* Posts by drdr6

7 posts • joined 8 Jun 2017

Remember that lost memory stick from Heathrow Airport? The terrorist's wet dream? So does the ICO


Annual revenue HAL 2017 £2884M, fine 0.12M

Fine = 0.004% of revenue

If the government were serious about security it would give the powers to fine at least single digit percentages of revenue. This isn't even a slap on the wrist, more like a grain of sand in a shoe.

Somerset boozer prepares to declare its inn-dependence from UK


Re: Piel Island

Predated by the "Upware republic", November 1851, but much in the same spirit:



Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you


Copier warning

I've seen this on a few copiers over the years, seems to be in line with others' observations:

"Copier Warning!!"

This machine is subject to breakdowns during periods of critical need

A special circuit in the machine called a "critical detector" senses the operator's emotional state in terms of how desparate he or she is to use the machine. The "critical detector" then creates a malfunction proportional to the desparation of the operator. Threatening the machine with violence only aggrevates the situation. Likewise, attempts to use another machine may cause it to also malfunction. They belong to the same union. Keep cool and say nice things to the machine. Nothing else seems to work

Farewell, Android Pay. We hardly tapped you


And therein lies the crime: If you don't have a credit history because you don't earn enough to be interesting to the card companies, or if you've fallen foul of the criminal interest rates they change when you can't work because you're sick, or for any other reason you want or have to pay by cash, you are now subsidising people getting their "card benefits" (cashback, free balance transfer and the like), and the costs of allowing people to use these new "convenient" payment methods as retailers pass on the cost of each merchant transaction and the capital costs of the new card readers, the extra phone lines and so on to you the buyer in the ticket price.

If credit cards / contactless / Apple/Android/Google pay had nothing to hide in terms of cost, why did the government feel it necessary to pass a law stoppping people passing those costs on?

Virgin Media customers complain of outages across UK


Outage or DNS ?

Is it a full-on outage, or "just" someone DDoSing their DNS servers ? (i.e. if you manually use someone else's DNS can you get service back) ?

DNS performance (or lack of it) seems to be growing as a source of problems and poor browsing experience, particularly as websites load themselves up with advertising, trackers, social media links etc.

50th anniversary of the ATM opens debate about mobile payments


Re: Extinct in ten years?

The really scary thing here that all the card lovers seem to completely ignore is that once there is no cash, then governments and banks can impose negative interest rates, because you won't be able to go to the bank and pull out your cash.

Pump-priming the new ampere: NIST works to count electrons in silicon


Fundamental physics interest, not just insignificant trailing digits

30 years ago I was involved with this in a small way: voltage standards have to be moved around and I worked on standards approaching parts in 10^8 accuracy. At the time NPL were trying to use a current balance - the current means of defining an Ampere from a Kg - in reverse, defining quantum Kilogram from a quantum Ohm and quantum Volt (obtained from Josephson Junctions, and the "volt" needed to moved from one lab to another)

The interest at the time was to be able to correlate the two Kg measurements - the physical Kg (in Paris) with the quantum Kg. Any statistcally significant difference would have meant going back to fundemental physics and looking for hitherto undiscovered second-order terms in the equations.

Those equations and definitions of the constants involved are fundamental to our understanding of the world around us.


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