* Posts by ciaran

136 posts • joined 31 Jul 2007


Boeing brings back the 737 Max but also lays off thousands


Re: They are to big to fail

Airbus has a "Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility" in Mobile Alabama, where they produce A320 family planes since 2016.

I believe that Northrop Grumman has a big hand in the Boeing fighter programs, so they could probably take over Boeing Defense. But I agree, the US fighters are in a dire situation between obselescence and disfunction, both causeing increased costs and lower availability. They should probably look to replace their older F-16s with the Gripen.


Re: "more than a dozen initiatives focused on enhancing workplace safety and product quality"

Airlines pay a deposit when they order, but they have a loan arrangment to cover the total cost of the plane when they receive it. So taking possession of the airplane is cash-flow positive - they get their deposit back, basically. Which for certain airlines is a very important consideration...

16 years and counting: How ESA squeezed oodles of bonus science out of plucky Mars Express probe


Re: Out of Support

Supprt means "we'll take the call".

Maintained means "we can provide a correction"

I support lots of products where the developpers no longer want to compile the source.

My clients understand what box they're in, but they're still paying the yearly tithe to be able to call me.

Uncle Sam tells F-35B allies they'll have to fly the things a lot more if they want to help out around South China Sea


Re: !!!

Yea, I do agree, that's my upvote. Lets say "unfortunate" design choices and split the difference. I do think the Rafale is more polished, benefiting from the deep experience and single-mindedness of Dassault (at least at the time).


Re: Superiority

The US pours all its money into offensive weapons like aircraft and carriers, meanwhile Russia pours lots of money into missiles. Turkey bought the S-400 because its way more effective and way cheaper than anything the US has.

Missiles are defensive. Aircraft can be defensive or offensive. Therefore the US is scarier than Russia, amirite ?


Re: As a tax payer...

Thanks for the upvote!

I am consistently amazed at what fighter aircraft manufacturers will say! I have never seen one admit to a restriction or a liability. Sometimes they do leave in a kicker to stay honest, like "... when we get the budget".

Anyway, the Typhoon engine air intakes look "difficult" to make stealthy. They're rectangular. And I don't remember anyone saying that they have an "S-bend" to hide the turbine blades from direct radar illumination. On the other hand, in the Rafale backstory there is a phase when Saudi Arabia asked for "low radar cross section". That happened just as they were going from prototype to final design. The story goes that the final aircraft looks just like the prototype, but that "nothing is the same". Dassault markets the Rafale as a "Discrete Omnirole supersonic fighter". Discrete as opposed to being "Oh my Holy God" obvious.

Typhoon gets the message out about using RAM (radar absorbing materials) but doesn't really directly say anything about their cross section. Rhere's no official published radar cross section info from any the respective manufacturers.

The F-35 says its "really good" form in front - not so much from the back and sides. The Rafale has a huge flat tail that's probably easy to pick up from the side. Your milage may vary...


Re: F16 vs F-35

Both Boeing and Dassault say their planes are compatible with ski-jump aircraft carriers. In other words both want to sell to India and will do what it takes to make that happen.


Re: !!!

Dassaut were producing "delta wing" fighter jets since a long time. The company building Typhoon was created from scratch. Typhoon and Rafale have a similar "delta canard" design. Which final design is probably the best?

Have you noticed any design faults on the Typhoon?

First the canards are so far forward that the pilot's view of the ground is blocked. OK for air-to-air, which was the Typhoon's original target.

Then the wheels fold up laterally into the wings, making it more difficult to put extra tanks and heavy weapons close to the centerline - on the Typhoon they're all mounted wayyy forward. The wheels on the Rafale fold up longitudinally.

The great one is how the Typhoon sales people have always criticized the Rafale for being designed to do everything from the beginning, whereas the Typhoon was specialized for air-to-air. But now they've stopped saying that because they're trying to compete as a multirole fighter


Re: Sea Typhoon

You're right, and there's even an abomination of a project called the "Sea Typhoon". They actually drew a diagram with an arrestor hook. And thrust vectoring engines, always good to add something they can drop later on... If anyone can bear it, I found it here..



Re: It's welded solid.

I seem to recall The Register doing an article on that. The UK govt was "just asking for a friend" if they could share desk space with other fighters, like F18 or Rafale... The question coincided with a love-in between the UK and French militaries. BAE panicked, thinking the F35 contract was at risk, and used the UDP party line - Ulster says "NO" !


Re: As a tax payer...

Or they're embarrassed about how much they cost to produce and maintain. They have great aerodynamics and best-of-class stealth, but terrible avionics.

The Eurofighter is easily a better airplane than the F22, but it like a lighthouse on radar unfortunately.

Either way, neither a F22 nor a Eurofighter will ever take off from an aircraft carrier, way too big.


Re: F16 vs F-35

The F-35 prices are still a bit fictive, I won't put my money on the F-35A actually being useably produced for less than $100M. The F-16 "total cost of ownership" prices can be reliably forecast (although not by me).

However for a carrier aircraft, India is looking at either the F-18 or the Rafale, so best choose one of them.

He’s a pain in the ASCII to everybody. Now please acquit my sysadmin client over these CIA Vault 7 leaking charges


Re: Kiddy Porn - that old chestnut...

But they haven't talked about the book on Hitler they found in his apartment. And the woman's underwear. I thought this was automatic?

Help! I'm trapped on Schrodinger's runaway train! Or am I..?


Re: Enquiries

In france my son's school has a subscription to a dedicated school information service. So I get emails from them in the app, with a notification going to my email address. I can see my son's timetable and all his marks, with the class min/max/average.

As far as I know all the secondary schools have a similar system. I think there are 3 or 4 companies offering equivalent services.

I'm impressed.

US hands UK 'dossier' on Huawei: Really! Still using their kit? That's just... one... step... beyond


So they might stop sharing secret info

But they're bringing a file containing secret information that the british don't have?

Like they're not sharing information on how dangerous Huawei is by default?

With friends like those...

Eggheads have crunched the numbers and the results are in: It's not just your dignity you lose with e-scooters, life and limb are in peril, too


Safest form of transport is....

Elevators (lifts), apparently. I'd certainly believe it.

Remember the FBI's promise it wasn’t abusing the NSA’s data on US peeps? Well, guess what…


Only a small percentage

Only a small percentage of cases go to court. Most accused accept a deal. You can't re-ligitate a deal.

Queen Elizabeth has a soggy bottom: No, the £3.1bn aircraft carrier, what the hell did you think we meant?


Re: Money and people sadly lacking

Yes, in a shooting war, the AWACS, the Tankers, and the Aircraft Carriers will all be smoke after the first 36 hours. Still, an aircraft carrier without airborne early warning is a sitting duck. Aircraft carriers can easily be spotted by satellites with enough precision to launch missiles against them.

Why telcos 'handed over' people's GPS coords to a bounty hunter: He just had to ask nicely


In Europe?

Why do the US telcos even have GPS data from user? That they can locate the nearest cell tower I understand, and I understand that Google has my location. But I don't know what telephone protocol would hand my exact location to the telecom operator. Does this also happen in Europe?

Twist my Arm why don't you: Brit CPU behemoth latest biz to cease work with Huawei – report


Definitely a surprise

Kick in the balls is right! Well that's going to accelerate CPU development in China, the Chinese government isn't going to take this lying down!

I suspect this is a watershed moment, where the whole Chinese population will decide that the Americans are ruthless and untrustworthy.

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour because the US was denying it access to oil (as one theory goes). This decision really feels similar. Eventually the US will find itself isolated, they're pissing off so many countries. But before that many dangerous things can happen....

It's 2019 so now security vulnerabilities are branded using emojis: Meet Thrangrycat, a Cisco router secure boot flaw


Great backdoor for the NSA to exploit

Snowden's data dump showed that the NSA likes intercepting shipments to some clients to install backdoors.

I would say this flay perfectly fits their modus operandi. I'm not saying they encouraged cisco to set things up like this, but I'd be surprised if they hadn't already found this situation...

Hate e-scooters? Join the club of the pals of 190 riders in Austin TX who ended up in hospital


Elevators are even better

Safest form of transport ? Elevators. Or Lifts.

'Software delivered to Boeing' now blamed for 737 Max warning fiasco


Re: Red herring

No, its clear that the pilots in the second crash tried to do what Boeing said. However Boeing gave incomplete information to the pilots. Once the MACS is "stuck", there are incredible forces acting on the control surfaces. So the "manual trim" procedure is basically impossible.

In the old, old days the Boeing flight manual gave a real procedure on how to recover the airplane, but it has been airbrushed from history. Expect it to come back in the court cases...


Airbus has 3 AoA sensors

And yet in the history of Airbus its happened that 2 sensors failed at the same time and with the same incorrect readings. Its just extremely unlightly. Read this for background


A day in the life of London seen through spam and weak Wi-Fi

Thumb Up

Re: Mobile data

That's what I was thinking. Like 5 years ago I would have fake emails for the wifi, but today the mobile data is good enough almost anywhere. And european roming! My contract gives me free data in switzerland, but I pay a fortune for SMS, sigh!

It's May 2. Know what that means? Yep, it's the PR orgy that is World Password Day... again



What it this "Spackle" of which you speak with such familiarity?!

Gather round, friends. Listen close. It's time to list the five biggest lies about 5G


Re: Chinese law

Its just the "Fear Uncertainty and Doubt" from another era.

If China or Huawei were able to build undetectable backdoors into equipment, the US wouldn't be saying "don't go there", they would be asking "HOW?!"...

Russian sailors maroon themselves in Bristol Channel after drunken dinghy ride goes awry


Many uses for a lighthouse

You'd think so, but actually lighthouses are just general navigation beacons.

You get big powerful ones that you can spot from far away as you approach the coast from the sea, these tell you basically which part of the coast you're approaching. Then you might get a smaller lighthouse to signal the clear water channel to approach a port. Any dangers they warn about are basically irrelevant to a boat of less than a ton.

Also many lighthouses don't illuminate 360 degrees. If only because then the local villagers can't sleep, but also to only cover a particular danger or channel. So even if it was working its feasible that it wasn't identifiable in the fog.

College student with 'visions of writing super-cool scripts' almost wipes out faculty's entire system


Re: find is your friend

User the magic command "xargs". So for example

$ find . -name "*.bak" | xargs echo rm

Then actually do it...

$ find . -name "*.bak" | xargs rm

Its a must-have tool. Well worth practicing...

Tech security at Equifax was so diabolical, senators want to pass US laws making its incompetence illegal


Re: licence to act

Yes, with an obligatory insurance that pays out when anyone is subject of a data breach. That would mean the company is policed by the insurance company. The US is supposed to like a free market, I'm always amazed that they don't just inflate the insurance requirements of any strategic/sensitive industries...

US watchdog legal fight against Qualcomm and pushy chip deals closes with argument over how awful lawyers are


Re: Q: Default mandatory Licensing in US?

Reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) ?

Fine, we'll do it the Huawei, says Uncle Sam: CFO charged with fraud, faces extradition to US over Iran trade claims


Re: Not unfair at all, and certainly not the result of lobbying by US companies

Reverse engineering is not forbidden by law. Your favorite breakfast cereal can be reverse engineered by your local discount supermarket. So you can look at an existing product, write down the spec of the value it provides, pass the spec to a team that will produce a lookalike, and iterate over the process untill you get a marketable product.

The law says that you can't copy. So the team isn't supposed to see the existing product. That's ensured via copyright protection. The law also provides patent protection, but no only for reverse engineered products.

I was told that 20% of products put to market fail because "they were only coping existing products", and I thought "that's excellent, lets do that!".

Racing at the speed of light, Sage superhero bursts through the door...


So his "2 minute jobs" make him loose a shirt regularly?

2 minutes isn't really embarrassing, but generally you don't shout about it...

No, you haven't gone deaf – the Large Hadron Collider has been wound down for more upgrades


Re: mmmm

Switzerland is part of the Schengen Area, so no passport checks at the border. However its not part of the single market, so they can search your car. Once they find something interesting, then they ask for the passport.

CERN has a special status, they can receive goods both from Switzerland and from the EU without border checks.

US may have by far the world's biggest military budget but it's not showing in security



Is this a deliberate bug?

[If you were worried about the state of US military security systems you might not want to read the latest audit.] with such frequency, there was no reason to suspect an attack.

Laser-sharp research sees three top boffins win the Nobel Prize in physics


Re: fS laser pulses are qualitiatively different than longer ones.

For example "Laser Shock Peening". Good description in this article about the F-35B (the SVTOL one).


LSP uses high-energy laser pulses to create a shock wave that mechanically not used to create thermal effects). The process, shown in Figure 4, involves first coating the part surface with a sacrificial ablative layer (typically paint or tape). Water is then flowed over the part surface and a high-energy laser (1-10 GW/cm2)1 is directed at the target region. A laser pulse vaporizes the ablative layer, creating a plasma cloud that is confined by the water layer. The rapidly expanding plasma generates a pressure shock wave (1-10 GPa)2 that plastically compresses the metal, ...

Et tu, Brute? Then fail, Caesars: When it's hotel staff, not the hackers, invading folks' privacy


Re: Bah!

I've seen hotel doors with a big knob to double-lock the door, that make a big "thunk" when they are turned, and that have absolutely no effect whatsoever.

However you need 2 people to test it - one to use the keycard from the outside and one on the inside to lock it. So no-one ever ever tests it.

This is typical security theater, I assume its the same everywhere.


Security Theater

Yes, its obviously just theater. Surely one of the attendees could have found a way to infer the amount of metal in a room? Or inconspicuous metal detectors in the hallways? Then they could bring the police along to a search when there was an actual suspicion.

So did any random foreign infosec hero get detained at the airport on the way out?

Great article, thanks.

MongoDB turns on, tunes in, drops ACID and goes mobile


No blockchain?

I'm shocked that a product anouncement from a technology company running an operational loss doesn't hype the blockchain! What are they doing over there?

White House calls its own China tech cash-inject ban 'fake news'


Re: Can we please dispense with the term 'fake news'

So "Fake Bull$hit"? Or "Bull$hit Bull$hit"? Surely it should be Fake-squared news, or F2N?

National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office


Some things the government should know..

I think the government should know all the people who are legally resident, if for no other reason than to tax them. So there should be government-issued cards with your name and face. From there you can bring along any other documentation to prove anything you need proving like your date of birth. I see no reason to put your age, sex, social status into the card.

The card should have an ID number which should mean absolutely nothing - it should just be an external key into a database, and it should change every time you renew the card. The card should have an expiry date, of course.

Fraudster admits she was OPM dealer: Leaked US govt staff files used to bag cash, car loans


Life sentence for stealing some kids films from a video tape store!

In california if you're convicted 3 times you're sentenced to 25 years in jail. Sounds fair.


AI built to track you through walls because, er, Parkinsons?

Black Helicopters

What do they use for reception?

The emissions are generated by a "wireless Wi-Fi device" (a wifi repeater, is that what they're saying?) However they don't say what's being used for reception. I doubt you can generate those heatmaps using a normal wifi (MIMO?) interface.

Expect this to appear in every Cop or Spy TV series starting next september...

Your F-35s need spare bits? Computer says we'll have you sorted in... a couple of years


Re: Israel F35

The photos are just photos. A F35 can indeed fly in civilian airspace, The F35 is quite good at posing for photos....


Re: I'll have some of that business please

Frankly they are lucky that the older F35B are still usable. The aluminium structural components need a special treatment called "Laser Shock Peening", which is basically impossible after the plane has been built. Of course that only became evident, or even possible, after the testing showed that the plane was dead without it.

I love it when Lockheed Martin claims that the change to aluminium bulkheads from Titanium - only for the B variant - has absolutely no effect on the lifespan of the plane. That kool-aid must be good, but I'll stick to the beer...

Sort your spending habits out, UK Ministry of Defence told over £20bn black hole


Re: Simple solution

False flag operation against Gibralta, then declare "justified" war on spain.

Google's socially awkward geeks craft socially awkward AI bot that calls people for you


Re: "The software pretends to be you, or act for you"...

No, its "the box" from Star Cops, 1980's british SF series.


The writer planned that the box would use the owner's voice, but the director used a different voice. Making some dialog strange. The box had to ring his girlfriend and reserve a restaurant, the dialog said "be annoying, she won't know the difference". Bit of a fail on that side but the whole thing was worth it. I bought the DVDs when they came out...

F-35B Block 4 software upgrades will cost Britain £345m


Recent report on F-35

This is long but interesting. Its reassuring that its still possible to criticize government programs, but its horrible that it's impossible to control them...



Re: and Pigs might fly a.k.a F-35

In any case if you turn on your radar you're not stealthy any more.

No matter how much hi-tech jumping around you're doing, if you outputting 10's or 100's of watts of power, you will be detected passively by anyone in range.

ECM is a good approach. It helps if you're not built like a mirror, so having a small radar cross section is an advantage. How small is an economics calculation vs. the cost of the ECM. In this the french Rafale is a better design than the Eurofighter.

Executing the DIMM sidestep: Movements in High Bandwidth Memory


No mention of the ATI Fury?

The first time I encountered HBM architecture was in my ATI Fury graphics card. Its surprising to see many companies mentiond without this mass-market example being mentioned.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020