* Posts by TDog

215 posts • joined 29 Jun 2013


An anti-drone system that sneezes targets to death? Would that be a DARPA project? You betcha


Delta V

Ignoring the kill mechanism any KE system has to get to the targets before they get into a fatal (kill zone PK > whatever dependent on cost and availability) capacity. Historically this is remarkably difficult; targets are usually much bigger than interceptors and have more cost price vulnerability, Consider 1 hummer + a system capable of intercepting 20 drones (unlikely from the model shown) at 75%. That leaves 5 drones free to play.

And 20 drones probably cost much less than the defensive kit which is now useless. Usually air defence systems work on two factors; planes and training cost much more than missiles, and bods become somewhat constrained in their actions if they think they are going to get twatted.

Neither of these factors apply to drones.

So the equation changes again.

Shit happens.

No change control? Without suitable planning, a change can be as good as an arrest


Re: Not just IT

Then if you have the authority - learn about change control and thoroughly understand it; lock down your change process till you understand it and kick the arses of those twats who have not even thought about it. If you don't have the authority and you are serious about this putting lives at risk either go directly to your chief executive officer and tell what is happening or become a whistleblower which may cost you your job but save lives.

Seriously, what sort of organisation is this fucked up after all of the other public examples? And I worked in the NHS and have seen total fuck ups.


Different Places

I recollect going to a CAB at aT large insurance company and putting together a document following their standard model. It was actually quite a good model and forced me to consider some aspects I would not otherwise have done. At the end of the presentation (about 50 minutes) and subsequent grilling it was agreed to go ahead. As I left the room one of the CAB members wished me "good luck".

I went mildly ballistic pointing out that had I done my job properly there would be no luck required or involved (I was about 50 then and still cringe at the memory) and their job was not to wish me "good luck" but to bloody well insure I didn't need it. That got a few startled looks.

Of course no one had informed me of, nor noticed that the SQL "USE XYZ" statement was obsolete as they had altered their server naming convention about 3 months before and they hadn't got round to updating their documentation. (in fairness making changes to databases was seriously frowned upon and all of the hoops were about how, why and fuck me, what will this do to us) so even creating another table and not altering existing processes was hard work (as it should be).

Fortunately the DBA who ran the script with me (and had been at the CAB) burst out laughing when it failed and a swift amendment in notepad saved my face.

But any CAB that thinks its job is to wish owners of potential changes "good luck" has a totally inappropriate view of their role. They are there to ensure that luck is not needed.

(Bit of a rant but true)

The Home Office will need to overturn a long legacy of failure to achieve ambition of all-digital border by 2025


Re: Priti Patel has claimed the UK borders will become “fully digital” by the end of 2025

I wrote software for a large shipping support company to allow them to facilitate the US homeland security requirements back in about 2000. I thought it was fucking stupid as they were charging less than 0.1% premium on costs. And the risks were about 90-200% on costs. They had more faith in what I could do than I did.

BUT HS did enforce it and some of my code is still being used now. What we had was a very clear statement of requirements by HS and a load of bullshit about how it would work. And every time we asked a question we got a "get back to you later" response cos' they were too busy dealing with US companies.

But what we also got was a consistency of the API - there were two options and we chose the email one - risky and no guarantee of delivery but there were acks (so risk was inverse square law (lore) - had to fail twice) and they didn't change the requirements.

Not in the business any more but if you want it to work ensure that you have a clear set of requirements that are very simple (e.g. Name, Passport Number, Visa Number, Country of Origin, Address (although you have to be a prat to believe it) and perhaps nowadays COVID status.

You can be bloody sure that this will not catch terrorists but it will give you a +/- 5% set of border control information.

And that is better than we have now. What you do with it is political, but you can't do the political stuff until you know what is happening. (Unless you are a politician, then you lie.)

UK pharma supplier put into special measures after new IT system causes almost 10,000 missed medicine deliveries


I think I was one of them

I'd been prescribed a new biological for my Psoriatic Arthritis; Addenbrookes provided the prescription to HAH on 12th November. I heard nothing for a month and chased it up - I was told by HAH

"The provision of the drug was delayed by a question from HAH which was returned to you asking whether or not I needed a nurse to attend to demonstrate how to inject. They had not received an answer to date - so phoned your pharmacy who quite sensibly said "Ask him."".

Now that this new information is available I am very suspicious about the excuse I was given. This left me in great discomfort for anther 5 weeks. Nice one HAH.

Nasdaq's 32-bit code can't handle Berkshire Hathaway's monster share price



When I worked for an organisation that shall be nameless I was cross attached to a team of permies who were having issues with summing SWIFT values (VB6), I was told it was a problem they had been working on for several weeks - and could be expected to be there for quite a long time till the tests worked.

As you can probably immediately guess I was there for about 15 minutes; 1 minute to read the code (well only about the first 100 lines), 11 minutes to stop laughing and 3 minutes to explain that floats were not appropriate for financial transactions. When I returned to my other team we then spent about 4 hours trying to estimate how much money had been wasted through their ignorance, and what the consequences would be had they proceeded.

In all fairness their testing was good enough to identify the issue - they were just woefully ignorant of data structures.

Visual Basic 6 returns: You've been a good developer all year. You have social distanced, you have helped your mom. Here's your reward


Re: Visual Basic

It's funny you should mention that, I have just created a "Hire me to nail your head to a table" .exe. In VB6 of course. (Took half an hour to find the old stuff; 1/2 hour to write the .DLL back end and about 6 months to find someone to host it.)

39 Post Office convictions quashed after Fujitsu evidence about Horizon IT platform called into question


Fujitsu -When I worked for Her Majesty's Customs and Excise

Fujitsu held the contract to provide some infrastructure support including web site hosting and maintenance. I was told they charged £16,000 per page to make a change. Don't know if it was true; do know that the two contractors who worked for them onsite were so embarrassed by the whole process that if you took them out for a drink or three they would make the changes without billing it.

I tried to claim the drinks on my business account - explaining to my accountant just how much money I was saving the government; sadly he said "No".


Re: Perjury?

This is a copy of a round robin letter I am currently circulating. If you think any of it has merit please contact the BCS and your MP with any relevant points.

I deeply regret that I had not been aware of the full iniquity of the Post Office with regard to Horizon before today. My attention was drawn to this report by a comment in The Register.


In the armed forces it is sometimes not just required but necessary to place individuals in situations in which they have little chance of survival. The fact is that a public body did this knowingly and totally callously to its own staff without the excuse of "Her Majesty's Forces",

There is no justification for this nor for the entity behind this black farce, Fujitsu, to continue to exist. They knowingly lied to the courts, parliament and their own people.

They should be fined into bankruptcy. Individuals who can be shown to have committed perjury should be jailed for as long as possible. No "previously of good character" exculpation should be acceptable. As they did unto others, so should they be done by.

I will write to Kemi Badenoch my MP today; I shall copy the letter to you. I shall also write to the British Computer Society, the body which awards Chartered Status requesting an immediate withdrawal of any and every qualification that has been granted to individuals in the Post Office and Fujitsu unless they can clearly and convincingly demonstrate that they were not involved in these criminal actions. This is a reversal of the normal justice process of innocent until proven guilty but if you read the report above you will note that that is how the Post Office behaved with regard to its own sub-postmasters.

If sufficient of the employees are hurt then perhaps they will finally find the courage to state what many of them had known for far too long.

Prince Philip, inadvertent father of the Computer Misuse Act, dies aged 99


Re: No TV

Well I'm only 63 and voted for Brexit. Does that mean I got topped by the cherry? Just wondering since I can't quite remember where I left mine about 50 years ago. Pretty sure I was on top though.


Re: No TV

Happened with Dianna too. It's a guilt thing. They (the press) earn their reputation for being radical by shitting on them when they are alive; and apologising after their death. Keeps them happy and who else gives a shit.

Personally I thought Di was a very silly girl with her let's ban landmines campaign. The key point about mines was that they saved our forces lives. Cover them with artillery and perhaps other things and it constrains the attack vectors so we could reduce the effectiveness of Soviet vast numerical superiority (then). And if you don't then you may have no choices other than to surrender or go nuclear. (Which was always a NATO policy - we would respond to WMD with whichsoever WMD was convenient but we never forswore first use).

For some strange reason I never saw this analysis on the BBC within some zero to current date years after her unfortunate demise. Lots of conspiracy bullshit but no functional analysis.

Me I always liked Phil the Greek. Particularly admired this:

"How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?" Asked of a Scottish driving instructor in 1995. Source:


And for those of you who may not be aware I am (by the standards of goddess Nicola a Scot.)

Anyone would think he spent much of his formative life associated with the Andrew

Paris Hilton

Re: No TV

Well my dad did at 90; since his arteries were up to it. And he got a new cornea and lens a year ago - which meant he could throw his glasses away since the age of 11 when he contracted measles. And he is still alive at the age of 93.

I suppose I should apologise since he got them prematurely by your standards of complaints but I can assure you that when he recovered from his cataract opp. he was like a dog with two dicks. (and one working eye which was sufficient) Made me very jealous.

Image for the 63 year old gentleman who did the op. And not to make to fine a point of it he didn't do circumcisions but not because of his faith.

Excellent fellow.

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children


Best form of testing is

Test before development. Why allow reality to impinge on a perfectly good model?

Their 'next job could be in cyber': UK Cyber Security Council launches itself by pointing world+dog to domain it doesn't own


Is it only me?

But every time I see ofwat.gov.uk I feel inclined to add the missing 't'.

Turns out humans are leading AI systems astray because we can't agree on labeling


Re: Google Captcha

And then re-enforcing their model by having failures leading to you being classified as an AI:

"Look - we are so good we caught X^X thousands of AI's yesterday alone".

Or it might just be Chinese cultural imperialism - by reprogramming Uzbeks (and every one else) to meet the Real Middle Kingdom Perception of Reality (tm) as promulgated by the Real Middle Kingdom (please ignore those imposters in Taiwan and understand that Tibet was always part of the Real Middle Kingdom according to the Real Middle Kingdom protocols), and thus for a small loss in unnecessary population that chose voluntarily to not meet Real Middle Kingdom standards of integrity and mental coherence mediated by their own choices the PRC (interestingly that was also a set of USA walkie talkies which were generally described as pricks) is subtlety and quietly changing the perceptions of their future greatest allies. Carries on like this till the next Peoples Congress changes the rules (and that will be just after the Greek kalends)

IBM, Red Hat face copyright, antitrust lawsuit from SCO Group successor Xinuos



Amazing how many of us remember her still. Groklaw was enthralling; it introduced me to names in the US (in)Justice department I never would even have heard off, let alone admired.

Miss you too, PJ.

From Maidenhead to Morocco: In a change to the scheduled programming, we bring you The On Call of Dreams


Re: I wanna visit the Regomiser!

Here - have one on me.


Starlink's latent China crisis could spark a whole new world of warcraft


Maxwell's Demon

Would be ideal for opening and closing the gates to let aircraft in.

if (KE> small aircraft)


Open Gate (secure border control device)




Keep Gate Closed




Whoops, sorry birds


China outlines plan to boost economy with AI, a cloud OS it controls – and bringing in skilled foreigners


Computer rights

Well we know they can and do fuck on people - if they achieve interfaces and mind melds perhaps they can go for a twofer. Perhaps they'll deploy the great firewall of china in the interface between the computer and the person. We wouldn't want good Chinese computers being corrupted by impure brains. Unlike not mentioning or thinking of blue elephants or purple hippopotamuses the human users will have to ensure they don't think of Uighurs,

Name True, iCloud access false: Exceptional problem locks online storage account, stumps Apple customer service


Re: Similar problem

UK passport office insists that all names must be on a passport. So my son with 39 characters wouldn't fit into their 30 character field. In best tradition of the civil service this was made my problem by phoning me up and asking me to help.

So his last forename is officially Athe.

That will screw up automated tracking systems. Particularly if he occasionally changes the order of his forenames. Now would I suggest that?

1Password has none, KeePass has none... So why are there seven embedded trackers in the LastPass Android app?



For some stupid reason this was one that I had forgotten. Given the context I assumed it meant Fuck This, Fuck You.

Oh well, finding out was a bit disappointing.

Housekeeping and kernel upgrades do not always make for happy bedfellows


Re: The secret to intelligent tinkering ....

The most terrifying event is discovering the answer to the question, "What's the worst that can happen now?". Twice.

EncroChat hack case: RAM, bam... what? Data in transit is data at rest, rules UK Court of Appeal


Carbon Copy

IMHO. There has been a lot of dispute about whether the message was in transit or at rest. This seems to be conflating two different messages. There was a message (presumably in plaintext) that was stored in the RAM of the device - there was then a second message created by applying an encrypting / enciphering function to the original message and that was the message that was transmitted (in transit).

If access is gained to the original message then it was a static message - and similarly if the recipient's device were bugged then there would be again at least two messages - the transmitted encrypted message and the static message in RAM that was in plaintext. Again - IANAL.

The RAM message is transient and has no long term existence but it is still a static message, just as if a carbon copy had existed and then been burned for security purposes.

BTW if access to the device's RAM was available that might question the security of the keys on the device.

Accused murderer wins right to check source code of DNA testing kit used by police


Re: Repeatable experiment

This assumes that you have a sufficiently large sample to do this - or are prepared to "prove" that PCR can be used as part of a verifiable chain of evidence. Of course with contaminated samples it may well end up being the "dog that done it".

Nearly 70 years after America made einsteinium in its first full-scale thermo-nuke experiment, mystery element yields secrets of its chemistry


Right spot.

Where's that? Just inside a covid deniers neocortex? Intriguing but difficult to ensure.


Re: The dream of stable trans-uranics

It is actually a well attested fact that alicorn is the sole known source of stable trans-uranics. Sadly the current dearth of unicorns (last reported in the middle ages) has caused formal validation of the above to be significantly delayed. As soon as a new source of unicorns is found then multiple stable trans-uranics will be available for scientific identification and evaluation.

Some hypothesise that the the role of alicorn in the philosopher's stone is that of a so called 'nuclear catalyst'. We shall see.

European Commission redacts AstraZeneca vaccine contract – but forgets to wipe the bookmarks tab


Re: Clearly states the first batch is manufactured in EU, not UK

Section 5.4 specifically states that it only applies to section 5.4. Thus it cannot be applied to any other part of section 5 including section 5.1 which requires "best endeavours" to manufacture the vaccine in the EU. Thus UK production can not be included in section 5.1. The blatant claim by Ursula that this only applied during the development of the vaccine and not during it's production is a good example of a usually honest politician doing what so many politicians do best - lying (IMHO).

Showering malware-laced laptops on UK schools is the wrong way to teach them about cybersecurity


Re: re: free school meals

We seem to have somewhat wandered, I will note in passing that whilst Nine inch may please a lady, three stanza's does not make Danny too a happy boy.


Re: re: free school meals

Ach well, after achieving independence one will not have to worry about disputes over the Barnett formula. Until then one can relax to the jolly words of one of Mr Burns' other poems:

Fareweel to a' our Scottish fame,

Fareweel our ancient glory;

Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish name,

Sae fam'd in martial story.

Now Sark rins over Solway sands,

An' Tweed rins to the ocean,

To mark where England's province stands-

Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!


What force or guile could not subdue,

Thro' many warlike ages,

Is wrought now by a coward few,

For hireling traitor's wages.

The English steel we could disdain,

Secure in valour's station;

But English gold has been our bane -

Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!


O would, ere I had seen the day

That Treason thus could sell us,

My auld grey head had lien in clay,

Wi' Bruce and loyal Wallace!

But pith and power, till my last hour,

I'll mak this declaration;

We're bought and sold for English gold-

Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

Oh - the relief in the hearts of all Scottish Patriots when they no longer have to be bought and sold by English gold. I wonder how many fewer rogues there will be?

Five years after US promised crackdown on ticket-snaffling bots, the first prosecutions are in... and are a slap on the wrist


I don't understand USA civil law

But if I had bought one of these tickets with a credit card then could I not request a refund - just as if they had sold me a dodgy vehicle that they had no right to? After all the maximum 'value' that could be put on the legal price would be substantially lower than the value at which they sold it - so if a judge had to calculate the benefit I had received it should be priced at the legal value, not the sold value. Thus the buggers owe me money.

We'll explore Titan with a methane submarine, a methane submarine, a methane submarine...


First push at an English Titanic lookup dictionary

Terra incognita --> Titan incognita

Here be dragons --> Here be krakens

Here be rocks --> Bollocks.

Laptops given to British schools came preloaded with remote-access worm


Re: Plausible Deniability

Of course it could be the Chinese aiming to embarrass the Russians. Or the EU for similar reasons. Or Trump, because Trump. Or maybe the DFE to assist in it's claim for a bigger budget. Oh - the possibilities...

150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'


Re: The fickle finger of blame...

"It is likely that a developer..."

Should ignorant organisations make statements of justification based on opinions? This doesn't sound very professional to me. I am a member of the BCS and am uncomfortable with this sort of speculation being used for justification.

UK Space ponders going nuclear with Rolls-Royce: Hopes are to slice the time it takes for space travel


Re: Project Orion anybody???

Actually it would be pretty bright repeatedly.

Brexit freezes 81,000 UK-registered .eu domains – and you've all got three months to get them back


Is it the EU Court of Justice that has jurisprudence?

If the service was purchased in the UK it may well be a matter for the UK courts. Simply stating that EU or USA or any other law covers the contract does not allow the provider to arbitrarily stop providing the service because they want to throw their toys out of the pram.

I am not aware of who has authority here but would not be too sure it was EU law anymore. Worms - can - can - worms.

Legal squibling and trebles all round!

Why did Johnny and Jenny's exam grades yo-yo over the summer? Here's some of the code behind UK results chaos


Re: What else should anyone have expected? Gender studies

To be fair - when I was one or two, playing with my sister some 62 years ago I didn't even realise that gender studies were dual option. I understand that it is a bit more difficult now so the (can't say lad here) thing might have problems with even binary choices, let alone the harsh reality of others votes and political opinions.

Go for it son, (to the wee small laddie), all you have to lose is your image of your dick. Or whatever you currently see yourself as.


Re: Is this really the code?

You can't do that - Rand is non predictable.



if (rnd && classSize<25)


// not biased allocating test here

If (schoolAge (//scholls over 150 yeares o9d)



// add reputation and previously 'one of us' factor 'cos it worked historically

score += rnd() * .5 * raw_score

// using randoms to normalise for historical accuracy


// use noise to show missing peaks hidden in the expected results



// iterate through noise sufficiently to get expected results

// some sort of algorithm that reduces results by 0.2%

// until such time that the small number of peaks show through

// justifying while there are as always small numbers of high achievers (HA)

// And Brian if you can tie the HA' via your NLP analysis to ensure we get at least

// some of the BAME's that would be brilliant

// but don't worry too much as we can always fudge this in later

// You are shure that the pre-processeror (sorry about that - not quite sure how that works)

// Strips the comments aren't you. PS what is the symbol for comment - ? (?)

// just put some BS xode in here and we'll worry about oh what the xwdaadsfadfdf!


//hoe do hids ntrackets mork asnd does it muttr?

British voyeur escapes US extradition over 770 cases of webcam malware


Re: Stay At Home

Whereas the USA saved their courts the bother by not ratifying the extradition treaty.

Glastonbury hippy shop Hemp in Avalon rapped for spouting 'plandemic' pseudoscience


Re: philosophy doesn't mean that people are sensible

But beer will adversely affect your vaccinations - well unless like me you have had a smallpox jab they are immunisations...

Oh God I need a substantial meal - I wonder what could go with it?

Don’t panic, but five jet drones just used their AI to chat and collaborate while in flight


Re: A bit of context to a Boeing puff piece

Ah, but Boeing was so confident they did it in Australia - where 2000 miles of fuel still gives you plenty of open space to crash in. I wonder how many angle of attack sensors each drone has?

Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?


Hardcore Visual Basic

Very useful web site (Bruce McKinny) - As HM Customs and Excise were using VB in 2000 as dll's to power their internal intranet I tried to consult the online version - got a visit from their security. Explained what had happened and red faces all around. Then one of my colleagues asked:

"So what about emails?"

"We check them too and block the bad ones"

"And what happens when you are contacted by aggregate suppliers?"


"You know - hardcore as in concrete "

"Oh shit!"

I suspect that animal fertiliser suppliers would have been excluded as well.

EU says Boeing 737 Max won't fly over the Continent just yet: The US can make its own choices over pilot training


A300 Composite failure

N14053 tail fell off after failure of the composite locking - this was due to excessive left right movement of the rudder - some 19 years ago.

Billionaire's Pagani Pa-gone-i after teen son takes hypercar out for a drive, trashes it


It's a force carrying boson. I suspect he transferred the force efficiently but inappropriately. Oh well, I never did trust the standard model.

Trump fires cybersecurity boss Chris Krebs for doing his job: Securing the election and telling the truth about it


"Disputed facts"

NOT - disputed claims.

China compromised F-35 subcontractor and forced expensive software system rewrite, academic tells MPs


Re: Now I read

You wouldn't take out a ship. You would get a soft kill destroying and disabling sensors and transmitters. That would be a mission kill.


Re: Now I read

With about 1500 rounds per magazine and an average engagement usage of 100 rounds per target this becomes problematical. Even if drones can be hit with an average expenditure of 10 rounds this is still only 150 drones per magazine. At less than 5 minutes per reload 1000 incoming drones would take over 20 minutes to reload sufficient rounds alone. You'd better hope those are slow drones.

HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it's pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink


A. G. MacDonnell

"A subscription implies that this journal will be sent to the subscriber until one of the three expires." (England their England).

Apparently the ethics of the 1930's have been supersumed by the intellectual poverty of the 2020's. We got Stalin and Hitler in the 1930's - I wonder what HP will deliver in the next 10 years?

Tech support scammer dialed random number and Australian Police’s cybercrime squad answered


Scam calls and subsequent windups

So I got one of those phone calls about bad stuff on my PC and my

Internet going to be cut off.

Usually I just do the SAS response but I was feeling bored.

"Look I know it was wrong but it was just last night and surely we can

do something about it."


"No really I am terribly ashamed and I will never do it again."


"I was pissed - haven't you ever been in that position"


"So I have to deal with you guys' - is there anything I can do to fix

my mistake?"


"What - not anything?"


"Look - just tell your mother I will delete the pictures of her with the horse!"

No need for more asteroid-blasting attempts, NASA's OSIRIS-REx has more than enough space dirt



Some of the larger bits seem to be falling awfully fast for what is (presumably) a very low g field.

Hey Reg readers, Happy Spreadsheet day! Because there ain't no party like an Excel party



"The impressive extensibility via macros (and the dread Visual BASIC for Applications) has nearly been Excel's undoing over time."

VBA may well be dreaded but only by auditors and truth seeking fanatics. EUC (End user control) is the bane of any attempt to ensure data integrity but there always seems to be at least one bod with a spreadsheet which is only understood by the bod in virtually every medium to large organisation I have ever worked in.

It doesn't matter whether this is right or wrong, it only matters that it is - and VBA is the tool of choice. Easy for an amateur to program and get right - easy for a professional to program and get right. So what could go wrong?

Often (and usually) these products have many years lifetimes being ensconced in the accounts for the last X.Y, Z years, and no one gets any form of support for challenging them. And to be fair, nearly all of the errors I have ever found have been on the close order of £10M or less - just a rounding error.

On at least one occasion I was strongly instructed in the presence of senior management to identify any potential actions that could be considered as more than ignorance or irregularities. Having found such evidence and presented a potential forensic chain I was asked whether there was a source control system that could be used to demonstrate deltas and potential intent.

On stating that that was not my brief and I had not formally checked with the IT support I was thanked. The 46 year old person retired and I was thanked and subsequently informed that they would not be extending my contract.

I have no idea why.



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