So will we have a Shoemaker-Levy-9 event here on Earth?
(Before people comment, I know it won't get any closer than 70 million miles, but it would be briefly interesting :) )
86 posts • joined 1 Apr 2008
In the late 60s I worked for a firm that produced electomechanical automatic voltage regulators, amongst other things. Within nine months the role of service engineer was thrust on me. One place I went to regularly, was the sewage farm at Kingston upon Thames, along with others up Cheshire way. these produced thier own electricity using usually four alternator sets. These were powered by the gas produced from the plant. The engines driving the alternators were ex submarine engines. The starting procedure was to first start turning the engine over using compressed air, the diesel fuel was used to get the engine running up to speed, usually no more than two-three minutes, then it was switched over to gas which ran the set until it was stopped.
At the time I was doing this I thought about using a similar setup to produce electricity for use by the country, but was told at the time, it wasn't viable. But I've aways thought it would be a viable form of electricity generation, in these times.
1) Whatever this guy is taking, can he please pass it around, it seems like good stuff.
2) A thought. After a few years of asking for this "backdoor that isn't a backdoor", will a law be passed stating that data at rest in the cloud or wherever, will have to be in plaintext? Yes, I know this won't work, but........
Or have I got this wrong?
First off, disclosure. Between mid 1986 & mid 1989 I worked as an electronic design & development engineer for EDA Sparkrite in Walsall. Who, for those who don't know, made car alarms for the afterfit market.
The first thing I want to say isn't of earth shattering importance, but cars & their components are made to provide the maximum profit for the minimum cost. Just because the car costs x thousand
pounds to buy, it shouldn't be assumed that the car alarm that's fitted would cost a comparable amount or contains sophisticated electronics. Usually it's dirt cheap electronics & can be
purchased under it's trade name cheaper. I have personal knowledge of this.
At the start of the comments it was said that if you can remove the hood, & access the battery & fuse box then a mistake has been made. With the afterfit market, there were usually plunger switches provided, (like those used to turn on the interior light when the door is opened), to protect both the boot & the bonnet. So if these have been omitted, it's most lilely for cost.
Saying that, it's not hard to disable a car alarm. The first way is to take a core of either 2.5mm or 4mm twin & earth cable, & attach a croc clip to either end. Attach one end to the connection to the horn, the other to the body work, & then trigger the car alarm, & if the manufacturers have skimped on the number of fuses, pow, the fuse blows & with a 'bit of luck' disables the car alarm. the second way is similar to the first but involves smashing the headlight & earthing the headlight bulb's filiment with similar results. The handbrake is on? Then a pair of strong wire/bolt cutters applied to the handbrake cable solves that problem.
Of course, if the aim is ti merely steal from cars, then a classic attack method is to constantly trigger he car alarm at night, then with some 'luck'. the cars owner will disable the alarm & then the car can be broke into at leasure. A 'personal' story is one that happened to my ex-brother in law & his friend. They decided to go rallying, & to this end took a ford escort & made it into a rally car. This was easy for them to do as both were mechanics & the friend had his own garage. They built the car & used it, when one morning six months later, the car was found to be missing from the friend's drive. Dispite having a Sparkrite alarm fitted. Asking around the nieghbours if anyone had seen anything, one guy admitted seeing the car being pushed onto a low-loader at three in the morning, his excuse for not phoning the police, was that he thought it was being taken away for some work to be done on it!
There is one last method of breaking into cars, simply if a spare fob is ordered, then get an accomplice in the garage to order two instead of one.
This leads to the last problem with car alarms, human apathy. I mean how many people have heard a car alarm going off & paid no attention to it?
I'll admit that the way the 'sea tanks' harvested mankind in 'the kraken wakes' was the first thing that sprang in to my mind.
However after further reflection, I realized that if Google ran collection centres, then they could become the real life equivalent of the Solylent corporation when the search business collapsed.
And parents will understand the reply?
An example from my past, christmas 1982 into jan/feb 1983, I was a technician at a Polytechnic, how many would've understood an experiment we did using an analogue hall effect sensor to see if was possible to create a non-invasive tap for a RS232 cable? From my more recent past as a tech at a school, a boy was discovered with some moderately hard core porn pictures in his user area, his parents where called up the school, & I was explaining to the lad's father about checking the machine for undesirable content, & I watched his eyes glaze over. Oh well.
The first, that Donald Trump must take comfort in the thought that when he's elected, he'll be able to throw the Big Switch that will turn the internet off
The second, How many of the UK commutards remember the Spitting Image series of sketches titled 'The President's Brain is Missing' ? Well, I think I know where it went.
This is the lot, or it's equivalent, that at the time of the Crimean War, used the solution Babbage had worked out to crack Vigenere's Cipher, but never told anyone, or allowed Babbage to publish his method & claim credit for it. Then at the end of the Second World War, gave the captured Enigma machines away, not revealing we had cracked them, and they expect us to trust them??
If the security services want to store every GET request generated, have they actually worked out the logistics?
When I last worked in schools back in 2006/7 we had a proxy server that kept logs of the type required, with 1,500 users generating a 250MByte file daily. (In round numbers). Bearing this in mind, let's do some working out.
The population of the UK in 2015 is 64 Million in round numbers. If only 95% of the population uses the internet, then this produces a figure of 60.8 Million users.
Using the log figure I mentioned above, then a file of (60.8*10^6) * (250*10^6)/(1.5*10^3) is generated, which gives a figure of 10.3 TBytes per day, which over the year gives a figure of 659 TBytes.
From when I had to search the 250MByte log files for details of sites that had been visited by pupils was a pain, & could easily take half a day.
Storage wise, this may not be a problem, but searching such an amount of data is going to be a headache, & somehow I don't think log parser is going to be much use. Then there is the problem of getting all the log files in the same format.
One final thing, take my internet usage. Sometimes I tether my computer to my mobile phone, other times I use the local library & connect to the citywide network, (best of luck unraveling that) & then sometimes I use family internets. So putting together a comprehensive browsing history for me could be a nightmare :)
I've just finished reading Intercept, 'the secret history of computers and spies' by Gordon Corera, Although it starts with the first world war, then Tommy Flowers & Colossus. it soon moves into modern times. I found it quite an interesting read, (though I'm a sucker for such books), especially the later sections, with stories of how the spy agencies saw systems being broken into & stuff 'disappear' from servers, without feeling that they needed to say anything. The last two or three chapters explain how interlinked the world is, & how easy it is the for the three letter agencies to tap into it. A book I think is worth the read. If I wasn't paranoid before, I would have been by the end.
When this story was first published, back in July, & I read that no email addresses were verified, I did wonder what would stop the spam merchants from grabbing a pile of email addresses, sending out something similar, on a random basis & seeing what came of it.
Possibly more than has been collected to date?
I can beat that.
The computer rooms, (each 40 foot square), in a brand new PFI school had their power sockets spaced round the walls, every two metres as per normal, but all the network sockets placed in the trunking run down from the ceiling. Problem was, all the backbone cable had been specified as cat 6, & the contractor thought he'd save a few pence on the quote.
Thing was, no one had spotted this, & it was only when yours truly was allowed to look round the school, & saw it was it deemed incorrect, even though other members of the party, had been round the school, & had been on the planning committee.
Another factor that magnified the ouch factor, was that the school was built as two wings of three floors, off a central hub. Originally the plans, negotiated by someone who was IT knowledgeable, had called for a network & power closet half way down each of the wings, however, the contractors had managed to get that overturned, & had had a single closet put on each floor of a the central hub, & don't get me started on the planet switches stacked 14 high!!
(Icon for what happened to the network, despite my warning, when everyone logged on at once.)
Thing that got me with radio shack in the UK, was the pricing. A 741 op-amp was priced at 59p (one 32nd of my weekly wage at the time. However, because I read Popular Electronics, I knew that the Radio Shack US price was 59c.
With the exception of the TRS80 Model 1, this wasn't a problem (UK price £807, US price $807), as locally I had Waltons, Fenwicks & Lings for loads of interesting parts. Plus there was always Tottenham Court Road at the end of a train journey along with the catalogs for Henrys & Proops Brothers!
"...As for the 6% who have never used the internet. So What?
My 92yr old mother has never used it. I offered her a tablet but she really wasn't interested. There are others of her generation have the same attitude...."
I'm now a volunteer for AgeUK, & I teach computing to the older person, (my translation), & I have to say that there is a large waiting list for the course. In many cases, these are people who have never even used a keyboard before, never mind a computer. I will admit that for some, the motivation is for services like Skype, to allow them to keep in touch with their with extended families, for others it merely seems to be a way to keep the lump of grey matter on their shoulders exercised. the oldest person I've had on the course was slightly younger than your mother at 89 - 91, & they were using an iPad, (bought before they had attended the course, & I had advised them on what to purchase).
With regard to public libraries, The times, when out of work I used them to fill in on-line job applications, I was usually frustrated at some point, by incompatible browser software or connection problems. Not to mention access time restrictions.
You're in a self driving car, & the display flashes up "we're going to be in a serious accident, the following link may be of future use", followed by a link to Jones & Sons, family undertakers.
Another one is you're sitting at your desktop & the display shows an advert saying "Your google toilet has detected that you haven't used it for two days, Can we suggest Fred's enema & colinic irrigation service?"
Must drink more coffee.
(There's no joke icon available)
In my experience, those people who click on the "your pc is running slow"/"your
pc has a virus" type adverts do so because at the bottom it usually states "microsoft certified partner" & they've been 'conditoned' to trust it. As there are always patches & upgrades being downladed to their pc's
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020