* Posts by Cynic_999

1368 posts • joined 15 Aug 2013

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British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage

Cynic_999
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Re: weight calculation

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You do these calculations before you load the cargo into the plane. Having the plane measure it and then say "oops, that's outside the safe limits, you need to unpack and rearrange" is sort of not helpful...

"

It very much IS helpful for the pilot to know that the ground crew has loaded some heavy freight in the wrong hold, or failed to load such freight because it was delayed. Because it is far better to know that the W&B is out of limits when the aircraft can be unloaded and re-arranged than to only realise after take-off when the pilot does not have enough forward elevator authority and the aircraft stalls into a housing estate from 500 feet.

Or to get at least some advance warning that all the passengers are walking to the back because the steps for the front door have not arrived, and the aircraft is just about to tip onto its tail (has happened more than once).

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Cynic_999
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"

Calculating its total weight is one thing, but calculating the distribution of the weight is a different matter.

"

The aircraft sits on three legs. This is sufficient to be able to calculate the total weight and 2-axis C of G (which is all that is required). An electronic load cell is not expensive, and could be fitted to each landing strut (though would have to be done at the design stage, I doubt retro-fitting would be possible).

Alternatively the pressure of gas in the oleo would surely be proportional to the weight on that landing strut? A pressure sensor on each oleo could probably be retro-fitted.

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Cynic_999
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Just make sure you have the passenger numbers to start with. Its known as plan b

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Weight & balance could indeed all be calculated by the pilots or some simple software, but it's a bit more complex than that. The load sheet is used by the ground handlers to know what items to put where - which is determined by things other than just weight. Aircraft carry freight as well as passengers and baggage, and not only would the pilot need to have a list of all the freight & weight thereof (which he would not get if the computer is down), but will also need to know the volume and shape of that freight and any special requirements. Putting 5 items of freight weighing 2500kg into the forward hold may be great for the weight & balance, but the items might not all physically fit into that hold.

Then there's a multitude of restrictions that the aircraft captain does not necessarily know about. The MRI scanner mustn't be placed in the forward hold because its magnetic field could upset the navigation systems. Certain types of live animals must not be put in the same hold together (dogs and snakes for example). There are lots of chemical combinations that must not be transported in the same hold. Fruit & veg should not be placed in proximity to fresh fish. Plus 1001 other rules that the pilot would not be expected to know but the loadmaster must take into account when preparing the load sheet.

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Cynic_999
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"

Surely it would make more sense for the plane to calculate it's own weight & balance

"

Yes, my thoughts exactly. Would just need a suitable load cell in each gear strut. I've never seen a satisfactory reason as to why it's not done.

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Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes

Cynic_999
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Re: Shopping lists?

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Am I really the only one that doesn't need a list when I go out, and instead just live with the consequences when I get home and the discoveries of The Forgotten© are made?

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My normal method is, "Shit, I'm out of shampoo!" Get out of shower, dry, dress, go to supermarket. Come home with 5 carrier bags of stuff. Put away. Get undressed, enter shower. "Shit! Forgot to buy shampoo!"

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Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no

Cynic_999
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Fox in the henhouse?

ISTM that the "fox in the henhouse" analogy in the article is just as true from both sides. From Russia's POV America is the fox and Russia's cyber-security is the henhouse. Your enemy's security measures tells you a lot about their probable attack strategies (because people tend to ensure that they have a defence against their own methods of attack).

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'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

Cynic_999
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Better in the 3rd World

I was staying a few weeks with a friend in Nepal. My arrival prompted him to get an Internet connection. He ordered it around 17:00 Sunday, and the router was installed and fully up & running in the house by 10:00 the next day (Monday). Bit of a bird's nest at the top of the pole and the fibre cable not routed all that elegantly around the walls of the house, but it was definitely fibre all the way, not an inch of copper. No deposit required, no line rental, no installation fee, pay the first year's subscription after trying for 7 days. He chose the 35Mbps unlimited data option at £120 per year (up to 125Mbps was available IIRC). In the past 6 months it has had one 4 hour outage (lorry crashed into the pole outside his house and brought it down, snapping the fibre cable). They also have 5G in many places in Nepal. And that is very much a 3rd World country. I get better quality video calls to him than to another mate in the U.S.

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EmDrive? More like BS drive: Physics-defying space engine flunks out

Cynic_999
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"

that's not how science is done in *my* field.

Yes, models exist, but the *models* are adjusted to match the data, not vice versa.

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That's the difference between a scientist and an engineer. If asked what 2+2 equals, the scientist will reply "4" and the engineer would close the door and whisper, "What do you need it to equal?"

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Cynic_999
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"

Would you like to give concrete examples rather than making vague accusations of malpractice?

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ITYF the poster was referring to Global Cooling. I mean Global Warming - erm - make that "Climate Change"

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US military manuals hawked on dark web after files left rattling in insecure FTP server

Cynic_999
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Re: Of course, that's the stuff they found ...

It's marked with the original source, sure (i.e. the legitimate owner who was hacked), but that's no impediment to the thief who is selling it anonymously, nor to the buyers who know that they shouldn't be reading such documents.

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Google offers to leave robocallers hanging on the telephone

Cynic_999
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If I don't have your number plugged into my phone as a contact, your phone call doesn't ring, or get answered.

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All very well if you are 100% certain that you will *never* want to speak to anyone you don't know. Mother rushed to hospital? You'll never know because you won't get the call. Wife had a car accident and her phone got lost/broken in the accident? You'll be blissfully unaware. Delivery driver cannot find your address so is calling you for directions from his mobile? You'll find out in a few days when you call to find out what's happened to it.

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Foot lose: Idiot perv's shoe-mounted upskirt vid camera explodes

Cynic_999
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Re: The real question is: did he want to get arrested?

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.. couldn't think of a plausible innocent reason for having a camera mounted in his shoe in the first place

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He would obviously have removed the shoe + camera before visiting ER, and there's all manner of stories that would explain something catching fire close to his foot. Like dropping a Samsung onto it, for example ...

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Disk firmware can kill a whole cluster how exactly? Cisco explains

Cynic_999
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Luckily they are still 50% more expensive than regular drives ...

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No, they are about 10% more expensive - and in some cases the same price depending on supply & demand. You may well be using a SED yourself - unless the SED function is activated it behaves like a non-SED HDD so you wouldn't necessarily know.

SEDs make it easier to comply with certain standards, and where you are holding sensitive information that requires that nobody can get access to your data-at-rest, it provides a faster system because there is no overhead of software encryption.

Then when it comes to selling or disposing of old equipment, all data on a SED can be rendered unreadable in about 10 seconds while still leaving you with a serviceable HDD. Compare with many hours per TB required to securely wipe a conventional HDD.

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Cynic_999
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"

have the same cleartext encrypted with 2 ciphertexts

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Except it is extremely difficult for anyone to get access to the ciphertext because it is never sent outside the HDD. And even if you know that you have 6 different copies of the same data, each encrypted with a different key, I'm not sure that it will make the task of decryption any more successful.

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Boffins want to stop Network Time Protocol's time-travelling exploits

Cynic_999
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Who cares?

It's all relative anyway

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Potato, potato. Toma6to, I'm going to kill you... How a typo can turn an AI translator against us

Cynic_999
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Re: Hmmm

It's a strange fact that if the first and last letters of a word are correct, the order of the rest of the letters doesn't matter too much, the human brain will interpret it correctly.

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The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand

Cynic_999
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You're using it wrong

Apple's products are not designed to be taken into environments where contamination is an issue. They are designed to be shown off by posers and admired by sycophants, preferably while stored inside hermetically sealed glass cases. Use as props in films showing impossible computations being achieved effortlessly is also permitted so long as the apple logo is very prominent.

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UK taxman has amassed voice profiles of 5.1 million taxpayers

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today

Cynic_999
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I still have a set of Win98SE floppies. I expect many readers remember sitting feeding them one at a time, and having to fetch a spare when the inevitable disk read error occurred.

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Intel CEO Brian Krzanich quits biz after fling with coworker rumbled

Cynic_999
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Re: Similar thing at HP

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Who can say if relationship is consensual because the underling feared being fired?

Who can say if the underlings are trying to seduce their managers to get a promotion?

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IMO it doesn't matter WHY it is consensual, so long as it genuinely is consensual. Or should we decide that any sex is rape if one of the parties hopes to gain some advantage or avoid a disadvantage from the relationship?

If an employee reckons they were fired because they refused to have sex with the boss, then that's a matter that should be dealt with the same as any other allegation of unfair dismissal, and if proven THEN the boss in question should be fired (and face criminal prosecution).

If they are doing it to gain approval & promotion, then it's no different than any other way of arse-licking (except in this case it might be literal).

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Um, excuse me. Do you have clearance to patch that MRI scanner?

Cynic_999
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Re: obvious solution ...

"Transferring the data from the MRI to the hospital Intranet via sneakernet makes it significantly harder for hackers to gain unauthorized remote access to the machine"

You don't have to go that far. Just provide a link that is one-way image data only. You could even connect from the RS232 port of the MRI computer to a computer that is on the network, but have only the outgoing wire connected (Tx from MRI to Rx of networked computer). Or have both Tx and Rx connected but ensure that the only commands that will be recognised by the MRI computer from the RS232 port cannot do any damage.

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UK footie fans furious as Sky Broadband goes TITSUP: Total inability to stream unfair penalties

Cynic_999
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Re: Seems to have affected Zen Internet too

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Engineers are continuing to work on the fibre break.

The work is currently being delayed by numerous road works.

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More likely that the work was *caused* by one of the numerous road works.

Also from the link you gave ... "Fibre spicing engineers have arrived at the site and will begin work shortly."

Hopefully they have brought the correct mix of spices. Curry usually provides a very fast throughput.

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Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century

Cynic_999
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The Internet is international - and so are many supermarkets.

Gosh, what a lot of ethnocentric Englanders commenting today :-)

England is not the only country in the multiverse, and nor is it the only place with supermarkets and computers.

Today is 18th June 2018. In England.

In Islam it's 4 Shawwal, 1439

In Persia it's 28 Khordad 1397

In Nepal it's 4th Asadh 2075

In Ethiopia it's ሰኞ ሰኔ 11 2010

In the Chinese calendar its May 5, Wu Xu Year.

The year is 5778 in the Hebrew calendar.

Then there's the Balinese Pawukon calendar which I don't pretend to understand ...

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Pwned with '4 lines of code': Researchers warn SCADA systems are still hopelessly insecure

Cynic_999
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You're looking at the wrong area

The OS (if any) that a CAM machine uses is irrelevant. It's just a part of the machine, same as the belts and cogs. You don't get people demanding that machines are updated with metric nuts and bolts, or gears must have protection against people deliberately jamming a spanner in the teeth.

Security consists of preventing unauthorised people from getting access to the machinery rather than demanding that machines be built to thwart a sabotage attempt by bad people who have managed to gain access to the factory floor.

It's not the job of the machine manufacturer to protect the machine against unauthorised physical access, and I submit that it's the same regarding unauthorised digital access. Machine manufacturers are not, and are not expected to be security experts in either case. The company should ensure that its internal LAN is secured from outside access just as it is responsible for using security fences and guards etc. to secure against unauthorised physical access.

Basically, if you need an access card or door key to physically access a machine, then you should need a password or other form of authorisation to access the machine over the LAN.

If the manufacturer needs to service or troubleshoot, then temporary access can be granted by the company's IT security on a secure temporary basis - maybe a PW to get access though a VPN, or a temporary router "pinhole" to a single designated IP address. And all "Teamviewer" activity is monitored. Just the same as a visiting technician would be given a temporary visitor's pass if attending in person, and perhaps be accompanied by an employee at all times.

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Tech firms, come to Blighty! Everything is brill! Brexit schmexit, Galileo schmalileo

Cynic_999
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Re: Good old Alan T

The implied message that I get is, "If you are brilliant, come and devote your life to serving the British government, who will pay you a pittance and then castrate you for your trouble."

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Intel chip flaw: Math unit may spill crypto secrets from apps to malware

Cynic_999
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Re: Floating point crypto operations?

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good for X^Y which is rather frequent in cryptography

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Not that I know of.

AES, 3DES etc. uses table-lookups and logical operations (e.g. rotates, xor ), I can't think of any use for a conventional FPU in any symmetrical key encryption I've worked with.

Public/private key cryptography does use a form of exponential arithmetic - but on "bignumbers" which must be handled using a very different (and strange) form of modulo arithmetic that again, I cannot see a conventional FPU providing much assistance with apart from a slight boost computing partial products of bignumber multiplies and Montgomery inverses, which would not leave any useful scraps in the registers.

I've implemented several common encryption and hashing functions as well as public key encryption using assembler on both Z80 and ARM based processors. An FPU was of no significant help, but several ARM based chips contain a hardware encryption engine, one of which even does bignumber functions such as modulo exponential and Montgomery multiplication etc.

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Dixons Carphone 'fesses to mega-breach: Probes 'attempt to compromise' 5.9m payment cards

Cynic_999
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Re: Perhaps I need a forwarding email address for every shop

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A lot of web forms incorrectly reject it but a "plus form" address (RFC2822) is what you are looking for.

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Doesn't seem to work on either my company email address or my gmail address. :-(

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Cynic_999
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How about cookies?

If a company puts your CC details in a cookie that it sends to you (then forgets), it could retrieve those details by grabbing the cookie next time you place an order. However the details will then only be kept on *your* computer, not the company's servers, so I assume GDPR considerations will not apply.

The cookie could be encrypted, with the company using a different (random) encryption key for every customer. Then even if the company is hacked and all the keys stolen it would cause limited damage.

Of course, customers who place a new order using a different computer would have to enter their CC details again.

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UK digital secretary throws cold water over bid for laws on kids' use of social media

Cynic_999
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Molehills and mountains

The dangers of the Internet for children are always greatly exaggerated to suit whatever is the agenda of the day. Younger children's Internet activities should be under the full control of parents, and by the time they reach puberty they ought to be knowledgeable enough to stay safe. By which I mean not meeting up with strangers - there is no credible evidence that looking at porn is likely to harm any but a very small minority.

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England's top judge lashes out at 'Science Museum' grade court IT

Cynic_999
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"

The reason they ask for clarification is not because they don't know, but because they want precise details in the court records.

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They also want the witness's definition of the words s/he is using to be put on record, so that the witness cannot later claim that they were referring to something completely different or had themselves misunderstood the meaning of a particular word.

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UK's first transatlantic F-35 delivery flight delayed by weather

Cynic_999
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Re: Which is more expendable?

Full training may take 4-5 years, but the pilot will be good enough to do a ferry flight after a year.

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Cynic_999
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Which is more expendable?

From the article:- " you don’t take unnecessary risks with either the jet (which is easily replaced) or the pilot (who isn’t)."

Wrong way around, surely? A pilot is a heck of a lot less expensive than an aircraft (both initial cost and maintenance costs), and can also be produced (trained) in far less time than an aircraft can be built.

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Lack of governance on new police tech leaves 'worrying vacuum' – Brit biometrics commish

Cynic_999
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Re: retention ... for general crime

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Police bail is limited to 28 days

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Gosh, you seem to have believed the propaganda. Police bail can last for years, or even the rest of the person's life. Because firstly a senior police officer can and will routinely extend bail to 3 months, and a friendly magistrate can be relied upon to extend it indefinitely if a policeman says it is necessary. Anyone suspected of an offence where digital evidence must be obtained (e.g. a computer or phone must undergo forensic examination) are routinely placed on police bail for at least 6 months, and often for a year or more. Remember that the police can now impose conditions on their bail, which can be pretty onerous (though if police bail conditions are broken there's not much the police can do about it).

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RoboCop-ter: Boffins build drone to pinpoint brutal thugs in crowds

Cynic_999
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Re: I'm wondering

I wonder what percentage of the violent participants flagged up in the average protest crowd situation will be police officers?

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UK military may recruit wheezy, alcoholic keyboard warriors

Cynic_999
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Recruiting poster

A popular spoof poster when I was conscripted many years and many miles ago was:

Join the Army

Go to beautiful exotic countries

Meet happy, interesting people

Then kill them

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Four hydrogen + eight caesium clocks = one almost-proven Einstein theory

Cynic_999
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Re: you must accept the scientific fact that placebo ... works.

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It's the camp-followers of woo and "memory of water" and that hogwash that grind my gears.

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Yup. The idea that water could possibly have a "memory" is as ridiculous as the notion that merely observing a particle in one place could affect another particle in a completely different place. Or that hot water could possibly freeze faster than cold water when placed in the same freezer. And yet ...

I seriously doubt that homeopathy works as advertised, but please do not dismiss something as being nonsense merely because it does not fit in with any established scientific theories.

Most of what you read on your computer screen is due to the "memory of rust".

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Five actually useful real-world things that came out at Apple's WWDC

Cynic_999
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Re: 32-Way Facetime

How else would you hold an online wankathon? Mmmm?

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Did you test that? No, I thought you tested it. Now customers have it and it doesn't work

Cynic_999
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Re: The Smell....

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I haven't done that with a soldering iron but picked up a tranga with bare fingers before.

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Tranga? Google reveals no likely meaning. Closest to anything relevant is a red-headed transvestite.

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Internet engineers tear into United Nations' plan to move us all to IPv6

Cynic_999
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Re: Surely a sensible plan is not THAT difficult?

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There's also the issue that knowing a MAC can lead to a masquerade or other lower-level attack. It's one reason IPV6 had to be altered as it wasn't considered from an adversarial POV.

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Only by an attacker on the same local sub-net. And anyone with that access would be able to gather all the MAC addresses using a simple packet-sniffer.

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Cynic_999
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Re: 30 second ipv4 redesign?

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The Issue with IPv6 adoption is security, no-one wants their internal addresses globally routable

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Why not? That's a matter for the firewall at the border of the LAN to WAN. Which could block any or selected incoming connection requests to any or selected internal LAN addresses. While no longer needing to do any NAT.

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Cynic_999
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Surely a sensible plan is not THAT difficult?

My initial idea would be

First 16 bits = country code

Next 16 bits = area code in country

Next 16 bits = ISP within area

If the ISP uses the next 32 bits to identify each of its customers, that leaves each customer with an address space of 48 bits for each device on its internal LAN

48 bits is the length of a MAC address, so why not have each device using its (globally unique) MAC address as the last 6 bytes of its IPV6 address? DHCP would provide the first 10 bytes of the IPV6 address, each device would provide its own last 6 bytes (which could be locally managed if desired). Which would have the possible advantage that the IP address would tell you the manufacturer of the item you are communicating with.

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Un-bee-lievable: Two million Swedish bugs stolen in huge sting

Cynic_999
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Maybe they weren't stolen

They just went on strike demanding more honey and shorter flowers.

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Half of all Windows 10 users thought: BSOD it, let's get the latest build

Cynic_999
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Re: Rolled out != working users

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The best way to address this is planning ahead when buying hardware. I just bought a new Brother laser all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/fax with full Linux support from Brother, drivers available in .rpm or .deb.

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One of the main uses for my printer is printing labels onto printable CDs, DVDs and BluRay disks. This requires not only a printer driver that is able to tell the printer that it is printing onto a disk, but also an application that can create suitable print files easily.

Maybe there are such drivers and utilities now available for Linux just as there were for WfW last century, but when I looked last year I could not see any.

Your advice is as useful telling Tiger Woods to use a tennis racquet instead of a golf club, and when he complains that it doesn't work, advise him to plan ahead by changing his preferred sport.

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The glorious uncertainty: Backup world is having a GDPR moment

Cynic_999
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Re: Not my field of expertise

The solution is pretty obvious to me. Deletions are only performed on live (current) data, BUT a record or log of all such deletions is kept. If and when it is ever necessary to restore from a backup archive, that deletion log is used to immediately delete the same data on the newly restored records before going live with the restored media.

Something that could be trivially automated so that it is applied automagically after any restore script is run.

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A Reg-reading techie, a high street bank, some iffy production code – and a financial crash

Cynic_999
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Re: Or...

Easy ...

CalcExposure:

ldr r3,=TotalPositions

ldr r3,[r3]

ldr r2,=ExposureTable

mov r0,#0

ExpLoop:

ldr r1,[r2],#4

adds r0,r0,r1

bcs OverRunError

subs r3,r3,#1

bne ExpLoop

ldr r1,=TotalExposure

str r0,[r1]

mov pc,r14

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Buggy software could lock a Jeep's cruise control

Cynic_999
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Re: Oh Lord

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So, Cynic_999, I presume you are planning on reporting to the scrap pile shortly? Seems your programming is faulty ...

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My point was that we know that humans are not perfect and quite prone to making mistakes and occasionally behaving irrationally, yet we deem our wetware good enough to be in control of huge & dangerous machines. Yet we do not trust a computer to do the same unless it is shown to be 100% perfect.

Most certainly if a computer made the same mistake as most of the human errors that caused serious accidents, it would indeed be on the scrap heap.

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Cynic_999
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Re: It's maybe even a little worse

A 100A MOSFET is under £1. Add a low current button or keyswitch and it will be cheaper than the all-mechanical options. Probably a lower "on" resistance (so less voltage drop and heating) as well

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Cynic_999
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Re: Oh Lord

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It looks like wetware 1.0 is still better than the crapware they are using.

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Oh, I dunno about that. This is s bug that has not so far exhibited itself in 10000's of vehicles, and will only happen if an unlikely set of events were to occur. Wetware on the other hand frequently makes very basic errors, and cannot be relied upon to follow even very simple programming instructions.

Software would have to be pretty buggy before it screwed up as often as wetware does.

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ISP popped router ports, saving customers the trouble of making themselves hackable

Cynic_999
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Ultra-efficiet

They are to be commended for not closing the port so that they don't have to waste time re-opening it when the next bug is reported. Same reason that I never put tools back in the tool box.

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US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR

Cynic_999
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Re: Overreach

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Data has to be mutable, and as a consequence, less reliable.

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Data must certainly be mutable, but it does not follow that it is thereby rendered less reliable (the opposite is true). Because *people* are mutable. Thus personal data on an individual becomes less reliable over time because the *person* has changed. The fact that you stole 5p from your mum's purse when you were 6 years old does not mean that you should be forever branded as a thief and thus barred from holding any position of trust.

If you move house, databases must be updated to reflect your new address, and unless there is a very good reason to hold onto your old address, that should be deleted. After all, you'd be miffed if the police kept raiding your house because a drug dealer used to live there 25 years ago and the police have not changed the data on the PNC because they think as you do, that deleting or changing data makes it unreliable.

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