nav search
Data Centre Software Security DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes
BOFH
Lectures

* Posts by Peter2

1526 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Facebook's CEO on his latest almighty Zuck-up: OK, we did try to smear critics, but I was too out-of-the-loop to know

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Disliking Soros != Anti-Semitism

Helping people is conventionally done via founding charities. Bill Gates is somebody who pretty much everybody can agree is helping people by fighting disease etc, and his political involvement is limited to his core activities, such as last time he was on stage pushing toilets suitable for the conditions in africa to improve sanitation etc.

Mr Soros on the other hand has alongside such activities invested very, very significant sums (reportedly in the billions) into making political changes. He deserves at least the same level of scrutiny as Mr Murdoch does when he attempts to meddle in public affairs.

11
0

Want to hack a hole-in-the-wall cash machine for free dosh? It's as easy as Windows XP

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: all of the attacks mentioned require access to the hardware

none with the explosives have been used around here yet.

Blowing up an ATM with explosives is dangerous, wakes everybody within miles and attracts attention, which leads to photographs etc, plus produces such a huge outcry that the police are obliged to exhaustively investigate any lead going. Explosives are also very tightly regulated and thus highly traceable.

Ramming a digger into the ATM and driving off with it, sticking the ATM in a makeshift farraday cage (one assumes they have a tracking device) while you blowtorch it open is relatively easy in that all you need is a digger and it also doesn't attract much attention from the public, or from the police.

3
0

Between you, me and that dodgy-looking USB: A little bit of paranoia never hurt anyone

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: A paranoid mount option ?

What is needed is a paranoid mount option for USB devices - the OS would report to the user what the device says it is but would not execute any code on the device.

Already exists.

Disable autorun and put a Software Restriction Policy GPO in to not execute any executable code outside of authorized locations (eg, %program files%, %servershare%) unless you are an admin.

Hence, local users can't execute files that haven't been put in an authorized location, and can't put them in an authorized location themselves. This provides quite a lot of protection; since %temp% is blocked as a authorised location and outlook puts files there when it runs then while the users can open documents sent to them (.doc(x), .xls(x), .pdf) then executable content (.exe, .vbs, .etc) will not run. They literally then can't run trojans attached to emails if they try. They can't run executables from USB sticks either.

Then lock down office from downloading content from the internet that's not in the document and block unsigned macros from running and... how can users damage their computers? They can't. This is all available for zero cost with group policy out of the box.

10
1

Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Few comments

"new hardware for ME / 95 / 98 / Win 7 etc will become increasingly hard to find"

You do realise that the flagship of the Royal Navy is a First Rate Line of Battleship, which was laid down in 1759 and predates the formation of the United States of America?

By comparison, keeping a bit of ten year old equipment in service is not exactly an insurmountable problem. The RN & MOD is not precisely short of warehouse room for spares.

27
1

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: I've still got a pile of 2x10 terminators, T-pieces and connectors.

I'm not even going to start listing what i'm holding, but suffice to say that when doing a site visit for an unrelated reason the CEO of a national grade supplier (very, very old contact) wryly mentioned he'd been asked to sell spares for my type of system by another company at "blank cheque" level money who had needed to do an emergency fix for an out of support system. This company had found that the international supply chain now contains zero of these parts, and were phoning around other former maintainers hoping somebody was keeping some spares.

I am assured that I literally hold the only known comprehensive set of spare parts (x2 of everything) anywhere in the world for this system as a result of deciding that spare parts availability might be a future issue years ago, doing a back of the envelope calculation on the cost of complete replacement versus the cost of buying up every spare going cheaply on eBay and persuading managlement that it would be worth committing a bit of cash to buying up a modest stock of spares to keep us ticking over until we decide to replace the system.

He also said that the numbers of trained people left in the industry who can work on these systems are at the "count them on your fingers" level and suggested that I might be the most practiced person left maintaining one of these systems. Bless.

Forgive the AC and not mentioning what the system is. Now I know what the parts are worth i'm concerned that my spares store could be a major target for burglary. I will say though that I love the BMA crowd. The "don't hold spares" cos "just in time" attitude has made my spares worth a fortune now.

It really would be worth having a site that does keep track of what odd spares we have around since one persons rubbish really is anothers gold when that part breaks on a production system that really should have been replaced a lifetime ago.

19
0

If Shadow Home Sec Diane Abbott can be reeled in by phishers, truly no one is safe

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

That speech is here. Watch it, and then come back. https://t.co/qNMvtilMa1

So, we know that if gifted with a really good speechwriter that somebody trained in public speaking can look very competent when reading off of a script? Great, let's make the press secretary PM on that basis.

Oh, wait. Different set of skills required.

Her demonstrated ability to think for and articulate for herself has been amply demonstrated, and she stands as a lasting monument to the Peter Principle. She's simply been promoted a level beyond her level of competence and reached her point of incompetence.

If she drops down a level then she could regain and no doubt retain a reputation for being competent, useful and respected. As it is, the general public are observing somebody operating far beyond their point of competence and she will remain an object of mockery and derision until she returns to a job she is competent at. Frankly, I think keeping her in the position she is in is outright cruel.

5
2

Facebook quietly admits role in Myanmar killing fields – but fret not, it will do better next time

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Needed: prosocial data diode for amplifier

They have, yes.

It is also noteworthy that most of the current sites reward short ill thought out rants over longer and more considered posts.

This is particular to these sites: it did not used to happen on forums predating facebook. Of course, this also ignores that people have declining social skills due to reliance on electronic communication and are starting to use websites at a much younger age than was once the case.

1
1

NAND so it begins: Micron mounts head-on attack against 10K disks

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Enterprise? SATA??

At that price, i'd be doing the same.

2
0

ICO poised to fine Leave campaign and Arron Banks’ insurance biz £135,000

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Whereas the "Remain" campaign

As with anything, it all depends on how you present the facts.

I think you've misread things. The major stories following from this report are (in no particular order, and from a certain point of view)

1) He has not been found to have not overspent, and neither has the leave campaign.

1a) The Lib Dems were found guilty of breaching the spending limits for "remain" and were fined for this last year.

2) Quite a few journalists stated that a major factor of leave winning was Cambridge Analytica doing micro targeting. Remember that?

The report states that having investigated this exceedingly closely CA did not take part in the referendum. An awful lot of journalists have just had their journalistic credibility torn to shreds.

2) He has been found to have run part of the marketing campaign on the same IT infrastructure as one of his businesses.

3) Either deliberately or via screwing up, they sent a marketing message meant from the leave.eu group to the people opted in to the mailing list of one of his companies.

4) He's been caught using the leave.eu group to send a 10% off discount offer for an insurance product sold by one of his businesses.

5) There remains no evidence whatsoever that Russia funded the leave campaign, and the only people asserting this are the people who asserted that Cambridge Analytica won the referendum for leave, which has just been proven false.

6) The Lib Dems have just been fined for outright selling their members information to the remain campaign without their consent.

6a) In other news, the Lib Dems are having to make staff redundant due to financial difficulties.

11
15

Tata on trial: Outsourcer 'discriminated' against non-Asian workers, claim American staff

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: An interesting experiment...

I surmise that their employing such a large proportion of Sooth Asians / Indians isn't necessarily deliberate discrimination on their part, more that most Americans and Europeans would not accept to work at their rates or to work in a culture where they have no input into design, business process etc and just do as they are told without question.

I think that specifying such poor pay and working conditions relative to everybody else in the industry that the only way of staffing your company is via immigration on visas that are immediately ended if the person quits or fired is both deliberate discrimination, and a serious abuse of process.

The people working for that company know that they can be more or less arbitrarily fired by their employer, and then immediately deported. Those staff are basically being forced into agreeing whatever is demanded of them in terms of accepting the behavior of their managers and the wages that are offered, otherwise their lives can be arbitrarily destroyed.

This grants their manager a level of power that otherwise hasn't existed in our society since banishment by the "divine right" of a king to command anything without reference to due process.

15
0

'Privacy is a human right': Big cheese Sat-Nad lays out Microsoft's stall at Future Decoded

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Man, that's hilarious!

Yes, but I think your missing my point.

Microsoft cares about hurting it's competitors by supporting laws that hurt them disproportionately more than it disadvantages them.

1
0
Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Man, that's hilarious!

Microsoft pretending that it values user privacy is hilarious.

But it does now. If you think about it for a few minutes you'll figure out why.

Facebook gets practically all of it's revenue from advertising, and mining information from the user.

Google gets practically all of it's revenue from advertising, and mining information from the user.

Microsoft gets practically all of it's revenue from product licensing. They failed in search, they failed with mobile phones, and they failed in basically everything but their existing products.

Hence, Microsoft has nothing whatsoever to lose from implementing really stringent privacy laws such as GDPR, but it would disproportionately hurt their competitors. Hence, Microsoft now cares really deeply about your privacy. But probably not quite so much that they'll stop tracking which websites you visit so they can improve Bing's search, or stop tracking everything that you do on your computer until a law stopping them for doing it comes in.

5
0

Sensor failure led to Soyuz launch failure, says Roscosmos

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: "can the fault detection system work fast enough. "

Lest we forget, a 1MHz processor is running at 1,000,000 cycles per second, which even assuming an inefficient architecture that needs 10 cycles to process an instruction means that it's still capable of doing 100,000 calculations per second. That's plenty fast enough for doing pretty much anything when your programming in assembler.

We now need the 200MHz processor to try and keep up with that 1MHz processor because the useful work has to pass through a hundred abstraction layers to get to the hardware.

14
2

Microsoft claims Office 364 back to business as usual. Oh no it isn't, say suffering sysadmins

Peter2
Silver badge

So...

In my environment for patching I have a canary group, which gets updates first. The Canary group is comprised of less essential but voluble users who rarely (if ever) pass on an opportunity to report a problem, real or imagined. If the canary group snuffs it following a patch, I know not to apply the patches to production.

Has nobody told Microsoft staff that this is best practice with their software...?

9
0

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

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: V.amusing but...

(What, your keyboard doesn’t have an Any key?)

As you should explain to any user having trouble with this, the "any" key is the large unmarked key in the middle of the bottom row, also known as the "space" key.

This has the positive effect of the user ending the call happy with IT, and thinking that they have learned something few other people know. They then spread that around with their friends, which as people tend to hang out with similar people tends to eliminate calls from their social circle too.

It also has a slight chance that it might come out in the pub with their friends that they called the IT department asking which key was the "any key", leading to their friends saying to them what we want to say.

6
0
Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Some white ones visible on the pictures

Nobody is going to fly tip IBM model M's. Firstly, the resale value is so high that only an idiot would do it.

Secondly, anybody trying to lift a stack of them would have collapsed with a hernia. The Model M is not exactly what you might call lightweight.

16
0

Bomb squad descends on suspicious package to find something much more dangerous – a Journey cassette

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Harmless

I wouldn't bet much on that. My car was built 20 years ago and while admittedly it did come with a tape player 20 years ago pretty much the first thing I did with the car was to rip the tape player out and substitute it with a modern 2din touchscreen radio/mp3/cd/dvd/satnav android device which gives the same functionality as people buy new cars for.

7
0

Apple might be 'collateral damage' in US and China trade dust-up

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Shooting onself in the head

If China is the largest market, then longer term it would make sense anyway to do as much as possible in China

Up until a local copycat product (that's copied to such a point as including your copyright marks) goes on sale for less than your product (no R&D costs for direct copies!) and your Chinese sales promptly then go splat. The Chinese court systems then declare that no infringement of anything has taken place, leaving your company with no legal recourse, no market and looming bankruptcy.

14
1

Techie was bigged up by boss… only to cause mass Microsoft Exchange outage

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Note to Microsoft

Having heard all of the horror stories of people shutting down servers since the 2k days I have always put in a GPO on my sites to remove the "shut down" and "restart" options from the start menu of my servers. (plus other housekeeping bits like logging off people who leave their sessions connected after a decent period.)

This forces shutting machines down to be done with the "shutdown" command (start->run "shutdown /i") which forces very deliberate action be taken in shutting machines down.

20
0

Belgium: Oi, Brits, explain why Belgacom hack IPs pointed at you and your GCHQ

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Belgian terrorists

Are you so sure of that? I seem to remember much of British Intelligence being run by the KGB.And Philby, Blunt et al were just the ones they found.....

I think what he means is that British Intelligence is an honest spy outfit that covertly seeks information to pass onto parts of Her Majesties Government, whereas both the KGB and the Gestapo (though he probably means stasi here) had something of a habit of torturing information out of people they didn't like, or re-educating them in a Gulag in Siberia. Or just killing them.

By contrast, the most dodgy conduct uncovered about GCHQ is them discovering that somebody is smuggling drugs into the country in a particular vehicle and somebody in GCHQ then phones customs up and tells them to do a "random" search on that vehicle with specially trained sniffer dogs, and to exercise their selective amnesia by forgetting that GCHQ phoned.

8
15
Peter2
Silver badge

GCHQ's job is to intercept communications, break the encryption and hand plain text usable information over to the people in charge.

The USA compromised the UN communications, it would be terminally naive to expect that the GHCQ wouldn't have targeted the EU parliament and EU commission's communications.

26
0

I ship you knot: 2,400-year-old Greek trading vessel found intact at bottom of Black Sea

Peter2
Silver badge

Chances are that a ship that size would have been following the shore anyway, which would tend to negate any need for navigation instruments.

0
0
Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Leave it there

The "loot" in this case is simply knowledge. For instance, how these sort of ships were built is largely conjectural. Direct investigation can provide some proof, which sets the historical record straight.

There is a possibility that some navigational materials such as instruments might be recovered, which might prove or disprove existing historical theory, and what the cargo is can provide information about the culture's trade links etc.

19
0

UK Home Office admits £200m Emergency Services Network savings 'delayed'

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Omnishambles

That's one option.

The other option would be to go to the Army purchasing bods and ask how much it would cost for the police, ambulance & fire service to adopt the new(ish) Bowman radios the Army has.

Tada, problem solved. Military spec encryption voice & data comms that's proven to work in Afghanistan which is more devoid of comms infrastructure than the shires are for less than the cost of extending airwave.

You can use COTS devices (ie smartphones) between the APC police car and the end user and it comes ready built with a suite of battlefield management tools suitable for senior management to see where their tanks and infantry police cars and ambulances are and provides easy ways of integrating the police helicopters with the police cars, since the army has already solved the problem.

It also massively increases the number of deployed users which helps with economies of scale when buying the devices for the end users. It requires very little in the way of development since it already actually works and has been deployed and the only requirements would be to make sure that the services are on their own channels and not capable of accidentally ordering airstrikes. And perhaps changing terminology in the "Battlefield management system" UI's to be a bit less military orientated.

2
0

EU aren't kidding: Sky watchdog breathes life into mad air taxi ideas

Peter2
Silver badge

Why bother? A "rule of thumb" works quite well a lot of the time.

The flying car has a 30th of the impact area with a 12th of the weight. The impact area was what stopped that Dakota, as you can see by the way the nose was sticking out of the far side.

A flying car is going to be of similar size to a car, probably with higher weight if it's being battery powered. We know that cars at or a bit under 30MPH go through walls because it's happened numerous times.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/four-hospital-after-car-crashes-11103940

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/staffordshire/stafford/2017/07/31/crash-leaves-gaping-hole-in-wall---but-no-injuries/

1
0
Peter2
Silver badge

However, I'll just leave this here...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hometruths/dakotaonroof.shtml

In the case of a Dakota DC3 hitting a terrace row of houses then you'll note that the nose section has gone through both sides of the roof, plus whatever supports were in the way holding the roof up. The 29 meter long wing & engines hitting the roof did stop the aircraft with very considerable damage to both the roof and aircraft.

However, that's not really directly comparable to a flying car. If a flying car hits a roof then firstly it's not likely to be horizontally as this was, it's more likely to becoming in vertically as a result of a fall. It's also not going to have a ~30 meter wing to distribute the weight. It's going to have all of the velocity concentrated upon a meter area like a wrecking ball.

2
0
Peter2
Silver badge

Ah, your thinking of the safety of the people in the vehicle?

Aircraft regulation is done the other way around. It looks at the safety of the people that a ton of weight is going to land upon, having fallen a few thousand feet from the operational height.

Parachutes, even attached to the vehicle is insufficient for use in a residential area by aircraft rules because if the vehicle lands on a building (even slowly) then it can still cause fatalities because most roofs are designed to keep the rain out, not to support the unexpected impact of a ton worth of weight moving at a speed of ~50mph (with parachutes) to the terminal velocity of the vehicle which will be several hundred mph.

Hence why the manufacturers want to throw out the aviation safety book. The people who may be beneath these things when they fall out of the sky may have different thoughts on the subject, however.

29
0

RIP Paul Allen: Microsoft cofounder billionaire dies at 65 after facing third bout with cancer

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Say what you will

I know on this site that a large portion of the participants are Microsoft haters.

A large portion of the participants here use Microsoft software daily and hate Microsoft business decisions such as firing their software testers and then getting our end users to do the testing, and then ignoring us when we point out that things are broken, etc etc etc etc etc etc. The list of things that annoy us is probably to long to list on El Reg, i'm sure that there must be a post size limit so I won't try and list them all.

But anyway, the short story is that although we might hate dealing with broken software it doesn't mean that we hate everybody who has ever been involved with Microsoft. Just the people that came up with the ideas that are causing us major headaches. And the people who signed those ideas off.

33
0

Cabinet Office: Forget about Verify – look at our 3,000 designers (and 56 meetups)

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Doug Adams was right

Aren't you supposed too be able to fit the entire population of the Earth onto the Isle of Wight?

Yes. However, that assumes that every one of them is going to be standing upright, with zero movement and zero space to move.

It assumes that those ~7 billion people would need to eat or drink etc. So yes, theoretically it's possible. Practically, not so much.

1
0

AI's next battlefield is literally the battlefield: In 20 years, bots will fight our wars – Army boffin

Peter2
Silver badge

But isn't it said that "offense is the best defense"?

Yes, but people misunderstand this as with many other sayings.

The reason for this saying is that when somebody is attacking, the other side tends to defend. It's basic psychology that you can see taking place in any strategy game. When defending, any plans for an offensive tend to go out of the window. Prolonged series of even token an ineffective harassment level attacks tends to put the other side in a siege mentality where they just respond to the actions of the attacker and fail to even consider attacking themselves despite having considerably more mobile firepower.

So by forcing them into a defensive posture you prevent them from attacking you. Hence, attack is the best form of defense. Unless it isn't, in which case defense is the best form of defense.

5
0

With sorry Soyuz stuffed, who's going to run NASA's space station taxi service now?

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: No worries

Spacenews says "The problem with the Space Launch System is that it is a fully expendable rocket that could cost between $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion to launch. NASA is struggling to make the SLS more affordable to operate"

https://spacenews.com/europa-or-enceladus-if-nasa-switches-from-sls-to-falcon-heavy-it-wont-have-to-choose/

Where did you get the half billion cost per launch from?

Meanwhile, SpaceX is quoting costs of $62 million for the Falcon 9 Full Thrust and $90 million for the Falcon Heavy, both of which have actually flown. The ESA has a target price of 90 million euros for the upcoming Ariane 6. Meanwhile, the SLS remains expensive vapourware and by the time they actually finish it, SpaceX may well be ready with their BFR.

Personally, I would be quite surprised if the SLS project ever actually gets used at the cost/performance it has.

8
0

Mozilla grants distrusted Symantec certs a stay of execution, claims many sites yet to make switch

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Who, and how much?

If you like Pale Moon I have another web browser you might like, it is called Internet Explorer 6.

Look mate, most of us were moving people off of IE6 to Firefox in the second browser wars. In the early days, the biggest selling point of Firefox was that you could have it setup the way you wanted it.

All of the people who have fled Firefox will have done so because after 14+ years using the classic UI plus their modifications they know every nook and cranny of the UI and can do what they want to do quickly and efficiently, and frankly can't be assed to relearn how to use their own web browser because somebody thinks they should.

If Firefox wanted to retain or regain it's userbase then it's pretty easy to do. When you make massive changes to the UI just include another theme called "classic" that people can apply if they don't like your changes, and problem perpetually solved. Acting like a spoiled teenager and insulting the people leaving because they don't like the way the product changes tends to convince those people to remain in opposition rather than switch back. It's counterproductive as well as being childish.

I went for Waterfox. It can do all three kinds of Firefox extensions and it's based on Firefox 56 + a few minor UI changes which came later (sidebar, some preferences) + security updates. I figure it can't be worse than ESR 52.9.0 and if the project dies I'll look for another one.

Yeah, I did look at Waterfox. It's a good alternative if you liked that UI, however personally I was quite happy with the original Firefox user interface that i've been using since FF1 and went with Pale Moon on the basis that it's the default. Either work though, i'm just glad we have the option to do this these days!

2
2
Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Who, and how much?

I guess they're trying to hang on to users. Firefox Quantium seems to have made some monthly active users move somewhere else. There was a summer slump that never went back up. Odd that...

I'm one of those users. I was involuntarily upgraded to the new Quantum browser from the ESR release of Firefox. The new browser had loads of UI changes somebody probably thought would be a good idea to shove down my throat without a choice or method of reversion, while also deciding that I wouldn't actually want any of the extensions i'd got installed.

I had a quick look around and discovered that nobody had produced an extension to restore the UI of the browser back to how it looked previously. Having had my browser changed with the elimination of my preferences yet again with no way of actually restoring it this time, I decided that after ~14 years it was time to switch browsers since Mozilla has evidently been taking instruction from Microsoft as to how to forcefully cram increasingly broken bloatware down the throats of the users and ignore the feedback (ie. screams of protest)

Deciding that I probably wouldn't be the only person this unhappy with the status quo led me to check for forks of Firefox that keep up with security updates but don't leave me without a working web browser every 6 weeks. After trying a few alternatives I decided I quite like Pale Moon, and have been using it since without any regrets since.

The developers for it port the security updates to their codebase, but leave everything else alone. I'm quite happy with this as are family, friends and it has the benefit of not needing to do such major QA for updates as Firefox did at work. Better all round.

17
1

SpaceX touches down in California as Voyager 2 spies interstellar space

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: RTLS

The maneuver is very little like the shuttles RTLS abort. In that, they stop boosting up to orbit at a random and unplanned point and jettison the rocket boosters and fuel tank, then turn the shuttle into a glider and then loop around and land on a runway.

The SpaceX rockets were designed to land afterwards, and even then you'll note that the first quite a few attempts didn't exactly go according to plan and required several design changes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9FzWPObsWA

3
0

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

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Grikath

So, um, you reckon they did all that firmware hijacking via a single flip-flop...? Because double or single digit nanometer scale is what individual features of a single transistor are at, not any fucking chip of any fucking level of complexity.

If we are being paranoid enough to check this stuff, wouldn't we be paranoid enough to check that what is in the chips matches what we expect to be in chips?

3
1
Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Grikath

Given the report, there will be an army of BOFH's ripping out MB's and minutely inspecting them

As one of those BOFH's, i'm going to comment that there is no earthly point doing that for >99.9% of BOFH's. To make it worthwhile, you'd need:-

1) The original plans sent to the fab.

2) the ability to check the motherboard for objects that shouldn't be there that are on the nanometer scale.

In addition, after you've found something that you think might not be there then you'd need:-

3) the ability to figure out what the hell things are down to a scale of ~50nm. Xray scanners are not particularly common, and most of those aren't going to resolve down to the level where you can recognise components inside a chip, let alone allow you to identify them and spot things that have been added to the original design.

4) the ability to pull the embedded code off microchips to figure out what they are doing is as per the design.

Yeah, um. Next to nobody has #1, and I suspect the number of teams with the ability to pull off 2 is very, very limited. 3 & 4, um. I'm thinking "count them on your fingers".

18
1

'Incommunicado' Assange anoints new WikiLeaks editor in chief

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: "Legal ways"

For which punixhment at the first offence is normally a slap on the write and "don't do it again".

Yes, if somebody hasn't turned up, the court sends plod to collect them and drag them in, at which point they pull an apology such as saying they overslept, forgot the court date etc and beg the courts forgiveness at which point the court shrugs and says "don't do it again".

In this particular case, the person involved deliberately put himself beyond the reach of the law and put two fingers up at the court. He's likely to get everything the court can throw at him, which is a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment of which he might actually serve 3 months before getting released for good behavior and being deported.

0
0
Peter2
Silver badge

Re: installed a jamming device ????

Technically, having a jamming device is illegal in Britain. However by custom an embassy is considered to be the foreign soil of the country, which is why the twerp hasn't been arrested for skipping bail despite being present in the mainland UK.

You can't just jam "inside" the embassy easily as radio waves typically go through walls unless you've redecorated with a layer of tinfoil behind your new wallpaper. That'd make an "effective enough" faraday cage which would screw with a laptop or phone enough without actually inconveniencing people inside the embassy too much by stopping the use of wireless totally.

Mind you, if the pret is a fair distance away a low strength signal probably could jam that to the point of being unusable without causing too many problems for other people.

5
0

Bombing raids during WWII sent out shockwaves powerful enough to alter the Earth's ionosphere

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Other explosives

Which also makes me wonder how large an effect Buncefield, Pepcon or Enschede would have had, compared to the average bombing raid

A Lancaster could drop a total of 14,000 pounds, although in practice when bombing cities they tended to be mostly one big (4000lbs) bomb to blow the roofs off and then 10,000 pounds of incendiaries. There were quite a few thousand bomber raids, to a lazy calculation of every aircraft being a lancaster would give you 14000000 pounds, which is ~6.3 kilotons. Pepcon was about 1 kiloton.

But this is very large numbers of smallish explosions compared to one bigish one. I suspect the propagation on the blast waves of a bigger explosion has more of an effect.

1
0
Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Other explosives

It shouldn't have the same level of effect.

With an explosion, you set the entire lot off at once, and there is a huge bang and a shockwave. Individually, the largest weapons dropped apparently caused damage to the aircraft dropping these weapons, which would have been >25,000 feet above the point of detonation. Lest it be forgotten, that these were being dropped as part of air raids numbering in excess of a thousand bombers, so Christ only knows how many bombs were being dropped at a time.

With rockets, first there is only a single rocket being fired at a time, and not a thousand bombers dropping their payloads. Secondly, it's being lit one end and burned relatively slowly compared to the entire lot exploding in a millisecond so you don't get a shockwave.

3
0

Former Apple engineer fights iPhone giant for patent credit and denied cash, says Steve Jobs loved his 'killer ideas'

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: He shouldn't also forget that Steve said....

Unfortunately for this guy and the way the American legal system works, I suspect Apple will just continue to drag out the lawsuit until he can't afford to fight it anymore.

That only works if the other side is paying a lawyer and will run out of cash to pay the lawyer with eventually. He's representing himself, so it shouldn't happen.

16
1

That scary old system with 'do not touch' on it? Your boss very much wants you to touch it. Now what do you do?

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: But what about...

Now see, I don't understand this.

I simply couldn't tolerate an "unknown" box on my network. You simply have to know. If it's totally unknown, then how can you have a BCM plan to keep it going, and DR plan to recover it? What effect does failure have on the business? Prayer should not be a service management tool for a professional.

The first thing I do when walking into a new job is go prying into everything in huge detail to find out what lives where and what it's doing and if the documentation matches reality. In this sort of case I just plug my own box into the same switch and stick wireshark on it and figure out what it's communicating with, before then moving to the box and figuring out which processes are doing what and so on. If the conclusion is "nothing" then test that by disabling them and seeing if anything/everything breaks.

Last time I came across one of these boxes it was a 2k server and actually had fuck all running on it and went within about 24 hours of me encountering it for the first time. My guess is that the signs and warnings dated back to when it was the only DC. It was still the PDC, probably for no other reason than the signs promising death and dismemberment should anybody interfere with it had successfully scared my predecessors off of touching it.

5
0

WWII Bombe operator Ruth Bourne: I'd never heard of Enigma until long after the war

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Standard German and Dialects?

I know that as well as looking for "Heil Hitler", details of the weather, and similar stuff - one look-out post sent "Nothing to report" day after day, using different keys, a godsend for the codebreakers

And having established which look-out post sent this same very useful "nothing to report" message every day it was decided that the disturbance of the people in it might lead to a different report being sent, so the people in this look-out post had a very, very quiet war.

29
0

Braking bad: Mitsubishi recalls 68k SUVs over buggy software

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: What did we do before they invented ABS?

Um, ABS just prevents the wheels from locking and thus exerts the maximum possible braking action.

Even if ABS doesn't work, then you just press the brake down until the point that there is a screaming SCREEECCCHHHH sound, the smell of burning rubber and a sliding sensation. At that point back off the brakes a bit and your probably close to the best braking performance anyway.

If your leaving roughly the amount of clearance to the next car that is laid down in the highway code and not leaving your braking to the last femosecond (again, as required by the highway code) then frankly you don't actually need ABS. I had a car without ABS and braked hard enough to have gotten the lovely sound and smell precisely twice and both times I adjusted down my speed as required in plenty of time. Lack of ABS shouldn't matter *that* much.

5
1

Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

Peter2
Silver badge

On earth, you can use a power drill because your mass is pushed down by a large gravitational field which allows one to maintain their position with minimal effort.

In orbit in microgravity, were you to try and tighten or loosen a bolt with a power drill then the effective mass of the person holding the drill is near zero. What's more likely to rotate when you apply the drill, the bolt or the astronaut?

Some imagination suggests some interesting possibilities. If they do have a tool designed for that sort of purpose then i'd expect that it's going to be designed to be suction clamped to the surface to preclude it rotating the astronaut, but that itself would preclude the damage shown in the previous picture...

0
45
Peter2
Silver badge

It's probably even easier than that. What's the chance that there is actually a powerdrill on the ISS?

One suspects that it's one of those items that they might not take with them given the size & weight can be better used for other things that they might be able to use.

8
9

Gartner: Governments want to be digital, but just can't scale it up

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Hope springs eternal, nothing else does

The deeply traditional hatred between the Army, Navy and Air Force is very deliberately maintained as it is.

The basic idea is that if any one service decided to stage a coup then you could reasonably expect the other two services to be willing to put it down, with using lethal force if required. This requires a certain level of slightly beyond healthy rivalry between the services. One of the side effects of this is that they are going to generate substantially more opposition to adopting a crap system foisted on them to replace a perfectly working system than many other organisations would do.

0
0

Sextortion scum armed with leaked credentials are persistent pests

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: They're using webmail accounts

Except that one can buy a (new) pay as you go mobile for all of £10 with a SIM from most supermarkets, and you don't get asked for ID when doing so. A mobile number is not exactly a high bar to preventing access, although it does provide some possibility of getting caught due to CCTV in the store, and the mobile network knowing which base station it's connected to.

0
0

Oracle tells students: You're not going to solve the world's problems – but AI and ML might

Peter2
Silver badge

But artificial Intelligence does just give the appearance of being intelligent.

The current state of the art AI is still no more "intelligent" than a complicated excel macro in that it performs specifically programmed tasks. There is a huge disconnect between the rhetoric from the sales types and the technical progress in development of AI's.

4
0

Volkswagen faces fresh Dieselgate lawsuit in Germany – report

Peter2
Silver badge

How any man can walk past a Plus 8 or Roadster and not want one is beyond comprehension. I may never buy one, but I'll always want one.

Due to seeing a vehicle as a method of getting from A to B rather than an object of desire in it's own right?

Personally I drive around a 19 year old car that was cheap to buy, is cheap to run and is reasonably comfortable when driving it around. Given that my yearly maintenance bill is below the monthly rental costs of a new hire purchase deal I have no particular desire to replace my vehicle while it's still working, especially not with something expensive.

0
0

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing