* Posts by Suricou Raven

1501 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Mexican Cobalt-60 robbers are DEAD MEN, say authorities

Suricou Raven

Re: Radiation Monitoring

X-ray machines generate their radiation by accelerating an electron beam into a target. Whatever the machine was that ended up in that dump, it wasn't x-ray. More likely either a radiotherepy machine or an industrial source. They are used for quality control in metalworking.

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ICANN posts guidelines to avoid gTLD mix-ups

Suricou Raven

Their solution

Move to a FQDN.

ie, give our clients money!

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MINING in SPAAAACE! Asteroid-scoopers? Nah - consumers will be the real winners

Suricou Raven

Re: The Wild-West days are here again

A lunar elevator would actually be comparatively easy. Lower gravity means lower cable weight and thus lower tension. Lunarstationary orbit is also lower, so shorter elevator. No atmosphere to worry about allows for much less durable materials. The only problem is getting everything up there - but that doesn't need any technological revolution, just a gargantuan pile of money.

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Suricou Raven

Re: simple really

Except that any such capability is an effective WMD. If you can drop on the ocean, it needs only a tiny adjustment in timing to drop onto any vaguely equatorial city*. Governments will no more allow that than they would allow nuclear weapons in private hands. There'd be some sort of treaty to outlaw space operations that involve placing engines upon an any object in space over a certain mass.

* Assuming you're dropping from an equatorial parking orbit. If you're bringing it in direct from the distant belt, polar cities are no harder a target than anywhere else.

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Suricou Raven

Re: private property doesn't exist up there in space.

There is no such thing as a natural right. If such a thing existed, it would be impossible to infringe - and none are. Rights, as much as any other aspect of law, are a purely artificial construct - and Burke's insistance otherwise was no more than wishful thinking.

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Suricou Raven

Re: says

No doubt automation will be heavily involved, but when you're operating a huge mining operation the machines are going to break down. I imagine moon or astroid mining operations may consist of a small 'foreman's cabin' station with a small crew in, and a large number of robots doing the actual mining. Whenever a robot breaks down another robot shall collect and bring it to the cabin, where the humans shall make the required repairs and send it out again.

Basically, Space Garage.

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Suricou Raven

Re: The Wild-West days are here again

Wouldn't be hard. Raw materials can be had in space, but manufacturing capability is lacking. What do you do when the last spare microcontroller for your oxygen concentration monitoring unit dies? Unless you've got a whole silicon foundry to hand, you can't replace something like that. Skilled enough engineers could bodge things up with electromechanical systems for a while, but eventually you're going to need spare parts for something.

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Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

Suricou Raven

Re: Hydraulic accumulators

Think bigger.

Tower bridge.

It's run off a modern electric pump system now, of course. But before that, it was lifted by exactly the mechanism you describe. There's a museum near one end where they still have the equipment on display.

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NSA collects up to FIVE BILLION mobile phone locations daily

Suricou Raven

Re: NSA?

Don't forget the phone companies themselves. They probably don't retain the information very long for cost reasons, but they surely log it, and probably mine it for useful data they can then sell to marketers, advertising agencies ('How many people walked past this billboard last week?') and town planners ('How many times did this road exceed intended pedestrian traffic capacity, and how much did they slow down to look at the christmas display?')

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Suricou Raven

Re: Guilt by Coincidence

How do you know it hasn't happened already? If it did, you probably wouldn't get to hear about it.

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Chester Cathedral smites net in Wi-Fi SMUT OUTRAGE

Suricou Raven

Re: Yawn

"Would that be the one that spams you with featured ad's instead of a 404 for mistyped URL's?"

That would be the one used by Virgin Media. Just confirmed by going to 'aosfiawre.com' - it resolves to a fake IP, which in turn redirects my browser to... er, long address, but it's on advancedsearch2.virginmedia.com.

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EMC: Backup is broken, do you hear me? Now buy this other thing

Suricou Raven

On behalf of everyone,

F*ck the cloud.

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DEATH-PROOF your old XP netbook: 5 OSes to bring it back to life

Suricou Raven

More on win8 please.

Given that just about any new laptop purchased now is going to come with win8, I'd like to know exactly what evilness MS has in store for those of us who want to dual-boot linux.

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THIS ONE WEIRD CHIP cuts weight from data centre power bills

Suricou Raven

112 cm2?

That sounds rather... large.

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Microsoft, HURTING after NSA backdooring, vows to now harden its pipe

Suricou Raven

Re: Bullshit

Plus they get to charge for it now.

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GCHQ was called in to crack password in Watkins child abuse case

Suricou Raven

Re: Does anyone else think that 'paedophile' is not strong enough to describe this guy?

Using the term in this way does a disservice to those people who feel a sexual attraction to children but do not act on it - but then, the majority has spoken. To deliberately avert a change in definition of any word is a very difficult task. Just look at the futile efforts to save the word 'hacker.'

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Suricou Raven

'cracked the password'

So, that means either:

- The files were encrypted, and GCHQ had to either brute force the password or apply some secret super-math or backdoor technique. Brute forcing is quite possible, if it was a weakish password.

or

- The files were just stored somewhere overseas, and it was easier to call in GCHQ than to go through the paperwork of an international warrant.

or

- The files were stored somewhere, a simple warrant would probably have sufficed, but someone on the political side wanted to give GCHQ a chance to share in the glory and help improve their reputation by helping convict not just a real criminal, but a pedophile - the most loathed and hated of all criminals.

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US puts Assange charge in too-hard basket - report

Suricou Raven

Do they think Assange is stupid?

Why is he going to trust an empty promise? It isn't legally binding. It's probably a ploy to try to coax him into leaving the embassy, and an obvious one at that.

Besides, even if they don't prosecute, there are plenty of other ways the US government could make an example of him. The sexual assault charge for one. A little more political leaning and they can make sure that the extradition ends in conviction. Assange goes behind bars for a good few years, his reputation is tainted by a rape conviction, and with any luck someone will shiv him in jail. Problem solved.

Or they could simply arrange an 'accident.'

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Microsoft bans XXXXBOX gamers for CURSING in online combat

Suricou Raven

Translation

"To be clear, the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement team does not monitor"

means: "We are carefully not denying the use of automated filters, which we may or may not use."

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Schmidt: Social networks will FREE THE PEOPLE of China

Suricou Raven

Re: Anyone got a spare Irony meter?

Not really. I think he views 'free speech' and 'privacy' as entirely unrelated concepts. That means that while Google may be attacking privacy, they can still be promoting free speech.

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Undercover BBC man exposes Amazon worker drone's daily 11-mile trek

Suricou Raven

This job seems familiar...

Is the software called 'Manna' by any chance?

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Mystery traffic redirection attack pulls net traffic through Belarus, Iceland

Suricou Raven

Re: Datacentre Question

Assuming it needs friendly. Easy enough to set up a front company without the government knowing. For added points, throw in a couple of badly-forged documents and load the computer with a banking trojan and list of credit cards - that way if you do get caught, it looks like just another criminal gang was behind it.

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Hot digital dog: A man’s best friend is still his... K-9

Suricou Raven

Several intelligence agencies are looking happy.

Mobile bugs, that people invite into their own homes? With cameras?

A simple custom firmware update is all it'd take, and if you can talk the manufacturer into signing it that's trivial to pull off. Even better than hacking a PC to get to the webcam - this one can be guided around to learn the layout or follow someone, pick up and open books, and make sure any weapons are hidden before the soldiers are sent in.

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Berners-Lee: 'Growing tide of surveillance' is destroying the internet

Suricou Raven

Proposed solution?

So far the best I've seen is a combination of political pressure to buy time with a crypto-anarchist approach in the longer term. Encrypt everything and set up a suitably redundant and decentralized infrastructure, and it becomes prohibitively expensive to monitor or censor.

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Native Americans were actually European - BEFORE the Europeans arrived!

Suricou Raven

Awaiting politics.

How does this affect the sillyness of US law?

'You get to have some casino profits because my government gave your tribe a monopoly in apology for my ancestors killing some of your ancestors.'

With the reservations and such, they've effectively got independent legal systems based on ancestry.

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Dry, cold and volatile: How to survive Mars, and your fellow crew

Suricou Raven

Re: Terraforming

You couldn't terraform Mars to be perfectly livable. It's just too small and lacks gravity. But you could, with enough super-engineering, get it to the point of 'close enough' - a place where you could nip out for a stroll in a lightweight environment suit and breather, and grow your crops under an inflatable dome.

Venus, on the other hand, is hotter than Hell. And it rains acid. Not going to happen unless you want to try building a gigantic sunshade the size of an entire planet.

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Intel pulls up SoCs, reveals 'integrated' memory on CPUs

Suricou Raven

So, cache?

Except bigger, and explicitly managed by the software?

The compiler would need to put it to good use, but Intel are quite good with their optimising compiler.

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Google's Schmidt predicts end to global censorship in a DECADE

Suricou Raven

That depends on him.

Google could make censorship a lot harder if they wished to, but that would incur further ire of many governments, and thus reduce potential profits in those countries.

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Lavabit founder: Feds ORDERED email providers to stay open

Suricou Raven

Re: For Starters: USENET

Skip the unique identifier. Just decrypt every message posted - the ones not for you will result in a hash fail.

That way an observer can't even extract metadata. All they can tell is how many each person is sending, but not who to nor how many they receive.

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3D printing: 'Third industrial revolution' or a load of old cobblers?

Suricou Raven

Re: Right now I can see only specialist application

I'm thinking of the attachments for hoover hoses.

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Suricou Raven

Re: Yes, a "solution looking for a problem"

Printers. High-speed optical networking. Making those holographic anti-counterfeiting things on bank cards.

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Google, Microsoft to drop child sex abuse from basic web search

Suricou Raven

I am unable to view pages two and three.

The content filter at my workplace blocks them.

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Suricou Raven

Harm?

Directly, no. The concern is what it could eventually lead to. Slippery slope is more then a fallacy - it's a real effect. A warning on google and a little content filtering is all very well, but once google have demonstrated they are willing to block information relating to *one* crime, there will be calls for them to block more.

Also, even if it does no harm, it isn't going to do any good either - which means it is nothing but security theater. A very publicly but utterly ineffective display to reassure the people that Something Is Being Done.

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Murdoch stands between your kids and filth with BSkyB network-level SHIELD

Suricou Raven

Re: Ironic

More accurately, he is obeying the threat of a law. Cameron et al have made it apparent that they are prepared to pass a law, and can probably do it too, if the ISPs don't voluntarily filter first. From the ISPs perspective, better to install a filter to their own specification right now than have to install one written to government (ie, technologically-ignorant MP) specification in a year or two.

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Microsoft, Cisco: RC4 encryption considered harmful, avoid at all costs

Suricou Raven

Re: Love to be a fly on the wall at NSA.

Not really. RC4 is still the default on a great many browsers, webservers, etc. Even if the decree goes out 'Abandon RC4!' today, it'll be a decade before it filters down. Software endures: Witness XP.

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Suricou Raven

2048b is really a minimum for RSA. It's secure for now, but if you want your communications to remain secure in the future 4096b is advisable. Any more is just silly.

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Brit ISPs ordered to add more movie-streaming websites to block list

Suricou Raven

They are very big for the 'casual pirates,' especially those who just want music.

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POWER SOURCE that might END humanity's PROBLEMS: A step forward

Suricou Raven

Re: Science

Good point. Put aside the cold war, and it was a time of great optimism. Medical science was promising ever longer and healthier lives. Agricultural technology looked to bring a new age of plenty. Mass-manufacturing let everyone live like a king - even the poorest in society could realistically dream of soon owning a car. And there, just over the horizon, what did ever-advancing technology promise? Colonies on the moon and mars. Space travel. Mankind was going to colonise the universe - a vast space, waiting for settlement. A clear manifest destiny: Space, there for the filling.

And what did we get? The manned space program fizzled out, mass-production turns out to screw up the environment, cars trash the climate, and longer lives just meant more people with arthritis and dementia. The stars look further away today than they ever have.

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Microsoft FAILS to encrypt data centre links despite NSA snooping

Suricou Raven

Re: PPTP or L2TP

This is datacenter-to-datacenter. Multi-gigabit traffic flows. Encryption isn't a matter of ticking a box, you need to install very expensive appliances at each end. Small change for microsoft, though.

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Are you experienced? The Doctor Who assistants that SUFFERED the most

Suricou Raven

I want closure!

What happened to Ace? The series needs to address this.

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Mandatory HTTP 2.0 encryption proposal sparks hot debate

Suricou Raven

Re: Caching

The browser can cache as per usual.

I'm not sure how much web proxies can cache these days anyway. Almost all text and HTML is dynamic.

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Suricou Raven

Re: TLS needs to be fixed first

Issuing false certificates, if used in a non-targeted manner, would be trivial to detect.

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Suricou Raven

Re: I must admit to having wondered

Because Back In The Day people were still using the 386 processor. Encryption costs cycles. Today every desktop is at least a dual core and even most embedded devices can comfortably handle the extra load.

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How to relieve Microsoft's Surface RT piles problem

Suricou Raven

Not retarded. Strategic.

MS has a problem: The market isn't growing much any more (at least in the developed world), and it's growing increasingly hard to get people to upgrade software. Just look at the problem they had getting people off of XP - and 7 is set to show the same endurance. It's 'good enough.' No expansion and no upgrades means no money for Microsoft, unless they can fundamentally alter their business model to be less of a 'boxed software' supplier and more of a service supplier. Apple pioneered the model, and MS wants in.

Surface, Metro, the new API, the Windows app store, Windows Phone - these are all parts of the MS plan to do just that. Expand control over the devices their software runs on, and use this control as a means to extract money as a service provider. Just like Apple.

People will hate it, of course. And it'll lose a huge amount of money, at first. But Microsoft can afford to throw money at it for years - it's not waste, it's investment, supporting the unprofitable new ecosystem until it matures into something self-sustaining - and from there, matures further into their next cash-cow.

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Norks EXECUTE 80 for watching DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

Suricou Raven

Re: bibles

China not only allows bibles: They have a state-run Christian church.

They do persecute some smaller, independent churches, but not on religious grounds. They just don't like any organisation that tries to badmouth the government, religious or no.

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PUNISHMENT gluttons: The Dr Who monsters that come back for more

Suricou Raven

Re: The Master

He was good in the first reappearance. Cartoonish, yes - but also menacing. This was someone who may sing and dance, but through it projected someone ambitious enough to rule, uncaring enough to hurt anyone, sadistic enough to enjoy it - and capable enough to pull it off. His silly exterior concealed a cruel and powerful villain.

The second appearance though, when he started shooting lightning out his fingers? Yeah. Crap.

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MPAA, RIAA: Kids need to learn 3 Rs – reading, writing and NO RIPPING

Suricou Raven

Re: Sponsored curriculum

Check the other cereals though - they are all just as bad, with very few exceptions.

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Suricou Raven

Actually, Europe decided to establish a duration of seventy years for music. This was justified as 'harmonising' the various copyright terms of member states into one EU-wide term. The UK went along with it, but weren't responsible.

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Suricou Raven

An effective new approach?

There have been two major approaches to industry-led copyright education campaigns in the past.

- Guilt. Tell the children that artists deserve to be paid for their work, and downloading is no different from stealing.

- Fear. Tell them of the harsh legal penalties they may suffer if caught.

The problem is that neither work too well. Guilt is undermined by seeing the vast wealth that successful celebrities flaunt at every chance - hard to feel sympathy when downloading music by some rapper who wears more bling than I could afford in a year. Fear doesn't work because a quick look around shows that the number of casual pirates suffering these consequences is negligable.

So this is a third approach.

- Hope. The possibility that, one day, copyright law could make *you* rich. So obey it now, and reap the rewards when you too are a successful artist.

People like hope. That's why lotteries are so successful. There are still weaknesses. Eventually the kids will work out that being an artist is much like being a professional footballer: For every mega-star there are thousands upon thousands of also-runs who need to take a real job to make ends meet, and their chances of being in the former class are rather slim even for the most talented. Which, realistically, few of them are. But even so, that hope can be a powerful thing.

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Falkland Islands almost BLITZED from space by plunging European ion-rocket craft

Suricou Raven

Re: When does recycling get to space ?

While we're shooting down ideas, here's mine:

Expanding foam.

1. Launch giant can of expanding foam into either low orbit or eccentric orbit, with the periapsis just skimming the atmosphere. Have to be formulated to work in vacuum, of course.

2. Deploy foam. Now you have an absolutely huge *blob* of foam in orbit. Low density. High volume.

3. Lots of tiny bits of junk - screws, paint flakes, etc - and some of the larger bits like tools collide during the few years the Blob is in service. Thus they either get embedded, or smashed into an eccentric orbit too.

4. With such a huge cross-sectional area, the blob will eventually (months to a decade or more, depending on orbit) be slowed down by friction and reenter along with the payload of collected debris, to burn up harmlessly. As will any small pieces that break off during collisions.

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