* Posts by Wzrd1

2195 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Dec 2012

Germany's wild boars still too radioactive to eat largely due to Cold War nuke tests


Re: Meanwhile, in Japan...

Soviet testing, US testing in the US, south of the equator wouldn't carry much between hemispheres. Then, there was that debacle from a running reactor that caught fire at Windscale, which would also be rather high in Cs-137.


Re: Meanwhile, in Japan...

Actually, most of the Soviet testing was in one general location, unlike US and European testing, which occurred in captured island atolls (and for the UK, one in Australia, with the US detonating a shitload of warheads in Nevada). Wind patterns could trivially carry moderate yield to high yield device fallout into a fair chunk of Europe. Hell, the US used to send balloons up to monitor Soviet fallout over New Mexico.

There was a really big stink about one of the then classified balloons crashing in a tiny town called Roswell. Yeah, I'm serious, that got declassified quite a while ago.


Re: Meanwhile, in Japan...

Won't get a microgram of cesium-135 or 137 from uranium mining. We don't mine uranium by fissioning it.

Well, save in Gabon, but that was noticed because the U-235 / U-238 ratio was wildly off, with the 235 flavor being far below the typical 0.7% level, due to it fissioning in a natural reactor a billion years ago.

And not a lick of cesium-137 there, as that has around a 35 year half-life.

But, observing it preferentially concentrating in truffles does suggest a bioremediation pathway using various fungi. One then gets stuck storing dehydrated radioactive fungi for a century or so, then able to safely discard it.


Re: Ahhhh Chernobyl 1986

I was born a week after Tsar Bomba was detonated. It's a bit of an in joke between my radiologist and myself, as I am a tad "brighter" on a gamma camera than my children are.


Re: Question

Pretty much, xenon poisoning was part of the root cause for the Chernobyl reactor blowing its top. It had been running at full power for an extended period, then ran at extremely low power for the test, then they tried to bring it back to full power and had trouble getting the power output to increase. So, they pulled the control rods far higher than normal and never considered xenon poisoning the reaction. Then, the xenon began to "burn" off and the reactor went into a prompt critical excursion far beyond its rated output and displayed its explosive temper.

Tesla knew Autopilot weakness killed a driver – and didn't fix it, engineers claim


That, from a publication that has already posted at least one article about a Tesla plowing into a police car on the highway, under said "super" cruise control.

A lot worse than that. Police cars, ambulances, fire trucks seem to be a Tesla perennial favorite impact target, with a CEP of less than 1 meter.

Would that our guided munitions had such unerring accuracy!

The damnable things preferentially seem to aim at emergency vehicles that are stopped and have their emergency beacons on.

And at least one highway divider that had illuminated signal devices on it, which apparently must have swerved suddenly into the autopiloted car's path and braked hard. As concrete walls are also known to do.


Re: A rude question

Flashing emergency lights? Tesla automobiles on autopilot aim directly for those, with numerous reports of stopped, well illuminated with megawatts of emergency beacons flashing away, being preferentially struck by the autopiloted Tesla with utter, unerring accuracy beyond that of our current precision guided missiles.

Soon the most popular 'real' desktop will be the Linux desktop


Re: functionality

The functionality goes away with cloud based craplets when the connectivity goes away.

I'm sure that Corporate types will love an outage resulting in paychecks for the now idle, as no apps are available for them to grind money out for the company.

Meanwhile, I'll happily be chilling, using my LibreOffice, Thunderbird and well, actual applications on my desktop, be it running Linux or *BSD.

I do keep one Windows box alive here, that for my wife's glucometer. She's dead, so my need for that interface is just as deceased.

China bans export of drones some countries have already banned anyway


Re: But what if it ...

Gas, aerosol, huh?

Why think small, just jump straight to nukes and get it over with.

Linux lover consumed a quarter of the network


Re: Rule one...

"The other amusing calculation was how much more valuable the server was than the vehicle it was riding in..."

Yeah, installed a DNS server that cost far more than a luxury sports car.

Irritatingly, some idiot second lieutenant (but, I repeat myself) decided its partner was excess inventory and sent it to the property auction to be sold for pennies on the thousand dollar. He's probably a twenty star General by now, with that level of performance.


Re: Rule one...

Well, before rsync, there was Jumbo Jet on line or sneakernet.


Re: Rule one...

Operation Stack, a modern implementation of the evacuation at Dunkirk.

Or maybe it's the ongoing evacuation effort...


Re: Rule one...

Of course it'd be stationary! The M20 parking lot is world famous!


Re: Unnecessary

Hell, back then, the CD's came with various magazines.

Microsoft whips up unrest after revealing Azure AD name change


Well, when you can't be part of the solution, there's tons of money to be made expanding the problem.


Re: The Microsoft credo

And give it a cool name.

Like Microsoft Entrails.


Re: All I can say is ...

Yeah, but such designs show the level of engineering and thereby generate job security in supporting a product that breaks often.

Chinese balloon that US shot down was 'crammed' with American hardware


Re: "tarnish US credibility"

Whatever are you talking about?

The US has incredible credibility, absolutely incredible.

The noise is due to shock at, after a review of older data, this was at least the sixth balloon that flew that course. A lot of leaders had seriously red faces once that became known, although their high level bosses faces were the most fetching shade of purple.


"Yeah, um ... you really don't want to pull that thread."

Yeah, there'd be a whole lot of show me yours and I'll show you mine. First lesson, even friends spy on each other out in the real world.

Second lesson, remember that thing in Roswell? It was a US spy balloon that was capturing fallout from Soviet nuclear atmospheric testing. That got declassified a handful of years ago. The souper seekrit alien metal, honeycomb aluminum, which was brand new tech at that time. The only aliens in that area were from Mexico, on their way to pick US crops for cheap.


Re: Red Spy Balloon Phoning Home

Because, only the sun can produce light? You'd aim the contraption how, given the accuracy you'd need to straight reflect a bit of sunlight that'll inverse square to dimness in no time at all?

Still, if anyone is to spy on me, you're welcome to it. I know that blocking your reporting can be done by someone only halfway through electronics school.


Re: Really?

Well, it could be jammed from the air, but it'd be easier to simply blast noise at the satellites themselves, drowning out anything that the balloon tries to transmit. Ground based transmitters have a hell of a lot more capability and power over airborne ones.

Still, it's six of one, half dozen of the other.


Re: Notice how....

I presume its 'crammed with American components' because it had a Raspberry Pi or something similar in it.

So, the CPU came from Airstrip One? Thank you for the assessment from Minitrue.

As is typical in the intelligence community, it gets classified and this is a leak that's highly frowned upon. Alas, it's also typical of the US, who couldn't keep a secret - ever.

Which thoroughly undermines every conspiracy theorist on the planet.

JP Morgan accidentally deletes evidence in multi-million record retention screwup


Re: reminds me of my greatest shame

Always backup and test on a regular basis. That stuff can break over time and reconfigurations of the enterprise.

A lesson hard learned, long, long ago.


Re: That's 0.003108003 percent of their annual earnings

That's IRS, not SEC under the banking act.


Re: Sounds Familiar

And laughably, for being so destroyed, the FBI has drive images of Hillary's mail server. The FBI released a report on the contents.

It all ceased to exist in only one excuse for a mind.

The majority of classified documents on that mail server were only Confidential and were mismarked, making it easy to not realize that and leave them on the server (there's a procedure for data spills like that, handled quite a few over the decades).


Re: The people that

Why, you're right! The SEC should've driven a tank through their main office digs and fired a machine gun nuke launcher at them!

Rather than apply statute as they did.

Wow, carrots are smarter than some commentards.


Re: Ahem

Actually, you might want to watch it. The outsourcing was paid for in Fenwickian Pounds.


Re: Your Responcibility

Yeah, sue away. They spend far more on paperclips that are used in their paperless offices.


Re: Blaming the Outsource Workers

The NSA doesn't have a copy, but Russia and China still do.

And likely, GCHQ.


Re: >JP Morgan accidentally deletes evidence

If only there was some way in which to capture an information store, just store it back up in an attic or something.

But, they apparently can't back up, they only back down to the bit bucket, as part of their disaster preparedness efforts.

So, all backups, both on site and off site, grandfathered or incremental, all also got weeded?

Yeah and the Crown Jewels just fell into the boot of my vehicle.

Red Hat strikes a crushing blow against RHEL downstreams


Re: GPL violation

Courts aren't wars, where the more people you bring in, the better.

One or two lawyers is more than enough to bring litigation. Where corporations win is by attrition, continuing the case over and over for a decade or more.

And IBM has been around for a long, long time. I've fired M3 grease guns and M2 .50 BMG machine guns made by IBM for WWII.

A little trivia, I also fired an M2 made by the Singer Sewing Machine Company.


Re: recipients of their binaries

I've gotten cease and desist letters. As they were without merit, I filed them away and ignored them.

Cease and desist have no real power, they're only a warning that you might bring litigation and you really don't need them to do so.

If litigation is filed, IBM can then have their attorneys get continuances for a decade or more before the case even sees the inside of the courtroom. By then, there might not even be an IBM around.


Re: GPL violation

The problem is, when dealing with Corporate America, such cases can get continued so often and for so long, before the case even gets in front of a judge to be heard, a decade or more can pass.

That's one hell of a lot of pro bono billable hours to sacrifice.

But, never fear, the Hat and Big Blue will continue to get their free alpha and beta testing done by Fedora and CentOS users.

Data cleanser did its job, but – oopsie! – also doubled customers' bills


Re: Oh, I remember PC front ends to Mainframes

Terminate & stay rotten. Ever so pleasant when a TSR went zombie.

Abort, Retry or Panic?

Microsoft: Russia sent its B team to wipe Ukrainian hard drives


Re: TV show potential

I dunno, F-Troop was already done.

Amazon confirms it locked Microsoft engineer out of his Echo gear over false claim


Re: Guilty until proven otherwise

There are precisely three chances that I'd ever own or possess such a device, regardless of which Wizard of Oz controls it.

Slim, fat and none.

My video surveillance, my device and server. Period, end of story. Same with my door locks. The day I have to surrender control to my door lock is the day I mine my damned door and I am very well experienced in counterterrorism and explosive demolitions.

Yes, I used to terrorize actual terrorists for a living. I've also done redundant systems, with full fault tolerance and both fail safe and fail unsafe systems, doing a lot of defense work.

As for shit lists, got my own and am on quite a few. Oddly, I've managed to avoid getting on any FVEY shit lists thus far. But, I suspect that's a mutual thing ever since they tagged me REF.

Retired, Extremely Flatulent.


Re: Hypocritical

Odd, I've barely noticed any of that.

Oh, that's because I run Linux and *BSD, with one Windows machine under duress for interacting with medical equipment and the most repaired system that I own, despite it being the newest.

Software security patches and "improvements" necessitating ever so many repairs before the damned thing will properly function again.

I call it job security training.


Re: no backup strategy, SMH stupidity

Hopefully, given his UPS capability, he'll consider a moderate generator with automagic transfer switch. They're only around $7k USD here. Around the size of an average central air conditioning compressor in size and can run on either stored fuel or natural gas.

If one has gone to the level of expense he already has, in for the penny, in for the pound.

But, for authentication services, I still prefer everything in house. And to be honest, I still get greeting cards from my utility company.


Re: What, no backup strategy?

For me, all critical systems are to be in house controlled, either manually or via automation here.

After all, internet outages are a thing. Power outages easily handled via UPS and a generator with an automatic transfer switch.

That said, my home entertainment system is fully automated, with servers in house. Lights, I get off my fat arse and operate them, just as I have to do to go to the toilet or prepare and eat my food.

Getting food, that's either a 3.5 mile round trip walk to one supermarket or a smaller market at 5 miles round trip with items the first market doesn't carry. Additional exercise item, the sidewalks are slightly below the quality of a well used tank trail.

Upside is, for the cost of a cheap pair of shoes, ethanol is available near the supermarket at 3.5 miles, so I can simply take my shoes off and float home.

Reliability, not magic when every subsystem works and havoc when one component, such as one authorization service gets capriciously disconnected.


Indeed. If I wasted money on smart home products and that happened, I'd box up the lot of Amazon interacting products and the video and drop the lot off at my attorney's office and contact the federal attorney for felony denial of service charges to be investigated.

Then, replace the crap with things that I control, not some megacorporation.

Might as well leverage some of my excess computing power I already have anyway, as I have more computing power than the Starship Enterprise. So much so, I was astonished when they shuttered Three Mile Island, given its proximity and output capability, now they're on natural gas fueled energy.

I'm considering getting some sterling engines, to recoup some of the heat losses...

After scaring the world, China shows off 'chute that can aim Long March rockets' descents


It'd work great for a repeat of

Intelsat 708.

It'd complete the job on the incinerated village.

Gen Z and Millennials don't know what their colleagues are talking about half the time


Re: .. One lump, or two ..

It was always obvious that a ginger snap could take an edge, but how that was done with a bourbon and a pink wafer we may never find out. We really, really hope we never find out.

Oh, that's standard training that's conducted by the BOTF to all new trainees.


Re: .. One lump, or two ..

Which is why that fine silver hammer is part of the standard kit on any corporate tea trolley.


Re: Weird Al «Mission Statement»

As I was transliterating that into English, I was also considering (yeah, multitasking) how filtering that a half dozen times through ChatGPT and sending it back to confirm the intention of the originator would be.

Of course, I'm over 60, so am fresh out of craps to give.


Re: Thanks El Reg...

I've, alas, received more than my share of memos that are fairly close to that.

As I parse through and transliterate it into proper English, I have to run it through a special mental filter, as well as buzzword context transliteration.

The filter is simple enough: I realize that 99.99% of the time, the one issuing said buzzword dense screeds have absolutely no damned idea in the world what they're blathering about.

I have been known to retaliate, using plain English, to repeat back the transliterated version, being as dense as humanly imaginable, to request clarification on key points. Heaven save the poor SOB that used circular thinking or really doesn't know what they were saying, as I infamously do not suffer fools well, regardless of which section of which floor they currently briefly occupy.

Difficult originators or repeat offenders have been known to suffer a serious industrial accident involving the new electric urinal, which mysteriously is connected to a proximity card reader that's keyed to their newly issued card.

Which reminds me, I really need to check on my bid for that auction for a wood chipper...

Will Flatpak and Snap replace desktop Linux native apps?


Re: Using Snap comes at a cost

I've already had to uninstall containerized packages, as there were critical vulnerabilities, there was a delay for unknown reasons in an update for the containerized package and a patch was available for the offending software that was so thoughtfully containerized and hence, refractory to patching without expending more man hours than just compiling from source and installing it the old fashioned way.

Add in, now I have to run a package manager on my test systems for updates, then snap, then whatever other joy of a containerized package system that the distro may thoughtfully include. Package managers were created to resolve dependency issues, which containerized package managers now are to resolve and I'm sure we'll add another 16 layers of work for system administrators to slave over.

Because tossing out the baby with the soiled diaper is an option or something, call it optimization. I'll call it eventual extinction.

Scientists claim >99 percent identification rate of ChatGPT content


So, they've gotten to a 92% alleged accuracy rate in detecting

a Chinese room problem.

That literally is the problem with the bot output. It doesn't understand language at all, only sets of approximate rules and searches based upon that rather nebulous incomprehension.

It was accurately, if fancifully outlined in Watts novel Blindsight.

Cunningly camouflaged cable routed around WAN-sized hole in project budget


Well, I've saw uglier

Some years back, I was the information security officer for a forward deployed military installation. The installation originally being a pre-positioned stock storage facility, which was ginned into depot service for a certain pair of wars.

While there, our enterprising folks with the Patriot missile battery decided to connect their missile battery command post to the installation network. Not a whisper of a by your leave, just jackass in and hope for the best.

So, I'm walking from the chapel parking lot, where I stowed my vehicle upon arrival to work and came upon a cat 5 network cable ever so carefully stretched along the ground, with concertina wire protecting it. Yeah, razor wire security and worse, when I followed said offending, unauthorized cable, it was plugged into our classified network.

I disconnected the cable, changed the combination on the door lock and cut several 1 meter segments from the cable, then kicked the rest of the cable into the wire, then filed a thoroughly irate report as to the major security breach. Their harebrained attempt ended immediately.

Around two weeks later, they dutifully launched one of their Patriot missiles in the general direction of the airport, thankfully, not locked onto any target. The missile, lacking a target, promptly committed suicide and crashed into the ground - literally in the Minister of Defense's actual back yard.

Said unit then became the patriotless missile battery for the duration of their stay in country.

Alas, both stories are entirely true and involved one singular unit.

The FBI as advanced persistent threat – and what to do about it


Re: Baseband processor


Unless and until you buy your own cell phone towers and switches, they still own the network if they want to and can install anything that they want to via network mandated updates.

Phones aren't your PC, where you can pick and choose what updated software is allowed to get installed. Cell phones will update silently if the carrier network tells the device to do so, with no alert, no notification and no interaction from the end user. They can turn on and off your microphone, camera and disable the pretty little LED telling you that they're active.

That's actually ancient news, it's why the Taliban destroyed cell towers after we refused their demand to turn the towers off at certain times each day. They knew we were listening and the easiest counter was to shut down towers, as nobody can trust end users to not bring their cell phones where they're not allowed to be.

Seriously, boss? You want that stupid password? OK, you get that stupid password


Re: root password?

Root exists, but is denied interactive logon if a password is defined. So, one logs in as onself, is in sudoers and one does a sudo and one's own password to sudo the task of one's choice.