As an aside, I'm puzzled by the terminology
If these are "passive optical network switches", how does the concept of root access apply? That doesn't sound like a passive device to me.
595 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Jan 2008
I didn't manage to find it with a quick look around the source, but there's rumoured to be an error message from one of the more arcane parts of TeX (or something else in that suite) that says "If you get this error, you know exactly what you are doing, and you entirely deserve it."
I lived for several years in rural south-west Ireland, where my most specific address was which townland (division of a parish) I was in --- in my case, it referred to all the houses on a particular hill, regardless of which part of the road network it was on (there were roads onto the hill from either side, but none across it). No house numbers there; in fact, there's a phrase "living in the numbers" referring to urban living, where the houses have numbers.
In pleasant contrast to many of the stories here, my postal deliveries started arriving before I had thought of going round to the local Post Office to tell them which house I was in... the postman spotted a new name, and delivered to the house which had been unoccupied for a few weeks but now had someone in it. But that's an advantage of having a local postman, which delivery companies don't have the target density to do.
Given that the red light on the camera was visible from below, and that red lights on CCTV cameras tend to be on the front of the camera... I suspect the camera was pointing roughly in the direction from which the light was observed (or at least, a lot nearer to that than the opposite direction). I doubt the light would be sufficiently noticeable from the side of the camera, or significantly below it.
Some standards are widely used without enforcement, but they don't necessarily become universal; for example, AA and AAA battery sizes (although the names for those aren't as well-standardized as the sizes: AA = R6/LR6/FR6/KR6/HR6/ZR6 = 15D/15A/15LF/15K/15H = UM3 = D14 = HP7 = LR06 = AM-3 = Mignon = tansan; AAA = U16 = Micro = Ministilo = MN2400 = MX2400 = Type 286 = Pencil cell = UM 4 = #7 = 6135-99-117-3143)
I don't see that the first and second part of each of your cases necessarily go together (although I think they often may). It could be that technology is helping education and widening the educational divide, by giving the keen learners more opportunity to get ahead of the rest, even if there were to be no effect on the reluctant learners.
I could have learnt so much more from online material (even if restricted to wikipedia and wikibooks or similar) than I learnt in school... although that would have been actual learning, and probably not much good for getting me through exams.
Or for real papers, done the real old way (TeX)... I've sometimes wished browsers would support .dvi files. But that was a while ago, I haven't seen any recently.
I tried suggesting writing a plugin either for those, or for TeX/LaTeX, as a student project when I was working in a university, but nobody took it up.
The Diablo daisywheel printer had a self-test sequence that included a test of carriage alignment; it would print an H at one side of the page, then one at the other side, then one next to the first H, one next to the second H, and so on, until they met in the middle. So as it worked its way through that, the distance, and hence the time, the carriage travelled before changing direction became shorter and shorter... being sure to hit the resonant frequency of the table it was standing on at some stage.
I remember the drum and chain printers the university had when I was a student (just before laser printers took off). For the older generation of them, the control unit was in the mainframe room, in the next building, and a huge bundle of thick wires ran between the buildings; I think it must have been a wire for each of the 132 hammer solenoids, with the driver circuitry at the computer end.
Not only can a lot of tech jobs be done outside of a corporate office, but many (most, I suspect) can be done better almost anywhere other than the office. (Slight hyperbole there; I can think of plenty of places even worse for tech work, such as a supermarket or a rave. But most of us can find somewhere better than the office.)
Penguin, because if frequent face-to-face interaction is critical to projects, how did the Linux kernel get as far as it has?
Switched internet-controlled PDUs will take care of much of the rebooting (although if the PDU model is chosen by bean counters, they can be a pain to work with); setting up a dedicated Pi with a 3G/4G hat or dongle to control them when the gateway is what needs resetting (and even moving them onto a separate network) will probably pay for itself in time taken in a few round trips to the office to reset things, depending on your commute time.
But yes, sometimes someone will have to go in, but not that often.
I wonder how much of what is written for the government could be downloaded (e.g. from Estonia: https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/collection/open-source-observatory-osor/news/estonia-makes-public-software-public) and tweaked or configured?
Nah, people who think that way don't get to be cronies of the government.
It's a farce, or perhaps a tragicomedy.
I moved to Ireland to work there for a while in the early 2000s, and of course had to set up a bank account, for which I had to show my passport and some utility bills with my address on them (to prove I wasn't a money launderer, I guess they don't have utility bills)... for a house which I had arranged to move into but couldn't start renting until I'd got a bank account there that my employer could pay into. Catch-22.
But, there was fortunately a loophole. As my employer was a large organization (a university) the bank would accept a letter from them (their HR department) stating that I worked for them, and confirming my address. The university didn't need to know my address, and I could have given any address, because if they wrote to me it would be by email, or if they really needed snail mail, they would use my pigeonhole in my department.
So HR wrote to the bank, who said that the letter didn't meet the requirements... after three or four attempts at HR getting the right wording, the bank rang them up and dictated the letter they required. Using the arbitrary address I had given them (it was actually the real address where I was going to live, but they never would have noticed if it hadn't been).
Yay for due diligence!
About a decade ago, I was working with a UI researcher on a proposal for a project to explore novel human-computer interaction technologies for use in software development. He decided to steer clear of BCIs, and said he reckoned they would first appear from China, and would be used to enhance pornography --- picking up on what lights your candle and giving you more of it.
And that would be a wonderful source of data for anyone who wants to lean on you.
(Yes, I'm sure there'll also be BCI porn, but I put Rule 34B because the porn industry could monetize it behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera.)
A most places where I've worked since both distributions have been around, the people who choose what to put on servers have picked something from the Red Hat family, and the developers have mostly chosen from the Debian family, which has occasionally brought slight incompatibilities to light.
I was a bit surprised to see those (I still use PS/2 via an adaptor, for some old footswitches, so it does make some difference to me) but a quick search revealed an advantage: in a particularly security-sensitive application, you can block off all the USB ports to stop anyone connecting storage devices, and connect the keyboard and mouse via PS/2.
I saw an early version of the web site of the Carthusian Order, who are strictly silent.
Their contact page said that their webmaster would be happy to accept emailed prayer requests and reports of broken links, "but please understand that it is not in the nature of our vocation to reply".
The overly cynical side of me thinks "Perhaps they're opening it in the hope that someone else will fix the glitches?"
But still, it's the right thing to do, and it should be no harm to them; it doesn't seem likely that the alternative was to sell it to other countries.
And, yes, a few more eyeballs may help with the bugs.
USB-B plugs (the square ones used on printers etc) do a reasonable impression of fitting into an ethernet socket, if it's round the back of a printer which is in a cupboard, and you're trying to do it by touch.
I'm one of the probably dwindling number of people who still buy recordings on physical media.
I can't remember when I last decided to buy (a DVD or CD) other than having heard/watched a sample of it online, almost always on YouTube.
If I'm aware that an artist or media company is arsey about online samples, I buy the media second-hand, e.g. because of the Sony BMG rootkit scandal, I completed my James Bond DVD collection entirely second-hand.
And I can't be the only one for whom such samples are their main way of finding media to buy. So they may have shot themselves in the foot (I certainly hope so).
I've long assumed that the idea is to have a file of dirt on all individuals in case they turn out to be "key" to something the government (or its associates) don't like. Then if, for example, you attend a protest and are spotted by the Forward Intelligence Teams, they'll have something to add to your "biography" as well as your presence at the protest. Per terabyte of storage, that's about 15k per person in the UK.
A camera pointed at an ever-varying scene (say, the area around your front door, with plants moving gently in the the wind) would be a good source of background data for steganography... which means a surveillance camera could be useful for transmitting hidden messages under the nose of state surveillance :-)
Years (well, decades) ago I went on a tour of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, and was told that the UPS for the 5km telescope was a motor-flywheel-generator set which stored enough energy to shut down the computer centre and park 8 90-ton dishes in a high wind. They reckoned that if the flywheel came off its bearings, it would roll about 25 miles, so it was aimed to have as clear a path between villages as they could arrange.
One (large) place where I worked had an automatic diesel generator set (ISO-container sized IIRC) set up to come on automatically on detecting loss of incoming mains, and off again once mains was restored.
I can't remember whether this was on a deliberate test, or a real mains failure, but the first time it detected loss of power and switched itself on... it immediately detected that the power was back, and switched itself off again.
Another IBM part name: IIRC the early PS/2 machines had the power switch round the back, but people complained to IBM about this, and the later versions appeared to have the power switch at the front. In fact the real switch was still at the back, and the control on the front of the machine merely moved a steel rod which poked the real switch. That rod was called the "ferric power transfer bar".