Re: Alternatives are good.
I'm now flashing back to the evening with the boyfriend who picked the chillis off his pizza then neglected to wash his hands before demonstrating that he knew the location of my clitoris.
924 posts • joined 8 Aug 2008
If you walk past someone's phone, presumably that counts as "contact", rather than any actual physical contact.
I don't think so. I'm pretty sure that time comes into the equation as well, so that you would have to spend, say, 15 minutes with someone closer than 2 metres before "contact" was registered.
At any events the radio transmission time is going to be swamped by the variability in the time taken by the electronics to respond. It'd probably end up being 2 +/- 100 metres
I have no experience in this field, but I assumed that you would fire off lots of signals and "average out" the response times to estimate the distance.
Where "average out" is a layman's term for "perform some pretty sophisticated and complex analysis".
Gives me an excuse to drag out my old story about a DECWriter - basically a hardcopy terminal - back in the early 80s.
One day it started refusing to print anything beyond column 80, no matter the length of the line. If the line was longer, then it would print 80 characters, then carriage-return line-feed, then continue the line.
80 characters - very significant! We spent days checking and re-installing every piece of software we could think of that might be causing the problem. But it still wouldn't print beyond column 80.
Then I decided to actually look at the DECWriter itself. And discovered a pencil that had fallen into it and become jammed.
It was pure coincidence that it was after column 80 that the print head encountered the jammed pencil and took evasive action.
One of my first professional jobs, at the end of the 70s, was working on a project to build an easily programmable multiprocessor system using Intel 8086s and the Concurrent Pascal system developed by the Danish comp sci Prof, Per Brinch Hansen.
Concurrent Pascal was a high-level language for systems programming, and included concurrent processes, classes, and monitors for controlling access to shared resources. A small machine-dependent kernel provided things like process scheduling, interrupt handling, and basic I/O. There was also Sequential Pascal, a flavour of the standard language, for writing applications.
The compilers for these languages produced p-code, reverse Polish instructions for a stack machine, and these were interpreted at run-time by a machine-dependent interpreter which was another part of the kernel. One of the things we did was change the back-end of the compiler so that it produced directly-executable 8086 machine code. Execution speed was not a problem, but memory was expensive, so we added optimisation for code size, and ended up producing more compact code than Intel's own Pascal compiler.
The multi-processor system worked, but we never got as far as making it resilient. Each processor was in its own cage, with its own memory, power supply, and link to the comms bus. Hence one demonstration when someone asked "How do I know that it's a multi-processor system?". I said "You can turn any one of these processors off." "And?". "And the whole thing will stop working!". :)
I am not a network person, so please bear with me. My question is, how much could the synchronisation be screwed up by network latency effects?
Different viewers could be in different parts of the country, using different ISPs, and with different equipment and quality of connection between them and the Beeb.
To enable people to enjoy a big reveal or a punchline together, the sync would have to be pretty good - no more than a second out, say.
Even assuming no buffering, which would really screw things up, how feasible is it to maintain almost perfect synchronisation over, say, an hour?
It turned out the FORTRAN compiler on the VAX was actually quite clever.
Unfortunately, their CORAL-66 compiler thought it was clever too.
The first professional job I ever did was to help track down a bug in a sonar simulation system, written in CORAL-66 using the MASCOT methodology (defence bods will remember that). It always eventually crashed with a stack overflow, though the amount of run-time before the crash varied considerably.
Turned out that inside a double, nested FOR-loop was an IF statement of the form IF <x> AND <y> THEN... , where x and y were complex expressions.
Of course, if x turns out to be false, you don't have to evaluate y. So the optimising compiler added a jump to the next thing, which happened to be outside of the nested loops. But it left the temporary result for x on the stack. So eventually there would be an overflow.
The number of iterations of the loops and the value of x depended on the input data, but also on how much time the scheduler gave to each of the "concurrent" processes in its simulation of a real-time system. So even if you fed it the same input data, it would run for different times before crashing.
I remember going to a DECUS meeting to tell everyone about this. But it turned out that we were the last to know :(
... was Algol W, at university in the mid-70s. Sequence, selection and iteration - what more do you need? :) It set the way for how I think about programming, and I found it difficult to think in other ways. For example, we later covered the functional programming language SASL (a precursor of Miranda, which in turn preceded Haskell), and I found it almost impossible to think that way, until one day the penny simply dropped, and I had no problems after that.
For Raymond, up above, I still have my copy of the MoD "Blue Book" standard for CORAL 66. Used that at university on a CTL mini, and in professional life on Ferranti Argus and CTL/ITL minis.
My real love was Pascal, and I remember how chuffed I was the day I discovered that although I had been using it for many months, I hadn't realised that our implementation of it did not include GOTO statements! I still have a free implementation of it on my home PC - very useful for occasional puzzle solving.
Others I used included Fortran IV and BCPL at university, and ASM-86, PL/M-86, and PL/I in professional life.
But then I became a consultant :)
The idea is that if you notify the app that you have symptoms then "they" send you a test. If you prove positive then they send tests to your contacts.
The question that I can't find an answer to is this - if the self-declarer's test proves negative, are that person's contacts informed that they are free to go?
Otherwise there are going to be a hell of a lot of people needlessly self-isolating for 14 days. Repeatedly, if they are unlucky.
All the descriptions that I can find seem to stop at the point where contacts of a self-declarer are told to self-isolate. Clearly, that is the safest thing to do, but in the absence of any follow-up it means that there will be an awful lot of false positives, or false "maybes".
The answer to my question may well decide whether or not I use the app.
Now try to imagine to secure a building where fences have holes you cannot see....
So you encrypt your data when it's at rest.
You may not see the holes, but you should know where they will be. You set up firewall rules with a whitelist for the only permitted external connections. You disallow externally initiated conections through the firewall, although I'll accept that in this case the ransomware probably initiated connections from inside the firewall - though it's still worth seeing what you could do in that area.
And ultimately, of course, if the sensitivity of the information is great enough, you air gap your systems - with no connections to the outside world.
And so on....
it is easy to go for a sensible stroll in the country, just wear a mask and take a bug sprayer or a chainsaw with you.
There was a time when that would definitely have got you stopped - probably by an armed response unit.
Now: "Man in a mask with a chainsaw? He's an essential worker!".
I can guarantee it will be pandemonium with clowns bulk buying flour even though they have never baked a loaf of bread in their lives.
Nail on the head! My wife does make her own bread, but hasn't been able to get bread flour for a couple of weeks or more. Never knew that so many people made their own. Meanwhile, there is no shortage of actual bread and other bakery products.
I've never been comfortable with wedging things into my ears, so these buds style things are just no use to me.
They always remind me of the (wired) "earphones" on bedside radios in hospitals in the 60s, which I used to use during long hours at the weekends watching my grandparents die. So I have never fancied buds at all.
Have a nice day!
(I've told this before...)
As have I with this one.
Early 1980s, minicomputer system in a general hospital, used for recording and storing pathology lab results (haematology, biochemistry, etc.). Customer complained of frequent crashes and reboots.
I happened to be on site one day, and was standing, with the customer, in the computer room, gazing blankly at the system. Then there was a "whomp!" which was felt rather than heard, and the lights momentarily dimmed by a lot.
"What was that?" I said.
"Oh, just the X-ray department next door".
Quite a few years ago, I was shown how to access the windows system built into EMC Clariion storage arrays
I will always remember the look of glee on the face of one of our penetration testers, when I told her that our company's new photocopiers contained a full implementation of Windows NT and were connected to the internal network. And of course a photocopier must retain, somewhere, images of documents of which it is producing copies...
Any otherwise law-abiding denizens of el Reg prepared to own up to it too?
Used to have my own tapes of the broadcasts, but just have the official Beeb CDs now.
IIRC, the name of the worst poet in the world also had to be changed, either to or from Paul Neil Milne Johnson (IIRC), because the real person named in the first version was not best pleased.
EDIT: And cricket was replaced by hockey as just about nobody in the Netherlands understands it, leave alone playing it.
And yet I can remember the Netherlands beating England in some international cricket tournament.
I am sure that someone from the Barmy Army can remind us of when that was :)
On 3 January 2000 (the first weekday of the year), the Small Business Administration received an estimated 40 calls from businesses with computer problems, similar to the average. None of the problems were critical.
And just how many small businesses would have been working on 03 Jan 2000?
Several years before 2000*, I wrote an article about the possible Y2K problems, in which I pointed out that 01 Jan 2000 would be a Saturday, and that it could thus be several days before we realised that anything was amiss with, say, our bank accounts.
*1992, in fact, because I began the article by anticipating leap year date-related problems.
I wonder why. They are obviously not concerned with protecting Chinese state secrets here.
Because, O Brain of Britain, finding a backdoor or, more likely, a vulnerability in a piece of Huawei kit which may also exist in sensitive networks in the UK would be a matter of UK national security. It also facilitates discussions with the spooks about the possible implications of bugs and vulnerabilities in such equipment.
And, oddly, it probably reassures the Chinese that the UK is taking this seriously.
Time Traveller: Anything you can name. It was very shocking. I heard a doctor – a professional gentleman, mark you – openly split his infinitive while standing in the street. Any guttersnipe could easily audit his ill-chosen words.
Defrocked Lamplighter, baffled: You what?
Time Traveller, warming to his theme: Just so. And what is more, I witnessed a schoolmarm, a steady soul of five-and-thirty summers or more, use an adjective as an adverb. This done with no thought to the innocent ears of her tender charges!
But what about the missing Oxford comma on the new 50p coin? Truly the end of UK civilisation as we know it.
(Hmmm... since it's missing, it can't be "on" the coin, can it? OK then, let's try "But what about the Oxford comma missing from ...?".)
When I was in my early 20s - 40 years ago :( - I could hear ultrasonic motion detectors. And bloody painful they were too. On a couple of occasions - once in a pub and once in a big house, neither of which I had been in before - I actually proved to the dubious that I could do this, by pointing out the locations of sensors which none of us could see because they were hidden behind curtains.
A few years later - approaching 30 - I was working in an office in a big country house. Every now and then - and it seemed to be roughly the same times every day - I would be conscious of this very high pitched sound that no one else could hear. At least it was soft, and not painful. Eventually I realised that the estate manager would take his dog out into the grounds at these times, and this was him using a dog whistle to summon the pooch.
A couple of seconds' research suggests that I was hearing sounds at 25Hz or higher. Needless to say, that ability disappeared long ago.
It turns out the most spacious room in a budget hotel is simply the one normally reserved for wheelchair users.
Spot on. I too was once a top-level loyalty card holder with an intercontinental hotel chain. So in a hotel that I used to frequent (not the Paris Hilton!) I was once upgraded to the accessible room. As you said, bags of space, two TVs - weird echo effect if you put them both on - and the walls looked as though wheelchair users had been re-enacting the chariot race from "Ben Hur".
The bathroom, as well as being palatial, was done out as a wetroom - i.e. completely tiled, nothing to step into, with the shower spraying directly onto the floor.
Which was fine, except that they hadn't laid the floor right. Some of the water went down the intended drain, but the rest of it migrated across the room and formed a sizeable lake under the wash-basin. So if you wanted to do anything requiring the mirror, or simply clean your teeth, then you had to stand in an inch of rapidly-cooling water.
Naturally, I told the hotel staff about this.
Next time I was upgraded to this room, I mentioned the problem that it had last time.
"Oh, no problem! We have solved that!". Good stuff.
Up to the room, looked in to the bathroom - and there was a shiny new water pusher broom thing! One of these things with a big wide rubber blade which the lifeguards in my local swimming pool used when I was a kid.
That'll teach these disabled people to complain!
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