* Posts by chrisw67

55 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Sep 2017


Dyson moans about state of UK science and tech, forgets to suck up his own mess


Re: With two-faced "friends" like Dyson, Britain doesn't need enemies

The novelty of the UK having an Aussie Head of State while Australia retained a British one would be delicious.

Journalist won't be prosecuted for pressing 'view source'

Big Brother

Unintended side-effects?

"Outlawing decoding would be the equivalent of banning translation from one language into another."

Or taking what any politician says and converting it into what they actually mean. We cannot have the proles doing that now, can we?

UK, Australia, to build 'network of liberty that will deter cyber attacks before they happen'


Re: Look a squirrel/koala

Perilously close to a life-like potato-head icon there :)

'95% original' film star Spitfire could be yours for a mere £4.5m (or 0.05 Pogbas)


Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

There are four or five airworthy Mosquitoes and a Lancaster of the same vintage that would certainly be in the running.

Weed dispensary software company's ambitions pruned after Spotify trademark clash


Lockheed Martin "Skunk Works" would likely have words in the US.

The Novita Group holds the "Skunkworks" mark in Australia after Lockheed Martin lost in court.

Sovereignty? We've heard of it. UK government gives contract to store MI5, MI6 and GCHQ's data to AWS


Perhaps the logic is that it is harder to carry an AWS data centre to the strip club; therefore the security is better?!

Boeing's Starliner capsule corroded due to high humidity levels, NASA explains, and the spaceship won't fly this year


Re: an issue with the spacecraft’s valves

Going straight to transistors might be a step-too-far. Perhaps try Nuvistors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuvistor) first?

Windows 11 Paint: Oh look – rounded corners. And it is prettier... but slightly worse


The new iconography is intended to be minimalist, based on "simple and geometric forms," and using "modern metaphors that are easily understood."

And yet the Save icon, on that other tool bar that now is jammed into the menu bar rather than the window title bar, still uses a floppy disk icon! Modern metaphors indeed.

NFTs not annoying enough? Now they come with wallet-emptying malware


Re: Idiots

I am not sure we could agree on a suitable SI unit. It could be a Barnaby in the land down under.

Typical. Crap weather halts work on subsea fibre-optic cable between UK and France


Re: Border Force

Probably just result in a re-enactment of the charge of the Light Brigade!

Australia rules Facebook page operators are legally liable for user comments under posts


Decisions on appeals by the High Court are final.

The court has interpreted the law as it stands. The only way to change this law is through legislation, and then hope that it is sufficient to survive the next challenge. I am sure the lobbying started some time ago.

This drag sail could prevent spacecraft from turning into long-term orbiting junk. We spoke to its inventors ahead of launch


The "logic" goes: if you want to get to the ground faster you point yourself ground-ward and speed up ;) Slowing down is clearly counter-intuitive if that is the starting premise.

A Whopper of a bork for seekers of pre-flight nosh


Re: Dear Mickysoft

Why start now? There's never been useful information on BSOD screens. Sure, if you happen to be the developer of the driver that just went south then it may be useful. For the rest of us, nope.

Personally, I am surprised there has not been an attempt to extort a Client Access License for each user of each kiosk... and a cut-price version for each viewer of a BSOD.

Engineers' Laurel and Hardy moment caused British Airways 787 to take an accidental knee


> So this happened on 18th June? - one assumes 2021...

No assumption required. It is in the report.

> and given that most aeroplanes have been in mothballs for some time, why had the directive to sort out this issue not been done already?

Plainly, this aircraft was not in mothballs. Operating aircraft fleets are serviced to a schedule that is combination of manufacturer's recommendations, regulatory requirements, and operational requirements. Non-urgent modifications will be done when the aircraft is otherwise out-of-service for maintenance. The base maintenance check period for a 787 is around 36 months IIRC (heavy maintenance around 12 years). If, for example, this aircraft was finishing servicing at the time of the directive, then you could reasonably expect it will not be there again for a couple of years.

Aircraft in mothballs will only have the minimum work done to preserve their ability to return to service. They are generally neither in a fully functional state (e.g. fluids drained or replaced with storage versions) nor at a substantial company maintenance facility (e.g. in the Mohave desert [1] or central Australia[2]). Consequently, the necessary systems to perform this particular nose gear installation may not be present, even if the airline wanted to spend money on aircraft it may never fly again (an aircraft not flying is a money pit, not just lost revenue).

[1] https://goo.gl/maps/8vRpLwWki9AQAAF39

[2] https://www.escape.com.au/news/incredible-images-of-plane-graveyard-near-alice-springs/news-story/186572ec9da57bb6e6248f915effe876

Who gave dusty Soviet-era spacecraft that unwanted lick of paint? It was an idiot, with a spraycan, in Baikonur


Re: Shame

Given the amount of pigeon poop on those wings we can only hope the vandals get a solid dose of psittacosis.

Pics or it didn't happen: First images from China's Mars rover suggest nothing has gone Zhurong just yet


Re: They lied about COVID

It's all good. Independent verification of anything China does in space is a challenge.


Re: They lied about COVID

Citation please.

China says its first Mars rover Zhurong has landed on the Red Planet

Big Brother

Independent verification?

Perhaps I am getting jaded, but has anyone independently verified a landed, transmitting spacecraft in the location claimed? The CCP Ministry of Truth is a thing to behold.

Cloudflare launches campaign to ‘end the madness’ of CAPTCHAs


Financial interest?

So which of the secure key providers does Cloudfare own?

Think tank report names and shames 'stakeholder capitalist' Salesforce for paying no corporate income tax in the US



"Presumably, then, that does not mean handing over cash to elected representatives of the people to improve the state of the world on Salesforce's behalf."

That there is commie-speak ;) Anyone paying attention to the United States in recent decades will know there is no society (rest-of-the-world), only 350 million individuals, each "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" including the right to consider that if I'm rolling in it then everyone else can go whistle. That individual profit is identical to the greater good is the dogma.


Re: Politicians, catapults, & the sun.

If you managed to make a catapult that could put stuff in orbit (or beyond) then you would make so much profit that you too could afford to pay no tax.

Another successful flight for SpaceX's Starship apart from the landing-in-one-piece thing


Re: SpaceX have turned rocket science into Spaghetti Engineering

"cubic Kg of payload"? I am afraid I will not understand until this is in Register approved units.

Microsoft and Google, sitting in a tree, working on browser compatibility


How much cooperation?

How much cooperation is required to harmonise the behaviour of two browsers when one of the two is using code provided (mostly) by the vendor of the other?

Has Microsoft deliberately added "features" to their version?

We can't avoid it any longer. Here's a story about the NFT mania... aka someone bought a JPEG for $69m in Ether


How long before the copyright, trademark or other litigation? There's a least one corporate logo in there (Burger King) and the odds seem good that at least a few of those images might raise an eyebrow to someone else (copyright or use of a photograph without a model release). Lawyers love a juicy target with a known volume of cash they can drain ;)

Delayed, overbudget and broken. Of course Microsoft's finest would be found in NASA's Orion


It is all relative...

By the time the SLS puts Orion into space the current versions of Windows will look every bit as old as the one being displayed by Mannequin Skywalker... and be just as creatively broken.

Australia facepalms as Facebook blocks bookstores, sport, health services instead of just news


Re: What, no Google?

That would be the same Google that cut a deal with News Corp and a couple of other players to carry some of their content for a fee. (In the case of the News Corp outlets, calling it premium journalism is close to laughable).


The law is, IMHO, way too broad (covering linking, any sort of indexing or ranking of links) and controlled by the declarations of one elected rep with skin in the game.

Forgot Valentine's Day? Never mind, today marks 75 years of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer


Re: ENIAC, the reference defining how far we've come

75 years on and thinking even once before testing on your user base seems to have been forgotten.

Rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond: Oracle launches rugged edge-of-network box for hostile environments


Re: Price seems low for Oracle.

"Each box can be set up in groups of five to 15 nodes for a single cluster," so "from" $292,000 to $876,000 p.a. Starting to sound more like big red now.


Re: Not true without picture

I had something like that for a project: it did not survive the first deployment before a forklift neatly pierced it in transit. Didn't drop it once though.

Cisco intros desktop switches, one with USB-C to power your laptop


Re: Mandatory fibre-to-the-desk vital for viral defence and virile attacking systems

Worked well on copper bundles, not fibre. Very interesting story though. Seek out "Blind Man's Bluff" by Sontag and Drew if you want to know more abouth these hijinks.

Flash in the pan: Raspberry Pi OS is the latest platform to carve out vulnerable tech


Re: Attaching a tractor-fed Epson LX-80 dot matrix impact printer was the height of luxury

You might enjoy Curiousmarc on Youtube.

Tweeting from a 1960's teletype:


Using an even older one as a Linux terminal:


Both teletypes have an interesting repair and refurbish playlist.

China unleashes fearsome new cyber-weapon: A very provocative meme


There's certainly enough Fail to share, but neither of these gentlemen likes to share.


As a former serving member I can only agree with the comments of Angus Cambell, our Chief of Defence Force, "Moral authority is an element of combat power. If we do not hold ourselves, on the battlefield, at least to standards we expect of our adversaries, we deprive ourselves of that moral authority, and that element of combat power. We are all diminished by it." Holding oneself to better the standards of the Taliban is a low bar... and we failed. What is alleged to have happened is rightly causing some soul searching in Australia. We will continue to prosecute those we can and do so openly.

Afghanistan's leadership commented on the revelations of the report in a diplomatic and constructive fashion, and they represent the justifiably agrieved parties.

China did not need to comment. That it chose to, through an semi-official open channel, and in such a deliberately confrontational way betrays its intent. Had the artist published this himself, which of course he cannot without CCP approval, then I might have accepted it. This is not the free speech of an individual, worthy of defence, but a cynical remark deliberately intended to exert politcal leverage. The hypocrisy of a "Free-speech" defence from a regime that will not accept any criticism of its own position in respect of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinxiang, Tibet, Spratly Is., or its program of political influence in foreign lands is outstanding.

My vote for Xi "Winnie" Jinping for dick of the year is in. Stolen from Mr. Trump at the last hurdle.

Linus Torvalds worried Linux kernel might get messy around Christmas


Re: Call me silly

Next update of systemd perhaps?

Let’s check in with that 30,000-job $10bn Trump-Foxconn Wisconsin plant. Wow, way worse than we'd imagined


Not a total failure...

Seems that the Oompa-Loompa-in-Chief, Foxconn and Wisconsin Republicans got the "con" bit right.

Diplomats are supposed to be subtle and clever. Australia’s just leaked 1,000 citizens’ email addresses


"Diplomats are supposed to be subtle and clever. "

Casting every employee of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a "diplomat" is a little misleading. This is old fashioned administrative ineptitude by a peon and not at all like, for example, our ambassador to Eastasia naming all his sources risking their detention, imprisonment, or worse.

First alligators, then dogs, now Basil Fawlty is trying to standardise social distancing measures


Re: Australian Standard

Not in the Northern Territory where the measure is "one small croc".


If memory serves, free-range crocs in the NT come in sizes from huge to gigantic, so there's plenty of separation going on.

Heir-to-Concorde demo model to debut in October


Re: Not far enough

That's quite a range increase: the north Atlantic is a puddle. LHR-JFK 2999 nautical miles, LAX-SYD 6507, LAX-Shanghai 5635, LAX-Seoul 5209. Even running LAX-HNL-SYD gives a 2220-4400 mile split.

Concorde's range was 3900 nautical miles for comparison. In its promotional runs to Sydney (eastwards) it needed two fuel stops and was speed limited over most land masses.

NASA trusted 'traditional' Boeing to program its Starliner without close supervision... It failed to dock due to bugs


Re: So what happened?

They should be able to manage two out of three golden parachutes.

EU aviation wonks give all-electric training aeroplane the green light – but noob pilots only have 50 mins before they have to land it


Re: Reserve power?

None that I am aware of... but then they have not had to design the airframe that way. A Boeing 737-800 is approx MTOW 79000 kg and MLW 63500 kg. Retrofitting electric engines in an airframe like this, if at all possible, would have to stay below the MLW at takeoff.

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree


Re: No love for CORAL 66?

Late 1980s, GEC 4000 machines with OS4000 and CORAL-66 cross-compiling for an airborne real-time acoustic processor (AQS-901 a version of the Marconi-Elliott 920 ATC). The good ol' days indeed.

Academics: We hate to ask, but could governments kindly refrain from building giant data-slurping, contact-tracing coronavirus monsters?


Re: Finally?

I had to laugh at the irony in, one the one hand, assuring us the data would be secure and not used for other purposes, and on the other, passing the application through the Australian Signals Directorate (think GCHQ or NSA data-slurp central) for their imprimatur. Might be completely innocent use of their IT security expertise, but it is nonetheless a great way to feed the conspiracy theories.

'That's here. That's home. That's us': It's 30 years since Voyager 1 looked back and squinted at a 'Pale Blue Dot'


Re: Finally?

They like a bit of selfie action too!


Microsoft: Reckon our code is crap? Prove it and $30k could be yours


A blessing and a curse

If I was paid by the bug found in some of the software I am blessed with supporting I could retire real soon. On the other hand, if I was not paid until the bugs were _fixed_ the soup kitchen would beckon.

Clip, clip, hooray: NASA says it will send Clipper probe to Europa, will attempt no landing there

Thumb Up

Re: "Fall Creators Update"

Well played, Sir.

Incoming! Microsoft unleashes more fixes for Windows 10 October 2018 Update


Drive mapping issue?

Win 10 arbitrarily deciding that it could not connect to drives you used just minutes ago, while still connecting to others on the same server, predates the October update. Happened to my Win 10 1803 build in the last few days... unless, of course, it is a new and exciting issue they added to the October debacle and subsequently fixed.

Strewth! Aussie ISP gets eye-watering IPv4 bill, shifts to IPv6 addresses


Re: Finally?

I guess I should not be surprised. I just got IPv6 juices flowing at home and I am shortly (yeah right!) blessed with HFC NBN.

Is this a technical limitation of the HFC infrastructure entry/exit points, or just penny pinching TPG style?

Oz digital health agency tightens medical record access as watchdog warns of crim honeypot


Not just law enforcement

'Section 70 of the Act gives the ADHA discretion to release information without a warrant, if it “reasonably believes that the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary” for law enforcement purposes.'

If I was feeling generous I might assume that any law enforcement purpose could already be covered by a court-issued warrant. However, the Act does not require a warrant for law enforcement purposes just a "reasoanble belief" on the part of the system operator. This was deliberate wording, not an accident.

More concerning for me is that only "reasoanble belief" is required to release information to "protect the public revenue" (70(1)(c)). So, when a government is looking to save a few bucks on Medicare it can trawl this information, in aggregate, for the areas it could cut with least public backlash. Or, in or targeted fashion, evaluate "suspect" citizens or groups with a view to reducing their personal Medicare or private health rebates. Even worse, "protecting the public revenue" could mean increasing the public revenue by on-selling the data to anybody with the cash. All good as long as someone at a system operator being paid by the government arrives at "reasoanble belief" when requested by the government.

nbn™ CEO didn't mean to offend gamers, just brand them unwelcome bandwidth-hogs


"...some “super users” on its fixed wireless services are downloading “terabytes” per month. The company is considering fair-use clause in contracts (as apply to its SkyMuster satellite services) or even traffic shaping to cope."

Two thoughts:

Imposing conditions on users of a satellite service is going to help users of the congested fixed-wireless segments exactly how?

Up until now, NBN would skate away from issues by insisting that end users were not its customers and directing the problem to RSPs. NBN is now acknowledging that it has end-user customers that it can impose conditions on. I don't know if this is deliberate muddying-of-the-waters for convenience or if this guy is unaware of how consumer-hostile the organisation has been to date.