gets. Add to that the inevitable pre-election "what we have delivered" fixed dates and you get an environment where Agile has no logical function.

You can use agile as much as you like internally, but the actual shipment of stuff to gov (of any shape and form) and gov's side of planning the programme is not agile territory. It cannot be.

So the person to fall on its sword should not be the Agile consultancy, that should be the mandarin which decided to go all-buzzword compliant and run it as agile.

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Italian F-35 facility rolls out its first STOVL stealth fighter

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Re: You are not buying this equipment

In the most recent (39-45) global conflict, there were more--and more varied-

The reason for this is that conflict quickly terminated all delusions of fighters doing close-in air support as a main day job as well as the idea of "universal" fighter. WW2 fighters were highly specialized: air superiority (Spitfire, Yak-9, La-5, Me-109), Escort (P51), night (Dorado, Mosquito), intercept (Me-262), etc.

While they often did close air support, they did not have that as a day job (except the night ones). There were Mosquitos, Stukas, Pe2, Il2 for that. They could carry more, stay over the battlefield for longer, take more punishment and do a much better job.

What is happening today is repeating one of the biggest German mistakes of WW2. Hitler delayed the deployments of Me-262 by nearly a year until it had the ability to do some rudimentary close air support retrofitted (completely unnecessary for its actual use). We just do the same to fighters now instead of having proper close air support aircraft.

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America's mystery X-37B space drone lands after two years in orbit

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it is unlikely that it carries any weapons... cough... cough...

it is unlikely that it carries any weapons.

Depends what are you trying to hit.

An ion drive accelerated kinetic can be as small as you wish. The size of a cubesat. If you are not in a hurry to hit the target and the target is another satellite you can send it off on a nice long journey to slingshot around the moon and whack whatever you want with 10km/s. Bonus points for doing the orbital mechanics so that it hits the target head on adding its orbital velocity to its escape velocity.

The energy released by whacking something with 15kg at 18km/s collision velocity is roughly equivalent to a kiloton of TNT. No satellite will be able to maneuver out of the path, it will be too late by the time they see it.

20-30kg kinetic with terminal velocity around 40km/s gets you into atomic weapons range. For that you will need to send it on a rather long excursion but if you want let's say an asteroid incident above the North Korean launch facilities...

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IBM: Remote working is great! ... For everyone except us

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They have read had the new memo from the management yet

They have not read the new memo from the management yet. They will conform to the party line shortly. Sans the ones that will be fired for refusing to move to the cubicle jungle of course.

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Hackers emit 9GB of stolen Macron 'emails' two days before French presidential election

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Re: So, just another day in the office...?

It's an orchestrated campaign by Russia to disrupt its enemies.

Cannot really blame them. After all we invested tens of Billions after the fall of the wall into THEIR enemies around them after the fall of the wall and the end of the cold war.

It is a classic case of "cannot stand the heat - get out of the kitchen" by all accounts. This includes the online aspect as in this case.

The unnamed CIA staffer which facilitated the Panama leaks specially timed to last Russia elections and decided it is a good idea to filter out of all American content has a lot to answer for.

You do not lob a small hand grenade at someone who can and WILL respond with a nuclear salvo. While they always had an order of magnitude higher attack capability (by having better STEM and being able to "draft in" from the criminal contingent), they restrained from attack until the Panama leak. That was considered by them as openly hostile, an open attempt to interfere in their last elections (that was voiced even by their opposition) and a form of "information warfare".

We now reap what we saw and we are utterly unprepared for it - the information security of most political parties and other potential targets on our side is completely inexistent. There will be many more Macrons and DNCs going forward and very little for us to answer with.

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Re: "far right" is a misnoma

"far right" is a misnoma

"There is no left or right. There is no enemies." - quote is from one of the best movies on politics ever made and probably the best french movie about french politicians and politics: "Mort d'un pourri".

It took 30+ years for English subtitles to be finally added to this gem and it to be put on sale in the UK (the rest of the world has been watching it in the meantime).

I suggest grabbing a copy of Amazon. It is definitely worth it.

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Uncle Sam backs down on slurping passwords from US visa hopefuls

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Wait a minute, this is for all visa applicants not immigrants

The notice is for ALL visa applicants. Not just immigrants. When I read it, all I can say they are out of their frigging mind.

Travel history during the past fifteen years, including source of funding for travel.

For the last 15 years, my per-annum travel has been as much as 125k miles business, 15k miles personal with the family via air and up to 5-8k on top of that international travel by car. 40+ trips in a really bad year. For 15 years that is 600+ trips, some of which with 5+ countries to transit.

That is nothing - I know people who clock 80+ trips a year in a really bad year.

So if I one of us runs into issues with the stupid visa waiver and has to apply for a visa the application will be 15+ pages just for the trips. The only ones who are even more deluded in their data collection are the 1d10ts in the Home Office which ask for the same information from the date you came to the UK in order to issue permanent residency.

I do not see what is the purpose for the collection of this information. It serves no purpose whatsoever.

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What augmented reality was created for: An ugly drink with a balloon

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Re: practical consideration

"... preferred to send their own children downstairs ..."

You never know. There was a running gag in my previous job that my children are trained to enter the Hunger games and win them (*). So they may actually enjoy the experience (the intruder will not). They will definitely perform better than me too - I am getting slow proportionally to my beard going white.

Each of them does 2+ martial arts, at least one "force" sport like Water Polo and have been able to do half of an adult Triathlon since the age of 8. It has been many years since anyone has even considered the idea to lay a finger on them in school.

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User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

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Re: He was lucky

At least it was lightweight modern media.

The comp sci dept in my University kept as a relic and never fixed all the years I was there the fragments from a drive off an old VAX or IBM clone (not sure which one - we had both) embedded in the door.

Some idiot during one of the many repairs throughout the hungry post-fall-of-wall years disabled the safety on the drive case. Another idiot tried to open it while it was spinning at full throttle. Both got very lucky after the drive disintegrated - the frags were embedded all the way through a 1 inch thick wooden door and sticking on the outside. There was quite a bit of damage around the server room too. But somehow, miraculously, the idiot whoddunit was unscathed. There is a slavic proverb: "God looks after the drunks, little kids and the feeble of mind". Definitely applies in this case.

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China's first large passenger jet makes maiden flight

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This looks like 321 equivalent, not 320.

It is rather large. Looks like it is going for the top end of the scale - 321 and its Boeing equivalent.

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Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

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She is working for it

She should really stop shaving her mustache. A small rectangular mustache can do wonders to your look. A set of handlebars and a military headgear look stunning too.

On a more serious note she is pressing all the buttons to advance towards a fascist dictatorship.

Declaring barely won refernda sacred and inviolate by any normal democratic process - exactly like Hitler and the referendum on changing the Weimar republic constitution, quoting straight out of his and Geobels rants just doing s/Jew/European/g. Having her lapdog quote out of the Law for the restoration of the Professional German Civil Service while applying the same regexp. And now trying for a quick war. Nothing to advance a dictatorship like putting the country on a war footing.

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Booze stats confirm boring Britain is drying

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Re: This isn't because wine has suddenly become more potent

Interesting anecdote.

Not anecdote. Fact - at least as far as several wine making regions I frequent 5+ times annually are concerned.

Bulgaria in the 90-es. Mavrud used to be a classic relic hit-and-miss wine. Extremely year dependent. Fantastic in a good year, undrinkable in a bad one. Usually > 16 and around the 18 mark. All the wineries which made it either bought into Aussie tech or had Aussie investment between 1992 and 1997. The BVA went down immediately after the event. Every single one of them.

Tinto Negramol and Malvasia. When I first went to La Palma in 1999 you cut literally "cut" either one of them. They poured out of the bottle like oil. Next year - new Australian equipment at Teneguia and wine that is now no longer left to mature to its natural rocket fuel form. Diluted to mark and at 13.5 f*** BVA. That for Malvasia is undrinkable. A Malvasia which is under 15 is sweetened horsepiss, not wine. Ditto for Negramol.

And so on.

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Re: This isn't because wine has suddenly become more potent

French red wine to be 11.5% alcohol. Now, normal would be 13.5%

Lightweight horsepiss for spoilsports.

Malvasia, Mavrud, whatever was the name of that Greek Island Rocket Fuel, Tempranillo, Negramol have all gone from 16-18 down to... Guess where... Thirteen point F**** Five. It is the australization of the wine making. It is industrialized and outside France traditional wine making regions winemakers have either adopted Aussie tech or are outright owned by Aussies (Eastern Europe).

You need to get some stuff directly from the growers ( I bring ~ 50l in the truck each summer) to get proper quality rocket fuel nowdays. Even that is 15. Classic relic wines which used to hit more like Mavrud are not available any more.

So whatever you get your choice will be 13.5 or 13.5.

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Gamers red hot with fury over Intel Core i7-7700 temperature spikes

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Re: i7?

Any updates by any OS are cryptographically signed nowdays. Computing a SHA-2 (or higher) hash over several 100MB of downloads is not a low CPU cost operation.

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It is. Turn off TurboBoost. The culprit is more than one core at a time powering up ABOVE nominal spec. The easy solution to this is to turn off Turbo Boost in the bios. The performance gain from it is negligible in the first place.

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Fortran greybeards: Get your walking frames and shuffle over to NASA

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Plenty of us not in need of walking frames

For now I do not need a walking frame. I occasionally need wrist, back, ankle or knee support, but it is not because my beard is gray (which it is). It is because I have done something stupid playing sports or working on a DIY project.

Now, on the subject at hand - there are plenty of other gray (and not so gray) bears like me who can do Fortran and are not in need of a walking frame. The distinction is that we have NOT graduated with CS. Fortran was a necessary evil in doing the numerical methods courses in Chemistry and Physics up to as recent as 10 years ago (maybe still is). Some of this code is now in use in banking, computation of prices for airlines and god knows what else so it is fairly well maintained too.

However, as far 55k goes - you gotta be kidding, right?

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Apple leaks new thinner, lighter iPad ... revenues

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Re: you really got to admire apple

Services (including the App Store and Apple Pay) accounted for $7.04bn on the quarter, an 18 per cent increase.

Not any more. They have retargeted quite successfully to fleece the punters from services:

Services (including the App Store and Apple Pay) accounted for $7.04bn on the quarter, an 18 per cent increase.

That is where the growth is. They can continue to produce flat (or even reduced) sales in hardware for decades. As long as that keeps the punters locked in into their services model that particular line in the balance sheet will continue to increase. It is already pulling in about the same amount of money as the iPad and the Mac combined.

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Oracle links to LinkedIn so its salesware can sniff you out

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My first thought was what it was going to sniff

My first thought was 'how many w*nkers on Linked in have called themselves something along the lines "visionary cloud architectural enabler"' The quality of data for human consumption is god-awful.

That however would not stop a machine. In fact, statistical analysis of w*nking can produce perfect targeting information for selling more w*nking and w*nk assistance goods and services. It is the perfect data source for that - you can target w*nkers with a confidence ratio of 99% by running Bayes stats on their profiles and connections and sell pyramid marketing scams, self-improvement and motivational courseware, etc.

So if Oracle is successful things will sort themselves - Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B will remove itself out of the business population pool by being constantly fleeced.

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LinkedIn chatbots to help with 'important conversations'

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Re: Alternative Facts

This shows that it is extremely useful when filtering CVs.

First pass is the bulshit bingo filtering - any bulshit bingo in the profile is an immediate rounded folder filing. Under the desk.

You compare CV and LinkedIn profile. People usually do not lie in a CV - they consider it too risky.

So second filter is anyone and everyone who has obviously exaggerated versus their CV. File in the rounder folder under the desk.

Third stage is to ask all the relevant questions based on their CV/Profile - if they claim to have managed 10K people they should be able to describe responsibilties, processes, etc. File in the rounded folder under the desk.

Rinse repeat.

So it is actually quite useful, you just do not see its usefulness :)

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Re: Linkedin

I have had a couple of offers - one off a linked in advert.

It can be useful - if you are to talk to someone and he has put Visionary (without adding W*nker) in his title you know where you stand and you can avoid wasting your time talking to them.

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Microsoft sparks new war with Google with, er, $999+ lappies for kids

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Flexibility is a downside for non-CS educational environment

Flexibility is not a desirable feature in an educational environment with the exception of CS (even that only from a particular point onwards).

You want it to do exactly what it says on the tin and you do not want any work on it to be lost if the student sits on it, it is hit by a ball because the bag where it is was being used as a football goalpoast or is plain forgotten somewhere. From the teachers' perspective a stripped down cloud-backed device has considerable educational appeal. They will prefer it to a "proper OS" every time and it is difficult to blame them for that.

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Red alert! Intel patches remote execution hole that's been hidden in chips since 2010

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Re: Holy shucking fit

I had my hair rise on the back of my neck the moment I read the description of the feature back in ~ 2005-2006 when it first came out. My first thought was: "this is perfect for a backdoor, how can I disable it". Looks like I was right.

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Core blimey! 10,000 per rack in startup's cloud-in-a-box

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3.5-inch hard disk drive, draws less than 75 watt

3.5-inch hard disk drive, draws less than 75 watt

No thanks. You need either liquid cooling or the airflow of a GE or Rolls Royce engine for the A380 to keep an enclosure with 3 inch "drives" at operational temperatures.

Now, 7.5W would have been interesting. 75 for 3 inch drive-like cartridge, no thanks, that is beyond all thermal, airflow, etc design limits for a datacenter.

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Gig economy tech giants are 'free riding' on the welfare state, say MPs

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Re: A long time coming

It is a temporal pre-election anomaly while they are looking for some votes (and in the labor case money from the Unions). Do not worry, it will pass.

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Zeiss, ASML hit back at Nikon in chip-printing patent row

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Re: That last part.

Sorta...

It is an industry which likes the occasional turmoil, because only floods, hurricanes and patent wars give it the opportunity to raise prices. The rest of the time everyone is racing to the bottom.

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Just delete the internet – pr0n-blocking legislation receives Royal Assent

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Re: Who do they think they are?

The Ruling Class. They're Tories, don't you know? Born to rule over us plebs etc...

That was a good movie - one of finest Peter O'Toole performances. Any resemblance to some of the members of May's government is most likely purely coincidental.

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Re: Well, looking forward to the data breach

It is a nouvelle form of a 3 line whip.

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Last year's ICO fines would be 79 times higher under GDPR

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If they are allowed to.

UK businesses will likely be holding data on EU citizens

Once the UK is outside the Eu, it is not a question of if, it is a question of when May surveillance and police state policies will bite. Once that happens it can kiss the status of an allowed destination for data exchange good bye.

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Re: Judas Priest FTFY

Yeah, I can just see the ICO Screaming For Vengeance if you are Breaking The Law regardless if this has something to do with British Steel or it is something Unleashed in the East to the British Isles.

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Nuke'em till they glow

4%? How about the same as for competition violation - 10% of Global turnover and criminal responsibility for the director, CIO and the entire board. That would be more appropriate.

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M6 crowned crappiest motorway for 4G signal

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M11 is missing

That would have won. You are looking at < 20% there (except 3 which probably would be around 40% or thereabouts).

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Well, hot-diggity-damn, BlackBerry's KEYone is one hell of a comeback

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499 units of Doctor Who Money

Screw that. Above my pay bracket.

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Facebook decides fake news isn't crazy after all. It's now a real problem

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It is a very fine line

It is a very fine line between "fake" and "non-authorized" news and any discrimination against "fake" can be applied to ensure that only the authorized opinion of Pravda is heard by the proles.

We have been here before. I still remember the days when you were put on the suspicious list in USSR for owning a good short-wave capable of picking BBC World Service or radio Free Europe. I do not think we want to go back to that.

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Flatpak and Snaps aren't destined for graveyard of failed Linux tech yet

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Re: You could of course have the same advantages _much_ simpler...

... by using static linking.

There is stuff around librt which behaves strangely if you link the executable statically. There is other stuff which will just stop working altogether.

Once upon a time it used to be "everything linked statically just works, link dynamically and it may not". We are now in the exact opposite situation - a lot of software has never been tested to work correctly if you link it statically. In addition to that, there are licensing issues - some stuff cannot be linked in statically without violating licenses. On top of that most interpreted languages will stop functioning if you do not have a working dynamic linker. Perl, Java, Python and anything written in them (to name a few).

So by doing static linking of everything you are preparing a massive can of worms which you really do not need to open.

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Waiter? There's a mouse in my motherboard and this server is greasy!

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Seen that one too

Some of the older power supplies in computer equipment were emitting ultrasound which was attracting roaches like sugar bait. I forgot who made the supplies, but I already knew what was the problem the moment I opened the case and saw the familiar shape and label.

It was guaranteed to be a shorted roach electrocuted between the high power transistors inside. The smell of burned roach early in the morning... It smelled like...

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thousands of mouse turds and some liquid,

Red liquid? That is mouse vomit and diarrhea after being hit with warfarine or one of the new generation "one hit" anticoagulants. I would stay very far away from that as well as from the restaurant which has used it inside the kitchen instead of traps.

Otherwise mice in a computer are not anything new. I have dealt with quite a few cases of "server mouse infestation" in the days when I ran a computer shop. They are not as bad as squirrels and/or European (edible) doormice. Those do not just nest inside equipment, they also bring their food there (including poisonous bait). Also, mice do not carry the worst from the diseases you get with the bigger rodents (the squirrel family carries leprosy). In either case, today I will just write the whole thing off. My own health and life is too valuable to try to recover equipment that has become a rodent nest.

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China launches aircraft carrier the length of 2.1 brontosaurs

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Re: Slightly disapointing

But on the other it's a copy of a flawed design - they could at least have improved it, got rid of the ski ramp and put in a catapult.

It was built to match their current fleet arm which uses a purloined blueprints clone of Su-33 which is not catapult launched. It is short take off, arrested landing.

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Re: "What will China use their new aircraft carrier for?"

That's a valid question from a nation who sort of has an aircraft carrier but no suitable aircraft to fly from it.

Bollocks. They have cloned Su-33 and they are flying the clones today off the ex-Varyag (Liaoing). So they definitely have MORE suitable aircraft than UK.

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The Chinese boat looks like purloined off Russian blueprints. Something in-between Kuznetsov class (after refurb which took the missiles out) and Ulianovsk class.

That is not surprising as they have purloined the blueprints of the fighter to fly from it and they are pretty well matched - Su-33 requires a specific ski-jump ramp config.

Their next (nuclear using stolen Ulianovsk class blueprints) carrier is more interesting. The two they have now are just to "lean how to use it".

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The carrier is not the real threat

The real threat are the 85+ missile boats with 8 missiles each as well as 120+ other surface ships with 2-8 missiles each. Mix of Sunburns and indigenous stuff. Enough to overwhelm the defenses of a typical Tier one navy carrier group by sheer numbers. That is the real danger. The carrier is mostly just to project defensive umbrella over the rest, not for offense.

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FYI: You can blow Intel-powered broadband modems off the 'net with a 'trivial' packet stream

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Re: The penalty for realtime imbecilitis

Now show me what qdisc

It is not the CPU grunt which is the issue in consumer hardware preventing good QoS at 600MB (I agree with several posters which said it does not work).

It is something NO consumer router has. Timer precision. The higher the bandwidth, the higher the timer precision required. MIPS hardware used in most consumer routers simply does not have the timers needed to do QoS at 600MBit. You may be able to police and traffic shape a couple of buckets with HTB with rough precision (in the 10s of MBits range), but definitely no proper QoS as required by high-end video conferencing, audio, etc.

Compared to that, the timer precision on x86 is more than sufficient to do policing and QoS down to 10s of Kbits range at 1Gbit.

Now, on offloads. The offloads DO NOT FIX THAT. They do stuff which absolutely not needed if you use a Linux software load like accelerated forwarding, firewall, nat (all of that with ridiculously small tables). They do not however, have the ability to run a proper Qdisc on that at least in most consumer hardware. The few attempts at QoS in that are just drivel produced by a Chinese firmware engineer which has no clue whatsoever how QoS works (and it, by the way, is rocket science).

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Super-secure Pi-stuffed nomx email server box given a good probing

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Raspberry PI and storage +/- crypto

The built in SD card interface in Razzie is not fit for purpose for any reliable storage (as expected for email). It does the job for hobby stuff, but it is not something I would trust data 24x7x365. It will simply barf after a point. Either the controller or the electrical interface or both.

USB is even worse - any serious activity on it especially combined with network (which also internally hangs off USB) - BOOM. Add to that the fact that Model 3 (which is the only one fast enough to do full disk encryption) will crash thermally if you connect a good USB drive and use encrypted LVM. Write with it for 5-10 minutes at full throttle to a good fast USB disk and BOOM.

If it was some odd job doing storage like a DIY Time Capsule equivalent or DVR, you could have replaced it with a Banana, because that has real disk interface in the form of SATA on the SoC. The Banana is still not good enough for email though - it is a cut-down AHCI, no support for port replication so you cannot hook up two drives in a RAID config even if you wanted to. So you are down to the reliability of a single drive (still better than a razzie though).

That does not mean there are no ARM SoC which can do the job - there are aplenty (used by all those SOHO NAS devices). It is not a job for a hobby SoC though - neither for Razzie, nor for Banana. You need proper disk interface for at least 2 drives and proper NIC interface on-SoC.

So anyone who is trying to sell you a Banana based production secure email device... Just turn around... slowly... walk away... then faster... then run...

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Intel redesigns flawed Atom CPUs to stave off premature chip death

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More than you think.

It is either giving it a try and having a part for 1:1 swaps or redesigning an entire piece of equipment.

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iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

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Re: Dear Apple.

You are holding the wrong thing.

Register a trademark with a banana and two kiwis. That should do the trick.

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Irish Stripe techie denied entry to US – for having wrong stamp in passport

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Plenty of examples to that. Unfortunately.

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Kremlin-backed DNC hackers going after French presidential hopeful Macron

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Re: The problem isn't releasing it before the election

It is digging up scandals on ONLY ONE SIDE and releasing it before the election.

USA and UK has been doing this on politicians left of the center worldwide for 60 years. When real scandals did not suffice, fake ones were created. When even that was not enough we sponsored an occasional Pinochet or Reza Pehlevi.

What is worrying is not the fact that the Russians do it. What is worrying is that they are happy to sponsor anyone and anything provided that the result is destabilization at the moment. They give money and information to the ultra-left, ultra-right and nutters of all shapes and colors. This is good for them in the short term as it weakens countries which are doing the same around their backyard (we have wasted hundreds of billions on "sponsoring democracy" around their borders). Long term... There will be a blowback and a reckoning...

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Not auf wiedersehen – yet! The Berlin scene tempting Brexit tech

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Re: There are more levels than that

One thing people are not talking about is the hoards of immigrants causing trouble, including assault, rape and murder, across Germany, which the disloyal German media

Gee... which bridge did you get from under? Definitely not from under one of those on the Spree near Tiergarten though.

I was in Berlin last year and there is something about integrating and swallowing immigrants Germans can and should teach the UK. There is no ifs, no buts, no coconuts - the only allowed answer to "Sprechen sie Deutsch?" is a choice of "Ya" or "Ya". Even after swallowing 1M refugees in less than 2 years (which as Mutter noted we are guilty of causing), Germany is still more integrated and less visible than Luton, Bradford or even parts of London like most of Barking and Dagenham. It also does not allow any form of religious justice (while UK by the way does).

I am just going to ignore the rest of your rant. You definitely need meds. Badly.

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Re: There are more levels than that

So, not waiting for the (increasingly likely) IndeyRef 2

May I remind you that the referendum has to be allowed by Westminster and the only way Josephina Vissarionovich will allow it will be if hell freezes over. While it may have started to happen (snow in late April), it has not happened just yet.

So, for the time being, Edinburgh is not a safe bet. In fact the opposite - as outside the Eu as possible and getting the funding a red headed stepchild who "voted wrong" will get.

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Re: The Berlin scene tempting Brexit tech...

Are the German authorities planning to offer a fast track citizenship programme as well?

This has been tabled by several politicians there. It was put on the backburner to see if it will be necessary (depending on the level to which Josephina Vissarionovich May will screw Britain in her quest for personal dictatorship).

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