* Posts by harmjschoonhoven

604 posts • joined 3 Sep 2012


Radio hackers set off Dallas emergency sirens at midnight as a prank


Re: What if the Russians came by land ?

Any invasion will come at noon on the first monday of the month, when the sirens are tested.


Re: The siren system is designed to be activated when severe storms approach the city.

In Rotterdam we just close the Maeslantkering. The siren system is designed to be activated when the Russians are coming. See https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luchtalarm (in Dutch).

Boaty McBoatface sinks in South Atlantic on her maiden deployment


Re: finding the entrance to hollow earth and atlantis

But they got distracted by deep-sea vents around Antarctica ...

Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

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Re: "coffee please"

I always ask for a affogato. It never confuses members of the Guilde suisse des Restaurateurs-Cuisiniers.

Twitter sues US govt to protect 'Department of Immigration employee' who doesn't like Trump


Re: Streisand effect

Shortly after the lawsuit became public, @ALT_uscis tweeted a copy of the First Amendment and a picture of part of the lawsuit to its 61,000 followers, an increase of about 28,000 in a few hours. (reuters)

Alabama man gets electrocuted after sleeping with iPhone


Re: We'll add it to the list of things not to sleep next to

7. Palestine yellow scorpions

Europe to push new laws to access encrypted apps data


Re: And how exactly will this stop unmonitored random nutters driving cars at people again?

Statistically people will be driven over twenty times by drunk drivers before they are hit by an unmonitored random nutter driving a car at people.

Murder in space: NASA orders astronauts to KILL cripples – then fire bodies back to Earth



Long ago as a teen I 'launched' ants in a plastic capsule to see whether they survived the fall back to Earth. They all did. I hated the little critters but did not take the trouble to break their legs.

UK Home Office warns tech staff not to tweet negative Donald Trump posts


So it is OK

to tweet The noble Mr. Donald J. Trump is an honourable man. He always speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Free after Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 2

If fast radio bursts really are revving up interstellar sailcraft, here's the maths


No so fast ...

So far the only fast radio burst of which the source was identified is FRB 121102; a dwarf galaxy at a distance of 43 Mpc to 1.7 Gpc (Nature 5 januari 2017). The flux is 350 µJansky at 1.2 GHz (Brian D. Metzger et al. 2017). Because 1 Jansky is only 10-26 Wm-2Hz-1, this rules FRBs out as powersources for interstellar travel, even if the beam is more intense a couple of lightyears from the source.

Japan's Venus probe power plight panacea: Turn it off and on again ...and again and again...


Re: radiation environment

Although Akatsuki was launched during a period of minimal solar activity, it has now endured a complete cycle of maximum solar activity with increased risk of radiation damage. Had it been launched five years earlier, the damage would have been much less.

Germany, France lobby hard for terror-busting encryption backdoors – Europe seems to agree

Black Helicopters

Re: be bribed or coerced into handing over the keys

If I am well informed, was the list of people to be arrested (prepared in advance for eventualities as in any NATO country) required for the success of the coup d'etat by the Greek military junta in april 1967 printed by a computer operator stimulated by putting a gun to his head.

US judge halts mass fingerprint harvesting by cops to unlock iPhones


Re: Available now: Fake-i-Finger [C]

A genuine Apple i-Finger with rounded corners™.

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


Estimate of leaked I-131 mass

1 Bq = 1 nucleus decays per second. So ~500kmx500kmx1000mx 5µBq/m³ and the halftime of 8.0197 days gives the leak as 1.73x1015 atoms = 0.377 microgram. The leak was in the order of micrograms.


Is your child a hacker? Liverpudlian parents get warning signs checklist


Re: Overcomplicating it

There's a far simpler method: does your child suddenly own a BMW 4?

For Boris, growing up here, Veles didn't have much to offer. He played soccer but later discovered that he was more proficient at the videogame version of the sport. He joined a Counter-Strike club: nine or 10 teenagers gathered in a room, sitting behind their laptops and shooting each other up. One day a couple of summers ago, Boris was walking to school when he saw a BMW 4 Series parked by the side of the road. "What the fuck?" he thought. "My favorite car is in this town?" He asked around, but no one seemed to know who owned the BMW. Later, in a café, he met a Counter-Strike acquaintance named Aleksandar Velkovski. "Aleksandar, I saw this BMW 4," Boris told him. Velkovski revealed that the car was his. He'd bought it, he said, with the money he made off his website. In Veles, Aleksandar and Borce Velkovski are so renowned for the health food website they started that they're known as the Healthy Brothers. HealthyFoodHouse.com is a jumble of diet and beauty advice, natural remedies, and other nostrums. It gorges on advertising as it counsels readers to put a bar of soap under their bedsheets to relieve nightly leg cramps or to improve their red-blood-cell count with homemade beet syrup. Somehow the website's Facebook page has drawn 2 million followers; more than 10 million unique visitors come to HealthyFoodHouse.com every month.

Ceselkoski turned to coaching in 2011--first with a six-week classroom course in the Macedonian capital of Skopje, where he lives, and now online, in dense three-week modules. For around $425, his students learn how to prepare, populate, and promote their websites. A full third of the syllabus is dedicated to the mastery of Facebook. The Healthy Brothers once took Ceselkoski's course. Ceselkoski was visiting Las Vegas around the time of the election, and Trump's victory stunned him. He thought about the website operators in Veles. "It's possible, maybe, they changed a few percentages."

Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list


Re: Papiere bitte!

Troomp Drumpf

Vizio coughs up $2.2m after its smart TVs spied on millions of families


Re: Although i profoundly dislike the death penalty...

A dislike is not enough. The death penalty is utterly wrong, simply because miscarriages of justice - which are intrinsically unavoidable - can never, never, never be corrected.

Trump hits control-Z on cybersecurity order: No reason given for delay


Re: hold the heads of federal agencies accountable for managing their cyber risk

Sites like https://www.cia.gov/kids-page?

Baird is the word: Netflix's grandaddy gets bronze London landmark

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Re: system lines

The vertical TV scanfrequency is derived by dividing the horizontal scanfrequency by 405= 3x3x3x3x5, 525= 3x5x5x7, 625= 5x5x5x5 resp. 1125= 3x3x5x5x5. Reason was that frequency dividers using valves (tubes) could only handle small odd numbers (R.A. Alexander, The Life and Works of Alan Dower Blumlein, the inventor of stereo, Ch. 5 EMI and the Television Commission) in contrast to transistor-dividers (TTL) which which prefer division by powers of 2.

BTW, the first fully electronic television principle was put forward by Alan Archibald Campbell-Swindon during is address to the Röntgen Society in 1911.

Devonians try to drive Dartmoor whisky plan onto rocks


Re: pictures of the plans @ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-38755219

It is all wrong: The lettering of the Princetown distillery should not be DISTILLERY, but H.M. PRISON.

Trump's FBI boss, Attorney General picks reckon your encryption's getting backdoored


Just saying

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I don't care what your eyeballs tell you. Alternative fact is, we've locked up your files


Re: Wait a second...

Reality is even simpler. Crooks send credible invoices for goods and services which are completely imaginary to large organisations and enough get paid - no questions asked - to make this a profitable business.

Boffins ready to demo 1.44 petabit-per-second fibre cables


Re: Impressive but ...

The shipping container full of micro SD cards is NOT a unit of bandwidth as it has the dimension of bytes, not bytes/second.

So how fast has a container full of micro SD cards to move to match the 1.44 peta-bit/s fiber? A standard shipping container can hold about 10^8 µSD cards with say 32 GByte each. That is 25600 Petabits/container. Optical signal travel at 200000 km/s. Thus the container has to move at 11.25 km/s (40500 km/h) to match the new optical fiber. That is more than 11.186 km/s, the escape velocity from Earth.

Dodgy Dutch developer built backdoors into thousands of sites


@Anonymous Coward who lived in the Netherlands for a few years

Of course corruption exists in a country with Rotterdam, the largest habour in Europe where cocaine is smuggled with assistence of corrupt borderpolice and Aalsmeer the largest flower auction in the world, which is infiltered by the Italian mafia.

But it is unfair to say that the Dutch policeforce as such is corrupt.

Flight 666 lands safely in HEL on Friday the 13th


@Hans 1

This will teach them: G.B. Trudeau cartoon


Friday XIII

"This is the Friday the Thirteenth Club, meeting in Paris in 1930 to dance underneath a ladder and carry open umbrellas indoors. Being a rational reader of Nature, you surely applaud this contemptuous attitude towards superstition, so you won't be at all concerned by the following sinister tale. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced a new calendar to replace the old Julian system, whose inaccuracies had made Easter slip slowly through the seasons. To bring the festivals back to their old positions, ten days disappeared from October 1582. Some people thought the days were being stolen from them. But rebuilding and resetting the calendar had a more subtle effect. The Gregorian cycle of 400 years contains exactly 20,871 weeks, and hidden in the calendar's machinery is a bias towards certain days of the week landing on certain dates in the month. The 13th is more likely to be a Friday than any other day (Brown, B. H. Amer. Math. Monthly 40, 607; 1933). Bernard Yallop now points out that with a personal computer it is possible to look for such peculiarities "without resorting to mathematics" (Spectrum October, 66; 1998). His table shows for example that there are 688 Friday-the-thirteenths every 400 years, but only 684 Thursdays; and a month (like a week) is most likely to begin on a Sunday. Did the Friday the Thirteenth Club know of their good fortune in having these extra opportunities to carouse? I only hope they didn't meet a sticky end before finding out."

Stephen Battersby, Nature, Vol 396, 12 November 1998, page 113

Now that's a Blue Screen of Death: Windows 10 told me to jump off a cliff



As Benito Mussolini once said: "Today we stand at the edge of a cliff, but tomorrow we will make a great stride forwards."

Weaky-leaks: Furious fans roast Assange in web interview from hell


Re: Can we not just let him go to the Galápagos islands with no internet?

Too late. The use of the Internet has become so wide-spread that even people who generally look to escape "reality" for awhile in such a far-flung destination as Galapagos are constantly asking: Do the Galapagos Islands have internet? The simple answer: Yes.

Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death dead in latest Windows 10 preview


Re: Super Green

Traditionally chroma-key uses the most irrelevant primary colour as key, that is blue.

Hackers could turn your smart meter into a bomb and blow your family to smithereens – new claim



in the 1950's we were promised electricity [from nuclear power plants] too cheap to meter ...

Apple sued by parents of girl killed by driver 'distracted by FaceTime'



the number of alcohol-attributable lethal road traffic accidents worldwide is 268246. Sadly this is largely avoidable as figures from Germany show where the number of deaths dropped from 1716 with 18342 critically injured in 1995 to 256 and 4590 in 2015.

Flight simulator sets fire to airport


Re: Magnet man

That is called the Pauli effect after Wolfgang Ernst Pauli (1900 - 1958). The most famous example is that of a chandelier in a lecture room at a German university which dropped down on the day Pauli passed the town by rail.

BTW For me Pauli is famous for the article Relativitätstheorie first published in 1921 (to put all young physics students to shame, as it is the complete and lucid recap of the (special and general) theory of relativity, published under that title by Pergamon Student Editions (241 pages).

Prez Obama expels 35 Russian spies over election meddling


Welcome home, comrades

Here is your new office with a direct broadband connection to Washington DC. BTW here are the keys for your Дaчa on the Krim.

How Google.org stole the Christmas Spirit


Nothing new.

Read Judging books by their covers in the bestseller "Surely you are joking Mr. Feynman".

2016 just got a tiny bit longer. Gee, thanks, time lords


Love it.

Here we are only allowed to set off firework(bomb)s between 18:00 CET 2016-12-31 and 02:00 CET 2017-01-01. Not that anybody is paying any attention to that, but the extra second may be quite handy.

BTW. Scheduling the transition from 'wintertime' to 'summertime' v.v. has been a problem in broadcasting ever since the transmissions went 7/24.

Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable


Next will be a proposal

to insert a chip blocking all reference to natural selection and the right honourable Mr. Darwin.

This will be much easier than blocking pornography as there are clinical cases of people who are sexually aroused by observing a police-officer in uniform.

'I told him to cut it out' – Obama is convinced Putin's hackers swung the election for Trump


@Dave 126

As SunTzu said: All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

Earth days are getting longer – by 1.8 milliseconds per century


Earth rotational energy

is 2.137 1036 erg and is proportional to the square of the angular velocity. A slowdown of 1.8 ms/day per century is a relative decrease of 0.5 10-10 in angular velocity per year, releasing 8.5 1026 erg/year.

World electricity production from all energy sources was (in 2014) 22433 TWh or 8 1026 erg/year.

Note that the rise in seawater level slows the eath's rotation, but does - in first approximation - not change the rotational energy.

Chernobyl cover-up: Giant shield rolled over nuclear reactor remains

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Re: Sellafield

The official Sellafield history is Windscale 1957, Anatomy of a Nuclear Accident by the eminent Lorna Arnold.

San Francisco's sinking luxury Millennium Tower: Tilt spotted FROM SPACE

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Re: Welcome to the club

But the Dutch know how to build on soft soil. The Royal Palace in Amsterdam was built as a town hall between 1648 and 1665 on 13659 wooden piles. It is still erect and in perfect condition standing on that same wooden piles (minus two, taken out for inspection) protected by groundwater.

Controlling groundwater levels is essential in the Netherlands, especially in the parts that are below sea level. For that they have elected councils with a tradition going back to the 13th Century.



Re: Wow

B-52's are still flying (*) in anger.

(*) 27 minute War College podcast. North Korea sets off a nuclear bomb and how does the U.S. respond? The Pentagon sends a 65-year-old airplane to buzz Korean airspace. It wouldn't make a lot of sense if the warplane wasn't the B-52 bomber. Designed in the aftermath of World War Two, obsolete nearly before the last one rolled off the line in 1961 - the Stratofortress may remain in the air for another 25 years.

Hackers electrocute selves in quest to turn secure doors inside out


Re: Several pieces of equipment melted

At Los Alamos National Laboratory they have explosively pumped flux compression generators, devices used to generate a high-power electromagnetic pulse by compressing magnetic flux using high explosives. EPFCGs are intended to selfdestruct.

User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

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Re: The power switch is ALWAYS at the back of the computer

From A.N. Walker The UNIX™ Environment (1984): Unix can stop in three ways: out of control, in panic, or under user control. Out-of-control stops are caused either by catastrophic hardware failure, or by catastrophic bugs in Kernel (rare), or by idiotic user behaviour (such as switching off the power).

Fake election news meltdown vortex sucks in Google


I for me

trust the Prophecies* of our good old friend Nostradamus. According to Google he both predicted that Hillary and Donald would win the US elections ....

* If you go to the Utrecht University Library you can ask for it. You may read it, but you can not take it out because it is a pre-1800 book.

Panicked WH Smith kills website to stop sales of how-to terrorism manuals


Re: Madness!

I hope they still sell Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World, Pdf here.

Scorpion bombs were used in naval warfare. Throw a couple of thin eathware pots with a scorpion inside at a hostile trireme and wait for the effect.

China passes new Cybersecurity Law – you have seven months to comply if you wanna do biz in Middle Kingdom


Re: bribery in China

China has never had a formal privatisation programme. Instead, as Minxin Pei, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California, writes in China's Crony Capitalism, decentralising the rights of control over state property without clarifying the rights of ownership gave those who rule maximum advantage to extract wealth from society. Rights of control have been separated from rights of ownership in China - and where ownership is uncertain, control is key.

With clinical precision, Mr Pei explains how corruption operates at every level, perverting each branch of the party-state and subverting the political authority of the regime. The party cannot mitigate, let alone eradicate, "crony capitalism" because, since 1989, it has been "the very foundations of the regime's monopoly of power", the author argues. The conclusion, he believes, is that far from saving the regime, President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive may accelerate its demise by creating divisions within the ruling elite even as it reinforces strong popular resentment of corruption. (Cit, from The Economist)

China's Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay. By Minxin Pei. Harvard University Press.

'Extra-supermoon' to appear next week

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Re: What about the Super Furry Animals?

The Woolly Mammoth?

CERN also has a particle decelerator – and it’s trying to break physics


Re: Next question...

Experiments to answer the question Does antimatter fall down? were proposed in A Catching Trap for All Antiproton Seasons. The question is simple and relevant. The experiment is very difficult to perform. Electrostatic forces will dominate over gravity for falling antiprotons and antihydrogen, which is electrically neutral, is harder to make and handle.

Computer forensics defuses FBI's Clinton email 'bombshell'


Re: I sense political meddling.

@080 http://www.talkingaboutpolitics.com/crooks-and-fools/

Sitting in a century old steakhouse staring out at the Brooklyn Bridge thirty years ago Hank Greenburg (the pollster not the baseball player) explained an election that could only happen in the grubby circus of New York politics: Given a choice between a Crook and a Fool, he said, voters take the Crook. His theory was simple: You can predict what a Crook will do but you never know what a Fool may do.


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