* Posts by KaD

19 posts • joined 7 Jul 2009

Midlands council laughs at zombie-apocalypse threat


Re: How many peoples Friday afternoons will be ruined....

As one of the senior network techs at my former company I would have had to march over to the DR site if things went seriously sideways perhaps for a few days. They wanted to know how long it would take me to get from work/home to the DR site in case of floods, toxic gas clouds, violent riots and civil unrest, pandemic illness, widespread power outages, zero visibility blizzards at -40c, terrorist attack, etc... and what equipment I would need to make the 15km hike in an efficient manner.

I don't know what they were expecting, but they dropped the matter when I put in requisition for NBC suits, Kevlar armor, semi-automatic weapons, knives and hand axes, tear gas and pepper spray, paintball gun w/ pepper balls, tazer gun, binoculars, MRE rations w/flameless heater, water purification tablets, high-arctic survival clothing, snowshoes, GPS, maps and compass, night-vision goggles, mountain bikes w/saddle bags, mobile sat phone, crow bar, photovoltaic panel, medical kit, semi-rigid inflatable boat w/motor and a gas mask.

I think with all that I could have take on a decent zombie outbreak in my city. Too bad they never approved it and decided the DR site would be on automatic fail-over shortly thereafter. Wonder why...

Whatever happened to the email app?



I have used Thunderbird since I dropped using Outlook Express back when XP first came out. It's anti-spam filters are great and have yet to grab a legit e-mail from my friends. Support for POP3/SMTP is excellent and IMAP support just got a lot better with the latest version 3 that came out. The new search function to look through your e-mail is a huge improvement over Thunderbird v2.x . Only problem I am finding is that ISP's are blocking SMTP ports on their network to combat spam-bots.

US school comes out fighting over webcam spy claim


It's going to get hot...

Oh wow... Knowing how litigation happy the U.S. is these school administrators are going to burn for this one if it ever reaches trial. The prosecution may not even want to offer them a deal on this as it is one of those cases they can prove a point about and looks great on a resume.

Note to Captain Kirk: Warp speed will kill you


Raise the shields!

The original Enterprise had navigational shields just for such things as hitting pieces of debris while traveling at high speeds. Also the navigational deflector in the front of the lower part of the ship was designed to move nasty things like matter out of the way before the ship passed through that space.

Kirk 1 : Scientist 0

Surprise Adobe update grapples with critical flaws


Acrobat Alternatives

I ditched Acrobat for viewing PDF files for two reasons. First it is a big piece of bloatware these days that wants to stay resident. Second it is 32-bit and I run a 64-bit version of Windows Vista now. I found that PDF-XChange has a native 64-bit version ( as well as a 32-bit version for 32-bit types ), runs very fast and uses very little memory. Highly recommended and they have a free version of people.


Cisco trials 'internet in space'


Assuming the satellites are geostationary

Copper/fiber cables are always great if you can get them, but they still only serve the population centers and modern nations. As i have worked in the oil industry providing data/voice communications to some pretty far-flung places that no one has even heard about, satellites are invaluable in those cases. No one does satellite connection in the U.S. domestically, it is all fiber optic connections. You get satellite connections when you dial to places like Yemen, small island nations, off-shore facilities and remote isolated communities in places like the arctic. I can always tell when a data connection goes to a GEO sat as I get a round trip ping time of 660ms for the sat hop. I was really hoping by now we would have more low-earth orbit data satellites. Need much smaller dishes if one at all and only the power of a big cell phone to reach it. Plus the latency is almost nothing since they orbit only 200 - 2000km up.

EDS mainframe goes titsup, crashes RBS cheque system


Sounds familiar

Myself and some other guys were tasked with modernizing and upgrading a point-of-sales system for a company. No sooner than we had it all worked out than they let the lot of us go all at once. Of course no one else had been trained to maintain the systems and even the documentation was not done yet. I still hear from people I know who work there that they never figured out how/why things worked they way they do to this day.... Sounds like they had to spend a lot of money again to replace the one we made since they can't maintain it...


Plough gives birth to sextuplets


That's how science works...

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, "hmm.... that's funny...." - Isaac Asimov

Virgin Media to trial filesharing monitoring system


Encryption time

There we go. Just turned Vuze to use and allow only RC4-160 bit encrypted connections, and my speed is better to boot by about 25%. Welcome to the war Virgin, you are going to spend a lot of money to find out you can't read anything. Governments just hate it when they can't read your traffic. Soon enough all Internet apps will be using encryption and I think it is a good thing.

P2P snafu blows lid on secret Congress probes


Now I Understand...

I knew P2P systems were good, now I know why they are great! I think we could use more of these "leaks". Help keep the governments honest.

Score: P2P 1 - U.S. Gov 0

Robot nuclear windjammer to sail patio-gas oceans of Titan

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Airport rethinks strip-scanner for kids


Radiation Hazard?

These machines are backscatter x-ray unit. They work on a very different principal than "typical" x-ray systems that look at bones or scan your carry-on bags at airports. Backscatter devices rely on the principal that different materials "scatter" x-ray photons in a uniquely identifiable way depending on what atoms are in their makeup. The less protons an atom has, the more it scatters x-ray energy. A computer can read the scattered x-ray photons and show on a screen where there is a difference in the chemical makeup of the person being scanned. So that's how it shows that someone has a block of explosives or drugs taped to their thigh.

If you are worried about radiation, a person can receive up to 25 millirem (mrem) of ionizing radiation per year from a single source at maximum ( according to the U.S. Gov ). A backscatter X-ray delivers about 0.005 mrem of radiation. So if you were scanned about 200 times a year you would be exposed to what would be considered a negligible dose of 1 mrem. You could have cause for concern if you were scanned 100 times per week for a year.

FYI, 1 mrem of radiation is about the same as you get from living on the surface of our planet in about 2-3 days or flying in an aircraft for about 3 hours.

Finland grants 5.2m souls the right to 1Mb internet


Human Right?

I agree the Internet is very useful, but I don't know about it being a right. Hey, does that mean if the record or movie industry had your Internet access terminated they could be sued for breaching your rights? Humm... I am liking this more and more.

Helpdesk Heroes or unappreciated geeks?


When not to call IT

I was on the IT help desk for a company that sold farming and agriculture related items and products. They also had some gasoline stations for farmers to buy bulk fuel from and the like.

Anyway it is late in the evening when a manager from a gasoline location calls and starts screaming at me that the fuel pumps are on fire and burning gasoline is everywhere. He wanted me to tell him what buttons to press on the new point-of-sale system to stop the fire. I had to tell him five or six times in very a very stern tone to hang up the phone and dial 911 ( emergency services in North America ) immediately. I got in trouble for that because the guy later called the boss and said I was very rude to him on the phone when he needed help.... <sigh>

The same boss from the above call asked me to come in to his office a few weeks later. Needed me to install a sound card in his system so he could watch and listen to porn videos he would download from the net.

Some days it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps.

Bank snafu Gmail missive never opened


Google A-OK With Me

I am actually encouraged that Google told the bank to piss off unless they have a court order. The bank would have threatened Google to do immediately what they wanted or else, and Google did not back down. I wish ISP's had at least this amount of backbone instead of telling the RIAA, MPAA, SOCAN, BPI, IRMA and such organizations user information because of intimidation tactics.

Music industry cooks UK government's piracy stats



In ancient times they had no statistics so they had to fall back on lies.

- Stephen Leacock

Too-tall terror snapper stopped by cops again

Big Brother

I couldn't say it better myself...

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

Staten Island manhole swallows texting teen


I almost hit a texting-tard

He was listing to his iPod while texting and walking down the street. Walked directly in front of my car when I was in the middle of my green light doing 50kmph. Only by liberal use of my brakes, swerving and application of my horn did the retard manage to survive without a scratch. Should have seen his eyes when he looked up and the only thing between me and him was my drivers side window. Maybe texting is just the next big way to sort the terminally stupid from the genepool.

Plasma rocket in new test with Brit supermagnet fitted

Thumb Up

Re: What about stopping?

I believe some of the previous probes have used atmospheric braking once they reached the target. They orbit in an elliptical path grazing the atmosphere each time and slowing down till they reach the desired speed and altitude which moves in to a nice circular orbit. Not much need for huge thrusters to slow down using that method.


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