* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Hyperloop One teases idea of 50-minute London-Edinburgh ride

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"It is quite pointless really. A vacuum tube is not much better than a streamlined train."

But doesn't need to be so pointy.

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Re: Vapourware

"Surely you mean Vacuumware?"

You forgot to allow for the leaks.

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Re: History repeats???

"I think we HAVE lost our way for large projects in this country."

You're right. We've absolutely abandoned perpetual motion machines.

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Re: Overcomplicating it, aren't you ?

"In the 1840s-1850s atmospheric railways were running successfully with a motive force that was an evacuated pipe between the tracks"

The problem word in there is "successfully". The speeds achievable wouldn't be considered a success by hyperloop terms.

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Re: A luddite writes...

"But how would that go down in your neck of the woods, or any other pleasant rural location?"

Probably about the same as all the roads that would be needed to carry all the extra traffic for ever-growing commutes.

In my neck of the woods we had mills. When they were built there were also extra houses built because there was an influx of workers (it's not a new problem). The mills have closed. A few have been re-purposed for new businesses but on the whole employing rather less people per loom-space. The rest have been built over with houses. And a few more houses in in-fills. So local population has gone up, local employment has gone down. Public transport has got worse. The unimproved roads have to take the strain of commuting by car and, to be fair, it's not easy to see how the roads could be improved given the constraints topography imposes. What we've suffered from has been a lifetime's planning which has adopted the principle of separating places of employment and dwellings into different zones; the mess we have was actually planned. The situation being what it is I can't see how more work-places could be slotted into the area - topographical constraints again. If, however, it were possible to move some urban jobs into rural areas then the office space they occupy could be re-used for housing for the remaining urban workers. What we have now is the concentration of jobs into ever-growing urban centres which then need the towns and villages of over 1000 sq miles of surrounding countryside to house many of their workers with all the accompanying transport problems. It's not sustainable but it's yet another problem that government won't think about tackling. And that's without bringing increasing population into it.

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"I moved from S. England"

Sounds reasonable.

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Re: Something less drastic maybe

"The M25 may be much maligned but it gets people from one to the other rather quickly"

Not always in my admittedly limited experience but your point is well taken. There is a study going on about new tunnels for Manchester-Sheffield. I can only imagine they surveyed one of the routes some time ago when Winscar was drained to repair its leaks because one route seemed to run underneath it. Or maybe through it.

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Re: Whatever the technical merits/flaws

"I don't think anyone can built any large-scale infrastructure in Europe by simply waiting for all involved private parties to sell their lots at their own convenience."

OTOH we don't really think it was right when some C18/19th landowner decided to relocate a medieval village because the peasants were spoiling the view from his new house.

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Re: Total travel time? @Pete 2

The problem with your 1h15m flight is that (1) etc.

Some of these would apply to your Hyperloop. The taxiing is replaced by vaccing down and re-pressurising the airlock. I assume that if you have luggage it'll have to be stowed properly so as not to be a hazard under acceleration and deceleration so you wouldn't just be allowed to trundle it on board yourself.

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Re: Whatever the technical merits/flaws

"try looking up the Llyn Celyn reservoir"

And various Pennine reservoirs.

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Re: UK Fault lines

"The BGS geology viewer might help you a bit"

Dammit! I've got a fault running more or less under the house!

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Re: Um

"If you consider the topography of much of Northern and Western Britain, there's a problem with anything that is ground tracking at c700 mph."

No problem, just start with 1,200 foot towers at each end and keep it level. Surely the unicorns can manage that.

Rustle up a privacy research project and ICO queen Liz will see you handsomely rewarded

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Re: Oi! Infomation Commissioner!

For 3) I prefer my solution.

After the call dial something like 1477 or some vacant number in the 14x range. Your telco debits a couple of quid, and double that if you're on TPS, from the caller's account and credits it to your own and for good measure takes a handling fee. The caller wasn't on their network? No problem, charge it to the network it came from; they can pass the charge on with their own fee added. Rinse and repeat as required.

It'd take a certain amount of policing to establish the caller is a nuisance caller and it wasn't just the recipient trying to score a couple of quid from any bona fide call; the potential charges could be recorded until that's ascertained and then put through. Telcos providing connections for call centres would have to put some effort into credit control to make sure they weren't left with the bill if the call centre folded.

Ex-MI5 boss: People ask, why didn't you follow all these people ... on your radar?

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I should have added the booby traps. They were intrinsically no-warning devices although not likely to cause so many casualties. I had a lucky escape from one of those.

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"They're palm trees in the shape of the letter 'T'"

Or a big double yer.

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Re: Outdated, yet still pushing bullshit

"We can find out how many get arrested for terrorism related offences in the UK. Which is 255 for 2016 and 317 for 2015. Less than half of those even get charged"

Largely friends and family of the attackers. The paucity of the charges is a good indication of what's happening - they're just arresting bystanders and hoping a few don't prove to be innocent.

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"There were several bombs left by the IRA in public places where they warned the police in advance of the explosion so people could get out of the way."

I assume that you weren't involved in trying to identify the appallingly burned bodies from La Mon House. I was. I assume you don't remember all the arbitrary killings of protestants such as the Darkley shootings. Or the Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen. Or Omagh. This is not to say there weren't atrocities perpetrated in the opposite direction - Greysteel and Cappagh spring to mind as examples.

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"At least with the IRA,... they were not anxious to kill a lot of people,"

That's not what it seemed like at the time. MI5 weren't involved in day-to-day murder investigations so she might not have noticed.

Axed from IBM for remote working? Don't go crying to HPE

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So really all that world-wide collaboration that's supposed to have produced Linux is just a stunt. It must be a group of grunts crowded into a cubicle farm because you couldn't do it any other way.

Senator blows a fuse as US spies continue lying over spying program

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Try the "when you've got them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow" approach:

Your agency's funding stops at the end of this month. If you want it to continue come back with an answer.

I think they'd be back by the end of the week let alone the month.

Hand in your notice – by 2022 there'll be 350,000 cybersecurity vacancies

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Re: It's all total...

The children of those retiring now will already be in mid-career. It's our grandchildren we should be warning off. Why did I just give grandson/apprentice my copy of Unix The Book? (I just looked inside the cover. Publication date 1982. 35 years I've been doing this stuff. Where did they all go?)

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Re: There is no skills gap.

"The poster going on about lack of training & unwilling to invest on talent inhouse is close to the mark."

This is where freelancing scores. You make your own decisions about training. Clearly it means loss of billable hours as well as fees and travel and accommodation if you don't live near enough to the training centre. But a client unwilling to train up their own staff is going to have to take in a freelancer to fill the skills gap.

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Re: I'm sorry, but at least in Germany...

"You make sure you have an overview about what kinds of data are stored and when they are supposed to be deleted."

In the UK you'd need to supplement that with making sure data are actually deleted according to schedule (will this finally bring the DNA and ANPR data to heel?) and making sure marketing don't spaff customer lists to their chums in spamming businesses.

Hotel guest goes broke after booking software gremlin makes her pay for strangers' rooms

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Re: I trust my bank

My experience was somewhat different. I was staying in an hotel on one gig whilst I had a watching brief on another. The idea was I would dial in (this was a long time ago) and check the logs on a daily basis. Because I had no signal at the hotel to do this on the phone I plugged the laptop modem (yes, a long time ago) into the hotel room socket for which I had to enter a card number. Every few days my card was blocked as this was a favourite test for a stolen card. This continued for the duration despite frequent calls to unblock it it and explanations that this was going to keep happening -and from the same hotel. The fact that someone would actually use the legitimate facility to use a card to make calls seemed to be beyond them.

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"most major sites I used offered to save my card for later purchases"

That's an offer I always manage to resist.

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Re: Bah!

"'d suspect the general voting reaction to you is less based upon what you said, and more based upon the insufferably c*ntish way you went about saying it."

Or both. The likely outcome with a credit card would be penalties imposed for going over the limit and hours of phone calls over the next few weeks and months getting those and the damage to her credit rating rescinded.

My experience of banks' handling of what should be routine settlement operations is such that I haven't used my current bank's card from within a few months of having it.

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I think I've just realised the answer to some of my questions. DevOps.

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OK, let's look at the IT issues here:

they had had some problems with their online reservation services and had "written a bypass" – a bypass that had, it turns out, "created some anomalies."

1. They're storing card numbers which they simply shouldn't do.

2. They had problems. Why? Presumably their service had been working OK before. Did they do something to cause the problems or was it their service provider?

3. If it was their service provider why didn't they dump it on them telling them to fix it PDQ or stand for any lost business if they couldn't.

4. If it was themselves why didn't they roll back to the previous state?

5. Having written a bypass why did they release it without effective checks to make sure it worked properly and then watched over it when they rolled it out to make sure it was working properly?

6. Why, having discovered there was a problem, did they not pull the plug on it immediately?

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Re: Oh, he knew.

"I have a feeling the head of PR chose exactly the right day to take off"

And may have taken off permanently.

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Re: She has to sue

"The hotel company showed so much bad will that the compensation needs to be much bigger than allowed by the suit imagination."

She'll undoubtedly get more as an out of court settlement plus NDA than in court. They can't afford to let it go to court. I'm sure that's all in place already which is why she's no longer answering reporters about it.

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Re: One of my pet peeves

"Almost worse than that there is the deliberate delay in accepting responsibility when something goes wrong."

In this case it's even worse. According to TFA in the first place they called her and even then she had problems getting back to them. And knowing something was wrong they still kept debiting her card. OK, if they stopped taking bookings it would have cost them some business but keeping doing this knowing they were debiting the wrong account they must surely have been committing fraud. At the very least they could have started issuing credits to her account to counter each debit their system made. In fact it's difficult to find anything in this account that they did right.

It sounds as if there was nobody on watch empowered to make decisions nor any means of quickly reaching anyone who could.

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Re: "Sounds like a lawsuit"

"It really depends how the hotel handles such a fuckup."

As she's now not talking to the media it sounds as if an offer has been made conditional on her shutting up. However I'm sure they're discovering it's much too late. What was the hotel again - oh yes, "1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge".

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Re: "Sounds like a lawsuit"

"2) Get used for all bookings?"


3) Not be shout down immediately they realised the problem?

It sounds as if they just let it run.

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Re: Perhaps?

'The Customer is always right'

Modern management: did you type some words?

Australia to float 'not backdoors' that behave just like backdoors to Five-Eyes meeting

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Re: Who's the real target?

"Governments in general already have all the legislation required to hack phones of nominated terrorist suspects or persons alleged to be committing serious crimes - through processes that form part of the criminal justice system."

Citation needed.

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Re: The whole idea of finding terrorists online

“Five Eyes” already have the capability to access your encrypted communications

Yes, but if the encryption's done right then all they get is encrypted.

Dish Network hit with $280 MEEELLION fine for relentless robocalling

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"denying that it broke the law."

If they're going to pay the lawyers to dispute a 475 page finding it would almost make it cheaper to pay the fine than pay lawyer rates per page.

NSA leaker bust gets weirder: Senator claims hacking is wider than leak revealed

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Re: I like Russians. I could support rapproachment

"As to Qatar, Trump probably doesn't even know that Iraq's invasion of them was our cue to the Gulf War."

Given that it was Kuwait that was invaded I hope he doesn't know it was Qater although it wouldn't surprise me if he does.

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Re: It could be worse ...

"she got caught"

She'll be able to call Trump as a witness. He assures us it never happened so she couldn't have leaked it.

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Re: curiouser and curiouser

"There shouldn't be anything to defend."

Just use good old pencil & paper.

Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

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"I don't think imprisonment or punishment without trial - which is what that article​ author is advocating is an appropriate response either."

It certainly isn't. OTW I think internment was counter-productive in NI.

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"The intelligence agencies usually prevent such attacks successfully. Recent figures suggest a rate of something over one attack a fortnight."

Where are the prosecutions to prove it?

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extremists trying to "knit their own crypto" and making a complete balls of it, some of them have even been reported here.

That seems to have been a typical example of "if all you have is Excel everything looks like a spreadsheet". Real cryptography algorithms are already available as libraries ready to be wrapped up in a UI. It doesn't have to be a pretty UI, just one that works. And if that hasn't already been done it's only because the commercial packages suffice for now.

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"Under our current system of law, we tend to require evidence of wrongdoing before we can imprison someone."

...but just in case we'll assume everyone is guilty and put them under surveillance just in case. We'll ignore the fact that the core of strong encryption S/W went public decades ago and that there are enough tech-savvy people* amongst terrorists who will put something together entirely out of our control and even if there aren't there are others who'll do it for cash. We'll also ignore the fact that we will also be attacking British business's ability to compete in a world where security of communications is regarded as essential. We just want all your data.

*We only wish we had a few in our government.


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Re: The Elephant in the room

They aren't interested in stopping attacks, all they are interested in is tracking down the contacts of the perpetrators

Checking that you really live in the catchment area of the school you've applied for etc etc.

Cuffed: Govt contractor 'used work PC to leak' evidence of Russia's US election hacking

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Re: Whaaaaa??

"But, according to the President of the U.S., and Valdimir Putin, the Kremlin Demagogue, this hacking or subversion never took place...?"

Maybe she should sub poena Trump as witness for the defence.

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Re: Some excellent headline options missed.

Reality strikes again.

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And how does the S/W for the machines get written? Almost certainly on machines connected to the internet.

State of DevOps: Everyone's slinging code out faster

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Re: The real question. How far away is what you have running from what you want running?

"OTOH if your current system is only SoA for the last century then you'll want to move things on sooner rather than later."

And if it's still doing what it needs to do and isn't broken you should go ahead and fix it?

Lloyds finally inks mega 10-year cloudy outsourcing deal with IBM

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"if i were a customer, i'd run... now.. very quickly ..."

I was, I did...ages ago.

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