* Posts by JanMeijer

44 posts • joined 19 Oct 2010

Euro space boffins hatch comms satellite hijack plan to save Earth from extinction


Re: Am I missing something...

Putting a large number of directable projectiles in orbit, what could possibly go wrong all the time there is not an extinction level event helping us sort out our political differences?

All jokes aside: iirc there's a treaty regarding not militarising space. Having a large number of projectiles up there might be considered a bad idea by those not holding the controls over them.

Aside from the other arguments regarding cost, and our unwillingness to consider anything other than our next summer holiday to be of paramount importance. The latter could perhaps be countered on a political level by introducing 20 year election terms, but that solution would come with its own set of well-demonstrated challenges.

Ticker tape and a binary message: Bank of England's new Alan Turing £50 must be the nerdiest banknote ever


Re: Magnanimity

Iirc his work wasn't progressing because he was sidelined professionally due to his private life preferences.

Out of this world: Listen to Perseverance rover fire its laser at Mars rocks as the wind whips around it


Finally humanity puts a laser on Mars, and ALL IT DOES IS CLICK CLICK?!? How do they know it's working??

Back to the office with you: 'Perhaps 5 days is too much family time' – Workday CEO


Let me fix that title for you

"Back to the office with you: 'That's the only way I know to build an inspired workforce' – Workday CEO"

"Zoom is great for status update meetings, says big cheese, but as for inspiring a workforce...I just don't have the creative leadership capability to figure out how to do that"

Coat not needed - home office

Northrop Grumman wins $13.3bn contract with US Air Force to kick off Minuteman III ICBM replacement


Re: Pleeeease.....

Given that it would control ICMBs, shouldn't that custom system be called SkyHAI?


Re: Pleeeease.....

Perhaps time for an update of the really big button that doesn't do anything?

Like Uber, but for satellite launches: European Space Agency’s ride-sharing rocket slings 53 birds with one bang



VHF and 5 watts sounds remarkably similar to what I remember of the specs of personal locator beacons, the signals of which also are picked up by (receivers on) orbiting satellites.

I'm guessing that's not a coincidence, you wouldn't have any knowledge of (pointers about) that, would you? Curious!

The Moon certainly ain't made of cheese but it may be made of more metal than previously thought, sensor shows


Re: Spaceship Moon?

I thought the Dwarf was parked on an asteroide

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC


at least the power won't be a problem in 2050

That new collider will be arriving around the same time as unlimited fusion energy. And my pension. Mine's the one with the IOUs in it...

Guess who came thiiis close to signing off a €102k annual budget? Austria. Someone omitted 'figures in millions'


That was the Mars Climate Orbiter which in a fit of identity crisis caused by competing measurement units decided to become a Lander

India kicks off competition for home-grown video conferencing clone


Kickstarting Indian native Web-RTC services

Taking an optimistic approach: the Indian government is actually kickstarting a pool of Indian native web-rtc services, as that's the only way to get a prototype up and running in 3 months that satisfies the requirements.

And that's cool because new services natively designed around all the goodness the WebRTC standards have to offer will give a superior user experience compared to the ball-and-chain legacy cruft older solutions carry with them.

100 mysterious blinking lights in the night sky could be evidence of alien life... or something weird, say boffins


According to Rimmer it's always aliens.

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors


What is it with Irish politicians

and the desire to discipline newly purchased IT kit into submission by letting them spend their first months in lonely dark basements? First those poor little electronic voting machines, now the printing giant; is it some secret way of making our electronic companions perform better? Did someone take the April 1 policy a bit too serious? Closet luddites? Well, at least the printer was allowed to come out after a while. I hope it has learned its lesson.

RISC-V business: Tech foundation moving to Switzerland because of geopolitical concerns


Re: So obvious, why doesn't everyone do it?

Perhaps people are simply following the example of others? Besides, creating a legal-administrative home for your open source project is hard work. That's why I'm happy my project is at a European software conservancy foundation incorporated in the Netherlands.

El Reg needs you – to help build an automated beer-transporting robot


Obviously the chassis needs to be Dalek-shaped. This is the UK after all. That shape has the advantage of a wide base = stability, and plenty of space for safe in-flight storage of whatever form the beer is chosen to be transported in.

Scale it up sufficiently and one could include cooling elements in the robot, adding the feature of keeping the beers cool even on that single hot summer day where travel times may endanger optimal beer temperature parameters.

Thinking that through a bit further: you may want to store the beer containers in some sort of standard magazine, which would simplify loading the transport robot. Something spring-loaded? Do it properly and it may even open the beer when popping it out.

As it's Dalek shaped no-one is going to raise an eyebrow at the installed weaponry which may come in handy when the BBC resumes robot wars or you want to take it with you on the annual trip to the beach, whichever comes first.

The beach-trip compliance obviously makes the built-in beer cooling functionality a MUST HAVE rather than a nice to have, and necessitates sand-proofing.

Pick the right weaponry and the robot can be made available on occasion to various charities for e.g. sandblasting old fences that need painting.

Half-secure not good enough for Chrome users says Google


about time

Design for users who've got better things to do with their time.

Artists install Monty Python silly walk signs in Norwegian town


The local politicians gave permission & were all for it. It's the national road authority, division "Østfold", based in Oslo, that displayed a lacking sense of humor and perspective. Norway has a wide and diverse geography, maybe humor is equally diversified over the country? ;)

Pictures of happy test subjects:


Google translate is your friend

Brit boffins brew up blight-resistant FRANKENSPUD


Blight-resistant misunderstanding

My first thought was this was very timely, a potato able to grow in high-moist environments without rotting. Properly blighty-resistant. Clearly shows I'm a non-native English speaker, never occurred to me blight had multiple meanings.

Kudos to the agro-engineers. Downvote to Apple spell-checker wanting to change it into afro-engineers all the time.

ESA readies Rosetta for next year's comet touchdown


Nothing on the barrel dimension? How are we supposed to know whether or not they would be able to fit Bruce Willis in there?

Recommendations for private cloud software...


Re: filesender

The FileSender project is working to overcome these limitations. We have code we plan to release in Q1 2014 as a usable 2.0-alpha version featuring multi-file support and fine-grained control over email receipts. The code will be undergoing a code security review about a week from now, our planning assumes no major dramas in that review.

The 2.0 version also includes the high-speed upload module, although that might be less interesting for organisations outside Research & Educational networking. Although the primary target for FileSender is the research and higher education community we welcome any feedback from (and obviously use by) other sectors. The major advantage we see with FileSender is the complete control you can have by running your own instance. We strive to make it easy to use and easy to setup/operate. Any reasonably capable Linux sysadmin should be able to have it up and running in about an hour.

If you want to give the multi-file version a try proceed to terasender.uninett.no and pick the one that has multi-file in its name. Get yourself a self-registered account and off you go. It's a test box so no guarantees. Feedback is appreciated.

Jan Meijer

Project lead FileSender

Kill that Java plugin now! New 0-day exploit running wild online


Re: Banks and Government

Fokus bank, now Danske Bank. Uses a Java applet. I guess I should take it as good news to be unable to spend any money on frivolous bill paying until Oracle decides to fix java.


Re: Banks and Government

one you said. danskebank.no. Granted, that's the Norwegian outlet of a Danish bank, but the situation is rather the same here in Norway. Quite annoying: every time Java comes with a security update they deny access to not 100% up-to-date java clients. Guess what happens when there is no fix yet ;)

Microsoft stamps on HTTP 2.0's pedal, races to mobileville


Re: About time. Now how about...

Within the current SMTP protocol framework there no obstacles to deploy a global x.509 certificate authenticated MTA infrastructure using TLS. Implemented by most popluar MTAs. Allowing only legit (white-listed) MTAs into the infrastructure.

There's the little practical detail of the current problems with SSL CAs, the slightly bigger problem of large scale SSL certificate deployments being stubbornly difficult (or the deployment of the PKI-understanding mutation throughout the human population taking longer than expected) but other than that, it's a piece of cake.

What it'll give you though until large chunks of the Internet start refusing mail from other large chunks is authenticated spam. Happy happy happy, joy joy joy. Maybe if harbouring spam senders would slap sanctions or an invasion on a country might it help but even then I have my doubts.

Boffins render fibre obsolete


Beam me up

I'll have my star trek communicator now thank you very much. Hold the power plant.

And yes, of course CERN is where alien porn collects. As Scott Adams suggested, aliens are here and they live in Switzerland. It's not too much to assume they would need some entertainment? Which alien can resist the combination of particle accelerators, pron and the good laugh about all these earthling scientists making those little particle problems oh so complicated? Heck, they had to invent "the grid" for it ;)

Not to mention the LHC provides a good cover for their own intergalactic transport and comms system.

CBOSS puts out operator bait: Dinner date with 'booth babe'


Re: Still none the wiser

Check their products list: looks like it sells all the software, hardware and services a telco needs to guide surgical strikes at customers' wallets. "A bit more lock-in there.....neh, not that customer group, them we can pillage without trickery".

Royal astro-boffin to MPs: Stop thinking about headlines


nice to see someone

still believes in hones peer-review ;)


they're not

why else would we need to put them in these buildings with thick walls and small windows? Practical about these types of priso^H^H^H^H^Huniversities is they assist in creating the correct mental cages to lock up the mad brainage, cages strong enough to allow the body out of the building while the mind stays imprisoned.

Boffin's blog blast births boycott of publisher Elsevier


now that would certainly explain a thing or two

-my lacking room temperature fusion reactor

-my missing invisibility cloak

Right, I'll just get my ...

Snowbound Alaskan survives on frozen beer


Why didn't he use the tyres?

I'm wondering why he didn't use his car differently. It has 4 things that burn for a long time giving off a trail of smoke easily detectable at long range.

Shovel and newspapers (isolation) pluss extra gas, 100% required in winter. A snow hole would have kept him warmer....

Skol to him though for living through it :) Multiple days shivering in cold is no fun I'm sure.

Google researchers propose fix for ailing SSL system


CA/Browser Forum baseline requirements won't fix anything either

All recent CA-hacks had nothing to do with the security of the cryptosystem, and all to do with sub-optimal or shoddy systems security.

Anyone who's been involved inpractical system security and in "formal" audits, risk assessments, security policies etc. knows paper is no replacement for real security. And that's where most of our CAs go wrong. They employ people to make sure the PKI side of the game is done OK, procedures, etc. Fine. But the attackers then go at the systems layer, and circumvent all procedures.

The baseline requirements don't say anything about "you must employ at least two world-class practical security experts". It's more talk about plans, audits, etc.

Boffins find new 2012 glyph on 'secret' Mayan brick


this clearly shows

timetravelers do exist, they have a sense of humor and no "star fleet regulations" to consider. Who knows, it might just be the Dwarfers pulling one on us. "No Lister, you will not find a fresh supply of papadums in the Maya era" ...

Enormous orbiting solar raygun power plants touted


my point exactly

having something up there with the capability to create instant 1km diameter cropcircles anywhere sounds not unequal to having nucleair warheads up there. Stuff like "large things that are easily turned into serious weapons" up there is nice when we've solved this little detail of warring nation states.

Who would be in control of said station? If it's not me (all hail your future dictator) I won't trust it ;)

Vacuum cleaner set Swedish nuke plant on fire


It's a conspiracy

That hoover was planted by the Norwegian secret service, to ensure the 2011/2012 annual good reason for high power prices for consumers in the Middle-Norway power market region, despite the water magazines brimming with water thanks to a rather watery summer and fall.

Last winter it was a lack of power transfer capability and -sound familiar?- a Swedish nuclear powerplant being offline for maintenance.

Why does Mid-Norway need so much power? To feed machinery needed to export gas from the "Ormen Lange" gas field to the UK ;)

Stallman: Jobs exerted 'malign influence' on computing


Been there, done that, got the t-shirts, moved on

I tried nearly all on the desktop over the last 13 years. Various versions of Windows, NetBSD, FreeBSD, various Linux distros. Never on hardware older then 2.5 years. Windows? Usually works, also with the new thingamajig you just bought and plugged in. At least audio with skype worked flawlessly. Linux? There was and is always something that needs some days of fiddling. I grew especially tired of the audio not working out of the box with Skype.

1 year ago I converted. Mac. It gives me what I need for my job. A gui layer that Just Works. Not perfect, but it works. And when I need more? Unix underneath with all my favourite goodies, partly delivered by Apple, rest delivered by mac ports.

Open source fundamentalism is all nice, but at the end of the day it has to *work* and allow me to Get On With It. I like to use my tools, not be my tool's tool.

And that's where many open source projects go wrong. "Then you just fix this, do that, twist and turn here". Right. Or I could go skiing rather then working out how to pottytrain my desktop.

Apple does that, making sure the tool doesn't get in your way, most of the time. Open source desktop products should get their act together. Tormenting people out of their spare time doesn't entice the masses.

Claimed DigiNotar hacker: I have access to four more CAs


Reality vs. paper

As is pointed out in "Its just the tip", it is the real life security that is the issue here, and the way that organisations deal with security, and in particular PKI. PKI mechanisms offer paper security, the *real* security depends on the reality of the implementation. PKI as a system might have flaws that make it fragile, this doesn't mean you can't get it right. Trouble is, few people bother. Why would they? When you run a PKI, all the talk is about your vetting procedures, your private key protection, bla bla bla. Security audits are done according to security audit standard X, Y and Z. All nice and well. All secure. Until you look at the intricate little details of the actual system and application security. That's where the cracks are. I know a fair number of people who are good at finding these cracks, securing them properly and design a system such that chances for exploitation of issues is very small to begin with. These are unfortunately not the same people that are called in when systems get designed, or when systems get audited. That is where the paper people come in. Don't get me wrong, security policies have their place. But ultimately it is the reality that runs the show, paper people tend to forget that. Much like a builders code works wonders to prevent shoddy buildings, but only if the builders actually adhere to it.....

Much talk about incentives in the CA world. I offer a much simpler answer. There's not that many people with brains wired for proper security, or proper PKI. Those people, unfortunately, often need to choose. PKI or real life security. Not that many that do both. Lack of understanding of different worlds does the rest....

A bit of a rambling post perhaps, but there's lots of truth in what I write. Trust me ;)

What is UltraViolet™ and why should you care?

Black Helicopters

now why would they do that?

First they'll make you pay to UV-ize your current content library. Then they will have full control over it as it is on their servers. Look at what Amazon managed to do with 1984: remotely triggered deletion.

Once they have full control they can "invent" new and "improved" formats. What will happen then is you can move to a new format ... at a cost. The old format will be phased out, by making it impossible to use access your content with old software. Although they might not need that given the cloudification of most apps. Don't tell me the government will stop this, they're doing exactly the same with tv and radio, obsoleting pretty huge mountains of perfectly functioning equipment.

When all this is in place, the phase-out rate will be determined by the need for content-exec bonuses.

Don't come crying I didn't warn you ;)

Canadian prof: Wikipedia makes kids study harder


5 minutes of fame?

I don't buy the big stick idea. What would you invest more effort in. A paper that'll disappear in the Great Big Inbox of your prof., or in something that'll at least have a chance of being read by a wider public? Maybe the students didn't so much care about the wikipodic review but were rather motivated by a chance for 5 minutes of fame.

Blofeld's Japanese volcano base erupts


Possibly La Palma

Spanish island, in front of Marocco's coast. Check the wikipedia article for the tsunami scaremongering stories. They appear to have been debunked though.

Giant 5-year-mission aerial wing-ship to fly in 2011


What is it with the music?

Is there any particular law, regulation, standard, grant-condition that specifies that movies or animations depicting predicted or actual results of projects MUST be accompanied by music? And if yes, is there an additional paragraph stating that the music MUST be despair-inducing?

Oracle gives 21 (new) reasons to uninstall Java


Norwegian bank also says "no"

Same as in Denmark, AFAIK most Norwegian banks use a java applet for doing the sensitive stuff in their netbanking applications: the signing bit. Every time I pay a bill it reminds me of why I dislike Java ;)

Chinese 'repurpose' Top Gun footage



Am I alone in thinking that CCTV as an acronym for the national television operator in a state known to have a liking for media control is a bit ... funny?

Apple refuses frozen iPhone repair


it was still usable

Ah, my apologies. The source article actually mentioned that "Leni" (iPhone user) said she could use it but that because of that use the cracking had increased. It actually took *me* quite a while to read through all the comments to make sure no-one had already stated the obvious ;)


not frozen but exploding glass on backside

I went to the original TV2 article (Norwegian) that Bergens Tidene used and there it was mentioned that the iPhone "exploded". Well, it didn't actually explode, the glass backside cracked with a "bang" sound. The user said "Jeg stod i et lyskryss, så smalt det. Jeg var på vei til å kjøre inn til siden for å sjekke om det var noe i bilen som eksploderte. Jeg hørte ikke noe mer, så kjørte videre. " which is roughly "I stood still at some traffic light and I heard a loud 'bang'. I was about to pull over to check whether it was something in my car that exploded but didn't hear anything more so drove on". Can't have been such a loud bang then.

There is a nice picture of the resulting damage here:


Now, this cracking glass is something different then the device just freezing. I am pretty sure that EU consumer protection directives (yes, they *are* implemented in Norway) not to mention Norwegian ones will say something about devices not just splintering into pieces when temperatures fluctuate a bit. My car windows certainly don't.

With regards to cars being cold or warm when you enter them, there are various ways to achieve your car being nice and warm when you enter it, even when it is -20 outside. The articles do not have enough information to see how cold or warm the car was when the user actually entered it.

Apple wipes smile off FaceTime in the Middle East


Video calling *is* being used

but we call it Skype, MSN etc. Don't tell me no-one wants to use video calling just because doing it over your mobe doesn't make sense. It would either be horribly expensive with no-limit dataplans going out the door, or it would be more or less unusable because of poor handset design. If anything, Skype demonstrates us that by making something that Just Works, people DO like video calling. My conclusion? If Apple managed to get the economic disincentives out of the way, and make it usable, it might actually work... However, lawful intercept would be yet another reason to dislike video calling (or any calling ;) using your mobile device....


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