* Posts by Malcolm Weir

883 posts • joined 23 May 2007


US must adopt USB-C charging standard like EU, senators urge

Malcolm Weir

This is a pretty large pile of "nothingburger", because nobody seriously disagrees.

The "gosh, Apple must comply" reaction is especially gibberish, because... https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MHJA3AM/A/20w-usb-c-power-adapter

They already do.

Yes, not every Apple device uses Type-C yet, but the iPads and MacBooks do, so only a fool would believe that they aren't moving everything in that direction (and who wants a USB 2.0 speed interface when then could have a USB 3.2 one?)

UK Home Office signs order to extradite Julian Assange to US

Malcolm Weir

Re: A truly dreadful day


That's the whole flaw with Assange's tantrums: he has gone to enormous effort to _avoid_ having his day in court: first in Sweden, then London, and currently the US.

Justice demands he face trial. And those who feel that he did nothing wrong should do everything they can to ensure he is acquitted (pay lawyers, fund investigators, etc).

While there are many things I dislike about the US court system, the fact is that the First Amendment gives people in Assange's position more protection than he would have at the Old Bailey.

Malcolm Weir

Re: Appeal

Assange is charged with assisting an American violate the security of American systems.

Had he been charged with assisting a Brit violate the security of Brit systems, then he should be tried in the UK, but he wasn't.

There's no question that the offense is an offense under both US and UK law....

BUT unlike in the UK, in the US he has some massive advantages, although the chattering classes won't acknowledge it. His biggest advantage is a thing called New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), which makes it bright-letter law that publishing classified material is not a crime.

So the charge is not related to that, but a conspiracy to hack into systems: the allegation is that Assange supplied Manning with tools and techniques to break into systems. This is a very tricky thing to prove, because it's entirely legal to chat about how one might do something, and the prosecution has to show that one was actively promoting and encouraging the scheme.

(And it should be remembered that *if* he is convicted, he will be jailed in Australia, not the US.)

Malcolm Weir

If you bothered to watch the video in question, you'll see that (while wrong) the assumption that the thing the journalist was carrying was a RPG was not unreasonable. It was a camera & big lens on a tripod, but the error was understandable (albeit incorrect).

So no "war crime".

Malcolm Weir

Re: My advice for Biden

Let me check...

Ah, yes.


HMP Belmarsh is not, apparently, a very nice place to be, but Assange is not held in solitary.

(And for those who bizarrely believe that his time in the Embassy somehow counts, he was not held in solitary confinement there either...)

RSAC branded a 'super spreader event' as attendees share COVID-19 test results

Malcolm Weir

Oh dear, "badflorist" has managed to go about two years without gaining a clue.

Masks, vaccination certificates, social distancing all DO help. They are not perfect, and it is a common dishonest ploy (frequently employed by people who don't want to be mildly inconvenienced even if it prevents people getting sick) to loudly infer that those actions provide some kind of absolute degree of "safe".

It is quite true that none of the steps mentioned make you safe. It is quite false to imply that they don't make you safer.

And, of course, the safer each individual is, the safer the whole population becomes...

UK government still trying to get Arm to IPO in London

Malcolm Weir

Apparently you found a source to say:

"If Arm lists on the Nasdaq or the Dow Jones there is a requirement to move the HQ to the USA," the source told us. "If it lists on the FTSE100 at its current valuation it would be the ninth biggest company listed".

Which leads one to conclude that your source is not the smartest tool in the shed...

The NASDAQ is an exhange.

The Dow Jones (Industrial Average) is a benchmark index of how a group of 30 "blue chip" companies are doing. You can't "list" on it. And it includes companies (like "Microsoft", who are traded on the NASDAQ exchange).

The FTSE100 is a similar benchmark index (although somewhat more sophisticated in its structure than the DJIA). Again, you can't list on it.

I suspect they meant the NYSE and LSE instead of Dow Jones & FTSE100, but who knows?

Also, "being the 9th biggest company listed" is factually incorrect (if it's valued at $60B, that puts it at 13th, above Anglo American at $59B), but no-one really cares. If the Dow Jones Publishing Company decided to include ARM (should it be traded on the NYSE or the NASDAQ) as part of the DJIA, it would be... 28th (after Boeing). But as I said, no-one cares: if you look at the Tokyo equivalent of the FTSE100 (the Nikkei 225), guess who's at number 10 (and for whom that's not an obvious problem)??

EV battery can reach full charge in 'less than 10 minutes'

Malcolm Weir

Cable size can be managed by "step up" intelligent voltage control, like USB-PD. With USB, the current in the wires is limited by increasing the voltage, so that you never have to send more than 5A through the Type C connector's power wire (but you do it at 20V).

So the basic Tesla super-duper-charger provides 480VDC, so by the magic of Ohm, we can calculate that they're carrying up to 520A on those cables with the 250KW charging service. We can easily double that by using 1000VDC supplies, but now we have the step-down thermal losses to consider...

... but we're anchored to the ground infrastructure (by definition), so it's not unreasonable to consider a charging system that provides power _and_ a coolant loop, so heat dissipated by the charging circuit becomes the charger's problem, not the vehicle's.

(Tesla chargers mechanically lock the connector before becoming live, so the risks are controlled. Theoretically!)

IoT biz Insteon goes silent, smart home gear plays dumb

Malcolm Weir

Re: Open Standards

Nope. The thing that really should be published are the API's provided by the OS, not the OS itself. The point being that 'supporting Windows XP' would be a mugs game (and just perpetuate the problem), but supporting things that ran on XP is a different matter.

Malcolm Weir

Re: Home Automation is the Future (cont)...

Huh? My Smart Meters use SMS to send their data to their parent. They certainly don't go anywhere near my network (for the simple reason that "my network" at that house is a PAYG hotspot that is turned off most of the time).

Malcolm Weir

Re: Just checking.

This is a perfect instance of someone who hasn't actually tried having a "connected" house, pretty much doing the same thing as people who complained that the automobile was pointless because their horse-and-cart did the same job.

I originally installed connected light switches because I wanted table lights and sconces on one side of the room to be controlled (on/dim/off) from a single position by the door. In the old days, I would have run separate power wires around the room, probably with atypical sockets (the old-school three-pin round plugs were the "go to" back in the day). It would have worked, and it would have been a royal PITA to do it.

However, more-or-less by accident I discovered that the brand that made the dimmer switches I was using _also_ have connected versions. So I bought the plug-in wall dimmer for my new lights, put the remote dimmer control alongside the main light dimmer, and... got everything I wanted without pulling a single new wire.

But it's a slippery slope.... I then realized I could put a remote in the car, and control the porch light as I drive home. And then I noticed that I could turn the downstairs main room lights off from upstairs... and the girlfriend decided she wanted lights that could be both daylight color temp and warm white, and she didn't have to have two sets of fixtures...

Yes, of course, as this article illustrates, there are issues of longevity to consider. Where possible, I've kept the controller local, so I'm not too dependent on cloud systems that don't have a direct funding stream associated with them. But that's the case with so many things: printers for which you can't get toner, vehicles with obsolete map systems, my wonderful Logitech Harmony remotes... at some stage, I know I'll have to change devices, but I have to change light bulbs too (although a lot less frequently!).

The one thing I'm completely avoiding are connected locks. I like those which have a short-range (BlueTooth, usually) mechanism for adding access codes with limitations (e.g. the pet sitter can come by during the day, but not after dark, etc). But the idea that a remote site can unlock my front door.... nah!

Judge dismisses Microsoft's challenges: ValueLicensing case to proceed in Britain

Malcolm Weir

Mr Speed...

Third para: the case will be heard by the High Court _of_ England and Wales, which is _in_ England but not Wales.

Kaspersky cracks Yanluowang ransomware, offers free decryptor

Malcolm Weir

Re: As Kaspersky has been deemed persona non grata in the USA

I would assume that you'd be happy if settlement according to your formula is deferred until after Russia has compensated Ukraine and Ukrainians for the damage they have done and are doing? And obviously the same applies to damages owed to Chechnya, Georgia and Syria....

Atlassian comes clean on what data-deleting script behind outage actually did

Malcolm Weir

Re: Yeah, their DR window wasn't accurately or clearly communicated to their customers

I think the issue is that DR backups are not a substitute for "archival"-type backups. The problem appears to be that since Tenant A was not impacted (because they didn't have the obsoleted tool) but Tenant B was (because they did), you can't do a DR recovery to make Tenant B "whole" because you'd wipe out everything that's been chugging happily along with Tenant A over the past 9 days.

Personally, I reckon performing a full DR recovery on an isolated cluster and then transferring all the "Tenant Bs" (which you know, because you have the list of "zap these" IDs) is probably smarter than doing some kind of selective restore of the DR media, but this approach requires having a sufficient pool of hardware available, which is not always the case, because DR scenarios often work on the basis that everything is available for the recovery, with no accommodation for the issue that some tenants are still working fine...

OpenSSH takes aim at 'capture now, decrypt later' quantum attacks

Malcolm Weir

Re: What's the problem?

That quote from the NSA is highly misleading: a more accurate analysis is that the NSA doesn't know how long it will be before cryptologically relevant quantum computers exist, or indeed if they ever will... BUT it is working on the assumption that they will exist, and probably soon enough to warrant significant effort to be ready for when they do.

They've been doing this for a while: https://csrc.nist.gov/news/2016/public-key-post-quantum-cryptographic-algorithms

This is, of course, where the idea to use the NTRU algorithm came from.

It's trendy to believe that the NSA only releases/approves defective algorithms that provide them with secret backdoors, but there's no evidence to that effect: AES, as a good Belgian example, is an open algorithm with people from all over the world able to scrutinize and analyze the thing, and we're supposed to believe that _only_ the NSA Supermen are smart enough to have figured out a backdoor _and_ this information hasn't leaked (Snowden, or by unexplained compromises). The reality the situation with the DES modifications suggested by the NSA was that the changes strengthened the algorithm against an attack that the NSA knew, but the cipher world as a whole did not... the exact opposite of the conspiracy theory...

Worst of CES Awards: The least private, least secure, least repairable, and least sustainable

Malcolm Weir

Very very late to the conversation, but if anyone is interested: https://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/19042089.pioneering-fenceless-grazing-trialled-north-pennines/

How not to attract a WSL (or any) engineer

Malcolm Weir

Even when it's hard to fire people, it's usually pretty straightforward to hire people on a probationary basis (I think we do 90 days, but I've seen longer). These probationary recruitments have two purposes: the first is to see if the candidate is a good fit, and the second is to motivate the line managers to train the new recruit so that (a) they can see if the fit is good, and (b) so that they don't get a bloody nose when the failed recruit explains to HR that the reason they failed was lousy or non-existent training...

Maxar Technologies: The eye in the sky tracking invasion of Ukraine

Malcolm Weir

Re: What's the problem?

Blinding electro-optical satellites is harder than one might think:

1. the sensors need to be able to survive inadvertent glare of reflected sunlight. Yes, this is not the same as a targeted attack, but they have some protection.

2. They move quite fast (relative to a point on Earth), and the sensor is quite small. So to effectively dazzle, you either need to track the bird very closely (and hope that atmospheric effects don't mess up your focus), or dump enormous amounts of power into your laser, which is easier said than done!

Jeff Bezos adds some more overheads to his $485m yacht by taking down historic bridge

Malcolm Weir

Re: So they made a humongous yacht

And this isn't really anything to do with Bezos: the shipyard quoted him the cost of ship (including taking the bridge apart for one day) and he accepted. It's the shipyard at fault (if anyone is), and the local city government seems OK with it (as the shipyard is paying), so there's even more work (apart from building the boat), this time for Rotterdam's bridge construction operatives!

Malcolm Weir

Re: Meh

First, only a complete idiot thinks the stock market has anything much to do with the economy, as this whole article so deftly illustrates: Amazon is listed on NASDAQ, yet here's their founder spending tons-o-cash in Holland. Perhaps you can get a friend to explain how that doesn't help the *US* economy.

Moving on, only a total ignoramous and fool of the highest order would claim that Obama had THREE terms despite, you know, the 22nd Amendment and, well, facts. But even trying to stack the deck (e.g. by creating arbitrary period boundaries), anyone looking at a graph spots the fact that the worst GDP in Obama's terms started in Bush's (the financial crisis), which makes it hard to blame Obama for the policies... Still, he did better than Trump even though he had to clean up Bush's mess, which is sadly for you the facts...

And did unemployment fall to it's lowest level under Trump? It's true, he failed to bugger up the trend that started in 2010, but it's also undeniably true that unemployment under Trump was the highest it's been since 1948! An honest person trying to allocate credit would also acknowledge the blame, so if Trump's policies were responsible (despite the trend line) for the lowest, then they also are responsible for the highest.

As to the COVID deaths and policies that Trump *is* responsible for, have you noticed that it's his "deplorables" that are mostly dying now? I'm kinda OK with that, to be honest, although it would have been better if the silly sod hadn't spend as long denying the problem and personally exposing people to the virus when he had it....

Malcolm Weir

Re: Meh

@codejunky is, as usual, wrong. This time he might be telling deliberate fibs, too.

Trump oversaw the LOWEST annual GDP growth (1.03%) since President Hoover in the Great Depression.

Obama wasn't much better (1.59%), but the only Presidents who exceeded 3.5% were Democrats (Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton). Nixon got 3.5% exactly, while Saint Ronald of Reagan missed by a whisker at 3.49%.

True, Trump did increase employment in my sister-in-law's line of business.

She runs mortuaries.

Malcolm Weir

Re: Meh

I totally agree that the issue with "trickle down" economics is limited to government intervention to allegedly stimulate spending by providing people who already have tons of cash with more cash.

This idea (and Laffer's literal napkin curve) was fabricated out of whole cloth (or napkin) to justify a "starve the beast" policy designed to make government less relevant to the "left leaning" poor: cut off government programs that might make poor folks care about government, and the rich folks will have even greater control. This has worked exactly as predicted.

[ It is clear that, with all it's faults, taxing the wealthy and then spending the proceeds on society as a whole works better than not taxing the wealthy and hoping they Do Good Things. ]

The problem with Bezos is that he created a hugely successful organization that employs millions of people and took advantage of a (global) tax system that had already been rigged to benefit the wealthy. But he still created the organization and the jobs.... so it would seem clear that the problem isn't him, but the system!

Incidentally, the underlying theory of the Laffer Curve was obviously bogus: countries that had high marginal rates (e.g. the USA prior to 1980) did OK. Many romantically look at the 1950s / 1960s as a time of boom growth, yet the highest marginal rate in 1955 was... 91%. By the 1960s, it was down to 70%. It's now 37%. A key point is that while the 91%/70% figures were high, you could deduct all sorts of things that are now non-deductible, which meant that prior to Laffer wealthy individuals were encouraged to spend on things which would reduce their taxable income. Houses, company cars, boats... oh, look, that's where we came in!

Malcolm Weir

Re: Meh

I absolutely agree with the concept, but I don't believe that the rate matters: the wealthy hire tax advisors to minimize their obligations, and as the figures get astronomical, so does the amount of potential savings that can be used to e.g. pay tax advisors.

I think a better approach is to revisit the concept of taxation on stock valuation. A key issue is the idea of taxing unrealized gains, which is currently not possible (for pretty obvious reasons). However, the UK's HMRC is perfectly happy to tax trusts based on their anticipated income in a "it'll all come out in the wash" philosophy, so I wonder if it could be possible to impose recoverable down-payments on people with huge wealth tied up in a single company's stock...?

Trio of Rust Core Team members take their leave

Malcolm Weir

Re: Development de-platformed

Not _sure_ I agree with the comments about C... AT&T operated a policy of what looked much like benign neglect, while UC Berkeley was the "innovation lab" for thing. K&R was, what, 1978... and ANSI dropped in 1989.

UK government responds to post-Brexit concerns and of course it's all the fault of those pesky EU negotiators

Malcolm Weir

Re: .....but in the "sunny uplands" this sort of c**k up never happens, does it?

I personally don't "deal with things like that", it seems to me that the idiots who thought getting divorced was a good idea should be forced to deal with the consequences of the divorce.

Yes, the EMA in this context is the European Medicines Agency, which used to be located in London. Despite dishonest fools like Davis's aspirations, the chance of it remaining in London following Brexit was nil, and the fact that Davis had "nothing against" them remaining in London is evidence that even he knew there was _value_ in them so doing.

The other EU agency resident in London was the European Banking Authority, which moved a couple of hundred miles south-east....

Malcolm Weir

Re: Bored by Brexit?

When the EU starts penalizing the UK for breaking the protocol (and they will), only a complete idiot is going to think the eight DUP MPs are going to prevail against everyone else. So EU border will be in Cairnryan and Liverpool.

The DUP and the ultra-nationalists will be cross. No-one else will really care.

Malcolm Weir

Re: Bored by Brexit?

The biggest problem with the idiot vote is that no-one bothered to explain that even if you hated the EU, there was always going to be a huge bill for getting divorced, which money could have better been used to fund the NHS...

Malcolm Weir

Re: .....but in the "sunny uplands" this sort of c**k up never happens, does it?

Just a factual data point, the sort of thing that codejunky pretends he likes:

No-one "stole" anything. All that happened was that delivery timing was adjusted, which happens every day of the week in every industry.

Every dose the UK ordered was delivered. So no theft occurred.

Malcolm Weir

Re: .....but in the "sunny uplands" this sort of c**k up never happens, does it?

Again, this seems to forget where the EMA used to be located....

Malcolm Weir

Re: .....but in the "sunny uplands" this sort of c**k up never happens, does it?

Heh... the EMA used to be somewhere other than Amsterdam...

Malcolm Weir

Re: .....but in the "sunny uplands" this sort of c**k up never happens, does it?

Dumb. No-one can assert that a UK still in the EU would not have prevented the "royal screw up".

I can equally claim that had the UK not left, the vaccines would not have been screwed up, and therefore anyone in the EU who died as a result of late vaccine availability is the fault of the Brexiteers.

(That might look like empty hyperbole, but I would suggest people look to see where the European Medicines Agency was located prior to March 2019...)

Malcolm Weir

This is bunk. Non-voters fall into multiple categories, and only some of which can be described as apathetic.

Included in the "non-voting" categories are UK citizens who are domiciled outside the UK (who couldn't vote if they'd been domiciled outside the UK for any length of time), and of those, the individuals domiciled elsewhere in the EU can be presumed to be in favor of doing what they were doing!

Another non-voting category was non-UK/non-Irish/non-Maltese EU citizens domiciled in the UK. They were not permitted to vote in the referendum, even though they were permitted to vote in other types of elections. Again, they can be presumed to have been in favor of doing what they were already doing.

A third group is people aged 16 and 17, who could not vote in the referendum for Brexit, but were the same age as those able to vote on Scottish independence a few years earlier. Hmmm... there's precedence and principle in favor of allowing them to vote, but they were denied that right. They're inclinations can be assumed to be similar to that of the 18-24 year old category.

(Another fun one is that the Channel Islands and indeed the IoM, who have been heavily impacted by the decision, had no vote at all, and can be presumed to be opposed to leaving. But Gibraltar did get to vote.)

The core issue is not, though, what the results of the referendum were, or would have been. Rather, the question asked was too simplistic and the nutjob implementation was never put to the population. A sane referendum would have included a second question along the lines of "if in favor of leaving, what features of the EU should be preserved? (a) customs union (b) freedom of movement (c) etc. etc. etc."

HPE has 'substantially succeeded' in its £3.3bn fraud trial against Autonomy's Mike Lynch – judge

Malcolm Weir

Re: "The finding is a massive victory for HPE"

You're splitting hairs. Using your (quite narrow) definition of "burglary", if you leave the front door open and someone breaks a window around the back to enter, it's still burglary. The key point is that the status of the front door isn't relevant...

Malcolm Weir

Re: Swap him for

Worth thinking about the difference between carelessness and deliberate malice. Both must face scrutiny & justice, but in terms of "go straight to hell" points, I see Lynch getting priority treatment...

Malcolm Weir

Good point about the quality of evidence, but that's not a factor in the extradition process.

If he gets extradited and the criminal case falls apart, well too bad. But it's not the job of the UK system to weigh the quality of the US prosecution's case, just the validity of the charges!

[This is the flaw of many of the Assange supporter's arguments: freedom of speech and the press is protected to a much, much higher standard in the USA than in the UK, so if there are problems with the US's case against him -- and it does seem really very likely -- then the best way to make it all go away is to get in front of any judge who understands that New York Times vs Sullivan 376 U.S. 254 is settled law, and they're all in the USA... although Trump's legacy seems to be an effort to overturn that case, so the sooner Assange starts, the better!]

Malcolm Weir

Re: Absolutely ourageous

True, but he was conning a US company, so the "victim" is American.

I don't disagree that he _could_ have been prosecuted in the UK. But whether he _should_ have is a much more nuanced question (and if the USA is willing to pay the huge cost of running the prosecution, the CPS is probably going to be on the "knock yourselves out" bench...)

Malcolm Weir

Re: Absolutely ourageous

This is probably the classic documentation conundrum: if the policy says "do this", changing that to do something very much better _requires_ updating the documentation, even if that's much harder than improving the system!

Malcolm Weir

Re: Absolutely ourageous

"He actually managed to con everyone* in a very long list of reputed banks and lawyers as well as the auditors?"

Yup. That's how it works. What do you think the auditors and the "very long list of reputed banks and lawyers" look at???

They're all looking at the same tainted accounts. The auditors should be closest to the business and should be most able to spot the problems. The others are looking at the audited accounts, and are subject to a huge dose of confirmation bias: if there were huge problems, then Deloitte would have caught them, so there were not huge problems!

[That just leaves the possibility of minor issues... and those are the sorts of things that people protect against by devaluing the numbers slightly e.g. "reduce the balance-sheet figures by 10%, does this deal still make sense??"].

The problem was that the balance-sheet was deliberately and fraudulently constructed to be massively inaccurate, and the audits didn't spot it. This is quite likely because Lynch was actively structuring things in a way that he knew the auditors wouldn't catch... and that's why the United States Department of Justice wants to put him on trial.

Mike Lynch loses US extradition delay bid: Flight across the Atlantic looks closer than ever

Malcolm Weir

Re: If that wasn't bad enough...

There is no UK fraud case. There is a civil dispute between HPE and Lynch, but the Crown is uninvolved.

In the USA, there is an indictment of "the people vs Lynch", which doesn't actually involve HPE except as a witness...

Malcolm Weir

Re: Let the chuckles ring out!

I think this has the ethics backwards: criminal trials (in both the UK and the US) are supposed to be about weighing offenses against society as a whole (i.e. "crimes"). A civil trial is about weight a dispute between two (or more) individuals.

So obviously, IMHO, a criminal trial is a higher priority than a civil one.

And while Lynch and HPE are squabbling over, effectively, money, the whole point of a criminal trial for fraud is that you can be guilty of wire fraud even if the sums are negligible (not that anyone would prosecute a wire fraud for $1, but the principle remains).

So to me this is fundamentally Lynch trying to say something like he shouldn't be extradited because he's locked into a dispute with the milkman over unpaid bills for a couple of pints of gold top! And actually it's worse: the HPE/Lynch suit is practically done, except the judgment hasn't been handed down. There's no reason why Lynch shouldn't wait for the results in the USA instead of the UK!

(As to the issues of the US Justice system, etc... those are real, but effectively unchangeable on a case-by-case basis).

Throw away your Ethernet cables* because MediaTek says Wi-Fi 7 will replace them

Malcolm Weir

Re: The answer is more power

It has great security features, though...

Japan solves 5G airliner conundrum: Keep mobe masts 200m from airport approach paths. That's it

Malcolm Weir

Re: Forgetful

... but apparently those Doppler effects only occur with 38% of the US fleet; the remaining 62% are OK.

(But you're right about the ATT/Verizon/TMobile point!!!)

Malcolm Weir

Re: Using a Passive Front-End Filter

Just a trivial point: MIL-STD-461/MIL-STD-810 don't apply, but the RTCA's DO-160 does, Same game, different local rules!

Malcolm Weir

Re: Too wide bandwidth in the aircraft system

This is false. None of the 5G transmitters are anywhere near the protected band: the telco frequencies end at 3.97GHz, the RADAR Altimeter frequencies begin at 4.2GHz.

Malcolm Weir

This is the FAA's spin/pitch. But why are they happy with some 62% of the US fleet, but worried about the remaining 38%?

Oddly enough, by the way, "airlines around the world" do NOT seem to have expressed serious concerns about the actual _safety_, but about their ability to operate in the USA without the all-important sign-off from the FAA...

Japan (as the article points out) has already done all this, and (as the article points out) no-one noticed...

Malcolm Weir

Re: Protectionism ?

Kinda, but... Japan uses similar frequencies, but at a lower power (because of the higher population density, Japan doesn't need the same transmission power) and has a mast-siting/orientation policy that satisfies the Japanese safety issues.

Since the FAA is happy with _some_ RADAR altimeters operating in the new environment, it's clear that the issue is a marginal one: some specific RA's _could_ pick up signals from a 5G mast 200MHz away.

As others have noted, this looks like a design issue with specific RA's that the FAA/Boeing wants the FCC/telco's to fix (because "Safety!!!"), but airworthiness directives to "patch" vulnerabilities in a certified aircraft are a dime a dozen. If I had to guess, the core issue is that the operators (i.e. the airlines) were uninterested in paying Boeing/Collins/Whoever to fix the issue (not wholly unreasonably, especially given the terrible financial cost of the pandemic), and Boeing isn't eager (especially given the 737Max/787 Deliveries issues and costs), so it's come down to a game of chicken.

Malcolm Weir

Re: Protectionism ?

Sorry to break it to you, but the MD-80's haven't all been retired! (To be fair, it seems like there are more operating in Iran than any other country, but there are still a few US-flagged models in revenue service).

My guess is that Clarke was just applying the maximum amount of pressure... what we don't know is how badly Boeing/Collins/FAA have been dragging their feet, so it's entirely possible that he didn't have any options (because an operator can't just replace a safety-critical device without paper from the certifying agency: until Boeing/FAA approves an alternate, the operator is stuck...).

Malcolm Weir

Re: Protectionism ?

Nope. There's no "flipside".

You're ignoring the key fact: _some_ RADAR Altimeters (RAs) work just fine in the 5G environment.

Bear in mind that an RA doesn't really care what frequency it uses, as it is just measuring the return of it's own signal. So a fully-compliant RA using a frequency in the 4.2-4.4GHz signal will function no differently than a non-compliant RA using a frequency outside that band (say, 4.02GHz). The latter may cause and suffer interference with the 5G cell frequencies. There's no interoperability issue with an RA: it's pinging away, and will ping just as happily at 4.0GHz as at 4.6GHz, except that those are outside the frequency band allocated for the purpose.

Your argument is similar to someone making lots of noise in their home, and then objecting to new neighbors complaining on the grounds that there didn't used to be neighbors to hear the racket...

Malcolm Weir

Re: Protectionism ?

With the latest update from the FAA (which has now cleared more specific RADAR altimeters for use), this seems just like a pissing contest for "who pays to (re-)certify RADAR altimeters that were not properly tested before because the chunk of C-band that they encroached on was previously only used by TV broadcast downlinks..."

There is no serious _technical_ doubt that, regardless of the power level of the 5G signal, that a properly designed RADAR altimeter should function perfectly well. And the FAA implicitly acknowledge that, by clearing some altimeter's for use in the 5G environment... but not all. So what we're left with is whether the FCC should pay the avionics manufacturers to fix their devices (which used to work just fine, remember... because there were no widely-deployed lower-C-Band transmitters) or whether the avionics folks should fix their own darn products.

Now, as it happens, the senior Republican US Senator is from Iowa (Chuck Grassley). And entirely coincidentally, Rockwell-Collins is based in Iowa.

Guess who makes RADAR Altimeters for the B777...?

Wi-Fi not working? It's time to consult the lovely people on those fine Linux forums

Malcolm Weir

Re: "first read the fine forum thread until the end"

Digital is great, but...

My dad has Ordnance Survey maps for large swathes of the country. Yeah, Google Maps does a pretty good job (ditto OrdnanceSurvey.co.uk) but sometimes there's value with drawing lines on maps (property boundaries, good picnic spots, ways around impenetrable swamps sited on footpaths, updates to old maps to reflect new realties, etc).

And, well, just the site of all those magenta 1:50,000 (and orange 1 inch) maps on their shelves is pleasing! Along with the Michelin guides...



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