* Posts by Jaybus

374 posts • joined 21 Jan 2011


Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?


Re: You supported a system...

I would say it is not the result of a district based system, but rather district-based combined with a first-past-the-poll voting system. It does favor a two-party system. For example, the USA is not a two-party system, otherwise. In fact, there were 13 minor parties that ran Presidential candidates in 2016. Most are either extreme left, extreme right, or totally special interest, but at least two, Libertarian Party and Green Party, ran candidates who received over a million votes each. The last to receive any substantial vote was the Reform Party candidate Ross Perot in the 1996 election (>8 million votes).

The barriers for a third party are high in a district-based first-past-the-poll voting system, but which two parties become dominant has indeed changed in the past in the UK and USA, so it is not completely impossible. The Labour Party came to power mainly due to the Liberal Party self-destructing, and something like that is certainly possible in the USA as well. Look at the factions that already exist in the major US parties.


Re: You supported a system...

Well, she barely won the popular vote, but OK. As for the "retarted" voting system, have a look at the 2016 US election results by voting district at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/upshot/election-2016-voting-precinct-maps.html#3.46/39.71/-89.28. Clinton won the districts colored blue and Trump the red. There is far more red territory than blue, but because the blue is primarily the metro areas and the red everything else, Clinton won the popular vote. In other words, the electoral college system worked exactly as designed. It is a big country. Think of it this way; Clinton won the most people, while Trump won the most communities. The US is a democratic republic, not a democracy. And there is no monarch to just appoint a head of state with no vote at all. based on the predominant party.

Far-right leader walks free from court after conviction for refusing to hand his phone passcode over to police


Re: @elaar

"Often about as stupid and thought deficient as extreme right."

I have to disagree. That should be ALWAYS as stupid and thought deficient as extreme right, since there is no discernible difference in their actions, only in which group is targeted as the enemy.


Re: Would never have happened in my day

Yes, but the grounds for dismissal must be due to individual action, not due to association with one or another group. Dismissal due to association is, well.....1950's style McCarthyism in the US comes to mind.

That string of supercomputer hacks last week? Of course it was a crypto-coin-mining get-rich-quick scheme


Physicist Dr. Robert Helling at LMU Munich, one of the sites similarly attacked, published a preliminary analysis of the malware at https://atdotde.blogspot.com/2020/05/high-performance-hackers.html. He discovered altered files in /etc/fonts. In particular, the .fonts file was an executable with SUID root that simply gave a root shell (running bash). Another file in /etc/fonts named .low was larger and obfuscated by XORing. He was able to decode some of this and determine that it had lists of files in /var/log, presumably because it cleaned the logs. Also, they likely were able to steal additional SSH private keys from user directories, enabling them to login as many different legitimate users to further obscure the tracing.

Clearly, a sophisticated attack. Less clear is how they managed to implant the rootkit in /etc/fonts in the first place. Stealing a SSH private key from someone's personal device doesn't explain it. They could get a shell as a legitimate user, but still should not allow planting the rootkit in /etc/fonts. I wonder if their IPS only looks for remote password guessing attacks and not from sudo attempts.

In any case, it looks like they were able to delete logging and probably more, so the evidence of crypto mining, or anything else they did, is of course going to be limited. There is probably a gateway or router from which investigators could determine IP traffic, and that would reveal the extent of crypto mining.

Breaking virus lockdown rules, suing officials, threatening staff, raging on Twitter. Just Elon Musk things


Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

I can assure you that the people selling these horses at auction for meat production most certainly do not spend money on any drug. Any bute found in horse meat was from stolen horses. The real danger is in the failure to disclose the contents. I wonder what else is in there.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Spacecraft with graphene sails powered by starlight and lasers


Re: Calling Isaac Newton...

Because if the perforations are smaller than 1/4 wavelength of the light striking it, the radiation pressure will be the same as if it were not perforated. This would reduce the mass needed to build a sail of the same dimensions, so would allow for a larger sail. Due to the divergence of the laser light, it would be important to make the sail as large as possible.

There's a black hole lurking within 1,000 light years of Earth – and you can see stars circling it with the naked eye


Re: No Planetary Nebula

I'm not sure that is possible. Due to time dilation, no object could ever be observed to cross the event horizon, so its age should not matter.

International space station connects 100Mbps symmetric space laser ethernet using Sony optical disc tech


Re: Nice technology

Difficult to jam laser comms. Typically, a CW laser diode is modulated by varying the current of its power supply. A modulation signal will be generated digitally and a DAC and amplifier will be used to drive the modulation of the current source. An optical notch filter allows a narrow range of wavelengths through to the detector. A high speed ADC directly converts the received signal to a digital signal, then a FPGA performs mixing and filtering mathematically. A QAM modulation scheme is typical. A sideband control channel would likely use a PSK modulation and could easily be used to switch carrier frequency at random.

A CW light source would show up as a DC offset, so a CW jamming signal would have to be intense enough to saturate the detector. Since the sun can't even do that, we can rule that one out. The jammer would need to know the precise wavelength and carrier frequency and would have to be able to decrypt the control signal to detect carrier frequency changes.

Facebook sort-of blocks anti-quarantine events – how many folks are actually behind these 'massive' protests online?


Re: Big rant, lots of capital letters...

There is also evidence that far more people have already been exposed than previously assumed. And all of the evidence is being questioned and debated in the scientific community with no definitive answers...yet. Bottom line: we don't really know yet which of the measures in place work better or if any of them even work at all. But we have many places on strict lockdown, some early, some late, as well as places like Sweden that took a very lax approach and now Georgia in the US that opted for a very short lockdown, and no doubt there will be all manner of different approaches before it is over. So there will be plenty of data on each approach and we will have a reasonable consensus in a year or two. For now, I will withhold judgement on Sweden and Georgia's more lax approach.

Also, we don't yet know how long previously infected people will maintain the SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, so we cannot know how long these people will remain immune. We don't even know what their level of immunity is. So, neither do we know if a vaccine can be effective. We do know that people infected with the similar SARS-CoV-1 virus maintained antibodies for years. Not proof that this will be true for SARS-CoV-2, but we can hope.

Star's rosette orbit around our supermassive black hole proves Einstein's Theory of General Relativity correct


Re: Wow

Well, if you consider that the heavy elements could only have been produced by supernovae explosions, then even the fissionable elements came from the energy of some star, albeit not the sun and the energy went in billions of years ago.


Re: Theory?

Since the incompleteness could very well be in the quantum theory, that is not very strong evidence that GR is either wrong or incomplete. On the other hand, it is known that QM does not predict that gold preferentially absorbs blue light due to the 5d-6s transition distance and so appears yellow, thus we have the field of relativistic quantum chemistry. And then there's gravity... No, I would think relativity has demonstrated more incompleteness in QM than vice versa.

Amazon assembles team of boffins, devs, project managers and more to figure out mass coronavirus testing


It is a complicated measure that seems more political than scientific. We can't be sure what he means by 'renewable energy'. You see, the state of California would consider very little of Norway's hydroelectric production to be 'renewable'. According to their self-designated Renewable Portfolio Standards, any plant with a capacity exceeding 30 MW is not considered a renewable source due to its impact on the ecology. Around 13% of California's electricity comes from hydroelectric plants that are not considered renewable.

Stop worrying – Larry Ellison and Prez Trump will have this whole coronavirus thing licked shortly with the power of data


Re: Salvation from Commentards

"If you get sick, go to the hospital, and eat a bag of M&Ms every day"

Not a very good comparison. Hydroxychloroquine has gone through rigorous clinical testing and has been approved for use in many places, just not for treating COVID-19. The M&M treatment could be compared with perhaps shark cartilage, but the asinine comment would be better if aspirin were used instead of M&Ms.

COBOL-coding volunteers sought as slammed mainframes slow New Jersey's coronavirus response


Also, it's not like the principles of what this code does have changed in the past few centuries. The old accounting and etc. COBOL code produces plain text output, albeit perhaps as EBCDIC text. Nevertheless it is very straight forward to create an app that calls upon the old code to do the heavy lifting and then translates the old EBCDIC text results to JSON and makes it available to the SaaS gobbling, web-based UI flavor du jour.

Recompile, move to a VM on modern hardware, install translator app, and voila! This old code is turned into "cloud" crap.

Australian digital-radio-for-railways Huawei project derailed by US trade sanctions against Chinese tech giant


Re: Uncle Sam's crackdown sparks....

Seems a bit melodramatic. Why scrap the new radio system altogether? I find it hard to believe Huawei is the only source of digital radio kit.

Remember that clinical trial, promoted by President Trump, of a possible COVID-19 cure? So, so, so many questions...


Re: Donald Jenius Trump

"The real problem starts when the idiot President announces....."

No. The real problem starts when researchers conspire with publishers for their own gain.

Soichi to join three-spaceship club, SpaceX is going to the Moon (no, really), and rocket boffins step up COVID-19 fight


If the lunar lander was not a spacecraft, then the Bell X-1, and all of the other drop launched vehicles, were not aircraft. They flew it from orbit, landed, then flew it back into orbit. Of course it was a spacecraft. As for the ISS, Mir, etc., they are not "flown" from point A to point B, so are space STATIONS for the same reason a floating dock is not a "seacraft". All just nomenclature, but the lunar lander was clearly a spacecraft.

White House turns to Big Tech to fix coronavirus blunders while classifying previous conversations


Re: Oh my goodness -- the US administration is thrashing?

By comparison, influenza related deaths range from 12,300 to 61,000 in the US (2010-2019), with known cases ranging from 9.3 to 45 million. But that is comparing real data (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html) for influenza vs. total speculation for COVID-19. So apples - oranges.


Re: Oh my goodness -- the US administration is thrashing?

"There has been little testing, no isolation, and no tracing. "

That's just simply not true.

Alleged Vault 7 leaker trial finale: Want to know the CIA's password for its top-secret hacking tools? 123ABCdef


Re: "intensely embarrassed by the loss of some of its most valuable weapons"

Why, the flux capacitor, of course.


Re: Guilty? Possibly. Beyond a doubt? No Way!

"Has the CIA proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt? No."

I think I disagree with that assessment. Reasonable doubt is not about being 100% sure. There is no way to be 100% sure, which is why we have the concept of "reasonable doubt" in the first place.

Everyone seems to agree that he indeed used the KingJosh3000 ID, and there seems to be evidence that someone using that ID accessed the VM containing the code. Seems reasonable and even logical to accuse him. Is it possible that someone else who knew about the ID (whether they hated him or not) could have used it? Yes. Is there any evidence at all that someone else did so? No. Is there evidence that a co-worker hated him? Yes. Is there any evidence at all that one of those who hated him set him up? No.

The prosecution claims "We know that someone using the ID made an unauthorized access, and we have testimony that the defendant owned and used that ID." The defense rebuts with "Right, but everybody hated him. So, so, so, .... they framed him!" Seems beyond reasonable to me.

'I give fusion power a higher chance of succeeding than quantum computing' says the R in the RSA crypto-algorithm


Re: Glib rejoinder

"For absolute, unshakeable truth that cannot be pulled down, no matter the evidence, you need religion."

Not so. There are absolute truths in maths that cannot be refuted.


Re: Glib rejoinder

The T is produced in the reactor itself. The Li blanket surrounding the vessel is bombarded by high energy neutrons from the reaction, producing T. This is similar to how it is currently produced in the Watts Bar 1 reactor by using a burnable absorber rod containing LiAlO2 pellets. High energy neutrons from the reaction bombard the pellets, producing T by thermal neutron irradiation.

It's been one day since Blighty OK'd Huawei for parts of 5G – and US politicians haven't overreacted at all. Wait, what? Surveillance state commies?


Re: It isn't like

"...its the fact that Huawei owns about 60% of the patents needed to implement 5G."

Really? Are we sure about that?


Stiff upper lip time, Brits: After bullying France to drop its digital tax on Silicon Valley, Trump's coming for you next


Re: But, but, but ...

It also prevented the southern states from getting France on board, in that France was reluctant to act without British collaboration. Of course, they were already collaborating to handle the Mexican problem. (The Mexican leader had just decided to put a hold on interest payments to French and British financiers.) It was handled by leveraging the fact that the US navy's involvement in a civil war made for a great opportunity to attack Mexico. A very good example of how leverage, or lack thereof, is used in trade "negotiations".


Re: He's threatening Italy as well

Since you asked, yes. 23rd in public expenditures as a percentage of GDP and third in net (public + private) social expenditures as a percentage of GDP. https://www.oecd.org/social/soc/OECD2019-Social-Expenditure-Update.pdf

Unlocking news: We decrypt those cryptic headlines about Scottish cops bypassing smartphone encryption


Re: Extracting encrypted data?

"Or can they also break the encryption?"

It depends on the processor and Android version. There are bugs in many Snapdragon SOCs used in many Android devices that allow extracting the RSA key(s) from the QSEE (Qalcomm Secure Execution Environment). QSEE is Qualcomm's kernel that runs in the ARM TrustZone, or in other words apart from the processor cores on which Android (or whatever OS) runs. Similar function to the Trusted Platform Module, but built into the ARM SOC. This is the key used to check the RSA signature of an app intended to run in the QSEE, meaning a root'd phone can have custom apps installed into the QSEE. Not good. Also, the RSA key used for generating the key for encrypted file systems is stored in the QSEE. This key is used along with the passcode to generate the key used to encrypt/decrypt the filesystem. Once this key is extracted, it is simply a matter of brute forcing the passcode.

If that isn't bad enough, the equipment in question can make a bit-level copy of the filesystem so that the passcode brute force attack can be run on heavy duty hardware, rather than the phone's meager ARM cores. So, if the RSA keys in the QSEE can be somehow extracted, then the passcode can be discovered in a reasonable amount of time.

It's a no to ZFS in the Linux kernel from me, says Torvalds, points finger of blame at Oracle licensing


Re: Hypocritical

"The law doesnt differentiate libel or slander - it's all defamation."

Yes, although handled differently in practice because libel is a written falsehood, whereas slander is a spoken falsehood. It is much easier to establish what exactly was conveyed when there is a written document involved, even when the slander occurs on an audio recording.

H0LiCOW: Cosmoboffins still have no idea why universe seems to be expanding more rapidly than expected


Re: Riddle me this:

If the space between everything were getting bigger, then certain male parts would be getting larger, but one would never know it, as the ruler used for the measurement would likewise be getting larger.


Re: Riddle me this:

Yes. If a black hole is a gravitational singularity, then c is a time singularity. These singularities tend to make me think that perhaps relativity theory, like the Newtonian physics before it, is quite close in most instances but not exactly correct.

We won't CU later: New Ofcom broadband proposals mull killing off old copper network


Re: Cancelled my BT account

"But something has to change for us country folk.!"

It is a huge problem here in the US where it is exacerbated by the longer distances involved. There is a Honda plant around 3 km away from me, so fiber running along the highway that my road intersects. As luck would have it, a few people had already succeeded in getting cable along our road to within around 1 km from my 300 m drive. I got a quote from the cable company (Spectrum) of $86,000. So I contacted AT&T and got a quote for fiber Ethernet of only $11,000.

Around a year later, my neighbor across the road mentioned that she had gotten cable service. Amazed, I contacted Spectrum again and informed them that a neighbor directly across from me had service. I was told that some government program allowed up to such and such distance for free and I need only pay the rest. I'm still scratching my head as to how it went from $86,000 to $800 in a one year span, but gladly paid the quoted $800 and now have 400 Mbps service.

So hang in there. It appears we country folk are at least starting to be considered by the powers that be.


Re: one major problem that Ofcom is deliberately ignoring

"Well, if we want to get really into the facts, Optical fibres transmit energy (power), in the form of EM radiation that our eyes can detect (light)."

That's interesting. Only infrared wavelengths are used in the US, as the shorter the wavelength, the higher the absorption, and hence higher the signal attenuation.


Re: reliability

The direct burial cable being used these days for FTTC is armored, as it can be buried by vibratory plow, no trenching is needed, and it is protected from rocks and rodents. There is a corrugated metal jacket inside of a polyethylene outer jacket, so basically like the direct burial copper cable except it has fiber inside rather than copper.

Google security engineer says she was fired for daring to remind Googlers they do indeed have labor rights


Re: Can someone please explain...

I think there might be some misconception regarding the American work environment. For one, only the stories of doom and gloom ever likely are published. The squeaking wheel gets the grease. There are a lot of workers here and a plethora of work places, and so the entire gambit of work environments from awful to fantastic exist. But in general, the vast majority get paid leave, paid holidays, paid maternity (as well as paternity) leave, reduced cost health insurance, unemployment benefits should they be fired without cause, overtime pay, and more. Not sure what rights you think American workers lack, exactly.

And, fyi, average wages are easily in the top 10 globally with both OECD and World Population Review having the US at 4th.

As for unions, I'm not sure there is a consensus on the benefit. Some claim they aid the worker with higher pay and safer work conditions. Some claim they eliminate the worker by getting their jobs outsourced. I tend to think it is a little of both. It doesn't seem that non-union companies outsource any less, and neither does it seem union companies pay all that much better.

Two can play that game: China orders ban on US computers and software


Re: Intellectual property

Are you saying that patent rights can only be sold in the US?


No danger in that. According to Edward Snowden, GCHQ's Tempora system already snoops more data than the NSA.

EU wouldn't! Uncle Sam brandishes 'up to 100%' tariffs over France's Digital Services Tax


Re: How about politicians make simpler tax codes / laws?

"If the market will bear the increased price, they should have been charging it already."

No. Competition and other market forces set the price. Adding or increasing a tax forces an increase in consumer cost, and while it is possible, but not certain or known, that the market may bear the price increase, it is absolutely not true that they should have been charging it already. In fact, the only way they could have been charging it already is if the competitors were in collusion, as in the case of trusts and monopolies.


Re: Wrong argument

"he VAT we pay Amazon (on the rare occasion it's charged) is NOT "paid" by Amazon it's paid by the customer."

Of course. All taxes on businesses are actually paid by the customer, including a DST.

Absolutely smashing: Musk shows off Tesla's 'bulletproof' low-poly pickup, hilarity ensues


Re: looks horrible

"Pick-up owners are a conservative bunch. I don't think they'll go for the styling."

I think the stereotyping of American pickup owners on here is leading to some confusion. Yes, there are urban cowboys that have no need for a pickup of any kind, but the literally millions of square miles of rural area is somehow overlooked. It has nothing to do with conservative views! It's all about utility. This silly thing has a can design that renders the bed nearly useless for farmers, ranchers, builders, etc., you know....the majority of pickup owners.

So, my view, as a rural American, is that the electric motor would be welcome, assuming the (at least) 250 mile range and 40k price, but the design renders it very nearly useless as a utility pickup. It must, therefore, be targeted at the urban cowboy. Unfortunately for Tesla, the urban cowboy loves the roar of a large diesel engine, so I think this truck is dead in the water before it starts.

Gas-guzzling Americans continue to shun electric vehicles as sales fail to bother US car market


Re: Elon may be right

"There are no gigantic cars in the US."

It is true. Have a look at Ford's lineup for 2020. There will be a total of 3 car models. Ford is moving to building nothing but crossovers and SUVs (and of course trucks and commercial vehicles). Ford is removing the sedans based on profitability, although it is unclear whether that is due to lack of sales or to consolidation of production lines and production costs.

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket


Re: Not quite

Well, in the US it is slightly different for each state. There was a big fight over the red light cameras in my state (Tennessee). In 2014 the state legislature passed a law clarifying what constitutes a red light violation and added the following to the law that defines a red light violation (T.C.A. § 55-8-110 ):

(e) It is not a violation of subdivision (a)(3), unless the front tires of a vehicle cross the stop line after the signal is red.

Sometime afterward, a judge ruled that:

1) The camera system in question only showed the vehicle in the intersection while the light was red, so was therefore incapable of determining if the front tires crossed the line before or after the red light was switched on as required by subsection (e).

2) It is a violation for the driver, but not for the owner, and the camera system does not identify the driver.

As a result, locations in Tennessee still have the camera systems and still issue tickets, but they cannot prosecute anyone who doesn't pay up. They still operate them, in other words, knowing that they can extort money out of the uninformed. Many (most?) people in Tennessee now just ignore the tickets and don't pay.

No doubt they are still in operation because people from other states driving through Tennessee don't know this tidbit of information that certainly didn't make national news. They certainly are not going to travel back to Tennessee to appear in court, so they just send in the money.

So, this story is a very good example of why an engineer should not attempt to be a lawyer. He's spent considerably time and energy showing mathematically that the amber light period should be increased, whereas a lawyer, not to be bothered with such things, would simply argue that the camera doesn't prove who was driving the car or that the car's front tires crossed the line in violation of the law.

Disclaimer: Both the law and the attitude of judges may be vastly different in Oregon than in Tennessee.

Hubble grabs first snap of interstellar comet... or at least that's what we hope this smudge is


Re: Is it a comet?

"You have a gun from the USS Iowa?"

Naturally. With ehat else would one fight the Yamato after it has been remade into a spaceship?


Re: 110,000 miles per hour

"But science should always be reported in metric units."

Why? Simply report the distance in lightseconds so that it is correct for all units of measurement and conversions have little meaning or purpose.


Re: 110,000 miles per hour

"I prefer 1 kilolightsecond."

I don't. It's just so confusing to use C as a distance measurement. Now the relativistic affects of the Sun's gravity well affect the distance measurement and we cannot know both its position and velocity relative to Earth at the same time....wait, that is actually correct, so yes, let's use lightseconds as our distance measurement.

Remember the millions of fake net neutrality comments? They weren't as kosher as the FCC made out


Re: Bulk upload??

"However, now that Internet access is so prolific that not having access is extremely rare."

Definitely not the case. Yes, 80% of the population lives on 3% of the land mass where broadband access is ubiquitous, but a majority of the 20% living on the other 97% of the land mass have no access to broadband service and a good many have no service of any kind. When 30 million people have little if any access it certainly cannot be thought of as a rare occurrence.


Re: Well Ahead of Red Hat

"That's the scientific approach."

Really? Because in arguments made on other topics, scientific consensus seems to be of great importance.

Confused why Trump fingered CrowdStrike in that Ukraine call? You're not the only one...


Re: President of the US clueless

Politician == corrupt is true, so it is an obvious and not very useful conclusion.

The D in Systemd is for Directories: Poettering says his creation will phone /home in future


Re: Good encapsulation, Dr S

A centralized CMDB is certainly not an improvement. First, text file parsing is not slow and most apps parse their config file(s) within a few milliseconds at most. Also, a centralized CMDB is a single point of failure. The KISS principle does apply.

Stallman's final interview as FSF president: Last week we quizzed him over Microsoft visit. Now he quits top roles amid rape remarks outcry


Re: He should have stuck to what he knows

"* AFAICS in the US any tenured member of staff seems to be termed a professor."

US universities use the tenure-track system, where after a 7 year period an evaluation is performed by a tenure committee and either tenure is granted or the person is dismissed. In that sense, any tenured staff member is indeed an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor. The US media, being too lazy to bother with those details, uses the term generically to lump them all together.



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