* Posts by David Pearce

123 posts • joined 8 Aug 2007


It'll soon be even more illegal to fly drones near UK airports

David Pearce

I have never understood how helicopters are allowed over London, a much greater hazard to anyone on the ground than a surveillance drone

David Pearce

The devil is in the details.

Just CAA licensed aerodromes is a long list:


But will this also get extended to include military and the recreational airfields?

London City stops most of the centre of London

Encryption? This time it'll be usable, Thunderbird promises

David Pearce

Re: Dear TBird team

No, by becoming bloated and trying to push things into "the cloud" like passwords.

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

David Pearce

An AI only highway is more realistic, then the coordinated controllers can pack the vehicles in close.

Humans are far too unpredictable to join in.

David Pearce

Self driving cars will be on motorways first, an AI only environment and no driveways, pedestrians, 2 wheelers etc. Urban streets are way too complex for computers to manage

David Pearce

Re: Who does?

In 2049 Rachel is long dead. I think that in the original she was built with a normal human span, she was not enhanced.

EU politely asks if China could stop snaffling IP as precondition for doing business

David Pearce

Re: A Chinese student once told me....

Just like the West then. with the MBAs earning far more than the people who do the work.

'Year-long' delay to UK 5G if we spike Huawei deals, say telcos

David Pearce

Re: My family are career criminals. Let me install your door locks; I'm good!

That rules out Cisco then as the US has form in spying on Airbus for Boeing

Chip flinger Micron reels in production, expenses as revenue growth comes to crashing halt

David Pearce

Re: A cynic might say

Did anybody say cartel?

David Pearce

So why is DRAM so expensive?

You better watch out, you better not cry. Better not pout, I'm telling you why: SQLite vuln fixes are coming to town

David Pearce

The SQLite team have kept the project clean by not doing any feature creep, the focus is a single user database engine, nothing else.

Concentrating on bug fixing and performance improvement more than adding extra functions is very unusual.

Did you know that iOS ad clicks cost more than Android? These scammers did

David Pearce

Amazingly stock Android, at least as of v8.1, does not have a torch function.

Grandmaster flash Samsung dominated SSD market in 3Q2018

David Pearce

SSD has become more essential since recent rounds of anti-Spectre/Meltdown patches seem to have made PC disk access blocking on multiple cores. My I5s have become totally unresponsive with >95% system idle just because a Windows update file is downloading and frequently accessing the harddrive.

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

David Pearce

Re: Lack of a secret ballot is a greater problem

Governments have monitored voting to punish civil servants who voted the wrong way around the World. The chilling threat is enough to keep parties in power for a very long time

Intel hits target: 27% of staffers are female? Apparently that's 'full representation'

David Pearce

There are far more female than male engineering graduates in Malaysia these days. Even outdoor jobs in civil engineering have many. The reason is that the government gives scholarships in engineering and the girls are better at passing the entrance exams.

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

David Pearce

Business computer keyboards often have asset record numbers stuck on them by the finance people. They just love asking worthless things like a three year old keyboard during internal audits.

Super Micro China super spy chip super scandal: US Homeland Security, UK spies back Amazon, Apple denials

David Pearce

If it is true, Bloomberg would be trying very hard to produce real evidence.

Modern motherboards are not covered in chips these days and they are inspected by QA using Xray, so covert chips hidden in connectors, inside the PCB stack or under another chip will show.

Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

David Pearce

China along with several other nation states are quite capable of dissecting the Intel ME and discovering how to remote control it, no need to modify any hardware

Expanding Right To Be Forgotten slippery slope to global censorship, warn free speech fans

David Pearce

When concealing the search to hide the information in another country where the persons crime is not allowed to be forgotten, Google are then possibly breaking the law

Intel rips up microcode security fix license that banned benchmarking

David Pearce

But Intel, Dell,Acer etc continue to sell I7s at far higher prices than I5s and boast about the performance. As the patches are basically turning an I7 into an I5, this is getting very close to fraud.

Leatherbound analogue password manager: For the hipster who doesn't mind losing everything

David Pearce

At least it encourages people to use different passwords for each site.

It's probably more secure than trusting a browser to remember the credentials.

I am not a big fan for password recovery by email. Gmails near monopoly means that they have an easy opportunity to snoop.

Yarrrr, the Business Software Alliance reckons piracy be down, me hearties

David Pearce

Or is the change in usage? Ten years ago everyone in KL had a home PC, often pirate Windows and nearly always pirate Office.

Now hardly anyone seems to have a PC and if they do, it is just for Facebook

Troubled Watchkeeper drones miss crucial UK flight safety certificate

David Pearce

Re: Watchkeeper, a byword for failure

The reason UK defence programs keep going wrong, is that they keep trying to design multi-role toys that are going to "save money" by doing several things. Time and time again the committee ends up designing a camel that costs too much, does nothing well and won't sell abroad.

Historically successful multi-role aircraft were designed for a single purpose and only later found to be useful elsewherr

Less than half of paying ransomware targets get their files back

David Pearce

Ransomware created demand for Bitcoins and then Bitcoin mining malware appeared. I suspect the two stages were planned

Paul Allen's research vessel finds wreck of WWII US aircraft carrier

David Pearce

What paint did they use? 76 years in seawater and the planes paintwork looks like it just needs a wipe over

Fancy owning a two-seat Second World War Messerschmitt fighter?

David Pearce

Re: Volksjäger?

That engine is why that was the first aircraft with an ejection seat. Just climbing out was not an option

Inviting nearby exoplanet revealed as radiation-baked hell

David Pearce

We are only good at detecting planets of red dwarf stars. Current technology would never detect Earth from Proxima, even if the Earths orbital plane happened to be lined up

Helicopter crashes after manoeuvres to 'avoid... DJI Phantom drone'

David Pearce

Re: Question for those who know this stuff

That would be the worst case and similar to a duck sized bird doing the same thing

David Pearce

Helicopters used to train hovering at an airfield near me. There were no obstacles near them as the easiest mistake for a trainee is to start drifting backwards into the blindspot.

These helicopters were a menace to fixed wing aircraft on the main runway, one was flipped over

David Pearce

How did the pilot know it was a DJI Phantom?

Most quads look fairly similar

Yorkshire cops have begun using on-the-spot fingerprint scanners

David Pearce

Re: The usual suspects complaining

Finger prints are not unique.

Digital minutiae are far from unique as they sample "features" of the finger print, usually ridges that just stop somewhere, forks and kinks. The number of truly unique and possible vales this allows varies with the scanner, but its not very many. This makes finger prints useful for confirming identity, but only useful as a hint to identifying an unknown person

David Pearce

The digital storage of finger prints is very proprietary and most governments end up with several databases of them that cannot be compared

I carry a certificate issued by the national registration department stating that my finger print cannot be read for my identity card, once you are over 50 your print quality collapses

Data-by-audio whizzes Chirp palmed £100k to keep working with EDF

David Pearce

Security by obscurity again.

Now have a hijacked smartphone in acoustic range, eavesdropping or sending fake messages

Meltdown/Spectre week three: World still knee-deep in something nasty

David Pearce

It does mean that a new design cpu that is clean for these bugs by design, will be significantly faster than the present offerings. All for no increase in clock or major jump in transistor count

UK emergency crews get 4G smartmobes as monkeys attempt to emerge from Reg's butt

David Pearce

Re: Not only text messages on new years eve

Using TETRA 380 allows the police to jam civilian cellular. Jammers are also widely available on the Internet - illegal but they are there.

Jamming TETRA is actually easy, but you won't find anything for sale as sellers will get jumped on.

David Pearce

It will be interesting to see how well the priority virtual network or whatever the EE are using works on New Years Eve when the telco networks usually crash with greetings messages

KRACK whacked, media playback holes packed, other bugs go splat in Android patch pact

David Pearce

They cannot blame hardware capability either. Just like PCs, smartphone specs have hardly grown in two years. My Oppo is 8 core + 2GB RAM, 16GB flash. Many new phones are similar spec. Now 29 months old and no update since 4.4.4 almost two years ago

ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

David Pearce

I recently visited the UK and found that my cards were a total lottery of using their 6 digit PIN, signing and not working.

Cashless is a big problem if the overseas banks are not properly integrated.

And I won't use a phone for payments if the manufacturer cannot be bothered to update beyond Android 4.4.4

Estonia government locks down ID smartcards: Refresh or else

David Pearce

Re: Is there any chance

Except that you have to produce a driving licence for many purposes these days.

I wonder how secure the driving licence system really is, with the claimed ~ 1 million uninsured cars on the road

MH 370 search to resume as Malaysia makes deal with US oceanographic company

David Pearce

Re: Sonobuoy technology could provide cheap and easy locator

I used to work with Sonobuoys 35 years ago and they were dangerous beasts.

A saltwater battery that had to be protected from water in storage - aircraft get wet and are pressure washed

The antenna that shot out, these were lethal if you got in the way.

They sometimes caught fire.

You could leave out the self destruct.

David Pearce

Re: Good luck

That ELB was designed not to go off accidentally, but it did.

There was a recent case in Osaka of a 4kg panel falling from a plane onto a car. The panel was not even intended to fall off.

Given enough flight movements, Murphy is out to get you

David Pearce

Several piece of the plane have been found since the search was cancelled. These have been drift modeled, pointing at a crash site just outside the previous search area. We also now know to be looking for a debris field, not a sunken intact plane. There is even a likely satellite image which shows what looks like debris in the target area

David Pearce

Re: Good luck

A beacon designed to eject under some circumstances, can also eject when it shouldn't, like on approach over London. As the beacon cannot be too securely mounted or it will be trapped in a crash, accidental release is all too likely.

I have had to direction find an emergency locator beacon in the airport that was set off by accident.

National Audit Office: We'll be in a world of pain with '90s border tech post-Brexit

David Pearce

Re: How hard can it be?

If everyone had a unique serial number for life, the lookup would be easy. They don't.

Finger prints and other biometrics are useful for confirming identity if that individual has been seen before, but very poor at identifying unknown people

David Pearce

Re: How hard can it be?

Lookup what? Passport numbers change every few years. Foreign passports are run on systems that won't be exposed to the UK. Names can change and many people have the same name.

Add biometrics to the mix (several incompatible and proprietary systems probably in use) and it all starts getting very complex

Ethereum blockchain is sailing to Byzantium – hard fork up and running

David Pearce

Additional anonymity = better for ransomware operators and criminals in general

BAE confirms it is slashing 2,000 jobs

David Pearce

Re: Forward Planning

The Typhoon has been the wrong aircraft since it first flew. A short range air superiority fighter intended to fight over East Germany. Now bodged to do ground attack.

Reality is that the RAF and similar need a simpler air defence aircraft to tackle Russian heavy bombers and something simple, cheaper and robust for ground strike -preferably with a decent range

1,000 jobs on the line at BAE Systems' Lancashire plants – reports

David Pearce

Canada and Saudi are both large countries where the limited range of the Typhoon is a nuisance

Hubble spies most distant comet zipping through Solar System

David Pearce

Comets are hard to see because of the light pollution. I haven't seen the Milky Way for years

Gov contractor nicked on suspicion of Official Secrets Act breach

David Pearce

Wonderfully general legislation

"or is in the neighbourhood of, or enters any prohibited place within the meaning of this Act" would technically nab anyone who drives near RAF Northolt or hundreds of other places in the UK


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